Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Myths About Public Employees

Why Do They Hate Teachers?
Bill Gates by Dunechaser
The attacks on teachers and their unions just keep coming. While the Bill Gates, Eli Broad and Arne Duncan crew are clearly seeking to make public ed look bad so they can replace it with profitable private education schemes, the attacks are also part of a broader assault on all public sector workers, who are among the few remaining unionized workers in the country.

The ruling elite would love nothing more than to destroy all vestiges of unionism in this country and they have done a pretty good job at creating the impression that public sector workers are all a bunch of spoiled babies who are bilking taxpayers and bankrupting local governments, thus pitting workers against workers. See Working Class Hostility Toward Jersey & Philly Teachers.

Photo by BrianR

Labor Notes recently published an article dispelling many of the myths about public employees. To read the full story, visit Labor Notes: Public Employees: Myths and Realties. Some snippets from the article appear below.

Government Employees are Overpaid
Economic Policy Institute found that public workers earn about 11% less than private sector workers, when compared by age, experience and education. Public workers did have better benefits. However, when health and retirement were included in the total compensation package, public workers were still paid 4% less than their private sector counterparts.

The Federal Deficit is Out of Control
There was virtually no spending or job creation in the private sector. Therefore, government spending was the main force for creating the few new jobs that were created last year. However, there is plenty of fat in the federal budget, primarily in the military, which takes up 22% of the total budget, more than double what it was 10 years ago.

Taxes Are Too High
Taxes in the U.S. are the 3rd lowest of all industrialized countries (only Turkey and Mexico are lower). Corporate taxes are also among the lowest. At the end of WWII, more than 1/3 of all taxes came from corporations. Today they pay only 10%. Also, the marginal tax rate on the wealthiest Americans was 81% in 1940 (and over 90% from 1950 to 1963) compared with 35% today.

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