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Message to My Children: Work for the Government!

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by State, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. State

    State Rookie

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    #70 Jersey

    YouTube - Chris Edwards on pay gap between federal & private workers on CNN

    I agree with John Derbyshire. It's the private sector that works for the gubmit. The environs of DC have been booming. Booming.

    My DOT buddy is going to retire at $125K with his two public sector pensions, military and DOT lawyer.

    He has every other Friday off, too. Additionally, his boss takes a day or two off each week.

    He says he has co-workers who don't pull their weight, but there's little that can be done.

    I feel like an idiot. I had a government job handed to me, but I walked away. Now I slave at two jobs to pay the bills and am worried about keeping them, my sanity, and having a decent retirement, which is very iffy.

    Children, work for the gov't!
  2. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The legacy costs for the military are very expensive and not often talked about... my bro in law got out at 39 years old with a pension, and medical care for him and his wife for life...

    But his will never change, due to the real power structure in this country, the military industrial complex...
  3. State

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    #70 Jersey

    You're absolutely right. We need to scale back on our military spending and bring the troops home from Europe and Asia. I couldn't agree more with you.
  4. PatsFanInVa

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    Good for you and your kids -- I'm sure the link will be a fine and dandy anger piece and all, but your basic conclusion is sound enough. The civil service is an honorable profession and one that is needed.

    As to your buddy the lawyer who "gets every other Friday off", the core schedule he works on is eight nine hour days and one eight hour days, for eighty hours in nine days - the equivalent of 10 eight hour days in a pay period. It's called an alternate work schedule (AWS).

    If your kids join the government, they'll be on the "new" retirement system, which has a small defined benefit pension, combined with a "Thrift Savings Plan," which is like a 401(K) plan. The match goes up to 4 1/2%, 100% on your first 4% of pay and 50% on the next 1% you contribute... so they'll want to start contributing early and grow that contribution. In the 90s, people did great with it. Mine's gone pretty much nowhere since I didn't start until the Bush years. But like most people I continue to contribute the 5% of income that gets the max employer match. If I didn't have debt I'd contribute up to the limit.

    For the first couple of years I always told people I worked with that I was evaluating them just like they were evaluating me (there's a 1 year probation.) I took a long time to finally "make the call" in my own mind, but as you see I am a proponent now of government service, not just because there is security right now in a down economy but because the work itself is needed and honorable.

    Good luck to your kids.

    PFnV
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
  5. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    That would be interesting - if it weren't offered in a vacuum.

    I'd have to know what the average pension is for a non-government lawyer before I'd be able to agree that the pension received by the government lawyer was excessive, wouldn't I? Without a comparision the figure itself is relatively worthless.

    I do know that the average government lawyer makes less money than the average private sector lawyer.

    In May 2006, the median annual earnings of all wage-and-salaried lawyers were $102,470. The middle half of the occupation earned between $69,910 and $145,600. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of lawyers in May 2006 were:

    Management of companies and enterprises $128,610
    Federal Government 119,240


    Lawyers


    In 2002, the median annual earnings of all lawyers was $90,290. The middle half of the occupation earned between $61,060 and $136,810. The lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $44,490; at least 10 percent earned more than $145,600. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of lawyers in 2002 are given in the following tabulation:


    Management of companies and enterprises $131,970
    Federal government 98,790


    Salary, Wages, Pay: Lawyers

    Looks like the federal government is catching up with the private sector but it's still not there.

    The figures presented here lead me to believe that since a lawyer in the private sector has a higher annual salary than a federal lawyer does that it would stand to reason that the private guy's pension would also be higher.

    As for "he has every other Friday off," big deal. When I worked in the ER I only worked 7 days per 14 day pay period. But I still worked a 40 hour week. How, you ask? 12 hour shifts.

    MrPFnV has already explained "flex time" to you. Quit trying to pawn off a 9 day pay period as anything less than 80 hours of work, ok? It's false advertising and like all things false it doesn't fly well.

    Your last statement cracked me up. "He says he has coworkers who don't pull their weight but there's little that can be done." I don't know where you work but I still feel pretty confident that you, along with every other working individual in the world, can make the same statement.

    Lazy co-workers are hardly limited to the federal government - and they're just as protected by HR rules, Union Rules, bosses who fall for their line of BS and corporate legalese as government employees are.

    My advice to you is this: If you want your child to grow up and collect a military pension advise him or her to join The Army or The Marines. We'd all like to see our kids in Afganistan, Iraq or any other future war zone, wouldn't we?

    Hell, if you're young enough, join up yourself. That way you, too, can collect a big fat military pension after 20 years - if you live long enough, that is.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
  6. PatsFanInVa

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    By the way, the Federal government has done at least 2 other things of note in the last few years:

    1) The mantra of "contract it all out" - for easily replicable, non-governmental work, it is policy to contract out to the private sector. That means that the private sector gets a lot of jobs that anybody can do so that FTEs aren't added by the Feds;

    2) Under Bush, the Pentagon, DHS, and some other agencies were put on "pay banding." Under pay banding, you could earn a very high total compensation, or theoretically a lower base compensation, than on the general schedule. It is possible that this system ends up being inflationary for those departments using it, since it is dependent on poor performance to dip below the GS equivalent salary, and since the possibility of a very significant bonus exists (in the 30-40% of salary range I believe.) It was a Bush innovation to bring to bear the great wisdom of the Private sector in how they use bonuses to incentivize good performance. You know, like AIG did.

    Now: in terms of (1), if you have a greater incidence of jobs anybody can do in the private sector -- let's say someone who pumps gas or flips burgers -- you are eliminating a disproportionate pool of lower-paid jobs from the Federal ranks.

    Similarly, at the "higher" end, there are a great number of Feds (probably including your brother-in-law) who could earn more in the private sector. The problem in several key areas is not enough supply (of employees) for the demand (in jobs), not vice versa.

    PFnV

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