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April 12, 2011
Non-Essential Employees
As the budget battle in Congress heated up last week, threatening a shutdown of all "non-essential" government services, the ridiculousness of it all really hit home. In order to write this blog, I needed to do a little fact-checking. Rather than spout off statistics, I'm just going to cut-and-paste this little tidbit off of the Federal Jobs Net website:

"Are you considering a government job? The federal government employs approximately 2 million federal workers plus 700,000 Postal workers and hires hundreds of thousands each year to replace civil service workers that transfer to other federal government jobs, retire, or leave for other reasons. Average annual salary for full-time federal government jobs now exceeds $81,258.

The U.S. Government is the largest employer in the United States, hiring about 2.0 percent of the nation's work force and the workforce is expanding significantly due to health care reform, in-sourcing, and many new regulatory programs. Federal government jobs can be found in every state and large metropolitan area, including overseas in over 200 countries. The average annual federal workers compensation, including pay plus benefits, now exceeds $123,049 compared to just $61,051 for the private sector according to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis."

Wow. Gives you the warm and fuzzies, doesn't it? Not only does the federal government label 38.1% of its workforce as "non-essential", but it pays those people, on average, more than twice as much as the private sector does. OK, class - can anyone render a guess as to why this country is going broke?

Just for giggles, I called up a few colleagues who own small businesses. I asked each one of them the same question: "How many non-essential employees do you retain on staff?" To a person, the question first generated belly laughs, then the question of whether I was serious or not, then the answer "zero". I know...shocker, huh?

Read back through that website's introduction again. Do you see in there where the workforce is "expanding significantly" due to all those new regulatory programs and health care reform? How in the world can "the government" afford to pay so many employees, and pay them so well? Especially when it takes a whole lot of private sector employees' tax dollars to pay just one of them? The obvious answer: IT CAN'T.

Eliminate all the "non-essential" government jobs now. Let private sector companies take over. The first benefit? Payroll is cut in half. The second benefit? Our tax dollars will only fund "essential" services, such as national defense. That leaves more dollars for small business owners like me in my pockets, allowing me to generate (odd concept here) new jobs, perhaps even for all those newly unemployed non-essential government employees.

Besides, who wants to be labeled a "non-essential" employee anyway? What an ego-killer. Like it or not, the private sector will always be more efficient, more cost-conscious, and more competitive than any government could ever hope to be. I'll leave you with a quote that is likely familiar to you, but its author is as yet unverified:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years."

Read back through that website's introduction one more time.

Uh-oh.

Make it a great week.

Clint


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