State Government Employee Thinks the Private Sector Exists to Serve Him
There is a very weak letter-to-the-editor / small op-ed in the Springfield News-Leader today (hat tip to Combest) from someone with the state workers union, presumably some type of official affiliated with them. Here is the best part of the letter:
How does Missouri’s 48th worst pay for state workers in the nation contribute to our budget crisis? […] It doesn’t make sense, and it doesn’t position Missouri for future prosperity and economic growth.
So, logically, if Missouri wants to position itself for future prosperity and growth, the first thing we should do is give our state employees a raise? Because taking more from the general public to give more to state employees will result in spending multipliers so grand that we’ll all be living the good life? I guess that is the logic. Thank goodness the governor and the legislature don’t seem to agree.
I truly believe that a large public employment sector is a real threat to our financial stability and our economic freedom. For every police officer, fireman, and teacher doing important work out there, there is a clerk who got hired because they were some connected person’s cousin. Most public employees then become part of a consistent movement for more government and higher taxes, as they are the ones who benefit from that. Unfortunately, it takes a recession to generally see layoffs in the public sector – which many of us would agree is not the best time to lay anyone off. (I do give credit to former Gov. Matt Blunt for reducing the state payroll during good economic times, but that is a rarity.) However, if it has to be done during a recession, then it has to be done. There is nothing special about government jobs. They should be maintained only as long as it takes someone 40 hours a week to perform a needed public service. Once the service becomes unnecessary, the revenues are not there to support it, or it turns out that certain people are not needed for 40 hours (impossible to imagine for bureaucrats, I know) they should be let go.