Nearly 400,000 Federal employees earn over 100k

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Shivetya, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #1
    http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/overpaid-federal-workers

    An analysis by USA Today revealed particularly fast wage growth at the top end of the federal workforce in recent years.6 By 2009, there were 383,000 federal civilian workers with salaries of more than $100,000, 66,000 with salaries of more than $150,000, and 22,000 with salaries of more than $170,000. Between late 2007 and mid-2009, the number of federal workers earning more than $150,000 more than doubled, even as the economy fell into a deep recession during that period.

    Of course its not about rocket science

    Some people argue that the federal government has a unique high-end workforce, which deserves to be paid handsomely. But let's consider some ordinary and mundane offices in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2010, the USDA's Office of Communications employed 77 people and paid $9 million in wages and benefits. That works out to $117,000 each for these public relations workers, which is close to the overall federal compensation average.7 Or consider that the 62 employees of the USDA's Office of Chief Economist earned an average $177,000 each in wages and benefits in 2010.8 It isn't just rocket scientists that are earning high federal compensation, it is also workers in many run-of-the-mill bureaucratic jobs.



    I never realized just how many government employees made big buck, worse than that eye opener is the realization that even with all that money going to them we still have the layers of state, city, and county to pay for too.
     
  2. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    #2
    Same as in the UK, a surprising amount of super salary workers earning more than the Prime Minister (not that I believe the PM should be that highly paid anyway)..

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jun/01/top-earning-civil-servants-named

    Some of these guys work a mere 3 days a week and get a £150k pay check (that's over 240k in dollars).

    I can understand private sector employees with uncapped earnings, and would even be amenable to seeing these high salaries in the public sector IF the public sector wasn't a wasteful shambles.

    Btw - worth noting how public sector guys step into their 275k jobs.. I looked up Fingleton and it turns out his predecessor as Chief Exec at the OFT was his lecturer at Oxford.. coincidence? :D Bet that's a pattern you'll find across the board..
     
  3. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #3
    Those are some misleading numbers.

    The maximum pay for senior executives is $ 179,700 for Agencies with a Certified SES Performance Appraisal System and $165,300 for those without.

    http://www.opm.gov/oca/10tables/pdf/es.pdf

    Also, the first quoted paragraph talks about salaries and the second talks about salaries plus benefits, which seems intentionally misleading. I don't think most workers know what the exact dollar value of their benefits is, so they can't effectively estimate their salaries plus benefits.

    I also didn't know that PhD economists are "run of the mill bureaucrats".
     
  4. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #4
    Considering the government workers work for you, the taxpayer, I'd think you would be happy that there are highly paid, highly skilled people in those positions.
     
  5. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #5
    If their pay matches their skills fine. The government has the tendency to inflate salaries without any real performance indicators though. Considering the pile of dog crap that the government has led us into I don't think anyone should be getting a raise by any means.

    Then again they are probably taking a que from corporate entities who give bonuses to their CEOs for sending the company down the *******.
     
  6. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #6
    Got to love how little people understand pay scale.
    Those salary numbers you are seeing. They are still less than what people of the same experience and education would be making the the private field.

    Take for example any engineer who has their PE. Most of them can easily demand 100k plus salary with in a few years of getting a PE. The government needs to employ a some of these people and so they have to pay them a competitive wage plan and simple and that is just one example.

    It comes down to this. Why would some one who low ball income for a year be $150k a year in the private sector want to be low balled even more by working for the government at less than a 100k a year?

    I am sorry but just because you either do not have a education or a degree and experince that can earn you more than 50-60k a year does not mean that there are not ones out there that due to limited supply can demand 100k plus.
     
  7. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #7
    According to their numbers nearly 22% of their civilian work force is making over 100k.
     
  8. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    #8
    I worked for the DoD for numerous years and the only people making more than $100K were the senior administrators who were not only the top of their field, but also supervised dozens of people and ran complex organizations. The federal pay scales are clearly published. When I got out of the military and started looking at civilian jobs, I steered clear of the federal government because the salary ranges do not match the skills and experience required.

    On the other hand, they do have the benefit of only working 40 hour weeks for their salaries.
     
  9. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #9
    That is the big one. I know a few people who took a pay decrease to work for the government because of this. They wanted the security of knowing they would be covered.
     
  10. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #10
    My sister did that. She's a lawyer working for DHS and could make more in a private firm but likes the benefits such as the 40 hour work week (although she's had to work overtime lately due to the cluster**** in the Gulf), and I hear the health benefits and stuff are pretty good too. I can't blame her. What good is making more money if you can never enjoy it due to working like a dog?
     
  11. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Quite, many senior government officials - including the president of the US and the UK prime minister are fairly badly underpaid for the job they are being expected to do.
     
  12. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #12
    Over the last 9 years I would say the president is grossly overpaid for the performance. Bush still owes us a few billion dollars as far as I am concerned.
     
  13. #13
    I would say that Obama owes us several trillion so far, and he's still in office with more damage yet to be done!
     
  14. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    To the above two posts.

    Exactly, you aren't going to get anyone particularly good for $400k/year, a higher salary would attract better people to do the job.
     
  15. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #15
    Bush was paid that much?! ;)
     
  16. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #16
    Anyone else never take a serious topic seriously when the title is mispelled horribly? :rolleyes:
     
  17. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    #17
    MI5 have no problem attracting talent for a 30k salary. Civil servants should be motivated by a will to serve. There are lots of talented people who genuinely want to do good, and will take any of those top spots for a a pay cut.

    But the reality when it comes to top City jobs is there is a glass ceiling that many people just wouldn't get past. I have no doubt at all that the best people are not in the top spots in the civil service.

    That's why it's a wasteful mess. A lot of job security and high pay from public money doesn't make for a hard worker.
     
  18. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    I don't know which security service screwed up, but they messed up Iraq.
     
  19. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    #19
    MI6 - I think they're on higher pay scales :D
     
  20. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    OBJECTIVE reality
    #20
    That link's from the Cato Institute, and if we look not at Cato's article, but at the one it references from USA Today, we see the following qualifiers:

    I was reluctant to bring up the subject of Bush, because it's too easy to blame him for any- and everything, but he did bring a lot of private industry folks into government, and it's possible those people hired their own people at higher salaries than their previous public servant counterparts were making.

    That's admittedly just a guess on my part, and undoubtedly only a portion of the whole story. But even the Cato article admits "that the George W. Bush administration supported large pay increases for the uniformed military, and that prompted federal unions to demand similarly large increases for civilians."

    Another factor could be that federal jobs may "protected" better from the recession than private sector jobs are. While many industries are asking their employees to take salary and benefit cuts, that doesn't happen as often to federal employees.

    I note that the Cato piece ends up advocating privatization of more government jobs. That has to make one smile, because the private sector has been doing so well. :rolleyes:
     
  21. imac/cheese macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    #21
    I was involved in several situations where the military was privatizing certain areas such as civil engineering or housing and trying to cut costs. Every situation ended up being more expensive with less service once privatization began. It always looked cheaper on the surface but as soon as any additional service was needed the contractors change-ordered the contract and costs went up.
     
  22. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #22
    Unless the people at NASA's JPL are on the survey.
     
  23. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    the faraway towns
    #23
    If they work for the government, if they work for the private sector they're a buncha' goshdamn geniuses who deserve another bonus.
     

Share This Page