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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Are you overpaid?


In most contexts, the whole point of this question is to have people looking over each other's shoulder, to hold each other back. True?

  1. 1. Reihan thinks he's being bold, with this. But, did he stop to ask if the conclusion isn't that private workers are underpaid? I don't mean that to be flip.

  2. 2. Meagan has my eyes popping over this: "adjusting for worker quality, the median government worker is probably overpaid".

    What's she going to do/say when she gets around to justifying executive pay and those who do actually get obscene pension and post-retirement benefit packages? Also, I wonder how one rank-orders the "skills" required to hold together a classroom of 20+ of today's kids.

  3. 3. Even though being misleading, this potentially rises to the level of true insight: "When pensions are underfunded, compensation from pensions is underestimated."

    A pension can be underfunded in more than a few ways, but the insight here appears to be that authors of one study used what was paid into the fund instead of what should have been paid into the fund.

    It's possible, but I find that unlikely, because they are stating things in terms of rates (e.g. 8% of salary).

    Given that it is an AEI author, one has to ask for the actual figures, rather than a rule of thumb. It would be impermissible double-counting to include underfunding that was the result of States that "skipped" payments, for one reason or another, and that's what it appears the rule of thumb does.

If you really want to go see who is highly compensated public employee, look at the military and include training. Not to pick on them, but just sayin' that it is not okay for T-people to have their sacred cows. Politically, that's more important, perhaps, than trying to split 5% or even 10% compensation differential...

Anyway, the real action is in health care costs, including post-retirement health care costs. Of course, a single-payer system would immediately equalize all that, but you can't say that aloud, because that's not one of the solutions that is rhetorically/ideologically permissible.