This is an point that I have been writing about for years: workers in the public sector makes more than their private sector counterparts, especially when benefits are factors into the compensation package.
Now, a new study by CATO affirms my supposition. CATO analyzed data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and found that “that federal government workers earned an average of $84,153 in 2014, compared to the private sector’s average of $56,350.”
Even more incredibly, “when adding in benefits pay for federal workers, the difference becomes more dramatic. Federal employees made $119,934 in total compensation last year, while private sector workers earned $67,246, a difference of over $52,000, or 78 percent.”
Government wage increases vastly outpaced the public sector, and the number of government jobs have soared. For the federal government alone, there are 2.1 million workers, “costing over $260 billion in wages and benefits this year.”
It is interesting to ponder the secondary effects of this phenomenon. First, as the amount of government jobs increases, the amount of voters with government jobs increases. What voter is going to seriously vote to cut the size and scope of government when he is the direct beneficiary. Likewise as pay continues to grow, it becomes less likely that someone will vote to cut his or her own pay.
At some point, the number of voters with government pay and benefits will outnumber those without. When that happens, we’ve reached the tipping point with trying to reign in government spending.