Thursday, August 19, 2010

Viewpoints: State employees are an easy target

Government employees have become the new scapegoats for the frustration experienced by many Americans in the current economy. What finalized this view for me was the frequent bashing by media pundits and politicians who portray government employees as rascals who have been rewarded with undeserved big salaries and fat retirements.

Time and again we hear that pension costs of government employees are to blame for our current economic troubles, even with evidence to the contrary found in credible studies such as "A Better Bang for the Buck: The Economic Efficiencies of Defined Benefit Pension Plans" by the National Institute on Retirement Security.

The overwhelming majority of government workers do not retire with massive pensions or earn astronomical salaries during their careers.In spite of the fact that government employees across the country are more than twice as likely to have a bachelor's degree than those in the private sector, their wages and salaries are 11 percent to 12 percent less than their private sector counterparts.

Those of us who chose public service as a career did not do so blindly. In our view there were few opportunities to make a real impact in our communities other than the one found through the noble call of a public service career.

We simply continue to pave your streets, protect your property, maintain your parks and keep your water safe for drinking. Believe it or not, government employees are also taxpayers and are concerned about fiscal responsibility and prudent decision-making on the part of our elected officials.

This article is an opinion piece from the Sacremento Bee by Bob Allen  a retired state employee.

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