Federal Worker Pay: How Much is Too Much?
By Megan McArdle
The right question is not "Would these people make less in the private sector?" It is "Are we getting a high enough quality workforce?" And also "Could we get the workforce we need for less?" At any rate, that's the right question if you view government programs as a means to provide services. If you primarily view them as existing for the benefit of the people they employ, then of course, the right question is "how can we employ even more people at ever higher wages?"
My answer to that last question is a resounding "basta!". My answer to the first is, "I don't know". On the middle issue, however, I think the CBO's data suggest that we could probably get workers with a bachelor's or lower for less money than we are now paying, and not suffer much decline in quality.
People who make $20,000 plus benefits per year make too much and we should be finding a way to make them work for less. People who make $350,000 plus benefits are poor suffering souls who deserve our sympathy because they expected to make much more money.