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.
Just so nobody has any illusions about what The Atlantic Monthly stands for, Clive Crook & Jordan Weissman joined Megan in that Stomp the Peasants! outing.
Could we get a steaming pile of crap from the Atlantic for less than they're paying the likes of Meegan?
I say yes we can!
... "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...
What? Where does she get these vicious deranged notions? Do the Kocks send out a daily memo chock full of reeking garbage for her to pick thru and elaborate upon in her unique simpleton way?
Government is supposed to DO A GOOD JOB at whatever they do, not "save money". Obviously money shouldn't be horribly wasted the way it is in the Military & on Politicians Pay (she doesn't mention their way-too-high paychecks and LIFETIME benefits after working a couple of years).
Government spending is for the benefit of American people, and that happens to include Americans who work directly for the Government. And if she wasn't a halfwit, she'd know that government should be increasing spending on their employes' pay & benefits. THAT would help ease the Depression were stuck in thanks to "austerity".
This woman makes me absolutely sick with disgust.
the ACTUAL right question is why don't private sector workers make a living wage as do union and government workers, and how can we arrange for them to do so?
Obviously money shouldn't be horribly wasted the way it is in the Military & on Politicians Pay
Or at formerly respectable magazines like the Atlantic.
it is quite astonishing, though, that she followed up the hand-wringing concern for six-figure gadabouts with a finger-wagging criticism of lower-middle-class wage slaves who actually work for a living.
I think she is actually having us on; amazingly deft and subtle performance art. It has to be.
Or, as Upton Sinclair said, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"
Maybe aimai's right and this is all an elaborate joke, a performance. Someone is just pretending to be "Megan McArdle," clueless tool of the elite.
Megan is not only more vile than we imagine. She is more vile than we CAN imagine.
What the hell does "Basta!" mean, anyway?
Its just unfuckingbelievable. You know? Megan is now more self parodic than an Onion episode.
I was going to say, before I hit post, that Susan is right that Megan continues to fail to grasp that she, like the WSJ's suffering half-illionaires, is just a paycheck away from disaster. She sucks up to the truly wealthy but she will never be in that elite crowd. They can outsource her in a Washington Minute (substantially slower than a New York Minute but, nevertheless, it grinds exceeedingly small).
Perhaps the most successful way of demonstrating this would be to run a parody contest/blog site, like Altmouse of sainted memory, where hundreds of people could write a McCardle like essay every day...for free. We could submit it to the owners and stockholders of the Atlantic and undercut the bitch (also known as scabbing). I'd love to see McCardle lose her job to a consortium of freelance parodists. They'd hire another McCArdle as soon as we went on Galtian strike and refuse dto produce bullshit on demand. But she would be out on her skinny ass in the meantime and that would be well worth it.
I'm thinking of a contest like "Write Like McCardle Day" in which her hundreds of franimeies (fans plus enemies) each take a crack at blogging like McCardle.
What the hell does "Basta!" mean, anyway?
It's an Italian saying (slang-y, I think--I am working from context only) that means roughly "Enough!" or "Quit it!" or words to that effect.
According to the BLS the proportion of the work force in government (state, local and federal) is the same in 2010 as in 1960.
But surely, we could make do with fewer, cheaper workers. Besides, they probably vote for Democrats.
A team of howler monkeys in Bangalore could produce inane bullshit columns for far less than it costs to feed McMegan.
Oh man that government worker quote was from like years ago right she couldn't be this brazen in her-
LAST FUCKING MONTH? Jesus Christ.
Yeah, she's becoming a parody of herself. And it'd be interesting to know how many of her clicks are haters, because that's what she's there for-- to attract viewers and jack up the eyeball count. She may believe in herself, maybe not, but her owners are just laughing.
It's sad that unless you've read McArdle since the Iraq War era, newcomers don't get a feel for the depth of her hypocrisy and shrug it off because they haven't read her screeds on how poor people waste their money. The poor should just move (as if it's easy!) if they can't afford it.
The chutzpah of a woman who writes that New Yorkers she knew might spend a third of their incomes on a place to live! A THIRD for the benefits of living in a city with mass transit and other benefits. So did she ask why can't they just move to the suburbs?! No.
And the you see how much people spend on just living these days in the rest of America.
If we applied Megan's so-called criteria to the private sector, a hell of a lot of Wall Street bankers would be out on their asses with nothing but their underwear.
"Could we get the workforce we need for less?"
Rarely is this question asked about CEOs.
LC re basta:
Actually, it's just a standard 3rd person singular present tense of bastare = "to suffice, to be enough". Nothing really slangy about.
I'm thinking of a contest like "Write Like McCardle Day"
What a brilliant idea. In fact, March 6th - the anniversary of Ayn Rand's death - is almost upon, what do you people say we make a party of it?
I've often thought I could do better propaganda than ArgleBargle, or most of the wingers. I'll give it a try... maybe its much harder than it looks?
If only I had that Kock/Fox daily talking points memo.
My entry in the contest is up -
I can't believe no one answered the question "Could we get the workforce we need for less" appropriately!
Q: "Could we get the workforce we need for less?"
A: "Bring back Slavery."
Done and Done.
Oh, and by the way Downpuppy (go somerville!) your parody was excellent. It was slightly too robust and masculine for Megan. She waffles more and uses a slightly more injured and more in sorrow than in anger tone but I think you were pretty much indistinguishable from most of her posts.
[misused french word here]
[attempt at writing like an 18th century british writer]
[badly used or made-up statistic]
[oh but if liberals weren't so annoying, i might actually sympathize]
[forgets to vote for someone after supporting someone]
[badly screws up something basic. e.g. kitchen update, car registration]
[sucks off the rich]
I thought I could just rattle on and on, but maintaining that level of incoherence is tiring.
My only criticism is that it sounded a little too intelligent.
Yes, let's do it--let's have "McArdle for a day" guest posts on Rand's birthday.
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