by Gil Weinreich
Time was when it was understood that a government job offered generous benefits and job safety, even if wages were lower. The reality is that the government in most instances pays its workers far more than comparable jobs in the private sector, in addition to superior benefits. Government workers have become a politically protected constituency whose interests are at odds with taxpayers -- in the (high) pay and benefits they receive and the (low) level of service they provide.
While private sector employees are facing steep layoffs, politically protected workers resist even moderate concessions, as in New York where Governor Paterson plans to lay off 8,900 state workers because the stubborn union wouldn't accept delaying a 3 percent pay increase.