« May 2010 | Main | July 2010 »

June 2010

One reason I'd prefer we not go the way of Greece

From Business Week, "Life Among the Ruins":

Stefanos Manos applauds the recent decisions to cut wages and raise taxes but believes more drastic measures are needed. "The average pay is two and a half times the pay in the private sector," he says. In his view, more must be done to create a competitive environment. "In Greece, you cannot rent a little truck to move your refrigerator," Manos says. "Why? To protect the truckers. You have to hire a trucker. You have to get a parking permit. If you sell your house, both parties have to have a lawyer—by law—to participate in the transaction, and they're guaranteed a percentage of it. If I want to give my house to my son, both he and I have to have lawyers. If Coca-Cola (KO) wants to take out an advertisement during a news program on TV, a percentage of it [20 percent] goes toward a pension fund for journalists. They have so much money in there that journalists don't even know or care how much money they have!"

"Are Government Workers Underpaid? No"

Nice refutation by AEI scholar Andrew G. Biggs of a paper making the rounds:

A recent research paper released by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence argues that employees of state and local governments earn salaries and benefits significantly less than similar private-sector workers. But this study omits unfunded pension and retiree health benefits for public-sector workers. Once unfunded promises are included, state and local employees may receive significantly greater total compensation than private-sector workers.