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democracyarsenal.org European Tribune - Community, Politics & Progress. Correcting Myths About Federal Pay SOURCE: AP/Douglas C. Pizac Brett Tolman, pictured here, is a federal prosecutor in Utah. Federal workers on average not only are better educated than those in the private sector, but are also more experienced and older. This helps explain the compensation gap that appears when looking at unadjusted wages. By Lauren Smith | October 25, 2010 More than half of Americans mistakenly believe that federal workers are overpaid, and a third also wrongly think they are underqualified, according to a recent poll . The public’s misperception of federal employees as overfed bureaucrats underscores the recent success of conservative commentators at perpetuating false stereotypes about public servants, co-opting even , America’s second-largest newspaper, which recently published a misleading analysis of public and private sector pay levels. So in the newspaper’s analysis, the salary of a McDonald’s cook and that of a federal prosecutor are given equal weight in the average. Aside from the U.S.

Hullabaloo Wisconsin’s Budget Fight is Only the Beginning What you are watching in Wisconsin is your future. Since 2007, Americans have lost trillions of dollars in wealth. And ever since, we’ve been arguing about who should pay and who should be protected. Wisconsin represents the next — and most painful — round of the argument. During the good years, states and cities made retirement promises to their workers. Where did the trillion go? So, now a question: out of whose pockets should that trillion come? There’s no ready answer to the question. State workers have some valid complaints: states made contracts with them, they relied on the contracts, and now they expect the contracts to be honored. If there’s no ready answer, then how is the issue to be settled? In the New York Times this week, David Brooks offered a wise ideal : “The cuts have to be spread more or less equitably among as many groups as possible. Brooks describes exactly how the job of adjustment should be done. Bondholders have more muscle than mortgaged homeowners.

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