Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sequester Effects, Employee Edition

As you probably know, most Federal employees are being given furloughs of one day a week. That's a 20% pay cut. Before you start thinking "good", ask yourself how you would feel if your employer announced a similar measure. Could you make your bills? Could you pay your rent/mortgage? What would you have to eliminate to tighten your belt that much?

Not that people care, mind you. One of the bad things about working for government, especially the Feds, is this: Your bosses hate you. Of the two political parties in this country, one of them outright loathes you. They think you are nothing but a pack of leeches and parasites, feeding off the blood and sweat of the "makers".

Until the mail doesn't get delivered on a Saturday, or their tax refund checks don't get processed, or their Social Security paperwork is delayed, or their favorite national park isn't open, or the inspectors aren't showing up or they have to wait longer to clear Customs or wait longer to go through the TSA grope points.

Then it'll be an outrage, of course. But they still won't love you guys. That's why your pay hasn't risen in two years.

The other party, of course, doesn't exactly hate you. Most of the time. But they still don't really like you.

Even if you are in the military, they don't really love you. Oh, they say they "support the troops", but we all know that's just eyewash. When it comes to supporting the troops with Federal cash, that doesn't happen very much. Not unless some big defense contractor is going to make a huge profit from it. So they'll buy you shiny new F-35s and V-22s, but if you get injured or wounded and then discharged, you're off to the VA, which is understaffed already and unable to cope, but at least they're not getting furloughed, not unless there is a shutdown.


CenterPuke88 said...

People, not Republican Leaders, don't understand just how badly this is going to hurt the lower level employees in the Government. The GS-3,5,7 and 9 clerks, secretatries and such that scrap by paycheck to paycheck now haven't had a raise in 3 years...they've seen their other costs rise, but their paycheck has stayed the same (or, more likely, shrunken due to increased health insurance costs).

People bitch about the generous government retirement system, but they don't understand that it's compensation for pay that, on the whole, is less than the private sector. The R's in Congress constantly talk up how Federal Employees are paid better than the private sector, but they get there by tossing in all sorts of "benefits" as tangible compensation.

For instance, they count the Government contribution toward the Federal Employee Health Benefit the employee selects as dollars of salary...and the Government match of retirement contribution and savings plan contributions...and all the other things. All this makes a lowly clerk look like a fat cat without mentioning that the clerk had to pay a goodly amount for their portion of the FEHB to get that Government contribution, likewise for retirement.

Comrade Misfit said...

CP88, they don't care. Back in the `70s, when inflation was running 15-20%, both Ford and Jimmy the Pious held Federal workers (military and civilian) to 5.5% COLAs. People were losing their homes as a result and hell if anyone cared about it.

I hear what you're saying, but trust me on this: Nothing has changed. There is nothing new about the politicians making political hay at the expense of the Federal workers.

CenterPuke88 said...

The '88 shows I know exactly what you are talking about. If it was easy, I'd be out the door in 2 months...but a young child kinda hurts that plan...

I believe that the stories will resonate more this time because the D's can use them to beat the R's over the head...

Cujo359 said...

So they'll buy you shiny new F-35s and V-22s, ...

Or your not-so-shiny C-130s. That link is a microcosm of what's wrong with the defense industry these days. Even when the military doesn't want to buy something, they can get stuck with it. Lockheed-Martin's a little better than the other guys at playing that game, but not by much.

hawk205 said...

So why do I work for the government

First of all I like what I do. I enjoy working on flight simulator software. It is exciting to go through software code and mathematics dealing with aerodynamics, aircraft systems and so on. I enjoy the challenge of trying to find where and what caused a problem. Then, even better, I get to fly an airplane something I love to do but can no longer afford.

Next I think my job contributes to saving pilots lives. Not directly but in providing a learning ground to practice things that might kill you were they to be done in real life. It is important that the simulator be accurate or else pilots will not learn the correct aircraft responses.

Lastly, I get to work with intelligent people, both engineers and the using community. I rarely encounter lazy non motivated people.

There are jobs but very few , less than concert Pianists, in civilian life that compare to the aircraft and models I get to work with in the government. I never expected to be wealthy.

Comrade Misfit said...

As long as you know that you will not get rich, the Congress will cut your benefits every chance that you get, and saying that "I work for the government" will garner you about two grades more esteem than "I'm a Congressman", you're cool.