Your Public Servants Are Robbing You Blind

When I graduated from college in the sixties, the only graduates that went to work for government (local, state, or federal) were those who couldn’t find a real job. The pay for bureaucrats was low, however, there was job security (nobody was ever fired) and the benefits were good , including retirement. Pay increases were almost automatic and merit was not a factor. They were pencil pushers or file clerks who put in their time and didn’t make waves. Taxpayers would grumble and complain about the inefficient or poor service they received from their public servants; but what more could they expect from people who were barely scratching out a living? How times change! Although the efficiency and quality of services provided have not improved, today’s public servants are not to be pitied for being poorly paid. An American Thinker article provides an example from the San Francisco Bay area:

The San Francisco Bay Area is home to some of most wealthy retirees in America. Joining their ranks this month is Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi, who will retire with an annual pension of $423,644 a year. That works out to a little over $35,000 a month.

From Matier & Ross on we learn:

According to county pay records, in addition to her $301,000 base salary, Muranishi receives:
– $24,000, plus change, in “equity pay” to guarantee that she makes at least 10 percent more than anyone else in the county.
– About $54,000 a year in “longevity” pay for having stayed with the county for more than 30 years.
– An annual performance bonus of $24,000.
– And another $9,000 a year for serving on the county’s three-member Surplus Property Authority, an ad hoc committee of the Board of Supervisors that oversees the sale of excess land.
Like other county executives, Muranishi also gets an $8,292-a-year car allowance.
Muranishi has been with the county for 38 years, and she’s 63. When retirement day comes, she’ll be getting a lot more than a gold watch.
That’s because, according to the county auditor’s office, Muranishi’s annual pension will be equal to the dollar total of her entire yearly package – $413,000. She also has a separate executive private pension plan, for which the county chips in $46,500 a year.

Okay. Susan Muranishi is more than a pencil pusher or file clerk. She’s a County Administrator. That is a big job. Surely she rose to that position based on her “merits”, right? But was her years of service worth a $35,000 per month pension? Really?

Is Ms. Muranishi’s case an exception? I doubt it. How many “public servants” in how many cities, counties, states, and the federal government are living high on the taxpayer hog? What happens when the parasites consume the hog? Why do the private sector taxpayers put up with this? How do you spell IGNORANT? Who is going to inform them? Surely not the media.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

24 thoughts on “Your Public Servants Are Robbing You Blind

  1. I recall the same thing. Going into teaching was considered “when you could do nothing else”. Now a retired teaching couple earns more in retirement than most of us make working. About 180 working days, not bad. This is not to disparage educators who are sincere in their endeavors, nevertheless, it is what it is.

  2. And California wonders why they are so boned. Perhaps it’s Bush’s fault? All these rich civil “servants” bring to mind a phrase from our Declaration of Independence:

    “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.”

  3. It really depends on the system you are in.

    I retired after 24 years. I get about 45% of my last and highest avg. 3 year salary. I paid or funded about 1/3rd of my retirement while the city funded the other 2/3rds. Where public employees can really game the system- like I plan to do- is to receive benefits longer than I worked. I began collecting them at 50.

    California unbelievably funds 100% of an employees retirement, pays them 100% of their salary when they go and lets them collect early at 50. That is unsustainable. It has to bankrupt California.

    I agree with everything Jim has stated. I note Jim’s attitude toward public servants as being that of some second class citizen- as defined in his first sentence. Sun Valley is where the ultra rich live and where I worked for 24 years. Total snobs. I used to get that attitude every time I was forced to deal with those pricks at some cocktail party or fundraiser. I note that I am still hyper-sensitive to that attitude while admitting- I felt the exact same way towards the enlisted military- many of whom arrived there as a result of some judge.

    I became a cop because I believed in the mission and it was fun. Are taxpayers getting the worst of it? Yes they are. But I agreed to those terms many years ago and kept my 1/2 of the bargain.

    1. I didn’t have police and firemen in mind, becuse they have real jobs and earn their pay. It was my bad for not clarifying that. It is the pencil pushers and file clerks that are ripping off the taxpayers, in my opinion.

  4. The problem with bureaucrats is that their incentives are perverse. (Frankenstein, I’m not talking about cops, firefighters, military or those types, though I’m sure that the bureaucrats–not the rubber meets the road people–in those government functions have perverse incentives too.) Do you think this this “county administrator” who is being paid like the CEO of a successful mid-to large company was paid for providing excellent service at an absolute minimum cost to the taxpayer? Did she keep close tabs on the effectiveness of every program, making sure that it actually provided value commensurate with or exceeding its cost? Oh hell no. That is not what bureaucrats have incentives to do. Their incentives are almost completely the opposite of private sector incentives. What she’s getting paid exorbitantly for is managing to make sure more money was spent, regardless of effectiveness, so that budgets would grow the following year. And, of course, possibly for funneling taxpayer money into the right hands, in quantities far exceeding the value provided.

  5. Glad to see you are up and running again. For the most part these people are parasites who are leaching our economy dry and driving up our taxes and this must be gotten under control!

  6. Hah! When we came to the US both my parents took government jobs because they were immigrants, in their 50s, and just wanted a job that they can faithfully hold without speaking much English. They got promoted beyond their wildest dreams and, in the case of my mom, against her wishes. She didn’t think she had the “communication skills” (didn’t speak English well enough) to hold the position. However, the employer was instructed to promote everyone, so she was promoted.

  7. Jim. I don’t believe things have changed that much from when we graduated. The best and brightest always went to private industry, and I believe they still do. Sure, lots of people go into teaching, and education is still a respected profession where the unions are not involved.

    One of the by-products of second rate academics doing government work is the sad state of science. Government paid scientists are lazier, and don’t have to produce anything measurable. Take climate science, for example. Where have you ever heard that a scientific hypothesis that doesn’t have to be validated by real world data? Government paid climate science is a spoof, and lack-luster people with PhD’s are simply doing stuff to please bureaucrats.

    I don’t believe I know of any government agency that can boast of any particular efficiency, except they are damned good at writing checks. Outside of the basic government mission of providing protection for citizens, the entire US experiment of government by the people, for the people will inevitably collapse. The government freeloaders have reached critical voting mass.

    1. ” The government freeloaders have reached critical voting mass.”

      I didn’t expect to live to see that day, but here I am. Our founder’s republic is now a democracy. It’s all downhill from here.

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