CA govt. workers score top salaries

CA govt. workers score top salaries

A new survey by the U.S. Census Bureau found that California government workers pull down among the highest compensation in the nation. Here’s the map:

census compensation

Table 4 shows average earnings, for 2013, in California for a full-time state-and-local employee are $6,190. No other state even breaks the $6,000 barrier. Although Washington, D.C. — not a state, of course, but the recipient of our national tax dollars — came in at $6,391.

Even liberal states were lower:

  • Connecticut: $5,739
  • New York: $5,706
  • Illinois: $5,231
  • Massachusetts: $5,222

The national average was $4,603. That means California’s average earnings for state-and-local workers of $6,190 was 34 percent above the national average.

But doesn’t California have the highest median income per capita? No. It’s only 15th (for 2012), at $44,980. That’s just 5 percent above the national median income of $42,693.

To recapitulate: California’s state-and-local government workers make 34 percent more than the national average; while our people who pay the taxes for the government workers make just 5 percent above the national average.

Sure, the state is incredibly expensive. But it’s incredibly expensive for everybody. It’s just that one class, government functionaries, is living much better, in comparison to their fellow government workers in other states, than everybody else in this state.

And what do these highly paid bureaucrats do?

Mess up our lives.

tuttle buttle

 

78 comments

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  1. Ronald Stein
    Ronald Stein 26 December, 2014, 08:35

    The inmates are running the Asylum. Public sector contracts negotiated by public sector employees that hammer out a contract that forces under duress a third party, taxpayers, to cough up the necessary dough, doesn’t seem too pass the smell test. In fact, it more closely resembles racketeering. Any challenges to that “racket” would be heard before judges who have pension and benefit package they want to protect. Again, seems like a racketeering cover-up right before our public eyes. Fiscal irresponsibility protects the jobs of bureaucrats who use their power in ways that harm those who work for a living.

    Reply this comment
  2. Robert
    Robert 26 December, 2014, 11:21

    Great article.

    If anyone is interested in seeing the exact salaries or a breakdown of this information on a city by city basis, be sure to check our the “view summary” tab for any city or county in California on our site: TransparentCalifornia.com

    http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/2013/anaheim/summary/

    Reply this comment
    • S Moderation Douglas
      S Moderation Douglas 4 January, 2015, 15:28

      An alternative to Transparent California…….without names.

      I’ve just glanced at it, so far I say it’s the preferable site.

      http://www.publicpay.ca.gov

      Reply this comment
      • Robert Fellner
        Robert Fellner 4 January, 2015, 16:00

        It is a very useful site, especially when people have a hard time believing the excessive nature of public pay, as the SCO site tends to carry more authority.

        Aside from the inclusion of names in Transparent California, the sites are very similar in that the compensation values reported are almost always identical. They do differ sometimes, however, usually because the SCO data is inaccurate and contains errors, errors that are easier to identify by name.

        I discuss a handful of the errors found in the SCO data here:

        http://unionwatch.org/comparing-compensation-information-on-transparent-california-and-state-controllers-site/

        Reply this comment
      • Robert Fellner
        Robert Fellner 4 January, 2015, 16:03

        Also, as I know you have expressed serious concerns about using data in a misleading way, the SCO reports average wages for all employees reported.

        Some may consider this misleading as it includes employees who worked for as little as one day for the year. In some cases, like the City of Santa Clarita, the majority of employees are part-time, which makes the SCO-reported average even more misleading.

        I remember a school district in which 60% of the “employees” being used in the SCO-reported average made $0!

        This is an additional area in which TransparentCalifornia differs in that we make an attempt to filter our most of these non-applicable employees when reporting average pay.

        Reply this comment
  3. bob
    bob 26 December, 2014, 11:55

    Now, now John, you must remember that nothing is too good for our government masters and their minions.

    Reply this comment
  4. bob
    bob 26 December, 2014, 11:57

    And John, I believe that does not include their total compensation which includes the “contributions” to their retirement from the taxpayers.

    Reply this comment
    • bob
      bob 26 December, 2014, 15:21

      I guess all this is no suprise when you consider that people like Darrel Stinkbug and Johnny Perez (one a public union lawyer and the other a public union organizer) have been running the legislature for years.

      Reply this comment
  5. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 26 December, 2014, 12:03

    Yep!!! California is an expensive place to live. We also have the most millionaires living in California!

    Reply this comment
  6. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 26 December, 2014, 12:04

    I could careless what anyone sees about me on transparent California, you can stuff it if you don’t like yet!!

    Reply this comment
    • bob
      bob 26 December, 2014, 12:46

      That’s the spirit! Right up there with protect and serve.

      Reply this comment
      • NTHEOC
        NTHEOC 26 December, 2014, 14:07

        Why should I care what some doomer like you thinks about my job or salary.

        Reply this comment
        • Donkey
          Donkey 27 December, 2014, 06:41

          A rational honest person would find it wrong to forcibly steal from those in less fortunate situations Nethoc, but then a narcissistic sociopath would not even care, sounds like the typical RAGWUS feeder!! 🙂

          Reply this comment
          • SkippingDog
            SkippingDog 27 December, 2014, 13:07

            Another goofy “taxes are theft” post by the Donkster.

          • Donkey
            Donkey 27 December, 2014, 17:27

            No Skdog, excessive taxes for excessive pay, benefits, and pensions for a portion of RAGWUS feeders is theft. 🙂

        • Tough Love
          Tough Love 28 December, 2014, 09:48

          Because us “Taxpayers” are going to try awfully hard to reduce your overstuffed pension.

          Reply this comment
          • NTHEOC
            NTHEOC 28 December, 2014, 17:52

            Try all you want! Good luck DOOMER…..

  7. bob
    bob 26 December, 2014, 13:10

    Come on, John. Don’t you know all gooberment employees are heroes?

    Reply this comment
    • NTHEOC
      NTHEOC 26 December, 2014, 14:05

      That’s what everyone tells us bobo!

      Reply this comment
      • SkippingDog
        SkippingDog 27 December, 2014, 12:42

        I thought it was a nice Christmas story when the firefighter resuscitated a family cat after a house fire. It was also fun to read all of the public comments in support of the police officers who delivered a Christmas baby on the subway.

        Reply this comment
  8. josil
    josil 26 December, 2014, 13:26

    I don’t doubt that CA gov’t employees are paid most by average in the nation. However, these kind of statistics make me wary. We don’t know whether part-time and occasional employees (much consultants)are included in the CA numbers, and we don’t know the extent to which all states and localities are using the same standardized measures. The national crime statistics comparing jurisdictions are infamous for their lack of reliability.

    Reply this comment
  9. Queeg
    Queeg 26 December, 2014, 16:03

    The central planners and minders of the proletariat must be skilled and high paid to efficiently administer UTOPIAN IDEALS!

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 27 December, 2014, 06:42

      The truth is the RAGWUS feeder is overpaid and underworked at every stage of their looting. 🙂

      Reply this comment
  10. Bain Dramage
    Bain Dramage 27 December, 2014, 07:45

    Given that this represent the “average”, I to see how the income levels are disbursed.

    Do we have one $300,000 per year employee and 187 $24,000 per year employees which average to $6,190 per month?

    The average is interesting, but the income distribution would be most illuminative.

    Reply this comment
    • SkippingDog
      SkippingDog 27 December, 2014, 12:44

      Most of the doomers here have no conception of the difference between median and mean income. You’ll just confuse them.

      Reply this comment
    • Robert Fellner
      Robert Fellner 27 December, 2014, 15:57

      You can see that, and much more, on TransparentCalifornia.com.

      We even have summary pages for all cities and counties that break down the median full-time pay for the respective agency.

      If you’re interested in geographical averages (North Bay, San Diego Area, etc.) we did those for a recent press release and all those findings can be found here: http://transparentcaliforniablog.wordpress.com/category/press-releases/

      These are averages taken from actual full year pay, as opposed to one month only.

      Reply this comment
      • SkippingDog
        SkippingDog 29 December, 2014, 12:00

        Nothing like mixing and matching salary, overtime, and total compensation to make your case, Robert. If you’re going to use those elements for public employees, at least have the intellectual honesty to use them for the comparable compensation you cite. You also neglect to compare such employment basics as relative education levels for each area, but that’s hardly a surprise.

        Reply this comment
        • Richard Rider
          Richard Rider 29 December, 2014, 12:42

          Transparent California has a devil of a time getting the full information from cities. I’ve discussed this problem with them at some length.

          Some cities do not count the city pension contributions as part of the employees’ compensation (they don’t break it out per employee), and will not provide the information even after repeated requests — or tack an absurd cost on providing such info.

          Also many cities count part-time employees as full time for getting averages. Or an employee who retires in January is considered a full-time employee for the entire year — the figures don’t break out such part-timers. Or they don’t count all the employees on disability.

          BOTTOM LINE: The Transparent figures are often LOWER than the real compensation costs of cities. Never higher.

          Reply this comment
        • Robert Fellner
          Robert Fellner 30 December, 2014, 23:21

          “Nothing like mixing and matching salary, overtime, and total compensation to make your case, Robert. ”

          Please show one example of where that is done.

          The only thing I can assume you are referencing is the summary page where we list the earnings of City employees and the earnings of full-time, year-round residents. Comparing total earnings to total earnings is not “mixing and matching salary, overtime, and total compensation.”

          If you have data on private employees benefits, so that we can also post the residents total compensation, feel free to share that.

          I don’t think you are being serious with your last sentence and are just indulging yourself in some holier than thou feel good rhetoric, but if you have data on the “relative education levels” of the specific City employees for every City in California and how that compares to the “relative education levels” of the residents of their respective city, feel free to share too.

          While you seem convinced we “neglect” to include that information for nefarious reasons, you might consider an alternative possibility that good, meaningful data of that type is difficult to acquire and not particularity well suited for a 1 line summary.

          Reply this comment
  11. S Moderation Douglas
    S Moderation Douglas 27 December, 2014, 08:56

    These guys give a general breakdown of state workers by education and income group nationwide (table 4, page 60). And a comparison of “average” public and private sector workers in each state.

    I highly recommend the study (as I have said, for my own nefarious reasons) although I disagree with some of their conclusions.

    For that I have been called a hypocrite (or worse.) So be it. Imagine the audacity of reading a study and agreeing with the empirical data presented, but not with authors (admittedly biased) logical assumptions.
    Then imagine the alternative, the travesty of blindly accepting everything you read.

    The “average” “compensation advantage” is one of the concepts I find ambiguous. Probably deliberately so.

    https://www.aei.org/publication/overpaid-or-underpaid-a-state-by-state-ranking-of-public-employee-compensation/

    Reply this comment
    • SkippingDog
      SkippingDog 27 December, 2014, 13:07

      Good post, Doug. It’s interesting to see Biggs jigger the numbers for “job security” to close the obvious gap between public and private compensation. Even so, those with graduate degrees fall behind.

      Reply this comment
      • Robert Fellner
        Robert Fellner 27 December, 2014, 17:39

        The areas most likely to see where govt is overpaying are those with a strong public union for the type of jobs that are crowded in the market w/ more (qualified) buyers than sellers, making the job market highly competitive and putting downward pressure on wages.

        Think basic data entry, secretarial, janitorial, prison guard etc. Given the relatively low skill set needed combined with an unemployment rate anywhere above 0.00% suggests there exists more buyers than sellers.

        This is precisely where you see the biggest divergence of wages in public vs private in California. The average pay for an executive assistant for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is $204k. That’s salary only. (salaries.latimes.com/)

        By comparison, the average salary for an executive assistant in LA according to salary.com is $44k. http://www.indeed.com/salary/q-Secretary-l-Los-Angeles,-CA.html

        Unsurprisingly, public wages in California have risen steadily, to the point of absurdity in pure apples to apples comparison in some specific occupations/regions, because public wages in areas dominated by strong public unions (California) are driven by those unions and the political favors they can buy.

        It is unsurprising that graduate degrees fall behind considerably in public sector given they are used as a proxy to represent those w/ the ability to create the greatest amount of value.

        Education does not determine market wages. Value creation does. Education can serve as a reasonable proxy to indicate those with the ability to create more value, and subsequently earn higher wages as a result of their creating more value, but it is merely a proxy, not the cause of higher wages as you both treat it as above.

        The government is not in the value-creation, let alone maximization, business. The market’s entire function is to do so, however. So this is a case of the proxy breaking down and no longer being useful to show what comparative employees are paid in different sectors. The best and brightest have much more opportunities in a sector that exists to maximize value, as opposed to the public sector, hence the entirely logical disparity.

        The proxy is reasonably useful for HS and college as there is a much lower frequency of those employees possessing the enormous value creation skills that would warrant the wages offered in excess of govt salaries.

        It is impossible to have a meaningful discussion of comparative wages without appreciating where wages come from and what they represent.

        Reply this comment
        • S Moderation Douglas
          S Moderation Douglas 28 December, 2014, 05:03

          We can’t use job titles alone to compare public and private-sector pay. An “executive assistant” in one office may have entirely different responsibilities and requirements. Which is why Biggs and others use the human capital model for compensation comparison. It includes education and several other variables and has been the standard in economic studies for years. Which is why all the serious studies concur with Biggs that, in wages, public workers earn on average twelve percent less than private.

          They also concur that, in wages, the lower skilled (janitors, clerks, etc.) earn about the same in the public and private sector. According to Josh Rauh, in a recent conference on government unions and public sector compensation. ..

          “Essentially everyone who looked at the data found that public sector workers on average have slightly lower salaries. The contention was over whether higher public sector benefits more than offset this wage differential in total compensation.”

          “A related question at the conference was whether public sector collective bargaining and public sector unionization actually succeed in raising compensation. Here there was in fact no conclusive evidence.”

          These lower skilled jobs are where we see the highest divergence in total compensation, not in wages. This is due primarily, not to “those unions and the political favors they can buy.” But more by the government as “model employer”. Government encourages (and legislates) equal opportunity employment and leads by example. They usually have a higher percentage of women, minorities, and disabled workers, who typically earn less in the “free market”. The biggest compensation advantage these lower tier workers have is health insurance. For the “average” state worker with a high school education, earning $33,000 a year, “flat dollar ” benefits (healthcare and retiree healthcare) can reach 38% of salary. That’s average, for even lower paid workers with large families, health benefits could be more than half of salary. Pension benefits also give these lower paid workers an advantage over private sector. Note: these are the workers who will actually have the “average” pension of about $2,400 a month after a full career….and they will have healthcare instead of Medi – Cal.
          ……………….
          “Education does not determine market wages. Value creation does.”

          ” The government is not in the value-creation, let alone maximization, business.”

          Catch phrases….dog whistles…….or elitist pap?

          “Your PhD isn’t worth as much as my PhD?”

          “Private sector is the “maker” public sector is the “taker”?
          ………………..
          Get over your bad self. It’s called the Baumol effect.

          ” It involves a rise of salaries in jobs that have experienced no increase of labor productivity in response to rising salaries in other jobs which did experience such labor productivity growth.”

          “The rise of wages in jobs without productivity gains is caused by the requirement to compete for employees with jobs that did experience gains and hence can naturally pay higher salaries, just as classical economics predicts.”
          (Wikipedia)
          ……………………..

          ” It is impossible to have a meaningful discussion of comparative wages without appreciating where wages come from and what they represent.”

          Biggs is quite clear. Using education *and* the other human capital criteria, they have determined that those in the private sector with professional degrees earn 59% more than their public sector equivalents. This is partially made up by better benefits.

          The public sector needs these professionals. They cost what they cost. They are not “worth less” because they choose to work in the public sector.

          Biggs:
          ” Nevertheless, a significant total compensation penalty remains for both professional and doctoral degree holders. It is worth considering how government may continue to attract better-educated employees despite a seeming compensation penalty.”

          Reply this comment
          • Donkey
            Donkey 28 December, 2014, 07:37

            S&Md, in your long winded cut and paste rant hoping to justify the cost of the average government RAGWUS feeder you failed in the most pathetic way. There is no RAGWUS job that is worth $100,000 a year, or a pension for the feeder of over $40,000 a year, and nature will bear this out in the future. 🙂

          • Robert Fellner
            Robert Fellner 28 December, 2014, 08:05

            I’ve worked with Professor Biggs and am intimately familiar with his study.

            You’ve gone completely off the rails here and doubled down on your ignorance of what drives wages.

            For your position to be true, executive assistants in the LADWP provide and have 500% more responsibilities than executive assistants in general in LA. I specifically choose a relatively low-skilled, generic profession because of the lack of such a diverse range within such a job.

            You didn’t bat an eye in blindly defending your pre-existing bias and responded that the EAs in LADWP are worth 5x because they must have more responsibility. I like it!

            You should try and expand your understand past Biggs’ excellent paper. There’s more to economic theory than copy and pasting quotes from it. And as he will tell you, it does its best to serve as a proxy for the various pay groups and is not the Bible you wish it were.

            The simple fact of the matter is there are more high paying jobs at private firms because they produce substantially more value than the positions found in the public sector.

            The engineers, programmers, designers, etc. who can make the Googles and Apples of the world rich, DO NOT HAVE comparative opportunities in the public sector bc the PUBLIC SECTOR IS NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF CREATING VALUE.

            You’ve confirmed you have no concept of the cores issues and literally responded that the reason secretaries make 5x more in public sector, on an apples to apples comparison, is because they have 5x the responsibility.

            I look forward to your future posts attacking other people’s biases.

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 28 December, 2014, 08:29

            What is “RAGWUS”?

          • Rex the Wonder Dog!
            Rex the Wonder Dog! 28 December, 2014, 08:39

            You’ve confirmed you have no concept of the cores issues and literally responded that the reason secretaries make 5x more in public sector, on an apples to apples comparison, is because they have 5x the responsibility

            Dougie just got destroyed. I hope he is OK 🙂

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 28 December, 2014, 11:29

            “You didn’t bat an eye in blindly defending your pre-existing bias and responded that the EAs in LADWP are worth 5x because they must have more responsibility.”

            I never said they are worth 5x. I have no idea what the requirements are in DWP, or for the “average” executive assistant in LA. I Merely said We can’t use job titles alone to compare public and private-sector pay.

            Without full information, you get stories like this:

            “However, the list also includes a retired librarian left her job here with a $234,000 annual pension.”

            http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/14/cash-strapped-california-city-gears-up-for-battle-with-unions-over-pension/

            First, it wasn’t an “annual pension” it was a pension plus DROP lump sum.
            Second, it wasn’t “a librarian”, she was the  library director in charge of the city’s 36 branches and 3.4 million book system.

            Her official title was ” librarian”. Again, you cannot compare compensation by title alone.
            ……………………
            There are excellent engineers at Google, et. al., or running there own businesses who earn far more than the “average” engineer, and rightly so.

            I actually am trying to expand my understanding of the paper. And I agree it is an excellent source. I highly recommend it every chance I get. I dasn’t copy and paste, though, because apparently that offends someone’s sensibilities. But one of several advantages of the paper was that it explained much more clearly than the others I have read, the much wider range of pay in the private sector compared to the public.

            Exceptional engineers or managers in the private sector may command much higher compensation than the public sector can dream of. And less competent private engineers may be forced from job to job and barely eke out a living. I openly admit that my last statistics class was over 40 years ago, so when Biggs says he takes the log of wages before running regressions, I do not fully understand that, but he says it deemphasizes some of the highest paid private sector workers. It appears to me that leaves a very large cohort of workers who can legitimately be compared. When he lists the average private sector wage for those with a professional degree as $155,797, I assume this includes the gamut of very good, mediocre, and merely adequate professionals and I grant you, their value is determined in the market. And when he lists the public sector wages as $97,685, I assume that includes roughly the same range of qualified professionals.

            I say, as I understand Baumol, the same market determines wages in the public sector, not because of the value of the service produced there, which is difficult to determine, but because of the supply and demand of engineers themselves. Why would a reasonably qualified engineer accept a much lower salary than he could earn in the private sector? One answer is pensions. Not exorbitant pensions, but enough to somewhat offset the lower pay.

            To reiterate, I did not, literally, or figuratively, respond that “the reason secretaries make 5x more in public sector, on an apples to apples comparison, is because they have 5x the responsibility.”

            I look forward to your future posts misquoting other people’s statements.

          • Donkey
            Donkey 28 December, 2014, 16:47

            S&Md try and be a little honest with yourself!!

            S&Md wrote: “Why would a reasonably qualified engineer accept a much lower salary than he could earn in the private sector?” For the same reason most RAGWUS feeders seek out the public dole, no competition, no stress, no accountability, no productivity, no economic up or down, no risk, little uncertainty, Mommy and Daddy were RAGWUS feeders and put in the good word to get hired, and over compensation at every level. Stop acting as if the RAGWUS feeder is not a feral conniving thief. 🙂

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 1 January, 2015, 13:39

            1) Yes state pay is different. A CalTRANS Heavy Equipment Mechanic in San Francisco makes exactly the same wage as the same state mechanic in Modesto.* But, a mechanic for the City and County of San Francisco makes much more than the state mechanic, because his salary has been negotiated commensurate with the pay of similar mechanics in his local area. If a state worker can manage to transfer from the coast to the Central Valley, or beyond, it is often like a 20%+ increase in pay. (Ask me how I know.) In my opinion, my experience, it seems the bay area state worker is underpaid in total compensation, and the central valley worker is “about equal”….in total compensation….on “average”. There will be some categories of state workers who will be “undercompensated” no matter where they work.

            If I understand his methodology, Biggs took that into consideration with the CPS data which he says is localized enough to compare public/private workers in the same market.

            2) According to BLS 2013 OES data, the annual mean wage in California is $53,000.
            No matter how they convey the data to you, if a garage attendant in LA has a “wage” of $50,000, it is misleading to cite any other figure as the “wage” or “pay”. No matter how the city labels it, characterizing total compensation as average “pay” is wrong. If a fork lift driver for a canning company in LA, with a wage of $53,000 sees the $78,000 figure, he will assume those public workers are overpaid (and underworked), and those greedy cancerous public unions are ripping off the taxpayers.

            He does not realize the amount of his “benefits”, according to the BLS, are about 30.2% of his total compensation, (as opposed to 36% for the public sector worker). Which would bring his total compensation to about $76,000.

            And, including OT as “average” wage is also not kosher. That Forklift driver knows he makes $53k, he may also coincidently earn $6,000 in OT, but does not consider that his “annual wage”. Apples to apples. Any other way is misleading. If the city doesn’t give you the data the way you want it, that does not give you license to misrepresent the data you do have.

            3) Fellner quote: “You are correct that Biggs also found the average California public employee is better compensated (pay + benefits) than private sector counterpart.”

            Not to be too picky, but I actually said “these people” (lower educated state workers) earn more in total compensation than the private sector, according to Biggs data. There are still clearly many state workers who earn less than the private sector in total compensation.

            *I chose Heavy Equipment Mechanic specifically because the ones who work in the major coastal cities also earn a “retention bonus” of about 5%. They and several other classifications negotiated this years ago, because CalTRANS was hiring apprentices and training them, then many were moving to local higher paying jobs. (This retention bonus is not pensionable, by the way. After you retire, they see no need to “retain” you in the area.)

            While we’re at it, if one says the state worker earns more….and….”gets all those extra days off”,…. note that according to Biggs, paid time off is “nearly equal”. BLS concurs, unless you work in a firm with 500 or more employees, in which case you actually get more paid time off than in the public sector.

        • SkippingDog
          SkippingDog 29 December, 2014, 12:05

          You do understand that an Executive Assistant to the GM at the DWP isn’t a clerical position, don’t you? It’s a vice-president (C-level) executive position.

          Reply this comment
          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 29 December, 2014, 13:38

            Thank you, SkippingDog, I tried to verify that but couldn’t find the information.

            I will say, if I lived in the LADWP jurisdiction and learned that an actual secretary, like phone answerer, filer, typist, etc. was making $200,000 a year, I would be raising hell. Even if she was a really good typist….and hot!

            It’s something Robert should have checked out before posting.

            I am a fan of Carl “Extraordinary claims requires extraordinary evidence” Sagan.

            It has been a pleasure reading your posts. Keep up the good work.

            Happy New Year and best wishes for the coming year….and to CWD and all the other posters.

          • Skippingdog
            Skippingdog 29 December, 2014, 19:01

            It’s not easy to find them on the city website, but there are 7 of them. They rank just below the 7 Assistant General Managers and seem to be in charge of departments such as Public Relations, Equal Opportunity, etc. Senior managers with discrete support functions. At least one of them was the head of public relations at Warner Brothers before taking the DWP job, so it’s not a secretary position.

            It’s the same kind of a job often called a “Special Assistant” in other organizations and the U.S. government.

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 29 December, 2014, 21:31

            Thanks again.

            LOL!!!

            I don’t know what I was thinking. Mr. Fellner even gave us a link to the website.

            1) log on to website
            2) scroll down list to “Exec Asst ( to the Gm )…$213,543
            3) copy/paste employee name to your favorite search engine
            4) graduated Cum Laude, University of Miami
            5) Assistant Director, Policy & Legislative Affairs, Miami Dade mayors office
            6) yada, yada, yada
            7) BUT, an ” average” secretary should be able to type at least 50 wpm
            8) if this guy can’t do at least 250 wpm, he does NOT deserve five times the salary of an “average” executive assistant.
            9) must be that “strong public union” ramping up his salary.
            10) It would be funny, if it wasn’t so pathetic.

          • Robert Fellner
            Robert Fellner 30 December, 2014, 23:14

            Great save – thank you.

            I was in a haste to see if there was the most blatant example of excessive public salaries that Doug would acknowledge as excessive, as opposed to attempt to deflect away and 200k for executive assistant fit the bill!

          • Robert
            Robert 31 December, 2014, 08:20

            Good news guys, plenty of genuine inequities for you to raise hell about.

            Avg salary for LADWP vs LA general:

            Legal Secretary: $81,300 vs $46,350
            Customer Service Representative (now if this is a job title w/ graduate degrees, I give up!) $83,000 vs $34,700

            I’m glad we recognized the absurdity of a clerical type position making substantially more in public vs private, even when adjusting for region. Its certainly good public isn’t making 5x, merely over 2x more! Still, an issue for concern for me, I must admit.

            So now that we have a suitable example, we can finally get back to what I am trying to determine: what is your response to the above?

          • Robert
            Robert 31 December, 2014, 08:31

            Just in case the previous examples don’t float your boat, the average garage attendant makes $78k a year in pay only for LADWP.

            Average custodian makes $71k.

            Bunch more if those don’t work.

            So question is: Do you acknowledge wages are excessive and, if so, why do you think that is?

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 31 December, 2014, 16:24

            garage attendant 3531 39,776- 49.402

            http://cao.lacity.org/MOUs/2007-12%20MOU%2014%20Amendment%204.pdf

            Robert,

            I kinda don’t really have time for this, being retired isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be, but.

            This is but one of the reasons SkippingDog and I (and others) have a “problem” with some of these salary websites.

            The LA Times website ( http://salaries.latimes.com/dwp/?name=&classification=Garage+Attendant&year=2012&min_amount=&max_amount=)

            lists the total pay for the highest paid garage attendant as $73,818.

            Total Pay. Not “pay only” whatever that is.

            They list “reg pay” at $64,084
            When Transparent California, or LATimes, or any other org. lists these pay categories, we have no idea what type of pay is included where.

            The 2013 MOU lists garage attendant at $42,866- $53,265 annually.

            There is more than enough room between there and $70 whatever K to include other benefits.
            ……………………………
            Richard Rider mentioned that it is difficult to get accurate information from some of the cities.

            So be it. It seems that that has become some kind of justification for gross misrepresentation.

            I don’t have the time or inclination to go through a series of job descriptions, and why reinvent the wheel?
            Biggs was very clear that at the high school education level, public and private workers make “about the same” in cash wages. The big difference in these classes is in benefits. Especially health benefits (if) the public worker has retiree health benefits.

            If I may quote Biggs one more time, “Some studies compare salaries for public-sector occupations to the same occupations in the private sector. While intuitively reasonable, there are several problems with this approach.”

            He gives a very detailed description of his data source and methods,and his results seem to concur with similar studies by other organizations. Why would one want to go take a detailed look at specific job titles?

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 31 December, 2014, 20:22

            Apparently the moderator didn’t like my answer. Perhaps they didn’t like my links, who knows? Short answer is …..No.

            LA city MOU for garage attendant shows an annual salary of $39,000 to $53,000.

            LA times database shows “total pay” of $73,000. And “regular pay of $60-65,000, whatever that is.

            Ambiguous at best. This is what SkippingDog and I, and others, have been trying to tell you. For whatever reason, TransparentCalifornia, et. al., are confusing and misleading.

            Why reinvent the wheel? Biggs clearly stated that job titles alone cannot be used for comparisons. His human capital model is the standard, and, like all the major studies, shows that lower educated state workers earn about the same or less than private in cash.

            They do show that these people earn more than the private sector when benefits are added.

            I don’t have the time or inclination to compare “job titles” It is an exercise in futility.

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 1 January, 2015, 07:33

            Apparently CWD approved my original post after all. My posts don’t require moderation, guys. It’s already implied in the name.

            S Moderation Douglas

          • Robert Fellner
            Robert Fellner 1 January, 2015, 11:25

            Happy New Years Doug and thanks for the response.

            RE:”LA times database shows “total pay” of $73,000. And “regular pay of $60-65,000, whatever that is.
            Ambiguous at best. This is what SkippingDog and I, and others, have been trying to tell you. For whatever reason, TransparentCalifornia, et. al., are confusing and misleading.”

            A point of clarity, the regular pay vs other pay comes from the agency, not LA times or us. We copy and paste their reports onto our site. They say X in Regular Pay, Y, in Other pay, and we sum them for Total Pay. So this is not a creation of us or LA Times, the problem is people are misled into thinking the salaries referenced in MOUs represent the complete salary received by employees, which is clearly not the case.

            The data I am referencing ($78k for garage attendant) is “total pay” for 2013 (which has yet to be published.) So that is why there is a discrepancy between the $73k total pay you found on the LA times 2012 site. However, my main question isn’t the discrepancy over 2012 to 2013 data, it is whether or not you think these salaries – $80+k for customer service reps, $70+k for garage attendants, – are excessive, and if so, what drives them to these levels?

            You are correct that Biggs also found the average California public employee is better compensated (pay + benefits) than private sector counterpart. As you (or maybe it was Dog) brought up previously, there is value in being able to drill down to region specific comparisons. I believe Biggs only focused on the State employees, obviously there can be differences in municipal employees, special districts, etc.

            I do want to make one point in response to the allegation of our site being misleading. I think it is much more misleading to cite the salary range in the MOU and not the actual dollar amount of pay being received when discussing these things.

            So the discrepancy from sites like ours and the LA Times is one towards more accuracy. There is simply no justification when comparing pay and benefits to use data (MOU) that is inaccurate and fails to capture the total pay received.

            That is why sites likes ours and the LA Times exists. We report the actual pay being received, in the actual component categories the agency reports it as.

            So you are going to see the MOU salary reported in “regular pay” and the myriad forms of other pay reported in other pay. I do not see how reporting all the data, in its respective fields, could be considered misleading. The alternative, looking at only MOUs, seems much more misleading to me.

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 1 January, 2015, 13:41

            1) Yes state pay is different. A CalTRANS Heavy Equipment Mechanic in San Francisco makes exactly the same wage as the same state mechanic in Modesto.* But, a mechanic for the City and County of San Francisco makes much more than the state mechanic, because his salary has been negotiated commensurate with the pay of similar mechanics in his local area. If a state worker can manage to transfer from the coast to the Central Valley, or beyond, it is often like a 20%+ increase in pay. (Ask me how I know.) In my opinion, my experience, it seems the bay area state worker is underpaid in total compensation, and the central valley worker is “about equal”….in total compensation….on “average”. There will be some categories of state workers who will be “undercompensated” no matter where they work.

            If I understand his methodology, Biggs took that into consideration with the CPS data which he says is localized enough to compare public/private workers in the same market.

            2) According to BLS 2013 OES data, the annual mean wage in California is $53,000.
            No matter how they convey the data to you, if a garage attendant in LA has a “wage” of $50,000, it is misleading to cite any other figure as the “wage” or “pay”. No matter how the city labels it, characterizing total compensation as average “pay” is wrong. If a fork lift driver for a canning company in LA, with a wage of $53,000 sees the $78,000 figure, he will assume those public workers are overpaid (and underworked), and those greedy cancerous public unions are ripping off the taxpayers.

            He does not realize the amount of his “benefits”, according to the BLS, are about 30.2% of his total compensation, (as opposed to 36% for the public sector worker). Which would bring his total compensation to about $76,000.

            And, including OT as “average” wage is also not kosher. That Forklift driver knows he makes $53k, he may also coincidently earn $6,000 in OT, but does not consider that his “annual wage”. Apples to apples. Any other way is misleading. If the city doesn’t give you the data the way you want it, that does not give you license to misrepresent the data you do have.

            3) Fellner quote: “You are correct that Biggs also found the average California public employee is better compensated (pay + benefits) than private sector counterpart.”

            Not to be too picky, but I actually said “these people” (lower educated state workers) earn more in total compensation than the private sector, according to Biggs data. There are still clearly many state workers who earn less than the private sector in total compensation.

            *I chose Heavy Equipment Mechanic specifically because the ones who work in the major coastal cities also earn a “retention bonus” of about 5%. They and several other classifications negotiated this years ago, because CalTRANS was hiring apprentices and training them, then many were moving to local higher paying jobs. (This retention bonus is not pensionable, by the way. After you retire, they see no need to “retain” you in the area.)

            While we’re at it, if one says the state worker earns more….and….”gets all those extra days off”,…. note that according to Biggs, paid time off is “nearly equal”. BLS concurs, unless you work in a firm with 500 or more employees, in which case you actually get more paid time off than in the public sector.

          • Robert Fellner
            Robert Fellner 1 January, 2015, 14:16

            RE: No matter how the city labels it, characterizing total compensation as average “pay” is wrong.”

            I agree characterizing total compensation (pay + benefits) as pay is wrong.

            For all the LADWP data, there is no cost of benefits. It is total pay. For all the data on our site, the labels are clear: “median total pay” followed by “median total pay and benefits.” (go to any city/county and click on view summary)

            So when I say that the average total pay received by a garage attendant working for the LADWP in 2013 was $83k, that is a true statement. Again no benefits of any kind. As an aside, you’ve given me a good idea for a potential article to dig into the Other Pay that is driving their salary so far in excess of their base pay range in the MOU!

            So to use your example of the private sector employee – which gives him a better sense of what the public employees are actually earning? The total pay they received or just the base pay amount?

            So, in the case of garage attendants for the LADWP, if a comparable private employee was given their MOU wage amount (40k) they would be misled about the reality of what the average public employee is actually receiving in pay.

            Said differently, would the private employee making $40k turn down a job paying $70k just bc the breakdown of pay is $40k in base and $30k in other pay?

            I think it is extremely misleading to claim the salary cited in the MOU instead of the actual salary received. Yes, there is a distinction between base pay, ot, and other, and that is reported on our site as classified by the agency.

            I think we’re coming to an end here, hopefully you see my point.

            Thanks for the dialogue and I do want to apologize if I was rude in any of my previous posts – it is clear we are both simply trying to get to the heart of the matter, even if we don’t always see eye to eye on how best to interpret the data.

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 1 January, 2015, 18:06

            If they don’t label it, how do you know there are no benefits included in that amount ? It’s inconceivable there would be that much “pay”.
            ………………..

            If I could leave out the job titles. When I was working, If someone asked me what I was making, I gave them the gross pay, same as my MOU. (About $4,200 a month, for what it’s worth) It’s a standard response, I think, to that question. It also looks like a good number to use as an example.

            I did not mention the FICA and Medicare deductions, state and federal tax deductions, 10% “contribution” to CalPERS, union dues, medical insurance deduction,457 deduction, etc.

            I make $4,200 a month. $50,400 a year.  $24 an hour. (I believe $24 is what they used when I worked OT, so OT is $36.)  That’s how much I “make”.

            I also did not mention the 6.2% the state added for SS plus 3 whatever for medicare, plus, I think at the time, about $900 a month for health insurance (and, as Biggs told me, about another $900 +/- for retiree healthcare) plus, depending on who you talk to, another 15 to 40% of salary for the “true” actuarial value of normal pension costs.

            I will use Biggs computation for a national average BA degree holder, and say my total compensation was (rounded up) $90,000.

            I will belatedly add that I usually averaged about $6,000 a year in overtime. (not calculated in my pension, by the way)

            ……………………………………….

            Now, using Biggs average. I make about 12% less (cash) than an equivalent private sector worker. So he makes $4,800  month. Ask him how much he makes, he will tell you $4,800, a month,$57,600 a year. He won’t mentally subtract taxes and insurance, if he’s feeling expansive, he might add that he usually makes another $500 a month in OT, typically. OT is a wild card.

            If you tell him that he makes $57,600 while that tall good looking state worker over there makes $96,000 a year for doing essentially the same thing he does, he might get righteously upset. He’s not thinking about his OT, and probably has no idea how much his other “benefits” are. According to BLS, his total compensation would average $82,300, plus $6,000 OT. 

            $88,300 vs. $96,000  not quite as alarmist, now.

            I also did not mention that, all other things being equal, assuming he contributes 6% to a 401(k) (to get a 3% employer match), and my CalPERS deduction was 10% (Bargaining Unit 12), my take home pay would be about $3,780, while his would be $4,512.

            OKAY, it’s my ball, I make up the rules. I intentionally chose some numbers that ended up with my total compensation being about 20% higher than an “equivalent” private sector worker, to basically fit with Biggs conclusion that California public workers have a 20 something % compensation advantage over the private sector. Doesn’t necessarily mean that I agree with Biggs, but that’s for a later day.

            Can you see, a guy who “knows” he makes $57,000 a year, being seven kinds of upset when he reads on TransparentCalifornia that the average stateworker makes $96,000? (Because “that’s the way they sent us the data”)

            Can you see, a logical person choosing a job that “clears” $730 a month more than a state job, but has a much smaller “retirement” (whatever 9% of salary can get you, if invested properly)?

            What he doesn’t see is that his actual total compensation is much higher than he knew, and he doesn’t realize that he is “taking home” 19% more than that tall good looking state worker. ($4,512 vs $3,780)

            The numbers are just ball park, but pretty well fit the data. The “tall good looking state worker” is just an opinion. I’m entitled to my own opinion.

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 1 January, 2015, 18:22

            Slight correction. I checked one of my ex coworkers on Transparent California. They would have listed my total compensation closer to $78,000-80,000. Not $96,000, because they use the actual ARC, not the true risk free actuarial value, as Biggs did.

          • Robert Fellner
            Robert Fellner 1 January, 2015, 18:56

            Doug, they do label it.

            Gross Pay: $83k.

            Benefits: $0.

            E-mail to them asking why benefits are $0, “The City of LA calculates benefits on an actuarial basis and does not track the cost of benefits on an employee-specific level which is why no benefits are included in the report provided.”

            I reply: can you please confirm what does the gross pay amount you gave us represent:

            “The gross pay amount represents the total form of all wages paid to the employee that are considered Medicare taxable.” Re-read this definition. There are no benefits in here.

            This is what I’m trying to tell you: It’s inconceivable there would be that much “pay”.

            There is. You can just e-mail the City and make a public records request for this info yourself if you don’t believe me.

            For the medicare, ss taxes, etc. those ARE NOT INCLUDED in total pay. I don’t know what else to say.

            The $83k is the gross pay amount.

            This is getting hard to continue here, if you’d like to discuss this further feel free to e-mail me through the site. I can even e-mail you the exact file they gave us so you can see the numbers for yourself.

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 1 January, 2015, 20:57

            I’ll wait for the article.

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 2 January, 2015, 05:18

            Robert,
            Sorry to bother you again, I searched Transparent California, city of Los Angeles, “garage attendant”, and found 219 names.

            Typically, their “regular pay” was in the $49,000 to $54,000 range. They typically show $10,000 to $15,000 “total benefits”, with “total pay and benefits” in the $68,000 to $78,000 range (including OT.)

            There may be something nefarious about the attendants at DWP, but my money says “What we have here, is a failure to communicate. ”
            …………….
            I recently spent several days visiting and commenting on the website “investors.com” about an article ” The Pension Crisis Next Door: Scranton, Pa” in which I say Stephen Moore (Heritage Foundation) deliberately (in my opinion) tried to mislead the readers that hundreds of LA policemen have pensions of over $500,000 a year. They were obviously one time drop payments, and most were so noted on TC website, for those who knew or bothered to look, but I say the potential for abuse is great.
            ……………….
            Mark Bucher recently wrote an article for Forbes entitled
            ” Hundreds Of California Government Employees Are Paid Over $400,000 A Year”

            Mr. Bucher, was referencing TC data which clearly (if you care and know how to look) referred to one time payments, apparently final year vacation buybacks, not normal salary.

            If you recall our discussion of “how much I ‘make'”, I said I make $4,200 a month, $50 grand a year.

            English is my native language. According to a test I took in college, my comprehension is above average. (yes, tall, good looking, AND intelligent) I have a good grasp of semantics and syntax.

            When Mr. Bucher says “Government Employees Are Paid Over $400,000 A Year”

            And Mr. Moore says “hundreds of “public servants” who hit the jackpot with annual pensions of half a million a year.”

            I say they are implying that these are regular yearly payments, not one time payouts. And I think they know full well they are not. The potential for abuse is great, and shame on these two men and others for misusing the data.
            ……………..
            And, when our private sector forklift guy who “earns” $50,000 a year gets piissed because some website says a garage attendant “earns” $78,000, that is misleading.

            Again, I am a fan of Carl “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” Sagan.

            Until otherwise proven, I will assume that a garage attendant does NOT “make” $78,000 a year. As Skipping Dog said “Nothing like mixing and matching salary, overtime, and total compensation to make your case,”

            Surely this horse must be dead by now.

          • Robert Fellner
            Robert Fellner 2 January, 2015, 18:29

            Douglas,

            You are wrong. As you point out, Skipping Dog was also wrong when he lied and made up the charge that I was mixing pay and benefits to mislead and offered 0 examples in support of his allegation.

            You are also ruining my forthcoming story by discovering that the LADWP garage attendants not only make 250% the avg salary of garage attendants in LA, but make 150% the salary of garage attendants who work for the City of LA!

            What other people wrote based on our data is not something I can control, nor is it fair of you to attribute their statements to me. I may even share your concerns about conflating pay and pay+benefits…

            It is my hope that when you finally acknowledge that the pay values being reported by the City of LA are pay, and see how that garage attendants for the LADWP AVERAGED $78,000 a year in 2013, you consider the possibility that public pay in California is not representative of a market demand for labor, but is mostly driven by excessive abuses endemic to a system where the costs are dispersed and the benefits concentrated.

            I, too, thought it was “inconceivable” that a customer service rep can make $83k a year in pay alone, as you said previously. I had no idea the problem was this bad until the agencies in California showed me so.

            Note, too, how we’ve reached a point where the City’s garage attendants making $50k+ is considered reasonable. This is a big part of the problem w/ public pay – it has to be extremely egregious to generate the public will necessary to enact (modest) reforms. The fact that $50k in pay alone for a garage attendant is testament to that. It DOES NOT EXIST in the City of LA outside of govt, even less so nationally. But we tolerate it because its not terribly egregious, just mildly so!

            BTW the avg salary for customer service rep is only $81.3k. I respond to your comments from home and am mostly pulling these numbers by memory, which is why I incorrectly referred to it as $83k earlier.

            I respect you and sincerely apologize for my previous rude behavior.

            I welcome your comments and you are more than welcome to e-mail me through site and we can exchange e-mail addresses from there if you like.

            There is no need for you to wait for us to post it, the Controller’s Office has the data up already: http://www.publicpay.ca.gov/Reports/PositionDetail.aspx?employeeid=10093169

            This not only demonstrates that the average wages are $78k for garage attendants, it further highlights how misleading pay ranges are.

            This is the listed pay range: $49,673 – $79,573 which is laughably wide. Moreover, let me know how many you find with $50k in base pay 🙂

            Make sure you are looking at garage attendants in the correct department too.

            Here is a 2012 article about the above: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-08/los-angeles-s-100-000-carpenters-show-influence-of-water-department-union.html

            We will have this data on our site in the next 1-2 weeks, in which case you can easily search it and compare that the values we report as pay are the exact ones the SCO considers pay, and benefits are benefits.

            Please shoot me an e-mail if you have any other questions or if you ever find a single instance in which you believe I have used data misleadingly so that I may review your concerns.

            Thank you.

    • Robert Fellner
      Robert Fellner 2 January, 2015, 22:56

      It doesn’t look like my previous comment went through and I’m too tired to retype it and find my way through this wall of comments.

      The LADWP salaries are real and California state employees who retired pre-2000 should be the ones most outraged at what is going on in California these days: http://www.publicpay.ca.gov/Reports/PositionDetail.aspx?employeeid=10090356

      Reply this comment
      • Richard Rider
        Richard Rider 4 January, 2015, 05:46

        Government pay apologists like to use “education level” as justification for much of the public-private pay differential. But they get cause and effect reversed.

        Government employees often have education levels not necessary to get the job done — because the over-educated employees find government work (not performance-based, great job security, many holidays, benefits, pay, etc.) a better choice than private sector employment.

        More and more, today’s firefighters have college degrees and even graduate degrees — unnecessary education to have to be a good firefighter.

        Moreover, this overeducated govt worker tendency causes a misallocation of labor — with many of our more intelligent people underutilizing their (subsidized) education and brains in government jobs that “blue collar” workers could be doing. Society is less productive as a result.

        Reply this comment
  12. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 27 December, 2014, 10:19

    Government workers are not “average”. They have to be exceptional to deal with a diverse population in stressful situations and administering technicalities of many sophisticated laws in a highly civilized society.

    The public’s expectations of what government can do for them is quite high, so you need a government workforce that is far above “average”.

    California is remarkable that it functions at all. Many languages, cultures, huge geographical footprint, stuffed used up urban centers, a transportation system that never catches up with exploding demographics. Wow!

    Applaud government workers.

    Reply this comment
  13. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 27 December, 2014, 19:52

    Average California firefighter is paid 60% more than paid firefighters in other 49 states. CA cops are paid 56% more. CA 2011 median household income (including gov’t workers) is 13.4% above nat’l avg.
    http://www.tinyurl.com/CA-ff-and-cop-pay
    and
    http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_income

    Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonder Dog!
      Rex the Wonder Dog! 28 December, 2014, 08:40

      Don’t talk basic math to GED gov trough feeders, it is above their pay grade.

      Reply this comment
    • SkippingDog
      SkippingDog 29 December, 2014, 12:07

      Mixing and matching again, Richard? How does the cost of living in CA compare to other states? How about the salary differentials between the coastal population centers when compared to the inland and rural areas?

      Reply this comment
      • S Moderation Douglas
        S Moderation Douglas 29 December, 2014, 16:55

        That’s why he calls it Rider Rants.

        His blog spot still says California has the nation’s highest taxes.

        I thought we disproved that long ago.

        Beware of strangers bearing graphs.

        Reply this comment
        • Richard Rider
          Richard Rider 29 December, 2014, 17:21

          Douglas, where does my blog say “California has the nation’s highest taxes”? A URL would be nice. I’m sure you’ve read by blog “cover to cover.”

          Maybe I DID say that somewhere, but I doubt it. It’s not true. Close, but “highest” is not true in most cases.

          Reply this comment
          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 29 December, 2014, 20:04

            I apologize.

            I checked before I posted, but I didn’t read closely enough.

            I was referring to “Unaffordable California – It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way”

            July 18, 2014

            “CA now has by far the nation’s highest state income tax rate.”

            and

            “CA has the highest state sales tax rate in the nation. 7.5% (does not include local sales taxes).”

            And your statements are technically correct.

            However, as I mentioned before, the “nation’s highest income tax rate” is misleading because we also have some of the highest deductions and exclusions. As a result, California’s individual income tax per capita is 6th highest, at $1,453.

            And the state sales tax (not including local sales taxes), actually is the nation’s highest. The combined state and local tax rate, however, is 8th highest, at 8.41%. And per capita sales tax collections are 21st highest, at $825.

            (Tax foundation “facts and figures 2014”)
            ……….
            It is true, though, that the highest income earners in California pay much higher taxes than the highest income earners in other states.

            The corollary, of course, is that California middle class taxpayers who have been told they pay “the highest income taxes” are actually near or below average nationwide.

            (I tried to keep those blast statements vague because I’m working from memory there.)

            Again, sorry for the misquote, and

            Happy New Year.

      • Richard Rider
        Richard Rider 29 December, 2014, 17:37

        RunningDog — Yes, the COL is higher here — but we all live here and on average people make only 13.4% than people in other states. Does that mean that CA public employees should be paid 56%-60% more than public employees in other states make — paid by the people making 13.4% than other states’ working population?

        As a government employee, doubtless YOU think so. Greet trumps logic, doesn’t it? I get that.

        BTW, the COL in CA is 28.6% higher than than the national 2013 COL average (which includes CA in the average).
        http://www.top50states.com/cost-of-living-by-state.html

        BOTTOM LINE: 28.6% higher. Not 56% higher. Not 60% higher. I say again, it’s 28.6% higher.

        Reply this comment
      • Richard Rider
        Richard Rider 29 December, 2014, 17:55

        RunningDog. Yes, not all local public employees are paid the same in California. Here’s a news flash for ya — not all local employees in ANY state are paid the same. That’s why the AVERAGE is used. You seem to think that it’s wrong to compare average financial statistics among states.

        Well, as a California progressive apologist for our moribund economy, that makes sense to you. Indeed, you HATE such comparisons. For you, such comparisons are a BAADDDD idea!

        Yeah, some inland areas in CA have RELATIVELY lower public employee pay — while some coastal areas have even HIGHER rates than the average. So? What’s your point?

        BTW, where do most people in CA live relative to the Pacific Ocean? I’d guess 80+% live within 15 miles of the coast. But you go to those hick California inland areas you envision, you seem to think you’ll find dirt cheap wages.

        Check out Modesto and San Bernardino. Or even check some towns NOT in bankruptcy — Sacramento, Bakersfield, El Cajon, Riverside, etc. I think you’ll find that even the inland towns pay police and firefighters wages well above the national average.

        Reply this comment
        • Skippingdog
          Skippingdog 29 December, 2014, 19:05

          I just think it is more intellectually honest to compare the averages for highly developed urban areas with those of other highly developed urban areas. It’s also more intellectually honest to compare such salaries given like levels of education, experience, training, etc.

          Even during your years as a pogue supply officer, you received a pay differential for your geographic location, just like every other federal employee. That differential was far higher in places like LA or San Francisco than it was in Birmingham or Tampa.

          Reply this comment
          • Donkey
            Donkey 30 December, 2014, 06:59

            Skdog comes from a RAGWUS cabal that thrives on secrecy and dishonesty at its core values and then has the temerity to ask others to be “intellectually honest”, what a sociopathic nut job.
            Most RAGWUS jobs are paper pushing, record keeping fluff jobs where the routine changes little from day to years, where the feeders talk about their carpel tunnel syndrome while holding that coffee cup and how much money they will be looting in their upcoming contract. 🙂

          • SkippingDog
            SkippingDog 30 December, 2014, 10:39

            Your penchant for stereotyping public servants is amusing, in a pathetically ignorant way, Donk. Your description sounds far more like many Navy jobs, particularly the part about whining with a coffee cup all day. You must be having some kind of flashback to your days of paint chipping and knob polishing.

          • Donkey
            Donkey 30 December, 2014, 23:02

            I can assure you tending to the fire control system of a SSBM relates to nothing you can find in your LE RAGWUS Skdog. Having been in the Navy I do understand what Federal work is like and having run a business I understand what it is like to deal with city, county, and state RAGWUS feeders. The Feds are much better than the latter three, and the reason they are called in after every failing of the other three pathetic levels of RAGWUSdom.
            Just like you can’t compare the RAGWUS with the private sector, because in the private sector you must have results and accountability, the same goes for the military when looking at the RAGWUS. I saw people demoted, discharged, and thrown off ships for what would seem minor offenses in the private sector, but standards are high on a Navel ship, if a system fails lives are at stake. You have nothing in your LE RAGWUS even close to the Military Code of Conduct, rules that men and women of honor will shove down your throat if you are out of line.
            When I was growing up in the 1960’s I knew the local cops, decent people and neighbors, I remember one of the cops down the street had these words hanging in his game room: THE LAW ENFORCEMENT CODE OF ETHICS:

            As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice.

            I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

            I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities, or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

            I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession…law enforcement.

            ADOPTED. 1956. THE PEACE OFFICERS’ ASSOCIATION
            OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
            It would be a better world if the ranks of the police were really filled with people portrayed in the code above. 🙂

          • SkippingDog
            SkippingDog 31 December, 2014, 21:12

            As I recall from your earlier postings, your business was one of those that survived off the federal contract teat, so it’s no surprise you like that level of government better than those that made you do things like install proper safety devices for your employees and pay them for the time they worked on your behalf.

            “Tending to fire control on a SSBM” means you were a paint chipper or knob polisher, unless you made 3rd class before your separation. My AFSC was 46350 and I worked with a lot of you ET type folks. Nothing to brag about, but I’m sure it seems better in hindsight.

  14. supriya
    supriya 10 December, 2016, 05:05

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    Reply this comment

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