How many times have you heard someone say they wanted to work for the government and get rich? I’ve honestly never heard it until now. The new meme seems to be that government workers are overpaid and getting rich off the taxpayer dime. First, government workers pay taxes, so I wish the likes of Gov. Scott Walker and Gov. Haley Barbour would stop talking like government workers don’t pay taxes.
Second, the last time I looked government jobs did not make the list of the highest paying jobs in America. Government workers weren’t on Forbes richest people in America list. Moreover, some jobs don’t really translate into the private sector. What are the private sector equivalent of a Police chief, firefighter, prison warden, or a Bureau of Motor Vehicles worker? Or think of the highest paid CEO in the private sector and the highest paid CEO in the public sector. Larry Ellision was the highest paid private sector CEO in 2009 and made over $84 million . President Barack Obama was the highest paid public sector CEO in 2009 and he earned only $400,000. The top 20 highest paid private sector CEO’s make more money than the president. The top 25 highest paid government jobs don’t even come close to paying what the highest paid private sector jobs do.
I’ve seen or heard reports that claim the public sector (with all their benefits) get paid more than the private sector. I’ve heard the opposite, too. In truth, government workers with a Bachelor degree or higher are underpaid compared to their private sector counterpart.