May 3, 2011

Government Workers Vital to Economy, says Campaign for America’s Future

Study after study shows the public employees do not receive extravagant compensation. (Photo courtesy

THE CAMPAIGN for America’s Future is a progressive economic strategy center based in Washington, DC. Bill Scher, online campaign manager for the Campaign for America’s Future, recently discussed why the government workers need to be protected from attacks on our salaries and pensions.

Weak Economies Need More Demand

“OUR ECONOMY is struggling and our state budgets are distressed because increased unemployment and falling home prices have reduced economic demand,” Scher explained. “Weakening the ability of any workers to negotiate fair pay and secure retirements will only weaken demand further, hurting the overall economy.”

Strong Standards Strengthen the Middle Class

WHEN PUBLIC sector workers get fair pay, healthy workplaces, and secure retirements, “that puts pressure on private sector CEOs to do the same, or else they risk losing talent to the public sector,” Scher said. “Making public sector work less inviting does nothing to make private sector jobs pay better. We need to raise the bar, not lower it.”

Decent Government Pay Means Decent Government

MOST EVERYONE wants our federal, state and local governments to function effectively. “That means being able to attract skilled, productive workers with fair pay, healthy workplaces and secure retirements,” Scher noted.

Public Employees Are Not The Problem

STUDY AFTER study shows the public employees do not receive extravagant compensation, and that the problems with state public pension systems are largely overblown. State budgets are reeling from an economic recession caused by reckless Wall Street speculators, top end tax cuts, and corporate tax avoidance. “The projected shortfalls in public retirement benefits derive mostly from skyrocketing health care costs thanks to private insurers, and poorly performing pension investments thanks to deregulated Wall Street firms,” Scher asserted.

Scapegoating Lets The Culprits Get Away

“RIGHT-WING billionaires,” said Scher, “are pumping millions into a nationwide effort to break” public sector employees. “Because if they can get most people to blame public employees for the nation's economic ills, they won't hold irresponsible corporations accountable and force the ultra-rich to make any sacrifices, such as higher taxes and tougher regulations.

“THIS IS a critical moment in our nation's history. Will we be a nation where workers can thrive, or where workers are nickel and dimed? Will we have a vibrant economy that works for all, or will we have a stagnant economy that serves the few? Now's the time to stand up,” Scher concluded.

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