Rich Miller says what needs to be said:
Lots of folks have little use for state workers, but many of them do jobs that most of us wouldn’t touch, like working in a prison or a facility for the criminally insane or caring for aging veterans. A flood of early retirements at the start of the Blagojevich administration has meant more work for fewer people, so mandatory overtime is taking a toll.
I’ve found over the years that the knee-jerk reaction that all state workers are lazy and overpaid is often just misplaced jealousy, or ideologically motivated, or ill-informed cynicism. My uncle, for instance, worked for the state until he took advantage of the early out plan, and I’m here to tell you that the man worked hard just about every day of his career. My mother at one time was a social worker at a
facility for the criminally insane. Not a great job.
I also have a tough time with this “race to the bottom mentality” out there. To some, we should just cut their pay, cut their benefits and slash payroll ever deeper, to mirror some real or imagined private sector trend. They say this as if it’s supposed to be a good thing, but how is making the lot of working people worse off a good thing?
“But they’re sucking off my taxes!” is often the reply. Well, we have one of the lowest state income tax rates in the country. State sales taxes aren’t hugely out of line. And state payroll per capita is by far the lowest in the nation.
Amen, brother Rich.And that’s another shitty thing about Springfield. The state provides tons of jobs here, hugely pumping up the economy and providing employment for gobs of Springfieldians, yet all we hear from non-state workers here is how lazy and undeserving the state employees are, blah, blah, blah. Hey assholes, you try it. I put in nearly 10 years with the State and it wasn’t easy work. My current private sector job is much easier and I get paid more. Both my parents put time in at the state and neither of them was anything close to lazy. So suck on it you misinformed Springfield ingrates.
Truthfully, I haven’t found much difference in the quality of workers for the state and those in the private sector. In fact, it was at a large private sector employer where I found the most waste and idle workers of any place I’ve ever worked. And yes, that employer is still in business and making money. many of you are probably do business with them on a regular (usually semi-annual) basis.
I think the State does fall down a bit (in some cases a lot) with middle management because only really unqualified people are dumb enough to take the thankless positions. But to some extent that’s true everywhere.
So the next time someone you’re with starts in on state workers, give them a big but inoffensive eye-roll.