Where is modern civilization heading?

As a society are we heading in the same direction as the ancient Romans? If so the question becomes.......

Are our leaders fiddling while civilization burns?

While we ponder the question I will post my personal thoughts on this blog. Often I will focus on current events that catch my interest, however I am not and do not pretend to be a news organization. I'm simply a guy with his own thoughts on issues that I believe affect our country and society.

Be forewarned, I have been accused of being a right wing thinker and if that is offensive please move on. Remember, this is my blog and my opinions, and unlike many facets of our already over-governed modern society they are not being forced on anyone.

However, please feel free to leave your comments, good, bad or indifferent, after all this is a free society we live in (at least for now).

Sunday, December 16, 2012

So, Where do I sign up?

A day in the life of a Federal civil servant
When I was growing up, when you heard of someone who worked for the Federal government, you knew a few things right off the bat. One, they were probably not an ambitious individual, two, they didn't make a lot of money, and last but not least they would most certainly be serving a life sentence with the feds. It was a given that while a federal job didn't provide the big bucks that private industry did, it was a very secure position that in the end would provide a comfortable pension for ones golden years. Federal positions tended to attract those that wanted to take little risk on the career path and generally weren't overly eager to expend too much effort in earning a living.

Now fast forward to today's world......Lordy, Lordy, how things have changed and the pendulum has swung! Today's federal civil servant has rocketed ahead of us poor schmoes in the private sector to the point where one has to ask if the inmates are running the asylum in Ottawa. If by this time your beginning to believe that old Frustrated Joe is simply exaggerating the situation, just keep reading.
Payday in Ottawa

Latest figures show that the average pay for a Canadian federal civil servant is $114,000 per year! OUCH! Compare that to the average private sector paycheck that currently sits at around  $70,000 per year and it appears that the federal paymasters have lost touch with reality somewhere over the last few decades.

But wait, the best is yet to come....it is estimated that the average annual salary for a federal employee will jump to $129,000 in the next three years. So as a taxpayer I have to ask just what kind of value we are seeing for this princely sum. So here's a couple of quick facts that should bring tears to your eyes (unless of course you draw your paycheck from the feds).
  • Federal public sector employees are paid 17.3 percent higher than those working similar jobs in the private sector. Add in benefits, and the gap widens to an incredible 41.7 percent.
  • The incomes of private-sector employees have advanced just 10% against inflation in the past 20 years, while during the same time period federal employees have raced ahead by 22% in real terms.
  • Federal workers call in "sick or stressed" an average of 17 days a year, which is about twice that of a worker in the private sector.
  • The feds now employ approximately 375,000 public servants, at a total cost of $43 billion in pay, pension and benefits (nearly double what it was a decade ago). Or in simpler terms, the average Canadian is shelling out $1,267 in taxes every year for this bloated monstrosity.
  • The average age at which most federal civil servants qualify for a pension is 58 versus 62 in the private sector. Here's another kick in the $%^#'s for the private sector worker, 82% of public-sector workers (all levels of government) have what are called defined-benefit pension plans. These plans guarantee them a percentage of their salary (typically 70%) averaged over their five years of highest pay, even though, of course, they have not been contributing anywhere near that amount during their entire working lives. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure where the balance of that money is coming from, if you haven't figured it out just put your hand in your pocket (that is if there is still room in there along side the governments).
  • To add insult to injury these same hard-working Canadians, the majority of them pensionless are nonetheless footing the bill for $227 billion in unfunded pension plans for current and retired federal civil servants.
So, the next time someone tells you they work for the federal government don't feel feel too much pity for them, I suspect the emotion most of us will feel is green eyed envy. 

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