Government workers need to understand what it's like in the private sector

February 18, 2011

I've heard and read about the demonstrations of state workers whose salaries and benefits are being cut or at least kept from increasing. Through talk radio, many workers try to say that they have already suffered from quality of life issues, but I noticed a real disconnect.

I don't think that government workers realize that the tax payers they are appealing to make about half as much salary, suffered from a lack of raises in direct income for at least six straight years, not to mention having seriously reduced benefits. On top of that, given the average living conditions, any increases in taxes cannot be absorbed and directly impact on private sector workers' ability to pay the bills. It creates conditions where people can easily fall behind.

The standard arguments used by public officials are not falling upon death ears but upon those muted by the realities of our own lives. My word to those who want to be wise are, we are all in the same boat and have to sacrifice.

Michael W. Kohlman, Parkville

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