I'd like to comment on Tina Dupuy's Feb. 2 commentary ("Government workers are the new illegal aliens") about her idea of what a job is. She has issues with anyone who says government can't create jobs. She states "to those of us who work for a living, a job is a job."
In one sense, she is correct. What she doesn't seem to understand is where the money comes from to pay for those jobs. Private sector jobs create the wealth that funds the economy, and part of that wealth is taxed to pay for the government jobs. Virtually all government jobs are paid for with taxes withheld from jobs in the private sector. That's the difference.
Dupuy also states that the government "saved" GM and "made it profitable again." Really? I'd be willing to bet the thousands of the original GM shareholders and bondholders would take issue with that assertion. Borrowing money from less-wealthy countries to keep an auto manufacturer afloat doesn't "save" jobs, it only adds to our national debt.
She also talked about the "banksters" and "hucksters on Wall Street" who "wrecked our economy". If my recollection is correct, those hucksters on Wall Street and banksters were encouraged by...guess who -- government employees, like the ones that repealed the Glass Steagall Act, and later initiated the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 which got the whole CDO and Credit Default Swap debacle started. Those people were the real culprits in wrecking the economy.
Jim Galpin, Chandler
Thank you Ms. Dupuy for a very well laid out and simple explanation to people of what "government jobs" are and that they are not always a waste. I worked for a few years at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and saw firsthand those who were dedicated and working at a lower salary than their private industry counterparts (ie: engineers and technically trained specialists). And I saw those who just sat around and transferred from one department to another for a 25-cent per hour raise and were just happy to do as little as possible and get away with it because of the job security - which, I believe is due to it being difficult to fire someone from government positions.
I agree that those lazy people should not keep their jobs and probably are in wasteful positions. I do not, however, feel that means we throw the baby out with the bathwater and call everyone a waste of jobs and money! Just because something needs some trimming and reform does not mean you shut it down or eliminate it completely!
Thank you again for writing a great piece.
Alisa Clyne, Tempe
Government workers are the new illegal aliens? Looks as though the Ice Princess has really gone off the deep end. Tina Dupuy is usually only writing for one audience, but I will take the bait here.
She purports that government jobs feed economic recovery and pans the evil "right" for wanting to balance budgets by trimming down government workers. I will give her one point, the government job certainly impacts the economics of the hired worker and no one would question the desire for the individual to try to do the best they can for themselves and their family. However, those in control of government should be looking out for the prosperity of all, not just the few. Recent studies have shown that government workers are consistently paid significantly more then those in the private sector for similar jobs. Most reasonable people realize that the government is generally less efficient at accomplishing things then the private sector - see Post Office vs. FedEx.
Here is a story that will help Dupuy and her regular readers understand the irony of her theory. I wash my car about every two weeks or so. My daughter is still in high school and currently is unemployed. I could "hire" her to wash the car and tell her I will pay her $20. She would likely go out and make a day of washing the car and probably do a so-so job of it. Conversely, I could take it to a drive-through automatic wash and for $6 get a very good job done. Bottom line, paying my daughter more then the job is worth doesn't bring more money into my household and certainly doesn't get my car as clean.
Taking more money through taxes and paying government workers exorbitantly doesn't make the economy better. Just takes money away from people who have earned it and gives others a false expectation of their work.
Ed Glancy, Mesa