Thought I’d share this email from an Unshackle Upstate supporter, who offers his real-life perspective on the debate over public vs. private sector employee compensation.

This is from Dave S. We thank him for sharing his story, and invite you to do the same.  

“I read Steve Sink’s article in the business section of the Sunday Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, in which you were mentioned, regarding the potential for Albany to become the next Madison, Wisc.
 
One item of interest in the article, and the reason that I am writing to you now, was the point about how the recent recession has resulted in an imbalance of public vs. private sector pay and benefits.  The recession resulted in loss of jobs and salary cuts that few, if any, in the public sector experienced. 

I thought about this, and realized that there is another key point that needs to be made clear to all regarding this growing imbalance.  As bad and as long as this recession has been, it still is only a “point” on a business cycle.  The overlooked, and larger cause of imbalance has been and continues to be a trend – globalization!
 
Although it is a favorite vote winning topic for many politicians, America continues to lose private sector jobs to more cost competitive countries.  The corporations are made out to be the bad guys, but the fact of the matter is that corporations, like any consumer, are obligated to get the most value for their investment dollars.  We in the private sector may not like losing our jobs, but if we truly believe in the benefits of free market economies, we ultimately cannot object.
 
I myself just recently lost my job of 26 years, because the corporation decided to move its development operation to India.  This was not a recession related decision, but due to the recession, the timing could not have been worse. 

I was fortunate to find a job that I enjoy, however, even a small percentage of the cut in salary and benefits that I experienced would probably have the overly compensated public sector employee protesting in the streets (while continuing to be paid for the job they aren’t doing).
 
The public sector is immune to globalization. 

We can’t outsource our teachers, highway department, police, or other public workers to China or India.  They are fortunate, but the fact that they cannot even comprehend how this is straining the tax base, the people who provide their paycheck, is truly galling. 

I watched 60 Minutes a few weeks back, as a teacher confronted the governor of New Jersey and his proposed budget cuts, saying “you are not compensating me for my education!”  All I could think is, what an idiot.  Doesn’t this teacher realize that thousands of engineers with advanced degrees would be told that they would no longer be compensated for any education, as they lost their jobs to those overseas who could do it for less?  Perhaps she does, but frankly, doesn’t give a damn!”