In the past weeks, Canadian taxpayers were shocked to learn of eHealth CEO Sarah Kramer’s astronomical $350,000+ salary, along with her doling out $5,000,000 in untendered contracts, and no progress to show for it. She’s since been canned and the government is pretending to be outraged, but in reality how much of an anomaly is this behaviour? How shocked should we be?
It’s completely naive to think that with a generally uninformed public, a lax media and nobody to be accountable to, the government takes any responsibility when they spend our money and that this case is the exception rather than the rule.
I found a post over at Lew Rockwell’s blog by an anonymous author who claims to be a government employee. He’s writing about American government, but it applies here just the same. Have a look:
You’re looking for a job. You want to get paid several times your worth, come and go when you please, work only when you feel like it, take as long a lunch as you want, and get ten paid holidays per year and six weeks paid vacation per year. There’s only one way to go: work for the federal government.
Few Americans, I’m afraid, have any idea, what it’s like. If they did, there would be a political earthquake. As a member of the Parasitic Class for 15 years, I have witnessed and participated in this corrupt and grotesquely unfair system first hand. I am both qualified and morally obligated to expose it.
You could, of course, call me a hypocrite. I have prospered financially beyond my wildest dreams. Given my talents and work, my standard of living is higher than anything I could earn in the private sector.
But by reading the right books, and talking at length with my wife (a private-sector employee) and our friends in the private sector, I have come to see this repugnant system for what it’s worth.
What draws people to government work? What keeps them there for a lifetime? It’s simple: overcompensation, huge benefits, and great working conditions. It’s attractive to sign up and nearly impossible to leave. That’s because the government, by and large, rewards skills and experience that are unmarketable in the private sector, at least not at the same level of pay.
Take me for example. I have a degree in political science. I write, edit, and research. The taxpayers pay me approximately $65,000 in salary, excluding benefits. I could not legally earn this in the private sector. If you don’t believe me, peruse the want ads. Salaries for “writer/editor” and “research analyst” start in the low $20s.
(read the rest here)
Is it real or, just an anonymous fraud? Try reading ‘Sarah Kramer’ at the end instead of “Mr. X” and its validity suddenly doesn’t seem so implausible. I now challenge you to try the same exercise but with with “Mr. McGuinty” instead. The exercise shouldn’t be a difficult one.