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On Facts and Stats



December 21, 2011 – Comments (4)

I was just reading Facts and Stats That Blew My Mind, and WalMart being the second largest employer behind only the government kind of blew my mind as well.

Consider the difference between a WalMart job and a government job.  How many WalMart jobs does it take to support one government job?

It seems to me that in my youth government jobs did not pay as well as private sector jobs but the trade off was better security and benefits.  What's the trade off now?

Well, with this kind of employment it is no surprise that 19% of 25-34 year old males are living with mom and dad.

On another thought, what a squeeze the economy is coming to.  I was just thinking that the aging population and increased retirements would help this demographic group out, but there is a trend of huge cuts to pay the pensions of the retiring group, and to reduce pay and benefits of newer employees.

Seeing how so much of this structure is pyramid, it going to be really interesting to see how all of these low paid workers are supposed to support the pyramid.

And, on even another note, my husband was saying that the BC worker's compensation board made about 1/3rd of one percent on the market this past year, but they were in good shape because the board has set two conservative guidelines for ensuring adequate funding for claims.  One is to aim for 115% of required funding and the other is they set their expected return at 3%, not this obscene 7-8% like many pension funds.  They had some good years on the market so they are currently at 125% funding.  

What a difference the economy would be if all funds had prudent standards. 

4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On December 27, 2011 at 12:53 PM, rfaramir (28.65) wrote:

"The company is the second-largest employer in the United States, behind only the government."

That was the fact that struck me the most, too. Every government employee ought to be counted as both unemployed and on support.

They're unemployed, essentially, because they do not produce anything. They contribute to notional GDP, but they're not part of the productive sector.

They're "on support" because they are not merely on low-level unemployment benefits for a limited time, but are at full salary for an unlimited time, dead weight paid for by us who really produce (the private sector).

They're actually worse then 'unemployed', though, when you really think about it. Most are implementing laws that restrict freedom, and therefore contribute to poverty, destroying wealth indirectly. Except for the military, which destroys wealth directly, since its purpose is to kill people and blow things up (with bombs which are former valuable property of US citizens). Even those few who provide a valuable service (defense, justice, police) do so at a higher cost for poorer service than the private sector can.


How much better off we would all be if there were fewer government employees? Or none?

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#2) On December 27, 2011 at 9:16 PM, griderX (97.52) wrote:

Just out of curiosity since the pension is fully funded have they considered implementing and LDI strategy?  I just recently attended a deep dive session highlighting pension investment of the major hurdles is convincing pension boards they need to preserve capital, it's amazing to hear funding levels of 100% :)


Tell me if want more info 

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#3) On December 28, 2011 at 11:03 AM, edwjm (99.90) wrote:

According to rfaramir, my life as a teacher was a waste.

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#4) On December 28, 2011 at 4:53 PM, rfaramir (28.65) wrote:

honorable edwjm,

I don't mean to insult you, but rather to indicate the sickness in the system. My time as a publicly paid firefighter was not a total waste, but private ones are more efficient. My father's time in Vietnam was honorable service but a tragic waste of several years of his life.

A teacher is an honorable profession mired in a dysfunctional system. Private schools do better, but homeschooling is best. Enforced confinement of children does not help them wish to do well (many do despite this). Stealing from citizens to give to school district bureaucrats to pay teachers imposes an agency problem: dysfunction because, unlike a private tutor, say, the client and the customer are two different people, and the teacher's loyalty to the one who pays him does not translate to loyalty to the students he teaches.

God bless all teachers who do their best for their students despite not being financially motivated to do so.

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