State and county bureaucrats, still rolling in the dough

We all know the stories, at least if we live in California or New York, about the California prison guards who retire on six-figure pensions, or the school custodians who, for their six-figure salaries, can't be bothered to sweep the floors at New York's run-down public schools.

Turns out those outrages aren't just apocryphal; they are going on now.  According to an item in ZeroHedge, via Forbes, citing a new data compilation at OpenTheBooks:

The work of our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com tells a compelling story: Public service is supposed to be about serving the people. However, the good intentions of America's 19 million public employees come at a very high price for the people – nearly $1 trillion. In many cases, taxpayers generously fund these employee salaries.

Our online database is free to use and includes most employees within the federal, state, and local governments. You can search in your backyard or across the nation. Find out just how much public employees made last year. The salary records include name, salary, position title, and employer for 2017.

The data is full of stunning examples.

  • Tree trimmers in Chicago lopped off $106,000.
  • New York City school janitors cleaned off $165,000 while out earning the principals at $135,000.
  • Lifeguards in Los Angeles County, California, made up to $365,000.
  • In the small school district in Southlake, Texas (8,000 students), the school superintendent earned $420,000.

You'll work till 80 so they can retire at 50, and you'll pay those monster pensions to boot.

How do these things happen?  How do crummy little bureaucrats in tiny towns wind up with such gargantuan takings after offering so little of value to the taxpayers?  It's striking because whole towns can go under based on this kind of corruption — if you read the sad history of Steubenville and how it became an ugly rust-belt town instead of a vibrant city, well, turns out corruption figured prominently, based on this description in Wikipedia.

Why is this going on, and why is no one watching?  Why are the watchdogs not watching, meaning the press?  The late great Tom Wolfe noted, way back in the 1970s, that corruption in small cities was likely rampant because the local media were not going to spot it.  Why?  Because they were too focused on the grandiosity of things in Washington.  And in journalism schools, students are always taught to suck it up and cover boring city council meetings and other local news, not because they are important in themselves but because better stuff would happen from there.  Town news was sold as a means to an end, and yes, a boring one, but a necessary stepping stone.  Almost makes one think we've all been had.  

It's almost as if the claim that covering city councils and boards of education is a means of paying one's career dues was the invention of these trough-dwellers.  Pay attention to the feds and beyond, the power above; pay no attention to me, because, well, I'm making my pile, even as my city falls apart. 

And to make it even more paradoxical, these wealthy city and state minions are among the most woke people in America, people who would gladly steal the salt shaker off your table or tax you to high heavens and tell you it's for your own good.  And then poormouth city finances, calling for more taxes, more funds.  Yet as they grow rich and fat beyond any merit they hold other than their political connections, virtually all of them are Democrats — who, again, want to share the wealth — your wealth, that is — because they've made their pile.  Who again, is the Party of the Rich?

We all know the stories, at least if we live in California or New York, about the California prison guards who retire on six-figure pensions, or the school custodians who, for their six-figure salaries, can't be bothered to sweep the floors at New York's run-down public schools.

Turns out those outrages aren't just apocryphal; they are going on now.  According to an item in ZeroHedge, via Forbes, citing a new data compilation at OpenTheBooks:

The work of our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com tells a compelling story: Public service is supposed to be about serving the people. However, the good intentions of America's 19 million public employees come at a very high price for the people – nearly $1 trillion. In many cases, taxpayers generously fund these employee salaries.

Our online database is free to use and includes most employees within the federal, state, and local governments. You can search in your backyard or across the nation. Find out just how much public employees made last year. The salary records include name, salary, position title, and employer for 2017.

The data is full of stunning examples.

  • Tree trimmers in Chicago lopped off $106,000.
  • New York City school janitors cleaned off $165,000 while out earning the principals at $135,000.
  • Lifeguards in Los Angeles County, California, made up to $365,000.
  • In the small school district in Southlake, Texas (8,000 students), the school superintendent earned $420,000.

You'll work till 80 so they can retire at 50, and you'll pay those monster pensions to boot.

How do these things happen?  How do crummy little bureaucrats in tiny towns wind up with such gargantuan takings after offering so little of value to the taxpayers?  It's striking because whole towns can go under based on this kind of corruption — if you read the sad history of Steubenville and how it became an ugly rust-belt town instead of a vibrant city, well, turns out corruption figured prominently, based on this description in Wikipedia.

Why is this going on, and why is no one watching?  Why are the watchdogs not watching, meaning the press?  The late great Tom Wolfe noted, way back in the 1970s, that corruption in small cities was likely rampant because the local media were not going to spot it.  Why?  Because they were too focused on the grandiosity of things in Washington.  And in journalism schools, students are always taught to suck it up and cover boring city council meetings and other local news, not because they are important in themselves but because better stuff would happen from there.  Town news was sold as a means to an end, and yes, a boring one, but a necessary stepping stone.  Almost makes one think we've all been had.  

It's almost as if the claim that covering city councils and boards of education is a means of paying one's career dues was the invention of these trough-dwellers.  Pay attention to the feds and beyond, the power above; pay no attention to me, because, well, I'm making my pile, even as my city falls apart. 

And to make it even more paradoxical, these wealthy city and state minions are among the most woke people in America, people who would gladly steal the salt shaker off your table or tax you to high heavens and tell you it's for your own good.  And then poormouth city finances, calling for more taxes, more funds.  Yet as they grow rich and fat beyond any merit they hold other than their political connections, virtually all of them are Democrats — who, again, want to share the wealth — your wealth, that is — because they've made their pile.  Who again, is the Party of the Rich?