Cognitive Dissonance

Capital Punishment goes after The Capital over their publication of a list of county employees who make over $100K (usually liberals refer to them as “the wealthy”) and says:

CP would like to see The Capital print the salaries of its top executives. We all know what a pittance it pays its reporters, but if they are going to print the complete list of every government official earning over $100k per year, don’t we deserve to know what their top exec’s make? Don’t we deserve to know their corporate financial details?

He misses the point. County employees are called “public sector” employees for a reason. They work for the public and the public has an inherent right to know not only their compensation package but their work rules. This is sort of gobsmacking when a conservative has to remind a liberal about openness in government. The subset of this concern about salaries is whether the people are being paid commensurate with their duties.

The Capital is privately owned (word of the week: private)and is under no obligation to reveal its financial workings.

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For instance, we wrote last week about how Speaker Mike Busch pulls in over $100K as a county employee (ironically running the parks for the county)while also making $80K as a Speaker. Some may see no conflict here but I think most of us would agree that the county provides Mr. Busch with a much more liberal leave and absentee policy than most of us have.

From this point he goes on to exhibit a lack of understanding of some basic principles of blue collar work and general administration.

Cops, firefighters, and paramedics rack up a lot of overtime because it is cheaper to pay them overtime than it is to hire a new one. Capital Punishment conveniently ignores the costs of training them. And he ignores the fact that the overhead and fringe benefits paid (sick leave, annual leave, social security , pension benefits, insurance) are both expensive and fixed. For instance, once you earn $97,500 social security contributions cease saving the employer 6.2% So it is much cheaper to pay time-and-a-half, or even double-time, than it is to hire a new worker.

They also work lots of overtime because a lot of them like their work and the extra money is nice. If you’ve ever worked in a blue collar job, whether in public safety, construction, or manufacturing, you’ll know there is no shortage of volunteers for overtime.

But CP does make a good point. Public eduction is plagued by administrators and specialists. I don’t know that I agree that we need more guidance counselors but for sure we need to get more of the school personnel budget into the classroom and out of the headquarters. The general public sector has the same problem.

This is where the cognitive dissonance comes in. Somehow we are supposed to disapprove of The Capital publishing the high earners in county government and simultaneously condemn them for not publishing the same information on the school system. Just because The Capital has been negligent on one front doesn’t mean they were wrong on the other.

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