Las Vegas Sun

January 20, 2019

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Claim that state workers suffering takes a lot of nerve

Remember the old line that “there are lies, damned lies and statistics”? And, yes, I am perfectly willing to have every reader of this letter keep that in mind. So I’d like to offer some numbers in response to a Sunday letter to the editor from Vishnu Subramaniam, of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, headlined “State workers unfairly being made scapegoats.” Mr. Subramaniam claimed, based on an Economic Policy Institute study from 2010, that public-sector workers make less on average than their private-sector counterparts.

According to a Nevada Employment Department report for 2009 (latest year available), the average state employee wage was $52,294, right in line with local government’s $51,788 and 27 percent higher than the average private-sector wage of $41,125.

Breaking it down by industry, of the 10 private-sector categories, only “natural resources and mining” had a higher annual wage and only “government” saw wages increase since 2007.

You have to give AFSCME credit for chutzpah. The audacity to suggest its members are suffering and struggling to survive this economic nightmare — when, in fact, their standard of living is actually higher than it was before the downturn hit — takes a level of hubris unmatched by any faction in our society.

One wonders how long it will take our private sector’s social and economic leadership to see through this nonsense and put a stop to it.

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