Public Sector Wages – The Facts

Scott Walker’s recent comments at a supportive rally once again espoused the misinformation that public sector wages need to be brought into line with private sector wages. The inference is obviously that public sector employees make more than their private sector counterparts. This is a lie, which like so many that have been told over the past thirty days, if you repeat enough becomes accepted as fact. Take for example, Fox News. Cited about a minute into this “Daily Show” episode – notice the graphic in the background showing Wisconsin teachers earning an average salary, including benefits, of about $78,000/year. This is contrasted with the average American worker earning an average of about $38,000/yr.  http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/thu-march-3-2011-diane-ravitch

Taken at it’s face value, one would accept the statistics cited by the US Census Bureau and NEA as being true, which they are – as far as they go. The problem is the comparison of apples and oranges. The data for teachers includes highly educated and trained teaching professionals – some with advanced degrees. The data from the US Census Bureau takes into account ALL workers in the United States – including those employed at minimum wage positions – not a fair comparison.

Next posting – the real, apples to apples numbers – someone alert the Media!

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