Private workers have lost pay, jobs

This is in response to the Feb. 28 letter, “Don’t balance it on workers’ backs,” from the government worker who complained about taxpayer-funded wages not being raised often enough.

She asks: “Why is it our responsibility to carry the rest of the state?” Is she kidding with that question and the thinking behind it? She’s a government worker! She brings absolutely no revenue into the state coffers; any taxes that come out of her taxpayer-funded paycheck are not new revenue into the state coffers.

It is the private businesses that carry the entire state government, albeit, sadly, with a smaller amount of help from all U.S. taxpayers via the U.S. government’s bailout of state governments.

She cries, “How would you feel if your boss came to you and said: We are in a budget crisis and need to cut costs. So we are going to cut your salary by 10 percent to make up the difference.” Every day, in order to stay in business, private companies reduce workers’ pay or, get this, lay them off, which reduces their pay by 100 percent!

I work with people from a company whose employees are taking a 10 percent pay cut by being furloughed for 20 days in 2010. The following information may be new to the government worker — being furloughed for 20 days amounts to almost exactly a 10 percent pay cut. And you know what? Those private sector workers are happy to be able to accept that pay cut and keep their job, rather than some getting laid off.

So, government worker, wise up about, and maybe even be thankful for, the real world of private enterprise — the world, and the people, who actually pay your salary, with or without your 10 percent pay cut.

John T. Weber

Mukilteo