By Joe Sinagra | The Save Jersey Blog
A major cause of “income equality” to the extent it exists, Save Jerseyans? New jobs created during the recent recession pay far less than jobs lost during the recession.
The job market entered a particularly brutal spiral at the beginning of 2008 due to a cycle of unemployment, job losses, the closing of businesses, and cutting back of benefits offered. But many jobs outsourced overseas will never return to the U.S. even if there is a substantial recovery.
Those lucky enough to keep their jobs along with the perks and benefits were fortunate. Those that lost their jobs after spending years in a position were suddenly finding themselves competing for jobs that paid substantially less or jobs that weren’t even full time. College graduates were starting out in careers that paid much less than what their predecessors did, and although there is an uptick in the recovery underway, if history is any guide, they may never again take home those pre-recession wages.
And when the more-educated are earning less, Save Jerseyans, the slope becomes even more difficult to scale for those who are less educated.
There will always be those who make more, and those that make less; it’s a fact of life.
However, with that being said, even taking full account of the downturn in the economy, there is no income equality in government. Wages, salaries and benefits stay the same. There is no cutback in pay and no loss of perks and benefits. Someone starting a government position today will start with the same general compensatory outlook as their antecedent from five years ago including any increases that came along for that position. Pension and benefits reform is a once-in-a-generation (and very modest) exception to the rule. There is no accounting for economic downturns in public sector as there is in the private sector.
So the next time you hear your legislator bringing up the issue of income equality, ask them how it affects them personally and what they intend to give up to help those earning less.