A crescendo of grumbling

To that end, in pre-election letters written at the behest of and distributed by a 600,000-member union, the American Federation of Government Employees, then-candidate Obama assured federal employees his election would bring about the Era of Big Government 2.0, complete with more muscle, money and manpower for government agencies, more unionization of the federal work force, and more freedom for government employees to freelance when conducting "scientific research" and regulating the workplace, the environment and the private sector.

Government employees voted overwhelmingly for Sen. Obama. Whether he keeps any of these and his other promises remains to be seen. But federal employees are optimistic he will allow them once again to do their jobs as they define them.

Yeah, the poor saps sure are abused. First, every payday, they are insulted with checks that are only about twice — more than $100,000 a year on average — what comparable work fetches in the private sector, Cato Institute research has found.

Then, as Cato notes, they get "health benefits, retirement health benefits, a pension plan with inflation protection, and a retirement savings plan with a very generous match. (By contrast, 40 percent of private-sector workers do not have access to an employer retirement plan at all.)

"Federal workers typically have generous holiday and vacation schedules, flexible work hours, training options, incentive awards, excessive disability benefits, flexible spending accounts, union protections and a usually more relaxed pace of work than private workers."

Why these people continue to work in the federal sweatshop while working and economic conditions in the private sector are so rosy is beyond us.

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