California’s fiscal crisis

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Philip Greenspun explains California’s fiscal crisis:

The median wage of a California state employee is $66,000. The median wage among all Californians (including those state workers) is just over $36,000. The state employee can retire with a full pension in his or her late 40s or early 50s, which essentially means that the taxpayers have to pay for double the number of state workers that are required to provide current services. In addition to salaries that are much higher than private sector equivalents, the state employee has health care and other benefits that by themselves may exceed the total compensation of a full-time private sector employee. The reasonable question to ask is not “How did they run out of cash?” but “How was this ever supposed to work?”

Further, adjusted for inflation, California government now spends 3.5 times as much per citizen as it did in 1970.

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