Politics Magazine

Poll Shows A Disrespect For Government Workers

Posted on the 13 January 2014 by Jobsanger
Poll Shows A Disrespect For Government Workers Having spent most of my working life as a government worker (for the state of Texas), I have to admit that a recent Rasmussen Poll made me a bit angry -- because it shows that too many Americans don't respect government workers. The survey was done of 1,000 likely voters on January 6th and 7th (and had a 3 point margin of error).
According to that poll, nearly half of the public (46%) thinks that government workers make more money than those working in the private sector. In addition, only about 10% said government workers worked harder. That's outrageous. While government workers may not work harder than those in the private sector, they work as hard. And many times those workers are doing dangerous or difficult work that most other people would not want to do.
And they don't do it because they get paid any big money. While a few agency heads may make some pretty good money, the bulk of government workers don't make much at all. Most wouldn't even come close to the median salary of an American worker (although they do make a little more than the growing number of minimum wage workers).
Why do they do it then? Why do they work difficult and many times dangerous jobs for very little pay? Because they love their community, state, and country -- and they want to serve their fellow citizens. That may sound rather fatuous and self-serving, but I believe it to be true. Almost all of the government workers I have known were very hard workers, who were proud to be serving their community -- and knew when they accepted the job that they would probably never make as much money as they could make in the private sector.
I think this public respect for government workers is because of the lies being repeated by Republican officials. They want people to believe government workers are lazy and inefficient, and make more money than they are worth. They want people to believe that so they can more easily impose austerity measures, and get rid of those workers (so their rich friends can get tax cuts) -- and sadly, they have convinced too many Americans that this is the case.
Government workers are not lazy and most are very efficient, and they aren't paid adequately for what they do. They should have the respect and appreciation of their fellow citizens. And the Republicans should be ashamed of demonizing those workers.

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