12:00 PM EDT, April 9, 2013
As talk of the sequester ratchets upward in the ranks of government employees who might be affected ("Sequester furloughs begin for U.S. public defenders," April 4), here's a quick word of advice: Keep the whining to yourselves! While readers generally do not like to hear of the government's heavy handed financial impact on fellow citizens, the vast majority don't shed crocodile tears over discussions of government employee furloughs "of up to 14 days."
Before posting lengthy editorials on the possible negative effects of the sequester, please consider how those in the private sector — outside of the golden triangle of government contractors, finance and health care — have been brutalized by the recession. For these private sector employees, there has been a range of negative consequences that would cause public sector employees to run for the exits. Things like mass layoffs, elimination of pensions or health benefits or demotion from full-time to part-time employment status. Please also consider that this golden triangle that has largely escaped the recession accounts for 25 percent or less of the workforce and that the vast majority of readers feel no great sympathy for the plight of public employees.
Matter of fact, a 5 percent pay reduction or a 14-day furlough doesn't sound like a bad deal to many in the private sector who routinely give up nights and weekends working for no compensation whatsoever in order to save their jobs. And remember, public employees aren't about to lose their pensions or health insurance. There seems to be an incredible lack of perspective in public sector discussion of the potential perils of the sequester. It would better serve the interests of public sector unions if sequester discussion was confined to trade publications. Ultimately, it will take a much more severe reduction in public sector compensation to bring it into parity with that of the private sector.
Gary Moyer, Baltimore
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