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View Diary: Private contractors cost more than federal workers in 33 of 35 cases, study finds (140 comments)

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  •  Yes, what you wrote is misleading. (0+ / 0-)

    I worked for the Forest Service in the early 1980sand every study done internally showed that projects done in house by federal workers cost less. This doesn't include projects or work that required some specialized skills not found on the typical district, but all other projects were found to be cheaper, the quality better and quantity of task accomplished higher.

    But the politics in the conservative era demanded that tax payer money be wasted and work "privatized". Although I've never understood how something payed for with tax dollars is private sector.

    The public got less accomplished for more tax dollars and the small rural communities lost steady jobs that allowed people to own homes and retire in places they loved living in. The contracted workers are almost never locals, except for some loggers, and the wages weren't spent locally.

    Lose lose for everyone but the happy contractors.  

    •  Nothing in my post is untrue. (0+ / 0-)

      As I said, perhaps not clearly, is that sometimes, yes government is more efficient.  But studies that compare contractor's employee hourly rates versus federal employee compensation, as the diarist has done, are simply not comparing the same thing.

      I work a lot with the USACE.  They are great, worthy public works projects.  They are highly competitive.

      •  You more likely to see employees doing (0+ / 0-)

        labor intensive work for contractors getting paid less than federal employees. Even with federal wage standards. And that is because of widespread cheating by contractors. They low bid a job and get employees to agree to a lessor wage than mandated by the regs. Contractors will often have 30 workers on a job that they should only be able to employ 5 or 10 given their bid.

        Cheating on wage amounts to be paid to employees is the number one reason contractors lose their licenses to bid for federal forestry projects.

        A geologist, botanist, of hydrologist is paid, on average 10 to 20% less than a private sector counterpart. The trade off used to be steady employment and secure retirement.

        Our know it all financial overlords are blowing up this arrangement. Just as they have been blowing up the private sector middle class. It's their knowy allness that is fucking up America's future.

        •  I think we agree more than we think... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Grabber by the Heel

          Everyone is hurting.  In my state, engineering consulting is down 70 to 90% depending on who you talk to.  There used to be bi-partisan consensus (back in the 50s and 60s) that a strong middle class was essential to national security.  That consensus seems to have vanished.  You might expect it from the Republicans, but I didn't see it coming from the Democrats. The Democrats used to at least talk about about helping working people.  

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