Neal Freeman writes at National Review Online about the public sector’s inflated compensation.

I wrote … about a report from the Committee to Unleash Prosperity (CTUP), the group headed by The Redoubtables — Steve Moore, Steve Forbes, and Art Laffer — to the effect that the average government employee now makes more in wages and benefits than the average private-sector employee. Forty percent more.

Some readers begged to differ. Not to contest the general point that government workers are more highly compensated, but rather to assert that CTUP’s 40 percent number is too high. I spent a morning rooting around in the data and concluded preliminarily that, at least for comparable work — on an apples-to-apples basis, that is, rather than fruit-to-fruit — the 40 percent figure may be considerably understated.

But just this once, let’s leave the money details to one side. Let’s talk about the principle of the thing.

It has long been embedded in the national imagination that the government worker, at some financial sacrifice to himself, is serving the nation we all share as fellow citizens. Thus the term “public servant,” which carries with it the clear implication that the private citizen is thought to be superior, in terms of the civic hierarchy at least, to the government employee.

How then, did the government employee come to enjoy virtually lifetime job security while at the same time becoming more highly compensated than the people he is said to be serving?

The answer is that, over the years, you have given the government employee one raise after another, one health-care benefit after another, one pension bump after another.

Do you remember why you did so? Was it to express your gratitude to Homeland Security for keeping you safe in your person and secure in your property? …

… You probably don’t recall those compensation discussions because you were not part of them. The “negotiations” to set pay and benefits for government employees, which are conducted between two groups of government employees, tend to be resolved quickly and with alarming amicability.