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    Many people presume -mistakenly I must add- that just because someone is being paid to do something they therefore must be adding value.

    This claim is fanciful.

    Let's take two public workers, a fire fighter who's prepared to risk his life on a daily basis and a 'Romani Gypsy outreach co-ordinator' (a real job I saw Kent County Council advertise a while back), how are these two roles comparable? One worker is risking his neck to protect people and their property while the other is sitting around in an office all day firing off memos and dreaming up 'outreach plans' designed to reach out to a community that clearly don't want to be reached in the first place. One job is worthwhile and of value to the community while the other is a futile waste of money, yet according to some posters economically they're of equal worth because both the firefighter and the co-ordinator are paid similar sums.

    This sort of thing goes on in the private sector too. City bankers imo are overpaid in comparison to the value they add, but while it's ok to attack them attacking the public sector is somehow considered taboo.

    What I want to know is, do all public sector workers add value or do some add more value than others, and is value linked to your pay packet?
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    You could ask the same question about any worker.
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    (Original post by Scumbaggio)
    You could ask the same question about any worker.
    I did

    Let me put it another way. If we criticised bankers and bosses and multinationals for earning too much money (a criticism with some merit I should add) your average TSRer wouldn't think twice: of course they're being overpaid. But when it comes to the Hallowed Public Sector all of a sudden it's preposterous to assume that workers in this area can clear more than their market worth.

    If we know and accept that this principle can be true in the private sector why can't it be equally true when it comes to the public sector?
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    I think its fair to say that in any large organisation - public or private - you will get individuals who are paid more than they may be worth.
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    Many people presume -mistakenly I must add- that just because someone is being paid to do something they therefore must be adding value.

    This claim is fanciful.

    Let's take two public workers, a fire fighter who's prepared to risk his life on a daily basis and a 'Romani Gypsy outreach co-ordinator' (a real job I saw Kent County Council advertise a while back), how are these two roles comparable? One worker is risking his neck to protect people and their property while the other is sitting around in an office all day firing off memos and dreaming up 'outreach plans' designed to reach out to a community that clearly don't want to be reached in the first place. One job is worthwhile and of value to the community while the other is a futile waste of money, yet according to some posters economically they're of equal worth because both the firefighter and the co-ordinator are paid similar sums.

    This sort of thing goes on in the private sector too. City bankers imo are overpaid in comparison to the value they add, but while it's ok to attack them attacking the public sector is somehow considered taboo.

    What I want to know is, do all public sector workers add value or do some add more value than others, and is value linked to your pay packet?
    No. Most of them should be fired.


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    (Original post by Toothfairy123)
    No. Most of them should be fired.


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    Straight to the point!

    I like your style.
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    Many people presume -mistakenly I must add- that just because someone is being paid to do something they therefore must be adding value.

    This claim is fanciful.

    Let's take two public workers, a fire fighter who's prepared to risk his life on a daily basis and a 'Romani Gypsy outreach co-ordinator' (a real job I saw Kent County Council advertise a while back), how are these two roles comparable? One worker is risking his neck to protect people and their property while the other is sitting around in an office all day firing off memos and dreaming up 'outreach plans' designed to reach out to a community that clearly don't want to be reached in the first place. One job is worthwhile and of value to the community while the other is a futile waste of money, yet according to some posters economically they're of equal worth because both the firefighter and the co-ordinator are paid similar sums.

    This sort of thing goes on in the private sector too. City bankers imo are overpaid in comparison to the value they add, but while it's ok to attack them attacking the public sector is somehow considered taboo.

    What I want to know is, do all public sector workers add value or do some add more value than others, and is value linked to your pay packet?
    Broadly speaking, it is not as silly as you make out. The outreach woman (and it will be a woman...) is one of many whose jobs are created in response to a pot of money kept by the government for the purpose of reaching out to all disadvantaged communities. The department employs her to show the government they need that extra money and the budget should not be reduced. And, in turn, the government may receive the money from, say, an EU minority support fund.

    By having this fund, the EU or UK shows it is a stable, modern state with systems in place to prevent detrimental internecine conflict. This sort of metric attracts a certain sort of investor (in business, personal property...) who values a safe place to put his money/buy his mansion which is not subject to rampant ethnic divisions which could topple the government, create war and uncertainty...

    The government is also happy with the situation for the following reason. If a gypsy beats someone up or nicks someone's copper piping, people are going to get outraged because people are racist against the Roma, just like they used to be against the Jews. Foreign countries and anti-government media then move to criticise the government for not doing enough to reduce racism against the Roma, or to help them.

    In response to this criticism the government is able to point to its gypsy outreach woman and say, look, we do try, there are systems in place to integrate the Roma community.

    Next to all that PR magic the outreach woman can create, the fireman - who, while heroic, is just a chap who occasionally tries to stop houses burning down - doesn't seem quite so impressive any more.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Broadly speaking, it is not as silly as you make out. The outreach woman (and it will be a woman...) is one of many whose jobs are created in response to a pot of money kept by the government for the purpose of reaching out to all disadvantaged communities. The department employs her to show the government they need that extra money and the budget should not be reduced. And, in turn, the government may receive the money from, say, an EU minority support fund.

    By having this fund, the EU or UK shows it is a stable, modern state with systems in place to prevent detrimental internecine conflict. This sort of metric attracts a certain sort of investor (in business, personal property...) who values a safe place to put his money/buy his mansion which is not subject to rampant ethnic divisions which could topple the government, create war and uncertainty...

    The government is also happy with the situation for the following reason. If a gypsy beats someone up or nicks someone's copper piping, people are going to get outraged because people are racist against the Roma, just like they used to be against the Jews. Foreign countries and anti-government media then move to criticise the government for not doing enough to reduce racism against the Roma, or to help them.

    In response to this criticism the government is able to point to its gypsy outreach woman and say, look, we do try, there are systems in place to integrate the Roma community.

    Next to all that PR magic the outreach woman can create, the fireman - who, while heroic, is just a chap who occasionally tries to stop houses burning down - doesn't seem quite so impressive any more.
    For once I'm speechless...

    What a great, subversive post! Well done.
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    For once I'm speechless...

    What a great, subversive post! Well done.
    I think we are all speechless. He managed an argument which says that "state cultural opportunity and tolerance coordinators" are more useful than firemen.


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    (Original post by Toothfairy123)
    I think we are all speechless. He managed an argument which says that "state cultural opportunity and tolerance coordinators" are more useful than firemen.


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    I think it was meant to be tongue in cheek?

    That's the way I read it anyway.
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    I think most, if not all, public sector workers add value. Of course some add more value than others. I work in the private sector and I am sure that there are people who add more value than me. When you compare two jobs, you will almost always be able to say that, in your opinion, one is of more value. I think it is too far to say that that you would almost always be able to say that one is devoid of any value.

    Lets take the Romany Gypsy outreach person. The Romany Gypsy population have had a bit of a hard time - they are seen as a problem by most councils. All this stemmed from legislative changes years and years back which saw a lot of Romany Gypsies un-catered for. It does seem reasonable that you would need someone who was responsible for dealing with a group of people like Romany Gypsies. Of course I do not know what the job entails, but I am sure there is work to be done and this person does it and that is a good thing.
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    (Original post by InnerTemple)
    I think most, if not all, public sector workers add value. Of course some add more value than others. I work in the private sector and I am sure that there are people who add more value than me. When you compare two jobs, you will almost always be able to say that, in your opinion, one is of more value. I think it is too far to say that that you would almost always be able to say that one is devoid of any value.

    Lets take the Romany Gypsy outreach person. The Romany Gypsy population have had a bit of a hard time - they are seen as a problem by most councils. All this stemmed from legislative changes years and years back which saw a lot of Romany Gypsies un-catered for. It does seem reasonable that you would need someone who was responsible for dealing with a group of people like Romany Gypsies. Of course I do not know what the job entails, but I am sure there is work to be done and this person does it and that is a good thing.
    Because of the unique way the state prices it's services it's more difficult to calculate the value added by public sector workers. If a private company spends £x buying materials and generates £x selling them we can net the two figures off and accurately measure how much value the company is producing. This is v.difficult with the state because it doesn't sell anything directly for profit, it taxes money out of the economy and redistributes it as cash and healthcare etc.

    If Romany Gyspy Outreach Workers are adding value I'd like to know in what capacity. Are they reducing the chances of crime for instance (which implies that Gypsies are more likely to break the law) or are they working as counsellors, in which case I'd question whether this is an essential service during the middle of a deep recession.

    I think there's a lot of waste in the public sector and the taxpayer would benefit enormously if scrapped many of the jobs, cut taxes (or even better substituted them for a land value tax) and encouraged our vast army of outreach officers etc to do something useful with their lives. It's patently obvious we can't afford to keep them all so a few tough decisions need to be made.
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    No value as far as I can see. My only response to the cuts is, 'MORE, MORE, MORE'.
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    I think it was meant to be tongue in cheek?

    That's the way I read it anyway.
    It was sincere.

    I cannot say whether firemen or outreach types are more important. They are plainly cogs in different parts of the system. But certainly the government does not simply give a salary to the outreach types for ****s and giggles. I believe what I posted was a fairly decent account of the different levels of bull**** that go on at various levels in order to keep these people in jobs. One such role is insignificant but it is a general culture of wishy-washy social stuff like this that, broadly, means people continue to see Europe as a safe, unrisky place where things won't go too catastrophically wrong before they can pull their money out.

    Do not underestimate what war and unrest do to the markets, macroeconomically. Even in our modern era, it is war, the most destructive form of uncertainty, that drives the big socioeconomic paradigm shifts as well as more simplistic metrics like how much deficit we have. Countries will do anything, pay anything to control unrest, and that includes domestic interracial unrest. Like it or not, the persuasive and imperceptible influence of structures like this is what means we don't have, say, race riots any more like we used to in the 1970s and 80s.

    A fireman's impact is quite small, I'd say. How often does a building burn down in your town? Probably about as often as there is a racial incident for which a community bonding social outreach bull**** adviser can stand up in front of the local media and say some PR stuff to lessen the impact on the government and make it seem like everyone knows what they're doing. Over time, this sort of thing has incalculable value for the way people like investors view the country. Why is this such a mad proposition? I'm not saying it's right, much less that it's sane, but if you consider the various forces that are likely to be at work, it is not a money pit into which the state is merrily throwing wads of notes, like you right-wingers and pro-austerity nuts seem to think.

    Remember that people are not paid salaries for the work they do, either its volume, difficulty or nobleness factor. They are paid salaries for the expected economic value they have to their employers.
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    I like the Office of National Statistics publications to get an insight into what is going on in Britain. There is a publication called "Regional Analysis of Public Sector Employment 2012" which has a rather startling graph for the North East of England. The North East has received a huge amount of public sector jobs but these are now being reduced (see figure 3). The graph is startling because it shows that for every public sector job that has gone more than one private sector job is being generated.

    OK, many of the private sector jobs generated after public sector cuts may not be "good quality" but if public sector jobs added financial value, if they added ££££s to the economy of the North East, then that economy would be increasingly depressed as public sector jobs are cut and there would be a loss of private sector jobs, not a huge gain.

    So, the ONS data seems to show that, on average, public sector jobs have a negative value to the economy. They depress the economy. Certainly we can talk about the value of individual fire fighters or policemen and truly show beyond doubt that they are valuable but over the whole public sector it seems that cutting one public sector job generates more than one private sector job.

    (This post only really makes sense in combination with the reply to Joined up in post 17 below)
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    (Original post by newpersonage)
    I like the Office of National Statistics publications to get an insight into what is going on in Britain. There is a publication called "Regional Analysis of Public Sector Employment 2012" which has a rather startling graph for the North East of England. The North East has received a huge amount of public sector jobs but these are now being reduced (see figure 3). The graph is startling because it shows that for every public sector job that has gone more than one private sector job is being generated.

    OK, many of the private sector jobs generated after public sector cuts may not be "good quality" but if public sector jobs added financial value, if they added ££££s to the economy of the North East, then that economy would be increasingly depressed as public sector jobs are cut and there would be a loss of private sector jobs, not a huge gain.

    So, the ONS data seems to show that, on average, public sector jobs have a negative value to the economy. They depress the economy. Certainly we can talk about the value of individual fire fighters or policemen and truly show beyond doubt that they are valuable but over the whole public sector it seems that cutting one public sector job generates more than one private sector job.
    headline private sector job creation may not necessarily be organic. it's not unheard of for government to bribe employers to set up in an area to mitigate large scale public sector jobs cuts.

    Are you sure the effect of public money stimuli incentives, euro dosh, enterprise zones etc has been filtered out?
    ---
    the daily mail likes to rant about gypsy out reach coordinators etc but gypsies aren't going to vanish and it's readers would likely blow a gasket if they had to personally deal with gypsies and local gypsy related problems themselves, they'd be screaming for someone else to do it.
    Sure there's a lot of public sector waste as well but it's difficult to quantify the value of preventing something negative, we shouldn't be in too much of a rush to declare public jobs worthless.
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    Joinedup, I agree that some public sector jobs are crucial. The trouble with the public sector is that it is an "overhead". Overheads are not bad, they are essential. In the bad times businesses rest on their overheads, well run businesses will, in the good times, have trained the staff, bought the right equipment and massaged their client base so that they can beat the competition in the bad times. What they never do, and cannot do, is invest in yet more overheads when times are bad. Overheads are not directly profitable. They do not directly add value.

    When times are good governments should make every effort to give the economy all the advantages it will need in the next downturn. Having 15 children in a primary school class instead of 25 might only pay back in 15 years, building a new motorway takes at least two years and pays back over decades etc....

    It is too late to make these investments when the downturn arrives and there is no money to do so anyway.
 
 
 
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