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Steve Kriesberg, head of collective bargaining for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees—“We Make Things Happen”—takes on my public sector pay work with Jason Richwine. What he really needs to take is a class on how to use Google.
For instance, regarding our recent Wall Street Journal op-ed showing that public employees work significantly shorter hours than private sector workers, Kreisberg says that Jason and I “have not fully revealed how [we] have performed [our] analysis.” Um, except for here. He also calls the American Time Use Survey, our main source of data, “a purported measure of how Americans spend their time.” Why do I suspect he’d have omitted the “purported” part if it had supported AFSCME’s views?
Kreisberg then says, “Their ‘research’ showing that teachers have less academic qualification to teach than other college graduates was so shoddy, their own right-wing think tanks banished it from their websites.” Really? Google “biggs richwine teachers” and see what you find. Moreover, most of our work on the academic qualifications of teachers cited either government data or peer-reviewed academic studies. Whatever.
As a bonus, Kreisberg hits my work on Social Security: “Biggs received fame, but not much fortune, as the advocate of former Pres. George W. Bush’s failed proposal to privatize Social Security. If the country had followed his lead in 2005, our economic losses would have been virtually incalculable when the stock market collapsed in 2008 and 2009.”
Well, not quite incalculable. As I wrote in a 2008 AEI paper,
“…despite the recent market downturn, individuals investing four percentage points of the 12.4 percent payroll tax in a personal account holding a “life-cycle” portfolio and retiring today would have increased their total Social Security benefits by more than 15 percent. Moreover, a simulation of ninety-five cohorts of individuals retiring from 1915 through 2008 found that all of them would have increased their total Social Security benefits by holding personal accounts.”
Really guys, is this the best you’ve got? Happy holidays!
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