Letter: Salary comparison unbalanced
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The June 5 and 6 story series on top public salaries that compared public and private salaries was terribly misleading. I know of no public sector employee who has any “skin in the game” (personal money). A public executive has no capital at risk and is seldom fired. If fired, there is usually a big cash settlement.
The directors of schools, public utilities, ports, etc., set the salaries but have none of their own dollars invested, so they give raises because it’s not out of their own pocket. Compare that to the entrepreneur who has his blood, sweat, and borrowed dollars in a business and has employees depending on him for their livelihood. That is why employees of nonprofit corporations — cities, fire and police departments, schools, state governments, public utility departments, ports, etc. — are usually overpaid.
Like golfer Lee Trevino once indicated, pressure is playing a $10 Nassau with $5 in your pocket. Many entrepreneurs have been there and deserve rich rewards. When there is no personal financial risk and you don’t consider benefits, you have nothing to compare.
Risk is a big factor in the compensation equation.
Rodgers H. Cook, Vancouver