December 30, 2009

MICHAEL BARONE:

It looks like a happy new year for you — if you’re a public employee.

That’s the takeaway from a recent Rasmussen poll that shows that 46 percent of government employees say the economy is getting better while just 31 percent say it’s getting worse. In contrast, 32 percent of those with private-sector jobs say the economy is getting better, while 49 percent it is getting worse.

Nearly half, 44 percent, of government employees rate their personal finances as good or excellent. Only 33 percent of private-sector employees do.

It sounds like public- and private-sector employees are looking at different Americas. And they are.

Private-sector employment peaked at 115.8 million in December 2007, when the recession officially began. It was down to 108.5 million last November. That’s a 6 percent decline.

Public-sector employment peaked at 22.6 million in August 2008. It fell a bit in 2009, then has rebounded back to 22.5 million in November. That’s less than a 1 percent decline.

This is not an accident; it is the result of deliberate public policy.

And only bitter-clinger types could possibly object. You know, extremists.

UPDATE: Reader Barry Dauphin writes: “Oh, so that’s what John Edwards meant about the two Americas!”