The New Class Warfare: The Public vs. Private Sector

A guest opinion by James Allen.  The original can be found here.

The New Class Warfare: The Public vs. Private Sector

During economically difficult times we need a way to unite under a common banner. Gender, race, and socio-economic class are so 20th century, and I have the solution to level the uneven playing field. As Americans, we first and foremost believe in liberty – you know that expression of freedom that allows individual talents and ideas to grow. My plan is to unite the country under a new “class warfare.” Unity requires a common enemy and what can be more common than appealing to the common authority – you know that thing we all despise because it wastes our money and tells us what to do, while smiling in the camera.

To win votes, this grinning leviathan called Government often likes to pit people against each other and say that it’s fighting for you, the little person, against that malevolent big person in what is called “class warfare”. But class warfare has been around for a long time and the old divisions, while still lingering to a certain extent, are losing their power. So, we need a new way to divide people. The new class warfare is not black against white or man against women or rich against poor or even minorities against the white-man. So, move over Jesse Jackson and the race hustling industry. Step aside John Edwards with your “Two Americas.” Get out of the way Rosy O’Donnell with your feminist dripping sarcasm, and Michael Moore take a few notes as we dismantle the separation between the proletariat and bourgeoisie.

The new class warfare is against the money-sucking-vacuum of the highly paid and under achieving public sector against the withering money-tree of the private sector – something all of us can get behind. Well, all of us except for the government workers out there, which, for the first time have actually exceeded those working the private sector…

Currently, we live under the assumption that those in power are experts – maybe expert campaigners, but that is a story for a different day. We are told that we need the state to fund state parks and we believe them. We are told that we have to pay an extra two percent sales tax on food to save police, fire fighters, teachers, libraries, and senior centers, and we don’t think twice. We are told that we can spend our way out of bankruptcy and we need more government regulation because the current government regulation just wasn’t quite stringent and controlling enough to do the trick. Yet, we are also told that higher taxes and higher regulation will somehow equal more jobs and boost the economy instead of strangling the private sector until it shrinks out of existence. Unfortunately, I have a sneaking suspicion that this could be the plan for some, but to those who don’t actually dream of a neo-Marxist utopian society, I believe we have more opportunity for good in the private sector, and this opportunity not only allows us to turn a profit (which is essentially the idea that a person has a right to keep the fruits of their labor), but to use our talents with our liberty to make the most of our communities and of ourselves and produce a pretty decent place to live. Utopia be damned!  The problem here is that federal, county, city and other elected officials are using our emotions against us. We need to be just as smart as they think they are and see through the constant appeals to pity, with which we are bombarded.

When government employees make 45% more than private sector employees, mixed together with 14.8 million Americans out of work or looking for work, we have the ingredients for a new “class warfare.” I know what you are thinking, and fairness and social justice for all is on my mind, as well. So, I made list of questions to help clarify my point.

  1. Should the public sector (or state) create jobs that the private sector can fill?
  2. What happens when public sector jobs can no longer pay for themselves?
  3. Why should government workers get paid so much?
  4. Should government workers’ benefits extend beyond the time that they are working?
  5. When did it become morally wrong to allow the private sector to pick up the opportunity for jobs that, in essence, they are already paying for through taxes?
  6. Do public sector jobs actually create anything besides more tax revenue from the private sector?
  7. Why has the stimulus plan profited public sector jobs more than private sector jobs?
  8. When we hear about private sector growth, why is it always in the context of “Green Jobs?”
  9. What would happen if the pay for public sector jobs were cut by 10 to 15%?
  10. Do we really need the government in so many aspects of out lives, as if we cannot be trusted in the creation of our own wealth?

This new class warfare is unfortunately a reality that we must face because our economy, properly understood, is one of the foundations of our society. This does not mean that gender wars have ceased or that racism is a thing of the past. It is rather one more mountain to overcome as the issue of fairness and justice are continually misunderstood, as we fight for the soul of America.


  1. Oberserve says

    Get ready for the Arizona Jobs Bill being pushed by Republicans.

    It has almost NOTHING to do with jobs and everything to do with the largest expansion in government spending and debt in Arizona state history.

    You ready to DOUBLE Arizona spending and indebtedness in ONE YEAR.

    Get ready.

    Here it comes.

  2. What a reasoned and thoughtful blog post, deserving of equally thoughtful comments. There’s no more accurate picture of what’s going on than a “money-sucking-vacuum of the highly paid and under achieving public sector.” It will take an intelligent effort on the part of small businesses to educate families and consumers about why the current situation can’t be sustained. Even though some businesses are partly vested in big government, CEO’s still understand principles of cash flow and that soon there won’t be any consumers if this keeps up.

  3. If anything, the market should be brought into play to redeem “public” education!

  4. Good article.

    An example of the problem can be found in our closed rest stops. Instead of allowing private ownership of that land and private development, the State taxed and used the money to build actually very elaborate structures – which probably could have been built as well for less under private ownership, but still, it was a solid display of tax money being put to a very useful and appreciated public service.

    Now, the rest stops are closed for lack of state funding to provide personnel and supplies for them. The exits are blocked off, motorists and TRUCKERS who counted on those stops to break up LONG distances must bail onto hazardous ramp parking, dangerous stops on the shoulders of the highway … forced, though fatigued to keep driving on long desolate stretches of highway, looking for exits with services, parking, rest rooms.

    ALL the businesses that operate on the exits that have private ownership are still open, providing fuel, rest rooms, food, lodging. They are still operating, serving the traveling public despite higher taxes, higher mandated wages, lower traffic, and less money for start-up than the state had.

    The state can’t figure it out with all the “experts” but the private business man and woman can. A classic case where the state should have not expanded into rest stop services that the private sector can do, and does better. The state has used up taxpayer money to build edifices the state won’t even let the public use now, leaving the highways more hazardous than they were without rest stops. At least before no one expected they’d be there and planned accordingly. Now worn travelers are blinking in astonishment, slowing down and can’t believe their eyes…”closed?” They suck it up and drive past into the miles ahead for the first exit with an “evil” McDonalds, the golden arches – a warm and inviting beacon – in the dark, desert night which tells all the weary travelers McDonalds, food, bathrooms, shelter is OPEN.
    The State (and Feds) not only closes off public-paid services, it blocks private development from stepping up and filling the gap by grabbing up lands then sitting on them so they can’t be developed.

  5. John Doe, P.E, says

    How the hell is a McDonald restaurant a bastion of public safety?

    The state created the problem of not properly funding rest stops, as well as roads and schools. These continuing rants are becoming boring. Man up and force the legislature to properly fund public works projects already paid for by the taxpayers.

  6. This entire article is based on the false premise that government workers are overpaid because the mean of all private sector pay is lower than public sector pay. This would be like claiming that people at a law office of overpaid compared to people at the Denny’s across the street because the average salary is greater at the law office.

    Also, one would get the impression that the public sector workforce has been growing faster that the private sector, but nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, the percentage is lower now than it was 30 years ago.

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