Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Plundering of Ontario

The City Journal reports on the sorry situation of California:

"The economy is struggling, the unemployment rate is high, and many Americans are struggling to pay the bills, but one class of Americans is doing quite well: government workers. Their pay levels are soaring, they enjoy unmatched benefits, and they remain largely immune from layoffs, except for some overly publicized cutbacks around the margins".
The situation in Ontario is not much different. The provincial government publishes the list of public employees who make more than $100k/year. With the last data available, this includes a mind boggling 53,300+ employees.

These employees (only those in the list) make a combined salary of over $6.9B, plus $59M in benefits.

The top 40 and the bottom 40 people in this list are shown below (names deleted, but they are publicly available at the site above). Please click to enlarge each list (last column shows taxable benefits, which are added to their salaries):

There are over 53,300 names that go in-between those two lists above.

The lists included thousands of firefighters, police officers, and common employees of Ontario Power Generation, among many others. It seems most people there make over $100k/ year.

For some reason the list does not include people in Ottawa's OC Transpo (bus drivers), where many also make huge salaries.

In the meantime, the province's deficit has ballooned to an expected 24.7B this year, according to its own Finance minister.

This debt will never be repaid. This province is as insolvent as California. These politicians know that sooner or later this situation will explode, most likely it will be for Ontario's children to pay the price.

What a crime.

You can download the entire comma-separated file here in zip format.

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Anonymous said...

A selected few OPG employees remain near the top year after year. I don't know how we're accepting this in Ontario. Since I don't see how OPG is more important or their people perform more difficult duties than say hospital or police chiefs.

Anonymous said...

Another note, why is the OPG CEO only paying like $9k of tax?! and so are most of the ones at the top of the list??? I am paying more tax than these folks with my puny salary!

The Shocked Investor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Shocked Investor said...

Governments (it's not only Provincial) seem unable and unwilling to put a stop to this. The situation in Ottawa is horrible as well, where a bunch of councillors exhibit the same weak behavior with municipal employees. They keep raising and raising taxes and are not willing to cut the fat.

The column where the $9k is are taxable benefits, on top if his salary they charge extra for expenses.

Anonymous said...

right, taxable benefits not taxes paid. my bad! thanks for the clarification.

they would "never" cut their fat, it's better to burn the faceless population than burning your friends when you're just in office for a few years. Your political friends are the connections that you'll need after you're out of office to pull strings with.

tech98 said...

Their pay levels are soaring, they enjoy unmatched benefits, and they remain largely immune from layoffs, except for some overly publicized cutbacks around the margins".

I'm sick of reading smug bull like this in business-oriented media that are strangely silent on the obscene paychecks of corporate executives.

I work in the California public university system, and just took a 7% pay cut. There have been several rounds of layoffs, and cutbacks in needed capital expenditures. My pay is 25-30% less than my counterparts in the private sector, and we do more with less people than my previous corporate employer. There is more stability, less bureaucracy than the corporate world (yes, really) and other non-monetary compensations that make it worthwhile for me to stay here, but it's not about money and benefits.

There are some executives, police and firemen who make outsize paychecks and benefits, but to portray all public sector employees as riding a lucrative gravy train is lazy stereotyping.

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