Last week in The Oklahoman, OCPA adjunct scholar Russell Jones, a marketing professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, took aim at the notion that “our economic difficulties would disappear if we hired more government workers.” To do so, Jones pointed out, “we'd have to take money from taxpayers and no new value would be created. No one spends money more efficiently than those who earn it. A taxpayer will buy more value with a dollar he earns than the government will with a dollar it takes from a taxpayer.”
Moreover, Jones said, “Oklahoma ranks 14th in the number of government employees per 10,000 population,” according to the U.S. Census Bureau. “Oklahoma governments have 18,048 more full-time equivalent employees than our population justifies. These employees are paid $709,018,036 per year. I fail to see how adding to these numbers would benefit Oklahoma.”
Moreover, according to a report yesterday in USA Today, Oklahoma’s public employees earn higher average pay and benefits than Oklahoma’s private-sector workers.