Mort Zuckerman Is Back, Blasting American Socialism; Or How America’s Public Servants Are Now Its Masters

Tyler Durden's picture

The man who has rapidly emerged as the most vocal Obama critic, Mort Zuckerman, has just penned his most recent scathing anti-administration missive, this time focusing on the schism in US society between "preferred-status" public and shunned private-sector employees, concluding that "Americans cannot maintain their essential faith in government if there are two Americas, in which the private sector subsidises the disproportionate benefits of this new public sector elite." Is this most recent split in US society being cultivated to take the place of the Wall Street - Main Street dialectic, which even Obama is now forced to realize is a fight he is set to lose (just imagine how anti-Obama Cramer would get if stocks drop by 0.001% during the teleprompter's next media appearance)? Certainly, in a society that exists simply on the basis of a simple ongoing "us versus them" distraction, while the true crimes continue unabated behind the scenes, this is not an impossible assumption. Here's a suggestion to Mort and whoever else wishes to peddle more such diversions: how about framing the next conflict where it rightfully belongs: as that between America's people and its criminal ruling elite?

Full Op-Ed below:

America’s public servants are now its masters, first published in the Financial Times

by Mort Zuckerman

There really are two Americas, but they are not captured by the
standard class warfare speeches that dramatise the gulf between the rich
and the poor. Of the new divisions, one is the gap between employed and
unemployed that President Barack Obama seeks to close with yet another $50bn stimulus programme.
Another is between workers in the private and public sectors. No
guesses which are the more protected. A recent study by the Mayo
Research Institute found that “private-sector workers were nearly three
times more likely to be jobless than public-sector workers”.

tension is bound to grow when jobs disappear faster in the private than
the public sector, just as compensation in the former is squeezed more.
There was a time when government work offered lower salaries than
comparable jobs in the private sector, a difference for which the public
sector compensated by providing more security and better benefits. No
longer. These days, government employees are better off in almost every
area: pay, benefits, time off and security, on top of working fewer
hours. Public workers have become a privileged class – an elite who live
better than their private-sector counterparts. Public servants have
become the public’s masters.

Take federal employees. For nine
years in a row, they have been awarded bigger average pay and benefit
increases than private-sector workers. In 2008, the average wage for
1.9m federal civilian workers was more than $79,000, against an average
of about $50,000 for the nation’s 108m private-sector workers, measured
in full-time equivalents. Ninety per cent of government employees
receive lifetime pension benefits versus 18 per cent of private
employees. Public service employees continue to gain annual salary
increases; they retire earlier with instant, guaranteed benefits paid
for with the taxes of those very same private-sector workers.

troubling still is the inherent political corruption. Elected officials
tend to be accommodating when confronted by powerful constituencies
such as the public service unions that agitate for plush benefits and
often provide (or deny) a steady flow of cash to election campaign
funds. Their successors will have to cope with the inherited debt burden
– and ultimately the nation’s taxpayers are stuck with the bill.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has pointed out, spending on retirement
benefits for California’s state employees is growing at three times the
rate of state revenues, now exceeding $6bn annually and growing at the
rate of 15 per cent a year. In other states, however, the politics of public pensions
appear to be changing. In Michigan, Governor Jennifer Granholm, a
Democrat, recently enacted a teacher pension reform that should save
about $3bn over 10 years by increasing the amount workers must
contribute. Illinois raised its retirement age for newly hired public
workers from as low as 55 to 67. Chris Christie, the Republican governor
of New Jersey, decided that even if it took bruising clashes with
public worker unions, public service compensation reform was essential
for the fiscal health of the state. His stance surprised many, but it
made him a national figure.

There is no quick fix to deal with the
billions in unfunded liabilities. Public service employees are almost
impossible to fire, except after a long process and only for the most
grievous offences. What is more, the courts have ruled in many states
that pension increases granted by elected bodies are vested benefits
that must be paid no matter what, precluding politicians from going back
and changing past agreements.

The only fair solution is to take
the politicians out of the equation and have fully independent
commissions in charge, fixing the scale of salaries and benefits for
public-service workers and establishing an affordable second retirement
tier for new employees. More reasonable retirement ages should be in
order, such as 65 for general employees and 55 for public safety
employees. This would take nothing away from the existing benefits of
current employees.

A fundamental rethinking of the public
workforce is necessary. Americans cannot maintain their essential faith
in government if there are two Americas, in which the private sector
subsidises the disproportionate benefits of this new public sector

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VK's picture

Socialism bitchez!

EDIT: American socialism = farcism. 

SAJ's picture

"In a mature society, 'civil servant' is semantically equivalent to 'civil master'."


-- Robert A. Heinlein

pan-the-ist's picture

You speak like there is something wrong with that assessment?  The "state" is greater than you.  Deal with it.

Votewithabullet's picture

...with the statist or the potty mouth? Pick a side nigga. I got a friend in humboldt and its getting close to harvest time.

spekulatn's picture

I'm with the potty mouth.

Fuck tha statist.


Harvest time in Humboldt is heavenly man.

Votewithabullet's picture

I think the statist was being a little too subtle for 24 little bitchez. Whoa man u typed in @ 4:20 brother.

Votewithabullet's picture

Who squeezed your head? I was speaking to the speculator who posted at 16:20 das idiot.You gotta suck the fun outta everything?

Hephasteus's picture

Nobody posted at 16:20 you dumb fucking pot head. I'm not sucking the fun out of everything just pointing how you stupid pot heads are always so woa and that's deep and that's major and you're FUCKING WRONG about all the shit that is woa and deep and major.

So ya that sucks the fun out of using drugs that make you think your in the deep end of the pool when you are really standing in you own piss.

Kayman's picture

So called public servants are free riders one and all.  They pay no taxes whatsoever; they only recycle the taxes paid by the private sector.

Does anyone have a number about how many private sector employees have to work to pay the total cost of one government employee (on average) ??

cougar_w's picture

The State does not exist without the consent of the governed.

Deal with that.

sunny's picture

Bullshit.  70% of the citizens did not want TARP, we got TARP.  Approximately the same number did not want big 3 car bailouts, we got those bailouts.  How many of the crooks responsible for the collapse of the financial system are in jail?

The State seems to be doing a pretty good job of ignoring the wishes of the governed and getting away with it.

Deal with it.


spekulatn's picture

Deal with it.


"...I got a friend in Mendocino 

And it’s gettin’ close to harvest time..."

SheepDog-One's picture

Until the people say no and revolt, then youll have to deal with that, which I doubt you can.

Henry Chinaski's picture

70% of the citizens did not want TARP, we got TARP.  Approximately the same number did not want big 3 car bailouts, we got those bailouts.

And the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Bailout Bill) ...and healthcare reform. Immgration reform.  Cap and trade.

It's minority rule.

AugmentedFourth's picture

That's besides the point!

Minority rule, majority rule...tyranny and fascism are NOT qualified by how many people support it.

Ripped Chunk's picture
Can America Recover When The Majority Of Americans See A Double Dip, And Think The Country Is Fundamentally Broken?

Read more:

pan-the-ist's picture

I'm with all of you who say it all is fundamentally broken.  We need firemen and the police and other civil servants.  There are many others we can do without.

We also need a police force that can actually battle white collar crime.

hbjork1's picture

Enemies In the long run - yes, the state does not exist without the consent of the governed.  But historians Will and Ariel Durant said in "Lessons of History" (Loose quotation) that governments have tended to oscillate between the conservative and the liberal.  The most conservative would be the individual dictator, strongman or warlord.  Liberal would be true democracy. 

IMO, the reason probably that when the people have true democracy, the people start wanting more than the existing technology/environmental/population density combination will support.  

Thus far, we listen and respond to the media we want, we vote for the people who represent us, thus far, we are free to make decisions about how we live our lives.

And lament the loss of things as they were is somewhat misplaced.  WWII required rigid personal disciplines and sometimes draconian sacrifices to survive against foreign enemies.  The so called "Baby Boomer" generation rebelled against disciplines that they considered artificial.  That was natural because we all assume early in life that the world we come into is simply what is, not aware of the giants upon whose shoulders we stand.  

The best (and only viable?) way we can improve the situation is through our influence on the proceedings in DC.

I know my representatives in Congress and my Representative knows me personally.  I communicated on the Dodd-Frank bill and learned that, in the house at least, work on additional legislatiion to close some of the loopholes is proceeding.  Nobody likes it. 



RockyRacoon's picture

Well, if nobody likes it why the hell do we have it?  That's the root of the problem.

Stuff gets done like that whether we (people) want it or not.  Fixing it after the fact is not a solution.

SpykerSpeed's picture

The State is just a concept, it doesn't exist in reality.  We feel the effects of the popular belief, however.  We go along with it, pay our taxes, etc. because to acknowledge that we are regularly being robbed and threatened is far too depressing for our minds to handle.  We are just livestock for the elite, so we've created this myth that they exist to protect us.

Bob Sponge's picture

Agree. It is probably too scary for Joe Six-Pack to accept that TPTB do not care about him. I think TD has it right that the only us vs. them is the American people vs. the corrupt elite. I think that Americans in the private sector have been RAPED more than in the public sector so far and that does not make the public sector vastly overpaid. I think the private sector is underpaid, not the public sector overpaid.

RichyRoo's picture

Is that like how if someone dies from a bacterial infection bacteria are greater than human?

maddy10's picture

Propaganda for collective selective amnesia!

I don't think all the bankers makng an avg 300,000 complained when top 20 PRIVATE banks were donated a trillion dollars; to make millions in bonuses for the depression?

 Banks still get money for 0% and levering it at 20 times in Srilanka,Indonesia and what not!!!!!!!

To make money you give money or get votes,huh?

Ahhhh I am through this stuff 


masterinchancery's picture

Good quote--what's the reference?

Cathartes Aura's picture

subtle, and worthy of recognition.


THE 4th Quadrant's picture

Exactly, I wish some of the people here would wake up.

Too, the "most vocal Obama critic, Mort Zuckerman".

Another major American media mogul who is an outspoken vocal critic of Obama? Hummmmmmm. Who owns banking and media in the USofA? Wake up Americans...

Atlantic Monthly? He should have bought The Observer, he would have been so proud that he would "plead guilty" to anything.

TreadwCare's picture

Sounds to these simpleton ears he is talking his book . . .

CrackSmokeRepublican's picture

Mortimer Zuckerman is an idiot Zionist Talmudic Jewtard that deserves to be kicked out of America for being a traitor.

Like most Jews at Z.H. that follow the Protocols of the Elders of Zion...  there is a Leather Jack Boot coming for your lying asses...

SheepDog-One's picture

If only Zuckerman had his brain in gear back when he was putting Obongo the fraud into office!

midtowng's picture

"new public sector elite"? What a crock.

This is just the real elite trying to divide the working class against one another. It used to be blacks against whites, and citizens against immigrants. Now its public against private.

Anything but rich against poor, because that might interfere with their theft of the public wealth.

SheepDog-One's picture

Zuckerman is a Zionist, one of the chiefs of the tribe, all this rambling is just more divide and conquer and divert attention from the controlling elite, no doubt about it. 

tmosley's picture

You two work in the public sector, don't you?

spekulatn's picture


Capitol Hill employees owed $9.3 million in back taxes last year, data show

Hunch Trader's picture

Consider the civil servants an appointed buffer zone.


cougar_w's picture

Most of them come from industry or higher ed, so they know the score; after a stint in public service, they retire with full pension+benefits and go back to their real job destroying the planet or corrupting minds.

What a racket. It is all for fail.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Maybe Mort wants to be appointed the public-employee-benefit czar?

cougar_w's picture

Maybe? He's sent them his resume only 4 times in the last month. He calls twice a day.

His main qualification is that he really really really likes fondling public money. Really.