The Roadmap, Part VIII: Is a government job a “real” job?

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A few years ago, a group of experts identified the types of policies that most countries with high growth experiences had implemented, as well as the ones they avoid. Their results, published in “The Growth Report,” are as close to an approachable recipe book on growth as you’re going to find.

This is the eighth part in a series on what Venezuela can learn from that exerciseIn Part II, I tackled the importance of inserting Venezuela into the global economy. In Part III, Quico discussed getting the macroeconomic fundamentals right. In Part IV, we looked at why you need a financial system that fosters savings and investment. In Part V, I discussed the importance of letting the market tell you what you’re good at. In Part VI, I made the plea for political parties to find some sort of consensus as a pre-condition for any strategy to work. In part VII, we started discussing the things we need to stop doing, beginning with subsidies for energy.

In this part, I tackle the idea that government jobs are real jobs.

One of the best books I read last year was “Poor Economics,” by the economists Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo.

In one of the best chapters, the authors tear apart the notion that “informal jobs” in developing countries are a sign of “entrepreneurship.” Many times, the authors say, people in informal jobs are doing them because they have no other choice. Ideally, most poor people in informal jobs would rather have a stable job … with the government.

The idea of a government job as the golden ring of job-seekers is firmly entrenched in our societies. While private sector jobs are frequently subjected to evaluations based on productivity, public sector jobs are viewed as stable – a ticket to a nice, tranquil job, an easy life, and an early pension.

It’s too bad people feel that way, because the more governments use the public sector as a source of employment, the less growth you have in the economy.

The data bears this out, and so do the anecdotes. Here is The Economist from a few years ago, talking about Brazil’s public pensions system:

TO SEE WHY Brazil urgently needs to reform its pension system, picture a 73-year-old retired public prosecutor. He is living very comfortably on a generous government pension—around 20,000 reais a month, more than ten times the average wage. With three children from a previous marriage and one from an affair, he is now married to a beautiful 30-year-old with whom he has a fifth child. Life is sweet. After 12 more happy years he dies. Naturally his widow is distraught, but her financial future is assured. For the rest of her life she draws almost his full pension, increased annually by at least the rate of inflation. When she dies 38 years later, aged 80, that pension has been paying out for more than half a century—much longer than her husband had worked to earn it.

The ages at death in this story are based on current life expectancy in Brazil for a 73-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman. The other details, including the current ages and the value of the pension, are those of a high-profile politician and his wife. Brazil has many other couples like them, though pensions outside the public sector are usually much lower. Survivor benefits give such a boost to the appeal of an elderly romantic partner that Brazilians talk about “the Viagra effect”.

In effect, the early retirement age (55) of Brazilian civil service workers has sharp negative effects on growth.

This fact hasn’t stopped Latin American governments from using the public sector as a way of hiding a dismal job market. For example, here in Chile unemployment is not yet shockingly high thanks to the growth in public sector employment.

In Argentina, the problem became so severe under former President Cristina Kirchner that do-nothing public employees got a name: ñoquis. Current President Mauricio Macri is taking a big gamble in trying to fix the problem. He has even pointed out that 1.5 million public servants should not be employed by the government.

Good luck dealing with that.

The problem with public sector jobs is that it is so damn hard to get rid of them. Firing people can be so expensive in our countries, that frequently governments have to “buy them out” in order to get rid of unwanted payroll by settling into some form of expensive compensation scheme.

These kinds of settlements became famous in Venezuela during the 90s. After many companies with thousands of unneeded employees were privatized, the incoming owners were forced to deal with bulging payrolls. They decided to save themselves a great number of fights in the courts, an doffered them “cajitas felices,” or Happy Meals. Many of them took it, but at an enormous cost to society – because the new owners quickly passed the cost of these schemes to consumers.

How many public sector employees do we have in Venezuela? Nobody knows. According to ODH, in January of 2015 the figure was 2.5 million people, or close to 18% of the working age population.

That is way too much. Consider that Japan has a little more than a million civil servants, out of a working age population of 77 million – the ratio is a puny 1.2%.

One of the most galling things about this problem is that few of our opposition leaders talk about it. Not once have we heard Henrique Capriles or Henry Ramos Allup talk about how the civil service needs to be trimmed down, let alone how they would go about doing this. It is simply assumed that we can continue supporting this bureaucracy indefinitely.

In fact, the only times they raise the issue of public sector employment, it is to decry that the federal government does not give them enough money for payroll. The state government of Miranda, for example, has 37 thousand employees. Capriles himself admits that 80% of his budget goes to pay salaries. The surreal aspect is that he talks about this … as if it had nothing to do with him!

Unless we put a stop to this insanity, we will not embark on a path to growth. We need to make clear that every non-essential public servant (in other words, practically every one of them) is draining resources that could be going toward better roads, improving education, or more reliable public services. Furthermore, keeping them in cushy public sector jobs is holding them back – taking away their incentives to improve and become more productive. This puts a serious damper on growth.

Money that goes into payroll is money that does not go into development projects. It is money that is taken out of Venezuelans’ pockets in order to pay political favors and keep a large amount of people blackmailed.

Ending this vicious cycle is going to take guts. It will require training programs so that civil servants can actually compete in the global economy on the basis of their skills. It will also require some temporary relief for those laid off while the government is restructured. It will be hard, but it has to be done.

Now, if only our politicians were convinced of this.

38 COMMENTS

  1. In Venezuela, the big deal is that the syndicates have become criminal havens in order to buy gangs’s loyalty. The textbook example is everything surrounding the death of mob boss “Gordo” Bayón, from SIDOR.

    Besides that, the big corruption schemes have always been between the public sector and the contractors (I’ll give you a cut if you get me the contract). Chávez put A LOT of those contractors on the payroll, and the money simply isn’t there, which is the main cause why all public services became these bloated, inefficient messes.

  2. “How many public sector employees do we have in Venezuela? Nobody knows. According to ODH, in January of 2015 the figure was 2.5 million people, or close to 18% of the working age population.”

    “Ending this vicious cycle is going to take guts.”

    And is also going to take convincing those 2.5 million people to vote for the guy who is claiming he wants to make their jobs disappear. Either that or you don’t make your intentions clear, and once you get into office you stab those 2.5 million people in the back, and deal with the consequences.

    Pick your poison.

    • That’s a false conundrum. What you’re saying is that in order to get elected, you need to lie to people.

      Yes, I understand you can’t run on a platform of firing people, but there are ways of getting around this. For example, you can start talking to people about how Venezuela will never get out of its hole if we continue supporting a state bureaucracy that is simply too large. That helps put the issue on the table without saying exactly how you would go about solving the problem.

      I think the idea that you can’t tell people the truth because they can’t handle it is toxic, demeaning, and completely bone-headed.

      • You think people won’t read between the lines? What else is there to interpret from “Venezuela will never get out of its hole if we continue supporting a state bureaucracy that is simply too large” other than a lot of people have to be fired?

        You can bring the issue to the table, but only when the number of public employees is not too large, i.e., not when 18% of the electorate are going to vote against you. Once the number of employees in the public sector becomes too large, the problem becomes unsolvable, unless you lie to the people. If a candidate says what you said needs to be said, he will be beaten by the candidate who says he won’t fire anyone and paints him as a heartless right winger who doesn’t care about people’s jobs.

        “I think the idea that you can’t tell people the truth because they can’t handle it is toxic, demeaning, and completely bone-headed.”

        When the truth is “you got to be fired”, then hell yeah, people can’t handle that. Sorry.

        • It isn’t 18% of the electorate who will vote against you, it’s more than 50%=public employees + their numerous family dependents.

      • Well, Trump looks at the camera and lies to your face and people vote for him.

        It’s cheap but effective.

        When you sell, you emphasis the good and if you are honest you will provide the negatives on demand.

  3. The problem about public employees is pretty much the same in the developed world, especially in Europe. It is everywhere if you look closer: Finland, France, Spain, etc. etc. And what is the media cheering at? Yes let’s all release Panama Papers, bla bla so we can hunt down all these rich people and take their dollars to tax them at 50% rates so we can sustain our massive black hole of public structure that gobbles up everything around it. Clap Clap Clap. I’m all up for transparency and hunting down corrupt people but not at the expense of the whole system and certainly not to let Governments charge IMMORAL and CONFICASTORY tax rates from the medieval era. Who is profiting from this?

    • “The problem about public employees is pretty much the same in the developed world, especially in Europe.”

      Oh, it is *so* not the same. The problem in Venezuela is about 2.5 million times worse.

      • Juan, I can assure you the problem in a country like France and/or Spain is also quite large. You also need to consider the finances of each country (budget, income, debt, etc.) not just the absolute number of people (i.e. 2.5mm) and the benefits associated with each role. For example, I would argue that in in developed countries you can have really stringent policy with regard to public employees. In countries like Spain (pretty much bankrupt but a matter which is currently in disguise do to how modern markets work), it is actually not possible to fire some type of public employees; once they are hired, by law, they have a contract for life. Then let’s not to get into the details about other benefits.

        The aim of my comment is to be constructive in the sense that if you are trying to build a roadmap, I would tend to think that it is always useful to look at other societies which are more developed than us. I’m not saying Venezuelans have to copy blueprints from other countries, but we can hopefully build a better model when the time comes if you look into the decisions and implications of other systems.

      • Man oh man…you should take a walk onto the underside of Greece’s public “servants”. I think they could teach a thing or two to the wily Venezuelan employees.

        It might have cleaned up a bit with their imposed “austerity”, but this is culturally engendered over 2000 years and they will return to form sooner rather than later.

    • Most of the people on those papers are not very productive people but those who once made a quick buck through some easy action. Look at the names. It’s not the Bill Gates of this world but politicians, some dumb actors, bankers and traders who play Monopoly for their clients.

      • Kepler, can you most certainly guarantee that? I think you are generalising given the thousands of people whose information has been leaked. I personally know people who have been exposed which are honest. Rotten apples doesn’t justify dismantling the whole system. Regardless of the profession of the examples you mentioned, it is the law. And again, if people are breaking the law in their own countries by hiding in shell companies, then sure, so be it and prosecute them. But don’t expose private data from entire countries which also includes information from honest people just to take some guys down. And my comment about tax evasion etc, which may be considered off-topic, is actually in relation to building a lean system w/out overcrowding from the public sector. The public sector, lead by politicians, needs ever increasing amounts of cash to survive. Where are they going to get it from?

  4. great topic …..lets make a mental experiment , lets assumme that public organizations are all efficient and functional and that their workforce is optimally sized , lets also assumme we have a full modern working business market economy also with an optimum sized workforce, then lets further assumme that despite the above there are people who are left jobless , that lack for example the specific expertises and qualifications that are needed to fill in the jobs that may offer themselves in that economy or in any natural expansion of that economy……the convention in modern times is that the govt cant let them starve , they must be allowed to access some income to survive with their families ,one thing oecd govt do is put them on the dole , pay them to support themselves while they look for jobs or to undergo some training which it is hoped will allow them to become employable…if the number of jobless unemployable in that society isnt massive maybe there are resources to keep them on that dole for a long time , but maybe if those redundant unemployable people are so many maintaining them creates an umanageable problem for that govts finances ……easily they become a mob of discontented people which turn to any golden tongued demagogue and raise him to power…..!!

    The assumption is of course in the normal course a well run govt and a well run fully developed market economy will always provide some 90 to 95% of the total working population with decent jobs and yet we are starting to understand that thats not always the case , that as economies develop sometimes they produce many unemployable jobless people !! what do you do then…….??

    If the economy is that of a grossly mismanaged country where the economy has been ruined and even in the best of circumstances may lack the wherewithal and capital and core capacity to provide masses of unemployable people , people with bad work habits and or lacking any of the skills demanded of workers in a modern functioning economy so that public resources are insufficient to maintain them on a permanent basis , then ……you have a problem !!

    My fear is that even if we get out of the hole we are in and manage to create a public system which is functional and opimally staffed and manned and further manage to create conditions that allow a modern efficient economy to develop, the number of people who are unemployable in such economy is such that they will have to become a permanent burden on public funds to keep them and their inumerable children alive…….and that maybe the task is impossible unless there are some brilliant imaginative ideas that people can come up with ……any takers ??

  5. Government jobs are coveted in Venezuela because they put the individual in a position to bribe those that must do business with the particular government agency. These people add no value to society. It boils down to corruption which permeates virtually every aspect of daily life with government employees being the major culprits.

  6. Of course government jobs can be real jobs. Public health researchers, firefighters, police, postal system, justice system, etc. are all “real jobs” in an incorrupted country.

    Of course it’s different in Venezuela, where a workweek is two days.

    What is needed is a civil service targeted at truly needed services, led by an independent commission which does all hiring and firing. The government itself must not control hiring and firing, for obvious reasons.

    In modern countries, government employ 15 to 22 percent of all workers. The precise number depends on which services are essential. Japan is an outlier because its culture has substantial safeguards for aging, unemployable family members. It is probably not doable in Venezuela.

    • Jeffrey that’s a beginning , but maybe you have to do more , first you already have many govt employees in place , some of them may be good and useful , some of them may be salvageable with proper training and direction , many if placed in a functioning organization will be much more productive than if placed in a dysfunctional organization , so first you have to do an in depth census and diagnosis of each organization to see how many people you need if your reorganize it properly , who might be useful to retain and who must ultimately be let go (to the extent practicable with a minimum of social trauma ). My own preference would be to adopt the good bank , bad bank system , create small elite organizations to do the most important part of each public task with optimal manning , have another subordinate organization to progressively colonize it with people from the elite organization and improve its performance and have all left overs placed in a organization where the less qualified people who cant be let go inmmediately are kept where they can do the least damage and where they are encouraged to seek better or more adaptable job opportunities outside of govt. A plan can be applied to slowly divest each organization of its unwanted personnel …..

      The focus is not only on having a system for selecting new hires on a purely professional basis with no regard to their political sympathies or family connections , but to create organizations that work and which operate with total autonomy guided by purely professional considerations and concerns , which have specific measurable goals to accomplish, which are monitored to determine how functional and efficient they are in achieving those goals and where good consistent performance is the sole means of career advancement !!

      • I happen to know a number of people who work in the public sector in Venezuela, and the great surprise is generally two things (1) they are overworked (i.e. long hours, for which they are not compensated adequately, and frequently are not compensated at all and are waiting months and years for back-pay) and (2) their greatest source of stress and anxiety are the forces which prevent them from doing their jobs properly (i.e. political interference with their work).

        It is interesting, counterintuitive, but evidently true that in a system so corrupt and degraded, there are in fact significant numbers of people who are very capable, professionally responsible, and are dying (sometimes almost literally) to do the right thing if someone would let them.

        Then there are the stories about offices where, as soon as a new computer or laptop is assigned, it is taken home and mysteriously disappears, only to need replacing by a newer model. This activity of using public service as a vehicle for theft in a multitude of ways- petty and on a massive scale- drives some people almost insane with anger, and there is nothing they can do.

        What is the solution? This will go over like a lead balloon on this blog but one way to address these problems are measures which promote independent public sector unions. Yes, there is the “problem” of strikes, but what these unions do is act as a bulwark against corrupt hiring and promotional practices (nepotism) through the enforcement of merit and seniority based contract language, insist on objective, rule-based administration, and perform a whistle blowing-function in terms of internal abuses of authority or political interference. Not ideal, but then, ideal does not exist.

        This regime has been very smart, in a diabolical sense, in the way that it has crushed independent unions, and promoted the public sector equivalent of employer-dominated unions. Now that people don’t go to church anymore, independent unions are perhaps the last remaining major, organized forces in civil society that can present a viable challenge to authoritarian power i.e. if you are an organization with the power to shut down an economy, people like Maduro, stupid though they are, will listen if you indicate a willingness to use that power. So instead of having a 7 or 14 day strike of government electrical workers that immobilizes the country for a short critical period but brings the regime to the bargaining table with opposition forces, we have instead, electrical workers writhing in their offices for years foretelling disaster for the country to those whom they trust, and unable to do anything about it.

        In short, there is a compelling story to be told about how the Venezuelan public service needs to be empowered, not dismantled.

        • I have family members that are government employees AND chavistas, doubling down on the evil.

          The thing is, they are good people. They care. They take pride in what they do and they want to help. They simply….can’t.

          It isn’t always easy to be a government worker. Its even more difficult when the first of those two words actively impinges one from doing the second. And most of those folks suffer just like everyone else. Not every government job is a pathway to wealth and financial security; I would think it would be quite arguable that for the majority, that simply isn’t possible under the current conditions.

          Venezuela has long sailed past the point where being a government employee, aside from a tiny segment, is something to be envied by others. These folks struggle just like everyone else. They wait in line like everyone else. They deal with crime and scarcity just like everyone else. The sit in the dark through the apagonas just like everyone else.

          Socialism is fabulous as the great equalizer of society. Everyone is miserable.

  7. A friend of mine works at the Alcaldia de Barcelona, he started at 18 and was eligible to retire at 32, 14 years later.

  8. A large public service seems to be a feature of most petrostates and I have to think that part of the problem is that an oil based economy tends to drive out other forms of economic activity. That large public service may have a stabilizing influence on an economy dependent on a single, volatile commodity, and in turn may have a stabilizing influence on the politics.

    If you are going to reduce to public service in Venezuela, there have to be realistic alternatives. You cannot just fire everyone and expect that they will become entrepreneurs, or something like that. The private sector in Venezuela strikes me as having long suffered from adverse conditions to doing business, but also a tendency towards monopolistic behaviour: a handful of big companies benefit from those barriers to entry that stifle competition.

    People will gravitate to the private sector from the public sector if there are opportunities, and the public sector will continue to attract people for whom the work is their interest and their calling.

    But again, for some reason, with a couple of exceptions, petrostates tend not to be hubs of entrepreneurial activity and I think that is a real conundrum that falls outside the usual big-government/small government discussions.

    • Before Venezuela started becoming a petrostate sometime in the 30´s it was never a hub of entrepreneural activity. there was no manufacture , almost no international investment , business activity was sluggish and rudimentary , main exports were coffee, cocoa, flamingo feathers ( to adorn the hats of European and American ladies) and dried up cattle hides, none of these exports amounted to much , coffee growers went broke in the late 20′ (when coffee prices fell) and the govt used its new oil income to help them out. It was oil which allowed the country to develop some industry and generally increase its business activities and of course raise govt payrolls as a democratic system demanded more people to be hired …!!

      There is no evidence that absent the growth of the oil industry Venezuela would have become anything but a big Honduras …….!!

      Understand that Uruguay took the route of using funds from rising meat prices to fund a huge bureaucratic apparatus and create a middle class which didn’t exist before , the strategy worked for a while but in the end it became inviable bringing on the political instability that plagued it in the 60´s and 70’s, now somehow they’ve learned to make their society work with a better managed economy .

      The assumption that the drying up of oil income will automatically make the country more entrepreneural and developed is one which has yet to be tested.!!

      • I wonder if Mexico is an example where that assumption is being confirmed. My impression is that Mexico is bursting with entrepreneurial activity as its oil industry declines, and if it were able to rid itself of the narco-violence, it would quickly be an example like South Korea.

        • Canuck : I believe youre right about Mexico , but the prodder to improved business growth and higher productivity may have more to do with its proximity to US markets and the opportunities created by Nafta than to the fall in oil prices. Their financial management is also lauded by IMF as among the worlds best , think what it means that they hedged the fall in oil prices and made money from it , thats a sign of very competent financial management !!.

          Also suspect that the work ethos of the more indigenous mexicans is more developed than that which prevails in the more easy going Caribbean !!

          Venezuela can do it , but it will take a lot of smart initiatives and extensive reform ….and of course time , lots of time. !!

    • Indeed… moving a pile of dirt from one side of a parking lot to the other for no other purpose that to employ the dirt hauler. There is no value in the labor, but so long as the dirt hauler is paid, you can count on his vote.

  9. Of course, it’s true that public employees are a big part of our active population. But, at the same time, in essential services we are lacking the employees we need: for example, we have 6,8 judges for every 100.000 citizens when the latin american average is 9 (and they don’t have our insecurity & impunity problems!). The same happens with doctors, but we don’t have recent official data. What to cut, where to transfer employees not needed in an office, or how to promote their inclusion in the private sector? Answering these questions is essential to make any change politically sustainable.

  10. The Bureaucracy has always been about breeding more Bureaucracy. Like a self perpetuating machine, the belief is that inefficiencies in the Bureaucracy can only be fixed by…. more Bureaucracy. And Bureaucracy has an insatiable appetite for revenue.

  11. Reading some of the responses here, it’s obvious that a lot of people have never set foot in an Alcaldia or Ministerio.

  12. I have worked in both an SOE (European) and in the private sector (American and European). Basically its a matter of choice (lets put Venezuela aside for a minute and think about a normal country). A government job’s earnings profile is akin to an inflation linked bond, stable coupons that rise slowly and you get your principal back at the end. A private sector job can be like equity (dividends that may rise above inflation) and an overall return higher than that of a bond (but you take on more risk: i.e. can be fired more easily). For every *caricature* of a civil servant that you guys discuss here, I can show you another caricature (I work in the City) of a private employee on a similar ruse. The most scandalous of all being of course, the massive public bailout at taxpayers expense of the banks, how many people gave these bonuses back? How many heads rolled at the rating agencies? Please, swallowing the camel and filtering the fly? I am not a socialist, I work in finance, I consider myself a liberterian. But it really *ANNOYS* me the pontificating against the public sector, when all things considered the billions of pounds we had to put into these banks pales in comparison to whatever you may consider a scandal (a teacther retiring at 60 for example). Good grief, let’s all take a step back and be more pragmatic, and less dogmatic.

        • http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/get+off+high+horse

          When someone adopts a self-righteous tone, similar to what one sees in a rant, they are climbing up on “the high horse”. Most people on said horse are oblivious to their own self-righteousness, which makes them insufferable. Those who do recognize it can be considered reasonable…most of the time. The key, as above, is knowing when you are up there.

          The term goes way, way, back to the days when the people who owned horses were rich or nobility and had arrogant tendencies.

          Sort of a similar, origin to bajarse de la mula.

          • By the way, something that has always bemused me is how the people who criticise public sector employees the most, do so from a glass house. For example, US economic professors harp on about the wonders of full labour flexibility and yet they do so from the safety of a tenure system that makes their own sacking almost impossible. Ah – they say. its because we need to preserve academic freedom! Of course…as if the US was the USSR. I have issues with socialists that leave like capitalists (the Chavista elite, the french socialist leadership, the Islington Blairites), and I also take issue with capitalists that defend their socialist benefits (free market for YOU, not for ME, thank you). The other little jewels on this list are of course, IMF and World Bank employees: everyone must pay more taxes…they clamour…..and yet most of them pay no tax on their salaries at all. Nice one.

  13. In the dying days of the Soviet Union a friend of mine looked out of the window of his Moscow flat and saw two guys in overalls in the street. One was digging holes, the other was filling them in.

    After a while, his curiosity got the better of him and he went down to ask what on earth they were doing.

    Grasping the reason for his puzzlement, workman ‘A’ sought to explain what was going on. “You see, usually there are three of us,” he began. “But Ivan’s off sick today. He’s the one who usually puts the tree in the hole.”

    Back in Caracas, a leading public health expert told me yesterday that of all the people working in the Venezuelan public health sector, two thirds are either bureacrats or obreros. Just 30% or so actually attend to patients.

  14. Yes, this issue of government largess, could be one of the most complex to solve. Yet it will need to be addressed, when-and-if the Opposition takes power.
    However, I am optimistic considering this.

    1. The Private sector in Vzla, after this terrible 17 years has reached bottom, the only way it can go is UP!. The immediate consequence of a Political normalization after Chavismo, would make the Private sector surge dramatically due to pent up demand and the new business opportunities. That will help to improve employment figures.

    2. The Public sector would have to start big infrastructure projects that can employ a large segment of low skill workers. Typically, Infrastructure projects are almost a guarantee of progress and good ROI, especially so when they are needed.

    Now, taking advantage of this surge of employment, the government could have more room to lay-off, cut benefits or slow down employment to gradually reduce unneeded or redundant jobs. This will take several years while the economy grows and can absorb more jobs from the Public sector.

    The government would need to be honest and tell the people what is going on by bringing transparency to unprecedented levels. Treating people like adults, with respect, telling them, “We want to help, this is how much money we have, this is what we can do”.
    There is no reason why Venezuela could not be at the top of the Transparency International rank other than bad politics.

    It all will depend on who gets in power.
    All I wish is that the MUD manage to put competent, professional and experienced people on critical jobs.
    Would be great as well if a positive vibe attracts the highly skilled Venezuelan diaspora spread around the world. They would come back with a wider, wiser view on things and great energy.

    If we can create that strong momentum going right after Chavismo, Venezuela could make tremendous progress.

    • Let me also make clear that Government Jobs can be good or bad and everything in between, just as the Private sector jobs.
      Just look at the amount of Small business that end up in bankruptcy. I waste of time and money.
      It is also a false dichotomy to qualify jobs in simple terms of good or bad. It is a matter of qualitative degree and on top of that is Dynamic!. I good, prosperity multiplier job today could become a unneeded pointless job tomorrow.

  15. Wouldn’t a large portion of the public sector “employment” be converted to private simply by privatizing the asset? Sidor, Bicentenario, Venalum, Corpolec, etc.? Which is not to say that many or even most of the current employees of those “enterprises” would keep their jobs, but it wouldn’t be like the government is just firing them.

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