Outsourcing the Government

Maybe this slipped your mind. The Bush administration pushed the outsourcing of U.S. government jobs, including moving Federal jobs offshore. EPI has just released a study showing those results insourced poverty to contractors while outsourcing the jobs.

In Outsourcing poverty: Federal contracting pushes down wages and benefits, K.Edwards, K. Filion, found:

Federal agencies have been under pressure to reduce the size of their workforce and cut costs, creating the incentive to outsource government work through contracts with private businesses for goods and services. Between 2000 and 2006, federal contract spending increased 69.1%—from $256 billion to $415 billion.

What is shocking in this report is 43% of all workers for the Federal Government are actually contractors.

Now they go on to claim 20% of all contracted employees (is that an oxymoron, you are a contractor who is an employee?) are working for $9.91/hr or below the poverty threshold and probably are not getting any benefits as well.

EPI also notes any cost savings achieved by outsourcing federal jobs is done on the backs of workers.

It's worker squeeze and where have we seen that before?

EPI's methodology is not exactly exact for the government(as usual) does not collect data on contracted employees on federal contracts. They used an overall general population survey on averages and correlated those to the type of work being outsourced by Federal Government contracts. What is more alarming in this report is 25.2% of contractors were earning $9.91/hr or less. That is of typical Federally contracted occupational areas, of these private sector employees, they make a whopping $9.91, no benefits.

Indeed the Federal Employees Union is now pushing to bring back those jobs in house, as regular employees (they use the term insourcing unfortunately which usually means foreign guest workers).

Now corporate lobbyists hail the great efficiencies of outsourcing the government. But is this even true? The United States has a bloated, ineffectual system at the moment and more importantly, is it true outsourcing Federal and State jobs saves money? There is a huge difference between using government expenditures, which comes out of the pocket of the taxpayer versus private enterprise models. Does it make sense to outsource U.S. taxpayer funds, much of which then goes offshore?

The CPS data on income. Note how many of these categories are from the 1960's. Seems almost not relevant to the demographics of today, especially with the incessant corporate push for corporate controlled migration.

The current working poor estimates 28% of families are working below the poverty line for a family of four.

9.6 million households can be described as low-income or "working poor"—defined as families that earn less than 200 percent of the official poverty level. There were 350,000 more such families in 2006 than in 2002. More than 21 million children now live in low-income working families—an increase of 800,000 in four years

Working Poor project gives a 10% increase in the working poor from 2002-2006.

Now this group (of course) does not distinguish between U.S. citizens, permanent residents, guest workers and illegal workers, but while you may debate the effects of illegal labor on these statistics, especially the lowering of unskilled labor wages, one fact was most interesting:

69% of low-income working families have only American-born parents.



43% ??

Yes, a shocker. So THAT's what Steele meant when he said government jobs aren't jobs. Gad.

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