Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Future of Government Data Centers
- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Modern Mission Critical Series
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- The New Generation of Database
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Value of Health IT
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
Not your father's pay raise
Monday - 2/6/2012, 2:00am EST
The AFGE president relayed the word to the union's delegates. The pay raise was going to be 9.1 percent.
They booed, hissed and stamped their feet in righteous indignation. Why?
Because 9.1 percent, back then, was chump change. Inflation was running in the double digits. Interest rates were so high the average person couldn't get a loan to buy a house. Leaders of all the other federal unions were enraged and insulted by the measly 9.1 percent pay raise.
Given the inflation rate at the time and the sad state of the economy, the delegates were probably correct to boo a mere 9.1 percent raise. Union leaders were probably correct to say that 9.1 percent was an insult. They weren't being ungrateful, just realistic.
Fast forward to now.
Inflation is low (and we've had long periods of deflation). The economy is in pretty sad shape.
Back in the 1980s, we were worried about Japan eclipsing us. They were buying up huge chunks of valuable real estate — from Hawaii and California to New York City. They were buying up large sections of land, in Illinois and the rich, black soil of the midwest, to grow soybeans. Europeans had just gone through a long period of laughing at the diminished U.S. dollars that tourists were trying to spend.
Now, we are looking for ways to bail out the Euro. Thanks largely to the earthquake and killer tsunami in Japan, American cars are back. Both in quality but even more so in quantity. Especially GM, which because of taxpayer bailouts is also known as Government Motors. Although you, as a taxpayer, are technically a share-holder, don't look for dividends on your share of the shares. And don't try to sell them yourself.
The other good news for us is that unlike the 1970s and 1980s we are no longer in danger of becoming an economic satellite of Japan.
But we might wind up as a province of China — now that our big worry is our massive debt to China. And if they could hopefully, loan us some more Renmibi? Also, if it's not too much trouble, could they remove some trade barriers and devalue their currency? Then, we can sell them stuff so that we, in turn, can import (as in buy) more of the stuff, like electronics and cars, that were once made here.
It all makes perfect sense if you don't think about it too hard.
The Defense Department is looking at a proposal that would hold down future raises for its civilian workers to spare the armed forces from even more damaging budget cuts. In the government, when Defense gets a cold, all other federal agencies sneeze and get the sniffles. If the Defense proposal sticks, it likely to be applied to workers at IRS, Interior, GSA, TSA and other civilian departments
NEARLY USELESS FACTOID
By Jack Moore
Sorry to ruin the anthropological dreams of your childhood, but the South American walking palm tree can't actually walk, Life's Little Mysteries reports. The tree's "unusual root system" — a number of roots split off, making it appear as if it has many legs — has fueled speculation that the tree is mobile.
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
House bill prohibits within-grade increases in 2012
The provision is part of a larger piece of legislation — the Honest Budget Act of 2012 — to root out "budget gimmicks." It's part of a growing list of proposals to cut federal pay in order to cut spending.
Proposal cuts federal pay, workforce to save DoD
GOP senators unveiled a bill Thursday that would grant the Defense Department a one-year reprieve from "sequestration" cuts. The Pentagon is already planning to make $487 billion in cuts. The sequester is due to take effect in 2013 if Congress can't come up with $1.2 trillion in government-wide cutbacks.
Survey: Telework still elusive at many agencies
Many agencies are not as gung-ho on telework as the Obama administration or lawmakers would have it, according to preliminary findings from a survey the Congressional Research Service is conducting. The Department of Veterans Affairs allows just 12 percent of its employees to telework. At several other agencies, many workers who are eligible to telework do not.