The Corner

More from the Annals of Government Jobs

Last weekend the Wall Street Journal carried the story about the cushy pay and early retirement benefits for California prison guards, but that’s nothing compared to the Journal’s eye-popping detail in this morning’s story about air traffic in Europe:

When air travel plunged following the global recession in 2008, Spanish air-traffic controllers suffered little impact: They were earning, on average, a half a million dollars apiece. Last year, as the Spanish government tried cutting those payouts to below $300,000—still 10 times Spain’s average salary—controllers protested by staging wildcat strikes during December holidays.

It’s gets even better further into the story:

By 2005, only two-thirds of Spanish controllers’ annual hours were on standard salary. The rest was on overtime, paid at triple-time rates. In 2009, some controllers earned more than $1 million, according to Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea, or AENA, the state aviation agency. Early retirement was allowed at age 52. 

File this under Derb’s heading, “Why We Should All Get Government Jobs.”

Steven F. Hayward — Stephen F. Hayward is a senior resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of a two-volume political history, The Age of Reagan.

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