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Gann's Pay Initiative

August 03, 1986

Your rather hysterical editorial (July 27), "Slamming the Door," regarding Paul Gann's California Fair Pay Initiative was amazingly insulting to the intelligence of the people of California.

Rather than causing "harm," Gann's previous effort, Proposition 13, allowed Californians to rein in outrageous property taxes and permitted many homeowners to keep homes they might otherwise have lost. Gann's Proposition 4, of 1979, limiting state spending should help control the tax-and-spend politicians in Sacramento.

Now, the proposed Proposition 61 will cut government salaries down to size. Public servants often act like public masters, sometimes forgetting they work for the taxpayers of California instead of the other way around. It is certainly proper for us, as employers, to set the salaries of our employees.

If someone can't live on $64,000 a year, then he should find a job that pays more. Of course, the Legislature could set higher salaries by a two-thirds vote, which they undoubtedly would do in the case of Nobel Prize-winning scientists. After all, there wouldn't be much political fallout from giving more money to a heart surgeon.

I would be pleased, though, if no one wanted to work for the government. Almost any service provided by government can be more efficiently and economically provided by competition in the free market. What better impetus to privatization could there be than a labor shortage in public life!

Rather than slamming the door to progress in California, the Gann Fair Pay Initiative will force hard decisions that will ultimately bring about greater prospects for freedom for our people and institutions.


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