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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

High Pay, Little Work. What's Not to Like?

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I know I'm late to the party on the big Washington Post poll on public perceptions of federal workers, but I had to note something about it that I found intriguing.

According to the survey, a bare majority of Americans and a large percentage of those who identify themselves as Republicans believe that federal employees are paid too much and don't have to work that hard. But the Post's report on the survey goes on to note, "Nevertheless, nearly half of Republicans would recommend a government job to a relative or friend just graduating..."

Why "nevertheless"? If you take the position that federal jobs typically involve high compensation for little work (and let's be clear here, I don't take that position; it's just clear that most of the Republicans who responded to the survey do), then why wouldn't you recommend government work to a friend or relative?

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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