Posted by
Gavin
• 05.06.10 03:09 pm


Fast-thinking cops may have saved thousands of lives last weekend, so what better time to discuss the possibility they may be overpaid than now?

Fast-thinking cops may have saved thousands of lives last weekend, so what better time to discuss the possibility they may be overpaid than now? Okay, maybe it’s the worst time possible. The Strokes pulled “NYC Cops (Ain’t too Smart)” from their album after experiencing 9-11 and I’d probably do well to do the same.

For the record, I love the NYPD. I dedicated a whole issue of my old magazine to them and fraternize with the fuckers every chance I get. Unlike the FDNY, these guys actually work for a living. If you have any doubts go to One Police Plaza in New York and sign up for a Ride-Along. It’s a free service that allows you to hang out with cops for an entire shift. When I went, I chose an Upper West Side precinct, accidentally thinking it would include Harlem, but I still saw plenty of thieves, junkies, liars, and violence. There are projects in every precinct and this particular night involved a girl who had set up her cousin to be robbed by thugs. “That was my college intuition money,” the victim cried. She was short on intuition.

Being a cop is a lot of paperwork and bullshit. You are essentially a babysitter for adults and the amount of lying these guys have to deal with literally makes me laugh out loud. However, I’m sorry, but as with the Fire Department, it’s not a particularly dangerous job. The short lifespan is also a myth. Both cops and firemen like to tell you how brave they are and how vital the service they provide is, but many jobs are just as vital and much more dangerous. Take the meatpacking industry for example. It dwarfs all other occupations with documented injuries as high as 30 percent of all employees, but, considering the vast majority of the workers are illegal, that number is estimated to be almost twice that. For all their hard work, meatpackers would be lucky to get minimum wage. Your average cop, however, is looking at about $100k a year.

Whenever I talk to these guys, I’m stunned at how someone who deals with America’s working class all day can know so little about America’s working class. Over dinner recently, we were talking about the price of having kids and the one cop at the table regaled us with the following story…

“So, my buddy, he goes from sergeant to lieutenant and he actually loses money. I know it’s hard to believe you would get a promotion and lose money but it’s his overtime he lost. That meant he went down from $135k to just $100k. Now, his ex, she gets $800 off every check for child support and that’s AFTER tax. That leaves him with barely 40k a year.”

“So,” I replied “his salary drops down to what the average American makes and all he gets out of it is a human being?” What really shocked me about the story was the way someone could talk about overtime and salaries well over $100k like it ain’t no thang. Can someone tell these union-types how totally unheard of this is in the real world? I think I made $100k my last year at my old job after almost 15 years, but I was the owner of a huge corporation that employed almost 100 people in 17 countries around the world. Even then, if I had submitted an invoice for overtime to our accountant he would have done a spit take. Working in the magazine business means at least one 24-hour shift an issue. That’s life. My wife worked in fashion PR and it was common for her to sleep at the office for the last few days before a show. You don’t get overtime for this. You get to keep your job.

Later in the night, we were told how Sergeant Dad got the girl pregnant in the first place. Apparently he worked his ass off and saved up enough sick days to go visit her in Florida for three months and that’s “when it happened.” Without getting into the absurdity of pregnancy magically happening, can you believe this? I cannot think of any real world job where you could possibly save up three months of holidays. What planet are these people on? The public sector makes an average of $120k a year while the private sector is down to half that. Public bonuses average $40k a year while ours are less than $10k. Fighting crime and fires and renewing our driver’s licenses is crucial work we need done but there is a limit to monetary value of all this “service.” As I said in the first half of this piece, even if they could defend these exorbitant pensions, the money is simply no longer there. In the private sector we don’t get to explain why we deserve money that’s not there because, well, it’s not there!

What’s really disturbing about my dinner with the cop is not that America’s big unions earn so much more than the rest of us. It’s that they don’t even realize this is happening. Like Ivory Tower academics and preach-to-the-converted liberals, they live in a tiny bubble where your values are defined by the small clique that surrounds you and nothing is ever questioned. They believe they deserve exactly as much as their neighbor no matter how absurd the scenario. I heart cops almost as much as I heart NYC, but we’ve come to the end of our rope here and this imminent pension explosion is going to leave us a lot more fucked up than a simple car bomb.

-GAVIN McINNES

Originally posted here.


Comments
  1. buffalowinger says:

    i thought you were a bazillionaire

  2. randylahey says:

    when did cops in NYC start making so much? My dad was a cop/detective there for like 30 something years and all I remember about the 90’s is being poor

  3. Frodo Baggins says:

    9/11 happened, I think.

  4. Dragler says:

    this what everyone should be making but isn’t because of all the taxes we pay. elminate income tax, we cold all have these types of salaries and pensions. They aren’t overpaid, we’re underpaid

  5. count cumchugula says:

    what about bribes

  6. Happiness Is A Warm Dong says:

    When you sound this nervous it just make me want you more…

  7. hagenshape says:

    Well put Dragler

  8. wtf says:

    Yea, it’s pretty lame.

  9. In grade six Constable Fennel came to do a speech about bus safety and he had bad breath. That’s all I remember about bus safety.

  10. WELL YOUR RIGHT GAVIN MACINES, THE MONEY IS ‘NO LONGER THEIR’ WHICH IS WIERD BECASUE OBAMA AND HIS CRONY’S HAVE RAISED TAX’S HIGHER THEN THEY EVER WEAR DURING THE TIMES OF ‘THE GREAT GENERATION’ IN THE 1940’S. THEY GOT BY WITH MUCH LOWER TAX’S THEN, SO WHY NOW, WITH THE MUCH HIGHER TAX’S WE HAVE NOW, IS THEIR LESS MONEY NOW?? WELL ITS ALL GOING INTO THE POCKET’S OF LAZY BEURAUCART’S NOW. THE PRIVATE COPRORATION’S THAT MAKE THIS GREAT COUNTRY RUN ARE BEING BLED DRY BY TAX’S. ALL THE LIB’S BLAMEING B.P. FOR THIS OIL DO’NT EVEN REALIZE THAT B.P. DID’NT HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO FIX THE OIL BECASUE THEY PAYED TOO MUCH TAX’S.

    WELL ANY WAYS I THINK ITS GREAT GAVIN MACINES TALKS TO SO MANY INTERESTING ‘REAL’ POEPLE LIKE A UNION ELECTRITIAN AND A COP, UNLIKE LIB’S WHO JUST PRETEND TO READ ‘E PLURBIUS UNUM’ ON THE COIN BUT DO’NT EVEN KNOW IT MEANS ‘IN GOD, WE, THE POEPLE, TRUST’!

  11. Taeil says:

    Again, going after the civil service is a third rail issue. We just gotta let our government dig deeper in the hole to keep all of them happy.

  12. MohawkCock says:

    Well Gav, can I call you Gav? When you’re right you are right.
    I don’t live in the states, I live in coldy ol’ Canada where Gav is from and we have similar dysfunctions frustrating any tax paying citizen here as well.

    Federal employees here (public servants) are the worst money sucking, cigarette smoking, time-off taking, complain about everything, paid mental health leave A-holes I have ever met in my life! and…..wait for it….
    We have a public servant racial divide that is unique to Canada. It involves First Nations people here and it is and has been very bad for a long time. This forum is not the place to talk about it.

    Gavin, your wife is an American Indian, we have different overlords but the struggle is similar. Gavin, lets have an interview. This is actually pretty hilarious stuff when I am not crying about it. The absurdities of living in Canada as a First Nations person are monumental but the public service is the Mount Everest of backyard dog piles when it comes to First Nations public servants and how we are hired or not and who is a First Nations person. Imagine your race being legislated.

    So give me a shout Gavin, lets have a chat kirkbrant.com

  13. JJ says:

    WTF? I can’t believe the average public service salary in the US is that high! Even in Canada where we pay WAY more taxes and are generally more supportive of government intervention the average salary is apparently around $67K, which is still hard to believe. Part of the explanation, in Canada anyway, comes from the fact that the public service is very top heavy with all the baby boomers at the pinnacle of their careers.

  14. Benji says:

    Second Dragler

  15. Guy who looks at chicks says:

    Fuck the NY cops. They used to be corrupt, obnoxious bastards until 9/11 and now they all have sainthood. HAHAHAHA

  16. zoom says:

    randylahey’s right my old man was a cop too, he retired this year with 37 years service and never once made over 90K in a year, but he never worked in nyc either.

  17. Big Time Numb Nuts says:

    Paying cops a decent salary limits corruption. You also have to figure that the city wants them to live in the city. 100K ain’t squat to keep a guy clean and in the city…with a family? Are they required to live there?

  18. fredMS says:

    nyc cops dont live in nyc. most of the ppl who work in nyc dont live in nyc.

  19. Elliott says:

    @Normal Guy,

    Don’t believe the hype. Taxes are way down over last year, to the tune of $173billion actually. Plus, once Obama raises taxes it will only be on people making more then 200k. (I have a feeling this doesn’t affect you)

  20. rjb says:

    You’ve really got a bug up your ass about unions. Are you a teabagger?

  21. Pocket Protector McGee says:

    i’ve reached the salary plateau of my career as an engineer, about $120K. Should I do a career switch to being a cop?

    BTW, If you think NYPD is ballin’, Sheriffs in bum-fuck counties in California make $300K and can early-double-dip into their pensions so they effectively make $600K per year. In comparison when I worked at Orange/France Telecom research lab , the VP of R&D made $600K, and they have infinite cashflow…

  22. Anonymous says:

    holy shit 100 people?

  23. This nonsense has to stop says:

    You think NYPD officers are over paid? Check out the salaries of cops in Long Island who don’t do shit most of their shift. Gavin you’re just going to have to accept that public sector jobs always had certain benefits in this country. It’s how people are enticed into doing these jobs, because most of us after we grew up had no desire to be cops or firemen. That’s why parents used to push their kids towards them when all else failed, it was a surefire way for their parents to sleep at night knowing their kids would have secure jobs that were recession proof and they could die knowing their kids would at least be in the middle class and have some part of the American dream.
    Also one of the commenters mentioned that it also helped keep corruption down, and that’s a fact you have no idea how bad department wide corruption used to be, that was one of the few things in American Gangster that wasn’t really exaggerated about old NY. Even honest cops had to go on the take and be one of the guys, or otherwise be a pariah and catch hell either through getting no back up, beatings, or catching a bullet.
    Plus Long Island and Westchester were always cherry picking trained, experienced city cops with the offer of double their city salaries and pensions. The city had to start offering competitive salaries and benefits to keep experienced cops here in the 80’s and early 90’s when the city was overwhelmed with crime and the crack epidemics.
    100k isn’t shit in NYC anymore, it doesn’t even get you qualified by a land lord’s rent formula for a decent one bed in Manhattan. 15 years ago that salary could have set you on the path of home ownership in the city or at least the nicer neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The problem isn’t that they make more, except in comparison to you and others who work in private creative fields, the problem is that the rest of our real world wages and its spending power is kept in a spot that is nowhere near the reality of inflation

  24. B says:

    Gavin,

    You get what you pay for. If you pay shit, the guys providing you with a controlled environment to live and work in will on average be dumber and less motivated. Talk to someone in the Department of Corrections about their colleagues, who match the inmates pretty closely for a demonstration of this principle-I’d recommend finding a Prison Nurse, who tend to be a bit smarter, for a good perspective. Comparing meatpackers with cops is misleading. Look up the work of Dave Grossman. Numerous studies have been done that show what’s common sense in the first place: for mental stress and PTSD, nothing compares with another human being actively and personally trying to kill or injure you. Not getting carpet bombed or shelled, and sure as fuck not dismantling carcasses with power tools. You, like any other sane human, go out of your way to avoid dealing with psychopaths, child molesters, crackheads and murderers. Cops do it full time, and in an uncontrolled environment.

    Also, your article on the NYFD was wrong. Yes, the urban FDs have worked themselves out of a job when it comes to fighting fires (obviously, a good thing!) and now spend 90% of their time working as EMTs and Paramedics; however, the difference between a Paramedic and a a guy that provides CPR, as you put it, is like the difference between you and the janitor at your office. No exageration.

  25. aesk47 says:

    Bitch please! You chose your line of work so stop complaining! The more people get paid, the more they spend money, the more they spend money, better for the economy… You really need to shut up with all the anti-union talk. Not everyone wants to work retard hours, but everyone deserves a decent living if they do their job! It’s as simple as that, that neo-lib rethoric of yours is ridiculous…

  26. wyatt says:

    and thank you to Faisal Shahzad for keeping 900 kops from getting laid off form the imminent 55 million dollar pay cut. that money could have gone toward public service, education or free ice cream.

    “Earlier this year, Bloomberg had been preparing to slash 892 NYPD jobs through attrition to save $55 million in related costs. The turnabout comes as the NYPD is being hailed for its heroics since officers discovered terrorist Faisal Shahzad’s explosives-packed Nissan Pathfinder in Times Square last Saturday.”

    We should hire more hot dog vendors too, since he was the guy that found it, was suspicious and alerted a cop on a fucking horse. Yes, a cop on a horse in New York City. In 2010. There’s money well spent too.

  27. unknown nobody says:

    The impending liability of public pensions is terrifying. In 5-10 years we’re going to see huge battles between the general tax paying population and these massively powerful public unions.

    For decades politicians have given away cushy retirement packages for votes. It’s going to cripple cities for decades to come.

    Most of this folks telling Gavin to F-off don’t get it. Paying these super gushy retirement programs equals serious cuts to ALL other services. Tax revenue won’t be raised so impacts will be direct and felt nationwide.

    When the public employees of the boomer generation start retiring and our roads, schools and basic infrastructure starts crumbling, you naysayers will be signing a different tune. 40-60% of tax revenue spent on pension requirements will cripple us.

  28. “even if they could defend these exorbitant pensions, the money is simply no longer there”

    The money will always be there. We’ll just keep borrowing. Where’s our debt, in the trillions? Whats a few more billion to fund these people’s “hard earned” salaries.

    In fact, we should all quit our private sector jobs right now and all be public servants. Eliminate the private sector altogethor and just keep borrowing forever to subsidize it. Then we’ll all get absurd salaries/pensions/PTO/etc.

    Who’s with me???

  29. Hunk Golden says:

    yeah breast wishes, maybe we can all even have our own money printing presses in our homes too.

  30. Dragler says:

    if the government feels these salaries and pensions are appropriate for people, how do they justify how much less the rest of us make? with shit benfits/pensions?

    do highly paid cops do a better job than ones who aren’t? of course they do. If we could afford to put a highly paid cop on every single street corner we would do that. The problem is we can’t afford it. The problem is not that they aren’t doing an important job. Unlike alot of government beaorcracy and so forth, it’s one most people see as not remotely expendable.

  31. Joe Blow says:

    If y’all want a quick survey of just what kind of financial problems the good ol’ US of A is going to have in the next 10-20 years take the time to go through these presentations. Public sector union and pensions aren’t even the half of it.

    http://www.chrismartenson.com/crashcourse/chapter-19-future-shock

  32. B says:

    This idea that cutting security spending will solve the imminent economic crisis is crazy, too. You can’t have any kind of healthy economy in the abscence of law and order. Attempts to “do more with less” are inevitably going to lead to what you can hear in the NYPD tapes article in the Village Voice, increased bullshit and police harassment for unbuckled seatbelts while actual law enforcement drops off, with chiefs calling assault and robbery victims on the phone and bullying them into retracting their complaints. Just like anyone else, cops respond to incentives and disincentives.

  33. Dragler says:

    the solution to absolutely every political or economic problem anyone could write an article about is to end our military empire across the world.

  34. hmmm says:

    .. so you’re saying the solution to this isn’t pay private sector employees more, but pay public sector employees less?


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