@roundthebend58 - nobody benefits from having our physical lives stolen from us

Benefit? What benefit? Every single public sector employee is worthless, and therefore it doesn't benefit any private sector worker to have them exist. In fact worthless is being too generous: worthless implies their net value is zero, when in fact it's less than zero.

Let's take the leftist loser's favourite example: our public sector nurses. Let's say for the sake of argument that a public sector nurse's compensation is $100,000 (compensation of course factors in both wages and benefits). That is to say, she costs the taxpayer $100,000 annually.

Remember however that the nurses are part of a public sector union.

Most economists agree that public-sector unions' political power leads to more government spending. And recently, Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute documented how government unionism has abetted growth in public-sector compensation. Generally speaking, the public sector pays more than the private sector for jobs at the low end of the labor market, while the private sector pays more for jobs at the high end. For janitors and secretaries, for instance, the public sector offers an appreciably better deal than the private economy: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for the roughly 330,000 office clerks who work in government was almost $27,000 in 2005, while the 2.7 million in the private sector received an average pay of just under $23,000. Nationwide, among the 108,000 janitors who work in government, the average salary was $23,700; the average salary of the 2 million janitors working in the private sector, meanwhile, was $19,800.

For workers with advanced degrees, however, the public-sector pay scale is likely to be slightly below the private-sector benchmark. Private-sector economists, for instance, earn an average of $99,000 a year, compared to the $69,000 earned by their government colleagues. And accountants in the corporate world earn average annual salaries of $52,000, compared to $48,000 for their public-sector counterparts.

Not as easily captured is the comparable worth of those government workers who lack counterparts in the private sector, such as policemen, firefighters, and corrections officers. But that very monopoly status has given the union representatives of these workers enormous leverage, which they have converted into major gains. For example, in New York state, county police officers were paid an average salary of $121,000 a year in 2006. In that same year, according to the Boston Globe, 225 of the 2,338 Massachusetts State Police officers made more than the $140,535 annual salary earned by the state's governor. Four state troopers received more than $200,000, and 123 others were paid more than $150,000. While people whose jobs entail greater risk of life and limb certainly deserve higher pay, union power has clearly added a substantial premium.

When all jobs are considered, state and local public-sector workers today earn, on average, $14 more per hour in total compensation (wages and benefits) than their private-sector counterparts. The New York Times has reported that public-sector wages and benefits over the past decade have grown twice as fast as those in the private sector.

So they make a lot more money than the same job would pay in the private sector. In other words, in a world where Alberta totally privatized healthcare (see, the reasons in favour just keep growing!), the nurse wouldn't be making $100,000. She'd be making perhaps $84,000, which would more accurately reflect the actual real-world value that the nurse's labours provide to her employer (which at the moment is us). So already for every nurse in Alberta (and there are 26000 of them) the Alberta taxpayer is receiving $16,000 fewer in "benefits" than spent in taxes.

For the reasons behind this, see this classic Ann Coulter column

But that isn't the whole story! After all unlike the $84,000 which is being freely paid by customers who determined that the hospital is providing them real value for their money (the same way that the security guard at the bank is being paid for from the ATM fees), the money used to pay this nurse is sucked out of the economy by the government. That means the money is straight up lost. Of course, government being as inefficient as it is, to pay a nurse $100,000 actually costs the taxpayer far more: in 2000 a European study showed that the "input efficiency" for Canada (Alberta is presumably similar) is 0.75 and the "output efficiency" is 0.84. Remember too that even if Alberta has a better number, we also fund the other provinces via equalization. What that means is that Canada's economy could get the same level of government service if only 75% of the current level of taxation is applied. Now you also can see how I arrived at the $84,000 value above.

Therefore to pay the nurse our original $100,000, the Canadian government rips $133,333 from the Canadian economy. In other words, the economy loses almost $50,000 ($49,333) per nurse. If you take the Objectivist view it's even worse: the $133,000 is entirely lost from that perspective. That's a flat out $133,000 per nurse loss.

You can play this game with pretty much every other government employee. Privatize education and watch teachers and principals suddenly being paid the amount the market thinks they deserve and the economy isn't robbed of the extra money. Privatize police and fire departments and private security and fire prevention firms pick up the slack with less waste. Ditto roadways and tourism promotion and operating parks and campgrounds and yes even courts. By the time you're done the only truly public sector jobs left are the ones that involve the small number of government programs that cannot be privatized: you'll find it's a pretty small list. While there will of course still be a Legislature, it probably won't need 87 MLAs or 62 MLAs or perhaps even 25 MLAs.

On a federal government level there can similarly be a massive shedding of bureaucracy: maintaining a defensive standing army and border patrols can't cost that much, especially how the Liberals fund the military. You'll also find yourself thinking the number of MPs can be drastically reduced as well, not to mention a similar reduction in the size of their staffs.

Then we truly can benefit from "our tax dollars" in the only way possible: keeping them.