A recent letter condemned local talk radio for its leadership role in the Erie County taxpayer revolt. The writer accused the hosts of pontificating "on how useless and expensive county workers" and other public employees are. He demanded to know the salaries of the show hosts and their job qualifications.
First of all, the job requirements and compensation rates of private enterprise are just that; private. Only the business investor and employee need to know that information. If you don't like a company's product or service, you are free to shop the competition.
On the other hand, government is a monopoly and you are forced to "buy" (via taxes) the product offered whether you like it or not. In fact, you are subject to penalty should you decline to "buy." The taxpayer cannot simply turn to a competitive service provider. His choices are to either fight the corrupt powers, via lawful revolt, or leave the state. County taxpayers now choose to fight.
Issues of national security aside, citizens have a right and a civic responsibility to question any government business, including salaries, job qualifications and duties.