When we label a public servant as "non-essential," we do little to promote their sacrifice and dedication to making our country. Even more, this belittling label does not inspire young and innovative people to join government to make positive change.
Many of the programs that started in California have been adopted nationally and even by other countries, measurably improving public health, saving money for consumers, and creating new businesses and sustainable jobs.
These days, when I say "federal contractor," you think Snowden. And it turns there are lots of them doing highly classified work for which they are handsomely paid. They are not the folks we're talking about here.
Labor Day means many things to many people -- back to school, the end of summer, a needed respite from the daily grind. For working people and union members, Labor Day stands for something special and profound.
Mitt Romney recently let his potential federal workforce know that he thinks they are overpaid. Any executive who took the CEO's job after announcing that his entire workforce was not worth much would not create the conditions for high performance.
When I signed up to be a poll booth worker in this year's election, I needed $200. I won't say why I needed this money, only that it would help pay for a certain citation from the City of New York that I had been putting off paying.
Someone who likes their job 75 percent of the time is probably doing vastly better than average, so here are a five ways we can keep public sector employees -- and, really, anyone in the workforce -- interested, happy and productive.