The Nation: Splendid Insulation

For most Americans, the past few years have been a Sisyphusian struggle against inflation and recession. But thousands of senior federal civil servants have enjoyed a kind of splendid insulation from such onslaughts. Among the cushions, according to a survey by Sindlinger & Co.: almost inviolable job security (in times of crisis, the Government—unlike private enterprises —tends to expand rather than retrench), generous pay hikes and lush fringe benefits.

Sindlinger sampled 894 households, including northern Virginia's Fairfax County and central Maryland's Montgomery County—the famed bedroom suburbs of Washington, D.C., that are home to legions of the nation's top bureaucrats. Sindlinger found that...

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