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I think that is a bit of as tired trope from the 70s to 90s. Many of the PS nowadays are IMHO well compensated for their level of effort compared to their private sector compatriots. There will always be outliers of courseBut we also gave up ever becoming wealthy for it. Nothing comes for free. I know a lot of families who have one person in private and the other in a Public Service, the private person can make more, but with more volatility in their life, the PS job makes sure the bills get paid and food on the table.