picture emerges here. It's both geographical and political.
The bluer the state, the better the state workers do. Their turf is the Northeast, Upper Midwest and Pacific Coast, much more than the Deep South. They may go by the "public servant" label everywhere, but there are parts of the country where they are treated more like kings.
States with the highest state pay include those (like California and Illinois) notable for their struggles with perennial fiscal crises. They are also significant "sender" states in domestic migration. On balance, they lose more people to other states than they gain — an indication of where the jobs are going.
Private-sector pay is also relatively high in the servant-as-king states. Housing usually costs more, and taxes are steeper — though, of course, the public workers and their powerful unions bear much of the blame for that.
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