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Thread: We've Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers

  1. #1
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    Default We've Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...867182108.html

    http://tinyurl.com/3s93ds8

    More Americans work for the government than in manufacturing, farming, fishing, forestry, mining and utilities combined.

    By STEPHEN MOORE

    If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.

    It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees. Is it any wonder that so many states and cities cannot pay their bills?

    -more-

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    The use of "Work" or "Workers" when describing an employee is an assumption most writers are not qualified to make. I do understand "is employed by" is a stretch for most graduates of our government schools .
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    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    Just wait if Obama Care gets rolling.

    We can't afford the government we have and adding a few hundred thousand more Fed employees will not be sustainable financially.
    It's such a shame that in the USA, defending Liberty has become such a heroic deed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Johnson View Post
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...867182108.html

    http://tinyurl.com/3s93ds8

    More Americans work for the government than in manufacturing, farming, fishing, forestry, mining and utilities combined.

    By STEPHEN MOORE

    If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.

    It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees. Is it any wonder that so many states and cities cannot pay their bills?

    -more-
    Eric,
    Why do you think that is? We've had democrats and republicans running things since 1960, and this trend has continued under both. Actually, the size of govt in terms of payroll numbers and amounts decreased under clinton, as odd as it may sound, but nonethless, both parties have been complicit in this trend.

    I think its a function of cheaper labor markets opening up on world markets. We just can't compete. Unions or not. An acceptable wage for our American standard of living is way off most other countries charts.

    I've posed the question here before: Can an economy survive and thrive based on technology and service? Or MUST an economy be a producer of goods to survive? I don't know. Not sure anyone does.

    Good thread...hopefully good discussion to follow...
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    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    The issue is the behemuth known as government.

    With today's technology, we should be able to operate all government with the same number of people we did in the 1960's!

    Simple Economics 101, tax payers can not afford to support all of these people.

    Just wait till the Fed Reserve scandal hits the media later tonight!

    Here is a taste; bailouts to foreign banks and businesses. Add bailout of major private corporation's Pension funds!!!

    No wonder they fought being audited so hard.
    It's such a shame that in the USA, defending Liberty has become such a heroic deed.

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    Good God. Doesn't anyone take the time to look up numbers for themselves?

    They keep track of some pretty neat statistics if you're willing to look. For example, you can find the total number of government civilian, government military, and state and local government employees, all listed with total population numbers. For example check out the numbers in this spreadsheet. I was going to make some nice graphs for you guys, but I want to enjoy what's left of my Friday night!

    http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy...s/hist17z5.xls

    Are you back now? Looking at the numbers you can see that over the period between 1962 and 2003 the number of government workers per 1000 US citizens went like this.

    Executive branch Civilians
    from 13.3 down to 9.2

    Uniformed military
    from 15.2 down to 5.08

    State and local government
    From 35.1 up to 64.5

    So we have about 70% the civilians, 1/3 the uniformed, and twice the number of state and local government workers. You may want to argue that this is because of federal mandates, I don't know. But at any rate, something we really might want to be concerned about in all this is what's happening to people that used to make things around here.

    I couldn't help but notice that Stephen brought utility workers into it. If he knows of some way to increase the number or people working in that area, that would be cool.
    Last edited by Buzz; 04-01-2011 at 08:45 PM.
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    One thing that may need to be adjusted for is the size of the military. Dunno.

    However, the size of the Clinton government isn't really the issue. If the government has grown steadily since the 1960's, a Clinton downturn only impacted the marginal growth, not the baseline.

    Further, the growth of the Federal government programs have pushed the 50 states and the local governments to grow. Given the number of state and local governments, the growth has been nearly exponential.

    Eric

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    Senior Member Buzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Johnson View Post
    Given the number of state and local governments, the growth has been nearly exponential.

    Eric

    I don't know about exponential. That would be pretty breathtaking. From the numbers I found, in 2003 we had about 1.8 the number of state and local government workers per 1000 US citizens than we did in 1962. That works out to roughly a 1.5% annual growth relative to the US population.
    "For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required." -- Luke 12:48

    Raven - Moneybird's Black Magic Marker***
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    Mick - Moneybird's Jumpin' Jack Flash***
    (Clubmead's Road Warrior x Oakdale Whitewater Devil Dog)
    Peerless - Moneybird's Sole Survivor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    I don't know about exponential. That would be pretty breathtaking. From the numbers I found, in 2003 we had about 1.8 the number of state and local government EMPLOYEES per 1000 US citizens than we did in 1962. That works out to roughly a 1.5% annual growth relative to the US population.
    Rough numbers -

    In 1962 Population 100 mil - 10 % public equals 10 mil

    2003 population 300 mil - 1.8/K would = 54 million

    So for a 3 times growth in population there is a 5.4 times growth in public employees????????????? What's different? The cost per employee!!!! Considerably .
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  10. #10
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    Buzz-

    I was admittedly using a bit of hyperbole. Change "nearly exponential" to "breathtaking."

    Eric

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