Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Yeah, About that Public Sector? It's Doing Fine.

So says this numbers-filled article from Investors Business Daily.  Among other things, it points out that, where as private employment has shed 4% of it's jobs from the 2008 peak, and public employment (over all) has only shed 1.8% of its jobs in the same period, Federal Government jobs, not including the Post Office, have actually gained 11.4% in the same period.

Now, considering the median net worth of Americans has dropped 40% in that period as well, I would think even maintaining only a 1.8% job-loss rate would be good, but an 11.4% increase?  That's insane.

Let's forget, for a moment, that every dollar spent on government is actually taking money out of the economy.  Let's forget, for a moment, the dollars we spend on incredible benefits and pensions.  Even putting those aside, every federal government employee exists only to hamper the private sector- with the exception of the military.

Yes, I said that correctly.  Only the military is excepted.  Those other public servants?  However good and necessary their jobs are (and I believe that the FBI do a good and necessary job, for instance), their purpose is to, in some way, limit the private sector.  This is more true, for instance, of EPA regulators than it is of the FBI, but it is still part of their jobs.

So when the federal government grows disproportionately to the private sector, it will always hamper growth and prosperity.  It can't do anything else.  If we add back in the things we consciously "forgot" earlier, the situation gets even worse.

Yet Big Government types will hide behind "Police, Teachers, and Fire-Fighters" any time someone brings up the idea of cutting government jobs.  What, the only people the government employs are the police, fire-fighters, or teachers?  They don't employ anyone else?

Of course they do, and of course it's those jobs that would be first on the chopping block, if Conservatives had their way.  The problem tends to be that politicians know that they can typically avoid cuts if they use police, fire-fighters, and teachers as the employment equivalent of human shields.  If they say, "Oh, if we cut government spending, we'll have to lay off police and fire-fighters which will make us less safe, and we'll have to lay off teachers which will make your kids stupid!" they know much of the public can be counted upon to say, "Oh, no! Not that, here, have an even higher percentage of the fruit of my labor."

Heck.  Even God only wanted 10%.  The government takes upwards of 50% in some cases.

We must stop falling for this demagogic argument.  If policy makers choose to make police, fire-fighters, and teachers the first victims of any necessary cuts in government spending, that's their choice.  They could have chosen, instead, to cut administrative staff, or librarians, or shut down city swimming pools, or any number of other things.  It is not that they don't have a choice about where they cut spending, they want you to feel guilty for wanting to keep more of your own money.

The government is big enough.  The public sector is doing fine.  Let's ease up on the private sector, and let them actually start growing us out of this recession.

No comments:

Post a Comment