Monday, April 4, 2011

A Most Troubling Economic Statistic

"More Americans work for the government than in manufacturing, farming, fishing, forestry, mining and utilities combined," notes Stephen Moore — We've Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Pints in NYC said...

For some reason this story reminded me of these two contrasting speeches in "Other People's Money"

Perhaps it is because Peck says "a nation that makes nothing but hamburgers"?

Gregory Peck -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJRhrow3Jws

Danny DeVito -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfL7STmWZ1c&feature=related

12:02 PM  
Blogger M.Z. said...

The reason he left the service industry out is...
... because the service industry eclipses both.

2004 stats:
state and federal government: 8 per 100
manufacturing, framing, fishing, utilities: 17 per 100
http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2005/winter/art03.pdf

BTW, I think it would be quite troubling if say 1 in 3 Americans were working in farming.

12:18 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Wow! I've never seen it. A great title, and how could a movie starring Gregory Peck and Danny DeVito be anything but great?

12:20 PM  
Blogger Carl M. said...

I noticed this in my family. My brother and brother-in-law are military. My sister works in public school and I work at a public university. (My wife teaches at private school, but the market is clearly distorted by the public schools.) My father and other sister work in medicine, which is all but government run. My other brother-in-law regularly goes to China to make factory deals making dental equipment and my mother sells furniture, almost all from China. So, none of us works in a purely capitalist realm. We're all being interfered with on one level or another.

12:23 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

M.Z., what unites both the service industry and government employment is that they produce nothing.

Carl M., the same is true of my family.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Pat Buchanan was talking about this shift in the economy back in the early 1990's. This is what happens when you get the combination of big government and free trade/globalization.

3:00 PM  
Blogger M.Z. said...

Distribution has historically been a greater issue than production. The Whiskey revolt in its essence was a distribution issue. But more to the point, are you claiming you produce nothing of value? And indeed the richest men in the world value government workers for if it weren't for them, they would have been plundered or hung long ago.

2:20 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

But you have to make stuff to sell in order to raise taxes to pay these government workers. We can't have an economy where everyone launders each other's clothes.

Those government workers at the top who sold us on the service economy should have been hanged long ago.

5:13 AM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Indeed. And most of the selling was done in favor of a "free trade" ideology, borrowed from libertarianism, that simply doesn't work in the real world. Far more realistic was the economic program followed by the United States prior to the advent of the Bush I & Clinton administration's, an emphasis on fair trade that supported American jobs and workers, rather than "free trade" which relied on constant government interventions in the marketplace in order to gut out jobs and send them overseas.

The take-down of the American economy was done at the behest of big business with coordination by the American government. That's what "free trade" means, in reality.

7:57 AM  

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