Patterico's Pontifications

3/31/2010

Killing the American Economy

Filed under: Economics,Government — DRJ @ 4:57 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

From Reason TV:

“As unemployment stubbornly sticks near 10 percent and any sort of economic recovery seems a long way off, think about this: The one part of the economy that’s going gangbusters is government work.

Indeed, since the Great Recession started in December 2007, over 8 million jobs have been lost in the private sector while the public sector has added at least 100,000 positions. It’s time to recognize that public-sector employment is killing the economy for at least three reasons.”

The three reasons are:

1. They cost too much.
2. We can’t fire them.
3. They create a permanent lobby for expanded government and higher taxes.

Not convinced? All you really need to see is this chart posted at Hot Air.

— DRJ

57 Responses to “Killing the American Economy”

  1. My oldest son is about to graduate from college and is awaiting decisions from law schools. I never overtly pushed him to pursue a career in law, but now that he’s finding himself drawn to it, my recommendation has been that he look for work — beginning with summers during law school — as a government lawyer: The pay is way behind the private sector, but the benefits are (and are likely to remain) comparable or better, there’s more job security, and regardless of how tragically incompetent our political leaders may be, you nevertheless always have, by definition, a “righteous client” when you get to stand up to introduce yourself to a court or jury by saying: “John Smith, Your Honor, for the United States of America.” That’s the way I’d try to go, I think, if I were coming out of law school these days.

    Beldar (7549b8)

  2. Beldar: certainly if I could get a job as a government lawyer, I would choose to do so. But in part that’s because I’m walking out of a successful software career into law because I want to use my talents to serve the public good, and work as a government lawyer (particular as either a DA or a PD) is a good way to do that.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  3. What does the government produce? There are certain functions people look to the government to perform for them, but it is essentially a huge sucking cost sinkhole supported by the rest of the economy. Of the sinkhole gets too big, it pulls the rest of the economy into it.

    Hey, we can always tax our way to greatness the European and liberal way and print money to make up for any shortfalls!!!!!11ty!!!!

    Suhweeeet!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  4. Big Zero promises more domestic oil as he and his unindicted, DemocRAT co-conspirators are busy assembling an overall energy package chock-full of global-warming measures that will destroy the economy and raise the cost of every source of energy.

    GeneralMalaise (c1b78b)

  5. this is what happened to California… rotted from the head…

    ohnoes Mr. Beldar… that’s not a nice thing to do to a young man… one of my friends went to DOJ after law school and it’s not helpful as far as keeping it real goes she said… she was very unhappy and got hepatitis.

    happyfeet (71f6cb)

  6. “What does the government produce?”

    Nation building counts as manufacturing, doesn’t it?

    snips (6a0094)

  7. ‘They’ only cost too much and ‘they’ can’t be fired only because ‘we’ stand idly by. The last I checked, there are more non-government worker voters in a given district than government worker voters… yet those of us who work in the private sector let our elected officials dole out the big benefits to government workers.

    Not only that, we often vote for local representatives based on the endorsements they receive from teacher, police and firefighter unions… even though those endorsements mean that the endorsed candidate is on board with even higher pay and benefits for government workers.

    None of which should come as a surprise. Voters dumb enough to have voted for Obama, Bush, Clinton and the current crop of idiots in Congress have proven they’re incapable of seeing through pretty campaign slogans.

    steve sturm (116925)

  8. Rock solid comment, snips!

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  9. […] Tea Party Protester Won’t Let Jesse Jackson Take His Sign Patterico’s Pontifications: Killing the American Economy and In Vino Veritas and Senate Passes Reconciliation Bill and “Have You Read the Bill? . . . Hell […]

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  10. I note that the LA city council members are taking pride in the fact that they’ve been able to paper over their deficit without any (public employee) layoffs.

    Someone really needs to run a Sanity Slate in 2011.

    Kevin Murphy (3c3db0)

  11. Comment by Kevin Murphy — 3/31/2010 @ 6:07 pm

    Yes, didn’t they do it by jacking-up the utility rates at DWP?
    A lot of people are going to be unpleasantly surprised with their new water & power bills.

    AD - RtR/OS! (6f84de)

  12. steve sturm – 5:42pm – …those of us who work in the private sector let our elected officials dole out the big benefits to government workers.
    – And, I would add, to politically connected private sector companies.

    It won’t matter what the elected officials promise, because it’s unsustainable.

    California is bankrupt, and I actually wouldn’t want to be a gov’t worker right now. They’ve simply run out of money, and there isn’t enough taxpayer revenue to steal any longer. They’re already beginning to turn on the teachers unions, partially because the teachers unions don’t cover other unions’ backs, and those other unions want a part of that guaranteed budgetary allotment that goes to ‘education’. Dumping the teachers unions frees up a lot of cash.

    Expect more fratricide on the way down.

    Their only alternative is to attempt to force a crisis by limiting services, but with the kind of information floating around out there as highlighted in this post, that old ‘crisis’ avenue is closing fast.

    Beldar is a smart guy, but even he isn’t getting it. Everybody can’t work for the government. We are at the end of the revenue stream. The more the kleptocracy attempts to steal, the more the economy heads underground. It’s arguable that the USSR, near the point of collapse, had the majority of its economic transactions in the black market.

    The Obama administration just pushed through a bill that is realistically the equivalent of magic flying shoes.

    Pretend economies don’t work, no matter how many people wish they did.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  13. Sorry, the formatting appeared differently on my monitor.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  14. Beldar,

    That’s good advice for your son. We’re telling ours the same thing and to be willing to go foreign.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  15. It’s all very sad. I feel like we are on a sluggish but unstoppable train to nowhere.

    Patricia (fa8e06)

  16. Pattricia, wanna switch trains? The one I’m on is going TGV speeds.

    John Hitchcock (3b0943)

  17. I’ve worked for a “quasi-governmental agency.” It was government in everything but name. Initiative and innovation were not encouraged. But, as the company I work for, and the industry it serves, go down the tubes under the weight of the increased regulatory and compliance burden, and as a decent retirement and health-care benefits become more important to me, I’m starting to think that the public sector offers greater personal opportunity. (It’s also fun to be the one telling people what to do, instead of the one being told!)

    Diffus (340f5d)

  18. I don’t remember the details, but I heard the other day that if salaries and benefits of the public sector were dropped to equal the private sector that the financial troubles of many, many states and cities would instantly disappear.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  19. MD in Philly – …if salaries and benefits of the public sector were dropped to equal the private sector…
    That will happen eventually. What isn’t clear is how much economic destruction will occur before reality cracks the stranglehold of government waste.

    It seems to me that the government entities are attempting to sequester as much resources amongst themselves in preparation for this occurrence.

    Think white collar criminals when they know they’re about to be apprehended. Money gets stashed in order to end up on top after the fall.

    As a society, we’re very bad at accurately assessing responsibility for large economic and political failures.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  20. Headline from FoxNews….

    “2,500 Layoffs Blamed on Obama’s Student Loan Overhaul”

    Change you can believe in!

    AD - RtR/OS! (6f84de)

  21. AD – B+ Move. Haul the offenders in front of Waxman.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  22. Have faith! This is America. If you work hard, you can become anything you want an IRS agent!

    Patricia (fa8e06)

  23. Heinlein identified this one decades ago:

    “In a mature society, ‘civil servant’ is semantically equal to ‘civil master‘.”
    – Lazarus Long (R. A. Heinlein) –

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  24. > As a society, we’re very bad at accurately assessing responsibility for large economic and political failures.

    I think this time’s about to be the exception to that…

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  25. “My oldest son is about to graduate from college and is awaiting decisions from law schools. ”

    If he can avoid it he shouldn’t go straight to grad school.

    imdw (19cd35)

  26. Stuart Varney reported this morning that Government workers make, on average, 45% more than private sector workers. Heck, if we all get government jobs – look how much better off we’ll all be.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  27. It is common for parasites to kill their host.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  28. Beldar and DRJ, if the kids have any facility for language, I would strongly encourage them to learn a language, like Mandarin, and spend a couple of years teaching English in China or other jobs overseas. Teaching English is good because you work on your other language at the same time. A friend of my middle daughter’s just came back from China after four years in Beijing. He is now in grad school and just got married to his girlfriend who was one of his students. As an aside, it is interesting to see how many Chinese girls marry non-Chinese men now even as China has a huge shortage of marriage age women. It used to be rare for Chinese to marry someone not Chinese.

    Anyway, my daughter and her fiance visited them in Beijing two years ago and they came back for her wedding last summer. My daughter is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and is learning Arabic. She and I started a Mandarin class a couple of years ago but she couldn’t handle the commute from UCLA at the time.

    Kids with language skills will have an excellent job future. I read the other day about law graduates leaving the country because of lack of jobs. Some of my daughter’s friends started a job teaching English in Thailand but there was some Muslim violence and they came home. South Thailand is not safe except the resorts.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  29. My comments lose the spacing when posted. Do I need multiple spaces ?

    MIke K (2cf494)

  30. Apogee-

    Thanks for the feedback at #19. I left the idea at the stage of “if only they would change this how much better it would be for everyone”. You are more accurate in wondering how much damage will have to happen first.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  31. “Stuart Varney reported this morning that Government workers make, on average, 45% more than private sector workers.”

    By position or total? Does anyone see a problem with the latter comparison?

    imdw (779953)

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