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smallest government in 45 years? (be ready for a talking point)
The Atlantic ^ | 8/3/2012 | Jordan Weissmann

Posted on 08/07/2012 7:20:58 AM PDT by HenryArmitage

Since the official end of the Great Recession, America's public sector has shrunk. And shrunk. And shrunk some more. We've said goodbye to about 600,000 government jobs, handing the economy a nasty self-inflicted wound in the process.

But how small has our public sector really become? Here's one way to think about it: Compared to our population, it hasn't been this size since 1968. Your dreams are coming true Baby Boomers. We're almost all the way back to the Summer of Love!

First, credit where it's due. The Hamilton Project has produced a beautiful graph illustrating the government employment to population ratio. As it shows, there are now fewer public sector employees per American than at any time dating back to the Carter administration (To be clear, we're talking state, federal, and local here). ...

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: 2012electionbias; dnctalkingpoints; obamasczars; pravdamedia; smallgovernment
A talking point you may see pop up. Honestly, I think comparing the size of gov to the size of the population is a bit dishonest. Money spent is a far more accurate way to judge the scope and power of Gov. Interested to hear everyone else's take on it. (there are some interesting graphs at the website linked) also is anyone familiar with the Hamilton Project's political leanings?
1 posted on 08/07/2012 7:21:08 AM PDT by HenryArmitage
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To: HenryArmitage

Automation allowing a smaller group of leaches inflict more damage?


2 posted on 08/07/2012 7:27:01 AM PDT by jospehm20
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To: HenryArmitage

In 1968 banks still closed on Wed Afternoon to balance. Cows got milked by hand. Pick ups had shifts on the column. In what way is this number from ‘68 a useful reference point ?


3 posted on 08/07/2012 7:31:26 AM PDT by major-pelham
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To: HenryArmitage

“Compared to our population, it hasn’t been this size since 1968.”

GOOD! A small step in the right direction.


4 posted on 08/07/2012 7:31:26 AM PDT by READINABLUESTATE ("We must hang together, gentlemen...else, we shall most assuredly hang separately." - Franklin)
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To: HenryArmitage

A total lie! Total BS!

I guarantee that when liberals talk about less “government workers”, then area ALWAYS talking about less military personnel. So when they cut the defense budget, less soldiers equals less government workers.


5 posted on 08/07/2012 7:32:13 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: HenryArmitage

A total lie! Total BS!

I guarantee that when liberals talk about less “government workers”, then area ALWAYS talking about less military personnel. So when they cut the defense budget, less soldiers equals less government workers.


6 posted on 08/07/2012 7:32:41 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator
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To: KC_Conspirator

Good point. The comparison should be civilian workers. Also, the comparison should be inflation adjusted non-defense dollars.


7 posted on 08/07/2012 7:37:38 AM PDT by p. henry
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To: HenryArmitage

Per the link below, total gubmint spoending, as a percent of GDP was:

2011: 40%
2010: 41%
2009: 43%
2008: 37%
2007: 35%
2006: 35%
2005: 35%
2004: 35%
2003: 35%
2002: 35%
2001: 33%
2000: 33%
1999: 33%
1998: 33%
1980: 34%
1970: 31%

This talking point is completely bogus, and only points to the fact that government pay has outpaced the rest of the economy, if there are in fact fewer workers.

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/total_2011USpt_88ps5n


8 posted on 08/07/2012 7:43:02 AM PDT by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: p. henry

The author’s point is irrelevant. If you cannot pay for services without going into additional debt then you are still too big.


9 posted on 08/07/2012 7:45:07 AM PDT by yadent
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To: lacrew

a good response. thanks for the link.


10 posted on 08/07/2012 7:46:49 AM PDT by HenryArmitage (it was not meant that we should voyage far.)
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To: p. henry

Here’s the dirty little secret about the civilian Government workforce.

I’m sure that the size of the civilian Government workforce HAS shrunk over the years. That is always a politician’s favorite talking point at election time.

However, the work still needs to be done.

The Government’s solution is to replace Government workers with contractors. Therefore, the Government pays the (often higher) contractor salaries for the workers, pays for another layer of managers (also contractor) and pays for the profit margin of the contract.

Therefore, the politicians get to crow about how the Government workforce has been cut, but the cost (to the taxpayers)of the Government doing business continues to rise!


11 posted on 08/07/2012 7:50:52 AM PDT by catman67
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To: HenryArmitage

Since it doesn’t seem to specify, I’m guessing it includes local and state government employees as well.


12 posted on 08/07/2012 7:54:45 AM PDT by andyk (Go Juan Pablo!)
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To: HenryArmitage

1 - With computers and the Internet, one regulator can impact 100 times as many people. For example, zoning. It used to be the county zoning folks had to drive around and look for a possible violation. Now they sit at their computer and look at aerial photos. And with the zoning people I’ve run in to, it doesn’t matter if you’ve complied with all zoning laws. They want to know if you bought a permit from them - which in my case ran about $300 for a corral made of panels resting on the top of the ground.

BTW - I got my permit before doing the work. But it took me 4 hours, because a guy staring at an aerial photo insisted I needed a new survey. After 4 hours, I was lucky enough to encounter a guy in the office who had visited the site a month earlier (just before I bought it). He assured the first guy that no survey was needed. If I hadn’t stayed for 4 hours, and lucked out by running into someone who had been there, I’d have needed to pay over $1000 for a survey acceptable to the county.

2 - Much of the Federal government is no longer involved with governing, but in transferring wealth. It takes people to build a road. It takes a computer to monitor your pay and deduct money to give to someone else.

3 - If I want to start a business, how much red tape will I encounter? Do the regulations take up 4 feet of shelves, guaranteeing I’ll violate something somewhere and be subject to fines or delays?


13 posted on 08/07/2012 7:55:31 AM PDT by Mr Rogers (Liberalism: "Ex faslo quodlibet" - from falseness, anything follows)
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To: HenryArmitage
Honestly, I think comparing the size of gov to the size of the population is a bit dishonest. Money spent is a far more accurate way to judge the scope and power of Gov.

Also note that the influx of illegals adds to the general population numbers, diluting the percentages of government employees. By their account, by failing to secure the borders they're reducing the size of government.

14 posted on 08/07/2012 8:02:11 AM PDT by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: HenryArmitage

What do you call 600,000 bureaucrats at the bottom of the ocean?

A good start.


15 posted on 08/07/2012 8:05:05 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: andyk

yes if you go to the actual article via the link, i believe the last line of the story indicates it is from all levels of gov.


16 posted on 08/07/2012 8:09:54 AM PDT by HenryArmitage (it was not meant that we should voyage far.)
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To: HenryArmitage

Same productivity gains that the private sector has undergone except it took an economic calamity for the government to make cuts. It’s not like they wanted a smaller government,it was forced on them.


17 posted on 08/07/2012 8:26:26 AM PDT by wiggen (The teacher card. When the racism card just won't work.)
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To: HenryArmitage

More Czars (who never went through Congressional confirmation) than ever before.

Obama lies, so does the Pravda Revisionist History media.


18 posted on 08/07/2012 8:26:55 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Eric Holder's NAACP rally against the voter ID laws required the press to bring govt issue photo ID.)
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To: HenryArmitage
As it shows, there are now fewer public sector employees per American than at any time dating back to the Carter administration (To be clear, we're talking state, federal, and local here). ...

Everyone on the dole is a PAID gub'mint employee.

19 posted on 08/07/2012 8:29:25 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Eric Holder's NAACP rally against the voter ID laws required the press to bring govt issue photo ID.)
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To: catman67

When all costs are considered, the cost of Govt vs contractor are negligibly different.

But — you can fire or get rid of a contractor on a moment’s notice. You can end a contract tomorrow (termination for ocnvenience) and lose a lot of contractors all at once. Try firing a Government employee - impossible.


20 posted on 08/07/2012 8:30:20 AM PDT by USNA74
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To: catman67

When all costs are considered, the cost of Govt vs contractor are negligibly different.

But — you can fire or get rid of a contractor on a moment’s notice. You can end a contract tomorrow (termination for ocnvenience) and lose a lot of contractors all at once. Try firing a Government employee - impossible.


21 posted on 08/07/2012 8:30:38 AM PDT by USNA74
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To: HenryArmitage

Quite right. State and local governments have had to cut back because of declining taxes. The federal government doesn’t have to.


22 posted on 08/07/2012 8:50:49 AM PDT by Daralundy
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To: HenryArmitage
Money spent is a far more accurate way to judge the scope and power of Gov.

...as well as rules and regualtions.

23 posted on 08/07/2012 8:54:00 AM PDT by BookmanTheJanitor
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To: HenryArmitage
A little indirection going on here.

The size of government is more properly judged by HOW MUCH IT IS SPENDING.

By that measure, we have the largest government in the history of the world.

24 posted on 08/07/2012 8:57:31 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the collectivists.)
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To: HenryArmitage
Out of curiosity, how many of those jobs lost were military?

And how much are we paying the people still around? Is the average salary higher? Are we dumping the low-income workers out into the streets to fend for themselves and keeping the bloated bureaucracy that should be able to find work elsewhere?

25 posted on 08/07/2012 9:48:50 AM PDT by Tanniker Smith (Rome didn't fall in a day, either.)
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To: HenryArmitage

So many things wrong with this incredibly slanted story.

First - what about the TOTAL number of people employed in ANY capacity by the Federal Government (including contracted labor)?

Second - From the “peak” of 2000-2001 to today, we have over half a million MORE Federal workers today! And this doesn’t include the jobs that have moved over to contractors. If you add in those former federal jobs that are not contracted out, the number of Federal employees would skyrocket.

But intellectual fraud is a hallmark of the media - and of these Leftist groups.

How about we also include as “employees of the Federal Government” the millions who live off of social programs!

And lets take it a step farther - in the last decade, what is the INCREASE in the number of those dependent in part, or totally, on government handouts?

I’m not talking about those who paid in to Social Security for a lifetime and are now receiving benefits - they earned those.


26 posted on 08/07/2012 9:58:01 AM PDT by TheBattman (Isn't the lesser evil... still evil?)
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To: HenryArmitage

Ah, thanks. Seems pretty meaningless, since you know those numbers will only be used in the context of the size of the federal government. I bet that if you factor out state and local government, as well as DoD workers, the size of the fedguv is bigger than ever.


27 posted on 08/07/2012 10:03:14 AM PDT by andyk (Go Juan Pablo!)
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To: andyk

I would agree. That is why they lumped it all together. How many have noticed reduced services in your town. Less grass cut, less litter pickup and so forth. The locals can’t just print money to hire more workers. Check out the following video
http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=xOAgT8L_BqQ&feature=player_embedded


28 posted on 08/07/2012 10:21:19 AM PDT by shoff (Vote Democratic it beats thinking!)
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