All Rights Reserved © 2004 Thomas W. Day
Our democracy is on a cusp. The last statistics I read, several years ago, predicted that by 2000 more than 30% of the working public would be employed by government offices. I believe we've whipped past that percentage, like it was a parked car, and are heading off toward 50% in the next few years. Our "conservative" spend-and-spend (as opposed to liberal tax-and-spend) politicians mis-leaders are building a government that will be more total than anything communist Russia ever conceived. From local to federal government offices to all areas of education to military service to the myriad of government contractors who serve the whims of bureaucrats, we have created a monster of government in this country. After government underwent a few years of shrinkage during Clinton's administration, that odd Bush brand of Republican socialism has brought back big, arrogant government with a vengeance. We're going to see a lot more of Big Brother before we ever again see less of that evil monster.
Excessive government employment is a sign of a failing economy and a fallen culture. There has been a lot of babble about a "service economy" in the last couple of decades. Much of that hype is disguising the fact that the overwhelming majority of "service employees" are civil servants. Civil servants, like most employees of local or national government, primarily serve themselves. Very few of the concepts of customer service or accountability filter into government offices. But that's not the worst aspect of mindlessly growing government. The fatal flaw in our current system is that government employees can vote themselves into becoming the idle moderately-wealthy majority. In many ways, they already have.
Since a very small minority of working citizens vote, as few as 20% during a non-Presidential election and no more than 40% during Presidential elections, it's possible for the highly organized civil servants to elect their candidates for every office, at every level of government.
There is no profit or productivity statistic for government employees, but there should be. A way to put productivity into the national equation is to remove government employees, all of them, from the employment statistics. Consider every single government employee, elected or otherwise, as unemployed and make it a national cause to put them on the employment roles. If we can decide on the actual purpose of the government and, then, stick to making government perform those tasks, we could instantly start reducing the size of that monster. The best way to improve any system is to measure it and the way to measure national productivity is to only consider "working" folks as working folks. People on the dole, either goofing off on the welfare roles or wasting resources in city, state, or federal buildings, should be on the unemployment roles with no 6 month period where they are removed as "permanently unemployed."