We've Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Real World, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

    Say it with me now, U-N-S-U-S-T-A-I-N-A-B-L-E.

    OPINION APRIL 1, 2011

    We've Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers

    More Americans work for the government than in manufacturing, farming, fishing, forestry, mining and utilities combined..


    If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.

    It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees. Is it any wonder that so many states and cities cannot pay their bills?

    Every state in America today except for two—Indiana and Wisconsin—has more government workers on the payroll than people manufacturing industrial goods. Consider California, which has the highest budget deficit in the history of the states. The not-so Golden State now has an incredible 2.4 million government employees—twice as many as people at work in manufacturing. New Jersey has just under two-and-a-half as many government employees as manufacturers. Florida's ratio is more than 3 to 1. So is New York's.

    Stephen Moore: We've Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers - WSJ.com
  2. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    NAFTA was a terrible piece of legislation, and our failure to do as European countries do to protect the jobs of manufacturing workers is just another example of how corporate America has so effectively co-opted both parties, and now with the Tea Party fools doing their bidding things are likely to get worse before they get better. The Tea Party has absolutely nothing in their idea to bring a return of manufacturing, except by lowering wages, taking away rights of workers, revoking child labor laws (such as some Republicans in Maine are trying to do), and not caring about worker safety.
  3. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    In 1960 there were 130000000 less people than there are today. We weren't just emerging from the worst recession since the depression and we'd yet to experience rhe last fifty years worth of productivity gains.
  4. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    In the 90's I noticed that we were morphing into a service economy, and the trend was moving away from Manufacturing and towards taking care of rich folks needs... not much has changed, except it has gotten more obvious.

    Would like to see how many of the government jobs are connected to the DOD and all of the war profiteers... that might be significant.
  5. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

    Government is overhead, necessary but should be kept as small as possible. The bloated government/overhead is strangling the ability of the economy to create wealth through private enterprise.

    All the money the government is borrowing is cutting off capital for productive private enterprise.
  6. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Particularly the DOD and Department of Homeland Security... they have both become much bigger, much more expensive than they need to be.. fraud is an accepted value on any contract. Imagine???
  7. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    #75 Jersey

    Even if you assume that every Federal worker is somehow involved with Homeland Security or the DOD they are still outnumbered by all of the state and local government workers by about six to one.

    Federal government workers in 2009: 2,527,149 (full-time)

    State government workers in 2009: 3,836,544 (full-time)


    Local government workers in 2009: 11,114,889 (full-time)
  8. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Pro Bowl Player

    #75 Jersey

    True...especially the bolded part.:rocker:
  9. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

    #18 Jersey

    So, does it surprise you that lately we've witnessed people "Taking sh1t back from all the gov't takers"? Other than politicians and "essential gov't workers", why, how and when did we suddenly decide so many jobs need to be in the public sector?

    In other words, why weren't all these gov't jobs created in the private sector?

    Because when you get right down to it (and here comes THE KEY to all this), what our gov't did was create a self-sustaining machine where those that work for the gov't will support those who support them. And if the numbers you posted

    "More Americans work for the government than in manufacturing, farming, fishing, forestry, mining and utilities COMBINED..."

    are true, then the rest of us are pharked!:rolleyes:
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  10. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    #75 Jersey

    That's true for other departments as well.
  11. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    I think we should privatize all police forces like in Robocop
    I bet Ed209 never demanded no stinkin' collective bargaining Rights!
  12. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    While many will say that the growth of the feds is a new phenomenon, here is the rest of the story...

    In the 60's, 70's and 80's the workforce was at it highest, but somehow that has been tempered and now there is more of a dependence on contractors...

    Total Government Employment Since 1962
  13. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #75 Jersey


    Manufacturing has been the biggest beneficiary (especially if you are an owner or stockholder) of the revolution in technology productivity advances over the past 51 years.

    I'd be interested to see the same numerical Gov't-Industry comparison from Mr. Moore and Real World in the area of the Services (financial, banks, legal, hi-tech etc.).

    Also, (and thank you to Brandon Five for the numerical breakdowns showing by far the most is from local governments) how much more spread out is the population in 2011 than in 1960?? Look at a map. There are thousands of jurisdictions today that were unpopulated in 1960 (the very beginnings of the great migration out of cities towars suburbs and the southwest). THINK: Do these places needs sewers? Do they need utilites? Do they need water? Do they need local governments to run these new (and larger) jurisdictions.

    Hell, Orlando, Florida did not exist in 1960! Does it dawn on Mr. Moore that these places therefore need local governements? All one has to do is look at a "population heat map" of the USA in 1960 vs. 2011 to see why the majority of government jobs are at the local level.

    That being said, there is a big problem with redundancy in a state like Massachusetts. Here's an example: I live in Maryland where, like most states, local governement is on a county level - - not the town by town, city by city level. Our school systems, police dept.s, etc are by county. Meanwhile, every 4 miles or so in Mass. there is a different school system, police department, dept. of records, pension system etc. The redundancy is striking.

    Now, to Patters and Wistah's points about NAFTA and the 'need to (artificially) protect jobs of manufacturing workers: Anyone who needs artifical means to protect their job is not pulling their weight. If I make horse and buggy whips or typewriters- - I have no right to demand the government pay me (or create artificial markets for me). If someone in Nicaragua with a rudimentary education and little to no access to information and training can do what I do for 40% of the cost, then I have foolishly wasted my born-in-the-USA headstart. If someone else outperfoms me, I need to USE the superior access to education and information to learn a different business (or perform the original business 40% better and more efficiently than Nicaraguan worker.

    It looks like I tick off people on both wings. I believe every individual has an inalienable human right to education and health care (ticking off the conservatives). I, however, also believe what the people DO once they have their education and health care should be THEIR RESPONSIBILTY (ticking off the liberals). If someone is not the best and most efficient at what they do, then it is up to THAT PERSON to either work to improve or find another profession.

    There should be a right to education and health care.

    There should be no automatic right to a paycheck. That must be earned.

    (OK, both wings, commence your fires and brimstones).
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011
  14. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

    #18 Jersey

    I would agree with the above if you can guarantee no tax increases for the middle class. I think right now, we need to get our finances in order before we consider more government programs.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011
  15. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    It's not the MIDDLE CLASS that has been whining about the proposal to raise income taxes on folks with TAXABLE INCOMES (AFTER exemptions, itemized deductions, 401k/IRA contributions, etc) of $250,000. Nor has it been the MIDDLE CLASS that has been protesting the social security wage base or the limiting to $2 million per person estate tax unfied credit.

    The great achievement (magic trick?) in our nation the past 30 years has been the incredible job that the economic top 5% have done in convincing the middle 60% that their personal interests are intwined.

    Some say, perhaps, it's time for the middle 60% to have THEIR turn. After all, one good (30 yr) turn deserves another!

    For me, I say there should be no "turns". There should be no more pigs at the trough (eliminate the business entertainment/dining tax deduction).
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011
  16. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

    #18 Jersey

    Personally, I'd prefer to see SPENDING get in-line before we figure out new programs or tax increases. Like an individual with a spending problem who thinks "If only I could make more money", when their problem is their fault.

    I'd like to see military spending cut in half as the first step....but I doubt the hawks will allow that to happen. But it is the right thing to do.

    I have no issues with raising taxes on the extremely wealthy. But at no level should it be over 50%....just my personal opinion.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011
  17. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    PR we're going to need to do BOTH.

    However the extremists on both sides today suck their thumbs and demand 100% no holds barred victories for "their side".

    I agree, 50% would be counter-productive. Perhaps keeping the % levels near the same as now (raising the top from 35-37%), but closing many loopholes/deductions (i.e. the previously mentioned "wining and dining" deduction along with mortgage deductions for NON-PRIMARY residences, etc.) would help.

    It would be good for our nation's long-term future to raise taxes a little, eliminate many tax loopholes and cut spending at the same time.

    Plus, many Northeast states should transfer from the city/town adminstrative system to the county system, thus eliminating the ridiculous redundancies of unique police dept, school depts, pension depts, etc.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011
  18. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

    agreed (mostly)

    I don't think this true. Capital isn't unavailable because of the cost -- it's unavailable because banks are too timid to lend.
  19. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

    How does a person have an inalienable right to something when that requires somebody else to provide it?

    If nobody else wants to teach or be a doctor, are you going to force them to take care do so?

    I agree that the government has a fundamental role in education. I can be persuaded that the same applies to healthcare. But neither is an "inalienable right."
  20. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

    Entertainment / dining are already restricted.

    But have you ever run a business? Like it or not, in many businesses these are legitimate sales / marketing expenses. There are abuses, I'm sure, but to base all regulations or laws on the abuses would leave us nowhere.

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