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« Poor Design Will Be The Death of Us All | Main | A Subversive Idea - The End of Race »

Government has become just a jobs program

I had the following published at The Daily Caller which you can find here or you can just keep reading… ;-)

As the United States Postal Service (USPS), a quasi-public entity, loses yet another $5.6 billion in fiscal year 2016, I have a suggestion.

I could cut their costs by hundreds of millions with a very simple and relatively painless plan.  Switch all deliveries to every-other-day service.  Some addresses could be delivered Monday, Wednesday, Friday while the others would see service on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.  The impact on the consumers of USPS services, residence or business, would be minimal. 

With this one move hundreds of thousands of unnecessary positions could be eliminated.  Tens of thousands of polluting vehicles would be permanently taken off the road.  This of course will never happen.  Those who call themselves public servants have devised a system where they are pretty much immune from the realities the rest of us face.  Losing one’s job once employed by government?  Generally not going to happen.  Then early gold plated retirement plans follow. 

If present trends continue, in a few decades those of us not in government will see almost no benefit from the taxes we pay, especially at the state and local level; almost all of our tax dollars will be paying for retirement benefits for government workers or pay for current ones.

Modern government, at pretty much all levels, has become simply a jobs program that constantly seeks to increase its members.  And of course 90+% of these members will vote for the Democrat party, the party of government.

Anyone who isn’t a member of one of these jobs programs is a sap for playing along.  They are so confident they don’t even hide their true intentions.  Take the decades long so-called War on Poverty.  At the federal level only about 15% of the money supposedly spent to alleviate poverty actually makes it to the poor.  The other 85% employees a lot of folks.  Even granting them a wide berth for incompetence, this is obviously the true goal of these programs.  No organization truly devoted to helping the poor would consume 85% of its money before helping any poor person.  It is not logical to assume anything else.  

Or how about Veterens Administration hospitals?  Why on earth would we duplicate the entire physical hospital system just to create hospitals solely for veterans?  If it were about quality care for veterans it would make much more sense to simply cover their treatments/cost through present providers.  Veterans would see much improved service and accessibility, all hospitals would become more efficient, and the rest of us would save a ton of money.  That is not done because it would violate the true objective of the VA hospital system, a government-run jobs program. 

Our how about our public schools?  In most states K-12 public schools consume at least half the entire state budget.   According to The Friedman Foundation for Economic Choice, since 1950 the number of K-12 public students has increase by 96 % while the number of administrators has increased 700 %.

Colleges and universities?  The number of non-academic employees at U.S. colleges and universities has more than doubled in the last 25 years, vastly outpacing the growth in the number of students or faculty.  The New England Center for Investigative Reporting notes that universities and colleges collectively added 517,636 administrators and professional employees, or an average of 87 every working day for the last 25 years.

The IRS might add 16,000 new employees to deal with ObamaCare.  I’m a cynic so I’d have to guess it will take even more to repeal ObamaCare.  Across the country small towns that once got along with volunteer fire departments now have staffs of 10 or more paid firefighters.  The small town where I grew up, present population of under 2,000, now has over 6 police officers.

Allowing drivers licenses for illegal immigrants in California will “require” the hiring of an additional 1,000 employees.  War on drugs?  Jobs program.  Tough on crime?  Jobs program.  Tax the rich?  Jobs program.  Pretty much any increase in government spending?  Jobs program. 

Even the military has devolved into a jobs program.  There are over 1.3 million actively enrolled and 800,000 reserves yet it was difficult to staff 250K troops in the Middle East.  What are the other almost 2 million folks doing and what is the true purpose of the military anyhow?

It’s a scam that will sooner or later overwhelm us all.  Poverty reduction, help for veterans, or public safety; these are just feel-good cover to further expand the employment/voting machine.

It is an organizational reality that groups of individuals organized together in some fashion will take on many biologic traits; the primary one being fighting to continue in existence.  This is especially true when the individual’s income is dependent on this organization.  These organizations will all do this without anyone consciously directing it; it is simply the organic nature of organization.  There is no escaping it.

For-profit organizations are disciplined by the marketplace; it they don’t create more value than they consume, they aren’t long to last.  For a lasting for-profit business, $1.00 of input MUST create more than $1.00 in return.  There is no other option.  This is the process of creating wealth.  This positive return drives economic growth and makes us all collectively wealthier.  And it winnows the winners from the losers.

Governments at all levels are immune from these restrictions.  In fact government operates just the opposite; $1.00 of input almost always has a negative return, turning that $1.00 into $0.60 (or less!).  Thus the immutable reality is the more government takes, the poorer we all become.  Governments don’t create wealth, they consume it.  For profit-organizations drive economic growth and wealth while government steals both growth and wealth for the benefit of a chosen few, its members.

These governmental organizations will not contain themselves; it is not possible for them to do so.  The organizational biologic reality is each will behave in its self-interest even if it is not a conscious plan.

Much like an uncontrolled parasite, government is slowly killing the very entity that keeps it alive.  Think this is exaggeration?  Just the federal government today takes, borrows and spends an amount equal to the size of the ENTIRE US economy only 32 years ago.  Include total state and local government expenditures which are over $3 trillion and well over $7 trillion each and every year is sucked out of economy.  That is about the size of the entire US economy only 20 plus years ago.

Can this trajectory continue?  I think not.  Whether a government worker or not, we knowingly let this proceed at our own peril.  It will end poorly for all of us.

John Conlin is an expert in organizational design and change.  He is also President and founder of E.I.C. Enterprises, www.EICEnterprises.org, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to spreading the truth here and around the world primarily through K-12 education.


A great read & perspective. It is a shame that our country is so stuck in the quagmire that it does not serve the people, but only continues to feed the beast.

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