The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!!

Posted by: DLC

The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/10/13 06:30 PM

Got into a political discussion with a Libertarian friend of mine about the size of the Federal Govt. and I told him it had actually shrunk !! He was astounded and thought I had lost it ... because it doesn't fit the GOP / Fox dogma !! Now we did disagree on how to measure the size of Govt- he does it by cost but I argue # of employees. WHY? because while $ is needed, people do the work- not $ itself. In addition, the Federal Govt is a service organization- they provide services... the more service you provide, the more people you need. Sure it costs $, but the $ doesn't provide the service (work) . . only the means to do so.

I can't post the chart he used, but it proves my point... Federal Govt. FTEs have been almost flat for >40 years.. in 1960 there were 2.7 million Govt. workers and the population was 180.67 million. That is 1494.4 FTEs per 100,000 population. In 2006 (last year of the chart) there were 2.98 million Govt. workers but the population was 298.38 million or 998.7 FTEs per 100,000 population. A Decrease of c. 500 FTE per 100K people. (surprisingly the Local Govts. grew the fastest, as a sector).

NOW you might not think FTEs / capita is logical to measure size of Govt., but think about this with respect to now vs. the 1960s... millions of more tax filings to process; million of more pieces of mail; millions of more applications - Passports, permits, VISAs, etc; more businesses to inspect by agencies like FDA and USDA; millions more of patient filings, ... the volume of work has gone UP tremendously while the # of FTEs doing it per capita, has shrunk !!! That's the fallacy of the GOPs "big Govt." reference!!

Some might argue that automation and computers have increased productivity and that'd be correct, but the fact still remains we do more (work-service) with fewer people today, than ever before. The size has NOT grown as Fox -GOP claim. Cost has, but see below.

Thought some of you might like this talking point. grin

Now if there are some that want to use expenditures (cost), then IF you want to cut expenditures- quit fighting so many frivolous wars and sticking our nose in every crap hole around the globe !!! WTF are we still in Japan, Korea and Europe ? Quit giving away tax cuts so your deficits rise . . Cut that BS out and THAT'll save bundles of $$$$ ! wink

Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/10/13 06:56 PM

Today's Ron/Rand Paul Libertarian's ideal government means the complete elimination of the Fed and return to the Gold Standard. the elimination of Dept of Education, Interior, Justice, EPA, NSA, HUD, Homeland Security and most of the military, Social Security, Veteran Benefits, Medicare/Medicaid/Obamacare, Student loans, Welfare, Unemployment benefits, Headstart, NASA ...
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/10/13 07:04 PM

The problem with bringing the soldiers back from Europe and Asia is . . . they'll be unemployed.
Posted by: DLC

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/10/13 07:10 PM

Yeah Libertarians don't want anything from the Feds!!

So who'll inspect their food supply to be sure it's safe?
So who'll inspect their water supply to be sure it's safe?
So who'll inspect their Rx supply to be sure they're safe?
Forget worker safety (OSHA) - they're only raw meat anyway !!
So who'll deliver the mail ?
Who'll monitor their airplane flights ? . . and inspect the planes?
So who'll try the federal criminals and make rulings on law?
And God forbid they ever need a life saving drug - Go do the decades of research yourself, you dumb SOBs !!
Lastly lets ship their azzes off to fight the wars ! (granted we have a poor record there)

Libertarians are the 20th century Neanderthals in their thought processes about how to run a country. We need "Apple" wherewithal to address MODERN problems, and they want to go back to sticks and rocks !! Booga- Booga !!! wink
Posted by: garyW

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/10/13 07:45 PM

I forgot to list the most hated of all, the IRS. Then there's also the elimination of Dept of Transportation, FDA, TSA, Alcohol & Tobacco, Agriculture, Interior, Labor, the Congressional Budget Office, Census Bureau …


Government can get pretty small to Libertarian's wishes with this partial list of cuts. So what exactly makes this different than Anarchists?

Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/10/13 07:52 PM

It wouldn't be anarchy--no more so than in countries where people have private armies. Think about the wonderful mobile armed force that the Koch brothers could field. And then there are the corporations (they're people too), which already have "security" services and could expand them exponentially. Oh yeah. Sing me right up.
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/11/13 07:16 AM

Originally Posted By: yoyo52
It wouldn't be anarchy--no more so than in countries where people have private armies. Think about the wonderful mobile armed force that the Koch brothers could field. And then there are the corporations (they're people too), which already have "security" services and could expand them exponentially. Oh yeah. Sing me right up.


OK. I sung you up...
smile
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/11/13 08:24 AM

Thanks! smile
Posted by: musicalmarv7

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/12/13 03:54 AM

Obama promised jobs for all the servicemen coming back to the states.Let us see if he keeps his word.
Posted by: Llewelyn

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/12/13 04:07 AM

But the fallacy of your argument is that the government is outsourcing services. There are services that the government used to provide that are now outsourced to private organisations (Blackwater springs readily to mind). The "free" stuff like healthcare, internet, cell phones, are paid for by the government yet there are no government workers providing these services.

I'd say your friend and you are both right - but you need to look at the whole equation, not just your popular side of it.
Posted by: steveg

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/12/13 05:11 AM

Um... Did you forget about Congress? smirk
Posted by: DLC

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/12/13 06:34 AM

That IS a valid point... more outsourcing than ever before... However I don't know what those # are. The Govt. gives a contract and the contractor decides how many to hire or not hire. I have seen at CDC that outsourcing claims to be cheaper, but it actually costs more** and many times results in undesirable outcomes. It does have the advantage that the Govt can cancel at any time, though there is usually an extra cost for that too. I believe it's being grossly overused. Again, as Steve said - Congress provides for those deals.

**Think of this - the contractor builds in profit to the total cost whereas the Govt does not.

CDC example: when I got there in 1989 there was a "mom and pop" outfit (small business) running the cafeteria. In the early 1990s, some yahoo decided to give it to a bigger contractor - the place has never been the same since. In fact right as I was retiring in Aug 2012, they had to shut it down for months "because of vermin" !! And the food has NEVER been as good as with the original even though they've gone through 5-6 contractors since then. I just loved paying higher prices for inferior food..I only ate breakfast there and occasionally lunch if we had visitors. So much for contractors!

Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/12/13 08:45 AM

Outsourcing--the single most destructive practice of any enterprise. My school has outsourced the cafeteria/food services, with the same results that you've experienced, David; the bookstore, with prices for students going through the roof (they tack on a profit margin that would make even Steve Jobs blush); the copying services, which makes it impossible to use the service if you want to have materials for classes because it takes so god-awful long; the buildings and grounds services, which means my office hasn't even been dusted for three years. There's only one thing left: faculty. And now that there are all these MOOCs, we're next. That'll leave the administrators. God bless their little little souls.
Posted by: Celandine

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/12/13 08:54 AM

Originally Posted By: Llewelyn
But the fallacy of your argument is that the government is outsourcing services. There are services that the government used to provide that are now outsourced to private organisations (Blackwater springs readily to mind). The "free" stuff like healthcare, internet, cell phones, are paid for by the government yet there are no government workers providing these services.

I'd say your friend and you are both right - but you need to look at the whole equation, not just your popular side of it.

“OUTSOURCING” Thy Name Is CHENEY!

____

KBR: Kickbacks, Bribes, Ripoffs & War Racketeering


"Blackwater springs readily to mind"

... as does
Privatizing Social Security, Prisons, & the Post Office. whistle
Posted by: Celandine

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/12/13 09:38 AM


Bunny Greenhouse
Chief Procurement Officer Army Corps of Engineers, Whistleblower

"Let there be no mistake, I was downgraded in performance and removed because I did my job too well…My removal serves to clarify that the power structure will no longer tolerate efforts to curb contract abuse. Regardless, I still believe that Integrity in Government is not an option, but an obligation."
Posted by: musicalmarv7

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/13/13 03:30 AM

Congress this is a joke!
Posted by: MrB

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/14/13 08:23 AM

"Government employees"

Would one also include thse who get money from the government? Aka "welfare" which includes thse who create no product but receive dividends, like Social security

Dave
Posted by: DLC

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/14/13 09:07 AM

I wouldn't include SS recipients- they PAID for the SS to begin with. It's earned !!

The Welfare recipients - I dunno. Like Govt employees, but no retirement, no health benefits (unless also on Medicaid) and limited income. Welfare payments aren't much, unless they're double or triple dipping. BUT then to find that out, you need more Govt employees (oversight).

I think that's one reason the GOP likes to cut Govt jobs, so the whole system collapses and they can whine about the whole Govt being worthless... except for DOD and sticking our noses in every crap hole in the world for which we pay Giga bucks and have little to show for it. Other countries spend 20 X LESS, and I don't see them being overrun with terrorists ! So we're getting very little from it IMO !!
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/14/13 06:36 PM

If social security recipients are somehow or other lesser beings because they're on a form of "welfare," then anyone at all who has a retirement pension is in the same boat. But then again, at least in PA, that's what the wingnuts are saying about teachers, whose pensions are bankrupting the state. What no one remembers is that the very generous retirement system for state workers that teachers enjoy at present was instituted by our last conservative gov. before the current one, who wanted to give his equally conservative state congress and senate members a comfy retirement under the new system he proposed. Because the whole thing was for "state employees," the teachers came under the same provision. And what's really neat is that the state branch of the NEA warned that the new system would bankrupt the state. But the governor went and had it passed anyways. So now, naturally, it's all the teachers' fault, and the current conservative gov. is cheerfully cutting state funding to the schools to prevent the catastrophe. Jerk.

You might remember the gov. who did the dirty here in PA. The 1st secretary of Homeland Security, the honorable Mr. Tom (Brow) Ridge.
Posted by: DLC

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/14/13 07:36 PM

I love the way the GOP preaches "responsibility" and then takes NONE !!

The GOP Congress back in 1950-1952 passed a law that the President can serve no more than 2 terms (because of FDR serving 3+) and then in 1988 wished they could run Reagan for a 3rd term ! DUH !! Here's your sign !!

The GOP Congress passed extra security laws and bypassed FISA regs under Homeland Security in 2001 and now they're whining about Govt intrusion into privacy! DUH !! Here's your sign !!

What hypocrites and ones with VERY short term memory !! crazy
Posted by: musicalmarv7

Re: The Fallacy of the term "Big Gov-ment "!! - 06/15/13 04:11 AM

Dave is right most of the people on SS benefits earned it and they dam well deserve it also including myself. This is no gift from the government.We worked for this money all our lives.