First, let’s look at federal government employment. Just the feds; not the states and the cities and the counties where there is massive government employment. In Washington DC, your capitol, the home of the peoples “of by and for the people” democracy and in its branches around the 50 states, the feds employ about 2,852,000 people as of 2010. That is a record high number! In 2009, it was 2,837,000 and in 2008 it was 2,781,000. These numbers come straight from the feds themselves – http://www.bls.gov/ . In the last ten years, the low point (and it wasn’t very low) was around 2004 – 2006 when the number was 2,730,000. So, since Obama came in the feds have kept adding even though private sector employment declined from a high of 115,606,000 in 2007 to 107,980,000 in 2010. Private sector employment declines about 7,600,000 and the feds add 120,000 to their very high payroll/benefit/pension costing employment rosters.
Pat Buchanan just wrote an article about, among other things, the makeup of this government workforce. You can access the article at: http://buchanan.org/blog/black-america-vs-obama-4797 Here’s a couple of paragraphs from the article:
“Though 10 percent of the U.S. civilian labor force, African-Americans are 18 percent of U.S. government workers. They are 25 percent of the employees at Treasury and Veterans Affairs, 31 percent of the State Department, 37 percent of Department of Education employees and 38 percent of Housing and Urban Development . They are 42 percent of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., 55 percent of the employees at the Government Printing Office and 82 percent at the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency.
When the Obama administration suggested shutting down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants whose losses of $150 billion have had to be made up by taxpayers, The Washington Post warned, in a story headlined, "Winding Down Fannie and Freddie Could Put Minority Careers at Risk," that 44 percent of Fannie employees and 50 percent of Freddie's were persons of color.”
Let’s move on and look at another interesting component of the American scene. This is one of our favorites – lawyers, litigation and: LAW SCHOOLS. For this burdensome topic we turn to the NYTimes. Please read this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/business/law-school-economics-job-market-weakens-tuition-rises.html
This is a classic piece of reporting because it describes the problem succinctly; even has people who are part of the problem admitting to the problem and yet suggests that the problem is going to go on and on. Problems that go on and on are burdens. We are only going to drop a few quotes from the article but we suggest you read it in its entirety. Here goes:
“From 1989 to 2009, when college tuition rose by 71 percent, law school tuition shot up 317 percent. “
“But borrowing $150,000 or more is now a vastly riskier proposition given the scarcity of Big Law jobs. Of course, that scarcity hasn’t been priced into the cost of law school.”
Who do you think the law school students borrow much of that the money from? Three guesses; first two do not count. Yep, the feds. The same gang that employs all the folks in the opening paragraphs of this essay.
Here is the debt of the United States on the day Mr. Obama took the oath of office, January 20, 2009: $10,627,000,000,000.00. And here is the debt last Friday: $14,343,000,000,000.00.
Up $3.7 trillion in two and one half years; 30 months; never so much borrowed in such a short time. What we get for the debt is the mother of all burdens.
There are many burdens humans encounter in their lives. Perhaps nothing worse than an illness or family travails. But there are self imposed burdens also and debt, perhaps more than any other controllable burden, is highly destructive. Debt is the consequence of other problems and ailments. Too many lawyers; too many government employees; no fortitude to change. Burdens, burdens, burdens. At some point these burdens will collapse unto themselves. Just as too high real estate prices collapse and too high dot com stock prices collapse.
America seems to love burdens. Here are four more:
• New Chicago mayor sends his kids to private schools while city taxpayers get to send their kids to crappy Chicago public schools. Huge burden: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-0722-20110722,0,6512124.column
• Chicago suburb of Orland Park has a fire department with 108 employees; 79 of them earned more than $100,000.00 last year. Are the taxpayers of Orland Park nuts to go along with this burden? http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-orland-fire-salaries-20110720,0,1794835.story
• Geithner, on TV this just last Sunday, “One in eight Americans is eligible for food stamps.” ONE IN EIGHT!
• And, the most burdensome of all, Geithner again on TV Sunday, “40% of Americans today are born into families eligible for Medicaid.” FORTY PERCENT!!!
A few months ago, McDonalds, of hamburger fame, started a new digital advertising campaign in China. “The focus of this new campaign is the feeling of happiness, and it is aimed at urban Chinese white-collar workers. The campaign’s slogan is 快乐就是0负担 (Kuàilè jiùshì 0 fùdān), which roughly translates to ‘Happiness is 0 burdens‘.” **
“Happiness in 0 burdens.”
You cannot burden the working, taxpaying citizens of any place: state, county, city or country, with the level of burdens described above and expect anything other than malaise, discontent and, ultimately, destruction. Unlifted burdens, much more so than unlifted debt limits, do incalculable damage.
The Chinese get it. The freshmen/women newbie’s get it? Heck, even McDonalds seems to get it? Who doesn't get it?