MIchael Barone Gets It Right. The Public Sector Chokes the Private Sector

In his most recent opinion editorial, Michael Barone outlines just why 2009 was a great year to be working for the government.

It's a Wonderful Life Working for the Government:
It looks like a happy new year for you -- if you're a public employee.
That's the takeaway from a recent Rasmussen poll that shows that 46 percent of government employees say the economy is getting better, while just 31 percent say it's getting worse. In contrast, 32 percent of those with private-sector jobs say the economy is getting better, while 49 percent say it is getting worse.
[...]
Private-sector employment peaked at 115.8 million in December 2007, when the recession officially began. It was down to 108.5 million last November. That's a 6 percent decline.

Public-sector employment peaked at 22.6 million in August 2008. It fell a bit in 2009, then rebounded back to 22.5 million in November. That's less than a 1 percent decline.

This is not an accident -- it is the result of deliberate public policy. About one-third of the $787 million stimulus package passed in February 2009 was directed at state and local governments, which have been facing declining revenues and are, mostly, required to balance their budgets.
[...]
At some point -- and this already has occurred in much of Western Europe -- public-sector spending tends to choke off private-sector growth. America's current high unemployment levels have been commonplace in much of Western Europe for the last 25 years.

Read the whole thing.

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