I thought that was a graph of Atlas Shrugged book sales. Pity.
Anyone seen the preview/teaser for "Atlas Shrugged 2"? They plan to release it October this year but what I found funny was that they didn't show any clips of the movie in the preview I saw in the theater. Not a good sign if you ask me...
The graph is potentially misleading inasmuch as it includes all government workers (local, state, and federal). Budgetary crises have forced significant layoffs at the state and local levels over the past 3 years. At the federal level, on the other hand, there has been a small but measurable increase. See: http://www.opm.gov/feddata/HistoricalTables/TotalGovernmentSince1962.asp
The graph is misleading in other ways. It doesn't count contract workers and those working for companies receiving generous subsidies. The government, for example, is given credit for building the roads. But most of those doing the work are private employees working for private companies. The same can be said for employees of companies with defense contracts. Private employees, but they are paid by the government.Moreover, complaints about size of government stem largely from the size of the government budget (which is immense) and the degree of regulatory complexity/intrusiveness over private business.
@Michael and Greg, your points are correct but the Atlas Shrugged narrative does not really suggest a 4% increase in executive federal government bureaucracy, raising it to a level that's still lower than it was 25 years earlier under Reagan...;-) LIkewise, no doubt outsourcing of typical government functions such as roads and defense has continued, and no doubt increased with the stimulus package. However, in Atlas the causation runs the other way - government takes over private industry and destroys it, rather than outsourcing its usual functions to private contractors. Hence the big narratives of the crisis aren't conforming closely to Atlas Shrugged at all.
(The exception would be the budget deficit of course).
Where I live the state has offered generous retirement buyouts in the last few years. Many employees have retired and been rehired on a temporary basis (along with others). This hasn't done much for the state's bottom line but it allows the government to claim that it has reduced government employment.The point is that the number of people dependent on government, such as employees, people on employment insurance, those on welfare, etc. has grown in recent years. As Mancur Olsen and others note this makes it hard to limit the size of government.We also have a huge debt.Whether this is an Atlas Shrugged situation I don't know since it has been a while since I read the book.I think a more likely prospect is a soft totalitarianism like Europe where the dwindling white majority can't speak its mind due to massive immigration and "hate crime" laws.-Neil Parille
Speaking as someone who actually lives in "Europe" - Sweden, to be exact - and someone who is part of the "dwindling white majority", I find it mighty tiresome when people, particularly in America, refers to the situation here as "totalitarian", soft or emerging or otherwise.While the validity of hate crime and hate speech laws - I'm not entirely in agreement with them myself - can certainly be discussed, claiming that the prosecution of people for saying that homosexuality can be cured by a jackboot to the skull is a form of totalitarianism reveals that the speaker obviously has no idea what totalitarianism truly is. It's the same as when people claim that government funding of public roads equates to slavery - tell that to someone who actually lives in slavery/ in a totalitarian country and you'll get an incredulous stare in return.
An example of verboten speech under the wonder of "hate speech" law is comparative analysis of crime (or any other social indices) by race. Don't dare to suggest that the black community is doing poorly - because there is no such thing as a "black community," you wrongthinker you.Oh, and because we would turn you over to the Race Ministry for investigation and fining. You're welcome for our protecting you from true totalitarianism (=things that make people named "Samadhir" feel bad). Have a nice day!
@WinstonWell, I wondered if someone was ever going to respond to that post I made two years ago...I'm not quite sure what the point of your post was, so I'll just focus on your presumed mockery of the internet handle "Samadhir". What's wrong with "Samadhir"? We have people named Jzero, Dragonfly and Xtra Laj on this blog, so why is Samadhir so ridiculous?
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