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WSJ: More Americans work for govt than manufacturing, farming, fishing, forestry, mining, utilities — combined.

Friday, April 1, 2011

road workers

If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.

It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees. Is it any wonder that so many states and cities cannot pay their bills?

Every state in America today except for two—Indiana and Wisconsin—has more government workers on the payroll than people manufacturing industrial goods. Consider California, which has the highest budget deficit in the history of the states. The not-so Golden State now has an incredible 2.4 million government employees—twice as many as people at work in manufacturing. New Jersey has just under two-and-a-half as many government employees as manufacturers. Florida’s ratio is more than 3 to 1. So is New York’s.

Most reasonable steps to restrain public-sector employment costs are smothered by the unions. Study after study has shown that states and cities could shave 20% to 40% off the cost of many services—fire fighting, public transportation, garbage collection, administrative functions, even prison operations—through competitive contracting to private providers. But unions have blocked many of those efforts. Public employees maintain that they are underpaid relative to equally qualified private-sector workers, yet they are deathly afraid of competitive bidding for government services.

President Obama says we have to retool our economy to “win the future.” The only way to do that is to grow the economy that makes things, not the sector that takes things.

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  • DaNangMe

    Interesting to note that Government employees particularly on the Federal level have no reluctance to make broad cuts in Social Security and Medicare without consideration to objections by those of us who have paid in all these years by law,even though our tax dollars contribute to their salaries,pensions,health care,and Union dues. Just remember,with the increase of Govt. workers comes the spread of Communism and a shrinking private sector along with encroachment upon, and evntual disappearance of, all individual freedoms.


      That makes it 22 million people who rarely really work other than the firefighters and police. Then there are the pensions for all of these paper pushers. BO has added and is still adding people to the gov’t payroll in order to eventually bankrupt it. He must go in 2012. PLEASE TALK ABOUT THIS AND EVERYTHING ELSE YOU KNOW TO BE TRUE ABOUT THIS ADMINISTRATION SO PEOPLE ARE EDUCATED TO THIS IMPOSTOR.

    • Dee

      I wish obummer would go NOW!

    • Larry Cevora

      Social justice is based on the concepts of human rights and equality and involves a greater degree of economic egalitarianism through progressive taxation, income redistribution, or even property redistribution.

    • rimshot75

      That’s the problem Larry! You don’t ‘redistribute’ that which I earned to someone who did not earn it; that is called marxism or communism. That is NOT what a Republic does. Nations who attempt to ‘redistribute’ peoples’ earnings bring down the very system that supports it because the fruits of our labor are confiscated from us. Rather than work hard for the hoped reward, we find ourselves taxed to death; taxed to the point of apathy. That’s where we are today.

    • kid777

      OK Larry, next year when you graduate to the 5th grade you should start to learn a bit more.
      Education sometimes is a slow and painful process, but it just is part of human evolution and really should not scare you, it’s OK.
      Trying to come up with an analogy or story line that I could come up with to explain how ludicrous your thinking is…. I just gave up.
      There are just too many examples to try and convey that concept to you.
      I’m just settling on this… I work my ass off for what I have, and I’ll be dammed if some lazy ass dip stick like you or your ilk is going to take from me what I worked for!
      You want income redistribution, then get off your lazy ass, find a job and start EARNING your way in this world. Stop being a leach and start contributing!
      Hey…. Another way to think of it…. If you can’t make it on your own in the wilderness, then it’s just Darwinism at work!
      Bye, Bye….

    • Ernie Effin’ Pyle

      Larry, you don’t GET IT, doubtful you ever will. If you think for one minute that most of the people on this board arrived at the hospital with a silver spoon in their mouth, you’re all jacked up! As a matter of fact, most here are hard working laborers and business people who make it on their own, many veterans and average Joes and Janes. It’s just un-American to make all of us pay for the indigent, when that should be your FAMILIE’s responsibility. What social justice is there for someone who fathers kids and doesn’t take care of them? Or a woman who has many kids by various “daddies”? Why must we continue to pay for the bad decisions of others.

      Help for the widows and orphans, ABSOLUTELY! Give a hand up, yes…but a handout day after day…HELL NO!

      Get off your tree-hugging, EPA lovin’, American hatin’ ass. We’ve paid our dues, many via blood, on the soil of nations who are often ingrates. We’ve freed more people than “social justice” communists like you will ever “help”. You’re a damn buzzard, too lazy to even make your own kill.

    • Who ever

      OK well then give me all of your money

  • tod

    How can anyone not realize that there has to be alot more people not working for the Government then working for it,in order to be able to pay for it.We have to cut back at least 2/3 of the Government in the coming years.

    • tod

      Aren’t any of you wondering why the media and Government is keeping the Meltdown in Japan on the back burner ,it’s verily brought up ,it must be really bad for us the way they are ignoring it.

  • Darlene

    When given the opportunity, I have proposed cutting Federal payrolls starting with those 1,600 IRS workers Obamacare says are necessary to dive into citizens tax records to ferret out those who need to be fined for not signing up for Health Insurance as unconstitutionally mandated by the worst program ever to have been rammed down our throats! This is enough to make me sick!

    • John Fittz

      It’s actually 16,000 IRS agents being hired. Now there’s a job program! We need less government jobs so the private sector can grow and hire those government workers (if they are willing to work).

    • Pat

      Goverment workers are willing to work – at their own pace, if it doesn’t interfere with their personal life. (just joking – don’t want to offend anyone) And there are the ones who do work but don’t think or can’t or aren’t allowed to think (ie military). That reminds me of the Postal commercial where the postal clerk is telling the guy how he could save his business some money and the guy says “Its not my money- and I don’t care.” Now that was a goverment employee!

  • E.B. Myers

    You forgot the 66,ooo TSA agents.

    • Jeannette W

      Who Obama is allowing to unionize — why do TSA employees have to unionize? Just more leverage to strong-arm taxpayers.

  • Pat

    I don’t suppose it would be right to count the people (non-Americans) who work in American corporations and businesses over in other countries – would it? How many workers would that be I wonder.
    If we did away with the “income” tax and just had a “flat” tax we could do away with the IRS (and send them overseas to get a new job).

    • FairTax Guy

      A respectful correction please.

      The FLAT tax would not do away with the IRS and would not diminish it in size or power! The FLAT tax proposals are merely cosmetic changes to the current system that would result in a small amount of simplification and somewhat ease the burden of filing.

      If you want to abolish the IRS and revamp the way that Americans pay for the legitimate needs of government, the you must support the Fair Tax. See to learn the details. Do your own research. There are many that have a vested interest in maintaining the current system, beware of the LIES that they spout.

    • Texas FairTax Guy

      Pat, please understand that various proposals Pat, please understand that various proposals for a “Flat” tax are nothing but minor modifications to the current Income Tax system. They MAY have a small benefit in simplifying filing of your tax return for a year or so. But you should know that our congress will eventually get around to more tinkering with the tax code and any temporary benefits will disappear.

      On the other hand, the FairTax is a complete replacement of the current system. Instead of income redistribution directly from your paycheck, under the FairTax you are allowed to choose to pay taxes on many of the goods and services that you may wish to purchase. For example: You want/need a different automobile. You may chose to purchase a brand new vehicle and pay the FairTax or, purchase a used vehicle on which the tax was paid previously. Same for a house: New is taxed, used is not since it was previously paid.

      With the FairTax, the IRS will be eliminated. Over 100,000 government jobs eliminated overnight! Over $10 BILLION in annual IRS costs eliminated overnight! Over $400 BILLION in annual compliance costs, corporations and individuals, eliminated overnight!

      Yes, the FairTax is still a tax. If I could figure out how we could exist as a nation without a government and the taxes necessary for that government to perform its lawful and legitimate duties, I would probably join Ron Paul and say there should be no taxation. But I’m not smart enough to figure that out, so I support the FairTax.

    • Andrea B

      “If I could figure out how we could exist as a nation without a government and the taxes necessary for that government to perform its lawful and legitimate duties, I would probably join Ron Paul and say there should be no taxation.”

      FYI: Ron Paul doesn’t want us to be ‘a nation without a government.’ He wants us to be a nation with a Constitutionally limited FEDERAL govt…to protect our freedom and liberty, and to protect our borders and provide a safe and secure place for us to exercise our freedom and liberty. The remainder of ‘govt’ should be at the state and local levels, where the PEOPLE get to set the law of the land.

      With regard to taxes, Ron Paul believes that every individual should enjoy the fruits of their labor. He also believes that a mans labor is his property, and that NO ONE has a right to that but him/her. It is understood that military protection and national security are costly, and taxes would have to be collected for those functions. The amount would be considerably less than what it is now, only because we could cut all of the unConstitutional beaureaucracies, czars, Departments of FDA, EPA, Education, etc, and turn that over to the private sector that would be better equipped to monitor for safety, and give a ‘Seal of Approval’ that consumers could believe in! By cutting all of those unnecessary and unConstitutional agencies, we could provide for defense, AND cut taxes.

      Please look into Ron Paul a little bit more before you mis-label/mis-quote him the way the mainstream media does (if they bother to talk about him at all). It would do you and our country a great service if more people would sit up and take notice of Ron Paul. You may also want to look at his opinions on Foreign Policy, the (not so)Federal Reserve, and maybe even take a peek at his voting record.

    • tooty52

      yeah, the could be the ocerseas telemarketers.

  • SHERMAN (like the tank)

    Government to control the masses?
    That’s because we need to be guarded to keep us from rising up and openly rebelling against what they have, and plan in the future to do to us.

    • Jeannette W

      Which is why Obama wants to invoke the UN Small Arms Treaty and gun control, and form his how national police force (one of his election proposals). Take our guns and run over us with is national police force — maybe staffed my his Muslim brothers.

    • Cherieo

      Police force of 80,000 already trained and ready…out West SOMEWHERE..he had said he wanted 40,000 answering just to him helping the local police forces. What does THAT sound like?? hummmm???

  • Sonja M


    • Jeannette W

      They are not counting those who have lost their unemployment benefits. Their percentages and counts are only those collecting unemployment benefits.

    • Cherieo

      The Administration throws out these figures at will……….to munipulate the Stock Market when they think it needs a bump one way or the other. The figures come out every other week …3 times a week..on various issues to make the markets move.

  • Thomas Martin

    Did it take us until the year 2011 to learn the government is to damn big.

    God please wake these people up as to what is going on in this country.

  • http://yahoo scout

    Alot of the healtcare provisions are in the STIMULUS bill. To repeal the healthcare bill will not be adequate. Limiting healthcare to seniors in particular in their old age is in the STIMULUS bill not in the healthcare bill. BE WARNED.

  • http://yahoo scout

    As usual it is all trickery..

  • http://yahoo scout

    The tax base gets smaller and the government workforce with their outrageous benefits packages keeps getting larger. This ain’t rocket science here folks. This is a collision course with bankruptcy. Third grade math not understood in Washington.

    • Jeannette W

      We are already bankrupt — just haven’t filed.

    • Cherieo

      It’s Marx…Socialism…..plain & simple…
      We have HAD IT FOLKS…it will take something MAJOR to wake up those still on the dole!

  • Julian

    First let’s be clear, the only problem with SS is that the buerocrats have turned it into a huge ponzi scheme. If they would return the money they have ‘borrowed’ from the system and put it in secure profit making investments instead of loaning it to the Feds at no interest the system would be fine. As for the other Lazai fare has to do with least not most.

  • Pamackey

    And what will the Government employees even have left to ‘govern’ once everything is gone from our country? And who will pay for anything once nobody can earn to pay taxes?
    Evil is a system that removes beauty of potential from the human race & it’s goal is to reduce us to nothing more than flesh to be used. As there is a surplus of flesh to use, then more flesh will be destroyed, even used for food.
    Snake eating itself from the tail…outside goes inside. Up is down & down is up. Wrong is right and right is wrong.

  • GENE

    Another great obama move to kill this country by spending all the money on the federal workers who half the time can’t their desk.

  • sean murrey

    lay off these buercrats and the parsites.

  • nicki c

    here in south carolina,romarco minerals wants to re-open a gold mine that operated from the early 1800’s until 1990.this would employ 800 people in an area that has benn decimated with the loss of the textile industry.the epa and dnr do not want to issue permits and licenses though because it “may” cause damage to wetlands and kill the sand hill chub,a “sensitive” fish that lives in the creeks near the mine.these government officials could care less about 800 families that would now have an income and be able to contribute taxes to pay these same officials.why should they?their jobs and retirements are already secure.”they” work for the government,therefore they know better than we common folk what is good for us and what is not.after all,a “sensitve”fish is more important than some poor nobdy that needs and wants a job,more important than the children that these folks may have.everytime they sell us a bill of goods though,it is always on the pretext that it is “good for the children.” the lottery was sold to us as being for the children,so that all children would have a chance for a good education.instead this lottery put 26000 people out of work in south carolina,and our state has been in a severe budget deficit ever since.

    • REMEsquaddie

      NIL DESPERANDUM……Their day is coming, and sooner than you think. Hang in there.

    • Jeannette W

      Secede from Obama’s 57 state democracy — he won’t miss a state or two, since he apparently cannot not count. Somebody needs to tell him we are a 50-state Republic and we are each a sovereign state, and need to start declaring that sovreignty for the benefit of our residents. This is a good reason for abolishing the EPA.

    • Cherieo

      So true Nicki….always use ‘the children’ to push a plan or stop an issue. They have ‘over-worked’ the Children…

  • RE

    I am shocked, shocked I say. To learn that there more people ON-THE-TAKE than people who GIVE….I am totally shocked, where’s my coffee?

  • ltp

    Danger: America is now more divided than at any time since the Civil War. A nation so divided cannot stand..sound familiar?
    When I was a young man in business stats showed that about90% of all new job screated were created by SMALL BUSINESS in America.
    Now various sources estimate that about 50% of new jobs come from small business …the other half of jobs comes from Government…notjust Fed but State , County and City.. The jobs are just part of the problem. It is also a symptom of the change in MINDSET since my youth..about a half a century.. The 50/50 of jobs also shows that half of America is fervently Liberal or of Democrat persuasion. With this 50/50 split in philosophy our political differences are not just minor riffs on methods or proceedure. America is FUNDAMENTALLY BROKEN IN TWO PARTS…who are in direct OPPOSITION to each other.
    Jeffersonian ideal of the “New World Order”
    was the total break with the age of Kings . Now half of us want very limited Government, adherence to the Bill of Rights, Personal Charity not Government “Charity”. Personal responsibility and liberty.. and so on.
    The other half want Big Government, Social Justice, Government education, medical care, and in general they deny the validity of the “Bill of Rights” and they feel America shold apologise to the rest of the world for most anything.
    This is not an exaggeration.. and now with the additional stress of Economic breakdown.. the Muslim threat among us all are converging to some kind of conflaguration. We The People , who believe in Original America are not in the majority.. we are in danger of losing the country. The time is coming for those who profess , well this and on the other hand..
    the time is coming for the lukewarm to choose a side.. there will not be time or space for the lukewarm.. remember He said of the lukewarm water ..”to spew it out of his mouth”.. That time is coming.. To come back our hearts and minds.. to come back to Original America…the path that created abundance, safety, security, honor and courage. It soon will be imperative.
    Thank you for reading.

  • RJJ

    Six months ago Greese went bankrupt for one reason, the majority workforce was government workers. At home in Wisconsin we saw their governor do the right thing and chop off the head of the growing money eating DEMONcrat Union Dragon. Pennsylvania’s governor is also slaying demons while Jersey Gov Christy veggies out on a daily diet of union school teachers.
    Meanwhile the Obama voters secretly living in disgrace, continue to look for a glimmer of Obama Gold. But the only thing they get is empty Hope and Shame.

    • ARMYOF69

      Yes, and guess what kind of government they have over there? Does DEMOCRAT sound familiar?
      Democracy never worked, that’s why our forefathers set up a REPUBLIC. The “DEMOCRATS” might want to fool some people because the word democracy sounds so fair, they do not fool at least 40% of the voting public. THE DEMOCRATS only want power over all , and most of our money, that’s all. AND, they do NOT GIVE A CRAP ABOUT BLACKS OR ILLEGAL ALIENS, they only want your votes , you morons.

  • Clark

    Dear leader, oscuma, a kenyan muslim communist, encourages college students to enter into a government job rather than actually working in a job in the private sector. Remember, he said then you won’t have to pay back your student loans. I have ten dumorat family members residing in the soviet republic of california, all working for either county, state or federal government. None have ever served in the military. Now they are worried about their retirement because of the massive debt. I had worked for 43 years in private industry, my retirement is not 80% of my pay and I pay 100% of my healthcare as a retiree. I am not complaining about this. Needless to say family gatherings in the soviet republic of california can be very interesting because they cannot logically respond as to why they are entitled to so much. My favorite relative has done nothing for over 20 years but write requests for federal grant money for some stupid wasteful “projects” that produce nothing and steal from the American taxpayer.

  • sean murrey

    the shit is already hitting the fan.

  • ARMYOF69

    We need to change those numbers fast. Fire 60% of all the existing federal and state employees, they may be qualified to fry burgers , and probably speak English to boot.That of course will crash the housing market. oh yeah it’s already crashed, and there will be many 2nd hand cars available too. Cheap housing and cheap cars, what more can you ask for?

    • tooty52

      Just cheaper gas added to that and all will be good.

  • rimshot75

    This desparity in the % of government workers vs private can be easily solved: The US Constitution clearly sets out what the difference is between what the government must do; and what it must not. Clearly the government must NOT be engaged in commerce but it does; cut out these areas and you will do away with the DOE, EPA, NEA, TSA, DOT. Each of these entities was sold to us based on the ‘need’. Well, if that’s true, the private sector can provide these services. The truth is these entities strive to control our every move. That is not and was not the intention of our founders. Anyone remember the days when none of these entities existed? I do. It was a better REpublic by far.

    • tooty52

      Good points. Now all we have to do is find someone who will follow the constitution as it was meant to be. Not how they want it to be.

  • Robert Slaughter

    If 50% of the taxpayers did not pay their Income Taxes and took their money out of the bank so Obama could not with draw it through ObamaCare… What do YOU think would happen? Seems to me Washington would go into Chaos and start feeding on it’self ! Pay your County and state taxes… uh, maybe Washington would GET THE DRAFT I mean DRIFT !
    Why won’t this work ?

    • tooty52

      Income tax as well as everything else is automaticly deducted from your paycheck so it will be real hard to stop paying taxes unless you quit work and get a government job.

  • mark

    don’t worry if your unemployed, Obama is working on a massive jobs program, shovel ready, where we’ll all work for him.

    it’s called COMMUNISM!

  • Texas FairTax Guy

    Interesting phone call. Just received a call from a wireless number, 817-313-4906, asking if I was a homeowner and if I knew about the Obama stimulus for homeowners. I told him no and he asked if I would like to see if I qualified. I said that I would not qualify because I am a Conservative and not a Socialist. He started cursing and calling me a few names then hung up. I’m wondering if he was from ACORN.