Friday, November 20, 2009
Why am I a conservative? I did the math.
To the side is a schedule detailing the mix of public and private sector jobs for the state of Michigan (I'm dying to find a similar schedule for the nation as a whole, if someone could direct me, I would greatly appreciate it.).
What's significant about this schedule is that roughly 16% (1/6th) of the payroll employment in the state of Michigan is in the public sector.
Why is that significant?
Consider that for each employee in the public sector you must have private sector employees to pay their salary and benefit packages.
Assume that everyone in a community makes the same (for this example let's use forty thousand dollars annually).
That means it takes five workers in the state of Michigan to support one public employee and that costs each of those employees $8,000 each to cover one $40,000.
That doesn't even count the fact that in the real world most public sector jobs pay better and have more lucrative pension and health insurance benefits putting even more pressure on the private sector to cover this societal "overhead".
Now you may be saying "Gordon, your math doesn't work, people making $40,000 a year don't pay $8,000 a year in taxes."
Think of the all the real estate taxes, sales taxes, sin taxes, income taxes, levied on a society and you can damn well bet that this formula works.
Now also consider that we cannot all work in the public sector. There has to be private sector activity to fund all the stuff we have governments do today. Yet you'd never know that from how our elected officials behave. Each and every health care plan, cap and trade bill, congressional staffer, is just another straw on the camel's back.
If you ever wanted to know why this recession is going to take us a decade to get out of.... just look at the "U" shaped camel's back of for-profit businesses. It's too muich weight to carry and get moving.
So why did I become a conservative? Because I can see that public sector never shrinks it only gets so heavy it implodes from within. Just ask Michigan.