J and D's Corner

From the Letters Archive

This is another stab at one of my pet peeves, the endless expansion of the public trough as a danger factor in the overall economy.

Maybe our Capitalist producer-consumer society really is doomed and we are all going to end up in a Soviet style world where  government is all, apparatchiks are untouchable upper management and everyone else is permanently a worker-serf who, as the Russians used to say, "pretend to work and they pretend to pay us". 

Obama won on a mantra of 'change' which seemed to grab a lot of people, although whether or not they had a clue as to what he had in mind is debatable. 

In any case I think I'm too old for a whole new paradigm.


To:  AV Press

Date: 08/2010 (ANOTHER 8/2010...apparently I had too much time on my hands in August 2010)

Re:  That's Scary

Recent news stories document the fact that government workers, on average, now receive twice the total compensation of a “civilian” employee in a comparable position, making government employment by far the job of choice.  This really bothers me, and here’s why.

Consider the world of the public trough, by which I refer to everyone who depends on money supplied by the government for their livelihood.

The public trough class includes current & retired government workers, people on welfare, those chronically on unemployment, those living on all the many other forms of “assistance”, and lastly everyone dependent on Social Security.  The public trough class has expanded over decades to encompass one heck of a lot of people. As a retiree I have a leg in that world myself, although it isn’t my primary livelihood.

Human nature insures that those who depend most heavily on the public trough will without fail vote for the political party they are sure will maintain and expand their government-supplied income.  It is not necessary to mention which party in America that is.

Here comes the scary part: Environmentalists make much of the concept of a “tipping point”, which if passed will cause an unstoppable runaway collapse that will end life on our planet.  Let’s carry their tipping point analogy over to the public trough world. 

California is arguably the première public employee-welfare state (we won’t count D.C.) where the party of the public trough has secured an iron grip on state government and, only slightly inconvenienced by the ‘Party of No’, is able to engineer its own expansion almost without limit.

So in our case, the tipping point appears to already have been reached, with the public trough sector completely overbalancing the productive segment.  The result is that our state is financially trashed, living day to day on sleight-of-hand and borrowing, circling the drain with no hope of real recovery.  With crystal clarity California is demonstrating to America what happens when you “run out of other people’s money”.  

It is often said that California leads the nation.  Now THAT is scary.