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Lost Republic
"Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim - when he defends himself - as a criminal."
~ Frederic Bastiat

America’s biggest industry: Government

A couple graphics at newgeography.com caught my eye:

National employment peaked in Dec 2007 at 138.2 million. As of Jan 2009, it’s 134.6 million.


The number of people employed by the government is 22.6 million.


Here’s a little trick I call math: 134.6 ÷ 22.6 = 5.96

More than one out of six employed Americans working for the government. The economic activity of five Americans pays the salary (and benefits) of the sixth. We cannot afford so much government.

6 Responses to “America’s biggest industry: Government”

  1. Jordan Wang

    Here’s some news: people are useless. Not just govt employees, but most people altogether. With single farmers able to produce so much food, and automation being massively efficient, MOST PEOPLE ARE USELESS. (This may well include me.) Unless you’re willing to let them starve, they’ve got to go somewhere. Whether jail, govt, or somewhere else, there’s room for, and need for, a lot of redistribution.


  2. roman

    Useless to whom? I see people as the center of meaning. Government is created to meet people’s needs, as are factories, restaurants, and blogs.

    The travesty I see is that people have become less free to pursue their self-interest. Our wealth is confiscated from us, and redistributed to whomever our central-planners deem worthy.


  3. Doubting Paul Krugman | LostRepublic.us

    [...] presence in 130 of the world’s 190 countries is very expensive. Our government, which employs a sixth of America’s labor force is very expensive. The stimulus is very expensive, and the bailouts are extremely expensive. [...]


  4. Terr

    The little trick you call math? You fail at it!

    Your graph shows that 1/6 of the employment growth over ten years was in government, **not** that 1/6th of the population is employed by the government.


  5. roman

    @ Terr — What are you talking about? You pull the total labor force and the total number of people working for government from these charts. Divide one by the other and you get exactly what I said you get.


  6. Healthcare flame war highlights | LostRepublic.us

    [...] Speaking of facts, in America, 1/6th of the labor force is employed DIRECTLY BY GOVERNMENT. (source) [...]


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