Probably since the dawn of settled society, there have been people who found some way to live off the labor of others. Even hunter-gatherer populations had some freeloading, as some members of the group would be less productive than others. Settled society made freeloading a bit easier. Settled life required rules, which required enforcement and that meant government. Even the most streamlined administrations had extras and hangers-on, who figured out how to game the system so they could get paid to do nothing.
In modern America, government is a form of workfare for the most part. There are roughly 2.8 million Federal workers, not including uniformed personnel. When you add in state and local government, there are roughly 22 million people employed by government in the United States. The labor force is roughly 150 million so that means 15% of the nation’s workers are employed by government. Of course, literally no one knows the size of the contract workforce. The best guess is about 5 million, but it could be much more.
Then you get into the vendor side of things. The Imperial Capital is ringed by companies that do nothing but serve the government. It is not uncommon to run into firms that have done business with no one other than government. Some of these firms exist solely to fulfill diversity clauses in government contracts. There are firms around DC that don’t actually do real work. They just provide the right amount of color to the vendor pool as subcontractors in a contract. How many of these exist is an unknown.
The fact is, about a third of the people working today are in jobs that exist because of government. The fact that blacks are over represented in these fields is well known and deliberate. In cities across America, a city job has been a form of workfare and patronage for generations. If the government was ever pared back to just what is needed, the essential services like police and road maintenance, tens of millions would be thrown out of work and we would have riots in our major cities. A government job is riot insurance.
The thing is, even without automation, most of these jobs are pointless. There’s no getting around the fact that we support millions of freeloaders this way. The cost of the job is not the only cost. There’s the nuisance factor and the damage caused by battalions of government bureaucrats meddling in the productive economy. Then there is the layer of senior bureaucrats that sit atop the workforce, dreaming up ways to game the system so the managerial class can skim from the economy. This is very expensive riot insurance.
Of course, this leads to the basic question of where is the tipping point? At what point does it become prohibitive to carry all of these freeloaders? That’s been a libertarian topic for generations. A bigger question though is what happens when the essential point of government becomes less important? In a town with no crime, for example, there’s no need for cops. If renewing a driving license can be done at a kiosk or on-line, what’s the point of having a department of motor vehicles fully staffed with bureaucrats?
Smart people like to wring their hands in public about the robot revolution eliminating jobs for the Dirt People, but there’s a similar force working on the Cloud People and their army of soldiers known as the bureaucracy. It’s not just robots taking the jobs of functionaries at the Post Office either. It’s changes in society that are eliminating the need for constant supervision by our rulers. Crime is the most obvious example. For instance, car theft has collapsed as a criminal pastime due to technology. The same thing is happening with home security systems that make burglary a high risk, low reward occupation.
It is not just the government end of the managerial state that will come under extreme pressure from the changes wrought by technology. Look at the media. CNN draws an average 2 million viewers for its top shows. They get a little over a buck per month from every cable household, even though 99% do not watch CNN. Cord cutting is blowing up this model, which means technology is threatening 95% of CNN’s revenue base. This is the crisis facing every cable TV channel. When the damn breaks and those revenues disappear, it means jobs for media people disappear with them.
Just look at the pop music business. Technology obliterated their business model. The mp3 revolution killed the album business and now less than half the number of people are employed in the music business compared to twenty years ago. Not only that, there’s less music being produced. It turns out that all those extra people in the music business were busying themselves making records that no one bought. In other words, the changes that come with technology seem to be closing off the points of entry for freeloaders.
The thing is though, the Dirt People have been adjusting to automation for decades. The dreaded private sector is already very automated and efficient as anyone with a job can attest. It is not unusual to walk into an office of an old company and see a lot of empty desks. The reason is they used to have many more people but automation eliminated the need. The real impact for Dirt People has been the slowing of job growth, not so much the elimination of existing jobs.
The world of the Cloud People, on the other hand, has always been littered with freeloaders. In fact, it is a world where most are freeloaders, which is why they invest so heavily in the self-actualizing part of the career. In the Cloud, you are not defined by your work product, so much as by your titles within your field. A “senior correspondent” for CNN does the same thing as a correspondent, but the “senior” modifier to his title confers extra status. Title are coveted in the Cloud because hardly anyone does real work so titles are how they keep score.
There’s a lot of extra that can be cut even before technology knocks the legs out from under them. This is why newspapers went through round after round of layoffs in the last 20 years. Long before technology undermined them, they suffered from what all monopolies suffer, a lack of cost control. As a result, there was much that could be cut, but a resistance to doing it. When the red ink spread, we saw wave after wave of cuts and downsizing. The same fate awaits many parts of the Cloud economy.
Much of the Cloud infrastructure has value to the people in charge so they will seek to maintain much of it. Billionaires buying dead newspapers being an obvious example. Other parts of the system will she sloughed off, like the vast army of vendors and contractors that work as a shadow government. Just as technology made private enterprise more efficient and more ruthless, the world of the Cloud people is about to get smaller and much more ruthless, with one another at first and then with the rest of us.
you don’t know what you are talking about…i am a retired fed worker, and the work i did required a lot of education, organizational skills etc…i have a 150 IQ….and several degrees….yes, the blacks got away with a lot…still do…if you want a fed govt worker gravy train, those jobs are in the defense industry and the security industry….
Z-Man gittin down to brass tacks now.
Excellent piece, or study, and one we will use on our blog, “Two Minute Conservative.” Compliments to the chef.
Friend of mine’s wife works in Immigration office that handles asylum request disputes. (If the appeals court had ruled that Elian Gonzalez’ case must be heard, they would have handled it, but the fix was in, meaning the conclusion was pre-decided)
I was in his office one day, and to illustrate he called his wife. “Whatcha doin’, Honey?” (Nothing) “Whatcha been doing today?” (Talking about where to go for lunch)
She told him that was the typical day. She was so bored she was thinking of quitting.
I wonder how many credentialed gub’mint supernumeraries can be supplanted with ONE “FAQ” ‘puter page?
It’s when your leaders think it essential to hire super-organisers to organise the organisers that you know you are in trouble.
Epsilon and Delta tasks have all but been eliminated. Robotization is eating an ever larger chunk of the Gamma rice bowl. The portion of the population that is permanently unemployable grows ever larger with no imaginable way of reversing the trend. There is a reason Hollywood churns out dystopian scenario after scenario. No one can imagine of world of full, purposeful employment. What happens when some bright Beta sells the idea that the Alphas no longer require hordes of voters, and a Beta hive works out the details of political drag reduction.
What happens when, due to an ever shrinking real purpose to large populations, it becomes obvious that not just democracy but voters themselves are superfluous? A high tech Holodomor compounded by a tailored, targeted, grid disconnection along with simultaneous seeded epidemics?
Does any one think that the Cloud people would pause much less have an actual scruple?
fast forward 6 months later when the food runs out…
That’s the problem. Increased automation means that it won’t. U.S. ag lead the world’s industries in increased productivity. The Alphas have not crunched the numbers yet and processed the potential. Only about 100,000 true Alphas in the world. They only require about 10:1 Betas. They,in turn, would require about 100:1 Gamma. Keep a few Epsilon and Deltas; everything would work just fine, for the Alphas with a world population well under the magical 500 mil.
l’d like to see the cat whose ass you pulled those numbers from
A side comment, maybe related. Dirt people are better at manipulating dirt, by which I mean the physical universe. Plumbers, carpenters, truck drivers, engineers, doctors, usw.
Cloud people are better at manipulating other people. Lawyers, politicians, lobbyists, usw.
The best of both require very high IQs.
I still believe a mix of both types are needed for the future of humanity.
We didn’t get as far as we did without some persuasive salesmen convincing us to build shelters, plant those seeds, put wheels on those idiot sticks, fund my ship voyage to India by going west and wash your butts you dirty cavedudes.
Unfortunately they sometimes persuade us to invade Russia, France, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Romania usw. and attack the UK and US all at the same time. What? You think Hitler wasn’t first and foremost a cloud person salesman?
That’s my great fear of Trump. Seems great, but what is he selling us on? Because he’s good, real good.
The very worst are the empire builders. Those are the ones who spend five years writing a regulation — five years full of meetings and phone conferences — that could have been written in three months of 40-hour work weeks (somehow we managed without his magnum opus since the birth of the Republic). Of course the new reg will require a ten-person division and a manager who just happens to have the same qualifications as Kid Charlemagne here. As soon as he gets promoted, he’ll start cranking out the work studies to show how the reg he wrote needs another 480 man-hours per week to administer, and as soon as gets them approved, he’ll start hiring yet another twelve time servers.
He will retire to a six-figure pension and the productive class will have paid economic costs, opportunity costs, and ust plain friction and waste for zero societal value add.
Count yourselves lucky guys – over here in the UK we long since passed this point.The proportion of employment in the public sector passed 50% in the parasite nations of Scotland,Wales and NI back around the turn of the century and is way above 40% in England, whose teats the others suckle at. Plus which all these bloodsuckers have defined benefits pensions that we poor saps who pay for them can only dream of..
Settled society made freeloading a bit easier. Settled life required rules, which required enforcement and that meant government. Even the most streamlined administrations had extras and hangers-on, who figured out how to game the system so they could get paid to do nothing.
Some of us believe that the ability to deceive others was the driver in the mergence of verbal (but not visual-spacial) intelligence. You will note that written language and organized religion, with its priesthood, emerged at roughly the same time.
Evolutionary biology assumes language and religion co-evolved. Deception, as an organized mode of thought, probably at the same time. Without language, there’s really no way to “lie” to someone.
Interestingly, deception was a capital crime in ancient Persia. So much so they thought the Greek marketplace was a sign of degeneracy. That suggests that maybe deception was not universal at some point.
All societies, however primitive, have some kind of religion. Formal language as we would view it, with defined, recognizable to nearly everyone, words or symbols, is not necessary for religion.
And, while I’m thinking about it, a priesthood always evolves in any religion. That may be only one shaman in a tribe in the beginning. That holy man, priest, if you will, will one day pass his knowledge to a successor, and so on. That process was verbal for many centuries. Written language may have started when the body of religious knowledge became large enough to be too much to be memorized by one priest, but organized religion existed long before written language. Pentacostal churches will conduct services today with neither a written or spoken language. 😉
Cherokee braves would go be alone to “contemplate the Great Mystery.”
I rather like that.
They didn’t pray to, worship, or anthropomorphise the ineffable.
while ancient Greeks thought being deceptive and cunning were virtues. Ancient Persians expected their med to shoot straight and always tell the truth.
Yes there is. Look at women. Much of the facade they present – is a lie.
I think robots should replace news presenters and reporters. Why do I need to hear and see some tart or bo -hunk Ken doll read the news? Why are these twits paid millions ?? I think you could could have a speaker on a desk and just broadcast the news via an electronic digital voice. I think cameras and drones should replace reporters also.. I don’t need some fool telling me a protest is peaceful or the size of a crowd, just show me the pictures and I’ll decide…..
Hmmmmm ,sounds a bit like something called radio.
Yeah, this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart having spent 10 years in uniform and another decade as a slimy contractor. The number of contractors is not small, particularly once you start adding in the state and locals. Remember, the guys that build the roads in this country are contractors. It’s a very big number, and I suspect north of your 5M guesstimate. Then you have to factor in things like CPA tax services which is a HUGE industry in this country. Then all the companies that sell supplemental insurance to Medicare patients. Hell, Obamacare all but makes the big insurers publicly owned companies because they’re told what to sell, how to sell it, what they can charge, who they can sell it to, where they can sell it, and how much Uncle Sam is taking “off the top” in protection money and providing in “subsidies and bailouts”.
I would wager roughly 50% of the country depends on a government outlay for most or all of their daily bread once you factor in entitlement programs, government employees of all stripes, contractors, etc.
That’s where the Left really missed a trick in abandoning Communism. It’d be easy to transfer all those parasites from the government to The Party — the DMV lady could easily be a block warden, the senior correspondent for CNN becomes a senior correspondent for The Daily Worker, and of course every business, social group, etc. needs its political officer. Then there’s the Young Pioneers, the various Patriotic and Fraternal Socialist organizations… the parasites are all but DNC employees anyway, so what’s the diff?
No, this is where abandoning “Communism” (while socializing everything) was genius. Our corporations have no political officers — just HR making sure that no black is every offended, and every woman is touched only by alphas. Our universities don’t have a Party line — they just teach science! Our judges are completely apolitical — the necessity for gay cake baking is in the Constitution!
When automation has taken over all of the necessary tasks of mankind, we humans will be left with nothing to do but talk about it all day on blogs. May as well practice up on it now.
This 22 million is the second most destructive demographic to legacy America, right behind female suffrage. The ones who cause the greatest damage are the (mis)educators. 60% of college graduates are first looking for work in government.
One of the solid job areas for a few decades now has been the divorce industry. I did some work for several lawyers in a previous life and I can tell you that most people simply cannot get their around just how many jobs (government and private) depend on that 50%+ divorce rate. The precipitous drop in men willing to marry has only been a minor hick-up because the real money involves child custody and the multi-decade forced transfers of wealth from fathers to the mothers is where the gravy is. No marriage required for that.
Remember folks…chances are there are lots of people out there who depend on your misery in order to put food on their families.
MGTOW. Go to Youtube and start watching. Men are catching on to that scam. I know I did probably 30 years ago.
While I am in a very good marriage now, wish that site had existed prior to my first one, would have never done it.
One of the first signs that gay marriage had little to do with love, and much to do with litigation, was how quickly the lawyers descended on law abiding citizens to compel them into photography and cake baking. “Well, not as much divorce business, how can we come up with new customers?”
That’s why pot legalization gets so little pushback in some quarters. There are lawyers just sitting back rubbing their hands together in glee because the Tobacco Lawsuits Are Coming.
BTW, there was no freeloading in the hunter-gatherer societies, except to the extent that some people are always going to be worse at hunting or flint making than others. All food was shared equally, and all men were involved in warfare when necessary. Farming introduced stored food (H/Gs had little), which created a target for thuggery in the form of government, and for nomadic raiders.
I bet that isn’t true. There are ALWAYS freeloaders of one form or another or to some extent.
Is every single infantryman in a unit pulling equal weight? I don’t think so. I’ve seen the studies undertaken after WW2 where they found that many infantrymen often wouldn’t even shoot their rifle.
Is every player on a football team pulling his weight? Maybe at the professional level they are – but anything below that there are always going to be superstars who do the bulk of the work.
If twenty men go out to hunt and run down some elk – I’d be willing to bet that there were probably five men within that group who were always the ones making the kill. The rest were always running a few steps behind – always “missing ” with their spears – etc.
You know what happens in close knit tribal societies to blithering incompetents and moochers – they first get a nasty beating by the headman or top hunter for not pulling their weight. If they persist, they’re kicked out of the tribe or killed.
You know what the retirement policy among the Indians was? They’d abandon you or stick you in the nearest cave with no food or water and you waited until the next wolf or bear came along to eat you.
You just can’t hide mooching in such environments. Even in a lot of private sector gigs the slackers are easily found out and exposed – at least in the trades and factory line work.
As for infantryman not shooting their weapons. Ever shoot people dead in cold blood? Ever watch a man you gut shot writhe in agony and expire? Oh yeah if they;’re shooting at Jerry, Jerry is shooting at them and they’re watching their buddies die and bleed out on the spot. That stuff serious f**ked with our soldiers during WWII. The average American doesn’t have the vaguest clue the sort of hell those men in the front lines went through,.
BTW every the Wehrmacht had that problem.
The only ones who solved it were the Russians and Chi=coms through very brutal and bloody methods that would even make you wince.
Sir hekkus: You have stated as fact that there was no freeloading in hunter-gatherer societies. Disagree.
You think that the backstrap meat was divvied up equally amongst all? Small example for larger truths.
The biggest and most toxic group of parasites are in public “education.” We need to return to strictly private education, which has always produced a far superior product, and get rid of the gang of parasites enforcing public education, which has failed utterly. Since when is it the government’s business how you educate your children? Woodrow Wilson and Henry Ford, among many, agreed that public education should produce docile factory workers, while the elites would always receive a real education in private schools…Read John Taylor Gatto for the horrifying details of the “public education” conspiracy….
Everyone? Horse hockey!!! I vote for what’s best for the country first, my state second. I am an optimist about voting even though I don’t trust the people who tally the votes.
Past is prologue. Like to share with everyone probably the greatest document on rejection of the leviathan state ever written. Actually the greatest act, because it was rejection both intellectual and physical. A wholly unique feature. I find it is an act and instrument, instrumental in understanding the crux of our plight as dirt people. It is uncanny the similarity’s between 1776 and 2017. It must have shocked the world. It certainly moves my heart with every read.
Personally I have made it mandatory weekly reading. It refreshes my spirit and resolve. It clarifies my desire and my personal actions regarding Liberty. The Declaration Of Independence
( A great source of historical documents: http://www.nationalcenter.org/HistoricalDocuments.html )
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
July 4, 1776
The Unanimous Declaration of The Thirteen United States of America
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository or their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies, without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offenses:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every state of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, Therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally disolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
John Adams, Samuel Adams, Josiah Bartlett, Carter Braxton, Charles Carroll, Samuel Chase, Abraham Clark, George Clymer, William Ellery, William Floyd, Benjamin Franklin, Elbridge Gerry, Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, John Hancock, Benjamin Harrison, John Hart, Richard Henry Lee, Joseph Hewes, Thomas Heyward, Jr., William Hooper, Stephen Hopkins, Fras. Hopkinson, Samuel Huntington, Thomas Jefferson, Frans. Lewis, Francis Lightfoot Lee, Phil. Livington, Thomas Lynch, Jr., Thomas M’Kean, Arthur Middleton, Lewis Morris, Robert Morris, John Morton, Thomas Nelson, Jr., William Paca, John Penn, George Read, Caesar Rodney, George Ross, Benjamin Rush, Edward Rutledge, Roger Sherman, Jason Smith, Richard Stockton, Thomas Stone, George Taylor, Matthew Thornton, Robert Treat Paine, George Walton, William Whipple, William Williams, James Wilson, Johnothan Witherspoon, Oliver Wolcott, George Wythe
The office environment has yet to experience the automation that has pervaded manufacturing since the 1970’s. Indeed, they will be hit harder. Office work consists of managing information, a task that computers are especially effective at. Manufacturing involves physical work (vision, dexterity, hand eye coordination) that is inherently more difficult for computers to do. However, it is true that the deep learning algorithms will make for better machine vision and motion control.
“There’s the nuisance factor and the damage caused by battalions of government bureaucrats meddling in the productive economy.”
The issue of a workfare job boils down to the problem that if a job doesn’t seem like it has a point, most normal people will eventually rebel against it or go crazy. Its probably why you couldn’t just pay people to play video games or something like that. Bureaucrats will always end up meddling and causing damage because they are following an illusion that they are doing something productive. If all those bureaucrats were told to just come in and stare at the wall and collect a paycheck at the end of the week, they probably wouldn’t be able to take it. But twenty meetings that hash out three regulations on the environmental control policies surrounding mandatory transgendered bathrooms? To them that means the day wasn’t wasted.
“If renewing a driving license can be done at a kiosk or on-line, what’s the point of having a department of motor vehicles fully staffed with bureaucrats?”
The last time I was at the DMV in Brooklyn the kiosk had a full time worker attached to it who did the work pushing the buttons for you. I do think that automation will transform a lot of fields and wipe out a lot of jobs but probably there will be workarounds like this that keep at least a few jobs from being cut.
I’ve seen that as well. I’ve thought of writing a sci-fi story about a future where there is at least one government worker for every taxpayer. Everyone has a government chaperon.
You have a model for your novel. The D.C. government has done something like that for years. In its Public Utility Regulator, the PSC, every function in a regulated company has a corresponding slot in the PSC.
Years ago, representing one of the regulated entities at the Commission, I had to defend the use of a specific optimization software I was using (and paid for myself) to produce my findings for my client, and show why this program should be authorized to be used in such proceedings, because the PSC did not have this software nor did they have anyone who could use it.
I had to explain multivariate optimization and Lagrangian multipliers to the Commission and their role in assessing the relative worth of additional energy conservation programs in various end uses. It was a multi-period optimization routine, which also needed thorough explanation. And I kept a straight face through it all.
For the regulated entity this expenditure on my services was essential to preclude their being required to spend many multiples of my fees on useless programs, saving the ratepayers money. From the get go the tenor of the proceedings was that anything the PSC asserted was correct on its face and anything to the contrary had to be proven, using excruciating levels of analysis and detail. Or as one of my professors described nuclear weapons during the Cold War, “indispensable, but useless”.
That day is very close. My brother (retired with government pension) told me several years ago that they figured out only one fellow on their road actually worked for a private firm. I told him the neighbors ought to have a party to thank him. This is in upstate NY.
The wife’s family is like this. At the holidays – it often comes up how the government is out of control. One brother works for the state university system as a Director of IT. One is retired as Lt. Commander from the Navy – so he has one pension and managed to get a Doctorate out of them before he retired. He managed to turn that govt. paid-for education into first running a couple of VA hospitals and now is going for being a college professor (at a state school). Another one works for large contractors that do overseas work for the Feds. The wife works for a defense contractor. Yet another brother is teacher. The sister runs a rehab hospital for mentally disabled (private org but state funded).
I am the ONLY one in the room that works in private industry making a product where we have to survive by providing products and services to people who will pay for them.
I like to remind all of these people that I’m getting a little bit sick and tired of supporting them all – and sooner or later I’m going to get the opportunity to shut off the money spigot – and I’M GOING TO TAKE IT.
Anyone who ever designed a budgeting system for a large business enterprise (been there, did that) knows that in addition to requiring departments, divisions, etc., to budget dollar amount it requires them to request approval for any planned new additions to the payroll. Any competent CFO knows that you must control headcount as well as dollars.
As a spectator I’m amazed that no one makes a big deal about Federal headcount.
Republicans should publicize the headcount in such departments as Education (which teaches no one), Energy (which drills no oil wells), Transportation (which transports not a ton of freight) and all the other departments.
The lack of fuss over headcount is a reveal that most Republicans in Congress are in on the grift. I work for an actual business and am always stunned when I compare the headcounts of Federal Agencies to their actual responsibilities.
The plight of the dirt people are the parasites. Other than “essential services” and if we are talking absolute truths here, we have to pare those essentials down in human terms to their essentials too. Liberty In practical terms is the complete opposite of our governments, because liberty is something nobody can give you, it naturally belongs to you all ready. That in itself is the indictment that proves the parasital nature of our governments have become a kind of reverse perpetual motion machine, they take in more than they put out. By that I’m saying if we are talking essential things here, government produces no production value, it produces no prosperity or wealth, it actually creates no liberty or freedom. Way I see it is government is remora like, it attaches itself naturally to the productive and leeches on it. It does so economically, culturally, spiritually what have you. It only takes, because how can government give in the truest sense if everything it has, including government itself, what it can only have, if it took it in the first place?
The Predator–Pray Cycle used to be on of the few certainties in quantitative ecology (don’t laugh; It was serious work in the pre PC days). The main certainty was a sudden and catastrophic collapse of the predator population after they had eaten up most of the prey and couldn’t find any more. Maybe coming to a government bureau near you.
Somewhere in all his voluminous articles, Chesterton wrote about this too. He said something like, the danger of being part of a successful system is that you come to believe that the way things are is the way things MUST be. The music industry is a perfect example. Instead of realizing that the system of studios, contracts, record sales, radio airtime etc. was just the way things came together to spell success in the 20th century, the people who were part of (and became rich from) it came think of this as the only possible or correct way of selling music. They forgot that 100 years earlier, none of that existed. And 500 years earlier there was no music copyright at all, and a lot of musicians made their living walking from town to town playing for whoever would pay them, much like buskers.
There is no way of knowing the number of people that either directly or indirectly suck on the federal government teat. A study from 5 years ago determined the percentage was 16.42%, but that did not include private contractors and vendors. Plus, you have State employees which, in some States like California, mirror the parasitic nature of the federal government, just on a slightly smaller scale. I speculate that the number of individuals and their families that receive a paycheck from their government sinecure that the taxpayers finance is around 25%, although I don’t have any statistics to prove this. But, this does mean that the Left is guaranteed most of that 25% that can vote. Add this to the 13% of the parasitic black population, feminists, gays, and other self identified victims and you have around 50% of the voting population that will unconditionally pull the lever for the Left. It was estimated that the hag had 47% of the population in the tank before the election. In the end, she won about 48%. The election changed no one’s mind. Everybody votes for what they perceive as their own interests, whether those interests are destructive to the nation or not. Let the Apocalypse begin.
I’ve been in the contracting biz for about 15 years and witnessed the buildout of the 267 and I-66 corridors in VA. Each brick and pane of glass represents a dollar taken from the rest of the country and deposited by some KO in Fairfax County. I think about this on approach from the Heartland into Dulles.
I came across this article in the FP the other day and it made me laugh. The line “Human Rights Prom” is memorable, but the entire article describes the finest Long Con of the Cloud People, the idea of Corporate Social Responsibility.
I don’t know about this. In the ideal world there would be no freeloading and dead weight. But this isn’t the ideal world and we see what happens when we strive for “maximum efficiency” and lowest cost over the last 30 years: Income Inequality. As much as Obama was mocked for “spreading the wealth” (and I was one of the people mocking), in a way, isn’t this what’s going on here? If I had to do it over again, I’m not so sure I wouldn’t get a job with the government.
No tree grows to the sky. I think a useful way to think about grifter economics in the macro sense is to think of a little bubbles that expand within the larger bubble. The little bubble expands as others contract and then the bubble bursts. Meanwhile, some other bubble is expanding to absorb some or all of what flows out of the bursting bubble. I thought of this image thirty years ago when car rental companies starting booming. What used to be a few chains to serve business travelers suddenly exploded into dozens of firms servicing tourists, weekend travelers, you name it.
What was happening is a quirk in the tax laws. The car makers bought up the car rental firms, which would then “lease” the cars from the manufacturer at inflated rates. They would use the cars for a year and turn them back to the manufacturer, who would then auction them off to their dealers as used cars. The car rental bubble ran for a while and then burst as it was never a profitable business, just a tax dodge. Many of those people in that business migrated to things like construction rentals just as the housing boom got going…
At some point, the media bubble will burst and the government contractor bubble will burst and so on. Where they go is the question. Government has been the home of last resort for freeloaders from the private sector. Cable news has absorbed loads of “journalists” from dying broadsheets. Think tanks have soaked up others. Who soaks up these people when the scythe swings through these organizations?
True. What is the old saying? Something that can’t go on, won’t. Nevertheless, I heard on the radio something about Wall Street profits or bonuses being $24.6 Billion last year, and they were comparing it to main street profit of $14-ish billion. As businesses are consolidated it seems that all the money flows there and into the hands of a few.
I was reading a book about how Ford Motor Co. was able to save itself. One line in the book caught my attention about how Wall Street hated the fact that the Ford family still held a majority interest in the company. The book said something about Wall Street not being able to “maximize profits”. The Ford family, by virtue of its dedication to the company, was able to hire Alan Mulally and see it through until it was nursed back to health.
I don’t know where I’m going with this other than to emphasize that the capital and tax incentives in our country as well as the power of the investor class are one of the reasons screwy things seem to happen in our economy and to people.
By the way, back in those days I rented a Dodge Neon for $9 a day in Florida. Those were the days!
Wall Street is mostly about the bust out. That’s always been true, to a certain extent.
$270 a month for a neon is not a good deal 🙂
What will happen to Chris Cuomo, the worst example I can think of as a “journalist” on cable “news?”
I think the best you’re ever going to get – is a world where freeloading can’t be enforced at the barrel of a government owned gun.
It used to be in this country that “welfare” was handled by private organizations and churches. It was typically funded locally – and administered locally. So the people funding the charity knew the people doling out the money – as well as the people receiving the money. This was natural check and balance on corruption and graft and cheating. FIrst off people who really didn’t need charity – would be denied. People with an ounce of pride – would find other ways to survive rather than stick their hand out.
Somewhere along the line – I read an account of what happened to all of this – when the FDR administration started to take over and give out welfare nationally. The author said in their midwest town there were numerous charities where a person could go if they were down on their luck. A number of churches, The Grange, civic organizations – etc. I believe it was Toqueville who said after he toured the country that he was amazed at how many civic organizations there were all across the country take care of people’s needs – without relying on government of ANY form. When the FedGov agents came to town during the Depression – all of these organizations started to basically go out of business. The Federal agents had more money to give out – so the people who were looking for help – went there instead. Then the people who gave money to charities asked themselves why the hell they were giving money – when the Federal govt. was taxing them and giving their money away too. The principle of “bad money drives out good” was in effect – and a lot of the private charity dried up under the attack of FedGov welfare schemes.
As far as freeloaders go – IMHO they have always been around – but the private organizations were far better structured to keep it under control than govt. agencies. I know of three people I am acquainted with – who are basically nothing but scammers and freeloaders. It all looks good on the surface – but once you know the truth of their lives you see that they spend all their mental energy on finding ways to have other people support them. Two of them are men – one is a guy who “went gay” in is 50’s – and just so happened to hook up with another guy who “discovered” he was gay in his late 40’s (after very conveniently having two kids with a woman). The younger of the two makes a VERY good living as an advertising executive, so the older one hasn’t had an actual job in something like ten years. His whole life is full of excuses about all the stuff he does – none of which entals actually supporting himself.
The next guy is in his early 60’s, and is in the process of getting thrown out on the street by his wife now that she clued into the fact that he’s never going the work again. He was onstensibly staying home to take care of the kids – two girls who are now in college and senior in high school – and even now he can’t seem to find a job. He’s one of those people who seem to very prevalent among ex DEC employees – where they can’t seem to find a way to employ themselves at any job less than the management position they had before.
The last person is a mid 50’s woman who is grossly overweight – and basically cannot control her own life or herself in any way shape or form. She’s constantly broke, can’t hold a job – is always working a scam and spinning a yarn – has basically swindled a number of people out of thousands of dollars in the circle of people I know she travels in – etc.
I see this kind of behavior constantly – people out there spinning bullshit stories and grifting and grafting and just generally BS’ing their way thru life – often at other people’s expense. Some of this crap is so subtle it takes a while to catch on to the lies and bs tales these people spin.
I have come to see this as “normal” in that these people are fundamentally screwed up and they exist everywhere. The REAL problem I have – is when the naive idiots who often run government – collude with these types of people – to pick my pocket under the threat of jail time. Cut them off – and let them beg on the street – or die on the street. In “old” times – there was a natural check on this behavior IMHO – because there was no obfuscation present – the money had to go directly from the givers pocket to the takers pocket.
But government IS by definition, a freeloader.
The parasite middle-man that takes whatever it darn well pleases (try to tell Irwin Schiff otherwise) whenever it darn well pleases (civil forfeiture), and as much of its own money that you thought was yours (income taxes and property taxes and all other taxes).
And then it dribbles out just enough to (in their own minds) claim that they are doing it for the benefit of their own victims?
Nah, this racket is busted, brother!
Protection from aggression and theft? Nobody believes that. Private sector hires FIVE TIMES as many people as does government for protective services.
Roads? The government is using road blocks to cut Western ranchers off from their land, or once-wild unused land that they homesteaded by way of usage (see the Bundy Ranch atrocities and the suffering of the ranchers in Oregon).
Education? In terms of results best measured, by standard academic testing in skills needed for careers, and even thinking straight:
Private schools perform better than government schools (aka public schools aka government party line and decadence indoctrination centers).
Religious private schools perform better than private schools,
Home schooled students perform better than private schools.
I don’t know where charter schools fit in there, but logic suggests it fits between government schools and private schools.
Also, income inequality is a never-ending fake SJW cause.
Just like a “war on terror”. That’s a TACTIC, not an enemy. Name the enemy. Then you can calculate victory when it happens. See instead of saying Afghanistan, Bush said “terror”. Bait and switch.
Income inequality will NEVER end. In pure socialist states where profit is criminalized, the salaries of the dictators and ruling class will own everything, paying themselves whatever they want. They deserve it because they will be the protectors of the people. Serfdom.
In a hybrid system, part state-owned and everything else state-controlled, you get the same effect as the pure socialism.
The cloud environments of major cities are going to be disrupted in a big way due to the pension crises that are looming about. Whole state systems are going to be affected. The most interesting to me is going to be the educational systems. Living in a university town brings this home in a big way. The frenzy about the Dept of Ed pick wasn’t just about the nominee, it was about those in the educational establishments having to come to grips with reality sooner than they wanted to.
A bunch of middle class Christians in our community organized and petitioned to get a charter school started and were met with obstacles all along the way. I assumed that this was an insurmountable task in this community, especially when the schools have good track records on achievement scores, etc. Other than all the political correctness and undermining of parental authority and morality, the local schools have done a good job.
Anyway, they got their charter and put up shop in an old school building that was unused. the next question was whether they would attract students. I drove by the other day and the playground was packed with kids on recess.
If this can happen here the cloud people are in big big trouble.
Martin Van Creveld, in “the Rise and Decline of the State,” noted that the word ‘public’ as in ‘public school’ has become synonymous with ‘low quality.’ Even if the schools are ‘good’, they could be better and more efficient.
The problem the Cloud people have is that they are still taking in unprecedented levels of taxation but providing nothing in return such as quality roads, schools, and border controls. Every time something threatens Cloud people money, they reply that they’re going to cut funding for police, prisons, and schools rather than a million other things they could cut.
If the taxation were less, such as pre-20th century American levels before income taxes became a thing, maybe we wouldn’t care so much. Cloud people are paid-for by running huge fiscal deficits shored up by monetary deficits, so they don’t even really need our taxes to justify their spending.
In addition to Z-man’s excellent article, the CLouds have arrived at an era of plummeting belief in their legitimacy and right-to-rule. They repay our taxes with false coin and have completely arbitrary standards that amount to demands for more power:
“Every time something threatens Cloud people money, they reply that they’re going to cut funding for police, prisons, and schools rather than a million other things they could cut.”
I’ve heard that called the “Washington Monument defense”.
The correct response to that threat is :
Better than charter schools are tax credits. That way, no money goes to the grubby looters’ hands, and fathers in poor and middle class families have more incentive to work their buns off to provide.
The ideal Beltway bandit isn’t about color alone. Female owned and minority status puts you at the top of the heap.
I wouldn’t be surprised if LGBTQ is the new qualification.
What happensn when whites are a minority’? That day is coming.
Yeah, the “woman owned enterprise” line is almost always a grift. I know of a firm that lists the wife of the owner as president, even though she has never set foot on the property and does not speak English.
In the government. contracting world they are known as 8a companies and they live for contracts known as “8a set asides.” Many of them after winning a contract turn all the work over to their subcontractors, e.g. Emily’s Welding wins but their sub, Lockheed-Martin does the work. It’s a nice racket.
This is exactly how my employment situation is, kinda sad that this is how things get done.
I used to work for one such company. The president’s business card had this right on it:
100% Woman Owned
SBA Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) certified
8(M) SBA WOSB certified
It paid well, and I like to think that doing tech support is a good thing. But I’m also admit to much happier doing the same work for a software company now, not at an army base as a contractor.
We are familiar with this scam in Chicago. The woman-owned enterprises are invariably fronts for the real, politically connected men….
Actually, the triple word score is female veteran minority owned…
I had a bunch of guys who worked for me (and a couple other managers) when I was a contractor. They poached us for training while still employed there, then all the white guys started a “minority owned” small business and put their token “owner” in front of it. They turned right around and starting coming after my work. I won, but that was very close to when I just looked at the appalling state of government contracting, and got out of that racket. The guy was a complete moron, but they made him rich riding his “minority owned” business to contract wins. He would show up at meetings (you have to be I think 50% billable to be considered an active owner), but he was told never to talk or offer his ideas. Mostly he plays golf. It’s a complete scam.