Stephen Moore: A Nation of Takers, Not Makers

By April 1, 2011Economy

Stephen Moore of The Wall Street Journal offers a series of accurate, if depressing, comparisons of employment sectors. From “We’ve Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers“:

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?

Only two states, Wisconsin and Indiana, have fewer workers on the government payroll than manufacturing workers, Moore reports.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Fair and Balanced says:

    He is right. Let’s start by firing our soldiers! These “takers” make up the biggest sector of federal government workers. And they want to be taken care of by the government until the grave!

    Next, we can pass laws prohibiting free market trade with other countries so that corporations can no longer receive cheaper manufacturing in China! We have people that will work for 25 cents a day dammit!

    Finally, we have to create quotas on service industry jobs such as lawyers, doctors, diner workers, mom and pop shops, so that people return to manufacturing like the 60’s! Does your kid want to be a doctor? Too bad! We have enough! Assembly line for you boy!

    That should take care of the government job problem, which by the way is 4% of all jobs in America. 4% of jobs are government jobs! We are practically commies!

Leave a Reply