Monday, February 27, 2017

Brookings Answers Questions About Big Government

If Federal Government spending has increased so much over the past 40 years, why has its civilian workforce held steady at only two million employees?

According to the Brookings Institution the increase in government jobs occurred not through direct payroll but
By employing three species of administrative proxies:
  • State and local governments
  • For-profit businesses
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • The number of non-government positions attributable to Federal spending rose from 2 million in 1960 to an estimated 12 million today. Adding the current 2 million Federal employees to the latter results in 14 million workers who have a strong interest in maintaining the level of government we have.

    Because there's political resistance to add to the government workforce, there's a strong incentive to perform government functions through outside parties. Yet 28 of the 32 agencies that have the most cost overruns have the highest proxy quotient. It just may be that we should hire more government workers to get a better handle on spending.

    Interesting throughout, the article is not too long and has lots of graphs. Read the whole thing.

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