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At various times in American history, cities or regions have become symbolic of capitalist success. People who lived in these cities and areas in their heydays led the country in personal income.
In the 1930s, it was Hollywood. Even with depression gripping the nation and unemployment as high as 25 percent, people who worked in Hollywood’s film industry earned high incomes, had plenty of work and lived well.
At the same time, many parts of Texas looked like the place to be. Tyler and the surrounding area essentially sat out the Great Depression, a fact made possible by the prodigious output of the East Texas oil field.
After World War II, demand for automobiles made Detroit the capital of industrial success for the entire world. In a country that was riding high on the post-war economic boom, Detroit rode higher still. No longer in the top 10 today, in 1950, Detroit was the fifth largest city in the United States.
Recently, it has been California’s Silicon Valley, home to Apple, Hewlett-Packard, eBay, Google and a host of other high-tech giants. One third of all venture capital invested in the United States in the past decade was invested in the Silicon Valley. The iconic and wildly successful products of Apple constitute just a small part of the economic output of the area around San Jose, California. Innovative products on the cutting edge of technology and culture with worldwide markets helped crown the Silicon Valley as the highest household income area in the country.
But no more.
Today, if you want to live where the average income is highest, it’s not Silicon Valley. It’s Washington, D.C. According to the Census Bureau, the average household income in Washington is $84,523. The average for the rest of the nation: $50,126.
Washington, D.C., which produces nothing, now has the highest paid workers in the country. The average federal employee in Washington makes a staggering $126,000 per year.
And just for perspective, let’s don’t simply compare Washington to the heyday of the auto industry in Detroit or the high tech boom in the Silicon Valley. Washington doesn’t even produce the prosaic carpet and floor covering of Dalton, Georgia; or the arcane radio and television transmission equipment of Quincy, Illinois; and certainly not the much-maligned corporate jets of Wichita, Kansas.
Washington, D.C. is perhaps the ultimate company town. Yet it doesn’t produce anything.
Never did the founding fathers envision that a constitutionally-limited central government would one day become the largest single employer with the highest paid workers in the land.
The founders understood that wealth is created by producing goods and services upon which people, acting of their own free will, place economic value. They then set about creating an environment in which that could happen.
So I’ll say it again. Government produces nothing. It has no capital of its own. It is by its very nature parasitic. The money to pay the lavish salaries of federal employees is not given freely. It is confiscated from productive citizens in the form of taxes. Therefore government is, and can forever only be, a net consumer of wealth.
Thus the inescapable fact that the richer the wages of those government employees in Washington, D.C. become, the poorer the rest of the nation becomes.
That government has never been bigger — and that the economy has never been so persistently weak — is no mere coincidence.
Amen Brother. You nailed it on this one.
repeal obamacare and demand everyone who gets benefits of any kind show up at benefit office the last week of each month with a valid, legal, photo id, to prove they are who they say they are and if they are over 65, they may phone in the info UNLESS they have actually worked 40 quarters, and only recv ss and/or company retirement (many people collect welfare benefits without actually beling eligible and that is fraud) and congress set its own salary and perks and WE THE TAXPAYERS need to demand a “re-do” on all of that – eliminate all retirement NOW – past, present, future, of any kind and eliminate all perks – demand they work 40 hour week, get only a 2 week vacation and deduct sick days or any other days off from their salary – until WE THE PEOPLE take back AMERICA, we will be slaves to whatever government wants us to do and the freebies need to stop – no more doubledipping from more than one welfare benefit – ss, medicare, would only go to those who worked and paid in to the system for 10 years, and company retirement would go only to those who earned it by working – stop the bleeding hearts who give away every thing but their own assets
kudos to mr breedlove, he said it quite well & in a lot less words than maxene
The shining city upon the hill has dimmed. That is because government is a cancer which has, up until now, grown under the radar. Slowly taking over vital organs. Only now have we felt the pain as the cancer spreads. Is it too late to save our body or is the cancer going to consume it’s host? It is going to take a skilled surgeon and a lot of prayer to save this body from the cancer that is consuming it!
Communism at its finest! Wonder how long it will last? Vote Wisely.
Let’s start by cutting the government work force by a third, beginning with the military. Bring all troops home, cut the force of these government workers by 1/3, and put many of them on our borders.
To the uninitiated, comparing high Federal wages with lower private sector wages can easily be misinterpreted as class warfare. There are many positions within the Federal Government that should come with high salaries; top military advisors, weapons systems engineers, IT directors at the NSA and database managers at ICE, just to name a few. The common thread with these Federal jobs is that there is no private sector equivalent because they are Constitutionally authorized and essential to maintaining our national security and freedom.
We all have an interest in attracting the best and brightest to serve in essential Federal positions, and these positions should be compensated appropriately. The problem is that the Federal government has turned into a cradle to grave leviathan, far exceeding its role as outlined in the Constitution.
All federal departments and employment should be filtered through the enumerated powers in Article 1 Section 8, keeping in mind the necessary and proper clause, which comes after the enumerated powers, includes the word “foregoing” for a reason. I can’t imagine what any country that actually needs 22.5 million full and part time federal employees would look like, but it couldn’t be good. The sad fact is that the overwhelming majority of the Constitution and Bill of Rights details what the government can’t do, and generally, it doesn’t take many people to not do things.
If a Federal job can’t be tied directly to an enumerated power, cut it. We still have a 9th and 10th amendment and we’ll handle the rest. And hell, with all the money left over, give all the Federal employees left a raise.
Great post. You define the problem quite accurately. A Democrat recently asserted that what is “most troubling” (at least to Democrats) is the decline in public sector jobs. What’s most troubling to me (a conservative) is the increase in public sector jobs. The Dems seem to have forgotten that paperwork is not a product, but a cost of making a product that drives up the cost of making anything useful. What we need is some sort of bug spray solution that makes public sector employment less attractive. Of course the progressives will complain that fewer and lower paid government workers would make the government less “efficient”. Well I don’t know about anyone else, but I could certainly get behind making the government less efficient. The less efficient the government is at getting in the way of people who actually do things that are worthwhile, the better in my humble opinion.
How long do you think everyone has before the government screws with medicare?