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Re: [FSP] Per capita government employment

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  • Gary Snyder
    Correct, their establish[ment] instead consists of an army of lobbyists demanding the same thing. Gary Tim Condon wrote: That may be,
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 23, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Correct, their "establish[ment]" instead consists of an army of lobbyists
      demanding the same thing.

      Gary

      Tim Condon <tim@...> wrote:
      That may be, Gary, but private contractors don't establish a permanent
      phalanx of direct, unionized government employees demanding more money and
      more power...and willing to go out on the streets to make it a reality.
      ---Tim Condon

      On Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 5:39 PM, Gary Snyder <gsnyder15@...> wrote:

      > Doesn't address government contracts. If the government is capped in its
      > hiring
      > capacity, it'll simply dole out contracts and accomplish the same thing.
      >
      > Gary
      >
      > Tim Condon <tim@...> wrote:
      > NEED SOME DATA
      >
      > I'm considering the idea of a per capita employment cap for government
      > employees as a way of stemming the growth of government in the Free State.
      > Most attacks on the seemingly unstoppable growth of government in the past
      > have been through either tax caps or spending caps. I'm unaware of any
      > state
      > that has a government employee cap tied to state population. One of the
      > data
      > points that the Free State Project used prior to voting on the state was
      > that of government employees per capita. But I need a series of figures,
      > for
      > any state that has them, and/or for the federal government. That is, what
      > was per capital government employment prior to 1932 when Roosevelt was
      > elected? What was it in 1960 when Kennedy was elected? What was it in 1980
      > when Reagan was elected? What was it in 2000 when Bush was elected? And
      > what
      > are the current figures?
      >
      > Instead of the spending caps and taxing caps, both of which are inevitably
      > breached when the government constituencies get large and loud enough, a
      > per
      > capital government employment cap would prevent the constituencies
      > themselves from growing. Plus it attacks the socialists at the heart of
      > their plan, i.e. to have as many people dependent upon government money as
      > possible, and to constantly fight to increase that number.
      >
      > Can any direct me to where I can find out the above information?
      >
      > Timothy Condon
      > 12 Liberty Lane
      > Grafton, NH 03240
      > Email tim@...
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ---------------------------------
      > Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it
      > now.
      >
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      >
      >
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      >
      >
      >
      >

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    • Tim Condon
      (FURTHER DISCUSSION: A PER CAPITA GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE LIMITATION...) ... thing. ... Tim Condon wrote: That may be, Gary, but private
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 25, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        (FURTHER DISCUSSION: A PER CAPITA GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE LIMITATION...)

        On Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 5:39 PM, Gary Snyder <gsnyder15@...> wrote:

        > Doesn't address government contracts. If the government is capped in its
        > hiring capacity, it'll simply dole out contracts and accomplish the same
        thing.
        >--- Gary


        Tim Condon <tim@...> wrote:
        That may be, Gary, but private contractors don't establish a
        permanent
        phalanx of direct, unionized government employees demanding more money and
        more power...and willing to go out on the streets to make it a reality.
        ---Tim Condon


        On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 2:32 AM, Gary Snyder <gsnyder15@...> wrote:

        Correct, their "establish[ment]" instead consists of an army of lobbyists
        demanding the same thing. ---Gary


        TIM CONDON NOW RESPONDS TO HIS FRIEND GARY, AT SOME LENGTH:

        Lobbyists are not unionized. Lobbyists are not "feet-on-the-street."
        Lobbyists are not the shock-troops that public employees and their unions
        are. And lobbyists tend to cluster in Washington, DC and state capitols
        only.

        In my estimation, the premier issue that has faced all human beings since
        the beginning of civilization is how to restrain some groups (usually thugs
        and criminals) from amassing ever more power, declaring themselves
        "governments," and living off of the productive efforts of all human beings
        who are not part of the resulting "government class." The Founding Fathers
        made a valiant and largely effective effort to solve this problem in 1787
        with the U.S. Constitution. It was effective for about 150 years (nothing to
        dismiss lightly), until about 1936 under Roosevelt, when the Constitutional
        plan started to unravel and the walls were breached. By 30 years later, in
        1965, the break in the walls had become critical, enabling a
        government-growth tsunami. This process of the growth of government is
        driven by one thing: Ever more people becoming dependent upon government for
        their financial sustenance. It includes welfare and social security
        recipients, but most of all what is driving it is employment at all levels
        of government, local, state, and federal. Long-term welfare recipients
        cannot be depended upon to go "into the streets" to make demands for ever
        more money. For the most part they are (thankfully) either unwilling or
        unable. Social security recipients make a huge political constituency, but
        they are overwhelmingly elderly, and also cannot be depended upon to do the
        work "on the streets" necessary to create conditions for continued political
        victories which ratchet up demand for government taxing, spending, and
        power. The single most important constituency to continually expand
        government power at all levels is through unionized (and thus disciplined
        and organized) government employees. They have the most direct interest in
        continued government growth. They are generally younger, more educated, more
        energetic, and more aware of what conditions need to be created and what
        political victories must be won to benefit themselves and their families.

        The above dynamic was exactly why Sen. Tom Daschle fought tenaciously (and
        successfully) against President George W. Bush to make sure that the latest
        huge new federal bureaucracy, "Homeland Security," would be federal
        employees instead of privately contracted companies, as was originally
        favored by Bush (probably because he was so advised by those who understood
        the problem). But Bush had no real understanding of the stakes, and probably
        no great desire to prevent further government growth anyway. His tepid
        objections were easily defeated by Daschle and the Democrats, who knew
        exactly what they were fighting for. The same dynamic is behind the
        insistent and continued Democrat demands for amnesty for illegal aliens:
        They see future welfare recipients, voters, and even feet-on-the-street
        political activists who will support the continued growth of government
        taxing and spending.

        The problem identified above is that there exists a "Government Class"
        consisting of all who look to government (at any level) for their
        sustenance. The Government Class feeds off of all who are not part of the
        class, i.e. everyone else (those who are independent, who work, who pay
        taxes, and who support their families and communities). Let's call them the
        "Working Class." The problem for the Working Class is to figure out the best
        way to stop the apparently inevitable growth of government taxing, spending,
        and hiring at all levels driven by the above dynamic. Past attempts have
        involved state constitutional tax limitations (such as Prop. 13 in
        California), statutory spending limitations (such as Gramm-Rudman, which was
        easily pushed aside), and constitutional spending limitations (such as TABOR
        plans, including that which passed in Colorado...which has easily been
        breached by the Government Class in that state).

        In short, neither constitutional nor statutory spending limitations, nor tax
        limitations, have worked. Nor have state constitutional prohibitions against
        state income taxes such as exist in Florida, Texas, and three or four other
        states. State government size and spending in those states have grown
        greatly, although not as fast as in those states that have far more taxing
        powers.

        So what are other potential solutions? What other machinery can be
        constructed to slow, or even stop and eventually reverse the accellerating
        growth of government in America?

        I would like to examine state constitutional limits on government employment
        per capita. That is, state government (and, ideally, local governments also)
        would be prohibited from having more than X number of employees for a given
        population. It could be expressed as a percentage ("the number of state
        government employees may not exceed .1% of the population") or as a ratio
        ("no level of government in this state shall have any more than 1 emloyee
        per 1,000 residents"). Of course, the Government Class would strive to lock
        in the present bloated size of government by measuring what the current
        ratio of government employees to population is. This is why I'd like to
        gather information on the ration of government employees to population in
        America in, say 1860, then 1932, then 1965, then 1980, etc. My guess is that
        a reasonable ratio would be found on one of those earlier years.

        The constitutional imposition of such a limitation would create many
        salutary effects: (1) It would deprive government of disciplined, organized,
        public employee union activists; (2) it would decrease the ostensible "need"
        for ever higher taxes; (3) it would decrease the ostensible "need" for ever
        higher government spending; (4) and it would inevitably decrease the number
        of votes for more government growth, taxing, and spending.

        Such a plan might work...or it might not. However, we know that taxing and
        spending limitations have failed, and usually can't even get passed due to
        the increasing size and power of the Government Class. Per capita employment
        limits might even be an easier "sell" because existing government employees
        would get a larger share of tax monies for themselves. In fact, the proposal
        could be coupled with a carrot for current government employees: If the per
        capital government employment limitation is passed, every government
        employee remaining could be promised a handsome raise. Generous buy-outs of
        existing government employees could also be made part of the plan, in order
        to decrease opposition and effect huge savings into the future.

        One difficulty in passing such a limit would be that existing government
        employees and their unions would create as much pain and disruption to the
        public as possible, passing it off as the natural result of a terrible
        "unworkable" idea. The solution to *that* problem might be to include a free
        hiring-and-firing proposal for government employees (since they are, after
        all, employees of a monopoly, which introduces all kinds of additional
        considerations for the protection of the public and their "customers," the
        taxpayers). Thus, government employee saboteurs and disruptors would be
        allowed to be expeditiously replaced.

        The best case scenario is this: A state constitutional limitation on number
        of government employees at the state level, the county level, the town
        level, and the school district level is put in place. The resulting decrease
        in the number of government employees causes a decrease in agitation and
        activism in favor of taxing and spending at all levels of government in the
        state. As a result, opponents of increased taxing and spending gain power,
        and manage to stem and reverse the tide. With a decrease in taxing and
        spending, the state's economy and standard of living surges. Similar
        limitations are taken up in other states, with similar salutary effects.
        Ultimately a United States Constitutional amendment is passed, with the same
        effect on the national scene that individual states have experienced, led
        by New Hampshire. America then experiences a rebirth of individual and
        economic freedom, resulting in an explosion of work, creativity, invention,
        entrepreneurialism, and growth reaching all the way through the 21st century
        and into the future.

        Call me a dreamer if you want to. That's a common epithet directed at
        Freestaters. Nevertheless, nothing else has worked up to this point. It's
        time to try something new. And it might just work. Not only work, but
        provide a template for freedom and justice into the future.

        WRITTEN BY: ---Tim Condon (Who wishes to thank Gary Snyder for making the
        objections he made above, thus stimulating further thought and sparking this
        discussion.)




        >
        > > Tim Condon <tim@...> wrote:
        > > NEED SOME DATA
        > >
        > > I'm considering the idea of a per capita employment cap for government
        > > employees as a way of stemming the growth of government in the Free
        > State.
        > > Most attacks on the seemingly unstoppable growth of government in the
        > past
        > > have been through either tax caps or spending caps. I'm unaware of any
        > > state that has a government employee cap tied to state population. One of
        > the
        > > data points that the Free State Project used prior to voting on the state
        > was
        > > that of government employees per capita. But I need a series of figures,
        > > for any state that has them, and/or for the federal government. That is,
        > what
        > > was per capital government employment prior to 1932 when Roosevelt was
        > > elected? What was it in 1960 when Kennedy was elected? What was it in
        > 1980
        > > when Reagan was elected? What was it in 2000 when Bush was elected? And
        > > what are the current figures?
        > >
        > > Instead of the spending caps and taxing caps, both of which are
        > inevitably
        > > breached when the government constituencies get large and loud enough, a
        > > per capita government employment cap would prevent the constituencies
        > > themselves from growing. Plus it attacks the socialists at the heart of
        > > their plan, i.e. to have as many people dependent upon government money
        > as
        > > possible, and to constantly fight to increase that number.
        > >
        > > Can any direct me to where I can find out the above information?
        > >
        > > Timothy Condon
        > > 12 Liberty Lane
        > > Grafton, NH 03240
        > > Email tim@...
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Gary Snyder
        ... (snip) Tim, it doesn t matter what you call these entities, and it doesn t matter what form they take. The only thing that matters in this regard is
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 27, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          > TIM CONDON NOW RESPONDS TO HIS FRIEND GARY, AT SOME LENGTH:
          >
          > Lobbyists are not unionized. Lobbyists are not "feet-on-the- street."
          > Lobbyists are not the shock-troops that public employees and their unions
          > are. And lobbyists tend to cluster in Washington, DC and state capitols
          > only.

          (snip)

          Tim, it doesn't matter what you call these entities, and it doesn't matter what
          form they take. The only thing that matters in this regard is whether or not
          the government has the ability (the resources and power) to buy votes. If
          they have this ability, no amount of capping of its hiring capacity will dent
          government's cost and scope.

          The problem with government isn't with where and how it allocates the money
          it steals. It will always allocate that stolen money to its own end, regardless
          of whether caps on its hiring capacity are implemented. The problem is that
          it is sanctioned to steal the money in the first place. If it has (or seizes) that
          sanction, there will be no shortage of outlets, no shortage of those lining up
          for a piece of the pie.

          Gary

          Tim Condon <tim@...> wrote:
          (FURTHER DISCUSSION: A PER CAPITA GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE LIMITATION...)

          On Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 5:39 PM, Gary Snyder <gsnyder15@...> wrote:

          > Doesn't address government contracts. If the government is capped in its
          > hiring capacity, it'll simply dole out contracts and accomplish the same
          thing.
          >--- Gary

          Tim Condon <tim@...> wrote:
          That may be, Gary, but private contractors don't establish a
          permanent
          phalanx of direct, unionized government employees demanding more money and
          more power...and willing to go out on the streets to make it a reality.
          ---Tim Condon

          On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 2:32 AM, Gary Snyder <gsnyder15@...> wrote:

          Correct, their "establish[ment]" instead consists of an army of lobbyists
          demanding the same thing. ---Gary

          TIM CONDON NOW RESPONDS TO HIS FRIEND GARY, AT SOME LENGTH:

          Lobbyists are not unionized. Lobbyists are not "feet-on-the-street."
          Lobbyists are not the shock-troops that public employees and their unions
          are. And lobbyists tend to cluster in Washington, DC and state capitols
          only.

          In my estimation, the premier issue that has faced all human beings since
          the beginning of civilization is how to restrain some groups (usually thugs
          and criminals) from amassing ever more power, declaring themselves
          "governments," and living off of the productive efforts of all human beings
          who are not part of the resulting "government class." The Founding Fathers
          made a valiant and largely effective effort to solve this problem in 1787
          with the U.S. Constitution. It was effective for about 150 years (nothing to
          dismiss lightly), until about 1936 under Roosevelt, when the Constitutional
          plan started to unravel and the walls were breached. By 30 years later, in
          1965, the break in the walls had become critical, enabling a
          government-growth tsunami. This process of the growth of government is
          driven by one thing: Ever more people becoming dependent upon government for
          their financial sustenance. It includes welfare and social security
          recipients, but most of all what is driving it is employment at all levels
          of government, local, state, and federal. Long-term welfare recipients
          cannot be depended upon to go "into the streets" to make demands for ever
          more money. For the most part they are (thankfully) either unwilling or
          unable. Social security recipients make a huge political constituency, but
          they are overwhelmingly elderly, and also cannot be depended upon to do the
          work "on the streets" necessary to create conditions for continued political
          victories which ratchet up demand for government taxing, spending, and
          power. The single most important constituency to continually expand
          government power at all levels is through unionized (and thus disciplined
          and organized) government employees. They have the most direct interest in
          continued government growth. They are generally younger, more educated, more
          energetic, and more aware of what conditions need to be created and what
          political victories must be won to benefit themselves and their families.

          The above dynamic was exactly why Sen. Tom Daschle fought tenaciously (and
          successfully) against President George W. Bush to make sure that the latest
          huge new federal bureaucracy, "Homeland Security," would be federal
          employees instead of privately contracted companies, as was originally
          favored by Bush (probably because he was so advised by those who understood
          the problem). But Bush had no real understanding of the stakes, and probably
          no great desire to prevent further government growth anyway. His tepid
          objections were easily defeated by Daschle and the Democrats, who knew
          exactly what they were fighting for. The same dynamic is behind the
          insistent and continued Democrat demands for amnesty for illegal aliens:
          They see future welfare recipients, voters, and even feet-on-the-street
          political activists who will support the continued growth of government
          taxing and spending.

          The problem identified above is that there exists a "Government Class"
          consisting of all who look to government (at any level) for their
          sustenance. The Government Class feeds off of all who are not part of the
          class, i.e. everyone else (those who are independent, who work, who pay
          taxes, and who support their families and communities). Let's call them the
          "Working Class." The problem for the Working Class is to figure out the best
          way to stop the apparently inevitable growth of government taxing, spending,
          and hiring at all levels driven by the above dynamic. Past attempts have
          involved state constitutional tax limitations (such as Prop. 13 in
          California), statutory spending limitations (such as Gramm-Rudman, which was
          easily pushed aside), and constitutional spending limitations (such as TABOR
          plans, including that which passed in Colorado...which has easily been
          breached by the Government Class in that state).

          In short, neither constitutional nor statutory spending limitations, nor tax
          limitations, have worked. Nor have state constitutional prohibitions against
          state income taxes such as exist in Florida, Texas, and three or four other
          states. State government size and spending in those states have grown
          greatly, although not as fast as in those states that have far more taxing
          powers.

          So what are other potential solutions? What other machinery can be
          constructed to slow, or even stop and eventually reverse the accellerating
          growth of government in America?

          I would like to examine state constitutional limits on government employment
          per capita. That is, state government (and, ideally, local governments also)
          would be prohibited from having more than X number of employees for a given
          population. It could be expressed as a percentage ("the number of state
          government employees may not exceed .1% of the population") or as a ratio
          ("no level of government in this state shall have any more than 1 emloyee
          per 1,000 residents"). Of course, the Government Class would strive to lock
          in the present bloated size of government by measuring what the current
          ratio of government employees to population is. This is why I'd like to
          gather information on the ration of government employees to population in
          America in, say 1860, then 1932, then 1965, then 1980, etc. My guess is that
          a reasonable ratio would be found on one of those earlier years.

          The constitutional imposition of such a limitation would create many
          salutary effects: (1) It would deprive government of disciplined, organized,
          public employee union activists; (2) it would decrease the ostensible "need"
          for ever higher taxes; (3) it would decrease the ostensible "need" for ever
          higher government spending; (4) and it would inevitably decrease the number
          of votes for more government growth, taxing, and spending.

          Such a plan might work...or it might not. However, we know that taxing and
          spending limitations have failed, and usually can't even get passed due to
          the increasing size and power of the Government Class. Per capita employment
          limits might even be an easier "sell" because existing government employees
          would get a larger share of tax monies for themselves. In fact, the proposal
          could be coupled with a carrot for current government employees: If the per
          capital government employment limitation is passed, every government
          employee remaining could be promised a handsome raise. Generous buy-outs of
          existing government employees could also be made part of the plan, in order
          to decrease opposition and effect huge savings into the future.

          One difficulty in passing such a limit would be that existing government
          employees and their unions would create as much pain and disruption to the
          public as possible, passing it off as the natural result of a terrible
          "unworkable" idea. The solution to *that* problem might be to include a free
          hiring-and-firing proposal for government employees (since they are, after
          all, employees of a monopoly, which introduces all kinds of additional
          considerations for the protection of the public and their "customers," the
          taxpayers). Thus, government employee saboteurs and disruptors would be
          allowed to be expeditiously replaced.

          The best case scenario is this: A state constitutional limitation on number
          of government employees at the state level, the county level, the town
          level, and the school district level is put in place. The resulting decrease
          in the number of government employees causes a decrease in agitation and
          activism in favor of taxing and spending at all levels of government in the
          state. As a result, opponents of increased taxing and spending gain power,
          and manage to stem and reverse the tide. With a decrease in taxing and
          spending, the state's economy and standard of living surges. Similar
          limitations are taken up in other states, with similar salutary effects.
          Ultimately a United States Constitutional amendment is passed, with the same
          effect on the national scene that individual states have experienced, led
          by New Hampshire. America then experiences a rebirth of individual and
          economic freedom, resulting in an explosion of work, creativity, invention,
          entrepreneurialism, and growth reaching all the way through the 21st century
          and into the future.

          Call me a dreamer if you want to. That's a common epithet directed at
          Freestaters. Nevertheless, nothing else has worked up to this point. It's
          time to try something new. And it might just work. Not only work, but
          provide a template for freedom and justice into the future.

          WRITTEN BY: ---Tim Condon (Who wishes to thank Gary Snyder for making the
          objections he made above, thus stimulating further thought and sparking this
          discussion.)

          >
          > > Tim Condon <tim@...> wrote:
          > > NEED SOME DATA
          > >
          > > I'm considering the idea of a per capita employment cap for government
          > > employees as a way of stemming the growth of government in the Free
          > State.
          > > Most attacks on the seemingly unstoppable growth of government in the
          > past
          > > have been through either tax caps or spending caps. I'm unaware of any
          > > state that has a government employee cap tied to state population. One of
          > the
          > > data points that the Free State Project used prior to voting on the state
          > was
          > > that of government employees per capita. But I need a series of figures,
          > > for any state that has them, and/or for the federal government. That is,
          > what
          > > was per capital government employment prior to 1932 when Roosevelt was
          > > elected? What was it in 1960 when Kennedy was elected? What was it in
          > 1980
          > > when Reagan was elected? What was it in 2000 when Bush was elected? And
          > > what are the current figures?
          > >
          > > Instead of the spending caps and taxing caps, both of which are
          > inevitably
          > > breached when the government constituencies get large and loud enough, a
          > > per capita government employment cap would prevent the constituencies
          > > themselves from growing. Plus it attacks the socialists at the heart of
          > > their plan, i.e. to have as many people dependent upon government money
          > as
          > > possible, and to constantly fight to increase that number.
          > >
          > > Can any direct me to where I can find out the above information?
          > >
          > > Timothy Condon
          > > 12 Liberty Lane
          > > Grafton, NH 03240
          > > Email tim@...
          >

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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