Friday, October 8, 2010

Good News on Government Employment

Yes, I know that everyone is howling about the miserable employment report this morning. But I'm here to say it ain't so bad. Looking at the Household Survey we get this:

It show employment on a reasonable uptrend. Nothing fancy, mind you, but it is something. But now look at this:

It shows government employment on a solid decline. (The big blip is the Census temporary employment.)

But we are clearly seeing government shedding employees. OK, it is very modest. Still, it amounts to 400,000 employees laid off from government in the last two years.

And that is good, because it is releasing people from wasteful government employment.

Even in the short run, it is a plus for the economy because, on unemployment, people are cheaper than when they are working for the government. But better than that, it makes them available for gainful employment in the private sector.

From a broader perspective, I would guess that each extra government employee is a net drag on the economy because, even though they are good people, they are doing harmful things, whether it is educating children badly or breaking up low-income families with welfare or hindering private sector growth with harmful economic regulation, or screwing up the health care industry.

So when you reduce government employment you are releasing downwards pressure on the economy and helping it to grow.

As New Gingrich says, we have a choice this November. We can vote for a food-stamp economy, or we can vote for a paycheck economy. It's that simple.

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