Government Employment / Politician Loop

Posted by $ Casebier 1 week, 1 day ago to Politics
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First, 4 of the 5 largest American unions are for government employees. Between the NEA, SEIU, AFT, and AFSCME there are over 8 million members made up largely of teachers, public school employees, professional and nonprofessional healthcare workers, and state, county and municipal workers. When added to another million federal employee union members, you have a bloc of union members fairly assured to vote Democrat because their jobs and promotion ladders are dependent on a continually growing government. Finally, add an additional 6.2 million federal, state and local nonunion government workers to get a total government workforce of about 15.2 million (excluding the military) or approximately 18% of the total American workforce and 10% of total US registered voters.

Second, consider that we send elected representatives to Washington, D.C., with almost the sole job, except for matters of national defense, of creating new spending programs or obtaining funds from existing ones. Elected representatives at state capitals, county offices, city halls and school boards all have the same prerogative – create more programs providing more services, government employees and Democrat voters.

I’m not faulting the government workers. Were I one of them protecting my self-interest and the interests of my family as my top priority, I would also vote for the politician/political party that seeks to expand and create programs that may provide better employment for me and those in my care.

My concern is that where most federal, state and local elections are decided by less than 10% of those voting, a voting/employment loop of government employees, with virtually guaranteed lifetime employment, is effectively electing representatives responsible for signing their paychecks and dedicated to providing them career opportunities through new programs. This is not dissimilar to a large corporation’s employees, instead of its stockholders, electing all the members of the corporation’s board based on those board members’ primary commitment of making new and expanded opportunities for their employees instead of making a profit. It’s also worth noting that even 5% voting stock in a publicly traded corporation is considered a dominant ownership/voting position and typically worthy of a position on the corporation’s board of directors. As evidence of this impact on elections, I offer the state of Virginia, formerly a “red” state, that is now dominated by the state’s suburban D.C. population of commuting federal government workers resulting in the state having nearly 20% of its workforce working for the government and reliably turning the state “blue”. This is amplified in D.C. itself where 25% of the workforce is government employed. While some attribute the solidly Democrat capital to its 45% Black community, it’s near equally sized White community makes up far greater percentage of the D.C. government workforce and I would argue their government employment is the more important inducement for their voting Democrat than their race.

My questions are:
1. Is the loop real or imagined?
2. Has this loop exceeded an irreversible tipping point?
3. If it hasn’t, can it be reversed?
4. If it has, then are we destined inevitably to have a socialist government sometime in the future where programs and bureaucracies are expanded, and taxes are raised until there’s few incentives to work except for the government?
5. Will technology save us? (Government offices used to have typing pools.)

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  • Posted by Lucky 1 week, 1 day ago
    Good valid points. The priority however should not be cutting the size of the workforce as an end in itself but the amount of money that government is allowed to spend.
    I have seen big campaigns to reduce numbers of government employees, usually successful, the people gone then become direct contractors doing the same thing, then they become employees of big corporates doing the same thing. All know the source of their jobs and it is not from satisfying the public directly with goods and services the public can choose or not.

    1. Real
    2. No but very hard to slow.
    3. Maybe but hard.
    4. No. Not necessarily socialist (direct government) more like fascist, private sector participates but gov directs ('same difference')
    5. No.
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  • Posted by $ Commander 1 week ago
    The dynamic is real. I'm about 25% through a book that explains in history and detail the rise of unions and voting blocks.
    I just had exchange with OUC, where 3/5 voting for large cities might be appropriate in regard to landmass holdings of property between rural and urban.
    We could return to 21 years of age and property holding as voting requirement.

    I've wondered about a leveraged vote and affects thus:
    Every individual of adulthood gets 1 vote.
    Adult private property owners, no matter how many properties, gets a 2nd
    A business owner holding real property, no matter how many properties, gets a 3rd.
    A business owner employing more than "X" employees gets a 4th.
    This is all about stake holding and risk. Plenty of room for criticism, yet balances out a lot of voting for unearned benefit at the expense of others.
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