Odds and ends April 20

Back from Tasmania and packing for China. Tell Dr Michael Spence, Vice Chancellor of “Australia’s leading university” what you think about student union blocking The Red Pill from screening on campus. mailto [email protected] He may claim this is out of his hands but the administration has form on other related issues and it is a toxic environment for conservatives.

Dan Mitchell. The shadow bureaucracy. Don’t be fooled by stable numbers of taxeaters in the capital city, check out the impact of federal programs and funds in the states, local government and the military.

…government has prudently become stealthy about how it becomes ever bigger. In a new Brookings paper, …government expands by indirection, using three kinds of “administrative proxies” — state and local government, for-profit businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Since 1960, the number of state and local government employees has tripled to more than 18 million, a growth driven by federal money: Between the early 1960s and early 2010s, the inflation-adjusted value of federal grants for the states increased more than tenfold. …“By conservative estimates,” DiIulio writes, “there are about 3 million state and local government workers” — about 50 percent more than the number of federal workers — “funded via federal grants and contracts.” Then there are for-profit contractors, used, DiIulio says, “by every federal department, bureau and agency.” For almost a decade, the Defense Department’s full-time equivalent of 700,000 to 800,000 civilian workers have been supplemented by the full-time equivalent of 620,000 to 770,000 for-profit contract employees. …the government spends more (about $350 billion) on defense contractors than on all official federal bureaucrats ($250 billion). Finally, “employment in the tax-exempt or independent sector more than doubled between 1977 and 2012 to more than 11 million.” Approximately a third of the revenues to nonprofits (e.g., Planned Parenthood) flow in one way or another from government.

Tax reform in the USA, Republicans struggle for consistency. The Brazilian future for the US when bureaucrats can retire early on lucrative pensions. This used to be the way in the Commonwealth public service.

But when I write about state governments, perhaps it would be more appropriate to warn about a Brazilian future. That’s because many American states have made unaffordable and unfunded promises to give lavish benefits to retired bureaucrats, a topic that I’ve addressed on numerous occasions.
And why does that mean a Brazilian future? Because as Greece is already suffering the inevitable consequences of a bloated welfare state, Brazil is already suffering the inevitable consequences of a pension system that treats bureaucrats as a protected and cossetted class. Here are some excerpts from a sobering report in the Wall Street Journal.

Inside the deep hidden empire of the almost faceless bureaucrats.

Energy. Don Aitkin on Gary Banks on our self-inflicted energy pain.

Weather. Warmth and CO2 are good for plant growth! Jo Nova and the cotton crop.

Heterodox Academy roundup. Accuracy in Academia roundup.

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4 Responses to Odds and ends April 20

  1. True Aussie

    Look at the footage of the Liberal party meeting in Dundas. All muslims. The Libs are cucked.

  2. True Aussie

    An alleged member of an alleged satanic p edophile cult has gone to the human rights commission of victoria to silence a blogger writing about them:


    This is not being discussed anywhere and its a serious enough topic for a guest post. How do I submit a guest post so all Cats can see this legal abuse trainwreck unfolding?

  3. Zatara

    …. the government spends more (about $350 billion) on defense contractors than on all official federal bureaucrats ($250 billion)

    Yep. That’s what happens when you are at war and have to establish hundreds of camps in multiple hostile countries. But when the contract is complete the government walks away. No need to fund retirement, medical, housing, education, etc. etc. for personnel.

    I don’t have the numbers handy but assuming an idiot didn’t write the contract it is massively cheaper to hire contractors for things that don’t specifically require costly service members (who are assumed to be busy doing their real jobs). Example: contractor provided billeting and messing services in Afghanistan so the troops are out in the field operating instead of pot walloping, dishing out mystery meatloaf, or swabbing out latrines in the rear.

  4. Rafe Champion

    “assuming an idiot didn’t write the contract”, no just assume a bureaucrat driven by politicians.

    Tell us more about the efficiency of private contractors.

    Military contractor horror stories have put huge companies like KBR and Blackwater on the front page – and in court. Since the War on Terror began in 2001, the US military has paid countless billions to private companies for everything from construction and food service to security. And much of this money has been wasted, either being stolen or simply disappearing.

    And there is more.

    Scandals in military procurement. Al Gore brings back the $640 toilet seat.

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