“Well of course the government spends more money now than it did 50 years ago! There’s more people in the country! Duh!”

“Well of course the government spends more money now than it did 50 years ago! There’s inflation! Duh!”

Alright then. The above chart shows federal outlays per capita, and adjusted for inflation. As you can clearly see, the U.S. government spends a hell of a lot more money per person, adjusted for inflation, than it did 50 years ago. If you want more detail go here.

Also note the sharp increases in government spending during Republican administrations. Hmm…I thought conservatives were for small government?

And to think that many Americans (if not most!) think the problem is the government isn’t spending or doing enough. That we need to increase spending even more.

2 Comments on “But The Government Doesn’t Spend Enough!

  1. Slightly tangential, what do you think, on a macro level, our policy for people not exactly cut out for employment should be? I’ve been reading up business books (though I would definitely go the alpha 2.0 business route when I do start my own) and the general consensus is to hire slowly and carefully and to be pretty quick to boot out trouble makers. Solid advice, but it has me wondering where perennial underperformaers are supposed to go.

    The current answer seems to be out of sight; trailer parks, ghettos, prison, etc, and kept there with welfare, food stamps, cement walls, etc.

  2. the general consensus is to hire slowly and carefully and to be pretty quick to boot out trouble makers. Solid advice, but it has me wondering where perennial underperformaers are supposed to go.

    In a true free market, which we do not have, the underperformers would go to different jobs to where they are more suited. The vast majority of underperformers in the workplace are not hopeless losers who can’t hold down a job. They’re working at a job that is not suited for their skills and personality. Match them more closely to a job more suited for those two things, and they won’t underperform any more. But that can’t ever happen if they’re never fired, or if they live forever on the teet of the taxpayer.

    Outside of those people, it is true that society will always have a bottom 3-5% of people who are indeed hopeless and can’t function at all in a job. In a true free market, which we do not have, median incomes would be so high, and taxes and prices would be so low, that charities, individuals, and families would have more than enough money to take care of that 3-5%.

    People don’t realize that in the 160 years before America had a welfare state, America’s streets were not littered with dead bodies of poor and old people. They were largely were taken care of because normal citizens had the spare income to do so.

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