Home > Cut Government > WSJ.com – Opinion: We’ve Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers

WSJ.com – Opinion: We’ve Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052748704050204576219073867182108-lMyQjAxMTAxMDAwMjEwNDIyWj.html
The most important part of this article to me is the distingtion bewteen makers and takers. Gov’t produces nothing of value. Gov’t jobs don’t exist without real jobs backing them up in the form of tax payers. Gov’t is not efficient because they spend other people’s money. The educational system proves this without a doubt. More and more spending with no real change in output.

“The employment trends described here are explained in part by hugely beneficial productivity improvements in such traditional industries as farming, manufacturing, financial services and telecommunications. These produce far more output per worker than in the past. The typical farmer, for example, is today at least three times more productive than in 1950.

Where are the productivity gains in government? Consider a core function of state and local governments: schools. Over the period 1970-2005, school spending per pupil, adjusted for inflation, doubled, while standardized achievement test scores were flat. Over roughly that same time period, public-school employment doubled per student, according to a study by researchers at the University of Washington. That is what economists call negative productivity.

But education is an industry where we measure performance backwards: We gauge school performance not by outputs, but by inputs. If quality falls, we say we didn’t pay teachers enough or we need smaller class sizes or newer schools. If education had undergone the same productivity revolution that manufacturing has, we would have half as many educators, smaller school budgets, and higher graduation rates and test scores.”

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Categories: Cut Government
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