Whether shutting it down temporarily or shrinking the government permanently, the facts are that doing so tends to hurt the people in Republican states more than other states and to greater degrees than Republican voters seem to realize or are willing to admit.
On Friday, September 27th, The New York Times published Off the Charts: Big Government States. The charts don’t lie, and the opening statement sums it up:
States with a larger government presence — as measured by either employment or economic impact — tended to vote Republican in the 2012 election, while states with a smaller government presence tended to vote Democratic.
It begs a couple of questions.
Do Republican voters understand that they are more often the greater beneficiaries of direct government employment? They and their neighbors are more likely to actually work for the government. When the government shuts down or shrinks, that hurts their neighbors and the economy in the same way that a layoff or business shutdown in their community does.
That’s the direct employment part. How about government spending?
Do our Republican family and friends not understand that the only true “trickle down economics” comes *FROM* government spending? Government agencies not only employ our fellow Americans, the government also spends money through private businesses. That spending creates private sector jobs and prosperity for themselves, their communities, their families, and their neighbors.
The state G.D.P. figures may well understate the importance of — and the decline in — government activity. That is because they are computed differently from the national G.D.P. number. The national number is based on spending, while the state numbers are based on profits and income of workers. As a result, if a government pays for the construction of something, whether a school or a fighter jet, that will show up as government activity in the national figure.
But for the state figures, it will show up as private-sector activity because the work was done by employees of construction or aerospace companies.
Doesn’t that mean the government is a legitimate job creator? After all, who else is going to place orders with private companies for fighter jets, roads, bridges, and schools, not to mention the $517billion spent on outsourcing?
All of this adds up to a mystery.
Why do some middle class Americans insist on voting against their own economic self-interests? It makes absolutely no sense. For that kind of voting to be even more common in states where the economy is even more dependent on government makes even less sense.
Let’s not shy away from this fact, either. It is only Republican legislators who want to shrink government to the point that they can drown it in the bath. Middle class Americans who vote for them are voting to commit economic suicide.
FDR had this to say in his famous “I welcome their hatred” speech in 1936. It’s just as true today as it was back then.
The very employers and politicians and publishers who talk most loudly of class antagonism and the destruction of the American system now undermine that system by this attempt to coerce the votes of the wage earners of this country. It is the 1936 version of the old threat to close down the factory or the office if a particular candidate does not win. It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. (http://docs.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/od2ndst.html)
Let’s hope that our Republican friends, family members, neighbors, and strangers will come to their senses soon and stop allowing themselves to be deluded by the tyrants of their party.