[FoRK] Time Asymmetry of Government: Terminal Stage Approaching

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Thu May 27 11:05:23 PDT 2010

--- On Thu, 5/27/10, Jim Whitehead <ejw at cs.ucsc.edu> wrote:

> This seems to echo the critique of
> bureaucracy raised by William Niskanen.
> See:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bureaucracy
> for an overview of the evolution of thought concerning the
> function and 
> disfunction of bureaucracy.
> What seems to be new in Ridley's book is the attempt to manufacture of a 
> sense of urgency about the problem. However, as the Wikipedia page 
> shows, these are old problems.
> A graph of government spending as a percentage of GDP over
> the 20th  century shows a leveling off starting at 35% in the early
> 1980's:
> http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_20th_century_chart.html
> The only blip is recent, and is due to the recession and
> the large bailout bill. It should return to the 1980's onward plateau
> once the recovery hits.


What makes you think it would return to the "1980's onward plateau" if a recovery occurs? Doesn't the accumulated/accumulating debt from the current fiasco make that impossible?

And what makes you think there will be a recovery? As shakey as things are and as rapidly as the financial and shadow financial industries are returning to business as usual, isn't it at least as likely that we'll soon have another big problem or series of continuing problems like the potential for country defaults that is happening in the Eurozone rather than a recovery?


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