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March 12, 2008

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Indeed!

But you mean Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, right, not Roget's Thesaurus? I don't think Roget's has quotations.

hilzoy - typo, first line.

our aim should be the same in both State and Nation; that is, to use the Government as an efficient agency for the practical betterment of social and economic conditions throughout this land.

What is it with these Roosevelt boys?

McCain doesn't have to convince you that he's the second coming of TR. he only needs to convince the percentage of people who are still unsure as to the degree of Obama's rejection of his Muslim past.

Hilzoy and Publius,

I can't wait to read your posts on Spitzer. The post on Larry Craig were so good and went up so quickly. I assume your lack of posts is due to being busy and uninterested. Not any kind of double standard or anything.

I can't wait to read your posts on Spitzer. The post on Larry Craig were so good and went up so quickly. I assume your lack of posts is due to being busy and uninterested. Not any kind of double standard or anything.

Too busy posting and running to bother reading, eh?

You know, I'd bet my second-best wig that the congruity between the entity posting as 'grul' and that that posted as 'bril' approaches 1.

What cleek said - It's really unlikely that Sen. McCain, or his campaign staff, still less his intended audience, have the least idea about what constituted Teddy Roosevelt's philosophy of government, or his ideas on national economics (and could probably care less).

All they are going to hear (and are meant to hear) is:

"Teddy Roosevelt" [Republican, Rough Rider]
"pledge", "strength" and "fight".

Anything else is just going to confuse them.

Evidently Hilzoy hasn't Rejectingly Denounced enough for some people . . .

“industrial statesmanship”, “beyond all peradventure’. What a great speech; clearly from another time. [Suppressed impulse to deplore debased public speech.]

The stuff of speculative fiction to imagine McCain speaking those words, framing those thoughts. The citizenry and its dignity in labor as the nation’s most precious treasure— easily seen as cognate with Obama’s platform, but remote from McCain’s efforts to meld with the slipstream.

[Suppressed impulse to deplore debased public speech.]

[email protected], puhbl!ck sp33ch iz teh suXXOr!!1!

(sorry, couldn't resist)

Don't worry abotu national defense, lets wait a few election cycles to make sure conservatives aren't crowing about how much more efficient "private contracting security" is than "government millitary"

I think the simple answer is, John McCain (or whoever made the ad) don't have the foggiest clue what they're talking about and didn't bother to look up the context for the quote.

Just like the guy I heard who was trying to say how the US was founded as a "Christian Nation" and how "the words were all over the Washington Monument, the Jefferson memorial..." because they had obviously never read ANYTHING Thomas Jefferson had written (or many of the other Founding Fathers, for that matter). The "for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man" quote is in a letter about priests who wanted to establish their version of Christianity as the only one in the country, for example.

Sometimes, just because somebody uses a particular word, be it "freedom" or "strength" or "God", they don't always mean what you assume they mean.

No wonder the late, great United States went down the tubes @ 1910.

You can't run an economy with that sort of big government and historians look askance at the coddling of the broken, the crippled, and the destitute.

And, using Germany as a paragon of civilization for introducing old-age pensions! P E N S I O N S rhymes with POOL and led directly to Auschwitz and Treblinka, not to mention Krupp being out a few marks before that.

"casual labor". The last time I labored casually Larry Kudlow popped his monocle and spluttered something about how work will make us free.

The only saving grace back then was that those people didn't have sex and certainly weren't naked underneath their clothing, which is what is putting all of us in dire moral straits.

When Theodore Roosevelt was President, social spending was zero percent of the federal budget. In 1947, social spending was 10% with the New Deal established. Today it is two-thirds of the budget and rising unsustainably. See the dollar.

Theodore Roosevelt would probably agree with the 1947 program. But he would probably consider unsustainable programs for dependent populations like we have today to be unethical. He would be angry at the forces that put such a system in place. He could get really angry.

I took the red-eye out of LAX last night. Lights and humanity as far as you could see out of both sides of the plane. Over ten million people; the majority on some sort of government assistance. Buildings and pavement. It is awesome to think about just the food that it takes to sustain a city like Los Angeles for a week.

Over ten million people; the majority on some sort of government assistance.

Source, please?

In our nation of 300+ million people, only 22 million produce goods. That number is dropping and includes government deliveries.

30 million people provide us retail and business services. This number is dropping too.

There are 40 million government workers of one stripe or another. Number rising.

14 million among us serve the others drinks and food.

Over a hundred and fifty million of us do not have legitimate jobs and rely on someone else for their needs.

John Adams wrote of the inherent stability of an export-based agricultural economy. He was right but maybe LA is different. I’ll keep away just in case. Good bet that TR would have him a little farm in 2008.

Source: Monthly Jobs Report

"do not have legitimate [sic] jobs and rely on someone else for their needs" is not - no, it really isn't - equivalent to being "on government assistance."

Does this number include dependent spouses and children? Those who have retired and live on their own investments or pension plan? Or is it only those who are collecting "welfare"? (And do you include the military - current and retired - in that number?)

I'm sorry, but your own data do not even remotely support the point you were apparently trying to make.

I Call Bovine Manure.

Over a hundred and fifty million of us do not have legitimate jobs and rely on someone else for their needs.

That makes perfect sense to me: given an average life expectancy of around 82 years, and given the fact that people under 18 don't work full time and given the fact that people over 65 don't generally work, about 43% of the average person's lifespan is spent not working. Which means that right off the bat, at least 43% of the population should not be working. Add in the fact that in many conservative communities, women are encouraged not to work and the fact that in many places (hi rustbelt!) there are nowhere near enough jobs for the population, and 50% seems like a very reasonable number.

How innumerate do you have to be in order to be shocked and appalled by the number 150 million?

…about 43% of the average person's lifespan is spent not working.

Central America is a very interesting place.

Those people seem to correlate work with food. But then those workers are a world away. Brown people. Dumb. Right?

Right? Wait a second. I’m an American. This food service thing is temporary. The United States of America. I have dependents. Theodore?


People who have paid into Social Security and now are being paid from it are not on government assistance. It's their money.

Congress has hidden its deficits by pretending that this money is its own. More bovine by-product! Like the Lincoln quote about how many legs a dog has, saying something "ain't" doesn't make it go away.

Related to Nate's post, its impressive how the first century or so of american presidents mostly consists of deists, unitarians, and people who some historians think might have been batised in an episcopal church but noone has any evidence of them being in a church again before they were a corpse.

Central America is a very interesting place.

Those people seem to correlate work with food.

Bill - it's not Central America, it's the whole world, not too long ago. When you couldn't work you starved and died or you depended on the vagaries of family, friends or charity. The UK had the workhouses, I'm not sure if there was a US equivalent. And as the country got richer, people decided, it's not right that the old and the sick and children just die on our streets like that, and they also thought, if there are too many healthy people who can't get jobs and so can't eat, they might start trying to take the money from us rich people by violence. So they started welfare programmes. If you're going to say that those ideas are wrong, look back at the accounts of those who lived pre-welfare and see if you really want to live like that.

I think Bill is on record as wanting to return to a time of greater inequality.

There are 40 million government workers of one stripe or another. Number rising.

Most of those 40 million government employees work for the Post Office. Delivering mail and packages to every house in the country, no matter how remote. Others are policemen, firemen, building inspectors, a very few are toy or food inspectors, judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers, sanitation workers, engineers and maintenance folks for roads, sewage, water, electricity, and so on.

Those government employees are producing goods and services as well. What criteria makes a government employee, anyway? Are people working for companies on government contracts "government employees"? Are you just counting federal employees, or local and state governments too? Or did you just find a number that sounded big but is ultimately meaningless?

I'm not a fan of McCain, but he is perfectly well aware of Teddy Roosevelt's policies and beliefs. Hilzoy and many of the commenters seem to be laboring under the delusion that McCain is a "small government" conservative. He is not.

Just Dropping By:

"Hilzoy and many of the commenters seem to be laboring under the delusion that McCain is 'a small-government' conservative."

If being deluded counts as labor, when do I get paid?

Actually, to be serious, I think more accurately John McCain, knowing the Republican base is deeply skeptical of his bonafides, is trying to delude said base, and when they are sufficiently and securely deluded, then he'll begin deluding moderates into believing that he actually wasn't sincere about previous delusions.

I'll bet Hilzoy knows this.

I once took a cross-country flight and by way of deciding who's doing what, I counted the number of people on the ground sitting down and the number of people standing up, and then divided the difference by the number of people sitting in traffic who were on their way somewhere to stand up and tell the people who are sitting down to get off their butts.

The stewardesses on the plane alternated between standing up and sitting down, which skewed the running total. Plus, the pilot came back to happy talk the passengers midflight, so I counted him as employed. The co-pilot was sitting down having a good old time in the cockpit, the malingerer. Which caused no shortage of jumping up and screaming when I pointed out that no one was flying the plane, a situation the airline considered efficient and additive to productivity, if you consider shareholder-value, which must increase over time so that people currently standing up can retire and take a load off their feet.

Then, a Muslim guy stood up and went to the bathroom, presumably to pray, and this caused many of the people below who were sitting down to quickly stand up, particularly in the White House, while the people already standing up started to scurry in all directions in what looked like highly productive panic.

John McCain himself stood up and ran to the nearest microphone, which caused Osama Bin Laden to stand up and find another cave, having been deluded into thinking John McCain knew exactly where he was but was withholding the information until next January.

Michelle Malkin alone did the work of 17 people.

From this total I derived the number of people working in the food service industry in Central and South America and, for that matter, Asia where you can have 71 people sitting on a bus pull up to a stop and some hundreds of food service entrepreneurs rush the bus, each selling roasted sparrows on a stick, or crunchy fertilized duck eggs, or maybe warm soda and a rice cake.

I did my part to add to gross national output by ordering three drinks on the plane while the going was good.

Some ROUGH numbers and I hope Gary Farber shows up to give less rough numbers:

2007:
1.8 million Federal civilian employees (not including CIA, NSA, DIA, and National Imagery and Mapping Agency whose numbers are secret)
800,000 Postal Service employees
2.6 million military, including National Guard ----- current population of U.S.: something just over 300 million.

These folks administer a $2.1 trillion Federal budget in FY2000 dollars.

Compare:

2.5 million Federal civilian and postal service employees in 1962 administering a $99 billion budget (not adjusted for inflation, I think) U.S. population in 1962: 186 million

Me: "Wow, that looks like improved efficiency and productivity to me."

Others, maybe: "The government is inefficient and unproductive. The only thing worse is when it's efficient and productive."

Me (re generally speaking, employment private and public):
"I desire full employment."

Others, maybe (same subject): "We desire full employment. Now, fire as many people as possible to reach maximum efficiency and productivity.

More rough numbers:

Federal government receipts as a percentage of GNP have stayed in a fairly narrow range (17% to 21%) since 1944.

8 million state and local public employees, not including education and hospitals. Seven out of ten of these employees are in local government.

4 million public school teachers

The 2007 Federal budget in 2007 was @2.8 trillion, not $2.1 trillion.

Which, natch, proves my point.

Also everyone elses'.

Hello?

"People who have paid into Social Security and now are being paid from it are not on government assistance. It's their money."

That's not how it actually remotely works.

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