I’ve been thinking about the constant Republican drone calling for smaller government and larger incentives to the private sector. To my knowledge, Republicans are rarely, if ever, called on the consequences of shrinking government. Now, I’m all for a more efficient government, but shrinking government merely for the sake of making it smaller does result in fewer jobs and, therefore, is a way to maintain or raise the unemployment rate in this country despite any stimulus success. Private sector jobs have increased, but, at the same time, public sector opportunities are decreasing. Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, NJ, is talking about needing to cut 1/3 of his workforce because of budget cuts called on from our NJ governor.
Of course, these cuts may trim the fat. But, what they also do is get rid of needed teachers, law enforcement, libraries, etc. The other thing is that Republicans can afford to live with a smaller government. If public schools are ineffective or understaffed, parents with means can send their children to private school. And, yes, I know that all Republicans are not rich, but the ones who are vocal enough to keep this drone going and to get Americans who don’t listen closely to buy into the call for small government are not hurting for cash.
If we’re going to cut unemployment in this country, if we are going to provide adequate (at least) health care to our citizens, if we are going to provide good education for everyone, then we need a sizeable government to support that. We need to invest in those areas of government that will help grow our future. We need public sector job options. Otherwise, the public sector will inherit the burden and responsibility of supporting those people whom the private sector can’t employ, won’t train, or fails to recognize.