Larry Arne writes in an Imprimis article (where he does say a lot of nice things about our Declaration of Independence and Constitution) that the current Gross Domestic Product or GDP of the United States is about $15 trillion, and that state, local and federal spending is about $6.7 trillion.
From these two numbers he goes on to conclude that “we are $800 billion away from taking half of GDP out of the private sector” — the implication being, of course, that this is not good, terrible in fact. Why government would be “larger than society!”
Now while not everything is wrong with his reasoning, there is not much that is right about it. Most of all he is just wrong to assume that a line can be drawn between government and society. Or to imply that government is only in the business of spending monies created by the private sector. Government is on the dole?
It has always seemed to me that much of our new wealth, and resulting GDP growth, stems from government funded projects. A simple example, wars. These are initiated by governments and before they’re over make many individuals, not a part of government, wealthy.
Nor need I mention other government initiated projects of which there are myriads, including moon shots, interstate highways, and the protection of farm, forest, and recreational lands, all of which have grown this country’s wealth considerably.
Larry is talking nonsense as so many of the current Republican presidential candidates. Why? Why would he want to make us believe that we’re not the problem, but that the problem is government? I guess I understand the candidates doing this but he is not even running for office.
In any case as much as he would like to for the benefit of his argument he cannot draw a line between the public (local, state, and federal government) and the private sectors. If you don’t believe me, try it yourself. Where would you place yourself, on what side of the line?