Sunday, February 22, 2009

Is our government really getting bigger?

Another idea I had recently, but haven't had the time to check the facts & make neat graphs:

I keep hearing from politically conservative & libertarian friends that the main goal of government is to grow itself. These friends of mine to to reduce government interference, as well as the actual headcount of government employees.

I am very certain that the headcount of government employees has grown since the inception of our great union. But, how has it grown per capita? For those folks who think I just made some words up, per capita means 'per unit of population'.

So, if there used to be 100 people in the US, and 2 people were government employees, the ratio would be the same if there were 100,000 people, of which 2,000 were government employees.

I'd like to make a graph of government employee head count over time, along with US population figures, and a per capita number derived. I'd also like this graph to point out any historical points of interests for a particular jump or drop in the per capita figure. Why? What happened? Who was president? Was a new department created? What was the result (did it make America a better place to live for it's citizens or worse?) That sort of thing.

All this requires time, research, and energy. That's why I'm posting it here. If anyone wants to do this before I get around to it, please be my guest! Just send me a link.

Thank you & goodnight!

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