By Craig J. Cantoni
I’ve detailed several times on these pages how City of Scottsdale spending has increased faster than population growth and inflation over the last decade. Each time, readers have reacted with a collective yawn.
Perhaps the reason is my inability to communicate in an interesting way. Or perhaps Scottsdalians don’t care what government spends as long as they have enough disposable income to drive their Land Rovers on safari to Starbucks, where they spend $4.50 on a double-latte-crape-frappe and a scone, whatever that is. Or maybe they think they can’t do anything about the problem.
There might be another explanation: Maybe the government, public schools and the left-liberal media have not shown them the big picture. Thus they don’t know how the excess spending of thousands of municipalities across the nation has resulted in a huge problem, especially when the spending is added to the out-of-control spending of school districts, states and the federal government.
Thank goodness for Michael Hodges. He’s a grandfather who publishes the Grandfather Economic Report on his website, which is the best site on the Web http://mwhodges.home.att.net/. There you can find graphs and analysis that are startling enough to wake Rip Van Winkle out of his sleep.
One graph shows that there would be 12 million fewer state and municipal employees across the nation if staff increases had not outpaced population growth. Twelve million! That’s 12 million tax eaters who have better job security, pensions and health insurance than the average taxpayer.
Another graph shows how productivity in public schools has plummeted 71 percent since 1960, due mostly to per-pupil spending doubling in real terms and test scores remaining stagnant or barely moving. Still another shows that the combined spending of federal, state and local governments has grown 13 times faster than the economy since 1913. And the humdinger of them all shows that the government’s share of the economy has grown from 22 percent in 1947 to 43 percent today. Meanwhile, family savings have plunged nearly 100 percent.
Which brings me back to City of Scottsdale spending. If citizens are unwilling or unable to keep spending in check at the level of government where they have the most control, then they won’t keep spending in check at the federal and state levels, where they have far less control.
In other words, the nation is doomed.
An author and consultant, Mr. Cantoni can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.