Fantastic Holman Jenkins a few days ago, Our Big Fat Greek Habits. He proceeds with a series of “The U.S. isn’t Greece but…” that would make Marc Antony proud.
His examples of the creeping sclerosis:
- It takes twice as many firefighters to put out half as many fires as it did 30 years ago.
- In the University of California system, the number of senior administrators has grown four times faster than the number of teachers since 1993—to the point where the ratio is now one-to-one. Remember the Ross Perot joke about the USDA employee weeping at his desk because “his farmer died”?
- What information revolution? In 1980, it took one Medicaid administrator to oversee five Medicaid cases. Today the same administrator oversees only half as many.
- 98% of retiring Long Island Rail Road workers (many of them at age 50, after 20 years of service) use phony disability claims to boost their pensions.
This one should appall. Somebody ought to be able to figure out how to use it in a campaign ad:
The number of employed Americans grew by 316,000 during the first 41 months of the Obama presidency. The number receiving Social Security disability benefits grew by 1,291,000.
The U.S. isn’t Greece. Its economy is growing. Its debt is willingly held by investors. It can print its own money. But if you don’t think we face Greek-like problems with interest groups standing in the way of change, return to the top and read again.