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12:14 pm - February 10th 2010

by Don Paskini    


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Wondering what “savage cuts” in public spending would actually mean in practice, or what would happen if the government got out of the way of providing basic services? The residents of Colorado Springs are about to find out:

More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled.

The parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them with signs urging users to pack out their own litter.

Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces, because parks workers will mow them only once every two weeks. If that.

Water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead, brown turf by July; the flower and fertilizer budget is zero.

City recreation centers, indoor and outdoor pools, and a handful of museums will close for good March 31 unless they find private funding to stay open. Buses no longer run on evenings and weekends. The city won’t pay for any street paving, relying instead on a regional authority that can meet only about 10 percent of the need.”

A budget crisis caused by the recession left Colorado’s second-largest city with a $28-million shortfall in its $212-million general budget. Residents — largely conservative, anti-tax and suspicious of their elected leaders — resoundingly voted against a proposal to triple property taxes and keep the city humming. Mayor Lionel Rivera said the city has no choice but to cut fundamental services.”

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About the author
Don Paskini is deputy-editor of LC. He also blogs at donpaskini. He is on twitter as @donpaskini
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Economy ,Foreign affairs ,Libertarians ,United States

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Reader comments


hah! that looks like good politics to me … it looks like they’ve cut every bit of public spending that’ll have the most noticeable effects on people’s lives.

With all the UK news about the government cutting back on visas for foreign students to study in Britain and the universities demanding higher entry grades and turning away thousands of applicants, I discovered this promotional clip on Google video:

Study abroad – in Paris
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnsSUqgkDwU

Btw for those dedicated to maintaining only a minimalist role for state, cutting street lighting is just the right thing to do because street lighting is a classic case of economists’ notion of a “public good” where it’s impractical to exclude non-paying free-riders from enjoying the benefits of illuminated highways.

Much the same consideration applies to road gritting in winter conditions as well so all gritting should also be stopped instantly.

A propitious time to buy shares in the local for-profit healthcare suppliers, I think.

Oh dear, at first glance I thought you were headlining with “Lepertopia”!

Not that I’m irreducibly opposed to such a +topian vision, you understand. I’m a generous-spirited chap…

Fascinatin’ stuff.

Here’s the 2009 budget.

http://www.springsgov.com/units/budget/2009/01-GFSummary-ExpenditureOverview.pdf

You’ll note on page 1-17 that there’s been a $17 million increase in salary and benefit costs between 2006 and 2009.

That’s umm, about what the budget deficit is, isn’t it?

Btw for those dedicated to maintaining only a minimalist role for state, cutting street lighting is just the right thing to do because street lighting is a classic case of economists’ notion of a “public good” where it’s impractical to exclude non-paying free-riders from enjoying the benefits of illuminated highways.

Eh? I think that’s meant to be the other way around. Public goods are generally considered to be the best (or, in some cases, only) suitable candidates for government provision.

Private street lighting is somewhat impractical though. We might imagine that residents would pay a small charge for lighting on their street (if only to cut or eliminate the cost of private security lighting), and we might imagine that motorists would pay for road lighting via tolls/road pricing. All of this requires infrastructure that isn’t currently in place, because these services are offered as part of an all-or-nothing bundle provided by the government. This has the annoying consequence that when the government loses money on other stuff, the street lighting budget gets hit, even if people are still perfectly happy to pay for street lighting.

The linked article makes that point: “Fowler and many other residents say voters don’t trust city government to wisely spend a general tax increase and don’t believe the current cuts are the only way to balance a budget.”. Given the choice, voters would most likely be happy to pay for street lighting, refuse collection and firefighters. But they don’t have an option of paying only for those things, they also have to pay for whatever else the government decides to fund. It seems that the local populace is unimpressed by whatever else the government spends the money on, and a stand-off has ensued. (“Community business leaders have jumped into the budget debate, some questioning city spending on what they see as “Ferrari”-level benefits for employees and high salaries in middle management”).

Annoyingly, the local government body has decided to cut services, rather than to figure out how to deliver those services more effectively and how to eliminate the spending that fails to command public support. The upshot appears to be that the spending people don’t approve of will continue, and the spending that they want has been canceled. It’s certainly a long way off being optimal and wouldn’t qualify as ‘libertopia’ even for the people who believe in that kind of thing.

It’s a classic ‘there is no fat to trim in this budget’ manouevre. The City executive is trying to prove a rather heavy-handed point. But it isn’t spending on street-lighting and rubbish bins that have put Colorado Springs so far into the red.

Mr. Bartolin recently sent the Mayor an email questioning why Colorado Springs spends an average of US$89,000 on each employee, while his own staff cost an average of US$24,000 each.

It’s the runaway staffing costs of the public sector in the US – and in particular the cost of public pensions:

Retirement incomes for the most experienced government employees top out at 88 percent of their active-duty pay. Unlike most private-sector workers, whose retirement is driven by the strength of the stock market and their 401-k plans, the pensions for government employees are guaranteed.

http://reason.com/blog/2010/01/04/more-on-the-coming-war-over-pu

It’s pensions liabilities above all that are pushing municipalities in the States towards bankruptcy, and these can’t be addressed by putting out streetlights. It’s just an attempt to blackmail residents into allowing their taxes to go up.

You make it sound like the entire government will shut down over a 10% budget shortfall.

The entire country is up to its eyeballs in debt, its not as if 20 mil more will make any difference.

The people are quite right not to be bullied into a tripling of property taxes over a small budget shortfall. Especially after trillions have been given to international banks.

Liberal Conspiracy reveal itself as not really in the interests of the people.

Adam the Libertarian

@4: “I think that’s meant to be the other way around. Public goods are generally considered to be the best (or, in some cases, only) suitable candidates for government provision.”

Exactly. But what about the functions of defence, law ‘n’ order and justice as well?

What of Adam Smith’s third and last duty of the sovereign or commonwealth?

Namely: “that of erecting and maintaining those public institutions and those public works, which, though they may be in the highest degree advantageous to a great society, are, however, of such a nature that the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals, and which it therefore cannot be expected that any individual or small number of individuals should erect or maintain.”
[Wealth of Nations (1776) Bk 5, Ch. 1, Pt 3]

But Smith may or may not be referring there to public goods.

Of course, Smith also had some rather trenchant observations about the tendency of business folks to try to rig prices, given the opportunity, so we arguably need to add competition policy to the list of minimalist functions for governments:

“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”
[The Wealth of Nations, Bk. 1 Chp. X]

Curiously, within the last week or so, stuff has appeared in both The Times and the WSJ putting the case for proactive “industrial policies” in Britain and America:

“Britain needs an industrial policy for more than only high finance”
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/economics/wef/article7005344.ece

In most affluent countries, the state pays for schooling at least up to 16 and west European governments run social insurance schemes to cover personal healthcare costs. Why so?

Even JS Mill thought there could be valid reasons for trade tariffs to improve welfare – such as an optimal tariff on a good where a country’s export or import volume could affect its terms or trade or tariffs to provide initial protection for infant industries – launch aid for Airbus?

Once we look at it, the list of minimalist functions gets longer and longer.

9. John Meredith

““A budget crisis caused by the recession left Colorado’s second-largest city with a $28-million shortfall in its $212-million general budget. ”

Hang on, the council will have $184 million to spend but will more or less collapse? What do they spend the rest on? Not each others’ salries by any chance?

Tim and John Meredith,

Presumably the bureaucrats should work for free.

Maybe the state could just enslave them, and cut the crap.

Don,

But at least the people of Colorado Springs are now free! No more nasty government interference. Just individuals and families.

To think: if taxes had gone up, they’d all be in bonds of servitude. Life is better now.

“Presumably the bureaucrats should work for free.

Maybe the state could just enslave them, and cut the crap.”

What a wonderful idea: you get to whip slaves, don’t you?

Or they could take the Irish option: cut all salaries by 10%. That would bring the budget back into (near) balance….

12. John Meredith

“Or they could take the Irish option: cut all salaries by 10%. ”

And instead of calling it a ‘pay cut’ they could call it a ‘voluntary tax’! Everybody’s happy!

13. John Meredith

“But at least the people of Colorado Springs are now free! No more nasty government interference. ”

Um … not quite. The budget has only been cut by 13% or so. They are choosing to reduce services in the most vindictive way possible to punish the population for this cut in the hope, presumably, that they will be driven to paying more to the council, but that still leaves lots of government in place.

Tim and John Meredith,

Presumably the bureaucrats should work for free.

Maybe the state could just enslave them, and cut the crap.

This is rather the approach that Colorado Springs seem to have taken, but in reverse. There’s a 10% budget shortfall? Well then, lets just cut all the public services that people use. That’ll teach them!

The costs of rubbish bins and streetlighting havesn’t risen particularly dramatically over the past decade. That’s a useful hint that it’s not streetlighting and rubbish bins that are to blame for the municipal overspend. If you can’t afford to pay your workers as much as you are currently doing, either pay them less, or hire fewer of them. No need to be petulant about it…

John Meredith @ 13

They are choosing to reduce services in the most vindictive way possible

In what way are these cuts the ‘most vindictive way possible’, what cuts are not ‘vindictive’ No streetlights and uncut grass are the way of nature? If we need ‘less’ government then surely not cutting the grass is least vindictive way of doing it, likewise street lighting too. Isn’t these things just ‘nanny state’?

“The other noteworthy development was the publication by the Office for National Statistics of new productivity estimates for the public sector. These showed that, despite a small improvement lately, productivity has fallen most years in the past decade. Calculating output is not easy, but the ONS thinks the average public-sector worker’s output in 2007 was 3.2% lower than in 1998.

Contrast that with the private or “market” sector. Over the same period, again according to the ONS, market-sector productivity rose 22.8%. The difference between the two sectors is striking.

What does this mean? A great deal. By my rough calculations, if public-sector productivity had matched the private sector, we could have had the same level of public service but for almost £100 billion less than the £670 billion the government intends spending this year. We would still have a public-borrowing problem but it would pale into insignificance in comparison with the one we have.”

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/economics/article6493346.ece

Street lighting and grass cutting cutbacks are certainly not the most vindictive cutbacks. There are things that can easily be taken care of by individuals. These are inessential services, because individuals can carry flashlights, and grass does fine uncut. Cutting fire department and 911 services would be vindictive.

Just so you all know, who ain’t Colorado citizens, Colorado Springs is Colorado’s most conservative city. It ain’t liberals in charge here.

‘In what way are these cuts the ‘most vindictive way possible’, what cuts are not ‘vindictive’ No streetlights and uncut grass are the way of nature? If we need ‘less’ government then surely not cutting the grass is least vindictive way of doing it, likewise street lighting too. Isn’t these things just ‘nanny state’?’

Oh, come off it! I hate big government as much as the next guy but dismissing street lighting as the ‘nanny state’ is like calling the sewage system ‘political correctness gone mad’.

Shatterface @ 19

What can you possibly mean? You hate ‘big government’ and think government should be doing less, well Government is getting smaller and doing less! So what is the complaint? Less lighting means less Government interference in people’s lives, doesn’t it? If people are that concerned carry flashlights, learn self defence or don’t go out, simples. You believe in personal responsibility, so why not provide your own light?

The brutal reality is that when services get cut things that we hardly notice get cut and suddenly we notice them. Surely you are not advocating that ‘other people’s’ services get cut, so long as it isn’t service you enjoy that is slashed? Wouldn’t that be the height of hierocracy?

So what if the place looks like a shithole as long as taxes don’t go up, eh?

Stop cutting the public lawns has a precedent, if my memory serves me correctly. Mrs Thatcher lands at Belfast airport and there is no helicopter to take her to Stormont. So the Sectary for Northern Ireland of the day* meets her with the chauffer driven bullet proof limo. Driving along Thatcher notices the perfectly manicured lawn and announces. ‘Douglass*, you are spending too much money”. From that day on, It was decreed that the Prime Minister always travelled in Northern Ireland in helicopter.

*Douglass Hurd, though I couldn’t swear to it.

@ 2 Public goods are things that even many on the right think SHOULD be publicly funded, partly because it’s difficult to see how the private sector could run them at a profit, and partly because they benefit all citizens equally – although if Harpersons “equality bill” becomes law, the lights in Mr and Mrs average street will be turned off to ensure that the ones on the local affordable housing estate can stay on.

Willimng to be that colarado spends a fortune on diversity outreach workers, disabled jamaican lesbian drop in centres and the rest, all of which could be cut before essentials like street lighting and grass cutting. The loony left long ago infested local politics, even in the states

“Just so you all know, who ain’t Colorado citizens, Colorado Springs is Colorado’s most conservative city. It ain’t liberals in charge here.”

Those in receipt of a government paycheque tend to be rather more “liberal” than those who are not.

Called “public choice economics”.

There’s even been a Nobel Prize awarded for the insight.

@2 Bob B: “A propitious time to buy shares in the local for-profit healthcare suppliers, I think.”

Perhaps true. When the snow fell in December and January, my local hospital trust recorded 2,000 more limb injuries than they expected. By reducing a public good (gritting of pavements), my local authority saved money but created a greater cost for the NHS and for employers owing to injured workers. (Whether this would be financially good for private health care providers would depend on their contracts and pricing model with insurance companies; a sudden demand for physiotherapists might be expensive to fulfil.)

Public fire services were established in the UK in 1865 because the private services, funded by insurance, did not suffice. The private fire services would tackle a blaze if it threatened the property of an insured individual, but given the limited communications of the day, that didn’t always work out. The public good argument for fire services is now established, and I don’t recall ever reading an argument that we have too much provision.

I cannot help questioning whether the Colorado Springs police department was consulted before the announcement that it was a good place for hookers, burglars and muggers to conduct business.

Nor can I prevent myself from saying that these are political gestures gone mad. Akin to Liverpool City Council in the 1980s. Disrespectful to those who pay for services.

Twat Munro, I personally hope they do employ a load of diversity outreach officers, one-legged lesbians, and gay sex coordinators just so it pisses you off. And I’ll be laughing.

Neil Kinnock “A labour council, a labour council, hiring a fleet of taxis to send out redundancy notices to it’s own workers” To Dereck “degsy” Hatton (the only socialist I’ve ever admired) peoples republic of scouseland, the 1980s.

I thought you used to be a leftist and vote Labour? That’s what you’ve said on other threads anyway. Unless you were making it up.

Bernard are you stalking me or something ? Like a lot of people voted labour in the 97 and 01 (?) elections. Never will again though.

@ad

“Contrast that with the private or “market” sector. Over the same period, again according to the ONS, market-sector productivity rose 22.8%”

The old public sector productivity chestnut.

1. Why do you suggest average private sector productivity is the right comparator? Why not private schools, private hospitals etc? Some parts of the private sector (eg construction) have seen relative falls in productivity compared with the public sector.

2. Half of Government output is produced in the private sector. Are lazy bureaucrats to blame for lack of productivity increase here (laziness contagion or something)

3. Output measured used by ONS are still experimental and still highly flawed, as you would see if you actually read the ONS report rather than take the headline. Output is defined as equal to inputs in a third of the public sector. There are time lags between spending and outcomes for most services (eg education outcomes are the result of 16 years of inputs). It is difficult to seperate the influence of Government from other influences on outcomes. The list of flaws goes on…

4. Many things that the public consider as improving quality have no impact whatsoever on output. Anything related with customer service is pure waste. Reducing class sizes is largely waste. Reducing waiting lists is waste. It’s no surprise that If certain parts of spending are defined as waste regardless of their impact on people’s valuation of services, then productivity will be negatively affected.

There’s a simple diagnosis to raise public sector productivity as measured by the
ONS experimental data – double class sizes, don’t teach
children who are not going to get 5 As and keep the remainder locked in a large room all day, half the number of doctors, shut all customer-facing parts of government, lock prisoners up 24 hours a day etc. Productivity would sky rocket. Services would be completely shit, but at least the numbers would look good, eh?

No, Twat, it’s just that unlike you I remember things rather than talking total bollocks off the top of my head, being proven wrong, then resurfacing to talk the same bollocks.

‘What can you possibly mean? You hate ‘big government’ and think government should be doing less, well Government is getting smaller and doing less! So what is the complaint? Less lighting means less Government interference in people’s lives, doesn’t it? If people are that concerned carry flashlights, learn self defence or don’t go out, simples. You believe in personal responsibility, so why not provide your own light?’

Less lighting, more crime, more police, bigger state.

Less lighting, more accidents, more emergency services, bigger state.

Street lighting cuts costs elsewhere.

Get it?

Thinking about it, it would be very interesting if someone has the time to repeat ONS calculations for education and health productivity for private schools and private hospitals.

I am sure this would show far superior public sector productivity – as the private sector values all the quality factors (small class sizes, top
class facilities, personalised services, broad curricula) that ONS productivity stats say are a complete waste of money adding nothing at all to output
and increase inputs massively.

A challenge for right-wingers to demonstrate the flaws in that intuitive logic?

32. Sebastien Flyte

IMHO,what the author of this piece does is to take the effect: the lack of public services and disingenuously makes it the cause. Rather than criticising the small government-low tax approach for the cause of all these manifold woes, perhaps he should criticise the big government-high tax approach that ran up the deficit in the first place.
Whilst I agree with his statement that C. Springs is a Republican area, it is necessary to distinguish between economic conservatism and religious conservatism.

@ 29 Bernard you haven’t proved me, or anyone else on here wrong, because all you do is launch half arsed ad homs. Now fuck off and take your pills you sad old twat.

Shatterface @ 30

That is going to happen where ever you cut spending. More unemployment will just push the costs onto other parts of budgets. Health, crime, welfare spending etc all rise when unemployment rises. As of course when wage rates are lowered too of course.

You want to cut the council’s budget? Fine, but don’t count your savings until the all the bills are totted up.

35. So Much For Subtlety

It is worth pointing out that pretty much all of those things are occurring in Britain. It is harder to let grass die in the UK, but some of my family moved to the Southern Hemisphere and their local Governments can’t even be bothered to provide water and so everything is dying because they are not allowed to water it.

Look around Britain. Not mowing the parks? Not collecting the rubbish? Not keeping the lights on? I mean, come on, this is normal in most places.

On top of which we get to pay massive taxes as well.

It is not a choice between higher taxes and good services or lower taxes and poor services. Unless constant pressure is exerted by the voters, unless they continually deny the government more money and continually demand better services, the government will become flabby and incompetent. They will demand ever higher taxes and provide ever lower levels of service. As in Britain. There is no market discipline in government.

Our choices are really only between high taxes and poor services or low taxes and poor services. The people of Colorado are on the right track. Now they need to throw the bums out and find some competent administrators.

Twat Munro, I didn’t say I proved you wrong, I said you were proven wrong, by the likes of Unty and others who are more inclined to spend time dealing with your shite than I am.

Now, having drunk my last can, I am going to bed. Bye.

SMFS @ 35

Our choices are really only between high taxes and poor services or low taxes and poor services. The people of Colorado are on the right track. Now they need to throw the bums out and find some competent administrators.

I think the French, German, Dutch, Swedes and Danes would blow that out of the water.

38. So Much For Subtlety

37. Jim – “I think the French, German, Dutch, Swedes and Danes would blow that out of the water.”

I don’t think they would. What they have done is keep a lot of services in the private sector where market discipline applies. This is why their health systems tend to be so much better than ours. Where they don’t have any market competition, what makes you think they are any different to us? Have you tried using the French mail? Do you remember the old French telephone company? Have you tried to get anyone in any French Government office in August?

This is despite the fact that the French and Germans are willing, some of the time, to get tough with their Unions. They do not tolerate incompetence in their railways in the way that we do for instance. At least not as much. But still.

SMFS @ 38

The French and German systems work though. You do not get the feeling that their entire Country is about to implode with a good push though. You don’t feel that their train system is falling apart, nor do you get the impression that their public sevices are ready to give up the ghost.

40. Golden Gordon

Luis E is packing his bags and he is off to Aspen

So Much for Subtlety at 38:

I think you may have a cart before horse problem, here. The precise mechanism by which a liability shield was erected between those who manage Britain’s public transport links and those who have to use the damn things was privatisation.

It is only since privatisation that no-one gets sacked at the management level after a major train crash. These days, actual workers get sacked because the profit margins are coming down, and must go back up.

It is only since privatisation that companies have “competed” by charging extra for fares on each others’ routes: have “competed” by shifting the expensive bit, keeping the track maintained, out of their remit: have “competed” by failing to run franchises and then having them awarded straight back again. Private Eye have been commenting extensively on this since the late 80s, it’s well worth a look.

It is privatisation which has ended all restraints on the PFI poker players, in much the same way as the shift in culture in the Square Mile and on Wall Street during the 80s ended all restraint on financiers (and led directly to Barings, and Enron, and … oh you get the point). You’ll notice the formula is the same too; privatise profits, nationalise debts.

“Those in receipt of a government paycheque tend to be rather more “liberal” than those who are not.”

How many military bases, weapons manufacturers and aerospace companies are based in Colorado?

SMFS: “There is no market discipline in government.”

The fact is that the incentives in the market are to produce profits, not to provide better public services. In some cases, getting these aims to co-incide is difficult to impossible, and you end up with perverse incentives.

For example, see the PFI scheme in Norwich – where the contractor’s main method of increasing profit has been not to improve services to patients, but to spend vast amounts of (ultimately public) money on lawyers to dispute and renegotiate the contract to get them a better margin for less work.

Inserting the private sector into a situation does not automatically make for better outcomes, nor does it result in magically being able to lower pay or provide worse conditions for the workforce without consequences (as the numerous strikes on the privatised rail system illustrate).

1. Why do you suggest average private sector productivity is the right comparator?

Because it is better than no comparator. If you want to make a better comparison, go ahead.

In any event, the most important sentence is productivity has fallen most years in the past decade.

Which is a pretty reliable sign that productivity could be improved.

45. So Much For Subtlety

43. jungle – “The fact is that the incentives in the market are to produce profits, not to provide better public services. In some cases, getting these aims to co-incide is difficult to impossible, and you end up with perverse incentives.”

In some cases perhaps. But in no Government service do the incentives to provide a good public service match with the desires of the civil servants to do as little work as possible for as much money as they can. Government services always and everywhere decline to whatever the Government and public will tolerate. To keep them even marginally acceptable requires an endless purge of the incompetent and corrupt. Which we no longer do.

“For example, see the PFI scheme in Norwich – where the contractor’s main method of increasing profit has been not to improve services to patients, but to spend vast amounts of (ultimately public) money on lawyers to dispute and renegotiate the contract to get them a better margin for less work.”

Sure. And the Government’s IT contracts are essentially designed to say “Open Sesame” to the public purse for the Government’s favoured contractors. As I said, the Government cannot do much right.

“Inserting the private sector into a situation does not automatically make for better outcomes, nor does it result in magically being able to lower pay or provide worse conditions for the workforce without consequences (as the numerous strikes on the privatised rail system illustrate).”

No one is saying it does. Just that Government run services are inevitably and everywhere worse. It is just a matter of waiting for the system to collapse.

Rather supporting the argument that it is employee costs that are breaking municipal budgets:

Per hour worked, state and local government workers enjoy 34% higher wages and 70% more benefits than their private-sector counterparts

http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj30n1/cj30n1-5.pdf

Tim: to what extent would you relate the way employee costs in the public sector relate to employee costs in manufacturing?

I can see a correlation, which suggests that somewhere there’s might be a causal relationship to be found. It basically goes like this: once your population are educated beyond a certain level, they start realising that they’re being systematically screwed and asking for some pie. We call this “the Enlightenment” in Europe, other things in other cultures. At some point, as this filters beyond your entrepreneurial classes and into the true mass of your population, it becomes too expensive to make actual things. As Britain discovered the hard way, this is because places where wages are massively lower will always beat you in a commoditised marketplace.

I’m aware that this is the for-the-hard-of-thinking version and thus simplified to hell, but the underlying reality is visible not only in the first post-industrial economy (Britain) but also in the economies soon to fall off that cliff (USA, Germany, etc.) Eventually it will be visible in the BRIC economies which are pushing the Yanks and the Germans over the edge. And as is extensively discussed in this thread, hard on the heels of secondary industry becoming something you can’t do cheaply, government services seem to follow.

This, of course, reflects not at all on what one should do about it. The fact you can’t provide an essential government service cheaply doesn’t, to me, mean you should stop providing it. In this I am following the hymnsheet of typical right-wing rationales on the subject of armed forces funding. The argument, now and possibly forever, lies in the categorisation schema.


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  19. Tecnopali UK Ltd

    Lighting: Liberal Conspiracy » Welcome to Libertopia http://bit.ly/aaGCZq

  20. Martin L Poulter

    RT @shanekse85: burning to death in a fire is a real fuck you to big government http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  21. Rod Preece

    RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  22. verygoodyear

    RT @chrisspann87: RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  23. bongi

    Cutting taxes DEFINITELY WORKS. http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/02/10/welcome-to-libertopia/

  24. Shane Kiely

    burning to death in a fire is a real fuck you to big government http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  25. catherine c

  26. Louise Inwood

    RT @chrisspann87: RT @Glinner: RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  27. Nikki Butler

    RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  28. Gary Robert Jones

    RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  29. Tom Miller

    RT @libcon: Welcome to Libertopia http://bit.ly/bI0yVS

  30. Catherine McGowan

    RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  31. porrig

    RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  32. Wario Christ

    RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  33. Seamus Kennedy

    RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  34. Karl Arlow

    RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  35. Danny O'Dwyer

    RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  36. Samuel West

    RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  37. Welcome to Libertopia. Population: Strawmen.

    […] to Libertopia. Population: Strawmen. At least, according to figures from the Liberal Conspiracy Census Committee. Wondering what “savage cuts” in public spending would actually mean in practice, or what would […]

  38. Gary Winstanley

    RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  39. Nicholas Casey

    RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  40. phooby

    RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf

  41. Paolo Arcangeli

    RT @chris_coltrane: Colorado citizens vote against taxes and public spending. This was the result. http://bit.ly/aP0GNf





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