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Old 10-28-2011, 02:50 PM
Fish Actuary Fish Actuary is online now
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Default Change in government employees since 1950: Feds -54%; State & local +80%

Some interesting statistics on government employees as a fraction of the total population...
I'm not 100% confident in the numbers, but they are still interesting.

Government employees as a percentage of all employees are up by 10% since 1950


State and local government employees have increased since 1950 while federal employees have decreased (though I'm not sure if this is correct... it isn't clear if contract workers are included or excluded in this).


A breakdown of the areas of increase and decrease is here:
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:56 PM
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Next time anyone complains about military spending Fish Actuary will tell them to STFU.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:03 PM
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Next time anyone complains about military spending Fish Actuary will tell them to STFU.
I suspect that military spending is down from the 1950s as a percentage of GDP, but I'm doubtful that the decline in spending is proportionate to the decline in personnel. It seems like the military needs fewer people to perform many of the same jobs, but to do it, they increase capital costs.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:12 PM
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I suspect that military spending is down from the 1950s as a percentage of GDP, but I'm doubtful that the decline in spending is proportionate to the decline in personnel. It seems like the military needs fewer people to perform many of the same jobs, but to do it, they increase capital costs.
Well, they do have some pretty snazzy hardware.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:18 PM
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Cool expense, ex-pets, x spence

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Originally Posted by Fish Actuary View Post
I suspect that military spending is down from the 1950s as a percentage of GDP, but I'm doubtful that the decline in spending is proportionate to the decline in personnel. It seems like the military needs fewer people to perform many of the same jobs, but to do it, they increase capital costs.
Anybody have similar charts for costs in these categories?
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:29 PM
Baron Von Raschke Baron Von Raschke is offline
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by JMO Fan View Post
Anybody have similar charts for costs in these categories?
The blog posting I'm linking from has a couple of tables, but the expenditure table only goes back to 1970s and only addresses Federal Spending.



Another interesting chart is where in the economy GDP came from in 1950 vs 2010...


ETA: Looking at this chart a bit more, I'm not sure that I like it as much. It would be better if they had more data points in the time series for each category. I'm having a hard time deciding if what I'm seeing here is long term trends or shorter term responses to the Sept. 11th attack and war in Iraq and the financial collapse.

Last edited by Fish Actuary; 10-28-2011 at 03:35 PM..
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:33 PM
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less military workers and more education workers......what is this supposed to be telling me, more profit for the MIC and the teacher unions?

A lot of the military work is outsourced now a days.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:44 PM
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Good example of the dangers in selecting your starting point for these figures...

Is the figure starting in 1949, 1950 or a different year? If it's 1950, looks like % of GDP spent on military is actually proportional to the the % of workforce in military.

I'm assuming initial peak is the Korean War. Is it also overlapping with the period of heavy nuclear testing?

Any chance you have a figure lurking that would overlay national defense as a % of GDP, percentage of workforce in the military, and spending on national defense in absolute dollars?
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