socalfitness saidThe article in the OP certainly is valid because it indicates a significant portion of the economy is not producing goods and is financed by sucking taxes out of the population. The ratio would be different if service related jobs in the private sector were included with the manufacturing jobs, but the point would still be valid regarding the bloated size of government.
The above discussion of local versus federal jobs is irrelevant to the point.
Also, the comment that the ratio somehow invalidates a fiscal conservative agenda is a non-sequititur, as is the comment about so-called "trickle-down economics".
It is not valid because the growth of state and local government has nothing to do with why we're losing manufacturing jobs. And, it is not the ratio of private to public sector workers that invalidates Reagan's failed economic policies. It is the fact that we are losing manufacturing jobs due to those policies.
1. Strawman. The article and OP did not state that state and local government size caused a loss of manufacturing jobs.
2. Your case that Reagan's policies led to the loss of manufacturing jobs is not substantiated, and empirically false.
3. While not stated in the article, the evidence is the opposite of what you allege. While the growth of state and local government may not have led to loss of manufacturing jobs, their policies, the policies of the Democrats, certainly has. Look at the taxes and union influence in states such as Michigan that have led to manufacturing jobs moved to Mexico. Look at South Carolina and other southeastern states with right-to-work laws, opposed by Democrats and unions, that have led to job growth.
1. The article didn't make such a statement, to be sure, but apart from the mental exercise of making the comparison, there is no other reason to make it other than to imply a correlation/causation which I believe, knowing the source, is the author's intent. The comments by the OP also suggests that he for one took the bait.
2. While Reagan's policies did not cause this much damage to our economy alone, they certainly lit the fuse. The tax cuts and deregulation started under Reagan and expanded under Clinton and Bush 43 on the highest income earners have led to the wealth disparity that has been growing ever since. The extreme loss of US manufacturing jobs shows that trickle down was nothing more than false promises, exacerbated by free trade agreements.
3. Re: Michigan, see #2 above. Re: South Carolina, compare their job growth with that of California. Both states have seen about a 2.5% growth in jobs in the last year.
I agree that we need to rely more on manufacturing jobs than we have been. There won't be enough service jobs opening up to replace the lost factory jobs, and service jobs, which can't be exported, don't create the economic growth we need that exporting goods will. Further, financial sector jobs don't create wealth much at all but rather transfer wealth, mostly from the bottom to the top. It would be foolhardy to make this the biggest part of our economic system.
What's more, not every job in the country has to contribute to the GDP, though they all do to some degree. Government jobs are not all about pushing paper, and represent an investment in the nation by the people, and as I stated up thread, will by necessity increase proportionately with the growth of the population. That the number of federal employees hasn't increased in the last ten years or so in part explains some of the failures we've seen. Further attacks on public sector jobs will lead to even bigger problems, particularly if we don't address our troubled infrastructure.