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Thread: My "Big Government" Theory

  1. #1 My "Big Government" Theory 
    Time Lord
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    I think a lot of the reason you see a lot of the economy migrating away from privatization and back toward big government has to do with people's work preferences.

    Apparently way too few people are becoming engineers these days. Back in the glory days of NASA, I'm pretty sure there were a great deal more. Everybody wanted to be the big hero, that helps improve the human condition. The knight in shining armor (And as we know, all knights serve a lord/government).

    Take away the option to do heroic-ish government work, and all of a sudden your supply of engineers drops. Money alone isn't enough to motivate a lot of people, and money is all a private company can offer you. The young would-be engineers who end up studying other things do so because a life of pure self interest just doesn't appeal to them. They want to be able to argue that they're motivated by more than that. (An option government work often gives you.)

    Most of the people that study these social worker programs, or other semi-credible academic pathways to nothingness, are probably just looking for a way to do something that feels noble. Some might be just lazy, but I'm really far from believing all of them are.


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  3. #2 Re: My "Big Government" Theory 
    Forum Ph.D. Darius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I think a lot of the reason you see a lot of the economy migrating away from privatization and back toward big government has to do with people's work preferences.
    Most logic works based on simple premise - argument - conclusion forms. Concisely, I have reproduced your post as follows:

    Premise: Government meddling increases due to the work preferences of people.

    Argument: Too few people are becoming engineers

    Conclusion: ??????????????

    Does not compute.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Masters Degree Numsgil's Avatar
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    There are certainly noble government workers, but there are also burned out bureaucrats which really dead weight the whole system. Big government spending increases jobs for both sorts. Of course, this might not necessarily be a bad thing. If you bureaucrats are going to exist no matter what, increasing government spending keeps them away from the private sector, in theory.

    Anyway, there are lots of people who want to serve, but lack the opportunity. I think outlets like the peace corps are worthwhile federal programs to increase funding to. As far as NASA and engineers, it's a thornier issue. I'd prefer to see noble private industry be given government grants. Space exploration in particular is going to be helped long term if we can subsidize it in the short term to make it profitable. That way you get the benefits of both worlds: nobility of spirit and the bottom line.
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  5. #4 Re: My "Big Government" Theory 
    Time Lord
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    I think the trouble with subsidizing private industry is that you're still creating a for profit atmosphere, which might be unappealing to certain personalities who have the talent to be engineers, but not the personality for private industry.

    Don't get me wrong, though: I think privatization is the key to getting us to the Moon. The public will never want to fund another massive space effort that doesn't have some kind of economic return on investment.

    My concern right now, though, is how to steer more people into the engineering (and other useful, yet under pursued fields).


    Quote Originally Posted by Darius
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I think a lot of the reason you see a lot of the economy migrating away from privatization and back toward big government has to do with people's work preferences.
    Most logic works based on simple premise - argument - conclusion forms. Concisely, I have reproduced your post as follows:

    Premise: Government meddling increases due to the work preferences of people.

    Argument: Too few people are becoming engineers

    Conclusion: ??????????????

    Does not compute.
    Yeah, I do that sometimes. Sorry. I kind of have a scattered logical process sometimes.

    My theory is that if the government hired more engineers, more people would train as engineers. If all they hire is social workers, then we get too many social workers out of college.

    I suppose engineers are my case in point, but I guess unfortunately, that they're still an argument unto themselves. There seems to be a tendency among people who might consider engineering (I'm still in college, so I just mean people I meet), toward wanting to be hired by NASA instead of say... General Motors. It could just be that NASA's projects are more technically sweet, but I think there's also a certain distrust, and feeling of emptiness to working for GM.

    One half of the work preference problem might be that some people prefer to work for the government because they see it as a semi-benevolent entity, as opposed to a wholly profit driven one (even most charities are still pretty profit driven).

    Maybe part of it is that they don't trust an entity like that to treat them fairly. Or maybe they'll tend to feel like their efforts count more as an attempt to be greedy than to contribute. US soldiers, for example, usually aren't motivated primarily by their paycheck. It's more about feeling like they serve a noble cause.

    How do we make that feeling translate to the areas where our economy is really running short?
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