Maine Madness – Government Retirees Receive 17:1 On The Dollar Contributed

MainePolicy.org reports Taxpayer-Funded Government Pensions to Turn Thousands of Retirees into Millionaires:

The 25,000-plus individuals currently enrolled in the Maine Public Employees Retirement System will received a combined $15,383,315,649—an amount equivalent to $11,834 for every man, woman and child in Maine. Of that nearly $15.4 billion total, retirees have paid in a combined $882,274,785—less than six percent of the total pension cost.

On average, for every $1.00 withheld for their paycheck while working, government retirees will get back $17.00 in lifetime pension benefits. For some government retirees, for every $1.00 paid into the retirement system, they will get back more than $300.00.

2,101 – number of government retirees set to receive lifetime pension benefits of $1 million or more

• 9,193 – number of government retirees set to receive lifetime pension benefit of $500,000 or more

• 50 percent – percent of current government retirees who worked for government 25 years or less

There are 25,000 people, 8% of which are about to be millionaires, 36% of which are going to retire with 500k+. There are about 1.3 million residents of Maine.

This is one of the core and insoluble problems of the concept of government, right before your eyes :)

I have explained it before:

A small number of people each individually have a huge marginal interest in the growth of specific programs, while the majority of people who fund this growth, each of them at a marginally small percentage, have very little vested interest in the elimination of particular individual programs. This creates a mismatch in incentives that brings about the inevitable.

When very few people have such asymptotically higher incentives in a single program than the majority, then every single one of them will be fighting tooth and nails and with ferocious tenacity for his money, while everyone out of those in the majority who is, at the threat of imprisonment or violent seizure of property, forced to pay for this particular program has little to no to even negative incentive (time, opportunity cost, etc.) to do something about it.

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Rasmussen: 75% Say Free Markets Better Than Government Management of Economy, Political Class (*Shockingly*) Disagrees

Rassmussen reports:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 75% of Likely Voters prefer free markets over a government managed economy. Just 14% think a government managed economy is better while 11% are not sure. These figures have changed little since December.

Polling released earlier this week showed that Americans overwhelmingly believe that more competition and less regulation is better for the economy than more regulation and less competition.

Not surprisingly, America’s Political Class is far less enamored with the virtues of a free market. In fact, Political Class voters narrowly prefer a government managed economy over free markets by a 44% to 37% margin. However, among Mainstream voters, 90% prefer the free market.

Outside of the Political Class, free markets are preferred across all demographic and partisan lines. This gap may be one reason that 68% of voters believe the Political Class doesn’t care what most Americans think. Fifty-nine percent (59%) are embarrassed by the behavior of the Political Class.

Is this an indication for people waking up to the alternative of voluntaryism?

Probably not quite yet.

The notion that the free market is better at “managing the economy” is a pretty obvious fact, and one that at this point you would have to have been blindfolded in a darkroom with a feeding tube (or alternatively dragged into public school) for the past 10 years in order not to get it.

It’s also merely an argument from effect. Voluntaryism will only spread once enough people get the argument from morality. And that, as we all know, will be a multi-generational effort.

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WikiLeaks on Afghan War – The Government’s Moral Bankruptcy Exposed

The Afghan war efforts led by the US armed forces are, as I have pointed out many times, nothing but your average and predictable war racket. Now over 90,000 (!!) classified reports have leaked.

Of course they will expose a boatload of knowledge that the government kept hidden and lied about, etc. Nothing surprising or newsworthy as far as that part is concerned.

I myself have unfortunately not yet made it through all those 90,000 reports, but apparently someone else has:

The documents are “not particularly new or illuminating,” Morrell said. The most recent “is at least six months old” and doesn’t reflect the current U.S.-Pakistan “partnership that is so vital to our success in Afghanistan.” This relationship “has been trending in the right direction for months, if not a couple of years now,” he said.

(That’s the government’s honesty and curiosity in action right there.)

But what’s really quite amazing to me is the following statement:

Pentagon Probe

The U.S. military has opened “a very robust investigation” with a team working “round the clock” to find “who’s responsible for breaking the law here and leaking this classified information,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said today on the CBS “Early Morning” show.

You see, these people are so enormously concerned about transparency and about their screw ups and errors and the millions upon millions of people murdered in its futile wars, that what they are really passionate and motivated about is to work “round the clock” to find who’s responsible for handing over a some pieces of paper with reports that could potentially – can you believe it – have documented what’s actually going on in this thing called reality.

Note how the focus is on finding who’s responsible for “breaking the law here”. No attempt to an argument from morality, not even one from effect. Just a plain and bland invocation of the code of law. This is how you lose the battle of ideas.

There couldn’t be a better and more recent example for the moral bankruptcy of the concepts of statism, the belief that a government is a good and necessary institution.

As the idea of statism dies out and as voluntaryism captures the hearts and minds of the majority, we will see more and more such plain, boring, and uninspiring “arguments” advanced by the those trying to hold together the foundations of the crumbling structure of aggression, irrationality, and indoctrination, in short – the government.

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Is Government Needed to Fight Poverty??

The common and unfortunately rather unimaginative and uninformed objection to the stateless society is that without a government nobody would care about the poor and we’d all go down in a selfish orgy of mass impoverishment, with a few evil rich bastards left at the top, laughing and cheering as they feast upon the plight of the masses.

It is very important to understand that when people say such things they do so because it’s what they’ve been told and what they want to be true. They have obviously not gone out and done their strenuous and deep research in order to test their theory. Nor are you going to find any curiosity in these people. They are not feverishly trying to analyze and question these things out of a natural drive for truth and discovering reality.

But this need hardly impress those who in fact do aspire to understand reality and truth.

One simple reason why I personally know such a notion is completely unfounded and pulled out of nowhere is that 99.99% of the people whom I introduce for the first time to the idea of a stateless society will shout out with an impressively quick and almost pre-trained reflexive reaction something like “But what about the poor?!”.

That is, in my opinion, a pretty decent ratio of people who do seem to care about the poor. But then, maybe there’s just something awesome about me personally that naturally draws in all the good, virtuous, and caring people in society, who knows?

Fortunately we have other more objective means to put to rest such glaring and unfounded nonsense.

How much are individuals currently willing to give to charity on a completely voluntary basis?

On Charity Navigator we can find charity statistics for 2008:

Few people realize how large charities have become, how many vital services they provide, and how much funding flows through them each year. Without charities and non-profits, America would simply not be able to operate. Their operations are so big that during 2008, in the midst of a recession, total giving was still more than $300 billion.

How big is the sector?

Total giving to charitable organizations was $307.65 billion in 2008 (about 2% of GDP). This is a decrease of 2% from 2007.

OK, so we know that private individuals and corporations were willing to give $307.65 billion to charitable organizations on a completely voluntary basis.

How much of this money actually ends up in the hands of the needy? According to reputable charitable auditing and rating websites, such as Razoo this number seems to be around 80-85% on average.

So around $246 billion ended up in the hands of poor people as a result of completely voluntary charity donations in the US.

What about our dear, benevolent,and ferociously poverty fighting heroes from the government?

According to official government budgets, approximately $486 billion tax dollars were budgeted in that same year.

Based on multiple sources about 70% of all government programs and grants goes toward administrative expenses, meaning bureaucrats’ salaries, to anybody who has ever worked in, with, or for the government, certainly a realistic estimate:

Mary Ruwart writes:

Of course, public welfare gives over 2/3 of every tax dollar we give them to overhead (e.g., salaries of the bureaucrats who administer the program). Private charities, however, give 2/3 of every dollar to those who need help. By switching to private distribution, we’d cut overhead in half. In other words, we’d double the dollars available to the needy once again. By switching from public to private charity, we’d quadruple our help to the disadvantaged–virtually overnight!

Cato writes:

Today, 70 cents of every dollar goes, not to poor people, but to government bureaucrats and others who serve the poor. Few private charities have the bureaucratic overhead and inefficiency of government programs.

So US federal, state, and local governments together in 2008 contributed about 146 billion dollars that ended up in the hands of the poor.

In total, this means that in 2008 US citizens voluntarily or involuntarily gave about $392 billion to the poor out of which 62% (!!) was contributed by the rugged, selfish, and evil private sector while around 38% was coughed up by the virtuous, heroic and selfless government bureaucrats.

So you tell me, is the government really needed to “fight poverty” … ?

Please keep in mind that I am focusing in the above solely on existing numbers. I am not even delving into the fact that the government is the very cause of poverty, simply due to things like wars, drug policies, import quotas, the granting of monopolies to corporations and unions, the funding of foreign dictatorships, unemployment due to minimum wages and taxes, inflation through money printing, credit expansions and business cycles, the direction of capital from useful to useless needs, deliberately limiting the supply of health care products and services, etc. etc.

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Former CBO Head on Healthcare Reform – “government is bigger, entitlement programs have expanded, spending has increased and taxes are higher”

The former CBO head at Yahoo Tech Ticker:

Walker states the simple fact that …

… “government is bigger, entitlement programs have expanded, spending has increased and taxes are higher” as a result of the law.

… those points should be listed in the default template header for any bill brought forth in Congress.

In addition to that, multiply any expense number presented by 10 and you’ll usually have a rough approximation of where a government program is headed.

Government always grows, it’s inevitable so long as people cling on to this mad fantasy.

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