With ‘advanced’ EU countries like Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, (PIGS) on the verge of bankruptcy, strangely mainstream media is silent on the important aspects of this crisis.
The mammaries of the Welfare State? If everyone is part of the Government, who will you tax?
Critics, however, are also questioning the present government’s decision not to touch civil service pay and pension. The civil service, apart from the bureaucracy, also includes health service and education administrators etc. As a group, this has over 300,000 members and a massive vote bank no government wishes to antagonise, least of all a very unpopular coalition government led by the Fianna Fail party. In 2002, the government had agreed to massive rescaling of civil service pay and pension benchmarking it on private sector scales. Today despite a fall in private sector pay, government servants have managed to stick to their higher salaries, which some today estimate is 30 per cent above their private sector counterparts.
Ireland is a 4.5-million strong country which is about one-fourth the size of the National Capital Region in India. Its economy is primarily supported by exports, which today accounts for 80 per cent of its GDP. Information technology and pharmaceutical industries are the largest exporters from Ireland. Ireland incidentally also has the largest number of US FDA-approved plants outside the US. Food, retail and logistics also account for a sizeable portion of its export today. (via Exporting out of the mess).
This economic model needs a perpetual supply of victims to support this bureaucracy. | Cartoon by Bill Day; courtesy – cagle.com| Click for larger image.
Ireland is truly a remarkable case.
In a country of 45 lakhs, an estimated 69% are in the 15-64 years of employable age – leaving us with a workforce of 30 lakhs people. Of these 30 lakh people some 3 lakhs are highly paid government employees – fully 10% of the Irish workforce is in the Government.
With such a bloated bureaucracy, apart from bankruptcy, what else can happen in Ireland? Is Ireland an exception?
Is the situation different in other countries?
The coming storm
Let us look at 3 countries (UK, USA, India) which for the time being are not in the ‘bankrupt’ position.
A look at British situation is revealing. The size of the British public sector is “6.1 million people on the state payroll, (and) an increase of about 900,000 in 13 years.” From a working population of some 30 million, and total population of some 60 million.
Faceless bureaucrats who devise wars, famines, disease to keep their jobs | Cartoon by Clay Bennett | Courtesy – claybennett.com | Click for larger picture.
For every four private sector employee, there is one public-sector employee.
That is the British situation for you.
In the land of the free enterprise?
How about the US?
Surely, the land of free enterprise, free markets, has to be different.
The estimated gross US labour force for 2010 is 15.4 crores. US Government – local, state and federal, has some 2.0 crore (20 million) employees. And we are not talking of contract staff in the US Govt. who are off-rolls. Experts worry about
the 10.5 million federal contractors and grantees the government’s “hidden workforce” because politicians tend not to mention them when discussing the size of the federal bureaucracy. Yet such workers absorbed nearly $400 billion in federal contracting funds and $100 billion in federal grants in 2005. They often performed vital work such as researching new vaccines, running federal computer systems and making body armor, weapons and meals for the military.
The number of civil servants is increasing, too, up 54,000 since 2002 to 1.9 million workers. That is still fewer than the 2.2 million civil servants on the federal payroll in 1990, at the end of the Cold War.
Doors shut, minds closed, opportunities lost, lives destroyed. The Bloated State | Cartoon by Clay Bennett | Click for larger image.
To this figure now add unemployed people – who are also State responsibility – part of the public sector. US unemployment is running
at 9 percent, well above historical norms, with about 14 million Americans looking for work. Those figures don’t tell the whole story. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says more than 8 million people are working part-time but would rather be working full-time.
We are sitting at a total of 4.4 crore people from a labour force of 15.4 crores.
Nearly 29% of the labour force is used and paid by the US State.
Aha .. Where is India?
Examining India shows a vastly different picture.
A report on Indian bureaucracy reveals
The size of government employment is not that large. On 31 March 2005, total public sector employment was 18 million, divided into 3 million for the central government, 7.2 million for the state governments, 5.7 million for quasi-government and 2 million for local bodies. With an estimated labour force of 420 million in 2004-05, government employment thus accounts for 4.1 percent of total employment within the country.
One small guy against a huge bureaucracy – bought, paid and controlled by the powerful few | Cartoonist – Jim Morin | Click for larger image.
The Indian figure includes the railways, which the world’s single largest, employer, all the public sector corporations (like banks, govt. telecom companies, etc.).
A bloated State, over-sized bureaucracy that controls every aspect of our life. On one side, these States speak of freedom, liberty, human rights. The reality is increasing prison populations and an expanding police State.
Fundamentally, the country model of the West has failed – and the time for भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra draws near. In the last 200 years, भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra has gone into regression. But, in this period, the world has also learnt more about the limitations of the Desert Bloc ideology.
People get ready!