Government Takes Forty Two Cents of Each Wage Dollar
7.4% of the American population works for the government. Conversely, only 3.2% of the Japanese population works for the government. A greater percentage of American citizens (3.5%) are government employees in elementary, secondary, and higher education than are government employees of all kinds in Japan. As a percentage of all employees, we have 2.4 times as many government employees as Japan (15% versus 6.25%).
What this means is that the Japanese worker pays one half to one third as much as we do for government. Where the typical Japanese worker pays 16 cents of each wage dollar (or yen) for government, we pay 42 cents. This 26 cent difference is the difference between having Personal Savings in the bank like the Japanese do, and having massive consumer, mortgage, and public debts like we do. It is the difference between personal property rights and no rights. It is the difference between freedom and or totalitarianism. It is the difference between empowering the people and empowering the government.
It has been so long since Americans have had a low enough tax that they could actually put money in the bank that there is a widespread belief that Americans can't save anyway, and would instead spend the difference. This is belied by the fact that we actually did have a 15% Personal Savings rate before government spending skyrocketed and eliminated the option.
It is argued that the Japanese don't spend any money for national defense, while we do. But Japan pays for the national defense we provide them, which makes them a profit center for our Department of Defense.
Breaking this down into known components produces the following chart:
Why are the US gross and personal savings rates so low?
The federal government finished 14th in a list of 15 organizations that Americans say play important roles in solving local problems
Nonprofit, Faith-Based Groups Near Top of Poll on Solving Social
By Richard Morin
Most Americans say faith-based organizations and other nonprofits do far more than the federal government to solve social problems in their communities, according to a new national survey released yesterday by the Pew Partnership for Civic Change.
The federal government finished 14th in a list of 15 organizations that Americans say play important roles in solving local problems -- barely ahead of labor unions and just behind state government officials.
In contrast, nonprofit organizations finished third behind the police and local churches, synagogues and mosques in the public's ranking of groups that solve community problems.
Taken together, these findings are "good news" for President Bush, who this week unveiled his plan to empower local religious charities and other nonprofit organizations to battle social problems, said Suzanne Morse, executive director of the nonpartisan Pew Partnership.
Americans are clearly disenchanted with the federal government's ability to solve big social problems and are willing to explore other options, Morse said. "I think they've given up on government making a significant difference in their lives. Bush has the perfect opening to begin a different kind of partnership with nonprofits."
Overall, more than half -- 53 percent -- of those interviewed said nonprofit organizations such as the Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries and Habitat for Humanity played an important role in solving local social problems. An even larger proportion -- 56 percent -- said area churches were similarly influential.
But not even three in 10 -- 28 percent -- said the federal government was a major problem-solver in their communities. The overwhelming majority believe Washington played little or "no role in problem-solving." Closer to home, local government leaders were viewed as problem-solvers by 43 percent of those interviewed. But only 33 percent saw state government officials as particularly helpful.
Morse cautioned that the survey, conducted last fall, did not specifically measure public attitudes toward providing federal assistance to church-affiliated organizations, which Bush has recommended. But she noted that the poll found that "people have great confidence in religious organizations and the work they do. The unanswered question is public support for a connection between the federal government [and] religious organizations."
Despite the public's deeply cynical view of Washington, some form of local-federal partnership will likely be required, Morse added. When asked in the poll to name the biggest problems facing their communities, jobs, health care and drug abuse led the list -- problems that cannot be solved by local action alone, she said.
The poll also found that Americans seem to be volunteering in record numbers and seeking new ways to do even more to help their communities.
According to the poll, three in four Americans surveyed said they felt connected to their communities, and a similar proportion rated the quality of life in their areas as excellent or good. Two in three reported they were optimistic "that their community's best years as a place to live are ahead," according to the survey of 1,830 randomly selected adults conducted Oct. 25 through Nov. 18.
Pew analysts reported that the respondents' positive feelings about their communities translated directly into civic engagement.
Nearly eight in 10 -- 78 percent -- said they had donated money to local charities, religious organizations or other nonprofit groups in the past year.
Three in four reported that they had helped a neighbor at least once in the past 12 months, and six in 10 said they had discussed a community problem with a friend or co-worker.
"The results of this poll debunk the popular notion that Americans are indifferent to the concerns of their communities and are not willing to take the time to get involved," Morse said. "In fact, far from retreating from civic responsibility, Americans are meeting these challenges and asking how they can do more."
The Pew Partnership for Civic Change is a civic research organization funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and is administered by the University of Richmond.
ï¿½ 2001 The Washington Post Company