Friday, June 12, 2009

TFP Column: Our Government Hard At Work

We come to yet another weekend, and therefore yet another in a string of seemingly endless efforts on my part for the Toledo Free Press. This week's column, Our Government Hard At Work speaks to the one who seems to be able to find new jobs to do (whether we want them to or not), the Federal Government.

As is usually the case, there is far more of interest than my continued pitiful efforts at creative writing. Michael Miller writes an extremely interesting piece on pop culture, in the form of a DVD on "Cowboy" Jack Clement. (I know, I didn't know who he was either, but I do now and I am impressed.) Publisher Tom Pounds writes about form UT president Dan Johnson, and a new book of his essays. Shannon Szuperski contibutes some insight on parents and teachers that I think is well worth reading. Tom Richards writes a piece that ... well just read it, it needs no further introduction.

There are also a couple of pieces on who's leaving city council and who running that you are going to want to catch up on. (The scorecard on at-large council candidates is threatening to become rather large by the way, and I for one will be very interested to see where that leads.)

I just looked up the weather, and it looks like a comfy chair in the shade, a cold beverage (unless it's Guinness of course) and the TFP for me. Have a great weekend!



Winky Twinky said...

Good article... I love the play on the word Czar!

Tim Higgins said...


I appreciate the compliment.

I believe that words have both meaning and history, and often understanding these things is the key to understanding what's really going on. In this case, it couldn't be more apparent.

Roland Hansen said...

Mi Amigo Tim,

I could not help but notice the reference made in the very opening of your TFP article. I always find references to unemployment rates rather interesting. Interesting in the sense that they don't quite give a clear picture as to the number of unemployed.

Unemployment rates, unless I am mistaken, only take into account the people in receipt of unemployment benefits. If I am correct, these rates to not include the people who are unemployed but not in receipt of unemployment benefits, such as folks who either did not have enough work quarters to qualify or who had exhausted their unemployment compensation.

Rather than people citing unemployment rates as a benchmark statistic, I have always liked the idea of using employment rates in their stead. To me, the employment rate is the ratio of adults who are working to the total number of adults who are able to work. The unemployment rates do not give that information.

I daresay, my line of reasoning is also applicable to public and private employment data and corresponding statistics. In regards to the number of jobs in the government sector, I venture to say most people do not take into consideration the number of private sector jobs that exist based on funding by the government (that means us taxpayers).

Along those lines, need I mention defense contractors, road construction, etc.? It seems to me that the loaf is being sliced both ways, but only one slice is being cut in the examination of the overall scenario. I'll end on that note, because it is an extremely long and complex topic of discussion.

Speaking of weather, I noticed that Memphis has not been enjoying the best of weather the past few days.

Tim Higgins said...


I have no disagreement with the numbers that you would rather use and believe that your numbers may show a truer picture. I merely took the expedient of using the number du jour out of pure laziness.

I would also agree that there is plenty of private sector employment sponsored by the government (perhaps too much actually).

I believe that my point is still valid however, that the only job creation that appears to be coming out of the stimulus package these days appear to be jobs in the government bureaucracy. Since I believe that there are far too many jobs in that bureaucracy already and probably too many jobs funded by taxpayer dollars in other forms as well, I thought that it might be interesting to stimulate some discussion on the subject. (Toss a stone and wait for the ripples.) With luck, that's exactly what I have done.

(By the way, I left Memphis this morning, and with luck I will be seeing the Maumee before lunch on Saturday. The weather wasn't bad the day that I was there, but was in Shreveport, LA the day before.)

Roland Hansen said...

"thought that it might be interesting to stimulate some discussion on the subject. (Toss a stone and wait for the ripples.)"

I hope so too, Tim. Seems as though not many people wish to contribute to good honest dialogue. What a shame that there are so many people who just sit on their hands over there on the sidelines.