Numbers to Ponder
By Arnold Kling
The latest issue of Reason cites a study by economic consultant Gary Shilling.
More than half of all Americans–53 percent–now depend on government for their income. In 1950 the figure was just 28 percent…Shilling totaled up federal, state, and local government workers, plus private-sector workers who owe their jobs to government, plus recipients of Social Security, other transfer payments, and benefits such as food stamps. He also tacked on dependents…adjusting his figures to avoid double-counting…
On line, you can read about his analysis in Mark Trumbull’s piece in the Christian Science Monitor.
Meanwhile, Stan Humphries of Zillow totes up real estate values in Red and Blue states.
the Red states (pro-Bush) have substantially lower home values than do Blue states (pro-Kerry). Red states had a Zindex of $190,323 vs. a Zindex of $323,952 for the Blue states as of the first quarter of 2007
Thanks to Richard Florida for the pointer.
I wonder if we’ve seen some redistribution of wealth away from the private sector and toward government workers and contractors since 2001. I wonder if the public sector tends to be larger in the blue states.
Living in a Maryland suburb of DC, I see an economy that is very much government-driven. I think that’s why I have a hard time taking a dire view of the housing market. It’s hard for me to picture government workers defaulting on their mortgages in droves.
I’m sure that there will be mortgage defaults in California. California has always had expensive, volatile housing markets and creative mortgage lending practices. But the question is whether the rest of the country looks more like California or more like Maryland. Based on Shilling’s numbers, I would bet more like Maryland.