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Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 474 -- Leaner Government Is Better, Around The World.
Lean Better Than Mean-
These days, it seems like the United States is missing out on a lot of human talent and capital that is flowing to places like Hong Kong, where taxes are much lower. The lesson seems to be that leaner governments tend to perform better than bloated ones.
Fortunately, the United States, in relative global terms, is still somewhat lean. Fortunately for people in other parts of the world, their governments are trying to become leaner, at least on the tax side of the ledger. Will America respond? Do we have the nerve to cut our tax rates to keep pace with the tax-cutting fever that is sweeping the globe? Let's hope we do.
One study on leaner versus larger governments, from Keith Marsden of the Centre for Policy Studies in the UK, takes five prominent industrialized nations from each category, and compares them on a variety of indicators. These two categories (leaner and larger) are verbs rather than constant states of being. In other words, being a "leaner government" nation means that the nation cut taxes from a higher level in the past two decades, not that the nation is necessarily a consistent paragon of leanness. A "larger government" nation means that taxes went up in the past 20 years.
Here's an illustration why Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, and the United States are "leaner" nations, while France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and the United Kingdom are "larger" nations:
These changes produced a clear set of results.
For example, long-term unemployment:
It's stunning how pervasive long-term unemployment is in larger government nations.
But that's just one indicator. There are dozens:
*Leaner governments reduced their tax take and other receipts, expressed as a proportion of GDP, by an average of 6.5 percentage points over the last two decades while larger governments grew their tax and other receipts by an average of 4.8%. Spending for the leaner governments averaged 37% of GDP for the leaner governments compared to 49% for larger governments.
Government obesity harms the health of a nation. Leaner is better. Let's learn from this and do the right thing in 2008.
Previous Trivia Tidbit: Misremembering Past Opinions On Iraq.
Posted by Will Franklin · 14 January 2008 02:12 PM