I just watched video from the 24 June Falcon Heavy launch, and the sheer awesomeness got me thinking big thoughts.
We now do easily what it used to take us a national effort of will to achieve. Other countries are still struggling to get things into orbit reliably, and with considerable public expenditure. The US has competing private ventures succeeding — at a profit. This is an amazing situation. The physics haven’t changed.
Meanwhile, our own government has been displaced from some of its favorite feeding grounds. It is in competition with the private sector, having come un-moored from its rightful place as the least efficient operator of last resort. Government, the organism, is itself in a growth-model of sustenance. It is not the economy which requires growth, but the ability to tax it to the degree that it supports an enormous parasitic entity. Government is fighting back, and it has arcane superweapons at its disposal, including replacing the populace and indenturing generations of descendents.
When we view the government as a pass-through entity only, we see that the parasites are us, or at least, a significant fraction of us. Yet, there are multiple channels of this dependency which should be treated differently. A person who receives government benefits will just as well accept them from a private entity, but a public employee is truly wedded to government. Public employees’ compensation of salary and other benefits are remarkable even on an apples-to-apples comparison with private sector employment. This has rested more on the beneifts than the salary, historically, but this is changing as government “competes” to hire talent. yet there is also the security of being untouchable in a government job, and the vicarious power wielded by petty functionaries with the seal of the state behind their every opinion to sweeten the pot. no amount of salary can outweight the selection effect that these greasy incentives work on a population of mixed decent and indecent fellows. The crap will accumulate in government, where they need not actually perform to a measurable standard, while the cream cannot abide the lordliness of an army of petty tyrants, and absquatulate the dysfunctorium.