Brett Stevens points out that the Administrative State adds an awful lot of costs.
Take a detour now to a grocery store. For sake of argument, let us say that you are buying a single lime. Maybe you need a mid-day margarita after all of this government drama; maybe you are seasoning fajitas. Either way, you just need to pick up a lime.
It costs $0.79 for a single lime. This is for a fruit that grows on trees even within your region, which in theory should be harvested by cheap illegal alien labor, and delivered with our ultra-efficient transportation system. Why is is so expensive?
The following approximate estimates tell you approximately where your $0.79 is going:
Sales tax (6.25%). Since this is a food item, you do not pay sales tax, but if it were anything else, you would pay an additional six cents. This would go to your local tax authority, of which four cents would go to the schools which have decided that they must admit illegal aliens, offer psychological care, have police officers on staff, have speech therapists, and add many more administrators to cover paperwork arising mostly from court cases which cause schools to handle students carefully.
Taxes passed along (20%). The businesses which grow, transport, resell, and ultimately sell these fruits all pay taxes. They calculate those taxes into the cost of every item. This includes gasoline and road taxes, property tax, and income tax.
Insurance (5%). Lawsuits take up a lot of money, and it costs about $250k just to defend against one, and much more to take the case to its conclusion. Every lawsuit payout gets added on to what insurance charges businesses, and they pass it on to you.
Regulations (10%). Voters love regulations. â€œWell, itâ€™s in the law then, and thatâ€™s that!â€ Each regulation written creates bureaucrats on the government side, and in every business that has to deal with them. Their salaries get passed onâ€¦ to you.
Affirmative action (20%). Companies get sued when they do not have enough sexual, religious, and ethnic minorities hired. Government can in fact seize the company. As a result, they hire lots of these people, mainly because any time you hire someone for what they are instead of their abilities, you get incompetents, so you have to double- or triple-staff each position.
All of these costs, created by government and its machinations, get socked to you at the end of the day. Now think about the total cost per shopping trip, times number of shopping trips per year. Think about how everything â€” mortgage, healthcare, internet, car â€” includes similar cost breakdowns.
Then add the taxes you pay: property, sales, income, and the various hidden taxes like registration fees, licensing, and fines.
Where does all this money go? Government becomes an industry if allowed because it is external to society, managing society as a means to an end, which is a combination of government and whatever ideology powers it.
Our economy has become contorted by government, which is now one of its largest industries, if you add up both direct and indirect costs like bureaucrats, consultants, lawyers, and politicians.