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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Links on Government

Scottish government report on the size of the public sector in Scotland. In 12 pages it doesn't actually say however
Government current consumption as a share of total current consumption in Scotland has risen over the period and has remained consistently above the figure for the whole of the UK.

Public sector jobs as a percentage of all jobs in Scotland is also consistently higher in Scotland than in the UK
Certainly suggests, that with it being 50% in the UK, 60% in Scotland would be realistic
List of states by debt as % of GNP
Union reps and others paid full time by government and their 3rd jobs.
Professor Fred Singer
I have served in five different positions under both Republican and Democrat administrations and have had some modest success in cutting authorized spending.  But the experience has been difficult and has caused me some personal problems.  I am afraid this will be the case for anyone who tries to cut spending -- in the face of an entrenched bureaucracy that thrives on ever-increasing budgets....
Tax revenue as a % of GNP by country. Britain at 39% is exceeded by Zimbabwe, Sweden, Norway, Kiribati, Italy, Iceland, Germany, France, Finland, Denmark, Cuba, Belgium and Austria. On the other hand at 6.4% Afghanistan may be undertaxed.
California's man-made drought - how water doesn't get allocated to those who vote the wrong way
Anti-smoking fascism in Scotland
Although smoking has been banned in public places since 2006, there has been an exemption to allow smoking to continue in designated rooms in mental health institutions.

Following a recent consultation, Public Health Minister Shona Robison announced today that guidance would be produced to help mental health service providers move towards banning smoking altogether...
This paper concludes that a large and growing government is not conducive to better economic performance. Indeed, reducing the size of government would lead to higher incomes and improve America's competitiveness. There are also philosophical reasons to support smaller government, but this paper does not address that aspect of the debate. Instead, it reports on-and relies upon-economic theory and empirical research
UK Taxpayer funded government lobbying itself and us for more government TPA pdf- includes only the most blatant eg no mention of the BBC acting as the state propagandist for a more controlling state
Detailed scrutiny of annual reports, accounts and Freedom of Information requests show that a huge range of British political groups received significant public funding.

The key findings are:

 Over £37 million was spent on taxpayer funded lobbying and political campaigning in 2007-08. That is nearly as much as the £38.9 million all three major political parties combined spent through their central campaigns at the 2005 election. But, the true amount spent on taxpayer funded lobbying and political campaigning may be much higher as this report has taken a conservative approach, focusing just on the most clear-cut examples.

 This report’s estimate is composed of a) public sector bodies spending on lobbying, by hiring political consultants and funding trade associations, and b) spending on taxpayer financed political campaigns and think tanks.
The report does not include the huge amounts spent by councils and other public sector bodies on publicity, though a certain proportion of that is definitely going on lobbying and public affairs.
Useful quotations about government eg
"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. "

"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments."

"Whoever in discussion adduces authority uses not intellect but memory."-- Leonardo da Vinci
"Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program."-- Milton Friedman

"Governments never learn. Only people learn.

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From Sandy Henderson,
Just heard on Classic FM news that education standards in England and Wales have improved a little. The percentage who acheived the EXPECTED standard of literacy and numeracy at eleven rose from 64% to 67%. That means almost a third of pupils are not getting there. From my own experience I find it difficult to believe that more than 5% have genuine difficulties, and most of them could be managed if diagnosed early. This is clearly failure by the teaching "profession" on a massive scale, which is not getting the attention it deserves. School is not some endurance event for children, but there for their and societies benefit. If the parents had to pay the fees directly they would value it much more
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