NYT: Wanting smaller government is kinda racist, or something

posted at 11:35 am on December 5, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

When Republicans want to shrink the size of federal government, argues the New York Times, it’s not about reducing the explosive growth in federal budgets seen even in just the last three years.  It’s not about scaling back the regulatory adventurism that will eventually require 230,000 more inspectors at the EPA alone [see Update II].  No, say the editors in today’s missive — it’s really all about latent racism:

Buried in the relatively positive numbers contained in the November jobs report was some very bad news for those who work in the public sector. There were 20,000 government workers laid off last month, by far the largest drop for any sector of the economy, mostly from states, counties and cities.

That continues a troubling trend that’s been building for years, one that has had a particularly harsh effect on black workers. While the private sector has been adding jobs since the end of 2009, more than half a million government positions have been lost since the recession. …

Many Republicans, however, don’t regard government jobs as actual jobs, and are eager to see them disappear. Republican governors around the Midwest have aggressively tried to break the power of public unions while slashing their work forces, and Congressional Republicans have proposed paying for a payroll tax cut by reducing federal employment rolls by 10 percent through attrition. That’s 200,000 jobs, many of which would be filled by blacks and Hispanics and others who tend to vote Democratic, and thus are considered politically superfluous.

Really?  Let’s take a look at the numbers from the BLS since January 2007, before the recession hit, and find out which side of the employment equation has been hardest hit.  Here’s the BLS chart for private-sector employment:

employment, BLS, private sector

Notice that we’re close to six million jobs under the peak in mid-2007, let alone the fact that our job-growth rate since the nadir of private-sector employment has barely kept pace with population growth.  Now let’s take a look at the public sector’s employment profile during this same period:

employment, public sector, BLS

Public-sector jobs are exactly 112,000 fewer than in the beginning of 2007.  That’s hardly a dent in overall government employment, a mere 0.51% decline from the January 2007 start of this comparison. Don’t forget that the spike in 2010 in public-sector employment represented the temporary staffing for the decennial Census.

The crisis in unemployment is not in the public sector, no matter how much the Times wants to cry raaaaaaacism over small-government philosophy and policy.  Even the reduction of another 200,000 jobs would represent only another 0.9% reduction in the public sector, which not only seems hardly radical but, considering the dire fiscal states of bloated federal and state budgets, barely a start on fiscal reform.

It seems that the New York Times has no real good answer for small-government arguments, and so it has to distort employment statistics and make wildly unsupported logical leaps to paint proponents as racists.  For instance, what evidence does the Times offer that the layoffs will actually impact minority workers in the public sector harder than white workers?  What evidence do they provide that this is the actual intent of such policies?  None and none.  The editors of this “Paper of Record” simply offer these hypotheses without any support and then treat them as rock-ribbed fact for the basis of their illogic.  It’s as shameful as their manipulation of employment statistics to infer that the private sector is booming while the public sector has been devastated by workforce reductions.

Update: Greg Sargent says that I’m being unfair by accusing the NYT of “crying” racism, rather than just accusing them of implying it.  I’ll let you be the judge; the Times references black workers seven times and Hispanic workers once in an eight-paragraph editorial.  I’d say the accusation is pretty clear, but YMMV.

Update II: The reference to 230,000 more people at EPA was a worst-case scenario laid out by EPA if the Clean Air Act was to be enforced without exception and fully, which is not what they proposed to do.  Jonathan Adler explained why this was used to argue that they should be allowed to enforce it gradually and by degrees back in September, when the Daily Caller first wrote about the issue.  That has other implications — a rule-of-whim approach rather than the rule of law — but the EPA wanted to avoid having to enact such an immediate and vast expansion, not conduct it.

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“I like big [government] and I cannot lie…” – Sir Tax-A-Lot

Jeddite on December 5, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Wanting smaller government is kinda racist, or something

The Onion always cracks me up. Good thing no one takes it seriously…

beatcanvas on December 5, 2011 at 11:36 AM

It’s not about scaling back the regulatory adventurism that will eventually require 230,000 more inspectors at the EPA alone.

Green jobs. Finally!

zmdavid on December 5, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Every non big government position has to be racist because that’s the Left’s Meme. Whoever doesn’t agree with their socialist agenda is a racist.

I’ll work every day to make Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your life as I can,” Governor Rick Perry.

Perry’s not the pinkos pick at the NYT, that’s good enough for me.

Dr Evil on December 5, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Facts schmacts

Just doing anything we can to cover for dear leader
-nyt

cmsinaz on December 5, 2011 at 11:40 AM

What?

I can honestly say that I have never thought of “government workers” being black or hispanic. To be honest, when I think about “government workers” or “faceless government bureaucrats”, I always just picture this guy.

Abby Adams on December 5, 2011 at 11:40 AM

It seems that the New York Times has no real good answer for small-government arguments, and so it has to distort employment statistics and make wildly unsupported logical leaps to paint proponents as racists.

This is pretty much the foundation of most Leftist arguments. It’s this type of claptrap that first made me question my Liberal indoctrination and, after a lot of my own research and study, give up on Modern Liberalism and embrace the American conservative philosophy. I actually want to help people, especially the poor. Modern Liberalism creates and fosters misery, poverty & grievances, as history has clearly shown here and everywhere else around the world.

visions on December 5, 2011 at 11:41 AM

An article they were holding until the Chicago Machine knock Herman Cain out of the race. Cain was extremely dangerous simply being in the race (winning or no) because he made such propaganda look silly.

michaelo on December 5, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Is it our fault that blacks get government jobs way out of proportion to their numbers?

ninjapirate on December 5, 2011 at 11:42 AM

What’s a day without another lie from the NYT’s?

heshtesh on December 5, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Live from New York it’s SNL NYT

Wade on December 5, 2011 at 11:49 AM

Are they admitting that governments are extremely racist in their hiring?

GardenGnome on December 5, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Maybe if the government didn’t use skin color as a basis for hiring, there would be fewer minorities displaced when it comes time to fire or lay off.

zoyclem on December 5, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Good one michaelo

cmsinaz on December 5, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Many Republicans, however, don’t regard government jobs as actual jobs

Well…so far so good.

Republicans have proposed …. reducing federal employment rolls by 10 percent through attrition. That’s 200,000 jobs, many of which would be filled by blacks and Hispanics and others who tend to vote Democratic, and thus are considered politically superfluous.

Uh oh! I guess Gov. Jobs are only supposed to go to minorities who vote for Democrats….I musta missed that ammendment.

What a group of RACISTS those Dem’s are….Specifically excluding an entire race from their little job party!

For Shame.

Tim_CA on December 5, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Typical liberal reaction. When all else fails, cry RACISM!

You’ll note that they are the only group that still responds to that charge. Wonder why?

GarandFan on December 5, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Let me see if I understand the Times’ logic:

Republicans wants smaller government > smaller government means less public employees > some public employees are minorities > some minorities will jobless as a results of smaller government > Republicans want to hurt minorities.

Is that about right? Well lets follow that logic:

The NYT wants bigger government > bigger government takes money from the private sector for funding > the private sector will shrink as a result of loss of capital to government > minorities work in the private sector > private minorities jobs will shrink as a result of loss of capital > the NYT wants to hurt minorities.

Logic!

Meric1837 on December 5, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Maybe if the government didn’t use skin color as a basis for hiring, there would be fewer minorities displaced when it comes time to fire or lay off.

zoyclem on December 5, 2011 at 11:50 AM

The Cogressional Black Caucas and the NAACP think this is racist. Irony meter – high.

VegasRick on December 5, 2011 at 11:54 AM

The argument that the government employees are feeling the brunt of the recession is a close cousin to the argument that taxes are historically low as a percent of GDP. That is because there aren’t as many high income people paying the higher tax rates and the GDP is inflated by excessive government spending.

zmdavid on December 5, 2011 at 11:57 AM

They’ve (the left) already tried the argument that tax cuts were racist. It’s so amusing to watch Times “journalists” take themselves so seriously even when they are talking gibberish. The race card has been replaced with the Joker.

cartooner on December 5, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Please ignore this rag! If they put forth an interesting, different point of view occasionally it’d be one thing…but it’s SO dang predictable it’s a joke! Let them die on the vine…quickly!

winston on December 5, 2011 at 11:58 AM

The race card has been replaced with the Joker.

cartooner on December 5, 2011 at 11:57 AM

lol’s

Great Line!

Tim_CA on December 5, 2011 at 12:00 PM

I was discussing this with Buy Danish on another thread. I have a theory where all the welfare folks went after Bill Clinton passed welfare reform in the 90s- Effectively ending Big Government. Some went into vocations like nursing, that was in need of an influx, but I suspect a lot of the people who were formerly on the welfare rolls, ended up working in the public sector, and joined unions. Just a theory, but after Welfare Reform and the End to Big Government in the 90s, where did all those people on the Welfare Rolls go? It explains why the public sector union members sound just like proponents for a Big Welfare State in the 90s. The government just shifted a group of people with in the government system. After all, think about it, what were any of those people on the Welfare Rolls prior to Clinton’s welfare reform “Skill” sets? Just sayin it would be an interesting study of public sector workers, find out if any of them, and how many, spent time on the Welfare Rolls prior to going into the public sector- government work.

As far as the racism charge, NYT thinks there aren’t white union public sector workers in this country or they just don’t count?

Dr Evil on December 5, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Wow, I’m really kind of feeling sorry for the National media and their Inclination towards Socialism.

[Okay, there it’s past]

Come NYT, is that the best you can do?

Chip on December 5, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Articles like this are why I pretty much automatically, even involuntarily, roll my eyes when I see or hear the word “racist.” When everything’s racist, nothing’s racist.

Aitch748 on December 5, 2011 at 12:04 PM

This is what the NYT’s trumpeting as the grim results of downsizing gov’t?

“That continues a troubling trend that’s been building for years, one that has had a particularly harsh effect on black workers.”

Is the NYT implying that gov’t hires are really nothing more that an afirmative action program?

Really?

Looking at the near imposibility of dismissing AFSCME employees and the demographic makeup of their workforce, I find myself in the distinctly odd position of agreeing with them. I am just flabbergasted that they so readily connect those dots for all to see.

Archimedes on December 5, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Wow, hardly anyone is accused of racism anymore. Interesting concept.

Cindy Munford on December 5, 2011 at 12:07 PM

When everything’s racist, nothing’s racist.

Aitch748 on December 5, 2011 at 12:04 PM

And another great line.
So frigin’ true.

Tim_CA on December 5, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Many Republicans, however, don’t regard government jobs as actual jobs,…

This is but one misconception the left has about economics. We regard government jobs as actual jobs, and some as absolutely necessary. But government jobs are the BILLS that private sector jobs have to create the wealth to PAY FOR.
If electricity worked like liberals think the economy does, then we’d have a functional electric car. All you’d need is a battery and a generator. But, alas, it doesn’t work that way.

cartooner on December 5, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Good news – only 12 more days until Obama goes on vacation (for 17 days).
Isn’t there a song about that?
On the 12th day before Obama’s vacation, my true love brought to me, the NY Times calling all Republicans racists….
;-)

albill on December 5, 2011 at 12:09 PM

If the WaPo were correct in their analysis then we can conclude that the government is racist, since they claim hispanics and blacks are hardest hit when “huge” layoffs occur.

Doesn’t the government hire any caucasions?

fogw on December 5, 2011 at 12:11 PM

NYT, not WaPo. Sorry, they are interchangeable.

fogw on December 5, 2011 at 12:14 PM

If the WaPo were correct in their analysis then we can conclude that the government is racist, since they claim hispanics and blacks are hardest hit when “huge” layoffs occur.

Doesn’t the government hire any caucasions?

fogw on December 5, 2011 at 12:11 PM

It’s the NY Times…but then that’s two peas in a pod, so nevermind.

cartooner on December 5, 2011 at 12:15 PM

How on earth is the NYT still in business?
Weren’t they close to going newsweek a short while back?

justltl on December 5, 2011 at 12:16 PM

cartooner on December 5, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Gotta raise my hand here ‘toon and say I really think MOST government jobs aren’t real jobs.

Departmental redundency, deep buraucraies, unneeded programs, “make-work” jobs…..how much “support staff” does a senator or rep need?

EPA? ATF? Real jobs?….I could go on and on.

nope…in my opinion that was the only correct line in the article.

Tim_CA on December 5, 2011 at 12:17 PM

EPA? ATF? Real jobs?….I could go on and on.

nope…in my opinion that was the only correct line in the article.

Tim_CA on December 5, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Agreed, You could eliminate 50% of those jobs and not miss a beat.

VegasRick on December 5, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Are they admitting that governments are extremely racist in their hiring?

GardenGnome on December 5, 2011 at 11:50 AM

No, no, no!
This is like affirmative action, quotas, and fairness. All about diversity and reparations for the sins of your slaveowner great great grandaddy. It’s like the Congressional Black Caucus. Not a racial thing at all.

a capella on December 5, 2011 at 12:24 PM

Raising taxes and creating more and more bureaucracies will eventually bring about utopia. It just has to.

warden on December 5, 2011 at 12:26 PM

Racism…

… It’s whats for dinner.

/

Seven Percent Solution on December 5, 2011 at 12:30 PM

While the private sector has been adding jobs since the end of 2009

This is a bald face lie. The private sect has been losing jobs at a record pace since 2009.

dogsoldier on December 5, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Agreed, You could eliminate 50% of those jobs and not miss a beat.

VegasRick on December 5, 2011 at 12:23 PM

I think you could completely gut the ATF – it’s always amazed me that we need an entire Gov Department to “oversee” three items THAT ARE LEGAL for Americans to posess.

It’s essentially a tax-collecting bureaucracy that does NOTHING that state and local Governments don’t do.

And I agree that you could cut EPA in half and no-one would notice the difference.

Tim_CA on December 5, 2011 at 12:35 PM

MLK cries in his grave.

Schadenfreude on December 5, 2011 at 12:37 PM

Is the NYT implying that minority workers can ONLY get jobs in the public sector? Wouldn’t that actually be “racist” (and very condescending as well)?

ptcamn on December 5, 2011 at 12:44 PM

If the WaPo were correct in their analysis then we can conclude that the government is racist, since they claim hispanics and blacks are hardest hit when “huge” layoffs occur.

Doesn’t the government hire any caucasions?

fogw on December 5, 2011 at 12:11 PM

This is why this is a very stupid and desperate tack for the NYT to take — because any argument that government layoffs disproportionately affect minorities will bring up the question of why minorities are disproportionately represented in government workforces.

Simple message: Barack Obama and the Obama-owned media are demanding that you be required to pay more to create jobs that you will never be considered or hired for because of your skin color. They are calling you racist while they are making their hiring decisions based solely on skin color.

Point out the racism in government hiring and this will blow up in the Obama Party’s face. There is no way they can justify the overt and blatant selection on the basis of skin color and quotas.

northdallasthirty on December 5, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Since the NYT avers that the only reason why conservatives want smaller government is because they hate minorities; I therefore propose that we send all the affected minorities(only) home and just pay them their salaries, but forbid them from doing their jobs. The non minorities, we just send home and let them collect unemployment. That would be a lot cheaper for the rest of us taxpayers if those government employees are not around to do their mischief.

Old Country Boy on December 5, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Republicans have proposed …. reducing federal employment rolls by 10 percent through attrition. That’s 200,000 jobs, many of which would be filled by blacks and Hispanics and others who tend to vote Democratic, and thus are considered politically superfluous.

Uh oh! I guess Gov. Jobs are only supposed to go to minorities who vote for Democrats….I musta missed that ammendment.

What a group of RACISTS those Dem’s are….Specifically excluding an entire race from their little job party!

For Shame.

Tim_CA on December 5, 2011 at 11:51 AM


Oh snap… you broke the code.

RalphyBoy on December 5, 2011 at 12:46 PM

This makes me even more furious.

The NYT needs to answer for this, and the best way is to turn it back on them.

Since they and their Pelosi support unemployment of private-sector workers and oppose businesses hiring people and providing jobs, they hate minorities.

The Obama Party and its mouth organ the NYT want private businesses to close and people to be put out of jobs. Since many of those jobs would be held by black and Hispanic people, that means the NYT and the Obama Party are racist.

northdallasthirty on December 5, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Even better.

Barack Obama and the Obama Party, including the NYT, say that only people who vote for them should hold jobs, and that people who vote Republican or independent should be forced to fund jobs for Obama voters and donors.

Turn this back on them. They are saying that all government workers are minority Democrats. Point out that that means that Barack Obama is demanding higher taxes to pay for jobs for his donors and voters. Point out that that means that Barack Obama and his government apparatus openly endorse and support discrimination in hiring on the basis of skin color and minority status.

northdallasthirty on December 5, 2011 at 12:59 PM

NYT: Wanting smaller government is kinda racist, or something

Playing on “white guilt” is how most of the liberal/socialist/commie agenda has been advanced AND HELD IN PLACE, since MLK’s assassination.

listens2glenn on December 5, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Point out that that means that Barack Obama is demanding higher taxes to pay for jobs for his donors and voters. Point out that that means that Barack Obama and his government apparatus openly endorse and support discrimination in hiring on the basis of skin color and minority status.

northdallasthirty on December 5, 2011 at 12:59 PM

I don’t think that’s a secret, NDT…..it just never gets any play on the MSM. Sorta like Fast & Furious.

Tim_CA on December 5, 2011 at 1:04 PM

The response from Republicans should be simple. Just tell them that we favor the minorites keeping their jobs. They should just reduce the pay, benefits or just fire the higher paid administrators of which many are white Democrats. See we love minorities too!

Whenever we hear of teachers, firefighters and police officers being laid off, we should ask the public why the Democrats hate instead of debate. Find the money in the system and reduce the pay and benefits of administrators.

Fire Teachers???
Why do Democrats want your children to grow up stupid, so they vote Democrat!

Fire Firefighters???
Why do Democrats want your house to burn down, so they can stick you with run down government housing!

Police Officers???
Why do Democrats want you to die, get robbed or raped???
So you can be a victim like most Democrats, oh and yes, many dead
Democrats do vote!

Turn the inflamed rhetoric right back at them!

Africanus on December 5, 2011 at 1:07 PM

“While the private sector has been adding jobs since the end of 2009, more than half a million government positions have been lost since the recession”
From the BLS website I looked up the number of Government jobs per year which is:

2001: 21,118,000
2002: 21,513,000
2003: 21,583,000
2004: 21,621,000
2005: 21,804,000
2006: 21,974,000
2007: 22,218,000
2008: 22,509,000
2009: 22,555,000
2010: 22,482,000

So if we are counting numbers since 2007 then the government has added 264,000 since then. Even with them picking the 2009 to this year it is not even close to the “half a million” they claim. This is all government workers and the numbers for Federal workers also shows a completely opposite picture, because they have had increases every year.

2001: 2,764,000
2002: 2,766,000
2003: 2,761,000
2004: 2,730,000
2005: 2,732,000
2006: 2,732,000
2007: 2,734,000
2008: 2,762,000
2009: 2,832,000
2010: 2,968,000

So since 2007 we have added 234,000 new federal jobs, so what massive layoffs are they talking about at the NYT? Strange they didn’t report these actual numbers in the NYT piece.

JeffinSac on December 5, 2011 at 1:16 PM

If government jobs are overwhelmingly and disproportionately minority jobs shouldn’t the real question be why that is?

The NYT doesn’t seem to even understand what the point in a job is. It’s not to employ someone, even a minority. It’s to provide a service than is needed. If that service is needed then the color of the employees skin is irrelevant. The same goes for if the service is not needed.

They also seem to be saying these jobs would be less important or needed if the employees were white. Animal Farms “more equal” line comes to mind.

If these jobs were needed and important than the author wouldn’t have to resort to race baiting. The NYT actually reinforces the Republican point of view with this article. It’s also pretty telling about the NYT view on what the roll of Government is. To take from some people in order to pay other chosen (or more equal) people…

From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.
-Karl Marx

Congratulations NYT. Shades of Orwell and Karl Marx all in one article. I wish I could say that was abnormal.

Ampersand on December 5, 2011 at 1:19 PM

The NYT doesn’t seem to even understand what the point in a job is. It’s not to employ someone, even a minority. It’s to provide a service than is needed. If that service is needed then the color of the employees skin is irrelevant. The same goes for if the service is not needed.

Ampersand on December 5, 2011 at 1:19 PM

whoa…Whoa…WHOA WHOA!!!, cowboy.

RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACIST

/NYT

Tim_CA on December 5, 2011 at 1:28 PM

What still baffles me is how this rag, with a paid subscription rate of about only 500,000 and a long and sordid history of plagiarism and outright lying is still taken seriously by anyone.

Tim Zank on December 5, 2011 at 2:07 PM

This is a common complaint from the left that smaller government is racist.

Is this because liberal policies for big government have failed?

Or

Is this because a preponderance of government clearical positions are filled by minorities?
If the later is true, why is that?

EliTheBean on December 5, 2011 at 3:08 PM

“I like big [government] and I cannot lie…” – Sir Tax-A-Lot

Jeddite on December 5, 2011 at 11:36 AM

That would be a nice youtube vid.

Esthier on December 5, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Update: Greg Sargent says that I’m being unfair by accusing the NYT of “crying” racism, rather than just accusing them of implying it. I’ll let you be the judge; the Times references black workers seven times and Hispanic workers once in an eight-paragraph editorial. I’d say the accusation is pretty clear, but YMMV.

Greg Sargent is engaging in laughable spin.

didymus on December 5, 2011 at 5:37 PM

This is brought to you by the NYT and public-sector unions.

OF COURSE IT’S FULL OF LIES!

Merovign on December 5, 2011 at 7:19 PM

If they really cared about the poor they would go hard against illegal immigration and make it harder to stay on unemployment or to collect welfare. Illegals often take jobs that the poor or uneducated should be doing. As long as illegal immigration is given a pass and people are paid for the job of sitting at home things will likely not change in any measurable way.

CW on December 5, 2011 at 7:21 PM