The June 12, 2024 edition of the Orange County Register told us that the State of California has more than 220,000 full-time employees! Of course, that is in addition to hundreds of thousands of government employees at the municipal level, as well as many more who are employed by California’s “Special Districts” like water, transit, mosquito control and sanitation. Out of control? Are we all aware that one healthcare district in California has eleven employees who earn more than $1 million per year? Or that the Assistant General Manager of the Los Angeles Sanitation District himself has a compensation package of $648,000 per year! (BTW, I am writing this edition as my wife and I are on a trip to Kentucky, and while here I learned that State of Kentucky literally has 120 separate counties! Can you imagine the additional bureaucracy and expenses that those counties charge their taxpayers?)

So what does all of this tell us? Generally speaking, it tells us that our governments are in fact out of control. No one really is keeping track of their ever-expanding size and power, much less their cost to the taxpayers. And that is actually logical, because governments have a strong tendency to expand both their size and their power, as well as to belittle anyone who questions their necessity. So how can these be controlled and curtailed? The public media has an important role to play in exposing the over-abundance and expense of government, but then it is up to We the People. For example, each of us should contact our city mayor’s office and member of the County Board of Supervisors and ask for specific details about the numbers of their employees, how much they are paid and what each one produces to further the public weal. Because if we don’t take it upon ourselves to monitor our governments and their agencies, no one else will.

Story for the week: Did you hear about the guy who stayed up all night wondering where the sun had gone? But eventually it finally dawned on him . . .

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

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