But the question is always—better or worse for whom? NuLabour has splurged vast amounts of cash on education, the NHS, etc. and yet there is very little indication that the quality of the outcomes has changed.
Sure, the people employed in those sectors have got handsome pay rises but then I don't see why the rest of us should be impoverished because the state is a shit employer—or because people were willing to work for less money than they might.
Whilst all nurses are angels and every teacher is a positive saint, but public services do not—in theory—exist for the benefit of teachers or nurses. No, the justification for the state's extortion is that these are public benefits—that the outcomes are a public good. These services are run for the education of children or the healing of the sick—the staff who work within these professions are entirely incidental and are absolutely fucking not the reason why such servives exist.
So, does increased spending increase the outcomes? Has, for instance, the massive growth of spending on state schools in the US—known there as "public schools"—increased the quality of the education?
Well, via the toothy clown, your humble Devil finds this interesting graph from the Cato Institute.
I blogged this morning that the research shows higher public school spending slows the economy, and explained that this is because spending more on public schools doesn’t increase students’ academic performance. Some readers no doubt find that hard to accept. With them in mind, I present the following chart:
If public schools had merely maintained the level of productivity they exhibited in 1970, Americans would enjoy a permanent $300 billion annual tax cut. Now THAT would stimulate economic growth.
So, in the US, a massive increase in education spending has not increased the quality of outcome. We cannot necessarily say that without the spending the outcomes would not have dropped—it may be that this huge wodge of cash was required simply to keep the outcomes roughly even. For what it's worth though, I severely fucking doubt it.
So, can we expect lots of public service cuts here—when the Tories get in, perhaps?
I wouldn't bet on it.