How Dirigiste Are We?

 

AAA red tape vs small businessThis CNNMoney list of the best jobs in America caught my eye. Obviously, it’s subjective, but someone thought these sounded like great bets for “big growth, great pay, and satisfying work.” Here’s the methodology they used.

Go through the list, and give me your best guess: What percentage of the week do these people devote, in some way, to dealing with the government? What percentage of their income comes in one or another fashion from the government? How many of these jobs exist for the purpose of navigating between citizens and the government?

  1.  Software Architect $124,000
  2.  Video Game Designer $79,900
  3.  Landman $103,000
  4. Patent Agent $126,000
  5. Hospital Administrator $114,000
  6. Continuous Improvement Manager $96,600
  7. Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) $89,300
  8. Database Developer $88,200
  9. Information Assurance Analyst $96,400
  10. Pilates/Yoga Instructor $62,400
  11. Clinical Applications Specialist $84,300
  12. Portfolio Manager $123,000
  13. Dentist $152,000
  14. User Experience Designer $89,300
  15. Auditing Director $132,000
  16. Real Estate Development Manager $107,000
  17. IT Program Manager $122,000
  18. Project Control Specialist $86,600
  19. Pharmacist in Charge $125,000
  20. Quality Assurance (QA) Coordinator (RN) $69,300
  21. Strategy Manager $112,000
  22. Product Development Director $131,000
  23. Physical Therapy Director $87,900
  24. Emergency Room Physician $274,000
  25. Product Analyst $67,800
  26. Rehabilitation Services Manager $86,900
  27. Health Information Management (HIM) Director $81,900
  28. Product Management Director $148,000
  29. Practice Administrator $78,300
  30. Facilities Director $97,500
  31. Accounting Director $103,000
  32. Software Quality Assurance Manager $110,000
  33. Orthopedic Surgeon $410,000
  34. Clinical Services Director $77,600
  35. Clinical Pharmacist $117,000
  36. Anesthesiologist $340,000
  37. Biomedical Engineer $82,400
  38. IT Security Consultant $110,000
  39. Telecommunications Network Engineer $90,500
  40. Technical Consultant $101,000
  41. Customer Service Director $103,000
  42. Payroll Director $99,000
  43. Private Banker $86,500
  44. Operations Director $108,000
  45. Risk Management Director $121,000
  46. Construction Manager $88,700
  47. Research & Development Engineer, IT $108,000
  48. Business Development Director $136,000
  49. Proposal Manager $87,600
  50. Financial Accounting Manager $74,500
  51. Career Services Director $62,700
  52. Hand Therapist $83,000
  53. Strategic Planning Director $139,000
  54. Internal Auditing Manager $101,000
  55. Consulting Manager $130,000
  56. Alumni Affairs Director $64,200
  57. Finance & Administration Manager $74,300
  58. Analytics Manager $109,000
  59. Nursing Manager $82,400
  60. Web Analyst $72,300
  61. Health Care Administrator $81,000
  62. Business Development Manager $99,600
  63. Regional HR Manager $84,900
  64. Athletic Director (College/University) $70,500
  65. Product Marketing Specialist $67,600
  66. Implementation Consultant $91,800
  67. Network Architect $122,000
  68. Nursing Informatics Analyst $69,400
  69. Research Analyst $64,400
  70. Assisted Living Director $56,400
  71. IT Network Engineer $79,100
  72. Business Manager, eCommerce/Web $82,600
  73. Associate Partner, Consulting Services $196,000
  74. Healthcare Consultant $108,000
  75. Contract Administration Manager $77,400
  76. Regional Property Manager $80,600
  77. Principal Architect $132,000
  78. Practice Manager $63,900
  79. Analytics Director $142,000
  80. Civil Engineer $77,400
  81. Lead Physical Therapist $84,700
  82. Financial Reporting Manager $96,800
  83. Database Administration (DBA) Manager $120,000
  84. Marketing Consultant $90,700
  85. Biostatistician $98,800
  86. Athletic Coach $47,000
  87. Financial Analysis Manager $99,800
  88. Content Strategist $80,000
  89. Transportation Engineer $78,100
  90. Information Technology Auditor $88,200
  91. Assisted Living Administrator $55,500
  92. Systems Analyst $83,800
  93. Tech Support Engineer $75,400
  94. Public Relations Director $90,500
  95. Auditing Manager $90,900 13%
  96. Program Management Director, Human Services $55,500
  97. Environmental Health & Safety Director $114,000
  98. Database Administrator $89,100
  99. Structural Engineer $80,400
  100. Laboratory Supervisor, Medical/Clinical $66,900

What do you think? What do you imagine the ratio would have been 20 years ago? 50?

Absent the system of incentives Big Government now provides, what jobs do you think would be on this list that aren’t? Which ones wouldn’t be?

There are 18 comments.

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  1. Capt. Aubrey Inactive
    Capt. Aubrey
    @CaptAubrey

    Back in the 90’s a major wall st strategist put out a report that claimed litigation expenses in the U.S. Were as large as the GDP of China no doubt both are larger today but I take heart in the fact that even though one software developer might build systems for government another may be finding ways to avoid government intrusions etc. I hope and pray we are at the tail end of a flirtation with dirigisme as we have been before.

    • #1
  2. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    Capt. Aubrey:Back in the 90′s a major wall st strategist put out a report that claimed litigation expenses in the U.S. Were as large as the GDP of China no doubt both are larger today but I take heart in the fact that even though one software developer might build systems for government another may be finding ways to avoid government intrusions etc. I hope and pray we are at the tail end of a flirtation with dirigisme as we have been before.

    When you add in the huge government intrusion into the health care sector, at least  20 percent of the employees on that list will be spending, I’d guess, 2-3 workdays each week dealing in some way with the government.

    • #2
  3. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    I am stunned…simply stunned that “songwriter” is not on the list at all. I was so sure that was the way to the big bucks.

    • #3
  4. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @EustaceCScrubb

    My daughter is about to leave a job with a large defense firm to a small privately owned company (she’s a computer programmer). A big factor in her move is no longer having to deal with government bureaucracy needing to approve of her work every step along the way.

    • #4
  5. Capt. Aubrey Inactive
    Capt. Aubrey
    @CaptAubrey

    Some will be moving pieces of paper from one side of the desk to another, some will be building potential defenses against frivolous lawsuits and some will be working a cure for Alzheimer’s and even a small amelioration of that cruel fate could save the economy billions.

    • #5
  6. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @SoDakBoy

    Claire Berlinski:

    When you add in the huge government intrusion into the health care sector, at least 20 percent of the employees on that list will be spending, I’d guess, 2-3 workdays each week dealing in some way with the government.

    For the #5 position, Hospital Administrator, I think they spend about 80% of their time dealing with or responding to the regulatory environment.  Even the recent flurry of hospital mergers are a direct result of the ObamaCare mandates for things like computerized records/EMR.

    It’s actually quite amusing to watch the govt come out with a new ‘quality measure’ quickly followed by the formation of a response team to monitor that data point, implement a plan to improve that data point, and follow the impact those adjustments have on the governmental revenue stream.  It’s amusing because an individual hospital may have a problem with an entirely different area, but the govt has mandated that everyone needs to focus on the same problem.

    • #6
  7. Songwriter Inactive
    Songwriter
    @user_19450

    According to Wikipedia (not infallible, I know), five of the ten richest counties in America are suburbs of Washington, DC. That fact alone tells us where the money is.

    • #7
  8. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @SoDakBoy

    For #100: Lab supervisor.

    Since the ACA, a large portion of lab administrative energy is spent monitoring the lab utilization of the medical staff.  Some facilities have figured out how to translate “monitoring” into “affecting”, but I have not seen this effectively happen outside of a university hospital/VA/academic hospital.  In other words, when the cost-benefit analysis is done, even the places touted as having successful lab utilization policies do not save more money than they spend trying to save money.

    This is just one example of the inefficient tail chasing that is increasing in health care because of the governmental regulation.

    What portion of a lab supervisors day is spent dealing with governmental issues?  My estimate: 25%

    • #8
  9. Capt. Aubrey Inactive
    Capt. Aubrey
    @CaptAubrey

    Here is one smart guy http://scottgrannis.blogspot.com/2015/04/gdp-gap-10-and-growing.html
    Who puts the lost income at more than 2trillion /yr compared to other recoveries. There is no doubt in my mind that the permanent government has expropriated a portion of that and you can see it in the DC suburbs

    • #9
  10. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Apropos of Nothing (just cuz I like to be an obnoxious braggart from time to time): Canada’s Red Tape Reduction Action Plan

    • #10
  11. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Oy.

    • #11
  12. user_989419 Inactive
    user_989419
    @ProbableCause

    The list isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

    However, Claire, I like the way you’re looking at it.  I am convinced it’s always a good exercise to step back and look at any hive of activity, and consider how many people are directly contributing to food, shelter, clothing, health care, communication, transportation, security and entertainment; and how many aren’t.

    Part of the exercise, too, is to ignore the money.  That is, to ignore payments, inflation, interest, dividends, etc.  It’s how Milton Friedman would have looked at our “Cash for Clunkers” program — taking something of value, and purposely destroying it.

    For example, look at our health care “system.”  You go in for a strep test at the doctor’s office.  Someone in the back submits a claim to the insurance company.  Someone at the insurance company processes the claim.  Someone in your HR department gets involved if things go wrong.  All in the name of tax avoidance, which is the main benefit of employer health plans vs. individual plans.

    None of these people are actually providing health care.  They could all be released to do something more productive, if only we paid the doctor’s office directly.

    • #12
  13. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @KermitHoffpauir

    Architects don’t seem to be on the list and the hottest markets for residential architects is navigating zoning and historical districts.  The Faubourg Marigny (abuts the French Quarter)  section of New Orleans is one of the hottest markets in the nation right now.

    I also don’t see Petroleum Engineers on the list.  Until recently they were getting above $125K per year upon graduating from college.  I don’t have results since last May.

    Being a welder is uber lucrative right now if one has all the certificates needed, a citizen and can pass a drug test.

    • #13
  14. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I just finished an interview for a position with a company where that which wouldn’t be under the scrutiny of a governmental agency that goes by the acronym “FAA” would be subject to the tender mercies of another one styled “DoD.”

    Level of governmental interaction: pervasive and incessant.

    (Why couldn’t “philosopher-king” be on the list?)

    • #14
  15. user_136364 Inactive
    user_136364
    @Damocles

    1. Software Architect

    Huh, many years of toiling away in obscure offices has finally paid off!

    Although they’re wrong about the stress, that should be an “F”.  I’ve been on all 24/7 (including vacations) since about 1991.

    • #15
  16. Nick Stuart Inactive
    Nick Stuart
    @NickStuart

    Not dirigiste so much as verklempt.

    • #16
  17. user_989419 Inactive
    user_989419
    @ProbableCause

    Alright, I’ll confess: I only pretended to know what “dirigiste” meant.  I know I can’t be the only one.

    • #17
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Probable Cause:Alright, I’ll confess: I only pretended to know what “dirigiste” meant. I know I can’t be the only one.

    Had to look it up first to make sure we weren’t talking about developing advanced lighter than air technology.

    hindenburg05

    • #18

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