In my Intro class we talk about how the economy influences cultural changes. In order to show how the economic sectors have changed since their grandparents' time, I created a chart based on the various sectors. The BEA only tracked this information starting since 1947, but the trajectory prior to 1947 is clear. Has government skyrocketed when compared to GDP? Not at all--in fact, the total federal, state, local has gone from an average of 11.5% to 12.7%, and while I merged federal and state/local in this chart, the numbers have reversed from what polls believe has happened. Federal has gone from 7.1% in the late 40s/early 50s to 4.0% in the 2000s, while state/local rose from 4.4% in the late 40s/early 50s to 8.7% in the 2000s. The biggest changes should not be surprising--manufacturing dropping almost half, finance doubling, services doubling, agriculture/mining dropping by almost half. The following chart is based on BEA data downloaded 2011, with Hodrick-Prescott smoothing.