This is one of the most interesting questions in public life. I spent my working life either in the military or working for it. A fair number of the AF and Army civilian employees really believed ‘government has the answers’ in spite of the day to day reality of what n administrative regime actually is like. Other persons i went to college with or knew through alumni associations believe the same. I came to the conclusion these are people who believe as did Woodrow Wilson that the industrial and post industrial state would become a Hobbesian hell for the average man through monied interests manipulation of politics and the economy unless government was there to minimally provide basic economic benefits to the masses and to control the predatory behavior of the classes. People don’t talk in these terms but their comments do infer that. The belief is ‘nobody can save enough, be clever enough in predicting market behaviors, or be have enough foresight to see concrete trends that will impact average people. If government does not protect them they will be destitute or considering how many people live off of Social Security be more destitute than they are. That is why ‘a union job’, a’government job’ or a job with a hospital or a school system are seen as so desirable. These folks believe no matter what they do they can’t compete effectively as the deck is stacked against ‘the average man’ from the start and they have to be protected from greedy and evil rich and powerful persons and corporations.
“That is why a union job, agovernment job or a job with a hospital or a school system are seen as so desirable.”
All your points are well taken, but there is also the belief or need to FEEL that you are toiling in some humanistic avocation that benefits their secular society - such as the ones you just mentioned.
Amazingly, George Orwell was a socialist to his death despite his Animal Farm epic. Big Brother to him was a necessary evil.
Quite a good read on Orwell here -