Political Theater and Jobs

Wealth comes from productivity, not “jobs” – otherwise we could get rid of machinery and do everything by hand.

To be fair, the inability of Keynesianism to boost growth may not necessarily mean that government spending does not create jobs. Moreover, the argument that government can create jobs is not dependent on Keynesian economics. Politicians from both parties, for instance, argued in favor of pork-filled transportation bills earlier this decade when the economy was enjoying strong growth — and job creation generally was their primary talking point.

Unfortunately, no matter how the issue is analyzed, there is virtually no support for the notion that government spending creates jobs. Indeed, the more relevant consideration is the degree to which bigger government destroys jobs. Both the theoretical and empirical evidence argues against the notion that big government boosts job creation. Theory and evidence lead to three unavoidable conclusions:

The Fallacy That Government Creates Jobs (continue reading)

Who creates most jobs? Hint: It’s not the government. Almost everyone seems to grasp that the private sector is the true jobs machine. But here’s a notable exception to the consensus: the editorial page of The New York Times. The other day, its lead editorial was “The Myth of Job Creation: The government does in fact create jobs, important jobs, millions of them.” In 35 years, I can’t recall ever writing a column refuting an editorial. But this one warrants special treatment because the Times’ argument is so simplistic, the subject is so important and the Times is such an influential institution.

The flat-earth theory of job creation


Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT) and to prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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