Odd Citizen

Odd Citizen
An Odd Citizen’s Search For Vanishing Freedoms

Jobs: a Silly Goal

September 12th, 2011

Once upon a time the Eastern-born city manager of a Western city decided that his citizens needed a better breakfast diet. He declared that the city’s goal should be to create more steaks and more eggs. To implement his program he went out into the countryside and implored ranchers to produce more steaks and poultry farmers to produce more eggs. He said he’d do whatever was necessary to help them produce steaks and eggs. But the program didn’t work. And here’s why.

The ranchers told the city manager that they don’t produce steaks. They raise cattle, and among the benefits of cattle raising are steaks. No cattle raised, no steaks produced. And similarly, the poultry farmers explained that they don’t raise eggs, they raise chickens. Unless the city manager could help them raise more chickens his citizens wouldn’t get more eggs.

All the current palaver about “producing” jobs is nonsense. Jobs are produced by a growing economy, by companies making money and expanding. The government can’t do anything at all to “produce” jobs. What it can and should do is whatever it takes to help businesses thrive, make profits and grow. And that’s largely a matter of reducing the size and scope of government, itself. Reduce taxes on business. Reduce the massive blanket of regulations and mandates that smother businesses. Support a sound currency. Get out of the way and let Americans work they way they know how to.

Arguments are being made that the problem is a lack of demand and a lack of employment. Consumers don’t want to spend because they don’t have jobs. Or business won’t hire because there’s too little demand. But both of these are false arguments. What do you think would happen if some businesses found a way to offer gasoline for $1.00 per gallon, or even $2.00? Would there be demand for that? Of course there would. And the business that offered this bargain would have to hire lots of new workers and a lot of supporting businesses would also spring up. So why has the government put most of the continental and offshore oil and gas exploration areas off limits? Why does the government make hundreds of new rules that slow down and gum up the works of creating new businesses?

Jobs are created by business growth. So if you want jobs you have to be a cheerleader for business success. If you’re in government, you should step aside and let the ambitions and skills of America’s entrepreneurs and investors loose. They’ll do the job.

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