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DOCTOR ZERO: Who Wants The Government To Create Jobs?

Another great article by DOCTOR ZERO.

Impertinent Questions: Who Wants The Government To Create Jobs?

By DOCTOR ZERO

Linda McMahon is still behind in the Connecticut Senate race, but she absolutely destroyed her Democrat opponent, Dick Blumenthal, in a recent debate. Blumenthal proved to have a hilariously vague, childlike idea of how jobs are created, stammering something about “creative policies” right before his head exploded, showering the audience with bone fragments. Wait, sorry, that happened in a movie I was watching the other night. It felt like that’s what happened to Blumenthal.

I’ve written about the enduring myth of government job creation before. The government can destroy jobs easily enough – President Obama’s policies have obliterated thousands of them, by raising the cost of labor through ObamaCare, and shutting down entire industries, such as offshore oil drilling. With a few rare exceptions, jobs are not “created” by government action. They are created in response to demand, as businesses hire employees to exploit growth opportunities.

Nevertheless, the myth of government job creation persists, tossed around on evening news shows as casually as a discussion of the weather. I often wonder why anyone would want it to be true. What sane person wants the government in charge of job creation?

If jobs were created by the State, it would soon follow that jobs were assigned by the State. Politicians would decree that there must be certain numbers of doctors, laborers, etc. It would make little sense to create 30 million plumbing jobs if only 5 million plumbers were available.

Even in the most feverish fantasies of the Obama Administration, no one believes the government could arbitrarily create jobs. It could not determine how many people wanted to be cowboys, and cause precisely that many cowboy positions to appear. Even the almighty socialist State must still respond to some perception of demand.

Of course, we all know the government would not address demand with the dispassionate precision of a supercomputer. Politics would distort the process. The ruling Party would not create jobs that offend its ideological obsessions, such as the American state religion of environmentalism. Special positions would be created for favored constituents, like the no-show, no-work jobs Michelle Obama was given in Chicago. The demands of important power blocs would be given special consideration. Under a liberal Administration, there wouldn’t be a lot of job creation going on in deep-red heartland states.

A political system for allocating human resources would be hideously inefficient, as you can see from the socialist and communist basket cases littering the world. Demand in certain areas would quickly exceed the willing supply. For example, socialized medicine requires a great deal of doctors to meet the enormous demand for “free” medicine, and it needs them to work very cheaply. Not many people would voluntarily undergo expensive, demanding medical training for a State-controlled job that pays poorly, and carries huge legal jeopardy. (Remember, there is absolutely zero chance a health-care system designed by Democrats will inconvenience trial lawyers. There will still be plenty of big-ticket malpractice suits flying around.) In response, the government would have to heavily subsidize medical education, then lower the standards for becoming a doctor… and eventually it would have to compel people to fill the high demand for this undesirable profession, while simultaneously instructing its disappointed constituents to accept a limited ration of low-quality medical services.

The key to understanding the myth of government job creation is to remember that the State only has one resource: compulsion. There are two ways compulsion can influence the allocation of human resources. One way is to forcibly extract tax money from the general population, then use the money to subsidize desirable behavior. This approach has its limits – as we are seeing right now, it is only possible to siphon a certain amount of blood from the free market, before the State begins to strip away muscle.

When taxation and deficit spending no longer generate enough money to control employment, the State must begin using compulsive force to directly regulate human behavior. In a free society, you are able to pursue your ambitions, win employment through effort and skill, or create your own job by starting a business. You enrich yourself by responding to demand. Waiting for Dick Blumenthal’s “creative policies” to produce jobs means sitting around and waiting for the ruling class to tell you what to do. You will not be allowed to refuse their instructions indefinitely.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!

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