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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

He doesn't get it, either

William Vallicella: Does Government Create Jobs?
In their last presidential debate, President Obama strangely agreed with Governor Romney when the latter said that "Government does not create jobs."

But of course government does create jobs. There are all sorts of government jobs. That perfectly obvious point was underscored in a recent NYT op-ed piece. So both the president and the governor were wrong to claim that government does not create jobs.

But, as one would expect, the NYT piece missed the real point, which is what the governor had in mind but did not clearly state, namely, that government does not create economically productive jobs.

Where does the money come from to pay government workers? From taxes and loans. Such money is not available for consumption. The economy expands, and jobs are created, when people buy things. The point is made well by Robert Samuelson in Flat-Earth Economics.

So if the Obama Administration claims that it has created x jobs, ask yourself: what sort of jobs? The ones that count, the ones that will have a real effect on expanding the economy, are not government jobs. Private sector jobs are what we need and these are precisely the ones that government cannot create.

So if you have any sense, you will vote for Romney-Ryan.
Vallicella still doesn't fully get it, himself -- "The economy expands, and jobs are created, when people buy things"

The wide-spread belief in, and perpetuation of, that false idea is one of the main reasons we are, and most of the world is, in the dire economic mess we're in ... and is why no one at all is going to do anything to get us out of the mess -- the whole world's economy is going down the toilet because no one wants recognize reality and life in accord with it.

The truth is not that "the economy expands, and jobs are created, when people buy things", but rather that "the economy expands, and jobs are [ultimately] created, when people *make* things".

Simply buying things -- the mere consumption of wealth -- does not, and cannot, make us wealthy. "I feel rich when I spend money" does not make one rich. To become wealthy, we have to work productively so as to generate wealth.