The N&O yesterday decided to reprint this jaw-droppingly ignorant article about government “creating jobs”. It’s hard to believe that an actual adult wrote this article. Here is the gist:
First, the basics. At last count, government at all levels – federal, state and local – employed 22 million Americans, with the largest segment working in public education……
The government does not create jobs? It most certainly does.
Nowhere in the article is there even the slightest hint of acknowledging where the resources to pay these government employees come from. The author’s argument basically amounts to: I can see the government workers, therefore government “created” jobs!
Frederic Bastiat slayed the “government creates jobs” fallacy more than 150 years ago by pointing out the economic law of scarcity, i.e. every dollar spent on a government worker is a dollar not available for private sector employment. Yet economic illiterates eager to defend the State continue to insist that government workers exist without any cost anywhere else in society.
To repeat myself: government can not “create” jobs – it can merely change the mix of jobs (and in so doing destroy wealth as government spends money for political purposes rather than economic purposes).
That the N&O editors decided to reprint this article shows just how economically ignorant they are as well.