Politicians like to jabber on endlessly about their ability to “create jobs,” usually by spending taxpayer money, meddling with commerce and the economy in the process. But jobs are not things. Jobs are not material objects of value. Jobs are merely to-do’s; what must be done to create values.
On a micro personal level, you don’t spend money for a job. That’s thinking backward. Would you pay money for the privilege of doing your housework or mowing your lawn? It’s not the job you need or want, but the value created by performing the job. You do the job to create a value. You mow your lawn to maintain your home. You do a job or pay someone else to do it to obtain the desired value.
So the object is to create values, not jobs. Values are what people want. The desire for values results in demand. On a macro national level then, it is also the demand for values which makes jobs necessary. Government is clueless when it comes to stimulating demand for values that people want.
Jobs alone are not valuable, unless they are viewed as entitlements of employment. That is how politicians view jobs. To a politician, a job for which they can take credit for “creating” is valuable whether or not it satisfies a demand for what people want. Government “creates” lots of “jobs” which result in little or no values because they don’t satisfy any demand for what people want.
"Our urgent mission has to be getting this economy growing faster and creating jobs," declared President Obama. He says he wants Congress to take measures which will “stimulate job growth.” But he’s already spent trillions of taxpayer dollars on “stimulus programs” and corporate bailouts which have not resulted in any economic growth and have had no effect on unemployment.
His idea of creating jobs calls for spending huge sums of taxpayer money on a high-speed intercity rail initiative; construction of a national rail system; eliminating bureaucratic hassles for entrepreneurs, making trade deals with other countries, and giving loans to companies that employ construction workers. But it is just this kind of government meddling and out of control spending which caused the economy to crash in the first place.
People don’t want an expensive new rail system; there never should have been bureaucratic hassles for entrepreneurs; government has no business making trade deals or restrictions on trade with other countries, and certainly no business making loans to private companies that can’t otherwise obtain financing.
On top of that, the president is calling on Congress to extend the payroll tax credit, extend unemployment benefits, and fund new technology and construction jobs. In short he wants to continue spending taxpayer money as if jobs can be bought.
"We need to create a self-sustaining cycle where people are spending and companies are hiring," declared the president, as if government spending is the key to a stable economy – as if jobs can be created in a government laboratory -- as if the nation can spend its way back to prosperity.
Democrats in the House of Representatives are actually proposing a "make it in
" jobs agenda involving a national manufacturing strategy, investments in clean energy technology, education and infrastructure. America
They think that government can strategize the entire economy and create millions of “jobs” -- all without any regard to whether their meddling will result in satisfying demand for what people want. Digging holes and filling them in is the politician’s idea of jobs.
The bottom line is that all this jobs jabber is leading the nation in the opposite direction it needs to go. Government should simply let the free markets do their magic; let the people demand of private enterprise what they want; do that, and the jobs will follow necessarily as a matter of course.