Free-market economist Milton Friedman travelled to China in the 1960’s. He visited a worksite where the government was building a new canal. Friedman was shocked that modern machinery like tractors and earthmovers were not being utilized to speed and ease construction. He asked his host why there were so few machines.
The government bureaucrat explained, “You don’t understand. This is a jobs program.”
To which Friedman replied, “Oh I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it’s jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels.”
It seems as if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid D-NV has quite a bit in common with Friedman’s communist friend. Reid indicated that Congress should stop worrying about private sector job creation, and rather turn their attention and focus on crafting more government jobs.
Reid stated, “It’s very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine: it’s the public-sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation is all about.”
Reid was speaking in support of President Obama’s jobs bill and the spending within the bill that would go to employ teachers and first-responders. The President has been spending a considerable amount of time touting his jobs bill as a cure-all to our nation’s employment woes. His initiative in hiring more teachers and first-responders is a political ploy that works on two fronts. First, by providing taxpayer funds to hire more government workers (even if the funds are temporary only lasting one year) could possibly lower the unemployment rate. That might help the President in his re-election bid. It also, will appease and please union voter base. The second is that the President can use the bully pulpit to tout the idea of hiring teachers, firefighters and police officers.
“What kind of Neanderthal conservative 1%er would be against that?”
I reject the idea of the Federal government taking my tax dollars and redistributing them to some other state or municipality to pay for local government workers. For example: If Albany, NY has mismanaged it’s finances and has decided to lay-off firefighters, police officers, and teachers it should not be the responsibility of the citizens outside of Albany, NY to fund their return. I pay my property taxes to pay for my communities teachers and first responders, I shouldn’t be responsible for some other community that could not live within it’s means.
President Obama, Harry Reid and many of the Democrats want to spend $35 billion that we don’t have, and we will have to put on our Bank of China credit card, to hire more government workers because that is the sector of our jobs market that is really hurting. The Wall Street Journal uses the White House budget office numbers to break down the true jobs picture.
The budget office states that the federal executive branch had 1.875 million civilian full-time employees back when the financial crisis hit in 2008. Two years later, that number had risen by 253,000 to 2.128 million, a 13.5% increase. State governments have cut their employment have by a total of 49,000 to a total of 5.089 million. Local governments have cut much more at 210,000 workers down to a total of 14.076 million.
Job cuts have accelerated this past year due to stimulus funds drying up. Remember, we were told that the stimulus would keep government employees on the job until the economy recovered. Instead municipalities and states have no choice but to reduce their workforce.
Sorry Senator Reid, the private jobs market numbers are not doing “just fine.” Looking back to 2008, the Labor Department reported 111.822 million employed private workers. As of September 2011 that number was 109,349 million, which is over 2.5 million jobs less.
Ironically the very day that Reid made that statement it was announced that the average federal government worker makes $126,000 a year. Not to mention, that the wealthiest United States metropolitan area is now Washington D.C. The average financial services worker makes $70,000. The jobs bill that has been put forward by the administration is a political farce. It might create temporary government funded work, but not long-term wealth-creating private sector work.
Kasperowicz Pete Reid Signals Government Jobs Must Take Priority Over Private-Sector Jobs The Hill 10/19/2011
Bass Frank & Homan Timothy Top Income In U.S. Is Washington D.C. Area Bloomberg 10/19/2011
Editorial Harry Reid’s Jobs Math Wall Street Journal 10/20/2011