Friday, May 14, 2010

The Myth/Lie of "Government Job Creation"

From Ken Green's post on today's Enterprise Blog:

In the real world, jobs are not magically “created” when some central planner in the Politburo decides everyone needs new shoes, windmills, solar panels, tiny electric cars, fluorescent light bulbs, recycled paper underwear, or Rahm Emanuel action figures. Jobs are created when consumers decide they want to spend money to buy stuff. That means that: a) consumers have to have money to spend, b) they have to be confident enough in the future of the economy to be willing to spend their money, and c) they have to be able to afford the stuff for sale.

Instead of helping to create those conditions, the president and his allies in Congress are doing exactly the opposite. By layering massive regulatory burdens across the economy, they are increasing the costs of doing business; increasing barriers to entry; increasing the costs of goods and services; and destroying, not creating, jobs. By forcing windmills, solar cells, and biofuels into the energy supply, and by slapping “research delays” on everything having to do with fossil fuel production, they’re going to raise the costs of energy, and the costs of goods and services made with that energy (including food), suppressing consumer demand, and killing, not creating, jobs. And if they go ahead with the Kerry-Lieberman energy rationing plan deceptively named “The American Power Act,” they’ll make all of that significantly worse.

“Government job creation” is a myth bordering on a “Big Lie.”

71 Comments:

At 5/14/2010 10:08 AM, Blogger Colin said...

Here's a good example of some of that mythical creation:

http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/2010/05/14/20100514biz-ecars0514.html

I wish every newspaper reporter would read the parable of the broken window.

 
At 5/14/2010 10:18 AM, Anonymous frank said...

I am so confused, do I have a Job or not?

**************************

May 14 (Bloomberg) -- "Industrial production in the U.S. rose in April by the most in three months, indicating factories keep powering an economic recovery that’s becoming broad-based.
Output at factories, mines and utilities increased 0.8 percent last month after a 0.2 percent gain, figures from the Federal Reserve showed today. Production at manufacturers rose 1 percent for a second month.

Spending by companies and consumers is spurring production at the same time factories are scrambling to replenish inventories. The combination of manufacturing growth and a pickup in Americans’ purchases is helping sustain the economy’s expansion."

 
At 5/14/2010 11:27 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

True, adding regs onto an industry, or mandating renewable energy, does not by itself create jobs.

On the other hand, when we reach a state that even interest rates at zero will not stimulate job growth, then government stimulus pending can create jobs.

You might say WWII spending did not create jobs. You would have a difficult time making that case stick.

 
At 5/14/2010 11:50 AM, Anonymous geoih said...

Quote from Benjamin: "On the other hand, when we reach a state that even interest rates at zero will not stimulate job growth, then government stimulus pending can create jobs."

Giving away money (0% interest) only causes investment into waste. When the money being lended is being created out of nothing, then it's purly inflationary and only destroys real saving and investment.

You can't get something from nothing. Anything the government has was first taken away from somebody else, or created through imagination.

 
At 5/14/2010 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You might say WWII spending did not create jobs. You would have a difficult time making that case stick.

Yeah, it created jobs in the "parasitic" military. Right, "Benny"? Isn't that your shtick?

That fact is that FDR's "New Deal" spending did not get us out of the depression, it was as big a failure as Obama's "stimulus" plan.

 
At 5/14/2010 11:51 AM, Anonymous morganovich said...

ben-

stimulus spending cannot create jobs. where does the money come from? it must first be taken from someone, even if that someone is a future someone (debt).

taking a job's worth of income from microsoft (and having them reduce wages or hiring) and using to buy a government job is a negative sum game.

less money goes to the new job than was taken, as it cost money to collect the money and redistribute it. then, we have the issue of "is a government job more productive than a microsoft job?"

i doubt it.

stimulus is job destruction, not creation, it just has very visible beneficiaries and hidden victims.

 
At 5/14/2010 12:26 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Isn't it Benji who is always casting doubt on our devotion to Milton Friedman's holy writ?

 
At 5/14/2010 12:46 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Track the Stimulus: Interactive Tools

 
At 5/14/2010 1:14 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

What this country needs, and what Dr Perry has been peddling, is optimism, or more accurately what Greenspan coined in 1996 "irrational exuberance."

Unfortunately, the difference this time is rather than households becoming millionaires, they'll become road kill, if they're too optimistic.

Here's another example:

Michelle Obama to food industry: Shape up
May 12, 2010

(Reuters) - First lady Michelle Obama has a message for the U.S. food and beverage industry: Take real steps to sell healthier products or the federal government will force you to do it.

 
At 5/14/2010 1:44 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

FDR's deficit spending was comparatively minor, and hamstrung by tight monetary policies (even MF says so) and a sick global economy.

In WWII, it is true that huge deficit spending on a parasitic but extremely necessary (and belated--Republicans did not want to enter WWII) war mobilization created lots of jobs. It reignited a dead economy. This is probably beyond debate, but go ahead and debate it if you wish. You will look silly.

In general. I agree with MF. The one flaw in MF's outlook is irrational human behavior.

At some points in history, people get scared, and stop spending, stop investing, even if interest rates are zero. This can lead to deflation, and money-hoarding, making everything worse. Monetary policy at these junctures becomes ineffective--the old "pushing on a string" problem. Then, massive government spending can get the cart rolling again. As was proven in WWII, and recently.

What I especially dislike is supertankers of federal red ink during periods of economic growth, as has occurred under every R-Party president since Eisenhower. The BS Republicans--Borrow & Spend--control party apparatus, run up huge deficits, and then say they dislike Keynes. Yes I dislike Keynes, but please spend more in my district, and cut my taxes too.

And, if we are to militarily mobilize, then we should apply MF's advice, and apply progressive consumption taxes to bring the budget into balance.

 
At 5/14/2010 1:52 PM, Anonymous morganovich said...

benny-

the price of the push start you recommend is always higher than the benefit it provides.

WW2 spending did not "get the ball rolling" again. the need to rebuild the world and the massive demand for US industrial capacity did.

recent stimulus has achieved nothing. capital markets locked, liquidity unlocked them. the stimulus has done more harm than good and is setting up a debt crisis.

government spending to prime an economy never works. it's like using cocaine to cure a hangover. you might feel better, but when the party ends, you're much worse off that you were. having government do this is even worse. it's like borrowing money to buy cocaine to cure a hangover.

Keynesianism it's a seductive short term option for politicians, because ity lets them shower goodies and look like they are doing something, but we all wind up worse off for it.

 
At 5/14/2010 2:05 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Keynesianism it's a seductive short term option for politicians, because ity lets them shower goodies and look like they are doing something, but we all wind up worse off for it"...

Beautiful!

Here's a case of 'Keynesianism' gone wild:

From the USAToday: Billions in aid go to areas that backed Obama in '08

Updated 7/9/2009 9:36 AM

 
At 5/14/2010 2:32 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

>"You might say WWII spending did not create jobs. You would have a difficult time making that case stick."

No doubt about it, government spending during WWII created lots of jobs. One of the most common involved traveling a long distance to be shot at or blown up.

Jobs aren't the whole story. How good was the standard of living at this time, even though everyone who wanted to work was doing so?

Meat, coffee, tires, gasoline, and many other items were rationed. Prices, including wages, were frozen. No cars were manufactured, so hopefully your old one would last.

Sort of like conditions in Cuba today.

Pictures here, here, and here.

 
At 5/14/2010 2:33 PM, Anonymous geoih said...

Quote from Reuters: "Take real steps to sell healthier products or the federal government will force you to do it."

Only government could come up with this plan: Eat healthier, or we'll kill you.

 
At 5/14/2010 2:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

1. Then, massive government spending can get the cart rolling again.

2. Yes I dislike Keynes...

Benji, you can't say both of these things in the same comment.

 
At 5/14/2010 2:51 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

The Obama's must of read Hugo Chavez's new book: "Why Work with People When You Can Just Dictate?"

 
At 5/14/2010 3:02 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hey Ron H., thanks for the link to the WWII Poster Collection, its so very cool!

 
At 5/14/2010 3:12 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

>"First lady Michelle Obama has a message for the U.S. food and beverage industry: Take real steps to sell healthier products or the federal government will force you to do it."

Great! That should create or save some of those good green jobs that can't be outsourced.

Memo to self: check here when extended unemployment benefits run out.

 
At 5/14/2010 3:29 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Peak,

>"The Obama's must of read Hugo Chavez's new book: "Why Work with People When You Can Just Dictate?"

ROFLMAO! That's a good one. I'll order that one right away.

juandos,

You're welcome. If you're also interested in old pictures, try Shorpy.com. thousands available. The Shorpy story is fascinating. It's easy to spend hours browsing there. I was looking for a picture I had seen previously, to add to my WWII comment, but I couldn't find it. It showed a long line of people waiting in line to get their ration coupons.

 
At 5/14/2010 3:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Benji, you can't say both of these things in the same comment.

You'll find that there is no limit to the number of incoherent and contradictory things that "Benny" can put in any one comment.

 
At 5/14/2010 4:04 PM, Anonymous grant said...

PT:? On Wednesday April 28th 2010 I was posting against you under cartoon of the day and I knew I had left something out so here it is.
The thing we both missed was "Capital Flight"
Without going into posting links I am going to say that there is an absolute avalanche of money that left America, My own estimate is about 2 trillion dollars sooner or later this money for safety reasons will come home to roost so that has to be taken into account too.
When this money returns presumeably with earnings attatched will most likely cause problems in the countrys it is being withdrawn from.A LA Asian crisis.

 
At 5/14/2010 4:11 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Anon @ 3:54

>"You'll find that there is no limit to the number of incoherent and contradictory things that "Benny" can put in any one comment."

You're right, of course, but sometimes I just feel an overpowering urge to tug on his leash, so to speak. I know it won't do any good, but I feel better for a short time.

Oh! I'd better go! I think the mailman is here. I'm expecting my farm subsidy check today.

 
At 5/14/2010 4:16 PM, Anonymous grant said...

Benjamin:
It did create jobs along with massive earnings inflation.

 
At 5/14/2010 4:26 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

You can quote me out of context if you wish, even when context is but a few inches away.

Here is context:

"What I especially dislike is supertankers of federal red ink during periods of economic growth, as has occurred under every R-Party president since Eisenhower. The BS Republicans--Borrow & Spend--control party apparatus, run up huge deficits, and then say they dislike Keynes. Yes I dislike Keynes, but please spend more in my district, and cut my taxes too. "

Obviously, I am parroting the modern-day R-Party. They dislike Keynes--but want heavy spending in their districts or states, and tax cuts too.

Morganovich--

I think the record on WWII is pretty clear--the war spending pulled us out of a depression. There are times when even zero interest rates and cheapening asset values are not enough to get investors to the bar again. In fact, the deflationary environment scares investors. There is capital in banks, but no borrowers or lenders. It becomes a downward reinforcing cycle. Human behavior--not always rational.

BTW it was President Hoover, using six solid gold pens, who signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariffs, widely credited with deepening the Great Depression.

The Great Depression is what Roosevelt inherited in 1933. (He only became President in March of 1933, inauguration was later back then).

The situation facing Obama is different. but there are some parallels. A collapsed financial system, major manufacturers in bankruptcy. Obama also inherited two, open-ended and unfinished wars, which might take another $1 trillion for us to extricate ourselves from in some fashion.

The train wreck-into-a-sewage-treatment plant that Bush left behind will take some years on the mend. That is where we were left by that confederacy of feckless pygmies who slunk out of DC in 2009. P.U. and good riddance.

But, as we can see from Dr. Perry's tireless postings, happy days are here again, or nearly.

BTW, More jobs were created this year than in the whole of the Bush Presidency. Just sayin'.

 
At 5/14/2010 4:32 PM, Anonymous morganovich said...

benny-

no. the war ran up a pile of debts with temporary stimulus while massively degrading the life of americans.

this would have caused a crash at the wars end apart from one thing: the rest of the world's industrial base had been destroyed.

that led to a monstrous boom for the US.

unless you propose to spend stimulus dollars wrecking the factories of Europe and asia, i don't think that's going to work this time.

 
At 5/14/2010 4:54 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Thanks pseudo benny for reaffirming why California is in the mess that its in, its the voters' fault...

Citizens Against Government Waste have this web site: My Wasted Tax Dollars...

Do you and your fellow Keynesians in California think they can learn something here pseudo benny?

 
At 5/14/2010 5:20 PM, Anonymous grant said...

Benjamin:
We will all be extremely prosperous and rich with "O[em]BALMER everloving vampire economics :-]
"The decadent international but individualistic capitalism in the hands of which we found ourselves after the war is not a success. It is not intelligent.It is not beautiful. It is not just.It is not virtuous. And it doesn't deliver the goods.
JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES
I thought you had turned over a new leaf and become capitalist:- but you are still a commie basket.

 
At 5/14/2010 5:48 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Well, there is the option of making it impossible to create elsewhere and/or creating permatemp work.

 
At 5/14/2010 5:58 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ron, if Obama's children are anything like their parents, they likely order the Secret Service to beat up kids who disagree with them.

Also, it's amazing, no matter how many times government spending proves to be a failure and tax cuts prove to be a success, some people will always believe government spending will be sucessful. That explains why we have a president, and a Speaker of the House, who are economically illiterate.

 
At 5/14/2010 6:14 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Well, there is the option of making it impossible to create elsewhere and/or creating permatemp work"...

Well sethstorm 'if' you owned a business that had a small profit margin wouldn't you want that sort of work force?

 
At 5/14/2010 6:19 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Unfortunately, we have a two party system where one party spends too much money and the other party spends even more. We need to get back to our roots that made this country a superpower and the envy of the world:

American Prosperity and Price Deflation
Written by Richard M. Ebeling
Friday, 09 May 2008

The decades between 1865 and 1900 were the years of America’s industrial revolution. Before this time, America had an economy of primarily light industry and farming. By the beginning of the 20th century, however, the United States had surpassed all of the European nations in manufacturing, including Great Britain and Imperial Germany, the industrial giants of the time.

Mass immigration from Europe, huge capital investments, and technological improvements provided the means for America’s growth and rising standards of living that soon became the envy of the rest of the world.

During the years after 1865 prices in general slowly fell from their Civil War highs. A Consumer Price Index that stood at 100 in 1865 had declined to 57 by 1900, or a 43 percent decrease in prices over a 35 year period. On average prices went down around 1.2 percent each year over three and a half decades.

At the same time, indices of money wages in agricultural and manufacturing employment both rose during this period as labor was becoming more productive due to capital investments, even with a rising population resulting from millions of immigrants joining the American work force.

The index of money wages in agriculture rose by almost 40 percent between 1866 and 1900, while money wages in manufacturing went up 20 percent during this period. Thus, on average, money wages in general increased by about 30 percent for workers as a whole.

In combination with the productivity gains and the capital investments that resulted in the 43 percent decrease in the price level, this meant that in the last 35 years of the 19th century the real standard of living of the American people increased by almost 75 percent as measured by the positive change in the average American’s buying power in the market place.

 
At 5/14/2010 6:38 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

>"if Obama's children are anything like their parents, they likely order the Secret Service to beat up kids who disagree with them."

Now, wouldn't THAT be an interesting youtube clip!!

 
At 5/14/2010 6:40 PM, Blogger Craig said...

You might say WWII spending did not create jobs. You would have a difficult time making that case stick.

You're right. It is amazing just how many jobs FDR created when he ordered all the able-bodied men in the country over the age of 18 into the military. War is a perennial, sure-fire recession-killer.

 
At 5/14/2010 7:31 PM, Anonymous grant said...

Aren't the whole of the worlds governments economically illiterate.Aren't they also illiterate in everything else except getting their hands on the money and squandering it on wasteful shortsighted projects to get reelected as Democrats or Republicans[ conservatives or liberals]
The system needs changing so that candidates need to be nominated from people who have some record of success and achievement.
There also needs to be some method of firing them at any time.

 
At 5/14/2010 8:52 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Well sethstorm 'if' you owned a business that had a small profit margin wouldn't you want that sort of work force?

You just want indentured servants fearful for their contract renewal.

At some point, the private sector is going to have to put up with what they get. Not do everything in their power to avoid US citizens.

 
At 5/14/2010 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seth-

Nobody hires a whiner.

 
At 5/14/2010 10:25 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

>"You just want indentured servants fearful for their contract renewal."

If only life was that good to me sethstorm, but it seems all I can get are these surly union hacks that won't do an honest day's work, go on strike if I look at them funny, and constantly want more money, shorter hours, earlier retirement, and on, and on...

These days I can't seem to get anybody to even apply. I have a feeling that unemployed workers are withholding their labor as a weapon against me because their benefits keep getting extended.

 
At 5/14/2010 11:46 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


These days I can't seem to get anybody to even apply. I have a feeling that unemployed workers are withholding their labor as a weapon against me because their benefits keep getting extended.

Well, it is probably because you want to force their hand. You think that waiting out them will get you a better deal.

Perhaps if you worked with them, (and didn't base things on fear) you'd be able take care of both problems. Two birds, one stone.

 
At 5/15/2010 8:23 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"In general. I agree with MF. The one flaw in MF's outlook is irrational human behavior."

Must be nice to be the Official Arbiter of Friedman's Holy Writ. The rest of us have to settle for being greedy hypocrites.

 
At 5/15/2010 8:24 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Ron H,

"Oh! I'd better go! I think the mailman is here. I'm expecting my farm subsidy check today."


Ha ha! And I'm late for the war I'm about to launch without paying for it!

 
At 5/15/2010 9:35 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"You just want indentured servants fearful for their contract renewal"...

Gee! This is NOT a suprise that sethstorm couldn't or wouldn't answer a simple question...

"At some point, the private sector is going to have to put up with what they get"...

Therein lies the problem, what is being offered all to often makes it worth the effort by companies to go overseas and find some real, competent employees...

Professor Mark has on more than one occassion posted stories about the quality of what passes for public education in this country...

Apparently you sethstorm refused to learn from it...

 
At 5/15/2010 9:37 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"Perhaps if you worked with them, (and didn't base things on fear) you'd be able take care of both problems. Two birds, one stone."

Sethstorm, how many businesses have you run?

 
At 5/15/2010 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Government employs how many people?

Maybe a third of the work force?

 
At 5/15/2010 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stimulus spending cannot create jobs unless the government is spending and PE is not spending.

If PE isn't using the money, they shouldn't object to government using it.

When was the last time you saw a government RFP that PE wasn't standing in line to respond to? If they were really upset about government taking their money they would refuse to do business with government.

Instead they compete like crazy to get it back. Inevitably the proposal response tot the RFP will have some words about how good and how expert and how dedicated their employees are.

 
At 5/15/2010 10:24 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Government employs how many people?"...

Consider the following from the BLS: Census 2010 temporary and intermittent workers and Federal government employment

 
At 5/15/2010 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WW2 spending did not "get the ball rolling" again. the need to rebuild the world and the massive demand for US industrial capacity did.

I'm not sure I see the distinction here.

 
At 5/15/2010 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see, shall I push this car to get it started, even though I know I will hurt later, or should I sit here and wait for it to start on its own?

I hate to expend that effort and find out it was a waste, but I hate to waste time sitting here doing nothing - that has a cost too.

Oh, woe is me, what shall I do?What shall I do?

 
At 5/15/2010 11:36 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"Let's see, shall I push this car to get it started, even though I know I will hurt later, or should I sit here and wait for it to start on its own?"

That's operating from the assumption government is competent to get the car started. More likely, it will roll the car straight into the ditch.
Obamanomics!

 
At 5/15/2010 11:41 AM, Anonymous morganovich said...

anon 10.27-

the distinction is this:

it was not government spending that primed the pump, but private sector demand at war's end.

it was not b-17's and tanks the brought us back to prosperity, but a desperate need from europe and asia for appliances, infrastructure, capital equipment, and all the other things needed to repair their shattered countries. prior to the war, government "stimulus" deepened the depression.

i'd recommend amity schlaes excellent book "the forgotten man" on the topic.

it's very clear we are making the same mistakes now.

it was not money spent by our government that created demand and got our economy back to capacity, it was the money spent by the world rebuilding and a massive pent up desire for all manner of products post rationing that could only be manufactured here.

this created an anomalous golden period for the US from the late 40's through the 60's. demand from outside was monstrous, we had the only industrial base so imports were absent, and competition was low.

attempting to base future policy by assuming the situation around what was probably the largest exogenous economic shock in history is very dangerous. that was not normal. we had such a tailwind that anything would have worked.

did gulf war spending get us out of recession? no. it just runs up debt. did viet nam or korea provide economic stimulus or job creation?

why would WW2 be different?

wars do not drive economic growth.

we were just very fortunate in the way the world was left post WW2, but the growth can from the private sector, not government stimulus.

 
At 5/15/2010 12:21 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

>"wars do not drive economic growth.

we were just very fortunate in the way the world was left post WW2..."


Stated differently: although we didn't enter WWII for that reason, our victory against those other rock throwers left us with the only viable glass company in the world.

 
At 5/15/2010 1:52 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


"Perhaps if you worked with them, (and didn't base things on fear) you'd be able take care of both problems. Two birds, one stone."

Sethstorm, how many businesses have you run?

Wouldn't matter.

 
At 5/15/2010 1:58 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...



Therein lies the problem, what is being offered all to often makes it worth the effort by companies to go overseas and find some real, competent employees...

That's a problem in need of fixing by raising the cost so high that you build up the people in the US.

Competent and Third World are two words that do not associate with each other. You just want to bypass having to work with citizens.

Work with them, hire them, or stop complaining about the unemployment.


Professor Mark has on more than one occassion posted stories about the quality of what passes for public education in this country...

Still not a good enough excuse.

 
At 5/15/2010 2:52 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Per his usual style sethstorm is giving reality a pass: "That's a problem in need of fixing by raising the cost so high that you build up the people in the US"...

Wrong sethstorm! Oh so wrong since huge amounts of extorted tax dollars were wasted on the education of so many people who graduated from high school and still have a hard time reading a newspaper...

Far to many of these 'expensive high school graduates' aren't capable of doing simple math...

Why would a potential employer want a loser like that on the payroll?

sethstorm so ready to spend someone else's money for his silly ideas...

 
At 5/15/2010 4:12 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

>"That's a problem in need of fixing by raising the cost so high that you build up the people in the US."

So, you believe we should all be forced to pay more for things so that some who aren't competitive in the labor market can find jobs?

It's easier to just pay directly through continued welfare benefits.

>"Competent and Third World are two words that do not associate with each other. You just want to bypass having to work with citizens."

Utter nonsense. Don't you think those who need labor are able to judge what is competent and what isn't?

>"Work with them, hire them, or stop complaining about the unemployment."

Most of those complaining about unemployment are members of that group. Maybe they should work with me in these tough times so I have a chance to stay in business and prosper, and in the process provide more jobs.

Those commenters who ask you how many businesses you have run, are gently asking how you can have so much to say about something you obviously know nothing about.

 
At 5/15/2010 4:52 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


so ready to spend someone else's money for his ideas...

...except for the fact that you are making no sense on the matter.

Again, it takes an honest employer acting on good faith to hire these people to get them out of unemployment. Of course, you don't care how high U-6 and long-term unemployment goes, it makes it a better position for you.


So, you believe we should all be forced to pay more for things...

Competitiveness? Is that it, that overused word? We have the people that are more than willing to go do honest work. You just want them unable to negotiate out of fear of not being able to get work.

If the practicality is that things go higher, then by all means, do it. The nation will survive quite well for waiting for an actual problem. Not something created out of weasel-word applications of "competitiveness" and "qualifications" where no citizen could qualify. Consider the increased price a way of putting the money where your mouth is on welfare.

The nation got along well without having to cut out US citizens or force the hand of those seeking work.


Those commenters who ask you how many businesses you have run, are gently asking how you can have so

...and I'm gently reminding them of a certain unnecessary perspective that they think is necessary. They only want to see the half of it.

It takes two to tango in terms of work. In this case, you're suggesting that businessfolk are more deserving of an Almighty position. They aren't, and what are you to say that running a business gives you any more perspective than someone who is looking for honest work to the best of their abilities?

 
At 5/15/2010 5:01 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

In short:
You don't have to hire someone, but you're not helping by complaining about a problem that you are equipped to solve. Nor are you helping by trying to wait for political expedience or a larger negotiation position over the unemployed.

Start being part of the solution, not simply your own version of the problem.

 
At 5/15/2010 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys-

Arguing with Seth is a waste of your time. He doesn't make sense and you can't make him. It's like pushing on a string.

He's unemployed, bitter and dying to blame the system for it. He thinks companies exist to give him a job.

 
At 5/15/2010 6:39 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 5/15/2010 6:41 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Anonymous said...

You presume wrongly.

They exist for a profit, but also are within the regulations of the US.

Wishing for and acting to make someone or some group (e.g. the unemployed) unemployed only makes your case worse. You don't want to pay for their unemployment, but you don't want them to be employed(or have any real choice in that matter). Then you dispose of it with some weasel-word justifying their non-employment and your desire to have them unemployed.

 
At 5/15/2010 6:51 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

>

Correct. Here's the work I need done, and I will pay you $xx/hr to do it. Do you accept? Fine. you are hired. No? Then I will ask someone else. Is that what you mean by good faith?

Keep in mind that the jobs belong to the employer, not the employed.

All this has been explained to you before.

 
At 5/15/2010 7:18 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

The lens is a bit unfocused, take road building: It is done generally by private companies contracting with government and does add value to the economy in terms of more efficient transport. Or infrastructure projects of the past like Hoover or Grand Coulee dams, which were done by contractors and did add to the economy. (Grand Coulee also provided the energy to make the aluminum to build the planes of wwII).
So I do think one needs to split infrastructure off from this. An alternative would be to go to a mileage based charge for use of all roads that are all private, but of course history shows that except for the railroads most transport is done thru government action. (Railroads in the past got substantial gov help)

 
At 5/16/2010 7:52 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"In this case, you're suggesting that businessfolk are more deserving of an Almighty position. They aren't"

Yeah they are. They put their money where their mouth is. Unlike you, Sethstorm.

"They aren't, and what are you to say that running a business gives you any more perspective than someone who is looking for honest work to the best of their abilities? "

Spoken like someone who has never run a business.

 
At 5/16/2010 9:48 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"...except for the fact that you are making no sense on the matter"...

Why of course it makes no sense to you sethstorm considering how tenuous your grip on reality is...

Apparently your oft repeated mantra needs more than a bit of reworking: "Again, it takes an honest employer acting on good faith to hire these people to get them out of unemployment"...

Why should employers hire incompetents? Are incompetents somehow in some yet unexplained fashion deserving of jobs just because they draw breath?

"Of course, you don't care how high U-6 and long-term unemployment goes, it makes it a better position for you"...

How does it make it better for me?

I mean I work at an airline and the ONLY reason I can stay employed (so far but that's getting more and more questionable) is that more people with job skills have disposable cash on hand after they pay all their bills and can afford to fly somewhere...

So sethstorm what's in it for me to have millions of fellow citizens unemployed and thus unable to use the service I work for?

Now sethstorm apparently has no problem using bigotry as part of his argument: "Competent and Third World are two words that do not associate with each other"...

According to whom?

I'm guessing there's no answer for this question...

 
At 5/16/2010 10:13 AM, Anonymous morganovich said...

lyle-

infrastructure is certainly useful, but don;t forget the other side of the ledger.

the money to build them came from taxes. that means that, unlike a private business, the government must take money out of the system before it puts it in.

this, it does not create growth unless the purpose to which it puts the money is more productive than the one for which it would have been used. in many cases (even infrastructure) this is not true (though certainly some infrastructure has large benefits to us all and the federal highway system has been a big success).

the problem is that government has no incentive to distinguish between the 2. here in san francisco, we have managed to grab $300 million in federal funds to build a new rail station in a place where there are no rail tracks nor any concrete plans to build them.

seth-

what i think anon was saying is that comments like "You just want indentured servants fearful for their contract renewal." make it sound like you believe that jobs ought to be based on something other than performance. barring a failure of the company itself, you don't fire your good skilled people. it is not the role of the employer to provide stability, but rather the job of the employee to provide value for his paycheck.

demands for job security (like difficult firing procedures, large severance packages, and all manner of union rules) may seem nice once you are in the job, but they create unemployment for everyone else.

raise the cost of hiring an employee and fewer get hired. price up, units demanded down. pretty straightforward stuff.

arguments for higher paying and more stable jobs are also inevitably agruments for fewer jobs.

 
At 5/16/2010 11:17 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

morganovich,

>"here in san francisco, we have managed to grab $300 million in federal funds to build a new rail station in a place where there are no rail tracks nor any concrete plans to build them."

In November, the lady who did that grabbing will be asking you folks in SF to renew her employment contract. You have an opportunity to see that she joins the ranks of the unemployed. (well, figuratively speaking)

 
At 5/16/2010 10:18 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Paul said...

Yeah they are.

Well, I'm glad you have confidence in the greater part of people for which do not decide to form a business. That is, enough confidence in these people to respect their choice, and not lord over them for not taking that path.



raise the cost of hiring an employee and fewer get hired. price up, units demanded down. pretty straightforward stuff.

Provide no means for them to get out of hiring US citizens, they will have to be part of the solution. Not part of a problem that only resolves itself by political expedience. When you have only the able, working-age part of 300 million (vs the same part of 6 billion), you tend to not screw people over.

No, automation can only go so far until people are required at some point in what is needed to be done.


what i think anon was saying is that comments like "You just want indentured servants fearful for their contract renewal." make it sound like you believe that jobs ought to be based on something other than performance.

When you make it a case of fear, performance is not the first thing considered. It's probably one of the last things considered.




According to whom?

Outside of Europe and North America, the focus is on:

1: Minimization of cost by any means possible.
2: Evasion of regulations
3: Quality only at the direction of law.

 
At 5/17/2010 8:40 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Naturally sethstorm couldn't answer a simple question regarding his bigotry...

"Outside of Europe and North America, the focus is on blah, blah, and blah some more"...

Truly amazing sethstorm but I've got to ask, have you ever left your parents' basement?

 
At 5/17/2010 10:37 AM, Anonymous morganovich said...

ron-

dare to dream. fancy nancy is employed for life. last election, cindy sheehan out-polled the republican here and was the second place finisher with 16% of the vote that will almost certainly go back to nancy to add to her already massive 72%.

the country hates her, but SF loves her. this place has some of the worst politics i've ever seen. i love the city, but there is not talking sense to the politicians or voters.

i'm friendly with a libertarian running for nancy's seat and very supportive of him, but even he realizes that at best he can just put some policy and positional pressure on her.

i am deeply sad to say that she's likely to be my rep until she retires.

 
At 5/17/2010 10:45 AM, Anonymous morganovich said...

seth-

that response doesn't even makes sense. you seem to be arguing that a business doesn't care if its workers are productive, which is utterly wrong. businesses would rather have skilled employees for skill dependent work even if it means paying them more. they will also fight to keep them.

work requires capital as well as labor. those who can use the capital better are worth more. why waste a lathe on someone who uses it poorly?

you still sound an awful lot like you think workers (and by extension you) are entitled to a nice safe job regardless of how you perform.

citizenship requirements for hiring are just another kind of price support for labor - they result in fewer jobs, less growth, and skill mismatch.

you going to go pick strawberries if we ban immigrant labor?

you also fail to understand how cost cutting works. the best way to cut costs is productive, skilled employees even if you pay them more. they more than make up for the cost by driving up capital utilization efficiency.

you've never run a business or seen one run, have you?

 
At 5/17/2010 12:36 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Morganovich,

Your friend must be John Dennis. he has a great deal of support outside of SF, but unfortunately we can't vote for him.

"Fancy Nancy": That's the kindest name I've heard her called in months!

You may also be familiar with Chuck DeVore who is running for US Senate. He appears to be the real deal. I'm really impressed by him. I've actually sent money to his campaign: something I've never done before. I've been way more active these days, as I think many people have been. These are unusual times.

 
At 5/17/2010 7:17 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"That is, enough confidence in these people to respect their choice, and not lord over them for not taking that path."

Nobody's lording anything over anyone.

But the dynamic changes when employers start filling out applications for a chance at Sethstorm's labor.

 

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