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Since whatever resources government consumes in its quixotic job-creation exploits must first be taken from others, even if the government were to get lucky and create a few jobs, it would still come at the expense of others. Scarcity strikes again. It doesn’t matter if the government taxes, borrows, or prints the money. In each case real resources are transferred from the private economy to politicians who have no way of intentionally doing anything economically useful with them. (Doing politically useful things is another matter entirely.)
Persistent unemployment does not demonstrate a need for government to create jobs. On the contrary, it demonstrates a need for government to get out of the way so the market process can undergo the correction called for by the earlier government-induced boom, which itself was an unsustainable jobs-creation program. The politicians aggravate an already bad situation when they generate a tax and regulatory environment in which anything can happen.
Living in an echo chamber as television pundits do, it’s unlikely this message will penetrate to O’Donnell. But just in case:
Lawrence, you’re a smart fellow. Don’t settle for cheap debating points. Push yourself a little.
Sheldon Richman is editor of The Freeman, where this article originally appeared.