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Don’t Create Jobs, Create Stuff

Politicians are always talking about creating jobs.  But is jobs what we really want?  Personally, I have enough work to do.  I would like to have fewer jobs.

But I want stuff.

It’s not jobs we want, it’s productivity.  Slaves had jobs.  But their labor did not produce any wealth for themselves to enjoy.  It’s the stuff we can buy as a result of having a job that makes us happy.  This is why people can’t wait to retire.  They have accumulated enough stuff.  They don’t want to work anymore.  Government policy should be geared toward allowing the people to be as productive as possible so we can make a lot of stuff with the least amount of effort.

If having a job is so great why don’t we want young children to have them?  Do you think that the reason we no longer have children working in factories is because of child labor laws?  Of course not.  Nobody is going to send their eight year olds off to work in a factory.  We don’t need to.  Unlike the time when child labor was common, modern productivity advances have allowed adults to support the family without sending Junior off to the steel mill six days a week.  And before the government began to totally crowd out the real economy, we were productive enough that our wives generally didn’t need to work either.  I don’t want my kids to have to have a job, and I wish my wife didn’t need to work.  I think it would be great if nobody needed to work.

When government force is used to redirect the natural flow of labor and capital resources toward unproductive enterprises, or enterprises that produce something that isn’t desired, we have less capacity to produce the stuff we really want.  Much of the effort of workers, both in government, and in government sponsored work (like green jobs) produce nothing to make us happier.  If it did, the government would not need to use force to create these jobs.

We see the jobs the politicians create.  But we need to understand that the cost of all the stuff we really want is higher as a result of that manpower and capital being squandered producing stuff we don’t want.


On a tangential note:  the New Jersey State Legislature plans to make it illegal to work if you can not yet produce $8.50 of value for your employer in an hour.  Right now if you can produce $7.25 worth of additional value for an employer, but less than $8.50, you are still allowed to work.  Minimum wage laws don’t give anyone a raise.  All they do is prev………………oops!  Look at the time!  I have to go to work.  Damn job!



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