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It’s Not Jobs We Want, It’s Wealth

When politicians talk about a jobs crises, and about creating jobs, they are, as usual, missing the point.  I don’t know about you but I would be perfectly happy not to even have a job if I didn’t need one.  It’s much more fun to sit home and write about politics than to shlep up to Newark and write about auto parts.  For most of us, myself included, it’s not the job we want, it’s the paycheck.  So our goal should be reducing jobs, reducing work, but gaining in wealth at the same time.

But before we can gain that wealth, it has to be created.

The only way to become a wealthier country is to become a more productive country.  We can not have a prosperous society if the only way to increase your wealth is to reduce someone else’s.  So we must forgo all these expensive programs that aimed at creating jobs and concentrate instead on easing the way to producing more goods.  The jobs, the work, is an unwanted necessity that we should be trying to minimize.  We just want the stuff, not the work.

And we must not waste our productive capabilities on stuff the government thinks we should want, like windmills, Chevy Volts or alpacas.  We must produce more of what we really want.  Only a free market absent of coercion, using the signal of market prices, can figure out what we want and how much of it we want and not waste our productive energies on stuff we don’t want. 

 The list of what the government does that causes the destruction of wealth instead of the creation of wealth is enough to fill a library full of books and there are several good ones.  Two that I recommend are the classic Economics in One Lesson  by Henry Hazlitt, and the recently published How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes by Peter Schiff.  Both are very short and fun to read, because good economics is actually fairly simple.  It’s the politicians and special interests that try to make it seem more complicated than it really is so they can rig the system to their advantage.

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