13 February 2008

The Price of Job Growth

The going rate for “job creation” by the federal government appears to be $30,000 each. That’s according to Senator Barak Obama’s plan, as reported today. $210 billion to create 7 million jobs over 10 years. And Senator Obama claims, “This agenda is paid for.”

I am more than a little skeptical. 2 million of those jobs are supposed to be (mostly) construction jobs. Since those jobs are supposed to be created over the next 10 years – or between 2010 and 2020 – it seems more sensible to judge the state of the economy and if the construction industry is still hurting before dropping $60 billion on the matter. Of course, that doesn’t sell on the campaign trail, so the billions must be promised, reality be damned.

Senator Obama is also pledging “$150 billion to create 5 million so-called "green collar" jobs to develop more environmentally friendly energy sources.” Just what would constitute a “green collar” job is unclear, but I’m not sure that there are 5 million of them waiting to be created by the federal government. In private industry, maybe. But 5 million “green collar” wearers running around in 2020 is more than a little scary for me, the run-of-the-mill “climate change” denier (albeit sincere conservationist of a sort).

All of this talk about federal job creation, money pumping and “stimulus” makes my head spin. At some point, folks need to remember, be reminded, and have plastered in front of their faces that the US has a free-market economy, not a centralized, state controlled economy. If that notion is too obscure, then here’s a question: can the federal government create 7 million jobs for the low, low price of $30,000 each?

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