Fighting Economic Illiteracy One Idea at a Time
[Editor’s Note: Conventional Wisdom has it that as the population in general and Policy Makers in specific have become more educated and more experienced over time, they would have more intellectually consistent and accurate thoughts on economics and economic policy. Alas, this has not proven to be the case. Hence this series of articles]
The usual refrain from Conservatives is that not only is Government involvement in the Economy not helpful, but that Government has never done anything beneficial for the economy. A typical comment is that Government cannot create jobs and that indeed Government has never created jobs.
The ultimate argument is that Government has never created a single job. Now the amazing thing about these statements is how deeply they fly in the face of normal observation. Millions of men and women work directly for the government. Millions more work in jobs that are created by government spending, in the defense industry, the transportation industry and other areas where governments spend money. Then of course there is the armed forces, who exactly do Conservatives think are fighting in
For better or worse, Government is no different than any other organization. It raises money, produces goods and services, hires people, and operates the same as any business. It does not have shareholders, or equity, but operationally it looks a lot like a private business.
The final irony, often this statement is made by elected officials who have spent their entire life at the public trough.