In yesterday's Washington Post, our Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown said:
“Everybody knows that government creates jobs.”
I kid you not.
“Government creates jobs in highways. We hire private contractors. That creates other jobs. It builds an economic foundation for job creation.
“During the fifties, the sixties, the seventies, the eighties, the United States had great infrastructure programs. We were the envy of the world. Those are clear formulaic job creating strategies that we know.”
Can you say 'stuck-on-stupid'?
To be fair, he is technically correct that government spending can create temporary jobs - but he fails a basic economic lesson when he refuses to acknowledge that such spending comes at a cost to the private sector, which is the only true place where growth can occur.
You see, there is a difference between jobs and growth.
Government could pay us all to dig ditches. And if they wanted to employ us for a long time, they could give us only spoons to move the soil. Think about how many people could be employed if only the government did that!
But growth - the economic engine that results in long-term jobs and employment - does not come from government. It comes from the private sector when a company creates a product that others choose to purchase, creating the need for supplies and employees and transportation and marketing, etc... This is what builds "an economic foundation for job creation."
Government infrastructure projects do best when they're responding to the needs of the private market - not when they are 'busy work' in order to artificially inflate employment numbers or when they are nothing but pork or special interest projects of politicians (high-speed rail, anyone?).
Josh Mandel, Brown's opponent for the Senate seat in November, obviously has a better grasp of economics (emphasis added):
"Sherrod Brown's statement demonstrates that after two decades in Washington and 38 years running for political office, he is out of touch with struggling private sector job creators and millions of Americans looking for work but can’t find it. I believe the only way forward is to empower hard working Americans. If more wasteful Washington spending was the answer, the problem would have been solved long ago."
No matter where you stand on any other issue, the fact that Brown thinks more government spending is the solution to our economic woes should cause you to vote for Mandel in November.