Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Which variety of wasteful spending creates the most jobs?

Our government employees are now arguing over which type of wasteful spending creates the most jobs - Military waste, or Domestic waste. 

From ThinkProgress:

Facing deep spending cuts, the Department of Defense, including Secretary Leon Panetta, and military-industrial trade associations have complained that tightening the U.S. security budget will cause greater unemployment. And even while toeing the (dubious) conservative line that government spending cannot create jobs, right wingers like Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) insist that military spending must stay high to keep unemployment from increasing.

But a new study (PDF) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) highlighted by economist Dean Baker shows that, contra the conservative talking point, non-military spending can create more jobs than money going to defense programs. (Blah blah blah blah blah....Hit the link at the top to read the whole thing.)  Among them, military spending was the lowest, creating fewer jobs per billion dollars spent than even consumer-oriented tax cuts.

Here’s a chart from the study showing how many jobs each area produced from a billion dollars in spending:

Great God Almighty, where to begin, where to begin....

Let's start with the motivations of entrepreneurs in the real world.  Think of the people you know who have started their own businesses.  I've never heard someone describe the experience by saying "Well, you know, I had this overwhelming urge to work 80 hour weeks, with no guarantee of a reward, so that I could hire a lot of people."
But letting entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses are the only way to grow the economy, and that's the only way out of the current swamp where we find ourselves.  Uncle Sam's remedies are politcally-oriented, not economically-oriented.  The Obamamedia have done such an outstanding job of parroting Barry's "jobs created or saved" bullshit, no Congressman will ever again stand in front of a microphone and boast of lowering taxes on businesses so they can grow and make a lot of money (and incidentally, maybe hire people). 

On to the next point....  Do domestic spending boondoggles create more jobs than military boondoggles?  That's an interesting question, one that I hope will be fully answered in the next life. 
In the meantime, debating such gibberish is contributing to the problem. 
It doesn't matter if we're going to the Middle East to blow up brown children, or preserving the Department of Education to destroy our own children.  If we're doing either of these to create jobs in the U.S., we're screwing up.  It would destroy fewer resources and minds if we paid the soldiers and education bureaucrats to stay home.  Long-term welfare, according to a lot of experts, is harmful.  But it's not as harmful as maintaining bad programs to "create jobs", right? 

Third, nowhere in this idiotic article does the author acknowledge that the money from this crap comes from someplace else: taxes, loans, or Bernanke's printing press. 
Taxes are a necessary evil, even at the lowest rates.  At worst, they stifle growth. 
Taking out loans to be paid by unborn fetuses?  Let's go ahead and call that bad. 
Bernanke's printing presses should be carefully disassembled, and the component parts distributed to the bottoms of lakes and oceans all over the world. 

I hope that I never wake up in the morning and read something like this again. 

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