Government Doesn’t Create Jobs…
… at best it borrows them, and while I certainly hope I’m wrong, I’m concerned that we’re just not going to experience significant job growth for the foreseeable future:
A burst of government hiring of temporary census workers pushed the nation’s unemployment rate down a fraction in May, but private-sector employers added a mere 41,000 new jobs last month — a figure so disappointing it sparked a huge sell-off on Wall Street and sowed fresh angst about the economy’s future.
Adding to the worries was the fact that, so far this year, the bulk of the new private sector jobs have been going to workers with a high school education or less instead of to the middle-class workers on whom any long-term return to prosperity depends.
On the radio, Friday, I heard President Obama claiming the gradual success of the economic policies that “we” put in place over the past year, but I didn’t get the impression that he was referencing the hiring plans of the Census. The reality, at the national level, is that the Democrats have made advancing their agenda and preserving past gains (as with public-sector growth) a higher priority than jobs and the economy. At the Rhode Island state level, the Democrats are shuffling chairs around and hoping for some sort of windfall miracle.
It may or may not be reasonable to extrapolate local evidence to national government, but one interesting aspect of the local debate is that the General Assembly clearly understands what sorts of noises it needs to be making. The budget is notable in its attempt to wash state government’s hands of tax increases; the tax system “overhaul” makes some revenue-neutral tweaks without addressing the fundamental problem of too much government confiscation; and the legislation “making business easier in Rhode Island” cleans up some government-imposed nuisances but doesn’t touch the mandates and regulations that create the real disincentives to economic activity, here.