September 12, 2008

Green Jobs and Reality (well, according to John Stossel)

I LOVE it when reporters try to get into economic and business stories! It's where you really get to see their politics and find out exactly where they're aligned.

In the case of John Stossel, he's been such an advocate for charter schools and vouchers that it's never been hard to figure out. His stories slant to the right so badly that you'd think the only folks he talked to for the piece were from the American Enterprise Institute.

However, the simple truth is that he's an idiot. With a dirt squirrel on his face. Here's his piece on green jobs and this stood out like McCain in a hospital nursery.

Even if the program creates jobs building bridges or windmills, it necessarily prevents other jobs from being created. This is because government spending merely diverts money from private projects to government projects.

Governments create no wealth. They only move it around while taking a cut for their trouble. So any jobs created over here come at the expense of jobs that would have been created over there. Overlooking this fact is known as the broken-window fallacy ( The French economist Frederic Bastiat pointed out that a broken shop window will create work for a glassmaker, but that work comes only at the expense of the cook or tailor the shopkeeper would have patronized if he didn't have to replace the window.

My hand to God, I don't know why anyone would listen to this asshat. For one thing, government has created a lot of wealth merely by enforcing the RULE OF LAW. Without it there's no patent protection, no trademarks and no courts in which to sue. Without it, there is very little profit to be made since anyone can come along, take your idea, and do it cheaper. In short, there's no stability. Just contract enforcement has created trillions in wealth for private enterprise. John doesn't think about that in his simplistic little world.

Now, on to the jobs, modern aviation was created in large part due to the spending by the government on airplanes during WW2. Aviation is a trillion dollar industry that got a tremendous jump up in the 1940's thanks to people in the War Department who spent billions of your grandparent's and great-grandparent's tax dollars on research and development.

The essential point, which Stossel completely misses, is that some projects and undertakings are so big and so necessary that only government can do it. Private industry can't afford the risk. Even in combination, it would be tough. Only government has the wherewithal to put in the investment and let it build entirely new industries. Then it steps aside and, with the risk mitigated, allows private enterprise to step in and take it to the market.

While Obama may spend $150 billion on this, it'll save us (at a minimum) $600 billion per year in foreign oil. That's money that can be used to pay Americans for their work. That's a pretty good investment in our future. One that, I'm sure, even John Stossel will agree is a good one.

If only he'd stop parroting partisan dogma as fact and start thinking things through. Either that or just trust those of us who are far more intelligent. And competent.

Posted by mcblogger at September 12, 2008 09:45 AM

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