Government can’t create jobs. Government never created a single job.
Never did, never can, never will.
Isn’t it odd, though, that you don’t hear that mantra when the subject is, say, building a publicly financed football stadium, or a highly subsidized nuclear power plant or auto plant. All of a sudden we’re swamped with data about the thousands of jobs that would be created if government would just commit taxpayers’ money to the project.
But still, government doesn’t create jobs.
And even though that’s true, and even though Georgia politicians have pledged their total devotion to that concept, they’re also pleading with the Obama administration to ante up hundreds of millions of dollars to dredge the Savannah River to make it accessible to deep-draft cargo ships.
Because that would, you know, create a lot of jobs.
Of course, it’s not like there is any history of that kind of thing around here. It’s not as if Atlanta wouldn’t exist in the first place if the Georgia Legislature, way back in 1836, hadn’t financed construction of the Western and Atlantic Railroad. And it’s not like we depend on water from Lake Lanier — the Lake Lanier financed by federal taxpayers — in order to flush our toilets and sate our thirst and grow our economy. We could support a metro area of more than three million people just fine without it, right?
Oh, and despite what all the experts might say, the City of Atlanta didn’t create jobs when it risked millions, then hundreds of millions and eventually billions of dollars investing in Hartsfield/Jackson International Airport, turning it into the busiest airport in the world and the single biggest jobs generator in the Southeast. Private enterprise could have built an airport that large and efficient, just as it did in … well, somewhere.
Private enterprise also could have built the aqueducts that created Los Angeles, as well as Hoover Dam and Grand Coulee Dam and all the other hydroelectric dams that helped create the modern, utterly self-sufficient American West. It could have, except that, well, it just didn’t.
Other than that, government investment never created a single job.
Well, let me take that back. There were all those jobs created when the government subsidized construction of the railroads back in the 19th century. And when tax dollars built the interstate highway system in the 20th century. And then there are all the jobs created over the decades by all those kids educated in that important American innovation, the public school.
Of course, that’s not the cool thing to call them anymore. Nowadays, they’re “government schools.” And we all know that investment in government schools never created a single job either.
From what I hear, though, the Kenyan Marxist is going to tell us something different in his State of the Union address tonight. He’s going to try to convince us that government investments are necessary to move this country forward and compete with nations such as China. That ought to be fun. We can all sit at home and yell “You lie!” at the TV set, because we all know better.
Anyway, I’ll be live-blogging the speech here on the Internet.
You know, the Internet that was invented largely by government scientists. But other than Google or Yahoo or Facebook or Ebay or little companies like those, that government investment never helped to create a single job either.
– Jay Bookman