The ironic expectation of jobs and government

posted by Jeff | Sunday, October 10, 2010, 9:41 AM | comments: 0

Political punditry as of this week has reached a new state of bizzaro irony. On one hand, the feds report that unemployment is actually up slightly, because of the number of jobs shed at all levels of government, given a decrease in tax revenue. On the other hand, the private sector had a fairly significant gain, but not enough to offset the loss of government jobs.

So there's a loud voice that says, "Come on government, create more jobs! But only spend what you need!" And the thing is, government is doing exactly that. However, depending on your political leanings, and which level of government you want to bitch about, you might suggest that the opposite is true.

There's a bigger question about whether or not the government has any real role in creating jobs, and I suppose that's worthy of debate. Economists seem to agree that without the stimulus package, we'd be a lot worse off right now, so one could infer that helped with unemployment. What I can't stand about the political climate right now is that the same people simultaneously want government to fix the economy and at the same time do less. You can't really have it both ways.

The real truth of the matter is that regardless of the role government plays, the economy is driven by individuals and businesses as well, so nothing is going to happen over night. There is no magic bullet. It starts with someone buying my house.


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