William Thien

Jobs Debate has Politicians Off Task

Posted on: May 13, 2012

Nobody can argue that the public debate on how to create more jobs in these difficult times is not important. The problem I have with that debate is that it is being waged by politicians.

Most politicians are not running for a position that will have that much of an effect on private sector job creation to begin with. Most politicians are in the business of seeing that government services are rendered effectively at the municipal, state, and federal level, right on up to The President’s Office.

The job of a mayor or even a governor for that matter is not really to create jobs, it is to see to it that the roads are passable and that the water is clean, to name two of the most important municipal responsibilities. But knowing that there has been a shortage of jobs in The United States for some time, the debate during campaigns has turned to job creation. Knowing that people are desperate for decent jobs and that it will get their attention in a campaign ad, politicians and their shrewd campaign staffs have changed the focus with promises of huge numbers of good jobs and a renewal of what was once a vibrant economy. It sounds great! But there is a problem with that.

Politicians can certainly help create an environment where good jobs can be had by decreasing certain types of taxation and creating a regulatory environment conducive to attracting business, but the politicians themselves don’t actually create the jobs. So all the campaign promises about great jobs are really a sort of gamble, a type of fluff that the politicians know the public will buy into in the campaign ads because the population is so hungry for decent jobs. It’s political sleight of hand.

What is significant about the ads promising great jobs is that it allows the politicians to change the focus away from their own actual job, to see to it that their municipal responsibilities are completed and done well. It makes the citizen focus on so called job creation by the politicians rather than asking why there are five inch deep holes in the roads on the way to work or why there is water high in carcinogens coming from the faucet?

I don’t know when exactly that it happened that politicians became, or thought they had become the creator of private sector jobs in The United States. But whenever it was, it was likely the same time politicians began neglecting their “real jobs” on a massive scale. And maybe its time everyone sent their elected officials a letter and reminded them about their real jobs. Perhaps if politicians did their “real jobs,” the “real jobs” would come for the rest of those looking for the “real jobs.”

Copyright © William Thien 2012

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4 Responses to "Jobs Debate has Politicians Off Task"

Absolutely with you on the last paragraph. I suspect that politicians have ALWAYS neglected their real jobs, and its merely more apparent now simply because of the scope and size of government.

Whoever said that perpetual motion is impossible never saw politicians campaigning.

It is still possible for a politician to funnel funds to the private sector by handing out contracts. Some politicians try to steer to their friends. It’s corrupt and it boils down to transparency.

In the 1960’s, we built the highway system, sent a man to the moon, boosted our defense, and a lot of that was with the government money going to the private sector to build bridges for the highway system, make components for space equipment, and weapons for the defense.

Removing taxes has enriched the few and created plutocracy. Furthermore, technology has rendered many things obsolete. Kodak no longer makes 35 mm cameras. Newspapers no longer require printers and newspaper boys, instead relying on the internet. Travel agencies scattered throughout the neighborhood have been obliterated by the internet. Big box retailers are being wiped out by the internet.

What used to take five people to create a nice-looking proposal now only needs one. Color printers print 20 times faster than it did five years ago so we no longer have people waiting to collate.

Regulations are a thing of the past now that we have free trade with other countries with far cheaper employees and lax regulations. That is a job killer here.

It’s a recipe for disaster and we are headed right into it.

I can appreciate your insightful perspective on the nature of political activity. My response would be that corruption is a historical component of human nature, whenever and wherever, and the only way to prevent or curb it is by defining more clearly what politicians can and cannot do. This will help them as well do a better job for all of us.

William Thien

Reblogged this on William Thien and commented:

As the election approaches and the campaign calls and ads increase, I thought this would be appropriate.

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