William Thien

Jobs Debate has Politicians Off Task

Posted on: October 20, 2014

I ran this observation twice already on the subject of politicians and their claims about jobs creation during campaigns. It often backfires on them whey they claim they will create X number of jobs if they are elected. Either they don’t create that many jobs or there is a net deficit of new jobs created.

But the real problem isn’t that they claim to be the makers of jobs, the real problem is that they are off task. The true responsibilities of most elected officials at almost all levels of government, making sure the roads are passable (our roads received a D- by our own department of transportation where I reside so somebody obviously isn’t doing their job) or insuring the safety of its citizens, are often neglected when politicians begin such diversions.

During our current gubernatorial campaign the candidates from the two parties on the mainstream media radar are back on the subject of creating jobs and again their numbers leave something to be desired. Go figure!

Here is the previous essay on Politicians and their claims to create jobs:

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, 2014

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