“Creating Jobs” and Other Fallacies

3 Oct 2012 /
Thomas Jefferson

Almost everything appertaining to the circumstances of a nation, has been absorbed and confounded under the general and mysterious word government. Though it avoids taking to its account the errors it commits, and the mischiefs it occasions, it fails not to arrogate to itself whatever has the appearance of prosperity. It robs industry of its honours, by pedantically making itself the cause of its effects; and purloins from the general character of man, the merits that appertain to him as a social being.

— Thomas Paine, Rights of Man (1792)

My fellow Americans —

I’m hearing in the pre-debate analysis that voters are looking for the candidate who’ll help them have a better life.

Speaking as someone who was there at the beginning, I can tell you that helping you have a better life was not America’s original value proposition. Everyone was welcome to come here and try to make a better life for himself and his family — unless he was from Africa or Asia, of course — but there wasn’t what we now call a “safety net.”

If you tried to make it and failed — and a lot of people did — you had to go back where you came from. No guarantees! You tried, you failed, let the next man have a chance.

I still believe that the majority of Americans want a government that gives them the freedom to succeed or fail or their own merits, and not a government that “helps them have a better life.” I don’t believe it’s a large majority, but I still believe it’s a majority.

Politicians over the last 200 years or so have doen a masterful job of convicing Americans that all of the good things in life come from government. As my friend Tom Paine says in the quote above: government takes the credit for everything and the blame for nothing.

If business is booming during my term of office, the credit goes to me and my policies.

If business is bad, it’s because my policies haven’t had a chance to work yet. Or because my opponents obstructed me. Or because the last guy in the job screwed things up so bad that nobody can fix them.

Anyone who thinks about this notion that government is making good things happen sees what a fallacy it is . . .

If President Obama could “create jobs,” give me one good reason why he hasn’t done it. Do you think he wants to run on a record of increased unemployment, increased poverty, increased debt, plummeting net worth . . .?

Please don’t tell me that Republicans in Congress are preventing him from doing it. How would that work? I want to hire a man and a Repubican congressman shows up and stops me from doing it?!

BULLSHIT!

If politicians could “create” jobs, they’d be doing it all the time.

Thomas Jefferson


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