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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Note to New Brunswick voter: governments don't create jobs

At least not productive jobs. Liberals and Progressive Conservatives are debating job creation in New Brunswick’s election. Neither party seems to understand that it is not the role of government to create jobs, nor is the government any good at creating real jobs.

Often a government will increase employment by creating subsidies to an industry or hiring extra staff in some crown corporation. These are not real jobs. Sure someone gets paid and that individual benefits, but the economic gain is zero. To pay for that job the government has to take money from other people to produce something that nobody wants.

Such a job does not create anything of any real worth. If it did it wouldn’t need a subsidy to begin with.

It is only the private sector that can create true wealth and it is only the private sector that can create real jobs. All that any government can do to help job creation is get out of the way.

So the New Brunswick Liberals can come up with a strategy to create 20 000 jobs by 2013, and the Progressive Conservatives can come up with their own plan with their own deadline. It doesn’t really matter. Unless they plan to reduce regulation and decrease taxation, any plan that they can come up with won’t actually help the economy.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on August 31, 2010 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink


"to produce something that nobody wants"

This is the best argument against a statist or Keynesian. Although it is theoretically possible to argue that the gov't can tax the exact amount of hoarding and invest that amount (although I don't see how it can be done in real life), it is completely impossible for the gov't to be able to produce the types of goods and services that consumers demand. When they attempt it, they end up producing stuff that people are not interested in consuming; and hence are destroying capital. It can also result in stagflation if the population spends the entire amount of money the government has returned into circulation.

Posted by: Charles | 2010-08-31 2:58:39 PM

How about the Liberals creating jobs in NB when they moved the Federal Government Pensions and Gun Registry to wide places in the road in that province. The Liberals excel at vote buying by using this method. The people of Quebec and NB are the most spoiled by government "job creation", so I doubt they will vote for losing their spot at the public trough.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-08-31 3:27:52 PM

I'm in the process of driving, round trip, from Alberta to Nova Scotia, for the first time. I've made some very interesting observations. New Brunswick has some of the best infrastructure in Canada. I don't know where the money came from, but the highways in New Brunswick are the best in Canada.

I also figured out where all those transfer payments we're sending to Quebec is ending up. They're all buying little black Mazdas, and driving like assholes.

Two words for Ontario; "divided highway". I'll never drive across Ontario again. I thought I'd gone through a wormhole, and ended up in 1961.

Just heading into Boston tomorrow. I know it's the long way home, but it's worth it to avoid Upper Canada.

Posted by: dp | 2010-08-31 9:40:18 PM

The unabashed pandering to buy votes is so ingrained in government that it is accepted as normal. Much like the "earmarks" in American politics. All 3 parties are the same in that respect, as are all provincial parties. We would need a whole new party to get rid of this disease. Maybe something like the Teaparty movement in the USA.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-08-31 11:09:44 PM

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