24 October 2010

Government "created" jobs

The fallacy that I will attempt to detonate is the myth of government created jobs. The government does provide jobs, but it does not create them. It takes from the private sector (which does create) to fund its activities. In a simple form, in a proper role of government, let's take the example of the police officer.
While police, when enforcing laws protecting individual liberty, are a necessary and proper role of government, the costs associated with the officer's duties are paid through confiscation of money by taxation. As a result, not only is the officer not available for the labor pool in private industry, the money that would provide his sustenance in his role has been taken from the economy. This is the best possible case and results in no net change as the money that has been removed from the private sector has been compensated by a reduction in the labor pool. The role of the police officer is clearly beneficial to civil society and justifiable but is, nonetheless, a drain on the private sector.
Let's expand to the overgrown administrative nightmare that is today's government agencies. Not only is every individual employed in these functions removed from private industry, their function within the government does not add to civil society. We are effectively removing two or more jobs from the private sector with each and every additional government bureaucrat.
There will be a number of people that would argue about the necessity and usefulness of the aforementioned bureaucrats but the bottom line is that government, by definition, is parasitic on society. All government activity is funded by usurpation of funds from the private sector. The larger the parasite becomes, the less healthy the host is.

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