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The Challenge is to Create, Not Jobs, but Wealth

Today I sent this letter to the Washington Times:

Like economic alchemists, Senators Clinton and Obama peddle plans to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on various government projects that will create millions of jobs (“Obama’s economic plan,” February 20).

Creating jobs – creating demand for workers – is no challenge.  Vandals and arsonists do so routinely.  What is a challenge is to create opportunities for workers to earn good incomes while producing real value for others, where value is confidently measured by the amounts that buyers voluntarily pay for what is produced.  As far as I know, Sens. Clinton and Obama (and, for that matter, McCain) have never created a business whose success relied upon producing outputs efficiently and then selling these outputs at prices attractive to consumers.

So why suppose that any of their “plans” to create innovative industries and jobs are anything more than the cheap-to-dream-up fantasies of self-important politicians accustomed to spending other people’s money?

Donald J. Boudreaux