I often wonder if the people who say that The government can’t make jobs. are just bullshitting or if they really believe it. I wonder the same thing when I hear Romney talking about President Obama – although he rarely uses President when referring to Obama – wanting to make the United States weak. My gut reaction is that they really do not believe it and they are just bullshitting but I am not so sure.
As an aside; this is one of the positions that people seem to come to from the completely opposite position without ever having stopped in the middle. When I was a young boy, Negros were Uncle Remuses that sort of sat around – rather than working hard because they didn’t have the Protestant ethic like White People – being kindly; then, with no stop in between, they became Black Panthers who were scary. In the same way, it used to be that Roosevelt – people who thought this didn’t call him President Roosevelt – didn’t end the depression, the depression only ended because we started spending lots of money – government money – on the war; now the same people say spending government money will not end a recession. End aside.
Anyway, it does seem self evident to me that the government can make jobs. When the government hired companies to build the Golden Gate Bridge, they, in turn, hired workers. When the Obama Administration gives money to California for the Highway Department and they hire companies to rebuild the rest stop at Black Mountain Road on Highway 280, those companies hire workers. The additional work results in additional jobs.
But, somehow, by saying The government can’t make jobs. over and over again, people start to believe it. (I used to think that the left’s constant yammering about the right wanting to overturn Roe vs. Wade was similar, but, after seeing the anti-contraception – not to mention anti abortion – legislation passed in Republican majority legislative bodies, I am ready to admit I was wrong.)
Even if the meme does work, even if the people saying The government can’t make jobs. really do believe it, it is still bullshit. The Obama Administration created jobs with the Stimulus Bill and definitively made the Great Recession a little better.