Measured Against Reality

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Economic Pandering

I'm just curious, but has any politician really been able to "create jobs"? They pretty much all promise to do it, but it seems to me that it's entirely beyond their control. Granted, I don't understand economics very much (I take a dismal view of the "dismal science"), but from what I've heard the economy is largely beyond the control of leaders. A metaphor that occurs to me (but may or may not be apt) is that politicians meddling with the economy are like doctors experimenting with new drugs, but not controlling for anything. So what they've done might have had some kind of effect, but it's damn near impossible to say for certain.

Sure, politicians can do things like offer corporations tax breaks and other incentives to move to the town, state, or country, but even in that their power seems quite limited. And hearing someone promise to bring back manufacturing jobs is just laughable. We're a service economy now, and we're going to need to get used to that fact. Unless there's a compelling business reason to manufacture in the US, it's not going to happen, and since China and India do have workers (at the very least) as smart and capable and hard-working as ours, those jobs are not coming back.

And it's really annoying to see the Democrats pandering to the Ohio view that NAFTA has killed their economy, when every economic article I've read has said that, at the worst, it has been neutral for the country. It's too bad, but I guess educating people against their long- and deeply-help beliefs is just not going to happen in the middle of a tight primary.

At any rate, I'd really like to know if the politicians' claims about creating jobs can be taken as anything other than insincere pandering.


  • Supposedly Gov. Richardson of N. M. had incentives put in place to attract businesses, thus creating jobs. I know there are some who think the government should do something to promote the push for technologies of the future (energy, sciences, etc.) and maybe they should, similar to what we did to get to the moon. But it is ironic to hear someone like Huckabee push for improvements in education when he wants to science classes reduced to the dark ages.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:46 PM, February 27, 2008  

  • Those are good points. In fact, right after I posted this I read an article in the NYTimes that was tangentially about this. I had forgotten about promoting investment in infrastructure and research, two things I obviously support, and that are quite necessary for us to maintain our position as a technological leader, but also for economic growth.

    And yes, Huckabee talking about education is quite ironic.

    By Blogger Stupac2, at 12:49 PM, February 27, 2008  

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