Dan Popp
Save the world: Get a job
FacebookTwitterGoogle+
By Dan Popp
February 16, 2014

I am death, the destroyer of worlds.... – Krishna (Bhagvad Gita)

The Ministry of Truth has told us that Obamacare will kill 2.3 million jobs in the near future – in addition to the millions of jobs already destroyed by leftist policies. The Ministry of Happiness says that's a good thing.

I cannot make this stuff up.

Our discussions of the government and work seem to miss one important element: The benefits of one person's work to society.

This is puzzling because, as we know and believe, the good of society is what leftists reallyreallyreally care about. All of their murder of the innocent, their confiscation of private property and their advocacy of moral perversion is for the "greater good." Otherwise it would just be evil. So why is it that no one is mentioning that, when one person doesn't work, we're all poorer?

A dollar given to Craig is not the same as a dollar earned by Craig. The earned dollar has been exchanged for some effort or skill or knowledge that added value to the life of Cindy. But it isn't merely a private exchange between Craig and Cindy. Everyone benefits from your work. Conversely, everyone is harmed by your refusal to work. If it were not so, we wouldn't have economic measures like the GDP, which can measure the prosperity of an entire nation by adding up these individual transactions of created value.

An example may help. Do you remember the Cash for Clunkers program? By destroying functional cars, this unconstitutional act made automobiles scarcer, and thus increased the price of cars. For everyone. The poor, in particular, had fewer options for affordable transportation. We can see that destruction of wealth (or value), though lost by individuals, reduces everyone's quality of life. So the opposite must be true: Creation of wealth increases everyone's quality of life.

When the government pays Craig not to work, there's one less automobile in the world. Or there's a coat of paint not applied to a house that will deteriorate more quickly. There are fewer goods of all kinds available to the rest of us in society. And because of this non-creation of value, jobs will be lost. Contrary to the quacking of some of our more delusional leaders, a dole does not create jobs; jobs create jobs. If I have a job, of course my wages allow me to buy things that employ other people – the babyish argument of Pelosi et al for dole dollars. But my job does something for the person on the other side of the transaction which dole dollars can't do. My job allows me to make something or to improve something that will allow someone else to live better. If I assemble a personal computer, for example, the buyer may use that device to start a business. That business will pay all kinds of consultants and vendors – and perhaps, eventually, employees. And taxes, note. Those effects will not exist if the computer isn't built; and it will not be built if I stay home and collect a government check.

If you "take" a job, you don't decrement the number of jobs available. You increment the number of jobs.

Now imagine a gigantic, multi-tentacled Cash for Clunkers-type program for everything. We won't just destroy cars – that was just a puny pilot project. We'll destroy campers and crayons and computer programs. We'll make sure that there are fewer carousels and cruises and combines. Just as we poured sand into working automobile motors, we'll foul the engine of free exchange itself. By corroding and short-circuiting the wealth-creation process, we'll destroy it all. We'll impoverish almost everyone. And we'll create scarcities, which will drive up the prices of everything. We'll pay you to junk your clunker before it is a clunker; before it is a shiny, new car; even before its parts are cast or its design is drawn. We'll pre-kill goods and services and jobs in the dream stage.

We'll abort prosperity.

And we'll do this for industries without number.

Leftists love to believe that they're helping. They're making "progress" toward their socialist utopia which definitely won't fail this time. They're saving the whales, the rainforest, the "middle class," the something. Just ask them. But if you really wanted to benefit society for generations to come, you would promote good, old-fashioned, honest work. You'd make it difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to sponge off of anyone else via government – merely because everyone should be willing to "sacrifice" a portion of his efforts for the good of the "village." And that's what employment is. In a roundabout way, you would come to the Christian view: "If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat." (2 Thessalonians 3:10b, NKJV)

Or to put it in terms that leftists love, "Save the world: Get a job."

© Dan Popp

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)