Saturday, November 22, 2008

Won't Work

Pulling a number out of the sky, President elect Barack Obama instructed his economic team to make up a plan to create 2.5 million jobs over the next two years. This has resulted in discussion of a "stimulus package" (the phrase which has replaced "investment" as the nom de jour for when those running the federal government wish to spend more money) of $300 billion, mostly on government projects such as "building wind farms." That sounds like a lot of hot air.

Of course, the American economy is too large and has too many variables to easily control, and Mr. Obama may get lucky. If the economy has reached its bottom, jobs will likely be created regardless of what he does. However, that does not change the general principle that government does not create jobs that grow the economy: entrepreneurs do. The best thing for the government to do is get out of the way.

Mr. Obama's central planners are likely to stay in the way. Let's hope that they do less harm than good.


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