Sunday, April 24, 2011

Shitting out jobs

It is an article of faith among Republicans that if you just feed rich people enough, they will shit new jobs. All we have to do is wait under their assholes for them to bestow their blessings upon everyone else. Rather like manna. Tony "Baloney" Sutton said it again on Almanac Friday night, "Rich people are our job creators."

Not so fast, Tony.

It's an empty shibboleth, of course. Well, I guess that's redundant.

A favorite author, philosopher, and commentator of mine is John Ralston Saul; he's the spouse of a former Governor General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson, herself a well known journalist in Canada. The author of a book -- among several -- titled Voltaire's Bastards, that I have cited many times over the years, John Ralston Saul also wrote a "dictionary" called The Doubter's Companion, which is, at turns, acerbic, insightful, and sympathetic, or even all three at once.

Here's part of his definition of "jobs" in The Doubter's Companion:
A job is a result, not a cause. It is produced by a combination of factors such as investment, research, development, markets, consumption levels, disposable currency, political stability, and a positive economic climate. Jobs cannot be created. Economies are created and they in turn create jobs.
There is more to it, in other words, that waiting for rich people to relieve themselves. We used to know that intuitively, before thirty or forty years of the Koch brothers' Heritage Foundation stuffing the Laffer Curve down our throats, and before guys like King Banaian got into the modeling business as a hobby.

People driven into penury are not good consumers; no one -- including rich people -- will invest if there are no customers for a product or service produced by the investment. No one will be hired to produce the product or service. An uneducated, poor quality work force cannot produce good products or services that can compete with goods and services from somewhere that has a highly educated workforce. Unless light assembly is all you're looking for, or jobs in the high fat foods sector.

But if you listen to Tony Baloney and his claque, none of this matters. Just let the wealthy keep more of their stuff, and more stuff will be created as if by magic.

A corollary to this is what I call The Law of Comparative Shitholes:
It is an iron law of economics that given a choice between two shitholes, the wealthy will always flee to the larger one.
This explains why there are so many millionaire entrepreneurs flocking to Somalia to ply the lucrative pirate trade, and why no one is leaving the low tax Somalia because of the fast growth of the piracy-allied industries.
Tony Sutton bestowing blessings from the Bemidji Pioneer

No comments: