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Government interferes with future production

February 21, 2013
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

Perhaps it is time for a re-assessment of how Americans evaluate economic production and job creation. We're specifically talking about an underlying false reality in certain situations, situations that seem to be growing with government and its handouts.

Is a job a job? President Obama seems to think so. He is all for saving federal government jobs amid pending budget cuts expected to hit the Pentagon and other federal agencies. But all of those jobs are paid for with borrowed money. Should a nation, or a business for that matter, borrow money in order to keep people employed? Because doing so raises all kinds of questions about what is being produced and whether the work is just make-work.

Here in Minnesota, we see another example that troubles us. A bill has been introduced in the Legislature to give ethanol plants a property tax break. This already-subsidized industry is seeking more help. We don't mind the notion of lower taxes, but shouldn't every industry - or individual - get a break? Why ethanol??The industry is struggling financially, so the tax break certainly will be touted as a way to save jobs. But are they jobs that should exist if the industry can't succeed?

At a basic level, what is important economically is production that is useful. Utilizing scarce resources efficiently. Otherwise, wealth is consumed and lost, without any lasting benefit to society. Consider:?The federal government, or the state, could enlist a huge workforce to build pyramids so as to employ people. Once the pyramids were built, they could be torn down to "save" the jobs. But what would have been accomplished? Yes, worse than nothing. Because billions of dollars would not have been used on technology, innovation and meaningful production.

 
 

 

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