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View Diary: President Obama May Use Gov't Contracts to Raise Worker Living Standards! (246 comments)

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    First, name an industry that is not dependent on government spending to survive. Remember: Police, fire, roads, air traffic control, etc. If the US Government is actually funding 1 in 4 jobs in this country, the level of interdependence is nearly total. Every McDonald's is effectively near a base.

    Sure, industry is in some sense dependent on government to keep civil order, but real industry is one where real world value is added. You take something worth $1, add $2 of labor to it, and sell it for $4. If you're not doing that (which police, fire, unemployment, and other services do not do, as valuable as they are), you aren't doing valid industry.

    Does it finally matter if a road is built by government money, or private money? There's a road, which can be an immense value-add. People were employed planning, designing and building the road, and people will be employed maintaining it. The road benefits everyone who uses it, which will nearly always become a stimulus of sorts to the economy. All these things are true regardless of the funding source.

    First of all, who is employed by a project is completely irrelevant. The government can employ people doing worthless activities all day.

    Secondly, the question isn't whether the road is created by the government or some other private funding source, the problem is whether the road is necessary or value-add, or not. The government is good at infrastructure projects, as you point out, because they are bigger and riskier than the private sector is willing to invest in.

    However, the final determination is the final value of whatever you've created... which jobs are a negative to, not a positive! Would you rather have a road that takes 100 people to maintain, or one that takes zero? Would you rather have a town with high crime with 100 police officers, or zero crime and one police officer? The employment is irrelevant, and something you want to minimize, not maximize!

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Fri Feb 26, 2010 at 11:15:55 AM PST

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