How addled is the electorate?
I think a good measure is the extent to which office-seekers bray about “creating jobs.” In the first place, a politician no more creates jobs than a mule creates new mules. Politicians redistribute other people’s property. Qua Dr. Evil, it’s what they do.
It’s all they do.
A politician creates or expands an existing bureaucracy. He panders to the make-workers therein employed by using the coercive power of the state to increase their wages or their benefits. In this way, he shifts resources – other people’s resources. But he does not create anything. He takes from the creators – without whom he’d have nothing to redistribute. It’s a zero sum game. For every winner, there is always a loser. Predation, nothing more.
In the second place, since when did it become the job (accepting the false premise for discussion’s sake) of elected officials to create jobs? Err. Pardon me – but I thought we lived in a constitutional republic, not a bad rehash of Mussolini’s Italy. In a constitutional republic, the job of elected officials is (so we were once told) to make sure people’s rights are protected. That the provisions within the Constitution are preserved and protected to the best of one’s ability.
I’ve read the Constitution quite closely more than a couple of times and for the life of me, I cannot find a single reference to “job creation” anywhere. I suppose it has emanated from penumbras. Or perhaps it is implied . . .
Whatever its source, it makes the bile rise in my throat.
Politicians today have become contestants for the role of paterfamilias – a kind of Santa-Claus-meets-Stalin who knows what’s best for you – and you’d better damn well do as he says.
The odious ex-Clintonista Terry McAuliffe, for example. This piano-toothed carpetbagger is running for Dear Leader of Virginia, my home state. His campaign slogan is “Putting Jobs First.” No comment as to where he puts your rights. Lots of chatter about “investing” – that is, stealing other people’s money to be used in ways Terry deems more pressing. Ditto “incentives” for (favored/connected) businesses with (to use Ayn Rand’s excellent term) pull.
See his platform here.
Terry, like virtually all politicos, speaks in the plural. It sounds better, you see. Instead of “I will take your money to finance the education of your neighbor’s kid,” it is: “We will invest in our childrens’ future.” No one bothers to ask who “we” is, of course. And “our” children? I guess I never realized I’d had any. Thought they were yours.
Of course, the opposition is no better – because of course it is not opposition. It is echo.