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March 3rd, 2010 12:13 pm
Yelling “Jobs!” in a Crowded Senate Chamber

Today’s Washington Times has a morosely humorous article discussing the current fetish for “jobs creation” bills in Congress.  From confiscating beachfront property to establishing a non-profit government entity to promote travel, nearly every bill in Congress is being fitted into a jobs frame that makes it difficult to oppose on its claims.  But not, of course, on the substance.

For that, we need look no farther than the end of the liberty-loving economics student’s book shelf for a copy of Henry Hazlitt’s “Economics in One Lesson.”  After explaining why full employment is only and always the means to achieving the proper goal of full production, Hazlitt takes aim at the predecessors of our latter day misguided politicos:

Yet our legislators do not present Full Production bills in Congress but Full Employment bills.   Even committees of businessmen recommend ‘a President’s Commission on Full Employment,’ not on Full Production, or even on Full Employment and Full Production.  Everywhere the means is erected into the end, and the end itself is forgotten.”

So too, is the credibility of any member of Congress who thinks that the answer to spurring economic growth comes from anything other than lower, simpler taxes.

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