Paul Jacob

As long as I can remember, politicians have promised “jobs.”

When not promising tangible “pork”-based jobs, most of these promises turn out to be the economic equivalent of the computer industry’s famed darker side: vaporware.

Call it vaporwork.

Politicians provide the vapor. That’s the easy part. The actual work? Well, how much work do politicians cause us to engage in just to unbury ourselves from their silly, wealth-extracting regulations, requirements, registrations and legalistic “refinements”? I know, I know: Every time they add on some new complication to the tax code, jobs emerge in the accounting and tax-consulting industry. But this doesn’t exactly make us better off, does it? Not on net.

I guess there are some things government can do to ensure that jobs get created, out there in the bill-paying, profit-making world. But these things amount, mainly, just to doing a few things right and then shutting up about it.

Arguing with Idiots By Glenn Beck

But just try to get a politician to

    (a) do something right, and
    (b) shut up about it!

Our previous president may have been tempted to keep mum now and then, since he wasn’t exactly Demonsthenes. But our current president has “orator” written all over him, so he never ceases promising things. Eloquently.

He promises, for instance, to create jobs by spending trillions of borrowed money.

But more than half of those jobs turn out to be government jobs.

Government jobs don’t count, Mr. President. Many things governments do actually drain us. Jobs in the marketplace, on the other hand, serve real consumer demand, make us all better off. They also help pay the taxes for those government jobs. Employing more people in government means needing more real jobs to pay for the government ones.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.