Clearing the Fog
in the
War of Words


  logomachy--1. A dispute about words. 2. A dispute carried on in words only; a battle of words.
logomachon--1. One who argues about words. 2. A word warrior.



“Lost” jobs

"Lost" jobs

John Kerry and his band of Mongols complain about jobs "lost overseas" and in the next breath they promise that they will create real, good-paying jobs for Americans. Apparently, they want us to think that the President creates jobs that he casts by the handful to his adoring subjects, like a Renaissance duke scattering ducats. In this they reveal how they see the United States as the heavy in a Marxist morality play.

Kerry's mechanistic, abstract economic model lets him assert with a straight face that a bad President like Bush creates only "poorer paying" jobs that he gives to corporations, so Benedict Arnold CEOs can take them overseas and use them to exploit the impoverished, oppressed masses. John Kerry for some reason wants those crumby jobs kept at home so U.S. workers can be exploited.

Democrats have a faulty idea of what a job is. They confuse it with a position, or in happy-buzz, business mumbo-jargon, an "opportunity". A job is a binary phenomenon: an employer who can gain a benefit from a good or service and an employee who is able and willing to provide that good or service at a cost that doesn't wipe out any benefit to the employer. This definition makes explicit the crucial element of price. It makes clear, for instance, how minimum wage laws destroy jobs and how education and reduced tax rates help to create them.

The definition also makes clear that jobs are not simply exported overseas. One of the necessary conditions for "creating a job" is an employee available with the required skills at an affordable cost. For the most part, those exported jobs would not exist if the foreign workers were not available, because American workers are not available. Many things price U.S. workers out of the global market for certain jobs. Cost of living is a big factor and gets all the attention, but regulations, taxes, and union restrictions (often backed by government regulation) add to the cost of employment. What's more, those imposed costs operate on the margin, which is where decisions are made.

Thus, the make-or-break factors in job creation are under the direct control of politicians. Unfortunately, for Democrats, regulations, taxes, and union rules are also articles of the Democrat faith. Besides that, for all their bemoaning the "export" of jobs, one has to wonder whether Democrats really want to lower the American standard of living. One would expect from this analysis that Democrats find it hard to create jobs, except by coercing money from unwilling purchasers by regulation and taxes. And, lo!, that is what John Kerry proposes.

The Democrats' misunderstanding is compounded of socialist economics and liberal guilt. Marx never did understand the basis of the productivity of a free economy. He just assumed that "capitalism" and its productivity naturally arose in an historical dialect out of the contradictions of "feudalism". Once the economic organization of a society reached the stage of "capitalism", he thought, its productivity would remain, whatever distortions and constraints might be imposed by the state, even a Leninist police state. Intellect, free will, creativity, and entrepreneurship had no part in Marx's historical determinism

Marx's dishwater heirs in the Democratic party have an understanding of productivity that is just as dim. They may have the education and perspicacity to know how the economy works, but their understanding is clouded by their need to infuse all goodness into their desires and to project all wickedness onto other people. Oh, they will talk about Bush's mistakes and declare they will be wise, but in the next breath they will condemn "tax cuts for the rich" and say all Bush really wants is to enrich his corporate buddies and hurt those in need.

The only economy that is real to them is the economy of guilt.



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