Friday, September 16, 2011

The myth of job creation


This morning I saw a clever cartoon in the National Post by Gary Clement, so I re-engineered his idea to what you see on the left, and I got to recycle my "change-a-head" graphic. I'm not much of an artist, but I saw Clement's idea and realized it could apply to the Ontario election, in fact any election in the so-called free world.
Politicians love to take credit for job creation, and Dalton McGuinty is as guilty as any of them. And the media are so stupid that they actually reinforce the politicians' position. The truth of course is that the politicians are most interested in their own jobs, but lets be generous for a moment.
Also in today's Post is an article about Dalton McGuinty's visit to a solar panel plant. The plant is idle because of insufficient demand, and the article goes:
"Still, the news that one of the province’s leading solar panel companies has ceased production will come as an embarrassment to Mr. McGuinty, who has been positioning the move into renewable power as a game-changer for Ontario. “Our bold plan is to position Ontario to become North American’s biggest manufacturer of clean technologies,” he said when he visited Eclipsall Tuesday. He routinely compares the Liberal feed-in-tariff, which offers generous rates for solar energy, to the auto-pact that helped build Ontario’s auto industry.
The Liberal government’s efforts have created jobs
 – though the 20,000 number touted by Mr. McGuinty seems highly questionable, far less the 50,000 he says will be created by the end of next year. In addition, they are hardly high wage, high skilled jobs the Premier claims (Eclipsall pays 20% over minimum wage to its workers, who assemble glass and solar cells imported from Asia, thereby qualifying for the Liberal Green Energy Act’s 60% domestic content rule)."
I've bolded the oft repeated lie that even good reporters like John Ivison should avoid, because it is a lie. The "created jobs" occurred because the Liberals decided to support the solar panel industry at the expense of a multitude of other choices that the money might have been used for. Paying down the debt would have been a good idea. 
I predict that the entire effort to nurture green jobs, in Ontario and elsewhere, will end in failure until the market actually chooses to support these industries for reasons other than government preference. I have this support from Jon Stewart's Daily Show. Apparently a major US manufacturer of solar panels: Solyndra, received $535 million in loans from the Obama government and is now bankrupt. Oops.
Misplaced investments are what governments are really good at doing. Picking winners and therefore losers is their game. Have a listen to Stefan Molyneux on Russian Television of all things:
    

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