April 27, 2014
WORK IS THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION:
Memo To The New York Times; Creating Jobs Is A Cost, Not A Benefit, To The Economy (Tim Worstall, 4/27/14, Forbes)
It's rather sad to see the editorial board of the would be newspaper of record, the New York Times, committing what is probably my least favourite economic fallacy. The idea that the creation of jobs is good economics, or good for the economy or us. It's true that jobs are lovely things but they're not a benefit, they're a cost. [...]It's not even true that jobs are a benefit to the people that do them. The income from having a job is definitely a benefit: but that's exactly what proves that the job itself isn't. For we get the benefit of the income in return for putting up with the cost of having to go to work. You know, we all like working so much that they have to bribe us with cash to get us to do it? And at the macroeconomic level jobs are also a cost: anyone working to produce prose for the Grey Lady is obviously not also available to do something more socially useful like cleaning the sewers.We would all far prefer to have an income without going to work, we'd also far rather have everything we desire in the way of newspapers, electricity and everything else provided without anyone else having to go to work and the fewer jobs that there are in providing us with any particular thing then the more things that can be provided by the people now available to produce those other things.
The modern economy is about solving the problem of our having to have jobs.
Posted by Orrin Judd at April 27, 2014 10:13 AM