I've noticed that an old and misleading dominant social theme has taken center stage in America lately. It's the idea that politicians and the political process itself can create jobs.
Of course, government can't create jobs. Government can make things worse, but it can rarely if ever make things better.
While this may not be understood by many in America, or in the West for that matter, there is some good news regarding this misleading theme of government and jobs.
I'll get to that at the end of this editorial.
Certainly, you could see the meme on display at the GOP presidential debates where Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney argued over whose regime had produced the "most jobs" with nary a peep from the moderators on the impossibility of this concept.
And then there has been the reaction to the nationally televised speech by President Barack Obama explaining his newly created "American Jobs Act." The analysis has been positively breathtaking in terms of economic illiteracy. Not one mainstream economist has stepped forward to state that government is not in the business of creating employment – or that such a mission is an impossible one.
The highlights of Obama's plan, according to McClatchy News, include an extension and expansion of a payroll-tax cut for workers through 2012, which may result in a savings of $1,500 for a typical family as well as a payroll tax cut and various tax credits.
Obama wants continued assistance to millions who are receiving extended benefits, with extra aid to states that help the long-term jobless through training programs. The plan is big on public works, as well, including upgraded roads, bridges and schools. It also focuses on providing cash to help states and municipalities.
A McClatchyDC.com article that has summarized the plan has the reporter asking "independent experts" to comment on whether the plan could work. Verdict: "a qualified yes." … "The American Jobs Act would create jobs and help keep a struggling economy moving forward, several economists said." Here's some more:
Macroeconomic Advisers, a leading economic-forecast group, projected that Obama's plan "would give a significant boost to (the gross domestic product) and employment over the near term." … Macroeconomic Advisers predicted the plan would raise GDP — the annual sum of all goods and services produced in the country — by 1.3 percentage points through 2012, resulting in 1.3 million more people employed.
It estimated the plan would add 0.2 percentage point to growth in 2013. That's within estimates from economists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, who in a research note Friday said the package could add between 1 and 1.5 percentage points to economic growth next year …
Mark Zandi, chief economist for forecaster Moody's Analytics, was even more optimistic. He estimated a fully enacted package would create 1.9 million jobs, bringing the unemployment rate down to 8 percent by election time. "It's a bold effort to provide more support to the economy, certainly bigger than widely anticipated," Zandi said.
At least the McClatchy article hedges its enthusiasm, noting that benefits derived from Obama's plans will not be long-lasting. "Marty Regalia, chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the proposed payroll tax cut fell short of what's needed and called for a complete restructuring of the tax code for individuals and businesses."
The article quotes William Dunkelberg, chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business, as saying he doubts many more small companies will add workers. "They don't have confidence in the future."
This last comment is telling. American workers shouldn't have confidence in the future. The American "experiment" is out of control; the federal government is a US$3 trillion behemoth dedicated to redistributing the wealth of American citizens – and not for the benefit of the lower income earners and downtrodden.
Government doesn't create anything of value. It merely taxes and spends. It is impossible for the government to "create" jobs – and the Keynesian nostrums claiming that government can "stimulate" the economy by creating make-work employment are not feasible – and never really were.
Government pump-priming is no more than a dominant social theme, promotional propaganda introduced by John Maynard Keynes (a former central banker) to provide Western governments with talking points. It's not a feasible concept; the faultiness of its logic would be evident to all were it not for the backing of the majority of mainstream economists aided and abetted by the mainstream media.
The US is involved in countless wars in the Middle East and the repression at home is ratcheting up seemingly week-to-week and month-to-month. Checkpoints and pat-downs are now common in America, thanks to the so-called war on terror.
Yet, it is evident that the war on terror does not exist, or certainly not in the way it's being portrayed. The CIA was evidently and obviously involved in the initial construction of al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden himself seems to have been – at some point – a CIA asset.
Who knows how much it has cost US taxpayers to secure America from its non-existent war against its highly questionable al-Qaeda enemy? The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq alone are said to have run into the trillions. And America is in fact expanding its aggressive posture and continuing to project "power around the world."
"War is the health of the state." People in America know something is wrong – and it is well beyond what the government is willing to admit. At the same time, Americans are told their government can create jobs and stimulate the economy through Keynesian pump priming. Neither is true.
To say that the US has become a dysfunctional society is an understatement. The main narratives of the nation's social compact are illegitimate and the result is a growing divide between the citizenry and its leaders.
This can be seen in the feedback queues of articles that report on the war on terror and the economy. The vitriol and anger of Americans are expressed endlessly in responses to articles posted at major, national publications and media sites such as ABV, AOL and even the Wall Street Journal.
Seldom has the gap between leaders and the led been so large in modern, democratic history. This would be dangerous at any time, but especially so during the era of the Internet.
One can deprive people of an authentic national conversation when they have no outlet to discuss it, no venue to debunk it. But that is not the case within the context of the unrolling Internet Reformation.
The dominant social themes of Anglosphere power elite continue to collapse despite their endless repetition by the elite-owned mainstream press. Many Americans are not behind the war on terror either domestically or abroad. And even if Americans believe that government can provide jobs, they are not confident that it will do so.
There are of course plenty of other dominant social themes spread by the elite in their endless quest to frighten people into considering globalist solutions to phony crises. But many of these are suffering as well.
Global warming has been subject to a strong pushback; the Afghan war has led to stalemate at best; even the questionable narrative of 9/11 continues to receive criticism.
At the beginning of this article, I wrote there was good news regarding the phony concept of government initiated employment and economic stimulation. It comes in the form of disbelief. US citizens seem increasingly put off by the empire that has been created around them. Perhaps it will lead to a reversal in the way society perceives "rights" and initiate a return to an America as perceived by its Founding Fathers and architected in the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Perhaps people will realize TANSTAAFL.
In the short term, the ramifications are negligible. But in the long-term, the consequences shall be hugely significant. The Internet Reformation is a process not an episode – one that appears to be seeding a broad re-genesis of free-market thinking. And free-market thinking – in fact critical thinking in general – is not welcomed by those interested in establishing global governance. Interesting times lie ahead.