Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Are there any job creators?

In Opinion on January 13, 2012 at 10:34 pm

“Job Creation” is a myth.  No one ‘creates jobs.’

Some businesses generate a need for labor as a way to produce a product or service their customers desire.  As a result of that need for labor, they hire people.  To call that ‘creating a job’ is to misunderstand the purpose of the business.  The energizing purpose of a business endeavor is to provide a product for which someone is willing to pay more than it costs to produce or deliver it.  The purpose of any business is to fulfill a customer’s need and generate a profit – employing a person to do so is incidental.  If it can be done less expensively with a robot or a magic wand, it will and should be.

No one has any responsibility to ‘create a job’ any more than he has a duty to provide the product to the customer.  A business man does the latter purely out of self interest.  He wants the money in the customer’s pocket, and the customer wants the product.  And, each of them wants what the other has more than he wants what he contributes to the trade.  Consequently, when the voluntary trade is made, both participants are better off, both possess more wealth – thus the phrase ‘creating wealth’ – “win-win” is not a cliché, it is the only legitimate outcome of any business transaction.

Wealth creation is the result of the combination of billions and billions of such voluntary trades; that is, capitalism operating at the behest and on behalf of free men in an open market.  To minimize the amount of sweat and labor it takes to produce that wealth is moral and is the essence of good business, the essence of capitalism, and ought to be the primary goal of the human intellect, the part of us that separates us from beasts of burden.  In any endeavor, the higher the ratio of wealth production per unit of labor deployed, the more wealthy the world will be in the end, since the only inherently valuable and finite resource we possess is human labor/skill/talent/expertise.  No amount of gold, water, silicon, land or oil is of any value without the application of human ingenuity.  Using less of human labor to produce each incremental unit of wealth frees that saved labor to be used for something else, ergo the constant upward trend of human progress.

It was a mistake for Mitt Romney to sell his expertise as a ‘job creator’ since that is to misstate and misunderstand his strength – not to suggest that he’s qualified to be POTUS because of his business experience.  But there is no reason for him to be ashamed of or for anyone else to question the value of what he should be proud of – his role as a wealth creator.  Creating wealth by deploying capital more effectively is no more and no less admirable than inventing a better mouse-trap or giving strategic, political advice to Freddie Mac, Mr Gingrich.  A star football player creates wealth by pleasing his fans, as they want the pleasure of watching him perform more than they want the money they pay for the ticket or the time they sit TV-bound.  A chef creates wealth by combining ingredients and selling them for more than they cost him, because the diner wants the tasty dish more than the money in his pocket.  And so on.

A job creator, if there is such a thing, is a man who says “dig that ditch for me” when there is no useful purpose for the ditch.  We don’t want or need any such men.

On the other hand, wealth creators are the men who devise or envision a valuable purpose for a ditch, who collaborate with men who invent the diesel-powered back-hoe (and those who produce the fuel to run it, etc.) and who, in due course, create demand for the labor of one man as back-hoe operator.  That operator digs a ditch that would have taken perhaps 100 men armed only with their bare hands and a shovel, so the other 99 men may be employed elsewhere, by another wealth creator, doing something else productive.  And, back at the ditch, the man who benefits from the ditch pays the back-hoe operator something less than he would have paid 100 men, and likely something more than he would have paid the operator had he been one of 100 with shovel (depends on who owns the back-hoe).  Labor combines with ingenuity and capital and, voila, wealth is created – one man is employed, a useful ditch is dug and 99 other men do something of value for someone else.

So, no.  There are no job creators.  There are only FREE men and women who make their labor valuable by contributing it to processes that result in value to a man who has a purpose for a ditch.

And, to use 100 men where ONE will do is wasteful of human life, and I know of nothing more immoral than that waste.  God IS a Capitalist.

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