Zero Percent Unemployment – Now!
posted at 10:52 pm on July 16, 2009 by Doctor Zero
There are about 15 million people unemployed in the United States at the moment, and the number is rising. Barack Obama is personally responsible for every single one of them. Why? Because he could hire them all.
The wasteful, pork-encrusted “stimulus” bill rammed through Congress by the Democrats cost taxpayers $787 billion. That works out to about $52k per unemployed person. Instead of pouring all that money into the pockets of their political allies, the Democrats could have hired every single unemployed person for two years, at $26k per year, tax free. The biggest problem with Obama is his lack of vision. He’s got his addled Vice President staggering around, claiming to see “workers rehired, factories reopened, cops on the street, teachers in the classroom, progress toward getting our economy back on the move” everywhere he goes. Instead of wasting everyone’s time with the Joe Biden clown act, he could simply assert control over the entire American economy, and declare unemployment to be zero percent.
What would Obama do with those fifteen million new employees? Well, they’ve all got skills, right? Most of them are capable of working, and I would venture to say that many of them desperately want to work. Surely a man who can conjure the biggest, most complex medical insurance “corporation” on Earth out of thin air could find something to do with fifteen million new pairs of hands. Maybe they could write their own job descriptions, and suggest fun, productive ways to put their talents to use on behalf of America. I bet we could find “green jobs” for all of them.
Or, better yet… why not indulge in a little more deficit spending, and set up medical scholarships for those who score the highest on aptitude tests? (With the appropriate number of racial set-asides, of course. We wouldn’t want newly minted Justice Sotomayor getting all Ricci on our brand-new program!) We’ll need lots of new doctors to provide all those expanded health benefits. Don’t liberals keep bleating about 47 million uninsured in this country? Well, if they’re all going to suddenly have health insurance, thanks to a stroke of Obama’s pen and some fat surtaxes on the wealthiest Americans, we’re going to need a surge in health-care workers to take care of them all. The current ratio of doctors per 100,000 population is about 260. That means we’ll need 122,000 more doctors to handle 47 million more people with health insurance. We can scrape by if about half a percent of our 15 million unemployed are doctor material.
But wait… unemployment is going to go up in the next couple of years, due to Obama’s policies. Cap-and-trade will put a lot of people out of work. Come to think of it, how many people work for the medical insurance companies that Obama’s new “public plan” will force out of business? Will they all go to work for Obama Insurance, Inc., or will we need to find jobs for some of them, too? Well, no problem – even if the number of unemployed doubles by 2012, we can just charge another $700 billion to Uncle Sam’s deficit card, and hire them all. Zero percent unemployment forever!
Except… those two-year stimulus jobs will run out around 2012, won’t they? No worries – I’m sure those people will have proven themselves highly productive assets to the economy, and America will consider it a bargain to keep them on its payroll forever. With all those new workers, the wise and brilliant Obama will have created entirely new industries. You might be shaking your head and wondering why people with guaranteed government jobs, paid in tax-free money, would feel motivated to work hard, let alone display the discipline and energy to create new industries. Let me assure you that your fears are unfounded, because… well…
Oh, hell. That’s where the whole beautiful scheme falls apart.
Listening to Democrats explain their wonderful plans for universal access to free everything, you realize they have a profound misconception about the economy, which fuels many of their other delusions: they think running a business is easy. Being a doctor is easy. Working in a bank, a mortgage company, or an investment brokerage is a piece of cake. All of the people who do these things will continue to do them, with equal dedication… even if their taxes are raised, or their industries are nationalized. Creating a federal health insurance company of titanic size will be a snap – the Democrats will just throw a few politically reliable people into the executive slots, pour an avalanche of tax dollars into their laps, and bingo! The existing health insurance companies don’t have any special knowledge about their industry, and there are no business reasons why they stubbornly refuse to provide cheap coverage for those 47 million uninsured. They only withhold that coverage because they’re evil and greedy. Caring political appointees will easily succeed where they failed, on a budget fixed by next year’s Congress. I’ll bet they can guarantee all Americans first-rate coverage without exceeding that budget by one red cent.
Anyone who runs a real business knows how completely wrongheaded this is. Business ownership is hard. It takes entrepreneurial risk, the ability to find and exploit opportunities, discipline, and sacrifice. The owners and managers of every business, from small family operations to huge conglomerates, must make tough decisions about paying expenses, making investments, pleasing shareholders, and coping with unexpected setbacks. Sometimes these decisions are agonizing. Every business owner reading this could tell a story about sitting up late at night, staring at vendor invoices, payroll ledgers, and accounts receivable with watery eyes, trying to make them fit together and produce balanced books somehow. Even the wealthiest of them could tell you harrowing tales of lean times, when personal assets had to be put at risk, or life savings had to be tapped as investment capital. Even hearing these stories would not prepare you for the reality of owning a business of your own, if you’ve never tried it. You must experience it for yourself to appreciate it.
Very few Democrat politicians have ever run a business. Barack Obama certainly hasn’t. I doubt he would agree with the sentiments expressed in the previous paragraph. In his heart, like every socialist, he sees business owners as nothing but rich people driving around in fancy cars… and since the federal government is richer than any of them, it will be the best business owner ever. The truth of the matter is that deep pockets are the government’s sole advantage. It has no discipline, no entrepreneurial spirit, no reason to take its lumps when it makes a bad decision, and a very low threshold of pain. If Obama Insurance, Inc. loses money, the government will just give it more. When bondholders refuse to raise the limits on the government’s deficit card any further, it will simply seize more money from taxpayers, making duly “progressive” adjustments to soak the wealthiest of them. The government will not be the best insurance company ever. It will be the worst…. and the one thing its bad decisions can never force it to do is go out of business.
Why are those 15 million people unemployed? For the most part, they’re looking for jobs, but no one will hire them. Companies very much want to hire more people, and expand – no business wishes to remain stagnant. The decision to refrain from hiring people is a tough one. Business owners don’t make it because they’re cruel and like to laugh at people in the unemployment lines. One of the reasons the economy is contracting is because money – the avatar of time, resources, and entrepreneurship – is being forced to go where it doesn’t want to go. Businesses that should fail are being propped up by reckless deficit spending. The shadow of titanic tax increases to come, including those needed to fund Obama’s adventure in health insurance, looms fearfully large on the horizon – and when money is frightened, it hides.
Hiring people to fill job openings is not the same thing as handing them a check and announcing they’re employed. The health care “crisis,” to the extent one exists, cannot be solved by signing a bill and declaring everyone has health insurance now. Businessmen live at the intersection of theory and reality, while politicians angrily deny that intersection exists at all. That’s one reason I much prefer dealing with businessmen.
Recently in the Green Room:
- Programming note: Guest-hosting the Hugh Hewitt Show tonight w/ MKH
- Obligatory Bill Clinton drew pictures of man parts on classified documents post
- Winning entry for HHS’s ObamaCare propaganda video contest: “Forget About the Price Tag”
- The Ed Morrissey Show on hiatus
- Health records ‘data security,’ Canada-style