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Who Makes Jobs? Maybe Newt, Maybe Not

The political right faces a key challenge when arguing for small government. Some voters are motivated to support politicians who promise that good things will happen after they are elected. So far, so obvious. An equally obvious example of a good thing is the creation of new jobs in a stagnant economy with high unemployment. So the right is faced with demonstrating a counter-intuitive cause and effect between a less active government, with fewer employees, and more jobs overall. Furthermore, how does the right extend the argument further, by aiming to receive (and deserve) credit for the jobs made in the private sector?

The intellectual muddle was recently illustrated by Newt Gingrich’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. The former Speaker of the House of Representatives is an undeniable conservative, though sometimes a confused one. Gingrich has tried to exploit discontent with the high levels of unemployment seen under Obama, highlighting his plan for more jobs. But as illustrated by these three 30 second TV slots, which were shown in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses, there is confusion about who deserves credit for new private sector jobs. In the first spot, from Gingrich’s official campaign, he is quoted saying that jobs are created by the people, not government. The second spot, from a pro-Gingrich Super PAC, tells us that Gingrich created jobs when he was in government. And the third spot, again from Gingrich’s official campaign, explains that ‘we’ can create lots of jobs. Confused? Of course you are. You just vote for policies; you do not dream them up.

One Response

  1. Eric,

    I was searching for a good picture on the theme of Revenue Assurance using Google Image Search and found Newt\\\’s picture being posted. I was curious about the association till I clicked and found your site.

    And I write this the day after Newt had his big victory in South Carolina.

    I think you’re right to perceive that the only thing consistent about the candidates is that they consistently flip flop.

    Newt probably hated to attack Mitt Romney on his Bain Capital experience. But he figured the end justified the means because Romney’s proxies attacked Gingrich in a very personal way in an ad campaign during the New Hampshire battle. It was payback time, and this time the tactic succeeded.

    I believe libertarianism is a powerful political philosophy — less government intrusion and self-reliance. People who oppose Ron Paul say his newsletter supported some fairly racist columns written by somebody else 20 years when he was a publisher. I have not investigated that, but I find it curious that this \\"racist stain\\" is the only thing opponents are harping on.

    People forget the racism that occurred when Justice Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court 20 years ago. So there\\\’s a lot of distasteful guilt by accusation that goes on in American politics. Herman Cain got treated the same way, although the personal attack made it easier for him to bail out when his ignorance of Libya exposed his foreign affairs weakness.

    So those are three and a half thoughts. . . .

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