Who Are The Real Job Creators?

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So just who are the real job creators? The answer to that might surprise you, but first things first.

Contemporary usage has twisted the meaning of the term “job creator” into a full-fledged misnomer; there really is no such thing. You see, in a literal sense, jobs are not created. Unlike productive people who actually create things, it’s absurd to think of a so-called “job creator” sitting down at his desk somewhere, scheming how to best create jobs by hiring people. Besides putting the proverbial cart before the horse, it just doesn’t happen that way in the real world.

For a few years now, the mainstream media have been bloviating non-stop about unemployment and “job creation,” and I’ve wanted to illustrate how nonsensical and overused this grade-school bromide has become. Because of the general public’s preference for simple-minded language and easy-to-understand answers to complicated economic issues, the term is just one of many that have been reshaped into Orwellian doubletalk, especially by politicians. Naturally, most con artists prefer to use these “tools of the trade” to help keep their constituents confused, bewildered and dumbed down. But it’s even worse than that. I often hear many free-market advocates using these same mind-numbing clichés when arguing their case.

Lately, politicians and media pundits have been fostering a storybook fantasy about how some very smart people (George Soros/Warren Buffett types come to mind) are feverishly working around the clock, stamping out newly created job schemes designed to help out the needy, downtrodden masses. And amazingly, many of the economically naïve seem to buy into this notion. Obviously, it’s pure crap.

Most people understand that government doesn’t “create jobs” in the private sector… and that goes for businesses, too. What’s that? You heard me: Private enterprises don’t “create jobs” either. In a free country the “market” creates jobs. Therefore, and contrary to modern-day Keynesian claptrap, the act of hiring someone does not qualify you as “job creator.” Employing people, whether briefly or for the long term, is simply a means to an end and a way of satisfying your desire and the market’s demand for more labor. Jobs readily come into existence if there is demand for them by those who need them. So we finally have the answer to just who the “real job-creator” is. It’s Adam Smith’s “invisible hand.”

Now, if you still feel the need to bestow the title of “job creator” on somebody, then it should go to those who seldom get recognized or even care: customers. Do you ever wonder why you hear businesspeople say things like “the customer is always right,” “our customers come first” or “the customer is king”? “Customers” (aka “consumers” — another co-opted and overused cliché) are the real driving force behind the demand and need for additional workers. Hence, it’s more appropriate to give them credit. And if you concede that point, then you have to admit that everyone’s a job creator: you, me and the kid next door, for that matter (he likes stuff, too). But don’t look for a headline in next month’s issue of TIME or Newsweek announcing “We’re all Job Creators Now!” (though that’s not a terrible idea).

One of the many false and idiotic portrayals put forth by liberals is that businesses’ main concern should be some societal obligation and responsibility to hire employees — the more, the better — for the good of all. Business owners certainly provide an atmosphere that allows the employment process to occur; so, yes, they deserve some credit. But they never hire anyone based on benevolent ideals or a fiduciary duty to do so. Unfortunately, many businesspeople help perpetuate this lunacy by saying things like, “Look, I have a business; I’m a job creator.” Nonsense! You might as well call your local news reporter next time you need your lawn mowed: “Quick, come to my house and watch me create a job; I’m hiring my neighbor’s kid.” Statements like these show economic ignorance and a shameful penchant for public pandering. Like most human endeavors, employers hire people for one prominent reason: They benefit from it.

Some may now be asking the inevitable question, “Can’t government help the employment situation by passing new laws?” The answer to that is an emphatic “no.” Despite its supposed good intentions, government should not try to artificially force the unemployment rate down because every action it takes only interferes and disrupts the economy, thereby increasing unemployment. The right thing for government to do is simply get the heck out of the way. Repealing all of its job-killing legislation enacted over the years is the only real positive action it can take, and for me that starts with the repeal of the Wagner Act of 1935.

Finally, please do yourself a favor and quit using those phony convoluted terms created by liberals, statists and lowlifes in the MSM. It only gives them the home-field advantage.

Stephan Foli

Special To Personal Liberty

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