Friday, May 28, 2004

Creating Jobs?

This week the Republicans in the State House agreed to increase the cigarette tax by $.75 per pack, but the Senate Republicans are saying that they will not pass the increase unless the Governor agrees to sign their bills to "create jobs."

What I don't get here is how they can claim their "life sciences" corridor program will create jobs. There's a simple concept at work here, and it's this: Government can't spend what it didn't already take from someone else (unless you're the federal government and you can print money, but that fails to create jobs in a different way - a topic for another article another time).

Taxes take money out of the pockets of people who would otherwise spend that money or save it - ultimately being utilized in the most economically efficient way to provide a service or product. However, the Senate Republicans think that taking that money and spending it on a life sciences corridor is a better use of that money. Ultimately, it is the same money, but it's being spent as the politicians see fit, not the individuals interacting in a free market.

So, in the end, this doesn't create jobs at all, it simply shifts money from a economically efficient sector to one that isn't - evidenced by the fact that these jobs wouldn't exist without the politicians' special favors and pet projects.

But, to top it off, the cigarette tax will ultimately increase black market activity, as discussed in a previous article on this site.

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