Maybe we’re better off with congress on vacation!

Jim,
Thanks for always pushing for common ground. You’re right that while we differ on degree, I think we do generally agree on your points 1, 3, and 4. I’m not sure I agree on #2, because I don’t understand it. The government is a huge part of the economy. Things we decide as a society and culture are worth doing, we do through the government, and that creates jobs. In fact, about 10% of our total work force is paid directly by federal, state, or local governments. And if you add in the jobs that are indirectly government jobs, i.e. all the government contracts (Dick Cheney famously said that his companies never got anything from the government despite the fact that a huge portion of Halliburton’s business was through government contracts, and the company would barely have existed but for the government funding them) the percent is much higher. So actually I think it would be fair to argue–and was certainly true in the New Deal that got us out of the Great Depression–that the government is actually the largest job creator. I hear it repeated often on the right as a near article of faith that the government doesn’t create jobs. And I’ve never been able to figure out what in the world they mean by that. If you understand it, please explain it to me!

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About JP

We're two guys who met in college, in 1980. We've stayed in touch, and like to talk politics, current events, music and religion. JP is nore liberal than Sid, but not in every way. We figure that dialogue stimulates ideas, moderates perspective, and is in general friendly. These are things we need badly in these dangerous times. The blog name is taken from a song by Bruce Cockburn.
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