On June 6 The Signal published a column by Josh Heath entitled “The progressive case for ending welfare” in which he advocated what is essentially a “working welfare” government program modeled after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs of the Great Depression.
As Heath wrote: “These jobs would be modeled after what President Franklin Roosevelt had Americans doing during the Great Depression: Building roads, schools and post offices; beautifying communities; teaching students; making art.”
Unfortunately, I think he overlooked a major flaw in his proposal.
You can’t really “create” those jobs because they already exist in our government work force. If there’s something that needs to be done – such as his examples of building roads, schools, teaching, whatever – there is already someone doing it, as those things already exist as government programs or through bureaucracies.
So you can’t create “new” jobs; all you end up really doing is replacing the current workers, many of whom are private-sector contractors, with “working welfare” employees.
The country’s economic model pre-FDR was fundamentally different from today’s. The government had a much smaller role, so FDR was able to create jobs out of pretty much thin air – though the long-term economic benefit to the country has been doubtful at best – and ultimately the slack was really taken up by the manpower demands of engaging in World War II.
Since that time, the government has grown into a gargantuan entity with its tentacles woven throughout our economy, the natural result of FDR’s expansionist policies.
So the economic reality of Heath’s proposal would result in major disruption of a significant portion of the work force as current employees – both direct and indirect (such as vendors and contractors) – would be replaced by the “working welfare” employees.
In fact, all you would really do is create an entirely new group of people without jobs, merely shifting the burden from one group of people to another.
Just as the Obamacare promise of solving the problem of the chronically uninsured actually only shifted the demographic from millions of the “poor” to millions of the middle class, Heath’s proposal also would only trade one set of the unemployed for another. It doesn’t actually “solve” anything.
In regard to Gary Horton’s column “America: just another nation?” published on June 7, I have to say it really is a lot of fun watching lefties wail and moan. I want to examine a couple of his complaints.
Okay, NATO. Trump hasn’t withdrawn us from NATO. What he has done is tell our “partners” that they’re finally going to have to pay their actual commitments to their share of the funding, something virtually all of them have been shirking for God knows how long.
What a drag, right? So instead of coasting on our dime and wasting their own money on their social welfare programs, now they’re going to have to pony up. Bummer, I’m sure.
The Paris Accord. That scam that’s so bad that it was never even submitted to the Senate for ratification because it was a sure-fire epic fail there. Yep, Obama had his “phone and pen,” but then, so does Trump. Same phone, same pen. So now we’re out.
That’s a great deal for America. Instead of keeping our cheap and abundant energy resources uselessly in the ground – while China and India charge ahead with their massive coal-fired energy projects and we chase after expensive “green energy” fantasies – we can use those resources to improve our economy and standard of living.
Instead of losing millions of jobs and throwing hundreds of billions of dollars to Third World corruptocracies in a massive international wealth redistribution scheme in which we’re the victims, we can keep those jobs and those monies for our own benefit.
Sounds like a huge win for us.
Gary: “So much leadership and potential trashed, all in 138 days.”
Well, yeah, I know it looks like that … to him. But to me it looks like we’re finally veering away from the socialist highway the lefties had us on. I can sure understand why that upsets so many of them, while a whole lot of us are cheering.
To me it looks like in that same 138 days Trump has actually made a great effort to live up to and fulfill his campaign promises, something I had little confidence he was actually going to do. I’m very impressed!
Brian Baker is a Saugus resident.