Archive for Milton Friedman

Spoons Instead of Shovels

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 22, 2011 by conservativewerewolf

Or, Our President Doesn’t Know Shit About Job Creation.

Hint, Mr. President: Job creation isn’t your job.  For real.  So stop bitching about ATMs.

Russell Roberts writes in the Wall Street Journal Online:

“The story goes that Milton Friedman was once taken to see a massive government project somewhere in Asia. Thousands of workers using shovels were building a canal. Friedman was puzzled. Why weren’t there any excavators or any mechanized earth-moving equipment? A government official explained that using shovels created more jobs. Friedman’s response: ‘Then why not use spoons instead of shovels?’

“That story came to mind last week when President Obama linked technology to job losses. ‘There are some structural issues with our economy where a lot of businesses have learned to become much more efficient with a lot fewer workers,’ he said. ‘You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM, you don’t go to a bank teller, or you go to the airport and you’re using a kiosk instead of checking in at the gate.’

“The president calls this a structural issue—we usually call it progress.”

Conservative Werewolf recommends you read the entire WSJ article because it’s awesome.  Especially this part:

“But should we call this progress? In a sense it sounds like a deal with the devil. Replace workers with machines in the name of lower costs. Profits rise. Repeat. It’s a wonder unemployment is only 9.1%. Shouldn’t the economy put people ahead of profits?

“Well, it does. The savings from higher productivity don’t just go to the owners of the textile factory or the mega hen house who now have lower costs of doing business. Lower costs don’t always mean higher profits. Or not for long. Those lower costs lead to lower prices as businesses compete with each other to appeal to consumers.

“The result is a higher standard of living for consumers. The average worker has to work fewer and fewer hours to earn enough money to buy a dozen eggs or a pair of shoes or a flat-screen TV or a new car that’s safer and gets better mileage than the cars of yesteryear. That higher standard of living comes from technology. It isn’t just the rich who get cheaper TVs and cars, plus the convenience of using an ATM at midnight.”

Hey, by the way, where do most new jobs come from?  Small businesses.  Probably NEW businesses, since most businesses start out small, yes?  Then, if they do well, they grow, so more people are hired.

So, the next time you hear some stupid unwashed lazy-ass hippie-type sociology major say that we need to “end our addiction to economic growth” (need to find the vid of that stupid kid saying just that), go ahead and tell the idiot that not having a job might be fine with him, but people who like to live in houses and buy food (and not sleep off their hangovers in parent-funded dorm rooms) need jobs.

And yes, Conservative Werewolf can smell you stupid hippies coming a mile away.  Sheesh, I’m not even all human and I bathe more often than these people.

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Dead White Human Made Sense

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on June 21, 2011 by conservativewerewolf

So spoke Uncle Milty: