I have a friend. Leads a normal suburban life. Good guy. A few weeks ago he opened his door to four, count them four, census workers standing on his stoop flipping out their “badges” posing as if they were law enforcement. They were there, all four of them, to ‘count’ my friend. They even drove a big, black Tahoe (government owned?) like you see on TV crime shows such as Criminal Minds, CSI, etc. This ladies and gentleman is the ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT and JOB CREATION lauded by the President and media last week. So will we ever admit that a vast swath of America is now busy work? Doubtful.
Thinking about this reminds me about a story about Milton Friedman in China. In observing hundreds of Chinese workers clearing land for a new building using shovels, Friedman asked his hosts, “Why are they using shovels? Why not use heavy equipment like an earth-mover?”
The Chinese official said, “If we did that, we’d lose all of those jobs!”
Supposedly Friedman said, “Oh, you’re trying to create jobs! I thought you were trying to build a building. If you want to create jobs, why not take away their shovels and give them spoons?”
That story has been around for a while, but it never gets old.