The thing about jobs,…,

I don’t remember exactly where I came across this quote:

“Why is it that people love jobs, but hate the people that provide them?”

Of course, it’s not really a question, as such, more like an observation of the ‘dirty word’ status of business itself. It seems particularly salient at the moment.┬áBusiness has seemingly become an underhanded, asocial or reprehensible activity. Especially if you’re inclined to say anything positive about a large corporation (with the possible exception of Apple Computer Company), you’re clearly a right wing conservative toady.

Well, I’m more towards the conservative side of the ledger, at least as far as economics is concerned anyway, and I find it hard to imagine a healthy economy that not only provides adequate levels of employment and opportunity, but also a substantial tax base for the funding of the generous social safety net we’ve apparently come to demand as part of our societal “rights”, without a reasonably welcoming climate for business itself.

If you accept the Globe and Mail’s numbers, the public sector in Ontario consists of 1.1 million employees. Yup, these folks are all “taxpayers”, but they’re paying taxes out of taxed government receipts, not actual wealth created though commercial activity.

Governments create no wealth (except maybe for the substantial legions of the $100,000+ salary club of public sector workers). People who run businesses not only create wealth and provide employment but also pay 100% of the salaries for that nicely situated 1.1 million.

Next time a political leader plays Santa Claus by adding another statutory holiday or instituting another payroll obligation on the private sector, keep in mind that’s another step we’re taking in the direction that a number of private sector – averse economies have travelled – think Greece and Northern Ireland as just two recent examples. When pretty much everyone is working for the government, there’s no one left to pay the actual wages.

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