Jag skrev tidigare om USA:s idiotiska straffskatt på kinesiska däck, men lämnade då debatten kring hur oerhört ineffektiva liknande åtgärder är för att behålla arbetstillfällen därhän. The Unbroken Window har dock publicerat ett enkelt överslag på vad åtgärden kan tänkas kosta per arbetstillfälle:
This is $654,720,000 divided by 900, which is 727,466.67 dollars [~5 miljoner kronor] cost per job saved.
Vidare på temat - från Wall Street Journal:
Moore says he’s been supplying the Corps with boots for at least two decades. This year, because he provided safety shoes for work funded by the stimulus package, he said he got a call from the Corps telling him he had to fill out a report for Recovery.gov detailing how he’d used the $889.60, and how many jobs it had helped him to create or save. He later got another call, asking him if he’d finished the report.
“The paperwork was unreal,” said Moore, who added that he tried to figure out how to file the forms online, then gave up and asked his daughter to help.
Paula Moore-Kirby, 42 years old, had less trouble with the Web site, but couldn’t work out how to answer the question about how many jobs her father had created or saved. She couldn’t leave it blank, either, she said. After several calls to a helpline for recipients she came away with the impression that she would hear back if there was a problem with her response, and have a chance to correct it. So with 15 minutes to go before the reporting deadline, she sent in her answer: nine jobs, because her father helped nine members of the Corps to work.
Johan Norberg länkar till en snarlik historia:
Fayetteville National Cemetery in Arkansas used $1,047 in stimulus money to buy a lawn mower to cut the grass. The federal government’s stimulus Web site claims that this lawn mower sale helped save or create 50 jobs.
Och från Boston Globe:
“There were no jobs created. It was just shuffling around of the funds,’’ said Susan Kelly, director of property management for Boston Land Co., which reported retaining 26 jobs with $2.7 million in rental subsidies for its affordable housing developments in Waltham. “It’s hard to figure out if you did the paperwork right. We never asked for this.’’
Och Susan Kelly har självfallet alldeles rätt i sin analys - de pengar som kommit in via skattesedeln har per definition tagits från den fungerande delen av ekonomin, och alltså minskat lönsamheten från de ställen de tagits. Det är Bastiats krossade fönsterruta i all sin glimrande prakt, och det är häpnadsväckande att så många tror på något så uppenbart idiotiskt.
Draget till sin spets finns det en ansenlig andel personer som på fullaste allvar menar att världskrig är positivt för ekonomin - som Paul Krugman:
It took the giant public works project known as World War II — a project that finally silenced the penny pinchers — to bring the Depression to an end.
The lesson from FDR's limited success on the employment front, then, is that you have to be really bold in your job-creation plans. Basically, businesses and consumers are cutting way back on spending, leaving the economy with a huge shortfall in demand, which will lead to a huge fall in employment — unless you stop it. To stop it, however, you have to spend enough to fill the hole left by the private sector's retrenchment.
John Stossel om Bastiats krossade fönsterruta: