The “Job Creator” Paradox

It was announced today that Seaspan Marine Corp., has been granted a massive $8-billion contract to build navy support vessels and a dubious Arctic “slushbreaker” – terrific news for the company’s stagnant shipyards in Vancouver and Esquimalt where the local workforce is expected to double as a result (not to mention the positive knock-on effect in the respective communities).

But hang on… Government can’t actually “create” jobs! Isn’t that so? Haven’t right-wing ideologues repeatedly told us that only the “free market” is capable of generating “real” jobs? You know, like all the ones being created here.

13 Comments

Filed under Economy

13 responses to “The “Job Creator” Paradox

  1. Rotterdam

    Its a private sector company being awarded a government procurement.
    Navy and coast guard need ships.
    Since this is taxpayer funded, money is taken from taxpayers to fund this.
    It has its limits. Money has to be taken out of the economy to fund this.
    You do too much of this and you become Greece.

  2. So how is this any different than the government funding much-needed infrastructure programs?

  3. Rotterdam

    no difference
    You have to be frugal.
    Infrastructure that will increase economic competitiveness.
    Not subsidizing windmills and solar panels, that force industry and taxpayers to pay exuberant electricity costs.

  4. Rotterdam

    Or building gas powered power plants, then pulling the plug on the half built plant to save a seat in Mississauga.

  5. CWTF

    >>So how is this any different than the government funding much-needed infrastructure programs?<<
    In theory, would infrastructure not benefit most equally? Build roads around Montreal (for example) and any business can take advantage of them.

  6. UU4077

    The right keeps saying that we need to cut back on government spending; austerity. However, the excessive cuts to corporate taxes over the years (especially the last decade) have given governments a revenue shortage. And, the companies that were supposed to create jobs with their lower taxes – they’re currently sitting on over $2 trillion in cash waiting because they don’t want to take a risk. Government, it would appear, does have a role to play.

  7. UU4077

    As an aside, although related, If corporations (in the US) are “persons”, and in the US citizens are taxed on their global income, why not corporations? The reason they currently have over $2 trillion in cash is that it is sitting overseas. If they repatriate it, they would have to pay tax. If they don’t, no tax.

  8. Money has to be taken out of the economy to fund this.

    What a strange claim. At most the government is moving money from one part of the economy to another… or from one economy to another. Money that would have gone to hummers and caviar in Calgary, or starbucks and yoga mats in Toronto is going to at-risk workers and unemployed in Vancouver and Halifax. Once the government takes money it does not disappear. There are arguments about the best use of that money and economists would suggest that the market is best at deciding what its most efficient use is, but it doesn’t vanish.

  9. Rotterdam

    Government is best at building roads, and public transportation. This in turn helps business and people become more productive.
    When government messes up, like Dalton McGuinty (see above), it becomes counterproductive. He has taken money out of the economy for unproductive wasteful purposes.

  10. tofkw

    Yes Rotter… much like how Harper takes money from ozone monitoring in the Arctic, to help pay for prisons we don’t need.

  11. Peter

    You are being a bit simplistic, Red, but you are right that there is a lot of bullshit here. I love the way both industry and government have anthropomorphized “jobs”, as if they had an existence independant of the indiviuals who “fill” them. In times of expansion, both will boast of the number of jobs they “created”, but who ever heard of a CEO or politician describing lay-offs, downsizing or budget cuts as “job destruction”?

  12. Peter: Granted, I’m being simplistic, but so too is the notion advanced by right-wingers and tea-party types that government spending contributes nothing of value to the economy or that whatever “stimulus” it provides is temporary (as opposed to “real”) and somehow comes at the expense of private sector investment.

    The fact of the matter is that we live in a “mixed economy” in which government and private industry are largely interdependent. The antagonism and false dichotomy fostered by extreme radicals of the left and right benefit nobody and serve only to fuel their own blinkered ideological agendas…

  13. Craig Chamberlain

    (They remind me of crack pushers who would be happy to have everyone hooked on what they’re selling but know well enough the harm of taking too much of their own junk.)

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