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Facts Prove: More Government Spending KILLS Jobs!

Tuesday December 20th, 2011   •   Posted by Stephanie Freedman at 12:32pm PST   •  

Today, economist Richard Rahn discusses in his Washington Times op-ed “Government spending jobs myth” the Krugman/Keynesian fallacy that government spending produces jobs:

If additional government spending could create more jobs, it would be expected that over the long run, the socialist or semisocialist economies would have full employment and the smaller-government, developed economies would have higher unemployment. Again, the empirical evidence shows just the opposite. Sweden and Canada are examples of countries that reduced government spending as a percentage of GDP 15 years ago, and as a result, both countries saw increased economic growth and employment.

Government spending grows each year, but what is relevant is whether it is increasing or decreasing as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) and how it relates to the percentage of the adult labor force at work. There is an inverse relationship between increasing the size of government and job creation. This empirical evidence, along with much other evidence, is contrary to the argument made by those calling for more government spending to create jobs. Some who argue for more government spending, such as economist Mark Zandi of Merrill Lynch, use neo-Keynesian models to justify their conclusions—conveniently ignoring the fact that such models almost always have been wrong.

Rahn explains:

What also typically is ignored by the neo-Keynesians is that there is an enormous tax extraction cost for the government to obtain each additional dollar. Estimates of this extraction cost typically run from $1.40 to well over $2.50 of lost output for each dollar the government obtains. In addition, there is vast literature showing how specific government spending programs have little or even negative benefit and, as a result, are actually wealth and job destroyers.

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December 2011