This weekend This American Life ran a story from the Planet Money team exploding the economic development myths about job creation. Yes, the tax subsidy crew in the US is busy handing out tax breaks to their cronies who don’t actually create net new jobs, they just move them around, and yes, frequently when they actually do help start-ups that do create new jobs those jobs don’t go to High School dropouts and High School grads without other training.
BUT, there is a whole toolbox of things that government can do to address jobs – there’s a whole raft of fiscal and monetary interventions that have a serious impact on the national employment rate. Yet TAL conveniently ignored these public policy interventions. The result? The listener is left thinking that there’s nothing government can do, feeding cyncism and despair.
Good job Planet Money.