THE BLOG

Jobs

04/15/2011 04:22 pm 16:22:21 | Updated Jun 15, 2011

A friend asked me for a concrete example of what I've done to create jobs. My answer:

Government doesn't create jobs. The best it can do is fertilize the field and get out of the way. Entrepreneurial risk takers create new industries no one's ever thought about -- Andrew Carnegie building steel; Bill Gates with a universal software platform. Some claim these geniuses create because this or that tax is at this or that rate. Not so. They create for the same reason fish swim -- that's who they are and what they do. Anyone waiting for government to create jobs is going to wait a long time.

Over the past couple years the federal stimulus package kept a bunch of fine teachers and prison guards buying groceries and paying their mortgage. That was good for them individually and kept the economy from collapsing any more than it did, but it doesn't solve anything long term.

Education is the best fertilizer we've got. Carnegie knew that. After Andrew Mellon created US Steel to buy him out, Carnegie applied the nation's largest fortune to building libraries across the country. After WWII the GI Bill unleashed an unparalleled economic tsunami.

Some economic geniuses grow domestically -- Bill Gates. Some are imported -- Carnegie. Government can't create an economic genius any more than it can create a Mozart. If you want jobs, educate, grow or import some geniuses and get out of the way.