“What is Seen and What is Unseen: Government “Job Creation”” de Larissa Price na edição Julho/Agosto da Freeman.
Barack Obama says his roughly $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan could save or create between three and four million American jobs by 2010. Many of these proposed jobs—building or repairing roads, bridges, and buildings—recall the New Deal.(…)
Roosevelt is still celebrated for his job-creating measures because the people who gained employment were easily seen. However, what wasn’t (and isn’t) so easily recognized is that to pay for his public-works experiments, the government sucked up much of the available capital by selling bonds and collecting taxes, including a 5 percent withholding tax on corporate dividends and ever-rising income taxes. The top income tax rate hit a staggering 90 percent. Thus the New Deal had the unintended consequence of prolonging the Great Depression by diverting resources that could have been used to create wealth.
Barack Obama and his advisers should take a lesson from history. The New Deal and its public-works projects were a disaster, and it would be remiss to think they should be given another try. As Bastiat explained, government doesn’t create wealth; it only diverts it. When government controls wealth it inevitably tends to serve political ends rather than consumers. FDR’s New Deal policies are a testament to that, and if they are repeated in response to our current economic crisis, it will only hinder the recovery.