I nearly choked on my coffee when I was telephone canvassed by the Boris campaign last week. The enthusiastic canvasser promised me that “If elected, Boris will create 200,000 new jobs over the next four years”. Now I happen to believe in the free market economy; that is, the private sector. State jobs are bogus. They are paid for by the private sector which can therefore invest less. As the state is less efficient it always results in a net loss of jobs.
Was Boris going to employ another 200,000 civil servants? The girl on the other side of the phone also assured me that Boris had put an extra 1,000 police officers on the beat. Well, I can live with that. Was he proposing to add another 200,000 police? Even if they were to be kept busy enforcing the Coalition’s planned ban on raunchy pop videos, the planned fat tax, or plain packaging for cigarettes, it seemed a high number. The planned massive increase in internet surveillance will be done electronically. So how was Boris going to do it?
The Back Boris 2012 website enlightened me. Sadly virtually every single job proposed to be created is of the statist variety. As in: private sector pays tax and therefore loses jobs; government spends the tax on creating jobs. As always when the state “creates” jobs, bureaucracy, failed planning, inefficiency and non-existence of individual financial responsibility will result in eye-watering amounts of taxpayers’ money going down the drain. When government acts the side effects become the main effect. There is always a net loss of jobs, as state investment is not as efficient as private sector investment. When the state grows the dole queue grows more.
Let us look at some of the job “creating” schemes proposed. Building 55,000 affordable homes would create 100,000 new jobs. At 18%, England has more social housing than France, and three times as many as Germany. If taxes were lower, more people would build or buy their own house, resulting in just as many, if not more jobs.
The tube upgrades would create 18,275 jobs paid for by taxpayers’ money. God knows that the tube needs upgrades. However, it is likely that it would cost a great deal less if the tube was run privately. That would allow for a tax cut, which in turn would allow the private sector to create more jobs and wealth.
The Royal Docks Enterprise zone: 1,500 jobs. Why should politicians single out specific politically advantageous zones to benefit from free market economics? The whole of the UK should be an enterprise zone. Those who wish to remain over-planned, over-regulated, and over-taxed could elect to form Special Bureaucracy Zones.
The European Regional Development Fund would “create” 2,300 jobs with taxpayers’ money. The ERDF is Europe’s vehicle to support failure. Instead of tackling failing economies by liberating them from state interference, subsidies are thrown at them. When that is done by Europe the link with job destroying taxes is completely invisible. We should refuse to take ERDF money. We should refuse to finance the ERDF altogether.
There is perhaps little risk of freedom lovers supporting Red Ken instead. But who came up with state job creation as part of Boris’s Manifesto? Is there a mole?