Is All Job Creation Good?

As the USA seeks to recover from its recession and to add jobs to a contracting economy, many political and civic leaders have invested energy and resources in an effort to develop jobs. Cities offer incentives to businesses to hire and to bring jobs. State and federal agencies offer incentives to preserve and increase jobs. It is pretty clear that if we can solve the unemployment problems facing the USA, we will go a long way toward solving our economic problems as a whole.

The types of jobs that we should be creating, however, can be the subject of much debate. For example, several states are considering various forms of legalized gambling. The various Native American tribes that have opened casinos over the past several years have seen a huge increase in revenue and a huge improvement in their collective standard of living. Proponents of organized gambling argue that legalization of casinos would have the same effect in the urban areas that attract them. As one who lives in Central Florida, I would love to see that theory tested by adding casinos to downtown Orlando, an area that is in great need of investment by business.

You may agree with me or disagree with me with respect to legalized gambling. Perhaps you or someone you love has a problem with gambling addiction and you would rather not see opportunities for gambling increased. Perhaps you are morally opposed to gambling. Perhaps you worry about the ancillary vices that might accompany the liberalization of gambling laws. Perhaps you even disagree with the notion that legalized gambling will create jobs and improve local economies.

Perhaps your points are valid.

My point is not to debate the merits of the liberalization of gambling laws but to ask you to consider whether all job creation is truly good for our economy? If we open up vast areas of Alaska and undersea sites in the Gulf of Mexico to oil companies, we will generate jobs, cut our dependence on foreign oil and pump a lot of corporate dollars into our economy. We will also destroy vast areas of pristine wilderness. Is it worth it?

I am sure you can think of plenty of other examples of decisions that can be made to improve our economy but at the expense of our morality, or our environment, or our sense of place or any number of other valuable ideals. When you read about initiatives to create jobs, do you also think about the ramifications of those initiatives on other aspects of our way of life? Do you take the time to form an informed opinion, or do you just voice agreement with the notion that anything we can do to get Americans back to work should be done?

Where does economic necessity trump moral initiative? Where do you draw the line when you are considering which political initiatives you want to support and which you want to see defeated?

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7 Responses to Is All Job Creation Good?

  1. snshijuptr says:

    One that immediately jumps to my mind is the legalization of marijuana. This would generate millions in tax dollars (b/c why not tax it like cigarettes?) And would drive drug dealers out of business…at least out of the pot business.

    I think about this a lot as DH’s school has a ridiculously high usage rate (Mexican immigrant ghetto). He pointed out to these students that the legalization and taxation of marijuana would put dealers out of business and he shattered their job dreams.These students might just turn to some other drug of choice for use and sale…or not.

    Anyway its hard to run What If scenarios. The world is too chaotic. That’s why these bailouts don’t work half the time. Its hard to see the consequences of our actions.

  2. Doug says:

    I’m all in favor of legalized gambling. After all, it’s a voluntary tax paid by people who can’t do math.

  3. Cristi Smith says:

    I believe that what myself or anyone else does with their money is their business. So yes, I agree with legalizing gambling and marijauna. I don’t smoke at all but I do gamble from time to time. I guess my other concern is where will they stop at what they decide is illegal and what is not?

  4. Ann says:

    Legalizing gambling or marijuana doesn’t bother me as a taxing choice, but the one thing that’s had me confused from the start was why, instead of some of these bailouts, the government didn’t back to a higher extent fixing our infrastructure. Our roads and bridges and stuff need an awful lot of work and a lot of the people who are looking for work aren’t terribly skilled, so…..

    Maybe it’s naive of me, but it would make sense to, not just go after taxing revenue, but also literally put people to work doing something that needs to be done anyway. Plus, I think it’s really important to not just give people money, but to give them the opportunity to work and possibly learn a trade or new skills.

  5. Louis Russo says:

    Remember the CCC, the PWA and the WPA? All New Deal programs aimed at creating jobs, training workers and repairing the infrastructure. Of course today, the new-cons and the tea partiers would call these more government boondoggles, but the next time you are out on the roads, take a look at the plaques on many highway bridges. Many still sport the initials of the agency that helped build them. Rather than taxing our sins, I would rather see this kind of investment.

  6. teresa says:

    I would greatly discourage anyone from wanting legalized gambling near them, I live near a reservation that has casinos and it creates more problems then it solves. Besides what kind of jobs does this create anyway, part time, low wage, no insurance crappy jobs. Besides until our govt. decides to butt out of everyones business and stops subsidizing low wages the country is going to continue to go down hill. Our govt has created this monster by trying to solve everyones problems and greed is what will bring our country to its knees.

  7. Gail says:

    One of the biggest problems facing this country is not necessarily lack of jobs but lack of educated, motivated people coming down the line into the so called job market. Our schools are constancy churning out uneducated kids who between the schools and the parents have no idea what it is like to work and expend some elbow grease. Eventually all jobs in America will need to be farmed out to other countries as those are the only ones with people will to work to earn a buck. All the young people that should be budding entrepeneurs are lazy with a capital L. How to end this problem is a real difficulty as we have parents that have never been parented themselves so they have no idea how to raise a hard working child because they never were hard working, and the cycle continues.

    I have worked hard my whole life and was apalled at my first job after college (the only one I could find) at Arbys. There were girls there that didn’t even know how to empty the garbage or wipe off a table. Nor did they seem to want to learn. I see today’s kids in those same type fast food places standing around talking while customers are ignored and the dining room is messy, etc. No hussle.

    No I don’t think legalized gambling is the way out. What it will show to you locally is just how much money people have to waste in your area on a daily basis. Either their children are going hungry or all the cries of a recession/depression is just so much talk and not a reality. Gambling adds nothing to a local economy of consequence nor does it provide jobs that will help workers to train for even biggger and better jobs.

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