All jobs are not created equal
University of Wisconsin-Washington County philosophy professor Mark Peterson doesn’t get it. In his recent editorial he blasted yet-to-be Gov. Scott Walker for killing the train that would have connected Milwaukee and Madison, rejecting $800 million of “our money” from the feds and eliminating the potential for 13,000 jobs (9,570 permanent).
At least, Peterson tacitly admitted that the train was a make-work project. He didn’t talk about the few riders who would be spending over $100 a day to ride the train, subsidized by every Jim and Jane in Wisconsin, and perhaps beyond. He didn’t talk about the $3 billion deficit facing Walker and the state, or the $2 trillion federal deficit. No, he is all for spreading the wealth or debt, as it were, no matter what it costs in real, useful jobs.
The classic take-away from the professor’s piece is this, ‘What’s wrong with a make-work project?” and “Do we think the jobs are real only if the business community ... creates them?”
A job is a job, but not all jobs are created equal. Jobs that produce no genuine benefit tend to go away under capitalism – as they should. Not so under socialism. We usually have to add to them.
In the train case, the money is going to other states. It’s too bad all states don’t reject federal exploitation. Perhaps the federal budget could be balanced, and the money could be kept in the states.
Mark takes potshots at corporations that “exported Wisconsin jobs” and won’t pay “wages that once-upona-time created the American Middle Class.” He doesn’t understand that wage rates depend upon what people are willing to pay for products and services. He may as well blame you for not paying more for your Christmas purchases. Government has more responsibility for exporting jobs than do corporations.
Monte Schmiege, West Bend
What's most interesting to me here is that Mr. Schmiege may well be the only person in Washington County who actually addresses me by my professional titles... which is nice, but I think he's being sarcastic, I can't tell.
Regardless, thank you once again Mr. Schmiege for your observations.