NY Times' Editorial on Unemployment Unintentionally Condemns Liberalism

“That government is best which governs least," or so Henry David Thoreau believed, at least. Apparently though, Mr. Thoreau would have been at odds with today’s editorial board at the New York Times, for they managed to find a dark cloud amidst the silver lining of the improving November unemployment numbers that only true statists (and also those hopelessly afflicted by self-flagellating "white guilt" that is the hallmark of the left) could divine.

The Times points out that, although 120,000 jobs were created last month bringing national unemployed down by .4% overall, some 20,000 government jobs were sacrificed at the altar of increasing state, county and city budgetary woes. It was the largest drop for any sector of the economy.

To a leftist, for whom the state is ultimate arbiter of economic, moral and social policy, this represents a “troubling trend that’s been building for years.” The Times goes on to lament: “Those layoffs mean a lower quality of life when there are fewer teachers, pothole repair crews and nurses.” It's said as though these decisions are made in a vacuum that has nothing to do with the shrinking revenue base unable to match increased spending -- spending usually carried out by detached bureaucrats whose job it is to walk into their office each morning, snap open their briefcase and proceed to spend other people’s money. Yes, layoffs always hurt. I would rather have three cops walk my street than two. I’d rather have two firehouses than one within a mile of my home. As for teachers, that depends on who's at the blackboard.

The problem for statists is, as my own Governor Christie will tell you, there are a finite amount of dollars available to one crafting a budget. States, counties, and cities cannot print their own currency to keep the money flowing, and issuing bonds merely shifts the burden to the next generation while piling on even more debt making the inevitable day of reckoning that much more severe. The federal government, now drowning in $15 trillion of its own mismanaged debt, can no longer extend the lifeline that has served as a substitute for local fiscal discipline. As with other aspects of left-wing big government/low growth models now collapsing under the uncompromising weight of mathematics, what these employment figures show is that the great reset to where 2+2=4 again is now impacting the statehouse and courthouse as well as the White House.

To those who view government not as the solution to but the cause of many of today’s budgetary calamities, its shrinking payrolls represent a step in the right direction towards much-needed fiscal discipline. The -20,000 figure, especially when juxtaposed against a growing private sector and shrinking unemployment overall, is a welcome trend in what I would call a shift of hiring bias in favor of efficiency and productivity.

Of course, I am also a racist for cheering on the shrinking of what is clearly a bloated and inefficient government in favor of the private sector. Why? Well, according to the elitist liberal editors of the New York Times, who with self-righteous hauteur consider themselves as the protectors of helpless black and Hispanic races unable to look after themselves, “millions of African-Americans — one in five who are employed — have entered the middle class through government employment, and they tend to make 25 percent more than other black workers.” They go on to worry that:
“The effect is severe, destabilizing black neighborhoods and making it harder for young people to replicate their parents’ climb up the economic ladder.” They then offer up the obligatory academic support: “The reliance on these jobs has provided African-Americans a path upward,” said Robert Zieger, an emeritus professor of history at the University of Florida. “But it is also a vulnerability.”

I am by no means dismissing the very real pain of job loss these statistics imply, but the professor is right. It is indeed a vulnerability. It means that, once again, thanks to their modern masters on the far left, black and now many Hispanic Americans have been placed in a position whereby much of their financial security comes not from themselves but rather the State on high, if not in the form of outright welfare, then in the form of a government paycheck. But naturally, the liberal elites do not blame themselves for this dependency that leaves their wards exposed to devastating layoffs when the inevitable austerity measures waiting for them at the end of the quasi-socialist rainbow commence.

So in their world where noble intentions are all that matter, no matter how much harm they end up doing the very people they claim to want to help, who then is to blame? You guessed it. Republicans.

“Many Republicans, however, don’t regard government jobs as actual jobs, and are eager to see them disappear.” Though many of these jobs are vital services, as anyone who has walked in a DMV or Post Office can attest, they are not all essential. Furthermore, they do not contribute to economic growth in the same way a private worker does simply because they do not earn their incomes from the fruits of wealth creation; rather, their incomes are derived from the extraction of taxes from wealth created by others. If I make one dollar and pay you fifty cents, it doesn’t alter the fact that only one dollar has been created. If a friend and I each make a dollar and we each give you fifty cents, two dollars have still been created, not three, and so on -- Keynesian howls from frumpy, bearded Princeton Nobel laureates to the contrary notwithstanding. So in that respect, Republicans (and I suspect many Democrats who must also own calculators) are correct.

The Times editors of course do not find mathematics at the heart of the GOP’s satisfaction over the shrinking government rolls, but rather a sinister political calculation that targets, what else, race:
“Republican governors around the Midwest have aggressively tried to break the power of public unions while slashing their work forces, and Congressional Republicans have proposed paying for a payroll tax cut by reducing federal employment rolls by 10 percent through attrition. That’s 200,000 jobs, many of which would be filled by blacks and Hispanics and others who tend to vote Democratic, and thus are considered politically superfluous.” [My emphasis added]

But then I must ask the Times: Does this then mean there is a flip-side by which Democrats intentionally keep bloated governments afloat (often by increasing taxes on the private sector) in order to pacify with government jobs those same minorities whose votes they consider essential to their maintaining power? Assuming even the Times was correct in its take on GOP motives, then it must be assumed that the motive of the Democrats is to keep minorities employed in large swaths of a wasteful and bloated government labor force just to keep their own political machines running, correct? Or are left-wing politicians just more noble creatures than the rest?

What the Times fails to see is that their own editorial is as much a condemnation of liberalism as the conservatism that seeks to unravel it — and also has the brazenness to celebrate a shift of employment from the wealth-redistributing government to the wealth-creating private sector. By proffering the bogus notion that the necessary shrinking of government payrolls is tantamount to a racist assault on the black and Hispanic communities, liberal elites refuse to look themselves in the mirror and ask what party and power group is most responsible for putting minorities in such a position of dependency on the government paycheck to begin with. So long as there are votes to be bought, neither the Democratic machine nor the Times editors who protect it will never question whether it is a good thing that such a large segment of blacks and Hispanics are now so “vulnerable” to the unavoidable hammer of mathematics coming down hard upon a state-centered system upon which so many depend for their very livelihoods… no matter how many votes it means for them in the next election cycle.


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