Of course it can. But that’s the wrong question.

The main thing is to remember that there are two kinds of jobs, productive jobs and parasitic jobs.

A productive job is one that produces more wealth than it consumes. Let’s look at George Orwells’ famous Animal Farm. Most of the animals had productive jobs. The other animals were better off having the cow on the farm, because although she ate up grass, she gave them milk in return. The dog ate up stuff, but he warned the other animals of intruders. The dog and the cow had productive jobs. Everyone was happy to give them food [= a paycheck], because they felt they were getting something more valuable in return.

Then there were the pigs. All they did was eat. That’s it. They did not produce anything that the other animals wanted. They had parasitic jobs. Stock the farm with enough pigs, and eventually all the animals will starve to death. The pigs will eat all the existing food, and there will be no new food.

Now in a human economy, you can have a job that is partly productive and partly parasitic. This would be akin to an animal that ate a mountain of food, and in return produced a mere molehill of things the other animals wanted. Since the net result was that the animals were worse off having that animal around eating their food, its job may be called net parasitic.

Now of course, the person actually getting the job certainly benefits, [at least in the short term], even if his job is parasitic. The pigs were really living it up on that farm. The question is, what about the country as a whole? Does it benefit from parasitic jobs? Of course not. A parasitic job is a drain on the economy.

We need look no further than Greece to see this. The Greeks all have parasitic jobs. They don’t produce anything, but are paid very well. Naturally, they had to borrow money from outsiders to keep that animal farm going, because they were not making enough stuff to support themselves. From there it was only a question of time until people wised up and stopped lending them money, in fact insisting on getting paid back what they had already lent. When the Greeks responded by laughing in their faces, we have the current crisis.

OK, now the question becomes, given that the govt can create jobs, are those jobs going to be productive jobs or parasitic jobs?

To be continued, hopefully, but the short answer is, of course they will be parasitic jobs. That’s what political parties are there for, to provide parasitic jobs [=fat checks and no work] to their members and supporters.

EDIT: Second part here: Productive Jobs and Parasitic Jobs.

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