How you really create jobs

Near zero unemployment in the new oil patch.Near zero unemployment in the new oil patch.

Over at the Free Enterprise blog they have some good examples of the kind of wealth that is created when businesses are allowed to grow from the development of natural resources–mainly today’s shale oil boom.

The boom is not just about jobs in the new oil patch (North Dakota and Texas) but along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border where a specialized type of sand is being mined for use in hydraulic fracturing. According to the article, “sand millionaires” are being created. Then there’s the trucking jobs and the pipe making jobs that ripple out across the American economy.

It is unfortunate that so many in Washington D.C. think they have to work some kind of magic to create jobs or that creating jobs is some kind of Herculean task that only they can do. All they really need to do is just get out of the way. They’re letting the banks get away with murder and regulating the hell out of everybody else. And the results are plain to see.

Ever since the first caveman planted the first wheat crop the formula for creating jobs has been the same. Develop natural resources or create ways to more efficiently develop natural resources. The only reason the shale oil boom has succeeded, I think, is because it came up all of a sudden, too fast for the regulators to strangle it or the politicians to extort it for campaign contributions. 

By comparison, the government created jobs in solar energy and corn ethanol, while making a few of the well connected very rich are making most of the rest of us poorer. Solar energy investments helped bankrupt Spain, and with the drought in the Midwest we are soon going to be faced with a choice between food for our bodies or fuel for our vehicles. Is the EPA going to let the people in the Third World, who rely on U.S. donated corn as a primary staple, starve so we can burn up ethanol that nobody wants in our SUVs?

That’s not only dumb. Its immoral. It doesn’t do much for jobs either.