I heard a caller on a national talk radio show try to explain how the Government can claim to have “saved” a job. The caller had a good idea, but both he and the host missed the salient point – let me explain.
The caller wanted to compare the administration to a doctor, and it can be argued that a doctor “gets credit” for saving a life without the patient having to die first. Ok, fair enough. So, according to the caller, can the administration claim to have saved a job without someone having to lose their job first. Sounds reasonable, so what’s the problem? The problem is that his doctor example is too small – you need to expand the story to see the difference.
The whole story is a person comes to the ER, describes their symptoms, sees a doctor, the doctor diagnoses the problem, prescribes medication/treatment and the patient is either “saved” or dies.
For the Doctor/Administration analogy to “work,” the soon-to-be-jobless worker would need to identify themselves as such, petition the government for assistance, get the assistance, and as a result of that assistance keep their job… But that isn’t what happens.
There is no “soon to be unemployed” register to tally the jobs that may be lost – only those that are actually lost. So where do the numbers the Government throws around come from?
They make them up.
Absent a register of “at risk” jobs the government simply tallies up the money it spent in a given industry (say, road construction) then divide the total by an industry-specific “average salary,” and the resulting number is considered the number of “saved jobs.” That is, if they want to base their number in reality. Very few in the administration seem to feel the need to even do that minimal amount of justification, instead they seem to simply divide the total cost of a bill by, say, $50,000 to arrive at a plausible number.
Ask yourself this question – why can’t the administration claim to have “saved” every remaining job in America each month? Sounds crazy? All such an extreme claim requires is the public to believe that every job is at risk. If we hold the Government responsible for every job lost, it is a small intellectual leap to crediting the Government with every retained job.
Real Clear Politics: “View” Host Hasselbeck To Obama: What Is A Saved Job?