I didn’t get to watch the AFL-CIO-hosted Democratic debate the other night, but from the reports, looks like I didn’t miss much. Greg Mankiw, however, points us to this extremely useful–and rather entertaining–post by James Pethokoukis at Capital Commerce detailing the loopy economic ideas that popped up at the debate. For instance:
2 ) “For every $1 billion we spend [on infrastructure], 40,000 jobs can be created in the United States of America.” — Sen. Christopher Dodd. I have no doubt that jobs can be created through government spending. But those billions must be taken from the private sector. Will those billions be used more wisely and efficiently and productively by federal bureaucrats than by private managers? If so, maybe the feds should guarantee a job for everyone who wants one. Using the Dodd formula, it would cost a mere $175 billion a year to employ all 7 million unemployed Americans.
Pethokoukis is being sarcastic, but I almost wonder if there aren’t a few liberal dreamers out there who might subscribe to such an idea. After all, it’s not too big a leap from a "living wage" to a guaranteed job. Hooray for fantasy economics!