I had to comment on this before I exploded. From a Washington Post article:
The regulation actually would have cost relatively few mining jobs and would have created nearly as many new jobs on the regulatory side, according to a government report — an example of the frequent distance between Trump’s rhetoric, which many of his supporters wholeheartedly believe, and verifiable facts.
This requires a little setup. The article was about the Trump supporters who attended his rally in Florida this weekend, and how differently they see the world from the media portrayal of the Trump administration. Specifically, here the article was quoting a supporter who’d been disappointed that there hadn’t been more coverage of the law Trump signed rolling back last-minute Obama administration regulations, some of which would have put more coal miners out of work.
So rather than acknowledge the jobs saved, what does WaPo do? It says hey, the government says those regulations would have created almost as many jobs for regulators as it would have cost for coal miners?
Whaaaa? Stop, read that again.
Jobs gained for regulators are being equated to jobs lost for coal miners. In what world do these people live?
Coal miners produce … wait for it … coal — a useful substance that is burned to produce electricity that powers everything from vacuum cleaners to printing presses to hybrid cars, all things that people want.
Regulators produce … still waiting … still waiting … Oh, I remember now, they produce interference for people who are trying to do useful things that other people want.
Is this WaPo, or The Onion? Why don’t we just give everybody a job as a regulator if there’s so much demand for regulation? I’m sure some of those coal miners would be happy to sit in an office eight hours a day. Mining coal is actually hard work. That’ll be great (until the power goes out in the offices).
It reminds me of a Facebook post I saw a while ago that said “California makes technology, Texas makes energy, Iowa makes food, Washington makes it difficult.”
This WaPo sentiment is the same mindset that counts a dollar of government spending as a dollar of GDP just as a dollar of private industry spending — as though a dollar paid to someone providing a good or service by someone who wanted that good or service represents no more value than a dollar earned providing a good or service that someone was compelled to pay for at gunpoint through a tax.
This is the same mindset as the apocryphal(?) Chinese bureaucrat who told Milton Friedman that a canal was being dug with shovels instead of heavy machinery because it “was a jobs project,” as though the value of the canal depended on the amount of labor that went into it. (Friedman purportedly quipped, “then why don’t you give them spoons.”)
This is the same mindset as the guy who thinks the way to grow the economy is to break windows, because it will keep glaziers busy replacing them.
This is why we get Trump.