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As I See It

Do politicians really create jobs?



Politicians like to take credit for creating jobs. But how many jobs do they really create? Not nearly as many as they claim. There is little scientific evidence of how many jobs government actually create. Some economists suggest governors are only responsible for about five to ten percent of the changes in employment numbers over their term in office. They point out that most of the things that affect a state’s economy are beyond a governor’s control. That didn’t stop Governor Scott Walker from famously promising to create 250,000 new jobs during his first term. He fell well short, and there is no evidence of how many of those jobs were created based on the governor’s policies. Often, efforts to create jobs fall flat. Consider the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, which uses tax dollars to encourage businesses to expand or relocate to Wisconsin. We know how that turned out. WEDC failed to keep track of loans, gave money to companies which didn’t qualify for state help or who lied on their applications. That was hardly a good use of our tax dollars. No matter what our politicians tell us about how good they are at creating jobs, many other factors have a much more significant influence on how many jobs exist at any given time.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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