A few weeks ago I stumbled across a weird political stunt which ended up backfiring on the Labor party in WA. They set up a fake Twitter account that looked like it was run by state opposition leader Mike Nahan, and linked to a "Meet Mike" url, which was loaded with Labor's own propaganda.
However, what made me take umbrage was the argument made by Labor that Nahan wanted to destroy 10,000 jobs by cancelling Metronet. The implication here is that the government spending actually creates jobs.
What gets completely lost on these folks with their misdirected sense of self importance is that in order to create these 10,000 jobs they had to destroy at least that many jobs already.
How? you ask.
The government doesn't create wealth except through taking it from me and you. And when they take my money, I can't afford to pay someone to mow my lawns, fix my car, or build me a new computer.
Every time I go shopping, one eleventh of the bill goes straight to the government, (GST), reducing my ability to do as much shopping as I otherwise would like.
Because I have to pay so much tax I can't afford to employ more people in my business. I can't afford to invest in new projects. I can't afford to go on a holiday in WA with my family.
The nerve of politicians bragging about "creating jobs" with the very money they just took from me under threat of violence is galling.
If Metronet, or any other public spending project, warrants the investment, then fine... argue the case for its existence.
But don't pretend you're "creating jobs" when the very people who are funding those jobs, had they not had to pay such high amounts of rates, rego, stamp duty, income tax, GST, and more... would have created the same number of, if not more, jobs in our economy. And we would be creating the jobs that the market actually demanded.
Building infrastructure just because you think you're "creating jobs" is how we get left with school facilities that aren't needed, roads that no-one uses, and overpasses that are just expensive ornaments. If people had kept their money and spent it on what they personally thought was good value, jobs that were actually wanted might have been created.
The next time your local parliamentary member starts bragging to you about all the jobs they create, remind them of all the jobs they destroyed in the process by taxing you so heavily.