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Today’s quotable

Friday, Jul 25, 2014

* Wordslinger

Here’s what I’ve come to believe: politicians claim so much credit for the good times, some people believe it. So when the bad times come, people blame them for that.

The poster boy is Daley. He was given an enormous amount of credit, locally and nationally, for economic growth that he had nothing to do with.

Meanwhile, he neglected or screwed up some of his core responsibilities, including fiscal stewardship.

Illinois was booming during most of Blago’s one-and-a-half terms. Does anyone believe that he had anything to do with it? The guy who sat around at home all day in his jogging suits, watching cartoons and dreaming up crooked scores?

North Dakota ain’t booming because of the governor there, whoever it is. Texas ain’t booming because of Rick Perry’s policies. If it was, MIssissippi would be booming, too.

It’s important to hold politicians to their core responsibilities of human services — something we neglect to do when we pretend they’re Big Daddies who can make everyone rich.

Don’t believe the hype of governors, or mayors, when they say they are creating jobs. Consumers create jobs, risk-takers create jobs, and the job of politicians is to do their limited-jobs and get out of the way.

Exactamundo.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


33 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 8:55 am:

    Well said, as usual Wordslinger. You’re one of the reasons I keep coming back to Capitol Fax.


  2. - Roadypig - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 8:55 am:

    Bravo , Wordslinger…


  3. - ah HA - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 8:57 am:

    Hit it right on the Head! could not have said it better myself…


  4. - PoolGuy - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:00 am:

    Truer words were never spoken. this fascination with Governors being responsible for job creation and bringing in businesses, when some of those same people supporting this notion are 100% behind free market capitalism is astounding. I don’t blame Bush personally for the internet or housing bubbles/bursts, but also don’t give him credit for the growth in between either.

    and now Governors issue press releases all the time to take credit for jobs and business attraction, solidifying the belief.


  5. - Apocolypse Now - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:00 am:

    So, the voters must be at fault for believing these guys.


  6. - downstate hack - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:03 am:

    Great Theme. All the more reason to limit government to only essential services


  7. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:05 am:

    I would say I mostly agree,

    lets not forget War; Wars tend to drive economic booms, and politicians do start wars :)


  8. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:05 am:

    Bravo!


  9. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:08 am:

    ===Wars tend to drive economic booms, and politicians do start wars :)===

    Just one more reason why I’ve been arguing for a “limited” incursion into Missouri to snag its casinos, universities and nightlife. Then, on to Madison!

    /snark


  10. - Touree's Latte - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:09 am:

    *Like*


  11. - Bill White - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:12 am:

    === Don’t believe the hype of governors, or mayors, when they say they are creating jobs. ===

    Also, don’t believe the hype of hedge fund managers when they say they are the job creators. An appropriate level of taxation simply is necessary if we are to accomplish this:

    === It’s important to hold politicians to their core responsibilities of human services — something we neglect to do when we pretend they’re Big Daddies who can make everyone rich. ===


  12. - phocion - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    I’m pretty sure elected officials also are responsible for appropriate investments in infrastructure as well.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:19 am:

    - wordslinger - puts it as it is, like always.

    To the Post,

    When a politician doesn’t take credit for things they have no control over, then you have real news.

    The Rod example? Wow, if the clouds don’t part after reading that, I don’t know what will.


  14. - Illiana - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:24 am:

    First, it is disappointing to me that no one in politics ever talks about the business cycle. The short-term up & downs that we generally talk about are products of the business cycle & yes, public officials have virtually nothing to do with that. When downturns in the business cycle occur, recessions will occur. This is a fact of life no public policy can change.
    That said, public policy does impact how high the highs are & how low the lows are. There is a reason that depressions used to be commonplace & only stopped after the federal government stepped in during FDR’s administration, partly by limiting how much impact one bank could have on the national economy. It is also no coincidence that after regulations limiting an individual bank’s impact went away that we flirted with a new depression for the first time in several decades.

    Second, of course is the impact of fiscal stewardship. Driving up debts genuinely does help an economy short term, while paying down debt is a weight holding an economy back. In the long term, fiscal discipline is needed so that you are not holding back the future of the entity you govern.


  15. - Bill White - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:35 am:

    The core responsibilities are human services public safety and infrastructure.

    And, when the business cycle trends downward, it is the optimal time to build up infrastructure.

    During downturns, interest rates are low and the construction trades are slow - time to build bridges, roads, rail, etc . . .

    During upturns, government spending can be curtailed and deficits reduced.


  16. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:38 am:

    Not to be contrarian because I agree with 95% of what Word wrote here, but government policy has the power to help create and help destroy jobs so what politicians do does matter.

    Let’s take a couple examples from the energy industry. There would be no ethanol industry (not saying it’s a good thing) but for government policy. Same is true for the wind industry (though that’s becoming less so). Same was true for the railroads when they got started, etc. etc.

    Tax policy for better and for worse can help drive industries which create jobs. Some say this is statism and government picking winners and losers, but it does have real impact on private employers who respond to government policy.

    Now clearly that’s not the biggest impact on the economy, but it does have effects around the margins.


  17. - Aldyth - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    Brilliantly stated, Wordslinger. I’m going to share this link.


  18. - From the 'Dale to HP - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    BUT THE TRIBUNE EDITORIAL BOARD SAID…

    But seriously, this nails it.


  19. - RNUG - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    Bravo! worsslinger


  20. - x ace - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    sign me up for the “incursion” and “limit” me to Operation Party Cove


  21. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    Only one addition to this very smart essay: Politicians can ‘get the hell out of the way’. That might be their best contribution to the economy.


  22. - Nieva - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    I have a group waiting at the Chester Bridge for you orders Rich. We have a small fleet of pontoons ready for the crossing if needed and several cases of cold beverage to bribe the border guards.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    ===Politicians can ‘get the hell out of the way’. That might be their best contribution to the economy.===

    I think you just missed the whole point;

    ===Here’s what I’ve come to believe: politicians claim so much credit for the good times, some people believe it. So when the bad times come, people blame them for that.===


  24. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    No Wilbur, I think it’s you who’ve missed the point. Perhaps they can get out of the way in both instances and simply do what they’re supposed to do.


  25. - Give Me A Break - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    Rich: My wife stands ready to lead the occupation of the new Outlet Malls in STL. She awaits your orders.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    Just don’t call me Bill, only my Mom calls me Bill.


  27. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    Not to worry. I was channeling Mr. Ed, not your mom.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    So you’re a horse? I won’t guess which end.

    To the Post,

    ===It’s important to hold politicians to their core responsibilities of human services — something we neglect to do when we pretend they’re Big Daddies who can make everyone rich.===

    Government has a role, I like very much - wordslinger -’s point here. It’s not big government boogey-men, or no government anywhere. There is a core responsibility, we need to be reminded of that part too.


  29. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    There is much truth in what @Wordslinger says. Political figures do not “create” jobs.

    But there is also much truth in what @Chicago Cynic says. Political figures do establish the regulatory climate and play an important role in fostering economic growth.

    Their decisions determine differences from state-to-state in minimum wage and labor costs; infrastructure; environmental protection and land use; regulation of labor markets and the workplace, as well as worker’s comp costs and unionization rules; energy production, distribution, conservation, availability and cost; freight transport rates and routes; educational opportunities and skilled labor in the workforce; tax rates; and incentives.

    These differences help determine everything from site selection for a new business to growth or expansion for an existing business and current employees.

    The two are intricately related. Is that incorrect?


  30. - A guy... - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    == Oswego Willy - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    So you’re a horse? I won’t guess which end.===

    How clever and perceptive. Go ahead and kiss the end that comes into your mind first.


  31. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    hmmm if we take missouri will DOT be in charge of six flags…….


  32. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    FKA, that’s exactly right. Word is correct that politicians take too much credit when the economy goes well and too much blame when it doesn’t, but they clearly have more responsibility than Word suggests.


  33. - CapnCrunch - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    “Consumers create jobs, risk-takers create jobs, and the job of politicians is to do their limited-jobs and get out of the way.”

    He’s spot on there. But the interpretation of the following words probably provides the basis for much political disagreement.

    “It’s important to hold politicians to their core responsibilities of human services……..”


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