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Feds' Best Jobs Bet

Author: Amity Shlaes, Former Hayek Senior Fellow for Political Economy
September 8, 2011
New York Post


No doubt, President Obama will call for stimulus when he talks about job creation in his speech tonight. Since many of us by now recoil at the word, perhaps it helps to ask: Which Obama stimulus would be the least bad?

The answer is neatly framed in a recent photo of young women posing as Rosie the Riveter, the symbolic female factory worker from World War II, snapped on the occasion of Obama's Labor Day visit to the Detroit area.

Defense spending is the key: More hiring and spending by the Army, Navy, Air Force and affiliated departments, such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the high-end military-technology developer.

This week, and not just because we are marking the 9/11 anniversary, the case for defense spending as job creator takes the “least bad” prize.

Look at the simple arithmetic: The most recent jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed 14 million Americans unemployed. Slide half a million from the unemployed column to the Pentagon, and you pull unemployment down substantially.

The jobs created by a Defense Department employment program would be superior to any others Obama could advocate, for several reasons.


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