How do you create a job?

Posted 11/8/2014

This seems to me to be one of the fundamental questions facing politicians, and I have not heard one yet able to answer it succinctly.  Here's mine:


Use your time, talents and resources to offer something for which people will pay you more than it costs.


Linda Blumenthal asked this question of Richard Blumenthal in a debate during their contest for the US Senate seat in Connecticut.  He famously stumbled, but I haven't heard anyone else try to answer it, either.

This formulation allows each and every one of us to create our own job.  In addition, someone else may use each of us as a resource to create their own jobs; if so, we have to offer enough value so that other person can get a customer to pay more for his product than the addition costs from employing us.


The more people will pay you, compared to the cost, obviously the better the job will be.


Time is important.  We all have it, and all have only so much of it.  If it takes you all week to make a wood cabinet, rather than an hour, then you may still have a job, but you better find someone willing to pay a lot more that had it taken you only an hour.


Each of us have different talents, which we should use to create a job.  Some of us may have skills working with out hands, others using their minds.  Others may have a personality that gets along well with others, and can get people to work together.


Far too often politicians forget that resources are important.  Farmers use their land to grow food.  Fishermen catch fish.  We get minerals and energy from the ground.  But resources can also include things others have made.   An autoworker uses the tools and dies to make the equipment necessary to make a car or truck.  A trucker uses his truck as a resource, to carry goods from one place to another.


But it doesn't count as a job that is created, unless someone voluntarily pays you more than it costs you.  The communist countries behind the Iron Curtin were famous for elevator operators who were paid to push the button to deliver the riders to their chosen floors.  That's not a job, because no rider voluntarily would pay the operator to push a button the rider just as easily could do himself.


Our politicians should understand that everthing which takes too much of our time, or which prevents us from using our talents, or makes it harder and more expensive to use our resources, makes it harder to create a job, or makes the job not as good as it should be.