I read an interesting editorial in the Wall Street Journal written by Stephen Moore, a senior economics writer. Moore states that today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government than in all of manufacturing. He says this is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were almost twice the workers in manufacturing than collecting a paycheck from the government. And it gets worse: More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining, and utilities combined.
While in no way do I want to disparage government workers, I am convinced that our nation’s move away from creating new wealth from the production of natural resources and the associated value-added manufacturing of things we consume has not been good for our state or nation. Increasing the options for mineral production, forest products, energy, and agriculture are in our best interests and anything the legislature and governor can do to create jobs in those sectors are beneficial. Of course, there are vocal minorities who continue to advocate that the only thing that matters is doing nothing in terms of natural resource production. They have been banging that gong since the 1970s and it’s leading us backwards.
Moore closes by saying, “President Obama says we have to retool our economy to ‘win the future.’ The only way to do that is to grow the economy that makes things, not the sector that takes things.” I agree. We should encourage lawmakers to support legislation that will do anything to help create necessary jobs that make things.
Katharine E. Wikstrom