Guest Post: Is This A “Jobs” Super Committee?

Tyler Durden's picture

From Simon Black of Sovereign Man

Is This A “Jobs” Super Committee?

Earlier this month, some economic luminaries in the United States Congress introduced a new bill, H.R. 2835. The bill intends to “establish a joint select committee of Congress to report findings and propose legislation to restore the Nation’s workforce to full employment…”

Great idea, fellas. After failing to ignore your way out of recession, spend your way out of recession, lie your way out of recession, and print your way out of recession, you now intend to legislate your way out of recession.

This bill exemplifies how completely clueless the leadership is, and highlights the common demeanor of the political class.  By definition, people are in government because they believe that government is the solution, not the problem.

Legislating your way to full employment is as fantastical as prancing unicorns and the Tooth Fairy. It’s impossible. The only employment created by legislation are government jobs to staff all those new agencies and bureaus. And naturally, those jobs must come with some task, some responsibility.

With each new job is created an additional burden upon the taxpayer, and an additional bureaucratic hurdle for the productive class. From opening a bank account to going to see the doctor, things that used to be simple are now fraught with paperwork and regulation, just so some government worker somewhere has something to do.

Here in South Africa is an absolutely mind-numbing example of this mentality. A few years ago, the city of Cape Town installed digital parking meters– the high-tech kind where you could pay the parking toll on your mobile phone through an SMS… or the good ole’ fashioned way with coins should you so choose.

Then some politician decided they needed to create more jobs. So the city hired a bunch of workers to go through town ripping out the digital parking meters. In their place, the local government hired a small army of curbside parking attendants– human beings to replace the machines.

If you think this was a triumph of humanity over profit, then I have a modest proposal… let’s turn the clock back across all industries. We can build roads with hand-laid stone, dig canals with shovels, and hire legions of street sweepers armed with bristled brooms to keep our cities clean. Just think of all the jobs we’ll create!

Fact is, these sorts of moves are wastefully inefficient, and I shudder to think of what insane ideas would come out of the ‘jobs super-committee’ proposed in this new House bill.

Governments don’t create value, they destroy value. And the only way for more jobs to be created and money to start flowing again is for the market to perform its function matching willing buyers and sellers, producers and consumers.

The uncomfortable truth about the global economy is that the old way of doing things is gone forever. Monetary stability, social cohesion, political credibility, traditional career paths, investment assumptions… these are all changing. The game is being reset and the new rules are being rewritten.

The future is about creating value: what problem can you solve that’s so important to someone else that he/she would be willing to pay you for it, or trade for something that you value?

Everybody’s good at something. Hell, everybody’s usually good at a lot of things… from designing websites to cutting grass. “You have an overgrown lawn? I have a lawnmower. Let’s make a deal.” The greater the problem, and/or the more people it affects, the greater the reward.

None of this requires any government involvement; it simply requires a motivated individual to get out there in the world, figure out what needs to be done, and kick ass to make things happen.

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kaicayman's picture

Gold and Silver before its too late

Clueless Economist's picture

Michael Moore is an obese idiot.

Ahmeexnal's picture

you forgot to add "leftist", but then again, "leftist idiot" is redundant.
Moore is a propaganda tool of the power elite, selling among other things, Gore's global warming and associated carbon tax.

Rodent Freikorps's picture

How about Trust Fund, Useful Idiot?

I hear his spoon was made of gold when he was just a young larval hut.

I'd pay good money to watch slave Leia strangle that sucker with a chain.

Bob's picture

Trust fund baby?  Better get that hearing checked, Rodent! 

Whatever you might think of Moore (I myself am strongly ambivalent about his work), he is most definitely a working class boy.  He was my neighbor in Flint, MI . . . before he joined the rich and famous.

Rodent Freikorps's picture


I'm still rooting for Leia.

Is there a large Hut community in Flint?

Loose-Tools's picture

Rat's hearing is probably OK, it's just that he/she heard it on FOX News or from Rush.

spiral_eyes's picture

Full employment mandate? The Michael Moore's of this world will pursue it — and they will get burned.

Tomorrow Bernanke will show his hand.

I expect Bernanke to announce that the Federal Reserve will announce that it will no longer pay interest on excess reserves. Banks have accumulated massive excess reserves since the 2008 crisis, when the Fed determined to pay interest on reserves not lent — ostensibly to increase flexibility in the banking system in case of further collapse

In theory, unleashing these excess reserves (all $16 trillion of them — GDP is currently just under $15 trillion) into the economy would get capital to productive ventures and create jobs without infuriating bondholders any further with more quantitative easing. But in practice, this might do the precise opposite — unleashing a tidal wave of inflation. 


SheepDog-One's picture

One thing is for sure, we shall see tomorrow. 'Bank reserves unleashed into the economy'....I dont see what a bunch of imaginary crap on books would do...what is this guy really trying to say, that the banks will then give away the money? Its all just a bunch of theory, 'excess reserve on bank books' is just bubble housing prices being propped up by the FED. I dont understand what the theory is in that article.

spiral_eyes's picture

Why didn't the QE money cause massive inflation?

Because it is sitting in the banking system with the PDs as excess reserves.

The way the fractional reserve system works is that banks can lend up to a reserve requirement. They're currently not (for the first extended period in US history). Inflation is still (relatively) low, despite Bernanke massively increasing bank reserves. Now the Keynesians want to increase demand by seeing the excess reserves lent out. So a number of them (including on the FOMC) have expressed an interest in cutting the interest the Fed pays on excess reserves from 0.25% to 0 to "increase the appetite for risk.

If $16 trillion is lent (i.e. massive growth in M1 and M2), that could trigger the massive (and potentially uncontrollable) price inflation many predicted when QE started, especially if economic activity doesn't match the growth in the money supply.

SheepDog-One's picture

Right, the QE trillions is sitting in the banks as 'excess reserves', really just propping up real estate 'on the books' totaly fake money, and now they want to stop paying interest on it and somehow 'release' that out into the economy? Total trainwreck if any such thing were to happen. Then we WOULD see people with wheelbarrows full of dollar to go buy a loaf of bread.

And now that the economy is dead, they want to 'create risk'? Hell its risky enough ust doing anything at all these days, much less taking on a huge LOAN for what, to build a factory? All this stuff is just crazy, formulas about how to get 100 pound of bullshit into a 10 pound sack...they can look at it any which way with their slide rulers but its just not happening.

catacl1sm's picture

Not to mention that banks are hanging on to these 'excess reserves" for when a liquidity crisis hits them. No one wants to borrow. everyone is trying to deleverage, including people. The whole fucking system just needs to unwind. The more they prop it up, the longer and harder the unwinding will be. Just pull the fucking band-aid off already!

Denver768's picture

This is how you create jobs.

I own a small software company.  My accountant at the end of the year came back to us and said sorry, but here is your tax bill.  It was very large, paying it sizably reduced the capital/flexibility I had on hand for 'future projects' and for hiring new employees.

I would have LOVED to have hired new employees, but with my company's capital savings cut in half, the outlook for me to add more staff is a sincere challenge.

The government SHOULD say.  Here's your tax bill....  You have 2 choices... 1) pay it to me or: 2) use it to hire employees for this next year. 

I would have immediately gone out an hired people, IF I had that option, and could have kept the savings capital and the flexibility to use that money to hire new employees.

CAPITAL formation and the use of capital by entreprenuers is how you make jobs.  Congress.. GIVE ME that option to use my tax bill to otherwise hire employees and I will do it!

Dr. Richard Head's picture

I understand your view on this very much so, but how about the government let us keep what we EARN?  It isn't there capital, it is our capital.  In order to this to happen though our country would have to let go of the warfare/welfare state.  This could happen legislatively, but it is more likely to happen through a hyperinflationary crash.  I will take eiher option at this point as I grow tired of the waiting game.

Denver768's picture

Agreed.  Sort of 6 or one half dozen of another... IF the government would let us keep what we earn we could put it to productive use.

I'm saying at the very least, if not allowing us to keep what we 'Earn' is untenable for the gov't, and the Gov't wants to feel all powerful and try to legislate jobs...   Then let us take our corporate tax bill and instead of flushing it down the gov't toilet, allow us the flexiblity of plow it into hiring people and expand our business.  Instead, they take it away and leave the company poorer... and limit my ability to hire anyone.

11b40's picture

Excuse me, but is this your first year in business?

Don't you plan for your tax laibilities in advance?  This was a surprise to you?

I too own a small business that I have run for more that 30 years...through good times and some very bad ones.  Not once in all that time have I considered my tax liability before deciding to create a new position.  After all, the only required hit to my bottom line is my share of the payroll tax....roughly 7.5%.  Otherwise, the other costs are tax deductions.

What drives my decisions about hiring is a very simple and fundamental question - will the new position increase profits?  That's it.  If there is enough demand for our services & products, we hire.  If not, we fire.  End of story.

The obvious situation we find ourselves in today is a lack of demand.  If I had more orders, I would hire more people to make sure the orders were filled in a timely manner.  If there was enough demand, and I was outgrowing my facilites, I would go to the bank and get a loan to expand. 

If you have enough demand for your goods and services and you sit around bitching and moaning about your corporate taxes, well good luck in the future, 'cause you will need it. 

Oh yes, you might want a new accountant, too.  It's pretty amazing what a good one of those can do for you.

Denver768's picture

You obviously must sell 30 year old widgets rather than develop and create new products, thus the focus of your business issue is demand.   For me, it's about R&D and developing the new ideas... that require capital invesments.  Some pretty sizable. Inventing stuff costs capital savings.

For me....New products = new pipelines = new revenues.  

I suppose you missed the point of the orginal message...  forest in the trees. 

par4's picture

You think the "Right" and "Corporatism" is working? Douche Bag.

Thorny Xi's picture

S Man forgot to add NASA to government waste.  Oh, wait ... computers and teflon and fire retardents and all of the hundreds of spin off industries from the R&D of the space program made more for private setcor firms than was spent on the space program, by a lot.  And then there's voice mail and speech command systems, a product of NSA research in the 60's that led to speaker independent voice recognition.  Hummm ... and warrantless wiretapping, since automated wiretap was the original goal ... oh well, you take the good with the bad, right?

Nels's picture

Teflon was invented in 1938, first marketed in 1945, well before NASA.

Here's what wikipedia says about Halon: "In the 1970s, Halon 1211 came over to the US from Europe, where it had been used since the late 40s or early 50s. Halon 1301 had been developed by DuPont and the US Army in 1954."

Thinking about voice mail started with Thomas Edison.  Converting from voice mail on a tape drive to a digital format happened in the 1970s, when digital equipment starting hitting the right price point - no government support or research was needed to bring this to market.

NASA does have a fully functioning propaganda marketing arm.

IAmNotMark's picture

Wait a minute!  You're saying that we would have still advanced as a country and been able to use Teflon EVEN IF we hadn't supported NASA for the last fifty years?  

What about TANG?  Could anything as tasty as TANG have been developed without government sponsorship? 

Thorny Xi's picture

S Man forgot to add NASA to government waste.  Oh, wait ... computers and teflon and fire retardants and all of the hundreds of spin off industries from the R&D of the space program made more for private sector firms than was spent on the space program, by a lot.  And then there's voice mail and speech command systems, a product of NSA research in the 60's that led to speaker independent voice recognition.  Hummm ... and warrant-less wiretapping, since automated wiretap was the original goal ... oh well, you take the good with the bad, right?

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

'The Government' now sees itself as the 'fixer' of all that is broken...

Or, breaking the few things that are yet to be broken...

Let's keep in mind what the primary capability of the government is... collection and redistribution of taxes.

The gov can start wars, declare wars on terrorism, declare war on drugs, increase or lower trade barriers, change speed limits on interstate highways, offer loans to students, and a zillion other things... but all the actions that government takes requires tax dollars and those tax dollars come from it's citizens.

If you hired an economic contractor to offer advice and take action regarding your portfolio and they made a mess of it... would you continue to employ them?

Dr. Richard Head's picture

Best analogy I have heard was from Peter Schiff, whom I am sure borrowed from soneone else. 

"Government is the guy that comes into your home, breaks your leg, hands you crutches, and then goes on TV to tell everyone how government helped this guy walk."

It's funny because it's true.

Mad Max's picture

Can it be?  A Simon Black post where he isn't trying to sell us a doomstead in southern Argentina or Chile?  My god, what have you done with the real Simon Black???

depression's picture

Connect the dots.

Step 1. Unemployment Reform in the Jobs for America act. Note both sides strongly support this reform initiative, where those collecting unemployment will be assigned jobs they must accept or be cut off from unemployment benefits. In other words, an infinite supply of free slave labor for employers. all paid for by the fed govt. unemployment system.

Step 2. The new Employment Supercomittee is needed to oversee and direct this new slave labor workforce. They can select the political winners and losers in the new Marxist economy. For example, the supercomittee can send thousands of slave laborers to GM while starving Ford of access to that workforce, thereby giving GM an enormous cost of labor advantage in that sector.

Never let a crisis go to waste !

MachoMan's picture

Not really.  The days of receiving a wage from the government without actually working or having any responsibilities are in their final days (for the poor at least).  There has to be SOME advantage to working...  anyone remotely near the dividing line would be stupid not to just sit on his ass.

However, in order to be a fair implementation, I would propose the "slave" workforce be directed to the tasks needed by the working poor and then trickle upward (not vice versa).  Oh, you're working 60 hours per week at mcdonalds to make ends meet?  Ok, well, joe slave is going to mow your yard this week...  or transport the kiddo to soccer practice...  or repair your fence...  or hot water heater...  or whatever it may be.  Just set an income/wealth ceiling and let everyone under it register for help...  Realistically speaking, what's left of the middle class is up to its eyeballs in work and would probably have plenty of menial tasks for others to do... and there are plenty of skilled people out there who can't find work...  whether its construction, financial advice, sports training, you name it.

When someone performs labor for you, you must fill out a simple survey to .gov...  you rate your laborer too low and he/she doesn't get a check or gets docked.

Now, the problem, of course...  is whether we've already crossed the rubicon so that the onset of the "slave" workers will actually kill off private enterprise...  who knows...  but basic equity theory causes resentment among the working poor and middle class for the theft of wellfare tribute out of each paycheck.  In the end, there has to be some mechanism to incentivize people on the margin to work...  presuming we're going to have a pseudo free economy and that the social safety net is here to stay...

ping's picture

Bingo. All of the above. With one exception: the slave labour will do the jobs that are currently minimum wage jobs. It's already happening in the UK, and we nomally steal all our worst neocon ideas from the US, so you're probably working on it too. I know it's the driving force behind the US prison-industrial complex, with inmates building components for Raytheon, staffing telemarketing centres, and so on. 

That guy bagging groceries? Working for welfare money. The girl on the checkout? Working for welfare money. (Over in the UK, that's maybe $2.00 an hour.) So far, the British unemployed only have to give a month of this labour at a time. Five years from now, they'll give 12 months a year.

Welcome to the future, where one by one, industries are staffed by slaves, and all profit goes to a government-corporation conglomerate. One by one, independent, smaller businesses are regulated out of existence. We didn't get here by accident. 


MachoMan's picture

In the future, there is only taco bell.

Ultimately, we've got to figure out what to do with all the extra people...  because human evolution apparently doesn't involve population control in sync with available jobs and available energy sources...  it would be a shame to let that labor go to waste...  The real trick is figuring out how to utilize it fairly and in a method that steps on the least feet of the people actually trying to break through the glass ceiling.  In the end, it will probably just be perverted into de jure slavery, but it will take a little while at least.

This is something that I don't think a lot of people understand.  That with energy constraints and, therefore, growth constraints, the present theft may very well be for the whole enchilada.  Why else would they act so brazenly?  Of course, many bubble bursts have been the biggest for their respective times...  but, we may have actually hit some hard constraints on this one.

At any rate, I don't really see a mechanism for future growth to counteract this trend of persistent joblessness.  The developed world will continue to be a wealth drain spilling over into the rest of the lot...  we're going to have some really hard decisions on our hands...  although, on the plus side, our economy is so bad we'll likely fix the whole immigration debate...  especially if welfare recipients will be doing all the jobs every bit as cheap AND legally.

If unleashing some anarcho capitalist society is the answer, then we're going to have to address the wealth gap first.

Mad Max's picture

This is something that I don't think a lot of people understand.  That with energy constraints and, therefore, growth constraints, the present theft may very well be for the whole enchilada.  Why else would they act so brazenly?

Very insightful and very disturbing.  Worthy of serious thought given the global situation for oil/food/water and the incredible lawlessness of the last few years.

Uncle Remus's picture

Put another Chevy on the fire, there's a chill in the air.

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Not to mention that congress continues to abdicate it's duties...

Congress has turned over regulation of money to the Fed/treasury...

Congress now has a 'super committee' to make congressional decisions.

Congress's main duty is to collect campaign funds to use for reelection.

Do we need these azz hats?

SheepDog-One's picture

Congress....HUH....what is it good for? Absolutely NOTHIN, say it again....

Loose-Tools's picture

That "Southern Plantation" DNA just never gives up, ... even after 300+ years.

Ahmeexnal's picture

He couldn't possibly keep lying about Chile.
His last spam about the Chilean paradise was met with the harsh reality of a collapsing Chilean government (Rockefeller/Rotschild puppets).
Yes, chilean wineries are owned by the Roths:

stirners_ghost's picture

Collapsing government and paradise are incompatible?

Dr. Richard Head's picture

I always though they were one in the same.

Mad Max's picture

I guess we'll all be finding out soon enough.

Didn't work out all that well in Somalia or Rhodesia.  Jury is still out on Afghanistan - probably because they all got kidnapped and beheaded with sharpened rocks before they could come back with their verdict.

Oh regional Indian's picture

When the Paraiah can masquerade as the Messiah and no one in the congregation can raise a whimper, this is what we get.

Soem animals more equal than others. And they do no work at all!

Anyways Simon, Jobs are over-rated. More people need to drop out of the system and feel. themselves that is. Would be a good start. No saviour is "out" there and definitely NOT the Grabbermint!


Some Wisdom Perhaps..... know They "Self"

SheepDog-One's picture

Yea, well I dont know if you pay attention to the US media but the winds of doubt and criticism are coming across the airwaves about Obama, his abilities, and his plans. They can see the 87% disaproval ratings of Obamas handling of the economy category, and are nervous about it.

On to the 'QE3' topic, which also scores very bad with americans who see it as 'bailouts for the rich' and theyre right.


Oh regional Indian's picture

I got my eyes on the horizon and nose to the ground SD1. 

You're right and there is a rumble of discontent. But a rumble has to last a long time for it to awaken the sleepers. Unfortunately, TeeVee is there, always, insidious, deadening.

I find the fact that jon Stewart and his be-spectacled side-kick are the deFacto truth tellers in the MSm beyond funny and a huge sign, a tell of where the sheep have been led. Add to that the fact that their march on the Capitol drew as much of an audience as Farrakahan and his million men.

C'mon, Comedy Central gives you your News Yuo can Believe in?

*head shake*


Racer's picture

Laws are now all about the Leeches at the top.

The ordinary person can get put in prison for not taxing the car, yet the banksters get huge bonuses for holding the world's poor and elderly to ransom

Cliff Claven Cheers's picture

We have truely become a nation with 2 sets of laws. One for those with money and power and one for those that have no resources.

topcallingtroll's picture

And the lesson here?

Need to get more money and power.
Now back to work.

Cliff Claven Cheers's picture

Troll I know it wasn't you but who junked the Claven for saying we have two sets of law.  I would like a rebuttle, not a drive by junk.

Uncle Remus's picture

And then there is the Law of Unintended Consequences.

"Bailiff, shoot that son of a bitch."

anony's picture

The only H.R. that means a damned thing is this one:


Congressional Reform Act of 2011

1. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.
The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person forwards this message to as many people as they can, then it will only take three to five days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.

If you agree with the above, pass it on.


Fix Congress and the rest is easy.  Don't fix CONgress and pull your hair out for the rest of your days.

jeff montanye's picture

very good.  this and associated ideas may well offer a way around the supreme court road block on limiting campaign contributions so as to reduce the bribery factor so influential these days.