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A Bum Steer

Obama’s advice to college students.

Oct 25, 2010, Vol. 16, No. 06 • By ANDREW B. WILSON
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Obama must know that roughly a third of the $814 billion stimulus package has gone to helping state and municipal governments patch budgetary holes. The St. Louis Fire Department is now hoping for a $5 million federal grant to stave off some of the cuts made necessary by fast-rising pension obligations, which account for nearly one-third of the department’s budget, up from one-eighth in 2001. 

The president would seem to be steering students into occupations that have already benefited from too much taxpayer support—enough to bring many communities and even whole states to the verge of bankruptcy. At the same time, and for the same reason, these very occupations have little to offer in terms of opportunity for future employment. 

Of course, public sector unions represent a large and important part of Obama’s political base. It would be silly to expect him to criticize unions. But he might at least acknowledge that the free market is the greatest wealth- and job-creating machine known to man.

In a free society and an open economy, countless individuals seek to meet their own needs by meeting the needs of others. That is how wealth is created. And that is why most people both have to work and find working worthwhile.

Andrew B. Wilson is a writer and business consultant.

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