NOW Makes the Case Against More Government Investment

by Carrie Lukas

Anyone who naively thinks the government capable of fairly and efficiently investing in industries that create jobs and fuel economic growth should read the National Organization for Women’s latest press release.

NOW is okay with the whole concept of allowing government bureaucrats to dish out billions of dollars to big business in support of politically popular endeavors. But they’re peeved that their particular pet interests were slighted in the president’s initial laundry list of targets for government largess.

Here’s how NOW president Terry O’Neill puts it:

President Obama spoke about creating jobs through building our country’s physical infrastructure, investing in research and development, and reinventing our energy industry. Worthy objectives — but currently these fields are dominated by men. Much work remains to be done to bring women into parity in these vocations, known as STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

. . . until we make significant progress in this area, if we want to talk about creating jobs for women, we have to talk about rebuilding our human infrastructure — including teaching, nursing and social work. These positions not only employ women but they serve some of the most vulnerable people in our country, those the president promised to safeguard.

How will good liberal politicians justify handouts for the producers of economically ridiculous windmills while denying more aid for social workers?

NOW’s plea for women to get their fair share of government payouts may be unseemly, but it actually advances an important point. It certainly is unfair that one industry — in this case infrastructure and “clean” energy producers — should get support while so many other worthy enterprises struggle. Yet obviously the answer isn’t to use even more taxpayer money to support projects that wouldn’t pass a private-sector cost-benefit analysis, but to scrap the whole concept of these kinds of government spending programs.

Carrie L. Lukas is executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum.