The Campaign Spot

You’re Not Creating Jobs, You’re Just Moving Them Around

I hate to pick on an advertiser, but today’s Washington Post has a short item on Virginia gubernatorial candidate Brian Moran’s plan to help Virginia’s economy:

During a campaign event in Norfolk, former state delegate Brian Moran unveiled a proposal to help small businesses and businesses owned by women and minorities by expanding access to government contracts.

According to the campaign’s figures, less than 2 percent of state spending on contracts went to businesses owned by women and minorities, compared with 17 percent in Maryland and 13 percent in Texas. Moran’s view is that improving access to state contracts for those business would help kick-start the economy, said Jesse Ferguson, Moran’s spokesman.

“Brian’s plan is to restart the slumping economy, and he’s going to do it by building from the bottom up,” he said.

Mmmm . . . I’m not quite sure how this would “restart a slumping economy.” Unless this plan includes more government contracting, presumably all of the work that Moran’s plan would transfer to “small businesses and businesses owned by women and minorities” is already currently being done by . . . bigger businesses and businesses owned by white guys. (How does a publicly traded company count under these rules, by the way? Are companies expected to perform a racial census of shareholders?) All this proposal would do is transfer work from some companies to other companies — with no net increase in spending, work, investment, etc., because each contract given to a new company would be taken away from an old company.

Taking away some pie from some folks and giving them to others doesn’t increase the amount of pie available to everyone.

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