Of course, government can’t truly create jobs. Unless it makes itself bigger and all of a sudden finds itself in need of workers. But since the government doesn’t actually produce anything, growing itself doesn’t contribute to the economy. Rather, it slows down the economy, and everyone suffers as a result.
But there are ways the government can, in a way, create jobs that expand the economy. It can get out of the way. That, in and of itself, doesn’t create jobs, but it leaves opportunities wide open for businesses to start and grow.
Just yesterday, we reported about an 11-year-old whose cupcake business got shut down by the health department because of “health safety” concerns. After all, rules are rules, and they apply to everyone.
A similar case happened in Los Angeles, California, except instead of cupcakes, it was baked bread. From Forbes:
For decades, Stambler has followed traditional methods to bake loaves of French bread. The ingredients are simple: distilled water, sea salt, wild yeast and organic grains. Stambler even mills the grain himself. To make it easier to steam loaves, he built a wood-fired oven in his own backyard. Stambler’s loaves came in first place at the Los Angeles County Fair and the California State Fair.
Soon after that, Stambler got the idea to expand his hobby into a home business, which became Pagnol Boulanger. Word of mouth spread. In June 2011, The Los Angeles Times profiled Stambler and his bread in a full-page feature.
Unlike his bread, that profile was bittersweet. He was busted the very next day. As he described it, the health department “descended like a ton of bricks on the two stores that were selling my bread…they could no longer sell my bread.”
An inspector from the health department even showed up at his doorstep to make sure “no bread baking was taking place.” For the next 18 months, Pagnol Boulanger was forced to go on hiatus.
That’s when he “became an activist,” Stambler said in an email interview.
He started researching other states’ cottage food laws, which allow homemade food to be sold. To qualify as a cottage food, it must be designated by the state as “non-potentially hazardous,” meaning it has a low risk of spreading bacteria.
He was contacted by his Assemblyman Mike Gatto who wanted to help. Together, they drafted the California Homemade Food Act, which legalized cottage food businesses like Stambler’s. It passed both state houses and was signed by the Governor.
The law became effective in January of 2013. Since then, Los Angeles County alone has about 270 cottage food businesses. The state of California has over 1,200. That’s 1,200 jobs created just by the government getting out of the way. Jobs that were previously “illegal.”
Granted, this is a very small step in the right direction. But see what happens when the government gets out the way even just a little? People want to be creative entrepreneurs. I think it’s something that’s inherent in us, something we’re born with. We want to work and produce and reap the benefits of our labor. (Well, most of us anyway.)
But the government is always there, in the way, preventing the market from being free and prosperous. Just imagine if every state started getting rid of all these stupid laws that do nothing but destroy jobs. Our economy would be the envy of the world. But then there’d be a lot less incentive for people to depend on the government, and we can’t have that.
H/T: Daily Paul