Can government create jobs? Does the state have a role in facilitating job creation? Or should it just get out of the way of business, cutting red tape and taxes so entrepreneurs can grow the economy?
The question of the state’s role in the economy has traditionally been one of the big dividing lines between the political Left and Right. However, since the late 1970s, there has been something of a consensus across the political spectrum that low taxes, light touch regulation, and a small state are the key ingredients for economic success.
Today, the consensus has broken down. The fallout from the 2008 financial crisis has effectively re-opened the debate. Proponents of more state intervention in the economy argue that only government can reduce growing inequalities, ensure fair distribution of public services like gas and electricity, and ensure quality, well-paid jobs. Critics of state intervention, meanwhile, point to the failed economic policies of Latin American countries like Venezuela.
What do our readers think? We had a comment sent in from Brian, who says that job creation is “the role of individuals and businesses. The politicians can use our money, collected through taxes to create jobs but that is nothing to do with the economy and everything to do with politics.” Is he right?
To get a response, we spoke to Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner-designate for Jobs, and former Minister for Labour of Luxembourg. What does he think?
For another perspective, we also spoke to Mate Rimac, founder & CEO of Rimac Automobili, a Croatian car manufacturer which produces electric sports cars. As an entrepreneur, what would he say?
Who should be creating more jobs? Government or the private sector? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!