Jobs, Welfare and Fish   by Larry Plachno- There is an old Chinese proverb that goes something like this: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Several Americans are now questioning whether we made the wrong turn by giving away fish instead of encouraging jobs and employment. What has happened is that if you give a man a fish on Monday, he will expect more fish on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This leads to welfare, entitlements and socialism.

That brings up another quotation, this time from former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money to spend.” Unfortunately for us, she has proven to be correct. Giving away all of those fish has proven to be costly for America. In order to pay for those free fish the United States has had to borrow from several sources, our children and grandchildren, and even China. 

Equally disturbing is the fact that those darn costly fish have caused our elected officials to raise taxes on business and jobs. This, in turn, has caused a major reduction in job creation and jobs being outsourced to other countries where they are more welcome. A recent article in Time Magazine suggests that it might take as long a 33 months for us to dig out of our current unemployment problem because so many American jobs have been outsourced.

It seems that no one wants to talk about the fact that on April 1, 2012, Japan reduced its corporate tax rate to encourage jobs and investment in business in their nation. This move left the United States with the dubious distinction of having the highest corporate tax rate and of being the least competitive country for jobs and business among developed nations.

  For at least 20 years, other developed nations have been cutting their tax rates to encourage business and jobs. Countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) now have an average tax rate of 25 percent. The rate in the United States is said to be 39.2 percent after including average state taxation. The United Kingdom reduced their corporate tax rate from 28 to 26 percent in 2011 and plans are to reduce it even further to 22 percent by 2014.

Many Americans are questioning the wisdom of giving away fish instead of encouraging jobs. What have we accomplished after years of giving away fish? The people who get the fish have not improved their situation one bit while the United States had gone badly in debt and is struggling with huge unemployment. What would happen if we gave away jobs instead of fish?

Ask the residents of the Principality of Liechtenstein, a small country in Europe. Faced with little in the way of natural resources, their officials made the decision to encourage business and jobs by reducing the corporate tax rate to a maximum of 18 percent. As a result, Liechtenstein is now the home of more than twice as many corporations as residents. Instead of giving away fish, Liechtenstein gives away jobs. Many residents of adjacent Switzerland and Austria commute into Liechtenstein daily because there are not enough Liechtensteiners to handle the number of jobs they have. That sounds like a problem many Americans wished we had.

I suggest that it is time for you to call, write or e-mail your elected officials and tell them that giving away fish has not worked and has created major financial problems for America. Instead, we need to reduce taxation and requirements in order to encourage investment in business and jobs in the United States. Giving people jobs makes a heck of a lot more sense than giving them fish. 



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One thought on “Jobs, Welfare and Fish

  1. This is an excellent article. But the sad truth is Obama wants America to become a country where the majority live off of some kind of gov. welfare. That way they will continue to vote for the democrats so their obamabucks don\’t dry up.

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