A Chinese jobs creation programme

In a story beloved by economists it’s said that Milton Friedman* was once visiting China when he was shocked to see that, instead of modern tractors and earth movers, thousands of workers were toiling away building a canal with shovels. He asked his host, a government bureaucrat, why more machines weren’t being used. The bureaucrat replied, “You don’t understand. This is a jobs program.” To which Milton responded, “Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it’s jobs you want, you should give these workers spoons, not shovels!”

* Milton Friedman is a Nobel winning economist

Chris

This entry was posted in Economics, Politics, quips and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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