As technological developments increased farm yields over the last two centuries, the share of the US population employed in agriculture fell from around 90 percent to around 2 percent.
The lay American public supposes that when workers lose their jobs, we become worse off — they suffer from what economist Bryan Caplan calls the ‘make-work’ bias. But would anyone prefer to live in a society in which many went hungry and no one enjoyed the wealth, financial security, job growth, and innovation created as all those workers lost their farm jobs?
Follow Caplan, author of The Myth of the Rational Voter, as he explains the gap between the public’s opinion and the economist’s facts. In this video, Caplan talks about the merits and demerits of ‘making work’ – instead of letting individuals find work.
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Frederic Bastiat contends that to aim to increase the proportion of effort to output is to imitate Sisyphus in his hopeless attempt to move a stone up a hill:
Daniel J. Mitchell explains the fallacy that government creates jobs:
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