Our Government Jobs Addiction

The debate about the nation’s declining economy took an interesting turn this past week as liberals have begun arguing that cuts in public sector jobs are sinking any hopes of a recovery. That was the conceit of yesterday’s front-page story in the New York Times that claimed public worker layoffs are hurting the economy. This is an assertion that seems to contradict the focus of most public policy discussions in the past two years — especially during the debt ceiling crisis in 2011 — when most Democrats and Republicans agreed that government expenditures had to be cut and only differed over how much the size of the public payroll needed to be reduced. But with the Republican presidential candidate getting some traction by speaking out on the need to continue cutting back on the size of government, some liberals are pushing back and speaking not only about the cost to the public of cuts in services but also about the role of public sector jobs in inflating the country’s economic balloon.

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Our Government Jobs Addiction

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In Memoriam: Michael Novak, 1933-2017

Celebrating the memory and work of an intellectual giant.

On Friday, the scholar and author Michael Novak passed away at the age of 83. COMMENTARY had the privilege of publishing his work on a number of occasions. His insights over the decades represent a vital contribution to America’s intellectual heritage. Novak’s 1989 essay on the competing ideologies of the 20th Century represents a work of considered thought that spans the generations. We commend it to your attention:

Related to enterprise is the more general virtue of creativity. For personal economic enterprise is not socially sustainable unless would-be entrepreneurs are supported by a social intelligence covering many areas—law, banking and finance, governmental administration, the arts, journalism, education, scientific and industrial research, and even religion and philosophy.

Novak, an American Enterprise Institute scholar, is remembered by AEI President Arthur Brooks. We extend our condolences to the Novak family and mourn their, and our, great loss.

The American Enterprise Institute mourns the loss of our colleague, Michael Novak, who passed away this morning at the age of 83. Michael was an AEI scholar for three decades until his retirement in 2010, and remained a close friend of the Institute.