Private Sector vs. Public Sector

Prepare for war

In politics, having a debate is often more important than reaching an outcome. Each party digs their trenches, stocks their ammunition, scopes out the enemy’s location and prepares for all-out war.

Such is the case with the current job creation battle. Each side argues that their philosophy is correct and provides proof (real or manufactured) to back up their claims. But when such a large portion of the country is out of work, searching for work, or just plain giving up, the battle ends up coming to their front door.

The armies

On one side you have the private sector. In economics terms, the private sector is any company or person who has a business that is not run through the government. The public sector is the opposite, an organisation that is operated by the government.

Although Democrats and Republicans don’t always fall exactly on one line or another and not always in unison, Democrats often point to the public sector while Republicans champion the private sector. Like taxes, abortion and religion, job creation has become another rail for politicians to manoeuvre around.

The topic, because of its basic function (a country without jobs will not be much of a country), has become so charged that any politician who attempts to ride it will become a target for one party or the other.

The battle

Since the 1980s, Republicans have dug their heels into the private sector and doubled down any time they were challenged (or wrong). “Get government out of the economy and capitalism will take care of itself.” Statements like that have come from private sector advocates for decades.

But the facts don’t necessarily backup the war cries.

This year, the private sector has added fewer jobs than the public sector has. Only 38,000 jobs were added by the private sector in May. The projected amount was 175,000.

These numbers don’t gel for the private sector hawks.

Much of new job growth comes from the public sector because positions in the health and education field are either highly taxpayer-funded or completely run by the government.

The stimulus package, passed in 2009, has also helped. The stimulus’s biggest beneficiaries have been public financed workers, not to mention the titans and tycoons on Wall Street. Compared to the private sector, the government-operated apparatus has allowed public workers to maintain their wages and improve their health and pension benefits. It’s these kinds of government investments that allow companies like those in shipping to create jobs. Shipping companies rely upon a heavy work staff to complete their basic functions.

To the victor goes the slightly better results

Although the public sector believers can claim this battle, the war is far from over, as many job hunters throughout the country can attest to. Overall unemployment is still hovering at nine per cent.

In politics, often times, more effort is put into “playing the game” than actually winning it.

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