“Employment Levels”

Candidates to replace term-limited Bill de Blasio (D) as mayor of New York City are coming out of the woodwork like the city’s rats. The opening sentence of a Wall Street Journal article covering their plans to “job recovery” is riddled with irony.

More than three dozen New York City mayoral candidates are vying for one of the toughest jobs in the country: leading the nation’s largest city back to pre-pandemic employment levels while trying to find the funding to do so.

The candidates—the city—do not need to “find the funding” to put folks back to work. In an actual free market environment, private employers provide the funding for their own employees. They get that funding from private citizens buying those employers’ goods and services. The city—any government—is a cost center for every business in it jurisdiction, from the taxes the city exacts (some of them actually legitimate charges) to the regulations (very few of them serving any legitimate purpose, being merely revenue centers for the bureaucracy charging them) it imposes.

Returning New York City to pre-Wuhan Virus situation levels is breathtakingly cost-free—and revenue-generating for the city: get out of the way, let the businesses reopen so folks can go back to work, let schools reopen so kids can go back to school—reducing both private and public medical costs—and letting even more folks go back to work.

It’s just that straightforward. It shouldn’t be as hard as even well-meaning, but overthinking, politicians make it.

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