Employment is a focal point of modern politics, with each party and candidate always promising to create more jobs than their rivals. But employment is the product of market forces guiding human labor to where it will be most productive, not the result of political scheming. Jobs are created by entrepreneurs seeking the most productive use of scarce resources in the context of satisfying consumers. They are not ends in and of themselves. Politicians and bureaucrats often overlook this simple dynamic. As a result they promote policies which either employ individuals to unproductive jobs that would be unsustainable in a market setting, or that hurt general employment altogether. Full and productive employment is the natural tendency of any free market economy. However this equilibrium is interrupted by political attempts at central planning and market intervention. These actions create artificial barriers for the entrepreneurs who create jobs, as well as promote the misallocation of resources which damages the very engine of employment: economic growth. To understand these errors, we must first understand the economic principles behind the phenomena of employment and rigorously apply them.
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