The solution to our raging unemployment rate is so simple, I'm kicking myself for not thinking of it before. Luckily, Chris Matthews did. The government simply needs to spend more money! Because, as "everyone knows, as we studied in school," government spending creates jobs!
Matthews, just as wacky on the weekend Hardball as he is in his Mon.-Fri. version, went on a two-segment rant this morning, pleading for higher government spending on the theory that government can put people back to work across the country.
First Jim Cramer and then Bob Shrum were only too happy to agree. The supposedly capitalist Cramer went so far as to suggest that government, and not small business, is the engine that drives the economy.
Matthews closed by claiming that the private sector isn't working to create jobs, and thus government must do so, darkly warning that otherwise "you're going to have an unstable society."
View video after the jump.
I'll be back with the transcript, but in the meantime, consider how lucky we are that government kept unemployment to no more than 8% by spending $1 trillion on the "stimulus" program. Oh, wait.
But never mind, just because that didn't work out so well, no reason not to try more of the same. Say, here's an idea: if like Chris says the government hiring half-a-million people in Philly is good, why not wipe out unemployment entirely by having the government hire . . . everybody! Just look at what a smashing success that was . . . in the Soviet Union!
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let's take it back from the theory to reality. If we hear that the Philadelphia Navy Yard is going to re-open and hire 500,000 new people, everybody in South Philly would go crazy. This is dynamite! Small business would be booming --
JIM CRAMER: Sure.
MATTHEWS: --everybody, all the big market places, clothing stores, everything would be booming down there. It's not going to happen. But it would be job creation! If Boeing doubled its contract with Air Force planes, that would be great news in Seattle and some other areas where they're operating. In Houston, it's space. In the southwest of Virginia, it's Bobby Byrd! Jack Murtha in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Why do people have this disconnect? They know that the government creates jobs. Every time in our life, we know that WWII saved us economically. All our experience locally and historically is the government creates jobs. And then you hear Eric Cantor, with this new cant of his, this religious notion of some kind, that somehow this belief in small business means that government shouldn't do anything. Small business is the area of the economy that does best when government spends money. What's he talking about?
CRAMER: They're the companies that get started around the big projects that the government funds. That's how it works! It's a feeder system. Small business doesn't start first!
MATTHEWS: So why do they keep saying government spending is bad when we know we need to have somebody spend. And the conservatives scare, the investors scare. If government's got the nerve to do it, don't they have to do it. We studied this in school, we learn it from history --
MATTHEWS: We learn it from our parents talking about jobs re-opening in the neighborhood, defense contracts being let. And yet the right wing has sold this ideology of do-nothing.
The irrational rant didn't stop there. Matthews plowed on with Bob Shrum.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: My question again: everybody grew up knowing that when the government let a contract somewhere, for Boeing or anybody, or Budd Company--I grew up in Northeast Philly. Every time they spent money there were jobs. Jobs, and jobs around jobs. Why don't they do it? Why don't they do it? . . . It seems like the profit sector isn't working, the profit motive isn't working to create jobs. The government better create jobs--or else you're going to have an unstable society.