Weeds and Flowers

My wife is a native Californian. Born and raised in the Golden State as were her parents before her and her whole family going back to the turn of the last century and before. I, on the other hand, grew up in Missouri. When we married lo! those many years ago one of the many differences we found between us was in gardening and lawn care.

As best as I can tell in California if you plant it and water it, it grows. If you don’t plant it or you don’t water it, it won’t grow. Missouri is different. If you plant it, tend it lovingly, water it faithfully, fertilize it, keep the bugs and animals and weeds and weather from destroying it, if you’re very lucky it might grow. That’s just the way it is in Missouri’s rocky, clay-y soil. And a whole lot of stuff you don’t particularly want will definitely grow. If you leave a patch of soil bare, before you know it, it will be covered with dandelions or creeping Nussman. In California gardening is a pleasant and rewarding pastime. In Missouri it’s a thankless obsession. Only the most devoted and driven pursue it.

I think that a difference in experience and views something like that lies behind the difference in policy positions we’re seeing these days. I think that President Obama believes that jobs are cultivars whereas I believe that they’re volunteers. The distinction is that cultivars are things that are deliberately planted and tended while volunteers will grow unless you prevent them from growing.

I think that Washington, generally, not specific to political party, is doing its damnedest to prevent jobs from taking root while I’m pretty sure that President Obama sincerely believes that he’s planting jobs and tending them lovingly but that the harvest is pretty disappointing.

6 comments… add one
  • michael reynolds Link

    At some point in the dark, distant past presidents began taking credit for every job added during their tenure and blame for every job lost. I’m sure some voices were raised against this absurdity but they did not prevail. So now we simultaneously deny that the executive can create jobs, and blame/credit the executive for every change in the job market. We’re an inch away from being superstitious Russian peasants treating the Czar as semi-divine.

  • Steve Link

    I see no evidence that Washington is trying to stop job creation. I see evidence that they do not know how to increase job creation. That has been true for quite a while.


  • Icepick Link

    I see no evidence that Washington is trying to stop job creation.


  • Ben Wolf Link

    @ Icepick

    The link you provided links to another article suggesting the pipeline could be a net destroyer of jobs.


  • PD Shaw Link

    Ben, I think that link is claiming that it could be a net-destroyer of jobs in _the Midwest_ because the tar sands oil is currently going to refineries in Illinois and (I have to add “theoretically”) keeping gas prices down here.

  • Drew Link

    You do have a way with words, Michael. Oh that’s right, you re an author. I agree it’s gets overwrought, but I think it’s a pretty big mistake to deny that the politically driven policy environment has no effect on the economy.

    Do I think Obama wants to retard jobs growth. Of course not. I just don’t think he has a clue what to do, and misunderstands the knockon effects of his policy stance.

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