55.000 stupid ways to spend a billion USD

I am like most people. Sometimes I get upset with decisions that Swedish politicians make. Sometimes I get a little upset, and sometimes I get very angry. Now I am getting very, very upset, and feel how my heart starts pounding harder.

Our Minister of Finance Per Nuder just revealed that the government has come up with a brilliant new way of creating new jobs. The government is setting up a two-year plan where 8 bn SEK will be spent on creating 55.000 new jobs in the public service sector (elderly care et cetera).

The obvious problem is that the government will spend roughly 120.000 SEK per new job and month. And we are talking about jobs that give the employee not much more than 12.000 in their pocket (10 percent). Per Nuder's comment to this is that "You can not look at it like that. The costs vary between the different parts [in the program]."

Ok, so you can not look at it like that? Even though the program has been communicated as a way to create new jobs? Doh.

PLEASE! HELP ME! I don't know what to do. I would really, really like to slap Per Nuder's hands. It feels like he is a thief sticking his hands down my cookie jar. Why do YOU have to spend the money? If you want to help the elderly, lower the taxes on those services. Or maybe even raise the lowest pensions. If you want more jobs, lower the costs to hire people (and especially for small and mid-sized companies).

My message to Per Nuder and Göran Persson:

Please, let us decide what to do with our lives. Just because you happen to find a billion dollars in the budget that materialized due to a stronger-than-expected economy, it doesn't mean YOU have to spend it. Where does this spending-other-people's-money-obsession of yours come from? Trust the people to make their own decisions, for a change.

Sometimes it is good to interfere. When it comes to creating new jobs for the future, we might need some redistribution of wealth. But we also need a government that does not decide in detail how that redistributed wealth is spent.

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