There are two contrasting approaches for government to “create jobs” in the private sector. Government can regulate businesses with simple, easily understood regulations, or it can create about 25,000 pages of complex regulations which cost the economy more than a trillion dollars each year.

Government can permit reasonable domestic energy exploration and lower energy costs for businesses, or it can raise energy costs by restricting domestic energy production through a drilling moratorium and a restrictive permitting process.

Government can devise common sense environmental regulations, or it can use very restrictive Environmental Protection Agency regulations to increase the cost of doing business in America.

Businesses can provide more affordable health insurance for their employees by customizing the coverage to fit the needs of their employees. Government can make health care more costly by mandating a one-size-fits-all policy. Many businesses will drop their employer-provided health insurance and pay the $2,000 per employee fine.

Government can favor more costly union labor for its construction projects, or it can treat nonunion construction businesses equitably in open, competitive bidding. Government can politicize the National Labor Relations Board to favor union jobs and fight the creation of nonunion jobs or allow economic freedom in America.

Government can grow its revenue by economic policies which foster economic growth, or it can raise tax rates in hard economic times, which will restrict economic growth and increase unemployment.

Too often politicians make spending decisions for political purposes and not to help the economy.

Entrepreneurs make decisions to invest their time, talent and resources to start or expand a business when there is a reasonable chance of a profit.

Entrepreneurs must foresee the costs of doing business and compare this to their expected income. They take the risks and create the private-sector jobs. Government influences the process by either increasing the costs to businesses and entangling businesses in red tape or by lowering the cost of doing business and simplifying regulations.

American became great because it was a world leader in economic freedom. As our economic freedom has declined, America’s greatness has declined. Competing countries have increased economic freedom and are taking our jobs and our investment capital.

America can either hold firm or reverse the loss in economic freedom, or we can continue toward a government-run economy and the resulting slide into poverty and dependence on government.

Scuddy LeBlanc

retired extension educator