This morning on the radio I heard that the G20 leaders are meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, because President Obama wants to show off a Rust Belt city that has diversified its economy so well that it has an unemployment rate 2 percentage points below the national average. The implication was that if all cities diversified in such a way--what, they'd all have an employment rate 2 percentage points below the national average?
How stupid can you get?
If every city did what Pittsburgh has done, then some of those jobs wouldn't be in Pittsburgh, they'd be elsewhere--perhaps in Wichita, or Fresno, or Bismarck, or Detroit. If every city did what Pittsburgh has done, then the job distribution would spread and every city would have pretty much the same unemployment rate. Every city would be right at the national average.
It's a zero-sum game right now. More jobs in Pittsburgh means fewer jobs elsewhere, because the economy can't absorb or create any more jobs.
I don't fault the Pittsburghians for doing what they've done, certainly not. But to hold their policies as some exemplar--well, it couldn't be that way everywhere.
Except Lake Wobegon.
(P.S. How are we enjoying all those peaceful leftist G20 protesters? They're so much more law-abiding than the Tea Partiers, aren't they?)