It's easy to focus too much on jobs in a down economy. In our society, a job can define you. It's how most of us earn our living, get our health insurance and save for retirement. The unemployment numbers are simple to understand, and as President Barack Obama said last week, everyone in America probably knows someone who has recently lost his or her job.
But as important as jobs are to individuals, they can be a distraction for governments. Presidents and governors tend to be measured by the number of jobs created on their watch. And the voters, encouraged by the media and whichever party is not in power, are led to believe that governments can "create" jobs.
In reality, as the discussion in this week's Sunday Conversation reveals, there is a lot more to the economy than jobs. In theory, we could have a very healthy economy with no employees at all, if everyone were self-employed. But the opposite is not true. We cannot have enough jobs without a healthy economy.
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