Americans are desperate for jobs and they are willing to do almost anything in the name of creating jobs, except the things that work.
Things that do work include:
- Give people without jobs enough money to live so they won’t lose their homes. If you refuse, you will get a Flint Michigan with blocks and blocks of boarded up homes and boarded up businesses. If you do offer support, the recipients will spend every penny locally stimulating local businesses and causing them to hire. The non-partisan budget office considers this the most efficient technique.
- Pay businesses to hire people. It can be in the form of a partial subsidy (or a full subsidy for a worker who has been difficult to place). When a business can produce goods and services more cheaply because of subsidised labour costs, it can afford to go into weaker markets. Their activity stimulates more activity. And/or punish businesses for laying off or failing to hire. These subsidised workers often move on to better paying jobs, opening them up for inexperienced workers. In my rôle as an employer in Canada, I helped perhaps a dozen people re-enter the workplace through such a program.
- Spend on infrastructure. It directly creates jobs. When you are done you have roads, bridges sewers, water mains… that will serve commerce and make it business more profitable for decades to come.
- Discourage outsourcing. Pay companies to keep jobs at home or to bring back ones they have already outsourced.
What does not work?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)
- Start yet another war. Wars are extremely expensive relative to the number of jobs created. Much of the consumption/stimulus is overseas. Soldiers stationed overseas spend their money on foreign food, alcohol, drugs and sex workers. When you are done, you have nothing to show for your money but giant holes in the ground.
- Give $700 billion to the top 2% of rich people. Despite the recession of 2008, the rich have never had it better. They are scooping fabulous luxuries like $20,000 watches from Tiffany’s. They will not spend their money on hiring people unless they have customers lined up for whatever those workers would produce. If the middle class are broke, there are no customers. So the rich just fritter away their money on imported luxuries which does bugger all to create jobs. The non-partisan budget office considers this the worst technique suggested to them for evaluation.
- Give across the board tax cuts. That money will be used in a million different ways, only some of which will create jobs. Consider that travel, buying imported goods, saving, investing overseas and paying off the mortgage are all quite sensible ways of spending a windfall, but none of them generate any jobs.