[This video was originally released on January 25, 2011. Obama now assures America that he is indeed focused on jobs, jobs, jobs, and will give a speech later this week on that very topic.]
This year's Labor Day is marred by reports of zero job creation, record levels of unemployed teenagers, persistent high unemployment, and more.
Here's some Reason perspective on what's causing this to continue long after the recession officially ended and what to do to get people back to work.
First up, back on August 12, we asked a series of economists, journalists, and commentators to answer the question, "What Would You Do to Improve Job Growth?"
Here are snippets from some of the dozen-plus responses:
Deirdre McCloskey [economist, University of Illinois, Chicago]
…"Jobs" are deals between workers and employers, and so "creating" them out of unwilling parties is impossible. The state, though, can outlaw deals, and has. So: eliminate the minimum wage for people younger than 25. The resulting boom in jobs for young people will amaze. Maybe it will inspire voters to get the state out of the job-outlawing business. Probably not, so sure are we that the state "protects" by stopping deals between willing parties….
Bryan Caplan [economist, George Mason University]
…Easy: Cut employers' share of the payroll tax….
Ira Stoll [FutureofCapitalism.org]
…Congress should stop extending unemployment benefits, and better yet, restructure the unemployment insurance program or block-grant it to the states to allow them to experiment with ways of doing so. The idea is to change the program so it creates an incentive for recipients to get a job, rather than an incentive for them to remain unemployed….
Amity Shlaes [author, The Forgotten Man]
…The single thing the U.S. could do to ensure long-term growth, including that of jobs, is to reform our Federal Reserve so that monetary policy is rules-based, not personality-based. Even a return to the gold standard would do, though it is also possible to fashion a monetary regime under which the currency is pegged to a basket of commodities….
[Nick Gillespie talks Obama and jobs on Fox Business' Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano on Sept. 1, 2011]
Last week, I wrote about about Obama's coming jobs speech and discussed "Rhetoric, Reality, and the Great Recession." A snippet:
The starting point of any serious discussion about jobs, jobs, jobs should be the brutal fact that government, regardless of who is running it, cannot create positions apart from public-sector jobs. And those in most cases are zombie jobs that can only survive on infusions of fresh cash taken elsewhere from the economy via taxes. That's why state and local payrolls are being cut as federal stimulus dollars dry up….
Given that we're entering the thick of the presidential campaign season, there's a real sense that politics will be in a holding pattern. GOP presidential candidates such as former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman have released jobs programs that take comprehensive looks at how to fix the economy. Apart from any of their particulars, such plans are not near-term fixes and not simply because the people proposing them don't already occupy the White House. There are no short-term, rock-solid fixes. There's only a long, slow slog ahead that may well be about government doing less rather than frenetically doing more. That's a course of action which will require the sort of leadership that has been long absent in Washington.
Back in 2010, Reason.tv took a look at California's employment situation and concluded, "More Taxes or More Jobs?: California Shows You Can't Have Both." Take a look as actual business owners talk about the job-creating climate in a state that, just like the federal government, spent massive amounts of money under Republicans and Democrats yet never seemed to have two red cents to rub together at the end of the day.