"The blunt truth is that Obama's jobs plan will not work."


New York University law professor Richard Epstein (read his contributions to Reason here) summarizes his part in a recent public debate over the merits of President Barack Obama's jobs plan:

It is never fun to be the bearer of bad tidings, but the blunt truth is that Obama's jobs plan will not work. The audience, however, was in no mood to acknowledge that there is no magic short-term fix of the sort that [debate opponents] Zandi and Rouse promised. Indeed, the full set of proposals in the Obama jobs plan is likely to set matters back even further. Zandi and Rouse's misguided optimism demonstrates everything wrong in today's thinking about job creation in the United States.

The only way to fix the short-term unemployment problem is by fixing the long-term issues that have fallen into treacherous disrepair over the past decade. Several long-term issues that must be fixed include, for starters, minimum wage legislation, unionization, and employer health-care mandates. Then, once we get an improved business environment, investors and employers will come off the sidelines and start investing and hiring. But without that change, prudent investors will shy away from productive ventures, preferring to hoard their money in treasury bills. The longer we wait to implement these overdue reforms, the more delayed the recovery will be.

Watch Epstein discuss his old University of Chicago Law School colleague Barack Obama with Reason.tv below:

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  1. Looking at the beneficiaries of this jobs bill, it looks more like a "votes buying" bill.

  2. Why do we get douchbags running for office when guys like this are available?

    1. Because nobody will vote for a candidate who tells them that the free lunches they've grown accustomed to will be coming to an end.

    2. To run for office, you have to be good at appealing to raw emotion. The logical need not apply.

  3. Richard Epstein is my favorite human being.

  4. Oh, I see, Lowering wages and benefits for workers who are already barely making ends meet will create jobs. Obama is such an idiot.

  5. Isn't this laissez-faire approach exactly what we tried from 1979 to
    2007, when inequality shot through the roof, according to the CBO?

    NO! What we had is government interference into free markets and when government interferes it distorts the market and bubbles are created and popped. Take Fannie and Freddie with all their just sign here and own a home loans for instance. It created a boom as homes were in demand and put a lot of people to work building them but it was a bubble bound to pop because it was created by government forcing banks out of time tested loan standards the community organizers like Obama called racist. You know its racist for a bank to require good credit, 10-15% down and ability to pay loan with one week's pay etc...

    Many people want to blame Wall St and the removal of Glass-Steagall but the fact is if that never happened there is still a banking crisis because of sub primes loans banks were forced to come up with by government that were based on the economy.

    And another thing to consider is that if all those loans that were packed and sold were time tested loan standards before the government interfered then the Glass-Steagall thing wouldn't have mattered much because they would have been responsible loans where mortgages were paid regardless of slowing economy.

    Pols like to have it both ways. For example Democrats are demonizing banks for not making small business loans yet require banks to have more cash on hand before making them. Dodd/Frank did that and did not address the F&F problem. Another example of government interfering into free markets is the Durbin Tax banks are now charging for debit card use. Example: Walmart and banks willfully agreed that Walmart will pay pennies per purchases using debit cards so banks didn't charge you the customer to cover their processing cost. The Durbin Tax removed that and now banks have to charge you $5.00 a month for your debit card whether you use it or not to cover the cost while Dick Durbin demonizes banks for charging that fee he forced them into charging.

    Pols love to have both ways and its the same thing with the 70,000+ pages of tax code where pols are demonizing companies they tax for raising the cost of their product or service after pols raise their cost through higher taxes. Pols know those cost are always passed onto the consumer but its a win/win for them because they can then demonize the companies.

    Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan gets rid of all those hidden taxes and loopholes within the 70,000+ pages of tax code lobbyist lobby them to change etc... and when implemented 9-9-9 will result in an economic boom with cheaper products because companies will evaluate their bottom line with the money they save and lower cost trying to steal consumers from their competition. Competition is always good for the consumer and this is exactly why big corps lobby for taxes and loopholes that'll hurt their small business counterparts and exactly the reason we need a Main St President not a Wall St POTUS like Obama has been or Romney will be.

    Basically at the root of the problem with the mortgage crisis is this noble but misguided idea that everyone deserves to own a home. Its not true! You deserve to ow a home when you can meet the free market standards for getting a loan. To pretend as pols do that banks want to loose money on their loans and need a bailout is nonsensical.

  6. A letter to the editor mentions Paris circa 1790s but the peasants revolting now put the current POTUS into power. Or are they revolting solely against the "obstructionists" who just so happen to represent ~50% of the country?

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