Saturday, October 20, 2012

Job Creation Means What?

Every time I hear politicians talk of  job creation I wonder what exactly they're talking about? It's the creation part that confuses. Other than adding new government positions or government operated programs such as WPA in the 1930s politicians (government) don't create jobs, nor should they try given current deficit concerns. And anyway, we know its not actual job creation that's being discussed, rather its ways to prime the pump of job creation.

Here are two areas where I believe the federal checkbook should be opened and opened big time; infrastructure (particularly transportation) and education (particularly in technical areas). Huge amounts of federal money should be spent in these areas over the next five years give three caveats.

     - money should flow quickly and easily with minimal strings attached

     - the process of how its spent should be fair, efficient and graft free

     - uses should favor labor intensive projects when possible and be tightly targeted

Remaining competitive as a nation and an economy depends on expenditures in these areas. There's no choice really, both must be done.

Everyone, regardless of political party or philosophy, benefits from new and upgraded transportation infrastructure. Projects of this type are the very definition of trickle down economics. People go to work, critical stuff gets built and money is spread throughout the economy. I know, it costs. Fair enough but try not doing it and see how much it costs later on. This is something both parties should be agreeing to do but of course politics has gotten in the way.

As for education, start by identifying where lacks and gaps exist. Employers are saying they have positions but can't find qualified candidates. Identify and target. This should be easy to do considering all the data that's accumulated by just the Department of Labor. Fund the student or fund the program but get on with filling the gaps ASAP. Get creative! Skip traditional colleges unless they adapt and reduce costs. Cut out the middle-men and the fat making the piggies squeal. Make the process brutally efficient.

Bringing jobs back to the US or finding ways to foster the creation of new manufacturing jobs here at home are hot topics. Trade policy, currency rates, tax rates and more should all be part of this discussion. But at the end of the day, we need a top notch transportation infrastructure and an educated workforce to build upon.

Leave job creation to the business world where it resides anyway.

Travel well.
John Jeffrey Lundell

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