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Thursday, October 23, 2014

David Brooks, "The Working Nation": Nothing Simpler Than Solving Unemployment?

I bet you never knew how easy it is to solve unemployment.

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Working Nation," David Brooks tells us how bad unemployment in the United States has become:

"The labor force participation rate is at its lowest in decades. Millions are in part-time or low-wage jobs that don’t come close to fulfilling their capacities. Millions more are in dysfunctional or unhealthy workplaces, but they don’t feel they can leave because they don’t think there are other jobs out there that pay the same amount."

Brooks also trots out the "same old, same old" solutions. He tells us that the government should:

  • "borrow money at current interest rates to build infrastructure;"
  • "reduce its generosity to people who are not working but increase its support for people who are;"
  • increase "wage subsidies,"
  • issue "relocation subsidies;"
  • undertake "tax reform;"
  • bring "the world’s most gifted and driven people to move to our shores;"
  • "double-down" on education.

And all that's needed:

"It just takes a relentless focus on job creation, bold political leadership and a country willing to be shaken out of its fear."

The flies in the ointment? First, a president who was never capable of "bold political leadership" and can't wait for Hillary to replace him.

And then there's also that small matter of a $17.9 trillion national debt, which just doesn't stop growing. You see, it's hard to "double-down" on anything when you've out of chips.

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