Friday, January 07, 2011

Creating Jobs

The Washington Post’s Steve Pearlstein is a D.C.-based media pooh-bah who seems much less relaxed than Doyle McManus is about the Republicans’ new power in Washington. In a column titled, “'Job-killing' regulation? 'Job-killing' spending? Let's kill this GOP canard,” Pearlstein sets out to strangle in the crib the Republican effort to link Obamacare, big government regulations, and big spending to job destruction:
Republicans these days [tell us] President Obama runs a "job-killing administration" with a "job-killing agenda" carried out by, you guessed it, a "job-killing bureaucracy." In the fevered Republican imagination, the entire federal government is a "job-killing machine" or - my personal favorite - a "job-killing beast."
Yeah. To my “fevered imagination,” that actually seems about right. But not to Pearlstein, who believes killing Obamacare is the most “effective way to reduce employment in the one sector that is actually adding jobs," that cutting “$100 billion this year from the government's domestic spending” means “the loss of close to a million jobs for government workers” (in Washington D.C., that especially hurts), and cutting regulations will “kill people rather than jobs.” (Ouch! Ouch!)

Pearlstein then wonders
how Republicans and their media posse would like it if Democrats started referring to "genocidal" deregulation or the "murderous" repeal of health-care reform. Or if Republican economic policies were likened to the infamous neutron bomb - they kill the workers but leave their jobs intact.
Finally, Pearlstein really goes over the top when he calls "job-killing" rhetoric “a throwback to the McCarthy era. . . the sort of economic fundamentalism better suited to Afghan politics than American.”

We get that Pearlstein likes the status quo, but believe his name calling means he has no constructive response to GOP plans. Bad pooh-bah.

By contrast Nick Schultz, writing in Forbes, puts forth two job-creating ideas:
The first idea is the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, or the REINS Act [which] would require that any economically significant regulation--meaning any rule that would have an annual economic effect of $100 million or more--must be sent to Congress for approval.
The second idea comes from
Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, [who] proposes what he calls a regulatory "pay as you go" system. Sen. Warner's plan "would require federal agencies to identify and eliminate one existing regulation for each new regulation they want to add."
Schultz recommends combining the two ideas into a single bill that could earn bipartisan support.

All job creating ideas, from anywhere, are welcome. In the UK Telegraph, Jeremy Warner explains why the West’s structural imbalance vis a vis the East makes job creation here so difficult. China saves, the U.S. spends, and there is no real answer to the problem, short or long term. Faced with this reality, Warner wisely concludes:
Imbalances within economies are common place. . . The trick with global imbalances must surely be to limit their potential for damage, rather than the futile endeavour of trying to get rid of them altogether. It's plainly in no one's interests that an excess of developing economy savings is allowed to finance another credit bubble in the already over-indebted West.
CNBC’s Larry Kudlow is more hopeful than Warner, believing
“there's an opportunity for both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to move in the direction of a supply-side economic growth model to reduce chronic unemployment and really get the economy moving again.” We know about the Republicans. What Kudlow is watching are signs the White House is becoming more business friendly, considering lower taxes on business and adding staff that better understands business needs.

Maybe Pearlstein didn’t get the memo.

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