Blogs » Politcs Plus » Build it...Jobs will come


I guess one of the most important rules of problem solving is identifying the problem. Right now, 112 million out of the current 155 million jobs in this country are service related jobs; these are retail stores and services associated with them. They're doing relatively well, because about 80% of them will report that they're doing better than expected. They don't expect good holiday numbers, so they will probably hire accordingly. I wouldn't think our main job issue is in the service industry.

The job issue has hundreds of economist, running around looking for answers because the U.S. economy has always been an employment machine. We've had 83 million jobs added from 1960 to 2007 and only had six years of decline (1961, 1975, 1982, 2002, and 2003) but right now; we are still 7.6 million jobs below the pre-recession. The only thing, we know for certain, is "the people aren't buying, businesses aren't hiring." The debate whether small or big firms create more jobs is misleading because there are 500,000 start-ups annually, 80% of those will be out of business in 10 years. The older firms usually lay off the most people and they will resort to outsourcing, to beef up their bottom line. Some will say the entrepreneurs will lead us to economic recovery but venture start-up capital is hard to obtain.

Newt Gingrich is urging Republican candidates to make next month's election a fight "between the Democratic Party of food stamps and the Republican Party of paychecks." There are 48 million people on food stamps, most them will not be voting in November, because they will be in a job application line or relocating to find a job that meets their qualifications. I don't think it's appropriate to mock the unfortunate during a jobless recovery... I believe a lot of people are just one paycheck away from poverty and the jobless would love to be employed. Show the way to pay checks republicans, and I will drive people to the registration booths to vote for you, because you would have earned it... I'm not talking about party platform ideas or ideology; just well paying jobs. History tells us that the most vulnerable people are normally used as a scapegoats, during a downturn or a recession.

I thought Newsweek’s, Ezra Klein, had a great idea, about starting some infrastructure projects. I know the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act earmarked billions of dollars for infrastructure but it was given to the states; without day- to- day oversight or a cost- benefit analysis. We did learn one positive thing from that project; the funds needed were 20% less, because after the construction business collapsed, they sold their materials in a fire sale..i.e. The government provided enough money for the Federal Aviation Administration for needed runway repairs. They estimated 300 runways but were able to complete 337 because of the low cost of materials.

As I'm writing this blog, I can hear voices saying" quit spending stupid" but I move on, because, as Mr. Klein says" you run a deficit both when you borrow money and when you defer maintenance." "As for the debt, delaying a dollar of needed repairs is no different from racking up a dollar the government owes." The Society of Civil Engineers gave our infrastructure a "D" saying that it would take about $2.2 trillion for repair and upgrades.

Right now unemployment in the construction sector is at 17%, not counting those who have left the profession or no longer looking for work. The administration is proposing $50 billion, but that is just nickel- and- diming, the problem. The interest on 10 year Treasuries is less than 3 %( lowest since the 1950s) material is cheap, and we have the needed labor. As people go back to work, there will be more tax revenues to start reducing the deficit and debt.... I think when unemployment reaches about 8%, the conflict we are in, will start to simmer, and then we will use the extra energy for innovation, cooperation, and idea sharing on our way to economic recovery. I don't know about you, but I hate hearing that China will have high speed rail from one end of their country to another and that you rarely run into a pothole in Europe. I hate hearing world travelers saying that our airports and public transportation are inferior to theirs. I like to think that we've been busy lately, doing other things but just as soon as we're finished with that; we will surpass and bury you.

* Oct 11, 2010 issue of Newsweek Page 21,”If you build it....Ezra Klein..**

**Oct 11,2010 issue of Newsweek page 26.”The Real Jobs Machine..Robert Samuelson.