What do you want to see in a jobs program?

Manufacture This has a blog post, What do you think a jobs bill should say? Good question. While they leave an email address to send in ideas, I thought we might post our ideas into the public sphere.

Leave your policy and legislation wish list in a comment and I will update the post with suggestions.

Here is what I would like to see:

  • Cancel all State and Federal offshore outsourced contracts. Bring those jobs back.
  • Immediate freeze on all guest worker Visas.
  • Mandatory Expansion of Nursing Schools with above market value Professor Salaries. Students must be permanent residents, U.S. citizens.
  • Efficient Direct Jobs program based on what has worked and been the most successful in the past. Criteria is employment and public works projects have the most effectiveness, long term on the U.S. national interest and economy. Require U.S. citizenship or Permanent Residency for all jobs. No private, no-bid contracts. Require department be efficient and effective, under the same principles as a profitable private corporation. Employees can be fired for non-performance. Models are the CCC and the WPA.
  • Tax credits and Grants for Businesses engaging in U.S. Citizen/Perm Resident Employee Training with retention of that employee at least 2 years.
  • Expansion of College co-ops, internships and new graduate hires, with U.S. citizen, permanent resident status, by incentives and mandates.
  • Investigate current age discrimination complaints and prosecute.
  • Change unemployment to allow hours reduction, instead of layoffs, the difference in wages comes as supplement from insurance.
  • Federal Backed Venture Capital Fund utilizing existing Venture Capitalists. All funded start-ups must be U.S. based and must hire U.S. citizens, permanent residents.
  • Reform the SBA for corruption and inefficiencies.
  • Require research grants to utilize U.S. citizens, permanent residents.
  • Reduce Administration and increase Teacher, Research Salaries in all Public Universities (zero sum).
  • Expand Vocational Rehabilitation programs which have past track records of success to those who have economic disadvantages, on a sliding scale.
  • Sliding Scale Payroll tax holiday, based on Business profits of 2008 and 2009.
  • Tax incentives revoked upon refusal to hire U.S. citizens, local residents.
  • Requirement of all FCDCs operating in the United States to have a majority of employees be U.S. Citizens, permanent residents.

I'm leaving out things like reform trade policy, force China to float their currency, change of executive pay, corporate governance, change of tax code and other policy elements to once again strengthen the U.S. middle class, labor, advanced R&D, innovation and manufacturing. They are critical to rebuild a U.S. middle class and economy but I'm focused on just jobs in this post.

One might notice I am limiting a jobs program to the U.S. domestic economy. One of the biggest issues is global labor arbitrage and it's effects are seen from wage repression to institutionalized age discrimination to workers being forced to train their replacements before being fired to manufacturing moving offshore. The United States cannot be the job market of the globe as evidenced by our growing poverty, bankruptcies, high unemployment rate and shrinking middle class.

Meanwhile, the Business Titans (Cronos perhaps?) are meeting for a Jobs Summit. There is no doubt policies which have offshore outsourced jobs will be presented as economic growth by many of these multinational corporations and their leaders.

The business leaders represent companies large and small, and both traditional and innovative. They include CEOs such as Eric E. Schmidt of Google, and Robert A. Iger of the Walt Disney Co., as well as David Ickert, an executive of Air Tractor Inc. of Olney, Texas, a small manufacturer of planes for agriculture and forest fire-firefighting, an administration official said on Sunday.

See any regular Georgina & Joe mentioned in the article, who happen to be working America? Most of the U.S. job engine not only doesn't have their own lobbyists and seemingly revolving door access to the White House, most are also not organized by any small business association, professional society (that actually represents their labor interests) or union.

What do you wish to see? Recall the slogan of The Economic Populist is to Speak Your Mind 2¢ at a time.



One of the biggest threats of long term unemployment

is the loss of skills. The best way to address this situation, IMO, is to have one of two things:

1) Jobs Guarantee program; and/or

2) Germany - like - short-time working program

Both programs would be counter cyclical and a much better alternative to straight unemployment insurance.

RebelCapitalist.com - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

Jobs Guarantee

I think that wouldn't work for a few reasons. Firstly they are not limiting it to just U.S. citizens, perm residents, so obviously a guarantee of a job is an immigration magnet beyond belief. We cannot employ the about ~100 million in the U.S. job market at it is, I don't think one wants to guarantee a job using taxpayer money to 1.5 billion global workers.

I also don't think one can guarantee a job because if someone can get paid without even showing up, doing the work....that's an incentive problem, seen in the U.S.S.R.

Then, there is a similar thing in India which has become a bureaucratic nightmare.

That's a huge problem with government programs generally, but from my reading, it appears Francis Perkins, FDR administration did so much to make sure programs were cost effective and efficient. It can be but the devil in the details. Why I think FDR's New Deal basically saved America and also gave America it's soul back, changed patriotism to a sense of community, of caring about one's fellows, to me they paid high attention to detail and results and that's why they were successful.

From this first Stimulus, I dare say the concept of "throw money at the problem" doesn't work, or at least isn't very effective.

I already have a direct jobs program in the list and Germany's short time unemployment benefits I put into the list. Germany's program works too so lots of evidence that it helps.

I guess this is another issue, they need to examine what paid out, what really worked, what's actually effective and what doesn't work out so well in the past.

This is something that drives me nuts. We see a lot of philosophy, strictly orthodox religions too, trying to craft labor and economic policy.

I'm not in those camps, I much more in the what's the most bang for the buck, what would actually work.

Does it make sense to give states billions of more debt fueled money when those very states already offshore outsourced hundreds of thousands of jobs...using taxpayer money?

Yes, details. Details.

Jobs guarantee program can have those limitations you mention - citizenship & permanent residents. People would be paid to do work. There will be examples of fraud & laziness in any program this size.

We need programs, particularly some direct jobs program, that can be implemented quickly. That may mean taking advantage of existing programs and agencies to do it. But as you point out with the previous stimulus - there has to be specific guidelines and "strings attached" to this money.

RebelCapitalist.com - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

So, I list a direct jobs program

in the first pass bullet list. What scares me to no end is how corrupt our government is. So how does one get administered, managed, deployed a truly effective program when we have corporate lobbyists, incompetence, corruption at every turn? To me, it needs to be run like a very tight ship. The CCC was a tight ship, almost military style or say the ROTC style.

If you get into some of these programs that were just not effective, scammed, played..we're going to go directly into that conservative crowd who gets very sick of wasting money with no results and hear the cries of "centralized planning, same as COMMUNIST U.S.S.R. did and so on.

I agree it can be modified but I had an offline "conservation" that made me highly suspect the focus was not recognizing basic economic laws, esp. labor economic laws that magically survived almost every political system in history. ;)

I agree with a lot of your ideas on this ...

I put some details on one thing I want here.

An audaciously and pragmatically crafted CECC would mesh perfectly with programs already being funded by the $80 billion green portion of the two-year stimulus package and with the still languishing American Clean Energy and Security act passed by the House five months ago. It could provide entry-level positions with good training and a job ladder for one of the most heavily unemployed demographics – men and women aged 18-25, especially those with only a high school diploma, though the program shouldn’t be for them alone. From those first government-funded green jobs, they could move on higher-skilled, better-paying ones in the private sector.

But, while immediacy is the issue of the moment, we also need to do something for the long-term. We need what every other developed country has: an industrial policy. Some of your examples fit into model. Industrial policy must include reworked trade policy. Not protectionist in the old sense, but one which doesn't have one participant playing by the rules while another cheats in its every breath.

Not pretending to be an economist

Not pretending to be an economist

Great addition Meteor

I heartily agree. I didn't list all of these types of things since I was trying to focus on jobs, but long term the U.S. needs a national, strategic industrial policy as well as trade policy. China, Japan, etc. they all have these 10 year, 20 year plans and they select certain key industries to give subsidies, protect so they grow too (those free traders will never admit this but it's true).

Like this entire "green jobs" hype. There is no long term plan, ensuring those jobs, those industry sectors create products in the U.S., are purchased by domestic industry, how to make it cost effective...i.e. the national long term strategic interest.

Same with advanced manufacturing, R&D. It's so absurd because even by the mathematics of trade theory (proved by Gomory and Baumol) it shows no, glorified outsourcing agreements are not a "win-win" and predict a "lose" for the 1st world country....that being us. So, not only do we not have a national long term strategy and plan, these inane trade policies do not conform to the theory at all.

worst job ideas ever from EPI

I'm fairly shocked to see such bad ideas coming from the Economic Policy Institute, but there you have it.

They want to do "community service" in "regional areas" and the focus is on almost busy work and of course teachers with very vague, notoriously useless "training".

Sorry but one needs to see the AAM manufacturing report, covered in this post.

This plan would not only give millions of jobs, it would require advanced skills, marketable skills and most importantly, infrastructure adds back to the U.S. GDP because it makes the nation more economically competitive.

Compare this plan to "picking up trash in poverty stricken areas". Isn't there a prison program that does that sort of thing?

AAM all the way baby.

STOP state governments from offshoring tax payer's money

State and Federal governments in their contracts with IT outsourcing companies do not talk about not offshoring, thereby many or all of these companies offshore the work in order to save shitloads of money which no doubt goes into CEO's bonuses.

It's wrong on multiple levels. Firstly, taxpayer dollars are used to employ people in other countries, and secondly outsourcing companies are pocketing the huge profits. All because the state forgot to mention in their contracts with these outsourcing companies that offshoring is not allowed. Hmm,.. may they intentionally forgot to include it. Food for thought!