What would have happened if the president's first act as president was to have announced a series of jobs summits? What if he invited in leaders from every segment of society--small businesses, large businesses, academic, unions, lobbyists, activists, both parties, governors, mayors, etc.--BEFORE the stimulus was even passed, and captured their ideas.
And put those ideas in the stimulus?
The likelihood is that the stimulus might have been the same, yet palatable, maybe it would have been even big enough to make a difference.
The new Obama administration begins roughly around November 16. He can start anew now with input from the shellacking.
Here are some steps that would make a difference:
- Name a Jobs Czar that reports directly to the President.
- Freeze all earmarks until unemployment drops below 8% for six months.
- Host a jobs summit, quarterly, and hold them in places like Flint, Michigan, the pinnacle of rust belt decline.
- Post two scoreboards on the front page of the whitehouse.gov home page.
The unemployment rate that month, both percentages and raw numbers and the number of jobs created that month by the Recovery Act, and subsequent job actions.
- Issue a call to the American people, and especially to small businesses on what's holding them back from creating jobs. Have them email or mail the Jobs Czar what's holding them back in getting or creating jobs. Just like Obama reads 10 leaders a day. The Czar's staff needs to pick 10 ideas a day to grow jobs. If a 1099 form is particularly onerous, get rid of it.
- Get consensus on economic sectors that have the most potential in the future. Get the Republicans to say that green jobs are good, by including the private sector, especially technocrats.
- Stop using the term, Infrastructure, and replace it with the word jobs.