Skip to main content

The last campaign was not about jobs. This one needs to be.

Esra Kline was right on target today.
Ezra reports on the results of a study by Stanford's Ed Lazear, the chair of Bushes Council of Economic Advisers.

The politicians-are-failing theory of unemployment.

The problem is not a structural mismatch of jobs and skills, it is that businesses rely on consumers for business and there are not enough consumers with  enough disposable income to power an economic recovery.

As Ezra points out this is a solvable problem with a fairly easy fix in the form of a program that is not getting the exposure it should.

The unemployment problem they have, conversely, is the kind they could solve, or at least ameliorate, right now. The Obama administration even has a pretty good plan to do so: The American Jobs Act, which includes an expanded payroll tax cut, more infrastructure investment, better jobless insurance, a tax cut for firms that hire new workers, aid to state and local governments, and a program to rebuild schools and foreclosed properties. The law would cost around $450 billion, which the Obama administration proposes to pay for by closing tax breaks for richer Americans. Independent economists estimate it would create around two million jobs over the next two years.


Lazear and Spletzer constructed what they call an “industrial mismatch” index that compared vacancies and job openings in different industries. If the economy had suddenly developed a strong preference for one set of skills over another, we should see job openings in some industries skyrocket even as unemployment ((typo) rises). But that didn’t happen. “The industrial mismatch index in late 2011 is at the same level as before the 2007-2009 recession,” they conclude.
This is good news. It’s much harder to solve a math-and-ATMs problem than a nobody-is-buying-anything problem. Retraining workers takes a long time and is hard to do. Improving schools only helps the next generation. The kind of jobless problem that politicians seem to want is, weirdly, the kind they can’t solve anytime soon.
The unemployment problem they have, conversely, is the kind they could solve, or at least ameliorate, right now.
We need some passion and conviction behind creating new living wage jobs.

We need a War on Unemployment and Underemployment.

Originally posted to Bluehawk on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 11:03 AM PDT.

Also republished by Unemployment Chronicles.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site