“Hey Barack. I’ll Vote For You If You Act On These 5 Job Creation Steps.”…Maybe.

Outstanding!  For the first time since 1945 we created zero jobs, June & July job creation numbers were revised down by 58,000, average hourly earnings dropped 3 cents, work hours dropped 1/10 of a percent (that’s a lot….a 100K jobs worth of a lot), and the U6 unemployment sits at 16.2% which is laughable.  Here are five actions that could be taken that would create jobs now; right now.

Disband the White House Council on Jobs and American Competitiveness

Do we not all agree that the vast majority of jobs created in this country are those created by the small to medium size business?  Right, I thought so.  The White House must not have realized this back in January of this year, and nor have they realized it yet.  This Council has done nothing.  Nothing!  Led by mostly Fortune 1000 CEOs and bureaucrats they have yet to create a job.  We know this because if they had, the White House press would have shouted it from the rooftops.  The council is actually chaired by Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE who said in May of this year that “the era of globalization around cheap labor is over. … Today we go to Brazil, we go to China, … India, because that’s where the customers are.”  This guy is responsible for the elimination of tens of thousands of American jobs.

Pass the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea

Washington should do more to promote trade. American companies that increase exports create jobs.  We know previous FTAs supported 5.4 million jobs. Expanding foreign markets gives American businesses more opportunities to export.  Panama, Colombia, and South Korea are increasingly prosperous democracies and geopolitical allies with 100 million citizens and a combined GDP of $2 trillion.  FTAs with these three countries will mean more places for American businesses to export, and that will mean more American jobs. However, failure to pass the FTAs will cost the American economy 380,000 jobs. We can’t afford that.

Regulation Reform

Second, restoring balance to federal regulations can protect the public’s health and safety while relieving the uncertainty. Regulation reform can spur them to ramp up their businesses and create jobs. Regulations cost the economy $1.7 trillion a year. The cost of regulations per employee of a small business is more than $10,000 per year. The massive health care law creates 159 new agencies, commissions, panels, and other bodies. The financial regulatory reform bill has 259 mandated , another 188 suggested rule-makings, 63 reports, and 59 studies. The EPA is advancing 29 proposed major rules and 173 others. The Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are working on at least 100 regulations and policy changes covering a broad range of issues.  Reforming EPA rules regarding green-house gases and boiler emission standards along with implementing common sense rules from the Dodd-Frank Act are two regulatory actions that Washington could do now to relieve the burden on businesses so they can hire more workers.

corporate Tax Holiday/New Tax Rules

This was done in 2004 and it raised federal revenues noticeably but for only a short time. The repatriated money was principally distributed to corporate executives and shareholders and not used for any domestic job creation or investments. Reality destroyed the original arguments in favor of this tax holiday.

Modify Bankruptcy Laws.

Americans cannot spend more and increase aggregate demand because they are carrying too much debt in the form of mortgages, credit cards, medical bills, and student loans. With unemployment and underemployment that has shrunk to its 1999 level despite population growth making things worse the artificially low official unemployment numbers mask the real unemployment rate of nearly 17%. More than two-thirds of American households admit they could not come up with $2500 in cash within a short period of time without selling assets.

Congress and the Administration could focus their attention on something that does not deal with taxes, spending, new government programs and regulations. It would permit individuals, households, and private sector businesses to resolve some of the huge outstanding debts among themselves on a level playing field without any specific governmental interference or mandates. It would require some modest modifications to the US bankruptcy code but he would not increase governmental spending or taxes.

The US bankruptcy code has been modified numerous times over the past 200 years. The last major legislative changes were enacted in 2005. As a result of intense lobbying by banks, financial institutions, credit card issuers, and debt collection agencies, a Republican Congress and President George W. Bush enacted a severe set of rules against debtors, consumers, individuals, households and small businesses. The legislation was strongly opposed by many groups representing consumers and by prominent bankruptcy and legal scholars. It became effective at the beginning of 2006 before the bust of 2008 so it’s highly punitive and complex provisions against debtors, consumers, and households were not immediately felt.

In order to help individuals and households de-leverage the massive amounts of un-payable mortgage and student loan debts, the bankruptcy code must be changed accordingly. Making major modifications to the anti-consumer 2005 bankruptcy legislation would probably be too much for our completely partisan, ossified, paralyzed, and dysfunctional political system. However, changing the bankruptcy code to permit existing U.S. bankruptcy courts to modify or discharge first mortgages on primary residences, and to discharge or modify student loan debts would not require many statutory changes. It would require only a handful of pages to write.

Come on Washington.


Posted on September 2, 2011, in Economy & HR and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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