As you watch President Obama's "jobs speech" Thursday, or perhaps if you torture yourself by tuning in as pundits tell you what you just heard, here are a few things to keep in mind, at least in my opinion...
Companies need to step up and get back in the game
While government action can and is sometimes necessary to stimulate the economy, the bottom line is that companies create jobs, not government. No, I haven't gone all "supply side" on you, but it is true that companies are the ones who make decisions on the vast majority of hiring - where, how much, for what and when. There's no getting around that. Obama can talk a good game about tax credits or incentives, but if companies don't want to hire...and rather want to sit on their cash...they won't do it.
This is all related to my assertion that, guess what? The jobs ain't coming back. Companies - especially big ones who tend to employ (or used to) a lot of people - have weathered the economic storm and are now getting by without having to hire back costly items such as employees. So they won't.
Nope. Old jobs are not coming back. Forget about it and move on. The hope would be that "something new" comes along to spur growth, offer clear investment and hiring opportunities for companies and help alleviate the unemployment rate...and thus many of our other economic ills. This is actually the American spirit that has gotten us by in other times. Be it the automobile, the airplane, medical breakthroughs, the space race, computer chips, the Internet...something big has always come along to really boost our economy and usher in new good times. But this isn't happening now. The bubble burst and the ones left holding the money bags are not ready to invest in innovation and new sectors of the economy.
If government can help via stimulus, great. I am for it. But again, it is companies who hire. So, if you are ticked off that companies are not hiring...get mad at them.
We are in a "conservative economy" and have been for quite some time
Without a doubt, you will hear the Rs rebut Obama's recommendations as ineffective, too reliant on "big government," and wrong for the country. And no doubt, those same conservatives will say that what we really need is a big old helping of tax cuts, deregulation and "getting government off our backs" to free up the economy and get it moving again.
But here's the thing...we are already in that type of economy. Huge tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations were enacted 10 years ago and are still in effect. Aggressive deregulation of energy, financial, transportation, housing and other markets has been going on for 20+ years...and got a big boost over the last 10.
And Obama? He has repealed almost exactly none of that.
You think his "big government healthcare plan" is the problem. Nope. Virtually none of it goes into effect until 2014.
Think Obama is the guy responsible for the debt. Wrong again. Our historic and spectacular federal debt was hand delivered to America by Republicans in the short six years between 2001 and 2007 when they ran the White House and both houses of Congress - all on their watch, all in service of the same economic theories they're still talking about today and all while happily raising the debt ceiling without a peep of controversy.
So you see, we ARE IN a carefully and steadily constructed conservative economy. How you liking that?
Put another way, if tax cuts and deregulation are so good for the economy, where are the jobs?
Anyway, a couple things to ponder as you watch or hear about jobs over the next couple/few days.