Thursday, January 26, 2012

@ FutureChallenges: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: It's the Fundamentals

My newest article at FutureChallenges has just been published. Linked to the content package, Work in the Developing World, the article, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: It's the Fundamentals, explores the current economic issues faced by the United States and offers a discussion on a possible way to attack the jobs problem.
It is clear, to even the most casual observers of American politics, that one of the most pressing problems of the past several years and a poignant issue in the 2012 election cycle is jobs. With unemployment rates at dismal levels—8.5% as of December 2011—and not having fallen below 8.0% since January 2009, Democrats and Republicans have been slogging it out over who is to blame and what steps need to be taken to ameliorate the situation.

This marks a significant change in the focus of the American electorate. Following 9/11, security and terrorism were, for at least a decade, the primary issues on most Americans’ minds. However, as Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy, argues, the 9/11 era is over. Over the next few years, economics—especially jobs—will be the driving force behind politics, both in the United States and abroad.

But while politics shift to an economic focus and politicians and pundits began to scrutinize, bolster, and tear-down each others’ and their own job-creating records, many gloss over the fact that governments are rarely directly responsible for creating actual jobs. This is particularly true in free-market systems with relatively small public sectors such as the United States. Instead, governments can indirectly facilitate job creation by generating a favorable economic environment, thus establishing the foundational prerequisites needed for the private sector to flourish.
To see the remainder of the article, please click here.

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