Bill Clinton has proposed a blueprint for creating jobs and ending the unemployment crisis. Altogether, he has 14 ideas, which he shares in Newsweek.
Not all of his suggestions are terrible. But the most thought-out and specific ones seem like they were taken out of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, especially the five that are “green” iniatives. The idea that the government could put unemployed people to work on green jobs to the benefit of the economy was fatuous in 2008. That Clinton doesn’t have any better ideas now, three years later, is frightening, if it’s any indication of what the Democrats and Obama are thinking.
For example, Clinton suggests that “We could put a million people to work retrofitting buildings all over America.” Has he not heard Obama acknowledge that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects”? Retrofitting buildings to lower energy consumption is not a low-skill job. The government cannot will into existence thousands of companies with all of the diverse capabilities needed to retrofit builldings, much less guarantee that those companies would draw their new hires from the ranks of the currently unemployed.
Or how about this idea, filed under “state-by-state solutions”:
There may be some things that the states can do to loosen this up. One of the reasons Harry Reid won in Nevada is that, right before the election, two big Chinese companies announced they were moving factories there to make LED lightbulbs and turbines for the big wind farms down in Texas. Nevada is a little state, and it gained more than 4,000 jobs.
Or this one:
The U.S. didn’t ratify the Kyoto accords, of course, because Al Gore and I left office, and the next government wasn’t for it. They were all wrong. Before the financial meltdown, the four countries that will meet their Kyoto greenhouse-gas emission targets were outperforming America with lower unemployment, more new business formation, and less income inequality.
So we ratify Kyoto, and then add millions of jobs? How?
And this idea isn’t an idea at all:
11. TEACH SKILLS WE NEED
I’m trying to figure out why job seekers don’t have the skills companies need; why the community colleges and vocational programs, which have done such a great job for America, are not providing more people with the skills to fill these vacancies. Do people just not enroll in the right programs or do they drop out because of the economy? I hope we can find out.
This is kind of the whole show. The economy needs to match workers’ skills to jobs; there’s not much the government can do to help that process.
On the other hand, Clinton’s best ideas are the ones that sound the most Republican. Clinton suggests cutting corporate tax rates and suspending state environmental regulations. Too bad those weren’t on the table in 2008.
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