With 20% of prime age men without jobs, you’d think that the chief executive of the United States and his team would be all over the problem.
The list of things to do is rather obvious: (a) keep tax rates low; (b) cut unproductive government spending (a la Chris Christie) wherever possible; (c) create incentives for creating jobs in the US rather than overseas; (d) suspend certain burdensome regulations and set up an emergency review process so that companies can exploit domestic versus foreign capacity; (e) seek to exploit areas where the US has low or competitive factor costs and where we can export or at least reduce imports; (f) recognize that the borrow from China / buy from China model is broken now and for all time, and aggressively try to turn the ship of state around before truly terrible things happen; etc.
Taking these steps and others is a 24/7/365 job. And here’s the critical point: even if all these steps are taken, it’s going to be a very hard slog to reverse the destructive trends that imperil the nation’s finances and the livelihoods of the people. In all likelihood, it’s going to be very slow and painful, even if we take all the right steps. And yet, the administration and Congress focus either on inanities or on destructive policies, and there is zero evidence that the White House even understands the depth and severity of the problems and the intense focus needed to change course and make things better.
What needs to be done to restore prosperity to the United States seems obvious — simple to state if complex to execute. The most peculiar thing is that there is so little outcry, among Democrats who surely know better, at the catatonic non-response of the Obama administration to a crisis of truly historic proportions.
Related reading: Paul Ryan’s roadmap.