The New Necessity of Government Job Creation
Today's terrible reality, that we must now finally face up to, is that businesses, on the whole, simply won't be creating more jobs unless forced to; therefore government must step up to the plate. That means a direct shift in government policy from relying on markets to create jobs by flooding corporations with cash via bailouts, zero interest rate loans to banks, and multiple business tax cuts, to a government policy of direct job creation, as required.
An effective program would target immediate, intermediate, and long-term job creation. For example, service sector jobs can be created more quickly, whereas jobs on large infrastructure projects take much longer to ramp up. The same applies to alternative energy projects.
A third of the available first-year funding, about $500 billion, should go toward establishing a government Alternative Energy Public Investment Corporation (AEPIC) to produce solar, wind, and other infrastructure, so as to jumpstart these new industries. The current approach of the Obama administration is to provide government loans to private sector company startups. However, it is clear that these comparatively small companies are increasingly unable to compete with Chinese and other European companies, and are in decline financially. So we need to face the fact that only a large-scale U.S. government project can compete with other, heavily government-dependent, subsidized, and virtually government-run companies in this sector, in Asia and Europe.
Another $250 billion would fund traditional infrastructure jobs, emphasizing infrastructure repair projects in the U.S. Labor intensive projects should also be given strong preference, as opposed to big-ticket-cost projects that hire few people initially and where most of the funding is spent on expensive equipment and materials.
In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps was created immediately, and 500,000 workers (the equivalent of 2 million in today's larger labor force) were hired in a matter of months to clean up forests and build rural structures. Today a similar organization--a Civilian Reconstruction Corp (CRC)--could focus on repair of roads, public lands, and inner city structures owned by the government, i.e. community facilities, local health clinics, and the like. Job creation need not be exclusively by government, but could be shared with private sector employers, or even totally contracted out if immediate hiring is necessary.
For quick job creation, some of the funding might be dedicated to the establishment of local health clinics, as part of a third program -- for example, a Community Health Services Corp (CHSC). The just mentioned CRC could build these clinics -- or better yet, convert other buildings and structures in the inner cities and elsewhere. These health clinics would be staffed by doctors, nurses, technicians, and other government-sponsored employees. The availability of these new clinics would offload the growing burden on hospital emergency rooms and provide immediate healthcare for the current 50 million uninsured and the tens of millions on Medicaid, thereby also offloading some of the costs of Medicaid on States' budgets. Salaries could be paid by a combination of direct payment from the $200 billion allocated for this program and generous tax deductions for pro bono work by professionals. Part of the funding would also go towards a federally sponsored mass training program that would bring 100,000 new health-care professionals and related staff into this sector. Government-subsidized training costs would be worked off by guaranteed years of service in these new facilities: $50 billion annually would fund employee hiring and equipment for these community clinics.