Talk of giving a much-needed jolt to the job market has petered out in the offices and chambers where something could actually be done about the country’s pervasive employment crisis. This priority problem in policy circles is unacceptable to economics whiz Paul Krugman, who proposes ideas to fill in the gaps. —KA
The New York Times:
So it’s time for an emergency jobs program.
How is a jobs program different from a second stimulus? It’s a matter of priorities. The 2009 Obama stimulus bill was focused on restoring economic growth. It was, in effect, based on the belief that if you build G.D.P., the jobs will come. That strategy might have worked if the stimulus had been big enough — but it wasn’t. And as a matter of political reality, it’s hard to see how the administration could pass a second stimulus big enough to make up for the original shortfall.
So our best hope now is for a somewhat cheaper program that generates more jobs for the buck. Such a program should shy away from measures, like general tax cuts, that at best lead only indirectly to job creation, with many possible disconnects along the way. Instead, it should consist of measures that more or less directly save or add jobs.