Friday, June 11, 2010

Two different takes on job creation in NYT

I was struck by two different columns that appeared Tuesday in the Times about job creation.  The first sentence in David Leonhardt's column tells you exactly what to expect: "One of the political mysteries of the last year is why the White House and Congress have not been even more aggressive about trying to put people back to work."  Leonhardt seems to believe that job creation depends on tax and spending policy in DC, along with a little help from Ben Bernanke.  He thinks we really need another stimulus package -- as if the 2008 and 2009 stimuli worked so well.  Another quote: "the Fed has taken no recent action to spur the economy."  Hello!  Hasn't lowering short term rates to zero been enough?  Do we start taxing people's cash balances so that we get negative interest rates?  End of rant. 

Tom Friedman's "A Gift for Grads: Start-Ups" column focuses on encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation.
We need three things: start-ups, start-ups and more start-ups.

Good jobs — in bulk — don’t come from government. They come from risk-takers starting businesses — businesses that make people’s lives healthier, more productive, more comfortable or more entertained, with services and products that can be sold around the world. You can’t be for jobs and against business.

Friedman suggests that we provide green cards to foreign students who graduate from US universities and change immigration rules to make it easier for entrepreneurs to enter the country.  As Alan Greenspan suggested, make them buy a house as part of the deal.

Two columnists for the same paper: one who thinks government creates jobs and another who thinks government needs to get out of the way.

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