The Myth of 4.5 Million New Jobs by John Lott, 13-Aug-12 (Real Clear Politics)
The Obama administration, Democrats in the media, and even readers of this blog like to point out the 22 straight months of job growth. But these claims conveniently ignore the 8 million more working age Americans since Obama took office, the equivalent of 128,000 new jobs needed every month simply to tread water. Lott updates the Obama campaign's jobs chart (h/t John Myste) to account for growth in the working-age population, taking a little wind out of their sales. "Under Obama, after accounting for population growth, employment shrunk by an average of -0.02% each month."
Regulation Keeps Unemployment High by Wayne Crews and Ryan Young, 31-Oct-11 (Real Clear Markets)
The simple point of this article is that "when regulations make hiring employees more expensive, companies won't hire as many of them." The Small Business Administration says it costs about $10k per employee to comply with the 165k page Code of Federal Regulations. Add to this the 4,200 new rules in the regulatory pipeline, and you see why businesses might hesitate to hire. Many in the Obama administration try to defend their policies and deny that regulatory uncertainty is keeping unemployment high, but it's indisputable that if government makes "hiring more expensive... fewer people get hired."
To Increase Jobs, Increase Economic Freedom by John Mackey, 16-Nov-11 (The Wall Street Journal)
Mackey argues that unemployment remains persistently high because economic freedom in the U.S. is declining. He proposes a few reforms. First, cut the size of government, which is "gobbling up trillions of dollars from our economy" and will eventually need to be repaid through higher taxes. Second, Mackey would trim military spending from 43% of what the rest of the world spends on defense to just 23%. Next, he would raise the retirement age and means test Social Security and Medicare to make them sustainable in the long-term. Finally Mackey proposes eliminating most tax deductions and lowering all tax rates, with a top rate of no more than 15% or 20%. Sure, that'll happen. The complete list includes corporate tax reform and regulatory reform, so click through for the entire piece.
The Folly of Subsidizing Unemployment by Robert Barro, 30-Aug-10 (The Wall Street Journal)
An economics professor at Harvard and fellow at the Hoover Institution, Barro calculates extending unemployment benefits to 99 weeks prevented the unemployment rate from falling to 6.8% (in 2010). Instead of balancing compassion with efficiency, this policy of compassion subsidizes unemployment, "causing insufficient job-search, job-acceptance and levels of employment. A further inefficiency concerns the distortions from the increases in taxes required to pay for the program."
The Unemployment Situation is Getting Worse by Louis Woodhill, 27-Jul-11 (Forbes)
Even as the unemployment rate dips, the rate of employment is deteriorating. As we've learned in the year since Woodhill wrote this piece, we've seen job growth decelerate each month. The jobs recovery started weak (0.7 million jobs lost in the first 24 months of the recovery), but has only gotten weaker as time has gone on.
Democrats Killed Obama's Jobs Bill by Joseph Curl, 2-Oct-11 (The Washington Times)
On September 8th, 2011 President Obama told Congress to pass his American Jobs Act. He claimed that his proposal included nothing controversial and could be supported by both Democrats and Republicans. He lied and he knew it. In fact, even Democrats couldn't support the American Jobs Act, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Why Tax Increases Depress Jobs an Economics21.org editorial, 25-Jul-12
"Those who support tax increases tend to be dismissive of the impact of tax rates on behavior," argue the editors of e21. But there is clear evidence that raising taxes hurts the job market. First, most high earning households have two income earners, so higher marginal rates affect the second earner the most, and they often leave the workforce. Second, higher taxes affect consumption as high earners shift purchases to "deductible consumption," things that are tax deductible. Finally, higher tax rates affect "the decision to contract out for domestic services, which depresses the hours worked of housekeepers, mechanics, contractors, painters, child care professionals, and other service providers." Don't believe anyone who tells you raising taxes on the rich won't hurt the job market.
Minimum Wage and Black Unemployment by Thomas Sowell, 7-Feb-12 (Real Clear Politics)
Bouncing off a statement by a prominent Republican about raising the minimum wage, Sowell recounts the damage that a minimum wage has done on black Americans. "We have gotten so used to seeing unemployment rates of 30 or 40 percent for black teenage males," he writes, so many people will be shocked to learn that in 1948 the unemployment rate for black teenage males was only 10%, lower than whites of the same age. Sowell argues that this is because inflation had driven wages up so that there was no effective minimum wage in the '40s. As such, demand for unskilled, entry-level labor was high. As the minimum wage was raised, starting in the 1950s, so did black unemployment.
Job Creation 101 by Robert Samuelson, 12-Sep-11 (Real Clear Politics)
Samuelson starts with the basics, outlining the two conditions that must be present for businesses to create jobs. "First, extra demand for their products justifies more workers. Second, the extra demand can be satisfied profitably." He's willing to stipulate that government can create jobs in a slump, "but the effect is temporary and isn't automatic." One problem with the first stimulus is that it didn't permanently increase demand (condition one), so proponents argue that more stimulus is needed. Opening up the question on why the first stimulus didn't create as many jobs as proponents said, and how they know a second stimulus will do any better. "No policy will succeed unless it results in self-sustained hiring by private firms."