Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has helped push stocks higher by pledging to keep borrowing costs low, but the news didn't stop the unemployment rate from rising to a 26-year high of 10.2 percent in October. President Obama is planning a jobs forum at the White House in December, to discuss ideas on how to put more people to work. What can the government do to put millions of unemployed Americans back to work? (Watch Obama announce the creation of a job summit)
Desperate times call for desperate measures: Two proposals on the table might help, says Alan Blinder in The Wall Street Journal. A tax credit for new jobs could invite fraud, but it also could do some good. And so could hiring people to do public-service work, such as fixing parks. "I would oppose both" if unemployment were just 5 percent, but "in deep recessions, sensible governments do things they would never do at full employment."
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Desperate times call for common sense: The Obama administration is already spending the nation "into economic oblivion," says Rob Schwarzwalder in the Family Research Council's blog. So further milking taxpayers to create jobs will only make matters worse. If the government wants to help, it should cut taxes on people and businesses, simplify regulations that cripple business growth, and "end the government-mandated 'health care reform' madness." Relieve companies of unnecessary burdens, and the jobs will come.
Obama must do more, fast: There are plenty of "sensible measures" that could spur job growth, say the editors of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Government programs, such as a public-service jobs plan, fit the bill, and so do measures to help businesses, such increasing Small Business Administration lending. The important thing is to act fast -- the health of the economy depends on it.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.