Lars Larson: President Obama’s plan for jobs is not much of a plan

President Obama’s plan for jobs doesn’t sound like much of a plan and it sounds like a lot more borrowed money.

You know we’ve had some time to absorb what the President said in his State of the Union Address and I’m not terribly impressed.

The President says that he knows the number one issue for Americans is jobs. Well, thank goodness he realized it, only a year after he was elected to the Presidency. He wasted most of last year in that vain and invalid attempt to try to force government into health care, into illegal alien amnesty and into a cap and trade scheme to make electric prices skyrocket.

Now he’s finally got the message that jobs are the big concern. The problem is he’s also talking about cutting back on government spending in one area while at the same time increasing it by more than that amount in another area.

Government jobs programs never seem to produce jobs that actually stick around. It doesn’t sound like much of a plan. I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere. The President needs to further refine that message.

“For more Lars click here”

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  • Jerry

    This guy doesn’t care one whit about jobs for anybody. It is plain for all to see. He can do nothing to create jobs. He has done nothing to create any so far. We have lost jobs every single month since this guy was elected. He is totally out of it.
    So, nothing he does will result in any new jobs, which should be good for the country as a whole, as we slowly awaken to the fact that is is Carter all over again, only much worse.
    Much.

    • Ewald

      It is always easier to criticize instead doing it yourself. Do you really listen and understand what president Obama is saying? You have a great president maybe the best in history who understand the need of the people is hard working and is working with a great staff!
      The life for many Americans has become better since president Obama took office and America is respected in the world again.
      Even if you are not agree with everything president Obama does, it would you good for you to support him!

      • George Martin

        I will help him by getting a job.

      • mae

        I understand much better than you do. He’s killing the goose that laid the golden egg

  • Mike

    Who needed time to digest anything? The speech was a flop as soon as it began.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >Government jobs programs never seem to produce jobs that actually stick around. It doesn’t sound like much of a plan. I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere. The President needs to further refine that message.

    This is the entire point. You do not want government to produce jobs that stick around as the solution to a recession.

    The only way government can do that is through hiring government workers by expanding or starting a new agency. A lot of people make the mistake that this is sound Keynesian policy. It is not. Keynes said government should spend in recession and cut back in times of growth so as to smooth out the economic cycle. This has some validity in theory although it has never been tried.

    Government expanding its employee job base is non Keynesian because you cant simply fire all those workers when recession ends and growth occures. Therefore only kind of jobs that government can create during a recession have to be temporary.

    A good example would be roads. This makes some sense. Roads have an intrinsic value, they employ people in their construction and it is theoretically possible that spending on them during recession and cutting back during growth could certainly help smooth the economic cycle in a locality. However they are temporary jobs. Theoretically, the roads are built, people have money because construction workers are in the town spending it on wine hotel rooms and prostitutes and therefore hotels, vintners and exotic clothing suppliers start selling more. The exotic clothing designer has to find more designers because the hookers are wearing out their clothes faster and so more jobs are created.

    Pretty soon someone need to open up a bigger strip club. No problem! We have all these new roads. So, those guys building roads get hired by the strip club contractor. There you go, temporary government created job that turned into a private sector job. See how it works? you don’t want these guys building government roads forever, you want them to move on to private contractors, building strip clubs, liquor stores and all the things that make America a great place to live.

    So why doesn’t that work to well? Is it because no one wants strip clubs or liquor stores? Nope, that cant be it. Those are bed rock American businesses. Ever seen a strip club close? Rarely. Liquor stores? Not on your life. These are the Swiss Banks of American business, nothing is safer.

    Nope, the problem is a bunch of ninnies think government hiring for permanent jobs is Keynesian economics.

    So, sure, during a recession they like to get the road crews out. But that’s nothing. What they really hire is a whole bunch of people to sit down at the office and plan things, blue ribbon commissions and panels, homeless and gender advocacy people, and of course lots of people to hand out and council people on how to get more welfare benefits.

    Now these jobs are so permanent they make strip clubs and liquor stores seem like high risk endeavors. And that’s where Keynesian economics all falls apart. There is one cycle of spending in bad times, and then it becomes, “times are good, we need to spend more and make investments” and then when there is a recession it becomes “people need these services the most, we can’t cut spending now, we need to increase it”. And on and on and on.

    Keynes didn’t have a bad idea. It just had the fatal flaw of a lot of economic theories from communism on up. It fails to take into account the human propensity to accumulate power. It works well in theory land, but when you get to the real world artifice rears its head and it doesn’t work. Communism is great on the first go round . Once you get over the immorality that you stole everything its pretty simple. Everyone throws everything in the pot and we divide the booty evenly. On the second go round someone figures out that they are better at dividing things than the rest and they should probably get a bigger share for their skill. Same with Keynes. On the first go round one dip of a recession is eased by increased spending. On the second it is not, because once the power to spend is realized, no politician gives it up because times are good.

    Government creating jobs that stuck around too long is a big part of the mess we are in now. The last thing anyone should want it government creating jobs with more gooey sticking power. That’s just a nasty hot mess that Lars might think he wants, but really doesn’t.

  • valley p.

    “He wasted most of last year in that vain and invalid attempt to try to force government into health care, into illegal alien amnesty and into a cap and trade scheme to make electric prices skyrocket.”

    Yeah, Except the first thing he did was get a $750B stimulus passed, stabilize the banks, and shepherd the auto industry through a bankruptcy that retained tens of thousands of jobs. Meanwhile he did nothing on amnesty, cap and trade has languished, and if passed would cost peanuts to most people according to the CBO, but what do they know compared to Lars?

    Beyond that, what are jobs that “stick around” Lars? Building cars? No. jobs in that industry have been declining for decades. Timber industry? Same thing. Its called automation. What about being a, AM talk radio jock? That seems to have staying power, but will be displaced by the internet sooner or later. Then you may need to go back and finish that education you gave up on.

    “Nope, the problem is a bunch of ninnies think government hiring for permanent jobs is Keynesian economics. ”

    Who are these ninnies Rupert? I don’t know any. The “stimulus” is just that. A 2 year spending surge, much if not most on tax cuts and unemployment checks by the way. The rest on short term projects. For example, the Forest Service will be letting contracts to do heavy O&M on hundreds of miles of trails this summer. That will put money in people’s pockets and fix a whole lot of erosion problems from trail use over the years. No strip club benefits though.

    “It just had the fatal flaw of a lot of economic theories from communism on up”

    Does that include laissez fair capitalism? If not it should. Works great in theory. Produces irrational investment bubbles and spectacular crashes in practice.

    “The last thing anyone should want it government creating jobs with more gooey sticking power.”

    It sounds like you have come around to supporting the stimulus spending? Wow. I did not think I would see that day.

    • neo-fascist

      “Does that include laissez fair capitalism? If not it should. Works great in theory. Produces irrational investment bubbles and spectacular crashes in practice.”

      HOW DARE YOU, SIR?! OFF WITH HIS HEAD!!!

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >Produces irrational investment bubbles and spectacular crashes in practice.

      Once again it is the same old Dean logical mistake. To wit, mistaking a statement about the specific to be a comment about the general. In this case I was talking about the down side of the Keynesian system.

      Why in the world you thinking that pointing out that I did not point out the down side of whatever other system popped into your head invalidates my comment is probably beyond the reach of most people to fathom.

      For the record may I point out that I did not cover other economic system:

      I also left out the difficulties of the Fascist economic model as well as the anarchist model.

      There. Happy?

      >It sounds like you have come around to supporting the stimulus spending? Wow. I did not think I would see that day.

      More nonsense.

      I have been in numerous discussions with you where I have been quite clear, government spending can prod economic activity. I have also been clear that although it is a way to do so, it is not always the best way. In addition, my opinion, just like the opinion of every economist out there, was that the stimulus’s downfall was that it held off 75% of the spending for a solid year. We learned that from Japans lost decade of the 90’s.

      Seriously, what is it about you that thinks that drawing a conclusion that is diametrically opposite to everything I have ever written here, including the comment you are replying to, is a clever thing to do?

      I mean in your crowd is it taken as some stroke of genius when a school bus passes by to say “wow, there goes a red Porsche!”?

      • valley p

        Rupert…you wrote “It just had the fatal flaw of a lot of economic theories *from communism on up* .”

        Repeat… *from communism on up* .

        Repeat… *on up* .

        OK, assuming communism is at the bottom, then *on up* to what exactly? Socialism? Logic would say *on up* to laissez fair capitalism, unless you draw a clear line somewhere else. And anyway I even posed the question…”does it include laissez fair?” I even wrote “if not it should.” You see Rupert…I hedged my assumption. You didn’t really mean *on up* , or maybe you just meant *on up* to Keynes and stopped there. Or even more likely you have no freaking idea what you meant.

        You failed to be clear, I hedged knowing you are almost never clear, and you still get all huffy.

        Take a pill.

        And I still want to know who the “ninnies” are that think Keynesian stimulus spending means long term positions in government. Aside from Lars that is.

        By the way, its true all the stimulus funds were not spent in the first weeks or months. Its also true that it takes time to let contracts, get work done, submit invoices, and write checks. And its true that it takes multiple years for an economy to recover from a recession that eliminates 10 million jobs from the economy. So metering the spending over a 2 or more year period makes perfect sense if the goal (as Keynes would approve) is to have that spending fill unused capacity (labor) in the economy, since that unused capacity is going to last a lot longer than just 1 year.

        Which is why it is idiotic (other than politically) for Obama to suggest a spending freeze unless and until that capacity is back on track to full use. But a Republican won in Mass., so there is some panic. So we have to let Republcanomics drive us even further into the ditch. Bad idea.

        “I mean in your crowd is it taken as some stroke of genius when a school bus passes by to say “wow, there goes a red Porsche!”? ”

        Huh? Uh no Rupert,not unless there is a red Porsche also in the picture. And even then, no one in “my crowd” would bother stating what everyone else could already see. How about your crowd?

        • Rupert in Springfield

          When you learn the meaning of two words totaling four letters:

          *a lot*

          as in the sentence you quoted.

          get back to me MmmK?

          Since I know you wont look it up, since you didn’t the last time you mistook the words “a lot” to mean “all” I will explain it to you again.

          If I meant all economic theories from communism on up I would have said

          “it was the failure of all economic theories, from communism on up”

          or

          “it was the failure of every economic theory, from communism on up”

          I didn’t, I said – “a lot” meaning many of them, but not all. That is what those words mean.

          In short:

          Words have meanings, you clearly don’t understand some of the more basic ones, get back to me when you do.

          Until then, not much point in addressing the rest of your nonsense.

          Thanks – Cheers

  • matthew vantress

    tell us lars what is the republicans jobs because i dont see a plan?btw lars what did you buddy bushie do about jobs in his last year in office?you got a lot of nerve to pile on obama lars but never the do nothing for the poor and middle class bush huh?hey lars when did bush ever care about jobs,the poor and the middle class and what did he ever do to help them?we have continued to lose jobs ever since george w bushes war in iraq for oil.

    • vally p

      Here is a little test for free market advocates. Who wrote the following?

      “Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the case for *the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong* … Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make the provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken,”

      • neo-fascist

        That could only have been John Kenneth Galbraith. Only a communist would ever say such a thing!

        • valley p

          Wrong answer. Think more free market.

          • neo-fascist

            Tsk tsk. I was only kidding about JKG, he is but a speed bump on the road to serfdom.

          • valley p

            You win.

  • dartagnan

    What’s the Republican plan for creating jobs, Lars? Wait, I bet I can guess: Cut taxes and deregulate! Yeah, that’s the ticket! Look how great it worked under the last administration!

    • Steve Plunk

      I don’t recall a lot of deregulation during the last administration. Taxes were cut and those cuts served us well for quite a while. The housing bubble is what killed us and it was the Dems who failed to allow more control to avoid the bubble. Now add in Obama who is openly hostile to business and you can see why a recovery is a ways off.

      • valley p

        …and while you are getting out of the way educate our kids, do research at universities, lock up offenders, police the streets, put out fires, fix roads and bridges, feed the hungry, heal the sick, monitor foster homes (for kids and elders,) and cut my taxes.

        What is it about that you people don’t get?

        • Steve Plunk

          What is it you don’t get v person? valley p? Whatever.

          Just because one advocates smaller government that doesn’t mean they want no government. What part of that don’t you understand? Your argument is always a form of reductio ad absurdum, you reduce the argument to the absurd. No one is calling for ending government, we want a smaller one.

          What really gets me is your ‘heal the sick’ statement. Yeah, right, the private sector doesn’t heal the sick. Or how about ‘feed the hungry’? There are plenty of private sector dollars feeding the hungry besides the government ones. Of course there are also plenty of private fire departments doing more with less and don’t forget most of the government labor in road fixes these days is pencil labor, the private sector actually does the work while government planners eat up chunks of the budget.

          Let’s face facts, your arguments are little more than tired leftist ideas not grounded in reality. You see only one side of the equation and usually judge by intentions rather than results. The worst, absolutely worst, part of your argument is the reliance on childlike simplistic ideas. It’s like arguing with a school kid. I apologize for being so darn mean about this by you’re asking for it with responses like the one you posted.

          • valley p

            First, I have to shift my nom de plume around because some yahoo that does not like my posts manages to block names that I post under. If you find that problematic or confusing, its not my fault.Talk to the Catalyst site managers about it.

            Second, I meant my prior post to be under yours below, not above, where it would perhaps have made more sense. You stated government should get out of the way, and that is what I reacted to.

            Third, yes, a short post makes simple, or even simplistic points. Yours below, suggesting that if government merely gets out of the way jobs would be created is a case in point. We had plenty of jobs 2 years ago. What changed? The private banking sector and the private housing sectors both overreached and imploded. The government you want to get out of the way ponied up the money to keep the economy afloat. Now the government is expected to somehow magically create 10 million lost jobs overnight without deficit spending or hiring anybody. Good luck with that.

            Fourth, my ideas may be leftist, but they are quite grounded in reality. I read and post here in part to better understand the “other side of the equation.” I’m mostly unimpressed to date. Still waiting for some enlightenment.

            Fifth, you don’t seem mean at all compared to most of what I get here. No need to apologize.

            Sixth, the private sector heals the sick if they have the money to pay for it. The government you think does too much pays for a lot of it, including a lot of the basic research into diseases and health. The private sector feeds the hungry if the hungry have money to pay for food. If not, public sector food stamps do the job. There are very few truly private sector fire departments. You may mean rural volunteer based departments. Those are public sector. And yes, government lets contracts out to do road work. Paid for out of public taxes raised. Not sure about your point. Are you suggesting private road crews would do that work in the absence of public funding? Interesting idea. We should just abandon part of I-5 and see who takes it over.

          • Steve Plunk

            I would argue all of our current economic problems go back to the bursting of the housing bubble. I would also argue Barney Frank’s meddling through federal housing agencies were a large part of that bubble creation. Government is responsible to a large degree.

            The jobs I have created over the years required no government spending. So yes, we can create jobs without burdening our children with huge debt.

            My health care is all privately funded as is my employees. In fact millions take care of their own health care without government help. The private sector has always been there.

            My point concerning roads is about the waste between taxes collected and product delivered by private sector contractors. For example ODOT employs thousands of engineers yet uses consulting engineers do almost all road design work. Why all the employees if they farm out the work?

            This is a debate about the amount of government and the scope of it’s power. I see it has already gone too far. The law of diminishing returns came into play long ago and we need to reel things back in before we are bankrupt.

          • valley p

            “I would argue all of our current economic problems go back to the bursting of the housing bubble. I would also argue Barney Frank’s meddling through federal housing agencies were a large part of that bubble creation. Government is responsible to a large degree.”

            Hard to know how to break through here. Our current economic problems go way back to before the bubble. We have had stagnant middle class incomes and wages since the mid 1970s. We need 2 income households where we used to get by on 1 income. We have had industrial jobs migrating ove seas for decades. We used to have free or nearly free college tuition and now we have students graduating tens of thousand of dollars in debt. All this well before the housing bubble.

            The bubble was a manifestation of these other problems. Not a cause. It was because people all over had to go deeply in debt to maintain life styles. Low interest rates and Chinese capital led to inflated real estate, over borrowing against it, and a collapse. Private banks, private realtors, and private home buyers who bought beyond their means created the mess. It was a house of cards.

            Barney Frank was in the MINORITY in congress throughout the bubble. Blaming it on him is beyond ridiculous because he had zero power. There once was a time when conservatives assigned personal responsibility where it belonged. Take it up with the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress that actually was in charge if you think it was government’s fault.

            “The jobs I have created over the years required no government spending. ”

            Again…how do I break through this fantasy. You are in the trucking business right? If yes, your business is more dependent on government spending than just about any other in the United States unless you think ports, shipping channels, roads, and bridges just magically appeared or were built with private capital. Do your trucks have GPS to keep your drivers on task rather than lost? Guess who developed GPS technology? Does your fuel come from the Middle East? Guess who’s soldiers spill blood keeping that oil flowing?

            Enough said. You will never get this.

  • rural resident

    *”Government jobs programs never seem to produce jobs that actually stick around”*

    Aren’t people on this site constantly complaining that government jobs never seem to go away?

    • Steve Plunk

      That’s right, government jobs never do seem to go away but we’re talking about creating private sector jobs. The best way government can create private sector jobs is to get out of the way, to remove barriers, to stop being a threat to the private sector.

  • Lucy

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Lucy

    http://dataentryjob-s.com

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