It's About the Jobs, Stupid

The US needs to create work for Americans
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2009 8:20 AM CST
Job seekers wait for daily jobs at a Labor Ready office in Concord, N.H.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
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(Newser) – The US has to shake up conventional thinking and create jobs for out-of-work Americans, writes Paul Krugman. Our current misguided thinking—as evidenced by unemployment north of 10%—isn't so much a jobs policy as GDP policy. "If you grow it, they will come," goes the philosophy. Get the economy humming, in other words, and the jobs will follow. While that's normally sound thinking, "these aren't normal times."

At the risk of raising the hackles of the Glenn Beck contingent, the US should consider a jobs program along the lines of the New Deal, Krugman suggests in the New York Times. If that's too unpalatable, at least strengthen worker protections or give businesses more financial incentives to avoid layoffs. Something, anything, before the damage is irreparable. "Long-term unemployment is already at its highest levels since the 1930s, and it’s still on the rise," Krugman warns.