The Atlantic is being paid some unknown amount of money by McKinsey and Co. (the same people who brought you some very nice healthcare propaganda) to discuss this:
The Atlantic and McKinsey & Company brought together some of the top minds in business, government, and the world of ideas, each to answer the same question: What is the single best thing Washington can do to jumpstart job creation?
Matthew Yglesias has the best idea of the bunch, which is to moderately increase inflation. But then the other neo-liberal bromides are trotted: job training, tax credits to spur innovation, and increasing immigration of high skilled workers. At best, these are are economic Rube Goldberg devices: the path from the intervention to job creation is long and convoluted. At worst, they’re nonsensical. How does job training solve the lack of demand problem? (Answer: it doesn’t).
So, free of charge, I will provide you, dear reader, with the Mad
Chartalist’s Biologist’s job creation plan:
Pay people to do stuff we need done.
I realize this is very complex, so how might this be done? To paraphrase Bill Mitchell:
Credit: Bank account of service provider (i.e., the private sector employer or the individual worker if directly hired by the government)
Debit: Some account in the Federal Reserve system
As to the ZOMG! TEH INFLATIONZ!! argument, let’s just remember that we’re not on the gold standard anymore. As long as real resources are not an issue (e.g., trained labor, raw materials, or industrial capacity), printing more money–actually, electronically crediting accounts–is not inflationary.
And this isn’t digging up holes and filling them in: we have massive infrastructure needs. Transportation, school repair and re-equipment, the electrical grid just to name a few. Barely, a day doesn’t go by where some municipality has to make wrenching decisions.
Keep in mind, that ‘government’ jobs are often needed jobs: teachers, policemen, and so on, or else their private sector contractors, many of whom also have private sector clients. Regardless, these are ‘real’ jobs.
So that’s my job creation idea.