Mike the Mad Biologist

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.

Comments

  1. #1 Drivebyposter
    July 13, 2011

    Yes. Definitely. Our infrastructure is falling apart.

    Or at the very least we can employ tea partiers to be guinea pigs in (even more) medical experiments.

  2. #2 the cynic
    July 13, 2011

    Amen!

  3. #3 D. C. Sessions
    July 13, 2011

    I can go one better (and it’s not like you haven’t said it yourself): pay states and municipalities to stop laying off workers.

    Nothing more “shovel ready” than someone who’s already employed doing useful work but is about to be handed a pink slip.

  4. #4 Shadowalker
    July 13, 2011

    I agree with your plan completely. But I know that many pn the right think differently/

    I was watching Bill Maher last Friday (7/8) and Ann Coulter was on the panel. She keep saying that government jobs just wasted money. Using up resources.

  5. #5 Robert Thille
    July 13, 2011

    Yep, that idea is crazy

  6. #6 Robert Thille
    July 13, 2011

    Ok, the comment system needs fixing, I did a fake html tag (using < and > via the proper embeds to say ‘end sarcasm’, and the preview looked fine, but the post stripped it.

  7. #7 Ian
    July 13, 2011

    The best part about infrastructure spending is that you not only get an economic boost now, you also get infrastructure.

  8. #8 Herp N. Derpington
    July 14, 2011

    @6 Robert Thille

    No it worked perfectly, that’s why it didn’t show up. You have been stripped of your sarcasm. Enjoy your new life!

  9. #9 DocRandal
    July 14, 2011

    Another idea: Use workers to lay Municipal Fiber in the ground; let third party ISPs use/lease the connections to offer internet to the United States. 1 Gbps and above for everyone. Rural electrification for the modern age.

  10. #10 kalamworld
    July 15, 2011

    It’s great that you have published such knowledge. I just hope these are all reliable. It would be better if you also include in your page the references that you are using. Thanks!