To the editor:
Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins has just sent me an email, unveiling her version of a jobs plan. A good, old-fashioned matchmaking event at the Topeka Expocentre, where throngs of unemployed Americans can claw their way through a crowd of equally desperate men and women looking to land the perfect mate. I mean a reasonable match. I mean any job whatsoever.
It’s as if no one in Washington gets it. We don’t need to introduce employers to the unemployed — they can throw a rock and hit one every 10 feet. We need to introduce employers to new customers. Sales create jobs. The problem is that too many households are still struggling with high debt levels, so spenders have become savers. Until households finish deleveraging, there will be no new customers to support private businesses.
The government could help provide that demand — directly, through a job guarantee program modeled on the Works Progress Administration (WPA), or indirectly, through a full payroll tax holiday and another round of revenue-sharing for the states. But no one in Washington will support anything that bold. And so people like Lynn Jenkins will settle for a matchmaking event that promises to pair hundreds of potential employers with thousands of job seekers.