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Erza Klein : How you can tell Washington doesn't care about jobs

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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 11:13 AM
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Erza Klein : How you can tell Washington doesn't care about jobs

Job seekers wait in line to speak with representatives at a job fair in Denver, Colorado, May 23. (Matthew Staver - BLOOMBERG)

The best evidence that Washington has forgotten about the jobs crisis is to look at the plans emerging to address it. Yesterday's House GOP plan was a perfect example. It was, as MIT economist David Autor told me, a classic case of "now-more-than-everism": Everything on the agenda was also on the GOP's agenda in 2006, in 2002, in 1987, etc. It's lower taxes, less spending, fewer regulations, more trade agreements, more domestic oil production. You can argue about whether these proposals are good for the economy. But as Autor says, there's "no original thinking here directed at addressing the employment problem."

But that's because the document doesn't admit the existence of a particular unemployment crisis that might require a tailored response. The only problem it admits is, well, Democrats. For the past four years, Democrats in Washington have enacted policies that undermine these basic concepts which have historically placed America at the forefront of the global marketplace," the document explains on its first page. "As a result, most Americans know someone who has recently lost a job, and small businesses and entrepreneurs lack the confidence needed to invest in our economy. Not since the Great Depression has our nations unemployment rate been this high this long.

You don't have to admire the Democratic policy agenda to wonder if someone in Speaker Boehner's office shouldn't have raised his hand and pointed out that George W. Bush was president four years ago and he was a Republican, and perhaps there should be a pro forma mention of Wall Street and the financial crisis somewhere in this narrative. Sadly, the most significant employment crisis in generations has stopped generating new thinking and has become simply another opportunity to bash the other party while pushing your perennial agenda. That's a shame, because with 15 million unemployed and the recovery sputtering slight, we really do need new thinking and a sense of urgency on behalf of both the unemployed and the economy. In fact, we need it now more than ever.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/wonkbook-how-you-can-tell-washington-doesnt-care-about-jobs/2011/05/27/AG0oeeCH_blog.html
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