Must-Read: Mark Thoma: An Essential Part of Job Creation Policy Is Missing

Must-Read: Mark Thoma: An Essential Part of Job Creation Policy Is Missing: “Candidates have focused on how to create jobs that pay a decent wage…

…But there is an important facet of job creation that is being left out… the opportunity for advancement. People are taught that if they play by the rules, do well in school, go to college, find a job, and then show up every day and work hard, they will be rewarded. Over time they will move up the job ladder, their income will rise, and a time will come when life won’t be such a struggle. That won’t happen to everyone, of course, but workers need to be able to see a path to a better life. But the dream has faded….

As the opportunities to move up the job and income ladder have diminished over time, workers become discouraged, disenfranchised, and look for someone to blame. It’s immigrants, unfair opportunities granted to others through affirmative action, globalization that allows labor to be exploited in other countries at a cost to U.S. jobs – the list goes on and on. In many, if not most cases, the blame is misplaced, but the underlying anger with a system that broke its promise about “playing by the rules” is more than understandable. My goal is not to suggest some magical solution that will fix this problem quickly. It’s a difficult problem that will take time and concerted effort on a variety of fronts…M

November 23, 2015


Brad DeLong
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