Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

January 18, 2014

Simple test for poverty proposals

(Continued)

This is a correlation/causation mistake of staggering size and consequence. In effect, Paul sees that people who take medicine are more likely to die and concludes that we need to take away their medicine. When there are three job seekers for every open position, it’s pretty clear that a lack of jobs, rather than lack of interest in getting jobs, is the core problem for the long-term unemployed.

Some conservatives are beginning to develop more realistic approaches to joblessness and poverty. In the latest issue of the journal National Affairs, Michael Strain, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, lays out a compelling agenda for any Republican politician brave enough to pick it up.

Strain’s article acknowledges there is a jobs emergency. It pulls together almost every job-creating proposal Washington policy makers have thought of — as well as a few they haven’t — and suggests implementing them simultaneously.

Some of Strain’s ideas will thrill conservatives. He calls for policies that would reduce “oppressive licensing requirements” at all levels of government, reform the disability insurance system so it rewards work, facilitate immigration by highly skilled foreigners and expand union-busting right-to-work laws to more states.

He also proposes reforming the unemployment insurance system so it gives workers a cash bonus when they find a job, paying the long-term unemployed to move to regions with tighter labor markets, subsidizing employers to enable them to pay the long-term unemployed less than the minimum wage (the government would make up the difference), and massively investing in infrastructure.

“What if we bought a whole bunch of buses and had them run express from low-income communities that are in exurbs into commercial centers?” he asked me during an interview. “We know mobility is inversely correlated to the degree of sprawl in a city. I think a simple explanation is that if you have people living two hours away from the jobs, that the commute is killing them and their economic potential. If you can cut that two-hour commute down to an hour, all of a sudden they can apply for a lot more jobs.”

Text Only
Opinion
  • Fear indifference ‘Perhaps the Catholic church would volunteer to pony up some cash for the illegals’ care then? Hmm?”“Pope should stay out of it. Matter of civil laws, not church laws.”“Thinking that the pope should want the illegals to go to Argentina to get better

    July 25, 2014

  • A push for felon voting rights If advocates have their way, voting rights could be a new reality for the nation’s incarcerated.Full voting rights for felons is as hot a topic in Washington as voting rights in reverse pushed by voter-ID-tickled Republicans. But with new legislation

    July 25, 2014

  • Big insurers need better oversight Could Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. threaten the stability of the financial system? The U.S.’s top regulators are asking themselves this question as they consider whether Berkshire and other large insurers should come under Federal Reserve

    July 25, 2014

  • Questions for Obamacare after the ruling Tuesday, I outlined what we knew about Halbig v. Burwell, the case in which a federal appellate court ruled that subsidies for purchasing insurance under Obamacare can only be made available on marketplaces established by states. Now I propose to out

    July 24, 2014

  • Pensions not the problem I see in last night’s Register-News paper that James Rippy has attempted to enlighten us on pensions in Illinois. I also notice he has written so often he no longer has the title “guest columnist.” It is obvious he has the time and energy to work on

    July 24, 2014

  • Impasse threatens border solution After more than a year of contentious debate, could Congress be any more divided over the issue of immigration? The answer is yes.In the House, positions are hardening over what to do about the tens of thousands of families and unaccompanied young im

    July 24, 2014

  • Take a lesson from Texas I like to eat at blue-collar diners and cafes, particularly when I’m on vacation.It’s a chance to step beyond the homogenized national chains and experience a bit of local flavor.And being a reporter, I like to chat up local folks to find out a bit a

    July 23, 2014

  • The future reality of terrorist drones A very small airplane rose over the Gaza Strip last week. It entered Israeli airspace and sped toward the coastal city of Ashdod. Then a Patriot missile blew it up.The plane, a rudimentary drone launched by the terrorist group Hamas, posed little thr

    July 23, 2014

  • We are headed to a jobless future In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers revived a debate I’d had with futurist Ray Kurzweil in 2012 about the jobless future.He echoed the words of Peter Diamandis, who says that we are moving from a history

    July 23, 2014

  • Pensions need to be addressed I will have to admit that I am slightly overwhelmed today with the receipt of articles and suggestions for a column. One of my Fitness Mafia colleagues constantly tells me the columns are too long and trying to address different subjects just dilutes

    July 22, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks