It occurs to me that my policy posts have been somewhat peripheral to what matters so far. I’d started a post on the debt ceiling a few days before the deadline, which while not of this policy series was related enough, but the family interrupted me. That all fell out pretty logically, anyway.
As for jobs, it is neither a function nor a capability of the President or government more generally, discounting hiring directly by same, to “create jobs.” Just. Not. However, the powers that be can easily get in the way and stifle creation of jobs, or destroy existing jobs. Thus the short version of what to do is “get out of the way.”
Hmmm… This may be too much, since it touches on most if not all economic policy.
Cut regulation. Deeply. In particular some of the latest and craziest. In particular on the smallest and newest enterprises we want to bloom.
Let housing finish bottoming out so the rubble can clear and, even if it remains not immediate, construction can exist again.
To the extent that public infrastructure construction and maintenance continues in the world that is rather than the world as it ought to be, make sure funds actually go, and logically, into that as fully as needed. There is, after all, a direct tax funding it. If that’s not actually going there, it should. While we’re at it, cut out things like union preferences that make it cost more than it might otherwise. Look at privatization in the longer term.
Cut or eliminate capital gains and/or corporate income tax and/or double taxation of dividends. I’d say capital gains and dividends, since we tax individuals and the concept of corporate personhood exists. Make sure depreciation is favorable to investment, if it still matters from an income tax basis.
Cut or eliminate the minimum wage. Eliminate favorable treatment of unions and unionization efforts.
Unemployment benefits shouldn’t go on forever. Couple them with more and better incentives to learn new skills or become self-employed.
Encourage telecommuting, home-based business, individuals as contractors, non-corporate cooperative ventures and virtual organizations. For instance, your first some amount of profit from being self-employed being exempt from self-employment tax, which is a painful disincentive and gets the unwary in trouble.
Create or encourage special economic zones in particularly troubled areas.
No more bailouts. Ventures fail or succeed on their own. No more government ownership interest in businesses.
Austerity budget that pays down debt and releases capital to commercial application.
Repeal Obamacare… duh. Repeal Sarbox and Dodd-Frank, knee jerk responses and the latter from an absurd source in the first place. Thoughtfully replace them only to the extent it might be necessary.
No crony capitalism. Much of what people who cringe at capitalism think of as “capitalism” is not at all. We’ve had two administrations where that was a scourge. Continuing this administration or electing either of the most likely alternatives does not promise to change that.
I’m sure I could go on, and be more specific. The thing is, creating more jobs is as easy as creating greater certainty. Even in onerous regulatory and tax conditions, certainty would help tremendously.