How To Get Americans Back To Work: Advice For The President

election 2012 new jobs

As the 2012 presidential election enters the home stretch, there seems to be little doubt that jobs and the economy will dominate not only the presidential debates but also the national conversation. Just what should the next president do to get the national unemployment rate to below 8 percent, where it hasn't been since January 2009, the month President Obama took office?

According to a McKinsey study, "jobless recoveries" have become the norm since 1948. While it took about six months for the economy to recover from recessions through the 1980s, it took 15 months after the 1990-91 recession and 39 months after the 2001 recession; it's projected that it will take 60 months this time, in large part because of structural changes in the economy.

Perhaps as a result of both this jobs shortage and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's private career as a management consultant at Bain Capital, the issue of outsourcing -- sending jobs overseas -- has re-emerged as a hot topic in this election cycle. How is outsourcing (also known as "offshoring") affecting job creation? What should the president do about U.S. companies sending jobs abroad?

What follows are a range of opinions on the subject that were shared with AOL Jobs -- from economists, union activists, executives and even a worker whose job was outsourced. After you read their ideas, tell us: What do you think the next president -- whether that's President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney -- should do to put Americans back to work? Share in the comments section below.



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12 Comments

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richardfra

The cost of energy is the single most important factor that started the economic collapse. Gas prices killed paycheck to paycheck families in 2008 and 2009, increased the cost of doing business and eroded margins across the economic spectrum. This was the straw that broke the economic camels back. Lowering and keeping energy costs low is what will bring the economy back. Everything else is just noise and will not produce the results we all need. The creation of jobs.

October 21 2012 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sfcat

Outsouring, offshoring, and bringing people from foreign countries onshore to work (H1B visas and other programs) are not the solution to most problems in the long term. The quality of work is so often not acceptable. I work in technology, where we see the greatest number of H1B candidates, crowding out local workers, but the short term "strategy" that this is a good policy has not been true, in my experience. For example, a project I just worked on that was supposed to go 9 months went 13 months over! The offshore team took 6 months over the initial estimate to write the test scripts. And they were terrible. it took 2 months of huge overtime to review and rewrite them, with just 2 of us Americans working frantically to keep ahead of the test team doing the testing.
The issue with communication is huge. Constant problems with misunderstanding, and cultural issues as well. (One simple, but huge, one is the tendency of the people to say "ok" as an acknowledgement, but not understanding, or agreement. I cannot begin to count the weeks lost on that. Think about it.)

This project is only an example, half of the projects I have had in the past 14 years have all involved, in part or in full, redoing work or completing missing documentation, or fixing problems with work done by third party workers. But most of the companies out there do not include these costs, and so end up with false analyses on the pro of foreign workers, and don't see the real, long-term impact.

October 21 2012 at 9:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
parthenon1

I cant understand why when a way to increase hiring, everything but the real culprit and solution at the same time is missed most likely on purpose, because the administration wants more government control of the economy and jobs. Every president since Kennedy, except for Carter and the current pres., brought an end to bad economic conditions by correcting wrong tax and regulations programs. We must bring capital gains and other taxes in line with other nations to. for one thing, to reduce outsourcing. Also it has been well proven in past administrations lowering taxes always increases tax collections. Many people I know are refusing to bring any $ made in overseas profits home with the current tax situation. We need a much changed tax program, one that moves government from the fed. govt. back to the states, along with removing the taxes collected so the states can handle these functions themselves, usually at much lower cost.

October 20 2012 at 6:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cloud4G

We need a new party: The No Jive Reality Party.

Democrats and Republicans are both the parties of excess brought on by post WWII-Cold war expansionism gone amok that led up to grandiose social welfare schemes and war machines based on the quicksand foundations of fake capitalism.

Republican capitalism = corporate and wealthy class welfare that amounts to autocratic corruption of the ' 'capitalist system'. This is less free enterprise capitalism than it is stealing from the 'average citizen' to fund spending for the war-oil-medical monopolies industrial age that is being vanquished by the spread of more democratic intellectual power brought on by pervasive communications... the flatter, information age world economy.

The Democrats want to challenge that but are held captive by an aging population that is powerless and is on subsistence of state benefits or the same industrial age nemesis as the Republicans.

Both are living off of past momentum, faced with trying to please a public that doesn't face up to reality.

October 07 2012 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fan of Good Sense

The president could enact the Shared Economic Growth proposal. It is a three page bill that would not add a dime to the deficit, but which would make American the best place on the planet in which to locate high-value, high-wage operations. Today, due to foolish policies left over from the 1960s, America is the worst place to locate such jobs, at least in terms of tax burden. See www.sharedeconomicgrowth.org for details.

October 03 2012 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrew West

The whole premise of this article is silly.

Demand is the only thing that can create jobs. No President or government has ever created ANY jobs. Stimulus funds, incentives and bailouts may prevent the loss of jobs - at taxpayer expense, but they don't "create" anything. At the same time, tax cuts or scaling back regulations do not create any jobs. Both of these ideas sum up the "magic" of Liberal or Conservative thinking. Presidents do not create jobs.

To solve our current economic challenges by creating jobs we need to focus on demand - aggregate demand and unmet demand. Aggregate demand is simply the sum of purchasing power (income) of those employed. With some 20 million people unemployed or underemployed, aggregate demand is at an all time low. Political magic won't change that. The only thing that will is "unmet demand." Unmet demand can create jobs if businesses can meet that demand.

One example: for decades we've known we need to replace half of our schools in the US because they're substandard. That is very real demand, but it cannot be met because schools are too expensive. Delivering state of the art schools for 30% less would make them affordable and meet that demand. In 10 years that would create nearly 2 million jobs/year. There are several major instances of unmet demand in the US including clean AFFORDABLE energy, affordable urban living, reliable agriculture production and affordable healthcare. These areas have unmet demand that can create more than 10 million jobs in the short term.

Our only way out of the current situation is to define the unmet demand and create ways to meet that demand - not with subsidies or tax cuts, but with innovation/invention. There is no political fix on the horizon (from either party) but perhaps there is a return to American invention. I suggest solving some of our greatest challenges can create plenty of jobs.

If Obama or Romney could create jobs.... why not just create 20 million and get it over with?

Presidents and governments have never created any jobs. Oddly enough people seem to think they do, yet there is no evidence. None. Government should do everything it can to ensure the best environment for job creation, but the belief that Government can create jobs is ignorant and even delusional.

October 03 2012 at 12:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrew West

The whole premise of this article is silly.

Demand is the only thing that can create jobs. No President or government has ever created ANY jobs. Stimulus funds, incentives and bailouts may prevent the loss of jobs - at taxpayer expense, but they don't "create" anything. At the same time, tax cuts or scaling back regulations do not create any jobs. Both of these ideas sum up the "magic" of Liberal or Conservative thinking. Presidents do not create jobs.

To solve our current economic challenges by creating jobs we need to focus on demand - aggregate demand and unmet demand. Aggregate demand is simply the sum of purchasing power (income) of those employed. With some 20 million people unemployed or underemployed, aggregate demand is at an all time low. Political magic won't change that. The only thing that will is "unmet demand." Unmet demand can create jobs if businesses can meet that demand.

One example: for decades we've known we need to replace half of our schools in the US because they're substandard. That is very real demand, but it cannot be met because schools are too expensive. Delivering state of the art schools for 30% less would make them affordable and meet that demand. In 10 years that would create nearly 2 million jobs/year. There are several major instances of unmet demand in the US including clean AFFORDABLE energy, affordable urban living, reliable agriculture production and affordable healthcare. These areas have unmet demand that can create more than 10 million jobs in the short term.

Our only way out of the current situation is to define the unmet demand and create ways to meet that demand - not with subsidies or tax cuts, but with innovation/invention. There is no political fix on the horizon (from either party) but perhaps there is a return to American invention. I suggest solving some of our greatest challenges can create plenty of jobs.

If Obama or Romney could create jobs.... why not just create 20 million and get it over with?

Presidents and governments have never created any jobs. Oddly enough people seem to think they do, yet there is no evidence. None. Government should do everything it can to ensure the best environment for job creation, but the belief that Government can create jobs is ignorant and even delusional.

October 03 2012 at 12:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrew West

The whole premise of this article is silly.

Demand is the only thing that can create jobs. No President or government has ever created ANY jobs. Stimulus funds, incentives and bailouts may prevent the loss of jobs - at taxpayer expense, but they don't "create" anything. At the same time, tax cuts or scaling back regulations do not create any jobs. Both of these ideas sum up the "magic" of Liberal or Conservative thinking. Presidents do not create jobs.

To solve our current economic challenges by creating jobs we need to focus on demand - aggregate demand and unmet demand. Aggregate demand is simply the sum of purchasing power (income) of those employed. With some 20 million people unemployed or underemployed, aggregate demand is at an all time low. Political magic won't change that. The only thing that will is "unmet demand." Unmet demand can create jobs if businesses can meet that demand.

One example: for decades we've known we need to replace half of our schools in the US because they're substandard. That is very real demand, but it cannot be met because schools are too expensive. Delivering state of the art schools for 30% less would make them affordable and meet that demand. In 10 years that would create nearly 2 million jobs/year. There are several major instances of unmet demand in the US including clean AFFORDABLE energy, affordable urban living, reliable agriculture production and affordable healthcare. These areas have unmet demand that can create more than 10 million jobs in the short term.

Our only way out of the current situation is to define the unmet demand and create ways to meet that demand - not with subsidies or tax cuts, but with innovation/invention. There is no political fix on the horizon (from either party) but perhaps there is a return to American invention. I suggest solving some of our greatest challenges can create plenty of jobs.

If Obama or Romney could create jobs.... why not just create 20 million and get it over with?

Presidents and governments have never created any jobs. Oddly enough people seem to think they do, yet there is no evidence. None. Government should do everything it can to ensure the best environment for job creation, but the belief that Government can create jobs is ignorant and even delusional.

October 03 2012 at 12:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tug33

Stop with the unemployment already. Those who want to work are working. The public believes anything these rich sons of britches tell then . Wake up.

October 02 2012 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jetncat

I don't believe that one bit! And no one else should either!. The reason we have a jobless recovery is because of economic and politcal policies! Give people 99 weeks of unemployement and who will jump up to look for a job that pays a little more than unemployment or even less if they are starting a new career. This dependent attitude is killing our nation a little more each day. Give a person a handout and you feed him for that day. Teach him what a hand up is and you feed him a lifetime.

October 02 2012 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jetncat's comment
sfcat

No one makes that much on unemployment, it's based on your previous income. So if you make minimum wage, you're getting about 600 a month for unemployment. Maximum, for people making big salaries is about 1300 a month. think about that, going from 75K a year to 1300 a month BEFORE taxes, because unemployment is taxed. And almost no one wants to be on unemployment, don't kid yourself.
Experts say it takes about 4-8 months now to get a new job, whether or not you have unemployment, it just takes that long to find openings, get through the interviews, and land a new position. Only people on unemployment qualify for job retraining and other kinds of "teaching", though I think it would be great if those kinds of assistance were available to anyone.
Qualifying for the 99 weeks is also much harder than you realize, I know you haven't experienced it. You must have been employed continuously at the same position and income for 3 years to qualify just for 52.
And you have no idea how many people companies are bringing in from overseas. Many companies are just packed with foreign workers doing jobs that people here paid to learn, but locals, who have mortgages, college or technical school debt, children, etc., need to earn a reasonable amount. Someone working for one of these foreign contracting companies received their advanced schooling for free in their country, and have an economy in their home country so low that minimum wage from here puts them into the upper middle class there. How can our workers compete with that? Most people's college debt is more than that foreign worker will make in their entire career.

October 21 2012 at 9:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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