From a small northwestern observatory…

Finance and economics generally focused on real estate

Mort Zuckerman in U.S. News

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Great article on jobs by Mort Zuckerman in U.S. News last Friday.  To read it yourself on-line, go here.

I’m in general agreement with everything he says.  Indeed, two of his points (about education and a national infrastructure bank) are things I’ve spoken about, and were on Austan Goolsbee’s agenda at the White House before he headed back to the warmth and safety of U. Chicago.

Your cheat sheet, if you don’t want to read the whole article:

1.  Focus on education.  Zuckerman posits this as a longer-term solution to a dire problem.  While I’d agree with the “dire problem”, I would instead suggest that a real focus on education in America — and I mean the sort of focus that we put on the space program after Sputnik — would pay dividends in a lot of ways (juvenile delinquency, neighborhood quality, housing values) sooner than you think.  By the way, you real estate guys and gals reading this, there is significant research linking the quality of neighborhood schools to home values.

2.  Change our visa policy.  We educate tens of thousands of the best and brightest from other countries, only to send them home after they earn their degree (often advanced degrees in hard sciences and engineering).  These people CREATE jobs, rather than take them away.  We should reverse our policies, and keep them here if they want to stay.

3.  Rationalize our patent process — I hadn’t thought of this one, but he’s dead right.

4.  Eliminate programmatic uncertainty in governance.  (Probably the most complex of his topics, and it goes to the heart of beltway gridlock and the current polarization of politics.)

5.  A national infrastructure investment bank (which would put hundreds of thousands of skilled workers on the payroll immediately).

Zuckerman characterizes these as “sure-fire” ways to create jobs, and I tend to agree with him.

Written by johnkilpatrick

December 13, 2011 at 9:00 am

Posted in Economy

Tagged with , ,

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