As I wrote last week, when we ask the wrong question we most often get the wrong answer. As with the "jobs problem" — in Klamath County as well as nationwide — the problem our country faces is not the lack of jobs. Yes, you read that correctly. The problem is NOT jobs. The lack of jobs are a mere symptom of the real problem.
The real problem lies in the fact that we have an economy that is stuck in the mud and sliding backwards quickly. It's like we're slipping down the side of a muddy bank towards the abyss in slow motion. These are the things nightmares are made of — except what makes this worse is we are awake while this is all happening and it's all too real.
Yet our President is focused on creating jobs. And when the President is focused on the wrong issue, so often follows the nation. We are so far off course that now others are coming up with "job solutions" or "job fixes". This is meaningless, and worse very dangerous. For example, U. S. Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., son of the famous Reverend Jesse Jackson, is now proposing that the Federal Government hire all 15 million unemployed people for around $40,000/year.
The congressman doesn't just stop there. He wants the Federal Government to bail out all cities, counties and states that are in the red. The total cost of his grand idea is $804 billion — and that is just for year one. All of these new Federal employees will all be entitled to a pay raise each year. So to make Mr. Jackson's job solution work, $804 billion is just the "start up" cost for fixing our jobs problem.
I'm not sure if Congressman Jackson understands that the Federal Government borrows 42¢ for every dollar it spends. Moreover Federal employees, in general, do not create wealth. So to support Mr. Jackson's grand plan it means the burden falls to the rest of us to support his brilliant solution.
Again, I can't stress enough, asking the wrong question leads to the wrong answer.
What this nation needs is exactly what Klamath County needs — to create a business climate where those with money are once again willing to risk and invest it. Until that happens those with capital will sit on it or go elsewhere. However, before you scold those "rich people" for being "greedy", we all act this way. Don't think for a moment "capitalists" are any different than you or I. If the opportunity was 98% to take $100 and make $200 in less than a month, most of us would jump at that opportunity. But if the chances were only 5%, then the answer is "No way, Jose!" At 5% we'd look for a better opportunity or just wait until something better came along.
Jobs are not the problem — it's the business environment that stinks. Until that problem is fixed, no "jobs" plan will save the day.