Free Markets, Free People

Jobs – White House Summits Aren’t The Answer

If you’re among the 15 or so in this country that believe this White House job summit will actually end up creating policies that produce jobs, I think Evan Newmark’s WSJ piece might dissuade you from that belief:

Now, I’ve never been to a White House summit, so I can’t say exactly what will happen on Thursday. But as a past Davos World Economic Forum participant, I’m pretty familiar with these kinds of VIP schmooze and snoozefests.

And here’s how it will likely play out. A senior White House official — perhaps the president — will give a welcome pep talk to the 130 gathered “summiteers.” He’ll ply them with thanks and stirring patriotic words.

But then he’ll urge them to not waste the day in conference fuzzy talk. Instead, the summiteers should turn words into actions and actions into jobs. After all, it is a “jobs” summit.

And then the summiteers will shuffle off to one of six working groups — where of course they’ll end up wasting the day in conference fuzzy talk.

It’s inevitable. Prepared remarks, banal anecdotes and empty debates are the stuff of these mushy forums. I can count on one hand the number of memorable moments from the dozens of my Davos sessions on technology super-revolutions, entrepreneurial innovation and world peace.

That’s because the VIPs at these things aren’t there to say or do anything unexpected.

Do you think that FedEx CEO Fred Smith and United Steelworkers President Leo Girard will somehow reach agreement that the best way to create jobs is to kill the union-card check?

Do you think that Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, will suddenly serve up innovative ideas for trade unions to assist small businesses?

It seems unlikely.

And so the jobs summit will fail for the same reason Obamanomics is failing: The White House mistakenly believes economic growth and new jobs are created by society’s stakeholders — business, labor and government — cooperatively working together.

Like most of these events, this is a political stage show. It is a visual representation meant to convey the idea that a) the government is interested in your problems and, most importantly, b) it is here to help.

But the key to the failure of this summit, even if they were serious about creating jobs, is found in Newmark’s last sentence. The key to economic growth and new jobs aren’t the product of summits among “society’s stakeholders”. They never have been.

In fact, it’s pretty simple as he notes:

But that’s not the way capitalism works. It doesn’t take a village to create a new job. It takes a businessman trying to make another buck.

So why aren’t the businessmen out there trying to “make another buck”? While business is all about risk, the risks they take are rational.  Businessmen aren’t at all inclined to take risks that can ruin them, especially in unsettled markets. Right now economy is very unsettled and government has huge tax laden legislative bills pending which will directly effect these businesses in a very negative way. And of course, there’s new and increased financial regulation pending which may effect their ability to get funds to expand their businesses and hire new workers.  Thus they’ve concluded it would be entirely irrational to expand their business or hire in such an atmosphere.

Instead, they’ll hold off on hiring or expanding until the economy and markets are much more settled and they’ve had the opportunity to gauge the cost to them of all of this new legislation and regulation.

That said, the simple answer on how ease economic uncertainty and thereby create more jobs is kill health care, kill cap-and-trade and back off the increased regulation. Additionally, a corporate tax cut might help as well. All of that would certainly settle market down and give businesses an incentive to both expand and hire.  But this job summit? Newmark nails it. Fuzzy talk aimed at the wrong solution. The best thing the government can do is back off and let the market get back to work. Unfortunately, that won’t be the solution the “summit” proposes nor will it be the policy the White House will adopt.



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14 Responses to Jobs – White House Summits Aren’t The Answer

  • And so the jobs summit will fail for the same reason Obamanomics is failing: The White House mistakenly believes economic growth and new jobs are created by society’s stakeholders — business, labor and government — cooperatively working together.

    Obama is and alway has been a community organizer.  Community organizer’s do not do anything but bring people together, shuffle the deck, and hope something comes out of it.  Once in a while a community orgainizer ruffles some feathers by organizing boycotts, protests, or even lawsuits.  But the organizer does not do any of these things, he just brings the people together for the purpose of making these things happen.  Get used to this, it is the prototypical activity of the organizer and this is how Obama will “govern” for his entire Presidency.

  • That said, the simple answer on how ease economic uncertainty and thereby create more jobs is

    …invite a bunch of CEOs to the White House and ask them to hire more people?
    I mean, that is what this comes down to, isn’t it?

  • What a fraud. What an effing, sickening fraud this WH “meeting” is – and that is being rather generous. Listen to CNN and MSDNC, and hear how they “laud” The Clown™ for merely deigning to meet with people, just to interrupt his busy schedule to pay attention to the unwashed masses. What a saint!

    Unfortunately for the liberal dickheads, truth wineth over. Erin Burnett at CNBC had the temacity, the gaul, the chutzpah, to mention that the Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses were not even invited. Andrea Mitchell, chief international loser on MSDNC, nearly choked on her morning latte. What? How dare you mention some terrible thing like that? Who are these peons who demand to meet with OUR PRESIDENT? Have they no shame?

    In the end, however, no one will care about The Clown™ and his ridiculous summit. It will do nothing, and tomorrow when the new fresh unemployment figures for November come out, the “jobs summit” will be forgotten like any one of The Clown’s™ half-baked economic promises already have.

    • There is just too much back wash from the Afghan story to even have this “summit” make a dent in the public conscientiousness.  They should have done this the day before the Afghan decision, then the backwash would have clouded over the lack of actual results on the jobs front.  A rare PR screw-up for Team Obama.

      • Neo said: “There is just too much back wash from the Afghan story to even have this “summit” make a dent in the public conscientiousness.”

        The Afpak speech was a DUD, spelled C-R-A-P. I have written speeches before; I know what it takes to seize an audience and keep them in your hands as you talk to them about doing something they don’t want to do. I have also worked on a presidential campaign, and The Clown™ is working on a campaign, not a strategy.

        In the end, however, none of this will matter a hill’s worth of beans, because The Clown™ and His Clownettes™ on Capitol Hill have built their world around a stimulus package that was a gigantic joke and did nothing for the economy. Demmies realize that now, but it is far, far too late for them to do anything to change it.

        How ironic it is, I believe, that Nancy Shmancy Pelosi’s “shining” achievement as Speaker with The Clown™ in office, the stimulus, will be the vote that ends her speakership next November.

  • Given the recent poll numbers, I suppose that many members of Congressional staffs were spreading around their resumes at the “jobs summit” today.

  • Rush commented that one of the attendees is Gov. Jennifer Granholm (d-MI).  Her state has a 15% unemployment rate.  Unless she was invited to give examples of what NOT to do, I can’t imagine why she’s there.

    Oh, wait…

    This charade is about a few of things, none of them really about putting a single American back to work:

    1.  Imeme is in perpetual campaign mode, and he’s looking for a campaign-style event: flashy but doesn’t otherwise require him to do anything but read from TOTUS (his only apparent skill);

    2.  The dems are feeling the heat and know that they need to do SOMETHING*.  Unfortunately, they foolishly believe that government can (and should) solve all problems.  It won’t work, but it’s the only page in their playbook, so they’re trying;

    3.  The dems and their constituents want more money, so this is a prelude to Stimulus II: The Wrath of Nan;

    4.  Imeme and his goons hope to muscle business into hiring (“I’m the only thing between you and the pitchforks”).  It may be that some large corporations will hire a token number of people, but most will not for exactly the reasons listed in the WSJ article and in many other places: they have no idea what the future holds, and are trying to CUT costs, not expand.


    AoSHQ links to hillarious story about a dem congressman threatening to organize a march on DC to protest (wait for it!) his own party’s incompetence and inability to solve the unemployment problem.

    Thanks to the “Jobs Summit”, the need for a second “stimulus” has been averted and the jobs will be flowing like rivers of honey while unicorns roam about the land.
    Hope and Change .. Baby !!

  • If I were the president I wouldn’t have any jobs summit unless I already had a decent plan in my pocket to announce. That plan would not involve spending much more money,but deregulation, tax cut/holiday, etc.
    There is a real danger that Obama ends up looking like a talker and not a doer to the general public, and especially the unemployed.

    • When you are a hammer, all problems look like nails.  Obama, being the quintiessential organizer, believes the only way to truly lead is to bring people together, start a conversation, and step back and watch wonderment occur.  He believes so long as he is seen addressing the problem, regardless of any resolution, then he – as any organizer knows – is allowing the gears to mesh for the resultant fix to occur.  Obama will end up looking like a talker because that is all he is!

  • I doubt businessman like to hear that the 3 economists who were invited are Jeffrey Sachs, Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman.  All three are in favor of much higher taxes and public spending at European levels.