States don't have their own monetary policies so they can't lower interest rates to spur job growth. They can't spur demand through fiscal policies because state budgets are small, and 49 out of 50 are barred by their constitutions from running deficits.
States can cut corporate taxes and regulations, and dole out corporate welfare, in efforts to improve the states' "business climate." But studies show these strategies have little or no effect on where companies locate.
Location decisions are driven by much larger factors -- where customers are, transportation links and energy costs.
If governors try hard enough, though, they can create lots of lousy jobs. They can drive out unions, attract low-wage immigrants, and turn a blind eye to businesses that fail to protect worker health and safety.
Perry seems to have done exactly this. While
The Perry model of creating more jobs through low wages seems to be catching on around America.
According to a recent report from the
More and more Americans are retaining their jobs by settling for lower wages and benefits, or going without cost-of-living increases. Or they've lost a higher-paying job and have taken one that pays less.
Or they've taken jobs that used to pay far more (such as unionized auto jobs that now pay about
Or they've joined the great army of contingent workers, self-employed "consultants," temps and contract workers -- without health-care benefits, without pensions, without job security, without decent wages.
It's no great feat to create lots of lousy jobs. A few years ago,
She's right. We could wipe out unemployment entirely if employers paid
I keep hearing conservative economists say Americans have priced themselves out of the global high-tech labor market.
That's baloney. The productivity of American workers continues to soar. The problem is that fewer and fewer Americans are sharing the gains. The ratio of corporate profits to wages is the highest it's been since before the Great Depression.
Besides, how can lower incomes possibly be an answer to America's economic problem? Lower incomes mean less overall demand for goods and services -- which translates into even fewer jobs and even lower wages.
We need more jobs, surely. But they need to be good jobs.
The Perry (and Bachmann) model of job growth condemns Americans to lower and lower living standards. We're already on the way. And that's nothing to crow about.
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