I’m participating in a “Great Jobs Debate” at the Atlantic sponsored by McKinsey. The exercise is supposed to be to answer the question, “What is the single best thing Washington can do to jumpstart job creation?” I perhaps took the question a little too literally and offered the actual single best thing Washington can do to jumpstart job creation, namely adopt a higher inflation target. Carl Schramm’s proposal for increased immigration of high-skill workers is a very good idea, and would create jobs, though not as many as my idea. Rick Hess wants to overhaul career and technical education which I think is also an excellent idea, but it would have basically no short term impact on jumpstarting job creation. I don’t think making the R&D tax credit permanent would do much of anything, since it’s de facto permanent currently, but it’s still a fine idea.
Thus far, then, it’s really not much of a debate, more like a jobs symposium. After all, there’s no reason the government should be picking one unique job creation lever and sticking with it.