By Paolo von Schirach
June 13, 2012
WASHINGTON – Watching a major June 13 event on jobs creation sponsored in Washington, DC by the US Chamber of Commerce, one thing was clear: not even one of the Governors, Mayors and County Executives who spoke said one word about the need to hire more civil servants as a way to solve or alleviate their employment issues. Not even one. And yet, if you listen to President Obama, hiring more teachers, policemen and firefighters –with funding from Washington coming from more borrowing, as there is no cash left– is the best strategy to put people to work and jump start the US economy.
Not one word about Obama’s plan
So, here we have an interesting discrepancy. The President has this great economic growth therapy based on more public spending (which means higher debt) to hire more public servants. The states and municipalities, that is the recipients of all this Washington largess, do not even mention any of this at an event in which they showcase their indigenous ability to attract business as the best way to create employment.
Governors’ message: we want the private sector
In fact, these Governors (Utah, Nebraska, Delaware and Wisconsin), plus the Mayor of Denver and the Allegheny County (Pittsburgh) Executive, talked exclusively about their relentless efforts to improve their respective business environments, so that they will be able to attract more private sector investments.
Their message was forceful and clear. They want your business, anybody’s business: domestic and foreign investors, all welcome. And they made their case as to why they deserve these investments. They discussed at length their states’ tax system, their modernized infrastructure, their universities, their schools, their public amenities, their deregulation policies.
But not one word was uttered about being hampered in their investment promotion efforts by an inadequate number of civil servants. Not even one word. In fact, one of the speakers, Dave Heineman, the Governor of Nebraska, proudly stated how the massive adoption of IT systems allowed him to do away with hundreds of state employees, without undermining services.
Campaign rhetoric does not address real needs
So, the hard evidence shows how presidential campaign rhetoric may sound nice; but it is irrelevant. The ”solutions” proposed by Obama trying to get re-elected are not what the people directly affected are looking for. What Obama would like to offer are a few subsidized jobs. But these elected officials (Republicans and Democrats) know that its is the private sector that brings real prosperity.