Saturday, July 31, 2010

Opinion: New Jobs at $100,000 a Pop?

Short-story writer and novelist Mark Budman does the dollars-per-job math of the Local Jobs for America Act:
(July 30) -- The Local Jobs for America Act proposes to spend up to $100 billion to create and save a million public and private jobs in communities this year. While a million jobs sounds like a huge number, let's look at the money spent on that task and analyze the premise.

What does it mean to "create and save"? If a person is laid off after, say, six months on the job, does this job still count as created or saved? Moreover, if you divide $100 billion by a million, you get $100,000. That's a lot of money to spend to "create or save" a single job that may or may not last.

If it goes the least efficient way, the federal government could just pay a local governmental employer the full salary of an employee to guarantee that person a job. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, men's median earnings in 2008 were $46,367 and women's $35,745. So $100,000 will last to pay the full salary and benefits of a median worker for a little over two years. That will guarantee that the job will not disappear at least for this length of time.

The government could do better than that by doing just about anything. . . .

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