Time magazine’s Barbara Kiviat made a shocking discovery: long lasting jobs are created by the private sector and not the government. The cover story for next week, “The Workforce: Where Will Jobs Come From?” described how government funded stimulus only creates short term demand, but credits private sector innovation as the true long term solution to unemployment.
Kiviat got straight to the point and wrote, “The cold truth of the matter, though, is that there's not much Washington can do to gin up permanent jobs on such short notice.” She then described how, “The great American job-creation machine always has been and will continue to be private enterprise.”
While Kiviat did credit the stimulus for helping some businesses, over the long term the private sector alone will only help bring back the economy. Unfortunately, Kiviat’s is a lonely voice among the mainstream media. In October, the Business and Media Institute reported how the three networks pushed for a second stimulus and gave credit to the first one credit for not only saving, but creating, jobs.
But it’s not just the stimulus, it’s the government. Kiviat wrote, “….-but over the course of months or even a few years, there's little it can effectively do besides hiring directly or stepping in as a buyer of goods and services.” Instead, Kiviat suggested that innovation is the way to help turn the economy around.
She told the story of Austin, Texas’s Brian Sharples, who launched a new, thriving business. HomeAway is a website where customers can list homes for rent. Thanks to Sharples’ entrepreneurship HomeAway now employs 600 people. Austin, an educated city, also is the home of upscale grocery store Whole Foods. Even though more stores were originally planned to open this year, the chain still opened up 15 new stores, creating 4,000 jobs – all without government involvement.
Kiviat did, however, list green technology as a way government can help to create jobs. She told the story of one green company, Xtreme Power. The company stores energy from wind farms that is used during times when the power may be prone to jumps. But she did point out that, “Green jobs are hardly the economic cure-all they are often made out to be.”
New kinds of businesses were another solution that Kiviat gave to job growth. She also optimistically wrote about future jobs, “…we must realize that the sustainable ones will be those that build from a human being's unique abilities, like problem solving and creativity. If we want to encourage high-quality-job creation, we need to find a way to enable economic evolution.”
She even offers solutions to create jobs, noting that “Washington isn’t the answer.” She even offered suggestions, such as tax breaks for companies that “invest in research and development.” Kiviat offered ways to create and retain jobs without government. Her colleagues in the media should take note. It may help save their jobs.