February 7, 2012

Freedom Is Key to Creating Jobs, Not Stimulus Spending

Matthew D. Mitchell

Senior Research Fellow
Summary

Mercatus Center economist Matthew Mitchell discusses what the government can do to create jobs.

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On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the addition of 243,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate dropped to 8.3 percent. This is good news, but there are still millions of people searching for work who can’t find it, says Mercatus Center economist Matthew Mitchell. He discusses what the government can do to create jobs at U.S. News and World Report.

“Apparently encouraged by some of the larger estimates, President Obama reiterated his calls for more stimulus through infrastructure spending in last month's State of the Union. But there are other options. We may not agree on how to instantly breathe life back into a moribund economy but economists have made great strides in understanding the conditions that are necessary for long-run economic growth.

“Compared with much of the world, U.S. citizens have historically enjoyed a large measure of economic freedom. That may explain why the median U.S. household earns more than 93 percent of the entire planet. Unfortunately, over the last decade—as government spending has piled up and as the government has undertaken unprecedented interventions in the private economy, U.S. economic freedom has been in precipitous decline. Reversing that trend would do a great deal to restore the fundamental conditions that are conducive to prosperity.”

To read the full article, visit U.S. News and World Report’s Economic Intelligence blog. For more information on this topic, read Mitchell’s recent testimony before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.