Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Obama should be expected to address disparities affecting Americans who are situated differently.."

John A. Powell, "Why one-size job relief doesn't fit all," The Washington Post, March 2, 2010.

It's remarkable that the Obama administration has not more explicitly embraced some forms of targeting federal resources to communities hardest hit by the recession, longer-term unemployed, young people, etc. There are things like expanded benefits, tanf emergency funds, community service block grants, dol's poverty out of poverty, and some of the energy efficiency investments that are,in fact, fairly targeted -- and there's probably more. But on the job creation side, not so much.

The administration seems deathly afraid of a targeted public jobs program -- as are many of its progressive supporters. DOL still hasn't recovered from administering CETA in the 1970s -- a gem with some problems.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has it right with their Jobs Campaign:

"Our approach to job creation includes targeted areas with poverty rates of 15 percent or higher or unemployment of greater than 10 percent."

A Jobs Bill should include "Creating public jobs maximize direct training and hiring."

"CBC Jobs Campaign," Congressional Black Caucus, 2-26-2010.

The fact is, a lot of public job creation is taking place already,not enough, but a good start. The feds should figure out how to support by giving permission, flexibility, waivers, etc. Let the local and state folks be the inventers and implementers. They already are.

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