It’s Summer: Where are the Summer Jobs?

Here we are, a week away from the solstice. Most of the high schools are out for the summer and where are our young people to find jobs? The parents and grandparents have grabbed the jobs that usually keep high school juniors and seniors off the streets in the summer. The jobs are not there for our teenagers. We have been trying to jumpstart the economy since Bush XLIII, but every time we start to really pump some job juice into the economy, we back off. What we need to do is raise the debt limit, stop worrying about the deficit, and put people to work on infrastructure.

If people started buying new cars and refrigerators and hot tubs and houses, we could turn this recession around. Unfortunately, consumer confidence is not that strong. I would wager that the average age of the cars in people’s garages and the refrigerators in their kitchens is two or three years higher than it was in 1999. When the marketplace falls flat, the government needs to step in. The problem here is that consumers are not consuming so the government must do so.

This solution is intensely disagreeable to fiscal Conservatives. They will decry a “tax-and-spend” mentality and oppose government handouts (unless they are to corporations). However, expanding the welfare system or hiring more regulators or paying unemployment compensation over an extended period is not what I have in mind.

Our roads and bridges are in deplorable shape. Public transportation is unreliable and unsafe. Many of our municipal buildings are rundown and ugly. Spending money on infrastruction is not wasted. When the government fixes a road or builds a levee, the country goes up in value.

When your roof is leaking, you do not ask whether you can afford to fix it. You take out a loan and put a new roof on the house. This protects and improves the value of your house. It is the same with a country. You don’t wait until a Minnsota freeway bridge falls down, you inspect all the essential bridges and fix them as necessary. If a new bridge over the Detroit River is needed, build it now, when the unemployment rate in Detroit is terrible. However, be absolutely certain that the projects are need. Tossing pork around is the last thing you want to do when deficit spending is necessary.

A bi-partisan committee could apportion new stimulus funds where they are most needed and where the investment value would be highest. The only problem is finding senators and representatives who would be willing to put the country’s interests ahead of their party’s.


John B. Payne, Attorney
Garrison LawHouse, PC
Dearborn, Michigan 313.563.4900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 800.220.7200
©2011 John B. Payne, Attorney