Two Very Different Approaches to Job Creation

Carla Marinucci takes a look at how the four major statewide candidates would create jobs and, although she provides a good discussion of the details, her article seems to miss the bigger picture.

Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina’s approach to job creation is quite different from that of Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer. These differences have a number of aspects, but can be boiled down to this:

Jerry Brown/Barbara Boxer believe that the government has a clear role to play in creating jobs by providing by investing in both working people and in creating the 21st century infrastructure they need to prosper – whereas Whitman/Fiorina believe mass unemployment and further concentration of wealth in the hands of the small elite that already dominate the economy will provide “growth,” even at the expense of our basic social and physical infrastructure.

Here’s how Marinucci describes the Whitman/Fiorina approach:

Republicans Whitman and Fiorina, two former CEOs, decry what they say has been California’s unfriendly business climate and call AB32 a job killer. They emphasize tax cuts and regulatory reforms to help small and large businesses and argue that they have direct experience creating jobs.

Both Whitman and Fiorina are calling for voodoo economics tax cuts – slashing capital gains and other taxes for the wealthy in the belief, in spite of the evidence, that this will create jobs. In fact, all it will do is fuel the collapse that is starting to occur, especially since Whitman and Fiorina both oppose new government spending and have pledged to make deeper cuts to core government services.

They both also pledge mass layoffs, a tool they employed at their own companies to try and produce more profit. In Fiorina’s case it failed; in Whitman’s case the success is more uneven. Either way, in a state with over 12% unemployment, mass layoffs – whether of public or private workers – is an extremely bad and reckless idea.

Further, both Whitman and Fiorina believe we should actively undermine efforts to position California for the 21st century economy. Whitman doesn’t want to fund the high speed rail project and like Fiorina believes that action on climate change, which creates and sustains a green jobs economy, is bad – both preferring to instead prop up the failed 20th century economy and the oil companies that are vehemently opposed to new innovation.

In contrast, Brown and Boxer both prefer to invest in working Californians and in the infrastructure and policies needed to spur a 21st century economy. As Marinucci describes it:

Democrats Brown and Boxer argue for green-tech and clean-energy jobs that they say represent California’s best hope for employment for decades to come.

They say their government experience is a plus. Brown said he put Californians to work in his two terms as governor as the state led the way in alternative energy. Boxer touts her efforts to secure funding and jobs for major projects such as BART extensions, and her co-authorship of legislation to give small businesses more access to credit, capital and tax advantages.

There’s more to it than just that, of course. Boxer voted for the stimulus and to extend unemployment benefits, both of which have helped many Californians avoid the worst during this long recession – whereas Fiorina has said she opposes both and would have done nothing at all to help the unemployed and the suffering, instead focusing her efforts on making the rich richer.

Jerry Brown’s jobs plan is fundamentally oriented around positioning California for the 21st century, pledging to accelerate development of clean technologies from solar panels to high speed rail, while ensuring our schools have the support and resources they need.

The choice this November could not possibly be clearer. Whitman and Fiorina are determined to channel even more wealth and power to their CEO friends, at the expense of the jobs and prosperity the rest of us desperately need. Brown and Boxer are proposing to continue investing in us and in our infrastructure so that California is well-positioned for the 21st century.

3 thoughts on “Two Very Different Approaches to Job Creation”

  1. this one should

    looks pretty good to me. hope this is the beginning of a bunch of position papers being rolled out. it’d be nice to be able to say something about what he’ll do when people ask, instead of just talking about what he did when i was a toddler.

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