My letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer re: youth unemployment

Dear Sirs:
Mr. Mark Zandi says the following in his latest OpEd titled “Ways to help a generation in economic distress”:

growing-youth-unemployment“Most obviously, we need to focus on raising educational attainment.”  He goes on to say that tax money should be redirected in ways that will not boost tuition, although it is far from clear how his spending choices would not cause the same problems that he wishes to alleviate.  Aside from the observation that “businesses could have more input into college curricula”, Mr. Zandi offers nothing that would make hiring young people a more attractive option for businesses.  What about reducing the regulatory costs of employment, from minimum wages to mandatory insurance to mandatory family leave, not to mention the minefield of discrimination and environmental laws?

Here’s a little known truism–there is always more work to be done than people to do it.  Labor is the only truly limiting factor in the ability of an economy to progress, because only increased specialization of labor can bring about a lower cost of living.  (Think how a family living in a wilderness cannot become prosperous, because its members must be jacks of all trades and masters of none.)  Fewer workers mean less specialization, lower productivity, and a lower standard of living.

Our very large country has so much unemployment, because government interferes in the natural cooperation between labor and capital.  Let them come together to produce increased standards of living for all.  Patrick Barron

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