Despite what the President might think, he can’t create any jobs. (Well he can by building roads, bridges, and schools – all things we need. But that’s not likely to happen soon.) But he can’t create jobs in most private companies – for that we need private entrepreneurs will to take risks and start companies in return for commensurate rewards. In addition, the President is going to have a hard time changing our country’s current corporate predilection for outsourcing, not because the U.S. manufacturing labor force isn’t competitive with China or India – it is. 3 years into this recession, labor costs are relatively inexpensive, especially when you consider the enhanced productivity of the U.S. labor force compared to those other countries – we are a lot more efficient and operate with much lower friction costs (fraud, theft, etc.). He is going to have a hard time changing things because he is unwilling to do the very simple task of changing our immigration laws for highly educated engineers, of which the country is in very short supply. Bring in more engineers, and you’ll get more manufacturing jobs. Send engineers overseas, and watch the manufacturing jobs disappear. It’s simple.
So what’s the problem? Regulation. Not just regulation of financial companies, which is going to drive down their returns until they resemble utilities. Overall stupid, needless regulation – sometimes regulation that is so mind-numbingly dumb as to defy belief. Now wait a second you’re probably saying to yourself, some regulation is good – environmental regulation, for instance. And I agree that some regulations are a good thing, particularly when without it companies can get a “free rider” benefit from using public resources (clean water) for private gain (dumping toxic sludge into rivers). But the U.S. immigration visa requirements that send home engineers and Ph.D.’s as soon as they earn their degree here, instead of encouraging them to stay in this country (which many want to do) and start companies here, make no sense at all. Think this is a Wall Street free-market rant? Actually, this issue is a very hot topic in Silicon Valley. Steve Jobs recently had some interesting comments on this. Among them:
'You're headed for a one-term presidency," Steve Jobs told President Obama at the beginning of a one-on-one session the president requested early last year. As described in the authorized biography by Walter Isaacson, Apple's founder said regulations had created too many burdens on the economy.