Want to Bring Back Jobs? It’s Impossible Unless We Fix these Four Things

If there is any goal that might attract support from across the political spectrum, it’s creating more fulltime jobs in the U.S. But this laudable goal is dead-on-arrival (DOA) unless we first fix these four things. Why is job growth stagnating? Many point to automation, and yes, that is a systemic dynamic that will only expand going forward.

But much of the stagnation is the direct result of the high costs and structural failures in these four inputs to the job market. U.S. healthcare costs more than twice as much per person as healthcare per person in our advanced-economy competitors. Why would anyone open a business in a nation so poorly run that healthcare costs twice as much as it does everywhere else?

The American people are not healthy. Obesity / obesity-related diseases and opiate addiction are both epidemic. Workers struggling with lifestyle-caused chronic diseases cost more to hire and to help.

If you set out to destroy the nation’s ability to create jobs, you’d impose the unaffordable healthcare system we have, and the overly complex and costly tax / regulation system we have. And you’d push your students to get useless credentials instead of the real-world skills, moxie and values they need to get ahead and fulfill their potential in a fast-changing economy.

You want to create jobs? First fix these four things, or your goal is DOA.

1. Healthcare, and even more importantly the health of the American people.

2. Taxes. Lower the business/corporate tax rates, simplify tax codes, eliminate the loopholes, skims and scams exploited by the tax avoidance industry.

3. Regulation. Weigh the cost of every regulation against the public good it generates. Include business owners, employees and citizens in the decision process–not just protected, privileged “experts” with no skin in the game, i.e. poobahs whose own fat salaries and benefits are never exposed to the costs or risks of the regulations they impose with such abandon.

4. Education. Instead of focusing on political correctness and “software coding” while shoehorning everyone into useless, rip-off four-year college degrees, focus on providing students with real-world knowledge bases, entrepreneurial moxie and the eight essential soft skills needed to prosper in a fast-changing economy. I explain how to do this in my books Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy and The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy

Let’s do a chart-dump on our sick and unaffordable system of healthcare. Want a quick summary? Prevention isn’t profitable, managing chronic illnesses is immensely profitable.

Our healthcare system is ill because our lifestyle makes us ill. There is no other output that is possible with these inputs other than sickness and chronic illness.

We are what we eat. Oops–no wonder we’re in such poor health:

For every $1 nations like Spain and Japan spend per person on healthcare, the U.S. spends $2.50. If you want to bankrupt the nation and wipe out our global competitiveness, then by all means keep the insanely unaffordable system we have:

America’s Hidden 8% VAT: Sickcare (May 10, 2012)

Sickcare Will Bankrupt the Nation–And Soon (March 21, 2011)

Why America’s Healthcare (Sickcare) System Is Broken and Unfixable (July 16, 2014)

We spend twice as much per person yet our life expectancy and other measures of health are tanking–do you see a problem for potential employers?Wake up, America: either get healthy and overhaul sickcare or the nation is doomed. It really is that simple.

If you think this chart will gladden the hearts of potential employers, you’ve lost your mind: out-of-control government sickcare spending, check. Rapidly aging populace of ill people, check. A political system that has been captured by insurers, Big Pharma, and every other cartel that’s reaping enormous profits off a sick populace and a sick system.

We have a simple choice: either fix these four broken systems or go down the drain. The crony-cartel-state system we have is broke and broken. It’s your choice, America–you can keep your cartels and the captured government that enables and protects them, or you can fix what’s broken and unaffordable.

For more, please check out Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform.

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions bybecoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com.

Check out both of my new books, Inequality and the Collapse of Privilege ($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print) and Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print). For more, please visit the OTM essentials website.

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  • Saul Twater

    Healthcare….yes the food culture needs to be fixed, but people are quickly getting there. When you see Organic products in Walmart, it’s a positive sign.

    Healthcare has four issues:

    1. No free market policies and high prices because of insurance. Ask a provider what the out of pocket cost is…it’s half

    2. Prices for care are ridiculous.

    3. Prices for Pharmaceutical are ridiculous

    4. Litigation and liability insurance costs for providers drive up risk and prices.

    • David S

      And a single-payer system is absolutely NOT the answer. There is NO real competition in medicine, NO freedom for the citizens or the healthcare practitioners, and the AMA and state and federal government are colluding all across America to maintain a restricted and controlled cartel of western medicine (including how many can be doctors, who can practice medicine (and what procedures), and a whole host of regulations/restrictions that insure a reduced supply of physicians, an intellectually-controlled and regulated supply of physicians, and a resulting artificial increase in physician costs.

      • diogenes

        Someone who knows from experience contradicts you (see elmysterio above).

        one way or another profit needs to be removed from human necessities and public utilities, including medicine, housing, food, transportation, etc. There’s no reason to allow the 0.1% of extreme wealth to extract a perpetual toll on our needs and the public welfare merely because they like it that way and corrupt our government and our whole culture to keep it that way. And until we understand that, there is no hope of change.

        And Smith’s oblivious driveling perpetuates this problem by avoiding it. The guy’s a menace.

    • Josh Stern

      Responding to the above, and also some themes in the comments below…real competition usually does drive down prices where it occurs in a robust market. But notice that for a lot of different reasons, every side of the healthcare debate opposes competition in some key areas. important examples include: a) drug patents – proponents claim they are needed to motivate the research that keeps discovering new cures and putting them through the expensive govt. mandated trials that are required to prove safety and efficacy; b) precise standards for training of safe medical practicitioners – the tradition is to only certify a limited number of programs that require a lot of resources and training at high expense, and this gets justified by safety and efficacy concerns – the highest costs nowadays are no longer at the level of “general family practictioner” or “nurse practictioner” but rather driven by specialists certified for additional techniques; c) what kinds of care do plans need to cover – the govt. only allows plans that cover a lot – the current standard of care – everyone has to pay for *all* of that coverage, in the avg. – high deductibles are not currently allowed; d) who gets to pick the treatment – the system in the U.S. is that the M.D. gets to pick and it is up to the M.D. whether to solicit or accept input from the patient in those choices – proponents claim that is for safety and efficiacy – if the Drug company wooes the M.D. with expensive vacation getaways to pick expensive medicine, then everyone pays for that, in the avg. – single payer setting prices can potentially lower costs, but only if the people running the govt. prorgram are non-corrupt advocates for the healthcare consumer rather than captured advocates for the industry.

      I advocate a compromise that is least likely to be corrupted: offer single payer for the most generic schemas of care at low cost, make that an option for every part of the healthcare practice that it can legtimately cover, make govt. work for increasing the frontier of what that covers, aggressively, over time, and let the market place have a robust competition to justify “better” add-ons or substitutes at additional cost.

  • RobinDatta

    Jobs are the human agencies that control energy flows that extract and convert resources into products and thence to wastes and then dispose of them, including transportation, distribution, etc. With declining petroleum net energy (ERoEI) there will of necessity be declines in the jobs to control the energy flows.

    • diogenes

      and jobs are controlled by the oligarchs’ system and their usufruct is appropriated by them. that’s the problem. try to get a clue.

  • elmysterio

    For all the fear and skepticism about single-payer universal care that Americans have, I can honestly say, it’s a really great system and you don’t need to fear it. Here in Canada, even a majority of die-hard conservatives cherish the single-payer system.

    It is my opinion that not everything needs to generate profit. Health care is one of those.

    • diogenes

      RIGHT ON.

  • Lynn Walker

    Same old pointless blah-de-blah, but buy my books, this is how I survive, by scrambling your already overly taxed intelligence.

    Skip his books, and his article and cut to the point he’s making: our current system is so corrupt it can’t be fixed, it must be torn down. The reality is, it will be torn apart by it’s own failures.

    Start with point one, you can’t fix healthcare and the health of Americans without disbanding the medical industry (which is based almost entirely on ignorance, or misinformation) and the government that supports it. It’s not just the medical industry, but the entire food industry that also must be torn down. To accomplish any of this would require breaking the grip that corporations hold over our government, and to do that you have to arrest or assassinate the banking families who are the primary owners of the world’s most powerful corporations. To do that, you also have to remove their enablers and protectors throughout the developed world, most particularly the police and military.

    How are you going to do that? CHS has no real answers, only a partial analysis of a problem that is so deeply entrenched that the only change will occur through mass scale calamity that forces better choices. In other words, no solution for now. You don’t need to buy CHS’ books to understand that.

    • animalogic

      Great comment, Lynn. Spot on. The author fixates on economic symptoms out of context with their political causes.
      He rarely seems to address political realities: that the U.S is an OLIGARCHY (or plutocracy) fast declining into a 21st C version of fascism.
      Outside of extreme crisis followed by a militant socialist revolution, I’m pro vents in workers lives will occur only at the margins…if at all.
      Nor are his economic solutions, considered on their own merits entirely laudable.
      Lower corporate tax rates ? Even balanced against reductions in loop holes etc that is questionable (why shouldn’t Co’s contribute adequately to the common-wealth ?)
      Did I miss it, or was there no mention of “single payer” ?
      Education ? Many countries (Singapore etc) manage well, why not the US ? Do they rely on his “8 essential soft skills” ?
      Nor is there any mention of such things as RE-REGULATING the f.I.r.e sector or massive government (only )infrastructure spending or radical decreases in “defence” spending…& dozens of other matters….

  • diogenes

    The number one cause of health care costs in America is investor profits. Just like the number one cause of America’s grossly inflated cost of living is investor profits. Highspeed internet charges in America are 20 times what they are in South Korea. Same reason. The investing class represents under 3% of Americans and the bulk of the investments are held by under 0.5% of Americans. These are the people and the interests who are pillaging our lives and destroying our country. And have been for over 100 years. Until we face this and deal with it, nothing will change, except for the worse, as it has been for decades.

    But don’t expect Smith to admit it, face it, or address it, because obviously he won’t. Why is that? What interests does Smith serve? Like an ass,he just keeps braying the same vacuous noises.

  • truthtime

    Surely Trump or Hillary could fix this. Please save us ‘o Leaders!