Rethinking Employment Policy

Michael Strain has drawn up an employment policy agenda for conservatives (and for right-of-center libertarians too, for that matter), that is must-reading. It serves as a valuable contribution to the debate over employment policy and hopefully will shake up that debate significantly and lead to pathbreaking reforms and legislation that might help get more people back to work. And we really need to get people back to work. From a purely political standpoint, the right will suffer if it is seen as having no positive jobs agenda, so Strain’s op-ed should be welcomed by conservatives and right-of-center libertarians who want to see the right bring something substantial to the table when it comes to crafting and implementing employment policy (and who want to be able to win elections by credibly telling the populace that they have a plan to put Americans back to work). And of course, Strain’s set of policy recommendations can and should be embraced in bipartisan fashion in order to address and remedy the human misery that has resulted as a consequence of widespread longterm unemployment. I realize that it may strike some people as naïve to think that we might get some bipartisan consensus regarding issues of truly national and generational importance, but I prefer to live in a world where there is some hope for addressing vexing policy issues.