The Only Way to Understand the Job Market

I recently read the following from Jim Clifton in Forbes magazine, and it inspired me to actually blog it. I can not imagine any sentiment being less improvable than this one – it is sheer brilliance. Jim is offering his sentiments on what it will take into the next generation to see a robust job market. He deserves all the credit, as he articulated it and constructed it all on his own, but if it were possible to have stolen thoughts right out of my head, he would be guilty of doing so.

“There are no real obstacles. Just wrong thinking, bad assumptions. When you build strategies and policies on wrong assumptions, the more you execute, the worse you make everything, which is what we are doing now. There are three wrong assumptions that cause all the current job creation attempts to not work.

1. “Innovation is not scarce. Entrepreneurship is scarce. We are spending billions and wasting years of conversations on innovation and it isn’t paying off. Great business people are more valuable and rarer than great ideas.

2. “America has about six million active businesses. Ninety-nine percent of them are small businesses. An incalculably huge mistake leaders are making now is spending time, money, strategies, and especially policies for those who need ‘help’ getting a job. A useful way to look at any citizen is this, ‘Can she herself create jobs or does she need a job created for her?’ We are spending all our time on the cart and doing little or nothing on the horse. We have our assumptions and futurism that backward. ‘The horse (small and medium business) stopped, so we fix the cart (jobs).’ If we change all our strategies and policies to favor the job creators (small and medium businesses) the horse and cart will get moving again. We have our compassion right, but the logic is staggeringly stupid.

3. “It is wrong thinking to imagine that Washington has solutions. Job creation is a city problem. There is great variation in job creation by city in the United States. San Francisco and the greater Valley keep pumping away while Detroit isn’t. Austin’s cart works while Albany’s doesn’t. Cities need to look inwardly and say, ‘What can I do to create great economic energy, to bring new customers for all existing companies and start-ups?'”

All of this is just fantastic, but I would reiterate one particular thing that is more improtant than all the rest: We do NOT have a shortage of ideas; we have a shortage of entrepreneurship. The government can not create entrepreneurship but it can destroy it.