Our annual promises to ourselves have three requirements which are both necessary and sufficient. First, they must be things we can personally control – no fair, for example, resolving to win the lottery. Second, they must be beneficial to those doing them, which precludes such as starting smoking. Third, and most importantly of all, they must be plans on which the person has no intention of following through.
In that spirit, what would be suitable proposals from the major players, and groups of players, in American employment? Here’s what Royal Flush Press suggests.
President Barack Obama: As long as my country could quickly fill more than 15 million additional work opportunities, as shown by the American Job Shortage Number (AJSN), I will push for increases in their quantity, and let their quality take care of itself.
Republican Presidential Candidates: I will help keep America great by supporting a massive infrastructure repair and improvement project, which will create millions of jobs in the process.
Democratic Presidential Candidates: I will fight for ALL United States citizens to have better opportunities to work and support themselves, even straight white Anglo men, and not just to improve life for existing employees.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan: I will coordinate the Republican representatives to do what is right for overall American prosperity, not just for people with the top 1% of income or net worth.
Columnist Paul Krugman: I will use my Nobel Prize-caliber skills as an economist to encourage better jobs policy, even if it disagrees with liberal orthodoxy.
Columnist Charles Krauthammer: I will make my criticism of Obama less incessant and move on to other topics, including jobs and the economy, at which I can be constructively influential.
Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve: Until the AJSN tells us we are fewer than 15 million jobs short, we will neither raise interest rates again nor threaten to do so.
New Hampshire and Iowa Republican Voters and Caucus Participants: We will vote for a genuine, reasonably experienced candidate who understands that politics involves deal-making and compromises.
New York Times Editorial Board: We will get educated about cost-of-living differences around our country before again proposing that all jobs everywhere must pay at least half-again as much as what countless unemployed and underemployed Americans in the hinterlands would be delighted to work for.
Employers: We will stop crying about skills gaps and labor shortages, and train inexperienced workers, pay market rates for experienced ones, or both.
Me, and everyone else: As the Moody Blues put it 47 years ago: Keep as cool as you can. Face piles and piles of trials with smiles. It riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave. And keep on thinking free (emphasis mine).
Happy New Year, everyone!