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As Long as We Remember...

May 10, 2011

First on the Minds of Our Countrymen

Shawn Burns

Spending cuts are a good thing. Addressing and cutting government waste is also a good thing. Who doesn’t get annoyed about hearing that a couple hundred thousand dollars was spent to study the mating habits of salmon?


And who doesn’t shake their head in disbelief upon hearing that the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame received a couple hundred thousand dollars from the federal government? Talk about waste.


The point is that cutting fat and increasing efficiency in government is a good thing, but it’s not the only thing.


Eventually a greater focus needs to be placed on the issue of jobs. That is what matters most in the daily lives of people in our country. People want to know they have a job; can get a job when needed; and can put food on the table.


Jobs and the economy are still the most important issues to voters. Cutting spending and waste makes sense and is a step in the right direction, but quickly people are going to tire of this issue because they want to see some change that will directly affect their wallets.


Unemployment is still hovering at around nine percent. And, truth be told, that number is actually much higher. Many economists estimate that in order to just keep up with all of the people entering the job market for the first time, then we need to add at least 150,000 new jobs every month. Job growth has been and will continue to be weak.


Jobs and job security are first on most everyone’s list of priorities. And our elected leaders are going to need to quickly shift their focus from spending cuts to job creation.


Now, many people will argue and disagree as to what role the government should play in job creation. Whatever position you hold, the point is that our leaders need to start doing more to help with job creation.


As it has been reported recently, McDonald's has said they plan to create 62,000 new jobs in the coming year. They received over one million applications from people desperate for one of those 62,000 openings. It’s all about jobs.


A small business owner here in Frederick recently told me that he put an ad in the local newspaper looking for an office manager. He was offering an hourly wage and said he received more than 200 resumes. Again, people are desperate for work.


Clearly jobs are overwhelmingly on the minds of the American people. And our leaders need to shift their focus to the issue of job growth.


Most of our elected officials are smart enough to realize that if they fail to shift their focus onto the issue of jobs, then they themselves may be unemployed after the next election.


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