Sunday, February 15, 2009

4,000,000 Jobs in 90 Days

The drumbeat from the $787 billion dollar stimulus package has been jobs, jobs, jobs. Last week President Obama visited Elkhart, IN to help sell the 4,000,000 jobs the bill would save and/or add. At that price tag, we are paying a staggering $196,750 per job. If the goal is to create jobs, let's do it in 90 days (4-6 times faster) and for 1/2 the price. Here's how:

  • Offer $49,000 grants each year for the next 2 years for each new job created by pre-qualified/awarded businesses
  • The $49,000 would cover the cost of salary, insurance, and other benefits for each employee (actual salaries could vary, this would be an average)
  • Businesses would hire these people within the first 90 days of the program launch

How would you launch it?

  • By district, grants would be allocated and prioritized by those hardest hit. Our elected Representative (in our case, Joe Donnelly) would be charged to form a quick team of local business minds and economists to review business applicants in their district
  • Businesses would be selected on merits such as: ability to retain the jobs after two years, job training offered to new employees, benefits to local community, current strength, etc
  • This goal of the selection process should be to keep it simple and swift
  • Let's launch this April 1, 2009


  • Immediate impact on monthly job loss numbers, rather than seeing the 500,000 jobs lost in February, the American public would see these numbers subside or even reverse for a period of a few months
  • Consumer confidence could improve on the news of a stimulus working... immediately
  • Actual price tag would be less by eliminating unemployments costs of those sitting on their couch rather than employed through the grant program
  • Millions of workers would have an opportunity to be retrained in a new industry, employers would be able to allocate training resources they would not normally expend
  • Federal deficit for 2009 could be drastically reduced
  • Businesses that are waiting to hire could hire immediately. Not all companies are struggling, but most have hit a cautious, hiring freeze button
  • Rather than hire workers by contracts that could end in 6 months or two years (in the current plan), thousands of businesses would want to retain these newly trained workers after the two year grant

Immediate Questions:

  • How would that be fair? Fairness is already at issue. Someone is going to get the contract to build a bridge in Minnesota, some other company is not. People are already in line for bailouts to save their industry. This would be aimed at "creating" vs. "saving"
  • Couldn't we get burned again by corporate America? These grants could be monitored and paid in "arrears" once businesses have demonstrated they've maintained their payroll levels, businesses would not simply receive lump sum deposits when approved to spend in other means (as we've experienced in the banking industry)
  • How would be administer it? By having it handled by district, it immediately spreads our risk, creates accountability, and shares workload for each Congressional Representative and their staffs. Local chambers of commerce, municipal governments, and community leaders could all assist
  • What about all the other needs in the current bill? Anything beyond jobs is simply "spending", we should call it for what it is. I'm not saying some of these items aren't valid or are certainly needed, but the concrete in a bridge is a "material cost"- not a job.

President Obama, Congressman Donnelly, the company where I work has 50 new jobs ready to go in the South Bend/Elkhart/Michiana area if this were approved.... we're in. I've already talked with one of our owners, we have scores of resumes in hand, and we're dead serious. We would train, deal with the human resources strain, find room, bring in computers, and whatever else it would take to make this happen. I'm confident that thousands of businesses would step-up to do the same. Small business all across America can lead this effort for recovery for half the cost and 400% faster. (If you are a business owner or influencer, feel free to send this or a version of this to your Representatives to let them know you've got jobs ready as well)

I'm not special, but I would be willing to help lead this effort. Just give me a call.

Thanks, Mark

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