Policy: Economy

Obama's corporate-federal partnerships boost companies, not jobs

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Timothy P. Carney,Barack Obama,Economy

When government and business get together, they are often successful in helping one another, but often unsuccessful in accomplishing the stated goal of the collaboration.

Green energy subsidies often do little for the environment. consumer protection laws backed by industry often don't protect the consumer. And job-creation subsidies often fail to create jobs for anyone besides the folks administering the programs.

Reuters' Julia Edwards and Jason Lange report on Obama's "manufacturing hubs":

[A]fter more than a year of operation, the Youngstown hub underscores the challenges facing Obama's goal of ensuring "a steady stream of good jobs into the 21st century," as he put it in remarks at a White House event last month.

One of the biggest challenges is the nature of factory innovation itself, which often reduces, rather than bolsters, the need for workers who aren't very skilled. That means the manufacturing initiative could help create jobs for people with highly specialized skills, such as engineers, but it may do far less to help people struggling to find work after the shuttering of local steel mills....

Of six organizations in Youngstown and Cleveland - the nearest major city in the state - working on America Makes projects, none has made new hires for the work. But the non-profit managing the initiative, the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, has added 10 employees to run the lab and oversee the application process, said executive director Ralph Resnick.

Congress is considering codifying these hubs, and my AEI colleague Stan Veuger testified on them.

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