This past weekend I had a chance to visit the Washington D.C. area. This was my first visit to the nations capitol, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew that I wanted to see a few monuments and really immerse myself into the fabric of the city as much as I could for the few days that I was there.
One of the first things I always notice when I visit a city is the amount of new construction that is taking place. My brother was acting as my tour guide for the weekend. He’s been in the D.M.V area for almost 6 years, so he’s pretty familiar with the Metro and everything D.C.
As we were touring the city, I asked him about all the construction that was taking place. He said most of it was new condo construction. The reason that this stood out to me was because there was just so much of it going on. Being from Florida seeing any type of new construction at this point in time from a developer would lead me to believe that they were either reckless or incompetent.
So I inquired further about how the real estate market was doing, and from everyone I spoke to up there, I got the same response. Expensive. Which means that if construction is picking up, and housing is still expensive there are plenty of really good job opportunities in the D.C., Maryland, Virginia area.
You may say there are a lot government jobs there which is driving the job growth and generation. To that I would say you are absolutely correct. But where I take issue is that our politicians are always talking about “creating jobs”. Each party talks about it, without clearly articulating an actual plan for creating jobs.
What I was able to find out during my visit was that there are a lot of people work in government contract work. The government is one of the leading employers in that particular region, so why in the hell is it so difficult to take what they are doing there and apply it to other parts of the country? I understand that creating jobs isn’t a one size fits all approach, but let’s at least give it a shot.
With just a couple of weeks left until the elections, I think we are probably past the point where we are going to have either candidate explain in plain English just exactly how they plan to put Americans back to work.
So the question then isn’t a matter of who can articulate it the best. It’s a question of who you think can actually deliver on it.
A common myth is that small businesses are the job creators. I say this is a myth, because it’s actually what makes good politics for both sides. The actual job creators are the younger companies. The companies that are flush with talent and investments.
In order to generate more jobs, we have to continue to support, as much as possible, these young companies that hit the ground running and are the true job creators.
Additionally, we have to git rid of some of the government programs that are actually counterproductive. According to conservative Republican Tom Corbett who has investigated the role of high growth companies in job creation, “when we make cheap capital available to companies, we’re actually doing very negative things. The cheap capital distorts the process by which the market screens out bad ideas.”
So is there any positive role the government can play? Many may disagree with my answer, but I think there is. cities like D.C. and San Francisco have it figured out. There are more jobs than there are people, and real estate is at a premium.
Local governments play a huge role in this, but if we can get our federal government on the same page as our local government, we are poised to put Americans back to work, and do some really great things in this country.
I’m really interested to see if whoever gets sworn in in January will take up this cause and move 100 mph with it. Tomorrow’s debate may make for great t.v. and conversation afterwards, but I challenge everyone to listen very closely to actual plans on how to create jobs.
The photo above is from my visit at the M.L.K. Memorial. There couldn’t be a more fitting quote for what we are trying to achieve. Below are some other photos from my trip. Click an image to launch the gallery.