Every politician has their ‘applause line,’ the part of a speech that gets a fevered reaction from their intended audiences.
These days most politicians seeking votes and support talk about creating or attracting jobs—“We must create living wage jobs” or something akin to “Our future depends on attracting jobs.”
What’s often missing from this is a lack of specifics. We want to know how these polticians would create or attract jobs in Oregon in general and in Marion County and Keizer in particular.
Coming out for more jobs in a recession is like coming out strongly for motherhood, baseball and apple pie. It’s an easy stand to take but the devil is in the details.
Every county and city wants new jobs. Oregon’s unemployment rate stands stubbornly above 10 percent. The public calls for cutting government at every level, but cutting government means cutting jobs. Those public employees let go will end up chasing the few jobs that come open or in line at the unemployment office.
Government can not force business to create jobs. Government (which means us, the citizens) can create the environment for business to be confident enough to plan on adding jobs.
Those in the public eye do a disservice when they say things like “when the economy rebounds” or “when the recession is over.” We all need to realize that we are currently in a new economic normal. The economic boom of the early 21st century was a result of a booming housing market coupled with easy consumer credit. Nothing was out of reach then. That is no longer the case.
Businesses are learning how to do more with less. Why hire more people when they can do more with less employees? If they are reluctant to add workers, how does a politician propose to buck that trend?
Neither gubernatorial candidate, Republican Chris Dudley and Democrat John Kitzhaber, should be allowed to get away with campaigning for more jobs without offering details on how they would accomplish that. That should also be true of any person running for office on the national or local level.
If a candidate wants to recruit new businesses, they should tell us the type they’d attract and where they should locate. What will they do to attract jobs that can support a family? What kind of timeline do they have? Do they have a plan to attract industrial jobs? Service jobs? Professional jobs?
Mayor Lore Christopher and other city officals want to attract medical offices to Keizer Station. That’s a great thing, but it will take more than a year at least to construct buildings that will house employees. Ms. Christopher is going in the right direction to target the types of businesses that should come to Keizer bringing jobs along with them.
Let’s hear from Dudley, Kitzhaber and other candidates what they’ll do. The voters want to know.