David Brooks: Hiring Decisions Not Impacted by Government

The New York Times columnist says not many business leaders blame government for slow hiring

David Brooks: Idea That Government Actions Affect Hiring Decisions Is "Dubious" (RealClearPolitics)

DAVID BROOKS: I have asked a bunch of business leaders, you know, how much -- over the past five years, what government actions have really affected a concrete decision you have made?

And you get answers all over the lot. There is no consensus at all on this question. The number one answer I get is uncertainty. I can't plan because health care costs, because financial regulations. The number two answer I get is nothing. I can't think of any way the government, even the big stimulus -- the third answer I get is, the stimulus helped us. And the fourth answer I get is some other thing.

And so it has had -- I think what we do here in Washington has an effect on the macroeconomy. But the idea that the fiscal cliff or the little things we're doing here and now, even the sequester, which is all bad government, the idea that it has a huge effect on hiring decisions, I remain dubious.

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DAVID BROOKS: I thought sequestration was absolutely terrible policy. So, from the point of view of are we running a decent government, it was terrible.

From the point of view are -- do people want a sign that their government can actually function, and does that overall level of confidence affect economic performance, I think he was right about that. If he was saying, well, a 0.25 percent drop in federal spending, whatever it was going to be, is going to have an immediate economic effect on hiring decisions, that was probably oversold. (PBS NewsHour, March 8, 2013)

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