A Mayor’s Impact on Unemployment

I was asked during a recent interview what I would do about unemployment in Grand Rapids. My answer was that I would try to decrease city regulations to make it easier for small businesses to be created. Some studies indicate small business creates the most jobs in this country. I would also encourage businesses to relocate here using whatever means at my disposal. I was distracted from saying, I would also encourage young people to focus their education in the medical field, because the Grand Rapids Medical Mile is a tremendous source of jobs. The rest of my answer was that policies at the federal and state level have far more impact on jobs than does the office of mayor. Here’s a reality that no other candidate will likely share with you: other than what I said I’d try to do above, the power of the mayor to create jobs is minimal.

While the nation was embroiled in the Confederate Flag controversy, which had the focus of the mainstream media’s attention, TPA was quietly passed and sent to the President’s desk for signing. This sets the stage for the passage of TPP. This is what’s going to greatly influence employment in this country, not what city mayors do. Here’s some highlights from the freedom-articles.com article:

  • The Very Word Secrecy is Repugnant in a Free and Open Society
  • TPP Effect #1: Weakening of the Minimum Wage
  • TPP Effect #2: More Censorship, Less Freedom of Expression
  • TPP Effect #3: Private Corporate Courts
  • TPP Effect #4: Stronger Patents, More Control for Big Pharma
  • TPP Effect #5: Less Environmental Protection

TPA/TPP is NAFTA on steroids. In the 20 years of NAFTA, the US lost five million jobs. How many of these were lost in Grand Rapids can’t be known, but I’m sure there was an effect.

So to the interviewer worried about what I was going to do about jobs, perhaps the question was directed to the wrong level of government. Instead of making this a mayoral issue, understanding national and state issues and trying to influence votes at those levels would have far more impact.

I was asked during the same interview how I could get young people to take interest in the upcoming election. I wish I would have answered “have them read Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, which would give them an understanding of what government’s function should be, how we have veered far off course in this country, and what the effects are likely to be”. But I didn’t.

Swung and missed the first time, but I’ll be ready for the next pitch.

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