What is government’s role in creating jobs?
Based on recent discussions with 11 leaders of local nonprofit organizations — and coupled with similar talks in October with 14 small-business leaders — the answer rests in two words: certainty and stability.
Elected officials from Washington to Willmar should take those words to heart, especially during a year when President Obama, Congress, the Minnesota Legislature and seemingly every elected official in North America thought they had the answer to creating jobs.
But this board actually talked to local leaders on the front lines of making hiring decisions. And while a few occasionally embraced partisan buzz words, most simply said that a government providing certainty and stability would go a long way toward easing decisions about creating jobs.
Look no further than federal health reform.
Leaders of the nonprofits the board spoke with all said health care costs have become an even bigger obstacle because of uncertainty rooted in the reform’s complexity and magnified by court challenges to the reform.
With such a lack of clarity, these nonprofit leaders — like their private sector peers — displayed great reluctance to create jobs, largely because of unknown costs.
As for stability, these nonprofit leaders generally defined that as being able to balance resources with demands.
Finally, while these nonprofit leaders generally agreed rules and regulations had not increased dramatically the past few years, they did note that the volume of government workers overseeing those rules is to the point that once-minor details now draw major government attention.
Know, though, that for them to create jobs the keys are certainty and stability — certainty in knowing what to expect and stability in knowing things won’t change.
It’s message elected officials must take to heart in 2012 and beyond.
— The St. Cloud Times