Abby Hobbs [name changed for privacy] is not the type of person you’d classify as lazy or naïve. As a digital strategist at a small marketing firm, her enthusiasm for and knowledge of her industry are obvious whenever she talks about her job.
But, as she told Learn Liberty, getting there wasn’t easy. As a 2014 graduate of a small liberal arts college, Abby had an impressive GPA, a solid resume, and a strong interest in digital marketing as a career.
What she lacked, however, was work experience that could help her stand out from recent graduates with similar aspirations in a tough job market. She remembers:

I was shocked at how difficult it was to get an interview. I thought that going to college, studying hard, and getting an internship under my belt would help me find something fulfilling. I didn’t foresee three months of unemployment, and almost a year of working in sales to get an entry level role as a social media strategist. It’s a tough world out there, and sometimes “doing everything right” isn’t enough, as I discovered.”]
She’s not alone. Labor force participation is at its lowest rate in a generation and job creation has been unimpressive for years. As a result, job creation has become a major election issue this cycle.
The two major parties have very different approaches on how best to create jobs.

  • Democrats generally argue that jobs should be created by government or government investment—think national infrastructure or green energy programs.
  • Republicans generally argue that jobs should be created by removing impediments to the workings of the market—lightening occupational licensing requirements and burdensome labor regulations.

In the new Learn Liberty video below, George Mason University professor Donald Boudreaux analyzes the competing approaches, cutting through the rhetoric on both sides to point out the merits and drawbacks of each argument.
One thing’s clear. If labor force participation and job creation continue to fall, expect this job creation debate to take center stage during election season. There are few issues that have a more direct impact on our well-being.