If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that my day job is in the building trades. The current downturn of our economy has hit this industry hard, and the people I deal with daily have paid a heavy price for this Administration’s assault on the free market. Recently however, I’ve seen a shift in sector job loss that might just be good news in disguise.
Some of my customers are government entities. Local government housing projects are administered by city, county and federal agencies that buy construction and maintenance materials from me. Many have told me that they are facing impending rounds of layoffs due to budget cuts.
At the same time, some of my private sector customers tell me that they are looking for good employees to fill a slowly increasing need. The obvious solution here is for laid off public employees to actively seek employment in the private sector. Now we know they won’t get the same benefits and pension, but if they possess a useful skill set, they will find work.
In my opinion, this could well be a stepping stone to moving our labor force where it needs to be: back to the private sector.
In addition these various government housing authorities and the like, should contract construction and maintenance back to the private sector where the work can be done quicker and at a lower cost than by their public counterparts. It does not require three overlapping agencies, two levels of supervision and a public union employee to fix a toilet. One good plumber and a few parts will do fine. The resulting increase in business for local small companies will drive additional hiring and additional growth.
Clearly we need a relaxation of regulations that are anti-free market and that put business at a competitive disadvantage. We need to restore confidence for consumers and providers to spur an increase in activity. Most importantly, we need to tip the scale of spending from the public to the private sector.
Contrary to what Liberals insist, a reduction in the size of government is not the end of the world. If released public workers actively seek and fill private sector jobs doing what they were doing but off the public payroll, it could start our economic engine moving in the right direction again.
Originally posted on 9/4/2011 at ConservativeCompass.com