Paul Krugman criticizes the Obama administration for a "strange passivity" about addressing high unemployment. The country needs an emergency jobs program, now. It could begin, he writes, with more aid to hurting state and local governments. A New Deal-type government program is also worth considering.
All of this would cost money, probably several hundred billion dollars, and raise the budget deficit in the short run. But this has to be weighed against the high cost of inaction in the face of a social and economic emergency.
Later this week, President Obama will hold a “jobs summit.” Most of the people I talk to are cynical about the event, and expect the administration to offer no more than symbolic gestures. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Yes, we can create more jobs — and yes, we should.