Job market debate: Obama will fund education and invest in infrastructure

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September 27, 2012

11:19 PM

For many students, the real world outside of the College of William and Mary seems like a nightmare. Putting that world in an atmosphere of economic woe only exacerbates the fear of post-graduation doom. However, it should be known that the economy is actually getting better, and hopefully that fear will soon be an afterthought — just like those Orientation crushes or the Quiznos in the Sadler Center.

The economic strategies supported by President Barack Obama have helped pull the United States out of terrible economic times. We have a long way to go before full recovery, but that doesn’t mean Obama’s policies have failed, and it doesn’t mean that Gov. Mitt Romney has a better solution.

Obama’s job plan has attempted to create innovative solutions using inspiration that has worked in the past. This strategy means more investments in infrastructure — such as the stimulus package that saved the economy, and the auto bailouts that saved thousands of jobs — and increased incentives for businesses that are hiring. Other steps in Obama’s job plan include supporting small businesses by cutting portion of payroll taxes, supporting those in public sector jobs, like teachers and the police and, to students’ delight, expanding job opportunities for young adults. This past summer, the White House supported an initiative to create jobs and internships for high school-aged and college-aged students in an effort to help give them valuable work experience and to help combat the higher-than-average unemployment rate for young people.

The idea of ending up without a job is terrifying no matter what the situation.  Most college students don’t want to be stuck living at home again after graduation. One of my professors mentioned the other day that his son graduated from the College in 2011 and just found employment after living at home for a year. For me and many other students, going back home and losing the independence that comes with living on your own is a scary prospect, but that fear shouldn’t lead us to blindly hope that four years was enough to make a full economic recovery. That’s not possible. At the same time, that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any economic recovery.

In order to improve the economy, you must help your citizens. The Romney-Ryan ticket would slash the social programs that are valuable to educating Americans, programs that would give people the means to achieve success in the job market. It isn’t enough just to support businesses during rough economic times; it’s also important to support citizens. Obama’s plans would increase support for educational programs — including the much-discussed Pell grants that many students at the College receive to help fund their education. Obama’s plan would also increase funding for community colleges and vocational training for those who decide that attending university isn’t for them.

Yes, I think there’s room for improvement regarding job creation in this country, but the tricky thing with economics is that it’s not an exact science. Theories come and go, but one surefire way to maintain economic growth and job creation is supporting Americans in the ways that Obama has and will continue to do. Investing in the American population is part of job creation, and Obama understands this fact. Further, he understands that supporting his constituents doesn’t mean just investing in the privileged but rather the unemployed veteran, the laid-off factory worker and even the recent college graduate. We must protect jobs for all Americans and not just a select few — here’s looking at you, Wall Street.

Obviously, the economy is still struggling toward economic recovery, but under Obama, students would continue to see more jobs and better employment opportunities.

Email Alex Cooper at [email protected]

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  • Alex Cooper