Job seekersCongressional elections are now less than a month away. But as joblessness continues unabated, politicians and even policymakers are getting increasingly panicky.

Big initiatives that can supposedly help create jobs got took center stage last week as the House of Representatives latched on to a measure aimed at China for failing to meaningfully boost the value of its currency. And some Fed officials are hinting that the further bond purchases may be necessary to knock down already-rock-bottom interest rates even further.

Despite grabbing the headlines, though, both measures are far less useful than they appear and again demonstrate the infamous short-term vision of U.S. politics and policymaking. Instead, more measured approaches in industrial policy that could actually put the country on more solid footing continue to get crowded out.

Beating up on China is a good a way to throw read meat to disgruntled voters as the number of the long-term unemployed in the country approaches record levels. But whether the measures result in job creation is another matter entirely, and not just because a slew of other countries are also working to devalue their currencies.

"Politically Inspired Vendetta"

Chinese compensation in manufacturing per hour is just 4% of what it is in the U.S., former Morgan Stanley Asia Chairman Stephen Roach recently noted. That means the impact on U.S. jobs of any currency revaluation in China would be minimal. And while China is likely to let the yuan appreciate gradually, much as it had prior to the financial crisis, it won't "buy into a politically inspired vendetta urging a massive, one-off revaluation," Roach said.

Some members of the Federal Reserve seem to be searching for the same overarching quick fix that Congress is groping in vain for. Speculation that the Fed would seek to push down interest rates further and boost demand by buying more assets spiked this week.

Of course, another push by the Fed and the accompanying brute force would probably have some short-term impact on the economy. But there's likely to be fallout from the artificially created demand as well.

A One-Size-Fits-All Approach Won't Work

Moreover, a surgical strike makes far more sense than carpet-bombing the entire economy with cash at this juncture. The chokepoints are clear: unemployment is enormously varied by factors like education and socioeconomic status. Job listings are growing at a remarkable rate, but the worker skills are lacking. Investing in retraining workers seems like a far more direct route to helping the overall economy.

More monetary stimulus by tinkering with interest rates is a one-size-fits-all approach. Yet many parts of the economy are in far better shape than others. Even as real estate remains frayed in many parts of the country, for example, prices in Manhattan have bounced back.

Rather than soak the entire country in easy money or browbeat the Chinese, the U.S. would be much better served by a more precise and sober approach to the problem. Yes, investors would be foolhardy to believe that could happen in the next few weeks. But perhaps the prospects may rise dramatically once the elections have passed.

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Peter

Since Chinese Labor is compensated only 4% that of US labor, it is obvious that US labor compensation must be 100% TAX FREE. The US will also have to impose the tax rate on idle rich as China and benchmark US Managment salaries to their Chinese Counterpart. Since the top 1% income earners in the US own 40% of the wealth, a redistribution of their wealth to the US treasury is of course the first piece of business for the OBAMA Congress. Once the US worker is on parity with his Chinese Comrades I am sure the US can garner a good share of the investmentcapital from Europe

October 05 2010 at 7:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
itala2

We are a global economy world and to have thought thet the "problem" would go away in a few months or even years was misinformed at best.Especially after waging 2 wars for 9 years at incredible costs and borrowing heavily from China. Giving tax credits to companies that shipped jobs overseas was a fatal mistake, which makes me wonder why the Republicans are blocking the repeal of those tax credits. Why? Why hurt our own workforce? I can only think that it is about political contributions. It was interesteing to see that 91% of political contributions for Karl Rove were made by 3 billionaires. The Tea Party is funded by 2, the Koch brothers. Although many of the other sources are unclear because of the Republican block of the Campaign Contribution Transparency Act which would have allowed us to know wholined their pockets. It is interesting to know that the opposite is true for the Democrats where 90% of their contributions are made by regular people , of $5,$10 $ 20........says something about the basic dofference between the two parties. One for big coprorations , the other for the middle class.

October 05 2010 at 9:58 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
krazzicraig

All we keep hearing by the folks running for office is " I can create jobs !". This is just a lie that is being used in PR speechs for the weak minded to believe. There is no quick fix to this problem. There is no simple answer to this . We have changed the way we do things . Our own technology has caused the loss of many jobs. The need for hands on labor is becoming a thing of the past.If anyone thinks this will not affect them today or in the future ,you are wrong. It is the same as when the steam engine replaced horses. We are the horses and computers are the steam engines.

October 05 2010 at 7:48 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
sheffersn

We have the means to get out of this mess, but we don't have the will. Most of the good paying jobs went overseas and to Mexico for several reasons. The first, being corporate greed, when profitable companies closed their American factories in favor of slave labor. The second reason, companies that had to move production out of the U.S. in order to compete with the ones that already did. Another reason, we want the cheapest products that come from overseas sweatshops. We all complain about not being able to find good paying jobs anymore but we all did this to ourselves. Whether it's the unfair trade policies or not, low prices rule. We all want to earn a fair wage but aren't willing to pay for a fellow American's fair wage. So you might have to save your money to buy an American made pair of jeans or shirt (they still exist, Justice Clothing Company is one.) or shoes or tools. I just started buying the higher priced American made clothes again out of frustration from my Walmart clothes falling apart so soon after buying them. When it comes to quality, American manufacturing still rules. The government can't put us back to work. Buying the cheapest foreign made crap wont put us back to work. Buying American (if available) will put us back to work. For those of you who blame unions, they're not completely to blame. There's probably just as many non union jobs that went overseas. We've all been short sighted on this issue. The Democrats and Republicans both have blame to share. We've been losing jobs to overseas competition under both political parties for a very long time. They all are owned by special interests. We need to save and spend our way out of this mess because at the moment, our kids and their kids don't have a future. We have sold them out in order to "save money, live better" and "expect more, pay less".

October 05 2010 at 6:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
soapyjeans

Viewing the videos of the one nation (hate rally) convinced me to vote against the dems. It made me realize the dems in power aren't really dems at all. They are progressives (slang for socialists) or the socialists and communists wouldn't be so supportive of them. I was shocked to see the socialists/communists proudly displaying their banners supporting Obama. That told me the country is definitely going in the wrong direction! If socialists/communists are happy then America is indeed in dire straits!!! Then I discovered the networks actually lying about the attendance size (which wasn't even a fourth of Becks) where people went on their own dime. No free bus rides, lol.... It scares me that the networks are so blatantly bias liberals!!! The silver lining...is the more they lie, the more they fuel me and others like me to VOTE the dems out of power!!!

October 05 2010 at 3:44 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
ultraz2

Congress needs to force TARP BANKS , to firesale liquidate their forclosure with NO RESERVE ABSOLUTE AUCTIONS which they the banks or their employees are not allowed to bid on. This will remove those homes from inventory which are currently competing with homes for sale by ordinary citizens . The firesale forclosures can be off the market in a month. And real estate prices will not only stabalize they will rise for the average homeowner which has been totally screwed over by the BANKING INDUSTRY SCREWUPS who's UPPER management and CEO'S have been rewarded for their screwups ,receiving huge bonuses and pay package increases for their incompetence and poor leadership skills. Their poor skills has shown their ongoing inability to properly demonstrate their ability to do their jobs, yet most remain in their positions, some have been removed but many more should be in order to restore public respect and confidence.In the mean time , the government cannot force the public to give Tarp banks business of any kind, should the public feel that they were forced by CONGRESS to give the TARP BANKS BILLIONS without public permission. Should the public choose not to support TARP BANKS and NOT do business with them, THESE BANKS WILL FOLD.---Now ask yourself, why were some TARP BANKS allowed to get even bigger by being allowed to buy up troubled brokerage houses and other assets that became available on the cheap at the beginning of the crisis. These very banks which were said by CONGRESS to be TOO BIG FOR THE TAX PAYERS TO ALLOW TO FAIL, SO THEY MUST BE BAILED OUT WITH TAXPAYER MONEY, these same TROUBLED TARP BANKS, which the taxpayers bailed out, these same banks were allowed to get even bigger when in reality they should NOT have been allowed to expand and get bgger. In reality these TARP BANKS should have been downsized or liquidated entirely.Now these expanded banks have a future potential of becoming an even bigger problem. Many worthy mid sized banks could have been asked by CONGRESS to step up and could have been elevated to LARGE BANK status by CONGRESS giving them the TARP MONEY at 1/4% intrest and the poorly managed TARP BANKS should have been liquidated. Now because of the poor decisions on CAPITOL HILL , the poor decisions of both the Democratic and Republican parties, because of those poor decisions, the entire country has to suffer thru a prolonged SUPPER RECESSION for the next five to seven years. It's each and every citizens right to decide wether or not they want to have anything to do with giving any of their business to a TARP BANK. Thats one thing the US CONGRESS AND SENATE CANNOT FORCE YOU TO DO at least not yet anyway.

October 05 2010 at 3:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ultraz2's comment
Cattani

Government meddling cause all of thse problems. More government meddling will not fix it.

October 05 2010 at 5:52 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Phil

Of course there are no quick fixes for our economic mess. It is and was designed to be a "stacked deck" ... a "rigged game". It produces exactly what it is intended to produce ... serve these those who designed it (and there wasn't a poor person among them). It's the system, per se ... capitalism, which produces wealth for those on top and little for those who arn't. PHIL

October 05 2010 at 2:48 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Phil's comment
WESTOVER ALLEN

you hit the nail right on the head!

October 05 2010 at 6:04 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Debbie Penland !

Oh, R-E-A-L-L-Y...what could we expect...ever since the "Ultra-Libs/Dems" took charge b-e-f-o-r-e Bush's term was up...they have been "changing America" to fit their "Socialistic/Communistic" agendas and manipulate and gain total "control" over everything...especially the "ECONOMY"! If they had "buckled down" and truly tried to do what is b-e-s-t for America and its citizens everything that has happened could have been either "avoided" or would have been "lessened" in its "severity" and we could be having a little more "positive" news...but, OH, NO...t-h-a-t, dear Americans, is n-o-t happening...unless their i-s a "regime change"...immediately if not s-o-o-n-e-r! These "in charge" people are determined to have "total control" and will keep on "lying to you"...until they "get their w-a-y"......we must "vote them a-l-l out"...OUT...O-U-T!!!

October 05 2010 at 2:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Debbie Penland !'s comment
WESTOVER ALLEN

and why do you think that the "ULTRA-LIBS/DEMS"were voted for: because the greedy republicans were running the country in the ditch ,it will take years to correct the failures of the 20 years of republicans, out of the last 30 years, clinton had 8 years ,left the budget surpluss, and bush squandered it plus george number one pushed the nafta bill just as he was leaving office and clinton had to sign it ! and the other two years are obamas .

October 05 2010 at 6:13 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Bearmaul

Getting rid of the liberal progressives would be a great fix for our economy..........

October 05 2010 at 1:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Dean Witter can't hear you now sorry!

October 05 2010 at 1:35 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply