By: Michael Hamilton--Student Essay Contest Winner
September 27, 2011
Germany's Kurzarbeit work program: A plan for job growth in the U.S.
Kevin Hassett, director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, stated "if we can slow job destruction even a little bit, then we will have set the stage for big increases in net job creation." Strong policy is necessary to diminish the threat the recession holds over American workers, and after a $787 billion economic stimulus, it may be time to look across the pond for a solution to combat rising unemployment. A sound economic policy to learn from has been implemented in Germany to minimize the effects of unemployment, which they call "kurzarbeit,"or "short-work." This policy has allowed many German workers to remain employed, and a similar American strategy can be implemented, which will most likely have a dramatic effect on the pace and extent of national unemployment. Because of the high level of unemployment in the U.S., it is necessary for the government to work with corporations by encouraging them to keep their current workers, while hiring new employees in order to maximize production. To establish the discussion of a resourceful American plan, it is important to first take a closer look at the situation in Germany.