The NYTimes reports that Alan Krueger will be the next chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. A well respected, serious professor from Princeton, that almost everybody from Mankiw to Krugman will approve of. He is a labor economist, and yes that is a problem. My concern with labor economists, is that they tend to think in microeconomic terms when it comes to employment creation, and that is definitely not a solution for the current situation.
For example, the Times tells us that:
"Dr. Krueger was also one of the administration’s chief spokesmen for a payroll tax cut designed to encourage employers to hire, a policy that was in effect under the HIRE Act during 2010. The tax incentive, which was designed by Senators Chuck Schumer and Orrin Hatch after a raft of competing proposals floated through Washington, was criticized by some economists as being too small and ill-targeted to make much of a difference in hiring."Don't get me wrong a reduction of payroll taxes, a regressive tax that burdens low income groups more heavily, is a good idea. But the reason is that it would stimulate consumption, not that it would reduce costs and lead to additional hiring. Why would a firm hire workers, because costs are lower, if they don't have demand for their products? Employment creation is NOT about incentives to the supply side, but about creating more demand!