In case you missed it, I wanted to draw your attention to an excellent article by Richard A. Epstein. In Beyond Austerity Epstein focuses in on the labor market and free exchange as critical to economic recovery and future growth. He really gets to the philosophical heart of many of the reforms the Buckeye Institute is focused on.
He outlines the steps needed to spur growth outside of the macroeconomic policies so often discussed and debated (particularly in Washington):
The best first step is to free up labor markets world wide. Specifically, we need policies that take aim at the unbearable political forces that seek to tighten the regulatory noose on voluntary labor markets.
Unfortunately, the dominant attitude of macroeconomists is to assume that nothing that takes place within the labor market (of which Krugman never speaks) is large enough to influence the large macro trends to which they attribute today’s high employment rates.
The blunt truth is exactly the opposite. The calcification of labor markets is the primary impediment to economic recovery. The direct effects of government regulation of labor can matter far more than the indirect effects of macroeconomic policy, whether Keynesian or austerity-based. Neither austerity nor lavish public expenditures will improve the overall situation, which is why the massive increase in American public debt has not nudged unemployment rates down. The only workable solution has to stress job creation, not by misdirected subsidies, but by dismantling the government obstacles to market exchange. [emphasis mine]
Obviously, we agree. In Ohio Right-to-Work: How the Economic Freedom of Workers Enhances Prosperity, we detail the significant economic costs of forced unionization. This is one very a large example, but there are a great many others.
Ohio’s growth deficits and economic stagnation are a clear indication that we have allowed government obstacles to market exchange to drag our economy down for far too long. We must begin the process of removing obstacles and creating a competitive, dynamic and flexible business climate. That is the path to growth and opportunity, not more spending, more subsidies and more programs.