Given Beltway gridlock, can Washington do anything about jobs?
It doesn't appear likely. Beyond a few small measures that might get the backing of both parties, the White House and congressional Republicans are still too mired in debt and partisan animus to foster an economic revival.
If not them, who?
Look to the states, where many governors have become job-seeking zealots. Ohio's John Kasich has taken heat for his budget-cutting and antiunion measures, but he has also teamed with universities to better match current curriculums with required worker skills for the present and future. Republican Kasich has used his contacts from his tenure in Congress and his stint as an investment banker to lure employers to the state. And he tweets up a storm every time he snags some new business. Democrat Martin O'Malley of Maryland has started to break the code on two promising areas for jobs and exports: biotech and clean energy. He is also using a state-run venture-capital effort to propel promising new technologies.
What about the private sector?
Not much progress there, but some CEOs are stepping up. Starbucks honcho Howard Schultz plans to create a huge pool of cash to be lent on good terms to existing and start-up businesses. The coffee roaster will kick in $5 million but hopes to raise more by appealing to the patriotism of its 7 million daily U.S. customers, asking for donations of $5 or more to fund the kind of microloans that banks have withheld since the meltdown.
Federal Property Hits The Auction Block
Some 14,000 parcels are up for sale, and the White House has proposed even more. Airstrips, islands, parks and buildings could raise $22 billion over 10 years, federal liquidators say.
What's Up For Grabs
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Veterans Administration Medical Center, West Los Angeles. Its 387 prime acres in the heart of L.A. could be worth $5 billion
Moffett Airfield, San Francisco. For now, the site is home to a NASA project and Google's corporate jets
Old Post Office Pavilion, Washington. Romanesque pile could serve as a 300-room hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue
SOURCE: WHITEHOUSE.GOV (BLUE DOTS)
Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin's slim margin of victory, in percentage points, in the race for West Virginia governor on Oct. 4
First Ladies don't need to push their own shopping carts, but that's just what Michelle Obama did at a Target in Alexandria, Va., on Sept. 29--in full view of an Associated Press photographer. Was it a staged event? Neither the White House nor the AP will say.
Missing: Hispanic Schoolchildren