The organic act establishing the Department of Labor was signed on March 4, 1913, by a reluctant President William Howard Taft, the defeated and departing incumbent, just hours before Woodrow Wilson took office. A Federal Department of Labor was the direct product of a half-century campaign by organized labor for a "Voice in the Cabinet," and an indirect product of the Progressive Movement. In the words of the organic act, the Department's purpose is "to foster, promote and develop the welfare of working people, to improve their working conditions, and to enhance their opportunities for profitable employment."
Reads pretty much like a Jobs Department to me. Has anyone talked to Labor Sec. Hilda Solis about any new “Jobs Department?” What is she supposed to do, how is she supposed to labor, if we have another Jobs Department?
Then, of course, we have the U.S. Commerce Department. The Mission Statement of this department makes it sound like it, too, is a Jobs Department.
The U.S. Department of Commerce promotes job creation, economic growth, sustainable development and improved standards of living for all Americans by working in partnership with businesses, universities, communities and our nation’s workers.
Reading these official statements—cranked out by people whose salaries we all pay—reminds us of Ronald Reagan’s famous line. The closest thing to eternal life we will see on this earth is a government program.
If the function of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce is to promote job creation and economic growth, it sure seems that--How can I say this charitably?--this distinguished public servant has been falling down on the job of late. Like the last two and a half years.
If I were Mr. Obama’s Commerce Secretary, I’d want to get out of town, and fast. In fact, that’s exactly what Sec. Gary Locke did. Having done such yeoman’s work in promoting job creation and economic growth here, Gary Locke was recently sworn in as our Ambassador to China . Now, there’s a jobs plan! If you can’t beat `em, join `em. Ambassador Locke can now observe job creation and economic growth from a unique vantage point: Beijing.
As he unpacks in China ’s Forbidden City , I suggest that Amb. Locke enter into meaningful dialog with the Chinese about U.S. exports. Maybe he can persuade them to buy more American flounder. We have entirely too much American floundering here and on Martha’s Vineyard.