This one is from New York Times columnist David Brooks, someone I don't always agree with, who writes today: "Reduce the barriers to business formation."
It's a maddening column by Mr. Brooks, because earlier on, he accuses "many Republicans" of being "ideologues" offering "a constricted, mechanistic view of the situation," a view that claims "Reduce regulation. All will be well." Sorry, but as someone who has started at least three businesses, I can tell you that a lot of the "barriers to business formation" are regulatory. Here's just one example, of more to come: a lot of states have a requirement, lobbied for by the print newspaper industry, that to start certain kinds of businesses you have to pay to publish a legal advertisement, or several, in a print newspaper. This is a legacy requirement that dates back to the days before the Internet made it easier to search and host disclosure databases at very low cost. Some might argue that eliminating that print-legal-advertising requirement would eliminate jobs — the newspaper jobs supported by the advertising revenues. But I agree with Mr. Brooks that reducing the barriers to business formation will actually increase job-creation and economic growth on a net basis. In this case, the money devoted to paying for legal advertisements that no one reads can be reallocated by entrepreneurs to invest in labor, marketing, and other expenses associated with their new businesses.
Cost-Free Job-Creating Idea No. 12: Tort reform.
Cost-Free Job-Creating Idea No. 11: "Allow all 50 states to experiment at the state level with developing a mandatory training component of unemployment compensation."
Cost-Free Job-Creating Idea No. 10: Abolish extended unemployment benefits.
Cost-Free Job-Creating Idea No. 9: Waive environmental-impact reviews, making it possible to speed up start times on construction projects.
Cost-Free Job-Creating Idea No. 8: Pass the free trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea, and Panama.
Cost-Free Job-Creating Idea No. 7: Moratorium on significant new regulations until unemployment rate returns to pre-Obama level of 7.7 percent.
Cost-Free Job-Creating Idea No. 6: U.S. work visas for foreign graduate students in science, technology, engineering and math.
Cost-Free Job-Creating Idea No. 5: Repeal the regulatory burdens of Sarbanes Oxley for all companies with less than $1 billion in sales, and index that number to inflation.
Cost-Free Job-Creating Idea No. 4: Open up domestic energy production.
Cost-Free Job-Creating Idea No. 3: Repatriate overseas corporate profits with a tax cut or holiday.
Cost-Free Job-Creating Idea No. 2: Drop the National Labor Relations Board's case against Boeing.
Cost-Free Job-Creating Idea No. 1: Repeal ObamaCare.
Thanks to all the reader-participant-community-member-watchdog-content co-creators who have already submitted ideas using the comments section, and please keep them coming. We'll be rolling them out at a rate of one each weekday until we get to 30. Remember, the concept is to devise things that the federal government can do to help create jobs that don't require the $450 billion of spending that President Obama is proposing (depending on whether you consider his tax cuts as "spending") or at least are deficit-neutral.