Protracted unemployment is eating away at millions of people. And the economy's failure to create enough jobs for them is part of a vicious circle that could keep turning for years to come.
In my last column, I called for big, temporary government programs aimed directly at putting people back to work. But how might we best accomplish this? The clock is ticking, and we don't have time to create new national organizations to employ people. Instead, the most efficient approach is to use existing organizations for specific ideas and projects.
State and local governments as well as nonprofit and other organizations need to be mainstays in this effort. We need to enlist their help -- without telling them exactly what to do. As for a framework, think of the general revenue sharing program adopted by Congress in 1972.