Coming out of last week’s Group of 20 leaders’ summit in Seoul, President Barack Obama and his counterparts around the globe should consider uniting around the most important common challenge facing all G-20 countries: jobs.
The leaders of the top 20 developed and developing nations came together initially in response to the economic crisis in 2008, which jolted countries into seeing the interconnectedness of their economies. The countries banded together to coordinate stimulus measures to revive the global economy. But now that the world is slowly starting to recover, each country is looking to solidify its own recuperation and rebuild its own economy.
The G-20 is but the sum of all its parts. And with all the parts pulling in opposite directions, it is unlikely that the leaders at the recent G-20 summit will be able to deliver on all that they have promised.
The key to cooperation, then, is for the G-20 leaders to deliver on job creation—the common challenge on each country’s domestic agenda that will also cultivate global demand and get growth back on track. And creating “just jobs”—jobs complete with labor rights, appropriate compensation, social protections such as health care and pensions, and opportunities for economic mobility—is the most direct way to affect the real people that power the global economy.
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