Bob Dylan: The Government's Not Going to Create Jobs. Billionaires Can

"We see crime and inner cities exploding with people who have nothing to do, turning to drink and drugs," he says. "They could all have work created for them"

Bob Dylan recently said that the government should not be expected to create jobs to stimulate the economy but that "hotshot billionaires" could. Credit: Fred Tanneau/AFP/Getty

UPDATE: As part of his interview with AARP the Magazine, Bob Dylan has agreed to ship 50,000 copies of his new album Shadows in the Night to randomly selected AARP subscribers. 

Bob Dylan has a solution for unemployment: Let the billionaires step up. In a new interview with AARP, the 73-year-old singer offered his solution while discussing broad subjects like happiness and misfortune, and specifically how the ultra-wealthy might step in to end the world's problems.

"The government's not going to create jobs," he said. "It doesn't have to. People have to create jobs, and these big billionaires are the ones who can do it."

But instead of doing that, he said he sees inner cities festering with crime and people "turning to alcohol and drugs." "They could all have work created for them by all these hotshot billionaires," Dylan said. "For sure, that would create lot of happiness. Now, I'm not saying they have to — I'm not talking about communism — but what do they do with their money?"

He later turned his attention back to the underprivileged. "There are good people there, but they've been oppressed by lack of work," Dylan said. "Those people can all be working at something. These multibillionaires can create industries right here in America. But no one can tell them what to do. God's got to lead them."

The singer-songwriter sat for the interview to promote his new album, Shadows in the Night, which is due out February 3rd. The record is a selection of 10 songs, all performed at one point by Frank Sinatra, that Dylan personally selected. His rendition of "Stay With Me" is now available to stream.

"When you start doing these songs, Frank's got to be on your mind," he said. "Because he is the mountain. That's the mountain you have to climb, even if you only get part of the way there."

Dylan also praised Sinatra as a singer. "Frank sang to you — not at you," he said. "I never wanted to be a singer that sings at somebody. I've always wanted to sing to somebody." He also scoffed at the notion of people comparing him to Sinatra. "Nobody touches him," Dylan offered. "Not me or anyone else."

Dylan said that he felt the late crooner would approve of Shadows in the Night. "I think first of all he'd be amazed I did these songs with a five-piece band," Dylan said. "I think he'd be proud in a certain way."

Next month, Dylan will be the subject of his own tribute, when a number of notable musicians honor him as the MusiCares Person of the Year for 2015. The event, organized by a charitable organization that benefits music industry people in need (and run by the same people who put on the Grammys), will feature performances of Dylan songs by Beck, the Black Keys, Bruce Springsteen, Jack White, Eddie Vedder and many others. Former President Jimmy Carter will bestow the honor on the singer-songwriter.