Where Did the Jobs Go--and How Do We Get Them Back?: Your Guided Tour to America's Employment Crisis

Overview

Find out how the numbers on the jobs situation really add up, once you subtract the spin, the hype, and the political posturing.

For most Americans, having a decent job is a matter of basic survival. Politicians of every stripe claim to have the answer—cut taxes, invest in education, develop “green jobs,” balance the budget, spend more on bridges and roads. The slogans are catchy, but will their ideas really work? And how can average citizens ...

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Where Did the Jobs Go--and How Do We Get Them Back?: Your Guided Tour to America's Employment Crisis

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Overview

Find out how the numbers on the jobs situation really add up, once you subtract the spin, the hype, and the political posturing.

For most Americans, having a decent job is a matter of basic survival. Politicians of every stripe claim to have the answer—cut taxes, invest in education, develop “green jobs,” balance the budget, spend more on bridges and roads. The slogans are catchy, but will their ideas really work? And how can average citizens make sense of it all?

Fortunately, Scott Bittle and Jean Johnson, bestselling authors of Where Does the Money Go? and founding editors of the nonpartisan website PublicAgenda.org, cut through the spin with this essential guide to the national jobs crisis. Exploring a very serious subject in a readable, entertaining manner, Where Did the Jobs Go—and How Do We Get Them Back? examines in detail the various proposals we’ve heard from the left, right, and center. Bittle and Johnson clearly explain the risks and trade-offs associated with each idea, writing specifically for citizens of all political leanings who aren’t economists, financiers, business school professors, or think-tank policy wonks.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
An evenhanded discussion and study guide on unemployment. Bittle and Johnson draw on solid statistical sources including the National Association of Manufacturers, trade-union organizations, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and the Economic Policy Institute, and they also rely on expertise from, among others, Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman of Princeton, Nouriel Roubini of NYU's Stern School and Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. The authors provide a scrupulous analysis of the many problems caused by the unemployment crisis, as well as possible solutions. Bittle and Johnson rightly place a great deal of responsibility on the backs of readers: "If you've been reading along carefully, you probably have your own checklist of criteria for judging what's likely to hurt or help on jobs." Just in case, though, they provide a list of "considerations [they] think are vital." The authors encourage readers to review past mistakes and successes in order to be better prepared to assimilate what is to come. In that vein, they provide a useful historical discussion of the 1930s Depression and FDR's WPA program, as well as estimates of the financial costs of possible solutions and the ramifications for other sectors of American society. Joblessness affects consumer spending, government programs and citizens' ability to purchase homes, write the authors. Fortunately they provide a helpful series of options to ensure that "the greatest number of people have the greatest possible chance to get ahead." The authors intended to "help voters sift through the political rhetoric" to better understand and face the unemployment crisis. Mission accomplished.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061715662
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/31/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Bittle is an award-winning journalist, policy analyst, and web producer who has written extensively about the federal budget, energy, and foreign policy.

Jean Johnson writes frequently about public opinion and public policy and is the author of You Can’t Do It Alone, a book on how parents, teachers, and students see education issues. Both authors are senior fellows at Public Agenda and blog frequently for the Huffington Post, National Geographic, and other outlets.

Scott Bittle is an award-winning journalist, policy analyst, and web producer who has written extensively about the federal budget, energy, and foreign policy.

Jean Johnson writes frequently about public opinion and public policy and is the author of You Can’t Do It Alone, a book on how parents, teachers, and students see education issues. Both authors are senior fellows at Public Agenda and blog frequently for the Huffington Post, National Geographic, and other outlets.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Chapter 1 It's Not Over Until It's Over: Six Reasons to Worry About Jobs Even If You Have One 1

Chapter 2 Has America Lost Its Mojo? 17

Chapter 3 Just the Facts, Ma'am: Ten Jobs Trends Worth Keeping an Eye On 28

Chapter 4 Churn, Baby, Churn: Why Creating New Jobs Matters So Much 52

Chapter 5-11 Inquiring Minds want to Know: Sorting Out the Big Debate Over Jobs

Chapter 5 Would Balancing the Budget Help Create Jobs? 87

Chapter 6 Would Cutting Taxes Help Create Jobs? 103

Chapter 7 Would Cutting Bureaucracy Help Create Jobs? 121

Chapter 8 Would Reviving Manufacturing Help Create Jobs? 137

Chapter 9 Would Improving Education Help Create Jobs? 151

Chapter 10 Would a Major National Infrastructure Project Help Create Jobs? 168

Chapter 11 Would Closing the Gap Between Rich and Poor Help Create Jobs? 180

Chapters 12-15 Stuff Happens: The Big Trends That Could Affect Jobs

Chapter 12 Wild Card #1: Globalization and What It Means for Jobs 203

Chapter 13 Wild Card #2: The Revolution in Technology and What It Means for Jobs 221

Chapter 14 Wild Card #3: Would Reducing Immigration Reduce Unemployment? 237

Chapter 15 Wild Card #4: The Aging of the Boomers and What It Means for Jobs 248

Chapter 16 Fourteen Big Ideas for Creating More and Better Jobs 260

Chapter 17 Now What? Seven Ground Rules for Moving Forward 289

Acknowledgments 300

Notes 302

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