I just finished the awesome new podcast done by This American Life and Planet Money that deals with America's job problem. It's well worth a listen but here are the highlights:
1. NPR interviews both politicians and economists to learn that essentially local and state gov't are doing the wrong things (deficit spending/tax cuts) to spur long-term job growth by heavily investing in education and infrastructure. Of course, those things don't get you elected, so instead most politicians sacrifice long-term growth.
2. The Planet Money team then takes a look at business development planners trying to bring new businesses to their city or state. Most of their efforts involve essentially stealing jobs from other parts of the country rather than finding ways to create new industries.
3. Finally, there's an interview with low-skilled workers going through a job-training program that teaches them very basic stuff like "show up on time" and "wear deodorant." It's really eye-opening to hear that tens of millions of Americans don't have the basics of what it takes to succeed in a global economy - that is, at least a high school education and a year of vocational training.