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In the Crossfire: More jobs please!
January 15th, 2014
04:39 PM ET

In the Crossfire: More jobs please!

President Barack Obama traveled to North Carolina today to announce another bid to revive America's manufacturing sector, a first step in his newly imposed "year of action" that avoids Congressional approval for measures to boost the economy. Read the full story here.

But how do we get this economy moving faster? What is the best prescription for job creation?

At 6:30pm ET. Fmr. Labor Secretary Robert Reich and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) join S.E. Cupp and Stephanie Cutter to debate the economy.

Promo split 1.15

We want you to weigh in: Can Washington do anything to improve the economy this year?

Vote by tweeting Yes or No using #Crossfire or comment on our Facebook post. View results below or through our Poptip results page.

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. katie

    I found a great company that focuses on living a natural and healthy lifestyle. While being able to earn an income staying home with your kids. Take a look at http://cnn.momsprovide.com

    January 20, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  2. ven

    there has never been any serious Federal Jobs stimulus effort. Any 'jobs' (walmart-ish, fast food prep, etc....) that may have been fostered, have been fostered by state governments. I believe Democrats who wanted a very progressive Dem President are aghast & dismayed by B Obama. And Congress is even more appalling.

    January 19, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Reply
    • james

      LOL - It is always funny when Republicans from gerrymandered districts pretend to speak for "All Americans" and when others "feel" they know what "very progressive democrats" think. The only thing I am "aghast & dismayed" at is the willingness of so many voters to be hornswaggled into supporting Republicans. They block, sabotage, mischaracterize and lie about about everything Democrats do (or try to do) to help workers because they don't want Obama to get credit for anything - And they say so! And many voters blame the Pres. So now there is an executive order to increase minimum wage for some federal workers. Republicans can't block it so they will lie about it and mischaracterize it... That is the way it works.

      January 31, 2014 at 8:48 am | Reply
  3. CALIFORNIA

    More jobs has never been the intention of democrats.

    Summer of recovery
    Shovel ready jobs

    All a scam.

    January 17, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • BPS

      Shovel Ready was a joke from day one and everyone in CE knew it. There are only a handfull of states that actually are sitting around with unfunded construction projects. Now thanks to the POTUS those construction projects have been completed.

      Why do we allow people to run our country that have not worked one day in performing the tasks that they are to manage? For example when has their ever been a retired engineer that actually was placed into the position of Secretary of Transportation. They have all been mayors..or sentors...or some other mess. You get what you pay for....and this isnt what I paid for the Mayor of Charlotte has no idea how to run the USDOT! And this is coming from another African American. You hired based on prequals....not politics.

      January 17, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  4. BPS

    Our Congress sucks...GOP want to see the President FAIL....Everyone in Washington has an agenda that doesn't coincide with mine...Mine is to get back to work. I have been out of work for over a year. Most people would say oh you can get a job anywhere, right? Bullshit! Others would say take anything thats avail...rt? GOP would say I need to get more education or retrain...LMAO!!! OK GOP here are my stats:

    Civil Eng for 15 yrs
    37 yrs old wt a BS for a top ten University for Civil Eng
    Licensed Professional Engineer in several states in the SE USA
    Certified Professional Traffic Operations Eng.
    PMP Certified
    EVEN started my own DBE engineering firm (yeah Im Black)

    I have put in for work with numerous companies (I dont even keep count anymore). These are just some of the things im seeing for those applying for jobs in transportation infrastructure:

    All firms are fishing for cheap labor cant blame them when unemployment among Civil Engineers is over 7.0% (that should be some scary 'ish for those of you that travel across bridges on your way to work)

    One of our nations largest eng firms has over 400 requisitions out for temp labor using high school students.

    All firms are "fishing" right now. Most are in negotiations or about to be in negotiations for contract work. If they win you may get hired. Chances are higher that you wont, as when work is won in one state it gets shipped via the internet to another office. Because the state in which the work was acquired doesnt have enough staff to do the work. Welcome to the electronic age.

    My favorite excuses I hear from firms are as follows:

    Since you dont live here we cant hire you. We only hire in state applicants. (this has to be the top reason that so many people remain unemployed)

    Will you fly to meet us? Of course, I will! Is your firm handling the flt details? LOL let me ask the hiring manager...NO! Newsflash: You will cater to you clients and take them out and spend 10's of thousands of dollars on them to get work from them ...tell me why your firm wont invest in its potential employees? Last time I checked a cost plus fixed fee contract or any other for that fact required quality staff to billout the hrs.

    So you have been out of work for over a year? No I started my own form to keep my skill sharp (both in eng and proj mangmt).... Oh so how is that working for you? (really what kinda damn question is that?) My firm is one of 5 black firms in the state of TN. Since it inception it has seen zero federal, state, or local dollars...enuff said?

    So you want to work for the oil and gas industry? Congradulations...you have an empressive resume...but you have no oil and gas experience. Okay so I need to go back to school for that, right? Yes and no...you actually need to work for a few years for an oil and gas company first....Really? Now how do I go about doing that...if I need experience but you wont hire because...you know what forget this!!!!

    On the international scene. Canada. Hmmm I have been working on getting a position in ON for the past 3 yrs (since I saw the market declining). Professional licensing is needed to get proper pay and position. I been in the Canadian licensing system for right at three years. They are saying I should be complete in another year..LMAO!

    Lastly, lets just take a job from anywhere to see what happens:

    Sir your over qualified.

    Sir we would love to hire you but we are afraid if we do hire you that as soon as we do you will leave once someone offers you an engineering job.

    Sir you creditials are impressive. Why we understand that you can do this job well with no thought...We are not going to give it to you because (you fill in the damn blank)!

    Unemployed highly educated/experienced minority!

    January 17, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  5. morrie

    Its the repubs who took over the house in 2010 promising jobs, jobs, jobs. They have not done one thing to improve the economy. All they have done is name post offices, and vote to take rights away from women. Then go home for their 4 days off and come back again doing the same thing.

    January 16, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Reply
    • George

      Couldn't be that prince reid will not bring up on a vote anything that is anti-communist or that king Obama does not approve of. Get real.

      January 16, 2014 at 4:29 pm | Reply
      • Top10%guy

        Like what George ? ... I need examples.
        Reich is very right ... Demand creates jobs tax cuts don't.
        The middle class creates demand thus, creates jobs.
        Companies aren't American, people, and don't care about you ... They shouldn't ...
        I'm all for capitalism but, I understand how it works. Thus, I know that some things don't need a profit motive.
        I.e. Healthcare ... If a company is running health insurance ... How do they make money ????? If you get sick and up they have to pay, you're a drag on the bottom line. If you go broke or die ... They profit. Do you really think they care if you go broke or die ... Nope. They just care about the profit. They should only care about the profit ... That's what compies are for. We are applying the tool of capitalism to the wrong problems. We are also spending money on the wrong things. Social safety nets are good, they help keep our standard of living high. Without social safey nets companies can have a global slave wage trade. Other countries are educating there people super cheap or free. Do you really think that knowledge is different in the US vs the rest of gage world ? It isn't, so we are in a global market and the competition is better educated with a kower standard of living. We should all know how that's going to work out. We really need to close the loopholes and invest that money in our people. We also, need to understand the companies of the 50s are gone and they aren't coming back. Thus, the polices used in the 50s don't apply. We need to tax compies offshore money, companies literally keep money offshore ... Thus, showing they don't care about the amaerican people ... They know they are hurting the country and they don't care. We have a choice to make ... 10 – 20 years from now the US is going to be a market leader or a third world country. There is no rule that says the US must remain an economic super power. We. Need to wake up and do what's best for everyone. I pulled myself up out of poverty and it's not easy nor can everyone do it in the country. I got lucky to have a gift that is in high demand. I think coming from poverty gives me a prospective my counterparts will never understand. I can talk for days about how the other side sees the bottom 90% .... They literally think you should die, if you are poor ... I've heard it said. I've heard and seen some disturbing things from the top 10% and most of these idiot don't realize they are next ... I'll stop here, because I could go on for days ... Smh America

        January 17, 2014 at 7:05 am |
    • Gunderson

      Well lessee,
      You can have Obama Care or jobs. You can't have both. We need jobs a lot more than we need Obama Care. Figured it out yet?

      January 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Reply
      • ven

        Why are Repubs so frightened of Obamacare? It is a Federal GIFT to Health Insurers. All Americans are required to have Health Insurance. If we do not get health Insurance from our Employers (for those of us who are not yet at POVERTY LEVEL), we must BUY IT. It is like the requirement that drivers purchase AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE. You have to have Health Insurance. If you are at POVERTY LEVEL, the Fed Gov will help you. If not, you must buy it. HEALTH INSURANCE CORPS will make MORE PROFITS! This is the FED GOV 'partnering with' & pushing money towards BIG BIZ = Republication Idea. It is not socialist. So why do Repubs act so agitated? Health Insurers will be the NEXT BANKSTERS!

        January 19, 2014 at 9:13 pm |
  6. ProtectAmericanJobs

    Can any of our leaders actually help America and the American People bounce back from all the stupid, traitorous, nonsense and damage done to the Real American Economy over the last 2-3 decades?

    Unfortunately most of our politicians are joke – Only it's not so funny, because over the past several decades, all they've been doing is screwing the American people, by stalling, spending, removing protections and allowing illegal aliens to continue to pour in and American jobs and industry to pour out, and all while collecting their American tax-payer funded pay checks, benefits and whatever else they get on the side from their various lobbyist friends.

    It seems to me that over the last 2-3 decades that both parties were always able to distract and polarize voters with insignificant peripheral BS, which get's most voters so caught up in the BS that they lose sight of the bigger picture.

    We'd really all be better off by just cutting through the BS and all the my team vs your team name calling nonsense and really focus on America and improving the future of the American people.

    Once they're elected, our leaders should be working together for the good of the our country and our citizens by using combinations of the best ideas from both sides versus just trying to make the other side look bad so they lose the next election. – How's that been working?

    All the nonsense just allows the puppet-masters to continue to do what's best for them at the expense of the American people while we're polarized and distracted.

    But, let's face it – Neither party is actually running our country – Powerful puppet-masters play both sides to make sure that they get what they want. Unfortunately what they want is not usually in the best interest of the majority of the American people. (American citizens)

    Foreign Lobbyists here in the US promote sending US jobs to countries like China, where they work for slave wages, no benefits, no OSHA safety standards or no real environment regulations. It also doesn't help us compete when these company's factories are subsidized by China's communist government. Just check out the current Chinese extreme pollution issues – We all live in the same world, but not every country plays by the same rules.

    The so called "Global Market Place" is not a level playing field. Companies may have made higher profits by "out sourcing", but they've been putting middle class Americans who are a good part of the world's customer base out of work.

    The American people need American leaders who will start putting some sensible measures in place to stem the tide or this is going to continue to have a devastating effect on the United States of America and the American people.

    Aren't there at least a handful of these powerful puppet-masters that are fellow Americans with enough of a conscience, guts and loyalty to America and their fellow Americans to start trying to turn this trend around?

    If there aren't any, we're screwed.

    The bottom line is that "Our Government" has to protect domestic industry and the jobs that those industries provide. If they do that, the rest will take care of itself.

    The so called "Global Market Place" is not a level playing field. Companies may have made higher profits by "outsourcing", but they've been putting middle class Americans who are a good part of the world's customer base out of work.

    Bringing manufacturing back to the US not only gives jobs to the US citizens who would be working in those manufacturing facilities, but to the people that would be working in the businesses that would spring up all around them. This should also include the safe harvesting, production and distribution of our own natural energy here in the USA, rather than paying for fuel from countries where they hate us. Let's keep that money and those jobs here in the US.

    The ONLY REAL FIX for our great country is to RAISE REVENUE, by Bringing Back Businesses and Jobs to TAX-PAYING AMERICAN CITIZENS.

    The lack of businesses and good jobs in the USA is what's really going to rob us, our children, grand children and great grand children of the potential of a prosperous or even decent future.

    It's all happened because, over the last 25-years, our government has allowed our country's industries to get sucked out to China, India, Mexico, etc and allowed illegal aliens and H-1B foreigners to come into our country and take away tax-paying Americans jobs and drive down prices and wages.

    That's where our government leaders have to step up and put some sensible measures and incentives in place to keep jobs here in the USA or the real economy and infrastructure of the country we love will be destroyed along with the future of the American people.

    Nowadays it's obviously not about being either lazy or uneducated as many try to profess, but about wages, expenses and regulations that are not even remotely close to the wages, expenses and regulations in our country.

    Regardless of what the Free-Traitors keep trying to sell us, we can see what's real. The American People need to just trust their own instincts, common sense and what they've seen actually going on all around them versus all of the nonsense that the free-traitors are still trying to sell us.

    January 16, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Reply
    • ven

      No there is no help. we are screwed.

      January 19, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  7. bsc111

    Who'll the minstrel man get for the crony capitalist this time. Can't we be rid of this fool!

    January 16, 2014 at 9:50 am | Reply
  8. tommariner

    If this was 2009 and this was more than yet another campaign speech, I'd get excited. We blew five years chasing an "Agenda" that was supposed to yield a "Legacy" INSTEAD of fixing the problem

    Voters - This is what happens when you hire an amateur government with a hard ideology to do a grown-up job. You and your neighbor lost your jobs and your kids can't find any because of the government you elected. Yeah, I know it thrilling for your team to win and wonderful to listen to the cheerleaders, but this is real life of you and your country failing.

    January 16, 2014 at 9:38 am | Reply
  9. tommariner

    If this were 2009 and we were talking about more than yet another campaign speech, I'd get excited. But its five years later and too late to change from "The Agenda" that yields "The Legacy" into helping private sector produce jobs.

    Voters, pay attention here - you and your neighbors lost their jobs and your kids couldn't find any because we hired an amateur government with a hard ideology to do a grown-up job. Yeah, I understand you want your team to win, but wouldn't it be better if your country - and YOU won?

    January 16, 2014 at 9:33 am | Reply
  10. Kurt

    As for getting the economy moving faster... it's actually not that complicated.

    The economy is driven by having people who are consumers with more money to spend. The more they have to spend, the more goods and services they buy. That means the producers have to hire more people to provide the goods and services. They have to pay their new employees... who then spend their income. You create nice cycle where people have more money and spend it, thus letting businesses produce more and hire more people who will then spend more money.

    So... the answer is simple... you have to inject MONEY into the economy to make it grow faster then it would naturally. You can't tax to get that money (because that removes those dollars from the economy). You can't shift it from other programs (because that removes THOSE dollars from the economy). You have to BORROW it... preferably from another country.

    This takes the dollars out of their economy and shoves them into yours... temporarily. You can distribute that money by cutting taxes, or by putting in new spending programs. Doesn't really matter as long as you pay for it with debt. Economists generally believe that spending programs work better because the money goes to those who are more likely to spend 100% of it... things like unemployment insurance increases are a very widely accepted way to get dollars to those who will spend.

    the downside is that once the economy is humming along again... you have to either raise taxes or cut spending so that you can pay off the debt you incurred when the economy was bad. That's the part that our nation doesn't seem to know how to do. When we have surpluses we can't cut taxes... we should RAISE taxes and pay off the debt. The economy can afford to lose some dollars in those times.

    People seem to struggle with the macro-economics of the economy and how the government fits in. The government is not a household or business and they can't be run that way. In many ways, they should be run in the OPPOSITE manner. When times are good, the government shouldn't spend more money... they should CONTRACT spending, pay off debt and put off infrastructure improvements. They shouldn't return it to the tax payer, they should build some borrowing room for the next downturn.

    When that downturn hits, they shouldn't cut spending... they should ramp it up a TON. People always talk about how the war ended the great depression... and there's truth to that. But what a war is in economic terms is a gigantic government spending program. Planes, tanks, soldier salaries, medical supplies, ammo, guns, uniforms, parachutes, food for soldiers... all paid for by the government. You get the same (well actually a slightly better) economic impact by just buying food, clothes and providing government civillian jobs with the same expenditure... it's about the money being spent, not that it happened to be spent on a war.

    So... how do you create quicker jobs? The government should borrow and spend. But can we afford to do that given that we never work to pay off our debt once the times become good again? That's the problem we face... and that's why our growth is slow.

    January 16, 2014 at 9:29 am | Reply
    • Dan

      In a normal interest rate and full employment environment, most of what you said is valid. However, the relationship between the markets for goods and services (private and government spending) and the market for money (supply and demand of money, loanable funds) when rates are near or at zero and unemployment are high significant dilute the impact of additional consumer or government spending (you have a larger crowding out effect). That is precisely why we've seen a relatively dovish fed policy and more extensive stimulus spending, yet very slow growth since 2008.

      Just like Japan 15 years ago when their low rate environment and real estate bubble burst, this recovery is likely going to continue to be slow. For all the spending prescribed in the 2009 stimulus, there wasn't a lot of bang for the buck because targeted spending crowded out recovery in other sectors. The same can be said for the relatively limited impact of bond purchases by the Fed. Despite material increases to the money supply over the past several years, GDP growth has remained slow because of the rate environment. There is not a simple answer to the recovery, we really just need to continue policies that help stave off a double-dip scenario and provide time for a more gradual recovery than those of the past.

      January 16, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Reply
      • Kurt

        I don't know if I agree about the stimulus impact.

        The stimulus package was relatively small (about 800 billion when the lost spending impact of the dowturn was about 2.5 trillion). A chunk was also delayed as it was distributed as tax cuts (which wouldn't have an impact until the following year). Despite that, the argument has been made (by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Moody's and IHS) argued that the stimulus was the major reason for the slowing of job losses (and eventual reversal of those losses).

        The stimulus wasn't large enough to spur huge growth. But it was large enough to arrest the negative economic movement. The issue was the size... we replaced 2.5 trillion of spending lost through the recession with a 800 billion dollar shot. While that helped, it was never going to be enough to cause a quick bounce back. Just enough to stop the decline.

        January 17, 2014 at 8:50 am |
  11. Hopey Changey Yes We Can

    You know it's January when Barack "Jimmy Carter 2.0" Obama leaves the golf courses to go out there and give his annual "I'm going to have a laser-like focus on jobs, trust me!"

    January 16, 2014 at 9:19 am | Reply
  12. Kurt

    Where are the jobs?

    In January of 2009 (when Obama came in) there were 142.1 million people employed in The US. For december, the number was 144.5 (seasonally adjusted).

    That means there are 2.4 million more jobs now then when Obama took office. Non-seasonally adjusted it's 140.4 and 143.9... or 3.5 million more jobs.

    By comparison, in Bush's 8 years he added 4.4 or 4.0 million jobs in his 8 years depending on which measure you use.

    Of course, that doesn't account for the growth of the work force, which is why the unemployment rate isn't good.

    Also... it's important to note that the decline in employment was hitting at its hardest right when Obama was coming into office. If you look at the employment numbers since January of 2010 (1 year into his presidency), you'll see the increase is 6 million jobs. All of the losses happened in the first year, when he was supposedly "righting the ship" from his predecessor.

    6 million jobs added in 4 years isn't superb... but it's not bad either. It's a slow and steady jobs growth when we really could use explosive growth. But you don't get explosive growth without injecting money into the economy, and congress (and Obama too to a lesser extent) have been unwilling to take on the debt necessary to make a huge injection like that.

    So we're stuck with slow and steady.

    January 16, 2014 at 9:15 am | Reply
  13. Leslie Davis

    Leslie Davis for Minnesota Governor 2014 – http://www.LeslieDavis.org
    See the "Davis Money Plan" from Minnesota candidate for governor Leslie Davis at http://www.LeslieDavis.org
    Davis says, "Minnesota needs new leadership and we must hold the line on taxes".

    January 16, 2014 at 12:13 am | Reply
  14. ProtectAmericanJobs

    Our economic problems didn't happen overnight. It's been happening over the last 25 years, but the economy was kept going by middle class Americans tapping into the equity on their homes until they were completely tapped out.

    This all occurred because for the past 2-3 decades, our government has allowed our country's industries to get sucked out to China, India, Mexico, etc and allowed illegal aliens and H-1B foreigners to come into our country and take away tax-paying Americans jobs and drive down prices and wages.

    That's where our government leaders have to step up and put some sensible measures and incentives in place to keep jobs here in the USA or the real economy and infrastructure of the country we love will be destroyed along with the future of the American people.

    Unfortunately most of our politicians are a frigging joke – Only it's not so funny, because over the past several decades, all they've been doing is screwing the American people, by stalling, spending, removing protections and allowing illegal aliens to continue to pour in and American jobs and industry to pour out, and all while collecting their American tax-payer funded pay checks, benefits and whatever else they get on the side from their various lobbyist friends.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great American and his march accomplished great things, but now it may be time for a new more all-inclusive march on Washington.

    I obviously feel very strongly about what our leaders have allowed to happen to our country and the American people.

    I think that it actually borders on being traitorous.

    I care about my employees and our company as do many other employers in this country.

    It's important that we get our message out there, because when you write to the GOP, DNC, The White House, governors, senators and congressmen you just get generic responses for the most part and they just keep on with the same old same old.

    We need a voice.

    I'm Angry and Frustrated with Both Parties – As are most American Citizens right now!

    The American People need our leaders to start remembering that they are elected by the Citizens of the United States of America to represent the interests of those citizens and the country itself and that They are NOT elected by or to represent the Global Market Place, Lobbyist or Foreign citizens!

    The ONLY REAL FIX for our great country is to RAISE REVENUE, by Bringing Back Businesses and Jobs to TAX-PAYING AMERICAN CITIZENS.

    It's time that we become the unsilent majority.

    January 15, 2014 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  15. Bill

    Lets see first the Republicans start a war that we could not pay for Iraq number 2, without offsetting the cost - a war that was not necessary - then Afgan, printed money without telling us - for both. Now are trying to

    prevent recovery by putting money into the hands of other people than the Koch's, they pay for libertarians and republicans.

    Sorry - it is a smarter world, let Pawlety (SP?) know there is knowledge in the internet

    January 15, 2014 at 7:10 pm | Reply
  16. Smitty

    Way to go Bammy, job pivots again???? Try working just 1 day !!! More lip service

    January 15, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Reply

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