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Coming Jobs War Hardcover – October 4, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"...fascinating - and frightening - new book..." --Charles M. Blow, The New York Times, September 17, 2011

From the Inside Flap


In a provocative book for business and government leaders, Gallup Chairman Jim Clifton describes how this undeniable fact will affect all leadership decisions as countries wage war to produce the best jobs.

Leaders of countries and cities, Clifton says, should focus on creating good jobs because as jobs go, so does the fate of nations. Jobs bring prosperity, peace, and human development — but long-term unemployment ruins lives, cities, and countries.

Creating good jobs is tough, and many leaders are doing many things wrong. They’re undercutting entrepreneurs instead of cultivating them. They’re running companies with depressed workforces. They’re letting the next generation of job creators rot in bad schools.

A global jobs war is coming, and there’s no time to waste. Cities are crumbling for lack of good jobs. Nations are in revolt because their people can’t get good jobs. The cities and countries that act first — that focus everything they have on creating good jobs — are the ones that will win.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Gallup Press (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595620559
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595620552
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book after a friend who is a voracious reader mentioned it was what she was currently reading and seeing the many five star reviews. I had reasonable expectations despite the fact I am leery of any conversation that frames itself using the word "War". Unfortunately for me this book did not live up to its five star rating or my expectations.

The "Coming Jobs War" essentially is a plan to avert societal collapse. While I agree with many of the prescriptions that Jim Clifton brings forth throughout the book, the book is just that- prescriptive in both tone and content. The book is written in the style of a bad self-help book or perhaps like the legion of "how to win in business" type books. As in such books "The Coming Jobs War" makes a sweeping generalization which is then supported by vague statements using pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo.

While elements of the plan to avert societal collapse make sense, and many I agree with, they are presented in a linear, deterministic manner which completely miss the complex, systemic approaches that will be needed to address the issues the book seeks to contribute its voice to solving. Even worse, this book fails to provide much data to back up its claims or meaningfully acknowledge other thinkers and theories that supportable or refute the claims being made. While there is an extensive list of references at the end, they exist independent of the rest of the book (at least in the Kindle edition I read).

"The Coming Jobs War" suffers in other ways that alienated me as a reader from the important (and likely valid) points raised:
- Entrepreneurs are given mythic, superhero status. The impact, societal benefit, or long term sustainability of the entrepreneur's idea is irrelevant.
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Format: Hardcover
There are many things about this fascinating new book from Gallup Chairman Jim Clifton that will stop you in your tracks, but the most profound for me is that the current state of our country, and perceived prospects for the future, has redefined the American dream. No longer are peace, family, independence and freedom of religion at the top of the list for most Americans. It's having a good job.

Some of the information Clifton reveals is staggering, like the fact that 40-50 years ago Detroit was the richest city in the world, but because of poor local leadership over the last several decades hundreds of thousands of good jobs have been lost and the city has become a socioeconomic disaster. Or that 20 years ago passage of the Gore Act gave US companies the lead in commercializing the internet - and attracting top technical and entrepreneurial talent from around the world -- something that has accounted for virtually all the growth in the US economy since the mid 90s.

Clifton's writing is compact, thought provoking, motivational, scary and realistic. But it's also hopeful. It's a compelling book based on years of Gallup polling and research and a must read for everyone who cares about the future of our communities, cities and country.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read many online reviews before downloading this book. Both sides of the political spectrum seemed to hate it, arguing that it is over simplistic and just plain wrong-headed or biased. Frankly, that's exactly why I found myself curled up non-stop reading the entire book in one sitting. It is NOT politically correct, sure. But Clifton's observations merit serious consideration. To anger the right wing, he argues that with GDP driving jobs, and with "good" jobs driving the economy, significant cuts in the federal budget will be counterproductive, both in the short and longer term. A smaller government cuts off vital support to the many services and supports that a growing economy needs (pre-K through higher education, basic scientific research, safe streets, etc.). To aggravate the left wing, he makes a good case that "taxing the rich" simply cannot generate enough revenue to even come close to making up for fiscal shortfalls, so entitlement programs must inevitably be dialed down. Then, his take on healthcare will offend just about anyone who is not at an ideal body weight, doesn't exercise, eschews preventive medical exams, and wants to claw out every last day of life in an expensive terminal illness. Well, as a medical industry executive for the past 30 years, my first reaction was to challenge his claim that healthcare costs are nothing but a drag on jobs growth (after all, what's wrong with an industry that employs 1/5 of all American workers . . . many in what he defines as "good" jobs . . . in every single town and city in the country, improves health, and for the most part cannot be outsourced to China). Yet, in the end, I'm forced to agree with his points, even on healthcare.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is a timely and significant contribution to help us understand that `not having a good job' (one where they have 30+ hours of work per week on a steady basis) is the root cause of many of the world's problems. Don Clifton, CEO of Gallup Inc., has tapped into extensive studies provided by his organization to suggest that we should avoid answers in Washington and take more control of our actions at the local level where leaders know the people to talk to, know the levers to pull, and get things done through large networks and access to other talented people.

The author describes the current state in easy to understand ways. While he creates a sense of urgency about the need to create jobs, he doesn't leave us looking for solutions and offers clear cut strategies that provide options for actions that we can take.

When I finished reading the book I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed because it came to an end. His ideas are powerful and make such good sense! I can't wait for the sequel!
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