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Where Did the Jobs Go--and How Do We Get Them Back?: Your Guided Tour to America's Employment Crisis (Guided Tour of the Economy) Paperback – January 31, 2012

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From the Back Cover

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, 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.

About 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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Guided Tour of the Economy
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061715662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061715662
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,046,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LD TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
I commend the authors for asking the questions and attempting to show the positives and the negatives to each proposed solution while avoiding political arguments. You've heard the phrase, "lies, damn lies, and statistics." So when the authors base comments on government statistics they are barely seeing what you and I observe as reality.

Manufacturing jobs have declined from 22% in 1980 to 10% in 2010. Subtract oil and gas workers and other occupations questionably labeled as "manufacturing" and things are dire. That leaves over 80% in "service" sector jobs. If you have enough income you can hire someone to do things for you- dentist, pool man, daycare, etc. But if you don't have the money, well you see the future for the "service" sector. And ask your realtor how commission sales are doing- they are counted as employed even if they have zero income. The ones I know have had their houses foreclosed on.

I am sure that you want to read the book to see if there is an answer to getting a job. The authors discuss expanding/shrinking government, cutting/increasing taxes, more schooling, infrastructure, higher wages, immigration, and Boomers retiring. The balance between the advantages and problems created by implementing any of these "what-ifs" is very good and thought provoking. You make up your own mind.

Will you get your job back? The book says "No". Will you get one eventually? "Maybe."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By charles on June 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to know where the jobs went and why, try Robert Reich. The jobs went overseas and we pay cheap prices for Chinese crap with once trusted American brand names. And the prices have to be cheap,because our pay is so low, if we're lucky enough to have a job at all.
The authors display a wonkish Washington outlook consistent with the wooliness that allows the Brookings Institute to join with the Heritage Foundation in anything but a civil war. Their uncriticl quoting of Alan Greenspan stopped my reading of this book on page 134. The authors had been rehashing the financial crisis for so long I did not believe they would ever get to jobs, and their "non-partisan outlook" indicated to me that they were heading toward the same old corporate solutions.
The solution is to bring the outsourced manufacturing jobs back to the USA by tarriff or some other means. Anything that can be made in the USA should be. A country trades for what it does not have or cannot do. Americans can do every job sent overseas. The outsourcing of high level technological jobs is because we have not invested in university science and engineering but rather used such skills to create unfathomable financial derivitives on Wall Street. After Sputnik the US got plenty of scientists and engineers through our inexpensive state university systems.Now an American student must almost sell her/his soul to go to school only to be bushwaked by foreign graduates whose education was heavily subsidized by their governments. Thus comes the push from corporations and universities to get visas for foreign students in technology and science.
If you want to know something about taxes, you won't learn it from this book.
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By Pav on July 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was intrigued by the chapter titles looking at jobs from multiple perspectives. I have to agree with a previous reviewer; Robert Reich's Supercapitalism is a much better book and makes sense of what has been happening for the last few decades. Where did the Jobs Go, not so much. Chapter 13, Would Reducing Immigration Reduce Unemployment defied evidence and reason. Bittle and Johnson make the familiar argument that immigrants will take the low wage jobs that Americans currently do and then Americans will get more education and get even better, higher paying jobs. I think we all know that has not worked out. Publications that the authors write for have featured Americans with advanced degrees being unemployed and doing survival jobs so one wonders how they could even make such a claim.

They also claim immigration does not drive down wages. Some how the laws of supply and demand don't apply when it comes to immigration. Paul Krugman debunked this point. The over all affect of the increase in unskilled labor may only depress wages a small amount but if you are a worker in one of the job categories typically held by low skilled immigrants your wages have been depressed by about 8%! It's well known that the meat packing used to pay $19.00 an hour in 1980 and now pays half that.

There'so much that is obviously false that it makes everything suspect.

Don't waste your time.
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