How are we going to get unemployed Americans back to work? The GOP wants to lower taxes and decrease regulation because it thinks we're stifling innovation. The Dems want to spend tax dollars on infrastructure and other public works projects. The Republican strategy is absurd because if corporations are hurting, why the hell are they sitting on $2 trillion? The Dems are in denial because stimulus plans aimed at boosting blue collar jobs are not only temporary but they do nothing to remedy the outsourcing of blue AND white collar jobs. 1. The Recession Started Thirty, not Three, Years Ago In the past several decades the world has been flattened by globalization and automation. When I was a kid in the 1950s and 1960s, everything Americans wore, ate and drove was manufactured in the U.S.A. and people actually made a living as telephone operators, toll collectors and checkout clerks. We also spent less. At most, parents bought their kids toys twice a year--on their kids' birthdays and at Christmas -- not every other time you drove past Toys R Us. So we made more money, relatively speaking AND saved more of it. I'd contend that most of the prosperity of the last 30 years is based on unsustainable consumer debt -- or "living on leverage" as I point out in my book. While American appear to be affluent when you see McMansions and upscale mall parking lots crowded with high-end SUVs, this is happening when the median wage isn't just stagnant, it's declining when you factor in inflation. According to the Milken Institute, the median earnings of men ages 25 to 64 declined 28% between 1969 and 2009 and by 47% for those without a college education. What's more, the percentage of working-age men with full-time jobs fell to 66% between 1960 and 2009. 2. We Can't Recover Until We Make Better Machines Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich attributes the malaise to shrinking working class paychecks and says that we need to raise taxes on the rich and pay blue collar workers as generously as they do in Germany, where unemployment is low and taxes are high. But maybe workers in Germany, as well as Japan, are doing better not because of their wage/tax structure but because there is a labor-management partnership that produces cars and appliances that don't break down. Millions of Americans switched to Toyotas, Hondas and Volkswagen Beetles in the 1970s and 1980s because the U.S. auto industry failed to switch from a gas-guzzling game plan to a fuel efficient one with the result that Toyota recently surpassed GM as the top car maker. Many others switched to German-made appliance like Bosch and Bunn because they last longer. I've only lived in my current house for eleven years but I've already had to replace my defective oven, dishwasher and refrigerator; I don't remember my parents ever having to replace theirs. 3. We've Got to Reverse Job Losses Due to Outsourcing, Offshoring According to the Wall Street Journal, Fortune 100 companies alone have killed 2.9 million American jobs read more Jane White: Six Reasons Why Both Political Parties Are "Econitwits"