It seems like every politician has a plan for putting people back to work. But we and the Planet Money team couldn’t help but wonder…how do you create a job? Can politicians truly create many jobs? Is it possible the whole thing is just well-intentioned hot air?
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Can the Government Move My Cheese?
Chana Joffe-Walt visits a governor who first became famous for promising his state he'd create jobs: Scott Walker of Wisconsin. (Yes, he's famous for some other things since.) Walker promised 250,000 new jobs and 10,000 new business in his state by the end of his first term. Chana tries to figure out how he's doing. And whether he can really take credit for the new jobs that've been created in Wisconsin. (19 minutes)
This Story Might Be Recorded for Training and Quality Assurance
In this terrible economy, we wanted to hear the sound of someone actually getting a job, and producer Lisa Pollak recorded it in the Holland Michigan office of Novo 1. On Tuesday of this week, Deborah Ozga was interviewing applicants for 15 new call center jobs. (7 minutes)
For a look at the nuts and bolts of government job creation, This American Life Senior Producer Julie Snyder and Planet Money correspondent Adam Davidson attend a meeting of the International Economic Developers Council in San Diego. (15 minutes)
Be Cool, Stay in School
Unemployment is 9 percent, but it's worst among high school dropouts and people with only a high school education. Adam went to a place that's trying to help them find jobs: an organization called Pathstone, in Rochester, NY. (8 minutes)