"Without the distortion of a credit bubble, it is clear that far too many Americans don't know how to do anything that the world is willing to pay them a living wage for. No economic theory offers them easy salvation." Adam Davidson, the creator of one of my favorite podcasts, NPR's Planet Money, is pretty blunt in his assessment of the US economy and I couldn't agree more. Read the full article here: NY times link. If you haven't checked out Planet Money, you should do so. They consistently have stories about things that impact your day-to-day life that you've either never thought about or have no idea how/why they work as they do. http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/
Lazy Man's Summary of Adam's article: No politician is able to create jobs even though they all insist that they can. "Business-friendly" states such as Texas steal jobs from other states but create very few net jobs for the country. Subsidizing green industries does nothing other than shift jobs from one industry (oil) to another (such as solar). Stimulus funds do little unless they are enormously huge (and then they still need to be paid for). Cutting taxes and regulations may or may not have a long term benefit, but in the short term they simply result in laying off many government workers and not growing the economy (ask Britain). The best solution: those without jobs need to learn new skills and move to where the jobs are in the country (Dakotas, Nebraska, Wyoming).