September 18th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Zakaria: Germany as a model for U.S.

Tonight at 8pET, there'll be a GPS primetime special on CNN – Restoring the American Dream: Getting Back to Work. I dig into the unemployment crisis and look at how to create more American jobs.  The other day I talked to Brooke Baldwin about some of the key points I'll raise in the special, including the example Germany sets for the U.S. Here's the transcript:

Brooke Baldwin: I want you to sit there and I want you to channel your inner Steve Jobs. Let's say you invent some gizmo, some kind of technology, you believe in this thing. Who knows, maybe it has the power to change the world. Did you know this? If you want to get a patent on said invention, the average time it takes to get that is three years, three years to get a patent.

That is supposed to change starting today. Today the president signed this overhaul of the government's patent system. So if you watch us daily - come on, a lot of you do - you have heard him ask Congress time and time again to take action on this. Well, they did. And the White House is saying that this will start creating jobs today.

Fareed Zakaria has been drilling down on jobs. He's got a special airing Sunday night. Fareed, let's begin with this patent reform. Three years ago to get a patent and now it looks as though maybe we're getting that fixed. How does expediting a patent, the whole process, create jobs? Obviously the White House also thinks it's a good bit of news. Do you agree?

Fareed Zakaria: I do agree. I think that the big problem for most small businesses, start-ups as you put it, some inventor with a mad idea. In the initial stages you don't make much money. In fact, you lose money. If it takes you three years to get the patent, very few venture capital firms or angel invest are willing to give you money. So you lose money for three years while you get your patent approved. So by the time you get your patent, you've gone out of business.

So the idea here is to really make a quicker up-or-down decision. It doesn't mean you'll always get the patent but if it means you'll know sooner whether you'll get it. That way if you get it, you're still around as a viable firm. It's part of a whole series of things we need to modernize. We've sat on top of the world for so long. We haven't looked at our whole governmental system from taxes to regulations to things like this patent process and asked ourselves, how does the rest of the world do it? What are the best practices out there? How do we benchmark and make sure we're competitive to attract the best capital in the world, the best people in the world? We've tended to assume, well, we're number one. Well, guess what, we're not number one in a lot of areas of.

Brooke Baldwin: Reality check, U.S. And as you and I were talking yesterday, you said, look, here is a great idea to help us create jobs. Issue more tourist visas, and folks from overseas will spend their money here. It sounds easy enough. You say you have a number of other ideas like that. You've spoken to a lot of people for this special who offered some ideas. Give us a couple of more ideas.

Fareed Zakaria: The biggest easy idea, not easy but the most immediate idea, is really infrastructure, rebuilding America's bridges, roads, airports, new smart grid, powered grid, all that. Why is that the best idea in the short term? Because right now, no matter what you do, you give tax credits, tax incentives, cut the payroll tax, businesses aren't hiring because there are isn't much demand. Consumers are paying down debt. We're not spending a lot of money in the mall.

This is one area, infrastructure, which isn't dependent on consumer demand. The government can just start modernizing our infrastructure. And we have desperate needs here. We used to be among the top five in the world in the infrastructure according to the World Economic Forum. We now rank 23rd which means we have the worst infrastructure of the advanced industrial world.  So this is a win-win because we can get people to work and we can rebuild our infrastructure, which will produce more economic activity. Every study has shown that better infrastructure pays for itself very quickly.

Brooke Baldwin: Obviously, Europe, we talk a lot about Europe. I know you do on your show. Europe is hurting as well economically speaking. To hear some folks say it, it's the Germans. The Germans are tired of bailing out the slackers over there. I know Fareed Zakaria, it's not that simple.

Fareed Zakaria: It's not that simple because one of the reasons they have been doing it is that a lot of German banks own all the debt of the Greeks and the Italians and things like that. So when with you look at the Greek situation, you have to understand the reason the Germans are doing it is partly self-interest. They don't want their banking system to collapse, and German banks own a lot of the Greek debt. But there is something to learn from Germany and we talk about this on the special. Germany has maintained its manufacturing capacity, really remarkably. It's supposed to be the case that once you become rich you don't make stuff anymore. We all become management consultants and massage therapists and things like that. That's the service economy.

Well, the Germans still make stuff and they make a lot of it. And why are they able to do that? We explore that, try to explain how you could have a revival of American manufacturing that would bring back what is really at the heart of the American dream, which is a good job for an average person, not a guy with a fancy college degree. That's what the Germans have been able to do, and that's an area we really could learn a lot about. 

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Topics: From Fareed • Jobs • United States

soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. joti KingKumar

    Fareed, let's tell them the truth. The fact is the India is the only plausible model for America. Only India, the world's greatest democracy and its only remaining super duper power can save all these countries. India shines while the world declines!

    For decades now, Europe and America have specialized in financial engineering with the super companies like Goodman Saks, and Lehman Sisters. India's economy is however very complementary to these economies because we specialize in providing warm bodies to the world with our super companies like Tata and Infosys. For example, isn't that the recent "difficulties" America had experienced because the USA had run out of such bodies to whom to sell these no income, no ask, no breath loans. Imagining with 1.4 billion of us Indian, you will never run them out now. Our huge dalit population will forever grows like wide fire in a California forest, they do not typically have jobs and they will never pay the loan back, that is just matching perfectly the lending profiles for such super companies like Bank of America and Citibank. Our dalits will permanently reduce the cost of labor for you. And most of all yet, they are hereditary, and inexhausible. Our dalits are always prepared to do exactly the same work for a 1 rupee meal a day, let alone a 5 rupee meal a day. That makes your IBM, HP, and GEs obscenely profitable in 360 dgrees and forever.

    Jai Hind!

    September 18, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Reply
    • afrommi

      The solution does not rely on another country's model. What happened in the US since the 90s is that job shops were born. These job shops apply for the H1B visas and the outsourcing became the norm. People did not get hired directly anymore. Our standard of living went down. Union jobs started shrinking and illegal started flooding the market of construction, lawn services, drain cleaning services and hotel housekeeping services. And then companies were given the famous subsidies to move away. Mr. Bush created more unemployment by giving away tax payers money to companies to move overseas. Even customer care companies taught foreigners to lie about the place calls were being answered from. I think that when they stopped the regulations unions put in their shops whole hell broke loose. Unions are self regulating. They do not encourage illegal aliens hiring and they keep the jobs in the US. The only reason Republicans want to get rid of unions is because the want the government to give contract work to foreign corporations.

      September 19, 2011 at 2:17 am | Reply
      • Jimmy

        "self-regulating" Yeah, that's for sure. They "self-regulated" Jimmy Hoffa right out of existence.

        September 19, 2011 at 11:58 am |
      • Dirk

        Yep, everyone is to blame but the unions! Back in 1980/81 a friend of mine was working a summer hire job while in high school at one of the big automakers sweeping floors. For performing this high skill job they were paying this kid $18 per hour. There's your problem buddy.

        September 19, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
      • Michael L

        Baloney. Unions make up less than 10% of all jobs, and only 4.8% of manufacturing, which means if you got rid of them all today, it would have almost no effect on our economy at all.
        In fact, if you made all factory jobs minimum wage, it would have no effect either. Why? Because it's cheaper in currency translation for the US ownership class to pay a Chinese worker, who's currency is pegged at 8x less the value of the US dollar. We currently pay on average, 8-35 cents an hour for their labor.
        This is about a race to the bottom, and if you think just because you have an engineering job or the like that you are safe, you are a fool. China is currently preparing tens of thousands of engineers, who will be available for $6,000 a year US...and with those rates, you can bet engineering will go too.

        September 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
      • ron

        You are absolutely correct.

        September 19, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
      • Leila

        I agree with all but the fact the unions are self-regulating. Unions definitely need to be regulated by an outside source.

        September 20, 2011 at 9:02 am |
      • uzair

        are u serious? india has more poor people then the whole of africa combined, yes there r billionaires but most of the Indians are poor there r hugee income gaps, a third world country shouldn't tell a super power how to run their country, go sleep with ur cows, they obv have more brains then u

        September 21, 2011 at 6:56 am |
    • B.

      India...please you have cheap labor slaves call your own people. Your country is a mess, it smells and dirt poor besides a few "good areas" of certain larger cities. Dont be proud to have some of your citizens make high output with jobs nobody else wants to have for very little money. Its a joke.

      September 19, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
    • Jimmy

      Yeah, India. LOL. There's a lot more to India than just Bangalore. Try getting out into the rest of the country and see how people live. It's not a pretty picture.

      September 19, 2011 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • Anand

      One of the most dumbest comment I have seen. As an Indian, it makes we feel like vomiting. The world has globalized and what the US is now going through can be some other country in future. The U.S has very strong foundation of economics and market. I think its a matter of time with good policies things will change. The US govt should invest more money iN US and not waste it in middles east.

      September 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Reply
      • RealDesi

        It's not "middles east", it's the Middle East.
        But I do agree with your comment. US is an economic marvel in its our accord and there is no need to model its operations based on India (FFS why) and Germany. The capitalist method works perfectly with the right kind of elements.
        First you need a capitalist minded goverment doing its business.
        You need a new venture, the 90s has IT/Web boom.
        Reinvent the american confidence (buying power).
        Adjust the balance between domestic production and imports. Do we really need "super crappy" items from Walmart. I think if you spend 40 cents more, you could buy a better item made locally.
        Good lucky America – We need you to lead the way once again.
        I am not endorsing any leader to be the next president, maybe the current one can reinvent himself and try to understand that for US – capitalist economy works best, since we are used to it, the market is used to it. Don't try to change something that works quite ok.
        The lowest class doesnt really care what happens.
        The rich and the middle class is what drives the economy (in fact any economy).

        September 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
      • RM

        I agree Anand, India is where we should spend more of our money. At least Indian people are not blowing up American buildings.

        September 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
      • kayjulia

        I agree we have been giving money away for decades and with no results time to invest in the USA !

        September 20, 2011 at 12:55 am |
      • Emile

        ha! Money is spent on Israel and not just "the Middle East" if it was not for oil, the Middle East would have been just like India and other 3rd world nations. We are struggling as a nation economically and still supplement billions of tax dollar money to Israel. Wake up please!
        Cheers!

        September 20, 2011 at 9:33 am |
    • RealDesi

      People like you give India a bad name. Stop talking please.

      September 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Reply
    • Funny

      India trains its graduates for a week who forge their resumes to get the jobs. The culture at our IT departments is ruined, thanks to you!

      September 19, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Reply
    • noway

      America is already using german style education system. politicians are already using National Socialists strategies. like patriot act.

      September 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Reply
      • MLB

        You obviously know nothing about the German educational system. Where is that happening in the US.

        September 20, 2011 at 2:10 am |
      • SouthernCelt

        National Socialism is a Federal Crime in Germany. It's too bad ignorance and hate aren't illegal in the U.S.

        September 20, 2011 at 9:50 am |
      • Frauschimdt

        When are you going to get the terms: Social-democracy is not socialism? Stop listening to Hush Bimbo ! The drug addict is getting richer every day.

        September 20, 2011 at 10:14 am |
      • coflyboy

        Obviously, you have been educated by the American educashun system... which is NOTHING like the German education system. Germans are taught to think, whereas Americans are taught to remember. I know, as I have attended both American and German schools. This is a huge fundamental difference.

        September 20, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Frangible

      If India really wants to help out the US economy, nuke Pakistan so we can leave Afghanistan. They don't have SLBMs or mobile launchers so a good first strike that takes out their silos and airfields should wrap it up.

      September 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • adam

      India, a land of 500 Million Dalits.
      India, 60% of housholds have no access to electricity, flush toilet and clean water.
      India where biofuel means using cow dung for fuel.
      India where every manhole is a legit toilet.
      India where the richest Ambanis, Mittals dont pay a dime in tax.
      India where corruption accounts for 80% of every public dollar spent.
      India where chilled cow urine is an elixir, with fruit flavored ones too.

      India, i feel you wretched pain.

      September 19, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Reply
      • pat carr

        chilled cow urine? gross!!!

        September 19, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
      • Chedar

        Cow Urine? They bath on it.

        September 20, 2011 at 6:06 am |
    • Steve

      India? Are you joking? They are populating themselves to death. No birth control; and if you think there are enough jobs for Indians then where are they? Taking the jobs from every other country on earth? Unless the U.S. starts to make the things that it needs and uses you can kiss the middle class good bye. And we're almost there now.

      September 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Reply
    • Tejas

      This is the dumbest and stupidest comments that I've ever read. You don't sound Indian in the first place. Regardless of that, we Indians are happy with what we're. We improve and live at our own pace, and it's nobody's business to criticize others especially when your own house is in the ruins. In short, mind your own business and learn to be respectful to others.

      September 19, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Reply
      • pramod

        @Tejas, no sir you are wrong Mr Steve is right.. Iam not criticizing things in india, but ground realities are not good. the population growth in india is neither good for the environment nor is it for the general well being of people... it is a disaster...We in india are not doing the right things, and it is better if we accept it rather than comfort ourselves.

        September 21, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Aaron

      Real nice role model. Close to a billion people living in poverty to make a few people rich. Nutcase.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Reply
      • DD

        Out of I.2 billion, we have 600 million middle class, 300 upper middle class, 200 million rich and 100 million poor. But here out of 400 million, 200 million are in poor condition.

        September 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • kamal

      India is a century back of the US.

      September 20, 2011 at 2:09 am | Reply
    • whybs

      Most Indians I've dealt with professionally are liars – lying to get ahead. They have no shame.

      If India is a model country, please stay there. Don't come here.

      September 20, 2011 at 5:22 am | Reply
      • DD

        India winner, ford opened in India and not in N.America and closed in Canada. In General,People always go to the intelligent guys and that is the reason.

        September 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Chedar

      China and India depends heavily on a consumer economy like the US. Without the US both China's and India's will not have existed. It's simple.

      September 20, 2011 at 5:55 am | Reply
    • Dillweed

      I was hearing the Indian guy off the Simpsons when I was reading his comment. Is that wrong?

      September 20, 2011 at 9:38 am | Reply
    • martinez

      Its funny that you guys don't realize that "joti KingKumar" is an impostor pretending to be an Indian.

      September 20, 2011 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • ensence

      Well using Indian sounding names does not make you Indian. we know you are a F****ng paki. because only you guys are obsessed about dalits India, and we also know that you hate Farid. 1) because he is indian. 2) he does not side with you radicalized ideas.

      September 20, 2011 at 10:20 am | Reply
    • Kevin H

      The reason India has done so well – let's tell the truth here – is that the government uses every dirty trick in the book to insure that India comes first. If you sell products in India they better be made in India or the government wants to know why not – especially if your primary goal is sales. Second, India has no infrastructure to speak of. Trains carry millions of people stuffed to the gills with no hope of anything better. Cars clog streets with chickens and wandering cows competing for the same space in manyh of its largest cities. Meanwhile fresh college grads work in call centers or cattle call type shops where they code like mad men in sweatshop environments. Oh the buildings look nice in some cases but that's all smoke and mirrors. Reality is that the Indian lifestyle doesn't approach that of the west – and the salaries show it. Government is extremely corrupt and inept and people know it. The US is trying to compete with this type of world – a world in which India isolates itself from the west with call centre workers often not knowing or caring what life is like for westerners and not grasping the most obvious details – like when a recruiter asked me if I would commute daily to Lake Charles, LA – more than a hundred miles away – when his client had no thought of either putting me up at a hotel nor helping me to move. Yes we're competing – unfairly – with wages that are artificially low in places that don't have to compete at any level – in terms of government regulation, lifestyle, basics such as potable water. The caste system is alive and well in India despite its official ban. Must be nice to be of the Brahman class.

      September 20, 2011 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • AKILEZ

      I like doing business with India better than China. Because India and Philippine relations are more stable. There are alot of Indians in the Philippines who lend money to the poor Filipinos. Indians are easy to talk to compared to Chinese.

      September 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • Mayur

      It is Goldman SACHS, Joti.

      September 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • tinany

      india is a great country, but the model for other countries to implement has not much to do with exploiting one segment of the population for inhumane low wages. the media is a good ex to replicate as it gave wall to wall coverage to those true patriots who want to fight corruption whereas the us media will discount and ignore such similar third party candidates. indian people still have the spirit of ambition and hardwork and upward mobility and that has been reduced to a great extent in the us as a result of both the republica and democratic parties, particularly soros-obama's policies and politics. and where to not replicate india is its socialism policies that did not let the country and its people thrive from the start of its new beginning in the late 1940's – and the is the german model and now the us implemented a great deal with the model that sucked the right and ability of an india to thrive as it was meant to thrive.

      October 12, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  2. Geo T

    Yes Germany is a good model for the US...

    US should make a union like the EU, put 2-3 dozens members in it, like Mexico, Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua, Onduras etc. then the markets will lend them with tons of cash because all members will in essence have the credit rating of the US.

    Then all these countries will start to buy fancy US products that otherwise they couldn't afford to buy. US exports will rise like a rocket, unemployment will submerge like a nuclear submarine! That's it the instant problem solver. That's what Germany did, and it seems clever.

    Well not so clever because with the first economic recession we see what happens in Greece, Portugal, Italy, Spain and the other weak EU economies.

    That's really what Germany did and what the US shouldn't do.

    September 18, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Reply
    • afrommi

      And if you can see, what that creates is more low wages jobs here in the US. Americans have always been good consumers of their own products. The quality of our products started going bad when foreigners started working for less money and companies wanted to save of materials. I remember when 80% of the steel industry left the US with the help of the government. There was such unemployment in industries that used steel. In the 70s there was such recession that it was the first time in my lifetime I saw homeless people. We have to start getting tough with corporations that want to invest tax payer's money over seas and not give anything back. The do not even pay taxes and yet get a refund because they pay tariffs over seas. And the jobs in hotels are not good paying jobs. Most of those who work as housekeepers still get food stamps. They are under the poverty line.

      September 19, 2011 at 2:24 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      What the U.S. labour market could learn from Germany is the willingness on both sides to keep people employed. A few years ago, as Germany was badly hit by recession, both the unions and the employers made a very sensible agreement. Instead of axing jobs and making people redundant, companies imposed shorter working hours and reduced capacity. The unions accepted wage and salary cuts on behalf of the employers. When boom later returned, manufacturing could get up at full speed again.

      September 19, 2011 at 4:41 am | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        Correction: on behalf of the EMPLOYEES!

        September 19, 2011 at 4:42 am |
      • el_calco

        Yes, this is the excellent, though little reported Kürzzeit [short time] work which kicks in on a temporary basis till the economy has turned around and regular hours can be re-established.

        September 19, 2011 at 11:33 am |
      • Eric

        Yeah, versus the United States where, when things go south, we fire everyone and expect the remnants to double their output. Pay no heed to the people crushed under our boots–we have money to make!

        September 19, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • Geoh

      I'm glad at least somebody gets it!

      September 19, 2011 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • Amit

      US already follows the EU model. Think of how some productive US states (equivalent to some European countries) pay for subsidies in the rest of them. No need to bring other countries such as Mexico and Costa Rica into this "union".

      September 20, 2011 at 3:19 am | Reply
    • Darkworx

      Germany was an export economy before the euro

      September 20, 2011 at 9:19 am | Reply
    • Kevin H

      German labor markets are extremely stratified and restricted. If you want to work in logistics in the US – you can get a logistics degree or you can have a degree in something else and work in logistics In Germany you must have an engineering degree to become a logistics manager – that's just reality. Also German workers by and larger are paid well, however, the middle class has eroded there as manufacturing and other jobs were sent overseas. Germany imported guest workers between about 1950 and 1990 and some of those folks have grown up and are now part of the professional classes. Still there's a good swath of them that rely on government services because the job market is highly restricted. German workers get more services than in the US but their taxes are very high. America wouldn't tolerate the tax infrastructure that exists in Germany – personal income taxes are the source of the lion's share of Germany's health care and other services where a goodly lot of the people have now aged out of the system and no longer pay in but draw on benefits. The small business sector in Germany is largely starved out as government regulation is much stricter than in the US. How do I know these things? I studied German language and culture for business and I talk almost daily with friends in Baden-Württemberg and Bayern and in Berlin. Germany has always been a Wirtschaftswunder – but at what price?

      September 20, 2011 at 10:44 am | Reply
      • coflyboy

        Though I agree that Germans pay a lot in taxes, Germans lead a very nice lifestyle. They seem to do well with thier Healthcare system, can afford 4-6 weeks vacation every year. I often see Germans traveling through the US, vacationing out West and Miami, Vail, and such, and it is not just the upper-crust vacationing.

        September 20, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
  3. SomethingToBeAwareOf

    : GeoT: First, let me say I'm european. I do partly agree with you – but one mistake they did over here was to state "well, if other european countries do not have the living standard that we have, we have to lower ours" – instead of trying(!!) to support other european countries to have the same "high" living standard as, say, germany. I think that't the real problem we have. Of course, that's a process that COULD take some time – but why bring "one" or "some" countries "down" instead of "lifting others" up? Now they face greece, for example... but that are just my 2 cents...

    September 18, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  4. mackinley burnett

    How can Jeff Imelt sit there and with a straight face talk about all the jobs GE has created. In the last 6 months GE moved an entire division to China. Their support engineers for the engine division are in Mexico. Their help desk is in India. They build poor quality refrigerators in Mexico. What GE is he talking about? Job czar for India, China and Mexico maybe but definitely not for the U.S. We need someone who actually cares about creating manufacturing jobs in America.

    September 18, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Reply
    • Nelba

      Yes , he & GE CEO are on the Pres jobs council ! Supposed to be be for Creating jobs not destroying them.

      September 20, 2011 at 11:02 am | Reply
  5. Elaine Medina

    Low taxes for the rich creates concentration of wealth:.

    Concentration of wealth creates DEPRESSIONS.

    That FACT is readily VISIBLE on a historical graph of concentration of wealth; wherein 1929 and 2008 coincide with both great depressions; (& with greatest concentration of wealth/lowest taxes.)

    The only solution is higher taxes on the rich & the money collected being SPENT on the public good.

    September 18, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Reply
    • Dillweed

      No doubt about it. I get depressed when I have less money.

      September 20, 2011 at 9:40 am | Reply
  6. Sharon Stevenson

    Will we be able to later see Fareed's program online at CNN.com? We can see his normal GPS show here in Peru where there are plenty of Americans who are vitally interested in the US economy, but we cannot see the specials. Fareed, can you manage to have it put on line?

    September 18, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Reply
    • Leila

      I get it on itunes – it's listed under video podcasts. He also has an audio podcast.

      September 20, 2011 at 9:06 am | Reply
  7. Canuck Report

    ALBERTA ENERGY MINISTER: "We want to become a global energy superpower" ... http://canuckreport.ca

    September 18, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Reply
    • SouthernCelt

      Does the sun shine on Alberta, I bet it does. Do you have any wind or rivers? Invest in renewable resources if you want to be a Global Star.

      September 20, 2011 at 9:53 am | Reply
  8. SomethingToBeAwareOf

    : Elaine Medina: Yes, agreed. And something stupid comes to my mind: If the "rich" (say, for example, german "richs") *DO WANT* to help their countries out... so they *WANT* to pay taxes for being "rich" – why would some "high-finance" decision-makers WANT to state "No, no, we don't want this" - of course, all power comes from the people – but if the people CAN'T handle it NO MORE ... ??!? To my mind, the "middle-class" SHOULD be restored – and yes, I *DO* feel "solidaric" with the americans ...

    September 18, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Reply
  9. mjazz

    It's amazing to me that anyone can look to GE, Starwood, Dow, and GM as job creators. When you make this statement, you lose all credibility. It's is common knowledge that 85%-90% of the people employed in the United States are employed by small businesses. What in the Hell does Jeff Immelt know about small business? I guess, next they'll call the CEO of Bank of America to offer information on how to learn from mistakes that cost 30,000 jobs in our country's largest consumer bank. It's time we actually get people who know how to create jobs(i.e. entrepreneurs) to the table to discuss how to make actually get more people employed. Part of this has to do with the psychological aspects of business and the work force. If you highlight the dreamers and implementers, others will follow and not only work for them, but excel for them. The same ole thing is like Seth Godin says..."BORING!" and "Boring always Fails!!" Thus, the current situation in America. Come on Obama administration and CNN tell the stories of the small business person, like Inc. and Fast Company do! That's where the hope is! That's where our future is. 1M people hiring 9 equals 10,000,000 jobs. GE hiring 15,000 people this year does nothing!! It's Time to get real!

    September 18, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Reply
  10. triestina

    OK. I'm an economic idiot but since the weather bureau has declared there were 82 natural disasters in the past year, can't we just declare them a national emergency and put people to work on them?

    September 18, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  11. Rebecca

    The problem with current job training programs is that they don't require individuals to be trained. They promoted the idea of "customer choice". Job training programs need to focus dollars on training people for demand occupations that pay a living wage. Many states have been ahead of the federal government on this issue. Unfortunately Congress and the administration have been slow to act on needed reforms. Simply assisting individuals with job search is not going to do it in today's economy. A more targeted approach is needed and State's should be empowered to implement programs that work without federal interference.

    September 18, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  12. Mary Weaver

    Good special Fareed, but you failed to show how executive salaries have mushroomed over the last 30 years while the middle class and rank & file have lost wages. It's not a matter of jobs but how the money is distributed.

    September 18, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Reply
    • Geo T

      Plus the various banking "ponzi"-like schemes that generate todays money circulation.

      Those two, the one you mentioned and the above are the cause of trouble of todays economy.

      But who will cut bonuses and earnings from managers and bankers? Who...

      September 19, 2011 at 7:05 am | Reply
  13. dc

    Socialist Democracy!!

    September 19, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
  14. Dan Ari

    The tech industry is already doing well. It is the rest of the economy that needs help.

    More tech entrepreneurship will not help unless we can start seriuosly educating everyone who is not already in tech. That means more school funding, not less.

    September 19, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
  15. Deathstalker

    Blah blah blah blah.. What a load of crap. The real reason American economy is tanking is 4 dollars for a gallon of gas. There is nother else that even comes close to the problems that 4 dollars per gallon of gas is causing. Wake up people focus on the real problem. Dont buy into this smoke and mirrors BS.

    September 19, 2011 at 11:19 am | Reply
    • Deathstalker

      Nothing else that is..

      September 19, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • Softship

      No, 4 dollar gas is not the explanation. Gasoline costs about 7 dollars a gallons Germany.

      September 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • RM

      Oil was 25 a barrel while Clinton was in office, look it up!
      Then it hit the fan. Now it's anywhere from 85-145.00. It has nothing to do with supply and demand. It's all smoke and mirrors.
      4$ a gallon gas sank this country. We were on the edge and oil prices pushed us over. You want to fix Amereica, fix speculating in commodities. It's probably to late anyway, the SHEEPLE of Anerica are drowning in apathy......

      September 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Reply
      • SouthernCelt

        End the addiction to Oil and Nuclear (until fusion is a cost effective reality) and invest in renewable resources that are all around us. If the Sun isn't shining its either night or its windy with H2O falling from the sky.

        September 20, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Leila

      If only it were that simple.......

      September 20, 2011 at 9:07 am | Reply
  16. Mike

    Germany manufacturers don't face law suits at every turn. American manufacturers are constantly being sued for one thing or another. Labor law in particular but also environmental, OSHA, ADA, Healthcare, Political obstruction on the Federal , State and Local level. Look at California, businesses are moving out of here in droves because of all the regulation and the law suits. If we had as many engineers as lawyers we would be the job standard of the world.

    September 19, 2011 at 11:28 am | Reply
    • Dirk

      Good point!

      September 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Reply
    • Bryce

      I totally agree!!! There is so much to reform and move forward on no one is addressing the real complex and hard issues we face. All politions want to do is get elected and re-elected so if something that would benefit the contry is to hard or complex they just don't do it.

      September 20, 2011 at 6:11 am | Reply
  17. Ballson Chinn

    I think Brooke Baldwin is hot.

    September 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  18. JeffinIL

    There is no such thing as a service economy. There never has been and there never will be.

    September 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  19. mike j

    modeling the United States way of doing things , jobs , manufacturing , exporting , importing , is bulls**t. American does not need to even consider that . All that is wrong in America is a Government gone wild , and has overspent on frivilous programs and created un-needed government agencies and regulations .

    September 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Reply
    • lefty avenger

      Nice to live in that state of denial. Deregulation has created an environment in which Renegade Hedge fund bankers stole all the tax payers money after they gambled theirs away. When you deregulate like Bill Clinton and Bush W. did you get all the bankers stealing ALL of the money. The Rich take whatever they can and stop at nothing. Sorry buddy, human nature is greed, it's why we have laws. You tea party people want no government and an unregulated market: That Spells total Disaster!

      September 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Reply
      • Dean

        1.75 trillion is spent on regulation compliance annually in the U.S. Financial regualtions are necessary but can you tell me why a hospital has to provide you with over 70 pages of rights when you get admitted or why the government finds it necessary to regulate the size of holes in swill cheese????????

        September 19, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  20. lefty avenger

    Germany is a good current example of a country of hard working organized people. America has good hard working people just like in germany but we also have something else: extremely lazy people. Here is new york city there are millions of people of welfare and they never try to get a job or an education. They sit day after watching day time t.v. and eating. It is politically incorrect to point out millions of lazy people doing nothing and not trying but we need to address this problem. Time for the free hand outs to end and large work centers to be built. In China everyone works, everyone. Time for that in America.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • SouthernCelt

      Germany also has socialized medicine that works, and a government pension (that isn't going broke) for every citizen among other benefits that would exist in the U.S. except for Greed (one of the Seven Deadly Sins, by the way).

      September 20, 2011 at 9:43 am | Reply
      • lefty avenger

        SouthernCelt, I agree with your completely. American seems to be in a terminal state of corporate banking greed. Might be no way to stop it but let them burn themselves out!

        September 20, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  21. Alex

    Germany succeeds, because it's corporate elite live within their means. They don't have ten yachts and a mansion in every part of the world. Their bonuses are not a million times that of management. By accepting, and living on, LESS, they are able to pay their employees more – which helps to sustain their economy. Our corporate elite live like kings and know only one word...GREED.

    September 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Reply
    • cp125

      ..and there you have it!

      September 19, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Reply
    • cbabakami

      As a naturalized US citizen paying taxes over 20 years I can say this: americans work hard (most of them) but the real reason the society is being killed is simply greed at the managemnet level. They are getting used to make profit at any cost even by screwing fellow americans. Lawyers are screwing fellow citizens to make a living. Since when a million dollars per year is not enough to make a livig for CEOs? Who dictated their salary ? you guessed it: lawyers who wrote the law. Lastly, US is getting filled with extremely complacent ciizens who do not care as long as one gets free food stamps and watch TV and kardashian butt all day along. Wake up americans ! fix schools, get educated more, get job training (not burger flipping!), produce things ! get back the economy without blaming others and yes rebel against CEOs who think they know how to run this country.

      September 19, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Reply
      • Leila

        I concur.

        September 20, 2011 at 9:08 am |
    • lefty avenger

      Well Put, Here here!

      September 20, 2011 at 9:52 am | Reply
  22. george huston

    even if you fix the roads the problems is not whether stores are on that road. After losing my house, i started looking what i was buying, all the waste and stupid stuff, that was near worthless. There is only one thing that no matter how worthless as an adult see, is toys (children toys). But as far a adult toys, there was many thing I thought i needed but did not at all. Now i am a battle weary customer warrior. When the money was close to it real worth, it didn't seem to matter. now that it takes nearly three times to buy the same thing, changes everything. It will be real hard for me now to separate my money from my wallet, i do my homework now, and ask my self do i need this product or is there a better solution available.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Reply
    • RM

      There is no inflation, the Government told me so...

      September 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  23. Lennox

    Why look to Western Europe that gave us crass capitalism going all the way back to the Pilgrim Fathers? Why not look to Canada that also subscribes to liberal capitalism, but has not replaced land , labour and capital especially in its rural communities, for a dubious knowledge economy and a fragile globalization, where its labour and capital are outsourced to India and China. It may sound crazy but the solution may lie in a return to traditional economies.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  24. Ken

    LOL - I love how he mentioned Smart Grids as a great infrastructure improvement. Meanwhile, here in never-never land (AKA – Illinois), a group of Democrats and Republicans worked with many consumer groups and the Utilities to pass legislation that would have supported a Smart Grid. It streamed lined the current long drawn out bueracratic approval process, set limits on the profits the utilities could make, and put in place benchmarks they would have to meet to avoid penalties. Yet the Govenor (old 60% tax hike, looking for some populist support) vetoed the legislation. This Democrat complained that the utilities would make to much profit (the negotiated amount was already below the average of all uttilities in the country), give them to much control (the accelerated approval processes are to fast for him), and penalties and goals were not strict enough (IE .. how is the state gonna profit off this). And he moaned about how the average utility customer would pay $2-$3 more per month while the grid is upgraded (ignoring how they will save $4-$6 per month once the grid update is completed). Right now they are working to override the veto (only a couple votes shy of the 66% level). So here the govenor vetos a package that would have forced the companies to create a minimum of 2000 jobs (written right into the law), while 9.9% of workers are unemployed in the State, all because of his short sighted views.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Reply
    • SouthernCelt

      Do you see anyone investing in alternative energy to take the strain off the Grid, or just ways to squeeze more money out of it? Our "Government" just canceled the Solar Tax Credit. So much for investment that made sense.

      September 20, 2011 at 9:38 am | Reply
  25. Geezer

    Germany is predicted to have a worker shortage by the year 2021. I believe the reason why they still make things, and good things to boot, is because they take actually pride in craftsmanshipt. Even a hair dresser requires a three year training program and when you're done with the apprenticeship you can make a real living wage.

    September 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Reply
    • Dirk

      Geezer you almost had me convinced until you said they make a wage from which they can live... now that funny because hair dressers in Germany make chump change.

      September 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
      • cp125

        ..you are totally wrong. Every trade over there make a living (and a good living) wage, yes a beautician and even a waiter. As opposed to here, where most workers are in debt up to their elbows because they cannot make ends meet from the miserly wages they are paid.

        The problem here in the US is we have a horrible education system and it shows in everything we do.

        September 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Nelba

      So German hairdressers are required to learn and demonstrate their craft for a long time? In the USA we would tell them they should be abstract painters, socialogists or astronomers, then send them to college for years to learn nothing that will benefit them in real life.

      September 20, 2011 at 2:37 am | Reply
  26. Ken

    Just about every consumer item we buy is made somewhere else. Real jobs will never return until Americans start to build the things we buy every day!

    September 19, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  27. ian

    uh, germany? as a model for other countries? really?
    hehe, sometimes the jokes just write themselves!

    September 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  28. Dudley4018

    It took >15 years for the Germans to build the program that is now giving benefits. They absorbed East Germany and all of the volks there who were displaced from jobs after The Fall and needed a program. Berlin had a near 20% unemployment rate in the early 2000s. They were very aggressive and it took trillions of taxpayer dollars to support the population before the benefits began to be seen. They had to change the way people thought about investing in Germany, and incidentally launched the Photo Voltaic industry by manufacturing and using this needed product. Never happen in the US. We ask for everyone's approval before we do anything. When's the last time 536 people agreed upon ANYthing in this country?

    September 19, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  29. SomethingToBeAwareOf

    : Geezer: But, keep in mind, even "some" well-educated europeans are facing the truth: It SEEMS that companies want to hire... but in turn, they DO *NOT* WANT. Why I am mentioning this? Something like "Oh, ok, you are new here, go make a 'praktikum' (so they do NOT need to pay the person during this time) - oh, you have finished your 'praktikum'? Go make another one..." is going on. So they WANT people to do the work – but they DON'T want to pay them...

    September 19, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  30. SomethingToBeAwareOf

    ... and that's what I meant: Banksters – Bosses – Gangsters ... not ALL are like so, but the times are HARD to believe...

    September 19, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Reply
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