UnemployedSteven Rattner

Job creation is slow and difficult, especially in the aftermath of a recession. Companies are understandably reluctant to invest a great deal in new employees. In the president’s State of the Union speech, he used the word “jobs” 31 times but did not offer specifics on investment, competitiveness, and the deficit. Nonetheless, the economy is on a decidedly upward track and America’s productivity is still high (it grew 20 percent between 2000 and 2009). We should not “tinker with the labor market,” Rattner advises, nor should American leaders balk at addressing those necessary specifics (such as higher taxes and entitlement spending) that are essential to confronting the budget deficit.

Rattner, a co-founder of the investment firm Quadrangle Group, served as counselor to the Treasury secretary and lead auto adviser in the Obama administration.

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