A message to D.C. on fixing joblessness in the U.S.: Just do it!

  @FortuneMagazine September 19, 2013: 7:37 AM ET
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(Fortune)

We'll hear plenty of noisy activity out of Capitol Hill this fall: the third brawl in two years over raising the debt ceiling, heated debates over immigration and government spying, nomination hearings on appointments like the Federal Reserve chief, and, of course, arguments over war in Syria.

And the jobs crisis? Forget it. With Washington's attention deficit disorder, we're slipping into a new normal of long-term high unemployment without even noticing. Yet the bad news keeps piling up: an unemployment rate that ticks down only because more Americans drop out of the workforce; an OECD warning that long-term joblessness is becoming an entrenched feature of developed nations -- even as economic recovery begins to take hold.

There are no easy solutions to the fierce pressure on job growth from globalization and people-replacing technologies. A rising tide that elevates the top 20% of workers is no longer enough to support the creation of jobs downstream. But some policies can make it more attractive for companies to invest in jobs for Americans, including those who have been out of work for years.

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