What employers require from the marketplace aligns neither with the skill-sets of workers from the "old economy" nor with what our educational institutions are creating in terms of the competencies and knowledge bases of their respective graduates.
For the past 35 years economic policy has abandoned its responsibility to create full employment. The group of economists that occupy dominant positions of power no longer seriously consider and fail to promote policies that will provide jobs to the unemployed.
How much of the slowing can be blamed on Mother Nature? Nobody knows for sure, of course, but there is enough reason to believe that the brisk pace of growth recorded in the second half of 2013 will not be sustained in 2014.
We have an economy that is currently distributing income and benefits quite well to about 20 percent -- especially to the top 1 percent -- but an economy that is doing little for the middle class and below -- the 80 percent.
For too many American women, the dream of "having it all" has morphed into "just hanging on." This is not about handouts. This is about smart economic policy. Working women are the core of our economy. Leave them out and you don't have a robust economy. Lead with them and you do.
The president went through a long laundry list of proposals and actions, intent on demonstrating that this could be a "year of action," with or without the Congress. But the most telling parts of the speech were not the proposals but the framing.
More than 40 percent of people raised in the bottom 20 percent of national income remain stuck there as adults, while forty percent of those from the top income brackets stay at the top rung. Would we see such results in a true meritocracy?
Concerned about the national debt? Pay attention. When you include the millions of young people who left the job market entirely during the Recession, our federal and state governments miss out on $25 billion in revenue every year!