Scott Bittle and JEAN JOHNSON
You know how sometimes when you repeat a word over and over again, it starts to lose its meaning? If you listen to our current crop of presidential candidates, they're doing their best to do that with the most important word in this election: Jobs.
Unfortunately for voters, the fact that politicians make such comforting pledges on the campaign trail does not mean we're having a serious, coherent debate on the issue. Instead, we're being treated to a morass of slogans and glib promises. Given how crucial this issue is to most Americans, the electorate deserves a lot better.
So what should candidates talk about -- and what should voters watch for? A small dose of realism would be a start. Here's a modest proposal for a franker, productive debate:
There's plenty more to talk about--what we're suggesting here is just a nudge in a better, more honest direction. The United States faces a long and difficult transition on jobs. Rhetoric, no matter how compelling, just won't get us there.