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The Government should have nationalized closed plants, put people back to work, and gone into direct competition with American companies who abandoned the US economy on their greed for global profiteering by outsourcing. The Government should have also provided American companies with reciprocal (as opposed to predatory) protectionism, but corporate America fought against receiving such help because they saw greater profits in the global markets than in the American economy. They should have been forced to take the help and keep the American middle class working.
The need and price of labor is ruled by supply and demand. In places like North Dakota where demand out strips supply the price of labor has gone way up. In other industries where a majority of the work is performed by robots there is little incentive to move it off shore.
The auto industry is running at near full capacity so you look for them to do a lot of hiring in the near term. It is demand that leads to hiring and not lowered taxes as Republicans have insisted. For the economy to really recover both the private sector and government need to get serious about spending money. The fact that interest rates are so incredibly low means there is a mountain of money just looking for a place to sit, rather than being put to work buying and building things. Here in America there is no shortage of things that all that money could be productively doing.
If Americans start working again, rather than outsourcing jobs, those good days can come back again, When every one will have job, happiness and prosperity will return.