10/06/2008 - With less than a month left until Election Day, there is still time for the presidential candidates to focus with great intensity on what should be the most important issue of this campaign. It's not just the economy, stupid — it's jobs.
The stock markets were rocked again on Monday, and the need to stabilize the financial system is obvious. But the U.S. economy is never going to be really healthy until the country figures out how to provide work at decent pay for all, or nearly all, of the men and women who want to work.
The after-tax income of the top 1 percent of Americans rose 228 percent from the late 1970s through 2005. The story for working families over that same stretch was one of constant struggle to just stay even. As the Pew Charitable Trusts reported last year: "The earnings of men in their 30s have remained surprisingly flat over the past four decades."
Read the full editorial A Fool's Paradise on The New York Times' Web site.