National Public Radio's "Planet Money" has a pretty decent piece on "How Do You Create a Job." The reporters interviewed a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, Casey Mulligan, who said three ways to create jobs would be cutting taxes, eliminating regulations like the minimum wage that get in the way of agreements between would-be-workers and potential employers, and reducing unemployment benefits, which reward people for not working. They also interviewed the president of the American Economics Association, Orley Ashenfelter, an economist at Princeton.
The NPR guys seem to have a pretty good grasp of some points that seem to elude a lot of politicians. "In normal times, direct spending by government is not a way to create jobs," they say, also noting that government jobs can come at the expense of private sector jobs. They also observe that President Obama's attempt at "sort of lecturing" companies with cash piles to spend them on hiring more employees "hasn't worked."