U.S. companies have more cash on hand than they have in a while. They're using it for buying each other, buying their own stock... everything, it seems, except hiring new workers. Why? And what would it take to get them to hire? Economists disagree: some say it's government stimulus, others say we need to re-tool our education system. A bizarre symptom of the slowdown: The Northwest Plaza Mall in St. Louis is empty, except for one man and his shoe repair shop.

And, should people will get food stamps be able to buy soda with them? New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says no.

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