Is he different from other politicians (both right and left) who have promised good jobs? Were the earlier politicians (right and left) different from one another when they promised good jobs?
In many ways, they weren't different. Both sides failed. Their promises were half-baked words meant to get them elected, but not suitable to be implemented. Trump's promises look a lot like this.
I'm not an economist--not that economists have delivered all that well on their predictions/solutions (i.e. promises). I haven't seen an economist discuss which economies in the world are working well, and whether the US can emulate their success. I suspect that the US can't emulate their success. If we are to recapture our former higher level of economic success, we'll have to figure out our own path there.
The GOP path was tax cuts for 'job creators' and the trickle-down economy. Since Bush Jr., that path has clearly been a failure. The Democratic path seems like a hodge-podge of security nets programs and tax increases on the wealthy. How that brings more jobs isn't clear. I'd have to classify as a redistribution program, not a jobs-creation plan.
The failure of both the GOP and Dem plans have left the door wide open for Trump, and he has taken full advantage. I don't know how many of his supporters actually believe him. But for sure, they know that the GOP and the Dems have failed, so maybe it's time to try something else.
Ask the question: Is this working?
Worst of all, neither the Dems nor the GOP have grappled with their failures. Dems are doubling-down on the social safety net, while the GOP continues their trickle-down fantasies. Dems, for electoral reasons, won't consider that large-scale immigration has hurt average Americans. Many in the GOP elites won't talk about it either because they benefit from cheap immigrant labor, and they're looking at electoral demographics too.
So, it is no surprise that Trump wins the GOP presidential nomination, since he is the only candidate who will talk about immigration in forceful, if ugly, terms.
As for the general election, I'm not confident that Trump will lose. Hillary represents one failed plan, so she certainly doesn't deserve to win. Trump doesn't deserve to win either. No one seems to deserve the office. No one has strong, new ideas.
I recently read a history of the US from 1932 to 1972 (The Glory and the Dream by William Manchester). It was enlightening how Roosevelt tackled the depression. The problem is that the US is so much larger now with so many more layers of spending. Can we actual do anything major now? I have strong doubts.
Nonetheless, I wish more politicians were making big proposals that are outside of the same-old partisan failures. Instead of Trump vs. generic-Dem, we should have had the choice of a half-dozen new ideas. But we didn't, and that's the shame and the pity.
Extras. Are there countries we can learn from? HuffPost's top ten. US News and their ranking of 60 countries. Also by quality of life.