Monday, February 20, 2012

Where Is All The Skilled Labor?

This is a truly great bit of reporting, the kind of thing that we see too little of from the Bought and Paid For Media.  That is, an attempt to dive deeply into untold stories--in this case, how we currently coexist with the paradox of high unemployment whilst high-paying jobs go wanting. 

How did we get here?  A few things come to mind, though there may be others.  First, unionization of the American labor force led to a higher standard of living--of this there is little doubt.  It also, however, created the incentive for businesses to move their manufacturing to where labor was cheaper when wages exceeded market value, a process begun in the late 70's and which accelerated in the 80's.  The decline of manufacturing created the growing sense that the US was no longer a  "manufacturing nation" (though we remain I believe, the largest manufacturing nation in the world), which obviously diminished interest among those entering the workforce to hitch their wagons to decline.

Secondly, we see the impact of the "everyone must go to college" philosophy and the pernicious effects of a system awash in cheap money to subsidize listless post-adolescents for four years of Diversity Studies and Early Childhood Education (Daycare) Degrees.  There was a time when young people left high school and 1) went to college 2) joined the military or entered a trade.  Now it appears that option 1 is the only socially acceptable path--reinforced by the heavy hand of government subsidy--and our university education system is showing all the signs of bloat that such a distribution would likely cause. 

Clearly, there is a job/job skills mismatch.  Instead of funneling millions into college educations for those who are unsuited to intellectual inquiry, why not cut off much of that money--and tie the remaining funds to "academic promise" and need.  For those left behind (without the comfort of Uncle Sugar underwriting bong-hits and beer pong), perhaps there's a position at Mach Mold in Benton Harbor, Michigan waiting for them.

1 comment:

"The Hammer" said...

I know you're talking about me.

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