Where are all the jobs? We hear pols constantly bemoaning the lack of "job creation" and then proceeding to raise money off this issue. And both sides of the aisle are equally guilty of this. Maybe a discussion of "where they went" is in order.
When I grew up, the fact was...there were more jobs than there were people to fill them. Oh, not everywhere,no, but if the area you lived in was beset by recession or the like,it was very possible to move to a different part of the country and find work. Lots of industries were hiring in those days. It was possible,even likely, that one could land a job with the auto makers. Not your cup of tea? Not to worry. Myriad and assorted factories dotted our landscape,most were hiring. (Please keep in mind that these statements are macro,not micro in nature). Railroads hired. And so on and so forth. And these are the jobs that built our middle class, and sustained it for decades and decades.Blue collar,sure. Hot,hard work. Without a doubt.
Then came NAFTA, complete with Ross Perot and his famous charts. But my contention is that there is a more subtle factor at work here, and it bodes us ill.
I was watching the History Channel(anybody out there remember when the History Channel did HISTORY?? But I digress) the other day, one of their Modern Marvels episodes. This one was on the Blue Bunny ice cream factory, Minnesota,I think, but it's not important. This is a worldwide issue. They were interviewing the factory foreman, who was proudly showing off their robot that works the frozen part of the factory,and he commented,proudly again,that this machine replaced 30 workers.Multipily that by about 750,000 or so factories.....and you start to see what we are getting to here. I really don't feel like re-typing that last line, so please go back and re-read it.I'll wait. Thank you.
No one is arguing that a ton of our jobs have gone south,north, east and west. No one is belaboring that point. But here is one that doesn't get a lot of attention. We have outsourced a bunch of our jobs, not to China...but to machines. Good or bad? Thats what I would like to see us discuss here, if you wish.
It has been honestly stated that "just because you have the ability to INSTANTLY respond to any and all queries...doesn't necessarily mean its a good idea to do so". Can we also say that about technology? That just because we have the ability to get rid of thousands upon thousands of our workers,employing machines in their places,is it a good idea,long term? I don't know the answer to that.
We now find ourselves in a position which may actually be permanent. That is: more people than there are jobs. And here is where the two parties split. The bright red Re-Pubs are for all practical purposes in the "let the unemployed starve" camp. Bully for them, they represent the monied class anyway. The Dems are a tad bit more sympathetic,but only by degrees.
Again, when I grew up, the top tax rate was something like 79%. We have to go back to something like that. Also, we have to find some way to get more "bang for our buck" vis-a-vie, the tax revenues coming in. Because in THIS country, it is impossible to have a permanent underclass. Why is it impossible? Glad you asked.
Because we are something like the third or fourth most war-like people that have ever graced this poor planet. In war we were born, and in war we grew, and in war we prospered. And we will fight what we perceive(right or not) to be tyranny. If we cannot,any way possible, find a way or ways to fix this "permanent" un and underemployment problem....it bodes ill for us. Americans are not by nature inclined to starve quietly.Especially when we see what we deem to be crooks living large off our labor. And throwing us away for a few more dollars,at the first opportunity.Then jetting off to their weekend getaway home. We just aren't.
I have no answers. And that by itself is somewhat surprising for someone who has an opinion on just about everything. But, there are some real smart people on this site....so what I'm hoping for is to start a discussion on this topic, and see where we go.
Thanks for reading