While we too slowly learn to deal with exponential demands and few answers, we must try to reduce agony for millions of us that are neither slackers nor lazy but under-served by society itself.
Stan Sorscher – Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace:
Investment creates jobs. GE invests billions in China. Microsoft invests billions in India. Boeing invests billions in Russia. General Motors builds more cars in China than in America.
We are making millions of new jobs — just not in America.
It is no surprise that our economy is hollowing out.
Look at the huge global oversupply of cheap labor, combined with mobility of capital, rapid transfer of technology out of the country, and trade policies that encourage investment offshore.
We’ve known about oversupply of labor for decades. We’ve known it’s an American problem too. It’s easy for us to say that the supply of jobs may never be sufficient worldwide, but are we ready to concede that America may never again fully employ a willing work force?
I think no one stumping for office and few if any corporate or union leaders offers an adequate reply to 250,000 people born each day.
We’re looking at decades of hard, hard change. Let’s begin.
We need more jobs than we can create.
There are more workers than we can employ.
Recent analysis shows there are 6 applicants for every job opening. Clamoring for training, relocation to stimulus driven projects, not even economic recovery will greatly alter this ratio.
Imagine employing everyone residing in your county or voting district. Do you think you can succeed? Let’s multiply that success across your state, across our nation. Ignoring offshore issues for a moment, the challenge is enormous.
Industrial policy, trade protectionism, and as we’ve seen, not the magical ‘game theory’ of deregulated competitive markets are a fix for our nation. Tweaking errors, repairing budgets and slowing pirates is plainly overdue. Assuring a robust supply of cash is circulating is helpful. But today’s hot policies remain far from adequate and perhaps never potent.
Whether we retreat behind our borders or not, accommodating each of us by monetizing each of us into what we call jobs is outside the reach of organizations as we know them. Relying solely upon market incentives to create vast numbers of enterprise with a job for us all is less a failure than it is insufficient.
Many are reviving proposals for a base annual income to assure individuals and communities remain afloat. A different approach to spending, different than infamous welfare or safety net services, an adequate monthly income would keep communities workable and prevent most people from falling into state or local services.
To create sufficient employment, if that is ever likely again, to assure we are building a solvent society, I’d prefer wit and wisdom in every neighborhood, in every apartment block of every city, in every factory, office and store to search for solutions at least as well as the best thinkers of Capitol Hill or Wall Street. A baseline livable income, analysts say no more costly than our current system, might prevent many social ills. It’s a suggestion that’s too complex and fiery for me to recommend, or refuse to consider.
A government taking responsibility for its citizens, which many see as socialism, is merely formulating a society that works. We must respond to a permanent oversupply of labor in a way that’s more sensible than today’s disintegration into costly risks of desperation, volatility and what will brew from permanent anger.
Follow up links:
We have already entered a ‘Long Emergency’ as James Kunstler pounds. The Financial Times recently surveyed the Crisis in Middle Class America. The very busy Economic Populist blog is keeping up on the latest outrage du jour.