Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

Got Jobs?

To paraphrase a well known quote: “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours.” Two of my friends are out of work and it seems to be a long term deal. Both are highly qualified and experienced. I have personally lost a great night job I held for years and have not been called in to work since August, 2008. How are you and your acquaintances doing these days?

Opportunity in America starts with a job. Without one, there is no security, no earnings or savings, and no satisfaction and self-esteem of contributing to ones future or society. Official unemployment stands at 9.5% and if those who are under employed are added in, it becomes over 17%. Here is a short clip about how onerous regulations hurt the economy. It only touches on a couple of the several items mentioned below:

Do we want our jobs back? – YES! OK, just how can this goal be accomplished?

Business creates new jobs when it expands. Most large firms are sitting on their cash because they are uncertain of the future. In fact – several big companies that have announced expansion plans have been savaged by the stock market recently instead of rewarded. Investors are not confident that growing business is a smart move at this time.

Small business is fighting the combined headwinds of low demand, burgeoning new regulations, and great difficulty obtaining financing. This sector of the economy which traditionally creates the most jobs is stalled.

The Obama Administration has passed or is pushing legislation that has emasculated businesses large and small, putting great fear into owners and investors and hampering economic recovery. If we want our jobs back, these monstrous legislative overreaches must be rolled back. Here they are:

$867 Billion Stimulus: This program borrows nearly a Trillion Dollars from China and others against the future earnings of all Americans. It was promised as a method to initiate “shovel ready” infrastructure work. Instead most has been spent on the state level preserving government jobs.

Health Care: This massive takeover of 1/6 of the entire economy has created unintended consequences of huge proportions. It threatens to crush small businesses’ health plans and drive workers into the government system. The true long term costs to both business and individuals cannot be accurately calculated, and the implied costs were buried deep in the overall effort to pass the Bill.

Financial regulation: The Dodd / Frank legislation supposedly regulates financial practices while ignoring completely the malfeasance at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that contributed so greatly to the 2008 meltdown. Draconian rules and regulations will trickle down to the smallest mom & pop business and stifle initiative and productivity with reams of reporting requirements, paperwork, and red tape.

Cap & Trade legislation: Currently passed in the House and stalled in the Senate, whispers have it that a lame duck session of congress after the November election may pass it in the Senate anyway. This myopic and hysterical “solution” to a problem that has not been proven as fact would saddle business with huge energy cost increases. It would drive literally millions of American jobs overseas in a pen stroke.

Expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts: John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush all lowered taxes in the face of a recession. All three saw a spurt in economic growth and jobs as a result. The Obama Administration intends to raise taxes at the end of 2010 by allowing the current cuts to expire. Raising taxes punishes investment, expansion, success, and hiring. This scheme is a recipe for prolonging the worst recession in 75 years.

The Obama Administration has caused more damage to the US economy in 18 months than Jimmy Carter managed in 4 years. The only way to have a prayer of turning things around for the better is to change Congress this year so opponents can block funding and implementation of some of the more destructive aspects of the Obama agenda.

For you, your friends, your neighbors, and your children: THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION IN OUR LIFETIMES.

Ray of Hope

Danny Westneat of The Seattle Times did a wonderful follow-up story on a kennel cleaning job that went to an 18-year old kid. (Link Below) Nearly 300 other people had applied for the job, some highly experienced and educated. The young man realized that his family couldn’t pay the bills. Giving up his leisure hours of computer games, soccer, skateboarding, and hanging out; the lad stepped up and applied for jobs until he was accepted. Now his days in high school are followed by evenings and weekends at the kennel. He and every other person who tried for that cleaning job are truly inspirational. They are examples of what made this country great and what will emerge as the glue that holds it together.

Somehow, over the past 50 years, Americans have gotten the idea that every kid has to go to college and end up as some sort of professional big shot. Dilbert cartoons and The Office TV show should give us a clue. Many young folks would be financially better off and much happier driving a truck instead of sitting in a cramped cubicle for a living. Today’s parents and kids think that manual trades such as laboring on a construction site, running a forklift, or driving nails in new homes are beneath them. Most kids these days live a life sheltered from any sort of hard, rewarding work. Parents provide their offspring with all their desires, drive them to and from sports events, feed and clothe them, buy them a car at 16, and often provide funds for higher education whether the child is suited for it or not.

Those whose parents are unable to provide college are urged to take on huge student loans that cripple them financially for years after graduation – if they manage that. Being pushed into college often leads to ineffectual majors like Folklore or Gender and Women’s Studies instead of mathematics, engineering, or science. How many times do we see rudderless graduates with esoteric degrees moving in with mom & dad awaiting their inheritance? We end up with “boomerang kids” who were raised that way by “helicopter parents.” These young people ended up that way because the work ethic was not instilled in them at a young age. The burning desire to succeed was extinguished before it could ever become a strength; replaced instead by a warped sense of unearned self esteem and entitlement.

Why do we have over 12 million illegal aliens doing the jobs “Americans won’t do”? See the above. You won’t see young Americans plucking chickens, milking cows, digging ditches, or pounding on factory doors willing to start out sweeping up and cleaning grease pits. All this while willing immigrants, from around the world show up, do what they are asked, and don’t talk back. Legal or otherwise, we have to admire these people for their grit and determination, and thank them for contributing to our economy – because many of our young adults will do neither.

Democrats badly want an immigration reform law that will turn aliens into voters. Business owners want the same because they need manual labor to do the tough jobs young Americans have been bred to avoid. Until we disabuse ourselves of this dangerous and asinine idea that every American kid must go to college, the immigration problem will be with us

How long since you have seen a native born American standing outside Home Depot looking for a day job? Here is a spoof on that situation you will enjoy:

Here is the link to Danny Westneat’s great Column:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/dannywestneat/2011695103_danny25.html

Immigrant Symptom

Do we really have an immigration problem? Are some 12 million illegal aliens presently participating in our economy in legitimate ways? Are high tech firms filling up the H1B visa slots just because they seek political correct “diversity”? Do businesses turn a blind eye to bogus documentation and hire illegals just because they work cheap? What we really have here is an immigrant symptom to an American problem.

Our immigrant situation is brought on and propelled by recent generations of native born Americans and not the fault of businesses, greedy CEOs, or consumers demanding the cheapest products available produced by sweat shop labor paid by the piece.  These immigrants are here for one main reason – Americans either cannot perform or refuse to do the work required. 

We as a nation have been breeding the work ethic out of our younger generations.  What we end up with are 20 somethings with no skills, no work ethic, and little motivation, coupled with a warped sense of entitlement.  Many get out of college with no work experience, never having been tested under the mild demands of a workplace or the more structured discipline of military service.  A 22 year old young adult who has been provided with every luxury at no personal cost can be a real drag on productivity when expected to show up on time, work for a minimum of 8 hours, and go the extra mile under pressure when required.

Our K-12 educational system has shed the concept that some students might be better off learning metal shop and instead emphasize that everyone should go to college.  Grade inflation and mindless hours dedicated to instruction in everything from diversity awareness to sex education have deemphasized preparation for true college level studies.  Teachers are forced to tolerate disruptive and/or slow learner types and are often threatened with lawsuits by helicopter parents if “Little Johnny” does not get good grades.  Spineless administrators fear the lawyers and the NEA and buckle under the least pressure; refusing to back a teacher who tries to do the right thing.  This is a complete disservice to any student able and willing to learn, and sets bad examples for the entire student body. 

Laws setting minimum wages and regulating the hours and kinds of work that can be done by younger people choke off any chance of gaining valuable experience at an early and impressionable age.  At 14, this writer worked in a newspaper shop running cutters, folders, and melting lead for linotype machines from after school till after midnight.  The minimum wage was $1.00 and I was proud to have a real job at $.75 per hour.  After 2 years, I got fired for being a borderline employee.  It hurt badly at the time, but I am still in debt for the marvelous character building experience and lesson in life that taught. 

The jobs kids held in the ‘60s are now done by low skilled immigrants.  These people are to be admired, not condemned, for working hard in menial jobs in hopes to propel their children onto bigger and better futures.  If American young people would take these entry level jobs, the need for low skilled immigrants would be far less than it is today. 

Who shovels up dairy barns, delivers newspapers, mows lawns, parks cars, cleans gutters, sweeps warehouses, installs roofing, plants landscaping, digs post holes, or picks produce? “Not me” said the little American boy.  It is much easier to get fat playing computer games, watching the tube, hanging around the mall, or experimenting with drugs than pushing carts at the local grocery.  Who has any true motivation to find hard work at low wages when; if daddy did not save up for college, an easily obtainable student loan will pay the freight.  This allows “Little Johnny” to avoid useful employment experience for four additional years, maybe learning, and most likely partying.   

Talented immigrants have always filled a need in our robust economy and it is the dearth of motivated, able American graduates that forces Bill Gates to cull the globe for code writers and executives to run Microsoft.  Unskilled immigrants are filling the needs formerly satisfied by eager American teens saving for a first car or a higher education.  It is time to reexamine the way our young people are being raised, educated, and supported.

Most American kids enter the world like hatchery salmon, unequipped to best the competition from other countries that worked their way up since childhood and landed a job in America.  We owe our children a disciplined rigorous education and the opportunity to find and experience the work environment.  The quicker they are forced and allowed to take the first steps toward true independence and personal responsibility, the better off they and America will become.