I saw Nina Easton yesterday on Fox News talking about her article in Fortune magazine concerning the fact that one in five American men do not work. That is a huge headline by itself and I found the reasoning offered for the statistic even more interesting, at first... But I have my questions ... Easton seems to partially refute her own conclusion in the first paragraph.
Has anyone in Washington noticed that 20% of American men are not working? That's right. One out of five men in this country are collecting unemployment, in prison, on disability, operating in the underground economy, or getting by on the paychecks of wives or girlfriends or parents. The equivalent number in 1970, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, was 7%. [snip]
... fearsome fact that 4.3 million Americans have been jobless not just for months--but going on years? We are in danger of losing a generation of work-habituated Americans, especially men--and lawmakers can't see their way past November, 2012.
This is a conversation that goes beyond a stubbornly high 9.2% unemployment rate and last week's unnerving news that company layoffs are ticking up again. While we all know there is a job shortage, employers are increasingly talking about a "talent shortage" -- they can't find qualified workers even for the jobs that are available. "We found that 30% of companies surveyed had openings for six months or longer, and can't find the right person," says Susan Lund, research director for the McKinsey Global Institute.
With slack demand, companies can afford to be pickier about who they hire...
Easton goes on to name corporations and the problems they are having, mentions some that have training programs, some that don't, other studies, then she returns to the crux of the matter: Are our public policies contributing to the rise of millions of Americans who lose the habit of work? ... And does unemployment insurance and disability insurance discourage immediate job searching? That answer is YES.
And then there is federal disability insurance, where the percent of American adults collecting checks has doubled since 1989 -- even though the American population isn't any less healthy, or more mentally disabled (the fastest growing disability claim). "It is difficult to overstate the role that the [disability program] plays in discouraging…the ongoing employment of non-elderly adults," concludes a study by MIT's David H. Autor and the University of Maryland's Mark Duggan.
If that's not enough to grab the attention of political leaders, here's a 10-year peek into the future of the U.S. labor force if current trends continue: A continued expansion of workers collecting income from disability rolls plus another four million high school dropouts--on top of today's 15.4 million.
The truth is that the welfare state has ruined a portion of our American work force. We can blame our politicians for this, and we can demand changes.
The excuse that there are not enough trained workers may be true, but it does not need to be so. In this nation there is no excuse for someone to be untrained.
Every college and university has satellite campuses in small towns across the nation. There are vocational/technical training schools. In most high schools vocational and technical training is available to students, a non-college curriculum for those who do not plan to attend college after high school or who are talented in those fields.
I heard one person on Fox say it is no longer possible for someone to take a blue collar job, stay in that job, provide for his family and retire from that job. That is not a true statement, especially when you look at the influence unions have played in the work force over the past years.
As to professional and highly trained jobs, our government offers many tuition assistance programs, there are shcolarships, loans, and any number of organizations that help students. Our military has helped provide college educations to untold numbers of young adults.
The plain truth is that we have liberal and socialist policies that are anti-business to blame for the situation. Unfortunately I don't see anything changing until those politicians are removed from office and their policies reversed. Until those policies are reversed, we can look forward to more mob violence in the United States similar to what is happening in Europe.