We are all witnesses in this new golden age of journalism and media. An era where content isn’t at the mercy of an establishment or held to an agenda prepared and prepacked for a narrative already predetermined. With a video camera and an internet connection, people are etching out their own place in the world to tell truths and raise suspicion in ways we haven’t seen since the days of Thomas Paine.
As more media comes online, media that isn’t solely driven by passion and truth instead of profit is competing on a level playing field and in some cases, replacing traditional media outlets. It is becoming that to be a credible witness, you must pass the jury of truth.
What is the skills gap?
we, as a country do not have enough of quality trained workers to fill the need. For small business owners in particular, the skills gap is very real.
Paul Krugman, a liberal economist doesn’t believe there is a skills gap. He once stated that the skill gap was in fact “a prime example of a zombie idea — an idea that should have been killed by evidence, but refuses to die”. Yes, the same Paul Krugman who blamed the weakest recovery in American history (apologist for Mr. Obama no doubt) because the government was forced to curb deficit spending. In Krugman’s world, deficit spending = job creation.
Donald Trump comments about jobs leaving overseas. SEIU, one of the largest unions still left and incidentally enough the largest government union in the nation announced last week it’s cutting its budget by 30%.
Trump was the only candidate to continuously rail against NAFTA and TPP. While it’s true, the middle class has been chipped away at over the last four decades with trade being a part of that decline; it’s not the biggest culprit. That decline was in effect long before the offshoring of jobs started taking a footing.
We have seen entire sectors hollowed out while others boom. Sure, many Americans do feel left out and left behind in Middle America. And that, probably above all is what made Mr. Trump the 45th president. But that doesn’t make those people or he, correct. It might bring back some jobs but it will destroy just as much or more of existing jobs with existing families relying on them.
Bringing back blue collar jobs (manufacturing) is a noble cause and one that should be positive but how that is accomplished will be messy. In a matter of a decade, we saw manufacturing slip from 20% of GDP to 5%. But how many jobs can be saved from automation? It’s not like we are living a Jetsons lifestyle just yet but automation is at some point will be the next scapegoat for the declining middle class as its only a matter of time where technology is improved and even more jobs will die off. However, while bringing back jobs that were let go offshore won’t save the middle class it certainly couldn’t be any worse than the previous administration’s stance on offshoring jobs…
Bill Graves, former president and chief executive of the American Trucking Associations wrote about being a truck driver last summer.
Driving a truck, that doesn’t seem that prominent does it? But that’s just it. That’s the problem with perception and conditioning. We’ve been conditioned to scoff at these types of jobs while they go unfilled while another college graduate goes underemployed or simply unemployed.
2015 mean annual earnings of truck drivers: $43,410
2015 average earnings for college graduates is: $45,400
2015 those who’ve only completed high school: $25,900
We don’t have a jobs problem here. We have a fortitude problem. So Trump, like many or most of his diatribes is tapping into a problem or sees the writing on the wall, except it’s written in hieroglyphics and he only speaks in sign language.
There is now a 5.6 million skills gap from everything to plumbers to masons to heavy equipment operators and everywhere else in between (stats. from the Department of Labor). And training for these new careers won’t add to the 1 trillion (and growing) the student debt bubble that ominously awaits an eruption.
So yes, we do have a problem with the hollowing of the middle class. People left behind from the factory that disappeared are a reality but the problem isn’t just going to be cured by a company reopening its doors via tariffs, repatriating or from idle threats. Does that mean trading jobs for tax breaks should not still be pursued? Of course not. The corporate tax rate stifles business especially small business but in the meantime, let’s take the easiest route possible. It’s just a matter of perception and priorities.
If we define success and working nirvana by a four-year degree with a mountain of debt attached to it (thank you subsidies), the gap only widens. But if we reverse this and get real about OUR economy we will achieve the closest we’ve been to full employment as we’ve ever been.