Tuesday, March 6, 2012

willing to work? able? qualified? the usual questions remain

Here's another article about American companies recruiting overseas to find capable workers--in this case, in manufacturing jobs. Together with all the article's comments below, you a get sense of the strongly divergent discourses surrounding the issue. Are Americans being ignored? Is the pay too low to attract "qualified" Americans? Are we sending too many of our teenagers off to colleges and universities and not enough to trade schools? Are we unwilling to work? Do we blame corporations, our government, or ourselves?

I don't know, but I do know that during economic booms in America, such as the late nineties, urban school districts routinely recruited abroad because the college educated Americans who would be qualified refused the work. The teachers would come countries like India, Austria, and Romania-- places where English is not the first language, but you can find a math or science teacher who speak it well enough. I suspect that the school districts were grateful to have these teachers, and yet, it could still be the case that Americans with educational certification felt ignored.

And now, we're hardly in boom times from the perspective of most Americans. We have the usual mush of positive and negative economic indicators, and from the hog slaughterhouses of North Carolina to Silicon Valley's rewarding tech economy, the multiple questions and perspectives remain, and not even a Cyrus Duffleman can offer a unified thesis.

Yeah, you had to bring that guy into it. You've got nothin', Kudera. Go back to your hole and grade papers.

LATE BREAKING NEWS: 227,000 jobs added in February and January numbers revised upward! Unemployment stays at 8.3%, gas snuggles close to $3.50 a gallon in SC, and everything remains the same, and yet will be fine.

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