Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; (D&C 98:10)

Monday, January 24, 2011

What Happened to 15 Million US Jobs?

A friend sent me this article from NationalJournal.com. It opens with this sub title "Taming unemployment starts with solving the mystery of the jobs that were supposed to have been created in the past 10 years but weren’t."

I read quickly looking for why these new jobs were not created.  The answer was we do not know, "Before we can fix our jobs machine, we must figure out what broke it. As several economists noted, anyone who says they’ve solved the problem is lying."  Well count me in for finding out why.

Following are a couple quotes trying to find out why

Perhaps, some economists theorize, the United States isn’t creating innovative jobs because its workforce isn’t up to the challenge. For probably the first time in history, our young adults are no better educated than their parents. Nearly all our international rivals, in developed and developing economies alike, continue to make generational leaps in college graduation. Brainpower is still our comparative advantage with the rest of the world, but the advantage is shrinking.
“It is the best educated and those with the highest skills that derive the most benefits from a globalizing economy,” says Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, a research fellow at the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics who studies global labor markets. “As the U.S. workforce becomes relatively less skill-intensive vis-à-vis the entire world, the broader benefits of the global economy, both in terms of job creation (and national well-being), are going to decline.”

A second quote:
Some free-market economists say that we could encourage more domestic investment by cutting corporate tax rates, although it’s fair to note that the jobs breakdown of the 2000s coincided with hefty tax cuts under President Bush. Still, liberal and free-market analysts alike have argued for a sweeping reform of America’s corporate tax code—one that would reduce rates while eliminating many deductions and provisions that give companies incentives to spend their global profits outside the United States. More narrowly, groups such as the Association for Financial Professionals have urged Congress to lower America’s tax rates on repatriated income, to levels closer to international competitors.
I am  not sure why this is happening.  It does fit in with my general malaise feeling I have had for quite a few years about the US economy.  In particular, I look at the society I live in and what they produce or the services they provide.  Are the things they are employed at something of intrinsic value or have we been riding a wave produced by giants before us?

I think of the space program, the marvels in manufacturing, in communication.   What is my generation, what am I doing to contribute to the real value of the goods and services I am providing?

Perhaps the advances in manufacturing, transportation and communication is leveling the playing field of the earth.  Those in much poorer places are much more hungry to work hard and get educated.  Perhaps the leveling is allowing them access to opportunities to gain the necessities and even niceties of life.

I will continue to watch this and recommend my children and anyone else to not be satisfied just because they are at the top of their class.  There may be a much bigger pool of of employees and entrepreneurs to compete with.  I am confident that as we all (the whole globe) work hard and work smart there is an abundance of livelihoods that will be earned.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Great post. I have had many of the same thoughts.