I guess by writing a blog on this topic the mere posting of my thoughts makes me part of the media, albeit with currently a very small readership and no national magazine presence, but then even Fareed Zakaria started somewhere.
Still everywhere I read, I just get frustrated, although there are some bright spots. Andy Grove, a Hungarian who emigrated to the United States in 1956 and cofounded Intel, yes that Andy Grove, wrote an article in a recent issue of Business Week, now Bloomberg Business Week. Sadly, like Google News, the new incarnation got worse. Andy Grove talked about the same issues that I did, namely that employers do hire, but just not here in the United States. Outsourcing is the real issue. To that, I would add in H1-B Visas, illegal immigration, and the wrongful use of free trade agreements (NAFTA for one).
Business Week in their current issue wrote about Ford and Chrysler about to repay the loans that US taxpayers made to both companies. Both companies are expanding their hiring, but not here in the United States. Both are opening plants in Mexico, because they can pay daily salaries of less than $27, whereas here in the United States they would have to pay salaries of $56 per hour, a significant increase. There is a bright side in that jobs in Mexico keep illegal immigrants there.
Business Week also wrote about our trade imbalance with China. The power brokers were optimistic, when China said that they would increase the value of the Yuan recently. I could have told them that the increase would be a token amount. Most of the media said the same thing. I read the article, which talks of how the United States could punish China with tariffs and the like. People always like to deal with symptoms of the problem and not the actual problem. China is not the real problem. They are not innocent and squeaky clean, but they are not the problem. We are.
Why? American companies and investors pore money into the country taking jobs and money there. We do the same to other countries. I am a fool blooded capitalist. I believe in capitalism. I do like Star Trek and believe in the ideals expressed therein, but a society without money would not work. Anyone who studies economics in high school (I took a small form of it), will tell you that the economics of capitalism rely on the principle of a closed loop system. Someone gives money to someone else for goods or service. That someone will then take that money and spend on goods or service, thereby giving the money back to the first person.
Outsourcing of jobs takes away from that model. Money flows out, but does not flow back. A solution would be to tax companies, not China, for outsourcing. They can outsource, but only as at a cost to them. Hire someone from outside, but you will pay.
Oh, I am talking of China only because Business Week and other publications that I read this weekend talked about the country, but I could have picked on the Middle East and other countries, where our dollars go, but come back in limited ways. I do not see Saudi Arabia or Iran buying as much goods or services from American companies than we do them. I should clarify, non-outsourcing companies. I tend to consider Ford foreign. They are based here in the United States, but what counts is not.
The new labor statistics came out on Friday. Hiring is down, as the stimulus hiring winds down and the temporary census workers are laid off. Both parties blame the other for the continued recession. It was mostly temporary jobs and blue collar that got those temporary jobs. White collar, especially engineering did not.
Business Week also talked about lending to small business, one of the purposes of the stimulus package, did not happen. Small banks were not secure and as such did not lend. Conventional Wisdom dictates that small business, not big business, typically leads the country out of a recession. Washington listens to people who have never suffered. One economist gaining popularity within conservatives (in an article about Greece), points out that fiscal restraint and conservatism (read here hurting the poor and making them tighten their belts) helps a country get out of the recession, because investors gain confidence that the worst is at hand and that things will only get better. Seriously, this concept is delusional thinking callous at best.
The point remains. For every job opening there are many applicants. I wonder how many applicants do not even apply, because they gave up. What does giving up mean? Does that mean a suicide?
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Sarah M. Weinberger