Monday, March 3, 2014

An Unequal Recovery

Mort Zuckerman explains the Obama administration record on income inequality in one sentence:

The wealthiest 1% has captured 95% of the growth of wealth between 2009 and 2013, while the bottom 90% has become poorer in real terms.

To call the Obama recovery jobless is the least we can do. One ought to muster a grin to see that that the Obama administration is now railing about an income inequality that its policies have helped produce.

As for the recover itself, Zuckerman offers the sobering statistics:

The unemployment rate is about 13% if you take into account people "marginally attached" to the workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that at the end of 2013 there were about 27.3 million part-time jobs, making up about 18% of the workforce. Youth unemployment is a stunning 14%. It is particularly distressing that the labor participation rate has hit a 35-year low of 63.2%. This rate has dropped most noticeably for men and women in their prime earning years between the ages of 25 and 54 and is up only slightly for those 55 and over.

What is stifling economic growth? Zuckerman says that it’s the government, aka the Obama administration:

Government has diminished animal spirits by displaying a hostile attitude toward business.

That attitude is evident in everything from excessive corporate taxes to the incompetence and dishonesty of the ObamaCare rollout. Government is perpetually establishing economic policies and rules that business perceives as overregulation, dampening the willingness to invest—as witnessed by the slowest rate of capital investment in decades on corporate plant equipment and machinery.

Zuckerman does not see manufacturing jobs returning to the country. He is more concerned about the high tech jobs that are being outsourced because the American educational system seems incapable of turning out enough qualified applicants.

Apparently, all of that self-esteem and politically correct thinking does not prepare you to get a good job in today’s economy. Who knew?

Zuckerman explains his point of view:

Silicon Valley companies and others across the country report that many tech jobs go unfilled because they can't find knowledgeable workers. Firms are offshoring their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs given the lack of qualified technical workers at home. There is a shortage of skilled labor generally: Nearly one in four small businesses, according to a February 2014 National Federation of Independent Business survey, have at least one position open because they have few or no qualified applicants.

It is good that Zuckerman proposes some policy solutions to these problems. Surely, the government ought to try to help our ailing and inadequate educational system.

Unfortunately, when put into practice, we find—see Bill de Blasio’s New York-- that more spending on education means shutting down successful charter schools in order to curry political favor with the teachers’ unions.

One would be thrilled to see Zuckerman’s policy solutions put to work. One would be even more thrilled if they helped solve the problem.

I suspect that the problem lies in the hearts and minds of the educational establishment and that they will require nothing less than radical change.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

It's not JUST the educrat establishment, it's also the regucrat establishment.