Editor’s Note: As this article points out, the scheme announced by Obama to make community college free will not make America prosperous or fully employed. While have a well educated, skilled and knowledgeable populace is worthwhile, there is already a glut of over-educated degree holders – including many with master’s degrees and other specialized qualifications – who cannot find work in their field.
Why? Because the jobs just aren’t there. America doesn’t do much of anything anymore but consume. More and more skilled jobs are paying wages as low as fast food joints, and are so flooded with applications, that the job may as well not be there. There is too much demand by a workforce for work that isn’t there… so most have lowered their standards, and become adjusted to skating by with low wage, low skilled work when they have already over-achieved in the educational field. Student loans don’t get paid back this way, and the economy doesn’t bounce back either.
Unless the other side of this equation changes, there will be a continued downward slide, while millions more graduate with nothing to do, no where to go.
Fired Before Hired: How The Economy Has Killed The American Dream
The latest corporate scam is to blame workers for the high unemployment rate. They say there is a skills gap. Even President Obama is in on the joke.
In his most recent State of the Union address, Obama called for Congress to make community college free. Because nothing will get you a job more than an associate’s degree from your local college.
The real skills gap is the other way around: too many skills for the low-wage menial jobs that pervade the labor market. The person who makes your coffee or your Big Mac might be able to design the next major bridge or write for The New York Times. Instead of high school kids cooking up your lunch, true professionals are behind the counter, and the future of the country is behind it too.
If this doesn’t qualify the United States as a third world country, what will?
The longer they stay there, the odds increase that America will take a permanent backseat in global power. In one short century, we have gone from superpower to super size me, a plutocracy, a nation that wasted its most valuable resource: the energy and innovation of its own people.
As you send your resume for the latest job ad, do you ever feel like the labor market is rigged against you? The job boards have turned into such black holes that we need Stephen Hawking to come work out the equations for us. You send your resume in, and it disappears.
In 2012, Eric Auld, an unemployed 26-year-old with a master’s degree in English, decided to find out what was on the other side of the black hole. He created a fake job ad as an experiment:
Administrative Assistant needed for busy Midtown office. Hours are Monday through Friday, nine to five. Job duties include: filing, copying, answering phones, sending e-mails, greeting clients, scheduling appointments. Previous experience in an office setting preferred, but will train the right candidate. This is a full-time position with health benefits. Please e-mail résumé if interested. Compensation: $12-$13 per hour.
If you have ever applied for a job like that, I offer my condolences. You have better odds at the casino. Auld received 653 responses in 24 hours. 10% of the applicants had more than 10 years of experience, and 3% of them had master’s degrees. Presumably, one of them would get the job.
But what does that mean? It means that all the other experienced applicants and master’s degree holders would remain unemployed. That is about 64 experienced workers and about 19 workers with master’s degrees. The only way to get a job like this is if you are sleeping with the human resources manager. And this is for a job that pays $12 in Manhattan. If this doesn’t qualify the United States as a third world country, what will?