REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

The "One Percent" Workforce Threatens U.S. Growth

POSTED BY: NIKI2
UPDATED: Friday, February 17, 2012 07:21
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012 8:48 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


No, not that 1%, the "other" one:
Quote:

America is producing an undereducated and underperforming workforce that will not be able to drive economic growth.

As of right now, with the unemployment rate at an improved but not impressive 8.3 percent, 3.4 million jobs remain unfilled, according to the latest BLS data. One reason is that underwater homes prevent some job seekers from moving to where the jobs are. But another reason is Americans don't have the skills required in today's job market. Manpower surveys of more than 1,300 U.S. employees find the jobs most difficult to fill include skilled trades, sales representative and engineers. And let's not kid ourselves: Those skills are not just math and science related. They are language skills and proficiency in everything from history and geography to literature and philosophy.

Top companies like Google and Apple are looking for the best and the brightest – people who can "think different," as Steve Jobs said. If tech companies aren't the litmus test, try the television industry, which on the surface does not seem to hire high IQ candidates. It is, however, loaded with above-average, smart and dedicated people. One reason – if producers, directors, editors, or on-camera talent do not perform, they're out. Plain and simple. Or try manufacturing. Caterpillar has hundreds of unfilled job openings for sales representatives, machine operators, et al, but can't find qualified people to fill them.

Jobs for the less educated are going away. The knowledge economy has officially kicked in, and we're woefully behind the curve. Clerical workers are being replaced by cloud-based software programs; store clerks are being replaced by self checkout systems; and most dramatic, manufacturers are creating assembly lines that are 100 percent robotic. Cisco's Superbowl ad, showing "assembly lines that fix themselves," is fair warning that when possible, companies will hire a robot that doesn't need salary, a union, health care or a pension before they'll hire a human being.

The result is that we're heading for a 'one percent' workforce. A workforce not of rich people, but of an educated elite that cannot be replaced as easily by technology. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich predicted this conundrum in his prophetic 1991 book, The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for the 21st Century. He said, "Each nation's primary assets will be its citizens' skills and insights. Each nation's primary political task will be to cope with the centrifugal forces of the global economy, which tear at the ties binding citizens together – bestowing ever greater wealth on the most skilled and insightful, while consigning the less skilled to a declining standard of living." Closing the income gap will be impossible if we don't close the skill gap, but the burden for closing that gap should not be placed on the shoulders of teachers alone.

Without a parent or parents who set a child's expectation for achievement, and who understand and foster the learning benchmarks that are essential to success, the child is set up to fail.

President Obama should be commended for pushing high schools and colleges to improve the quality of their course work and to make education far more affordable for the average American – although his proposals only scratch the surface of the problem. The failure of our schools to educate our children may reflect the quality of our teachers. But it surely reflects the quality of America's parents. Parents have off-loaded the responsibility for educating their children onto the schools. In so doing, they have sent a message to their kids that striving for excellence is not important, that being diligent is useless. http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2012/02/14/The-One-Percent-Workf
orce-Threatens-US-Growth.aspx#page1
all its flaws (and they are numerous), one aspect of Obama's budget is right on target:
Quote:

The Education Department – which is on some Republicans’ cut list -- grows by about 2.5 percent over last year, or about $1.7 billion. The increase includes creation of a three-year $8 billion fund to assist community colleges in providing training and coursework in fields where U.S. companies’ labor demand is the highest, including transportation, health care, and certain types of manufacturing. Half of that funding would come from the Education department and the other half from the Labor department. The Pell Grant program, which helps poor students and the Race to the Top, which supports state and local efforts to reduce achievement gaps in schools, are also winners. http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/02/14/Obamas-Campaign-Budg
et-The-Winners-and-Losers.aspx#page1

Hey Republicans: Let's cut education funding even more!

Yeah, education in America sucks for many reasons, but simply cutting it isn't the answer. I like the idea of more money for training, rather than just esoteric studies, but there's a lot more things that need to be done. And cutting education isn't one of them.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:40 PM

FREMDFIRMA


Side note: if you're looking for people that can "think different", the US Public Education system is exactly the WRONG place to find them, since it has been reduced to rote memorization, social indoctrination, and the crushing out of all creativity and dissent.

Although, not for long, since their once vaunted Final Option of sending off those they could not crush or medicate into compliance no longer exists in a large scale form, and thus in a generation or two there's gonna be a pushback like you'd not believe.

Newtons Law is a bitch on a social level.

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:48 PM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:
Side note: if you're looking for people that can "think different", the US Public Education system is exactly the WRONG place to find them, since it has been reduced to rote memorization, social indoctrination, and the crushing out of all creativity and dissent.



Yeah, every time I start to like you, you put one of these up, and go right back to not.

It may not have worked for you, and is certainly a system with many flaws. That does not make it the Orwellian nightmare you make it out to be.

"Goram it kid, let's frak this thing and go home! Engage!"

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:02 PM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:
It may not have worked for you, and is certainly a system with many flaws. That does not make it the Orwellian nightmare you make it out to be.


Maybe not in some places - but one is too many.
And there are far, far more than that.

Ain't about being liked, I could care less, my point is that every broken child, every tortured teen, every mangled soul that comes out of our mostly dystopic "educational" system is not only our responsibility, but a future threat to all who are not, you see ?

Think about the root cause here, these broken children grow up to be broken adults, who break others...

On the one side, you have that destructive force-resistance-more-force model, which doesn't work, never did, and dooms us all - and on the other you have alternative education for those incompatible with conventional schooling, which does work, is working, so it's not hopeless.

But we really DO need to reform and improve our education system into something more than an extension of the penal system either way, how is this not obvious ?

Believe me, your scorn here is much, MUCH less then the amount of flak I took over these issues when the worst of em were considered naught more than urban legend and conspiracy theory, but really what offends you so that I see a problem that is slowly becoming worse and want to fix it ?

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012 4:24 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


The conservative agenda is written all over this one.

Cut education, drastically. Why? Because educated people tend to be more liberal, of course. Also, if you get a chance, cut any and all access to birth control, abortion, reproductive choice and planning, and most definitely sex ed. Why? Because the conservative agenda is to have us in a race to the bottom with the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China); if you have a large and growing workforce that's uneducated, you have a ready-made CHEAP workforce, since they'll be fighting for even the shittiest of shitty jobs.

Of course, what this doesn't take into account is the fact that we're the world's largest consumer nation, most of our economy is based on consumption, and paying people minimum wage or less is not a good way to increase consumerism, but conservatives aren't really that good at thinking ahead, as the Iraq war and our Afghanistan adventure have proven...

The idea is to push down wages, do away with any and all regulation, and bring the manufacturing jobs of FoxConn here to America. Hard to do that with an educated populace, or one that isn't amazingly desperate.

"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservatives." - John Stuart Mill

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012 9:58 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


I really hate those automated cash registers at the store, I always choose to go to a real life casheer because ... they're real and those luh suh SkyNet machines don't make no sense. They have been at the store for years but new ones aren't being put in and most people still go to the regular checkout lines, so I'm hoping casheers won't totally disappear.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Thursday, February 16, 2012 7:44 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Amen Story. I don't even try to debate Frem on this, given his mind set. Whether you want to call it "indoctrination" or not, the fact is that people have to be educated and/or trained to a skill, and flawed tho' our education system is, it's all we've got. And I agree; the right would rather have a system which indoctrinates what THEY want people to believe, and I'm sorry but I trust them even less.

Education can't be blamed for everything, it's not the be-all/end-all to blame. Parents should be the first authorities in a child's development, and I think you have to look closer at the entirety of a child's experience beore making teachers, etc., out to be jackboots. I know a lot of good teachers, and their intent is to teach kids how to learn and how to think. It's not all black and white.

For one thing, while we unquestionably need more and better options to our eduction system, it's by far more often those who opted OUT of it whose lives are negatively impacted, compared to the far fewer who are harmed by its shortcomings.

I'm afraid I agree with Mike because it's so easy to see the steps the right is already taken and HAS taken to lower wages for as many as it can. It's just too obvious, and so far it's working pretty well for them.



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Thursday, February 16, 2012 1:57 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


Frem and CTS are extremely extreme about school/the education system, I can't decide which one is more extreme, plus DT. I know it isn't perfect and we need to improve it, but I'm with Niki in that its wayyyyyyyyyyyy better than nothing.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Thursday, February 16, 2012 2:36 PM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by RionaEire:
They have been at the store for years but new ones aren't being put in and most people still go to the regular checkout lines,



Not in my town. The grocery stores just doubled their auto-check-outs, and other stores that didn't have them are adding them.

"Goram it kid, let's frak this thing and go home! Engage!"

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Thursday, February 16, 2012 2:38 PM

RIONAEIRE

Beir bua agus beannacht


Well I refuse to give in to SkyNet, I'll always use the humans as long as possible.

"A completely coherant River means writers don't deliver" KatTaya

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Thursday, February 16, 2012 3:05 PM

CHRISISALL

Down the centuries you have slurred the meaning of the words, WE THE PEOPLE...


Quote:

Originally posted by Storymark:

Not in my town. The grocery stores just doubled their auto-check-outs, and other stores that didn't have them are adding them.

This is the path I've feared since I was little & just getting into SF- automation = fewer jobs = less money being spent = more automation.

*rant-y bad words follow*

These fucking idiots running things (past & present) aren't as stupid as we think- they're old & getting older by the minute (always have been, btw)- they want STUFF, and LOTS of it since they don't believe in God or Humanity or making sure the world is a better place for their having been here. In short- they believe in NOTHING but the best food, vacations & whores money can buy. Think: the insanely higher income version of a heroine addict. My fix- TODAY. My profit- TODAY.
"FUCK the world. It hates me anyway" is the mindset, I conjure.

Funny, AU posted that the economy was on fire way back, seems ashes follow the combustion...


The laughing Chrisisall


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Thursday, February 16, 2012 3:55 PM

CHRISISALL

Down the centuries you have slurred the meaning of the words, WE THE PEOPLE...


Quote:

Originally posted by Kwicko:

Of course, what this doesn't take into account is the fact that we're the world's largest consumer nation, most of our economy is based on consumption, and paying people minimum wage or less is not a good way to increase consumerism, but conservatives aren't really that good at thinking ahead, as the Iraq war and our Afghanistan adventure have proven...


Precisely.


The laughing Chrisisall


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Thursday, February 16, 2012 4:02 PM

CHRISISALL

Down the centuries you have slurred the meaning of the words, WE THE PEOPLE...


Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:
my point is that every broken child, every tortured teen, every mangled soul that comes out of our mostly dystopic "educational" system is not only our responsibility, but a future threat to all who are not, you see ?


I do, Frem. And it's in degrees. Crush a little bit of spirit here, crush a WHOLE LOT more there. The militaristic/corporate mentality needs to be erased from education entirely if we are to compete globally. Otherwise we won't compete, we'll just FORCE our way with the biggest volunteer army on the planet, which seems to be the long range plan.


The laughing Chrisisall


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Thursday, February 16, 2012 6:55 PM

FREMDFIRMA



Yeah, well, better than nothing is a damn low bar to set - we can do better, they DESERVE better, and be damned if imma sit there and make excuses or ignore the problem and hope it goes away, what else would you have me do, eh ?

Sure, there's people it annoys, but there's also folk who take great comfort in knowin my teeth are gonna get sunk into the ankles of any abusive system so long as I'm still kickin, ya can't make everyone happy and ya shouldn't ougta try...

Speakin o which - I got kind of an ambivalence on them U-scan thingies, when it's three in the mornin and I am in one of my grr-humans-suck moods, yeah verily, useful both in not having to deal with humans, and not inflicting my bad mood upon them.
What annoys me is that while they've gotten better about it, they still screw up and often require human intervention anyways, thus defeating the purpose, and by golly will they STOP trying to make machines sound human, and female ?
KeeeeRHIST that annoys me, the only thing worse is tossing in a british accent, seriously, it's a MACHINE, I want it to sound like one, although I am more wound up about that cause some jerkass (Justin!) used the vocaloid program for our halfsie AI set-voice, and I dun care for it.

No, the worst if it is hopping to the tune of a machine giving me orders, scan it now, put it in the back, take it back out of the bag, do this, do that, wait for service, how bout you just SCAN MY STUFF and give me a damn recipt ya piece o junk!
Okay, ya somedays I wonder if the friggin luddites had a point, you know ?

-Frem

I do not serve the Blind God.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012 7:26 PM

WISHIMAY

"Well, so long Earth...Thanks for the air... and what-not" -Philip J. Fry


Sidenote on education:

I was in a different school today and there were papers on the wall that said: "What I would do if I was President"

There was about six of them and every one of them said in slightly different words THE EXACT SAME THING...

"I would live in the White House"
"I would murder anybody who stole anything (one kid even decribed how he would go about it)"
"I would make sure all the animals had a home"
"I would make gas really cheap"


That is the extent of a fourth graders knowledge about what's going on in our country...


On the other thing...I only use a scanner if I have no other choice-as every time I touch one all hell breaks loose, I still pay bills with stamps, because my nice ditzy mail lady really needs to keep her job, and I'm sure the credit card company has to pay SOMEBODY to do something with my checks, soooo HAH! on them...

I'll always take a person, when ever possible- because the job you help cut may be your job cut TOMORROW!

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Friday, February 17, 2012 5:26 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


Quote:

Originally posted by Niki2:
Top companies like Google and Apple are looking for the best and the brightest – people who can "think different," as Steve Jobs said.



Looking at the job listings at Microsoft and Apple, they're also looking for folks with experience.

Apple's jobs site had a total of 37 intern jobs nationwide, full and part time (and not a very user-friendly site). Microsoft had 3. I looked at Software Program Management and Software Testing positions (my old field) at Microsoft and found that almost all jobs required a specific work background and/or years of experience.

I'm afraid that many companies have stopped trying to develop employees in-house, and are trying to cherry-pick experienced folks being let go by down-sizing or failing businesses. This is going to make it harder for folks just out of college, no matter their degrees, to get these technical jobs.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Friday, February 17, 2012 7:21 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Wow...I had to think a minute before I knew what you meant by those auto-checkout things. I've seen some recently in one of our Safeways, but the only other place I've ever seen 'em was at Home Depot (which I avoid shoping at if it's at all possible!). We must behind the times on that...and I sure wouldn't use them, either! Sucks.

Oh, wait, I might have seen them at the big Target up in Novato...another place I go as rarely as possible.

Chris (hi babe!), your rant speaks for me perfectly. We've become such a short-sighted people, it's frustrating. Did they invent "planned obsolescence" because of that, or is it one of the causes? That mentality is one I call "I want it ALL...NOW!" Also sucks.



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