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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Will the jobs ever return?

American Scofflaw
I’m sure everyone within an eyeshot of this article knows at least one person with a master’s degree who has been out of work for a year or more. Many of us know several people like that -- smart, capable, and good people. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently published a chart of the median duration of unemployment, and it’s ugly. The spike in long-term unemployment is literally off the charts, and given that there are nearly 6 unemployed for every 1 job opening, we can expect this trend to continue.

Even the gainfully employed are terrified that their job could be next, clutching to it tightly while being conditioned to thank their bosses for reduced wages and benefits as long as they hold on to their position. Although the federal government is one of the only sectors hiring, state workers are being slashed in record numbers as 46 states teeter near bankruptcy. Teachers, cops, and firefighters -- the backbone of many small communities -- are being gutted by debts owed to banks who enjoy bailouts and bonuses.

It seems that every facet of the economy is blinking "red alert," setting new records of failure in every category. The game is up. The Ponzi scheme is over. Credit is maxed out, and since flooding the economy with more money (credit) is the only way to stimulate job growth, we can reserve our hope.

Industrial, tech support, and other white-collar jobs have been relocated to countries with cheaper labor and are unlikely to return, in addition to the lack of money flowing to the consumer class. Six more fortune 500 companies including Kraft Foods and Walt Disney recently announced they are moving their headquarters to China. And you, the taxpayer, bought General Motors and invested in factories in Brazil and not America.

The industrial jobs seem to be gone forever, or at least until the cost of labor in the United States = slave labor + less taxes + shipping costs from Asia. However, you can sing at the funeral pyre for the white-collar tech-support jobs done over fiber optic lines.

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