International Labor Day Posting: Thank God for the Jobs Crisis!

In observance of Labor Day, here’s a posting from May 1, 2012. It’s as relevant now as it was then. See what you think.

Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog: ". . .about things that matter"

Mike Tower recently wrote an article Op-ed News about the devastating effect of technology on the job market. We’re in deep sh*t, he wrote, since the large scale introduction of what used to be called “cybernetics.” Technology has eliminated jobs across the board on an alarming scale – from secretarial positions to auto workers. The resulting crisis is compounded by our culture’s deep denial of the basic problem. Even worse, our civic “leaders” at every level refuse even to name technology as playing anything but a positive role in the corporate global economy. What should we be urging them to do? Mike asked.

My first response is simply an expression of gratitude to the author. It’s about time that someone resurrects this problem which clearly is central to the current “jobs crisis” everyone professes to be so concerned about.  I say “resurrects” because I’m old enough to remember the ‘60s and ‘70s when…

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Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog

Emeritus professor of Peace & Social Justice Studies. Liberation theologian. Activist. Former R.C. priest. Married for 40 years. Three grown children. Four grandchildren.

2 thoughts on “International Labor Day Posting: Thank God for the Jobs Crisis!”

  1. The instructor in an introductory computer science class has told students that if they pay attention and follow through, there are jobs waiting for them — 90% hire rate on graduation from the community college classes, plus others obtaining paid (up to $25/hour) internships.

    As an older person, I’m auditing to try and learn what I can. I don’t expect to get any paid internships! Frankly, I’m a slow student in the computer class; but I’d like to develop a better understanding of the terminology and basic processes. I use gadgets every day that are far beyond my ken, and it’s not a good feeling.

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  2. Here’s a little more information to fill in the gap. Yes, it’s Wall Street Journal online, and it has relevance to young people seeking their place in the new world; also, the article discusses educational practices in Germany, and many people have strong prejudices against Germany. However, try to suspend any prejudices and think about the topic — you might make a difference in some young person’s life:

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/german-style-training-for-american-factory-workers-1410296094?mod=WSJ_hp_RightTopStories

    “……But an unmet need for training still exceeds the supply.

    “Anthony Carnevale, a labor economist who runs Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, says roughly two million U.S. jobs go unfilled because of shortfalls in skills, training or education. Of those, roughly 600,000 are jobs that require more than a high-school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree.

    “Mr. Carnevale predicts roughly one-third of U.S. job openings through 2020 will require such middle skills, with a vocational certificate, industry-based certification, some college credits or an associate degree—but not a classic four-year college degree.

    “American training in these areas has deteriorated since the early 1980s, he said.

    “German companies with operations in the U.S. have complained for years that factory workers lack specific skills they require to get the job done. Executives and American policy makers have said the U.S. could benefit from Germany’s approach to apprenticeships and on-the-job training.”

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