There is nothing wrong with the Economy

While politicians in Washington are wringing their hands, lamenting the loss of jobs, the lack of hiring, and the generally anaemic economy, and just the whiff of a job fair draws thousands of job seekers, there are companies, in fact, several companies, that cannot find an employee to fill their open job postings.  In fact there are so few people to fill the job requirements that those companies are looking outside the borders of the United States for qualified individuals.

If you think I am making this up, you are not paying attention.

There is nothing wrong with the economy.  It is working quite well.  What is wrong is a two-fold failure of education and basic principles.  The failure of basic principles is pretty straight forward.  Most of the jobs that are available are those that are not located near where the work force is because those companies have set up in places that are economically beneficial for them, but lack the basic necessities, like a trained labour force, necessary to make them run.  This is the case with Siemens for example, who has plenty of work for labourer who have a modicum of intelligence.  As covered on 60 Minutes recently, Siemens cannot hire enough people who are capable of passing their tests.  What sort of tests.  Basic hand-eye coordination and entry level math necessary to operate their systems.  Wrench turners of the 21st Century essentially.  But it is not enough just to be able to turn a wrench.  You have to know a little math to turn the wrench.  Basic stuff, not applied calculus.  Yet Siemens cannot find employees that can do it.  And if you have been in a retail store lately, you will not be surprised by this statement.

Which brings me to the second problem, education.  The United States no longer educates the best and the brightest.  In fact, it is getting worse.  School districts cannot even send home paperwork that passes the logic test, begging the question of just what are they teaching our children.  But it is more than education at the elementary level.  It is also at the University level.  Current graduates do not seem to have the basic understandings needed to even compete in the business world, much less be successful.  They are unable to form complete sentences, their communication skills are lacking any depth of thought, and their attention to detail is lacking.  And it is a wonder why they are losing out to candidates whose first language is not even English?!

The economy is working just fine.  Oh there are areas where companies can improve things.   Increase vacations to keep people from burning out and actually costing more for health care is a good one.  Recognize that they are people and not just cogs in the machine and therefore replaceable.  Encourage useful training and interactions with peers for the sake of improving the business.  Forget about the quarter-over-quarter return model and actually focus on building a quality product, knowing that the business cycles will go up and they will go down, but a quality product is always in demand.

But in large part the changes that need to be made are more systemic.  And in that regard, the Nation is well and truly broken.