Rather than comment on the mid-terms, which already are being over-commented, here are a few thoughts on the off-shoring of jobs in America. It’s an issue of interest to Left and Right, but I think one not being discussed in the correct context.
Frankly, the answer on off-shoring of jobs may well be that we continue to educate a citizenry for, and then employ them in 19th- and 20th-Century manufacturing and industrial jobs that our technology and economy have outgrown. In not educating for tomorrow, which we most certainly do not, we accept that we must import thousands of H1-B folks from countries that actually care more about their future than about putting band-aids on their past and pretending fancifully that equal outcomes are achievable or even desirable (they are not because they only can be achieved at the lowest common denominator).
We OUGHT to be producing at our level of economic development. We are a post-industrial society and should be educating kids FOR, and employing people IN post-industrial companies.
Economic advancement is fairly well-understood. Agrarian -> Industrial -> post-Industrial (“information”) economies. As a nation moves from one economic level to the next, education and jobs must follow, or that nation has stagnated and WILL be bypassed by other nations continuing to advance.
We OUGHT to be driving-forward IT innovation, medical inventions, communications and other high-tech jobs and research and invention/innovation, and we OUGHT to be educating our citizenry for those jobs. We OUGHT to be creating and filling post-industrial jobs, and transferring the jobs of an industrial economy to those nations that have advanced into an industrial economy from an agrarian one. That allows those nations entering the industrial world to continue THEIR economic progress, and to shift some of their earlier work to agrarian nations, helping THEM progress. In order for this to happen, however, WE must advance PAST an industrial economy. If we do not, China and India WILL, and America will be left-behind in the 21st Century and beyond.
Why don’t we educate, train and employ for a post-industrial economy? Why do we continue to yammer about the loss of heavy industry to industrial economies from our post-industrial economy?
Simple: We badly educate our citizens. We educate them for an industrial and even agrarian economy (Summer vacation was set to enable kids to help with the harvest and remains in that schedule), and we have unions demanding that politicians keep an economy we ought to have outgrown by now. Worse, the education we do provide is horrendous – in content, depth and duration.
America is not advancing our economy – and the entire world is paying for it through the lack of what American could have – and should have – been by now. Instead, the world awaits another nation to pick-up where America left-off when we let unions and bad teachers undermine our future.
By not advancing we are allowing innovation to stagnate until another nation reaches our level of economic development – and then continues ahead while we play at somehow remaining in an industrial AND post-industrial world at the same time. This is as silly as those demanding stone-age tribes found in New Guinea be “allowed” to remain in their stone-age state as though these human beings are museum pieces who don’t hope for better medical care, easier lives, lower infant mortality and the like.
The future is going to happen, with or with out unions and industrial-age policies in the most advanced nation on the planet. America either can participate in that future – or not. So far, since Baby Boomers took the reins of power in the 1970s and 1980s, and since public sector unions have become the drivers of too much labor and social policy, we have chosen to stagnate.
Will the adults re-take the reins and move us forward? Or will we be passed-by?
People can pretend history is over, but they are only fooling themselves.
The world is moving on.