Monday, December 06, 2010


Unemployment in perpetuity?

Unemployment at 10% is caused by:

• population increase

• money concentrated in 'financials' instead of production

• dumping of foreign consumer goods on US market

• 2% of population has 25% of the wealth

• borrowing has lessened since subprime boom

• taxes favor financial losses

• foreclosures and devaluation of housing to pre boom levels

• credit card use is down due to increased standards

• cities and states are debt ridden to the maximum

• the federal government is debt ridden and in deficit spending

• insurance costs are out of control

• medical costs are out of control

• local taxes are up

Certain industries related to construction have been hit harder during the recession. Jobs overall are scarce, with work to be found in medical services and internet related businesses, among others.

The long term unemployed need to find new professions. I remember when the mines closed down and left many workers stranded. The government offered job training classes to these displaced workers, giving them a chance to get off the dole and back into the workforce. A friend laid off at the mine south of Tucson took this opportunity to become a skilled diesel mechanic. Why can't workers now be offered an opportunity to change professions?

A long term unemployed person signing up for this program would continue unemployment benefits. Success would continue benefits until the program was complete. Non attendance would cut off benefits.

Enrollment in programs should be limited to certain growing professions. For example, a program in construction management would not be eligible for funding due to a glut of workers in that profession. A program in website construction would be eligible because work in that area is growing.

A further caveat would require that the school providing the training would not be paid unless the student successfully completes the class, with a final payment due upon completion of the program. This would prevent the schools from getting the money upfront, which lessens their responsibility to the student. If the student fails, the school is not paid!

I think that the long term unemployed would leap at the chance at a retrain themselves and give themselves a chance in this new tight job market. The nation cannot afford to have 10% of our workers on the public dole and a simple program to reeducate these workers would give hope to distressed workers.

My program suggestion has several important aspects:

• Workers have a chance to reeducate and get off unemployment

• Schools have an infusion of students and money into their programs

• More money is circulating