Friday, June 17, 2011

Skills Shortage Sham

Structural unemployment - a location mismatch between market demand and skilled workers - is a favorite talking-point of the capitalist, business, conservative cabal. As some direly refer to it, the skills crisis.

With 1 job opening for every 4 unemployed, laborers are hardly in a bargaining position. Most workers, especially is this economy, will take any job they can get. And, if one has a highly-demanded skill during an economic downturn, it stands to reason that he/she would command an appropriate wage in the marketplace. The idea of structural unemployment fails rudimentary logic (as an explanation for the majority of our unemployment).

Enter Scott Walker.

This structural unemployment myth allows corporations to keep taxes and regulations at bay. It allows them to avoid paying living wages. As always, unemployment is the governments fault. Or, at least, the government is supposed to provide subsidies, tax breaks, and job training to help "correct" this market disequilibrium.

This has nothing to do with the fact that these same companies, that can't find skilled workers, want to pay inadequate wages for such skilled work.

Conservatives blather on endlessly about the magic of the market, its efficiency, and the iron-clad law of supply and demand. So, keeping supply and demand in mind, what should happen when there is a high demand for a specific skill, yet only a small supply? The price (wage) of the persons possessing such skill should increase. If local companies have the audacity to claim the skilled workers they need are not available, the first question which should be asked is, "What are you paying?"

We don't have a skills crisis.

We have an unemployment crisis. We have a jobs crisis. We have a wage crisis. We have a progressive taxation crisis.

For Further Reading:

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