Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Necessary Skills

In 2008, when Obama was the president- elect, employers had cut 533,000 jobs that November.  According to statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Obama administration will be turning over a significantly improved economy to president- elect Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, who are in the majority in both the House and Senate.

Trump will inherit an economy that has added 80 consecutive months of private sector job growth.  Last month, 178,000 jobs were added and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent from 4.9 percent in October.  Wage growth is now ahead of inflation, and the Federal Reserve is prepared to raise the benchmark interest rate when it meets later this month.

Nevertheless, tens of millions of Americans feel that the recovery has passed them by.  Regrettably, people without skills have been suck in low-paying positions with fluctuating  schedules, as well as, nonexistent security and benefits.  Family breadwinners, who had held well-compensated manufacturing jobs were forced to settle for lower-wage service jobs, or no jobs at all.

Fear, anger and anxiety, especially among the white working class voters, was an important factor that helped Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to win their elections.  Last month’s jobs report had shown that more people dropped out of the labor force than had joined it.  Manufacturing jobs had declined, and there were many part-time workers who would have preferred to be full time.  The official jobless rate for high school graduates fell to 4.9 percent, which was more than twice the rate for college graduates.

Workers, who have recognized the negative impact of globalization were able to take advantage of advances in technology, and began to develop the necessary skills.  Workers with the right skills, and able to relocate are in demand.  Thriving business need them.


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