So, what should Americans be retraining for?

What errors are to be found Ross Eisenbrey’s statement, if any?

And what is there for America’s 15 million unemployed and countless more underemployed to retrain for?

The statement “When you have five people unemployed for every vacancy, you can train all the people you want and unfortunately only one-fifth of the people will get hired. Training doesn’t create jobs" is looking pretty darned accurate.

Theorize and debate all you want, but show your cards. What do 15 million Americans retrain for in this economy? How do they get a job?

They’re short of truck drivers again. They almost always are.

You didn’t really want an answer, I know, but it’s true. The shortage went away for a bit in 2009, but they’re again short of drivers. Have been for years. Though it can pay well, it’s not a glory job so they don’t seem to attract enough talent.

Here’s an easy way to make sure every job has one applicant: keep cutting the proposed pay for thr job until four of the five people don’t want to apply for the job anymore.

Voila, by the OPs logic, full employment! Right? Right??

I want an answer. But can an answer be given?

  1. Okay, so we need truck drivers.
  2. How many truck drivers do we need? Compare that to how many Americans don’t have jobs.
  3. After #2, now how many unemployed do we have left, and what can they retrain for?

You may not think this is important, but state Governments whose tax revenues are sagging into crush depth see it as a very important issue.

Reading between the lines of that article, it looks like these retraining programs are training people in skills that stand almost no chance of improving their employment outlook. We should be retraining for the jobs that show the most growth. We should make ourselves aware of what those jobs are and go get the training ourselves.

Thanks for the trucking idea.

What do you want us to say?

Theres not a lot of easy answers when our economy is losing all the labor intensive industries to countries with low labor costs.

Americans might be the most productive people on the planet but not by enough to justify their high wage level. This is true of almost every industrialized nation on earth.

People on welfare here live better than 2/3 of the world’s population, literally.

China and India are coming online and there is going to be significant displacement while they make room for themselves. They don’t want to be the low cost labor suppliers to the world forever but for the time being, if you have a job doing something that can be done in China or India, you are fucked over the long run. The best we can do is come in for a soft landing with a little bit of protectionism.

Nothing. There aren’t jobs to train for in the US. Renewable energy is nice, but are there enough jobs in there to justify it? As for health care, many programs have a cap on how many people can enter, so retraining is pointless as there is already an oversaturation of people who want to apply for and study medical program XYZ but can’t get admitted.

“But you can start a business instead of work for someone else”

Yes, you can try. But many small businesses are going out of business. And those businesses have had years of experience to perfect the trade, pay off the equipment, learn the tax law, build a clientele, etc. Not everyone wants to go into debt to enter what is likely an oversaturated market where even people with more skill, talent and experience are struggling. Plus credit is supposedly still tight, and not everyone wants to go into debt and take additional risk during this time when there is already so much risk.

I for one am shocked that Obama is giving pretty speeches about doing what is right instead of what is popular, then turning around and pursuing plutocratic, inept, tepid solutions that don’t work because he doesn’t want to deal with rocking the boat.

You could most certainly say the retraining programs are aiming people in the wrong direction.

Now let’s take a look at the kind of jobs that are coming up.

We’re seeing a lot of high paying jobs being replaced by lower-paying ones.

The consequences of this?

And that is for the 1 out of 5 Americans out there who can get a job. There are still the other 4 who, as math dictates, cannot get a job (because one does not even exist).

This thread exists for one reason: people keep talking about how America needs to adapt to the new economy, and part of that adaptation is retraining. What no one wants to openly admit is the real problem if everyone retrains for this “new economy” a LOT of Americans will still be without work. We’re like Europe now. Well, we always were, but now it’s becoming harder to shuffle around the numbers to make us look better.

No one wants to talk about the fact that we have settled into a permanent game of musical chairs. On steroids. Someone - a lot more someones than before- is guaranteed to lose.

Damuri Ajashi: it’s unlikely that, despite most Americans wanting it, we’ll get any protectionism - solely because of the rabidly anti-democratic use of lobbying money by the Koch Brothers and the US Chamber of Commerce. Instead what’ll happen is the ballooning deficit and overwhelmed social safety net will join forces to critically devalue the US dollar. Then they’ll wish we’d chosen protectionism. My suggestion to you: grow apple trees and get to know your local farmer.

Once again, the Family Circus has already covered this

Obama has had a keeper slapped on him. :smiley:

Seriously though, all Presidents and most politicians have plutocrat handlers. Some, like Bush, come into office with their proverbial collar slapped around their neck years before. Others, like Clinton, get the collar slapped on them afterwards. (Like right before he signed NAFTA, which he opposed vehemently before he was elected.)

These same plutocrat handlers have slapped a leash on Obama.

If you start with the assumption of plutocrat handlers in the backroom, as much a conspiracy as it sounds, you can accurately predict everything Obama has done and will do, and you can also explain most if not all of what Clinton did. And it’s not so far fetched: you would be surprised at how easy it is for the captains of industry, motivated to protect their interests, can use their billions to take control of ANY politician.

Except, maybe, Bernie Sanders…

Most job growth will be in the service sector or health care.

The problem, again, is that most of those jobs are either low wage/low benefit and possibly part time (aka many service sector jobs), or if they are in health care could have caps on how many people can apply to training programs. The programs to become a physician or nurse are extremely competitive, and most people aren’t going to be able to make it.

My problem with Obama is that many of us (myself included) were dumb enough to think he actually meant what he said on the campaign about taking on plutocratic interests in the financial and health care industry. The naivete of youth.

There is a really funny campaign ad Obama did in 2008 about Billy Tauzen, complaining about backroom deals and lobbyists, then he invites the same guy to the white house for a backroom deal giving tens of billions in deals to pharma for not opposing the health reform bill.

It does not appear that training is necessary. Currently we need to bring in over a million additional immigrants each year to fill all the job openings. Over a million new additional immigrants each year, year after year, all seem to get jobs, and for the most part, most of the millions of new immigrants are not really trained, nor do they have job skills, nor are they educated. If millions of uneducated, unskilled, untrained, third world immigrants can continually find jobs, then those jobs must be out there.

Bottom line: we seem to continue to have an abundant surplus/over-supply of available unfilled jobs, and the evidence says that those jobs don’t need training.

What I think is Obama did go in with the intent to take on these plutocrats.

I also believe that they engaged him in a head on political battle backstage and took him down, hard. They have something on the entire Presidency, or even the country, that is bad enough to cow anyone into submission. Blackmail ain’t a conspiracy; but it could be any one or more of many things the moneyed elite use to keep control of the country they wish to control.

In short I do not know of anyone you could put in the Presidency that they can’t put a collar on. If I was up there they’d have an absolute hardhead like me assassinated. One has to wonder about Kennedy…

Are you sure about that?

Edited: to add a 2nd link from 2010.

The trend you are remarking on in your quote is due to the fact that medical schools are hyperselective to the point of absurdity. There needs to be many more doctors than there are. They need to be paid less than they make. Since medical education will not budge, the necessity is causing other medical professions perform what has traditionally been MD/DO tasks. They’re just new names for the same thing being paid at market levels. You are completely misinterpreting the quoted section.

Yes, it is difficult. Our economy is changing and it continues to change. I am looking to be without steady work soon, should I just shit my pants and give up? The only choice is to retrain or take a hit while getting any job at all.

Here’s what I got from the table: while retraining to get a computer science degree, I can take jobs as a security guard to supplement my income and provide me with hours of downtime in which to study. looks promising. Thanks.

Good grief. Well, I guess that since the recession will go on for ever, getting worse and worse, and since there will never be a recovery, there is really no point in retraining for jobs, since there will be less and less jobs until, ultimately everyone in American (except Rich Fat Cats™, Top Hat Wearing Capitalists(aar) and the like) will be unemployed. Let me use my vast powers of prognostication here…the answer is…it’s coming to me…wait for it…waaaaiiitttt for iiiiitttttt…the answer is…massive tariffs geared toward countries that use cheap labor (but not Europe, Japan or Canada) and and outlawing outsourcing and offshoring! Am I right??

Or, maybe it’s that we are in a recession right now (well, not technically by the definition of ‘recession’ I guess)…a pretty nasty one. So, until we aren’t in a recession anymore, companies aren’t going to be hiring back all the folks they laid off when the recession started. And folks in the building trades, or related industries are pretty much fucked…we had that housing bubble after all, so in much of the country they aren’t exactly looking to build a bunch of new houses at this point. Retraining is great…it’s a good idea if you happen to be in an industry that is totally slumped and that has little prospects in the future, but the thing is until companies start re-hiring or expanding you would have to choose what to be retrained in very carefully. You’d have to look at not only what’s hot in the jobs market in your area, but try and predict what’s actually growing in your area, or in an area you want to move too…which can be very difficult, since it’s going to vary quite a bit depending on what region you are in and how hard hit that region was.

So…there is really no answer to the OP (he didn’t really expect one…it’s simply a platform for him to launch another discussion about how we should be imposing steep tariffs and outlawing outsourcing and offshoring, and how the Chinese are kicking our asses and will end up owning the country because they know how to impose tariffs and protect their industries and get their workers to work at slave wages and…er, well, not that last part). There is no job category that is going to be a sure fire winner for all Americans everywhere to retrain for. And with the country still in recession mode, if not actually in a recession, companies are simply not hiring back at the volumes needed to get all those folks who lost there jobs when the recession hit back to work. The only thing that will ACTUALLY get those folks back to work is for us to get out of the damn thing and start recovering…and I don’t think that’s going to happen tomorrow.


Clearly, they should be retraining as Pick-up Artists.

Tax cuts for the rich don’t lead to jobs for the unemployed. When employers only hire people who already have jobs and years of specific experience, there is little point in learning a new skill.

When Barack Obama was inaugurated his approval rating was close to 70 percent. Then he should have done what Roosevelt did: he should have raised the top tax rate and hired people at government expense. Those people would have spent their pay checks on goods and services. The need to supply these goods and services would have induced employers to hire more people, lowering the unemployment rate further.

Instead, Obama forced through a health plan most Americans do not seem to like. This was his critical mistake, and the one that may prolong the Great Recession, and the Republican ascendancy. This is how much corporations care about American workers. They are using business Visas to send workers from India over to do jobs Americans should do. The Visas are not to be used for that purpose.