Robert J. Samuelson: This economy does not suffer from a labor shortage problem

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  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    May 9, 2013 2:15 p.m.

    All the catch 22's of the job market, you can't get that job until you've already had that job before and now you can't get a job unless you already have a job.

    And then those poor souls get judged by those around them like, "just get a job!"

  • anon46545 Dallas, TX
    May 9, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    The facts are now PROVEN -- corporations LIE for profit. There is NO "skilled worker shortage." Indeed there is an abundance of UNEMPLOYED Americans with every bit of smarts, skills, and education to fill any and all job openings -- past, present and future.

    Read the new study, “Guestworkers in the high-skill U.S. labor market: An analysis of supply, employment, and wage trends” by the American Economic Policy Institute for the FACTS. And search on “Cohen & Grigsby video” or "H1-B SCAM" for the reality of today's job market.

    This is about GREED, propaganda and the lobbying of foreign interests. These visa programs harm both our nation and citizens. And are destroying the nation's base of engineers, scientists and technology workers.

    Write your Congressman -- NOW.


    Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.

    -- Thomas Jefferson

  • U of U Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    May 8, 2013 11:14 a.m.


    "Working in IT, I would submit that there is an ongoing shortage of *ultra-productive* IT workers. "

    I agree completely that there is a a shortage of ultra-productive IT workers. I vehemently disagree that the H-1B program solves that problem. Instead, the H-1B visa exasperates the problem. The large majority of workers with the H-1B visa are the lowest in the categories that are used to rate them. Either that, or the visas are used by offshoring organizations. Almost all visas are used for these two purposes. Almost all workers with the visa are paid lower. "Better" and "cheaper" are conflicting terms. Given the oversupply of workers with the visa, the "best and brightest" move to other careers.

    By the way, in my experience, working a ton of overtime is a result of a lack of talent, NOT a display of talent. Novell's problems were at the marketing level, NOT engineering. Look at Microsoft now - they are being passed up by Google, Apple, and other organizations. Their cutthroat approach to work, with their ultra-competitive employee performance system that puts "employee against employee" is halting their innovation.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 8, 2013 6:14 a.m.

    @The Real Maverick "So where are the jobs?"

    Waiting out Obama's term of office, I'm afraid. A lost decade.

    Maybe *you* should try creating some jobs. See what it's like to grapple with the requirements of Obamacare.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    May 7, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    U of U Fan:

    Working in IT, I would submit that there is an ongoing shortage of *ultra-productive* IT workers. Anyone who works in IT quickly realizes that productivities between any two people of the same job title and experience can vary by up to 10 times, or more. The top tier talent can master technology and have an enormous impact.

    Back when Novell and WordPerfect were around, I watched Microsoft destroy them, through great marketing and hard-nosed business practices, but also because Microsoft cultivated a corporate culture of high-achievement, and the workers averaged maybe 60 hours a week or more, yet they were highly engaged and motivated. The good people who worked at Novell and WordPerfect, who were also scoutmasters, and parents, and involved in their community, really didn't stand a chance.

    So, IT firms are looking for the crème of the crop, to get that edge over the competition. The top tier often involves young, bright, up-and-coming IT talent, from India and other places.

    A lot of experienced IT people in the US are considered "re-treads". It's just the truth.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 7, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    So where are the jobs? After over a decade now of tax breaks and other hand outs the rich have yet to make good on their promises to create jobs. Where are they? We give them tax breaks, subsidies, and bail out their failures and what do we, the American people, get in return? Remember how that rising tide was supposed to raise all boats? Well, we are seeing the gigantic yachts of the super rich rising but most of our tiny sailboats, fishing boats, canoes, and inter tubes have yet to notice any increases. In fact, most of us have gone down.

  • U of U Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    May 7, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    "Among computer programmers, inflation-adjusted wages have remained flat for a decade, says a study by the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank."

    This proves that there is NO shortage of IT workers. Employers and politicians have been saying there is a shortage for a decade. But the employers and politicians want cheaper labor, not a solution to a mythical labor shortage.

    Therefore, we do NOT need increases to the H-1B visa. In fact, the cap on the visa needs to be lowered, not increased, to allow the unemployed/underemployed to gain employment, and to encourage college students to study computer science again.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    May 7, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    This country now has over 300 million people and counting. Question: Do we ever want to limit the growth? I worry that if we don't, we will in about 50 years become a country of some 600 to 800 million going on a billion. Do you think we can sustain that many people at the level of prosperity we have come to expect? I don't. The world has some 6 billion people in it (most from the 3rd world and growing) and you can bet that about 80% of those people would come to the U.S. if they could. To maintain a 1st world economy and country we have to take someting of a selfish attitude about just who and how many more of the worlds people we let in. Otherwise, we will find ourselves with a LOT more in the wagon than pulling it. In earlier days of this countries history, the Statue of Liberty saying of "Give me you tired, poor, hungry........" may have been a necessary sentiment. But I don't think it is practical any more.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 7, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    Even with the advantage on their side, availability of foreign labor, automation and technological advancement, Businessmen cheat in the market for human labor.

    They cheat by propagandizing lack of jobs when their real motive is low wages caused by creating an overabundance of labor.

    Coupling this with their fat bank accounts and their generic pledge to defeat President Obama and the democrats, Americans are in a very tight place.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 7, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    Well duh!

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 7, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    @Robert Samuelson "Today's crucial scarcity is not skills. It's confidence."

    Let's not pass any more legislation to see what's in it. In fact, now that we've seen what's in it, let's repeal.

    Socialism doesn't work.