Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Obama Job Lies Pile Up

John Ransom

This is all you need to know about Obama's economic program to understand why joblessness remains so persistent:

The number one recommendation that the White House economic team and his jobs council – a council made up of the two top executives at GE and American Express- can come up with to jump start our economy is spending $2 billion on remedial training for our high school graduates.

It's true. This is even worse than the energy plan that Obama proposed that had no new ideas.

The training is necessary, they say, so those graduates can fill the millions of jobs available today in manufacturing.  Manufacturing what? Burgers and fries?

For the last week President Obama and his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness- a council that's supposed to be jump starting hiring- have been going around the country claiming that there are 2 million manufacturing jobs available right now that are going unfilled because the U.S. doesn't have the skilled workforce to fill those jobs.

It gets worse.

And they are making the pitch to spend $2 billion to try to remedy this problem.

It gets worse still.

"There are more than two million open jobs in the U.S.," writes Obama's Jobs chiefs Jeff Immelt (GE) and Ken Chenault (American Express) in the Wall Street Journal, "in part because employers can't find workers with the advanced manufacturing skills they need."

The Los Angeles Times cited the same figure on the 13th of June saying that Immelt's and Chenault's council would recommend to President Obama that the country "Develop training partnerships with community colleges and vocational schools to help fill what they said were more than 2 million job openings in advanced manufacturing in the United States."

Obama did a dog-and-pony show at a community college that teaches students how to work on hybrid vehicles to showcase this advanced manufacturing training. I covered the event in a previous column, Obamanauts Flunk Word Problem

The problem of course is that the 2 million advanced manufacturing job openings that Obama, Immelt and Chenault are talking about really don't exist.

Why doesn't it surprise me that Obama, Immelt and Chenault would feel perfectly comfortable lying to the American people about job openings that don't actually exist?

But wait, it gets even worse still.  

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Jacey Wilkins told me this week that the two million jobs they are citing are jobs that will become available in the next ten years due to retirements, rather than because of a drastic skills shortage.

But the skills shortage?

Yes, it exists, but it's not what you think.

In fact, NAM says they do face a skills shortage, but that's because we are graduating kids from high school without the basic skills to compete in manufacturing.

"84% of manufacturers stated that the K-12 school system was doing an inadequate job of preparing students for the workplace," says a NAM's Roadmap for Education Reform for Manufacturing

The only people who are surprised by this are people who hang around the White House.

Don't they send their kids to private schools?

Remember those public employees outside and inside the statehouse in Madison, WI and other capitols, protesting cuts in their Cadillac benefits packages?

Turns out now that we are going to have to spend $2 billion (and counting) to get our kids up to snuff just to be able to take over their parents' jobs in manufacturing because the protestors didn't educate those kids.

Go Team!

Turns out that there is a relationship between the quality of K-12 education and the ability to get jobs later in life.

No, duh.

Turns out that what they teach in school matters.

And our kids are going to need another course in summer school just to get jobs after high school.

And for that you can thank our teachers, Mr. Obama, Mr. Immelt and Mr. Chenault.