MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

September 26, 2008

A Job Is Not A Job (or Not All Jobs Are Created Equal)

Global Warmers and greenies talk about how all the high costs (read "taxes") will be off set by the tens of thousands or more new jobs that will be created by the "green" industry. Frankly, I don't understand why progress has to cost soooooo much more. Didn't the industrial revolution make products cheaper? But I digress…

Other economic events too have claimed to be offset by new job creation. It doesn't really matter the cause of the economic situation. Even now news reports have X or Y thousands of new jobs added every month or year.

Taking the big leap that numbers provided are accurate, that X-thousands of new jobs were created, is for all intents and purposes, irrelevant. Why? Because one job is far from being easily replaced by another.

For example, if someone spent 20 years working as a fabricator in a metal shop gets laid off, sure they might be able to get a job at Wendy's down the road. But I'd hardly call that an even swap!
You can't take someone who has worked 15 or 20+ years in an industry and say "For the greater good your job is being forever eliminated. Here's a job at Wal-Mart. Now shut up and be happy!"

First, there's the personal factor. Someone who has spent 15-20 or more years or more working in a given field is an expert at that field (at least I hope so). They are probably middle-aged, say late 30's to early 40's. It's a hell of a thing to tell someone at that stage in life to forget everything they knew and start relearning all over again.

Second, there's the economic reality of the situation. Someone 15-20 years into a profession is probably near the upper end of their job's pay scale. They are in their peak earning years. And peak spending years. They may have a house to pay for, new car(s), kid's college to fund, and many of the niceties of life like vacations, a big TV, a pool, maybe a boat or motorcycle etc etc. Why not? They earned the money! But now you knock them back down to entry level they will get entry level pay. How well do you think someone like that is going to be able to afford a mortgage? Pay for kid's college? Just pay the bills associated with a house and kids? And what about saving for retirement (or the future in general)? How much do you think someone at tossed back down the pay scale will be able to put into a 401k?

Under-employment (not being able to work to your fullest potential) is just as bad.

Like it or not – and I suspect many don't like it – a healthy and growing economy relies on people with abundant extra cash to spend. People who can barely scrape together getting by that week don't make an economy strong and growing.

On more thing: Taxes. Whether you choose to believe the truth or not (and many have their heads in the sand – or up their ass! – about it) the more people make the more they pay in taxes. So when you take several thousands of people, maybe millions, and drop them back down the economic ladder just for the sake of "saving the world" how much tax do you think they will be able to pay? You can't squeeze blood from a stone.

Having a job is better than not having a job. But a job is not a job. And not a future for America.

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