(* Editor's Note: This post is about American workers' job skills, but we just wanted to call Ted Cruz an ass...because he is...like most in the Tea Party.)
Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas (seen giving a speech on C-SPAN last night) said Obamacare was forcing businesses to offshore their manufacturing to China (although this has been happening since the 1970s); and a pundit on MSNBC said today that manufacturing workers who had lost their jobs to offshoring had failed to acquire new skills --- like those in the tech industry --- even though those jobs were also offshored. (These are the same people who our running our country and reporting on the economy!)
Howard Foster writes, "President Obama was once asked by the wife of an unemployed engineer why the U.S. allows H-1B visas for engineers and other high-tech workers when so many are unemployed. The president seemed remarkably ill-informed in responding. He said, without citing any statistics, that businesses tell him they cannot find enough engineers."
But this kind of anecdotal evidence is usually misleading. Obama should have known that there are many unemployed engineers. In fact, the U.S. Census had put the number at 1.8 million.
The editorial board of the New York Times writes, "There is a durable belief that much of today’s unemployment is rooted in a skills gap, in which good jobs go unfilled for lack of qualified applicants. This is mostly a corporate fiction, based in part on self-interest and a misreading of government data."
It seems that many media pundits, bloggers, radio hosts, lobbyists and politicians are trying to convince the general public that over the course of 19 months (during the Great Recession, from December 2007 to June 2009) 8.7 million workers suddenly lost their jobs skills.
But many of them (especially if they are over 50 years old) have PLENTY of job skills --- a LIFETIME of jobs skills. The simple truth is, Americans don't lack job skills, they lack jobs --- and it's not because they lack job skills: "We need an economy that matches the needs of the population, not economic elites that ridicule the American population for not fitting into the dystopia that they engineered."