Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Training Day

In last weekend's Weekly Address, President Obama continues pushing different aspects of what he calls his "Opportunity Agenda." This week's opportunity is training workers.

The President opens by noting that businesses have created 10 million jobs since the economic crisis of 2008 and that the United States have recovered more swiftly than any other nation.

With his recovery in full swing,  he suggests that "Now we have the opportunity to ensure that this growth is broadly shared."

This assertion follows that claim made in his address the previous week that most of the benefits of the recovery have accrued at the top. It true, this is a damning admission coming from an administration dedicated to "fairness."

He adds:

"Our economy grows best not from the top-down, but from the middle-out. We do better when the middle class does better. So we have to make sure that we’re not just creating more jobs, but raising middle-class wages and incomes. We have to make sure our economy works for every working American."

Does this even mean anything?

Increasing middle-class wages and incomes, desirable as that may be for everyone in the middle-class,  is not growing the economy. The basics of an economy are the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Growing an economy requires businesses creating more jobs devoted to  production of goods or performance of a service. Shifting a companies expenditures from r and d, capital investment or marketing to increasing wages and benefits does not grow the economy.

As if he paid no attention to what he just said, the President asserts that among other things, that his "Opportunity Agenda" actually does include creating more jobs:

"My opportunity agenda does that. It’s built on creating more jobs, training more workers, educating all our kids, and making sure your hard work pays off with higher wages and better benefits."

Despite our recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, at least in the stock market and financial sectors, the Obama administration  has failed to deliver when it comes to jobs. Unemployment remains high and many Americans have dropped out of the workforce. That does provide the administration with the "opportunity agenda" of retraining all those unemployed Americans.

This week, Vice President Biden will release a report he’s been working on to reform our job training system into a job-driven training system. And I’ll visit a community college in L.A. that’s retraining workers for careers in the fast-growing health care sector. Because every worker deserves to know that if you lose your job, your country will help you train for an even better one.

Hopefully, this community college retrains workers as part of a state funded programs. Federally funded programs do not seem to work so well. And probably the best training consists of that given by an individual's new employer.

(Interesting, a new terminology has come about in these job training programs to describe people in need of training. Workers laid off from plant closings are now "displaced workers." Recently divorced women who worked exclusively in the home during their marriages are known as "displaced homemakers." Too bad in 2112 we failed to create a "displaced President.")

Ultimately--and predictably--the President returns to progressive economic regulations with unintended consequences that will wipe out any gains:

"In recent days, both parties in Congress have taken some good steps in these areas. But we can do so much more for the middle class, and for folks working to join the middle class. We should raise the minimum wage so that no one who works full-time has to live in poverty. We should fight for fair pay and paid family leave. We should pass commonsense immigration reform that strengthens our borders and our businesses, and includes a chance for long-time residents to earn their citizenship."

The last thing we need is more immigration. This only adds to the pool of unemployed persons looking for work and collecting benefits. And we do not need "immigration reform" to secure the border.

You have everything you need Mr. President--your pen and your phone.

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