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Letters: Jobs conundrum is largely our own fault

Posted: July 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Regarding the July 11 column, “The chicken-or-egg jobs conundrum” by Steve Lunetta:

Retraining for new-economy jobs that are generally nonexistent, or cut taxes to have businesses stimulate the economy?

Democrats and Republicans alike make the same tired claims about what to do about jobs.

There’s no real conundrum, no mystery here. The bottom line issue is simply that the U.S. is not producing goods either for export or domestic consumption because we have  instead become a net exporter of jobs, and that is far more of an issue of the tax breaks our government has allowed multinational corporations, voted on by Republicans and Democrats alike.

 The problem is not in the lack of skill sets for entry-level employees as you suggest, but in everybody the chasing the bottom line, striving to satisfy the shareholder mentality above all else that dominates business these days.

In the fields I know, technology firms say they want skilled employees who can “hit the ground running,” which is their euphemism for “we’ll hire anyone we don’t have to train,” but they don’t want to pay highly for those skills either.

Especially in the I.T. and engineering trades, businesses can get better tax breaks for importing cheap workers on H1B visas than they can for hiring within our borders. 

I think this far more insidious than the illegal-alien problem; while it may be true this could be a drain on services, they are here mainly to take the entry-level labor jobs. 

By contrast, we have a class of thousands of legal aliens taking the entry- and middle-level technology-based jobs, which were far better-paying than anything we pay illegals to wash our cars and nanny our children.

Worse, by wiping out entry-level jobs, you are mortgaging the future of the highly skilled jobs because, within a few years, there will be fewer entry-level people here to move up and fill those more technical jobs. 

 The egg is in fixing the tax breaks that allow good jobs to leave this country.

Forget slashing taxes, establish tax credits to keep jobs here, which would include having our government practice what our international competitors do by targeting key industries, and don’t stand down against the accusations of protectionism from our so-called allies; instead wait awhile, rebuild our economy and then watch them back down.

Do that, and you’ll have all the tax-paying, consumer-driven chickens you need to power this economy back up.

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