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  •  And I'd like to push back on the re-training.. (9+ / 0-) that's been going around

    Who's to Blame for Long-Term Unemployment? by Bob Burnett 5/10/2013

    There are two competing economic explanations for long-term unemployment.  Structural unemployment postulates long-term unemployment results from the changed nature of the labor market: it argues there are jobs available but the long-term jobless don't have the proper skills.  

    However, a recent paper by economists Edward Lazear and James Spletzer disputed this: "An analysis of labor market data suggests that there are no structural changes that can explain movements in unemployment rates over recent years. Neither industrial nor demographic shifts nor a mismatch of skills with job vacancies is behind the increased rates of unemployment."  Furthermore, the number of unemployed persons per job opening is high: "When the most recent recession began (December 2007), the number of unemployed persons per job opening was 1.8. When the recession ended (June 2009), there were 6.2 unemployed persons."  Currently the metric is 3.1.

    The second economic explanation is cyclical unemployment...  

    Who's primarily to blame:
    The primary fault lies with failed conservative economic policy.  Beginning with the Reagan administration, Republicans were guided by three malignant notions:  •elping the rich get richer would inevitably help everyone else;

     • markets were inherently self correcting and therefore there was no need for government regulation;

     • and the US did not need an economic strategy because the free market would fix our problems.  This ideology led the Bush Administration to ignore the housing bubble and Wall Street malfeasance and caused the great recession of 2008.

    Unfortunately, Republicans can't admit their philosophy was wrong.  They cling to Reaganomics and contend that government is the problem.  Even worse, Republicans have no sympathy for the unemployed...

     - emphasis added

    I know; preaching to the choir here but, I've heard a lot about re-training from the choir and its conductors lately and just wanted to say that it seems to me that, although learning new skills is a good thing, the more energy/focus that is put on the re-training meme the less is put into the structural problems we have.

    And the less energy and focus goes into the solutions we already know we need; a massive WPA program amongst many other solutions.

    Also too this re-training thing tends to bolster a RWNJ message that it is the workers fault somehow. That is just BS and very un fair to workers - imo

    We need investment in people not more blame piled on

    Thx MB

    - end of long winded rant

    •  The "training" meme (4+ / 0-)

      was a ploy to get more people to "go back to college", IMO.

      Which so coincidentally seems to be part and parcel of the "student loan bubble" that's just dying to be popped...

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Thu May 01, 2014 at 12:42:03 PM PDT

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    •  Re (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Structural unemployment postulates long-term unemployment results from the changed nature of the labor market: it argues there are jobs available but the long-term jobless don't have the proper skills.  
      This is a bit of a straw man.

      The real structural unemployment argument is basically that increased automation and more efficient processes have rendered many of these jobs completely obsolete (or massively reduced the number of people necessary), so there is nothing for the unemployed to do. We as a society only need so many people to work.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Thu May 01, 2014 at 02:27:43 PM PDT

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      •  Until the years of undone work that any person.. (0+ / 0-)

        ..can see by merely walking down any street, is completed, the automation argument falls flat. Used to be that a union construction job paid a fair living wage and there were plenty of them.

        There is more work that needs doing requiring every level of skill than one can shake a stick at.

        While it's true that there are some jobs which will are becoming obsolete with automation. Claims that automation gutting the middle class... That is the straw man use to greatly exaggerate a relatively small and completely curable gap in some labor sectors with targeted investments in future industries - renewable energy is but one of many.

         Repair, construction, and modernization of our society's many overlapping  infrastructure(s). An immense amount of work to be done - immediately if not sooner

         - imo

        •  Yeahbut office jobs have changed (1+ / 0-)
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          I too cringe at the theory that the unemployed need more training but in the field of Accounting, clerk positions have dried up due to electronic files instead of paper and automation of simpler tasks.

          A real life example -- in the US Gov the DOD now requires electronic submission of invoices in lieu of paper invoices mailed or faxed to a payment office.  Also paper payment files are no longer required so countless hours spent filing are no more.  And ERPs automate simple stuff like compiling a general ledger and financial statements.

          Does this mean everyone needs to go get an MBA? Nope.  But folks who were "accounting clerks" end up left out unless they can transition to more analytical positions.  Sadly colleagues who could not transition after what I thought was a generous transition period were let go as my Agency needed financial analysts not accounting clerks.

      •  Do you conservasplain everything? (1+ / 0-)
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        •  yes he does lol! (1+ / 0-)
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          I love dkos, but one thing I've noticed since I joined is that when people post political Republican talking points they get hr'd but when they repeatedly post obvious Republican economic talking points they don't.

          God bless people like Eric and MB who patiently and decisively refute them over and over again. It has to become a weariness of the spirit after a while.

          Maybe it's because Republican economic talking points are so similar to conservative Democratic economic talking points that it's hard to tell the difference lol!

          I'm not "that old" (54, ok maybe I am...) so it amazes me that the middle of the road Democratic economic beliefs I was raised with are now considered somehow left wing in my Party.

          •  Not even "left wing", (1+ / 0-)
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            I'd say, but out of the party altogether. So few Dems in office espouse 1970s (let alone 1960s)-era MOR Dem platform ideals that one must believe that those ideals no longer attract Democrat pols at all, despite their being majority-held desires in the public at large.

            "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

            by bryduck on Sat May 03, 2014 at 09:40:37 AM PDT

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