U.S. must bring back productive industries
by Richard C. Kreutzberg
Washington Examiner Letter to the Editor, 2011-02-04

George Mason economist Tyler Cowan explains our economic mess
by saying we poured too much of our discretionary spending
into education, health care and the banking industry
and by implication,
not enough in other sectors that have enjoyed productivity increases.

He’s right that the costs of our debt-based economy must come down,
but his analysis sidesteps the real problem:
Because of wage arbitrage,
jobs, plants and investment capital in other sectors have left America.
So what we are left with are the sectors that cannot be exported.

The only fix is to bring back those jobs and investments
through tax incentives, protective tariffs
and education reform like Germany’s.
Eighty percent of German kids
enroll in one of 380 apprentice programs rather than going to college,
the result being a highly trained work force and huge trade surpluses.

Richard C. Kreutzberg


U.S. manufacturing sees shortage of skilled factory workers
by Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post, 2012-02-20

HOLLAND, Mich. —

This stretch of the Rust Belt might seem like
an easy place to find factory workers.

Unemployment hovers above 9 percent.
Foreign competition has thrown many out of work.
It is a platitude that this industrial hub, like the country itself,
needs more manufacturing work.

But as the 2012 presidential candidates roam the state offering ways to
“bring the jobs back,”
many manufacturers say that, in fact,
the jobs are already here.

What’s missing are the skilled workers needed to fill them.


More Young Americans Out of High School Are Also Out of Work
New York Times, 2012-06-06

For this generation of young people, the future looks bleak.
Only one in six is working full time.
Three out of five live with their parents or other relatives.
A large majority — 73 percent —
think they need more education to find a successful career,
but only half of those say they will definitely enroll in the next few years.

No, they are not the idle youth of Greece or Spain or Egypt.
They are the youth of America, the world’s richest country,
who do not have college degrees and aren’t getting them anytime soon.

Whatever the sob stories about recent college graduates
spinning their wheels as baristas or clerks,
the situation for their less-educated peers is far worse,
according to a report from
the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University
scheduled to be released on Wednesday.
The data comes from a national survey of high school graduates
who are not enrolled in college full time,
a notoriously transient population that social scientists and other experts
had been having trouble tracking.
(In the two months since the survey was conducted,
a large share of participants have had their phone numbers disconnected
and could not be reached.)



Recasting high school, German firms transplant apprentice model to U.S.
By Howard Schneider
Washington Post, 2013-11-28

Where Factory Apprenticeship Is Latest Model From Germany
New York Times, 2013-12-01

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