By on October 17, 2015

 

Automotive News reported Saturday that several automakers are struggling to attract younger workers as young adults seem more disinterested with pursuing careers in manufacturing.

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Senior Vice President Randy Jackson said it’s important for the auto industry to soften the blow of reality when adulthood sets in:

“So many kids want to grow up and play in the NFL,” he says. “And college is a great thing, and it’s good to have a dream job out there. But if we can reach young people before they spend four years in college pursuing something that isn’t realistic, we might be able to open their eyes to something they will find very rewarding.”

According to the report, only 39 percent of children in Detroit said they would consider a career in the automotive industry and only 41 percent of their parents and teachers would recommend the industry too them.

Attracting and retaining younger manufacturing talent isn’t a struggle the automotive industry has on its own. As manufacturing jobs have left the States, so have interest in the remaining jobs. In 1953, manufacturing accounted for 28 percent of GDP in the U.S., but in 2012, that figure was around 11 percent. Many manufacturers say that students have the wrong impression of what assembly lines look like now.

“People still have the idea that manufacturing is a dirty dungeon place,” Andy Bushmaker of KI Furniture, told USA Today.

Several automakers, including Honda, have offered clinics and instructional booths to help attract workers. Honda has estimated that the U.S. will add 3.4 million manufacturing jobs by 2025, but will only have 1.4 million workers to fill those positions. In Ohio, the company has spent $1 million to attract middle- and high-school students to its jobs.

(Photo courtesy Wikipedia)

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185 Comments on “Automakers Desperate To Attract Younger Generation of Workers...”


  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Nobody works an hourly job unless there’s nothing better available to them. Kia wishes to talk them out trying for something better?

    And who besides Toyota and maybe Honda are in a position to promise future US unskilled employment in the auto biz?

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      I think Mr. Jackson was pointing to unrealistic careers–statistically, how well do American high school football players really make it into the NFL? And of the few who do, how many create a lasting career (retiring into coaching, marketing, etc.) to retirement age without spending themselves back into poverty?

      By “kids wanting to grow up and play in the NFL,” Jackson implies (correctly) that kids are blinded by fame and entertainment. Growing up, they need to be directed to more useful (and, on average, more lucrative) careers.

      Comparing that to a career in science, engineering, manufacturing and transportation, it’s obvious that jobs that do not feed entertainment and fame are, statistically, a better deal for people. If you find a successful career that pays better than what Kia has to offer, you probably know what you want anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Ford is doing a hiring blitz in Louisville, KY. And they are having a heck of a time getting younger kids to stay on the job. Most of these unskilled laborers will look back on their one shot at a very well paying job that they squandered.

      White collar and engineering jobs are also tough to fill. No one is willing to put in the time required to get these plants running. I have seen this in every manufacturing facility I’ve worked in. At first it’s discouraging, then you become numb to it. I am no longer surprised this country’s economy isn’t the shining diamond of growth that it used to be.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      >>> “Nobody works an hourly job unless there’s nothing better available to them.” <<<

      And there is the problem right there.

      Our K12 education system is pretty much designed as a feed chute for colleges and universities creating a sort of manufactured elitism where any job that doesn't require a degree or only requires training at a vocational school is viewed with utter disdain.

      Which is too bad as it contributes to the flight of manufacturing jobs from the US as well as vocational jobs like mechanic or machinist or plumber and electrician as they aren't considered a respectable profession anymore to educational inflation (a degree is now considered a diploma) which has created a sort of bloat where people who would otherwise do great in a vocational field and be entirely content are steered into getting jobs that require a degree and flooding those markets driving down wages for people who otherwise deserve more compensation for their effort.

    • 0 avatar
      callmeishmael

      Nobody works an hourly job unless there’s nothing better available to them. Kia wishes to talk them out trying for something better?

      Oh, nuts. I took an entry level machinist job in 1972, paid attention, and learned to program CNC machines. By the mid-80s I was making more than $24 an hour, straight time. My employers were making plenty of money at that rate. Then the outsourcing boom started and shops that were making money figured that they could make even more money by off shoring the work. Wages dropped by half in a matter of months. Though middle aged, I switched to IT and had a great second career.

      Manufacturing jobs were among those that enabled a person to own a home, a car, and raise a family on one income. That was the norm for decades. One might well ask oneself what changed.

      A couple of weeks ago I ran into the owner of a small, local machine shop here in town. I had worked at that shop years back. After an exchange of pleasantries, he asked me if I’d be interested in coming back to work for him. He wanted me back, part-time, full-time; my choice, even after I explained that I’d been away from the trade for years.

      We were sold a bill of goods by politicians who insisted that we didn’t need those nasty old manufacturing jobs because we were all going to sit at desks and use computers. Pols from both parties jumped on that one with gusto because they were told to by the people who own them. Not everyone can successfully switch careers as I did. Not everyone has a chance to anyway now.

  • avatar

    The government has done such a poor job with K-12 education, good luck attracting anyone with any talent.

    Unlike these socialist European countries which train children into adulthood to fill specific jobs, the American public school system is currently not targeting children for anything because most of our factory work is in Asia.

    THAT’S RIGHT:

    The decline of the American society is mostly due to the outsourcing of factory jobs leaving Americans to be nothing more than mindless consumers living off of welfare.
    Breakdown of the family was inevitable.

    Breaks my heart seeing people in import hybrids.

    What happened to Murica?

    • 0 avatar

      Other then the last two lines (well I agree the import thing hurts a little.) I’m going to have to agree with BTS here. The loss of our trained skilled manual workforce has not been good for America. In fact it’s funny that in some edge cases we even lose out on manufacturing jobs for low volume high end products to Europe and other areas because we no longer have the skilled workers here to produce the product instead of being beat on price.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      I’m with BTSR on this as well: the outsourcing of factory labor was a bad long term decision who a whole host of reasons. On the same note, we’ve done our entire society and culture a disservice by relegating general blue collar employment to “the lower classes” while pushing college degrees at all costs. As a result of that demand the price of college has gone through the roof and we now have an incredibly over-educated office drone workforce saddled with crushing debt.

      Mike Rowe, of Dirty Jobs and formerly Ford pitchman, has written a lot of outstanding pieces about this trend and what it means for the physical, moral and cultural fiber of the nation.

      This isn’t to say that factory employment is the be-all and end-all, but that we’ve effectively created a bifurcated America by exporting millions of decent paying jobs all in the name of globalization and the race to the bottom for wages. Not every job requires a college education, but it does require an educated workforce who can think critically and analytically.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Like a broken clock, it’s right twice a day. Consider this your one, BTSR.

      I actually support dividing kids up into different branch schools so we can send kids who work well in trades into a trade high school, others into a business/humanities high school, and others into a science one. There is no reason to be using a ‘one size fits all’ approach in our modern system where we can offer so much more. The key also is that all those schools still offer a solid liberal arts education for critical thinking skills but supplement it with their special classes.

      • 0 avatar
        hreardon

        Agreed, Xeranar: the one-size-fits-all public education system has done nobody any favors. In fact, what we’re seeing is that the public system has been, on the aggregate, dumbed down so much so as to service the lowest possible common denominator.

        Those with the means recognize the disservice and are moving to private schools leaving the public system with the bottom end of the spectrum.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          The worst part is the private schools aren’t really teaching anything ‘better’ but because the kids with means become connected they simply forge the bonds of networking much sooner and carry them up to college and into the workforce. We’ve gotten our little nomenklatura (the russian word for the general class of people with power within the party).

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Americans that went to school in the ’50s had the 2nd highest literacy rate in the world. As collective bargaining took hold starting in 1959, Americans that attended school in the ’60s fell to 3rd in the world. Since then our public schools exist for the teachers unions instead of the students, and the decline has been dramatic. Don’t pretend to be pro-union and pro-education. It’s embarrassing.

          • 0 avatar
            nickoo

            CJ, that’s ridiculous. I’m not saying the following is a good thing or a bad thing, I’m just stating facts. Let’s place the “blame” for America’s failing education on the extremely politically incorrect place where it belongs:

            The further division and diversification of society from the immigration reform act of 1965, and forced integration (a failed experiment).

            Take away the test scores from minority schools where blacks and latinos make up a majority of the students and our test scores are still near the top, only outpaced by the Germans, Northern Europeans, and Northwest Asians. As Europe becomes more diverse, there test scores are going to start falling too, and then only the homogeneous cultures of Northwest Asia will have high test scores.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Sorry CJ, fantasies don’t work on people who can’t see them too….

            World bank data puts our literacy rate at 98%, that ranks us behind countries with 99% & 100% (North Korea claims 100%…so yeah…). But the rankings are so useless considering how we’re shaving a literal percentage point difference. Never mind that several of these countries are using varied standards or outright lying (Russia & North Korea are obvious).

            Never mind that teacher’s unions have been common since the turn of the 20th century and the largest teacher’s union (National Education Association) has been in existence since 1857. Most of the individual local teacher’s unions have been in place since the 1920’s though. Another swing and a miss. Don’t embarrass yourself with trying again, you didn’t get a single fact right.

            http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.ADT.LITR.ZS

          • 0 avatar
            hreardon

            I won’t disagree with the networking aspect of private schools; For those who take advantage of those networks, it gives one an invaluable leg up on everyone else. But let’s be honest – social networks of any type give you a leg up because that’s how humans are hard wired: you’re more prone to associate with those with whom you share some kind of connection. Especially when hiring, these kinds of connections help you cut through a lot of unknowns.

            That said, I live in an area that has some exception private schools and I would argue that the massive advantage they give their kids has nothing to do with money but everything to do with the support system and parental pressure that helps to mold these kids, set high expectations and standards and push them to live up to it. Blanket statement, I know, but at least in my little cosmos experience bears this out.

          • 0 avatar
            MrGreenMan

            Google has led you astray, Xeranar. The teachers unions changed in the 1960s.

            My relatives who were public school teachers between the early 1930s and the early oughts (so several generations) date to the early 1960s in a change of the National Education Association from being more like the AMA to being more like the AFL-CIO….because it was lived experience.

            http://www.nea.org/home/1704.htm

            The NEA national itself dates their transformation to a labor union to the 1960s and their ATA merger. They were about professional standards and professionalization of the teaching job before that; they were about advocacy and representing the trade before 1960; after 1960, they were about labor organizing.

            Teachers were only allowed to strike relatively late. In Wisconsin, they passed the first law allowing them to strike in 1959. Before 1959, the NEA could not act as an AFL-CIO-style labor union, because the teachers would just be fired and replaced.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            @Mrgreenman – Google? Not even close, i was keeping it simple. The NEA dates back that far, teachers formed local unions back in the 1930s. If you read what I wrote the largest Teacher’s Union is the NEA. I see how you can misconstrue that to mean the NEA was like that. But back in the 1930’s teachers began to form labor unions and the NEA combined with the largest to protect them. Once the wagner act was signed a great number of labor unions formed.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            The truth lies in my original post. Teachers unions were mostly harmless until collective bargaining by public employees started to become legal circa 1960. Since then, they’ve been as good for the quality of our public education as the UAW has been for GM’s cars’.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            hreardon – I’ve seen the same thing as you describe first hand as my kids went through private elementary school. The standards and expectations are higher and so are outcomes.
            My sister works in the public school system at a high school level. She stated that her fellow educators loved kids from our private school. They were academically superior and were polite and respectful.

      • 0 avatar

        “Like a broken clock, it’s right twice a day. Consider this your one, BTSR.”

        I’m sure you’ll find my contributions to TTAC this week…quite remarkable.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      We still have the best craftsmen in the world. You just have to look for them and – you will pay premium dollars for the products. Get furniture from a craftsman, and your old furniture won’t be going to Salvation Army – your kids will picking out the pieces they want when you’re gone.

      Bennet Street School Alumni are a good source when you want the best:
      http://www.nbss.edu/alumni/alumn-websites/index.aspx

      For glassware, there’s Simon Pearce in Vermont.

      In Massachusetts, we’ve invested money into vocational education. We have a number of excellent votec schools. The problem is that it’s expensive and some communities don’t have the money. Even here, the vocational schools are supported by multiple towns.

      http://www.essextech.net/

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        mcs, right on! In the cost no (or little) object arena, American products excel. Medical equipment, premium furiture, high end stereo, electrical/electronic equipment, aircraft, military equipment, generators (ONAN/CAT, not Generac)….these products are the world standard. Only in consumer grade products is the US non-competitive. I hate to say it but BTSR is correct in his original comment.

        The idea of a manufacturing or blue collar job being a non starter is not a recent phenomenon. When I graduated high school in the early 80’s, only two of the 199 graduates went directly to work..everybody else went to college. I was never given the opportunity to even consider anything else.

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        MCS,

        Connecticut as well has a pretty extensive vocational high school system as well. My best friend was trained as a machinist that way.

        Still makes more money than I do as an IT Consultant with an associates degree. Though I’ll have my bachelors in a year and should surpass his wage. But, he is not doing bad at all.

        I find in New England in general we have a strong emphasis on education. I guess it goes back to our Puritan roots and the emphasis on education.

        I just moved south after living in the Hartford area and the so called Knowledge Corridor. I didn’t realize how many schools we had until I moved south.

        Also, down here we are also kind of lacking in the high quality small businesses you’ll find in the sticks of New England.

      • 0 avatar

        Yes we do make some wonderful stuff here. I would argue in the middle of the last century we were starting to be viewed in a similar light to Europe for some luxury and high end goods(well except for cars) At some point we lost some of that, yes we are still at a much higher level then most of the world but not as good as we should be.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      @BTSR

      European workers are not better off than American workers, despite lots of education. Furthermore, the manufacturing empires that are stealing our jerbs were not built on education. Education is a red herring to allow educators to demand more funding, above and beyond the record budgets they already demand.

      Compulsory public education is important for maintaining a functional democracy, but the quality of public education is not strongly correlated with economic performance in the OECD.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      BTR,
      I really do believe your comment is quite incorrect.

      The easiest way for the simple in our society is to whine and blame all but themselves for deficiencies.

      The rest of the world is also facing declining employment in manufacturing. As I noted below the Chinese alone have lost 25 million manufacturing jobs since the late 90s. So, it isn’t just “Murica” as you term it. The EU and Australia are facing the same challenges.

      Sticking you head in the sand with your outlook can only damage any progress required for the US. You can’t expect to live on the past glory of the US’s success.

      Over the next two decades will see major changes and challenges in the way we work and live.

      The Luddites, like yourself, living on past glories will lose and the more progressive and innovative will win.

  • avatar

    Manual labor has been demonized for decades. So is it any wonder we have this situation?

    Ya reap whatcha sow, boysngirls. And what we’ve sown is unsustainable, but it sure gets politicians elected and lines the pockets at our colleges and universities.

    • 0 avatar

      Agree our system is biased against this kind of work even if it is a good fit for many.

      • 0 avatar
        hreardon

        Not only is it a good fit for many, but as my wife, a very liberal school teacher says: “the bell curve exists for a reason”.

        Point being, not everyone is a unique, special, gifted individual who will make a six figure salary and live in a posh neighborhood. Not only that, there is a large segment of the population who don’t want the stress, responsibility and risk that many top performers deal with on a daily basis. There are millions for whom a safe, 9-5 M-F job is what they’re cut out for.

        Our country has effectively cut them out of the equation.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          hreardon, that is exactly it. A good economy offers employment for all kinds of people, skill sets, education, etc. We have effectively eliminated many options, leaving only the attempt at a high jump, or a drop into despair. In fairness, though, one could also say that the kid who simply followed Dad’s shoes into the auto plant may have been able to become a researcher or doctor had they had the push to excel in school and go to college. No easy answer, but it is safe to say that this country must be able to offer all types of jobs, for all types of people.

    • 0 avatar

      Liberalism

      Notice how all of these “intellectuals” have ED degrees and PhD’s in subjects that make no difference, produced nothing and add nothing to society .

      They want you to call them “doctor ” after they ran out hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt getting a doctorate – which they can’t repay .

      Kind of makes the college dropout simply went into automotive mechanic work look like a genius .

      Also mostly the parents fault for preferring that their child go to some big-name school that they can’t really afford when their child could’ve simply going to a vocational school and learned a trade .

      Now we have to import all of our engineers and doctors .

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Who demonized it? I’m pretty sure you’re confusing ‘I want an easier life where I don’t stand 8 hours’ with lying and hating it. Never mind that it’s conservatives who heavily fought for deregulation to break the backs of trade unions and when they won the globalization battles, happily cheered as manufacturing moved off shore while publicly poo-pooing over those ‘blue collar supporters’ that never supported them in the first place.

      • 0 avatar
        hreardon

        At the risk of escalating things here, Xeranar, both political parties have been complicit with setting up rules and regulations that support offshoring and importing cheaper labor (H1Bs for the technology industry).

        Regardless what the talking heads say, this is by no means an ideological battle whose lines are clearly drawn. Clinton and Bush I backed NAFTA and Chinese free trade. You’ve got a small cabal of industrialists and financiers who are making this push, not necessarily the Republican or Democrat parties.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          …and those who seriously opposed such measures were ostracized (Perot) or conveniently died young (H.J. Heinz III, 52, James Goldsmith, 64). Its a big club and you ain’t in it.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          Oh yeah, the Democrats did some damage to this but free market neoliberal economic theory is the bread and butter argument of the right. It’s not escalating to admit your side has warts just as long as you understand the other side is a leper. ;)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            There are no “sides” per se, one party, one rule. You’re either on the capstone of the pyramid or you are not.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            I would disagree with that assertion. There are strong keynesians in the Democrat party (the Warren wing as they’re known) that certainly want to end the neoliberal ideology. It’s really an American thing though….We’re the weird free marketers who believe the world is better when Corporations run it for us…

          • 0 avatar
            hreardon

            By and large, the free market works just fine. What both parties once again forget is that little fudge factor called human nature.

            Let’s take the financial services industry as an example. By its very nature it attracts personalities which veer into the definition of sociopath. Take a bunch of alpha personalities who are told they’ll eat what they kill and these guys will go out and do whatever is necessary to bring home the biggest prey. Give them the keys to the hen house (government) and they’ll kill every chicken in the coop if it brings them a greater windfall. These are the people whom you set a goal and let them loose.

            On the flipside you’ve got a large portion of the populace who follow the old adage that most people are lazy and will put forth the minimum effort necessary for survival.

            Good government should keep the sociopaths in check by setting boundaries (no, you cannot leverage yourself 1,0000x cash earnings) and setting up incentives to keep people off of social assistance, with the exception of those who are are legitimately infirm, incapable and otherwise would be considered wards of the state.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            hreardon, your comments on this thread have been much appreciated.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            hreadon – This is something I see so often in my students that I can’t help but point it out. What you just stated ‘Free markets work fine’ and what you said when you explained it are two totally different concepts and apply in totally different ways. This is why catch all terms like ‘free markets’ and ‘socialism’ get to have negative and positive connotations regardless of what people are actually saying.

            What you advocated for in the most limited form is a moderately aggressive keynesian economy. Free Markets don’t exist and never have and if you’re advocating for any attempt to ‘stop’ those sociopaths you’ve already exited that advocacy point.

            It’s why when I give the side-by-side definitions of capitalism and socialism to students, about 1/3rd will confuse the two because it’s what they want capitalism to be (that is, socialism). You came to that same conclusion without necessary the most aggressive market control structures.

          • 0 avatar

            ” Free Markets don’t exist and never have ”

            Check out marijuana dispensaries in Detroit, though the City Council just passed an ordinance regulating them. Right now, it’s probably as close to a free market as one will find. Customers seem to be benefiting from the competition. When there’s another dispensary less than a 1/4 mile down the street it keeps prices down and service high.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Mixed Economies and social democratic systems still have markets. They just aren’t free and they still allow for competition. Once again we’re using a term to cover a very large set of concepts and then demand it to conform to a very narrow idea. You can have a large competitive market that is regulated and developed within a socialist system. Look at the Scandinavians, Germans, and other European systems. None of them are ‘free markets’ in any way but are still competitive market systems.

            Even if we focus on pre-20th century markets there was still regulation, either by order of the kings or governments. They weren’t as even or effective but they existed and for sure there were limits set on how those markets operated.

        • 0 avatar
          baconator

          H1Bs explicitly do *not* allow cheaper labor, and in practice H1Bs do not reduce labor rates. The employer supporting an H1B application has to provide documentation that the salary rate is the same as would be paid for a candidate with citizenship.

          I’ve hired dozens of direct reports on an H1B over the years and it was always after conducting a broad-net search and choosing the H1B candidate as the top pick.

          If you don’t hire technology employees it’s hard to explain just how amazingly difficult it is to find *good* people, as opposed to merely *credentialed* people. And yes, the entrance requirement s to IIT Bangalore are vastly more stringent than entrance requirements to the average US college CompSci program – it’s more on par with a top 10 US school.

          • 0 avatar
            hreardon

            Xeranar, you’re right – after I posted that comment about free markets I re-read what I wrote and realized how muddled it was.

            You’re absolutely right – free markets have *never* existed, and when they have, you end up with situations like Lord of the Flies or modern day Somalia. Free markets of the Randian dream only exist when the entire populace recognizes the moral, ethical and ramifications of ones’ actions. It’s as much a fantasy as Marxism.

            The broader issue is that one cannot have the nuanced discussion that is truly required to fully understand these concepts.

          • 0 avatar

            I find the h1b1 thing interesting. My wifes uncle works in the IT department of a fortune 100 company, one of my neighbors also works there. They both told me the company has systematically laid off older well paid IT staff/ and programmers and replaced them with H1B1 workers by corporate edict. They said the higher up’s don’t even try to hide the fact that it’s a cost saving measure. My wife’s uncle is a supervisor for one of the IT groups his entire staff was laid off and replaced by H1B1 workers over the course of 3 years (15 people) he tells me their pay is on average 30-40% less then those they replaced. He also states these positions were never advertised in the US which appears true he showed me on the careers website for the company the dearth of programming positions despite the fact he knew of least 30 open positions at the time. So wile there may be rules they appear to be oft ignored.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            I’ve seen H1bs with lower pay than their co-workers. They complained that they were stuck because they were in effect barred from jumping to another company. I’ve also seen weird excessive requirements in job postings. Not sure if they were there to artificially create a shortage or maybe just due to an inept personnel dept. One example was a PhD required for a PC repair position. WTF?

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        @Xeranar

        Manual labor is demonized with the dog-whistle “low-paying jerb”. It was used to vilify Rick Perry when he campaigned for president in 2012. He had no retort because he’s an idiot, but that’s another subject.

        Low-paying jobs get workers into the economy, and they create high-paying managerial and directorial positions. Manual labor has been demonized for a long time, along with states like Texas who create lots of low-paying jobs.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          TW5,
          What you stated above is true.

          What is needed is a compression in the salary/wages structure in the US.

          This will create the dwindling middle class.

          The American middle class will not just go out and find a middle class job, if they don’t exist.

          People tend to consider what has been historically rather than what is occurring now.

          Just because someone has a degree over a person with some trade qualification doesn’t entitle them to a better life.

          I do recall reading an article where is is deemed any successful economy’s workforce will comprise of 70% high earners and 30% low eaners.

          But the low earners should receive a livable income. Then remove the welfare.

          You seem to begrudge social welfare on one hand, but don’t want the unskilled to earn enough to be off of welfare.

          It doesn’t add up, or will the US be full of people earing $100k a year.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            I begrudge American social programs. Our bureaucrats are idiots, and our liberal politicians are cut from the same Machiavellian cloth as the sickos who created the vote-buying welfare state in the 60s and 70s (LBJ/Nixon).

            The lower-middle class pay lots of tax. Not just FICA tax, but also imputed taxes on the stuff they buy. We can either find a way to relieve their tax burden or we can try to create a middle class welfare state like most of the OECD.

            Our government is staffed by the refuse left behind by corporate recruiters. We have no tradition of social policy, and our middle class generally hates paying taxes. Our course of action has already been decided, but half the country clings to the bogus idea that the country is changing and our entitlements are not really a human rights catastrophe. It’s killing us.

  • avatar

    Plenty of people want hourly work. Not every one is suited for a 4 year school and an office job. But they do want a good paying job. Here in CT many of the manufacturing jobs are paying around $18-24 and hr for skilled labor. To tell you the truth I went to a 2 year trade school (was accepted at several universities in engineering but decided I didn’t want that kind of job) and I currently work as a sales manager for a small company. If it paid the same I would go back to working with my hands hourly. I hope to start my own company someday so I can in fact. People don’t always want what you think. I have a friend who was top in his class in a private school went to college got an engineering degree couldn’t stand it and now works for a landscaping company. People are strange in many ways.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      mopar –

      EXACTLY.

      Close friend of the family is one of the most talented contractors I’ve ever met; His speciality is plumbing and the guy pulls in a solid six figure salary with nothing more than a high school degree and a few years in the Navy during the 1960s. The man has exacting dedication to his craft and a work ethic that is unmatched.

      • 0 avatar
        Joss

        Plumbers very involved. More than your average public crack might realize. Long period as journeyman or trade apprentice. You have to understand about mathematics and gas amongst more apparent aspects.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          Very YES to plumbers!

          Plumbers and electricians are the EMTs of the American Dream.

          But they *do* need to be self-employed to avoid the corporate meat grinder.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Fantastic point. The picture is also a great point for all anti union folks.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      “Everybody wants the corner office, but nobody wants to build it…” Sad that we’ve made decent, honest work a thing to be ashamed of. We’d rather march folks off to college, load them up with debt and then send them out to hopefully find the $100k job instantly upon graduation. Ironically, some of the “smartest” people I’ve ever met didn’t attend college, learned a trade/skill and went out in the world to do good/great things. But then, those folks aren’t on TV driving Ferraris and owning McMansions, so who wants to grow up to be somebody like that…

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    For kids who qualify for college, it’s too late, and possibly for many others. Even college professors have to be careful grading students who fall to pieces if given a C grade and have to be counseled by school counselors. I used to walk six blocks to my elementary school in first grade, but today there have to be enough standing spaces at the curb for parents to pick up their 6th graders, and they have to be adjacent to the school, not across the street. What kind of workers would such hothouse flowers be?

    • 0 avatar

      I walked about half a mile to kindergarten. The neighborhood was arranged in blocks, and I can remember figuring out that I could take different routes from the one my parents originally showed me.

      My fifth grade teacher, after she moved to NYC, let her kids take the subway alone from when they were eight or nine.

      I’m not sure how the 39% of kids in detroit who have thoughts about going into the automotive industry relates specifically to becoming hourly workers. If the figure refers to becoming hourly workers, specifically, it sounds extraordinarily high to me. And given the troubles of the US automotive industry, 39% thinking of going into any aspect of the industry seems high.

      The car industry would draw more hourly workers if they gave them a greater sense of being valued, and of having responsibility. My recollection is that in Japan, the workers don’t get laid off when times get lean, because they play a part in insuring quality (and that’s probably true of Honda in Marysvale, and some others).

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        DCH, nice assessment of the overall employment picture in America. But we must keep in mind that employees are just that; employees. They’re not owners nor shareholders. They’re worker bees.

        Employees take none of the risks that owners and shareholders take. In order to get your plan, of valuing employees and giving them responsibility, to work, we would have to implement ESOP by having them participate in ownership of the company and giving them their bonuses in company stock, and/or allowing them to buy stock (like Wal-Mart does).

        How many “employees” are willing to share in the employer’s losses?

        • 0 avatar
          hreardon

          HDC –

          Couldn’t agree more.

          Cousin was recently made partner in his law firm. As he puts it, “my staff don’t understand that all I’ve done is add risk to my compensation.”

          Worker bees commented on how nice it must now be to get “those big quarterly distributions”, to which he replied, “sure, when there is a profit. You do realize that when we’re short on cash the partners are the first ones to go without bonuses or who defer their paychecks, right?”

          Leaders eat last, at least in the small business world.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Not braggin’ nor complainin’, but there were many many times during my life as a contractor that I netted less than a hundred bucks after paying my workers and my materials.

            Yeah, as a business owner, large or small, you eat last, and on occasion you’re forced on a diet and forced to skip a meal.

            Toughest times for me were mid-2009 through 2012. Man, money was hard to come by!

            Ah, that was a long time ago. I’ll never have to go back to those days again.

            I have been promoted from the working class to the leisure class.
            Life is good!

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          ….How many “employees” are willing to share in the employer’s losses?…

          They do. It’s called being laid off.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Laid off, or being collectively bargained out of their jobs.

          • 0 avatar

            Like Husky said. There is risk for everyone. Unless you invested your own personal money in a company (not money you got from investors or have in loans against the business) The Business owners personnel risk isn’t much greater then the employees. Yes if your a good employer you eat the loses before your employees (and if your working on a fixed bid and something goes wrong and you have contracts with your employees you have to pay them first) but I have seen many employers fire their staff to avoid giving them selves paycut in a lean month.

        • 0 avatar

          @highdesertcat

          Some of the Japanese companies have done a good job of getting employees to take some responsibility without giving them ownership of the company (Toyota foremost, and Honda). And there’s a Harvard-affiliated hospital near me that operated this way and did a superb job of it–people loved working for it–until it was forced somehow, I think, to merge with another hsopital. Long ago, maybe in ’92, I wrote an article on this.

          But I’m all for ESOPs–which ***can*** be the ultimate in this sort of thing. But giving an ownership stake to large numbers of employees, and empowering the workers by giving them responsibility for their the work they do are not necessarily the same thing, and the former without the latter may not make all that much difference, whereas the latter withut the former is what made Toyotas and Hondas so reliable.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            DCH, yes, that’s true, but most of them aren’t American companies, schools or business, hampered by union demands for never-ending increases in pay and bennies.

            I’m sure that there are SOME exceptions among American employers but there can’t be many, based on the unhappiness among the great unwashed hoi polloi.

            Which brings us back to the underlying issue of automakers trying to get young people interested in going to work for them. Automakers do have that dilemma, but so do all the other employers in America.

            Young people today feel entitled, feel that society owes them, and for those of us who had to claw their way up from where they started to where they are now, we are rolling on the floor laughing, nay howling, out loud.

          • 0 avatar

            HDC I’m not sure you can blame the unions on this one. Unions are at an all time low in the US I believe Japan may have a higher percentage of union labor then us.

          • 0 avatar
            Monty

            HDC – but the millenials didn’t learn that behaviour in a vacuum. WE gifted that entitlement to them.

            My mother oft repeated this: “When a child misbehaves, they’re not at fault for not being taught otherwise.”

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “Young people today feel entitled, feel that society owes them”

            Said my old man 45 years ago.

            Nothing’s changed about today’s young people except the deletion of a prosperous future for most.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            mopar4wd, Monty, RideHeight, thank you for your input.

            It brought to mind what my oldest son said to me a long, long, long time ago, when I attended his Commissioning ceremony that made him a gentleman by Act of Congress, “Damn dad,it’s tough to be an adult.”

            You see, he was now forced to lead by example in all aspects of his life, both on- and off-duty.

            Monty, your mother was right. But the lack of a work-hard ethic in children is not misbehavior if the parents themselves were slackers.

            No wonder kids today are ill-prepared for the real-world bullying and discrimination that exists. You can’t legislate that away.

            Employers know which people are keepers and which ones are losers.

            We are each observed and evaluated each and every day in everything we do. That’s why employers now ask for access to an applicant’s Social Media account.

            When my kids and grandson transitioned from the military to civilian life, they were offered jobs by the US government that they never even knew existed or applied for.

            Often civilian employers will underhandedly lure an outstanding employee away from their current employer.

            Happens all the time. No one brings that to light.

            All we hear about is losers whining about the lack of jobs in America, or not being paid what they think they are worth.

            I take exception to the whining because the keepers have no problems finding and keeping work, or work finding them, and paying them exactly what they are worth.

            The losers? Well, they whine about not being able to find a job, or about being underpaid, or whatever. Just to cover up their own inadequacies.

          • 0 avatar
            hreardon

            Agree with Highdesert – I’m trying to hire for two entry level positions that have virtually unlimited upside potential. The resumes that I’ve received so far lead me to believe that everyone worth hiring is already employed.

            My last two hires in the past year have been outstanding: neither attended college, but both demonstrated an incredible amount of grit and determination to improve their state in life. The result is two superstars who, if they keep it up, are going to displace me much sooner rather than later.

            That’s the kind of person I want to hire.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      and you walked up hill both ways! IN THE SNOW! WHEN YETIS WERE REAL AND THEY ATE SMALL CHILDREN!

      Seriously, I know TTAC skews older than dirt (ok, probably closer to mid-40s…) but you didn’t have it that hard and this outrageous meme that ‘students can’t handle rejection’ is silly. Every year I give out failing grades and while I get the occasional whiner most students that get those grades never show up to class.

      Grade inflation is a problem but only because corporations and the need for further education has made the already too large labor pool fight for the best jobs so anything less than a 4.0 puts better minds out of the running because they didn’t remain perfect in every way.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        No, X, you had it right – older than dirt – by your standard of experience. I began first grade in 1954. I and my twin sister were accompanied by an older sister the first week, and then were on our own walking to school six blocks, uphill (one way), and sometimes in the snow/sleet/rain (Massachusetts), but we had nifty yellow “slickers” and rubber boots for those days.

        I’ve had younger people doubt that cars still had tube radios until the early ’60s, but a little googling will inform them the first inexpensive, mass-producible transistor was available in 1957. Kids today wouldn’t know that, and that you had to wait several seconds for the tubes to warm up before the radio came on. But if you’re really a teacher, you should know better than to doubt that people probably decades older had different experiences growing up than you had.

        My parents were in their 40s when I was born, my father was born in 1904, 9 months after the Wright brothers successful flight, before radio, the Model-T, and the Panama Canal existed. I learned a lot talking to them and their contemporaries. You should be doing the same – and recommending it to your students. You would learn that our modern high tech world is far less than a century old, a couple generations, and that just ninety years ago, most people were living pretty much the same way their ancestors did several centuries earlier.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          I don’t doubt the different experiences, I just doubt their broad spectrum assertions about the current generation. Their parents felt they were soft because you (in 1954) was likely riding on a paved road, in a fairly modern car, and probably had a TV (or were within a few years of getting one). Your children probably grew up on the verge of Cable TV, basic computers, and calculators cheap enough to use every day. I grew up a bit after that, living with the early Web 1.0 and all those fun things.

          It doesn’t mean we’re all atrocious losers who hate working because in all honesty you and your children (if you had any) actually faced a much better and blooming economy where jobs weren’t being outsourced and we dominated both manufacturing and most other fields. Wages were still increasing regularly and frankly the system was very Keynesian that kept college affordable and built a better system. Your generation moved to the suburbs and really divided society and my generation has to deal with that.

          I don’t resent you, I just don’t like getting lectured when the evidence is plain as day that my generation has to work harder than you and the Gen Xer’s, in fact we’re closer in model to the Depression/Inter-war generation in our economic model.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      >>> “but today there have to be enough standing spaces at the curb for parents to pick up their 6th graders, and they have to be adjacent to the school, not across the street. What kind of workers would such hothouse flowers be?” <<<

      That's largely paranoia on the parents part created by the attitude that pedophiles and kidnapers lurk around every corner. Its safer now than any time in the 60's or 70's but people are convinced we live in an almost lawless society filled with predators of all sorts.

      Its probably also driven by overly aggressive child welfare as well. Many of the things my parents did while I was young – I walked to school after kindergarten and when both my parents had to work around the age of 10 I got off the bus and took care of myself ( I learned to cook simple meals on the stove at that age) until they got home which would be considered child abuse these days it seems.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        My former school solved the helicopter parents issue by putting the buses between the school and the general lot. Between 2:45 and 3:30, no one short of emergency or school vehicles is allowed in the bus parking. If anyone had objections, they were pretty quiet about them. That’s usually how it works in MN.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        >> That’s largely paranoia on the parents part created by the attitude that pedophiles and kidnapers lurk around every corner.

        My kids were close to their elementary school and I drove them, but it definitely wasn’t because we were afraid of kidnappers. The only way to get to the school was along a narrow winding country road with a 35 mph speed limit (typically exceeded) and a history of cars losing control and plowing into the stone walls that line it. There are some sections of that road that I won’t even walk – especially in the winter. I’ve actually witnessed three of the accidents and helped try to rescue a driver once.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    I have to agree, manual labor has been demonized by many people for years, however back in the 1980’s many companies began outsourcing manufacturing jobs to countries like Mexico and now China. So it’s not too hard to see why a lot of younger people want these kind of jobs. And don’t forget about automation and the effect it’s had on the work force.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      China is becoming less compelling by the month as the cheap labor dries up, government regulations (esp. environmental) start pushing costs up and as more companies realize that logistical and quality concerns aren’t going away.

      The shift toward Mexico is speeding up if for no other reason than as China gets more expensive, the logistical, language and governmental headaches make Mexico look that much more favorable.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      johnny ringo,
      You seem to be a whinner, who blames all but yourself for your woes. Grow up.

      Jobs are off shored, but the US is no different than most other nations in protecting industry, from agri and manufacturing.

      You seem to not realise that if other nations that you trade with become wealthier, the US will become wealthier. How? Because they have more to spend on US exports.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Yep, China is certainly making us rich by buying American built cars, computers, phones…wait, the opposite is true and youre once again spouting off without the facts you need to back up your opinion (because those facts dont exist).

        Why would China buy a real American product when there are 20 Chinese knockoffs that are 75% cheaper? China is buying Buicks…that are not built here. So, they contribute to the bottom line of American automakers, but that does not mean its helping our unemployment situation or our economy in general. I suppose the argument could be made that without China, GM wouldve folded aleady and thus American jobs wouldve been lost. But, they are not adding jobs in our country as you suggest.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          John,
          You don’t need to sell consumer goods to be an exporter. Just because the US doesn’t sell the Chinese goods doesn’t mean there is no trade of value.

          Look at Australia, we are not a manufacturing nation, but we export quite a lot. Not just minerals and agri products either, as they represent less than 15% of our economy.

          We export education, technology and business.

          The US does the same. The Chinese doesn’t export these like we do.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      ” And don’t forget about automation and the effect it’s had on the work force.”

      Bingo – automation, even in China, is eroding the manufacturing job base.

      The reason? Look at your right hand, resting on a computer mouse. You (and I) use it to buy a product for the lowest price possible. Corporations respond to this trend by seeking the lowest labor cost possible, which means outsourcing to facilities with either the cheapest labor, or the most automation.

      I have attempted to reverse this trend in myself by buying American-made products (jeans, shoes, socks, even a frying pan), but these are niche products.

      I recently bought a Chevy Volt, which I decided to buy when the car was priced (before federal and state rebates) $10,000 less than when I first considered one (in 2013). Though great for me, I’ll admit that the purchase may not have made the case for continued production in Detroit (luckily, the new model should pick things up dramatically; at least I hope).

      So, it’s “click, buy, watch the middle class disappear”.

  • avatar
    EchoChamberJDM

    Perhaps the latest VW diesel cheating scandal is evidence enough of why you don’t want to be an engineer at a car company. The execs call all the shots, make all the money, pay you peanuts, give the engineering teams limited budgets and them you get all the blame

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    Well, good luck on attracting a younger generation of workers for jobs in America. With a labor participation rate of less than 68%, why bust your @ss going to work when you can stay home, watch TV, play games, and get money fer nuttin’, MedicAid, cell phones and food stamps fer free!?

    Over 5 million advertised jobs in America are unfilled as of yesterday.

    OTOH, unlisted and unadvertised jobs where employers selectively and actively go after an individual they want to get them to come to work for them, is at an all-time high success rate. The keepers are much in demand. The losers and chronically unemployed, not so much.

    Raising the pay of autoworkers is counterproductive since it will only result in the pay for skilled/tech workers to go completely through the roof, along with the cost of rice and rent.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      You’ve been riding that statistic for so long and you’ve been wrong about it the whole time I mind as well take the time to set you straight on it.

      The labor force participation rate has ALWAYS been around 60-68% because it includes: Retirees, the infirm, the mentally ill, our nearly 3% of prisoners, and those who cannot and do not find work. The chart itself can verify that we peaked in the mid-90’s mainly because two very large generations overlapped for a short time (Boomers and Gen X) and since then has declined to actually 62%. This means that basically Boomers are retiring and Gen Y is large but not in charge, with the back end of Y still in High School and just over a majority are now past college age.

      Presuming that those 5 million advertised jobs were where 5 million unemployed people are is statistically unrealistic and completely simplistic to the point of stupidity. The highest regions of unemployment are in rural zones and inner-city urban centers. The majority of jobs are for skilled and educated workers. We have a skill-mismatch that makes filling them harder not to mention who wants to take a job either below a living wage (which atleast a 1/3rd of them are given the distribution of living wages and wage standards) and thus get locked into a position where they’re working 40+ hours to lose money or the job is paying a living wage but below the industry standard, so again, why take a job as an engineer making 10K less than what you’re worth when if you wait a bit longer you can get that 10K and guarantee you’ll earn it for the years you serve. It’s a situation I faced early on, I could have gone tenure track at a smaller school in Illinois and guaranteed a permanent position making about 60, I held out and landed a better job with tenure making closer to 80K because I knew that if I settled for that I was leaving a big chunk of change on the table.

      People aren’t as nearly as stupid as you presume, HDC or atleast aren’t as willing to confuse ‘honor’ with stupidity. Working for somebody where I go to work to lose money is worse than just sitting at home applying for work and waiting out the low-ballers offering a job at below any reasonable rate.

      For your perusal (Since 28 feels I don’t share enough links):
      http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat01.htm

      EDIT: Original link to interactive table was broken, here’s the static one. Same results.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Nice link. In my experience a *person* is intelligent but *people* are stupid and easily led.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Just to counter Xeranar’s lies, the labor participation rate was 66.4% in 2007 and is at 62.4% and falling today.

          There’s your reduction in unemployment under Obama: People give up.

          http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

          I hope you live a long damned time, Xeranar. You deserve to see what you’re agitating for come to pass.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Congrats, CJ. You managed to agree with me and still can’t figure out your own damn statistics…good lord, you’re a tragedy.

            Don’t worry, I’m 31. I’m statistically going to live another 50 years, long enough to see HDC and you both be dust and your party along side you. :)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I find statistics and demographics very interesting but as Mark Twain said:

            “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

            @Xer

            You’ve said some intelligent things and although we may not always agree you have my respect. Personally as three years your senior I am going to seek other futures before the demographics take effect. I figure I have ten years.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            @28 – I’m not going to lie, I don’t like working in Large N stats heavy work because it does become a battle of ‘well, it’s X but is X good, bad, or inbetween?’

            I much prefer small N case study work because then I can use theory to work towards my goal so it’s easier to argue a model but harder to prove it has large-spread relevancy.

            I appreciate the respect and it’s mutual being we’re both from the Burgh but because you do back up what you say far more than some others. :)

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Xer, I was referring to Jonathan Gruber’s definition of Americans being stupid. AFAIK, the labor participation rate is defined as those people Eligible to work, not retirees, the infirm, mentally ill, prisoners, etc. Maybe that has changed during this administration, idk.

        Then again, my sources are what I have heard and seen on CNBC and Bloomberg, probably some of the most ingenuine left-leaning sources of the media.

        Nice link, thanks. Enjoyed perusing it.

        Re: the automakers looking for new recruits and the 5million job openings in the US, it is what it is whether you agree with my assessment or choose to white wash the reality of the real America like so many leftists choose to do in search of their nirvana.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          Yes, and to inform you: Eligible to work is anybody over the age of 15. It’s not the ‘unemployment’ rate which has been finessed and largely only counts those who are collecting benefits as of this moment. The labor participation rate (which has hovered within 55-68% since the oldest relative generation has been alive) counts everybody. It’s an oversimplified metric that isn’t really worth a lot but it’s great to stare at like tea leaves. So it’s been measured the same way since the BLS founded it. It’s become a Republican talking point because it sounds HORRIBLE if you don’t understand what it means and they intentionally deny what it means.

          If you’re claiming CNBC or Bloomberg is left-leaning, you have a lot to learn. All financial channels lean to the right, their money is made in Wall Street ads and revenues. There is no reason to support Keynesian economic theories when neoliberal ones loved by conservatives will make their pockets fuller.

          RE: It sounds like you got crippled by my logical argument and you can’t even go down quietly. Why don’t finish moving out of the US already and leave politics behind since you were the biggest welfare collector of all?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            tsk, tsk. jealousy, jealousy. Enjoy paying for MY earned benefits.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Don’t worry, I do. I also enjoy knowing you’ll be dead and my views will rule the country. Don’t confuse me calling you out on your ignorance as jealousy. Then again….maybe you’re just getting senile? That would explain most of it.

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            “Don’t worry, I do. I also enjoy knowing you’ll be dead and my views will rule the country. ”

            Classy.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            JD23, I thought so too. But a little shortsighted IMO, since we all die. It’s not a matter of IF, but of WHEN.

            To me, life is a journey, and you only pass this way once.

            Rather than b!tch, p!ss and moan about the unfairness of it all, I strove to make the most of it for me and mine.

            I lost more often than I won, but looking back, I did alright, considering where I started to where I am today.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Americans are not sitting around on Medicaid and Welfare. Reagan is not president anymore. SNAP is a dumpster fire, but SNAP doesn’t allow you to sit around the house. It’s an ag subsidy.

      The disinterested workers are under 30 years old, and they live in their parents’ basement. Boomerangs, not Welfare Queens. We can cut Welfare and Medicaid to $0, and we won’t do one bit of good for the Boomerang generation. Besides, Medicaid is basically just Medicare Part II. Most of the budget is spent on long-term care for seniors.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Did I read somewhere that 42% of Americans are on food stamps? How come I missed out on that? Maybe because the program did not exist when I was young and poor and had to hold down two jobs to make ends meet.

        I don’t believe that seniors are actively looking for work, do you? And if someone has paid into this system of benefits all their working life, they should be entitled to get everything they deserve. I don’t begrudge anyone who has earned what they got the old fashioned way, by working for it.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          Current SNAP started in 1961, it was originally conceived of and used during the great depression though. The current numbers are 46 Million plus are on food stamps/SNAP. That amounts to 14.5% of the population or less than the poverty rate in this country and about the same percentage that was on when your vaunted heroes of the right were in office. In fact, Ronnie reduced it only to face the fact that people were starving to death and a generation of children were suffering the consequences.

          We’re not replacing good jobs with good jobs, the tamping down of wages after 2008 created a serious issue and the leftist government you hate hasn’t been running the country since 1994-2006, they briefly held full control for 6 months but your right-wing fanatics have hogtied every other effort to change the system. So please, I know we disagree but can you atleast face basic reality that those people were actually in office?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Such is life in the real world. Really. No nirvana. Just hard work, never enough money.

            Been there. Done that.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Of course, HDC. Keep up the moral economics argument. That’ll win you points with these trogs but out in the real world where you never actually were things are harder and you have to use things like…Facts…to win arguments. But thanks for playing. :)

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Awww, those terrible evil Republicans trying to stop everyone from being successful. Are you kidding me with this crap? This administration has done nothing but swell the government, pursue its own agenda and forced socialist programs we did not want down our throats. Dems had the house, senate and President for how long? And couldnt find the time to pass a budget.

            Im betting youre one of the idiots who thought there was nothing wrong with “we have to pass the bill to see whats in it” and youre okay with Obama being a puppet for left wing loonies like domestic terrorist Bill Aires. Im sure you figure its perfectly okay for him to sit under “G D America!” Rev Wright for 20 years and then pretend he had no idea what was being said when it came out and was unpopular. You libs have let so much slide in the past 7 years, it isnt funny.

            If George Bush sneezed, it was analized and talked about for months on end, but let Obama drop the ball on damn near everything and its all okay, just brush it aside, nothing to see here. Who cares about Bengazi? But lets talk about a 30 year old DUI because THAT is important. Who cares if Muslims are murdering Christians, gay people, or anyone else they dont like all over the middle east, but if someone prints a joke in France, well, thats a travisty and shouldnt happen, and Obama has to tell us all how wrong it is. Not that its wrong that they got murdered for it, its wrong that they printed it.

          • 0 avatar

            Xeranar, HDC,

            Please try to attack only ideas, not each other.

            @JohnTaurus

            You missed what I consider to be one of the worst things O actually did: hiring as his Domestic Policy Advisor Cecilia Munoz, a former VP of the open borders group, La Raza.

            O’s justice department went after Arizona and Alabama for passing and enforcing immigration laws which mirrored what the Federal Gov’t is supposed to be doing. And left sanctuary cities and states alone–which clearly flout Federal law. And continues to leave them alone–and on Tuesday all the Democrats (and I’m a Democrat) will probably vote against a bill that would take Federal money away from sanctuary jurisdictions.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            DCH, New Mexico is one such sanctuary state.

            But we’re helping illegal aliens move along to the Eastern and Northern Blue States by giving them drivers licenses, bank accounts, car registrations, and the like.

            I sold my 1988 Silverado to an illegal alien family who now are working in a Nebraska meat-processing plant and making an excellent life for themselves. They send much of the money they earn in the US, home to Mexico.

            Since NM is one of the poorest states of the nation, most illegals quickly move on along I-25, I-40 and I-70.

            The inflow is never-ending but it has slowed down somewhat with the better job opportunities provided by the maquiladores and carmakers in Northern Mexico.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          Seniors are actively looking for work. Their labor force participation numbers are skyrocketing, but their grandkids are discouraged and dropping out of the labor force. Not good for entitlement funding. The under-19 demo, specifically, is in serious trouble. They are forecast to be destitute and unemployable by 2025, with labor force participation below 22%.

          The numbers underline one of the biggest problems with our entitlements. Social Security and Medicare, retirement programs, keeps people in the workforce by subsidizing their income and healthcare. Welfare and Medicaid retire people from the workforce at an alarming rate, as if they were retiree benefits.

          It’s flagrant, but voters have no clue, and they keep giving more benefits to working seniors with tax-subsidized 401k. They keep kicking kids out of the work force, and teaching them to borrow their way into the economy.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            TW5, where do you live? In MY area all we have is a great influx of retired people from the East and West Coasts coming to our area. And they are not looking for work. In fact they want to get away from work, the farther, the better.

            In a way it is nice. It is great for our rental business. We also hope that all those low-wage earners living in our apartments get enormous pay raises, but regardless of whether they do or not, we keep raising the rental rates on them every year.

            Not being mean, just practical. Everybody else is raising the rental rates as well.

            Not many young people here. No jobs. So they find their workers paradise somewhere else, or boomerang back to home.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Henry Ford paid his workers $5 a day, a ungodly “communist” sum of money at the time. Henry Ford single-handedly built the american auto industry. He might have known something about the benefits of paying a fair wage.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Henry Ford had to hire 5,000 people every year to fill 1,000 jobs. The work was so grueling, people quit on him, and it was getting difficult to hire five people for one job EVERY YEAR. He wasn’t being altruistic, just practical, and it worked. People he hired stayed longer, and he had only to hire five people to man two jobs for a year. Progress!

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    In case of Detroit the problem may be related to the fact that the old farts get tier 1 wages and the new (younger) workers get Tier 2. Whose dream consists of becoming a second class worker?

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    Build a new factory, call it a start up and the kids will be lining up to work there :)

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    A large percentage of jobs have been lost not by offshoring but by automation.
    I do agree that there has been a huge push for college degrees. Parents want their children to be better off than them. My father really pushed my brother and I to get educated and I thank him for it. I encourage my son’s to do well in school but I also encourage them to be realistic and work towards something rewarding that they are good at BUT is marketable.
    Too much effort has been placed upon the belief that it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you feel good about yourself. I point out to my sons that it is hard to feel good about yourself or your career choice if you can’t support yourself. There has to be a balance.
    Not everyone can be a Jobs or Gates or “insert your favourite athlete here”_____________________.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Agreed, but you simply can’t not love what you’re going to be doing for 40-80 hours a week. Live is too short.

      Many moons ago I left a field for which I had trained and gotten educated in. It was a nice, cushy job that certainly had its challenges, but I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do. People thought I was nuts to do so. I took a chance by relocating 1800 miles on a whim and a chance to start anew. As I head into the final quarter of my carrer it has been exceedingly rewarding on many levels, but especially in that what I moved to finally made sense of my efforts and deires. Overworked? Often. Deeply satisfied? Always. I’m a lucky man.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Dave M. – one has to find a balance in one’s work and one’s life. I’m fortunate to love what I do. I’ve chosen a career that has allowed me to move around within sub-specialities. That has helped keep me fresh and interested.
        I try to encourage my sons to follow their dreams but be realistic. All I can do is help my sons build a strong foundation on which to build their lives.

  • avatar
    83Vette

    Had to chuckle when I read Honda’s comments about the need to “hire” lots of line workers. Years ago I walked out of Honda temp employee orientation when I realized what a scam it is. Sat next to a gentleman who was starting his 3rd go around (2 yr cycle) as a temp. He had been there 4 yrs and was getting great reviews for his work performance and had no attendance or discipline issues, but still couldn’t get Honda to offer him a perm job. They would keep you as a temp as long as the law would allow, cut you loose for 90 days, and then hire you back with the “clock” reset to zero. They would build the whole damn car with temps if they could get away with it. All the talk has been about the unfairness of the UAW two-tier pay scale, but at least those people are permanent hires. I wonder how many other brands with factories in US are using the temp worker scam.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      You believed the life story of some stranger sitting next to you at a temp hire?

      And let it help sway you away from even trying to get a foot in the door with one of the two finest and healthiest auto manufacturers on Earth?

      That’s the old Yankee spirit!

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        You think he got played?

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          I think he was looking for an out and Mr. Sob Story provided one. Maybe the Honda process had already made it clear that this would be no place for a slug or a drunk.

          But I mean, this was *Honda* and the guy presumably was unemployed. Why the hell not follow through and try to get your work and attitude noticed?

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        And we’re to believe your anecdotes? Everybody here has a brother/uncle/dad who had the UAW personally come and screw them over and you boys lap it up like mother’s milk. Don’t try and poke holes in the same fabric you support your worldview on.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      I’ve heard the same from a UAW assembly plant.

      One in particular was a Ford salesmen who did 4 years of “89 days” and decided to call it quits and just worked selling cars. He had a family of 4 to feed, and everything falling apart every 3 months was too much for him.

      The same plant now can’t keep new hires because they don’t like the schedule that “C” crew is on.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      The Kawasaki plant in my home-town does the same thing. It should be illegal to use temp workers for years on end, but they get away with it.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        It should, but don’t count on that happening. Early into the economic bust around 2008, my town was flooded with “Help Wanted” signs. Sure they wanted help – PART time help. They fired most of the full timers and replaced them with part time help so they could avoid paying benefits. So, I see no reason for employees to not give a damn if the employers don’t either.

  • avatar
    Joss

    I thought the future was more automation with 3-d printing and that. And quite possibly without many of the existing companies. Hss Mr Jackson worked the plant floor for a rewarding career?

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Another reason to shift manufacturing to China – the kids are alreadt

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Another reason to shift manufacturing to China – the kids are already working in the factories.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    These types of articles grind my gears for a variety of reasons. I could say a lot about this subject. I’m a 32 year old engineer working in Shipbuilding, it doesn’t get more blue-collar manufacturing than that, even if I wear a white collar most of the time, I’m out there everyday on the deck plates working side by side with the union labor and giving them the respect they deserve.

    Randy Jackson is an out of touch tool who needs to be b*&ch slapped for publicly making that statement. There are societal reasons and then there are reasons that only the manufacturers are to blame, but to state that it is because kids think they are going to the NFL is beyond the pale. Here is a mixture of both of of categories of issues with manufacturing as an industry:

    Demonization of unions with many people now hating union workers and calling them parasites for daring to ask for a good wage for a job that requires ACTUAL labor.

    Blue-collar jobs are now looked down upon by society, with the “you have to go to college” mentality”. Bernie Sanders calling college the new high school is part of that, so this isn’t a left vs right thing.

    Manufacturers now screw their workers with two tier low hourly pay, low job security, no benefits, they can get away with it because of demonization of union workers as lazy parasites.

    Our politicians at the behest of big business implemented “free” trade which sold out our working class, first to Mexico, China, and now with TPP to other places.

    Women entered the work-force, and women don’t work in blue collar manufacturing roles, even at the plants they are given special easy jobs and now think they have the right to look down upon blue collar men. Try getting a date telling a woman that you work a 9-5 feeding paper into a machine and make 12.50 an hour with 12 on 12 off shift work.

    Manufacturing jobs are often hard on the body working long hours (40 hours? as-if) and often can’t be done for an entire career without finishing your career worn and broken, and now with no promise of being taken care of from injury or simply at retirement time but rather just being discarded when you are no longer able to do the job. I see it every single day with welders, ship-fitters, construction workers, heavy machine operators, etc.

    Blue collar workers are always under a ton of pressure to get the job done faster, quality is job number 2 oftentimes, they get treated like complete Shi-at by the management, are often fired for BS reasons such as when things go wrong that are out of their control.

    There are always going to be people who aren’t able to do any better or don’t care to do any better, for whatever reason, than to get a job that doesn’t require much more than turning a wrench, it’s a reality of life, and how to address that issue so that those people are fairly taken care of is one of the major challenges that manufacturers mostly don’t care to address:

    I actually think society would be better off transitioning from removing as much human labor as possible from manufacturing jobs and more towards robotics for line manufacturing, more lean processes that reduce unnecessary human labor, and “split” type manufacturing jobs where you work 4 hours a day on the shop floor and 4 hours a day doing desk work or even earlier social security/retirement benefits. You have to look at the long game. Working from ages 25-55 in manufacturing is NOT the same as working from 25-65 at a desk. Military members and some federal police agencies get full retirement after 20 years, many manufacturing jobs are just as hard on the body, perhaps the option for retirement at 55 after 30 years in industry with full SSI and medicare is the key.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      “perhaps the option for retirement at 55 after 30 years in industry with full SSI and medicare is the key”

      Demographics is the problem here. We are living longer and, if anything, need to wait longer to collect SSI and get Medicare. That’s one solution; another is raising withholding from the current 7.5% from the employee and 7.5% from the employer. This would allow for earlier collecting of benefits. But then we’d also need a constitutional amendment to stop Congress and the President from voting more bennies that were not planned for or accounted for or funded. Everyone enjoys getting something for nothing, but we can’t afford the consequences on a national scale.
      I don’t have an answer for those who do heavy manual labor and who are as good as disabled for their work in their 50’s, but I do know that it isn’t allowing blanket earlier collection of SS benefits without fixing the funding and keeping the Congress/President from buying votes via the SS ‘Trust Fund’.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        No, we’re not living longer. Please stop this lie. We’ve gained a whopping 5 years since the start of social security and it was in fact designed to be a pension for the elderly and way to get people out of the work force so that younger people could start and get better wages and move up.

        The argument that we need to raise the minimum actually hurts economies, we should be lowering it to get older less educated people out of the system with worn out bodies and outdated ideas. A 30 year old has a much easier time doing manual labor than a 60 year old and we should be looking to put that man out to pasture so he can enjoy his twilight years.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          We seem to have gotten our planets crossed. Where are you writing from?

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            The facts, CJ. Those things you always conveniently ignore. I enjoy chatting it up but really, for all the claims you people make the best evidence you have is some talking heads telling you stuff while my backers are nobel prize winning economists.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Do you see any reason to credit Jacksons assertions among young workers in the yards? I work in manufacturing, and I see kids who are ready to work hard and continue to increase thier skill set more often than any other type of young employee. Maybe we’re just good at the team interview thing and Honda isn’t?

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        Every young person I work with comes in with an attitude to work hard and do a good job. The poor working conditions imposed upon them often leave them jaded and not caring after a few years.

        People who go into these types of jobs, in the present labor environment, go into them because they want to be there.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      “Women entered the work-force, and women don’t work in blue collar manufacturing roles, even at the plants they are given special easy jobs and now think they have the right to look down upon blue collar men.”

      No they don’t.

      I walk the halls of a UAW automotive plant on a DAILY basis and the women are working just as hard as the men. Unless you’re on light duty, there isn’t any “special” easy job.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        SC5door. Maybe where you work in your industry that is the case, but where I work and in my industry it is not the case. For the small amount of women who work in shipbuilding labor jobs, they overwhelmingly have the easier jobs.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          I put a huge premium on hiring lesbians for hourly positions. Fortunately, we seem to have more & more of them coming out around here.

          Take away pregnancy/child care and women are superior workers in all but the most physically demanding roles and they absolutely shine for jobs requiring accuracy, patience and learning.

          But should some bastard can get them pregnant, forget it. Their presence at the dummy end of the job spectrum is then purely disruptive to the organization and damaging to them.

          But of course they’re smart enough to realize this and pursue education with much more fervor than men.

    • 0 avatar

      Very nice, nickoo

      I think part of the problem is the increasing business mentality that focuses only on the bottom line, at the expense of societal benefits, which include a happy and fulfilled workforce, and satisfied customers. The pressures the stock market creates are a large part of that problem, as are managers who believe in punishment over positive reinforcement and employee empowerment. Over the long run, people who feel like they are part of a team where their work is valued are going to be more productive than those who operate out of fear.

  • avatar
    runs_on_h8raide

    The killing off of American Manufacturing was an inside job done at the highest levels of Wall St, DC and Detroit. I used to care up until recently, but now I couldn’t give a rats ass. This country is done. It might not be in a few months, but within 10 years, there will be no America.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Our golden age is over, and it’s not coming back, of that I have no doubt. We’re a nation of 330 million cows who have been milked dry by the parasite capitalists. They will move onto the next host, rinse, and repeat, but it will take at least 1 more generation before the majority wakes up, as long as the left-over baby-boomers who still have it good are still getting theirs and we, their children, can’t even dream of owning a home, things aren’t going to change.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        nickoo,
        Even if your terminology in describing baby boomers is a little exaggerated, I do believe there is some truth in your comment.

        Australia is in the same boat regarding baby boomer, many are what we call the “grey vote” politically. They do have some clout in how Australia is run.

        From many of the comments on the net I do believe the US is in a similar position.

        I don’t forsee this ending soon. As the average age increases across the world as we live longer, the “grey vote” will gain strength.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      So, can I quote you on that and have your stuff? Since we’re going to Mad Maxing it in a decade, I figure I can get a head start.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Nickoo has the most reasoned and accurate post in this comment section.
    If the auto manufacturers are looking for young workers, they should pay them appropriately for their labor, and treat them with respect; at the same time, demand a fair work effort, respect for the company and the product, sobriety and good attendance.
    When the company screws the worker, the worker will indirectly screw the company back, and the customer ends up getting the short end of the stick.
    That said, the manufacturers can reach out to college graduates with degrees in communications, political science, women’s studies and culinary arts. They would do better installing dashboards than working in their fields of study.

  • avatar
    TW5

    This is all attributable to an ill-fated decision we made 40 years ago to dismantle the military. In the 60s and 70s, the military hired millions of young people who were more than happy to stop soldiering, acquire an education on the GI bill, and then work in engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, etc. Furthermore, the military was a huge consumer of domestically manufactured goods so they opportunities were much greater because the industry was bigger relative to the economy.

    Now, young people are completely disengaged from the economy, and since we’ve directed all of our productivity spending to retirement benefits, the fruits of hard work are almost nil in real terms, thanks to FICA tax and exponential cost growth in housing and healthcare. After 30 years of productivity subsidies via QE, the US economy is finally running out of steam.

    Unless the voters come to their senses or some unforeseen event wipes out 25 million senior citizens, nothing will change anytime soon. Recruiting workers is a fool’s errand. Go to DC and start making changes.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do believe that the US is different than many other nations (OECD) with the disparity between uni trained workers and blue collar workers. This disparity among the US workforce seems to be supported by some who even comment on TTAC. They consider themselves elitist. But they are just arrogant, like the French.

    There are pros and cons to how you choose to exist.

    I do believe the best way for many is to become a blue collar worker, find out what industry you would like to work in, then obtain a degree.

    Here’s some interesting links. Oh, to the people who believe China is “taking” all of the jobs out of the US should realise 25 million manufacturing jobs have been lost in China since the late 90s. Automation is the challenge.

    http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/managing/work-in-progress/could-you-be-a-tradie-20150819-gj388a.html

    It’s quite amazing the starting salaries for professionals (degreed) and tradies. There really isn’t much in it as the table in the link below shows.

    http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2014/02/25/tafe-versus-uni-student-unsubbed/

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      The disparity of wealth is created by blue collar workers who vote for the nebulous concept of social programs, without understanding that the bureaucracies in DC declared war on the lower-middle class workers about 50 years ago.

      If they vote for unmitigated idiocy, they deserve what they get, technically. The lower middle class bozos are the people who voted to put healthcare in the hands of their employers, rather than stripping executives of their healthcare privileges, which were exempted due to mitigate the damage of onerous compensation laws. Middle-class dolts routinely vote for Medicare benefit expansion, which puts them at a competitive disadvantage compared to older workers. Then they put all of their faith in socialized medicine, as if the least competent healthcare administration on earth could actually pull it off.

      Labor has created this situation for themselves. Corporate America is probably their only hope because corporations suffer when they can’t find workers. Unfortunately, corporations seem equally stupid. Jackson seems to think the NFL is the problem, not the 50% of people under-24 who simply refuse to work.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        TW5,
        The US and even us need to restructure our system of regulations, taxes, etc. I do believe people on both sides of the political spectrum will not argue against this.

        The systems we currently use are very old, added too and bastardised systems and ideals used by other nations.

        For the US to change litigation laws must be challenged, pharmaceuticals need to be in check along with the overly expensive US health system (our health system is the second most expensive).

        Remove this sense of entitlement from the populace, first no one should be entitled to government subsidised retirement income unless they need it. In the 70s Australia made a change that upset many, if you held enough assets on retirement of a certain value you received nothing in welfare for retirement even though they had a pension levy they paid all their lives on their income.

        The levy was still taxed from income and re-termed the Medicare levy which set up our public health system.

        In the late 80s a system of compulsory superannuation was put into play. Each and every worker or a person on an income must pay 10% of their income into managed funds. This will eventually (hopefully) keep Australia from facing the huge financial burden that the US will feel.

        User pays is the best system. Those who can’t afford to pay don’t use. A realistic minimum wage structure is needed as this reflects the true cost of maintaining the population, without the need for welfare for working people.

        But, as for taxation. This needs to be addressed. The current taxation system in Australia is outdated and cumbersome. It costs the country money.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          Neither party has any interest in change. They can stabilize the system with modest reforms, and that’s what interests them. They are comfortable with the current version of America because none of the problems ever reach the ivory tower.

          When you’re already enjoying the riches of the wealthiest nation on earth, do you really care about reform?

          The only people who care are the greediest investors and executives who could always use more money and who don’t care for the destruction of their workforce. Donald Trump.

  • avatar
    baconator

    They’re “desperate” to attract workers, but not desperate enough to raise wages to the point where they attract workers.

    That free market works both ways.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Maybe the assemblers at the plant my employer is closing could move and take jobs in automotive assembly.

    Twenty-five years of (very) profitable domestic assembly work comes to an end after takeover by a Fortune 100 company, whose policy it is to perform design, manufacture, and assembly in Mexico or Asia. Since I work in the design end of the business, my job is at risk, too.

    If there really is going to be a shortage of manufacturing labor, perhaps we’ll see a commensurate increase in wages. But then we’ll see those jobs go overseas again.

    One driver for this cycle has to be transportation costs as a fraction of product cost. A big reason the US has transplant car mfrs is that it costs too much to ship them to the US market from overseas. When I can ship a gazillion cell phones in a single cargo container, it makes no sense to build cell phones in the US.

    Another reason for the transplants? Corporate welfare. Discuss.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      It costs less to ship chicken to China and then have them turn it into chicken soup and ship it back than it does to make that chicken soup here. That was by design: Transportation is heavily subsidized by governments to keep the costs down and has drastically distorted logical aspects of the market.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        >> It costs less to ship chicken to China and then have them turn it into chicken soup and ship it back

        Or you can just buy a Japanese chicken processing robot that’s cheaper and faster than the Chinese or Americans. Automation will eliminate more jobs than the Chinese.

        “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrjFWrv_IAw&feature=player_embedded”

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Transportation would be a fundamental issue, if corporate America was paying the prevailing market wage. They aren’t. They are paying the prevailing market wage, plus employment burden, plus tax burden, plus imputed tax burden on the things their employees need to live. Obviously, the net burden on US workers is much higher than elsewhere. US workers pay higher taxes than developing nations, and they get fewer benefits than other OECD workers.

      The labor market is telling the US to stop taxing unskilled and semi-skilled labor as if it’s 1965, but Congress doesn’t listen. Hardline Republicans, who supposedly believe in market-based economics, believe it is unfair to narrow the tax base. Democrats think tax cuts for laborers are just a corporate conspiracy, and they can wave the liberal magic wand over the market to force companies to raise wages, instead. They also mistakenly believe that one of the world’s worst bureaucracies will awake one morning, and manage American entitlements like a Scandinavian policy wonk.

      Two different versions of imbeciles, both of whom have run amok.

      • 0 avatar

        The prevailing market wage seems to be distorted by corporate influence both on politics and the general population. Most economists seem utterly unable to explain wage stagnation over the past 18 months every indicator should indicate wage growth but instead corporate america seems to be holding down wages. I don’t have en explanation for it either but even with my somewhat skeptical view of pure market economies I thought this would be one of the few truism’s of the market.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          Economists know why wages are stagnant. Labor force participation rate is shrinking and it’s not really retirees dropping out.

          The US has a glut of educated workers, and thanks to new regulatory burden, companies are running leaner than ever. It’s starting to annoy the corporate growth-hawks, who hate the Obama economic holding-pattern.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            If I may add, I believe that it is also many people (who have some money) deciding to retire early.

            I spent 13 days in Cabo earlier this year and I was blown away by the number of American Medical Doctors (and other Americans) who actually lived in that area, full-time.

            All the American conversations I overheard walking down the local streets; I thought I was back at the Horton Plaza in Downtown San Diego, CA.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Lost in all the political silliness is a fact no one is talking about: there are a lot of folks who don’t want to make a career in the auto industry because it’s famously unstable. We’re talking about two companies that went belly up a few years back, and a third that almost did. And that’s not counting the constant layoffs that are always happening.

    That’d make me think twice.

    If automakers want to reverse this, then maybe they have some PR work to do.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      This, I was trying to allude to this in my original comment about Toyonda being the only companies that could credibly presume to even offer long term employment to US workers.

      Kia? Funny Mr. Jackson.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    So, fewer people than ever actually *want* the manufacturing jobs that everyone is clamoring to save via protectionism and walls. How about that.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Or someone is not doing his job of recruiting young talent well and is trotting out a tired and untrue trope about “the kids these days” to cover. A study in Detroit that shows people have poor respect for the D3 as employers in 2015 might have a few other explanations than today’s younger job seekers don’t want manufacturing jobs.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Coming from an automotive town, this is a big part of it. The automotive industry is cyclical and people have the perception that it is an insecure place to work. In some ways, they’re right. However, those with no better prospects really should take a hard look if the opportunity is available. The ability to make good cash and benefits can help them pursue their dreams.

        After high school, I worked on the floor of an automotive supplier that made steering wheels and other plastic components. The good pay and shift work allowed me to pay for and go to college to eventually do something I found more rewarding. I’m still in the automotive industry in a much higher capacity and still take advantage of those opportunities, it’s incremental.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      I love my job – finding people who are willing to put in over 60 hours a week and to be on call at all hours of the day is difficult. Heck, I’d be happy if the new hires would just work a solid 8 hours and be a little more eager to do things.

      The turnover rate at my plant during our latest hiring blitz has been over 60% after 4 weeks. No one wants to show up at 3:30 PM on the dot and work 4 days of 10 hour shifts. No one wants to work F-M and get the rest of the week off. No one wants to work on the chassis line or in the paint shop, hem sealing doors. Not even with a promise of $30+/hour in the not so distant future. It’s rather incredible, especially knowing that the majority of these kids have no applicable skill sets for any job at all.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        I knew someone who was practically given a job at Ford. This kid ended up getting suspended for a few weeks because he couldn’t even show up and do his job or even call in. (7 no call/no shows) His last job was retail where he probably pulled 8-9 an hour where at the plant he was making 20+/hr with profit sharing bonuses.

        Since his friends were more important as was partying on the weekends he couldn’t show up for work….especially on Friday nights. It absolutely blew my mind—his and others mentality was that they can fall back on Mom and Dad and not have to worry.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        I loved those types of shifts when I was on a supplier floor. It allowed you to live some semblance of a life outside of the plant and actually DO productive things other than be a robot.

      • 0 avatar
        DanHumphrey

        “Promise”? You have to remember, we’re the generation that grew up hearing about layoffs (I’m about to turn 33). I work for one of the big banks; upper management lies all the time. Why would I trust a “promise” of future raise? There’s always a way to deny a raise later, or just fire you when it’s time.

        Mind you, I worked IT at a casino one summer, with a 12pm-10pm shift Sunday through Wednesday. Loved it hard.

        But miss me with “promises” of future pay.

        Also, everyone who whines about “kids these days” immediately proves themselves lazy thinkers with nothing worthwhile to say.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          A ‘promise’ (contractual agreement) to a union employee means a hell of a lot more than a promise to a white collar employee.

          I am 32 and have been laid off by my current employer. I totally understand where you are coming from, but these hourly jobs are the golden ticket to someone without a degree and is willing to show up on time.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I walked into the GM Canada employment office in September 1972 . A skinny 18 year old High school drop out., with a Dad at home that delivered the ultimatum . ” Ya got two choices ,boy , go back to school, or get a job” . No job, no school , better find another place to live.
    GM looked at my application …….Can you prove your 18 ? . 30 mins later I’m going through a physical , the Doc checks my arms for needle tracks. At 5 ft 9 , 145 lbs, I was too small to run a spot welder. I leave the Docs office , figuring , “I. guess I’m not getting this job ” …..The hiring guy , takes me into a room with 25. – 30 other guys , gives us a form to fill out. Some of the guys could barely read and write. Those of us that could ,helped the other guys. We wait , the hiring guy comes in with ID cards, There wasn’t a guy in that room over 22 years old. The bigger guys were sent to the Body assembly plant. Myself ,and the other smaller guys. We’re headed to chassis, and trim and hardware

    36 years , 4 months later , on the very day that George W wrote the first “bail out ” cheque. I walked out of the same door , I walked in.

    I will be 62 years old next month. If I have one outstanding regret in my life……I so wish I had taken Dads other option.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      This comment is a nugget of gold.

      The rest of the comments here are the mud surrounding the nugget.

      This is what tubby, soft-palmed, career HR professional and hypocrite Randy Jackson can never personally understand but is trying to perpetuate.

    • 0 avatar
      baconator

      Can you tell us more about your regrets? From where I’m standing (I’m Gen X), any job that you could start without incurring $100k in college loan debt, and then imagine lasting for 36 years, seems like a pretty good deal. But obviously the grass is always greener, so I’m interested in hearing more about how it worked out for you.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @bacon…….Life worked out alright for me. Got married ,raised a family, educated them. Now they have thier own families,

        My regrets come from knowing, that I could of done so much more. Don’t get me wrong , I’m not sitting here wallowing in “what ifs”…..I made my choices, I lived with them.

        I am aware that the world today , is a lot different than 1972. . I still maintain that a higher education , or a skill, is far better option than punching a clock for the rest of your life

      • 0 avatar
        Monty

        Baconator – it was a much different world in the 70’s. I started University in the 70’s, and my first year cost a whopping $600.00 in tuition, plus another $150.00 or so for textbooks. I could’ve gone to a top Canadian University to earn a Masters in Political Science/Sociology and it would’ve set me back approximately $8000.00, which was less than a single year’s salary for the average university educated bureaucrat at the time.

        One year’s salary for an education of a lifetime. Can’t do that now, because unfortunately, since then university education has been “monetized”, and is now worth several year’s salary, with ever mounting carrying charges.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Nice insight Mikey

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      I’ve been scrolling through these comments waiting for your reply.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      I did the opposite. I took a job in an auto assembly factory. After a few months, I quit and went back to school. Now, I am on Wall Street, and I have made a lot of money. I have multiple homes on each coast. But I am not sure it was worth it. I see people living a normal life in the middle of the country that seem just as happy as I, and their kids appear to have turned out just as good. Makes me wonder if I have wasted a lot of effort since I now realize all that really mater is my wife, kids, family, and friends. A big career and excess $$ are a waste of time. I just came to this realization. I am thinking about quitting wall street … but what will people think of a 40 something wall streeter looking for a normal job?

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      mikey,
      I chose the other path: I had the fast paced corporate traveling gig where I lined my pockets with tax free per diem and drove luxury company cars every day. I still was deeply rooted in the industry that I wanted to work in when I was growing up.

      Yet I chose to come back to the plant. That is where I can still build cars and simultaneously build a life. I still could have a cubicle job where I push paper around and do analysis (without the travel and money), but I would never be able to look at myself in the mirror and be proud of what I do. I think your career had some of the most historical and meaningful significance out of any job out there. That’s where the rubber hit the road. You built a lot of happiness with your bare hands – the automobile is the symbol of the free man’s dream. I fought hard to come back to it because I truly believe that.

      Plant life isn’t for everybody, but it is one of the most unique work environments on earth. A final assembly plant is where massive, global value streams all come together. Thank you for your incredible insight (as usual), mikey.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    *crunch crunch*

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    If a career in the tech writing field doesn’t pan out, there’s an unspoken agreement that I would be allowed a place on the farm as a fallback for as long as I would need. Strength of body is not the issue–almost everything is done entirely by machine except the hay. But I’m not sure if I would have the strength of spirit to do what my father has done for the past 50+ years, or his father before him for 72 years.

  • avatar
    sco

    Thanks as usual Mikey for keeping it real

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Economic growth has slowed so far in the twenty-first century. Taxes, regulations, aggressive redistribution of all types, uncontrolled illegal immigration, and other key disincentives for economic productivity and growth must be pared back or eliminated in the coming years in order for the economy to grow to the extent that the country can flourish in the future. Sticking with the status quo, on the other hand, will ultimately lead to further stagnation, decreased influence, a vanishing middle class, and a declining standard of living for all but the wealthiest.

    Voters will have to choose which of the two roads the country will take: growth and prosperity or statism, redistribution and stagnation.

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