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Ear to the Ground

Google Exec Knows About Unemployment

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Posted on Jan 28, 2012
jdlasica (CC-BY) (JD Lasica/Socialmedia.biz)

Google CEO Eric Schmidt

Quiz time: According to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, which social phenomenon is most to blame for the present jobs crisis? (A) globalization (B) technology and innovation (C) disproportionate taxation resulting in the wildly uneven distribution of wealth and a lean demand for workers.

None of the above, it turns out. In late January at the World Economics Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Internet executive told fellow members of the 1 percent that it was the lack of will by industrial nations to invest in the education and training of its workers.

Peter Goodman, business editor of The Huffington Post, begs to differ. —ARK

Peter S. Goodman at The Huffington Post:

Schmidt too blithely dismissed a problem with no easy answers, one at the center of the populist ferment now seething from Cairo to Columbus. In the United States, he suggested, unemployment is predominantly the result of inadequate skills among the workforce, a problem that could be addressed with better education.

“Governments have to do something that’s hard,” he said. “They have to go back and invest in human capital. There are plenty of companies in the U.S. and other countries I’ve visited that are very short of highly skilled workers.”

… For an individual, gaining education as an approach to increasing work opportunities is a no-brainer. But for society as a whole, the employment shortage cannot be eliminated in this fashion because of a feature that Schmidt seemed uninterested in addressing: The benefits of technological progress and automation are being spread unevenly, exacerbating the forces of inequality that have left millions of formerly hard-working people unable to pay their bills.

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By litlpeep, January 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

“Schmidt too blithely dismissed a problem with no easy answers, one at the center of the populist ferment now seething from Cairo to Columbus. In the United States, he suggested, unemployment is predominantly the result of inadequate skills among the workforce, a problem that could be addressed with better education.”

Maybe that wasn’t so blithe after all.

He was obviously talking about all his fellow ignorant American and European and Global CEOs.

Every one of them needs a far better education than he or she has.

So do the elected and appointed officials around the globe, but let’s tackle the easy job first.

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By diamond, January 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

At last! Someone has noticed that employers would rather cut wages, fire people or stick pins in their eyes than invest in the education and training of the workforce - and the government cannot do it for fear of being called Marxists or some such crap. The key to productivity is education and training. An unskilled worker will not get a job, not since all the unskilled jobs were shipped off to China. This has been pointed out for many decades - and ignored. But all the training in the world won’t work if all the jobs have been shipped ofshore in line with the precepts of globalization and economic ‘rationalism’. One day people will look back in wonder at how gullible those in power were and how much harm they did to their own people in pursuit of a utopia based on third world, child and slave labor and jobs that pay 20 cents an hour. Towns all over America have had their industrial, manufacturing heart ripped out so that America can pretend it doesn’t have a working class or horror of horrors, unions.

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By El_Pinguino, January 29, 2012 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

The fact that *movers and shakers* can meet in Davos (and other similar meetings) IS THE PROBLEM. For it is they who decide. Not us.

Take notice of the people there… is anyone representing my interests? Well no… but actually that is not the real question.  When you have top down decision making, the lower you are on the ladder the less input you have into deciding what questions get asked.

The elite frame the questions. The common people do not. Expect The Occupy Movement and its global affiliates to expand.

Happy Days are here again!

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, January 29, 2012 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

As long as individuals such as Schmidt are “the movers and shakers;” the elitist John Gaults of today’s business leaders, regular working folk can expect far smaller, less secure futures.

Don’t you all get a sense that these people feel the own us? It’s creepy and disturbing and it makes me want to see an uprising of all working people in the world.

“We don’t need no education…”

(Pink Floyd)

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Psychobabbler's avatar

By Psychobabbler, January 29, 2012 at 1:48 am Link to this comment

Dear Poindexter,

Nobody will ever really fully learn what is required to be considered adequate until they are given the chance to do it. There is work to be done on one hand and people to do it in the other. Let’s not get all burdened with delegation.

Repeat after me:

The people like this will do that, and the other ones will do something else.

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By litlpeep, January 28, 2012 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

Let’ see: “proposed $7 billion Canada-to-Texas…”

Isn’t the proposal to take the pipeline all the way to the Gulf of Mexico?

Then why say “Texas” instead?  Why not say “through Texas to the Gulf of Mexico” or some such to reduce confusion.

Thanks.

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