After hearing all the blah blah blah about the Bush tax cuts I’d like to propose that anyone with a salary above $500,000 be hit with a 2% to 5% tax that goes solely to retraining the bottom of the work force. As per the previous post we need some massive educational effort to really move people who were in construction, real estate, the car industry, heavy industry in general, and other segments of the economy that have gotten hit so hard to new segments that will actually exist and grow over the next decade. And mostly this means towards green energy, computer fields, and service based industries.
Or we go with plan B, we legalize weed and tax the living hell out of it. I’ve seen estimates that claim California alone could reap 1.4 billion a year from that, let’s dump that all into retraining our work force (and possibly buying them delicious Doritos).
Over the last 50 years the USA hasn’t had to worry about training too much, globalization was still a distant worry and our economy was doing well. Now we are being forced to evolve and remember what it’s like to have a little competition in what is becoming a more equal playing field with graduates from India, China, Brazil and other countries being able to compete for jobs that were once out of their reach. So, if your job is not very hard to do, and with modern technology we can outsource it for half the pay and a 10% increase in management cost, guess where your job is going?
Just look at cashiers at grocery stores, they are slowly being replaced with computers that enable consumers to do the checkout process, in five to ten years with RFID the computer might just read what is in your cart. There will always be some cashiers but that is not a job market that is going to grow, and that is certainly not one that is going to see their pay raise over the next ten years. Similarly a lot of low paying jobs will probably always exist but technology is going to allow us to reduce those work forces, and unless the government gets involved those will not be much more then whatever the minimum wage is at. This kinda sucks but reality does suck sometimes.
So how to retrain people? That is a hard question and one I have a lot of ideas on but I’m not sure if there is a right answer besides spending a lot of money and try a lot of different things…