Monday, November 2, 2015

There are Millions of Unfilled Jobs in the U.S.

Unfortunately they're almost all in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). Close to four million openings, if I remember correctly.

Last I heard, universities only produce about 40,00 STEM graduates a year, which is why companies are trying to import STEM graduates to fill these positions.

Unfortunately the world is not producing enough of these people, and it's not going to, considering how many people in the world have low IQs - which is overwhelmingly genetic. And some of the people who are qualified want to remain in their homelands.

This lack of qualified people, of course, retards our innovation and advancement. Right now, with our terrible schools, with all our dropouts, with our terrible lack of high-paying non-STEM jobs, we still overwhelmingly lead the world in Research and Development.

Bill Gates, who is obsessed with IQ, once said his biggest competitors were companies that offered high-paying careers in financial services.

I had reason to visit the first university I attended. At that time the engineering department was one floor. Now it has its own three-story building. How many graduates a year do they produce? I don't know, but I'd say about 100.

This lack of qualified people is so profound you don't have to go to college anymore - just get a certificate in computers/software, some of which take six months, or even less. I know of one, as a Data Analyst, that takes ten months, with one class a month. Ten classes and start at $50,000 a year!

Stanford is considered the most innovative university in the U.S. How many students can make it into Stanford? Not many. Do they have a shortage of smart-enough people? Probably.

For one thing, there is a horrendous mismatch between what schools produce and what businesses need.

I graduated from a university that produced the largest number of teachers in a very large state. I was appalled at the stupidity of the education students, who were about 99% women. And these people are teaching our kids? What can they possibly teach them that is relevant?

I can guarantee you the public schools think they are doing a fine job. They're not, and haven't been for a long time (let's put it this way - hierarchies are the enemy of innovation. And school is nothing but hierarchies).

It's been a long time since I graduated high school, but even then its ability to educate students was appalling (I considered it a boring prison, which is why I partied on the weekends). And when I was in middle school (which at that time was called junior high), well, it, too, was appalling.

Incidentally, one of my friends once asked me, "Was junior high a kind of hell for you?" Yes, it was: it was a war zone. In junior high I spent my time fighting or trying to avoid them, and in high school daydreaming and getting high on weekends. And why was I in school with morons who couldn't be educated? (The stupid always drag down the smart - it's easier to sink than swim.)

Is it any different now? I doubt it. No wonder so many kids drop out of high school. More than a million a year.

I can remember getting into my file in probably eighth grade. I found a special notation - "IQ 126." I was shocked, since I didn't feel smart (an IQ of 126 is in the ninety-fifth percentile).

Did anyone in the entire school system do anything about me? Not one teacher, to the day I graduated. It's not that I fell through the cracks - no one was concerned. I guess they thought I was supposed to do everything on my own, which is basically what I did.

Speaking of IQ, does America have sufficient brainpower to fill all these jobs? I don't know. But I do know that of those that do, many don't want careers in STEM. They don't like it.

And it doesn't help that politicians have slaughtered so many of our young in meaningless wars.

What we have is a socialized school system trying to graduate students to work in the free market. Say what? What sort of moron came up with that idea?

And now these fools are coming up with Common Core. Good luck with that.

When I was in sixth grade the math and reading curriculum was revamped (this happens about every 20 years). All it did is put everyone behind, the way Common Core is going to put students behind.

I've mentioned before that Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote "The Little House on the Prairie" books, started teaching school at 15. And when did polymaths such as Benjamin Franklin start their apprenticeships? 12?

Eric Hoffer, who wrote several books such as the famous The True Believer, made his living during the Great Depression as a tramp picking crops. Sometimes living in hobo camps, he once wrote that he found this country "is lousy with talent" (which is from his The Ordeal of Change).

He's right. We're just missing out on it keeping kids in school for 12 years (which is just babysitting) and preventing them from growing up and using their talents.

I see public school as a pipeline - kids go in at the beginning and come out at the end 13 years later still not trained for modern jobs. Unfortunately, as things stand now, there are an awful lots of leaks in the pipe. Gushers, actually.

I have found it's not all that hard to predict the future, in a general way. Science and technology are advancing so fast they're going to fulfill Arthur C. Clarke's predictions about any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic (and it was the late James P. Hogan who informed me that any science that is true automatically turns itself into technology).

And at the same time we're getting an enormous government heading towards collapse, or else becoming totalitarian, as all governments do. They always collapse, too.

So, of course, we're living in "interesting times," which is an old ironic Chinese curse.


Glen Filthie said...

Recently I got reamed by one of your other visiting internet scholars for daring to suggest that union slobs make America uncompetitive. (I suspect he was a product of the public school system and made allowances).

Recently a study of Detroit students found that 93% were functionally illiterate, and 97% were innumerate. (If ya wanna step forward and defend this, Rusty - be my guest! I am always up for good comedy! HAR HAR HAR!)To be fair - those stats were for schools that were largely black; and there is only so much you can do with people that have an average IQ of 85. If Laura Ingalls confronted human sewage like that today she would inevitably be fired for racism and severely reprimanded if she tried to take control of her class.

I can fix it for ya, though. Here's how:

1. Bust the unions. Get rid of the indolent senior dead wood that are just putting in time for retirement, and put in the kids that have fire in their bellies and ambition. They will actually care about their jobs an the kids.

2. Re-establish discipline to the class room. Bring back the strap, and USE it. Kids that don't respond to that need to be expelled.

3. Bring back standardized tests and marking procedures. Only the kids who put in the work and effort are allowed to advance. Those that don't fail and repeat. Stop mainstreaming kids with problems into classrooms with those that don't.

4. Make teachers accountable. If some silly twat is failing the boys to feed her inner feminist - it needs to be reflected in her paycheck.

5. Get parents - especially mothers - out of the education process. I have seen legions of stupid, clucky women at PTA meetings that will seriously advocate policies that will benefit their own child and screw everyone else's. I've seen them get away with it too - especially when they suggest things that make life easier on the pooch screwing teachers themselves. The reason they favour the 'everyone gets a trophy' and 'everyone passes with no child left behind' is beause - it means they don't have to mark or grade tests or be accountable for the kids they are failing to educate.

As a lad I had no respect for teachers and as an adult I have nothing but contempt for them. The fact is that if Laura Ingalls were around today, she would take a yardstick to these assholes that pose as public educators.

Mindstorm said...

Heh. Forcing me with a strap to do anything would be the best way to make me sabotage it. Only the dumbest teacher I knew has stooped down ONCE to administering physical punishment against me. I have been harboring the grudge for years. And if by a weird chance I would encounter him on the street, I would be more likely to spit on the ground than to shake hands with him.

A.B. Prosper said...

Good article. I will note though that $50k per year isn't very much money all things considered. Its $3.66 a hour in 1968 (peak wages granted) terms maybe what a factory worker made in Detroit as an unskilled worker. They are functionally paying a weak wage to the people who are in the top 10% of human cognitive capacity, top 20% or less of White and Asian men

Stats from here note the original was from 3 years ago, I inflation adjusted the numbers

if the minimum wage had kept pace with average wages ($10.68)
if the minimum wage had kept pace with productivity ($19.15)
if the minimum wage had gone up at the same rate as incomes for the top 1 percent ($28.94)

And note again that's an adjusted minimum wage, burger flipper level skills.

By comparison a CEO say Bill Gates level would make 1 million 2 or 3 million at the very top plus some nice bennies which is fine

Now the numbers are not not awful compared to say a starting unskilled wage in 1958 (about $14.50 US) or factory workers wages but that is with a much smaller economy as well.

In reality pretty much anyone working has been screwed over massively . And yes granted taxes played a part but in reality is policy, technology and the entry of women into the workforce played a bigger role.

Its mostly policy though and to be honest if we end up with a civil war or President Bernie Sanders or hell someone to the Left of him , we deserve every moment.

And yes there are better policies than Leftism, Communism and all that crap or Oligarchy for that matter. We won't do them however and by the time that got any momentum it would be far too late to do any good.

Also re: Glen, public schools are an anachronism. We don't need them except to babysit since we don't need factory workers. We'd be better off with a mix of home schooling, cooperative schooling and apprenticeships

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'll be the designated "turd in the punchbowl" tonight.

You ask any economist and they'll tell you there's no such thing as a "labor shortage". This phenomenon is, in fact, what results from niggardly companies which refuse to pay commensurate wages.

Witness the recent Disney scandal: They bring in swarms of H1-Bs and then force the soon to be fired IT guys to train their replacements. And the irony is that it's a raw deal for the newcomers because the company totally has them by the balls; they're expected to tolerate any and all abuse....or else it's a one way trip back to Sri Lanka.

A race to the bottom.

Rusty Shackleford said...

" Recently I got reamed by one of your other visiting internet scholars for daring to suggest that union slobs make America uncompetitive. (I suspect he was a product of the public school system and made allowances)."

Hey, Glenn, you can disagree with someone and still be classy about it. I really don't appreciate the sarcasm or the little cut downs. We're adults here. I haven't shown any disrespect to you. That sort of thing shouldn't be necessary.

"I smile when I see factories close and and union slobs locked out - they have only themselves to blame."

This issue is apparently an obsession of yours, since you've called me out days later on a topic I haven't posted on, about a subject that has nothing to do with the actual topic. To me it's simple. I'm a tradesman. I have more money in my pocket working for a union at the end of the week than not working for one.

Other professions have associations that set standards or lobby towards the end of increasing entrance barriers and maximizing wages. Does a PT really need a Phd? Accounting is just algebra, but you have to have a masters to sit for the CPA exam. Who complains that the wages of accountants are being artificially inflated? So, why shouldn't blue collar people have organizations that pursue their interests?

The best times in this country for the working class coincide with the highest rates of union membership. If you want to give a middle finger to the working class, okay, fine. It's the sanctimony and the goofy Manichaean rhetoric that bothers me. Rock bottom wages are great for corporations but lousy for the working class. The obsession with driving wages into the basement is why we had slavery, and why we're replacing white Americans with Mexicans. If whites can protect their wages by joining unions I'm 100% in favor of that. The working class has a right to pursue their interests, also, libertarian theory be damned.

Rusty Shackleford said...

"Their final extinction is just a matter of time really - as our host has opined previously, 3D printing and CNC type technologies are literally going to put industrial manufacturing within the grasp of the cottage industry."

Yeah, but that will decimate everyone, union or otherwise. It won't affect police, fire, nurses, ems, plumbers, mechanics, etc. Those are some tough nuts to crack. Those are also some of the jobs where there is commonly a shortage of workers. As for teachers, I can't really complain about mine, and I don't think there's any wave of talented young blood waiting to replace the current crop. I just think the system is fundamentally a nightmare for smart introverts.

"You could give three kids good, well paying jobs for the price of one union slob. Unions reward seniority rather than merit and protect the deadbeat - don't try and tell me otherwise because I've worked for them and refuse to do so ever again."

The average UAW worker since 2007 makes 16-20$ /hour. You think 1/3 of that is a well paying job? And a lot of those guys are skilled machinists, millwrights or tool and die workers.

"Those suicides you refer to, Rusty, would be slave labourers."

No, they weren't. I was specifically talking about the foxconn suicides. Foxconn is a computer hardware company that subcontracts for apple, dell, etc. 15 of their employees jumped off their roof in 2010, and suicides have continued in the years since. I mentioned that in reference to your comment about "proud" Chinese workers.
There's a wikipedia article about it:

"They are solely responsible for the American slide in auto making and pretty much every other area of manufacture. "

The design of American cars in the 70s/80s was about a decade behind the rest of the world. There were glaring deficiencies in their overall strategy and in R&D. Their whole business model was "big cars, big profits" and it showed in the genuinely miserable product that they produced in the compact and small car segments. Who would have rather bought even a perfectly assembled Chevette instead of an Accord in 1985? So how is that "solely" the fault of the workers?

Robert What? said...

I am certainly not the first one to observe this, but public school is not about educating children: it is about employing adults. Mainly dimwitted, untalented adults who would be all but unemployable in the private sector. The only solution - which will never happen, short of a full economic collapse - is to ban and disband public sector unions.

Glen Filthie said...

Why, Rusty! I apologize PROFUSELY for all the butt-hurt you are suffering! I do hope you and your union steward won't be filing a grievance...? Yes, we're all adults here, so do try and act like one? Let us have a little truth, shall we?

I've been on both sides of the union. I've seen the abuse, the horrible work ethics, the slackers, the deadbeats, the idiots... and I certainly agree with you that they have a good deal going. It may be good for guys like you, but do not try to insult my intelligence by saying it is good for me or anyone else that has to put up with them. America did best when its unions were about fair wages, proper safety equipment, and fair treatment. Today they are about less work, cushier bennies, more holidays, longer lunch and coffee breaks and more money. Those idiots are literally negotiating themselves out of their own jobs these days and everyone knows it. Put it this way - you can build me a decent car at a fair price - or I can deal with your competition. It's literally that simple. Don't whine to me that you are being mistreated. As for me, I made more money when I tossed the union job. Only the most senior pooch screwers made any money.

You should make an attempt to inform yourself before taking a position, Rusty. In the 1980's Lee Iococca saved Dodge by cleaning up the R&D department AND putting the union on a leash. The deal was he had a bunch of jobs that paid $17.00/hour (that was back in the 80's, BTW - so there goes your BS about low union wages) - and he had NO jobs for $20.00/hour. He told the slobs that they took the deal or the company folded. If the unions would have had their way the company would have been run into the ground like countless others. GM is another union slob horror story: they are paying more out to retired union slobs than they are to workers on the line today! Do the math, Rusty - and tell me again how great unions are. After that - pull my finger! There's bells on it!!! HAR HAR HAR!

Rusty Shackleford said...

" It's been a long time since I graduated high school, but even then its ability to educate students was appalling (I considered it a boring prison, which is why I partied on the weekends). And when I was in middle school (which at that time was called junior high), well, it, too, was appalling. "

Our Prussian inspired public school system isn't primarily about education. If you've read John Gatto or Herman Hesse, you know that. It's about training children to follow arbitrary rules and orders so that they will be useful adults for the government and business. A degree is supposed to prove that they'll show up on time, do what they're told and that they aren't completely stupid. A lack of a degree whether because a kid is home schooled or for whatever reason is a social black mark that the government holds over that person's head for the rest of their life.

There is no ambition any kid could have in life, though, that is served by 4 years of high school. When I wanted to go to college in my 30s, I began by remembering only fractions and decimals and learned all the math that I needed to test into calculus in less than 6 months. There were other people in the class who'd done the same. That's 4 years of high school math. High school just seemed like a waste of time when I was a teenager, and now it seems to me like a criminal squandering of youth. It's only good purpose seems to be for those who don't want to learn and who would be a danger to themselves and others if they weren't being babysat -which in fairness is probably the majority of high school kids. There should at least be some better option for the kids who know what they want to do or who at least know that they don't want to be in high school.

Rusty Shackleford said...

"Why, Rusty! I apologize PROFUSELY for all the butt-hurt you are suffering!"

Okay, you're off on a tangent, Glenn. I made several falsifiable arguments and statements and you chose to ignore those and respond by rambling like the crazy, intellectually incontinent coprophiliac that you are. Everything you've written is third hand, third rate or 30 years out of date. Maybe you should just stick to writing about farts and poop and all the things you like to do with them. You don't like unions. I get it. I just don't care. I'm not even in a union.

"You should make an attempt to inform yourself before taking a position, Rusty. In the 1980's Lee Iococca saved Dodge by cleaning up the R&D department AND putting the union on a leash. The deal was he had a bunch of jobs that paid $17.00/hour (that was back in the 80's, BTW - so there goes your BS about low union wages) - and he had NO jobs for $20.00/hour."

The 16-20$ per hour figure for workers hired after 2007 is from this article in the Houston Chronicle:

I could give lots of examples of lousy engineering and business decisions that catastrophically damaged the big 3 and had nothing to do with build quality (the nova, the pinto..) but I feel like I've made my point.

Glen Filthie said...

HAR HAR HAR! Use bigger words, Rusty - if you're going to put on phony airs of intellectual sophistication - you're going to need a better vocabulary. I'm gonna pass on that link to the Houston Chronicle, around here we regard the media with the same contempt we regard union slobs. I wouda thunk that the conflict of interest in leftist media slobs, reporting on leftist union slobs - would be intuitively obvious...but I guess that slipped past your formidable powers of observation, huh? HAR HAR HAR! The average union slob at GM that stands in one place, all day, zapping the same nut onto the same assembly all day long, with bennies - is around $65.00/hour. And of course, because anyone can do that job - it is ultimately inevitable that the union slob will be at the mercy of anyone that can do the same job at half the price and still make ends meet.

Fact is, Rusty, that America's building junk and anything that's worthwhile has to compete with products from Europe, Japan, Korea and now China is getting in the game as their QA/QC goes straight up. Nobody is picking on unions, that is merely market competition that most rational adults take part in. How many union slobs will shell out $15.00 for a tee shirt made in America when they can get a pack of three for $7.00 made in Taiwan? Really - pull my finger! See what happens!

I can annotate all this and refute your crap with links to CREDIBLE sources and quotes from the people actually involved - but why bother? If you are too stupid and lazy to educate yourself, why should I waste my time assembling information that is public record - for an idiot? If you have a point - it's the one on your head! :)

dienw said...

Worth reading: John Taylor Gatto on American education.

dienw said...

Rusty has been reading John Taylor Gatto: a quote:
"On the night of June 9, 1834, a group of prominent men "chiefly engaged in commerce" gathered privately in a Boston drawing room to discuss a scheme of universal schooling. Secretary of this meeting was William Ellery Channing, Horace Mann's own minister as well as an international figure and the leading Unitarian of his day. The location of the meeting house is not entered in the minutes nor are the names of the assembly's participants apart from Channing. Even though the literacy rate in Massachusetts was 98 percent, and in neighboring Connecticut, 99.8 percent, the
assembled businessmen agreed the present system of schooling allowed too much to depend upon chance. It encouraged more entrepreneurial exuberance than the social system could bear.
The first man on record to perceive how much additional production could be extracted from close regulation of labor was Frederick Winslow Taylor, son of a wealthy Philadelphia lawyer. "What I demand of the worker," Taylor said, "is not to produce any longer by his own initiative, but to execute punctiliously the orders given down to their minutest details." "

dienw said...

Glen Filthie is merely a cucktarian. Go vote for Jeb!; he agrees with you that pay is too high and people should work three jobs.

Unknown said...

"that America's building junk and anything that's worthwhile has to compete with products from Europe, Japan, Korea and now China is getting in the game as their QA/QC goes straight up"

I had a 2000 Chevy Cavalier that got 488,0000 miles before I drove it to the junkyard.

Obviously, I used to travel for a living.

Glen Filthie said...

I've miled out 2 Chevy trucks and one Ford - all were pretty much finished at 200 000 km. All maintenance work and service was done by the dealerships, by their approved techs. After that, chronic repairs and downtime become too costly to make it worth while and we traded them in. Just my two cents... but 95% of the people I know are of the same opinion.

I am not the authority on US politics but I do take pains to make sure I am informed. And I have noted with wry amusement, the stupid kids taking a shine to the term 'Cuckservative'. It bothers me not one whit! It is my contention that Jeb Bush is an idiot but even so - he is light years better for America than the black baboon that currently resides in the Oval Office. If I had my way, I would replace Barkie with Trump. Trump is not perfect and has many key flaws but he does make sense on immigration - which is the biggest threat facing America today. (an issue that is a clear and present danger to all union slobs too I might add!)

What the stupid kids don't understand is that the Repubs are moving left because America has moved left. I blame the idiot libertarians for the most part; on some days their lunacy is no different from that of democrat scum. They are, however, splitting the vote and dividing the right - which will guarantee their precious rights and freedoms will be usurped by the Donks until such time as they get tired of their leftist overlords and decide to do something constructive about it.

Anonymous said...

"Did anyone in the entire school system do anything about me? Not one teacher, to the day I graduated. It's not that I fell through the cracks - no one was concerned."

A few teachers at my secondary school really took an interest in their students and tried to encourage everyone to excel as much as was within his capacity. Their classes were interesting, challenging, and engaging- as a result, they were constantly in hot water with the administration. The best teacher I ever had, whose students routinely scored top marks on Advanced Placement exams, must have been reprimanded in some fashion at least 5 times in one year. Apparently, being interesting violated too many official policies. The most incompetent mediocrities, on the other hand, hardly ever got in trouble for anything, no matter how egregious.