Where will our jobs come from?

As economists talk about the prospects for an economic recovery, they often mention that it may well be a “jobless recovery.”  Is anyone really surprised by that?  After all, in the interest of “globalization” we’ve exported most of our jobs to other nations.

When large corporations began selling the notion of globalization in the 1980s, they promised American workers access to new markets for American-made products in places like China and India.  The reality is much different.  Once so-called Fair Trade rules were established, American corporations began relocating manufacturing to nations with cheaper labor.  One American manufacturing industry after another was closed…steel, textiles, shoes, electronics, furniture, tools…the list is extensive.

Soon after, much of our agricultural production was exported to Mexico, Central and South America. 

We were told that none of this would harm the U.S.  In fact, the corporations and politicians said that this would benefit Americans with more diverse and lower-priced products.  Moreover, we could easily replace “dirty” low-paying manufacturing jobs with “cleaner” technology, service and information jobs. 

The next step was to move corporate call centers to Mexico, India and the Philippines.  (After all, that kind of work is much too mundane and boring for American workers.)   

Next, the corporations began hiring illegal immigrants for restaurant, landscaping, meat processing and construction jobs.  We were told that these were jobs Americans citizens were unwilling to do.  (The corporations neglected to mention that the real reason American citizens didn’t want these jobs were reduced salaries and benefits.)

More recently, corporations have exported the creation of software to India.  At the same time, they’ve requested special green cards for Indian engineers.  The corporations claim that too few Americans are as well-educated and trained. 

Even our military has gotten into the act by hiring mercenaries from other nations to provide security for American diplomats in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Is it any wonder that our health care system now represents 1/6th of our economy?  And we’re already hiring nurses and doctors from other nations to meet “shortages”.

So what will unemployed American citizens do?  The most promising opportunity is for the invention and manufacture of so-called green products such as wind turbines, photovoltaic solar panels and higher mileage vehicles…if politicians and corporations don’t export these jobs first.