Sunday, September 26, 2010


By Ivan G. Goldman

You’d think some of these cold-blooded toads running global corporations would have at least an elementary understanding that causes will produce effects, but no, now they’re complaining they can’t find workers with elementary math and reading skills.

Greed-head companies hand billions each year to political prostitutes in Washington and state capitals to keep their taxes low. Then they’re surprised that public schools, community colleges, and universities starved for cash can’t provide them with an educated work force.

Also, when you strip funding from social service, health, and parks and recreation agencies, you end up with more kids joining gangs and doing crack. Such children don’t generally grow up to be model employees. But corporations can’t seem to make that connection either.

The National Association of Manufacturers, one of the most rabid anti-tax lobbying groups on the planet, recently griped to The New York Times that in one of its surveys, 32 percent of companies reported “moderate to serious” skills shortages despite our republic's teeming population of unemployed workers. That percentage jumped to 45 percent for energy-related firms and 63 percent for companies making life science products. Because manufacturing has become more complex, companies say they can’t find people to read instructions or blueprints or to operate machinery.

The hypocrisy gets worse. In many cases the firms making these complaints put together lobbying groups whose job is to deliberately mis-educate the public so its members will swallow ignorant concepts -- to believe, for example, that polluting activities have no effect on the climate. They also align themselves with anti-science forces that reject evolution, stem-cell research, and even research in general, backing ignorant hacks like Sarah Palin who slam government funding of fruit fly research -- research that’s already reaped enormous benefits to humankind in fighting disease.

You can’t get informed voters to support, for example, an altogether crazy Republican Pledge to America that seeks to keep taxes low for the rich while raving about cutting government debt. So you try to get yourself an uninformed, uneducated populace incapable of the most elementary critical thinking. Then what do you do? Why you complain that employee applicants are uneducated louts incapable of the most elementary critical thinking.


tnlib said...

It's that old vicious cycle thingy. But I think the lack of reading and math skills begin long before students ever get to college with the result that so much time is wasted on remedial classes and admissions standards are lowered to fill the gap. And of course the groups if ignoramuses such as you describe perpetuate it.

This is a by-product of education in America:

Jason VZ said...

Ivan, you have never been more correct or right-on the point. Because they are "uneducated louts incapable of the most elementary critical thinking" not only can't they work in high-tech jobs, one could argue they can't decipher the political propaganda bantered about these days and can't recognize an outright lie when they hear it. That is the death knell for a democracy! And the large "sophisticated" corporations (and Republicans) can't figure this out. Or maybe they have figured it out, and have there own method in mind.