Retraining for the New Economy

One of the things that most infuriates me about President Obama’s so-called recovery plan (the current one) is that he has really drunk the kool-aid on worker retraining. Statistics do not support the idea that what we have is workers who are prepared for the wrong job set; the problem is employers who do not intend to pay Americans to do these jobs.

Instead of retraining workers, I would retrain management and politicians.

First up, one month, seven days a week at the local food shelf or a public kitchen, checking people in and balancing the budget. Here’s a clip on the way things are going up here in Burlington, Vermont.

Next up, a month in the local court system or jail, watching the toll recession takes on formerly well-behaved families and individuals.

Third, a month with the local community college career counselors.

Fourth, back to the food shelf. Same people are still there, except there are more of them.

Fifth, a month of working retail full time (lots of folks rotate in and out of these jobs) to get some sense of what it would be like to do it for an extra six years, into your late sixties or seventies. This is especially recommended for older decision makers.

Sixth, a month with a family whose single parent works three jobs, tending and feeding the kids without a car or enough money for taxis. Bus system and walking shoes only.

Have fun.


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