…I would uphold the law of the land and stop playing with market forces.
Todays headlines in the news are touting President Obama’s gift of green cards for legal foreigners in the US on H1-B visas who have maxed out their stays and are supposed to be returning home. I was thinking that if they did return home, it might open up jobs for some of the 90+ million Americans who are currently out of the work force. Okay, I know that most of the 90+ million do not have the proper training and education to do the jobs of these educated foreigners. But two other ideas accompany that admission. First, at least SOME of the 90+ million do have the proper education and qualifications for those jobs, but companies won’t hire them because they would have to pay them more than they would the foreigners. Second, I was thinking that if there were an actual demand for American workers, wouldn’t that be an incentive for Americans to obtain the education and skills required? I mean, isn’t that the true basis of a capitalistic society?
Let me speak plainly. I am no economist and certainly not the best accountant in history. My background is in English and teaching. However, we are supposedly a capitalistic society. On the one end of capitalism that has seen American wages stagnate for the past twenty years while corporate earnings and profits are off the charts, we are told that wages are determined by market forces. With 90+ million Americans competing for jobs, the advent of practical AI, and a global market, we all have to be prepared to deal with a changing world.
Okay, I understand that much. But then how come when it comes to ANY sort of market force that would actually stimulate wage growth IN THE UNITED STATES, employ AMERICANS in white collar jobs, and finally help the CITIZENTS OF THIS COUNTRY begin to experience the economic recovery we’ve all been told began in 2009, how come then it is suddenly unconscionable to allow market forces to dictate wages?
Why does the president who is elected to represent the 300+ million American citizens get to subvert the will of the people, the best interest of the people, and the good faith of the very citizens that elected him in favor of benefitting wealthy corporations that insist market forces should drive prices?
See, if I were president, I would be lecturing and speaking all over the country about corporate social responsibility. That’s the idea that companies have a duty and an obligation to consider the impact of their employment practices on the communities in which they exist. I’d be advocating for hefty tax breaks for companies that forgo foreign workers and invest in educating a competitive work-force here at home. Companies would be encouraged to work in partnership with high schools and colleges to help gear American students into custom programs that would produce the workers of tomorrow. Companies would be encouraged to balance executive pay in relation to average worker salary (I said encouraged – not forced) to help raise incomes of middle class Americans.
Okay – if you know me – you know that I would happily name and shame companies that shirked their social responsibility and would heavily promote companies that are doing right by their American workers. Yes, it’s a global economy, but if I were president, I believe I would place the needs of my own citizens and countrymen ahead those of the rest of the world.
I am not ashamed of the concept of American exceptionalism, and I’d encourage it again. Does that make me a nationalist rather than a globalist? God, I sure hope so. And I hope that is the case with our next president as well. I miss the days when, as an average citizen, I felt like the president of our nation gave a hoot about what happens to people like me.