If measured according to the methodology used when I was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, the unemployment rate today in the US is above 20%. Moreover, there is no obvious way of reducing it. There are no factories, with work forces temporarily laid off by high interest rates, waiting for a lower interest rate policy to call their workforces back into production.
The work has been moved abroad. In the bygone days of American prosperity, CEOs were inculcated with the view that they had equal responsibilities to customers, employees, and shareholders. This view has been exterminated. Pushed by Wall Street and the threat of takeovers promising “enhanced shareholder value,” and incentivized by “performance pay,” CEOs use every means to substitute cheaper foreign employees for Americans. Despite 20% unemployment and cum laude engineering graduates who cannot find jobs or even job interviews, Congress continues to support 65,000 annual H-1B work visas for foreigners.
In the midst of the highest unemployment since the Great Depression what kind of a fool do you need to be to think that there is a shortage of qualified US workers?
The last is just yet another data point in whom our Congress really represents. Nothing new there, but perhaps someone out there needed one more bit of proof to be convinced.
The real question is this. How long will American voters keep electing and re-electing a Congress that doesn't represent them? Shouldn't voting to fund foreigners to come take American jobs in the midst of the worst downturn since the Great Depression be a death knell to any chances of re-election? In a country where the elections represented the will of the people, surely that would be the case.