Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Joe the Plumber Shrugged

Can't read this:
Union Pacific struggles to find enough electricians who have worked with diesel engines. Manufacturers in many places can't find enough machinists. Oil companies must fight for a limited supply of drilling-rig workers.

"There's a tremendous shortage of skilled workers," said Craig Giffi, a vice chairman of the consulting firm Deloitte. A recent survey it did found that 83% of manufacturers reported a moderate or severe shortage of skilled production workers to hire.

Without thinking of this:
"Give us men!" The plea began to hammer progressively louder upon the desk of the Unification Board, from all parts of a country ravaged by unemployment, and neither the pleaders nor the Board dared to add the dangerous words which the cry was implying: "Give us men of ability!" There were waiting lines years' long for the jobs of janitors, greasers, porters and bus boys; there was no one to apply for the jobs of executives, managers, superintendents, engineers.


  1. Just one more consequence when everyone in the middle class thinks they have to go to college. More people unemployable as "college graduates" and fewer people skilled in the trades.

    It seems the logical solution is for colleges to start offering degrees in welding, plumbing, and electrical work. Then they can continue to bilk the vast middle class from their wealth, Middle class kids can fritter away 4 years drinking and chasing tail and the economy still gets a few people who can work with their hands. win-win-win.

  2. Back in the mid-70s I had various part time jobs in a couple of local machine shops. During that time I noticed that the local high school graduates had no idea of how to work. They knew how to talk on the phone with their friends. They knew how to stand around. They didn't even know how to pick up a broom and sweep when they'd go talk to their new buddies at work. The only way they'd keep busy s if a boss was standing right there saying do this. Then they'd ct all surprised when they were let go.

    It's only got worse since then.

  3. Peter - I remember being young & stupid once, and I *did* have to be told about the importance of "looking busy" after I joined the Navy.

    Sadly, it's not a skill/attitude that's taught in public schools.

    Although it damn well should be, since most kids won't end up working in buildings that have their own janitors.