Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Sunday, November 06, 2011

It Isn't That There's No Jobs,'s that there aren't qualified people to fill the jobs that are out there.  Mike Rowe understands it.

Right now, American manufacturing is struggling to fill 200,000 vacant positions, I'm told.  And there are 450,000 openings today in trades, transportation, utilities.  The skill gap seems real, and it's getting wider.  In Alabama a third of all skilled tradesmen are now over 55.  They're retiring fast, and there's really nobody there to replace them.  Alabama's not alone.  A few months ago in Atlanta, I ran into Tom Vilsack, our Secretary of Agriculture.  Tom told me about a governor he knows who is unable to move forward on the construction of a new power plant.  The reason, I thought, was fascinating.  It wasn't a lack of funds or lack of support, it was a lack of qualified welders.  

In general, people are surprised that high unemployment can exist at the same time as a skilled labor shortage.  But they shouldn't be.  We've pretty much guaranteed it.  In high schools the vocational arts have all but vanished.  We've elevated the importance of higher education to such a lofty perch that all other forms of knowledge are now labeled as "alternative."  Millions of parents and kids see apprenticeships and really valuable on-the-job training opportunities as vocational consolation prizes best suited for those not cut out for a four-year degree.  And still, we talk about creating "millions of shovel-ready jobs" for a society that doesn't really encourage people to pick up a shovel.

In a hundred different ways I think we've slowly marginalized an entire category of critical professions, reshaping our expectations of a good job into something that no longer looks like work.
If tough history does come, we'll be learning those skills again because we must.

Now, go read the associated post at House of Eratosthenes.

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