One circumstance many of us may not readily grasp yet about the down turn of an economy that began under Bush in late 2007, is how jobs have been affected. Some of them took a hike out of the country-- they were deleted, as Jeff Faux says in this interview with the AFL-CIO.
“. . . of the10 largest and fastest growing occupations between 2010 and 2020, only one requires a four-year college degree.”
Keep in mind, though, that the likelihood of being employed does remain higher for college grads than it is for the general population.
“In May, the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent among Americans age 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree or higher. In June, it rose to 4.1 percent.” http://cnsnews.com/news/article/out-college-out-work-number-college-grads-jobs-dropped-406000-june
Of course, if this is our sentence for our future, as stated in the interview, it is not over yet! We have seven and a half years until we find out if those are the jobs that will prove true for our youth now moving through their personal schooling and training. So-- outside of achieving a Constitutional Amendment to define campaign finance as definitely not free speech, which I fully support-- what else can those of us in the upward bound or educated segment of our population do to surf beyond serfdom into a better, more generous outcome for ourselves, our children, and the overall economy?
Here are some ideas that I like:
- Sustainable agricultural development: farming, collective endeavors such as urban farms, and planting crops that are nutritiously the best choices, rather than continuing to consume all sorts of prepackaged goods that are controlled by corporations like Monsanto and Dow. Wouldn't it be a lively discussion to engage home and property owners in tax rebates for something similar to the victory gardens that many of my friends already plant?
- Choosing energy sources that are sustainable, mostly wind and solar, and a move toward community involvement in the distribution of electrical power that is not produced from the fossil fuels that cost us so dearly in health and in climate change.
- Continued movement toward conscious development of green buildings, which is already a reality. Beyond the change in the urban scape of the future, urban and rural America have already benefited from tax rebates for improved energy savings by retrofitting existing structures with insulation, better windows and doors, that save on heating and cooling. We could add appliance upgrades to the list too. The tax rebates should be reinstated to increase jobs.
- Many of the jobs that began to move overseas under NAFTA might be replaced by encouragement of the small business community, the backbone of America for generations. Small businesses actually provide the most jobs in the USA, despite common beliefs to the contrary. “. . .Today the country’s 28 million small firms employ 60 million Americans, half of the private sector workforce.“ Large box stores just don't cut the mustard for job development. Definitely choose to shop in your local small businesses! http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/small_business_report_final.pdf
The thought that college does not enhance job availability as much as we want may be somewhat difficult thinking for educators, although stats still show that available jobs are more likely held by the college educated. Many of us older Americans have been preaching the benefits of education for decades if not for generations. But we also need to embrace the actual facts in some way. I don't think that we should backtrack entirely from establishing an educated electorate, as well as a forward looking, intelligent population. However, we might want to adjust our expectation more toward reality.
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