August 7, 2013 | Volume 100 / Number 32

It's Your Choice

3 Jobs In Service Or 1 In Manufacturing?

OK, which would you choose? Three highly skilled waiters capable of carrying nine plates of food in just two hands or one highly skilled industrial worker capable of manufacturing three hundred plastic trays for highly skilled waiters to carry?

How about a dozen EPA workers highly skilled in regulating the regulations that make manufacturing costs virtually insurmountable for anyone trying to start a business or one highly skilled and motivated entrepreneur actually building a business that hires people and that exports goods to other countries in spite of the “Dirty Dozen” EPA workers?

Or maybe five social workers highly skilled in getting you every government handout he/she can find, every hospital that will accept undocumented workers and their families, the closest food market that accepts food stamps, or would you prefer one coast to coast trucker bringing your every day goods to your local stores?

The choices for the three posers listed above are fairly obvious to me and probably to the majority of my 10.3 readers but seem to be unclear to the present administration in Washington District of Calamity.

We have a very serious problem here because we import far more “stuff” from around the world than we export to those same countries. The reason for this is that we do not have the manufacturing we had 50 years ago or even just 30 years ago.

This country cannot survive as a “service”country. It must have people making things, other than pina coladas, London broils and a bazillion dollars a year scoring touchdowns in front of 75,000 screaming fans who work in the service industry and don't make anything.

U.S. Rep. Daines has stated, We need to allow highly skilled workers to immigrate to the United States.” In an email, I called him to task for that statement but after careful thought and consternation I can see his point. Misguided though it is.

We are guilty, as a nation, of giving our college kids a subpar education in the technologies and engineering departments while over educating those who have chosen the “easy grade” majors. We make it too easy on them. We don't entice them to produce better grades with the prospects of high paying jobs after graduation. We saddle them with impossible school loan debts while giving scholarships to foreign kids.

The major colleges need to get foreign students because their work ethics and study habits insure grades far above the average American student thus improving the overall GPA of the college. Sad but true folks.

To get manufacturing back in full swing in America we need to start graduating more, higher skilled American workers.

And we need to get rid of the EPA, or at least start scrutinizing the regulations coming down from that agency. The people need a say in what regulations we want and those that are detrimental to our very existence.

I say we gotta have higher personal goals and study habits from K through postgraduate school. And that, my friends, will have to begin at home!

In our neck of the woods we have the farm kids who have good work habits and for the most part are honor roll students. They need to pick up the slack for those in the turmoil of inner city education where, if you have 80% attendance you graduate. Matters not if you can read and comprehend a simple sentence. At least you attended.

We can all scream to “throw more money at education,” but money is not the main problem and it's not the lack of good teachers.

Let's get back to manufacturing a good portion of the world's commodities as we did in the 1950s and '60s, when we were at the top of the world in manufacturing AND education.

Think about this if you will. We hear and see every day of doctors, lawyers, techies and other skilled foreign workers being 'courted' by our large American corporations. How often do we hear of some large foreign corporation calling the U.S. for highly skilled American workers?

That's it for now folks. Thanks for listening.

Virgil Vaupel is The Courier's Hinsdale correspondent.

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