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Black Hole - Retraining
For What?

Judith Moriarty

Imagine the utter arrogance of 'career' politicians casually remarking that, 'people can expect to have a dozen or more jobs/career moves in their lives.' Except for themselves or Supreme Court Justices.Notice how there are never any follow up stories after a business takes off for China or to a state where Somallians are employed by the company.When the paper mills - local modular home (award winning) business closed down, local officials - the Governor were right on hand for that photo-op, promising "job retraining". This happens all over the nation. We have NO idea, of what, if any job retraining there is? 
None has been reported in our local press, unless 'ice fishing' is a new career? In Pittsburgh (true) they offered steel workers, with mills off to China, South Korea, etc - jobs as nurses aides. Little wonder eh - they don't do follow ups on everybody living happily ever after? We now have over 31 million on food stamps and thousands living in tent cities. I imagine this isn't shown on the 'news' because it would make people feel bad, worried, fearful? If we just pretend it's not happening - maybe it'll all disappear? 
Through various years of high unemployment backdrops, we read "people are being retrained " or "'they must be retrained" (news reports that people should EXPECT to have numerous dislocations and different jobs durning their lifetime. (UNLESS you're a CAREER political). for new careers, but the writers and or the so-called expert pundits very carefully avoid saying for what jobs exactly people must be trained??
Gaping hole questions are never fully answered on that particular question. An observer sees clearly the discomfort that pundits face as "outsourcing"of better paid manufacturing or high tech jobs increase over the years. They don't dare tell the people the truth: that "they better get used to menial jobs and an altogether altered standard of living."
Once again, but with a bit more emphasis, business or scholarly journals inform us that some industries are NEVER coming back, and others that remain will never reclaim the large numbers of employees they once did, as the article below actually clearly spells out. Systematically and insidiously; over the past decades, ANCHOR industries of small town U.S.A., have shut down and with subsidies voted by Congress, moved to foreign lands. Multinationals don't burden themselves with such things as; loyalty - pride - community - county fairs - farmer's markets - Fourth of July parades - the global world to them is about a serf class and PROFITS. It's about the productive and the non-productive! These closures don't make the 'headline' (corporate owned) media.
This exodus accelerated greatly under the Bush administration/ though BOTH parties are equally at fault. Who knows or cares about Pride Mfg (Wisconsin) the world's largest producer of golf tees, off to China? The hundreds that worked here care/ and all the supporting businesses (grocer - diner - hardware - car dealers etc). Maytag - (they keep the name to fool consumers) off to China leaving thousands in small towns (mid west) devastated. Paper Mills on NH - IBM in Vermont, furniture mills in the Carolinas, Hersey Town (Pa) closed, chocolate (wax) candy now in Mexico.
Notice how (lying) politicians DARE to pontificate on the campaign trail - talking shows, of how they care! THEY made it possible with major trade agreements that our country entered which has resulted in a race to the BOTTOM in WAGES, health standards, environmental protections, safety, etc. Both Obama and Hillary (laid off Ohio steel workers) lied and told these 'hopeful - believing' folks that by God they'd rework NAFTA (one of numerous trade agreements). NOT - Obama (as President) on his visit to Canada told them 'not to worry/ that was being (NAFTA) put on the back burner'.      
The trillion-dollar question: With all the low paying jobs already filled, what work remains for the MILLIONS of newly unemployed?
During the last several recessions, people were told that the custodial industry, the nationwide gulag , aka the growing prison system,  would place a considerable number of unemployed. From a carepenter, engineer, farmer, etc to a prison guard. Now there's a career move for ya!
In the previous outsourcing years, policy wonks and various 'representatives of the people" told us using deceptive language, that certain job seekers would have NO  choice but to accept low wage geriatric care jobs in the other people warehousing system, aka the nursing home industry. From forging steel - steel that built WWII ships, to our finest bridges - to changing bedpans. This is what they told the burly steel workers in Pittsburgh! 
Others yet with the mainly low paying work in the parks and services 'industry' and the growing (Ninja troops) law enforcement 'industry'." As well as with the entertainment and gladiator sports, aka the bread and circus 'industry'.  No news on the numerous 'tent cities' (Obama-Bushvilles?); popping up from Hawaii - Calfornia - Florida - Seattle etc (working poor - unable to afford obsene rents, utilities), yet the MEDIA went on and on and on lauding billionaire (gladiator golf) Tiger Woods whose greatest feat in life is hitting a golf ball! Tiger, who makes MORE (a year) for wearing the goofy NIKI logo on his cap/ new line of clothing than ALL the slave wage workers in Indonesia !  Meantime, another useless turd (Sununu) doesn't think doctors deserve a decent wage! 
But here's the new problem: In our day, all those employment sectors are filled (a job as a rapper is scarce in NH)  and in fact most or all, to some extent, are now laying off or firing certain numbers, for good, due to revenue shortages.    
My question remains?   For what other jobs are people to be RETRAINED?   
Over the years, and gaining rapid momentum since the late seventies, when the Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed (Clinton!!) in 1994, setting the final stage for the mass manufacturing plant closures and the export of huge amounts of machine tools to China, Mexico and other growing hubs for manufacturing---most of the middle class better paying jobs in production have disappeared. The Economist last year wrote that manufacturing makes up just 5-7% of U.S. GDP. How pitiful is that?. If a large and strong capital/property owning middle class  is necessary for the absolute unkeep and safeguarding of representative government, serving also as the enforcing VOICE of liberties' laws and norms then castastrophe awaits us with the RAPID decimation of what remained of the already - years long decreasing middle class - via these HUGE layoffs and firings and the finishing off of any manufacturing we had remaining!
History recalls the SCORN of France calling Great Britain 'the world's shopkeepr' as that mighty power de-industrialized.  Today, the United States of America is accepted as the world's shopkeeper, even as it chokes to death over its STUFF. Even as tens of thousands of its shops close, throwing millions into penury and despair.    
The truth as I see it, and as it finally becomes plainer from the pens of policy makers in journals like Forign Affairs, The Economist and even the NY Times, is that this country is about to smell, taste, live what 'the rest' of the world have had to do for so long. In the the following article, the U.S. is entering that dreaded era of its historical existence, perhaps a long lasting (like forever) era, when chronic unemployment with all its accompanying burdens, (like death) will no longer be the norm of just other poverty striken nations. .    
Will the American people wake up at some near point and scream ENOUGH? I don't think soon enough, though a few might? . 60-70 years of uninterrupted prosperity has served to soften and atrophy the 'fight and flight' neuro transmitters of once, the richest, most industralized, nation in the world!
Take a look at the bold history of the richest country, with the largest middle class, the most educated for its time, coming out of feudalism: France, which then stupidly decided to have a revolution which led to the reign of terror.  
Then the other nation: the most educated for its time, highly industrialized and believed itself democratic:  GERMANY in the 30s. Germany in the 30's. Then we could discuss ad nauseum the examples of Rome or Athen or the Persian empire, or Byzantium,  and of cours the dark ages, as the result of apathy and foolishness.  
People do not learn from history. It seems they are condemned to repeat it or some version of it, none of it good.    
Regardless, I'm willing to bet the countryside will be quite a bit safer and offer more opportunities for a civil even if complex, survival, than the cities or suburbia.   
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