Corporations Want Instant Ready Disposable Workers, Not Employees

The Wall Street Journal finally said what most working people know, there is no worker, or skills or talent shortage in America. The real problem is employers, their arcane human resources policies, and the demand for instant ready workers like some sort of ready to eat microwave meal.

disposableworkers, cartoonist unknown

In why companies aren't getting the employees they need, Dr. Cappelli, Wharton Professor, finally spells it out.

Some of the complaints about skill shortages boil down to the fact that employers can't get candidates to accept jobs at the wages offered. That's an affordability problem, not a skill shortage. A real shortage means not being able to find appropriate candidates at market-clearing wages. We wouldn't say there is a shortage of diamonds when they are incredibly expensive; we can buy all we want at the prevailing prices.

That is assuredly true when it comes to multinational corporations demanding foreign guest workers and more flooding the U.S. labor market via corporate controlled immigration. The latest trick is to tack on a green card to a college degree, a lobbyist agenda that is introduced almost every Congressional session. All of these efforts squeeze out more Americans from educational and work opportunities in their own country.

American companies don't seem to do training anymore. Data are hard to come by, but we know that apprenticeship programs have largely disappeared, along with management-training programs.

That's also true. Back when, corporations, literally would pay for a full PhD, with full financial support, including salary. Yes, one had to be the cream of the crop, but corporations did it. They invested in their employees. The result was some of the greatest innovation strides in history and America was the great patent holder.

AT&T Bell Labs, IBM, Met Life, the list goes on and on of corporations who used to hire Americans, train Americans and support Americans. All of that is no more. Literally corporations have offshore outsourced employee investment, future opportunities, in addition to the actual jobs.

According to NACE, co-ops and internship opportunities for college students increased slightly in 2010, but this again is in comparison to the great slashing of internships and co-ops of 2008. Despite the increase, wages for internships and co-ops declined.

U.S. training expenditures—including payroll and spending on external products and services increased only $600 million to $52.8 billion for 2010, but this is misleading, for private employer training has been slashed in comparison to the 1990's.

worker deleteMost people know learning is continual and most technical people can ramp-up on a new skill in a matter of a couple of weeks. Yet HR people continually look for some requisite time period of experience or some buzz phrase. Desired keywords don't pop-up in a resume and HR gives feedback via the delete key.

Even worse, employers slashed tuition reimbursement again and now only 44% of all employers offer any benefit. Additionally, University PhD fellowships have dropped and stipends are stymied.

Of course tuition increased again for 2012 by astounding amounts:

At four-year public colleges, in-state tuition and fees for the school year beginning this fall rose by an average of 8.3% from the previous year, to $8,244, amid declining support from state legislatures, according to annual reports from the College Board, a nonprofit that conducts collegiate research. The total cost including room and board rose 6% to $17,131,

The below table has the tuition breakdown.

Sector 2011-12 costs 2010-11 costs $ Change % Change
Public Two-Year In-State $2,963 $2,727 $236 8.7%
Public Four-Year In-State $8,244 $7,613 $631 8.3%
Public Four-Year Out-of-State $20,770 $19,648 $1,122 5.7%
Private Nonprofit Four-Year $28,500 $27,265 $1,235 4.5%
For-Profit $14,487 $14,040 $447 3.2%


California just passed the ill-conceived Dream Act, which gives in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. Now check out California tuition rate increases and compare that to the out of state tuition rates, which U.S. citizens in other states cannot get.

. At California's four-year public colleges, in-state tuition and fees rose 21%—the highest increase in the nation—followed by jumps of 17% and 16% in Arizona and Washington, respectively. In Connecticut and South Carolina, tuition and fees rose only 2.5%.

Once again we see pretty much a complete disregard for the U.S. citizen worker, student and U.S. middle class. No jobs, no training, no investment in America and especially Americans. Opportunity denied at every turn to the point the U.S. has a gini coefficient above the entire industrialized world and third world social mobility. Maybe we should change the nation's title, United States of America, to Disposable American Land instead.



And here's a touching, first-person account

Just read an NYT article this morning which almost made me spit coffee all over my monitor. Essentially, business is booming for a premium conference table manufacturer, but he decided to demote his right-hand man to manufacturing rather than making any new hires. The article also touches upon the "skill" issue and his unwillingness to train new specialists, though this employer at least doesn't outsource. Hopefully the link will get through; if not, the article is entitled "Layoffs? Suddenly we have a different problem."

actually, this article

makes a lot of sense to me. Instead of laying anyone off he just moved his sales guy to carpentry where the training time is less because he already has some of the skills.

I wouldn't call $400k in orders "big bucks" and each person is probably $80k or so, accounting for benefits and this is skilled labor too.

I see your point, he wants "ready made" workers with extreme, specialized skill sets that he can just can after the order rush is over.

This is called contracting, temps and unfortunately is controlled by a host of 3rd parties who jack up rates, take money away from the person doing the actual work. Tons of these "temp help" companies out there and they do this with advanced skills all of the time. Its the IRS and laws when enable these "middlemen" who frankly don't provide much but finding said temp and then taking anywhere from 20-80% of their actual hourly gross pay.

Seems generally any job which actually produces, makes something is pooped on in America.


I will soon graduate with a BS in Computer Science and a pretty good GPA of 3.8. The rate of pay for the internships I have been offered are a joke. One actually insisted on more than the part time I was looking for, and wanted to pay me 9.00 an hour! Not only did the guy make this offer with a straight face but, he acted like he was doing me a favor. Even in my chosen field where the unemployment rate is not high, this attitude of less employee investment comes to roost.

I conisder myself to be one of the lucky ones. I am 40 and decided to go back to school before all the financial mess hit. I was capable of doing well in a pretty tough program. I cannot even imagine my prospects otherwise.

good for you on going back to college

But watch out for age discrimination on NCG jobs. I'm sorry to warn but it's true, especially in CS. That's positively disgusting, but be aware, there are CEs with 20 yrs. experience, being offered even less hourly rates for design, programming.

That said, my best advice is to look "high and low" and if you can, apply to DoD types of jobs which still require U.S. citizenship too. Just keep looking and avoid those trying to pay a BS CS less than the wage to flip burgers, pump gas or pick corn.

And I wouldn't have a problem with lower wages if...

We could just lower the prices of everything to third world levels too.

that's not how it usually works

More 3rd world cannot afford houses with plumbing, cars, never mind cars with air-conditioning. Food is a problem too, if one noticed the middle east, "spring" started with outrage over food inflation and went from there.

Nope, lowering wages usually means wage slave and not much else.

outsourcing..... why do we allow it?

Multi nationals complain that they must hire green card holders for less - or outsource altogether - because they must compete with 3rd world companies. WHY?

American made products should have an advantage through tariffs? How did multi nationals manipulate trade policy to make off shore goods more competitive than our own?

Who the hell is representing us? -- RIGHT... nobody.

And that is what has to stop. Corporations are NOT people, not citizens and that Supreme court decision is the beginning of a new fight.

Off shore goods should be taxed at the border - PERIOD.

Sure, Levis' will come home to California... IF, and only if they are allowed to poison OUR rivers blue like they do in Mexico and the Philippines. It's part of their business model now.

Levi's are a hundred bucks a pop... the new profits go to management and to a lesser extent stockholders. Their busines model REQUIRES slave labor and pollution.

Why do we allow this?

Levi's should be taxed at the border for their crimes against workers and the environment.

Without a full out revolution, we will continue to be slaves to the world economy. America for Americans... it's the new mantra... corporations be damned.

if all of America started voting with their $$ maybe

There are certain issues where the polling comes in at 80% of Americans want some issue stopped. Outsourcing is one of them. Another is they don't want more bad trade deals.

Yet, various fractions, esp. multinationals with their "press trolls" and cable noise try to spin it all as if America is divided and want policies they in fact, do not.

In terms of "Populist rants" here on EP, an economics blog that is non-partisan, we've been advocating for policies to be enacted when you see polling that hits the 80% of Americans want x. I mean come on, the only ones stopping us are Congressional leadership and the administration (puppets on a string to lobbyists).

To find an American made jean, see this table list.

Wrangler is better than Levi, who abandoned America so why buy them, they are not American at all anymore....

but Wrangler is "not by much" better in terms of using American workers, American supplies, materials.

ABC news has been running a series called "Made in America" and it's a great news series. They have discovered a host of U.S. made products that are either the same cost or cheaper than a lot of imports who claim they must offshore outsource to be competitive. Right, in that mantra were true, ABC news could not so easily find made in the USA products that are cheaper and better made.

So, even on consumer choice, it's hard to find out good information and the WTO, bad trade deals are making that worse. Literally they can no longer put "Dolphin safe" on a can of tuna anymore.

So, the real agenda is to destroy the United States. MNCs don't like nation-states, they are inconvenient for their agendas, except to play nation-states off of each other for tax, asset hiding and currency exchange purposes.

Arch-agenda of global capital

"So, the real agenda is to destroy the United States. MNCs don't like nation-states, they are inconvenient for their agendas, except to play nation-states off of each other for tax, asset hiding and currency exchange purposes." -- Robert Oak

Reference is to "agendas" (plural) of MNCs. Of course, there are various corporation-specific agendas; however, the greater threat to nation-states (and to global stability) is the arch-agenda of global capital. That agenda is driven through corporations but represents a force that the management of no MNC can long resist. Moreover, the structure of global finance is such that there are no adequate means available to more enlightened MNC management leadership (or investor groups) to effect changes in a system that is structurally designed to drive the downward spiral of the race-to-the-bottom.

There is an overall agenda that is driven by the structure of global finance capitalism. This 'arch-agenda' isn't something governed by some secret group like 'the Illuminati' (Rockefellers and Rothschilds in an unholy alliance with China's Hu and Wen). The arch-agenda of global capital operates rather as a system of social dynamics that follows observable laws that have evolved over time and which have become accepted as laws of human nature, although these 'laws' are actually culturally determined in the complex reality of social globalization.

The situation was well examined, IMO, in the classic analysis of the Bhopal tragedy, The Enemy of Nature by Joel Kovel (2003). However, Kovel's prediction is problematic and doubtful, that the ultimate solution or cure for the race-to-the-bottom is anarcho-syndicalism. I also disagree with Kovel's prognosis that capitalism, as such, is the culprit. Nonetheless, Kovel's analysis of how contemporary finance capitalism functions to determine an arch-agenda with which no MNC can do other than conform is persuasive.

By carefully pursuing a neo-mercantilist agenda along with well-governed monetarist policy, some nation-states with autocratic governments -- like China and Singapore -- are able to resist the power of MNCs and of global capital. Such governments are able to play the MNCs as much as the MNCs are able to play them. Of course, a corrupt autocratic government or military dictatorship, with little or no populist base, inevitably and invariably caves to MNC agendas, even as the national economy and welfare is quickly driven into the toilet.

By contrast, nations with democratic traditions, including the rule of law, are having a difficult time resisting the globalist agenda, now that it has taken hold. IMO, this situation derives from two sources: (1) the WTO program to eliminate non-tariff barriers by first eliminating all barriers to the flow of capital along with tariff barriers on goods and services, and, (2) the now experientially bankrupt pseudo-economics of the "Austrian School" and related globalist pseudo-economic theories that set up the accumulation of free-floating capital as, in and of itself, the ultimate "good" that society should or must pursue. (The Citizens United ruling can be seen as a corollary of the experientially bankrupt pseudo-economics of the 'Austrian School'.)

Among the many challenges presenting in our brave new world at the beginning of the Third Millennium -- now that the false religion of financial globalism has been exposed -- is the restructuring of trade barriers to include the regulation of capital flows. Unfortunately, there are many in government today (including the otherwise laudable Rep. Ron Paul) who still cling to the pseudo-scientific economic theories of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, ironically and falsely advanced as in support of individual liberty and the rule of law.

Absent intelligent call for structural reform both economic and political, it makes little difference whether we elect Barack Obama or a Republican in 2012. For fundamental economic reform, the first step for the USA is available in HR 2990, the National Emergency Employment Defense Act of 2011. See, American Monetary Institute:

HR 2990 includes all provisions of the American Monetary Act. See, PDF download on American Monetary Act --

If anyone is interested in the Kovel book, see review of The Enemy of Nature at (2003).


If you're wondering why

If you're wondering why America is in such BAD shape, look at what's been promoted to management EVERYWHERE, DILBERT.. I've been working for 42 years and never seen such INEPTNESS. They are bringing America down with them. Number 1, their whole sick mentality about management and your article is a perfect example. Don't train anyone, what does that get you?? FAILURE, but apparently saves them a dime. Well, when every last American corporation is GONE, we won't have to worry about it anymore.