PBS Nightly Business Report
Gregory Alan Bolcer
gbolcer at endeavors.com
Mon Aug 18 08:25:51 PDT 2003
Anyone catch Thos on NBR? Sure we have the greatest
job factory in the world. Government incentives INMHO have
either gone to large, entrenched businesses to support
their fat in lean times or service industry and/or
fil08/14/03: Commentary: The Nuts & Bolts of The US Jobs
Factory JEFF YASTINE: In tonight's commentary, fixing the
greatest job-creating machine in the world.
Here's Tom Stewart, editor of the "Harvard Business Review."
TOM STEWART, COMMENTARY: Three years ago, U.S. unemployment
was just 3.9 percent. Skilled workers were so scarce that we
welcomed record numbers of foreigners under a work visa
program called H1B. When companies expanded offices overseas,
it was seen as a sign of the growing wealth of America. How
long ago it seems. Now unemployment is 6.2 percent.
Immigrant workers are often looked on with suspicion and
anger. Companies that create jobs overseas are villains. And
the topic will figure in the 2004 presidential race. It was
an issue in 1992 also. Remember Ross Perot and the giant
sucking sound from Mexico? Yet within a few years unemployment
was the lowest since World War II.
Today the big topic is the movement of jobs to India and China.
Well, in the long run, everybody is best served by productive
and lean businesses. But it's no good to say think of that big
picture to someone who has sent out a thousand resumes. On the
other hand, it's foolish to insist on relief today if that means
tomorrow won't be better. So it's vital for policy makers in
companies and Washington not to choose one side over the other.
They have to choose both. Give help for retraining, but don't
penalize companies that invest abroad. Give tax credit for R&D
but don't subsidize dying industries. The U.S. economy is the
greatest job creating machine in the world, it will be that again
provided we help each other now and invest for tomorrow both. I'm
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