This, the 1st week of July 2012 saw the release of statistics that more people went on disability rolls than started new jobs. While we all know that the government wants to increase welfare rolls and that there are people who want to get something for nothing, I am assuming that the vast majority of these people legitimately need to be on disability. Why?
We stopped at a McDonalds today in one of America’s oil fields, Odessa, TX. Every employee wore a tee shirt with the words “McDonalds is hiring now.” The large sign in front of the building said starting wages were from $8.50 to $14 per hour. The place was very busy, filled with oil workers and truck drivers in a hurry to get back to work. The customers talked about how busy they were. The McDonalds was obviously short-handed. The owners of several machine shops in Wisconsin went on a national campaign looking for qualified workers. Gun manufactures have backlogs over a year and are refusing to take new orders. This is proof there are jobs in America. So, what is going on in America?
When Henry Ford introduced his assembly line and made automobiles affordable for the average person, demand for horses dropped dramatically. Horse farms adjusted and people survived. But businesses that supplied accessories for the horse and wagon industry died, never to return. This introduced the world to a new business term, “buggy-whipped.” That is, your job disappears, never to return, because a new technology has replaced you. Academicians dislike “buggy-whipped” or “horse-whipped” and so coined the educationalese term “technological displacement.” For the people losing their jobs, “horse-whipped” seems like a better term.
In a fit of false compassion, governments all over the world passed laws to protect workers from evil, greedy capitalists. What actually happened was government workers became the new welfare class. If you want to buy a glass of milk, a pen, a shirt or anything else, government taxes producers, creates regulations, and adds to the cost of producing what you want, plus taxes the final product. Each of these stages of government busywork employs what amounts to welfare workers. These government jobs not only do not need to be done but are actually harmful.
A “buggy-whipped” person needs to be retrained for a new job. Going back to school takes years, creates enormous debt and 50% of all graduates are unable to find work in the field they are graduating in. Minimum wage laws require employees to have a certain level of productivity or they cost the company money instead of make money for the employer. Minimum wage laws make apprenticeship programs impossible. The cost of training a person who is not productive is just too high under minimum wage laws. Even if there is an apprenticeship program, the trainee is not obligated to work for that employer when he completes his training. So both employer and employee turn to inefficient government training programs. Though the employer does not have to pay the costs, the result is a trainee who is poorly trained to meet his specific needs. Employers often do not care because they believe that almost anyone can do the job. They are simply looking for the lowest cost.
Employees find that these expensive, time-consuming programs are mostly indoctrination and rarely prepare one for the very demanding requirements of a real job. The end result is taking a position that is low wage, part time and usually temporary, such as McDonalds, or taking a position that is either dangerous, you are not qualified for or both.
I believe that the number of people on the disability rolls points to horse-whipped Americans taking dangerous jobs they are not prepared for because they are desperate.