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News :: Organizing
Workforce What?: MGA blog response to a Globe editorial
14 Jun 2005
Modified: 04:35:44 PM
Yesterday's Boston Globe editorial "Workforce Work" exercises the same peculiar kind of logic that has hamstrung progressives' ability to advance a successful course of action on the ongoing Massachusetts jobs crisis.
Yesterday's Boston Globe editorial "Workforce Work" exercises the same peculiar kind of logic that has hamstrung progressives' ability to
advance a successful course of action on the ongoing Massachusetts jobs crisis. While its argument for a better-educated workforce is
certainly something to support, the Globe ignores the forest for the trees.
The editorial points out that in the second quarter of 2004, there were 60,000 job vacancies for 177,000 unemployed workers. However, rather than clamor for 177,000 jobs to be created, it indicates that even sending 60,000 unemployed to fill the 60,000 available jobs is not possible because many of said unemployed don't have the skills needed to fill the jobs.
The Globe then moves on to look at North Carolina's initiative to create a biotech training facility without commenting on the flaws of that all-your-eggs-in-one-basket strategy. Namely, that our southern neighbors will be spending large amounts of public money on training schemes that favor the uncertain fortunes of one industrial sector at the expense of others. The piece concludes by supporting the "Workforce Solutions Act" being sponsored by Rep. Lida Harkin
(D-Needham) and Sen. Thomas McGee (D-Lynn) in the Massachusetts State House. The Act would "set up an advisory committee that could untangle and streamline the existing mix of workforce programs" which the Globe believes will create "job ladders" that will improve the fortunes of Massachusetts workers.
Left unstated is what the Act will not do—create any new jobs.
Moreover, job ladders have been pretty thoroughly wiped out in most Massachusetts industries by 3 decades of de-unionization, "flexible employment," and the destruction of public programs that fulfill one of the main functions of a democratic government: job creation.
The private sector has led a successful legislative and cultural crusade to crush even the idea of public job creation, leaving the working public to the tender mercies of businesses whose only goal is
to make a profit… and not to eliminate unemployment or even to marginally improve the economic fortunes of the unemployed. Perhaps
the Globe might take this state of affairs more seriously the next time they cheerlead for tepid initiatives like the "Workforce Solutions Act." Calls for full employment and cradle-to-grave public education would be far more on point.

[Note: MGA's new website and blog will be launching in the next few days at www.massglobalaction.org, the old website is still up at the moment.]

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