There were many lines from President Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention that conservatives and independent thinkers could argue with. Lines about his record and his solutions. However, there was one line that didn’t get much attention, and probably should have. It came about half-way through his speech:
“No company should have to look for workers in China because they couldn’t find any with the right skills here at home.”
This came directly following his promise of making education more affordable. He cited how no child should miss out on college because they can’t afford it. It only makes sense then that the President was saying that a lack of college degrees was sending our jobs overseas.
First of all, that argument won’t hold water with even the most ardent commonsense Democrat. When was the last time anyone talked of how skilled workers were in China, Mexico, or India? Every plant that has moved to Mexico uses average, cheap labor, not some force of widely educated aristocrats.
Let’s take for a moment though and believe that the statement is true. That the President believes jobs go overseas due to a lack of education. That would mean that there is a large deficit of educated workers right here in the United States, correct?
In April of this year, the Associated Press discovered that 53% of college graduates under the age of 25 were unemployed or underemployed. The percentage of those under 25 total, degree or not, was 18.4%. The data therefore proves that those with degrees actually have a higher rate of unemployment than their peers without degrees.
Side note: the average college graduate leaves school with a degree, and more than $25,000 in debt according to the Institute of College Access & Success. Think about that. Their peers, without that debt, have a higher employment rate. Isn’t the disadvantage currently to those with a huge amount of debt and no job?
Back to the point though, according to raw data, there are 1.5 million Americans with college degrees looking for jobs. Are those jobs going overseas while ignoring the millions of workers qualified, according to the President?
Clearly there is another factor not voiced by the President during his speech. For one, the United States taxes businesses at a higher rate than other countries such as Mexico. Secondly, countries like Mexico and China have very few regulations on businesses as well as little or no minimum wage. In Mexico, it is roughly $4 per day. Perhaps economic factors influence the outsourcing of jobs far more so than the education of their workers.
One other aspect is also troubling. The President has long been a proponent of larger immigration, exemplified by the signing of the DREAM Act. An article by ABC News in February of this year documented how many American skilled workers are losing jobs going to those entering the country with work visas from other countries. When asked about this directly, the President made no statement. As if 1.5 million unemployed Americans competing for jobs wasn’t enough, work visas allow those from other countries to also compete for these jobs.
While it makes for a good campaign speech to say you want all Americans to have a higher education, facts must be presented. Continued lies from the teleprompter will further hurt a crippled American economy. However, these lies breed power, and power may just be what he is seeking.
As cited above, college graduates are burdened with a large amount of debt and unemployment. More college graduates, which is what the President was championing, means even more financially burdened unemployed Americans.
Now take a step back to President Obama’s State of the Union Address where he first proposed forgiveness of student debt for those who take certain government jobs. This premise was repeated by President Bill Clinton in his DNC speech:
“Here’s what it does [the President’s loan forgiveness plan]. It lowers the cost of federal student loans…Their [students] debt obligation will be determined by their salary.”
The first part of that means more accessibility to money for school. More debt. However, the last part is the key. The students’ debt obligation will be determined by the salary of the job they take. While there are no specific details, it is implied that lower paying jobs, such as teachers, will have to pay back less than those of say lawyers.
It is all a game to win votes. Burdened unemployed college grads would surely support someone who will forgive their debt over someone who believes in hard work. It is all about something for nothing and is doublespeak, lies, smoke and mirrors. An important election this surely is.