In a recent letter, Harry Mansheim postulated our unemployment problem would be solved if we did not have legal abortion. What? This idea runs counter to logical thinking, demographic trends and socioeconomic theory.
The shortfall in qualified workers is an economic, social, and geographic problem. Employees want a quality of life that includes earning a living wage, reliable health care, quality schools for their kids, a safe community and affordable housing. The places that have most if not all these elements are attracting people and have robust, growing economies. Where might that be? Try Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Canada, Australia or Switzerland, especially if you are a woman.
What will it take for the U.S. to get there? When we value every job that contributes to the greater good – regardless of what that job is – we all win. The federal minimum wage just increased to $7.25 per hour and in South Dakota it is now $9.10 per hour. In contrast, CEOs of US companies made $15.6M annually (or $7600/hr.) on average in 2018. This illustrates how the fruits of worker labor are harvested by individuals who aren’t significantly better educated or more talented – just well connected and very lucky. This is not a call for redistribution of wealth. I say we need to rethink our reward systems and find balance that assures every U.S. who puts it on the line every day can have a decent life.
Rather than a false flag solution that infringes on women’s rights, let’s deal with the root cause of our [un]employment problem: Decent wages, access to healthcare, and respect for anyone who deserves a fair chance to succeed. When we are more egalitarian, we build a better future for all Americans.