On April 15 2015, the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council released their report for the month of April. In discussing national employment, they noted that US employment had an unexpected large drop in March 2015:
Not that the number of new jobs matters that much anymore. Nearly all of the new jobs created in the past 10 years have been low wage part time jobs often taking my seniors coming out of retirement to work at McDonalds. Given the huge numbers of high school seniors and college graduates entering the workforce each year, It would take 200,000 new jobs per month just to “break even.” So 125,000 new jobs in March 2015 means that another 75,000 joined the ranks of the invisible unemployed. These kids cannot even collect unemployment benefits because to be unemployed, you have to first become employed. But perhaps even more shocking was the table for employment here in Washington state, the software capital of the world.
Notice anything unusual here? First, look at the change in software jobs from 2013 to 2014. For the entire year, not a single new software job was created! There was 54,900 software jobs in 2013 and 54,900 software jobs in 2014. According to a friend of mine who works in the Employment Department at Microsoft, less than 1,000 of these computer programmers are actually from Washington state. Most were imported from sweat shops in India. US programmers were required to train their replacements who were willing to work for much less than US programmers. Meanwhile, the Washington state legislature gives Microsoft a tax break of nearly one billion dollars per year by allowing them to pretend that Microsoft is located in Reno Nevada instead of Redmond Washington!
Wait a minute. Wasn't the point of Common Core and the high stakes testing to raise the bar so our kids could get all of those new Hi Tech jobs? It turns out the entire thing was a farce – a marketing slogan – designed to get parents to accept the abusive corporate takeover of our public schools. There are no new software jobs waiting for our kids when they graduate from high school and/or college. Here is a link to how the myth of Hi Tech jobs was promoted in order to convince Congress to increase the number of H1B workers allowed into the US. Watch in the video what corporations and Congress really mean by a "shortage of skilled U.S. workers". Microsoft, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard and thousands of other companies are running fake ads for fake workers for fake jobs in Sunday newspapers across the country each week.
The other big pusher of Common Core and High Stakes testing is Boeing – who was given $9 billion in tax breaks just a year ago in order to create more Aerospace jobs. Take a close look at how many jobs we got for our $9 billion “no strings attached” giveaway to Boeing – the largest tax break in US history. Total aerospace jobs fell from 95,000 to 93,300 – a drop of 1,700. Thanks to massive wage concessions from the Machinists Union, the new workers are also making much less than workers have traditionally made. The Hourly wage has been cut from $30 per hour to $12 per hour.
“When Boeing hires new mechanics today, the entry-level wage is just $11.75 an hour.” This is a little more than the poverty level of $20,000 per year. https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/pay-in-aerospace-is-low-for-non-boeing-workers/
Meanwhile the annual pay of Boeing's boss, Jim McNerney, has skyrocketed to $29 million. This is an appalling 1,400 times greater than the pay of a beginning worker at Boeing. https://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-ceo-took-home-almost-29m-last-year/
Jim is a pauper compared to the former heads of Microsoft. Bill Gates is worth more than $80 billion and Steve Ballmer is worth more than $22 billion. This works out to about one billion dollars per year for Steve Ballmer and four billion per year for Bill Gates. To put the lack of jobs in prospective, there are seven million people in Washington state. Two million are children and one million are seniors. This leaves four million in the work force. But there are only 3 million jobs for a REAL unemployment rate of 25% - the highest since the Great Depression. Among young adults under the age of 25, the real unemployment rate is over 50%. Our kids are incurring massive debt in going to college. Only half of them get any kind of job when they graduate. Less than one in four get a job in their field of training. Because all of the money is going to Boeing executives and billionaires, there is nothing left to hire more school teachers:
Kids in Washington state are forced to attend some of the most overcrowded schools in the nation. What we are seeing is a shocking concentration of wealth and power never seen before in human history. Meanwhile, there are no new jobs waiting for our kids. We need an economic and political revolution if our kids are to have any chance of a happy future. For more on the insanity of our current economic system, see this link:
Thankfully, there is a solution to the school funding problem, the lack of jobs problem and the concentration of wealth problem. A single 1997 Washington state tax break for billionaires costs our state $4 billion per year. Washington Senate bill 6093 would repeal this tax break allowing us to hire tens of thousands of teachers, build hundreds of schools and create good paying full time jobs for more than 100,000 Washington state residents. For more on the benefits of Senate Bill 6093, the School Funding Through Tax Fairness Act, visit our website:
Please email your legislators. Ask them to restore school funding and economic prosperity by passing Senate Bill 6093.
David Spring M. Ed.