Vote for education and jobs
Two articles this week, one in the Economist and a second from the Center for Immigration Studies, highlighted America's real employment crisis.

The Economist's article cited the labor problems with Georgia's expanding film industry in Atlanta, where the inability to find set crews have forced importation of skilled craftsmen from Florida and New York. Skilled tradesmen in the Atlanta area are either unwilling or unavailable to meet the labor demands of our growing film industry. Apparently as a nation we are replacing only 25 percent of our retiring skilled craftsmen, as our emerging youth are opting for leisure rather than work.

The Center for Immigration Studies's article cited that all the job growth in Tennessee since 2000 has gone to immigrants, both legal and illegal, even though the native population from 16 to 65 has increased by 174 percent and represents over 60 percent of the employment pool.

There are approximately 1.3 million natives in the employment pool not working. Since 2000 the immigrants have added 94,000 jobs while Tennessee natives have lost 47,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, both parties in Washington are trying to out-duel themselves by supporting more immigration, both legal and illegal. There is little question in my mind who will be the victim of this immigration policy: those blue collar high school graduates and drop-outs as they surrender to jobless futures in the face of our expanding low wage immigrants.

Europe lost its high school native population generations ago, when welfare and unemployment were a better options than competing for low wage employment. President Clinton's work for welfare benefits was the correct approach to our exponential welfare growth and the lost generations of the unemployed. A few years ago San Francisco awarded a $7 billion bridge contract to China because, it said, America lacked the skilled welders to do the job.

Imagine the billions to rebuild our decaying infrastructure with millions of Americans sitting on the sidelines watching foreign skilled labor do the work? Not a pretty picture, but the most realistic under our current political leadership.

Maybe your vote in November doesn't need to be a throw-away. Maybe a vote for education and jobs is a better bet than dependency from an uncaring political elite.

Pete Richmond

St. Simons Island




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