Letter: Support American workers
Sept. 7 marked the annual celebration the nation has held since 1887, honoring the American labor movement and the contributions that the American worker has made to the growth and prosperity of the nation. There is no doubt in my mind that this recognition is well deserved.
I fear we face in many cases (but not all) a corporate and government structure that too often vilifies and condemns the American worker. It instead seeks ways to exclude him and her from opportunity for living-wage jobs in the future.
Many American companies are exporting jobs overseas so they can pay less to produce goods and services that are sold in the U.S.
Corporate people say that our publicly funded colleges and universities don’t produce enough skilled graduates to fill their needs. Others say they can’t find qualified trades people. Some business interests want large importation of workers to take jobs from Americans so the former can pay less in wages.
Both political parties and office holders, with exceptions, appear indifferent to creating opportunity for American people looking for work or those who are underemployed. According to a recent report “real unemployment” in California is just below 14 percent. This is a staggering number for a state without a sound economic growth strategy. Look at job growth in Nevada and Texas, for example, where state government wants private investment and jobs for their people. Yes, this a complicated topic; but for those unemployed and underemployed, it is a reality.
When there are fewer good paying jobs, who will buy products we import? Who will be able to afford the housing or the rising cost of public education? Who will be able to afford the taxes and fees governments of all kinds like to raise and increase no matter what economic conditions exist?
As we think about Labor Day, let us recommit ourselves to supporting the American worker and working toward a time when government and corporations recommit themselves to putting qualified Americans on the job list first. Let’s create the opportunity for America’s future generations as those leaders in government and business did for us in the past.
South Lake Tahoe, Calif.