America’s Lost Work Ethic and the End of its global Exceptionalism – Part 4/5

“What are these jobs that Americans will not do?” asked. “Do they exist or are they a figment of the business community’s imagination? It turns out that their claims are largely true—there are plenty of jobs Americans avoid.

Manufacturers Looking for Skilled Workers

Let’s take a tour of them.

“Americans shun pretty much any unskilled labor that requires them to get their hands dirty: landscaping, entry-level construction, picking fruits and vegetables (Reuters reports that “up to 70 percent of U.S. farm workers are estimated to be undocumented, totaling about 500,000 people”), cleaning hotel rooms, busing tables, and prep cooking in urban restaurants,” and “American workers appear to be less interested in some kinds of factory jobs.”

In addition, “Americans, it seems, are also less willing to take stressful jobs that require lots of training and long hours, and that require them to work in unpleasant environments…”

For example, “The American Hospital Association says there are 118,000 nursing vacancies in the United States.”

In fact, the Washington Business Journal reported October 2011, “U.S. manufacturing companies have as many as 600,000 jobs that they cannot find workers with the proper skills to fill, according to a survey by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute.”

What the American Self-Esteem Boosting Parenting Movement did to the US – Did your child have fun today by skipping homework and avoid reading a book?

The survey found 5 percent of current manufacturing jobs are unfilled due to lack of qualified candidates, 67 percent of manufacturers have a moderate to severe shortage of qualified workers, and 56 percent expect the shortage to increase in the next three to five years.

What about China? Do the Chinese have a similar attitude?

Continued on December 13, 2011 in America’s Lost Work Ethic and the End of its global Exceptionalism – Part 5 or return to Part 3


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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4 Responses to America’s Lost Work Ethic and the End of its global Exceptionalism – Part 4/5

  1. merlin2010 says:

    I can sense u pose a new thought I’ve never really considered before. “67 percent of manufacturers have a moderate to severe shortage of qualified workers, and 56 percent expect the shortage to increase in the next three to five years”. So, if companies cannot hire qualified positions here in the US, do they give up on filling those positions here and instead outsource them to countries like China or Mexico?

    • Merlin2010

      Don’t forget Canada. After NAFTA, some jobs went to Mexico and Canada. Since NAFTA was enacted, I read that U.S. manufacturing employment has fallen by 5 million jobs

      However, the AFLCIO claims that NAFTA has cost 683,000 jobs to Mexico and counting. “NAFTA made outsourcing to Mexico much more attractive for U.S. companies, Scott said. Mexico eliminated a wide range of longstanding jobs that companies claimed were expensive, he added… Most of the jobs displaced by trade with Mexico—415,000 jobs, or 60.8 percent of the total—have been in manufacturing.”


      “Manufacturing jobs traditionally have provided high wages and good benefits that allow workers to care for their families. But 2.5 million manufacturing jobs have disappeared since President Bush took office in early 2001.”


      As for companies outsourcing if they cannot find qualified workers in the US—if they don’t do that, then they lose market share to competitors that do.

      However, this site says that isn’t so—that due to NAFTA, “nearly 25 million jobs have been gained. Nearly all economic studies say NAFTA’s net effect on jobs was negligible.”


      So, who is telling the truth? There is another side to this story. Jobs going to qualified foreign workers that move to the US because of a job offer when no US citizens can be found to fill the position.

      In addition, years ago, I attended a seminar where I learned an example of this lack of qualified workers in the US and how manufacturing has changed. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, I heard that one GM plant that only made bumpers for cars once employed 500 workers. After it automated, there were only two highly trained workers that kept all the robots running. When one of those two men was getting ready to retire, GM, according to the law, had to spend money to advertise the position to US applicants first. After spending about $20 thousand dollars and interviewing thousands of unqualified applicants, GM advertised outside the US and eventually hired someone from Germany.

      Get this, that job required no more than a high school degree but none of the applicants in the US had taken the more challenging and boring technical, science and math classes that the job required.

      That one job working for GM in an automated bumper factory paid almost $100,000 annually with full benefits, so the job remained in the United States but a young German citizen just out of high school moved to America to take the job offer since GM could not find one American willing to work that hard in high school taking difficult and boring classes.

      Here’s the law that covers legal immigrants coming to the US to fill high skilled jobs and this may have nothing to do with NAFTA.

      The State Department says, “Every fiscal year (October 1st – September 30th), approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available to qualified applicants under the provisions of U.S. immigration law. Employment based immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories. Certain spouses and children may accompany or follow-to-join employment-based immigrants.”


      140,000 legal immigrants with jobs waiting for them times eleven years since the year 2000 adds up to 1,540,000 jobs lost to highly educated/skilled foreigners because not enough of America’s youth was willing to take those challenging and many times boring classes—those classes didn’t fit the self-esteem driven dream that promised lifelong happiness, which explains why my 36 year old son tends bar or waits tables because he didn’t want to waste his time going to college. Instead, after graduating from high school, he was convinced that he would break into acting and become rich and famous so why bother with all of those boring classes in college that came with homework and studying. I tried to talk sense into him but his mother convinced him [we divorced when my son was three] that his dreams would come true and to ignore me so he did because what his mother told him was more attractive.

      In addition, we are not talking about the illegal aliens that fill millions of low paying, unskilled, hard labor jobs.

      • Merlin says:

        It’s interesting to note that 140,000 legal immigrants are given visas for simple “skilled” labor jobs in the US. If they bring their family, their family will go out and get low paying jobs. Some cultures pool their earnings into a family pot which is used to pay bills, food, etc. I know a mexican kid in highschool that did that. His parents worked legally on visas for manufacturing. When he became of age, he went out to get a low-paid job to help the family. I had to compete with him to get the job at the local library as a bookshelver. It paid 9 bucks an hour and only required knowledge of the dewey decimal system and basic alphabetic organization. I thought I was a practical shoe-in because my aunt worked there almost 10-15 years. My family knows everyone that works at the library. I even helped the lady that handled kids corner and puppets when she did summer school every summer. Yet this mexican kid that was below my grade level and attended the same spanish class (to improve his grammar) got the job. I cant apply for the job now because currently it’s filled with 2 highschool white boys listening to ipods and stocking shelves. I’m not being racist or offensive. I’m just painting the visible picture of what I saw in the library.

        My question is how do illegal aliens go about finding work? With all of the unemployed and with strict immigration policy on illegals, how do people manage to still find work here and sneak past the system? From my experience in China, it is hard to work illegally unless you can find somebody in a dirt village to teach english without them checking credentials. My personal belief is that American immigration is strict and enforces their policies more than China. I’m not making a new topic about Chinese immigration, all I’m saying is from my own viewpoint….the American system is tighter than China. Based on my assumption of how hard it is to work illegally in China…multiply the difficulty (my viewpt of a strict American policy) and that’s where my question comes into play.

        My reason of asking is to find how the illegals do it, and then hopefully apply the method to myself or others to get jobs. Most people I know already hold at least 2 jobs to keep up with expenses.

        I wanted to also ask if you caught the China Question on MSNBC last night. They did about a 2 hour long run about China and its link with our economy/jobs. 1 thing a Chinese professor said in an interview I found interesting. He claimed he had the answer for our economic problems. When companies outsourced to China…all the stuff we buy became cheap. Wal-Mart’s prices were very affordable. We were happy to get affordable products and companies were happy to get cheap labor. We lived a life of luxury and now it’s catching up to us because all the jobs we outsourced or gave to foreign skilled laborers. Without a job we cant even afford the 10 dollar shirt at wal-mart that was cheaply made in China. What was our friendly trade partners are now becoming our competitors. In a country where we’ve believed money rains from the sky, it’s hard now to suddenly jump back in the game to compete with our former trade partners.

      • Merlin said, “It’s interesting to note that 140,000 legal immigrants are given visas for simple “skilled” labor jobs in the US.”

        Merlin, these visas are not for simple “skilled” labor. If you go to the State Department Website and scroll down, you will see the descriptions of what it takes to qualify for one of these visas.

        A First Preference applicant must be the beneficiary of an approved Immigrant Petition for Foreign Worker, Form I-140, filed with USCIS. These priority Workers receive 28.6 percent of the yearly worldwide limit of employment-based immigrant visas.

        FIRST PREFERENCE: [28.6% of these visas go to this preference]

        Persons with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.

        Outstanding professors and researchers with at least three years experience in teaching or research, who are recognized internationally.

        Multinational managers or executives who have been employed for at least one of the three preceding years by the overseas affiliate, parent, subsidiary, or branch of the U.S. employer.

        Professionals holding an advanced degree (beyond a baccalaureate degree), or a baccalaureate degree and at least five years progressive experience in the profession.

        Persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability means having a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business.


        Skilled workers are persons whose jobs require a minimum of 2 years training or work experience that are not temporary or seasonal.

        Professionals are members of the professions whose jobs require at least a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. university or college or its foreign equivalent degree.

        The FOURTH PREFERENCE approves only 7.1% of applicants.

        The FIFTH PREFERENCE goes to Immigrant Investors that invest between U.S. $500,000 and $1,000,000. This category is set at 7.1% of those 140,000 annual applicant restrictions, which means if you are rich, you may buy your way into the United States and it doesn’t seem to matter how that immigrant came by the money. This may explain the thousands of Chinese white collar criminals that stole money from the state industries they ran or worked for as an accountant bringing billions of yuan to the US when they fled China to escape persecution and possible execution or imprisonment.


        As for the Latino that ended up with the high school library job you applied for, it is called reverse discrimination. There are laws or were laws in the US that favored two of America’s minorities more than the others and the FIRST PREFERENCE is for African Americans and the SECOND PREFERENCE for Latino-Hispanics. Many colleges, universities and private sector job placement have policies that make exceptions and move these minorities in front of Asian-American and Caucasian-American citizens even when African-American and/or Latino-Hispanic applicants are not as qualified.

        For example, in the 1970s, I worked for a large truck company in middle management. The economy dipped and there were cutbacks and layoffs. I was laid off for a few months until the economy picked up. The man that slipped into my job position was an African-American with less seniority that I had and it was explained that because he was African-American and I was a Caucasian, it was only fair to let me go even though I had more sonority than him because his ancestors had been slaves and due to the Jim Crow laws that were overturned during the Civil Rights movement he deserved the break. Six months later, I was called back to work to fill the same position, and the African-American that took that position during the economic downturn, went back to his prior position in the company.

        Another example: I had two female students in my high school journalism class in the 1990s. One was an Asian-American and the other an African-American. The Asian-American had a much higher GPA [something like 4.6] and her SAT scores were much higher than the African-American student, who was a friend of the Asian-American girl.

        The African-American’s GPA was also 3.8. Both girls applied to UC Berkeley and the Asian-American was rejected while the African-American girl was accepted. Again, an example of reverse discrimination that favors two of America’s minorities—one more than the other. Due to many laws and policies that came out of the Civil Rights era in the 1960s, African-Americans have preferences over other races. The African-American still has to be qualified but doesn’t have to be better or equal to a Caucasian or Asian-American.

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