Repeatedly, the argument that we have a lack of skilled workers for positions has been used to demand that we allow immigrants into the nation to fill the positions. Clink the link to see just a few of the recent stories on this topic.
We have also seen businesses, through the Chamber of Commerce pursue some sort of relief through the government and universities to help with the shortage of “skilled” workers.
Frankly, this is not exactly true. What he have is a shortage of skilled workers at the salaries that are being offered. There is a big difference between the two.
It’s amazing that so many who bemoan the lack of rising salaries for workers are the very same people that are attempting to short circuit how free markets work. Or that if left to their own accord, the free markets would address the imbalance.
Instead, we keep altering the supply by opening the gates of immigrants, rather than halting that process, and telling businesses that if they need qualified candidates, then to either A) Train them in house or B) Raise your salaries.
Were we to see this argument for minimum wage jobs at Wal-Mart, for instance, we’d all accept the proper answer to get more applicants: Raise Wages and/or Iincrease benefits.
So why are we unwilling to have that very same approach applied at higher levels?
Chambers of Commerce have gotten a sympathetic ear from local, state and federal governments. Governments, more than anything, like to solve problems. Real or imagined, their responsibility or not, they want to solve it.
Here in Johns Creek, Georgia, I have heard this tale of lack of workers. The city is contemplating the redevelopment of a large area of privately owned property into an area that will attract Millennials to live, work, and play.
In other words, they cannot afford to live here, the pay is not enough to attract them here, and since they are not here, there is no where to play.
The businesses that are making this claim can work to solve the problem on their own. Raise their wages. That is how it has worked in the past. That is how the problem is resolved for the future.
Taxpayers should not be the ones footing the bill to train more employees for positions in an effort to hold down wages. Nor should they be on the hook for providing affordable housing or transportation to get to and from the jobs.
If the businesses had a shortage of any other resources, they would pay more to get the supply, importing it at a cost from where they can find it. That is the cost of doing business.
Competition for employees is positive for everyone. Companies have an incentive to find, hire, and pay for the best they can afford. Workers have the potential to advance where they work.
Until we get the government out of providing skilled workers, companies will try to take the easy path. It’s your job to tell your governments at the local, state, and federal level that this is not the taxpayer’s responsibility.
We need to get back to a healthy economic foundation. Getting government out of the equation at all levels is the first step in the right direction.