Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lazy, Ignorant Americans

The anti-immigration crowd are quite fond of saying that there are no jobs that Americans won't do. Unfortunately, the facts seem to state otherwise. There are also jobs that Americans cannot do, as the CEO of AT&T has been finding out the hard way. He promised to insource 5,000 jobs to the US from call centre's outside the US. So far he's been able to find only 1,400 people to fill those jobs. These are simple customer service positions, too. No degrees necessary, no technical expertise needed. Frankly, I don't know why the poor man hasn't quit trying. No doubt there are plenty of under qualified people lining up expecting to get paid an exorbitant amount of money for sitting around, answering the phone and leafing through a manual to answer questions. A quick check at tells you how little you actually need to know to acquire one of these jobs. Any high schooler should be able to get one of these positions.
The head of the top U.S. phone company said on Wednesday it was having trouble finding enough skilled workers to fill all the 5,000 customer service jobs it promised to return to the United States from "We're having trouble finding the numbers that we need with the skills that are required to do these jobs," Chief Executive Randall Stephenson told a business group in San Antonio, where the company's headquarters is located.

So far, only around 1,400 jobs have been returned to the United States of 5,000, a target it set in 2006, the company said, adding that it maintains the target.

Stephenson said he is especially distressed that in some U.S. communities and among certain groups, the is as high as 50 percent.

"If I had a business that half the product we turned out was defective or you couldn't put into the marketplace, I would shut that business down," he said.

Gee, it sounds as if he has run up against the very thing that libertarians have been saying for ages. The US government schools are a dismal failure and have managed to turn out a defective product, when they've managed to turn one out at all. Is it any wonder that businesses, large and small have turned to immigrant labour to get the jobs done that need doing? Is it any wonder that businesses have had to outsource to foreign countries to find qualified help at a decent wage? There's plenty of blame to go around here, but a large percentage of it can be lain at the doorstep of the failed government schools systems. These bastions of socialism have managed to inculcate a sense of entitlement without cause into generations of people. Now we can see concrete results.

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