Published on 2012/04/27

2012 College Grads’ Opportunities
Students need to make sure the program they’re doing will set them up for a degree that is in-demand in the workforce. Otherwise, reality will fall well short of their expectations. Photo by Bill S.

Your vote, a taxpayer, has greater consequences

While most stats lean heavily toward college grads getting jobs, with about 4% – 5% of them currently unemployed or underemployed, predictions for the 2012 grads, soon to hit the job market, are grim. That unemployment rate may double. Why?

First, aging “baby boomers and some “traditionalists” have been able to extend employment due to fear of retirement in a bad and uncertain economy. Thus, not vacating those critical and senior roles as previously forecast. Second, in the last four years, full time employment jobs have been eliminated by technology, by outsourcing, by attrition and just plain cost cutting downsizing. The exception would be for critical roles shortage – engineers, medical and life science, healthcare. Third, with uncertainty in the economic recovery, according to the Federal Reserve, now stretching into 2013, and many more U.S. Government Regulations intruding into to healthcare, corporations, small businesses and even farm and ranch labor, few enterprises will venture into any permanent growth or expansion. Fourth, flexibility to repurpose and match talent to needs in order to enter global markets creates more short term opportunities for contractor, contingent worker, temps and part-timers and overseas talent with language and local skills. Low risk and quick to react to market change business models of technology, labor use and distribution.

Lastly, most of the policies and legislation by politicians of both stripes in Washington D.C. have been job “killers” and tax burdens for everyone. Just to return to where we were in 2007, already more than five years ago, private industry would need to be creating 400,000 to 500,000 jobs per month. While recent employment trends the past months have been upward, it is nowhere close to the jobs creation we need. Business decision makers are holding back on expansion because tax rates for healthcare, social security, Medicare, corporate and personal income are all rising forcing a survival mode for many businesses. You don’t need documented research to know we are in a whole that is getting deeper by the minute, and more beholding to borrow from competitors $0.42 of every U.S. dollar the U.S. Government spends.

I have a friend and colleague who worked hard to put her two children through college. As a concerned parent, she could deal with the cost and the student loans because her children worked hard at grades and at part-time and summer work. She was proud they had earned their degrees the old fashion way, just as she had done herself. Both grads came into the downside Great Recession job market with great expectations. The daughter, with a Marketing Degree, could not find an entry level job in the market for nearly two years and decided to go on to Nursing School. The son, at great extra cost, decided to go on to Law School. He is taking or has already passed his Bar Exam. Of course you know we have an oversupply of lawyers who are working in many other fields currently.

We both noted how we were in college. No. I’m not referring to the frat house or other social activities. We were talking about financial assistance, hard work, loan repayments and today’s tuition costs as compared to our college days. Further, we were hardly taxpaying citizens, so any “freebies” were gladly accepted, not at all concerned that someone else was paying for it. You guessed it – ultimately the taxpayers. Somebody else’s money. That happenstance continues to a much larger extent today and is unabated.

And, after all, there is a common belief that with a four year diploma, a job is almost a guarantee. Wrong? It may be the end of academic formal learning, but you are now only beginning to learn the realities. Perhaps in 2008, when then presidential candidate Obama, was out to capture the youth and college student votes with “Hope and Change” it matched your own beliefs and ideals. Now that you are in the job market, the real world, and realize what you haven’t yet learned, how much college debt you may owe, how much debt the Government has added to your lifetime burden and tuitions’ that have risen 300% just while you were in college, I’d be real upset were I in your shoes.

Don’t blame the system. Don’t spend too much time trying to fix blame. We’ve had years of doing that with NO execution to solve it. Keep learning and be part of the solutions to fix it. Do the math. We can’t spend our way out of this mess. That’s why, as a taxpayer, your vote will now really count with the two contrasts of where our Republic should be headed. Two completely different versions of America for you and your children. By the way, if haven’t read the Constitution of the United States and Bill of Rights carefully, thoughtfully and introspectively, you should. It will point you to the opportunities for your future.

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Readers Comments

WA Anderson 2012/04/27 at 9:57 am

This is a supremely pessimistic way to look at the job market and possibilities for the future.

We may not be able to spend our way out of a recession, but for those adult students who simply can’t afford to feed, shelter and clothe their children AND pay for tuition on their single, minimum-wage income – they need support from the government to get their education and the skills to positively contribute to society.

Very narrow-minded look at the world, very narrow-minded look at those who need loans to do their education and the reasons we have government-backed scholarships and other social benefits.

Mike Hammer 2012/04/30 at 1:34 pm

Reality check WA. As a nation we are broke. Debt now exceeds GDP in U.S. Not pessimistic at all, just the facts that anyone can recognize. Not against help up. Am against hand outs. Govenment of both stipes have been handing out for decade. Good intentions, wrong results.

By comparison, I have a neice and nephew who largely raised themselves, worked hard in high school to retain good grades with a father who could care less and mother who was supporting the family on a flight attendent’s salary and absent a lot. Both kids became responsible young adults, worked muliple jobs in college and applied for grants themselves based on grade point average. The niece will finish college in less than four years with NO debt and enter nursing school on a scholorship. The nephew, found the love of his life at the same college married and blessed with a beutiful child. She worked to help pay the bills, he worked 3 jobs and applied for grants. He too will get his diploma early, but may go on to get his Masters. Neither asked for help from any family member for tutition or living assistance. Opportunities will abound for them ahead because they took charge of their own careers and life instead of letting someone else determine it for them.

I can site other examples. If they can do it others can do it. Hand outs labled as “needy assistance” have gone unchecked and abused for decades to the extent it is easier to “live off the government (other peoples money) than to be a responisble citizen. Those are the facts WA. My belief and teaching is that opportunities abound for everyone. The help needed is how to find the right path to obtain it, not here’s a hand out from the government(somebody else’s money) and inadequate coaching and mentoring on how to use it properly. Adbocating responible use of aid to improve your sitituation and get off govenment assistance is the goal. When your leaders can’t create an environment for healthly job growth and spend much more than we take in on programs that are proven not to work or out of date with reality, this is what you get. Not narrow minded, just reality. I’ve seen far too many realize the world is there opportunity if they take charge of their own lives and develop a mind set of succeeding with determination mindful of the fact that we have 9% unemployment for the longest time in our history. Most of those don’t want a hand out, they want a hand up.

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