Imagine having a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, several years of experience in a highly technical field with all the appropriate skills, and still you can’t find a job in today’s economy, because you are told that you are overqualified.
Overqualified? How is that possible?
In the tech-boom of the 1990s, it wasn’t uncommon for companies to have turnover rates as high as 25 percent, according to a Washington Post report. That’s when people leaving one job were sure to find another. Today, that rate has dropped to around 5 percent. That means when people leave a job, employers aren’t replacing them.
Job security has become as important as national security these days.
I’ve talked to several out-of-work people lately, who said they’ve been turned down for entry-level jobs, because they were told, after some persistence, they were overqualified. These college-educated people couldn’t even get low-wage jobs as cashiers or as waiters.
These are not dumb people — they learn quickly and will make themselves valuable assets to any company. No honest job is ever beneath someone. People need to work.
Why would companies take a young slacker who will never leave, when they could have a hard worker who might leave after six months, but will give the company the best damn six months possible?
History shows that recessions don’t last forever — sometimes they become depressions. It will take a few years, but with the lack of interest the Bush administration is giving the national economy, we are headed for another depression.
It will be worse than the 1930s, not in the amount of people who lose everything, but in what they lose. With unprecedented wealth comes unprecedented loss.
None of the “fortunate sons” in government can understand the helpless feeling of fighting off creditors daily. Creditors don’t care about your personal problems. They want their money. They will take your shelter, your car and a sizable chunk of your paycheck to get it.
Neither baby Bush nor any Congressional leader has had to face challenges like that. Politicians don’t go into poor communities until it’s campaign time. They have never known the feeling of despair when the landlord files eviction papers. They have never been humiliated by creditors in bankruptcy court.
You can hardly blame the people who do this, though. They’re doing what they’re told so they can keep their jobs and be on the serving end of the litigation papers.
The people I know don’t whine about their troubles. They are feeling a little low, however, about being 30-something and living in their parent’s basement again.
The solution is simple, yet costly, for big businesses. Companies need to decrease their revenue gap so more people can work. Lower unemployment means more sales and more tax revenue.
High unemployment means more crime. If I had to steal a loaf of bread to stave off starvation, you better believe I would. When it comes down to them or me, self preservation wins. And I know I am not alone out there.
In the worst-case scenario, overcrowded prisons will be full of potential taxpayers. The answer to many of life’s problems is simple. Let the people work.
Jeff Pope is a student at Wayne State University.