The Decline of the American Workforce
The rise of contract work has lead to a decline in the skills of the average American
It is said that immigration is the lifeforce of the U.S. and is the blood that keeps the economy humming along. What was not explained is why immigration is just so crucial to the U.S. economy. It is not only a cheap source of labor particularly if it is from the Southern border but it is also a cheap source of intelligentsia. Despite the hatred U.S. citizens feel for the Chinese and the disgust they have for the Indians, the two groups make up the majority of STEM researchers and grad students in the country today. So many labs, universities, and tech companies are filled to the brim with Asian ethnic minorities that it can look like a different country to step into an Apple or Google cafeteria.
And yet it is because the intelligent are just so replaceable, so outsourceable, that we have an increase in competitiveness despite the decline of the skills of the American worker. Most Americans are less educated and less intelligent than their grandparents at their age. The decline in educational quality compared to the rest of the world has somehow not been followed by an economic decline.
The immigration of intelligent people from poor countries is the primary reason for this why we have not seen a spiral on the Dow Jones. But because such labor can be outsourced or imported cheaply it has also meant that the average American worker is much more expendable. Why pay for remote work in coding from a expensive U.S. citizen when one can just hire intelligent people in New Dehli?
What has transpired is a rise in contract work. Instead of spending time to train and cultivate employees the response has been to just fire and hire. When someone is not up to par companies doing even advanced engineering work will toss them aside and hire for less pay some genius from India.
Even coding work which has typically been a creative and industrious pursuit only done by the most intelligent of people has now become organized like a McDonalds.
Even coding work which has typically been a creative and industrious pursuit only done by the most intelligent of people has now become organized like a McDonalds. Take for instance the AGILE method which has become popular in corporate offices around the country. 'Team members' are given 'tickers' and are told to finish their tickers on time. What has once been a creative pursuit full of art as coding is just art as a computer has now been boiled down to an assembly line. If someone can't keep up with the tickers and has to spend more time on a part then it's ground for firing without severance. This method is used in not just engineering, but in music and even art creation. Whoever founded McDonalds must be proud that his method has sucked the soul out of even the most creative of professions.
What is damaging about the rise of contract work is that American workers no longer have the time to cultivate their skills at any given company. Combined with a decline in educational standards and the 'hire' and 'fire' method and increasing international competitiveness for lower and lower wages, the American worker has become the most non-essential part of the equation.