While contradicting a government report indicating recent improvements in employment levels in the country, the American university professor says economic policies in the United States have been catastrophic. Economists also say the job crisis in the United States is likely to persist for many more years.
Press TV has interviewed Paul Sheldon Foote, professor at the California State University from Irvine to discuss the situation. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview:
Press TV: Many thanks for joining us here on Press TV sir. Many are hoping that the US economy can ride on the sudden improvement in the job market. Is that wishful thinking or are things actually looking up from here on?
Sheldon Foote: The [US] government agreed to release its next ten year projection for 2010 to 2020. They pick these long periods of ten years so they can make assumptions that there will be some positive growth and ignore that there have been actually declines in employment in some years.
But the same thing can be said about the forecasts you noted. There is probably more certainty around those forecasts than ever before. We have; for example, the models are based upon many econometric models and large numbers of variables. They include such things as monetary policy and fiscal policy, which have been disastrous in this country and in Europe.
There are speculations about inflations rate that goes into these models, what they call final demand, federal defense spending. We seem to have an endless desire to make war with everyone in the world and that spending doesn’t seem to go away so it will have a big impact on defense spending and yet the demands will be there for nondefense spending, personal consumption.
American economy has depended upon individual spending to create more private sector jobs, if people don’t have jobs or have lower paid jobs, they aren’t spending as much and that hurts employment.
Retiring- replacement needs are part of the assumptions in these models. Many Americans are choosing not to retire at all or retiring later because they can’t afford to. That means other people won’t be able to find jobs. Education and training- the quality of education and training in this country has gone down throughout my career as an educator.
Many heads of corporations say that they have to build factories in other countries because the American workforce is not educated well enough. And so we have all these gigantic long-term uncertainties. Plus there is no reason to believe that any of the factories that went to China and other places will ever be coming back here.
We have to create new industries, with new highly talented individuals. Unfortunately, we’ve been relying upon H1B visas [Us visas for Professional in a Specialty Occupation] and bringing people from foreign countries to do that because of the failure of- the desire and ability of American students to excel in their field so long-term I would say it’s fairly pessimistic regardless of what the government is going to release on February first.
Press TV: Indeed now political opponents do say that Obama will try and capitalize on this certain job growth for his reelection campaign but it will take at least 6 million more jobs just to get the US economy back on track, truly speaking.
Sheldon Foote: Well, that’s correct. I mean after we’ve had a large decline in employment certainly there will be some recovery and that’s what the politicians will point to. They’ll be: look the line is going up, not down. Well, what kind of employment [is this]? Are we talking about people working in hamburger restaurants or people working in high-tech factories?
The politicians will try everything to get reelected based on these numbers, but the people that are unemployed know that they are unemployed and they know the reality. Politicians make these claims all they want. We have a very long uncertain employment future in this country.
Press TV: Professor how much of a role do you see this job creation playing as a whole in the path to recovery, considering the US stock markets are still jittery due to concerns over a spillover effect from the Euro zone debt crisis.
Sheldon Foote: Absolutely, Europe and China are highly in a related economic play and if you have a recession in Europe and a slowdown in China that certainly will affect the American economy and the demand for employment in this country too. So we’re all in a global village now. We don’t live in isolation. That affects even America.