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06 July 2005 @ 02:12 pm
America the stupid?  
I love my country dearly, but it pains me to see us giving away our former advantages with both hands:

http://xymphora.blogspot.com/2005/07/american-dream-in-denmark.html

excerpt:

The United States became the world's most wealthy nation through years of prudent reinvestment in its human capital. Since Reagan - and clearly accelerating under Bush - it has been clear American public policy to squander its advantages through ruinous tax cuts and a reduction in social spending. How does this play out in the real world? Toyota recently passed up significantly higher subsidies offered by southern American states to build a car plant in the Ontario town of Woodstock. Why?:
"'The level of the workforce in general is so high that the training program you need for people, even for people who have not worked in a Toyota plant before, is minimal compared to what you have to go through in the southeastern United States,' said Gerry Fedchun, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association, whose members will see increased business with the new plant."


and (my emphasis in bold; you have to laugh):
"Several U.S. states were reportedly prepared to offer more than double that amount of subsidy. But Fedchun said much of that extra money would have been eaten away by higher training costs than are necessary for the Woodstock project.

He said Nissan and Honda have encountered difficulties getting new plants up to full production in recent years in Mississippi and Alabama due to an untrained - and often illiterate - workforce. In Alabama, trainers had to use 'pictorials' to teach some illiterate workers how to use high-tech plant equipment.

'The educational level and the skill level of the people down there is so much lower than it is in Ontario,' Fedchun said.

In addition to lower training costs, Canadian workers are also $4 to $5 cheaper to employ partly thanks to the taxpayer-funded health-care system in Canada, said federal Industry Minister David Emmerson."

__end excerpt__

And this after the much vaunted "leave no child behind" program! Maybe that should be "leave no adult behind" instead.

They should consider Iowa, Iowans really value education and are heavily tested by the legendary Iowa Basic Skills Tests throughout their school years. Our schools also had things that seem to be missing nowadays--art and music, with actual professionals in those areas as teachers. Not so when my kids were students in California!

The pro-business crowd ought to get behind health care for everyone through our taxes as it would save them all a fortune. Health care just keeps going up and up, and small businesses are hard pressed to offer it--yet that's the only model we have as private health insurance is out of reach for individuals and families. Premiums for older workers are now reaching 600-700 dollars a month even for group insurance. Young people are now in the 200 dollar range. It adds up!
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