Dumb and Dumber — Trade Adjustment Assistance Programs

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for job training programs -- especially those that help displaced workers with the right drive and intelligence to develop skills for entering the procurement field, for example. But to grant special job training programs to those "who lose jobs due to imports or [when] production shifts out of the country" versus just any old Joe who loses their job seems a bit discriminatory, doesn’t it? Given the fact that President Obama has "beefed up the program" according to the The Wall Street Journal to provider "richer benefits" and make such programs available to "service workers such as call-center operators and accountants" seems even dumber -- and even more discriminatory. Think about the incentives here for a moment. Study to enter a field at a high-risk for outsourcing and get an automatic insurance policy. But study to enter a field and then lose your job for any other reason and get nothing. That's a great incentive system, I say.

Let's encourage people to enter "high-risk" markets where onshore skills might not be necessary in the future -- versus encouraging training and education around skills that we'll need to support an on-shore workforce in the future. The mere existence of such a program that discriminates on job training assistance based on politics surrounding an industry and the economics of global labor baffles me. Even more concerning is increasing funding for such an initiative. Perhaps Obama's new Comrade in arms (and property nationalization) might have something to do it with it.

Jason Busch

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