Whenever I point out to the defenders of the economic myths that I know, from personal experience, that a) Obama never avoided the Great Depression II and b) Trump did not end it, they superciliously try to be helpful in suggesting places where I might get work, thereby trying to discredit or dismiss my claims.
One argument they present is that I am not trying hard enough and thus everyone else who has been out of work for months is not trying hard enough. “The jobs are out there; I have seen the signs when traveling.” “You have to be willing to move…”, leaving out the “halfway across the country to pick crops for this farmer I know, for less than will pay the rent for the shack he thoughtfully provides, with no running water”, but adding “no Americans will do this work” and “this is why we need to have so many here on work visas”.
When I try to present my counter-argument, debunking their claims, they move on, taking their crowd with them, proud of their respective President, while simultaneously chastising me for being a “conservative” or a “liberal”, ignorant of their “facts”.
There is a more fundamental flaw in their arguments, though, than the irrelevance of my own alleged “unwillingness to be flexible”. For I only brought up my own experience as an example demonstrating the general condition, not as a plea to be helped out of my “rough patch”. The myth-defenders are quick to make straw men and women out of those who testify against their lies, the straw of “no jobs out there” being an absolutist claim rather a personal and naturally exaggerated testimony against the even more exaggerated testimony of “plenty of jobs out there”.
At any particular time, we can be sure of jobs in two well-known locales: the town of “Few” and along the road of “Far Between”. The defenders of the economic myths will concede that the jobs for workers of a certain age are limited to the town of “Few”, yet somehow construct an alibi out of that admission, as if Prosperity has to expect such a deficiency. The plight of the immobilized poor is not so generously allowed when it comes to packing up one’s bags and traveling on the road of “Far Between”. No, they must throw all caution to the wind because, after all, one must do what one must to get a job, even if it becomes a losing proposition after computing the cost of the move, the cost of housing, the cost of working, in cars, gasoline, and parking, the meager wage rate per hour, and the number of hours they might expect to work throughout the year. Curiously, the employer is not allowed to be similarly reckless in doing what must be done to get workers for their business. This is doubly curious when what we are talking about is “the strongest economy on record”, one that should allow those with the money to spend — due to that strength, don’t you know — to be foolhardy in the quest for even more money to spend. The workers of all ages should have their boats rise, as well, if we truly have this “economic miracle”.
Clearly, having jobs few and far between is not an indication of a bustling economy.
This is when the defenders of ineffective policies will try to argue that, despite all appearances, jobs are not truly few and far between. They take a one-sided view of companies allegedly looking for tech workers, when companies are going out of their way to avoid looking, using dodges such as the Applicant Tracking System, or ATS, and retaining multiple barriers of HR and recruiters. If there was truly a shortage of workers, there would be no need for such gatekeepers. Companies would be ending recruiter contracts and eliminating human resource departments, replacing those now useless entities with signs and accepting walk-ins. The recruiters would be hired for the positions for which they were hiring. HR personnel would be reassigned to productive positions, where they could be producing the output so urgently needed. In order to snatch the rare and variable hire, companies would take no chances on losing a candidate and hire on the spot, without a full interview and only checking the last job and references.
Needless to say, I have not seen that behavior in decades. I have only seen it at times when the economy was, apparently. not so great. In those earlier, looser job-markets, new hires would get sign-on bonuses, workers would get bid away from other companies, salaries would increase, and candidates would get wined and dined.
We tech workers would be quite happy with an economy not as great as Mr. Trump’s, or Mr. Obama’s for that matter.