The Corporatist Net Is Tightening


In keeping with a recurring theme, on this site, a statement from Governor Raimondo that appeared in a Providence Journal blurb last Wednesday raises a central, fundamental question that nobody is asking as part of the discussion about how to move Rhode Island forward (or at least stop its backwards trajectory).  The topic has to do with government job-training programs:

“We have to put employers at the center of the process to determine what they need to hire workers,” she said, “It has to be employer-driven and it has to move at the speed of business.”

Here’s the question:  Why is it a legitimate government activity to shape the population to fit the needs of corporations?

Seriously.  I’m a free-market champion, and improving the business environment is critical.  But (1) that can be done by loosening, rather than tightening, the government’s grip on the reins, and (2) people, not businesses, must be central.  If businesses are telling the government what sort of employees they need, and if government is using its coercive advantages in order to shape the people to fit the request, that isn’t free market.  It’s corporatist and certain to result in long-term stagnation and a dismantling of the bridge between the have-nots and haves.

  • Mike678

    Add in the factor of time. Bureaucracies move slowly but the tempo of capitalism is fast–new technology and competition can shift markets and needs quickly. By the time the State institutes a requirement–coupled with the time it takes to produce said requirement–it is very likely the requirement will have changed. One need only look at the placement record of all the state and Federal job training programs–abysmal in general–to see how this will play out.

    Better to let people decide for themselves–it’s called freedom. Those that choose well will do well. Those that don’t can become RI politicians, batten on the successful, and work to ensure all are as miserable as they are. :)

  • Greg

    My god, what did Saint Gina learn in college? Certainly, she did not learn the tenants of free market capitalism and liberty. God help us with this lefty in charge.

    • Ed Major

      What did she learn you ask?She learned how to be secretive in her dealings. She learned how to keep the pension system non transparent with low rate of return and high hedge fund fees thus decreasing the return rather than sustaining and increasing it,..She learned how to lose almost a billion dollars in two years with her poor money management skills. And if anyone is interested in contributing to a transparent aforensic investigation of the pension by SEC atty Ted Siedle, please click on this link:
      She is not a democrat but a DINO who like her idol, Obama, wants the people to be dependent on the government for everything. And you are correct, Greg, God help us with this privatizer Obama clone in charge

  • Warrington Faust

    I have never seen an actual listing of “skills” missing in the populace. Is it astrophysics, or reading, writing and ‘rithmatic. Is it specialized skills, or basic skills, that are missing? If it is the latter, then it surely is time for reconsideration of public education. People have “voted with their feet” on that one for generations.

    There was a time that large companies, Ford in particular, ran their own trade schools to develop employees.

    As does Mike678. I doubt the government is flexible enough. I noticed that Attleboro, Mass. ran a “machine shop” course in their vocational school until it was down to one student. It is harsh, but it could be said that CNC had “dumbed down” the occuparion of “Machinest”, and made it “machine operator”, 20 years ago.

    • Mike Mc

      I have an answer for this, though I am not standing behind but rather just an exposition:

      A perfect example is the “maritime skills gap.”

      There are tons of unfilled jobs, real, projected or otherwise, in RI in the maritime industry. Many of them are in ship’s systems such as electrical, combustion, etc. etc.

      The “gap” gets identified by research by a trade association in conjunction with the gov’t and lo and behold, a skills gap! Identifying the need, the gov’t starts to throw money in the trough. The NE Tech’s happily take the extra cash to expand their programs (along with IYRS et al.) The state then throws cash at citizens who endeavor to enter these programs.

      In theory, with the appropriate qualifications, RI lowers unemployment and assists the market/companies to find the skilled labor they need.

      I think this works to some degree, but does it work well enough? For the most part, it seems like a grab by certain organizations. Best intentions, and few poor consequences.. but its hard to know if the return is worth it. Effective? I dunno.

      I certainly don’t doubt this works out well for some graduates who gain the appropriate skills. There even may be a small handful who hear the bugle call and say “Oh! well since I already want to be an electrician, might as well go where the jobs are! Marine Electonics! Thanks RI Gov’t!”

      But that seems like a precious few. But who knows? Guess I should dig up the numbers.