Selma has a job problem

Published 7:43 pm Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The great whooshing sound Ross Perot warned of is now a reality. Perot, an independent candidate for president in 1992, made this reference to jobs leaving this country if the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented. However, the statistics say otherwise with 25.1 million jobs created in the United States from 1993-2008, 4.3 million in Canada and 9.3 in Mexico. It seems the whooshing sound is being caused by the assault on businesses with implementation of regulations out the wazoo by the Obama Administration. The corporate tax rate in the U.S. is the highest in the developed world. The annual overall cost of meeting government regulatory requirements has increased $80 billion since 2009. There are more than 180 new regulations in place. Plus, the implementation of Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and too numerous to name EPA regulations have added to the cost of doing business in the United States. We rank 49th in the world in ease of starting a new business, according to a World Bank report.

Facts are, more businesses are failing now than are being created according to a report by the Brookings Institute in 2014. It marks the first time this has occurred since the Carter Administration. Businesses failing and those moving out of the country have been indiscriminate with both large and small businesses participating.

The announcement last week of Globe Metallurgical closing, hopefully only temporarily, in Selma is not surprising. The attempt to spin it as only affecting workers from our neighboring counties does not soften the impact to Selma. Nor does the announcement bode well for it ever reopening in Selma or anywhere else in the United States.

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On Wednesday of last week, Carrier, an Indianapolis-based heating, ventilation and air conditioning company owned by United Technologies, announced its intent to transition the manufacturing facility in Indianapolis to Monterrey, Mexico beginning in 2017. It will eventually effect 1400 workers at the U.S. plant. It has become too expensive to manufacture goods in the United States. If there are no more manufacturing jobs, where are the replacement jobs for those lost? Where will job expansion take place to account for population growth and place the unprecedented influx of unskilled immigrants flooding our country? The labor participation rate is at 62.7 percent the lowest it has been in nearly 40 years.

This means there are already fewer people working in our country.

Yet, if you listen to the president, everything is rosy.

Selma not only has a crime problem, but it also has a lack of jobs problem.

The two are interconnected in that companies are not inclined to locating in high crime areas which in turn exacerbates the no jobs problem. Just as my pappy used to say, “idle hands and minds are the devil’s workshop.”