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Math Doesn't Add Up

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Sometimes the math just doesn’t work.  

During the Second World War, women did more to contribute to the war effort than just rivet in the factory or tend to the kids; they became an integral part of business, finance, and industry.  In fact, women functioned outside of the home in ways never dreamt of. 


Once the war ended, however, it was expected that men would resume their roles as hunters and gatherers and women would revert back to the keepers of the hearth. 

For a while, American society did, in fact, function in that manner (one job = one applicant).  However, the task of rebuilding the world along with the innate desire by American women to achieve more recognition ultimately led to the rapid availability of both male and female workers. 

Thus, society had a well-defined need and the demand was filled, irrespective of gender.  Not only little boys, but little girls were also told, “you can be all you want to be.” 

Even though there were gender difficulties that in some instances still remain today, the demand for workers was definitely satisfied (one job = two applicants). 

Nevertheless, the allure of the American workplace was not lost on foreigners.  As World War II faded into the background, the migration to U.S. shores created a tremendous influx of new workers that initially filled the many advertisements that said “help wanted.” 

Immigrant males and females found tremendous job opportunities in America that weren’t available in their home countries as vast U.S. employment demand was met by significant labor supply which featured working-age U.S. men, U.S. women, and foreigners successfully filling all job openings (one job = three applicants). 


However, as productivity became the new battle cry of business and jobs dwindled, there was decreased demand for all workers.  Thus, instead of complimenting one another, American and foreign laborers became competitors. 

Fast-forward to the present day and the situation is nearly impossible.  Finding their financial resources dwindling and the zero-interest rate policy (ZIRP) continuing, seniors and former retirees realize they must go back to work. 

Adding to the mix is the inclusion of outsourced workers in distant lands, which only increases the number of job seekers. 

Yes, at one time it was all very easy as one job meant one job applicant.  Now, it’s one job involving five applicants and if I include industrial robots, it would be six for one.  Sorry, Mr. President, but the math just doesn’t work.

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