Congress and the Bush administration have engaged in yet another
vitriolic verbal war over policy, this time related to trade
legislation supposed to help workers laid off due to
But analysts say the clamor in Washington is misguided. The feds can
do better than protectionism, they say, and focus on retraining as a
way to help all laid-off workers, not just those hurt by globalization.
Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia University's business school, recently
explained on American Public Media's Marketplace:
We could broaden the benefits Congress has sanctioned for workers who
prove they lose their jobs to trade to all workers facing the need to
change lines of work. We should add funds for customized training
through community colleges and vocational institutes — that is,
training for skills in production management, machinery, logisitics
management and so on.
I agree. Our economy is changing, and with it, the job market. We need
to equip workers with skills for in-demand jobs that stay ashore,
so they get good salaries.