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ROUNDING THIRD: A negative shift in our workforce

John David Fay
Sentinel columnist
Posted 5/6/23

In 1950, 86.4% of men of working age (16+) were at paying jobs. That figure has declined to 69.8% in 2021 (I Googled). Are there no jobs to be had? Doesn’t seem so.

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ROUNDING THIRD: A negative shift in our workforce


In 1950, 86.4% of men of working age (16+) were at paying jobs. That figure has declined to 69.8% in 2021 (I Googled).

Are there no jobs to be had? Doesn’t seem so. At last count there were 10.8 million jobs unfilled and only 6 million receiving unemployment benefits. Why can’t we match some of them up? Is it lack of training, location, physical limitations or something else? Another problem — there are 3 million fewer people in the workforce today than in 2020. If those stats are accurate — and some people question Google’s veracity — what is causing this negative shift in our workforce?

I can only remember a personal experience. I was 19 and home from college for the summer. My dad had gotten me a job in the mill—a place I just hated to work. I told him I didn’t want to work there and he surprisingly said, “Okay!” My relief didn’t last long. The next thing out of his mouth was, “Then, you find another job because you will work this summer.” I spent that summer in the mill. I guess those ultimatums are no longer in vogue. The poem this month is called:

Stand Tall

When I was a boy, my daddy said, “Son, there are things you will need ‘fore all’s said and done.

The world is full of heartache and hurt and people who’ll shove your nose in the dirt.

To start with, you’ll need a backbone of steel, with legs that are strong and to only God kneel.

When things get so tough that around you they weep, you’ve got to stand tall and you’ve got to dig deep.”

Now, daddy referred to a long time ago and a species of man that today we don’t know.

The world now seems so petty and weak; we whimper and beg whenever we speak.

The winds of change hit — we beg and we plead from any who’ll give us the help that we need.

From FEMA, from welfare, collections galore; does anyone stand on their own anymore?

My daddy then told me that it was my job to care for my fam’ly — not wheedle and rob,

To be sure they had clothes and were properly fed and a place to be warm when they went to their bed.

We no longer bend our backs to the plow we have our hands out and we want it all now!

How long can the world beat a path to our door with their hands reaching out and their lips shouting, “More!”

I say, like my daddy, it’s time they all learn you’re entitled to only that which you earn.

Take your butt off the couch and your nose from the phone, and straighten your back — like it still has some bone.

Take part in the ethic that we call our culture instead of just hanging around like a vulture.

If you’re ready to stand on your feet like a man, remember American ends with — I Can! JDF

Thoughts and comments:

A cubic yard of air weighs about 2 pounds. Unless it comes out of Eric, where it’s much less. Remember — hot air rises.

Man is the only primate with no pigment on his palms. That comes from all the “greasing the palm’ that goes on with men.

The first Native American to play baseball was Frances Sockalexis. When he died in 1913, they named the team “the Indians” as a tribute to him. They had previously been named the Forest Citys, The Naps, and the Spiders. Wonder why they didn’t go back to one of those. Now, they’re the Guardians.

In Italy, it was (may still be) illegal to make a coffin from anything but wood or nutshells. I don’t think I want to spend eternity in a (nut) shell.

In 1993, a Wyoming woman ran over and killed a man with her pickup. Then she sued his widow for the “crippling psychological injuries” she suffered as a result of watching him die. That pickup must have been made from a nutshell.

Mussolini’s favorite cartoon character was Donald Duck. And he sure stuck Italy with “the bill.”

Joke: The fourth grade class had a group picture taken and the teacher was trying to convince them to buy a copy. She said, “Just think how nice it will be to look at it when you’re grown up and say — there’s Jennifer, she’s a lawyer or there’s Billy, he ran for Congress.” A voice at the back of the room rang out, “And there’s the teacher — she’s dead!”

Well, enough for this week. Hope I didn’t annoy anyone. See ya! JDF


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