A Hair Net in Your Future

It's always good to get reassurances from high government officials on issues of great concern to the people.

Take the nagging issue of U.S. corporations offshoring hundreds of thousands of well-paying, high-tech jobs out of our country. These very jobs, we were told, would be our people's ticket into the middle class. But now the CEOs of Dell, Microsoft, IBM, and the rest are shipping these engineering and programming jobs off to India, Russia, and other locales where they can pay a third or a fourth or even a tenth of the middle-class pay scale in the U.S. Hey, they say, America's a great place, but we're gonna go where we can fatten our bottom lines.

This self-serving betrayal of America's middle class has -- to put it nicely -- annoyed many, many, Americans. This is where Colin Powell steps in. Bush's secretary of state recently sought to reassure people on this issue of offshoring. Unfortunately, the people he reassured were in India.

On a recent trip there, he promised that the Bushites would do nothing to stop the outsourcing of U.S. high-tech jobs to India and, indeed, would oppose all congressional efforts to stop it. He even posed as an economic philosopher, declaring that "outsourcing is a natural effect of the global economic system," adding adamantly that "you're not going to eliminate outsourcing."

Well, we're certainly not going to eliminate it if our government won't fight for our people. Oh, but Powell said, while "these kinds of dislocations will take place," the Bushites plan to train the American people for new jobs. What new jobs, exactly? He didn't say. He didn't have a clue.

But Bush's labor department knows. It lists 30 job categories that will have the greatest growth between now and 2010. Number one? Fast food workers. Two-thirds of their "growth jobs" pay less than $20,000 a year.

Forget high-tech, Colin Powell envisions you in a hair net.

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of 'Thieves In High Places: They've Stolen Our Country And It's Time To Take It Back,' on sale now from Viking Press.

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