I don't really see anyone blaming the workers. I do see people suggesting that workers take appropriate steps to protect their interests. Maybe workers should learn skills that indentured serfs don't have. Maybe workers should take advantage of a world with cheap unskilled labor rather than being a part of the unskilled labor force and therefore causing a higher supply to demand ratio of unskilled labor (as I implied earlier).
America has one of the most highly skilled work forces in the world, both in terms of the number of skilled workers per capita and the extent of their skills.
And so what. Get a master's degree in your field, your resumé gets discarded by HR: overqualified. Have 20 years of experience in the field, your resumé gets discarded by HR: overqualified. Fail to have 10 years of experience in 5 year old technology, your resumé gets discarded by HR: underqualified. Fail to have the right school on your resume, your resumé gets discarded by HR: underqualified: Fail to claim you can walk on water and fly solely by grabbing your bootstraps and yanking, your resumé gets discarded by HR: underqualified. Goldilocks was never so picky. Why? Because they're desperate for any criteria they can use to dig themselves out from under the absolutely monstrous deluge of resumés they received for the job posting they only posted because the law required it and they've already got the H1B lined up they're going to put in that slot.
Well if the job market is so terrible (for employees) and never getting better, then the obvious thing to do is to exploit that and become an employer.
Right. Obviously. Because it's not like all of the existing markets haven't already been divvied up among the giant entrenched players who have not only rigged the laws and regulations against startups but have piled up tens of thousands of bogus patents that guarantee they can exort a ruinous sum from literally any venture if they so choose, and the only choice is over whether they kill your venture aborning or wait until it's slightly valuable, then extort payment that will only kill your venture a little bit later. Nevermind the fact that if you haven't already Gotten Yours, you can't even afford to hire a dog walker, let alone one of those literally millions of unemployed skilled potential workers, let alone the 20 it would take to get something really useful accomplished.
Now that I've gotten the scathing sarcasm off my chest...
If we couple your assertion with the guy several hundred posts up who says he's up to his ass in one-off contract offers he can't fulfill after booking $170k in a year doing evenings-and-weekends work, we can come to a conclusion: this Brave New Tech Economy scares people and that fright is disastrously self-destructive.
Let me lay out the pieces.
Once upon a time, not too very long ago, small business was the majority type of employer in the United States. Despite gargantuan headcounts at a few multinationals, they were still outnumbered by literally millions of small businesses. But small business headcounts have been steadily shrinking, because they've been increasing automation. They had to, because there were millions of them, and they had to increase efficiency, because everybody else was and if they didn't, they couldn't compete and they'd go out of business, so they did, so everybody else had to too, so they did and here we are twenty years later and they find they've backed themselves into a corner.
They don't understand what they have. They bought a complicated tool, that they absolutely must have to stay competitive, but they don't understand it.
It's called a computer.
They don't know how it works, they don't know what makes it go, they actively dislike the damn thing if they don't outright hate it, but by and large it allows them to do things that simply aren't possible with their current headcount unless they have it so they keep using it, hoping it will keep working, and cousin Larry's sister's kid is good with computers (he gets by with cargo cult practices and duct tape) and anyway rebooting seems to work.
After twenty years of this, the cracks are showing. The duct tape is peeling off. It's getting harder and harder to keep that ancient creaky old database running because somehow the computers just stop working and every time that database (which exists on only that one hard drive sitting in that tiny office off the production floor) somehow gets copied to the new system if they're really lucky and they don't know why that sometimes works and why it sometimes doesn't and oh my god the last time it didn't work the secretary (sorry, admin assistant, she was very insistent on that point) had to spend a month reentering all the paper she could find into the system and she never did find it all and boy was that big customer pissed when his order was late and we really don't want to go through that again but cousin Larry's sister's kid says he can't just keep copying it anymore because something something something argle bargle and what do we DO?!?!
Do you know somebody?
Here we have the whopping disconnect that is causing quite a lot of grief. American small business has automated a bunch of stuff, but that automation falls out of date far faster than anything else, it seems to require constant attention, and every time the nice grey-haired gentleman in the corner office has to deal with it, all he hears is argle bargle and he really wishes he could just get it fixed, but he tried that a couple of times and really since that last time cousin Larry's sister's kid worked on it, it's never been quite right, I mean he's a nice kid and all, but still the secretary (sorry, admin assistant, she was very insistent on that point) says she has to do this when she used to do that and it's not right and it won't stop doing it and argle bargle.
So, do you know somebody?
I mean I heard on the news about these contracting website things and I know what contracting means, it's what we do, but I tried that website and nothing came up but then something came up and it didn't make any sense, and I heard if you type stuff in to one of those things somebody in Outer Mongolia will steal your credit card and run up charges and my wife will yell at me when her card gets declined at the salon so that sounds like a bad idea but there's no phone number and there wasn't anything on that site about what we have anyway, it had a bunch of stuff about Agile and NOSQUIRRELS and rubies and what? I can't afford rubies. I just have this... thing... I've got the disk around here somewhere... and it needs to keep working, but the news said something about Microsoft discontinuing support and cousin Larry's sister's kid said we have to Do Something and the guy from Giant Megacorp that's buying our biggest shipment of widgets this year said it's true, we really have to or Bad Things will happen.
So, really, do you know somebody?
It would really help if you knew somebody who was also a nice grey-haired gentleman with a reassuring handshake and a good pair of sturdy workboots who drives a good ol' American pickup truck. You know. Somebody you can trust. Somebody like me. Except he's kept up with this stuff, you know I always meant to but I was always so busy, 'cause every time you turn around Giant Megacorp would come back with a different demand and say the part had to be made differently and we had to figure out how to do that without breaking the bank, and oh yeah there was that ISO 9000 crap, we had to do that, gawd what a racket, but that's done, and anyway I just haven't had the time, and now I've got two grand kids with another one on the way (have I showed you the pictures of my grand kids? Hold on, I've got 'em right here) and time just gets away from me.
Seriously, do you know somebody? ...
American small business needs Stuff Done, but American small business owners are notoriously conservative, in the classical sense, and each and every one of them has already been bitten once by a snake oil salesman (or knows somebody who has), so they're severely gunshy and have fallen back on the old reliable talent search mechanism, the personal reference.
And it's not working. It doesn't scale, it isn't communicating the need correctly (or at all), and there truly is a severe shortage of workers who meet all of their criteria. They really want somebody who displays all the correct badges of trustworthiness (a small and ever-shrinking pool), who has extensive domain knowledge in their field (small manufacturing), who actually does know what the hell he's doing (not a large pool to begin with), and who isn't a hipster (total failure in the badges of trustworthiness department) or a smooth operator who will effectively rob them and could literally destroy the company because the automation is now unavoidable and it has to work or we lose the Giant Megacorp account and we're done for.
And Joe Random Slashdot reader can't just hang up a shingle and say Open For Business! and get anywhere. Mr. Small Business won't even hear of it if he did, and if he did accidentally hear of it, it would fail all of his trustworthiness gates, especially the only one that is absolutely non-negotiable, the personal reference.
So there's a talent shortage. There's just nobody out there who understands My Problem and who can help me.
Really, there's a communication problem. Perhaps TsuruchiBrian and Tuidjy could bridge the gap.
I wish you luck.
Do you know somebody?