Alan Greenspan: It's the Gen-Xers Fault They're Out of Work

Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said in a recent interview that the U.S. is suffering from an unproductive youth movement in the labor force, and that companies dont want to hire these young folk. Greenspan also said that U.S. companies would be better off hiring immigrants.

I yield the floor to FOX Business Director of News Ray Hennessey:

Apparently the problem with the American jobs picture is the American worker.

At least thats what Alan Greenspan thinks.

We are, he says, too young, dumb and unproductive as a workforce. The Baby Boomers were better, finding ways to do more with less, but they are retiring in droves. As they hit the links, their ranks of replacements dont measure up.

Here are his [Greenspans] words, in an interview with The Globalist:

"Baby boomers are being replaced by groups of young workers who have regrettably scored rather poorly in international educational match-ups over the last two decades. The average income of U.S. households headed by 25-year-olds and younger has been declining relative to the average income of the baby boomer population. This is a reasonably good indication that the productivity of the younger part of our workforce is declining relative to the level of productivity achieved by the retiring baby boomers. This raises some major concerns about the productive skills of our future U.S. labor force."

There is, sadly, much truth in what he says. The degradation of our educational system, thanks to a lack of accountability and a general resistance to innovation, is well-documented.

It has been difficult for American students to keep pace with those from overseas when viewed through the lens of quantitative, objective metrics like standardized tests.

But the lack of productivity Greenspan frets over can arguably also be set at the feet of our growing entitlement culture, which we explored in some detail several weeks ago for Entitlement Nation Week. Being a productive worker means having a commitment to honest labor.

That has eroded as more people have relied upon the federal government for the growth of their household wealth. That, in turn, has led to a troubling change in attitude in this country.

As [Pulitzer prize winning syndicated columnist] George Will put it, Americans, endowed by their solicitous government with an ever-expanding array of entitlements, now have the whiny mentality that an entitlement culture breeds.

The question then becomes, How do we fix this? To Greenspan, it is to Go West, young man. Or East, North and South for that matter. Just go anywhere else but here and find someone who is willing and able to work:

"Most high-income people in our country do not realize that their incomes are being subsidized by their protection from competition from highly skilled people who are prevented from immigrating to the United States, Greenspan said. But we need such skills in order to staff our productive economy, so that the standard of living for Americans as a whole can grow."

Think of that last line for a moment. We need to import labor intelligent, skilled labor to guarantee that Americans standard of living is maintained.

Have we indeed fallen so far?