According to South Carolina government logic, you’ve got to engineer the economy by scheming to fill jobs that workers won’t fill on their own.
Without any fanfare, Republican Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill into law earlier in June that creates a Coordinating Council for Workforce Development.
An earlier version of the now-law would have costed taxpayers $47 million in fiscal year 2017 plus an additional $7 million in recurring funds every year thereafter, according to an April fiscal impact statement.
Instead, the council will simply make workforce recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly.
According to the law’s language, the council is aimed at engaging in “discussions, collaboration, and information sharing concerning the state’s ability to prepare and train workers to meet current and future workforce needs.”
Perhaps the players won’t engage in collaboration without this sort of government intervention.
The membership is comprised of leadership from—
-The Commerce Department
-State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education
-Department of Employment and Workforce
-Commission on Higher Education
-The president of a research university chosen by other research university presidents
-The president of a four-year school chosen by his or her peers
-The president of a technical college, appointed by the chairman of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education
-An appointee by the Superintendent of Education
-An appointee by the president of the state Chamber of Commerce
Note that many of these councilors already play a role in engineering the workforce. Further note that not one economist is on that list.
On second glance, that’s probably fitting. We tend to think of economy partly in terms of job growth.
But when Haley, Commerce Department officials and other government agencies talk about economic development in terms of job growth, they’re perpetuating a misnomer.
An economy is measured by the goods and services it provides the consumer, not by job growth.
The real threat is missing out on how the economy would have naturally changed the workforce while growing to meet consumer demands.
Consider removing from the equation workforce development and taxpayer-funded incentives that bribe businesses to locate here. There’s a real possibility that we would have a thriving economy that looks nothing like the one driven by the hand of bureaucrats.
Besides, we already have workforce development. It’s called college.
And government shouldn’t meddle in workforce training any more than it already does at the public college and university level.