I am not an economist, I am a business school grad. We don't worry about explaining structural imbalances so much as look for the profitable opportunities they might present. So a question we business folks might ask instead is: If there are so many under-employed unskilled workers rattling around in the economy, why aren't entrepreneurs crafting business models to exploit this fact?
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The reason for my despair comes from a single source: the government is making it increasingly difficult and costly to hire unskilled workers, while simultaneously creating a culture among new workers that short-circuits their ability to make progress.It would be nice to say that the things "government" is doing along these lines are confined to California, and they're certainly at the absurd end of the spectrum there, but the rot has spread.