Rethinking "good jobs" for Americans

Another round of layoffs in the auto industry should get us thinking about the future of jobs in America. Ford Motor Company just announced that about 2,500 workers will be laid off and shifts are being eliminated at four plants.

It's no secret that jobs in the automotive industry used to be very desirable. They were some of the best paying manufacturing jobs, and came with great benefits to boot. But the fact is that American car makers can no longer remain competitive with these levels of wages and benefits. And since union contracts rule, often the one choice that is left is to cut jobs.

Of course, I feel badly for those losing their jobs, and I am saddened that the U.S. can't remain competitive in industries like this. However, I think that we need to rethink what constitutes a "good" job for Americans. The rules from 40 or 50 years ago simply don't apply anymore. It's hard to support a family on with the wages paid for unskilled labor in today's economy.