with the united states’ 2012 presidential election season picking up momentum (obama’s campaign has already changed his twitter avatarand backgroundfor the upcoming re-election bid), more and more of the discussion is falling back onto the topic of jobs.

it was reported some months ago that the united states was in a jobless recovery — where macroeconomic indicators showed progress while the jobs market remained stagnant. a lot of people have wondered where are the jobs?how can businesses be making so much money, but at the same time adding such few new hires to ‘fuel the furnaces’?

unfortunately things don’t work that way anymore.

manufacturing doesn’t happen that much in the united states — we just don’t make many things now a days. no, we’re an information and knowledge based economy now, and that’s exactly where the issue comes in at…

enter the mba graduate.

we’re graduating an ever increasing amount of mbas every year and application numbers continue to rise. and what are we teaching these graduates to do? with pressure to keep wall street happy, we’re teaching optimization: how can you manage your resources properly to get the most utility with the least amount of cost? how can you drive your profits up while using less? that’s a dangerous position for us to be in as a nation when you consider what it is we’re building… information.

in an information economy the people are the resources, and just so happen to be the largest cost drivers for any organization. in order to keep costs down, we have to keep the number of people down — or at least the cost of those people. anyone who has been working for 20 years and suddenly found themselves out of a job because they were replaced by a freshly minted college graduate knows this very well. why would a company, looking to maximize profit, choose to keep or hire an experienced professional with a higher market salary when they can pay a fraction of that for someone much younger?so, joe america, if you’re reading this during a break in between your job searching — understand that the fact that you haven’t been hired isn’t because you’re old, but because you’re expensive!

so where are the jobs at?

technology has increased drastically, we’ve gotten really good at doing certain things, and — believe it or not for all the problems with our primary schooling systems — our education system is pumping out more and more college graduates each year. where are the jobs? in short: we don’t really need them. not with the focus of the economy right now: bigger profits and happier investors. we’re mba’ing ourselves out of an economy. with no one at work, there’s no money at home to spend on those things which keep our economy afloat. no houses, no cars, no $100 cell phone bills, etc.

so how do we fix this? you can’t just take the billions of dollars that organizations’ c-level executives are making right now and reinvest that money into growing the workforce because you’re going to blow up the system. you’re going to have a lot of people getting paid to do nothing because they won’t have any work to do. we’ve already optimized what it takes to turn a profit; we can’t get any better than we already are.we need an economic revolution. we have to fundamentally change the way that we think about business. we have to embrace risk again (and reward it). we have to invent. we have to innovate. we need companies and organizations that are focused on helping people and improving the quality of life in our communities rather than being focused on turning a profit.