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Business chooses new hires — last

Big business is making decisions about how to spend the trillions in cash its earned in the last two years — and hiring more workers, it turns out, is its least favorite option. Companies continue to squeeze their work forces to increase productivity. Instead, they’re buying back stock, buying other companies and starting up plants and offices overseas. American workers are the losers with stagnant salaries and unemployment.

This is American Capitalism. We’ve seen this jobless recovery the last three recessions, but the phenomenon seems to be getting stronger. American companies are getting more competitive globally, but at a terrific cost to American workers. Instead, the main benefit flow to corporate executives getting bigger salaries, the owners (shareholders) and overseas workers.

No amount of Obama scolding will change that because of the financial incentives and, more importantly, the culture built into American-style capitalism. And, it should help guide government policy as it seeks to coax business to hire more.