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Member since: Fri Aug 13, 2004, 02:12 PM
Number of posts: 23,170

Journal Archives

Slum Life In New York City During the Nineteenth Century's Gilded Age

This is "Laissez-Fail".

Here's what life would be like without social services, laws or regulations of any kind, with as small a government as you could imagine and corporate America's "you're worth what you're worth" wage acumen. Put the economy in the hands of the Peter Thiels, Peter Schiffs, Thomas Petterfys, the Kochs, Bernie Marcuses and Ken Langones of the world, and this is what you're going to get. This canyon-gapped two-tiered life is what they would love to send us back to.

Some "utopia" . . . .


Some of the responses on here are about as cold as Northeastern weather.

Maybe our "Big Tent" economic scolds can explain to me how their precious Trapitalism continues (when 2/3rds of it's perpetuation depends on consumption, by the way) when corporations, the wealthy that run them and the low-tax/kick-the-can economics they nailed in place back in the 1980s just indebted an entire generation out of purchasing necessities and big ticket items and placed more burden on their Boomer/Buster/Gen X parents and the states they live in.

Maybe the bootstrapper/"guud ol' fashened GUMPSHUN" crowd can tell me how 45-and-under America has a future when we have no money to save for retirement because our flatlined wage decoupled with the rising cost of living around 1979, thereby forcing us to work until we're in our 70s, but live under the prospect of unspoken ageism which lays us off; while at the same time, instead of employing younger indebted workers, put more burden on the imported workers they decide to keep?

Maybe the "Nation of Whiners" bunch can explain to me the sensible sense behind this awesome menu for America:

* Learn a potentially unsafe (short and long term) contract-term trade tethered by either the employment prospects of the people you're servicing or the local/state budgets which your success depends on (yeah, ask electricians how well THEY'RE doing).

* Blow thousands upon thousands of dollars on a brand/degree so you can get excluded from the corporate interviewing process in the first round for not being extroverted enough and suffer through un/under-employment, while crushing interest accumulates on that debt.

* Start your own crapshoo . . . er . . . business . . . again, very high cost and completely tethered by the employment prospects and disposable income of the people you're servicing.

* Fall out of the correct womb.

Any of you life-landmine-free, fortune teller finger waggers got a road map to THAT happy ending, because I'm just not seeing one?

Quite Possibly the Dumbest Plain Dealer LTTE in Five Years . . .

. . . and trust me, this is an awfully high bar this guy's jumping (see my journal for Dumb Plain Dealer LTTEs). It's no secret that Cleveland's suburbs are chock loaded with TeaHadists, but this one is venturing towards sub-moronic even for them. Hope you didn't eat anything yet:


Plain Dealer should be reporting on Benghazi scandal:

As I was taking out the trash, I noticed the May 3 Nation & World lead article on page A5 with the headline "GOP panel will investigate emails." This was imported from the Washington Post. I'm writing because this is exactly why I don't take the Plain Dealer. As a news organization you continue to fail to report on probably the single largest scandal in American History.

Benghazi is not a scandal because there was a fouled up to an attack on a clandestine operations center chartered to run weapons into Syria. Benghazi is a scandal because of the way Team Obama chose to address this abject failure and report it to the American public....during an election cycle.

Ask yourself, when was the last time you remember an American president, and Secretary of State, knowingly blame innocent Americans for inciting a riot abroad. If you can't remember, that's because it's never been done before . This matters because this is bad government run amok. Worse, innocent Americans were blamed and eventually sent to jail.

What disgusts me is the Plain Dealer passes through partisan denial of the worst cover-up in American history as some GOP witch hunt. If you believe its a witch hunt, then I'd like to ask you to turn in your press pass and go back to school for a refresher on the Constitution.

Shame on you Plain Dealer. Strip yourself of your partisan roots and do the job the 1st Amendment grants you. Stop coddling these corrupt thugs in Washington who cannot admit failure when their incompetence and dereliction of duty shines through. The President is not off limits, nor is Hillary Clinton. Your duty is to report the news.

Dave Van Horn,

Columbia Station

I know, it really DOES get dumber each time you read it. Kevin O'Brien is slow clapping.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Thu May 8, 2014, 04:49 AM (8 replies)

"Why Many Unemployed Workers Will Never Get Jobs" - conservative victim blaming from Huffpo.

Awesome. As if America's unemployed don't have enough problems, we got this victim-blaming duffer to pile it on further.


The problem with traditional job skill training in many cases is that you can walk a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Far too many workers -- employed and unemployed -- don't seem interested in finding water on their own. They want and expect someone else to find the water, make sure the journey isn't too arduous, and get someone to pay for it.

Thanks to years of economic prosperity, government entitlements, union contracts and most recently a generation of helicopter parents, many workers from aging Baby Boomers to the young adults known as Millennials don't have the motivational skills to achieve their own success, to keep themselves safe, to avoid a personal crisis, and to get themselves out of a jam.


Many of the unemployed workers have simply lost the ability and motivation to make a better life for them and take responsibility for problems they create -- if they ever learned to do it in the first place. Picking yourself up by your bootstraps is a lost skill. When you fall, it's not your fault. It's expected that someone else come to your rescue, offer you the bootstrap, hoist you up, and nurse you back to health.

I recently mentioned to someone that "God helps those who help themselves." Their response was to tell me God never said that. That is true by the way -- it's not actually in the Bible. But they missed my point. For many generations we believed that. It was a philosophy our grandparents, our great-grandparents, and those before us lived by. People didn't look for handouts, sue someone when things didn't go right, and wallow in their own pity waiting to be rescued.

Up until the last decade or so, it didn't take much to get a job. If you had a pulse and could fog a mirror, you had the qualifications for many low-paying, low-skill jobs. If you sought a better lifestyle, you acquired trade skills or a college degree. Once you had a job, you were pretty well set for life. At that point in your career, school was behind you and employees looked to the company for training, benefits, and even retirement. If you were unfortunate enough to be laid off, the company paid you a severance or you collected unemployment from the government. Companies as well as government and community services even provided another bootstrap -- outplacement services and job coaching to help you get back on your feet.

. . . and so on and so on and so on and this isn't the 1970s, asshole.

Do me a favor. Get in a pair of boots that have straps on them. Squat. Now grab those bootstraps and try to pull yourself upright. What happens? TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS???

These guys, AGAIN, grew up and acheived success in an age that had plentiful economic opportunites for everyone, whether you went to college or not. They built their wealth at a time when it was possible to do so with consistency (e.g. not in the past 14 years). College was affordable (sometimes free), there were pensions, benefits, employer matches to 401k, employee training, employer-paid college, etc, etc, etc. They never had significant landmines, financial or otherwise and see things from the winner's circle - zero empathy and firmly in a bubble.

This age no longer exists and now they're finger wagging and scolding workers for not "taking charge" of their lives. "Working hard" is no longer enough. "Going to college" is no longer enough. "Starting your own business" is no longer enough. "There's this . . . invisible unknown intangible . . . that my generation, of course, isn't affected by so much, but YOU BUMS ALL NEED TO FIND and once you do, grab onto it like you would a bootstrap, pay for it until yer destitute and starving and let it KILL ya, by gumption!!"

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck. Thanks for the advice. Loads. We'll all get working on that bill Republicans and corporations left us.

That asshole's corporation's stock is up 504% since January 20th, 2009.

If you bought during February, that return could have been as high as 1000%.

But "Demmucrapz are so bad fer biznezz!!" Stupid veneered orange bastard.

We cannot begin to have any kind of national dialogue regarding economic inequality and ailments . .

. . . until the "temporarily embarrassed millionaires", Libertarians and hyper-Republican pundits stop treating the notion of the "Free Market" as a religious fundamentalist treats their Bible; infallible and incapable of error or corruption.

Aaaaaaaaaaand Bye Bye Chief Wahoo (Picture Screams a 1000 Words Dept.)


At a protest before the Indian's home opener, a paleface whitemansplains to Robert Roche of the Apache Nation that Chief Wahoo is "all about Cleveland pride, not racism". Yeah, I'm pretty sure people say the same thing about the Confederate flag too . . . "heritage not hate", and all that . . .

Way to go, dumbass. You just sealed the Red Sambo's long-overdue disappearance.

Photoshop Phun with Eddie Munster and his Storybook.

This involved lots of Clone-stamping, a few layers and brushing. I was going to write "Plutonomy" but the "M" and "N" would have taken some time. Making a "C" is a little easier.

Meme-ready at your disposal . . .
Posted by HughBeaumont | Sat Apr 5, 2014, 05:59 AM (2 replies)

The Great Skills Gap Myth.


Seems like the Luntz-hatched phrase "Skills Gap" is the latest coordinated talking point du jour among Republican governors, U.S. Chamber types and corporate bigwigs. Horseshit. Just now, Indiana's governor Mike Pence (R - Idiot) was on CNBC trying to bullshit his way to excuses and bob + weaving around real unemployment issues.

Letís be honest, itís in the best interest of employers to claim thereís a skills gap. The existence of such a gap can be used as leverage to obtain public policy considerations or subsidies. So thereís a self-serving element.

But beyond that, several behaviors of present day employers contribute to their inability to hire.

1. Insufficient pay. If you canít find qualified workers, thatís a powerful market signal that your salary on offer is too low. Higher wages will not only find you workers, they also send a signal that attracts newcomers into the industry. Richard Longworth covered this in 2012. He explains that companies have refused to adjust their wages due to competitive pressures:

In other words, Davidson said, employers want high-tech skills but are only willing to pay low-tech wages. No wonder no one wants to work for themÖ.So why doesnít GenMet pay more? In other words, why doesnít it respond to the law of supply and demand by offering starting wages above the burger-flipping level? Because GenMet is competing in the global economy. It can pay more than Chinese-level wages, but not that much more.

In other words, this company in question doesnít have a skill gap problem, they have a business model problem. They arenít profitable if they have to pay market prices for their production inputs (in this case labor). Itís no surprise firms in this position would be seeking help with their ďskill gapĒ problem Ė itís a backdoor bailout request.

2. Extremely picky hiring practices enforced by computer screening. If youíve looked at any job postings lately, youíll note the laundry list of skills and experience required. The New York Times summed it up as ďWith Positions to Fill, Employers Wait for Perfection.Ē Also, companies have chopped HR to the bone in many cases, and heavily rely on computer screening of applicants or offshore resume review. The result of this automated process combined with excessive requirements is that many candidates who actually could do that job canít even get an interview. Whatís more, in some cases the entire idea is not to find a qualified worker to help legally justify bringing in someone from offshore who can be paid less.

Yet, because the media is purchased by this same incestuous cabal of profiteers, you're going to hear this "blame the victim" line parroted over and over until your ears bleed black. There is no "skills gap". There is only a gap of workers who know 12 computer languages, are polyglots, financial modeling experts, have PhDs and 15 years middle management experience, are 28 years old and are willing to work for $35 thousand a year.

Well, hey, it's not like they didn't try before . . .


Learning their lessons that deliberate takeover doesn't work, the financiers then relied on working a glacial inside game of Washington . . . and then purchasing the media. Starting with these two jokers:



And then instituting THIS asshole as Treasury Secretary and Chief of Staff to start the Wealth Tax Slash:


Oh, and did I mention THIS little bill, which relaxed thrift limits and allowed financial piracy to run rampant in the 1980s (When Reagan signed it, he infamously said "all in all, I think we hit the jackpot")?


Of course, Don Regan's "ahem" . . . "Boss", didn't help matters much with this previous action:


Michael Moore said that Reagan's firing of the PATCO strikers was the beginning of "America's downward slide", and the end of comfortable union jobs, with a middle-class salary, raises, and pensions. Moore stated that wages have remained stagnant for 30 years. He also blamed the AFL-CIO for telling their members to cross the PATCO picket lines.

President Reagan's director of the United States Office of Personnel Management at the time, Donald J. Devine, argued:

"When the president said no...American business leaders were given a lesson in managerial leadership that they could not and did not ignore. Many private sector executives have told me that they were able to cut the fat from their organizations and adopt more competitive work practices because of what the government did in those days. I would not be surprised if these unseen effects of this private sector shakeout under the inspiration of the president were as profound in influencing the recovery that occurred as the formal economic and fiscal programs."

In a review of Joseph McCartin's book 2011, Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, The Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike that Changed America in Review 31, Richard Sharpe claimed Reagan was "laying down a marker" for his presidency: "The strikers were often working class men and women who had achieved suburban middle class lives as air traffic controllers without having gone to college. Many were veterans of the US armed forces where they had learned their skills; their union had backed Reagan in his election campaign. Nevertheless, Reagan refused to back down. Several strikers were jailed; the union was fined and eventually made bankrupt. Only about 800 got their jobs back when Clinton lifted the ban on rehiring those who had struck. Many of the strikers were forced into poverty as a result of being blacklisted for employment."
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