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In the past, workers with average skills, doing an average job, could earn an average lifestyle. But, today, average is officially over. Being average just won’t earn you what it used to. It can’t when so many more employers have so much more access to so much more above average cheap foreign labor, cheap robotics, cheap software, cheap automation and cheap genius. Therefore, everyone needs to find their extra — their unique value contribution that makes them stand out in whatever is their field of employment. Average is over.
Yes, new technology has been eating jobs forever, and always will. As they say, if horses could have voted, there never would have been cars. But there’s been an acceleration. As Davidson notes, “In the 10 years ending in 2009, factories shed workers so fast that they erased almost all the gains of the previous 70 years; roughly one out of every three manufacturing jobs — about 6 million in total — disappeared.”
What the iPad won’t do in an above average way a Chinese worker will. Consider this paragraph from Sunday’s terrific article in The Times by Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher about why Apple does so much of its manufacturing in China: “Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly-line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight. A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day. ‘The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,’ the executive said. ‘There’s no American plant that can match that.’ ”
Hear that? It's BREATHtaking!!!
He's cheerleading executives that liken militaristic gross servitude in the name of winner take everything capitalism as they would describing a Van Eyck painting.
Thomas Friedman. Just when you think the Life Lottery Winner couldn't get any more shameless . . .
Posted by HughBeaumont | Thu Jan 26, 2012, 03:39 PM (35 replies)
Online recruitment firm Monster Worldwide Inc said it will reduce its global workforce by about 7 percent and forecast a first-quarter profit below analysts' estimates amid a weak job market in the United States.
The staffing sector -- seen as a barometer of economic health -- has been hit by a slowdown in Europe and an uncertain recovery in the United States, where the unemployment rate currently stands at 8.5 percent.
Iannuzzi does not expect a material change to the job market for the time being.
The company will cut about 400 jobs and consolidate some office facilities, and expects to record a pre-tax charge of $30 million to $40 million mostly in the first quarter.
Oh, irony, where is thy sting?
Posted by HughBeaumont | Thu Jan 26, 2012, 11:04 AM (6 replies)
President Barack Obama has made his position clear: Free-market capitalism "never worked." His economic policy is built on hubris and cronyism where the judgment of rulers like himself determines business and worker winners and losers and is superior to the collective judgment of a free people. His buddies at General Motors and Goldman Sachs are bailed out, the equity of innocent bondholders is transferred to his United Auto Workers cronies and taxpayer funds are lavished on campaign contributors at Solyndra. He reveals his ignorance and inexperience, never having a job that relied upon providing a product or service that would be judged by the market.
Obama has GM and UAW cronies? And why exactly does one have to be a CEO/businessman to be a president? This is one of those ridiculous things the right says a lot, but in hindsight make not a damned bit of sense. Theoretically, government is not a business, nor should it be run as such (see: 1981-2009). Are we justifying the "plutonomy" here?
More disappointing is the Republican presidential candidates denying the moral and practical superiority of capitalism in bashing Mitt Romney and Bain Capital. Romney has provided a tepid defense with comments that every layoff is a "tragedy." My own layoff was anything but. Although at the time unpleasant, it turned into the greatest opportunity of my life.
Right. Sooooooooooooo, because it was a peaches-and-cream pillow-field landing for YOU, it's going to be that way for everyone. There's going to be no depression in wages, long job searches, loss of property, underemployment, stress, none of that? Gotcha.
Even the most successful businesses go through basic cycles of entrepreneurship, maintenance and decline. The declines provide fertile ground for the greatest growth. Layoffs are part of this; they allow businesses to survive, become more efficient and employ more in the future. Investment firms such as Bain facilitate business and individual retooling.
George Gary Thomas Rocky River
Funny . . . during the whole airlines debacle, the company that DIDN'T lay off workers (Southwest) grew to be the largest airline in the country. Ask Costco and various co-ops how they're "coping" without laying off workers. Ask Germany, who subsidized their workers rather than fire them, how badly their businesses are doing as a result. Oh wait, they recovered faster than us and have a lower unemployment rate.
Chop, chop, peon. Bossman needs him some TPS reports.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Sun Jan 22, 2012, 01:26 PM (4 replies)
Didn't see this posted on DU in the search, so .. .
The PD printed this one and everyone should read it because it states the painfully obvious in ways that a Fox slobberer will get it:
But the larger question isn't what Mitt Romney's tax returns have to say about Mitt Romney; it's what they have to say about U.S. tax policy. Is there a good reason why the rich should bear a startlingly light tax burden? For they do. If Romney is telling the truth about his taxes, he's actually typical of the very wealthy. Since 1992, the IRS has been releasing income and tax data for the 400 highest-income filers. In 2008, the most recent year available, these filers paid only 18.1 percent of their income in federal income taxes; in 2007, they paid only 16.6 percent. When you bear in mind that the rich pay little either in payroll taxes or in state and local taxes - major burdens on middle-class families - this implies that the top 400 filers faced lower taxes than many ordinary workers.
Defenders of low taxes on the rich mainly make two arguments: that low taxes on capital gains are a time-honored principle, and that they are needed to promote economic growth and job creation. Both claims are false.
When you hear about the low taxes of people like Romney, what you need to know is that it wasn't always thus - and the days when the superrich paid much higher taxes weren't that long ago. Back in 1986, Ronald Reagan - yes, Ronald Reagan - signed a tax reform equalizing top rates on earned income and capital gains at 28 percent. The rate rose further, to more than 29 percent, during Bill Clinton's first term.
Low capital gains taxes date only from 1997, when Clinton struck a deal with Republicans in Congress in which he cut taxes on the rich in return for creation of the Children's Health Insurance Program. And today's ultralow rates - the lowest since the days of Herbert Hoover - date only from 2003, when former President George W. Bush rammed both a tax cut on capital gains and a tax cut on dividends through Congress.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Sun Jan 22, 2012, 12:53 PM (3 replies)
Just WHY???? WHY would you sponsor/support these bills, which wouldn't even stop online piracy?
Do all politicians get bought? Does anyone NOT have a price????
Are there REALLY NO good people anymore? Is there really NO true progressive representation in America (note; I almost said "anymore" . .. I don't believe there ever was to begin with)??
I got corporate sellouts in the Democratic party and Old Testament fascist shitbags in the Republican party. Economically, THERE IS NO OPTION (and yes, that includes Ron Paul, too).
You're a TeaHadist Republican? You got representatives. You're a moderate Democrat slightly to the left of center who likes them some Laissez-fail? Hell, you got plenty of those. Milquetoast sensible centrists? Come join us, it's beige in here! You love guns? NRA Republicans, baby. Hate taxes? You got your men by the hundreds. Likes you some Jesus? Come to the US Capital. Free Trade? Over half the House and Senate LUUUUURVES it!!! Want to see corporations rule the world, Friedmanites? DC's THE GATEWAY DRUG TO THAT!!!
WHERE DO I GO???
WHOSE IS MY VOICE????
I'm more or less voting not to be ruled by Bible.
"GET EXCITED!! I SUCK LESS THAN HE DOES!!!"
Get me the hell out of here . . .
Posted by HughBeaumont | Wed Jan 18, 2012, 10:27 PM (5 replies)
I get to the comics section and find this:
Editor’s Note: Today’s “Non Sequitur” was withheld because it was deemed objectionable by Plain Dealer editors. A replacement strip was unavailable by press time.
Translation: “The Dumbest Columnist on the Planet and Right Wing Assclown Kevin O’Brien wet his diaper and threw his binkie at Brent Larkin and Terrence Eggers in disgust upon reading today’s ‘Non Sequitur’. After changing him, we decided that it would be in YOUR (the paying customer, that is) best interest to not read this comic strip that WE find objectionable. I mean, why should it be up to YOU to decide that? Really . . .”
This is 2012, assholes. I thought we were past this sort of Nixon-era nonsense?
So, does anyone have today's Non Sequitur . . . and it's kind of moot until I get home, since work's firewall blocks pretty much everything "entertaining"?
Posted by HughBeaumont | Fri Jan 13, 2012, 11:24 AM (16 replies)
I’m thoroughly insulted, especially when it comes to Mitt Romney.
When this bastard won the NH primary, he proceeded to go into his usual talking point-a-palooza about how, because of Obama, “The middle class has been crushed ... our debt is too high and our opportunities too few."
Soooooooo, Mitt. Mitt. Fella. Pally. Are ya shittin’ us? The type of capitalistic practices you and your cronies have been pulling off for the past three decades had NOTHING to do with it? The Bewsh Borrow-n-Waste-O-Rama had NO part in this? Job offshoring/serial firing/cost cutting like there's no tomorrow while the Honey One Percenters got theirs in yearly lotteries . . . nothing to do with our current situation? REALLY?
Newt Gingrinch and Rick Perry did their best OWS impersonations this week . .. I guess Newt put out a PAC video highlighting R-Money’s Bain Capital adventures or something along those lines in a supremely hilarious attempt to make people think he doesn’t believe in the same vampiric capitalism Mittster believes.
Take a look at this chart, if you will:
Waaaallll, lookit that!!
Seems they ALL support predatory business-as-mutual vampire capitalism, including Doctor “anti-crony capitalism” Ron Paul himself!!
I’m insulted that you assholes even pretend to be on our side.
I’m insulted that you even say “I feel your pain”. Dude, just DON’T.
You know what I’d rather hear you say? I’d rather hear you say “Success is the ONLY thing. Poor people are lazy bastards and that’s why they’re poor. Equality is stupid, as is fairness. I love the lowest-possible-costing labor and I will scorch payrolls to get it. Firing? Really, I think of firing like I think of urinating . . . that is, I just don’t care one way or another because I’m a bloodthirsty sociopath. And, well, fuck you.”
This is what I would rather hear ALL of you say. Listening to your lying is getting grating, because then the lie spreads and gets regurgitated (see: all of Ron Paul’s followers who can’t see past “Legalize Teh Weed!!”).
Posted by HughBeaumont | Wed Jan 11, 2012, 10:36 AM (10 replies)
This was in the PD today . . . I used to find it hilarious that Romney continues to try and brand our moderate Republican president as a Euro Leftist (snicker). Now it's just starting to get tiresome to the point of pissing me off.
From the article: "The best way to measure a nation’s merit-based status is to look at its intergenerational economic mobility: Do children move up and down the ec...onomic ladder based on their own abilities, or does their economic standing simply replicate their parents’?" Or, to my point, get worse than their parents'?
Ask yourself honestly what class (and yes, Rick Santorum, America firmly has them) America favors and caters to. Ask yourself honestly what a CEO making 300 times the salary of their average worker has accomplished for American progress in three decades.
“Over the past three years, Barack Obama has been replacing our merit-based society with an Entitlement Society,” Mitt Romney wrote in USA Today last month. The coming election, Romney told Wall Street Journal editors last month, will be “a very simple choice” between Obama’s “European social democratic” vision and “a merit-based opportunity society — an American-style society — where people earn their rewards based on their education, their work, their willingness to take risks and their dreams.”
The secrets of social democracy’s successes are in plain view. In Scandinavia, government commitment to worker retraining and job relocation mean that there is no major political pressure to keep failing firms in business; it’s a policy that favors innovative start-ups. In Germany, management and unions cooperate to upgrade their products and their processes — partly because corporate boards consist of equal numbers of management and worker representatives. Germany’s surge in exports may be partly attributable to its union workers agreeing to hold their wages flat (at levels still well above those of their U.S. counterparts). But their workers’ willingness to sacrifice in order to stay competitive is surely increased by the fact that their CEOs on average make just 11 times as much as their workers. In the United States, chief executives make roughly 200 to 300 times (choose your survey) as much as their average employees’ salary.
Which brings us back to Romney’s characterization of our country as a merit-based society and his failure to notice the huge changes in economic rewards over the past three decades. During the 30 years after World War II, the average American family’s income doubled, while chief executives’ income was restrained, increasing by less than 1 percent annually, according to a 2010 paper by economists Carola Frydman and Raven Saks. Beginning around 1980, however, as unions were smashed, industry moved offshore and executive pay skyrocketed, the incomes of most Americans began to flatten or decline, while financiers and corporate leaders were able to claim more and more of the nation’s income for themselves.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Sun Jan 8, 2012, 10:44 AM (2 replies)
"Find 'em, Fleece 'em, Fire 'em, Foreclose 'em".
"If the future of America's in their hands, watch it roll over Niagara Falls".
Posted by HughBeaumont | Wed Jan 4, 2012, 09:58 AM (2 replies)
. . . and it was written a month ago.
Get excited!!! THEY'RE NOT ALL BAD!!!
The late Steve Jobs was in that elite club this year. In his earlier days, Jobs would have been camped out with the OWS crowd, probably passing around a joint. Should we count him as one of "us" or one of "them"? (And you can't use your iPhone or iPad to vote "them."
Oh bullshit. Jobs was no liberal. Apple makes their crap in Chinese sweatshops that work their slaves in punishing hours and conditions; some even killed themselves due to their intolerable plights. He also fired workers just for unintentionally rubbing him the wrong way.
We'd also quickly recognize among "them" Sergey Brin, Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, who became billionaires developing Google. And, as they are sipping a latte to keep warm, the OWS campers should also reflect on whether Howard Schultz, Starbucks' founder and No. 330 on the Forbes list, is with "us" or "them."
Let's see, does he worry about where his next meal is going to come from? Does Howard Schultz pay the mortgage OR the electric bill this month? Does he go into work every day with a 500 pound figurative anvil strapped to his back that says "YOU could be NEXT, peon, so work harder!!!"?? Does Howard Schultz have to worry about paying a five-digit student loan debt or worry about getting thrown out of his house for the crime of getting sick??? Really? Are you that effing stupid, Bradley?
Not every member of the Forbes 400 is a high-tech folk hero. There is a lot of inherited wealth on that list too (the Mars, Walton, Cargill and Ford dynasties). But 70% of the Forbes elite are self-made billionaires. Those entrepreneurial successes include not just the names behind Facebook, Google, Apple and Starbucks but also EBay (Meg Whitman, Pierre Omidyar), Yahoo (Jerry Yang), Nike (Phil Knight), AOL (Steve Case), Amazon (Jeff Bezos), Subway sandwiches (Peter Buck, Fred DeLuca), "Star Wars" (George Lucas) and even Beanie Babies (Ty Warner). Does anyone doubt that these members of the reviled 1% have enriched the country in significant ways?
Uh, most of the people on that list enriched China, Indonesia, Malaysia and India in significant ways moreso than they have American workers. Especially Phil Knight. Some of the Forbes 400 are figureheads that had nothing to do with the origination of their product/service. And damn it, no one is entirely self made.
Oh, but let's not forget, folks . . . if THEY could do it with a little hard work and elbow grease. . . why . . . any of us can!!
Even more to the point is that all of these club-400 elites were once just like "us." Jobs worked on the first Apple computer in a garage on a shoestring budget. He had vision, not wealth, to propel him to fame and fortune. Oprah Winfrey (No. 139) rose from poverty to TV queen through determination, hard work and a couple of lucky breaks. Even Warren Buffett, No. 2 on the Forbes list, started out looking very much like just another hardworking middle-class kid with good Midwestern values.
These storied rises from "rags to riches" are what make America the unique and prosperous nation it is. Some critics would have us believe that the American dream is dead. But that's a view purveyed by those without the vision, the grit, the energy or the single-mined determination to build a better mousetrap. Starry-eyed inventors and entrepreneurs have no doubts about that dream. They know it exists and that they are going to achieve it. Maybe not on the first try, but eventually. That's the entrepreneurial spirit that drives competitive markets, that not only makes the American dream come true for some (the 1%) but also improves life for the many (the 99%).
Oh just SHUT it with the class warfare card, slappy. Horatio Alger is a lottery.
What can you say about hackneyed, deluded articles like this? What can you say about the state of education in this country where a person like this; one who cannot even look out of his own window but would rather form an opinion based on the teachings of the likes of Friedman (Milton AND Thomas) and Hayek, becomes a professor and author?? There needs to be more widespread progressive voices to counter this sort of idiocy.
Posted by HughBeaumont | Sun Jan 1, 2012, 02:17 PM (11 replies)