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Good Jobs and Bad Jobs In A Down Economy

Low ages work and America’s unemployment crisis. Are we headed down the wage scale? Should we be? And is that Rick Perry’s Texas model?

Crowds of job-seekers wait to enter a job fair at Crenshaw Christian Center in South Los Angeles, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011 (AP).

Crowds of job-seekers wait to enter a job fair at Crenshaw Christian Center in South Los Angeles, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011 (AP).

Brutal unemployment and presidential politics have put not just jobs but wages – low wages – in the national spotlight. Texas governor and GOP presidential contender Rick Perry brags proudly about his state’s record on job creation. Holds Texas up as a model. But no state in the country has more low-wage workers than Texas. A job’s a job, Perry seems to say.

It beats unemployment. But is this really where we’re headed as a country? Where we have to go? Lower wages? Can that be the answer?

This hour On Point: Jobs, wages, and American unemployement.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Paul Osterman, professor of human Resources and management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He’s co-author of “Good Jobs America:  Making Work Better for Everyone.”

Don Baylor, senior policy analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities in Austin, Texas.

Erica Grieder, Southwest correspondent for The Economist magazine.

Highlights

Even a low-paying job is better than no job at all. Or is it? The coinciding pressures of globalization, outsourcing, and the sluggish economy have led many Americans to seek out low-wage work. Indeed, one in five Americans work in jobs that put them at or below the poverty line.

“Many people think that low wages jobs are the first step on a ladder…that there is a lot of upward mobility, but the data do not support that…adults get trapped in low wage jobs,” said Paul Osterman, co-author of “Good Jobs America: Making Work Better for Everyone. “I don’t think that it is a trade-off between quality and quantity if we adopt the right policies,” He wants to see more job training programs, and politics that encourage higher wages and better labor market standards.

GOP presidential contender and Texas governor Rick Perry has made jobs and his state’s job-creation policies a centerpiece of his White House bid. But critics charge that Perry’s record has been one of creating low-wage jobs.

In Lone Star State over the past six years, the share of hourly workers making at or below the minimum wage has increased more than any other state in the union, said Don Baylor, senior policy analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities in Austin. “We’re going to see a certain amount of low wage jobs, that’s part of the game. But when you look at the trends, the trends are not very good. The only high-wage industry that appears to be growing in Texas is national resources and mining. That’s only four percent of the labor force.”

Others contend that the jobs picture, particularly in Texas, is more complicated. “We’re not in a position to be snooty about the jobs that they’ve created in Texas,” said Erica Grieder, the Southwest correspondent for The Economist magazine. “I wouldn’t characterize [what’s being done in Texas] as a ‘low-wage jobs’ strategy. I think it is a more general ‘create all the jobs you can’ strategy.’”

 

Caller Richard from Essex, New York I work in higher education, but I think that what is happening where I work is a reflection of this economy. I’m an adjunct faculty and teach more than the load of a full-time faculty member. And I get $2,500 a course. So, I teach eight courses, while a full-time faculty member teaches six. I earn less than half the lowest paid lectureship.

Tom Ashbrook What does that mean in terms of what you take home, Richard?

Richard I take home $20,000 per year, which puts me below the poverty level. I have a family of four. People may say that this is a part-time job, but…I work] 60-80 hours per week…I require food stamps for my family. I require heat subsidy and subsidy for day care for my five-year old. It’s a desperate situation.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “In their new book, “Good Jobs America: Making Work Better for Everyone,” Paul Osterman and Beth Shulman argue that the United States needs to worry about not just creating millions more jobs but also ensuring that the jobs are good ones. By good jobs, the authors mean jobs that pay enough to support a family and provide decent, safe conditions. The authors voice concern that many middle-class jobs have disappeared or deteriorated into low-wage ones that cause families to fall below the poverty line.”

The Economist “Barack Obama began his first term trying to turn around a struggling economy and reassure an electorate consumed by anxiety about jobs. It increasingly looks as though he will end it in the same way. On September 2nd the government reported no net jobs were created in August. To be precise, private firms created 17,000 jobs while governments trimmed payrolls by the same amount. Adjusting for striking mobile-phone company workers, underlying private job growth was actually more like 60,000, consistent with an economy still growing; but barely.”

The Hill “A number of leading economists on Wednesday said Congress and the White House should focus their energy on growing the economy rather than creating jobs. The experts convened by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce generally agreed that laggard economic growth is the main problem facing the economy. But with the president’s big jobs address coming Thursday, Washington’s focus has turned to cutting the 9.1 percent unemployment rate. Policymakers might have it backwards, the economists said.”

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  • Hal E. Burton

    Many corporations are showing record profits.  Many are using these profits for stock buybacks.  With that in mind, why should people work for free?

    • Anonymous

      You know, that’s a good point. What’s scary is that working for free (i.e.”internships” or “job training”) is now the ONLY option for many thousands of unemployed.

      • Yar

        If we must do this, then the companies should pay something, and that should go into an education fund for the worker.  I also think the program should be age limited, say only for 18 to 24 year old’s. Youth need work experience, but I would rather see them work for the community then be exploited by business. At least what they build would belong to us.  Tax credits are like low interest rates, they don’t motivate much when the rate is close to zero already,  raising taxes and interest rates may jump start the economy more than stimulus.  Investment isn’t taxed, only profit is taxed, so why not encourage investment by increasing taxes on profit.  Maybe we have it all wrong, high taxes encourages investment, low taxes encourages parking money.

    • Yar

      I think the TEA party would object at having government pay workers wages, what the radical right is really wants is for the worker to pay “job creators” for the privilege of working.  It is as if the slave should be grateful to their master, for being “saved”, sprinkled by the priest as they leave the slave ship.
      Our economy is broken and we are trying to get back on track, however the tracks to our new economy have not yet been laid.  We must invest in lowering energy use, we must shift away from an entertainment / consumption based economy.  People need to do work that is productive. Take Kentucky for example, our state economic development cabinet is giving tax credits to a company to build an ark. We have a new YUM center in Louisville, and a desire to build or renovate Rupp arena in Lexington. This, in a state where a more than a third of the population is on Medicaid and Medicare.  Not all jobs are created equal, laying passenger rail from Lexington to Louisville, Louisville to Cincinnati, and Lexington to Cincinnati, would do more for this state than all the entertainment combined. The commute is what is killing the middle class, they don’t have time or energy for their family,they eat fast food, they don’t exercise, all because they spend one to two hours a day behind the wheel of a car.  With rail they could read the paper or e-book, rest and transition from work to home mentally, and be ready for their most important job, raising their children.
       I really don’t want tax dollars for an ark!  We don’t even require companies that receive tax credits to provide health insurance. Race to the bottom? In Kentucky the golden triangle is funded by health industry, which is funded by federal programs. We may scream TEA, and elect Rand Paul, but take federal spending away and we are insolvent.

      • AC

        i spent about 5-6 mos in Kentucky for work and it’s very different than you think. I was actually impressed with a lot of them, aside from having a regular ‘job’, many kept plots of land to grow their own food or livestock. They worked from sun up to sun down, even as a family at night they canned things while watching TV. Some pooh-poohed formal education while they actually had a wealth of knowledge in agriculture and in general, in a post-apocalyptic world would survive just fine while i’d be in big, big trouble. Plus you can still bury grand-pa in your own yard w/o all the red-tape and expense J. Tho, they didn’t let me explore the ‘eastern’ side of the state, as a girl, they warned me not to go alone into the hills cuz ‘them people ain’t right’…..

        • Yar

          I think you missed my point, the golden triangle is not the hills in eastern KY.  The middle class and rich are making their money off of the federal programs, in Kentucky at least. The golden triangle of our state will turn violent if the TEA movement gets its way. Maybe some will return to the hills in an attempt to return to subsistence farming. If it comes to that there shall be much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    • Viv

      No one should work for free. But unfortunately for you people overseas will. And we allow this to happen. Sorry, until you handle that problem your problem remains.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘Political Prisoners’, and the mentally handicapped are slave labor in those countries, that also sell lead-content toys and other dangerous things, for our children and others to poison themselves on!   Will you continue to support that, or will you be an informed consumer?

    • Anonymous

      Everyday millions of workers are doing just that in this country.
      It happens at Wallmarts and Home Depots all over this nation.
      People working for hours that they are not being paid for is common.

  • Give me my Stimulus!

    What America really needs now is President Obama’s second stimulus bill.

    Remember how well his first $787 billion dollar stimulus bill worked?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Fewer companies going bankrupt, paying Management $Millions in BONUSES!  Less announcements of lay-offs, and smaller lay-offs. Unemployment levelling, and sometimes getting better than the down-ward spiral of job loss in the ‘W’ years!

  • Lyle

    If Bill Gross who was on your show the other day is right, when he said regulations and taxes were not the reason for taking companies overseas, but cheap labor, then it’s obvious they want Americans to work for less. It’s the race to the bottom.

    • Viv

      Bingo, you’ve nailed one of the main issues on the head. 

  • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

    Before you go out and blame government or big corporations for the problem, take a look in the mirror: are you willing to pay more for a product you already use and love if its made in the USA? How much more?

    Here’s a hypothetical:If Apple built an assembly plant in the US for putting together its electronics, mimicking what Foxconn does in China for them now. Or, if an American company cloned the Foxconn model and did final assembly on American-designed electronics and the labor was unionized and paid well enough so that the jobs might be attractive:(let’s assume the parts are all sourced from US suppliers as well and don’t have to be shipped from overseas to the American factory and cost the same, I know, I know, unrealistic but this is about labor)1. Do you think the cost of assembling an iPhone would be the same, more or less?2. If the cost of labor was more and Apple absorbed some of that in lowering it’s margins do you think American consumers would absorb the rest in paying higher prices for products if those products were built in the USA?My guess is that Apple and other companies would be willing to let a bit of margin go to move assembly to the USA but in fact, the cost would be so high products would be unaffordable in a world where consumers shop at Walmart and use price as their primary consideration when choosing products and places to buy them.I know I would pay more for a product I already use and love if it was made in the USA but I think I’m the exception, not the rule.My guess is that much of this labor question will be irrelevant in ten years when most of these products are assembled by robots. Hopefully those automated plants will be built in the USA.

    • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

      DISQUS sucks. The above comment was written from scratch in the DISQUS field and it killed all the returns. I’m sorry it’s hard to read.

      • Yar

        I know, I hate it too, if you go back and edit your comment from Disqus it will save the hard returns.

      • Anonymous

        The old system was better.  I hate DISQUS.  I hate its silly name.  I hate that it doesn’t work often.  Sometimes it updates new postings and other times it doesn’t. 

    • Anonymous

      Richard, it is about corporations. You put all the onus on labor while leaving out the huge profits companies such as Apple are making.
      They could make Iphones here if they wanted to. It would eat into their profits a bit, but over the long run it would be better for the US. 

      • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

        Jeffe: I’m not so sure about that. I’m not sure what makes you so sure they could make iPhones here if they wanted to.

        That aside, I hope they do someday. My question, buried in DISQUS hell is this:

        If you had a choice between two iPhones (or any two products) and had to pay more for the iPhone made in the USA, would you do it?

        If so, how much more?

        I’m quite sure the iPhone would not cost what it does now if it were made by union labor in the USA. I’d be willing to pay the difference if it were reasonable. Would you?

        • Anonymous

           Well, I don’t need an iPhone, but if I did I would pay a bit more for one made here. My point was that Apple is now one of the most profitable corporations on the planet. They could choose to make their products here if they wanted to and I bet they would still be highly profitable.

          • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

            Jeffe: I’m not so sure about that. I don’t think you realize how much American labor costs and how small Apple’s margins are on their products. It’s a myth that they make a fortune on every iPhone sold. The truth is they sell a lot of them and it adds up. Yes, they have decent margins but I’m not so sure those margins are enough to pay for a huge labor cost increase and remain profitable. It may be so but I’m not sure and you have no way of knowing beyond speculation.

            The question is more general: would Americans pay more for the same product if that’s what it took to get it made in the USA with unionized labor? I’m not so sure enough would. I know I would but I’m not typical. I don’t shop at Walmart and I attempt to buy American as much as I can but most Americans aren’t operating like this and given that I’d be cautious about expecting “made in the USA” to work with people who shop price first, made in USA second.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I DO pay more for ‘Made in the U.S.A.!  Most of my tools (those that the low-life didn’t steal), are ‘Made in the U.S.A., and a lot of my clothes, etc., when I can find what I need or want, with that label.  Unless I find out that that company only makes the label here!

    • Cabmanjohnny

      I do pay more for domestic products-gladly. My jeans, work wear, boots, stationary power tools, truck, food products, all made in the U.S. and some local. Since I buy for quality, the price is divided by longevity ending up as a bargain.

  • AC

    where will bank tellers, post office workers, paper mill workers go? I bank and pay bills online, never go to the post office, send evites and emails and buy ebooks. I AM the problem! (but I’m more environmentally friendly by accident too)
    I think as wonderful as technology is, we’re in a painful period of transition where jobs are disappearing because we don’t need them – I can only think changing our education system to better prepare ourselves for the types of jobs available in the future may be the only
    the only real solution here. Our competitors are teaching pre-schoolers programming as a second language, this seems wise to me. Rather than actually ‘doing’ the job, you’ll be asked to write the program that does it……i’m feeling cynical, some one change my mind….

    • Viv

      Unfortunately we do need them. We buy cars, clothes, toys, etc. don’t we? It’s just cheaper labor overseas. We have a different labor standard in America, however we tolerate a lower standard elsewhere and buy their goods anyway. And we allow corporations to play this game.

      • AC

        but a lot of the assembly process could be written to be automatic, faster, more efficient and healthier than back-breaking labor on a body….that’s where I was trying to go…

        • Paul from London

          I think AC raises a really important point. The fact is, a large number of previously solid middle class jobs are now no longer needed. This is inevitable change from developments in technology. Though I agree with Viv, that America needs middle class consumers, it seems like a meaningless fight against the tide to keep people employed in jobs that no longer serve a purpose. How many horse-drawn carriage drivers are employed today? Unfortunately, just as the car replaced their jobs, so to will innovation in robotics and information technology replace the need for many manufacturing and service jobs. As far as I can see, the only solution is improved education and retraining of older workers.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Some labor is ‘exercise’ in disguise!  This can make you healthier, if the work-place is safe for exercise.

  • Roxanne from New Orleans

    I firmly believe that as we get further into the electronic age we are moving back towards a form of fuedalism.  The Internet as The commons is the metaphore I am working with here and with some many out of work and looking for jobs without the prices lowering to acomidate that I think we will end up closer to either a patron system ala rome or a straight fuedalism based upon who actually OWNS the land.

    • AC

      i don’t think it’s that drastic – I think we’ll probably revert to smaller, more sustainable communities where exchange will be part of the economic system….at least i hope!!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Dream on, Lady!  Organized Labor fought the battle to stop the GREEDY rich from their near-slavery control of the working population over a hundred years ago!  The GREEDY rich found ways to bring it back.

  • Viv

    I see the jobs situation in two lights. First, if Americans continue to consume products made by labor overseas in working conditions that are not even allowed on U.S. soil then we will have problems. We need a global look at the economy. Second, if the U.S. continues to foster a hand-out mentality to those in “need” we will continue to grow the “needy” sector. You get what you reward, let’s reward producers.

    • Cory

      Those who disagree with you will call you an isolationsist, which is a long standing dirty word in the American lexicon.

  • Phronge

    I would echo the authors Paul and Beth, citing low wages as a huge detriment to the economy at large. As a working class husband and father of 2, I am fortunate enough to have 2 jobs. And my wife works as well, between my 60 hour work weeks and her 35 hour work weeks, we bring in just shy of $70k annually. We live in a decent apartment in a south shore town, and the cost of living eats away our disposable income. Over and over I hear how stagnant wages have been against the cost of living, and employers are struggling with rising healthcare costs, but if the largest segment of the population has their finances tied up in rent, mortgages, phone bills and the like then people aren’t going out and buying the things that make an economy healthy. Of course the economy isn’t going to grow if we can’t afford anything, and the foreign goods driving down prices at the walmarts and targets of the markets aren’t helping any either. These corporations already see huge profits and low costs of production, they don’t need anymore help. Its not the government’s job to put money in the hands of working americans, but employers. My proposal is an incentive for employers to raise wages, tap into some of those huge profits and pump money into the economy via the millions of americans at work right now. The influx of capitol would put a higher demand for goods overall, and combined with possible actions to increase the cost of doing business overseas (tariffs, tax penalties, etc.) would also provide us with an opportunity to make american goods not only competitive, but also prefferred within the american market. The problem is not that there is not enough money in the economy, but that is is in the hands of few, its not that we want buy cheap, low qjuality goods, but that we don’t have other options. Bring us back a strong, healthy, middle/working class through high wages and good jobs, and we’ll bring america back to life.

    • Anonymous

      You male some good points. However asking corporate America to raise wages is one thing, getting them to do it is another.
      The bottom line is just that, a bottom line. Right now CEO’s make on average more than 100 times what the lowest paid worker does.
      Also look at countries such as Germany where the wealthiest are making about 11% of the money compared to 20% and growing here.  In the political arena corporations are now considered people by the Supreme Court, which means they can pretty much do whatever they want. Welcome to the new Gilded age. I can’t help but think of Dickens’ Oliver Twist, I’m paraphrasing here: More!, you want more! 

      • Phronge

        How about tax incentives? Higher wages would reduce the strain on social  services, welfare, food stamps, financial assistance in education, the list is staggering.  Why not reinvest a portion of those savings into industry? Or infrastructure, or education?  Don’t forget that higher wages mean more tax revenue as well.  More revenue means a lower defecit, or more tax breaks, or whatever legislators want to argue about.  My bottom line is that a wealth distribution can benefit everyone, and doesn’t have to be a demon.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    Made In USA. you miss this tag? support the “American Jobs Act” our last chance to boom the American economy.

    Carnival politics is over.

    • Yar

      Junk made in USA is just as much junk as junk made in Asia! Seventy percent of our economy is consumer driven and that is the problem! I go to the mall and see people milling around in stores full of useless stuff.  We have been living off of cheap energy and a trade deficit for so long we don’t even know what defines normal.  
      A solar water heater that cuts energy use for the next three decades is a much better investment than three thousand dollars of stuff from the mall.  I don’t care where it is made, if it isn’t needed. Junk is sill junk.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

        But you are one of those people. right?

        • Yar

          Not really, I seldom go to a mall, I have gone to walk in the mall when visiting my parents in the city.  I live a much more subsistence life on the farm.  I am part of the problem, I spend very little money.  I do produce a little food.  

      • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

        Unless a solar hot water heartier is sold in the mall…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    We can never sustain unemployment. The world population is growing every year and we produce more people than jobs. America is not the only country in the world that has unemployment problem Europe, Asia, Africa etc. are also having problems.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    $Millions of BONUSES for executives that lead companies into bankruptcy?  But the companies cannot afford to pay a decent wage?  The ‘old-boy network that moves these executives from one failed company to another healthy company to bankrupt  needs to be exposed, and held accountable!  Take back ALL the misappropriated funds, and pay the people that make the products and provide the actual services!
         Personally, I call it theft!  Felony theft is above $1000, most places.  Mega-Felony should have Mega-sentences!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    There’s plenty of work at Raytheon,  General Dynamics, Dynacorp and all those defense corporations that are fueling perpetual war.

    And even worse, with all the Al Qaeda boggymen coming down our streets,  the federal, state and local governments (subsidzied by the Feds),  keep hiring more spooks, robocops and security people,  which we will soon realize have a choke hold on our civil liberties.

    Unfortunately,  just like the large and lucrative field of finance… no one is producing anything useful.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Boggyman is a person from the bog.  The word that you want is bogeyman (or boogieman, if you will).

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

        Yeh Greg,  the “Bog Man”  !!!  This will frighten the pants of freedom loving Americans….if we can get him through the body scan at the airport.  Just think, mildew smelling, mold infested with malaria ridden mosquitos with ticks with lime disease.  I think we’re on to something here.  Let’s get Wolfowitz and Perle in on this pronto, cc. Cheney and Rumsfeld.

  • Cory

    75-90 percent of Americans will see lower wages and reduced benefits as we succumb to the global wage race to the bottom.  The 10-25 percent of us with wealth and access to good homes, schools, and nutrition will still do well in the world.

    Human civilization once dreamt it was enlightened, and people everywhere had reasonable access to medicine and education.  Workplaces were becoming safer and more and more people began to believe they might enjoy families and the prospect of eventual retirement.  Human civilization has now woke up to the reality that things are regressing, and we’ll soon be no different than the feudal systems of a thousand years ago. 

  • JustAskin

    Unemployment is a symptom, not the disease. The cause is the Congress and Wall St. working together to promote their interests, and those interests have nothing to do with helping the 95% of country… Just that top 5%.

    The British are fixing their economic system by imposing a kind of Glass-Steagall act to limit the risk of investment banking on their economy. If only the US had such a law….

    The body of the US is being bled dry by the financial leeches.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Glass-Steagall?  Didn’t we used to have a law by that name?  That was removed?  Before the Bankster-debacle?

  • Gregg

    A “good job” is one with long term security in an entity that provides a product or service there is demand for. It is up to the individual to make themselves valuable enough to earn a hefty paycheck.

    Or one can get a government job where money is taken from other taxpayers and your merits as a worker don’t matter much. Or a union job where you are a number and they don’t matter at all.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I have praised government workers for doing their job well, and some go above and beyond, realizing that they took a job to serve the people. 
          A LOT of UNION craftsmen(women), take pride in doing the job right the first time!  I worked non-union for years, and saw less pride of workmanship, stimulated by the FEAR of losing their job to a suck-up, or a back-stabber, that did less quality work, but had the boss-ear!
          You never belonged to a musicians’ union?  Were you just a number?
           People MATTER, when they choose to matter! 
           Look at all the Management personnel that choose to do less than the minimal , and cause the company to go bankrupt!  That, while they draw the highest pay?

    • Anonymous

      Let me be the first to call you an idiot for this comment.  It’s sad you feel that way about people in the military who, obviously, are the most numerous government employees we have. But it confirms what I consider an under-appreciated benefit of free speech:  it reveals the uninformed and crazies among us.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        I agree about the military!  It is the largest area of government jobs.   They are the ones risking the  most.

      • Gregg

        You think I’m an idiot? Really? What a surprise!

        I wasn’t really talking about the military, I guess I should have made that clear. Apologies. I figured people were smart enough to get my point. I stand by it.

        • Anonymous

          I stand by my point that anyone who doesn’t know that the military is staffed by government workers is an idiot. And if one’s “point” is that all other government employees and all union workers have no worthwhile skills and get and keep their jobs without regard to their merit, they’re an idiot too.

          • Gregg

            The military is staffed by government workers? Really? Thanks for the enlightenment.

    • http://richardsnotes.org Richard

      Wow, I learn more about your views each day. This is a good thing.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    WHO HATES UNIONS?
         The American Medical Association physicians, AMA is essentially a UNION of physicians, that hates unions of nurses and medical workers!
         The Chamber of Commerce, essentially a UNION of business-owners, that hate unions of their workers!
         Wall Street investors, essentially a UNION of moneyed investors! 
          A whole HOST of other people that have money, and gather UNION-style, to make decisions about their income, and other things that are important to them.

    • Yar

      @@fa0bc679d4cba4c097672d7e5c15d631:disqus You got it, even the corporation is an organized group of investors.

  • REAL TALK

    ” A Job’s A Job”….. unless that job financially still doesn’t support you and your family; and you receive no moral gradification from that job
    THEN “A Job” is just something to do to try and get by because you’re uncapable of collecting unemployment. That’s TODAY’S narrative.

  • Gregg

    If you do what you love then you will never “work” a day in your life.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      If you can make a living at it!  Otherwise, you have to WORK, to be able to do what you love!

      • Gregg

        That’s the rub.

    • Anonymous

      And we are the union of On Point listeners!  

      • Gregg

        Yes, it is a challenge. The trick is first to identify what you love which sounds easy but often is not. Then make yourself uniquely good at it.

    • AC

      that’s hard to do. sometimes i love my job, it’s exciting and interesting – othertimes, it’s either super dangerous or super boring and i wonder why i didn’t become an underwater-basket-weaver…..

      • Gregg

        It’s not too late.

  • Anonymous

    It does look like a new economic world out there.  Instead of competing with people in my city or state, I suddenly have to compete against the globe who are willing to work longer, and harder for less than half the pay.  Computers and robots are another threat as they can now drive cars, checkout my groceries, do the grunt work of lawyers, and even perform surgical procedures.  Computers will continue to expand their capabilities.

    Even if you gain the high skills needed to compete today, the problem is those skills are highly specialized and may not transfer.  Companies are super picky as well.  They won’t hire you unless you fit the job description exactly.  And, heck, they aren’t willing to train you either.  

    And with the changing pace of technology, high technical skills are obsolete in 5-7 years.  You can hardly build an expertise on such conditions and charge more for it.  Being in the technology field, I feel like I’m forever in school cramming for the next subject, except the stakes are much higher.  It looks to me that the constant learning ad nausea is finally reaching into more industries.  Get ready guys.

    It’s enough to make you fantasize about the Pixar movie Wall-E and having the computer overlords do all the work for us while we sip fruit juice by the pool an get overweight.  Until that day comes, it’s going to be a rough transition.  Hang tight.  But to put this in global perspective, compared to what I have seen poor people in 3rd world countries have to do to make a dime a month, Americans are living the Wall-E dream.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    SIMPLE TEST:  Before a CEO announces that a company is in trouble, and will HAVE to cut wages, benefits, or something else to the people making the least, DID the CEO cut the CEO and top executives by the multiple they make over those making the least?  If NOT, it’s not an honest management!
        A $Millionaire executive can survive a cut of the hundreds of times pay, better than the worker that is getting low wages!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

      Not if he has a place in the Hamptons, a penthouse in Manhattan, Ski Chalet in Colorado, a Yacht docked in the Keys, his and hers Mercedes, SUVs for shopping, kids at boarding school in Switzerland, and memberships in all the best Country clubs.   A pay cut would destroy this man and cause a major disruption to their family life.

    • Ellen Dibble

      In olden days in China if a physician did not cure the patient, the physician was executed.  In olden days in this country, if a company was foundering, it was as if the management was married to the workers there, and felt the decline as his own, and more than his own fault, because it affected more than himself — but certainly affected him first.  He would not think of disconnecting himself from the struggle.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Andrew Carnegie?  Cornelius Vanderbilt?  A PLETHORA  of Robber Barons?

    • Acnestis

      That’ll be the day.  The first resort of capitalist management in this era in particular is to eat the wounded, not do without themselves.

  • Ellen Dibble

    The idea that the economy (jobs) is recovering very, very slowly because so many people have houses that are “underwater,” or have debts of other sorts, and that people can’t buy consumer goods and rev the economy because they are paying off loans — how does that square with the huge profits being held in abeyance?  Couldn’t the employer class hire people to make products to sell to the expanding markets like Brazil and India?
         Secondly, if all the top 20 percent shifted their income by say 5 percent to spread it over the lower classes that have NOT been gaining in income over the last decades, by how much would that lift all boats?  If they were to forgo 10 percent in their income and spread that over the others, by how much would that lift all boats?  
        Who distributes?  Unions?  Uncle Sam (tax-wise)?
        (I know that’s not about jobs so much, except that we could surely export while we’re still poor; wasn’t that more or less what we did in WWII, export lots of weaponry?)

    • steve

      I do, otherwise it does not work for me.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Obviously “jobs” per se is a category with some disadvantages.  The more “benefits” you have, the more you are tethered to something that might not be good for you and your future.  If you can be persuaded to buy a house in town, all the better for the employer.  Then you are “hooked.”

  • Acnestis

    Wages will continue to go downhill as long as American workers are forced to compete head on with third world quasi-slaves who work for $2 a day without the hint of any kind of health protections or benefits.  The answer is tariffs, and if we have to do without cheap Chinese plastic crap and be called isolationists, so be it!

    • Jasoturner

      I think you have identified the issue.  Problem is, economists and politicians treat “free trade” as if it were a dictate from god.  They cannot see, or admit to seeing, the damage that is inflicted when we try to complete with essentially slave labor in Asia.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        I agree that one of the causes is competition from low-wage countries, but becoming isolationist would involve such radical change that I’m not sure that we’d survive.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I typed a bunch of economics textbooks about the way globalization would benefit everybody — that was before the fall of the USSR.  The mathematics is clear.  Simple competition will guarantee that things normalize so that things are made best and most efficiently.  Things will shift to benefit EVERYBODY — over time.  This did not foresee that Communism’s opposition that Central Planning could Decide who does what where would fold so suddenly.  It did not address the time lag between being able to let the dust settle and seeing it settled.
            Meanwhile, what does the USA do best?  Economists have been thinking of this.  Tom Friedman for one.  What can we do such that we make 100 while the Chinese low-paid workers make 10 — or 1.   The easy answer is that we have to keep innovating and designing the new things, and letting them go offshore once it’s no longer new.  But what about the labor?
            By the way, try getting a job as a fast-food cook if you have a college degree.  Betcha you like me will be told you are over-qualified, if they bother to explain.  Some jobs apparently need to be reserved for the people who have no ability to do anything else.

        • steve

          There is not now nor has there ever been such a thing as free trade.
          The oligarchy will always seek to rig the system – communism, capitalism, tribalism…Republican/Democrat.

      • Acnestis

        “Fair trade”, which supposes a level playing field where workers in every country were treated more or less equally would be the ideal.  “Free trade”, where there are no barriers , just encourages a race to the bottom for all.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The problem is a disparity of power between employers and employees.  Adam Smith’s ideal only works when both parties in a negotiation are equal.  Unions could be an answer, as they balance the playing field, but a large enough company or one that isn’t dependent on being local can go elsewhere.

    In the long term, the solution will be an educated, aware world population of workers.  Getting there from here is the problem, and until American voters are willing to do the work of demanding better from our politicians, nothing will improve.

    • Anonymous

      I think the real conflict is between capital and labor.  Employers (publicly owned) owe their duty to capital and labor owes its duty to the employer.  Logic dictates that, therefore, capital is in charge.  And capital is truly unfettered, able to be deployed anywhere in the world instantly. Labor, on the other hand, is severely limited, a lot of which is geographical. 

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    To Gov. Perry:

    A job isn’t a job.  I may have the skills to do one job, but that doesn’t necessarily transfer to a different job.  I certainly have the personality for my job, but not for others.  It’s unrealistic to suggest that a person can go from job to job to job without difficulty.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Perry’s proud of “what we done” in Texas?  Please not another Texas politician with a poor relationship with English…

  • SomMom

    All jobs should pay a living wage, as defined by the costs of living in the community in which the jobs are, and provide benefits.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Agreed.  The problem is that the competition is with other countries that don’t agree.

  • Dan

    Even if my wife and I could pull enough money together for a down payment on a house, we don’t make enough per month to pay a mortgage. We are only able to afford rent for our small apartment because the building is owned by her grandparents and they give us a break. Even with two kids, we both work, but our jobs barely pay the bills. If it weren’t for this apartment, I don’t know what we would do for housing. We both have college degrees, but they’ve only cost us money. We can’t find better paying jobs.

  • jim

    This is no longer considered a cyclical recession. it is quite a structural problem. America will lose a generation of productive workforce as our system is not fostering the world’s competitive industries. china and india’s (technical and industrial) workforce will continue to grow. and sadly, American companies are aiding and abetting this transformation for short term, personal gains. many of our country’s political and corporate leaders are myopic and self-motivated and have little leadership skills.

    • steve

      No such thing as an American Company.

      • Kathie

        There are lots of American companies that produce their products in the States … No … Apple is not one of them … But … research the companies that do produce in America and support them buy buying their products and demand will rise and they will hire.

  • Dan

     Oh yeah, and I’m not getting a raise this year.

  • Yar

    I wonder if the Texas safety-net  (lack there of) has more to do with their 4.5 percent unemployment.  If you can’t find a job in Texas, better to go to California.  It won’t work on a national scale.  Anyone can make the system work if they can get rid of the leftovers. 

  • http://twitter.com/GeekHillbilly Geek Hillbilly

    Lowering the wages is precisely what the GOP,the Teanderthals and their Wall Street masters want.This strateg will backfire.Doing Perry’s agenda of reducing or eliminating the minimum wage is a sure way to start a 2nd American Civil war.And guess who will be the first against the wall?
    A real close examination of Texas shows the real picture,which is rampant poverty and misery.Is this what anyone wants,to become a third world country?

  • Simon

    How many people does it take to design an iPad and how many people does it take to make them? Does anyone really believe that we the Americans can all work as designers and let the Chinese to make them??

  • Revfredj

    Texas’s economy is largely based on energy and the military (because of all the military bases there and the heavy recruiting).  Since energy prices are high now, and we are at war, of course there are jobs in Texas.  Also, Rick Perry shares a lot of power with a Lieutenant Govenor, so just because there are good jobs in Texas doesn’t mean he is a good leader.

  • ulTRAX

    Yes, demand is a problem. But in the era of free trade, companies can meet this demand by hiring overseas. Perot was correct back in 92… and that giant sucking sound of our jobs being lost is getting so loud it can’t be denied.

    • notafeminista

      They aren’t “our” jobs.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Does Governor Perry get by on the lowest wages and benefits paid in Texas?  Or is he a hypocrite?  That seems to be the religion of so many politicians-Hypocracy! 

    • steve

      Way up front in the Amen pew
      sits brother Rick Better Than You

      with apologies to Ray Stevens

  • Me-steve

    I love how this has turned into an Anti-Perry infomercial…GO DEMOCRATS!  : P 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      NPR has done shows questioning President Obama’s policies and achievements!  Partisan?

    • ulTRAX

      You mean that it’s NOT a legitimate question to investigate Perry’s claims?

    • TFRX

      Hell,
      NPR investigated and had professory-types on examining “both sides” of whether
      Candidate Obama was an actual Socialist, in the summer of 2008.

      Consuming too much media where the right gets to dish it out but doesn’t have to take it, even by the polite standards of NPR?

       

      • TFRX

        (I do not know how I put in a line break after “Hell”. It was an interjection, not an address. Oops.)

  • David

    I’m all for lowering the wages in this country, ONLY if we start at the top and cut Executive pay. How about cutting them 90%. And, for Rick Perry, if elected President, can we cut the President’s salary by 50%? What about Congress? If there is wage pressure at the bottom, why not at the top? How about cutting Jeff Imeld’s salary and pay by 90%?  

  • AC

    i worked in a hotel during college and I remember these Domincan housekeepers that said they didn’t have much in their countries but there were always parties on the beach with friends and family, here they had to work, work, work and for what? to afford their rent and no time for life….that’s always stuck with me….

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Did you go to Dominican Republic and party, with little or NO income?  Or did you take their word for it?  Did you actually check their paychecks, and see they were paid as much hourly as you?  Check benefits?

      • AC

        i took their word for it….

  • ulTRAX

    Obama is just repeating the free trade dogma of the GOP and corporate Dems when he says companes will remain free to move jobs overseas yet this doesn’t mean we’re doomed to a future of low paying jobs.  

  • Ellen Dibble

    The best thing we could do would be to provide all-day preschool the way we provide K-12 — so parents could work jobs all day long, and so they don’t have to shell out say $18,000 a year for childcare.  And by the way, that would probably help a lot of children start off school on an equal footing.

    • steve

      Sounds like the disolution of the family.

  • Bill

    Welcome to globalization and automation.

    After WWII, we were about the only 1st nation that had an intact industrial infrastructure. That plus unions created the America we have known for the past 60+ years. We extended a mirage of that American dream through bubbles and debt, but reality has finally caught up with the American working class. The world still needs us as consumers – but other than for the jobs that have to done here – like janitors or picking peaches – the world no longer needs us as workers.

    • Curtis

      That may be true but that is a real Ponzi scheme.  The American economy will implode and no one will be able to buy. Lets just allow free market to steal whats left of America and then we can all be Janitors and work for Walmart.

  • Anonymous

    Did I just hear her say not to be snooty about the jobs being created in Texas? The bulk of these jobs are minimum wage or lower and these people are one pay check away from becoming homeless. 50 million people in this wage bracket are on food assistance programs.

    I would like to see Erica Grieder survive on what these people are being payed in Texas.

  • Webb Nichols

    The fact of the matter is that there are more people wanting jobs than there are jobs even at full employment. Efficiences of production and distribution will never require a significant increase in employment until there is parity in the cost of production throughout the world. Consider determining who really makes up the unemployed. Retraining the unemployed for what jobs? Turning laborers into statisticians? Turning carpenters into researchers? Turning teachers into road builders?

  • john in danvers

    Please ask about trade policy.

    A virtue of living in an immensely wealthy economy is that we can create our own demand for our own output.  Trade is a minor part of our economy.  

    If we tariffed imports to equalize their low wage content, sure prices would rise, but business’ calculation would no longer include utilizing low-age foreign labor.  

    Our situation is of our own making.  We can un-make it, too.  

  • William

    Would it better to create a shortage of labor for the lower skilled jobs which would drive up the wages?

    • ulTRAX

      A tight labor market can force employers to compete with higher wages and benefits… at least in a closed market. Free trade offers employers an escape hatch for all those jobs that can be outsourced. And who will be left behind? Mostly public employees like police, fire, DPW, and teachers… health care professionals, and low wage service and retail jobs.   

    • Anonymous

      That would be tough with a couple billion people in China and India.  Are you proposing that we get rid of them somehow?

  • Curtis

    So now that this is the ‘new norm’ where are the social programs to help the average Joe?

    And are the Republicans exacerbating the issue with putting pressure on these programs.  I think so.

    • steve

      Here comes the night…

  • Simon

    Number 1 reason: Globalization
    Number 2 reason: Wealth distribution – the rich is accumulating more and more wealth that they cannot possible spend (=>not enough demand)

    • notafeminista

      Right on, because it is up to you to decide how much your neighbor can spend.

  • A_Thought

    It seems the cost of living is at the core of the issue vice the actual amount that one makes (i.e., a living wage).

    Secondarily, the inability to flex jobs via virtual office/telecommuting/distributed strategies, limits the ability of skilled workers to find better positions without relocating.  There ARE jobs out there. Look at job boards any given search will show a lot of job openings.  However, employers are not flexible in how those jobs are filled.

  • Scott B, Jamestown, NY

    If the financial bakers of politics, like the Koch bros., and those that want to quash unions, get their way then minimum wage will become a thing of the past.  Has there ever been a time when business has been told they didn’t have to pay a certain amount and said, “We’ll pay more.”?

    There’s a reason we have minimum wage in this country, and people forget that because they don’t remember many more people on the streets panhandling, or riots between workers looking for a decent wage and conditions and businesses with their paid company goons, cops, and national guards.

  • TFRX

    How many of Texas’ new jobs were just poached (with public subsidies) from other states? That can’t possibly repeated on the federal scale.

    And when we take away Texas’ population growth, and companies that are there to wink-wink not fully enforce labor laws and exploit the exploitable, what does that “1 million” or whatever add up to? Let’s hear more talk on percentages and less shock numbery goodness.

  • Dana Storm Us 911

    People talk about unions and government regulations forcing wages higher. Unions have driven more industry out of this country and their jobs along with them. Automation has replaced workers in the industries that have stayed. I worked in a steel mill as a kid in college that employed over 4000 people, the plant closed when the unions had “won” 13 weeks paid vacation every 4 years and 6 weeks other years. A Russian company bought the mill – automated it – and now they are making just as much steel with 400 employees making an average wage of over $20 an hour.

    • Anonymous

      lame the workers and Unions. 13 weeks paid vacation is the reason this place was closed down? Really?

    • TFRX

      Hey, maybe the unions did for their members just what rich, interlocked boards of directors and chummy old-boy networks used to do, and still do: Grab everything they can get for theirs and get while the getting’s good.

      Nothing lasts forever; even signed-on-the-dotted-line contracts that unions and corporations negotiated in good faith. Just a few white-collar, smooth pink-handed think tank reports, and a healthy outflow of “experts” will start coming after that contracted, promised benefit.

      Why is it the mainstream press never takes up the narrative of our economic uberlords driving jobs out of the country and destroying profitable systems? After 2008 and since, what kind of wreckage do they need to leave in their wake for them to catch their share of the blame?

    • Anonymous

      Almost 40 years ago I started in a national steel plant.  I think that many there are MBA programs that use it an example of grossly poor management.  ie.  Bethlehem Steel

  • Anonymous

    You can’t get blood out of a stone. If people do not make enough to live they are not going to be able to live. You can’t survive on 25K a year in this country anymore if you are a family of four. If you are making less than $8 an hour you are making a before tax income of $15360 a year.

    Wallmart is famous for bad wages and letting the government pick up the tab for health care and food stamps. We, the tax payers are subsidizing these huge corporations by letting them get away with this crap.

    • Stillin

      I have boycotted Walmart since they first moved in for that very reason. I pay a little more, and it’s NOT because I have it, to keep my small businesses, what’s left of them, in my small town.

      • Anonymous

        I’ve done the same.  If you can’t buy American, and in many instances you just can’t, at least buy from a locally or regionally owned store. 

  • Mark Renkert

    Texas one of the US Leaders of Low Wage Jobs Generators.

    Texas one in five Texans don’t finish High School.

    Texas: 1::4 No Health Insurance.

    Texas…. leading the new normal of people living in poverty.

    US Jobs – 1::5 earning poverty wages.

    Does America need Texas Gov Rick Perry’s Job Creation strategy…..

    The US Needs an Educated Work Force and Real Earnability and Employers who are producing goods and services.

    Mark Renkert, Mcsl
    Chairman
    SMARTvt.org

  • Dave

    Some of the problem is due to the conservative focus on the primacy “shareholder value”. We are feeling the effects of forces put into play by Ronald Reagan and the Chigago School of economics. Thirty years later the evidence (not the polemics) is clear. They were wrong.

  • ulTRAX

    How have entire generations in the US been brought up to lose sight of some basic truths about capitalism?

    First We The People charter corporations and WE have the right to include in those charters how they behave. If these charters allow corporations to act in sociopathic ways, then they will. Second, that capitalism has a built in imperative to cut costs. There is constant pressure to cut includes wages and benefits, degrade the environment, and skimp on safe working conditions. In such a system companies of good will, will always be at a competitive disadvantage and the only way to change corporate behavior generally is by organizing labor, and enacting laws that control corporate behavior. We spent the last century trying to tame our little Frankenstein creations and it worked. But free trade is an escape hatch back to dog-eat-dog capitalism.

  • Erin in Cedar Rapids IA

    I cannot figure out why it is acceptable or PREFERRABLE to all these tea party “patriots” that they would want to see their country turned into a third world nation! I WILL ACT SNOOTY when someone else says they think everyone who isn’t ALREADY RICH should get a job at McDonalds. 

  • John – Williamstown, VT

    I have family in Texas so I’m there a couple times a year.  The economy there gives all indication of being robust even when the rest of the country was way down.  There ARE good, high paying, professional jobs coming open all the time but the larger portion of jobs are in the retail & hospitality sectors that are dependent on those higher paying jobs.

    There has been an amazing turnover rate in retail shops and thus churn in that workforce. I think most of the low wage creation comes from that churn.

  • Anonymous

    The good times have been used up. If you look at the demographic data, we are an aging society and one that will not be able to compete, body for body against developing world workers. It’s over! http://michaelmaczesty.blogspot.com/2011/06/its-adolescents-world.html

    • AC

      I’m not sure why you say this? The US doesn’t need to compete ‘body-for-body’, we have efficient machines. I just looked it up on wikipedia before I state this, but the US is still THE number 1 manufacturer in the world. We need 1 trained operator and a good machine to output the volume of 7 workers in other countries. If you are talking about manufacturing or what kind of labor are you discussing? In any case, I’m going back to mypoint that what we need is an educated work-force to write the programs that do the work-those ‘more physical’ jobs are becoming unnecessary – those other countries are going to have some serious class wars when they eventually do the same….we should be prepared in advance -this is the only thing, combined with responsible resource use and responsible waste management, that will bring back this country to a place people compete to live in….

  • Pfo

    The most common household structure is a two earner family.  60% of married women work.  The sole earner with a family of four is about 16% of households.  Why are these guys defining a job without reference to how we use our time in modern families?

    Peter Orazem

  • Jim

    If we’re going to have to work for lower wages, then the executives who run these companies ought to work for corresponding lower wages. From what I’ve heard wages for executives of foreign companies aren’t as high as those for American companies – so if our wages should match that of foreign companies then likewise for the execs.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      Congress should pass a bill about “Equal Pay Act”.

  • Yar

    Richard the adjunct professor, if you can prove that they are not paying minimum wage, or paying overtime for an hourly wage, you may be owed back wages.  Check it out.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry but adjunct work does not work that way. It’s by contract.

    • Guest

      There’s no guarantee that they would ever hire him again. The contracts go by the semester.

  • REAL TALK

    AMEN !!!!!(Richard the caller)…….

  • TFRX

    The wrong field for the current caller (42 mins), an adjunct professor?

    I’m curious about how many “superstar professors” his college employs who look great on a glossy brochure, but don’t do any teaching.

    And unlike the “dollar menu”, which didn’t exist a generation or so ago, kids going to colleges aren’t exactly getting it for cheaper.

    • Guest

      You have a point, but some of those professors are doing important research. For instance, much of the innovation the drug companies claim they are funding actually comes from university researchers. They are usually expected to teach as well, but it would (and often does) destroy their research programs to give them huge teaching loads. I think universities are often dishonest or at least unclear (to students as well as faculty) about what they want from their faculty: publish, bring in grant money, teach a full load, and do all kinds of university service. They have to cut corners somewhere.

      • Udigom

        How about sports?

  • mundy

    folks ought not blame themselves for not being able to find a job even with higher education.  what we need is a system of sustainability and decency.  we have been conditioned to punish ourselves for our failures, but this is surefire proof that our system has reached a critical mass and ultimate design crisis.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

    Watch out Tom!!! I hear Watson may be applying for your job once IBM learns to put some passion in its voice. 

  • Anonymous

    As insidious,and I am astounded that the commentators have not mentioned it, was the revised CPI, under the Boskin Commission, instituted under President Clinton in the mid-nineties. We no longer have an accurate index of inflation. It was another example of Clinton aligning his presidency with the business/financial leaders of this country.  He was a great Democrat. 

  • Rudi Aldridge

    Globalozation is only possible via the Pax Americana - paid for by US Taxpayers dollars and US soldiers blood. The American worker Must demand an end to our global policeman role and soon the export of american jobs will be impossible. Yes the worrld will be a more dangerous place but The United states will be safer stronger and more financially secure.  

  • Micro

    Isn’t job creation a misnomer?  Many of these jobs are simply moved from one state to another.  For example, many of the new jobs in Texas and Oklahoma are jobs that used to be in California.

    • ulTRAX

      If the term “Job Creators” is all the Right uses these days it must be because it’s be the latest focus group tested pretense they can use to justify continued those irresponsible tax cuts for the rich.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Besides preschool for all, we could provide Medicare for all, and that would mean that employers would not need to have that figure in their hiring decisions.  Someone posted about competing with workers in countries that have no health care supplied.  Yes, but I believe we are also competing with countries where corporations do not have to supply health insurance because the government does that.

  • AC

    i worry teachers will be replaced by online classrooms.
    Advantages:
    more students per class/teacher
    learning at diff. paces easier
    no fuel cost for buses
    no fuel cost for teacher
    less traffic
    infrastructure of brick/mortart school currently needs help
    Disadvantages:
    more students per class/teacher

    • AC

      is it bad?

    • Ellen Dibble

      You worry that?  I’d say hurray.  Online teaching can free up our rather strained teacher workforce to use their time and efforts better.  And with better results, we might honor teachers more and invest in them more.

      • AC

        kind of – i can just see them trying to cram 1000 for 1 class or something…..
        plus, you just can’t replace a good teacher and the personality, i still remember the lessons from my funnier teachers, or the ones that would impart additional information or perspective not necessarily out of a book

        • Ellen Dibble

          I know what you mean.  But I recall being bored bored bored year in and year out.  To the extent the teacher had any personality it was separated from me by the 40 or 50 kids who were always in my classroom.  When I was put in a private school in 7th grade, classes were smaller, but I still think that some of us would have been better off if were not mainly sitting still and watching the clouds.  We could have been following the brain’s sense of inquiry, finding the individuals in the classroom we could fruitfully challenge.  Rather than interrupting everyone else and monopolizing, such a twosome or threesome or foursome could be sort of launched around a few computers, and left to their own devices while the teacher pays closer attention to the others.  
              The vast, vast waste of possibilities during my education still baffles me.  We read about brainwashing in the USSR, yet it seems to me we were being brainwashed, plain and simple.  First numbed, then programmed, then sent out to let off steam.

          • BC

            I teach online and I love it. Personally, I think I have more “personality” online than in person, but that’s just me. Luckily, I teach for a program that limits the number of students to 20 per class, which gives us the opportunity for a great deal of discussion. We also have videos, simulations, group experiments, etc. I believe studies have shown that the key factors in the success of a course are independent of whether or not it is online. That said, I don’t think online courses can replace the experience of attending live classes, but there’s nothing wrong with mixing in some online or hybrid courses.

            Speaking of outsourcing, though, I think some online courses are already being outsourced to India etc.!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Name something that cannot be used for Good or Evil?
           On-line classes can be GREAT for some people in some subjects.  For some people, and some subjects, lousy.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    We can’t be all high paying jobs. who will be a gardener,janitor,cashier,security,parking lot teller, bank teller, car wash cleaner etc etc etc without these people our world will be different or just no world for us.

    • Anonymous

      Some people don’t need or want a career job at certain points in their lives. Young people, old people, single people who for one reasonor another want the freedom to mix work with personal persuits in life.

      • BC

        Think before you take out a loan for a college education. I think college is great, but it’s not job training. At least it didn’t used to be.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rickevans033050 Rick Evans

    Adjuncts in UMass are not offered health insurance coverage but are fined by their employer, the state, if they don’t buy it. If Richard was here he’d probably hear over $35000 but would have to pay $700 to $1000 per month for insurance or pay a fine. 

    • Guest-22

      Yes, so the rest of us don’t have to foot the bill when he and his family eventually need a doctor and go to the emergency room, and run up astronomical charges. Single-payer health insurance would get Richard more take-home pay and health coverage, too. Republicans would rather we all die and starve than go that route.

  • Prmiller03

    Thank you Richard the adjunct faculty caller for pointing out the disgraceful perpetuation of low-wage, no benefit jobs that universities and community colleges perpetuate by turning faculty lectureships into contingent labor while also avoiding the consequences of that by denying unemployment!

    I am in this boat too but trying hard to change.  All who read this I urger you to contact your state senators regarding the denial of unemployment benefits during the summer for adjunct faculty!!  Perhaps if they had to face the economic consequences of offering low-wage, part-time contract work just like construction, landscape and movie making, they would start offering more full-time lectureships!

    Contact NEW FACULTY MAJORITY and your state reps!

    • BC

      While we are cutting funding for education? No likely!

  • Kathie

    Buy American!!!! To up demand in US and create jobs in America

    • ulTRAX

      THANKS!!! Now tell me where I can buy an American-made PC monitor.

    • ulTRAX

      The only way to increase demand for American products is to reverse free trade. A hefty tariff on imported goods from third world nations would be a good start.
       

      • notafeminista

        It would also be illegal.

  • Anonymous

    Every time you create a government based job you make me pay for someone elses job.  I’m broke and can’t afford it anymore.  Stop worying about rich people.  They will be rich no matter what we do.  If tax them more they will just have their companies give them more for their work.  If you must tax big companies tax rntewrtainers and filthy rich sports figures.

    jim in SC

    • Anonymous

      You single out entertainers and sports figures, but at least they do their job in public and can be evaluated for their performance. 

      Just once I’d like to hear a Congress member ask one of the CEO’s, like Hank Paulson, appearing in front of them:  “You were paid $29 million during a year you worked for Goldman Sachs.  Such compensation is literally incomprehensible to most Americans.  So to help them understand how valuable people like you are, tell me about your typical day’s work, or your most difficult day of work.  Explain what you accomplished that made you so worthy of that enormous pay.  If you can tell us about all the jobs you helped create, I’d like to hear about that too”

  • Bill

    When we talk about jobs that are either minimum wage or “good paying jobs” (inferring that anything above minimum wage is a good paying jobs), you know we’re in big trouble.

  • Witterquick

    The companies in the US have shipped jobs overseas for over a decade.
    We have allowed 12 million illegal immigrants into the US to provide cheap labor within our own borders. 
    Now these same companies are trying to dismantle the middle class and create a huge class of low income employees with no benefits.  As long as cheap labor is accessible, these companies will not create any jobs of value.  Without a middle class that can afford to buy goods and services, these companies will not be sustainable in the long term.  So we are left with all of these illegal’s and poor Americans.  These needy will cause the US government to collapse under the financial burden of trying to provide any support for the poor majority (health, food, etc..).

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      Welcome to 1928.

      The polictal right’s motto should be “Marching fully forward into the past.”

       They say they want their country back. Ok, lets see…

      Forty kids, of all ages, in one classroom.
      No health insurance.
      Soup kitchens.
      No birth control.
      80 hour work weeks.
      Rivers that catch on fire.
      Body parts and rat feces in food.
      Poor houses and work farms filled beyond capacity.
      Acid rain.
      A 50 year life span.
      No weather satellites.
      No overtime wages.

      • notafeminista

        All the occurrences on your list still exist now save one.  The left has failed and miserably so.

        • ulTRAX

          Democrats are NOT the “left”. They are just the more liberal wing of a single pro-corporate establishment.

          There is no “left” in America…

          • notafeminista

            Of course there is.  The contrast is not always so sharp as it is in other countries, but make no mistake:  there is a “left” and it has failed….miserably.

          • ulTRAX

            When I look back at those who were against free trade, the Iraq War, the irresponsible Bush tax cuts, deregulating banks and the commodity markets, and everything else that is bringing down our nation… it wasn’t the Right. If anything it’s the Right that has failed miserably. But they are so enamored with their own sense of infallibility they actually believe it’s not their ideas that have failed the nation, somehow the nation has failed their ideas and next time they have to be extremists on steroids. It was the instincts of economic liberals that were correct. As for the left… pray tell, who are they? There maybe be socially liberal Democrats but most, like Chris Down, are also strongly pro-corporate. I don’t see anyone in Congress that I would consider a true progressive let alone a leftist. Some names come to mind like Bernie Sanders and Kucinich, but while they are socially liberal and their economics are progressive, they don’t seek fundamental democratic reforms to our anti-democratic system. I consider them economic progressives but politically liberal. I really don’t see any Ralph Naders or Noam Chomsky’s in the Democratic Party. For you to consider the Democrats “leftist” only betrays your own far right dementia.

          • notafeminista

            You’ll see my post above…

        • Scott B

          So this is all the left’s fault, driving these conditions further along? Not.

          • notafeminista

            Consider the history of any one of the items on the list (except satellites).  We still have soup kitchens, rescue missions and the ever-widening “social safety net”.  Teenage pregnancies are higher now than then and of course it is a well-worn refrain of the left that (at least) 47 million Americans have no health insurance.  What happened to the War on Poverty?  What happened to the Great Society?  What happened to the New Deal?  All programs designed to lift us out of poverty, poor education and the heartbreak of psoriasis.  Not only did that NOT happen some of the conditions listed are actually worse now.
            So you tell me. Who is to blame?

  • TFRX

    “A lot of the job creation is legitimate, not just stealing them from other parts of the country”, per one guest (Don Baylor? my ears fail me).

    All well and good if Gov. Goodhair was running for Most Valuable Governor in a pageant of 50 plus PR, DC, American Samoa and Guam.

    But he isn’t. He wants to be president, and a big part of his message is that he’ll do this for the rest of the country.

    So, what? Every place that doesn’t have oil, he’ll get some there to drill, especially that good Texas sweet crude? Every place that isn’t on a border for shopping, he’ll get a border? Every place that people are moving away from, he’ll make them move to?

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    I agree with the last caller, who brought up that the same people wanting to pay min wage (or abolish min wage) are the same ones that are making million upon millions and getting huge tax breaks.  I’m all for capitalism, and I’d love to be a multimillionaire myself, but when someone is getting huge tax breaks for their fleet of Gulfstreams and the people working for them are on food stamps and can’t afford even basic health insurance, in what these same rich people keep saying is the “greatest country on earth”, something is seriously out of whack!

      My wife was laid off for over 2 years because the company she worked for wanted to bust the union over modest cost of living raises.  The company’s owner loses more money when one of his many racing teams wrecks a car, or two, than it would have cost to give them the raise.  This is a company that made tens of millions in profits.  In fact a union officer, after hearing “No, can’t do that,” for the umpteenth time,  went off on the execs in the negotiation meetings and asked them, “This company made (tens of millions of dollars) in pure profit. When’s the last time any of you had to worry what bill got paid? Or worry about feeding your kids? Or losing your home? How much @#$%’n money do you people need?!”

    • BC

      Maybe it’s time to stop treating corporations as legal persons. These  superpowers without conscience are legally obligated to act only for their own bottom line. Why should we give them the same rights as citizens? I think this actually undermines capitalism. There are petitions going around– e.g., http://www.thepetitionsite.com/3/corporations-are-not-people/

      • Scott B

        This wasn’t a case of a company being seen as a person (though that is a problem), it’s corporate greed and this sense of entitlement they’ve come to have since Reagan and his “trickle-down” ideas came along.  Trickle-down has had 30-some years to prove itself and it hasn’t worked. All it’s done is make the 2% people and companies that have 90% of the money want to keep even more money.

        How many jobs would be created if the businesses sitting on that $2 TRILLION-plus started hiring people? How much money would that put into the economy and reduce the need for government spending by lessened need for food stamps, medicaid, et al? 

        Trickle- down?  “Don’t say it’s raining when you’re pissing down my  back.” – Skid Row. 

    • notafeminista

      It is certainly unsettling and worrisome when one is laid off and job prospects are uncertain, however the point is being missed.  This post and the one above from Gary2 are indicative of employees (or spouses of) can and should dictate how the company they didn’t found nor are they responsible for operates.  Not sure where this (to be fair..frighteningly widespread) arrogance comes from.

      • notafeminista

        Darn it, that should read “….employees WHO THINK…they can and should dictate….etc etc etc”

      • SB

        The employees (and said spouses) fully understand how capitalism works. They weren’t dictating how the company is run. But it’s a union shop and the two sides bargain so workers get treated decently and the company makes a profit.  There was no exorbitant conditions asked for, just a basic cost of living.  Everyone knew the economy was changing, and gas was spiking to $4+@gal from $2.50, so the union wasn’t trying to make everyone rich, just able to afford to put food on the table.
        There were also contracts that required the use of a union shop – which they were the only union shop in the company.  The company has been very vindictive about the union, even when it caved to their demands.  Then they got a big write-up in the paper about hiring back workers, like it was a big chunk of the hundreds of people they paid off; when in reality was under a dozen that were hired back.
        Now these workers are working for 2/3 what they were when they were laid off, and will top out in a few short years at not even what they were making when they were laid off.  Meanwhile, the company wants to do more with less, and is having problems keeping people. Why? Because why bust your ass doing manual labor for barely over min wage when you can start at McDonalds or Walmart and make more money for less work, and without the company playing games with their hours. 

        • notafeminista

          “Meanwhile the company wants to do more with less and is having problems keeping people. Why?  Because why bust your ass doing manual labor for barely over minimum wage when you can start at McDonalds or Walmart and make more money for less work, and without the company playing games with their hours.”

          1)Employees seem to forget they are just that.  Employees work for someone else.  If employees cannot or will not work under the conditions provided by the employer, they are welcome to find better conditions elsewhere as alluded to in your comment regarding McDonalds and/or Walmart

          2)Please define “barely over minimum wage” in real terms.

          3)Why wouldn’t an employer be vindictive towards a union when members of said union demand dictating terms of operations for an organization they neither founded or are responsible for?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    Re:  A caller stating that the Chinese are cutting off their own arm off by limiting the greatest consumers in the USA from buying Chinese products.

    This is an example of blind American Exceptionalism.  As if American’s overconsumption is holding the rest of the world hostage.  

    THERE ARE ANOTHER 6 BILLION PEOPLE (consumers) ON THE PLANET !!!  wake up,  and many of these people have just a couple shirts, a pair of pants and one pair of sandles.  These low wage earning to whom manufacturing is attracted will replace the American consumer, as they have a heck of a lot of catching up to do.   Time to wake up to harsh realities.

  • Alena Dc

    Hi Tom,
    I don’t agree with the point that we need to train our workforce. I have seen a lot of overqualified workers: waitresses with an MBA degree, a wetland scientist working in a department store, an English teacher being a bartender. We need to have more demand for professionals first. Thanks

  • Kristina S.

    It’s the American Dream to improve our standard of living, that is the expectation here.  Yet the cost of living is increasing faster than wages. Our standard of living is being reduced because the cost of basic neccesities (luxeries and third world countries) is going up so dramatically. Researchers studing human nature show that financial loss cuases more pain than the joy of financial gain of equal amounts.  http://www.sherlockinvesting.com/articles/joypain.htm
     
    We are feeling pain at this loss of quality of living.  I don’t think it’s reasonable to redefine our standard for basic necessities (housing, food, healthcare, and education).

  • AC

    has anyone seen the movie manufactured landscapes? it was sooo interesting ….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv23xwe0BoU

  • James – Manchester,CT

    Discussions of job gain or loss should take into account the skill level/pay scale of the job as well as whether the jobs are public or private sector.  As today’s show indicates, not all jobs are equal.  I have long wondered why any entity should be allowed to quote job growth numbers without the qualifying context. 

  • Tadmor

    Texas may be a case in point, but it seems that American do not even fathom the degree to which the entire US education lags behind even under-developed nations: Our college students pay 10 times more and – in science and engineering –  receive less than a third of the preparations of their counterparts in other countries. The dilution of US workforce preparation is a direct result of the abysmal lack of diversity of widely accessible educational options that can meet the diversity of talent and interests of students: In a reality where “academic” high schools and college education is the overwhelmingly dominant way up the economic ladder – instead of high quality and diverse trade and otherwise specialized education offerings, already at the highs school level, education is watered-down to a level that is simply astounding to a foreign newcomer. The race down is accelerated in a system of “higher” education that is commercial in all aspects, other than the “non profit” fig-lief tag, competing for students by lowering standards. The US standard of living has been maintained by a steady, large scale import of qualified, foreign trained workers, from von Brown’s team, leading NASA in its early days, to the present. Not only are US natives deprived of opportunities to strive, this dependence is not any less risky than the dependence on oil import and the whims of the attractiveness of the US economy.

    • notafeminista

      Why do standards are lowered?  What on earth would anyone hope to accomplish?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ???  Why do standards are lowered?   ???    The destruction of the U.S., as a model for the world, could be what they hope to accomplish!!

        • notafeminista

          Ok, assume that is the case.  Those lowering the standards or pushing for lowered standards want to destroy the US.  Who is it that always demands that the least among us, the least productive, the least able, the least (fill in the blank) must be the standard that is held?  It is not the achievers who are celebrated and/or rewarded and as evidenced repeatedly in this forum there is no desire to do so.  So who then, wants to lower standards and why?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Workers that assemble, make the products right, or provide the service of the company, in a polite and efficient manner, are COMPENSATED, while executives that bankrupt the company with bad management decisions are NOT?

          • notafeminista

            You didn’t answer the question.

      • Anonymous

        I’m going to assume that English is not your native language.
        The verb you need here should be “are”, (Why are standards so low) is one way to form this sentence.

        • notafeminista

          Heh…sadly no.  Two thoughts collided there; poor editing nothing else…but thanks for the consideration.

          • Gregg

            It’s too bad the grammar cops hijacked a good question. Look for the karma gods to strike.

  • BC

    Oh boy, I predict a lot of people will be posting to confirm the story of the adjunct professor of English. I left a tenure-track job (long story) and chose to teach “part time.” I actually like my new job, but the move cut my income by 2/3, there are no benefits, I attend scientific conferences etc. at my own expense, there is no pay during the winter and summer breaks, and no unemployment insurance. Like the caller, I attended top universities in my field. I did postdoctoral research and was the principal investigator on several federal biomedical research grants. This is the new normal. So don’t underestimate that army of adjuncts who are educating this generation of college students.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Underestimate?  Or realize that many of them will be bitter, or somewhat less-interested in giving 100% for 66% $!    Inept executives paying themselves MORE, and cutting everyone else, is NOT conducive to improvement!

    • Anonymous

      While the presidents of these universities receive high end six figure salaries or more, and in some schools the sports coaches are holding down salaries in the millions, 40 to 70 percent of the academic faculty are adjunct making 30k a year if they are lucky.  

  • Earl Shepherd

    The conversation is interesting in as much wages have been declining for the last three decades.  The decision has already made to go with low wage jobs in America.  All we need do is look at those wanting to cut the American safety net.  American companies involved in the global markets were not looking free markets.  They were looking for places where workers were trapped by autocratic systems.  

    In that sense America’s capitalistic system has supported the lowering of wages, democratic rights, and quality of life of people around the world.  Now, the American worker is facing blowback from an international system that it helped create.   

  • GARY2

    If we are going to be stuck with these low wage jobs that require government subsidies in the form of food stamps/state low income health insurance  for their underpaid workers to survive (which is corporate welfare) then we need to have a big push to unionize these jobs.  Manufacturing jobs used to be bad jobs until unions made them into good family supporting jobs.  Yes I know unions are not perfect and they could be somehow regulated to minimize coruption.

    I am sure mcdonalds/walmart could easily double wages for their workers and still be plenty profitable.  Maybe more so as their employees could afford to buy more.

    Walmart can not off shore these jobs and I am sure that with several stores closed due to striking workers they will come around and pay family supporting wages.  Unions have worked in the past and can work again.  Corporations are sitting on trillions so they have the money to pay way better.  How about a maximum wage for CEO….

  • Marka

    We can also thank GREED for a lot of the problem of low wages!!!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      The Greed of Wall Street. The greed if Enron, Madoff, Sterns and Burns, Bofa,General Motors (who killed the electric car),Credit default swap,Sub-prime mortgages,AIG etc etc. Everything starts to crumble in Wall Street the world follows.

  • Pierre Demers

    You can’t sustain the economy, thus jobs, when more than 25 % of the value of the work that is done by the common worker is held in captivity by 1 % of the people and another 25% is held by another 2%. This high amount of money that is kept out of vigorous circulation because the rich don’t spend as fast; they aren’t investing because of a poor market place; therefore the money sits in the bank collecting o interest. Because the economy is faltering, this condition will get worst because all these high salaries are contracted. Where is the market going to get its growth. Bank of America is anouncing cutting 30,000 jobs. Why? because all the money that they have can’t be loaned out because businesses aren’t borrowing, and they can’t collect interest.
    We must insist that the government raise the taxes obscenely on all obscene salaries and compensations in order to get that money back into circulation by paying for infrastructure jobs, teachers, and social workers desparately needed. By taking their money that is hold up, will invigorate the market place. Note that when a worker gets a dollar he spends it 5 to 10 times faster than the rich thus it has that much more effect to the economy thus jobs.  

  • ulTRAX

    One of the pathologies of America is that both parties and the media can IGNORE the biggest factors holding down our economy: free trade and a financial sector was set free to speculate than funnel capital to growing industries.

    Wouldn’t it be a breath of fresh air if only ONE politician running for president… Dem, GOPer, or independent were to educate the public about the abuses of Wall St and ran against free trade? THEN perhaps the pieces of the puzzle would fall together for the public and they’d realized they’ve been conned, and begin to vote these corporate lapdog bastards out.

    • notafeminista

      That would be AWESOME…because we know Americans deserve those jobs and opportunities before everyone else does simply by virtue of being American.

      • ulTRAX

        I assume you’re being sarcastic. But despite what the Right thinks, there’s more to the world than the market. One of the key purposes of the Constitution was to promote the general welfare. Why is it no longer in the general welfare to protect domestic industries and our standard of living? One of the first acts of the early republic was to enact Hamilton’s plan to protect and grow domestic industry by placing tariffs on imported goods.  

        • notafeminista

          How right you are, there is SO much more to the world than the market and yet that is all the left focuses on – as evidenced by your very own comments re free trade and so-called Wall Street abuses. Unfortunately if the left didn’t have people with money to rail against, there’d be nothing left for them to do.

    • steve

      That is as unlikely as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs :)

  • Anonymous

    The race to the bottom for a lot of Americans will be long and hard.
    More work for law enforcement.

  • Modavations

    NPR please stop relying on poiinty head leftists for economic advise.Herr Krugman and Robert(3rd)Reich have never been right about anything.Might I suggest you talk to real job creators ,like Jack Welsh(GE),or Freddy Smith(Fed Ex).

    • Anonymous

      If you don’t like it turn it off. Stop complaining every time they have someone on who does meet your criteria of right wing rhetoric.
       

      • Modavations

        50% of the country leans right.50% pay NPR’s freight(I donate)When do we get just one host the is a :”righty”

        • Anonymous

          50% do not support NPR through Federal funds. Get your facts right.
          Don’t contribute. Stop complaining if you don’t like the content don’t listen. Your comments are not funny nor are they satirical.

          • Modavations

            I meant to say that while 50% of the country are Righties,they are  forced ,through their taxes, to pay NPR’s freight.They do not get 50% of NPR.They get nothing

          • ulTRAX

            According to this source http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/03/senate-republicans-drop-bill-strip-federal-funding-npr-and-pbs CPB got $4 billion over 10 years… or $400 million a year. So say NPR got half of that…. $2 billion over 10 years.

            It sounds like a lot except during Bush’s 8 years he pissed away some $2.9 TRILLION… some 1,450x the NPR budget*, JUST ON INTEREST. That $2.9 trillion bought the American people NOTHING. That the Right will so fixate on NPR and ignore interest on the debt is just another example of Orwellian Right logic. 

            * if my math is correct.

          • notafeminista

            So are you equating the funding of NPR to the tune of 2 billion dollars to Bush’s “pissing away of 2.9 trillion”  or agreeing that conservatives and/or the right were forced to pay a significant portion of that 2 billion and got…nothing?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            It WAS available to them.  If they chose to listen to commercial radio, or watch tv, or play cards, was their choice!

    • Anonymous

      Jack Welsh laid off large numbers of GE employees.  How does that make him a job creator?  

      • Modavations

        They employ 100′s of thousands,all making $60,000.00-200,000.00 per annum.If you want job security start your own frigging business

      • notafeminista

        Did those workers manufacture incandescent light bulbs?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Some USED to.  Probably still do for $1-$2 per day, or slavery, in foreign countries!

  • Modavations

    Please read Herr Krugman’s missive yesterday.This is why the Left is held in such disdain.On his website,he said he did not want to hear rebuttals.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t blame him, who wants to waste time reading comments from folks like yourself. Life is to short.

  • Hikeak

    The fact that you are asking the question shows how far we (US Workers) have fallen. The person who thought we should suck it up and quit complaining is a god case in point. We have become too stupid to even realize the problem. Education, not just job training- but a real education(A rare bird these days) is sadly, the answer.

    • AC

      i mentioned it….twice….

      • Modavations

        Ac,I’m off to Bologna to party with my cugino,to Venice to buy glass,to Vincenza to buy silver,to Berlin to party with my Nazi pals(I endearingly call all Germans,Nazi’s),and to London,where one of the Indiana Jonesettes is putting me up at her mansion.We’re going to all the museums twice.I highly recommend Courtauld Institute.If you quit listening to the Hand Wringers,this life is available to you.Forget College,get out there!!!!

        • AC

          i’m done with college – I liked it, but i’m a math geek so I’m doing ok.
          tho my job is not quite so exciting as all that – only going to Toronto for 2 days this week….:( with no time to explore….

          • Modavations

            Right On

        • AC

          also, i mentioned it twice in the context that a lot of jobs are becoming irrelevant and the discussion is pointless w/o exploring types of education, or, as someone replied to me, ‘re-training’ of older workers…..

          • notafeminista

            Such a good point…one case of jobs becoming irrelevant are those who manufacture incandescent light bulbs.  Glad I’m not a 50 year old GE worker.  Man.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          You endear yourself so well, to the Germans, that resent, and resisted the Nazi Party, and the destruction it wrought!

          • AC

            o Terry, you’re going to get mad at me when I admit this, but my husband’s ethnicity is German & when i want my way….well, i’ve been known to go there… (but he knows i’m not serious)

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I would think there are more amenable ways to get your way!  That’s between your husband and you!  Few of the German people that I have met, seem remotely like a Nazi.

  • Modavations

    If Juan Williams had made his comments about the Left’s parochial views and lack of tolerance,NJ,JeffieB,Ultrax,Terry Tree,etc., would call him Troll.They are the Book Burners of Farenheit 451,they are the Stalinist Students of Columbia, who shout down speakers of opposing views

    • Anonymous

      Really, the book burners of Fahrenheit 451? Stalinist?
      You don’t even know the difference between a fascist and a communist. How do expect anyone to take you seriously.

      • Modavations

        Communist own everything,Fascists leave the economy in private hands,but direct the owners.

        • ulTRAX

          With that super-duper college education of yours that’s the BEST you can come up with? Of course you never said you attended BC or whatever. I still think you were a janitor there.

        • Anonymous

          Actually you’re wrong and this depends on which fascist state one is talking about. In Hitlers Germany the state owned a lot of the businesses or they controlled them by having party member’s run them. You really need to read more before you make ill-informed comments.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      So much for your fear of liking me!  I have read books from VERY divergent views.
          Read enough of “The Way Things Ought to Be”, trying to give Limbaugh the benefit of a doubt, to be repulsed by his lies and twisted logic. 
          I do comment, in a civil manner, about views that I agree with, or disagree with. 
          Please reveal ANY comment of mine about someone being a Troll, unless the subject was Pier Ghent, or the Billy Goats Gruff?

      • Modavations

        I find your politics reprehensible.The left are rascist and totalitarian.I am ,however,amenable to those who understand the second ammendment

        • Anonymous

          Wow, you find this chaps politics reprehensible and yet you seem fine with acting like a right wing thug by posting crap like this.
          Are you aware that you sound like a extremist?

          • Modavations

            If extolling the virtues of Laissez-faire economics and believing in the individual, is now heresy,I am guilty as charged

          • ulTRAX

             
            M can afford to come across as an uneducated right wing clown. Given he’s been to one of the best colleges in Mass, he doesn’t have to demonstrate the width and depth of his intellect to us low-life commoners.

        • ulTRAX

          Fortunately, people with common sense really don’t give a hoot who you like or dislike.

        • ulTRAX

          M wrote: “The left are rascist and totalitarian”

          If anyone else made those accusations, you’d write 10 posts accusing them of name-calling. PKB M, PKB.

    • ulTRAX

      The only book burning I know of was of the Koran threatened by right wing fundies. But then in America no one need burn books anymore. They just take over school boards.

      As for M’s comments, as usual I have no idea what he’s babbling about.  

  • Lynn

    Isn’t it true that a majority of the supporters of Rick Perry, and others like him, are  . . . minimum wage workers? Is this ironic? Or the result of duplicitous politics?

    • Modavations

      I have an optemitrist pal in Dallas.I’ve talked about the Texas economy with him for years.Everytime I mention how slow it is in New England and enquire about his business,he says “What recession”?

      • ulTRAX

        Obviously people in TX, including your otemitrist (sic) friend, are blind. TX still has an 8% unemployment rate.

    • ulTRAX

      The Right has perfected the politics of resentment and scapegoating. If you haven’t already find a copy of What’s The Matter With Kansas…. come to think of it, the author was interviewed on this show perhaps 2 years ago.

  • Michiganjf

    We’re still suffering from the Republican/Bush legacy that brought our country to ruination:

    Companies are still coming out, vowing to cut tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of jobs… B of A is the latest, with 30,000 anounced cuts today.

    Still, Repugnicans shirk responsibility, intent on playing politics and NOT lifting a finger to help ailing Americans!!!

    People, hold Republicans’ feet to the flames next year AND VOTE THEM ALL OUT!!!!!!  …. they DO NOT serve the interests of middle and lower class Americans!!!

    • ulTRAX

      From a progressive perspective it’s not that the Dems are that much better when it comes to free trade. Obama clearly has been drinking that Clinton Kool Aid.

      • Guest-22

        The whole economic house of cards is based on two things:  global overpopulation and the race for more and more sources of energy. Richard Nixon, Mitt Romney’s mom, Barbara Bush, etc., were right about one thing:  family planning and birth control are important components of stable societies. Otherwise, there will never be enough jobs or enough energy to support the huge numbers of people who will remain jobless, impoverished, starving, stuck in drought-ridden areas, fighting in senseless, endless wars. But hey, let’s get rid of Planned Parenthood . . . and outlaw abortion. That’s real smart . . .

        • AC

          i do worry about the population variable…..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

    If you are single and want to make $1,500 bi weekly be a truck driver. No paper work, no office politics, no politics, no supervisor and no pain in the butt co-worker. You just need to handle a lot of stupid drivers out there. ohh and no diaper changing
     

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QME6C6XTBAYFEJP2GYDH3VQEMU Beat

      My friend got his big fat check today and I am jealous.

    • AC

      i don’t know, i thought truck drivers were worried lately – tho i think it depends on the type of truck – with the rising cost of fuel, people are going to be looking at cheaper freight alternatives…

    • Terry Tree Tree

      $750.00 per week, paying for meals, lodging, showers, etc…, with 80 hour week, or more, unpaid unloaded time, unpaid time waiting to be unloaded, waiting in traffic, shifting sleep time to their schedule?  
           Everyone’s going to be a truck-driver!

  • Richard Hodge

    We keep talking about forcing Americans to take low wage jobs. It is time to force corporations to cut profits for the good of the whole.

  • Modavations

    Does Pres.Obama understand that the payroll tax is what funds S.Security.We now haVE us ADVISERS INTripoli.Where o where are the Code Pinkers.

    • ulTRAX

      Do you even know how to focus M? You raised two topics and none of them has to do with today’s show.

  • John

    I been employed in home health care for the past 20 years working 7 days a week 365 days with decreasing benefits such as personal leave
    time,sick days,vision insurance health insurance and other loss of benefits.

    Home Care is one of the fastest growing occupations, but with low pay and little to no benefits how would Home Health Agencies recrut new and/or replacement workers?

    • ulTRAX

      Part of the problem here are the home health care agencies. I know personally of one that expects close to $1000 a month in fees… and none of that goes to their workers. It’s a classic case of the outragous costs associated with for-profit health care. 

      • AC

        really? that’s terrible! what do the fees go for?

        • ulTRAX

           
          I assume the fees go to pay the agency overhead and possibly franchise fees. We we’re taught that competition brings the best products at the best prices. Sometimes. But competition is also extremely inefficient and costly. We just don’t notice because we see prices dropping on consumer goods so the myth survives. 

          We have numerous ideological blind spots that prevent us from thinking outside the box we’ve been brought up in. For example, we never ask how efficient an entire SECTOR of the economy is. As we’ve seen with Medicare Advantage the private Medicare alternative… the government was paying some 14% more than traditional Medicare. That’s just a small real world example as is why is health care in the US so expensive on a per capita basis when we don’t cover some 50 million people and health outcomes are not that great? Canada covers everyone at about 65% per capita of what we pay.

          In the theoretical world how much cheaper would autos be if instead of all the proprietary auto companies in the world constantly reinventing each other’s wheel, and making cars with their proprietary parts… we standardized? OK consumers are spoiled with choice. So say there were only 10 auto chassis and drive trains that had the best ideas of all the auto companies. Economies of scale would greatly reduce production, distribution, and repair costs. Companies would then be free to bolt on their own custom bodies and interiors. How much would this shave off the cost of a quality auto? Such questions are outside the realm of permissible thought. Yet this cooperative model has been used on occasion… such as in the development of the DV digital video cassette and the DVD format itself. Instead of more costly format, wars like Beta vs VHS, industry cooperation brought all the best ideas in the industry together into one format and it made the DVD one of the most quickly accepted electronic products.    
           
              

        • Terry Tree Tree

          One local company cut the low pay of the home-visiting workers, so the owner could buy a new Porche!

      • notafeminista

        Interesting point.  How much is too much to pay for someone to come into the home, give personalized service and make sure the elderly loved ones of this country have safe and reliable care in a familiar environment?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          By under-paid workers?

          • notafeminista

            You didn’t answer the question.

  • John

    Low wage equals low spending,low saving. low tax revenue and overall lower standard of living. 

    But than again small wages are better than no wages…Right?

    • AC

      that depends on where you live tho (i think) & whether or not you want to be a homeowner….

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Rick Perry says so!

  • Mtread

    You know what? I believe Capitalism is just an extension of natural selection – you know… kill the weak to make the species stronger. I say we just let the poor people in this country starve to death. Obviously god wants it that way. Social Security and a jobs plan? I think you’re just trying to meddle with god’s plan to get rid of the lazy.  

    • Guest-22

      Computers, cell phones, weapons systems, vehicles, homes eat energy. Wars eat energy. People eat energy. Too many people = too little energy = too few jobs. Overpopulation is the main problem, folks! But birth control and abortion are out, according to today’s conservatives (Republican Pres. Richard Nixon’s long-gone support for family planning not withstanding–and it’s clear Rick Perry’s no Dick Nixon). Today’s billions of people are fighting over the crumbs.

      When you’re poor and unemployed, the phone bill doesn’t get paid. The cable TV’s a thing of the past. There is no Internet access (and public libraries are closed or closing). There’s no computer to use or even get repaired. Middle class families are already living this way. And not seeing doctors or dentists. Find work? Where? How? In what condition? God help you if you’re over 50 and jobless, no matter how well educated. Nobody wants you. Even if you’ve got 20 good years of work left in you and can learn whatever computer software program they throw your way. Or valet park any vehicle. Such a waste of minds and talents.

    • Alan in NH

      Dear Mtread: Was this a serious comment or an attempt at black humor? Do you suppose Christianity enters into this at all? As in, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I seem to remember that was part of God’s plan. I would guess by your way of reasoning that the Mexican drug cartels with their rampage of murder are a good thing by ridding us of the weak and unarmed…just doing God’s work.

    • ulTRAX

      Capitalism can allow the weak to survive. Bill Gates was no genius. He just happened to be at the right place at the right time with an  operating system he bought from a defunct software company when IBM came a knockin’. I have to wonder how much productivity Microsoft kludge COST the world economy. Oops, I’m straying into the realm of impermissible thought.
       

    • Kristina S.

      Anyone who studies sociology understands that 99% of what we consider human nature is taught to individuals by society and environment.  We need to enhance our education system to include these characterisitics necessary for a productive and happy society.  http://bnp.binghamton.edu/

      We should re-engineer society to move away from negative behaviors and increase postive behaviors.

  • Pingback: Good Jobs and Bad Jobs In A Down Economy – WBUR | Cost To Ship

  • Modavations

    Just saw Fox News report that A.Weeners seat is to be voted on tommorrow.The Rep.is up by 6 points.Queens is 3 to 1 Dem.and hasn’t voted a Rep.in since 1926.

  • Patrick

    I really enjoyed the show, and I manage a small manufacturing company, employing 28 people, so I felt motivated to examine our payroll from the standpoint of the “living wage” for our region.  I used the link below:

    http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/counties/55131

    While I’m proud to say that all of our employees are paid more than the living wage for a single adult, only 46% are paid more than the living wage for two adults living together, only 36% are paid more than the living wage for one adult with one child, only 18% are paid more than the living wage for two adults with one child, and nobody, myself included, is paid more than the living wage for two adults with two children.

    I have mixed feelings about this, considering that I’m the person who sets the wages.  But, the basic fact is that to bring everyone above the “one adult, one child” mark without cutting (or raising) anyone else’s wages would cost an additional $202,000 per year, which is simply not available.  To get everyone above the “two adults, two children” mark would require an additional $794,000 per year.

    We’ve got a very rich health plan, and we’ve avoided cutting wages during the recession, so I believe that we’re sticking up for our employees.  The factory is safe and air-conditioned.  The manufacturing that we do could easily be done overseas, or in Mexico, by people making much, much less, so we have no leverage to raise our prices.

    Other things I keep coming back to are that many of my employees have 2 or 3 kids, smartphones, etc., and that some of the people in the lower-paying positions have been working there for 5+ years, with no interest or aptitude to advance.  If we did add automation in order to eliminate the lower-skilled positions, we’d have to drop those lower-skilled people as well.

    My bottom line is that most small employers probably don’t have the capacity to pay significantly higher wages, so I doubt that the real problem (low wages) can be solved through public policies that try to get employers to pay a living wage – most of those policies have exemptions for employers our size anyway.

    However, safety net social programs, if they work adequately, take the burden of supplying basic needs (retirement security, health insurance, child care credits) off of small employers, allowing them to pay higher wages overall.  It’s a mistake to think that “business” is a monolith and that it opposes the social safety net on ideological grounds – I, for one, would love to drop our health plan and know that there was a well-run, subsidized alternative that would meet our employees’ needs, and that would be large enough to have some bargaining power vs. the big health care providers.

  • Kristina S.

    I feel the middle class is extremely overworked.  We have been pressured to improve productivity by competition against others for efficiency instead of quality.  Now, in order to earn a decent living, we are over worked, and it’s all going to someone else’s benefit.  Our quality of life is being degraded.  What is the point of working so hard, if we are not rewarded?  We have no security in our future.  We are giving away our precious time, for what benefit?  This is not sustainable.

    • Nic

      I hear this…some of my friends are leaving this country living elsewhere where cost of living is low and local food is cheap and organic. There’s no point in paying into a system and having to rely on the stock market for retirement payments. 

  • Victor

    Dr.
     Über-Rich (a rebuttal to Dr. Conservative)

    I do not like this Uncle Sam,In fact I only like who I am,I care only for those who are like mewhose only interest is more money.I ignore truth proven by the dataSo I can add gasses to the upper stratamy planet’s future concerns me notI just plug my ears and fill my potmore gold for me– that’s all that mattaIf you suffer from my mistakesfrom chemical leaks to bad air intaketo crappy stuff that falls apartand high fat food that stops the heartshortcuts that give me lots more cashbut weakens rigs and coal mine shaftsMore health care, I will make you payand wipe out Unions every day,and federal regulations– please take away.I have no morals for that is truebut I will make some up and say they’re truethat way when voting time is dueyou’ll put my man in power too.I love to use hyperboleit scares you from the truth, you seeSo the representatives that I’ve boughtwill get me more, but you’ll get naught.Be happy you work for my companycuz if you don’t I’ll move overseasthere are plenty of people to exploit, you see……and if over there, there is unrestYou’ll be sent on my behestSo I don’t lose my piece of pie,No matter if you’re maimed or die.I make sexy ads so you will think (and even though my products stink)you need them badly – no room for reasonnot buying is a form of treason.I take your money and with it gamblebut if my bets turn to a shambleBailing me out may make you wail,But, “Hey there dude, I’m too big to fail!”Through the decades my earnings soaredwhile all of yours’ were simply ignoredWhen times get tough though, give me moreor I’ll lay you off and make you poorthen less taxes will be collected-no problem -  public jobs will be rejected,but my tax rate will be protected.So middle class can race to the bottom,but capital, income, wealth… i got em,You think if I am richer, you’ll get more too,You ignore the trend from ‘82.I do not like Uncle Sam, it’s trueWhenever he’s protecting you.But I do like Uncle Sam you see,when he is there protecting me.

     

  • AC

    if wages go down, do corresponding life costs also start going down? how will real-estate/landlords, grocers and retailers make money?

  • Mark S.

    One word for The Heritage Foundation, PIMCO and the other apologists for “The New Normal.”  Please mark this word, because it will shape your world in the years to come if nothing changes.

    Revolution…

    • AC

      the guillotine?? lol

      • Mark S.

        LOL, if you will.  In 1933, one of the motivations for FDR’s going big with the New Deal was the warning that a second revolution might be in the offing if the situation continued.  I submit we are approaching such a condition today.  Perhaps it’s time…

  • Ana from Brooklyn

    If minimum wage is the new normak, then rents HAVE to go down. We pay 1/4 of our wages on rent, the other quarter on utilities and food, the other half needs to cover childcare, credit card- and car payments and all eventualities…and we live ok, but surely not luxuriously. Rent needs to go be regulated across the board.

    • notafeminista

      NY already tried that once with disastrous results.

  • Jaakko

    Ever-growing under-ground cash economy – for wife two houses a day and husband four lawns a day = $100,000 a year tax free CASH while getting food stamps and other government assistance – what a country!

  • Anako

    It is just funny that credit is given to governor of Texas for job creation in his state; however the governor of other state are not blamed for not creating job instead the President is blamed.

    Jobs are mostly shipped over seas because of cheap labour.

    • Jaakko

      Governmet – Federal, State, Local – create the business environment with their laws, rules and regulations. As their responsibility, the management is required to find the way to maximize the shareholder (long-term) benefits. That just are the rules of our business society.

  • Bairn_

    We can pour more money into investment, more money into educating the workforce, reform this and that, but it will not really change anything  until we make decisions about the people and the systems that have led us into another painful period of economic collapse. We’ve had the tech collapse of the late nineties, the collapse of the energy trading markets, and now the collapse of the housing bubble which nearly drove us off the cliff if it weren’t for the Keynesian rescue mission–which is exactly what American business was counting on. 

    Is anyone tired of this yet? Why is it inevitable that we have to constantly pander to the wishes of a very small economic elite in this country? Are there ways we can encourage alternative business structures that are far more equitable? I mean, it’s obvious that employers don’t give a ____ about the American worker. We’re nothing but cannon fodder to them!

  • Frank TheUnderemployedProfessi

    Basically, our nation is slowly transforming into a third world economy complete with a third world job market, third world wages, and a third world standard of living.  This makes plenty of sense because as a result of foreign outsourcing, H-1B and L-1 visas, and mass immigration, we have merged our labor market and our economy with that of the billions of impoverished people in the third world.  Consequently, our standard of living will average out with their standard of living.

    The guests seemed to acknowledge that Global Labor Arbitrage was an issue and then retreated to mouthing safe bromides about how more and better education is the solution to our nation’s economic problems.  In reality, we already have a large oversupply of college-educated Americans, including many with advanced degrees.  (The general public is unaware of this fact, but we actually have far, far more PhD. scientists than we can properly employ.)  Unfortunately, advocacy of more and better education, which is very touchy-feely and politically correct, won’t address the real problem.

    The dramatic increase in the amount of available labor as a result of the removal of the barriers to foreign labor markets is the reason why the increased wealth resulting from increases in American productivity have been captured almost completely by the rich.

    I predict that our nation will join the third world as result of our own stupidity.  While we try to address our economic problems with improved education, budget cuts, stimuli, and other assorted feel-good programs, the real problem–Global Labor Arbitrage–will go unacknowledged because it benefits the wealthy.

  • Dee

    It is beyond time for American workers to be accepting minimun wages
    instead of a living wage.. Especially, given the unconscionable high earn-
    ings of CEOs and those higher up in the pecking order today….

    This is the pay scale Europeans have and there should be no accepting
    minimum wages in the US today, especially with the high cost of living.

    This would help reduce the poverty level and stop forcing people into working two jobs to get by  and feed their families….Dee

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  • http://reinventing-america.blogspot.com/ ulTRAX

    What are the TRUE costs of free trade? Does anyone calculate the cost to a community when a factory closes and moves overseas, or to those unemployed workers who have to take lower paying jobs or lose their homes? What are the costs to the government in lower income tax and Social Security revenues? What are the costs to the government for unemployment benefits, food stamps, or worker retraining? What is the cost to local community business when a major employer closes shop or a town when those local businesses close?

    Left to itself laissez-faire capitalism is a primitive economic system that deals with superficial costs in the market while sweeping many other costs under the carpet. We’ve tamed this corporate beast over the last century and forced many of those costs into the market… environmental and worker protection etc… and other corporate reforms have increased wages, provided for social security and unemployment benefits, as well as limited work hours and holidays. But those reforms were all sabotaged when the corporate Democrats like Clinton joined the GOP to pass NAFTA and the WTO.

    I’d like to believe that perhaps now we can examine those costs, but neither party nor the media will touch this issue. We’re just to believe we have an intractable recession… causes unknown.  
     

    • ulTRAX

      When functioning properly the public and private sectors protect and bootstrap each other to higher levels of properity. In advanced economies, free trade dismantles unravels this relationship.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2RUPG5LCXSEZZFP4NV67XF4TJE Place it on Lucky Dan

    How bad is it? The Chinese now using fortune cookies to further discourage
    Americans in these tough economic times … http://placeitonluckydan.com/2011/07/recession-fortune-cookies/

  • Nickandjudy

    Low wage jobs are a trap. If you’re lucky, you may make enough to eat and share rent, but you haven’t the strength left after long hours and can’t afford the time, transportation or clothing necessary to get a better job. Barbara Ehrenreich demonstrated this in her book Nickled and Dimed–you should really invite her to speak on your next jobs program.

    You should also explore the assertion that the tax code encourages job off-shoring. Jobs have been created by the stimulus, but more than half of them, we are told, are overseas. Please dig into this. As a country, we need to know the truth!

    • GARY2

      you are so right about being too tired after working a low wage to do much else.

  • ulTRAX

    Give me my Stimulus! wrote yesterday: “What America really needs now is President Obama’s second stimulus bill. Remember how well his first $787 billion dollar stimulus bill worked?”

    To claim the Stimulus was a failure is to imply it did nothing. We know that’s not true. It propped up the states and stopped the imploding Bush economy from going over the cliff. But was it big enough? No. Were the construction projects front-loaded enough? No. Could accurate predictions be made about it in the midst of an economic freefall? Probably not. Were there major changes to the US economy in this era of free trade that would slow any recovery? Probaby.

    But if you’re so enamored with predictions I can give you some from 1981 when Reagan was building support for his massive tax cuts. How about 13 million new jobs by 1986 and a balanced budget in about 4 years?

    Funny how Reagan missed entirely the economy would fall into a deep recessio, one so deep that 18 months later unemployment hit 10.8%. Those 13 million new jobs? Oops… about 9.5 million, if memory serves correct. Despite these abymsal predictive failures, why do I suspect you still believe those Reagan tax cuts worked?

    Don’t bother answering. We all know why.  

  • http://twitter.com/clay_vickers Clay Vickers

    Incredible post. Insightful and you’ve certainly got a good pulse on where the political conversation is headed.

  • Pingback: Good job, bad job [The Economist] | DreamInn

  • Worried

    Gov Perry did create non-living low paying jobs that the employee can’t really live on. These jobs don’t even include health insurance, and with the low pay these employees cannot afford health insurance. I guess if they get really sick and die it will make the Tea Party happen; one less sicko to worry about. The Tea Party sounds like the Brown Shirts that backed Hitler. It seems like we are on our way to National Socialism.

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  • Kristina S.

    I’m not an economist, so I have little idea how to create decent jobs for people to earn w livable wage.  There are many factors affecting the current job situation, I think we need a national discussion on these issues:
    -      Unrealistic Expectations: The baby boomer generation has experienced unique circumstances that provided significant improvements in their standard of living.  The situation allowed for pyramid based (similar to Ponzi scheme) support programs for wages, social security, health care etc.  Gen X following this group does not have the same circumstances of population growth to support the same standard of benefits.  It’s more damaging to people when these expectations disappear, as they need to do in this social/economic correction.  I don’t expect that the living standard of the last 30 years is sustainable in today’s world and we should not expect to get back to that situation after the recovery.
    -      Giving Kids a “Childhood”:  Modern society in the US is focused on making it easy for kids.  We need to be teaching them how to be adults, how to get work done, and how to be group centered instead of selfish and self-centered.  We need to prep them emotionally to handle adult life, not protect them from reality.  The quality of our work force is diminishing and we will lose the justification for companies to keep jobs in the US.
    -      Globalization: Now businesses have the resources to move their headquarters, outsource jobs (and insource jobs), and other measure to save money (i.e. increase profits).
    -      Discuss Incentives: Business have many incentives for increasing profits, rather than improving working conditions and pay, health care, productivity etc.
    -      Personal Commitment:  All of these ideas combine into a point “we are more concerned with personal growth and development on an individual basis than the good of society.”  The irony is we lost control over our own quality of life in the process.  Instead of shopping at Wal-Mart because we can buy more things (even though those items do not last long) we should be more conscience of buying local.  The US regulates human rights, working conditions, environmental impact, and other characteristics that are designed for sustainable living and protection of our way of life.  Then we kick that to the curb to buy foreign made products because they are cheaper.  http://www.madeinusa.org/

  • Pingback: Obama and jobs — focus on quality, not just numbers « MIT Sloan Experts

  • Pingback: Obama and jobs — focus on quality, not just numbers « MIT Sloan Experts

  • http://www.chronosconsulting.com/ Jobs in USA

    The result has been an interim period during which many underemployed
    Americans have little choice but to accept positions that entail
    significant pay cuts until better job opportunities return.

  • http://researchnetwork.com/ Postdoctoral jobs

    The postdoctoral research position could either be within the same lab and the department where the PhD student has completed their PhD or could be elsewhere. Some graduates prefer to remain within the department as they have become familiar with the surroundings while others prefer to obtain a position in a completely different country. The main purpose of doing a postdoctoral job is to get training in an area of research that is complementary to the researcher’s interest. For example, if one as completed a PhD in cell biology and the new graduate could either consider research involving Stem Cells.

  • http://game-avatar.net/tag/game-avatar-hd/ game avatar hd

    In bad economic times, jobs are scarce. When you are fresh out of college and have no professional experience, the only way to land a job is to know someone who can give you one or introduce you for a job

  • Pingback: Obama and jobs -- focus on quality, not just numbers | MIT Sloan Experts

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 29, 2014
The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

Jul 29, 2014
This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

A new sci-fi history looks back on climate change from the year 2393.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 28, 2014
U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

Marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One. We’ll look at lessons learned and our uneasy peace right now.

 
Jul 28, 2014
This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

American companies bailing out on America. They call it inversion. Is it desertion?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Why the key to web victory is often taking a break and looking around, and more pie for your viewing (not eating) pleasure.

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The Art Of The American Pie: Recipes
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

In the odd chance that our pie hour this week made you hungry — how could it not, right? — we asked our piemaking guests for some of their favorite pie recipes. Enjoy!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘The [Russian] Reset Worked’
Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton took time out of her global book tour to talk to us about Russia, the press and the global crises shaking the administration she left two years ago.

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3 Comments