Business As Usual

Pigs in Haiti845I did this panel in 1996. Things haven’t changed much in nineteen years.

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11 Responses to Business As Usual

  1. george rebane says:

    Unfortunately things have become a bit more complex in America’s job markets. There are hundreds of thousands of jobs that go unfilled every month, not due to lazy workers, but workers unable to do the work because they lack the skills.

    And due to tech advances, the skill sets required are now out of reach of most unemployed workers no matter how much money we pour into attempts to train/educate them. This is called growing systemic unemployment, unacknowledged by politicians and not caused by the greedy capitalists that you pictured in 1996. Companies that don’t reduce market-dictated costs (including labor costs) will quickly be history. There is no easy solution, and the hard solutions require wealth redistribution in ways totally foreign to the Left, and only in the untried proposal stage by a few on the Right.

    This is the biggest nut we have to crack, and it won’t succumb to socialist slogans unless we want to impose income equality by destitution. (See also the NCES Longitudinal Study of Adult Literacy in America, now in its fourth decade. As you know, we have gone around this problem for some years on RR.)

  2. Greg Goodknight says:

    Reading today’s Chronicle, I came across the Chronicle/Monster classified ads in section E, and decided to tally the IT/Software jobs that are said to be so hard to fill.

    Of 108 advertisements, only 32 had email or web addresses to submit resumes electronically… the other 76 ads had only snailmail addresses for the jobseeker to use to submit their resume. Many, if not most, of the ads answerable only with a stamp on an envelope also had magic words to the effect that the ad was only looking for applicants who are either citizens or green card holders.

    In short, 70% of the ads for tech jobs were fakes, guaranteed not to be looking for people who wanted the jobs, they were the obligatory machinations for companies who are trying to certify that no one already here and legal wants the job. They can then get a foreign H1B visa holder (or prospective H1B holder) to do the job for the salary they want to pay. Some of the other 30% may also be trying not to fill the jobs but have ethics that get in the way of placing phony advertisements. Everyone who sends in a resume, who meets the bare requirements in the ad, will get a call so a quick phone screen can find some deficiency so the Feds will agree there was no one to be found.

    This is the game that is being played. It’s amazing how hard it is to find a recruit when you are desperate to not find one.

  3. Chris Peterson says:

    There are many reasons why the leaders of industry here in the US continue their war on the American worker, but they all come down to increased profits. I just wonder at which point they will realize that the education and income of the average Joe is paramount to their success. At present, we are a throwaway society, unlike many of our counter-parts in the capitalist system, and more and more their countries reflect the strength of that commitment, while our’s suffers for it’s basic reinvestment in infrastructure, education, and well-being of our citizens. Our examples of excellence in the sciences, culture, and economic success have become anomalies, far removed from the norm, whereas their’s are more representative of the accomplishments of their ever-heightening average.

    Magnanimous business owners have always been few and far between, and the only equalizer of shared profit between capital and labor has, in this country and others, always been the ability of labor, through their strength in number, to demand a more equal sharing of profits generated. The demise of the unions, through actual contrived propaganda, has set us on the path to the lowest possible income. Today’s capitalists have actually created the welfare state they rail against so fervently by taking an undue share of the wealth created. In a cyclical, consumer-based economy it will continue to cause disruptions on a major scale.

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      I’m more concerned about the war against the private sector waged by the public sector using funds taxed away from the private sector.

      • Chris Peterson says:

        And that is a well-founded concern, Greg. But if you will separate yourself for a moment from the billionaires, you will see that their concerted efforts to reduce their tax burden is the cause of your increase. If you break down the “war on the private sector”, which conveniently lumps the wealthy in with the rest of us, into the two totally separate factions, (the wealthy, and the rest of us), it’s blatantly obvious who is funding that war. Unless, of course, you’re buying into their story that the poor have become far too powerful in their ability to influence our corrupt Congress.

        Then again, there may be a coalition of nefarious welfare queens who are pooling their food stamps in an effort to increase their influence through political donations. But somehow, I rather doubt it.

        By the way, about $59 billion is spent on traditional social welfare programs. $92 billion is spent on corporate subsidies. So, the government spent 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance in 2006. We need to cut down on both, but there’s no doubt about who’s waging this war and who’s winning.

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          I am well separated from the billionairs, thank you, and you could give them all a kosher financial butchering, draining them of all their money, and you would not make a dent on the debt of the USA. The feds really are running out of other people’s money, and the more fair you try to make it, the more unfair it is. The captains of industry mostly want laws that favor the existing big ships, not the building smaller and faster boats.

          We’re in a really big hole, and we need to stop digging, but the SEIU collects the ditchdigger’s union dues and they’re very good at electing politicians sensitive to the need for more and bigger holes.

  4. rlcrabb says:

    You’d think these captains of industry (technology?) might know enough about history (recent Greek elections, French revolution, etc.) to know what happens to their class when the balance swings too far their way. Conservatives complain when government tries to level the playing field, so why aren’t more billionaires stepping up with some free market solutions? Like the cartoon says, it’s been twenty years and things are only getting worse.

    • Chris Peterson says:

      The really funny, (sad), thing about the transfer of wealth over the last thirty-some years is that it has been supplemented by legislation, purchased by that wealth, which has shifted the tax burden from the top onto the middle class. And the icing on the cake is the successful effort to also shift the blame for that increased tax load onto those below us, rather than on those at the top; as if the sick and the poor have had the influence over a corrupt Congress to achieve such a move. Anyone with an IQ over 90 knows that our government is for sale to the highest bidder yet, after the loss of trillions by the 99%, we are told that the victims of the Grand Recession, (as it’s hailed in boardrooms), are responsible for all our woes.

      There is no rebellion left in Muddville, nor is there any candidate such as republican Teddy Roosevelt on the horizon to set things straight. Instead, we all look forward to the great runoff between Queen Hillary and Prince Jeb, both of whom represent more connection to Wall Street than any of their predecessors.

      And God bless those who buy into the bullshit and continue to blame their neighbors while exalting the ruling class. May they continue to find bliss in their ignorance.

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      What makes you think the billionaires are conservatives or GOP?

      Open Secret’s list of the largest campaign donors:

      • Chris Peterson says:

        I wholeheartedly agree; that would be a silly statement. I suppose that’s why I’ve never said it.
        There are no discussions of politics in a boardroom; the decisions made are purely about how best to leverage their money to increase profits and hold onto more of what they squeeze out. If candidate X promises more than candidate Y, then X gets the money. Dems and pubs are just a dog and pony show for the fools who buy into it; at least on the national level.

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