Recently in Jobs Category
One of Glenn's biggest suggestions for the brick-and-mortar shops: "I do feel, though, that brick-and-mortar stores ought to be trying harder to make the shopping experience pleasant. Instead, I often get the feeling that the staff views me as a disturbance to their texting-their-friends time."
I've gotten that same feeling, too.
Around here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire there are lots of shops that cater more to the seasonal visitors and many of the items they sell probably wouldn't do so well online. Sometimes you've got to be visceral about what you're buying. I find they also tend to bend over backwards to serve their customers.
Unfortunately that effort does not extend to many of the chain stores out here. On more than one occasion I've had problems finding anyone in some of these stores with at least a modicum of knowledge about what they sold. Probably the worst examples can be found at some of the big box stores and electronics retailers.
On more than one occasion I have needed help at one of the big box home improvement stores. I won't name them, but I will tell you they like using signs in Spanish...even in areas where French is the second most spoken language behind English. Trying to find someone who knows anything about what I'm looking for, particularly where I can find it, can be frustrating. That's why I rarely go there and frequent one of the locally owned hardware stores instead.
The same is true of both one now defunct electronics chain, Circuit City, and another chain which shall remain nameless. After Circuit City laid off their more experienced sales staff (supposedly as a cost cutting measure), the remaining staff was too inexperienced and not very knowledgeable about the equipment and accessories they sold. It was no wonder they ended up going under. The other chain is still in business, but they're struggling. Only their online sales operation seems to be doing moderately well. Again, it all comes down to their staff and how they treat their customers.
Is it any wonder online retailers are doing so much better than brick-and-mortar stores?
Reams and reams of laws and government regulations have been choking off our economic engine for decades. Every now and then someone comes along who, once they gain the White House or the Governor's office, strip back many of those encumbering laws and bureaucratic regulations. The results are almost always a booming economy and a strong job market. But then over time Congress or the state legislature, government bureaucrats, and anti-business presidents and governors start tightening down the screws on economic activity, all in the name of "protecting the consumer/small business owner" or ensuring "fairness in business", with fairness being defined in esoteric or emotional terms having nothing to do with reality. In turn we see businesses saddled with more taxes and burdensome regulations that do nothing but ensure some bureaucrat somewhere a job enforcing all those regulations. Economic activity slows down, profits fall, jobs are lost, and then we find ourselves in yet another recession.
One of the better examples of this is Washington DC, where the Congress and the leviathan that is government bureaucracy has made more difficult for businesses to survive. That trend does not seem to be abating.
The federal government spent $3.6 trillion in 2011. But according to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the annual cost of complying with federal regulations has exceeded $1 trillion since around 2005, and none of those costs appear in the federal budget. The federal government actually costs us half again more than most people think it does.It must be understood that it is small business that creates most of the jobs, particularly during a recovery. But make it difficult and expensive for them to do so, those jobs won't be created. In turn the economy suffers. With all these "protectors of small business" out there you'd think they'd actually do something to protect those small businesses. But it's mostly rhetoric and political posturing and the small business owner be damned.
The federal government lists all of its regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations. It is more than 169,000 pages long and growing. Last year alone, 3,807 new final rules were published in the Federal Register -- more than 10 per day. In 2010, it was 3,573 new rules.
Small businesses bear an outsize share of regulatory burdens. Candidates from both parties constantly climb over each other to seize the mantle of Protector of Small Business. But their claims ring hollow if they don't work to enact top-to-bottom regulatory reform.
The weather has reminded me of something I've advocated in the past, something that would certainly slow down the ever meddling Congress and the government bureaucracy: make heating and air conditioning illegal in Congressional and government bureaucracy offices. If it's too hot or too cold they won't be spending time coming up with new ways to make earning a living more difficult. Instead, they'll go home and stop wasting taxpayer dollars.
Maybe it's an idea whose time has come.
One of the first signs is the claims by low-level Obama supporters that "Romney became rich by making other people poor!" Call it an offshoot of the ever-discredited "Zero Sum Fallacy" constantly being sold by the economically clueless Left.
If memory serves, I recall reading one claim on one of the WSJ forums about Bain Capital buying a distressed business, closing it, and selling off its assets.
First, Bain's raison d'étrè was to invest in failing businesses, turn them around, and make money for the investors. For the most part, they succeeded. But sometimes they couldn't and the companies failed, were closed, and the assets sold off to offset their losses. There are times when no matter what, a failing business can't be saved.
Second, the action in question took place in 2002. There's only one problem with the claim made by the poster in the forum: Romney wasn't with Bain at the time. He'd left in 1998, four years before this supposedly took place.
So how could Romney be held responsible for something that took place well after he left unless it's one of the side effects of RDP? After all, the Left blames George Bush for all kinds of things, including things done by a Democrat majority Congress. Some blame him for things that have taken place long after he left office. Why shouldn't we expect the indoctrinated Left to do the same thing to Romney. All I'm waiting for now is some kind of "fake but accurate" incident analogous to RatherGate to smear Romney. I figure it's only a matter of time.
Reading some of the Letters to the Editor in one of the local papers here in New Hampshire, I am already seeing elements of the coming smear campaign. The local Leftist parrots are already repeating their carefully programmed claims, condemning Romney and praising their messiah, regardless of the fact that Romney has created more jobs while working in the private sector than Obama has since he was nothing more than a community organizer in Chicago. Claims of 4.25 millions jobs created by Obama must be taken with a huge grain of salt, just as many of us doubt his "3 million jobs created or saved by the $878 billion stimulus" claim. Certainly the unemployment numbers never reflected that claim, either the officially reported number (meaning those collecting unemployment) and the officially ignored number (meaning those also unemployed who were no longer collecting unemployment or who were underemployed) which boosted the unemployment rate a good 6 or 7 percentage points higher than the official numbers. (At one point the unemployment rate was above 11%, meaning the actual unemployment rate was closer to 17 percent.)
So far the "evil Bain" approach and hyped jobs claims hasn't worked and it's backfired on the Democrats. Too many folks out there know the real story because they're living it and claims made by the Obama campaign to the contrary don't match their reality. With today's unemployment numbers showing the unemployment rate has gone up, job creation fell far short of projections, and the Dow Jones Average falling almost 300 points today, reality has just slapped the Democrats in the face.
But I don't expect that to stop the spread of baseless, fact-deficient, and ignorant distortions of Romney's record of accomplishments.
While New York also has problems with its public employee unions, it's nowhere near the level seen elsewhere. Instead, the City Council is proposing rules that will help drive the last surviving industry out of the city - the financial industry.
For the life of me I can't figure out how making it too difficult and too expensive to remain in New York City is going to help the city's finances. Is it possible the City Council has been infected with the "California disease"? After all, California's state and local level governments have been doing their best to drive businesses out of business or out of state. They have succeeded. That's why California is in the fiscal mess it's in. And now New York City wants to do the same thing?
Yet in the wake of JP Morgan's massive losses last week and the continuing controversy surrounding the Wall Street bailouts, the New York City Council is debating a measure that would require city banks to publicly disclose their efforts at "socially responsible" banking.This is the same attitude held by many politicians in California and we've seen how well that's worked out for them. The City Council doesn't seem to understand that the banks and other financial institutions will have no problem departing the city for greener pastures. As the post linked above states, Fortune 500 companies have been leaving New York for decades. Wall Street firms will have no problems following them to places with better business climates. And with today's telecommunications infrastructure, those greener pastures can be anywhere, even here in New Hampshire.
Many bankers, as well as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have voiced their opposition to the new plans. The regulations, they say, would add another burdensome layer to the web of regulations that already exist at the federal and state levels. The Council, however, appears unmoved, and support of key council leaders...give it a fighting chance at making it into law.
If it does, its supporters on the Council will hail it as a major victory, but it will be a loss for the city as a whole. The financial industry is the one industry keeping the city alive, yet New York's blue politicians seem unconcerned about the risks of antagonizing their major cash cow.
How did these supposed "friends of the working man" justify killing this bill?
They did it at the behest of the public employee unions (SEIU, etc) because they wanted to make sure that Governor Scott Walker wouldn't get a 'win' that might make him even more popular with Wisconsin voters. So these corrupt public employee unions urged their bought-and-paid-for Senate puppets to sacrifice jobs their union brethren wanted and needed. The labor unions supported the bill, showing up to rally at the state house rotunda to plead their case. But their supposed public union allies shafted them all in order to 'get' Scott Walker.
With the failure of the bill, a new $1.5 billion (that's "billion" with a "b") iron ore mine operation disappeared as the owners of the company wishing to open the mine decided to take their money and their jobs and go someplace more inviting. Yet somehow the public employee unions see this as yet another win for their cause. These are the same folks whose bought-and-paid-for Democrats in the Wisconsin legislature have created an increasingly hostile business environment. Is it any wonder jobs have been leaving the state? You'd think these fools would learn the lessons of California, Illinois, and New Jersey and do everything they can to promote more business and jobs in their state.
If this isn't a good reason to bust the public employee unions then I don't know what is. This action shows the these unions are nothing more than corrupt influence peddling criminal organizations using taxpayer dollars to to bribe Democrats at all levels of government to ensure they maintain control of the public purse and their ever less sustainable benefits packages, and the taxpayers be damned. Perhaps a few RICO prosecutions might help break their hold on the legislature.
I can almost picture this routine when I close my eyes. Too bad that it's all too true.
COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America .Indeed. It's amazing how many people either don't know or choose not to know the truth about the true unemployment rate.
ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It's 9%.
COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?
ABBOTT: No, that's 16%.
COSTELLO: You just said 9%.
ABBOTT: 9% Unemployed.
COSTELLO: Right 9% out of work.
ABBOTT: No, that's 16%.
COSTELLO: Okay, so it's 16% unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, that's 9%...
COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 9% or 16%?
ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.
COSTELLO: IF you are out of work you are unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, you can't count the "Out of Work" as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.
COSTELLO: BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!!
ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.
COSTELLO: What point?
ABBOTT: Someone who doesn't look for work, can't be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn't be fair.
COSTELLO: To who?
ABBOTT: The unemployed.
COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.
ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.
COSTELLO: So if you're off the unemployment rolls, that would count as less unemployment?
ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!
COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don't look for work?
ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That's how you get to 9%. Otherwise it would be 16%. You don't want to read about 16% unemployment do ya?
COSTELLO: That would be frightening.
COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means they're two ways to bring down the unemployment number?
ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.
COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?
COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?
COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.
ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like an economist.
COSTELLO: I don't even know what the hell I just said!
And now you know why Obama's unemployment figures are improving!
It is said the truly smart will learn from the harsh lessons of others' failures. I can say that one member of the WP clan is that smart, that being the youngest of the WP sisters. (As she says, she made her own mistakes while growing up that our parents never found out about.)
It would be great if the political class presently ruling the US was as smart as my youngest sister. Unfortunately they are not.
They see the economic meltdown occurring in the Euro-zone, yet refuse to learn the lessons countries like Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain are teaching us, the primary one being that eventually you will run out of other people's money to fund all the wonderful social programs that have been used to bribe the electorate.
Italy is the latest to teeter on the brink of insolvency, and should it go over the edge it is quite likely it will pull the rest of the Euro-zone with it. Greece's default damaged the European economy yet it has only a fraction of the GDP of Italy. Should Italy default Europe will take an additional $2 trillion hit it cannot afford. Is it any wonder Germany is considering abandoning the Euro and going back to the mark? Can anyone deny that this problem has been driving the British public to demand a referendum about whether or not to remain in the EU? At least those two countries see the problem and realize they'll have to bankrupt themselves in a doomed effort to prop up economic policies from Brussels.
But too many of our own politicians at the state and federal level, regardless of party, seem oblivious to the fact that unless we make some drastic changes in how our federal government taxes and spends we will be headed down the same path. Labor leaders ignore the fact that neither businesses or taxpayers are a bottomless source of funds, shortchanging their own members by making promises no one can keep.
Should the US fail to put its financial/economic house in order, and right quick, it will pull the world economy down with it into a depression unlike any we've seen before.
We are Wall Street. It's our job to make money. Whether it's a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn't matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn't hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone's 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, its not a problem until you lose. I've never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.So if the OWS folks get their way and kill off Wall Street and the corporations, what they'll get in return is an economic collapse that will make the Great Depression look like a minor market correction in comparison. But what do you expect from economically illiterate and spoiled children who feel entitled to what the rest of us earned?
Well now the market crapped out, & even though it has come back somewhat, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are.
Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you're only going to hurt yourselves. What's going to happen when we can't find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We're going to take yours. We get up at 5am & work until 10pm or later. We're used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don't take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don't demand a union. We don't retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we'll eat that. For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? We're going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year and whine just like you that we are so-o-o-o underpaid for building the youth of America. Say goodbye to your overtime, and double time and a half. I'll be hitting grounders to the high school baseball team for $5k extra a summer, thank you very much.
So now that we're going to be making $85k a year without upside, Joe Mainstreet is going to have his revenge, right? Wrong! Guess what: we're going to stop buying the new 80k car, we aren't going to leave the 35 percent tip at our business dinners anymore. No more free rides on our backs. We're going to landscape our own back yards, wash our cars with a garden hose in our driveways. Our money was your money. You spent it. When our money dries up, so does yours.
The difference is, you lived off of it, we rejoiced in it. The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee might get their way and knock us off the top of the pyramid, but it's really going to hurt like hell for them when our fat a**es land directly on the middle class of America and knock them to the bottom.
We aren't dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama & his administration are making Joe Mainstreet our food supply...will he? and will they?"
One would think that if the Obama Administration was serious about jobs that it would at least make sure that it didn't do anything to make it more difficult for those Americans who are fortunate enough to still have jobs to actually get to work.
Just before 3 this afternoon I received a phone call from my missus, informing me she was stuck in traffic on her way to work. As she described it, there were dozens of police cars blocking traffic as a series of limousines, vans, and large SUVs made their way along US Route 3 and Interstate 93 in Tilton, New Hampshire. Traffic was blocked for quite some time, making it impossible for anyone to get where they were going. As it is the missus made it to work late.
It wasn't until later that she found out the cause for the massive traffic tie-up: Vice President Joe Biden.
It appears he was here in the Granite State for two purposes - file papers on behalf of President Obama for the upcoming New Hampshire Primary, and promote the President's dead-on-arrival jobs bill Biden claims will prevent a rise in violent crime. Never mind that his little trip caused a number of still-working Americans here in New Hampshire to be late getting to work or getting home from work.
One does not promote jobs growth by preventing those who still have them from getting to them.
While the so-called 99% are protesting for free stuff, we, the 53% who actually pay for that 'free' stuff, are voicing our own opinions about it. One shot from the site:
Yup, I'd say that covers it.
As so many of us have written again and again, we've all been sold the idea that in order to get a good job that we had to go to college to get a degree. It's almost become gospel. The only problem with that idea is that it is dead wrong.
While some kind of education after high school is a good idea, it needn't be in the form of college. It could be trade school, including apprenticeships (something that has fallen out of favor over the past century or so), or military service, or going out and doing.
We've seen the effects of this wrongheaded thinking, where students come out of college with their sheepskin, a large amount of student loan debt, and no prospects for a job. It's not that college in and off itself is a bad idea, it's what the courses of study the students pursue that are a bad idea. As I mentioned in a section of yesterday's post, one of the protesters at the Occupy Wall Street tantrum was concerned because she was going to be thousands of dollars in debt once she completed her Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree, but had few prospects in the way of finding a job. What kind of job did she think her degree would help her find? You don't need a BFA to work at McDonald's or Dunkin' Donuts or any of the other 'menial' jobs she's likely to have. The same is true of those whose degrees end in the word "Studies", or degrees in Philosophy or Sanskrit or Medieval European Husbandry and so on. Unless all those students plan on careers in academia, most of those degrees are useless in the real world. (One of BeezleBub's friends from the farm had a degree in philosophy from Trinity in Dublin. The only problem was that none of the philosophy companies were hiring, so he ended up with a job as a farm hand.)
Now don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with studying those subjects. But they should be secondary majors or post-grad courses of study. After all, I am a firm believer that all science and technology without the humanities is a bad idea.
What America needs more than folks with college degrees is people who know how to do things with their hands, be it in the trades (construction workers, plumbers, electricians, masons, steelworkers, mechanics, HVAC technicians, etc.) or in factory work (machinists, assemblers, inspectors, etc.). How many times have we seen reports of companies wanting to hire workers, but too many of them are inexperienced, unqualified, or don't have the right training to do the job? Some have gone so far as to hire qualified workers they don't need at the moment because they know they'll need them soon and they want to make sure they'll have them when they need them.
We've got to stop buying into idea that the only way to get ahead is to have a college education. For some job openings, the need for a college degree is overblown, as illustrated by this example. Since when does a receptionist require a college degree?
Hey, maybe that woman with the BFA can apply for the job! I'm sure her expensive college education will qualify her to answer the phones.
I've discussed the issue of tax incentives as a goad of hiring a number of times with some of my more liberal friends or acquaintances, few of whom don't seem to understand the reason why businesses hire more workers. They can't seem to grasp the concept that no amount of tax cuts will induce any business owner to hire an employee they don't need. Adding an worker who adds nothing to the bottom line, meaning one who does not create more income for the business than it costs to employ them, makes no sense and causes the business to lose money even with the tax cut incentive.
Message to Obama et al: Businesses hire workers when they can't meet the demand for goods or services with the employees they already have. Period.
So endith the lesson.
FairPoint Communications is laying off 400 workers across its service areas, with 190 of them in New Hampshire. The company cites decreasing revenues and a decline in customers as its reason for the layoffs.
This is not a surprise to anyone paying even a little attention to the telecommunications industry.
FairPoint's purchase of Verizon's landline operations in northern New England was a disaster from the beginning. The number of landline customers had been declining for some time and Verizon saw an opportunity to divest itself of an operation in a declining market. FairPoint was stupid enough to buy it despite protests from many that it was paying too much for assets that would continue to decline in value. Once FairPoint took over operations from Verizon the problems multiplied, with a loss of 10% of its landline customers in less than 6 months. The continuing hemorrhage of customers and problems with its operations finally forced it into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and its delisting on the New York Stock Exchange.
Even after reorganization its customer base continued to decline as competitors like cable companies and cell providers undercut it in price and services. Ironically one of its biggest competitors is Verizon, whose wireless operations were winning over an increasing share of customers.
FairPont isn't the first company to see its landline operations become a money losing operation. And in yet another bit of irony, Verizon has seen its own landline services suffering, prompting it to demand concessions from its union employees. This led to a strike by both the CWA and IBEW against Verizon last month. The unions figured since Verizon was making billions in profits that they were somehow entitled to a share. But it was their wireless and business operations making the profits, neither of which are unionized. The landline operations were shrinking and losing money, and Verizon wasn't about to use profits from other operations to fund higher pay and benefits for their landline workers.
Is it any wonder FairPoint is shedding excess employees as its fortunes decline?
The August jobless numbers came out yesterday and for once the results were not unexpected (at least not to anyone not in the Obama Administration).
Job growth for the month of August was zero. Nada. Zip. A Goose Egg. Nil. Bupkus.
The stock market reacted negatively, again not unexpectedly, dropping over 200 points and wiping out the week's gains.
Obama and his 'advisers' wonder why the job numbers are bad when anyone with a lick of sense could tell them that everything they've been doing has discouraged job growth, just the opposite of what they claim they want.
I expect the final job numbers will actually be worse, with a negative growth and an increase in the official unemployment rate to 9.2%. (Remember, the unofficial rate - approximately 19% - includes those who have run out of unemployment benefits or have given up looking for work altogether.)
That ought to help Obama get re-elected.
If his $878 billion stimulus program had been used to actually address a number of problems within the country, those primarily being our crumbling infrastructure, rather than using it for political patronage, we might not have as much of an economic problem as we presently face. But far too many of us knew very little of that money would be used to stimulate anything but the growth of the federal government.
Will Obama's September 8th speech try to make a case for spending even more money we don't have to pay for more political patronage? If history is any indication, then the answer is likely yes.
What the president really needs to do (but won't) is to rein in his renegade agency heads (NLRB or EPA, anyone?) who are making sure it's damn difficult for anyone to create jobs...except for government jobs.
What the president needs to do is to get the government out of the way of free enterprise to let it do what it does best - create jobs.
What the president needs to do is fire all his czars and advisers because, quite frankly, they have no idea what they're doing. Most of them are academics with little, if any, real world experience doing things like running businesses or meeting payrolls or dealing with an ever increasing avalanche of government regulations and paperwork that does nothing but cost time and money to deal with yet add little of benefit to anyone except bureaucrats.
What the president needs to do is realize that one of his predecessors, Ronald Reagan, was right when he said to America "Government isn't the solution. Government is the problem."
What the president needs to understand that no one in government, and I mean no one is either smart enough or wise enough to run the American peoples' lives. After all, everyone in government is having a hard enough time running their own lives, let alone those of 300,000,000 other people in this country. Every government that has tried to do so has ultimately failed, resulting in widespread misery. Quite often those governments end with fatal results for members of those governments.
What the president needs to understand that no one in government, and I mean no one, is either smart enough or wise enough to run the American economy. History is littered with plenty of examples to show this is true. Unfortunately the president and many in Congress have ignored this truth, figuring that this time they'll get it right. (They won't.)
All I expect from the president during his speech is more of the same old crap he's taken from the FDR, LBJ, and Karl Marx playbooks, just put in new wrappings and hyped by the Lame Stream Media.
In other words, "There's nothing to see here, folks. Move along!"
I had an enjoyable discussion with one of my fellow employees this afternoon. It dealt with working, the differences between small and large companies, the advantages and disadvantages of both, and the recent dearth of qualified candidates for a number open positions within our company.
Without going into a lot of detail to protect the identity of my co-worker (and my job), let's just say we've been running into a couple of problems in regards to some candidates, the two biggest being that too many of them are well credentialed but not necessarily well educated, and lack of experience in the areas we really need. Apparently this is not a problem unique to our company.
While there are plenty of jobs open begging for people to fill them, there aren't enough people applying for them because they feel the jobs are beneath them ("I didn't spend all that money for a degree in Transgendered Native American Studies just to take a job working in a factory!"), or those applying for them have neither the experience or the capability of doing the job.
I caught a piece on Fox News this evening covering this particular issue. (No, I'm not going to link to it because I don't feel the need to do so.) A number of the companies they talked to said pretty much the same thing my co-worker and I had during our discussion. One manufacturer said they'll hire someone qualified even if they don't need them at the time because someone like that has been hard to come by.
As the WP Dad said about that report, "Is this because our incompetent education system hasn't been teaching our children what they need to know to make it in the world? What good is all that self-esteem they've been ramming down their throats the past 20 years if they can't get a job because they have neither the knowledge or ability to do it?"
If the government really wants to give businesses an incentive to hire, then maybe it should get the hell out of the way. Maybe government should stop sucking so much money out of the economy that there's less available to invest or to buy goods and services that create the demand for more jobs. Maybe rogue government agencies should be reined in before they do irreparable damage to the businesses that actually create the jobs.
The Tea party has been excoriated in the press, with the New York Times, the Washington Post, and a number of other media organs of the Left leading the way. Washington politicians and other Beltway insiders have derided the Tea party as "hobbits", "terrorists", "Nazis", "racists", "jack-booted thugs", and a whole host of other derogatory labels.
As the volume of hateful rhetoric aimed at the Tea party and its supporters has increased, it has made me and others realize that the groups making these accusations must be really getting nervous. As one commenter to this piece wrote, "If you're getting a lot of [flak], you must be over the target." And so it must be as the Tea party gains supporters throughout the country at a local, state, and national level because they're tired of being ignored by the Coastal elite and the Beltway intellectuals.
My most memorable run in with an unabashed Tea party hater took place at our business when one of our customers went on a rant about "those goddamn Tea partiers wanting to take everything away from us!" There was no way I could not respond, so I asked her where she'd gotten that idea. Apparently she'd read it in the paper, in this case the Boston Globe. (One must remember, the Globe is owned by the NYT and has the same editorial policies as its parent corporation.) I calmly informed her that if her opinion was based solely on what she'd read in the Globe, then she'd been misinformed and lied to. She saw the Tea party as a bunch of religious fundamentalists bent on depriving the poor, doing away with Social Security and Medicare, and undoing decades of civil rights advances. I had to remind her that many of the civil rights advances came from the GOP, not her sainted Democrats. I reminded her the KKK were primarily Southern Democrats, not Republicans. I reminded her it was the Democrats who started us down this path of unsustainable spending going all the way back to FDR. I reminded her that it was LBJ who decided his Great Society was the answer to all of our society's problems, that it had failed miserably, and that it was funded by stealing from the Social Security trust fund.. I reminder her it was the Democrat majorities in Congress going back to 2007 that multiplied the annual deficits to many times that of all of Dubya's deficits combined.
I gave her the URL for the Contract From America website which explains the Tea party platform, none of which deals with social issues she claims the Tea party is involved with. She wasn't interested. Instead she chose willful ignorance and adherence to libelous propaganda from those who do not have her best interests at heart.
Maybe she will care when the country is unable to pay its bills and all of the government support she is 'owed' ends because there's no money left to pay for it all. Maybe she will care when all "the rich" she's constantly complaining about are either driven into bankruptcy or flee with their wealth to friendly climes and no one is left to pay for everything she is owed.
But I'm not holding my breath.
UPDATE:It appears Senator John Kerry has decided to add fuel to the fire by expressing his opinion that the media should not give equal time to those "absolutely absurd notions" voiced by the Tea Party because their opinions "are not factual."
What a putz.
As Perry Sainati, founder and president of Belden International, explains how manufacturing has been transformed in the U.S.
U.S. manufacturing these days is in the midst of a remarkable three-year recovery because for three years running manufacturing has not been about job growth.Worker productivity on the U.S. is the highest in the world. That means for every man-hour put in we get more products built. It's to the point now here we can even outproduce low-cost nations while doing it at a lower per unit cost. That means that even with cheaper labor, countries like China are finding themselves at an increasing cost disadvantage because American factories require a lot less labor to produce the same goods. It doesn't matter if workers in a low-cost country are paid an eighth that of American workers if a single American worker can make the same amount of product as ten workers in the low-cost country. The cost per unit is lower in the US than in the low-cost country.
It's been about automation. It's been about process improvement. It's been about productivity. And it's been about quality.
In fact, it's been about reinventing the very process by which durable and disposable goods get manufactured.
What's more, it's been about streamlining our factories to the point that they're now among the most efficient in the world.
At the moment this scenario isn't true across the board, but it's getting there. As labor costs rise overseas, and transportation costs do likewise, it becomes increasingly more economical to build products here.
However, as Sainati noted, pundits and politicians "say the word 'manufacturing' and they see in their minds' eyes things they used to see when they were kids." But those days are long gone, and with them the old manufacturing stereotypes. The days of huge factories employing thousands upon thousands of men and women have been replaced with modern factories using lean manufacturing with better design, processes, and automation. As such, returning a manufacturing operation to the U.S. may cost a thousand workers in a low-cost country their jobs, but it won't create a thousand new manufacturing jobs in the U.S. It might only create 80, or 100, or 120 jobs. It's not a 1:1 ratio because of the high productivity of American workers.
It's likely it's going to remain that way and we best get used to it.