Article 43

 

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Welcome

This is a sticky post written the day we first appeared on the internet: Welcome to article43.com - a memorial to the layed off workers of (PRE SBC MERGER) AT&T, and the disappearing MIDDLE CLASS citizens of America.  It is NOT endorsed or affiliated with AT&T or the CWA in any way.

In addition to INFORMATION, resources and opinion for former AT&T workers DEALING WITH the EFFECTS OF LAYOFF and looking for meaningful employment, some articles here are meant to bring into awareness the LARGER PICTURE of corporate dominance of the UNITED STATES’ political and economic policies which brazenly DISREGARDS, disrespects and EXPLOITS worker, citizen and HUMAN RIGHTS under masks like FREE TRADE and the PATRIOT ACT - resulting in a return to a society of very rich and very poor dominated by a few very rich and powerful - whose voices are anything but - for the people. If left UNCHALLENGED, the self-serving interests of those in control may result in the end of DEMOCRACY, the end of the middle class, irreversible ENVIRONMENTAL damage to the planet, and widespread global poverty brought on by exploitation and supression of the voices of common people EVERYWHERE, while the United States turns into a REINCARNATION of the ROMAN EMPIRE.  Author Thom Hartmann shares some history and outlines some basic steps to return our country to “The People” in his two articles TEN STEPS TO RETURN TO DEMOCRACY and SAVING THE MIDDLE CLASS. I support CERNIG’S idea for a new POLITICAL MOVEMENT - if not a revolution to cleanse our country of the filth ruling it - as we EVOLVE into a GLOBAL community - assuming we learn the THE LESSONS OF OUR TIME and don’t DESTROY CIVILIZATION first.

Everything here can be viewed anonymously.  Inserting or commenting on articles requires a free user account (for former AT&T employees with a real, non throw-away, email address.) Requests to the new user registration page are redirected to BLOGGED DOT COM’S site because most new signups I get are from COMMENT SPAMMERS and their ilk, so if you want to contribute, contact me through email, phone, or some other way.

There’s no third-party scripts here like privacy-eroding WEB COUNTERS, hidden datamining widgets like Pay-Pal donation boxes, or AMAZON DOT COM tracking stuff.  The RSS feeds are pulled by the server, and have no relation to anything you may be doing here.  Standard Apache WEB LOGS of info like IP, and pages visited are rotated every few days, and used internally to check the web server’s performance.  Logs of suspicious activity may be shared with law enforcement, or other ISPs, to deal with troublemakers.  Nothing here is for sale, and donations are not solicited.

If you get an email that claims to be from somebody here that’s anything but a request to post your article, or report suspicious activity (like logs sent to an ISP to report an attack) - it’s SPAM. I do not, and will not - ever - join the junk mail sender community. There are no mechanisms to prevent anyone from forging anyone elses email address in a “from” or “reply-to” mail header. For those of us whose email addresses are fraudently used, the best we can do is filter out NDR REPORTS.

Per U.S.C. COPYRIGHT LAW - TITLE 17, SECTION 107, this not-for-profit site may reproduce copyrighted material not specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such articles will either have a web link to the source, home page, and/or show credit to the author.  If yours is here and you have a problem with that, send me an EMAIL, and I’ll take it off. Stuff I wrote carries a CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE permitting non-commercial sharing. In addition, this site’s owner forbids insertion and injecting data of any kind - especially advertisements - into ours by any person or entity.  Should you see a commercial ad that looks like it’s from here, please report it by sending me a tcpdump and/or screenshot in an EMAIL, then READ UP about how the PARTNERING OF INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS and companies like NEBUAD are DESTROYING INTERNET PRIVACY

Resumes of layed off AT&T workers are posted for free HERE.

Information on the Pension Class Action Lawsuit against AT&T is HERE.  More pension-related articles are HERE.

Links to some Telecom companies’ career pages are HERE.

Click HERE to learn a little about Article 43 and why I loathe the CWA.
Click HERE or HERE to learn what the CWA did when given a chance to do the right thing.
Click HERE for a glimpse of undemocratic and hypocritical CWA practices.
Click HERE for an article on Corporate Unionism.
Click HERE for an article of AFL-CIO’s undemocratic history.

If you’re looking for telco nostalgia, you won’t find it here.  Check out THE CENTRAL OFFICE, BELL SYSTEM MEMORIAL, MUSEUM OF COMMUNICATIONS, TELEPHONE TRIBUTE, and THE READING WORKS websites instead.

This site can disappear anytime if I run out of money to pay for luxuries like food, health care, or internet service.

Discernment of truth is left to the reader - whose encouraged to seek as much information as possible, from as many different sources as possible - and pass them through his/her own filters - before believing anything.

...the Devil is just one man with a plan, but evil, true evil, is a collaboration of men…
- Fox Mulder, X Files

No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.
- John F. Kennedy

Today my country, your country and the Earth face a corporate holocaust against human and Earthly rights. I call their efforts a holocaust because when giant corporations wield human rights backed by constitutions and the law (and therefore enforced by police, the courts, and armed forces) and sanctioned by cultural norms, the rights of people, other species and the Earth are annihilated.
- Richard L. Grossman

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
- Albert Einstein

He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust.
- Aquinas

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
- Bishop Desmond Tutu

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
- Martin Luther King Jr

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
- Benjamin Franklin

If we do not hang together, we will surely hang separately.
- Benjamin Franklin

We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war.
- Albert Einstein

Solidarity has always been key to political and economic advance by working families, and it is key to mastering the politics of globalization.
- Thomas Palley

Update 8/11/07 - As we head into the next depression, fueled by selfish corporate greed, and a corrupt, SOCIOPATHIC US government, MIKE WHITNEY has a solution that makes a lot of sense to me:

The impending credit crisis cant be avoided, but it could be mitigated by taking radical steps to soften the blow. Emergency changes to the federal tax code could put more money in the hands of maxed-out consumers and keep the economy sputtering along while efforts are made to curtail the ruinous trade deficit. We should eliminate the Social Security tax for any couple making under $60, 000 per year and restore the 1953 tax-brackets for Americans highest earners so that the upper 1%-- who have benefited the most from the years of prosperity---will be required to pay 93% of all earnings above the first $1 million income. At the same time, corporate profits should be taxed at a flat 35%, while capital gains should be locked in at 35%. No loopholes. No exceptions.

Congress should initiate a program of incentives for reopening American factories and provide generous subsidies to rebuild US manufacturing. The emphasis should be on reestablishing a competitive market for US exports while developing the new technologies which will address the imminent problems of environmental degradation, global warming, peak oil, overpopulation, resource scarcity, disease and food production. Off-shoring of American jobs should be penalized by tariffs levied against the offending industries.

The oil and natural gas industries should be nationalized with the profits earmarked for vocational training, free college tuition, universal health care and improvements to then nations infrastructure.

Posted by Admin on 09/05/04 •

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to Fall In Love With Anyone

To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This

By Mandy Len Catron
NY Times
January 9, 2015

More than 20 years ago, the psychologist Arthur Aron succeeded in making two strangers fall in love in his laboratory. Last summer, I applied his technique in my own life, which is how I found myself standing on a bridge at midnight, staring into a mans eyes for exactly four minutes.

Let me explain. Earlier in the evening, that man had said: “I suspect, given a few commonalities, you could fall in love with anyone. If so, how do you choose someone?”

He was a university acquaintance I occasionally ran into at the climbing gym and had thought, “What if? I had gotten a glimpse into his days on Instagram. But this was the first time we had hung out one-on-one.

“Actually, psychologists have tried making people fall in love,” I said, remembering Dr. Aron’s study. “It’s fascinating. I’ve always wanted to try it.”

I first read about the study when I was in the midst of a breakup. Each time I thought of leaving, my heart overruled my brain. I felt stuck. So, like a good academic, I turned to science, hoping there was a way to love smarter.

I explained the study to my university acquaintance. A heterosexual man and woman enter the lab through separate doors. They sit face to face and answer a series of increasingly personal questions. Then they stare silently into each other’s eyes for four minutes. The most tantalizing detail: Six months later, two participants were married. They invited the entire lab to the ceremony.

“Let’’s try it,” he said.

Let me acknowledge the ways our experiment already fails to line up with the study. First, we were in a bar, not a lab. Second, we weren’t strangers. Not only that, but I see now that one neither suggests nor agrees to try an experiment designed to create romantic love if one isnt open to this happening.

I Googled Dr. Aron’s questions; there are 36. We spent the next two hours passing my iPhone across the table, alternately posing each question.

They began innocuously: “Would you like to be famous? In what way?” And “When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?”

But they quickly became probing.

In response to the prompt, Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common,ғ he looked at me and said, I think weԓre both interested in each other.

I grinned and gulped my beer as he listed two more commonalities I then promptly forgot. We exchanged stories about the last time we each cried, and confessed the one thing we’d like to ask a fortuneteller. We explained our relationships with our mothers.

The questions reminded me of the infamous boiling frog experiment in which the frog doesnt feel the water getting hotter until itҒs too late. With us, because the level of vulnerability increased gradually, I didnt notice we had entered intimate territory until we were already there, a process that can typically take weeks or months.

I liked learning about myself through my answers, but I liked learning things about him even more. The bar, which was empty when we arrived, had filled up by the time we paused for a bathroom break.

Continue reading the main story

I sat alone at our table, aware of my surroundings for the first time in an hour, and wondered if anyone had been listening to our conversation. If they had, I hadn’t noticed. And I didnt notice as the crowd thinned and the night got late.

We all have a narrative of ourselves that we offer up to strangers and acquaintances, but Dr. AronҒs questions make it impossible to rely on that narrative. Ours was the kind of accelerated intimacy I remembered from summer camp, staying up all night with a new friend, exchanging the details of our short lives. At 13, away from home for the first time, it felt natural to get to know someone quickly. But rarely does adult life present us with such circumstances.

The moments I found most uncomfortable were not when I had to make confessions about myself, but had to venture opinions about my partner. For example: Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner, a total of five itemsғ (Question 22), and Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time saying things you might not say to someone youԓve just met (Question 28).

Much of Dr. Aron’s research focuses on creating interpersonal closeness. In particular, several studies investigate the ways we incorporate others into our sense of self. ItҒs easy to see how the questions encourage what they call “self-expansion.” Saying things like, “I like your voice, your taste in beer, the way all your friends seem to admire you,” makes certain positive qualities belonging to one person explicitly valuable to the other.

Its astounding, really, to hear what someone admires in you. I don’t know why we don’t go around thoughtfully complimenting one another all the time.

We finished at midnight, taking far longer than the 90 minutes for the original study. Looking around the bar, I felt as if I had just woken up. “That wasn’t so bad,” I said. Definitely less uncomfortable than the staring into each other’s eyes part would be.

He hesitated and asked. “Do you think we should do that, too?”

“Here?” I looked around the bar. It seemed too weird, too public.

“We could stand on the bridge,” he said, turning toward the window.

The night was warm and I was wide-awake. We walked to the highest point, then turned to face each other. I fumbled with my phone as I set the timer.

“O.K.,” I said, inhaling sharply.

“O.K.,” he said, smiling.

I’ve skied steep slopes and hung from a rock face by a short length of rope, but staring into someone’s eyes for four silent minutes was one of the more thrilling and terrifying experiences of my life. I spent the first couple of minutes just trying to breathe properly. There was a lot of nervous smiling until, eventually, we settled in.

I know the eyes are the windows to the soul or whatever, but the real crux of the moment was not just that I was really seeing someone, but that I was seeing someone really seeing me. Once I embraced the terror of this realization and gave it time to subside, I arrived somewhere unexpected.

I felt brave, and in a state of wonder. Part of that wonder was at my own vulnerability and part was the weird kind of wonder you get from saying a word over and over until it loses its meaning and becomes what it actually is: an assemblage of sounds.

So it was with the eye, which is not a windowto anything but a rather clump of very useful cells. The sentiment associated with the eye fell away and I was struck by its astounding biological reality: the spherical nature of the eyeball, the visible musculature of the iris and the smooth wet glass of the cornea. It was strange and exquisite.

When the timer buzzed, I was surprised Ғ and a little relieved. But I also felt a sense of loss. Already I was beginning to see our evening through the surreal and unreliable lens of retrospect.

Most of us think about love as something that happens to us. We fall. We get crushed.

But what I like about this study is how it assumes that love is an action. It assumes that what matters to my partner matters to me because we have at least three things in common, because we have close relationships with our mothers, and because he let me look at him.

I wondered what would come of our interaction. If nothing else, I thought it would make a good story. But I see now that the story isn’t about us; it’s about what it means to bother to know someone, which is really a story about what it means to be known.

It’s true you can’t choose who loves you, although I’ve spent years hoping otherwise, and you can’t create romantic feelings based on convenience alone. Science tells us biology matters; our pheromones and hormones do a lot of work behind the scenes.

But despite all this, I’ve begun to think love is a more pliable thing than we make it out to be. Arthur Aron’s study taught me that its possible - simple, even to generate trust and intimacy, the feelings love needs to thrive.

You’re probably wondering if he and I fell in love. Well, we did. Although its hard to credit the study entirely (it may have happened anyway), the study did give us a way into a relationship that feels deliberate. We spent weeks in the intimate space we created that night, waiting to see what it could become.

Love didn’t happen to us. We’re in love because we each made the choice to be.

Mandy Len Catron teaches writing at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and is working on a book about the dangers of love stories.

SOURCE

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THE 36 QUESTIONS TO FALL LOVE

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

4. What would constitute a perfectג day for you?

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

14. Is there something that youve dreamt of doing for a long time? Why havenғt you done it?

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

16. What do you value most in a friendship?

17. What is your most treasured memory?

18. What is your most terrible memory?

19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

20. What does friendship mean to you?

21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other peoples?

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

25. Make three true Ԓwe statements each. For instance, ҒWe are both in this room feeling ...

26. Complete this sentence: ӔI wish I had someone with whom I could share ...

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone youӓve just met.

29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why havent you told them yet?

34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?

36. Share a personal problem and ask your partnerӓs advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 01/14/15 •
Section Spiritual Diversions
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Thursday, December 25, 2014

When the Well Educated Middle Class Joins the Working Poor

Bill Moyers
December 19, 2014

Social class isn’t just about how hefty a person’s paycheck is. Where you live, your occupation, how educated you are and how you present yourself to the public are among the cues people use to determine your social status.

We may consider AIRLINE PILOTS to be esteemed, highly skilled professionals, but in the fastest growing sector of the industry - regional airlines - starting pay is as low as $22,400 per year, or $10.75 per hour, according to the Airlines Pilots Association. They make as much as a fry chef at a fast-food joint, but, culturally speaking, they still belong to the middle class.

With a sluggish economy, growing inequality and DWINDLING union clout, millions of people who work traditionally middle class jobs have joined the working poor. They still enjoy the same perceived social status, but their incomes aren’t sufficient to live a middle class lifestyle.

Nowhere is that trend more pronounced than in higher education. Today, around THREE-QUARTERS OF ALL US COLLGE PROFESSORS are classified as “contingent faculty” - those who aren’t on a tenure track - and about half are technically part-time, even though many of them teach a full-time load of classes. They may be highly educated professionals, but most adjuncts struggle to make ends meet with low pay, limited benefits and zero job security.

In Thursdays New York Times, Brittany Bronson, an adjunct English instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, wrote about her double life teaching the humanities by day and slinging hash at a local chain restaurant by night:

On the first day of the fall semester, I left campus from an afternoon of teaching anxious college freshmen and headed to my second job, serving at a chain restaurant off Las Vegas Boulevard. The switch from my professional attire to a white dress shirt, black apron and tie reflected the separation I attempt to maintain between my two jobs. Naturally, sitting at the first table in my section was one of my new students, dining with her parents.

This scene is a clich of the struggling teacher, and it surfaces repeatedly in pop culture - think of Walter White in Breaking Bad, WASHING THE WHEELS of a student’s sports car after a full day teaching high school chemistry. Bumping into a student at the gym can be awkward, but exposing the reality that I, with my masters degree, not only have another job, but must have one, risks destroying the facade of success I present to my students as one of their university mentors.

In class I emphasize the value of a degree as a means to avoid the sort of jobs that I myself go to when those hours in the classroom are over. A colleague in my department labeled these jobs (food and beverage, retail and customer service Ӓ the only legal work in abundance in Las Vegas) as survival jobs.ד He tells our students they need to learn that survival work will not grant them the economic security of white-collar careers. I never told him that I myself had such a job, that I needed our meeting to end within the next 10 minutes or Id be late to a seven-hour shift serving drunk, needy tourists, worsening my premature back problem while getting hit on repeatedly.

SOURCE

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Your Waitress, Your Professor

By Brittany Bronson
NY Times
December 18, 2014

On the first day of the fall semester, I left campus from an afternoon of teaching anxious college freshmen and headed to my second job, serving at a chain restaurant off Las Vegas Boulevard. The switch from my professional attire to a white dress shirt, black apron and tie reflected the separation I attempt to maintain between my two jobs. Naturally, sitting at the first table in my section was one of my new students, dining with her parents.

This scene is a clich of the struggling teacher, and it surfaces repeatedly in pop culture think of Walter White in Breaking Bad, washing the wheels of a student’s sports car after a full day teaching high school chemistry. Bumping into a student at the gym can be awkward, but exposing the reality that I, with my masters degree, not only have another job, but must have one, risks destroying the FACADE OF SUCCESS I present to my students as one of their university mentors.

In class I emphasize the value of a degree as a means to avoid the sort of jobs that I myself go to when those hours in the classroom are over. A colleague in my department labeled these jobs (food and beverage, retail and customer service - the only legal work in abundance in Las Vegas) as “survival jobs.” He tells our students they need to learn that survival work will not grant them the economic security of white-collar careers. I never told him that I myself had such a job, that I needed our meeting to end within the next 10 minutes or Id be late to a seven-hour shift serving drunk, needy tourists, worsening my premature back problem while getting hit on repeatedly.

The line between these two worlds is thinner here in Las Vegas than it might be elsewhere. The majority of my students this semester hold part-time survival jobs, and some of them will remain in those jobs for the rest of their working lives. About 60 percent of the college freshmen I teach will not finish their degree. They will turn 21 and then forgo a bachelor’s degree for the instant gratification of a cash-based income, whether parking cars in Vegas hotels, serving in high-end restaurants or dealing cards in the casinos.

In a city like Las Vegas, many customer-service jobs generate far more cash (with fewer work hours) than entry-level, office-dwelling, degree-requiring jobs. It can be hard to convince my 19-year-old students that the latter is more profitable or of greater personal value. My adjunct-teaching colleagues have large course loads and, mostly, graduate-level educations, but live just above the poverty line. In contrast, my part-time work in the Vegas service industry has produced three times more income than my university teaching. (I’ve passed up the health benefits that come with full-time teaching, a luxury foreign to the majority of adjuncts at other universities, to make time for my blue-collar work.)

Indeed, for a young academic like myself, the job market is bleak. I’m pursuing advanced degrees and a career in the academy despite the lack of employment prospects, because my first and true love is learning. However, it will take earning a doctorate and thus several more years of work - before I can earn a sustainable income in my chosen pursuit.

Living these two supposedly different lives, Ive started to see their similarities. Whenever I’m trying to meet the needs of my more difficult guests (Do you have any smaller forks? You don’t carry wheat bread? What kind of restaurant doesn’t carry wheat bread?), I recite, along with my colleagues, the collective restaurant server mantra: “I need a real job.” The same thought gets passed among adjuncts in my department: “I need a real teaching position. I need to publish a book.”

I know this path takes time, and Im trying to do it right. So why do I still experience a great feeling of shame when clearing a student’s dirty plate? Embarrassment is not an adequate term to describe what I felt when those parents looked at me, clearly stupefied, thinking, “This waitress teaches my child?”

It is a shame I share with many of my blue-collar colleagues, a belief that society deems our work inferior, that we have settled on or chosen these paths because we do not have the skills necessary to acquire something better. It is certainly a belief I held for the majority of my undergraduate experience.

But not all my restaurant co-workers are college dropouts, and none are failures. Many have bachelors degrees; others have real estate licenses, freelancing projects or extraordinary musical and artistic abilities. Others are nontraditional students, having entered the work force before attending college and making the wise decision not to ғfind themselves and come out with $40,000 in debt, at 4.6 percent interest. Most of them are parents who have bought homes, raised children and made financial investments off their modest incomes. They are some of the kindest, hardest-working people I know, and after three years alongside them, I find it difficult to tell my students to avoid being like them.

My perhaps naԯve hope is that when I tell students Im not only an academic, but a ғsurvival jobholder, IԒll make a dent in the artificial, inaccurate division society places between blue-collar work and intelligentӔ work. We expect our teachers to teach us, not our servers, although in the current economy, these might be the same people.

If my students can imagine the possibility that choosing to work with their hands does not automatically exclude them from being people who critically examine the world around them, I will feel Ive done something worthwhile, not only for those who will earn their degree, but for the majority who will not.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 12/25/14 •
Section Dying America
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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Evidence of How Unemployment Wrecks Families

New Evidence of How Unemployment Wrecks Families

By Eric Planin
The Fiscal Times
September 29, 2014

Much has been written on the plight of the unemployed in terms of lost income, diminished self-esteem and depression and stress on families.

Just last week, Rutgers Universitys JOHN J. HELRICH CENTER FOR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT published its latest findings on the consequences of long-term unemployment, which provides a dreary picture of a highly troubled and disaffected slice of U.S. society ғdevastated by the Great Recession.

Less is known about the effects of unemployment on family stability and its short-term and long-term consequences for children. While there are numerous socio-economic theories on what contributes to the breakdown or disintegration of the family unit, unemployment ranks as one of the leading causes of family instability.

A recent STUIDY by researchers at the Urban Institute tells the story: families become far more unstable - and prone to dissolution—when one parent loses a job. The research by Stephan Lindner and Elizabeth Peters tracks the effects in the first year of a job loss for families with children under the age of ten.

The study distinguishes between five different family arrangements from the perspective of a child:  married parents; unmarried biological parents who live together; mothers living with a partner who is not the biological parent of the child; single mothers and single fathers. 

“Our results suggest that children who experience an unemployment event in their families are also more likely to see a destabilizing change in family arrangements in subsequent months, irrespectively of the initial family arrangement,” the study stated.

The most striking finding in families with married parents was the risk of DIVORCE more than doubles when a parent loses his or her job, Lindner wrote in his blog.

Unemployment is also extremely bad for children of single mothers who have little education, the researchers found. “These children are at a higher risk of not living with their mother during the year following her job loss compared with children with single mothers who are employed,” Lindner explained. This is particularly true for single mothers who have no high school degree.

The chart below from MetroTrends illustrates the adverse impact of job loss on family stability.

lte-Job-loss-family.jpg

The researchers say that new living arrangements precipitated by the loss of a job can be detrimental to a child’s development.

It’s no surprise that the loss of a job can be devastating to marriages and households in the aftermath of a prolonged recession that has changed many Americans’ views of marriage—for the worse.

A child who has lived through their parents divorce has long-lasting scars. If the scars are because of financial insecurity, they can influence that child’s life decisions for years to come. That could be one reason why many younger Americans are delaying marriage until theyre financially stable.

According to a new study released last week by the Pew Research Center, the share of AMERICAN ADULTS WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN MARRIED is at “an historic high,” after years of a declining marriage rate.

In 2012, one in five adults ages 25 and older had never been married, according to the Pew analysis of census date. By contrast, only about one in ten people in that age bracket had never been married.

“Adults are marrying later in life, and the shares of adults cohabiting and raising children outside of marriage have increased significantly,” the report stated.

Job security ranks among the highest CONCERNS OF UNMARRIED ADULTS , according to the study. In describing what they were LOOKING FOR IN A SPOUSE, 78 percent of unmarried women and 46 percent of unmarried men said “a steady job.”

Such relationships appear highly vulnerable to the effects of joblessness - including the breakup of families unable to deal with the stress.

SOURCE

Hat Tip: Eduardo Felix

Posted by Elvis on 09/30/14 •
Section Dying America
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Monday, September 29, 2014

Cant’ Find A Qualified US Worker Redux 4

dying-america.jpg

The “Skills Gap” Is a Convenient Myth

By Toni Gilpin
Labor Notes
February 14, 2014

Haven’t seen too many “Help Wanted” signs lately? You haven’t been looking hard enough. At factories across the country, thousands of good jobs are going begging.

If that doesn’t sound quite right to you, take it up with the National Association of Manufacturers. NAM and other industry groups insist at least 600,000 FACORY POSITIONS REMAIN OPEN.

These vacancies are supposed to be the result of a “skills gap” - a shortage of workers with the right stuff for today’s high-tech factories. The gap looms large in high-level discussions of what ails the American economyand it drives much public policy.

"America wants a country that builds things,” SAYS CATERPILLAR CEO DOUG OBERMAN, industry’s leading skills gap spokesman (and board chair of the NAM), “but we have a problem. We dont have the people we need.”

“Politicians of both parties echo this refrain. Businesses cannot find workers with the right skills,” SAYS DEMOCRATIC SENATOR RICK DURBIN, and REPUBLICAN SENATOR BOB PORTMAN AGREES: “Let’s close the skills gap and get Americans working again.”

PRESIDENT OBAMA TOO, MAINTAINS that America’s “manufacturers cannot find enough workers with the proper skills.”

Such bipartisan agreement is reflected in budget priorities. RETRAINING TOO IS A TOUCHSTONE FOR THE OBAMA WHITE HOUSE, and since the president took office more than 18 BILLION FEDERAL DOLLARS have gone to job training programs. Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin recently committed $8.5 million TO TRAINING.

Although unemployment remains high, the political focus has shifted away from creating new jobs. Instead its on retooling our education system to align with the skilled positions said to be already out there.

Just one hitch: there’s little evidence a “skills gap” exists.

WHY ARE WAGES STAGNANT?

A HOST OF ACADEMIC STUDIES have DEBUNKED THE NOTION - but you don’t need a Ph.D. to figure it out. You just need to recognize the law of supply and demand.

“It’s hard not to break out laughing,” ONE ECONOMIST NOTED recently. “If there’s a skills shortage, there has to be rises in wages [for skilled workers]. It’s basic economics.”

Yet wages in manufacturing - even for skilled workers - are STAGNANT AT BEST.

Peter Cappelli, professor of management at the Wharton School of Business, hears frequent complaints from MANUFACTURERS CLAIMING THEY CAN’T FIND ENOUGH MACHINISTS. “Yet,” CAPPELLI NOTES, “the pay for those positions has dropped 20 percent in real terms over the past 20 years, while skill requirements for many of those jobs have indeed risen.”

Studies from ILLINOIS and WISCONSIN on welding jobs - where employers often cite shortages of available workers - demonstrate that welders wages, as well, have decreased over the past decade, and there are thousands more unemployed welders looking for work than there are projected openings.

When skilled slots do go unfilled, it’s because EMPLOYERS SEEK HIGH-VALUE WORKERS AT DISCOUNT RATES.

“We’ve probably all seen the TV shows where new homebuyers go out to look for a new house,” CAPPELLI SAYS, “and they always are shocked to discover they cannot get what they wanted at the price they want to pay. The real estate agent never concludes the problem is a housing shortage. The buyers have to learn either to pay more or expect less. Is that happening with employers? It does not appear to be.”

When pressed, ONE MANUFACTURING CEO ACKNOWLEDGED that for him, “the skills gap meant an inability to find enough highly qualified applicants, with no union-type experience, willing to start at $10 an hour.”

THAT’S NOT A SKILLS MISMATCH OR EVEN A LABOR SHORTAGE PROBLEM in any meaningful sense,” Marc Levine, professor of history and economic development at the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee, makes clear. “That’s an EFFORT to secure cheap and docile labor."</b>

“National data on wages, hours, the ‘job gap’ (the ratio of job seekers to available openings), and the skills requirements of projected job openings reveal no evidence of a skills mismatch in national labor markets,” LEVINE SAYS.

JOBS GAP

In fact, the real deficit we face is a jobs gap. There are still many more unemployed Americans, across every sector of our economy, than there are positions to put them in. “Unemployment is high,” one analyst notes, “not because workers lack the right education or skills, but because employers have not seen demand for their goods and services pick up enough to need to significantly ramp up hiring.”

It is not the right workers we are lacking, it is work.

TRAINING DOESN’T CREATE JOBS,” says Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. “Jobs create training. And people get that backwards all the time.”

Economist PAUL KURGMAN STATES BLUNTLY that “claims of a skills gap provide cover for those powerful forces [that] are ideologically opposed to the whole idea of government action on a sufficient scale to jump-start the economy.”

UNTOLD STORIES

Cat CEO Oberhelman CASTIGATED THE COUNTRY’S “FAILING” SCHOOLS for not turning out fully employable products” and FAULTS AMERICANS not pursuing the rewarding careers he says are available in today’s factories.

STORIES LIKE THIS ONE, from a Wisconsin professor, don’t make it into Oberhelman’s script:

Take my former student, John. He did everything we ask young workers to do, earning two journeyman cards while working and attending Milwaukee Area Technical College full-time.

John left Briggs when it began moving jobs to low-wage states and Mexico. But his new employer, Rockwell, began outsourcing to nonunion, low-wage plants even before it eliminated all hourly workers last year.

So John started over again at Harley-Davidson. But, a year and a half ago, Harley laid John off.

CEOs like Oberhelman create the hype about a skills gap and then use it to duck responsibility for the joblessness they are responsible for.

The blame and the costs are offloaded onto workers, obliged to bankroll their own training, or onto taxpayers, as public schools and community colleges scramble to make their graduates more employable.

MIND THE OTHER GAP

It’s hypocritical, to put it mildly, for employers to bemoan the shortage of skilled labor while they lay off workers (including skilled ones) and pay less to those they retain. But their whining deflects attention from record profits and lavish executive compensation.

A recent example comes courtesy of BOEING CEO JIM McNERNEY HAS SAD the U.S. faces an acute “competitive gap” brought on by “insufficient numbers of capable workers.”

Nonetheless, BOEING recently threatened its highly skilled (and unionized) workforce in Everett, Washington, that the company would move its new 777X plane out of state if workers didnt take concessions. THEY GAVE IN.

Capable workers were not Boeing’s goal. Cheap and compliant ones are what the company was after. Reflect for a moment about which sort of people you prefer to build the airplanes you travel in.

So, while the fictional skills gap provides a distraction useful to CEOs and politicians, workers (and taxpayers) should keep focused on what matters most: our EVER-RISING LEVEL OF INCOME INEQUALITY.

That’s the gap that needs minding.

Who Foots the Bill?

While employers bemoan a skills gap, they’re not putting up their own money to close it. Just the opposite. Manufacturers provide far less on-the-job training than they once did.

APPRENTICESHIPS - which oblige employers to assume the lions share of training costs - have fallen 40 percent since 2008. The decline of America’s machine-tool industry, for instance, can be attributed to the collapse of the apprenticeship system.

There’s just one time when companies do eagerly foot the bill for job training: when it serves to undermine the position of union labor.

Last summer, anticipating a possible strike, Caterpillar placed 25 of its non-union employees into the welding program at a Milwaukee community college. Protests by the Steelworkers, who represent workers at Cats South Milwaukee plant, were brushed off.

Just before contract negotiations began, Cat laid off some 300 Milwaukee workers - including skilled welders.

Cat’s hardball tactics resulted in a six-year agreement with frozen pay and way lower wages for new hires.

NO UAW NEED APPLY

Employers have also used state-funded training programs to ensure that workers with the wrong kind of experienceגthat is, a union backgroundare kept out of their plants.

In Georgia, taxpayer dollars were used to build a training center for the plant where the Kia Optima is built. Instruction there is provided through the state’s Quick Start program, designed to meet the demand for skilled manufacturing workers.

Jobseekers at the non-union Kia plant are required to go through the centers pre-employment process, and nearly all of Kia’s more than 3,000 employees were trained in robotics, welding, and electronics.

In the process, though, workers already skilled in exactly those areas - members of the United Auto Workers - were evidently weeded out.

When Kia began production in 2010, not one of its employees came from among the pool of thousands of experienced auto workers, all UAW members, whod lost their jobs when Georgia’s GM and Ford plants closed a few years earlier.

A group of UAW members sued to obtain records on the states involvement in Kia’s hiring practices, but their request was rejected by the Georgia Supreme Court.

SOURCE

---

Why Employers Are to Blame for the Skills Gapђ

By Rob Garver,
The Fiscal Times
August 19, 2014

Complaints about a “skills gap” that make it difficult for employers to fill open positions have become commonplace in discussions about the economy and unemployment levels. Workers, the story goes, simply don’t have the educational background or professional training for the kinds of jobs that exist in today’s knowledge economy.

The argument certainly feels like it makes sense - things have changed an awful lot in the past decade, and it could be that older workers simply don’t have the necessary skills for employment today.

The trouble is that economists have become increasingly skeptical about the skills gap narrative, not least of all because of the absence of real wage inflation. After all, if skilled workers were in high demand but short supply, the laws of economics suggest they would be able to demand, and get, higher wages.

A new PAPER by PETER CAPPELLI, a professor at the Wharton Schools Center for Human Resources, should help solve the puzzle of the skills gap. In a comprehensive survey of the literature on the subject, Cappelli reports little hard evidence to support the theory. He notes that when it comes to workers’ skills, the most pervasive problem in the U.S. right now is that many individuals are working jobs for which they are overqualified.

He suggests that what is really driving the discussion about worker skills is a combination of employers seeking to hold down payroll costs by keeping wages as low as possible - and a longer-term effort to transfer responsibility for training workers from employers themselves to the taxpayer.

“The evidence driving the complaints about skills does not necessarily appear where labor market experts might expect to see it, such as in rising wages,” Cappelli writes. “Instead, it comes directly from employers - typically from surveys - who report difficulties hiring the kind of workers they need. The assertions explaining their reported difficulties center on the idea that the academic achievement of high school [graduates] is inadequate or that there are not enough college graduates in practical fields like computer science and ENGINEERING. The recommendations from these reports include increased immigration and use of foreign workers as well as efforts to shape the majors that college students choose.

Numerous economists have noted that when employers raise wages, skilled employees suddenly become easier to find - and Cappelli notes that much of the discussion about a skills gap appears to be driven by employers looking to hire workers on the cheap.

More telling, though, is that Cappelli, who is also the author of the book Why Good People Cant Find Jobs, notes a disinclination among employers to train existing workers; he says they look instead to hire individuals who already possess a specific skill set. In many cases, he finds, the business community is pushing the public sector to provide the sort of training that workers used to receive through apprentice programs, professional development programs and other on-the-job training.

“The view that emerges from these arguments is one where responsibility for developing the skills that employers want is transferred from the employer onto job seekers and schools,” he writes. “Such a transfer of responsibility would be profound in its implications.”

“While increased training programs could reduce businesses’costs,” Cappelli notes, “the end result is likely to be a less efficient system in which key job-related skills are necessarily left out.”

“Schools, at least as traditionally envisioned, are not suited to organize work experience, the key attribute that employers want,” he writes. “Nor are they necessarily good at teaching work-based skills. Those skills are easiest and cheapest to learn in the workplace through APPRENTICE-LIKE ARRANGEMENTS that one finds not only in skilled trades but also in fields like accounting and medicine.”

“Unlike in the classroom,” he continues, “problems to practice on do not have to be created in the workplace. They exist already, and solving them creates value for others. Observation and practice is also easiest to do where the productive work is being done, and employment creates incentives and motivation that typical classrooms cannot duplicate.”

Cappelli closes with a message for the research community. “The myth of the skills gap,” he says, “only exists because, in the absence of hard data on the issue, advocates of a particular position find it easy to make claims that are simply assertions and claims that even casual acquaintance with real evidence would indicate are false.”

SOURCE

--

In May of 2013 we had 16,944,480 STEM jobs in America.

2,107,070 of them are Software jobs in America.

If a person were to study the LCA Applications for temporary workers to be brought in under a H-1B visa, you quickly realize that 65% of them are for these software jobs in America.

During the years from 2001 to 2013 we issued anywhere between a low of 339,243 to a high of 494,565 of these H-1B visas.

The H-1B visa currently is capped at 65,000 for the regular visa and an additional 20,000 for advanced educated visa holders.

The difference between the visas issued and the 85,000 visa cap is the amount of visa renewals each year.

This means that we had a low of 220,508 to a high of 321,467 renewals for Software Jobs alone if we multiply the visas issued by 65%

Keep in mind that there were only 2,107,070 of these Software Jobs in America AND these renewals are for periods of three years which could easily account for a million jobs or more.

As you can see, Americans are slowly getting forced out of the software portion of the STEM industry.

And the ones I have heard from are saying something along these lines:

Most people, even family, just don’t get it.  This is not like unemployment in the past.  In my early 20s, I tried every sort of job for around 4 years or so.  I could always get another job maybe not a great one - but I was never out of work for any long stretches.  Thats what’s different now you can’t get another job and get back control of your own life no matter what you do.  Some employed people may be sympathetic to a degree, but they really dont see it (and maybe don’t want to see it) for what it really is the end of working and making a decent living, and the end of financial independence.  And you’re NOT going to get a job at Mac Donalds or Target or the local supermarket because the Latinos etc already have it.  You’re NOT going to join the young baristas at Starbucks or the waiters and waitresses at Chili’s because all the college kids and recent graduates who cant get good jobs anywhere else are already working there.  The low-end, low-pay jobs are all taken and the professional jobs are being given to cheaper foreign workers.

Is high tech’s current treatment of American STEM professionals just a pilot project for some future nation-wide screwing of nearly all American professional men and women?  I dont know, but should anyone really be surprised if it is?  There’s only way that most people will wake up when it happens to them when they lose their jobs and their incomes and lifestyles.  Then they’ll be shocked and outraged and demand that something be done.  But as long as its just 20-25 million of their fellow Americans including hundreds of thousands of displaced STEM professionals, who cares?  What’s that old saying?  When they came for all the others, I didnt care because I didn’t know any of them, but by the time they came for me there was nobody left to care.

Many of you will be in denial and say this is not happening.

Those of us that have been through it know for a fact that it is happening.

Many of you may be immigrants, or the sons and daughters of immigrants.

I too am of German descent.

I will always believe we need to be a country where people can immigrate to America and become and American if that is what they want to do.

Just like your family or my family did.

And I will always believe that they should be able to apply for any job that their skills allow them to strive for just as I believe Americans should be allowed to do the same.

BUT.

Bringing in temporary workers to displace Americans in America where Americans are being forced to train their replacements is not immigration.

It simply is the very same tactics that were used by corporations to break union picket lines by using scabs.

Which leaves us in a position where we can be silent and slowly but surely be forced out of our high paying jobs by temporary workers brought in for less money and find that there are no similar or better paying jobs to be had.

Or we can band together and begin to educate our fellow citizens via radio and tv ads so that their children, and our children will still have the opportunity to strive for the moon if that is their goal.

My thoughts on how to do this are simple, and I֒m willing to step aside and join myself if anybody has a better plan:

1.Annual dues of $20.00

2.The money will be used to air radio and tv ads and to provide subsistence level work for our unemployed STEM workers until we can find them work again.

By that, I mean that we would hire them at $600 per week and use their skills to do the research and development that is necessary to build our knowledge base and educate our fellow citizens and to contact our employers, both large and small to help educate them as to what is happening and why it is bad for the future of America, and most importantly, work with these employers to get our members back to work so that they can provide for their families.

I am but one man.

My resources are limited, and I cant get this message in front of 16 million STEM workers, but all of us working together can do exactly that.

It really is that simple.

Are you wondering if you are considered a STEM worker?

You might be surprised that you are, and you can verify it by clicking on THIS LINK.

United We Stand

Divided We Fall

I want to get back to work and stay at work as an American in America.

Do you?

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 09/29/14 •
Section Dying America
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