Article 43


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Book - The Common Good


“People don’t like the system. . . . 95% of Americans think corporations should lower their profits to benefit their workers and the communities they do business in, 70% think businesses have too much power, and more than 80% think that people don’t have enough say in what goes on, that the economic system is inherently unfair, and that the government basically isn’t functioning, because it’s working for the rich.”
- Noam Chomsky

The Common Good
By Noam Chomsky

Chomsky is always incendiary. The Common Good makes it clear why he isn’t quoted on the 6:00 news. Here’s an extremely easy to read and easy to understand introduction to his thought on subjects such as corporate welfare, globalization, postmodernism, and political activism.

Mission Statement

“This book was compiled from seven long interviews David Barsamian did with Noam Chomsky.”


"Two technical economists in Holland found that every single one of the hundred largest transnational corporations on Fortune magazine’s list has benefited from the industrial policy of its home country, and that at least twenty of them wouldn’t even have survived if their governments hadn’t taken them over or given them large subsidies when they were in trouble. . . . You can make as much money as you want, but if you get into trouble, it’s the taxpayer’s responsibility to fix things.”

“Another of the many areas where freedom and capitalism collide is what’s laughably called free trade. About 40% of US trade is estimated to be internal to individual corporations. If a US auto manufacturer ships a part from Indiana to Illinois, that isn’t called trade; if it ships the same part from Illinois to [its plant in] northern Mexico, it is called tradeit’s considered an export when it leaves and an import when it comes back.

“But that’s nothing more than exploiting cheaper labor, avoiding environmental regulations and playing games about where you pay your taxes. This sort of activity also accounts for similar or even higher proportions of trade in other industrial countries. Furthermore, strategic alliances among firms play an increasing role in administration of the global economy.

“So talk about ‘the growth in world trade’ is largely a joke. What’s growing is complicated interactions among transnational corporations - centrally managed institutions that really amount to private command economies.”

“The big transnationals want to reduce freedom by undermining the democratic functioning of the states in which they’re based, while at the same time ensuring that the government will be powerful enough to protect and support them. That’s the essence of what I sometimes call ‘really existing market theory’.

“If you look through the whole history of modern economic development, you find thatvirtually without exception - advocates of ‘free markets’ want them aplied to the poor and the middle class but not to themselves. The government subsidizes corporations’ costs, protects them from market risks and lets them keep the profits.”

“. . .a very effective propaganda campaign to make people hate and fear the poor.

“That’s smart because you don’t want them looking at the rich, at what Fortune and Business Week call ‘dazzling’ and ‘stupendous’ profit growth, at the way the military system is pouring funds into advanced technology for the benefit of private industry. No, you want them to look at some imaginary black mother driving a Cadillac to pick up a welfare check so she can have more babies. Why should I pay for that? people ask. . . .

“There’s another aspect of this that’s much less discussed. One of the purposes of driving people away from welfare and into work is to lower wages by increasing the supply of workers.

“The New York City government is now partially subsidizing workers driven out of the welfare system. The main effect hs been to decrease unionized labor. Put a lot of unskilled labor itno the workplace, make conditions so awful that people will take virtually any job, maybe throw in some public subsidity to keep them working, and you can drive down wages. It’s a good way to make everybody suffer.”

“Social Security says, Let’s ensure that all of us have a minimal standard of living. That puts a bad idea into people’s heads that we can all work together, get involved in the democratic process and make our own decisions. Much better to create a world in which people behave individually and the powerful win.

“The goal is a society in which the basic social unit is you and your television set. If the kid next door is hungry, it’s not your problem. If the retired cuple next door invested their assets badly and are now starving, that’s not your problem either. . . .

“That’s the ideal of a capitalist society - except for the rich. Boards of directors are allowed to work together, and so are banks and investors and corporations in alliances with one another and with powerful states. That’s fine. It’s just the poor who aren’t supposed to cooperate.”


Posted by Elvis on 11/26/09 •
Section General Reading
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Stimulus Plan That Doesn’t Create Jobs

Is federal stimulus money being used for IT hardware, not hiring?
Info from reveals $26 million in federal spending at technology companies accounts for only 21 jobs either created or saved

By Patrick Thibodeau
November 24, 2009

As part of the ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLAN passed by Congress and signed into law earlier this year by PRESIDENT OBAMA, government agencies, private companies, and non-profits are required to report the number of jobs created or saved by the stimulus package. Those job numbers are now available at RECOVERY DOT GOV, and a sampling of them indicates that the money spent so far has been better for HARDWARE than HIRING.

Among the technology companies getting money from FEDERAL STIMULUS SPENDING is Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), which won two IT projects at NASA that total nearly $10 million. But no jobs are being created with that money.

CDW Government received two contracts, one for $2.4 million and another for $3.9 million, both for computer equipment and services at the U.S. Department of State. On both contracts, CDW said the “cumulative effect” of the awards resulted in four retained jobs, such as account managers, field account executives, advanced technology account executives, sales specialists, and sales management “as CDW-G is primarily staffed with these types of positions.”

Oracle was awarded $1.25 million for “custom computer programming services” for the Social Security Administration, but that project created no new jobs. Oracle declined to comment.

IBM was also awarded a Social Security Administration contract—this one worth about $8.5 million—to upgrade systems around the country. IBM put the number of jobs created or saved at 16.8.

In total, these projects represent about $26 million in federal spending and account for about 21 jobs either created or saved. The paucity of job creation seen to date, given the hundreds of billions of dollars allocated for the ailing economy, has raised questions about how well the stimulus package is working. Critics have argued that more needs to be done, given the nation’s 10.2 percent unemployment rate, and even Obama himself is now planning a jobs summit next month.

But stimulus backers have countered that direct hiring is only one piece of the employment puzzle. To get a complete picture, the government says the job estimates need to include indirect jobs, which could be subcontractors, equipment orders, even money spent on restaurants and travel in support of the work.

The federal government estimates that for every $92,000 spent by the U.S. one job is created or saved, although that figure covers all occupations, including highly paid ones. The U.S. claims the stimulus money has created an estimated 640,000 jobs.

But drawing a line that connects the $787 billion stimulus package to tech hiring is difficult. The hemorrhaging of tech jobs may have stopped, according to the latest employment data, but there’s no way of connecting that with federal spending at The same is true for anecdotal employment indexes, such as jobs board, which shows an increase in hiring activity in both contract and full-time employment. In July, Dice said it had 48,993 jobs listed, including contract work. It’s now at nearly 54,000, a 10 percent gain.


Posted by Elvis on 11/24/09 •
Section Dying America
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The Next Depression Part 40 - States In Stress


States In Stress

By Andrea Orr
Economic Policy Institute
November 23, 2009

STATE and LOCAL GOVERNMENTS are turning to DESPERATE MEASURES to fill massive budget shortfalls. The University of Californias Board of Regents has voted to RAUSE UNDERGRADUATE TUITION BY 32%. Arizona has considered SELLING IT’S CAPITOL BUILDING. The mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is proposing a TAX ON COLLEGE TUITITION. And many school districts around the country have floated the idea of squeezing more lessons into fewer days to save on power bills.

All of this, at a time that many economists say the Great Recession is over.

On November 20, EPI hosted a panel of economists along with the mayor of Trenton, New Jersey, who outlined the severe budget shortfalls state and local governments were facing that could require them to make further job cuts. “The mission is not yet accomplished on Main Street,” said Trenton, New Jersey Mayor DOUGLAS PALMER, who delivered the keynote address at the event, SPURRING JOB CREATION: THE ROLE OF FEDERAL AID TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. Palmer offered a long list of American cities where the jobless rate was well above the nationwide level of 10.2%. Unemployment is 13.4% in Las Vegas, 14.9% in Providence, Rhode Island, and 17% in Trenton.

“I cannot walk down the street to the grocery store, or hold a public meeting, without people - many people - coming up and asking me for a job,” Palmer said. “No one anticipated the depth of this recession and its impact on jobs.”

Mark Zandi, the chief economist for and one of the panelists at the event, said that while stimulus investments made under the Recovery Act had provided a significant source of growth, the economic recovery remained very fragile, especially for state and local governments that were suffering steep declines in tax revenues and faced a total $150 billion fiscal hole in 2011.

“We’re at a point where its appropriate for policy makers to provide additional aid,” said Zandi, who said he recommended more federal aid to state and local governments for the fiscal year 2011, which starts next summer.

And panelist Iris Lav, a senior advisor at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said that major budget cuts were looming at the state and local level that could cost the country 900,000 jobs next year alone. To critics who say states should make the difficult decisions to cut spending in order to balance their budgets, she posed some hypothetical questions to illustrate how so many states had already cut to the bone: “Who is willing to have their public school closed? Who is willing to care for that elderly relative?”

Echoing that argument that the almost unprecedented severity of the current downturn called for unusual measures, Zandi said that he would not typically recommend such a level of federal aid. “But this is different,” he said. “The hole is turning out to be larger than we thought and deeper than we thought.”

EPI last month outlined a five-part approach to large-scale job creation that included a recommendation for additional aid to state governments. In the Briefing Paper, Dire States, EPI Policy Analyst Ethan Pollack shows how budget shortfalls at the state and local level will result in additional layoffs and delay a robust recovery unless additional aid is provided.

Speaking at the November 19 event Pollack stressed that such cuts would affect jobs in both the public and private sectors.

“They are going to be laying off teachers, police officers, and fire fighters that they need,” Pollack said during a presentation at the November 19 event. But he stressed that the private sector would be the hardest hit by state and local budget cuts. Many state and local services, such as infrastructure and health care, are actually provided by private employees using public funds, he said. Even when the government provides the services themselves, those public employees still need materials provided by the private sector, like office supplies, police cars, and fire hoses.  And as public and private workers lose income as a result of the budget cuts, they reduce their consumer spending, causing more job losses in the private sector.

“This is not just about supporting government employees,” said Pollack.  “If we DO NOTHING, the entire economy will suffer.”



Payroll taxes increase for many employers across USA

By Olga Pierce, ProPublica
January 20, 2010

Last year was the worst Don Miller had seen in more than 20 years of running a graphic printing business here.

Business slumped 15%, and he had to lay off two of the three workers who helped him print stickers and signs for Navy ships.

Miller hopes to bring them back, but hiring will be more expensive for all Virginia business owners this year. The recession has emptied Virginia’s unemployment insurance trust fund, and the state is making up for it by raising taxes on employers and cutting jobless benefits for seniors.

In 2009, the average business owner paid $95 per employee. This year, the tax will be $171, according to estimates by the state workforce agency. “It’s another added expense to hiring somebody,” Miller says. “Everything’s going up, and business is going down.”

Similar tax increases are hitting employers nationwide this year as states struggle to pay the 5.5 million Americans currently collecting state jobless benefits. So far, high unemployment and, in many cases, poor planning have prompted 25 states to borrow more than $25 billion from the federal government to keep benefit checks in the mail.

In other states, unemployment compensation funds are still in the black, but reserves are rapidly dwindling. Nine more states likely will be borrowing by mid-year, according to a ProPublica analysis of state revenue and benefits.

Tax on businesses

Business owners in 36 states face tax increases ranging from a few dollars to nearly $1,000 per worker. Six states are scaling back or freezing benefits for the unemployed:

· Jobless Pennsylvania workers will get 2.3% less in benefits starting this month, while the average tax this year for businesses will increase to $432 from $384 per worker.

· Hawaii’s employers face an average increase to $1,070 from $90 per worker. The state also proposes decreasing the maximum benefit by as much as a third about $190 per week.

· Texas, where the trust fund is $1.4 billion in the red, has increased the average tax on employers to about $165 from $89 per worker.

Instead of fulfilling the unemployment insurance system’s purpose of stimulating the economy, these measures may contribute to joblessness, says Gary Burtless, an economist who studies labor policy at the Brookings Institution, a think tank. “We don’t want to pick this moment of all moments to boost taxes on employers,” Burtless says. “We want to encourage employers as much as possible to add to their payrolls.”

Workers are being hurt in another way ח through benefit cuts. In Roanoke, Va., James Hay, 70, received a letter from the state informing him that his monthly unemploymentbenefits are being cut to $100 from about $800 because state law limits payments to Social Security recipients when the state’s fund runs low.

“I was devastated when I read it,” Hay says. “I thought, ‘Lord, what am I going to buy heating oil with this winter?’ “

Like many other seniors, Hay was working full time to supplement his $1,400 monthly Social Security check, which he says was not enough to support him, his granddaughter and her two young children. Then the asphalt factory laid him off.

Unemployment insurance made up for some of the lost income, but now Hay is not sure how his family will get by. “We’ll just have to do whatever we can do,” he says. “I hope and pray we’ll be all right.”

States borrow heavily

The state hopes to save about $11 million through the cuts to seniors but anticipates borrowing $1.3 billion to replenish its unemployment fund before the recession ends.

“The middle of a recession is when people need help most,” says Maurice Emsellem, policy co-director of the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group for low-wage workers. Cutting unemployment benefits, he says, “undermines the fundamental goals of the program boosting the economy and keeping people out of poverty in an economic downturn.”

Many states such as Virginia are already at or near the highest payroll tax rates allowed by law, and others have pushed politically difficult tax increases through their legislatures, making further benefit cuts likely if high unemployment persists, says Rich Hobbie, executive director of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.

Some of the pain might have been avoidable. Long before the recession began, Virginia and many other states that have imposed tax increases or benefit cuts let their trust funds dwindle well below the 18 months of reserves the U.S. Labor Department recommends.

Virginia had to slow down federal borrowing despite the impact on businesses and seniors, says Republican state Sen. John Watkins, chairman of the Virginia Commission for the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. “I have angst for people who are unemployed,” he says. “But our trust fund is busted ח it’s gone.”

Pierce reports for ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom based in New York. USA TODAY editors worked with her in preparing this story for publication.


Posted by Elvis on 11/24/09 •
Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Next Depression Part 39 - The Worst Is Yet to Come Part 4


The Pending Collapse Of The U.S.A.

By Timothy V. Gatto
November 20, 2009

THE TRUTH that most people realize but can’t OPENLY TALK ABOUT is that AMERICA HAS SEEN BETTER DAYS and that the system of capitalism has long outlived its usefulness. The last part of that sentence, that capitalism has outlived its usefulness, is thoroughly THE FAULT OF the capitalists themselves.

For many years now, transnational corporations have sent much of Americas manufacturing overseas in order to take advantage of low cost workers. About the ONLY MANUFACTURING this country does on a large scale is earth moving equipment (Caterpillar) and military equipment. Boeing, Northrop-Grumman, Raytheon, General Electric and firms like that are the major remnants of a once thriving industrial base that made America. Detroit is still trying to hang in there, but shortfalls in sales have left it up to the workers in these plants to take it on the chin as their pay and benefits get cut.

The Dow is trying to make a comeback but the way I see it, much of the rise of blue-chip stocks is really more wishful thinking than serious thought. The stocks being sold on the backs of some of these companies are being bought on speculation that the market will go higher based on the rise of the GDP. The question that I would like to ask, is how far can the GDP go when 70% of the GDP is based on consumer spending? Where is consumer spending going to come from when realistically over 16% of the people in America aren’t working?

In an essay, written by Richard Heinberg entitled “Should We Prop-up a Dying Economy” (19 October 2009), he argues that the economists and the people who follow physical science disagree sharply about where this economy is going. Peak Oil, whether it is present now or just years away, will mean that the economy will contract. The economists state that growth can happen in any environment, yet it is apparent that when oil prices spiked in 2008, the auto industry and the airline industry almost went belly-up. Shrinkage of energy means shrinkage in the economy, we have all been under the notion that we can borrow against a growing economy. The facts are that if the economy does not grow, there will be very little in the growth of capital to repay debts that are leveraged at an average of an average of 350% of debt to GDP ratio. Where will new capital come from?

As the price of petroleum becomes higher, imported goods will become more expensive. When our government fails to repay our foreign creditors, or pays them back in hyper-inflated dollars, there will be no credit issued to this country. This can be a significant problem because we currently use 25% of the worlds oil supply and we buy that oil on credit. He says;

“We have entered a new economic era in which the former rules no longer apply. Low interest rates and government spending no longer translate to incentives for borrowing and job production. Cheap energy won’t appear just because there is demand for it. Substitutes for essential resources will in most cases not be found. Over all, the economy will continue to shrink in fits and starts until it can be maintained by the energy and material resources that Earth can supply on ongoing basis.”

That is frightening to say the least. I believe that what our government should be doing is to listen to the scientists and stop listening to the economists.  We have already borrowed almost 24 BILLION dollars, that is $80,000 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. We are robbing our future to pay for an economy that is unsustainable.  Without economic growth, the BANKS, the investment houses and the insurance companies are bound to fail anyway. We might as well let them fail and get on with the business of restoring a sustainable economy.

In a talk called ”THE FIVE STAGES OF COLLAPSE”, by Dmitry Orlov, a former Russian that watched the collapse of the Soviet Union, they are;

The Five Stages of Collapse

1.  Stage one: Financial Collapse

2.  Commercial Collapse

3.  Political Collapse

4.  Social Collapse

5.  Cultural Collapse

This isn’t the warning of a horror show, but unless we start to prepare for a full or partial collapse, it could be worse than it has to be. He envisions a BREAKDOWN OF SOCIETY gradually replaced by stronger knit communities that must DEPEND ON EACH OTHER for basic NEEDS or it could be a complete breakdown of utter anarchy.

Meanwhile the Eagle sits on its perch, fighting wars in foreign lands while spending billions of American dollars doing it. The average American will see no benefit or harm whether we win or lose against the Taliban in Afghanistan. What we will have done however, is strap Americans with more debt and more use of precious resources. The American eagle is getting a little bit wobbly on its perch and it wouldnt surprise me to see all American soldiers taken from all overseas assignments and brought back to this country just to deal with the ECONOMIC COLLAPSE, and because we can no longer afford to keep them overseas.

We need to start thinking about where we live and how we will survive an economic collapse. When the federal government can no longer function, what will we do to replace it? How are individuals to survive when essential goods and services become extinct? This isnҒt a future scenario that will happen twenty or thirty years from now, no! We are already experiencing it. 

We can continue to live our daily lives watching TV and the advertisements that lull us into a false sense of security that EVERYTHING IS WELL, or we can start making provisions to deal with the calamity that lies ahead. We can provision staples, use alternative energy sources to heat our homes or assist us in heating them, and we can start talking with each other and get to know the neighbor that lives across the street that you have never talked to.

Im really not an alarmist, but I see the merit of what so many scientists are predicting. Not only will Peak Oil stop economic growth, but climate change according to a UN report will bring desertification to 70% of the planet by 2025. Maybe petroleum peaking out is in reality what may save our planet. Maybe a return to simpler ways to live and work will stop the CO2 emissions, but I don’t think so. Third world countries are surpassing the industrialized countries in carbon emissions by burning coal.  What I would like to know is who is really minding this nations business? What is the Federal government doing when scientific fact is thrown in their face? While Obama listens to Timothy Geitner and Ben Bernanke and other Goldman Sacks alumni, a company that produces nothing and makes money by buying low and selling high with government funds, where are the people that see what’s happening? If I can understand the ramifications of what is happening in front of my face, WHAT ABOUT the President of the United States? IS HE REALLY IGNORANT OR DOES HE JUST NOT WISH TO DEAL WITH IT? Im curious; maybe someone in the executive branch can give us answers. It would be in everyone’s BEST INTEREST to have people starting to DEAL WITH REALITY instead of putting their head in the sand. Maybe the American eagle should be replaced with the OSTRICH.

Tim Gatto’s new book Complicity to Contempt is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Abe’s and other fine bookstores now.


Posted by Elvis on 11/21/09 •
Section Dying America • Section Next Recession, Next Depression
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Seven Deadly Sins for Older Job Seekers


Seven Deadly Sins for Older Job Seekers
And how to avoid them

OLDER JOB SEEKERS face long odds in todays grim marketplace. Nearly 7 percent of age 55-PLUS ADULTS are unemployed, and they’re competing against five other jobless people for every opening. Is there any hope for them?

"Sure there is,” says Robert Skladany, research director of RETIREMENT JOBS. “What the statistics don’t say is that people are landing jobs if they are resourceful and diligent about looking for them.”

But some older adults are sabotaging their prospects by making common mistakes, a new study by the MET LIFE MATURE MARKET INSTITUTE suggests. Instead of analyzing their skills, abilities and preferences and realistically assessing the job market, they’re relying on their long resums to make their case to employers.

“The harsh truth is, nobody cares about your experience,” says workplace expert David DeLong, author of the report Buddy, Can You Spare a Job? “In a performance-driven marketplace, you have to frame your experience and show how you can solve a company’s problems. You cant expect the potential employer to figure that out.”

The study, released Oct. 13, also found that older job seekers routinely overestimate their computer skills, fail to seek extra training, and may feel ambivalent about returning to work in spite of financial need. If potential employers sense that ambivalence in an interview, it can kill any chances of a hire.

In a recession, people of all ages discover that their elementary job-hunting skills, adequate in times of prosperity, are woefully lacking in a highly competitive marketplace, says Richard N. Bolles, author of the annual guide What Color Is Your Parachute?

400 resums dont help

“Older job hunters tend to rely on what worked before, like sending out 400 resums,” says Bolles, “In this brutal economy, that just doesnt work.” Job seekers need multiple strategies such as making an inventory of transferable skills, targeting fields of interest and key employers, making cold calls and joining job-support groups.

Last February, designer Michael Locascio started calling recruiters after he was abruptly laid off from a Chicago-area company. Usually within a couple of weeks, “I would find something, even just project-based work, but this time there was nothing or the pay was ridiculously low,” he says.

Locascio, 50, always disdained networking. “I felt like you’re always asking someone for a favor,” he says. But last summer, out of desperation, he joined St. Hubert Job and Networking Ministry, one of Chicago’s largest free job-support groups. “There was a no-whining policy,” he says. “You’re there to stay focused on the task.”

The ministry breaks participants into small groups of eight to 12 job seekers from different occupations who problem-solved, shared job leads and held each other accountable for progress. “That helped to keep me going seeing others land jobs,” says Locascio.

He also used social media tools such as Facebook and LinkedIn, where he joined a niche group for those skilled in computer-assisted design. “I started posting and got some recommendations. That’s how I turned up a job I hadnt seen listed anywhere else,” he says. After a webcam interview in September, Locascio, who is single, relocated to central New Jersey to work for a commercial lighting company.

Energy counts

Older adults frequently feel they have encountered age bias and are INFURIATED BY IT, the MetLife study reported, but workplace experts caution that age discrimination in hiring is difficult to document, and anger does not help land a job. They advise impressing a younger hiring manager with a sharp personal appearance and by displaying both their skills and their passion for the work.

Age shouldn’t be an issue, but what is an issue is an older individuals energy, enthusiasm for their work and commitment to avoid obsolescence,” says Bob Podgorski, a human resources executive and cofounder of the St. Hubert group.

A consistent finding of the study was that older adults overestimate their computer knowledge and fail to upgrade their technical skills. Only 36 percent of those surveyed sought any job training, even though employment experts say that is often a key to a successful job search.

In July, Nubia Hernandez, 57, of Orlando, Fla., resigned as supervisor of the employee cafeteria at Marriott World Center after the hotel reduced her hours. She flooded the local hotel industry with resums, but got only one interview. Then, even that lead dried up.

“I was very upset,” says Hernandez. Her partner, Mark Hoewing, asked what she wanted to do that would make her happy, regardless of a paycheck. “I told him, I love children and would like to work with them.”

Hernandez, an elementary schoolteacher in her native Colombia, passed Florid’s online certification course for day care workers and has just landed a job at a day care facility. “I’m so happy to be working with 3- and 4-year-olds,” she says. “I’ll also be teaching them a little Spanish, so now I can use my language skills and my teaching background.”

Social skills are a plus

Another strategy that job counselors suggest is approaching small and medium-sized companies in healthy sectors such as education, health care and government. Older adults social skills are valued in customer-contact jobs in temporary staffing agencies, mutual fund and health insurance companies - even high-end grocery chains.

Other businesses actively seeking older workers can be found at AARPs National Employer team,,,, and other websites for 50-plus workers. is a source for part-time positions.

“Above all, nurture your network - that’s how older adults get hired,” says’s Skladany. Many businesses, swamped with online applications, do not list jobs but prefer to HIRE FROM WITHIN OR THROUGH WORD OF MOUTH.

“That’s why its critical to talk to friends and family, or join a community or faith-based job-support group to seek resources and encouragement,” says Skladany. “If you try to do a job search in isolation, you’ll fail.”

The seven deadly sins of job hunting

Here’s what many older job seekers doand you should not.

1. “I’ll just do what I was doing before.” Many jobs and industries have changed radically in recent years. Identify your transferable skills and explore new ways to use them. Find self-assessment tests and tools at, and

2. “My experience speaks for itself.” Dont start the interview with, “Ive had 35 years in sales.” Instead, ask questions and use examples that highlight your experience, such as “I know the pitfalls of this sort of situation, and I have the contacts to work it out.”

3. “I’ve always been successful, so why should things be different now?” In today’s job market, ability trumps seniority. Its a plus to say, “I work well with Gen X and Gen Y.” Seek volunteer jobs working with younger people to get needed experience.

4. “I just need a job. I don’t have time for touchy-feely stuff.” Be prepared for questions such as What’s your vision? Many older job seekers fail to reflect on how their skills fit into a larger arena. Devote time to a serious inventory of your strengths, values and assets.

5. “Of course Im good with computers.” If youre an expert at Windows 98, worked in just one organization or have been out of the workplace for a few years, rethink this. Find out what your target markets need and get the necessary training.

6. “Ill just use a recruiter or some coaching to get another job.” Its smart to seek help, but successful networking requires a plan and plenty of legwork. Tap into online networking tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And talk to friends and family, or join a community or faith-based job-support group to seek resources and encouragement.

7. “Ill become a consultant or a security guard!” Older job seekers often chase unrealistic jobs. Ask yourself if you have the necessary skills, temperament and physical endurance for a position. Then ask friends and advisers for feedback. The more realistic you are about yourself, the better chance you have of success.


Posted by Elvis on 11/17/09 •
Section Dealing with Layoff • Section Job Hunt
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