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Member since: Fri Aug 13, 2004, 03:12 PM
Number of posts: 24,461

About Me

If anyone's wondering why I haven't been here much lately, it's because I feel no one is learning anything from 2016. Neoliberalism is a thing and it doesn't win elections in the 21st Century. People want a candidate that's going to take strong, non-waffling stands on human rights the rest of the world enjoys. Enough living in the goddamned Reagan 1980s. Enough taking solar panels off the roof. Enough introducing more rightwingedness into American economics. Enough medical bankruptcies. Enough governing by mythology. Enough science denial. Enough of spitting on women, children, veterans and the LGBTQI community. Enough kicking the can. ENOUGH. America needs to move past it's "everything has to be about making a buck" bullshit. I'd prefer a candidate not born during the FDR/Truman administrations. No offense, but you had your time . . . and you got us Trump. Plus, I can't take another one of these still-Capitalist Boomer codgers yap on about "bootstraps" when college now costs a mortgage, necessity costs have been outpacing wage growth for 20 years and automation promises to kill more jobs than it creates. I don't want to hear what is or isn't "politically achievable". Kick-the-Can economics was never asked "How is it going to be paid for?". Tax Cuts for the rich were never given a spending limit. Folly wars were never asked "Why is this necessary?". Corporate Pork by the billions was and is always approved. America's safety net needs to be greatly expanded and retirement age needs to be drastically lowered. This country throws out far too many people that still have a decade or two of prime contribution left. If life doesn't get fairer for you or I pretty goddamned quickly, we aren't going to have much of one.

Journal Archives

The Great Skills Gap Myth.


Seems like the Luntz-hatched phrase "Skills Gap" is the latest coordinated talking point du jour among Republican governors, U.S. Chamber types and corporate bigwigs. Horseshit. Just now, Indiana's governor Mike Pence (R - Idiot) was on CNBC trying to bullshit his way to excuses and bob + weaving around real unemployment issues.

Letís be honest, itís in the best interest of employers to claim thereís a skills gap. The existence of such a gap can be used as leverage to obtain public policy considerations or subsidies. So thereís a self-serving element.

But beyond that, several behaviors of present day employers contribute to their inability to hire.

1. Insufficient pay. If you canít find qualified workers, thatís a powerful market signal that your salary on offer is too low. Higher wages will not only find you workers, they also send a signal that attracts newcomers into the industry. Richard Longworth covered this in 2012. He explains that companies have refused to adjust their wages due to competitive pressures:

In other words, Davidson said, employers want high-tech skills but are only willing to pay low-tech wages. No wonder no one wants to work for themÖ.So why doesnít GenMet pay more? In other words, why doesnít it respond to the law of supply and demand by offering starting wages above the burger-flipping level? Because GenMet is competing in the global economy. It can pay more than Chinese-level wages, but not that much more.

In other words, this company in question doesnít have a skill gap problem, they have a business model problem. They arenít profitable if they have to pay market prices for their production inputs (in this case labor). Itís no surprise firms in this position would be seeking help with their ďskill gapĒ problem Ė itís a backdoor bailout request.

2. Extremely picky hiring practices enforced by computer screening. If youíve looked at any job postings lately, youíll note the laundry list of skills and experience required. The New York Times summed it up as ďWith Positions to Fill, Employers Wait for Perfection.Ē Also, companies have chopped HR to the bone in many cases, and heavily rely on computer screening of applicants or offshore resume review. The result of this automated process combined with excessive requirements is that many candidates who actually could do that job canít even get an interview. Whatís more, in some cases the entire idea is not to find a qualified worker to help legally justify bringing in someone from offshore who can be paid less.

Yet, because the media is purchased by this same incestuous cabal of profiteers, you're going to hear this "blame the victim" line parroted over and over until your ears bleed black. There is no "skills gap". There is only a gap of workers who know 12 computer languages, are polyglots, financial modeling experts, have PhDs and 15 years middle management experience, are 28 years old and are willing to work for $35 thousand a year.

Well, hey, it's not like they didn't try before . . .


Learning their lessons that deliberate takeover doesn't work, the financiers then relied on working a glacial inside game of Washington . . . and then purchasing the media. Starting with these two jokers:



And then instituting THIS asshole as Treasury Secretary and Chief of Staff to start the Wealth Tax Slash:


Oh, and did I mention THIS little bill, which relaxed thrift limits and allowed financial piracy to run rampant in the 1980s (When Reagan signed it, he infamously said "all in all, I think we hit the jackpot"?


Of course, Don Regan's "ahem" . . . "Boss", didn't help matters much with this previous action:


Michael Moore said that Reagan's firing of the PATCO strikers was the beginning of "America's downward slide", and the end of comfortable union jobs, with a middle-class salary, raises, and pensions. Moore stated that wages have remained stagnant for 30 years. He also blamed the AFL-CIO for telling their members to cross the PATCO picket lines.[12]

President Reagan's director of the United States Office of Personnel Management at the time, Donald J. Devine, argued:

"When the president said no...American business leaders were given a lesson in managerial leadership that they could not and did not ignore. Many private sector executives have told me that they were able to cut the fat from their organizations and adopt more competitive work practices because of what the government did in those days. I would not be surprised if these unseen effects of this private sector shakeout under the inspiration of the president were as profound in influencing the recovery that occurred as the formal economic and fiscal programs."

In a review of Joseph McCartin's book 2011, Collision Course: Ronald Reagan, The Air Traffic Controllers, and the Strike that Changed America in Review 31, Richard Sharpe claimed Reagan was "laying down a marker" for his presidency: "The strikers were often working class men and women who had achieved suburban middle class lives as air traffic controllers without having gone to college. Many were veterans of the US armed forces where they had learned their skills; their union had backed Reagan in his election campaign. Nevertheless, Reagan refused to back down. Several strikers were jailed; the union was fined and eventually made bankrupt. Only about 800 got their jobs back when Clinton lifted the ban on rehiring those who had struck. Many of the strikers were forced into poverty as a result of being blacklisted for employment."

6 millionaire myths debunked: More Yahoo.com 1%er Propaganda.

Many people believe that ó while itíd certainly be nice ó theyíll never become millionaires. That itís an utterly unattainable dream.

The truth is: Hitting the $1 million mark is more attainable today than ever ó and more important. Thatís because, in order to live comfortably in retirement through your eighties, many people will need a nest egg of at least $1 million. ďA general rule of thumb is that you need to save $1 million for every $40,000 of annual income you need to replace at retirement, not including Social Security, pension income or any other retirement income,Ē says David Fernandez, CFP, of Wealth Engineering in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"More attainable today than ever". REALLY? Tell all of the shuttered small businesspeople by the thousands that. Tell the single moms of America that. Tell the indebted college students that. Tell the long-term unemployed that. Tell laid off blue collar workers who had to start all over in their 50s that. Tell laid-off Master's Degree and PhD holders that. Tell the STEM graduates who invested their money and did everything they were told only to come out to the worst job market in two decades that. Tell seniors that. Tell the average worker, whose average wage hasn't risen in inflation-adjusted dollars since 1979, that hitting the $1 million mark is realistic. What sort of bubble does this woman LIVE in?

The Myth: Millionaires Are Just Luckier

Millionaires are the luckiest among us, right? They won the lottery, struck gold with their very first attempt at launching a business or haphazardly landed their dream jobs with massive salaries. Not so: Pure luck is not a factor in achieving success. Rather, truly successful people make their own luck. After all, a million-dollar idea is worth nothing without execution.

. . . and she goes on to list an anecdotal situation where someone came from no money to become wealthy. THAT SETTLES IT! Conclusion reached, YOU'RE JUST LAZY, slackers!

The Myth: Most Millionaires Were Born Into Money

Another common myth is that millionaires were born into money or inherited it. But that's not often the case. In a recent survey, Fidelity Investments found 86 percent of millionaires are self-made. And among the more than 100 millionaires I interviewed for my book, each was self-made and only 26 percent of them said they even had connections to important people beforehand.

. . . and again . . . another anecdotal passes for supporting proof.

The assertion that 86% of millionaires are "self made" is horseshit, by the way.

The Myth: Millionaires Have to Be Fearless

Though it may seem like the only way to become a millionaire is to forge full-steam ahead and assume a lot of risk, fears are totally normal ó even for the ultra-successful. Fifty-seven percent of the millionaires I surveyed said they were scared before starting their own business ó scared of failure, disappointing their spouses or their families, scared of losing everything.

And yet, they still made it. Here's the thing. If I somehow miraculously made it to the million-dollar mark, I'm not going to sit there and tell someone that I made this money entirely by my hard work and good ol' fashioned gumption and yew can TOO! I'm no idiot. Economies can be just as favorable to a certain sector at any given time just as they can be unfavorable to others. No one has to like what I sell. Studies show that tech giants were all born in the same time period. It's very possible that their initial crucial first years were met with no landmines, personal or business. To discount luck in a person's success is being silly and borderline facetious.

Articles like this . . . it's almost as if they're making fun of us for not believing in this "American Dream" fairy tale. That rags to riches CAN happen ("can" being the operative word) if only we just all WORKED HARDER. It belittles middle/working/poor class struggle and reduces realities, hardships and bad breaks as "excuses".


Posted by HughBeaumont | Mon Mar 3, 2014, 11:16 AM (8 replies)
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