Jobs Going Away

I got an e-mail from someone today, titled America: the first post-modern agrarian society. ...Thanks to American Big Business...
There are soooo many ways to title this message:

American Technology Leadership: R.I.P

America: We Used to Be Relevent, Now All We Have are Nukes

American Business to American Technologists: Drop Dead!

Congress to Technologists: Too bad you didn't bribe us first!

Business to Technologists: "Hey, You f*cked up! You trusted us!" (w/apologies to J. Belushi)

I've never been a "protectionist" but I now understand exactly why the protectionists have been whining so much about the actions of American businesses. I'm out on the job market and I now get it in a really, really big way.

Apparently, American companies want Americans to buy their very expensive products, just as long as they don't have to hire them to invent/design/produce or otherwise pay them to make such purchases possible. How, exactly, will this country maintain its edge in technology if there are no technology jobs and American business isn't interested in paying anyone except the CEO and the Board?

Another interesting trend I've seen (and been confirmed by several recruiters I know) is making requirements in job postings so fantastic (requiring 15 yrs experience in 20 technologies that didn't exist 15 yrs ago, etc.) that they cannot possibly be filled and then using the "lack of qualified applicants" as a ruse to bring in H1B candidates as just above minimum wage. This is going on all over NYC.

Just try and get a programming or system admin job at a large firm in NYC. You won't.

Think such tactics are illegal? Guess again.

Oh, and don't think going to your congress-weasels will help you -- they rammed an H1B extension (and added a several *million* increase in available visas) through as a hidden rider to a bill just before they split for their December break.

So, while they "decry" the problems in the tech industry and the lack of jobs/jobs-going-overseas they are quietly taking money from all the usual suspects (tech firms, brokerages, et al) to put it to American technology workers as hard and as fast as they can.
He then points to this Business Week article.

I believe that he's on the East Coast. Here in the Silicon Valley area we hear rumors that things are much better on the East Coast. Things are certainly bad here - 25% office vacancy rate. Very high unemployment. Stores closing. Friends whose unemployment runs out and they go on food stamps.

I don't see how it's going to get better. People are in debt so spending is unlikely to increase. No one is getting raises. I see nothing that promises to bring back the tech industry around here. I mean, sure, the engineer getting $10,000 a year in India will eventually spend some money, but that's a net loss of spending of $90,000 per year for each engineer here who was getting $100,000, and a loss of the whole $100,000 spent here. The overall pool of paid talent is not increasing - these are replacement jobs.

And what do we hear from our country's leaders? Tax cuts for the rich and permanent massive budget deficits for the future are supposed to bring us out of this? They say it will increase the investment capital? Investing in what? They already have zillions and they aren't investing that! It's the old, "It isn't working, so let's do more of it."


The Huge Spending Increase

From a story about federal budget deficits in today's NY Times:
The Congressional Budget Office said today that the federal government shortfall would rise to $199 billion this year from $158 billion last year — even without any of Mr. Bush's new tax or spending proposals.
So WITH the war, tax cuts and spending increases, we might be looking at a $300-400 billion deficit THIS year.

That means that next year, and every year thereafter, we will have to pay somewhere from, $10-30 billion to cover the interest on THIS YEAR'S borrowing, depending on interest rates. That is a HUGE spending increase. And the following year the spending will INCREASE again, because of THAT year's deficit.

Want to talk about where that money goes? Who GETS that $10-30 billion? How much control over U.S. policy will they be buying?
out of toucfh

NY Times today
This puts both men squarely at odds with American consumers, who are quite fearful about the economy, judging by confidence figures released Tuesday that came in at a nine-year low. Stock investors, who are famously positive well before an economic recovery is evident, also seem stuck in a doubting mood, unwilling to bet yet on a turnaround that both Mr. Bush and Mr. Greenspan seem to be anticipating.

McNeil Leher yesterday - $1-200 per person, not even enough to buy a dinner for one person. That was the person criticizing Bush's plan!

Everyone in the debate is paid at the top. Unrealistic, out of touch

One of the participant said that giving more money to the rich means that there is more money available for investment. How out of touch are these people? There are billions and billions of dollars in venture capital funds, just sitting in the bank. There are trillions that have been taken out of the markets, waiting on the sidelines for a good investment environment.



I'm not sure yet who I support for President, but I like what I hear from Dean. I'm posting a "Dean Meetup" button on the left, scroll down a ways. It's a great idea - go check it out.

The Speech

I really think that Bush is surrounded by people who are afraid to contradict him or bring him bad news. I think he isn't aware of events outside of the good news that is brought to him. "Yes sir, you are the chosen one, sir. GOD has chosen you, sir."

No one even told him that the aluminum tubes story turned out to be phony. No one even dares tell him it's pronounced "nuclear."


CNN: Kennedy to seek new measure on war with Iraq.

Senator Kennedy is asking for a new vote.
"Much has changed in the many months since Congress has debated war with Iraq," the Massachusetts Democrat said in a statement released after President Bush's State of the Union address, in which Bush tried to rally the American people to the need to disarm Iraq.

"U.N. inspectors are on the ground and making progress, and their work should continue," Kennedy said. "Osama bin Laden and the Korean nuclear crisis continue to pose far greater threats [than Iraq]."
It looks like the Dems are growing spines.

Double Standard

skimble writes about the difference in treatment of Martha Stewart and Thomas White (ex-Enron, current Bush Administration.) Stewart is a Democrat and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law with public humiliation, White has a get-out-of-jail-free card and a look-the-other-way pass from the press.


Another Scenario

A friend writes with a scenario - U.S. and British forces invade and become bogged down in house-to-house fighting in Baghdad's suburbs, taking and causing heavy casualties. There are very heavy civilian casualties that are well publicized by the European press. (Civilians initially refuse to enter shelters, remembering the 1991 U.S. bombing of a civilian shelter bunker with a "penetrator" bomb that incinerated everyone inside.)

The heavy casualties result in massive civilian protests in London, some erupting into riots. There is a no-confidence vote and Blair's government falls. The new government withdraws British forces, leaving the U.S. alone and bogged down in urban street fighting.


February, 2003, America invades Iraq.

Two days after U.S. invasion begins, China attacks Taiwan. Simultaneously North Korea attacks South Korea. America must divert some forces to Asian theater. Iraq campaign slows.

Responding to right-wing American think tanks' public advocacy that America follow Iraq conquest with initiatives to change other Middle Eastern governments, the Saudis, Syrians and Kuwaitis begin secretly supporting and funding Hamas, Hezbollah and other organizations to send fighters to Iraq to attack and bog down the American troops. American casualties begin to climb.

Late February, Kurds seize northern Iraq and part of Turkey. Kurds, having infiltrated Iraqi intelligence, convince Iraqi “sleeper” agents to launch biological attacks on Israel, hoping to goad Israel into attacking Baghdad, thereby weakening Iraq’s ability to oppose to Kurdish state. Israel responds against Iraqi cities.

March, Iran responds to “axis of evil” threats by attacking US fleet and invades Iraq from the west. They announce they have developed a dozen nuclear weapons and will use them on our forces and American homeland if their forces are attacked with nuclear weapons in any American attempt to reverse their gains. With insufficient forces in the Middle East American forces overwhelmed and begin retreat. Iran seizes western Iraq and southern oil fields.

Late March, Al-Queda launches major attacks in Kashmir, driving India to attack Pakistan. Islamic fundamentalists seize power in Pakistan and Indonesia, immediately supplying al-Queda with nuclear weapons. U.S. initiates bombing campaign against Pakistan.

April, responding to heavy civilian casualties in Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, Asian and European civilians demand boycott of U.S. products. International investors begin selling assets and pulling funds from U.S. OPEC announces oil will move to the Euro currency for all transactions. Dollar plunges, reaches eight dollars per Euro, causing oil to exceed US$240 per barrel. Stock market plunges to 1200. U.S., unable to borrow money to finance deficit, begins to default on bonds.

Scam E-mail

A friend received the following e-mail.
From: PayPal@billingdept.com
Subject: PayPal information UPDATE. *URGENT*

Dear Paypal Member Case #840650,
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She wants to know what law enforcement agency this can be reported to. Does anyone know?

IMPORTANT - In case you don't "get it," do not go to this website and provide your account and password!

Moon Bush

Other webloggers have been writing about the close ties between the Moonies and the Republicans, so I'll take this opportunity to link to a piece I wrote in July, titled "Moon Bush."


Why Punish Achievement?

I saw one of those typical right-winger letters to the editor yesterday saying we should cut taxes on the rich because, "Why Punish Achievement?"

I was thinking, this crowd thinks we shouldn't tax income that comes to people through an inheritance. So that's taxing achievement?

Who Is Our Economy For?

In today's New York Times there's a story, Is There Such a Thing as a Jobless Recovery? From the story,
After falling into recession in 2001, the economy did indeed recover in 2002, hard as that is to believe. Despite a sluggish fall, most economists believe the United States expanded at close to 3 percent last year (final statistics are still being compiled).

But because productivity — the amount of goods or services produced for each hour worked — is climbing relatively fast, last year's relatively tepid expansion created almost no new jobs. Instead, businesses are finding ways to get more production out of each current employee. In fact, the unemployment rate has risen from 3.9 percent in 2000 to 6 percent today.
So the unemployed aren't finding jobs, more people are becoming unemployed, the people still working have to work harder to do the jobs the unemployed were doing, and many of them are afraid they're going to lose their jobs.

Productivity means increases in wealth. But whose wealth? When you're working harder on the job for the same pay, that's called a productivity increase, and SOMEone is getting richer. But obviously it isn't YOU. Statistics show the wealth in America is concentrating at the top. WE're working (if we have jobs) and THEY're getting rich.

Who is our economy for? Why are we tolerating this?