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Thread: Unemployment Rate

  1. #1
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    Unemployment Rate

    There is no way the unemployment rate remains in single digits. I believe this is bullshit. Tell me how the heck do all these people keep getting laid off yet the rate stays at 9.1%. It has been there forever now, even though more get laid off.

    It's fixed..

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    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    There is no way the unemployment rate remains in single digits. I believe this is bullshit. Tell me how the heck do all these people keep getting laid off yet the rate stays at 9.1%. It has been there forever now, even though more get laid off.

    It's fixed..
    Yes it is fixed. What the government counts are all the people who are receiving unemployment benefits. This is the U3 rate - which is 9.1%.

    When your benefits run out - then you are no longer counted. The have the number called the U6 unemployment number. The U6 number is 16.6%. But many experts believe it's over 20%.

    U-6 Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force
    NOTE: Persons marginally attached to the labor force are those who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the past 12 months. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached, have given a job-market related reason for not currently looking for work. Persons employed part time for economic reasons are those who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.
    Same for inflation. Some time ago 'our gubment' took out the price of energy and food from the calculation of inflation!

    Our govenment lies to/cheats us all the time.

    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm
    Last edited by dBrong; 10-23-2011 at 10:37 AM.

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    A "healthy" economy is marked by new claims for unemployment below 350,000 PER WEEK! That is, out of a labor force of only 150 million or so, 350,000 per week are laid off from their jobs. That translates into 18.2 million people losing their jobs annually.

    Unemployment has hit every facet of society except the UBER rich. What I don't get is that a large portion don't get the fact that free trade has been the cause of the job loss we have been experiencing.

    You would think that at least some intelligent people would get the fact that we have cut taxes at least 10 times since the Ronald Reagan administration and have had 5 recessions, each successively longer and all the Pea party and the Occupy Wall Street crowd wants to talk about is this program or that, this tax cut or that, like fiddling with the deck furniture will prevent the Titanic from sinking. All my realtor friends say is "fix housing," like fixing the economy is similar to a leaking roof or a broken toilet.

    The unemployment problem is not solvable with current instruments and the current administration or with any of the other candidates running.

    Only one presidential candidate talks about free trade and his name is Buddy Roemer. He has about as much chance as I do.

    We live in a moronic country governed by jackyls.

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    U.S. Labor dept. says unemployment dropped to 8.6%!

    Wow, that's good news, if it were true. Nice try. Don't be surprised if a lot of economic indicators start to magically
    improve over the next year as Obama comes up for re-election.

    The gov't is masterful at cooking the books to paint imaginary pictures of reality when convenient.

    The U3 measurement that the gov't uses as its official measure not only counts people working as little as
    one hour per week as employed but they also do not count people who want to work full-time but who
    have become discouraged and all but given up looking.

    Or put another way: they don't count unemployed people who don't meet their definition of unemployed.

    U6 is the true measure of unemployment


    It counts all people who are unemployed because they cannot find full-time work and it is at 16.2%!
    Not as rosy a picture as the gov't would have Americans believe.

    Also, in a country of 300 million, it's impossible for them to know really how many unemployed people
    there are. Certainly there are many, many more who are not on the grid or applying for benefits so they
    are not counted.

    Don't kid yourselves, most of any increase in employment this time of year will be seasonal, temporary hiring and after the holidays they'll be let go. Things aren't getting better at all and they're going to get much worse.

    Last edited by doncoo; 12-02-2011 at 10:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    Unemployment has hit every facet of society except the UBER rich. What I don't get is that a large portion don't get the fact that free trade has been the cause of the job loss we have been experiencing.
    Dude, seriously read an economics book will you? Take a real economics course, something other than your armchair, 20/20 economics analysis.

    Free trade doesn't cause unemployment anymore than food causes someone to starve to death.

    Trade barriers causing higher domestic prices and subsequent decreases in demand cause unemployment.

    That's more valuable economics in one sentence then you've learned your whole life.

    I'm kicking myself for even taking the time to explain this to you, again, but as a former economics professor I feel compelled.

    Panasonic Automotive of North America sent their entire manufacturing operation to Mexico in 2009. How do I know this? I work at Panasonic Automotive of North America. 1200 people total. So now you say: see Coop, 1200 people unemployed. Yes, that's true. 1200 unemployed in the manufacturing sector, but due to those cost cuts, Panasonic has been able to direct more of their budget to software development, R&D for new innovative products. They even created a whole new division of "Advanced Software Engineering". We're onboarding, on average, 3 new engineers per day! Every one of those requisitions comes across my desk.

    Business decisions are about how to use the limited budget as efficiently (less wasteful) as possible, not simply to spend as little as possible.

    They were able to do manufacturing at the same level of quality for less money in Mexico and hence invest more in innovation and engineering (creating jobs) and ensuring their competitivness in the future and more jobs in the future.

    Sure sometimes those trade-offs are positive, sometimes negative sometimes nuetral but to limit free trade and force consumers to buy American will, in the long-run, do far more harm to employment and the economy.

    Ugh! I hate myself.
    Last edited by doncoo; 12-02-2011 at 10:18 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Doncoo,

    It sounds like you are familiar with David Ricardo.

    In theory, it is best for the economy as a whole for people (businesses/countries) to do things in which they have a competitive advantage to other people (businesses/countries). They should buy/acquire products/services from those than can provide them more efficiently.

    For individual people this can be difficult. If they do not have many skills, unable/unwilling to adapt, or are in the situation where their employment disappears, they can be in dire economic situation.

    For a factory worker: the plant closes, but an engineering firm opens up in the same town. If the worker does not have the skills to be an engineer, he is out of work. He will need to acquire new skills and be willing to adapt. It is not easy when person is not able to move to where the work is or learn for a new line of work. Getting a new job is not always possible. (I know this is an oversimplification)

    Sometimes, I think it might be better to try and keep some jobs to keep the economy working, even if it is not the most efficient use of resources. I do not know what is the best balance for accomplishing this. Economics can be very harsh to the unprepared.
    Sincerely,
    Anthony

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    I don't think anyone believes the shit that our gubment puts out. Worse than Pravda.

    It pretty well known that the U6 rate is even low.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    In theory, it is best for the economy as a whole for people (businesses/countries) to do things in which they have a competitive advantage to other people (businesses/countries). They should buy/acquire products/services from those than can provide them more efficiently.

    For individual people this can be difficult.
    That's what we're talking about - individual people. Each one of us is an individual person.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    If they do not have many skills, unable/unwilling to adapt, or are in the situation where their employment disappears, they can be in dire economic situation.
    Think about all the college grads / engineers / experienced people, with lots of skills that have no job. IMO, this is about NO JOBS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    For a factory worker: the plant closes, but an engineering firm opens up in the same town. If the worker does not have the skills to be an engineer, he is out of work. He will need to acquire new skills and be willing to adapt. It is not easy when person is not able to move to where the work is or learn for a new line of work. Getting a new job is not always possible. (I know this is an oversimplification)
    What I can say is that 'employers' think they know what kinds of skills the employees need. From my experience (as a 62 year old computer scientist) the employers don't know jack shit about what it takes to get the job done. They windup throwing away many good canidates, while whinning about having a shortage of qualified applicants.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    Economics can be very harsh to the unprepared.
    Truth is no individual can withstand the assult of this recession.

    Think about it - these unemployed people were productive, had jobs, paid their bills, were educated, functioning people / famlies.

    Now all of a sudden - well tough shit - quick get another profession at age 40 / 50 / 60. You gotta be felxible! Maybe you should move 1,500 miles away from all your contacts, friends, family, sell your home (or try and sell your home for 2/3's the price you paid) for some horse shit job, with no promise of how long that one will last

    The shared sacrafice line is a joke. While brokerage houses get billions in bail outs, many skilled educated individuals have been unemployed for more than two years.

    Know what really happens? We the taxpayers wind up paying for these poor folks' medicaid / food stamps / assistance / counseling. All that money saved buying cheap Chinese shit is spent supporting the very people who don't have jobs. But the kicker is the corporations are retaining the earnings. The corps have figured out a way to pay low wages, no FICA, no benefits, no OSHA, etc. It's the great sucking sound that Ross Perot spoke about 20 yrs ago.

    It's a zero sum game.

    The US and Europe can probably kick the can down the road for another couple of years before the SHTF.

    http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-new...stics_12022011

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    Senior Member BrentP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    What I can say is that 'employers' think they know what kinds of skills the employees need. From my experience (as a 62 year old computer scientist) the employers don't know jack shit about what it takes to get the job done. They windup throwing away many good canidates, while whinning about having a shortage of qualified applicants.
    That's because of the corporate system. Management doesn't have a clue what it takes to get a job done anymore. Because in this system everything is institutionalized. Advancement is about perception and social games. It is _NOT_ about getting the job done. They want someone to hang out with, someone that will make them look good, getting the job done? rarely a priority.

    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    Truth is no individual can withstand the assult of this recession.
    I think if I get downsized again I may be done working. I've got this idea where I can make a meager living under the radar thanks to the internet and I might just do it. I'm tired of making other people millions and then get slammed time and time again.

    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    Now all of a sudden - well tough shit - quick get another profession at age 40 / 50 / 60. You gotta be felxible! Maybe you should move 1,500 miles away from all your contacts, friends, family, sell your home (or try and sell your home for 2/3's the price you paid) for some horse shit job, with no promise of how long that one will last
    I agree that people should not need to move so much and so far but that's how it is when business creation is so restricted and people don't care to keep their family members close. The reason we are in such a depression is that like the 1930s the system's fascist tendencies are in full swing. When people can't find work they often start businesses... but now how does one start a business when government makes it nearly impossible with a huge capital outlay? Back in freer times if someone got laid off making widgets and there was still a market for widgets he might go start his own widget business. This is how geographical clusters of companies in the same line of work often come about.

    With regard to doing something different I have to disagree. I don't think people should have such isolated skill sets. I have lots of different skills and I could be employed doing many different things. What I don't like is that employers can't grasp anything but mono-skill people. And here I could rant about the prussian system schools and so forth

    The shared sacrafice line is a joke. While brokerage houses get billions in bail outs, many skilled educated individuals have been unemployed for more than two years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post

    Sometimes, I think it might be better to try and keep some jobs to keep the economy working, even if it is not the most efficient use of resources. I do not know what is the best balance for accomplishing this. Economics can be very harsh to the unprepared.
    That is one of the more intelligent things I have heard on this thread.

    We need to look back to what was in place when this country was headed in positive direction, versus when we began sliding downhill (in the 1930's).

    From the 1840's to the 1920's, the growth rate and the standard of living for Americans was the highest it ever has been (even counting the WW2 and beyond years).

    That's all I'm going to say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    Sometimes, I think it might be better to try and keep some jobs to keep the economy working, even if it is not the most efficient use of resources. I do not know what is the best balance for accomplishing this. Economics can be very harsh to the unprepared..

    There is no perfect solution so no sense in trying to find one nor is there a "balance" to be found. A balance implies that some policy maker is intelligent enough to decide on a "balanced" policy for a country of 300 million. That policy makers know what's best for millions of businesses and individuals. That policy makers have some authority to intervene in millions of businesses and individual's lives and uses their money as they see fit. They are neither intelligent enough nor do they have such authority and we've seen how fiscally irresponsible the policy makers are so enough of that nonsense. You can't simply ignore $15 trillion in debt heaped on our backs by those policy makers.

    The only rational, reasonable, and just solution is to allow qualified people to sell their labor to the highest bidder free of any gov't intervention. And that means here or abroad.

    To advocate a clearly inefficient policy is tantamount to flushing money down the toilet. You wouldn't do that so why would you advocate trade barriers of any kind?

    If you are not qualified then get qualified. Your marketability is nobody's responsibility but your own.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by swamprat View Post
    Unemployment has hit every facet of society except the UBER rich. What I don't get is that a large portion don't get the fact that free trade has been the cause of the job loss we have been experiencing.
    If by 'free trade' you mean the Corporatist/Nationalist trade agreements that are routinely labeled as such, they can certainly contribute. However, true free trade requires no such agreements. If you are free to trade you don't need a several thousand page document explaining how to do it, you just do it.

    You would think that at least some intelligent people would get the fact that we have cut taxes at least 10 times since the Ronald Reagan administration and have had 5 recessions, each successively longer and all the Pea party and the Occupy Wall Street crowd wants to talk about is this program or that, this tax cut or that, like fiddling with the deck furniture will prevent the Titanic from sinking. All my realtor friends say is "fix housing," like fixing the economy is similar to a leaking roof or a broken toilet.
    No rational human being would call taxes 'cut' when spending isn't commensurately cut. Cutting taxes without equal and opposite cuts in spending merely means taking on additional debt which will eventually be paid... out of future taxes which would require a commensurate reduction in spending in the future so revenues can be applied to the debt, or a tax increase. So in reality a tax 'cut' with no cut in spending now or in the future is just a deferred tax increase.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    IThink about all the college grads / engineers / experienced people, with lots of skills that have no job. IMO, this is about NO JOBS.
    Correct. There is no end or shortage to human want, there's always something to do. If there is one thing on this planet that there should never really be a shortage of, it's paying jobs.

    What I can say is that 'employers' think they know what kinds of skills the employees need. From my experience (as a 62 year old computer scientist) the employers don't know jack shit about what it takes to get the job done. They windup throwing away many good canidates, while whinning about having a shortage of qualified applicants.
    Again, correct. I work in HR, specifically in recruiting, and it's like pulling nails to get actual job requirements out of managers. They always want to fall back on some generic job description with set qualifications which are more exclusive than inclusive, and this imposes reporting requirements on the company, as well as misdirects the hiring process. The bottom line is every job boils down to a deliverable or set of them, with expected quality metrics and a required time frame for delivery. The right way to hire is to concentrate on this actual business need and let that dictate who you hire. But there's a lot of CYA in hiring, which generates a lot of 'No' votes on candidates, which everyone just assumes is the right decision when in reality they could have just said 'No' to a superstar, and a lot of CYA in what's included in the 'job description' so when they do hire someone, usually when a time crunch forces their hand, as long as the person meets the basic requirements and has a degree, the hiring manager has covered their rear end and avoided blame for a bad hire.

    We had lay offs at my company not too long ago, and we ended up hiring back some of those workers because on reflection the managers kept underperformers who were easier to manage and got rid of some high performers they didn't like personally for whatever reason. A real cluster *&%* in a lot of ways.

    Think about it - these unemployed people were productive, had jobs, paid their bills, were educated, functioning people / famlies.
    Here is where I disagree with you a bit. They were getting paid, but to the extent their job was the result of inflationary excess they were not necessarily being productive. It's a bit of a technical point, but doubt over whether or not their actions were actually productive or not is basically the reason they are no longer working. If the government tanks the currency quite a few things seem 'productive' which turn out to be otherwise when prices start skyrocketing and bottlenecking resources.

    Now all of a sudden - well tough shit - quick get another profession at age 40 / 50 / 60. You gotta be felxible! Maybe you should move 1,500 miles away from all your contacts, friends, family, sell your home (or try and sell your home for 2/3's the price you paid) for some horse shit job, with no promise of how long that one will last
    It's more than a pain in the ass, I'll grant you that. Unlike a lot of libertarians I'm not against unemployment so long as the government perpetuates booms and busts. End the corporate welfare first, phase out the individual welfare as the economy resets itself. Then don't mess it up again and you can then get rid of the individual welfare programs.

    Know what really happens? We the taxpayers wind up paying for these poor folks' medicaid / food stamps / assistance / counseling. All that money saved buying cheap Chinese shit is spent supporting the very people who don't have jobs. But the kicker is the corporations are retaining the earnings. The corps have figured out a way to pay low wages, no FICA, no benefits, no OSHA, etc. It's the great sucking sound that Ross Perot spoke about 20 yrs ago.
    This does kind of ignore marginal utility though. If those 'cheap' Chinese goods were made here there's no way in hell the prices would be as low. In which case, less will be bought, in which case those jobs still wouldn't be here. We have a highly developed productive workforce in the US, the real question is how badly has the government regulated our labor into functional uselessness compared to some newly hired labor straight out of the rice paddy in China. Denying ourselves the benefits of the international division of labor isn't the answer, the answer is to find out why our labor isn't re employed. It makes no more sense for the US to blame China and corps going there than it does for Georgia to blame Kansas. If we want our workforce to be employable we can't make them cost 10X as much for the same output.

    It's a zero sum game.
    No, it isn't. Wealth can be and is increased. However return has to be earned, it can't be voted. First world working conditions were things we earned via our increased productivity over time, and things other countries need to earn now as they develop. You mention OSHA and FICA, etc. At thre base of those programs and regulations is the idea that we didn't need to work for and earn leisure time and better working conditions, but they come from the government. As such all the cavemen really needed to do was organize a government and vote themselves out of the stoneage into the modern world via government fiat. But, as you likely realize, that's ridiculous.

    The relevant questions are why were working conditions improving before OSHA and concentrated government efforts to that end? Why was leisure time increasing before government regs? Why was child labor declining before government regs outlawing it? The answer is increased demand for labor which gave labor more power because it was becoming more productive. Something we haven't seen in a while because as these trends developed, spineless politicians came in and decided to share the wealth and try to achieve for everyone at all levels of productivity what many, but not all, had earned. And they wanted the credit for what people had in fact earned for themselves by and large in a relatively free market. In so doing they've priced and regulated US labor out of the market, esepcially at the unskilled level. And, they've debased our currency in the process, which for all practical ends just means they've stolen money from the lower income levels and shunted it to the higher, more politically connected types. That's why banksters get bailouts and million dollar bonuses for failing while we get 30% on our credit cards an higher prices across the boards and wages which always seem to trail the owners and financiers of the firms for which we work.

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    Correct. There is no end or shortage to human want, there's always something to do. If there is one thing on this planet that there should never really be a shortage of, it's paying jobs.


    I think JOBS are the problem. Our current system of 'wage jobs' kills individualism, creativity, thought, and responsibility. I would like to see careers rather than jobs.

    Little did I know when I majored in Comp Sci that my profession would be responsible for turning many jobs into nothing more than paper shuffling and mindless data entry. Many a time I have asked an employee: "How does such and such work in this system?" - the answer I get is "Well I just use these screens (shows me a list), that's all I know."

    Working mindless jobs 8 hrs a day, certainly isn't going to stimulate people to a higher good. But that's exactly what more and more corporate jobs have become.

    Denying ourselves the benefits of the international division of labor isn't the answer, the answer is to find out why our labor isn't re employed.


    As a self employed software developer / author / business owner for 25 years this has been my experience:

    The large and even midsize corps believe that cheap labor in India is a way to save money. As an expert in the software industry I can tell you these semi-third world programmers/engineers are woefully prepared / trained / mannered / aware / to do any kind of serious work.

    It is impossible to convince the corporate culture that outsourcing is a bad idea – you can’t even get an interview. India programmers live in turd world conditions, have a much lower standard of living, have inadequate medical care, etc, etc, etc. This is why they are ‘cheaper’: they accept a lower standard of living, they are paying for it out of their own hide. it's not that they are more productive. My question to you is: “Do you want me and my family to live in the same turd world conditions?” Is this a win/win for the US? I think not.

    We are playing a zero sum game:

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- One reason that the U.S. economy still struggles to achieve sustained growth is that Americans are a long way from recovering the trillions of dollars of household wealth lost during the Great Recession.

    U.S. household wealth fell by about $16.4 trillion of net worth from its peak in spring 2007, about six months before the start of the recession, to when things hit bottom in the first quarter of 2009, according to figures from the Federal Reserve.
    aggregate foreclosure filings in the US increased from 750,000 in 2006 to almost 2.5 million in 2009. While we do not have data on foreclosures before 2006, the mortgage default rate increased above 10% in 2009, which is more than twice as high as any year since 1991. By any standard, the recent US mortgage default and foreclosure crisis is of unprecedented historical magnitude.

    This sharp rise in foreclosures has been accompanied by large drops in house prices, residential investment, and durable consumption. As the top right panel of Figure 1 shows, nominal house prices fell 35% from 2005 to 2009. The drop in residential investment from 2005 to 2009 shown in the bottom left was larger than any drop experienced in the post World War II era. The drop in durable consumption is also large, but more comparable to recent recessions
    Over $16 trillion dollars of personal wealth lost, foreclosures, upside down mortgages, loss of savings, unemployment, underemployment, national debt, banking crisises, sorrow, grief, and general lack of direction in this country – You seem to imply that it is worth it for cheap shit from China?

    IMO the US is headed down a very bad path. IPads, IPhones, Androids, Internet, Cell phones, unending sports, unending TV, and constant entertainment does not make a ‘real’ economy. Yet it seems this is our primary focus. We are headed for a rude awakening!
    Last edited by dBrong; 12-08-2011 at 12:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post

    I think JOBS are the problem. Our current system of 'wage jobs' kills individualism, creativity, thought, and responsibility. I would like to see careers rather than jobs.

    Little did I know when I majored in Comp Sci that my profession would be responsible for turning many jobs into nothing more than paper shuffling and mindless data entry. Many a time I have asked an employee: "How does such and such work in this system?" - the answer I get is "Well I just use these screens (shows me a list), that's all I know."

    Working mindless jobs 8 hrs a day, certainly isn't going to stimulate people to a higher good. But that's exactly what more and more corporate jobs have become.



    As a self employed software developer / author / business owner for 25 years this has been my experience:

    The large and even midsize corps believe that cheap labor in India is a way to save money. As an expert in the software industry I can tell you these semi-third world programmers/engineers are woefully prepared / trained / mannered / aware / to do any kind of serious work.

    It is impossible to convince the corporate culture that outsourcing is a bad idea – you can’t even get an interview. India programmers live in turd world conditions, have a much lower standard of living, have inadequate medical care, etc, etc, etc. This is why they are ‘cheaper’: they accept a lower standard of living, they are paying for it out of their own hide. it's not that they are more productive. My question to you is: “Do you want me and my family to live in the same turd world conditions?” Is this a win/win for the US? I think not.

    We are playing a zero sum game:





    Over $16 trillion dollars of personal wealth lost, foreclosures, upside down mortgages, loss of savings, unemployment, underemployment, national debt, banking crisises, sorrow, grief, and general lack of direction in this country – You seem to imply that it is worth it for cheap shit from China?

    IMO the US is headed down a very bad path. IPads, IPhones, Androids, Internet, Cell phones, unending sports, unending TV, and constant entertainment does not make a ‘real’ economy. Yet it seems this is our primary focus. We are headed for a rude awakening!

    The housing debacle was caused by the artificially low interest rates set by the fed. If even one bank took the free money and used it to make loans to subprime borrowers, then in an attempt to stay competitive other banks did as well.

    Then, along with the CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) threatening penalties to banks who refused to make risky home loans, the bubble began to inflate. The gov't is, was and always will be the problem.

    There's no zero sum game. As mentioned: when competition pursues and innovation and invention have a place, then raw resources will be assembled into new wealth. The can't happen with strangling gov't regulations and taxation.

    My experience with outsourcing to Romania has been great. It was always the American management that made the bad decisions that ran up costs.

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    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    'As long as corporations are run by cost cutting bean counters the problems of outsourcing and resultant unemployment will continue' I hear you all cry. Probably true, but look in from the other end of the tunnel.

    If a corporation is not advised by astute Financial Managers, if outsourcing is resisted, cost cutting is marginalised and unemployment is resisted, will all be bright and shiny? How can it be as the end result will be goods that are overpriced in a market environment that is already tightening its belt? I am not going to buy a British car if I can get a better German, Japanese, or French one at the same or better quality for a lower price - who in their right mind would?

    As far as I can see what we are currently experiencing is the direct result of a rapidly shrinking world. Shrinking in that communication, travel and transportation, between what used to be far distant and remote countries, is now quick and easy.

    Take a country like India which has a huge workforce availability, low wage structures and the ability to provide a quick supply of whatever is needed at a more than competitive price. Any company who finds that an Indian firm can provide the goods it wants, at an acceptable quality standard, at the right price and within the required timescale, has little option but to outsource if it wishes to remain in business. It has nothing to do with national loyalty or national pride is is a simple matter of economics coupled with a desire to stay in business. Finding the right company able to provide all the right 'markers' is just a normal part of supplier evaluation - if they meet the target use them, if they don't then dump them and try the next company. All that has happened is that supplier evaluation, which used to be carried out within a few hundred miles of base, is now done on a world wide basis.

    In the UK we once had a world renowned manufacturing industry that provided hardware to businesses all over the world. Thanks to trades unions, mainly communist/socialist inspired, workers were taught that they could hold companies to ransom. Slowly the demands of the workforces increased until in order to meet their resultant wage bills the cost of the products became unsustainable. Order books shrank, companies went bankrupt and closed down and unemployment - for the blue collar workers - became rampant. Now we have a massive level of unemployment, largely because many of those on the dole are unemployable, as they do not have and are not capable of learning, the skills needed to function in our burgeoning financial and electronic business environment. Those who are unemployed but do have the necessary skills are unable to find employment as the existing postitons are already filled and vacancies are few and far between - hundreds, in some cases thousands, of people chasing one vacancy is now a regular occurrence. No-one wants to go into industry, or farming, or virtually any form of manual work these days. Youngsters are now expecting to leave school, go on to university, get a degree in whatever, and then walk into a managerial position, on a high salary, with no experience - sorry guys it will never happen. A degree merely indicates that you have the ability to learn, you still have to demonstrate, over time, that you have the ability to put what you have learned into a level of practice that brings the company a beneficial financial reward.

    It is no good blaming corporations, or even blaming the third world countries because they provide cheap, cost cutting, labour. It is the way businesses are run in a shrinking world.

    It is, however, a vicious circle. Time will come when India and China will find, as wages and living conditions improve the culture of 'Want' rather than 'Need' will become dominant as it did in our respective countries. They will then find that some other 'emerging' third world industrial nation is able to undercut them, and price them out of the market, at every business opportunity - I think Korea is already well on its way. Then they will be complaining in exactly the same way that we are now complaining.


    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

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