Jobs and Jobs Training Archive

Since I have written quite a few blog articles related to jobs and jobs training, I thought I would create an archive for your perusal. Jobs go along with “economics”, without an “economy” there are no jobs. So here it goes, hope you enjoy the Archive, I have enjoyed writing the articles and as you can see the theme is a “work in progress”:

Jobs Training
Part 1: Jobs in the Mono-economy
Part 2: Past prescriptions
Part 3: The job training dilemma
Part 4: Jobs training, the more things change, the more the stay the same
Part 5A: The Re-tooling of a titan: Chicago
Part 5B: Jobs training, search for solutions

Business
Signs of the Times #6: Peripheral Stuff
Signs of the Times #8: Thriving or/dying industries
Are Boomers causing a business bust?
Ghost Ship
Import-Export Bank
The Real cost of doing business

Getting a Job
Let’s talk about minimum wage
Idea of a resume` is so passe`
Immigration policy or illegal immigration policy
The American Dream
The Temp has gained Respect

Studs Terkel, a Chicago journalist and TV personality, wrote a book called “Working“. He interviewed the “common” man or woman and recorded their lives as they related to work. We are defined by our job or craft, or skill, or “calling.” We have pride in ourselves when we feel worthiness and “worth.” Perhaps that’s what’s missing right now in the American spirit, it’s our “worth.” Let’s restore it, re-write the recipe or create a new one.

By the way, don’t forget to VOTE! It’s your patriotic duty and contributes to a feeling of “worth.”

Barrick Gold’s Australian super pit stake sale draws interest from Kinross, Zijin — Financial Post – Top Stories

Barrick Gold Corp.’s stake in the Kalgoorlie Super Pit mine has drawn interest from Kinross Gold Corp. and Zijin Mining Group Co. in a sale that could fetch as much as US$1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said. Australian producers Newcrest Mining Ltd., Northern Star Resources Ltd. and Evolution Mining Ltd. are also reviewing data…

via Barrick Gold’s Australian super pit stake sale draws interest from Kinross, Zijin — Financial Post – Top Stories

Is this a “study” in contrasts or what! As “they” say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, I say, this photo is surely speaking volumes. I have a question for you, the reader. What thought or thoughts first popped into your mind upon seeing the above photo? Let’s not try to get philosophical, I mean your “gut” reaction. Mine was one of contrasts. There are really two “photos” one might say, did someone use PhotoShop software to enhance this photo? Of, course, not. (At least I don’t think so.) The photo in one sense seems like the yin and yang symbol of the Chinese culture, representing opposite forces. There is the huge gaping hole of the humanly engineered-mine and the huge human civilization existing right along side it.

The mine represents “forces of an economy.” By that I mean in this case a “scarce” resource (gold) being used to support jobs, a capitalistic enterprise i.e., a mining company, and creating a “local” economy for the region where the mine is located. But it is still a gaping hole in the earth, a wound in the earth’s surface. I am discovering that I am writing not only about “human” economics but environmental economics as well. Here’s a quote from the article:

The Barrick asset, known as the Super Pit, is 3.5 kilometers long and ranks as Australia’s largest open-pit gold mine, its website shows. It’s located in Kalgoorlie, a city in Western Australia where the metal has been produced continuously since a late 19th-century gold rush.

I recently wrote another blog article motivated by another striking photo:
Saskatchewan water.

We are living in the “age of shock.” In order to get people’s attention, many times abrupt, jarring tactics are used by the media, or others to gain attention to an event, a product, a person, you name it.

So do we just get more numb in order to counter-act the shock? Have you seen any “yin and yang” contrasts? It creates food for thought and perhaps hopefully civil conversation.

Veeps in the Spotlight

Last night Monday, October 4, 2016, voters and citizens of the U.S. got to hear and see the Vice-Presidential candidates who will be running for office along side the Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

So what did we learn new? Were there any different viewpoints displayed between the vice-presidential candidates and their presidential running mates? Should we expect any “revelations during such a debate? Should the vice-presidential candidates have/show different opinions or viewpoints than the presidential candidate that he is “running with?”

Well, here’s the “take” by the:
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/04/us/politics/vice-presidential-debate.html?_r=0

Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/04/winners-and-losers-from-the-vice-presidential-debate/

BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-37558787

Fact check from NPR: http://www.npr.org/2016/10/04/496452797/fact-check-vice-presidential-debate-with-tim-kaine-and-mike-pence

Finally, this website has some “background info on the vice-presidential candidiates: https://ballotpedia.org/Vice_presidential_candidates,_2016

We are entering the “home stretch” of the U.S. Presidential election, with (2) two more Presidential debates scheduled: October 9 and October 19.

And, whoever said that elections were boring??? The historians will have a field day writing about this one and just think, the “tweets” and emails alone will fill several volumes data!

Whatever the outcome of the election, how about we “come together” as a nation? E Pluribus Unum, out of many, one: http://www.greatseal.com/mottoes/unum.html

It’s the motto of the United States, I think we forget it once in a while.

Author’s Update, 106/2016: Found this posting at the Brookings Insitute and thought it might be of interest: How Kaine and Pence both fit the mold of a modern Vice President. ( https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2016/09/29/how-kaine-and-pence-both-fit-the-mold-of-a-modern-vice-president/)
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Realize

All I Can Say is WOW!

All I can say is WOW! Wow, wow, wow, wow!

Is this the penultimate “Week that was?” There are (3) three reasons that I say that:

1. The Chicago Tribune (Trib), a historical very Republication newspaper (it dates back to 1847), did endorse a Democrat for President in 2012, Barack Obama; and to my amazement, has this time endorsed the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson!!! I opened the Trib to its editorial page and there it is. I’m including a photo of the editorial page. garyjohnson-1

For disclaimers: I have no political intention with this photo. It’s just a photo of the endorsement of Gary Johnson, it just was such a surprise. Hillary Clinton being a “hometown” candidate and all, did not sway the Editorial Board nor did Donald Trump being the Republican candidate abet, a somewhat reluctant choice of the Republication party. I am not working for any political candidate, I’m not a politician, I’m not being paid to post these remarks. In fact, my blog tries to focus on economic issues but the Presidential election results will drive economic “issues” for (4) years perhaps even more. On to Reason #2:

2. The Congress of the United States over-rode a veto by the President of the United States regarding a Bill that allows U.S. citizens to sue the perpetrators of the terrorists’ attacks on September 11, 2001in New York, Washington, D.C. and plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. Here’s a link to information about the bill.

I actually started writing this blog article early this morning (Oct 2) and was going to title it: “Is this any way to run a country?” Here, following is what I wrote early and I mean (2AM or so) this morning:

Or, how about this title for my blog article, “Is Lame Duck voting, a Brexit Redux? We have an election in November which will “fire” some in Congress and replace them with new Senators and U.S. House of Representatives. Thus any legislators voting upon on legislative Bills between the November 11 election and swearing in of newly elected Congressional representatives are called “lame ducks.”

So Congress finally over-rode a Presidential veto. This Presidential veto was meant to prevent potential diplomatic, security, safety, strategic global endangerment of US citizens abroad, around the world. The “vetoed” bill was purportedly not read adequately by Congressional members before their voting action. There are now Congressmen/women who regret their vote for the veto.

Here’s some links on the situation as it unfolds:
The Bill
The Veto
The vote to overturn the Veto
The consequences, who knows, but there already is a lawsuit filed against Saudi Arabia.

Is this retaliation or “get even” vote against President Obama because of his executive orders? Is this the ultimate touché` of a Republication Congress against a Democratic President? How self-destructive do we need to get before we completely destroy our Country? Or, to say it another way, when will our legislators discover the “art” of compromise again? Do you remember the video game “Pac Man”? I never played it but basically it was “eat or “get eaten.” When everyone or thing is “eaten” the game ends.

We are worried about the Russians or North Korea having nuclear weapons they might launch. We are worried about China becoming a world power! We just keep shooting ourselves in the foot!

So was the overturn of President Obama’s veto a retaliation, a sensible vote, gross negligence of Congress without due diligence, political blunder, political correctness, lack of diplomatic oversight…I’m running out of reasons or perhaps excuses.

Is it greed that drives the reparation movement regarding 9/11 tragedy? Unanticipated consequences brought about the Mid-East crises, unanticipated consequence brought about the housing crash of 2008-09, lack of due diligence and greed caused the dot.com crash in 2001.

And, finally Number 3:

3. Another stopgap “funding” bill so US government won’t “shut down”
Stopgap money bill
http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/national-international/Deal-Reached-to-Help-Flint-Keep-US-Government-Open-395096431.html

How many times has the U.S. government been shut down? Answer: Too many times, it never should have happened even once!
The sequester bill was passed into law in year 2011, why it happened and the aftermath of consequences, because it did “work.” Here are some links to reference about the sequester bill:

Sequester

Frequently asked questions about the Sequester
https://democrats-budget.house.gov/committee-report/frequently-asked-questions-about-sequestration-under-budget-control-act-2011

Unlike computers, there is no UNDO button in Congress; well there is… more legislation, political wrangling, amendments, whatever. But the damage done perhaps can’t be rectified and again more reparation contemplated.

We have “tent cities”, drinking water that is poison, demonstrations like “Occupy Wall Street” which resulted from the housing crisis of 2008-09, discriminations that may or may not ever be resolved to anyone’s satisfaction. A national crumbling infrastructure that at times literally collapsed as the bridge in Minnesota. http://www.startribune.com/new-35w-bridge-already-is-aging/268746561/

I don’t even know how to end this blog, I usually come up with something witty or positive to say. Perhaps I should refer to a comedy motion picture called “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World.” Here’s a movie “trailer” on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sla845GW9YM
I mean is it not a comedy of errors” at this point? Let’s stop pointing fingers and get to work. I’ll give you a “spoiler” alert about the motion picture, the money gets found but there is “no reward.”

Well, “that’s all folks”, to quote Bugs Bunny. And, tomorrow’s another day, here’s the Tomorrow song from “Annie”, the theater play. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PzL8aL6jtI

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Breakthrough
Clumsy

Frontline’s Documentary: The Choice 2016

First a disclaimer: I am NOT a political worker for either candidate, I am NOT an employee of Frontline, the documentary company, I am NOT a politician of any political party. I am NOT an employee of PBS.org or any other journalistic entity. I AM a private American citizen and a voter in the next Presidential election. I hope the above clears up any questions about my “status” concerning this particular posting.

Now to the post: I have just viewed the Frontline documentary called “The Choice 2016.” Here’s a link to it online: The Choice 2016.
Whether you are a “Trump” supporter or a “Clinton” supporter, its worth your time to get some background on the two Presidential candidates. The documentary covers several decades of the lives of the two candidates.

If you are “on the fence”, perhaps watching the documentary will change your vote, if you are a “Trump” or “Clinton” voter the documentary may help you solidify your voting decision. Whatever the reason, U.S. citizens need to vote.

P.S. You might not even need the popcorn!

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Facade
Daring
Careful

Post-debate 9/27/16

Since I’m responding to the Daily Post word “unfinished”, today, I thought it might be appropriate to comment upon the “consumer confidence” number just recently released. As I have previously posted in my blog, here is a small tutorial on the difference between “consumer confidence” vs. “consumer sentiment.”
An article on the website MarketWatch, cites consumer confident is higher. Yet, there are retail stores closing, unfortunately people (who are also consumers) are being laid off or losing their jobs.

Mr. Trump referred to “carried interest” during the debate, here’s a link to my definitions article which contains a definition for “carried interest.” There were also comments by both Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton about “trade deficits“, also, here’s my blog article regarding trade deficits plus little more.
Looking more at the word “unfinished,” it could apply to, of course, our election of a new President is, yet, unfinished; or, the U.S. economy “recovery” is yet unfinished, or is it better to look at the November election results as Thank you the campaigning is finally finished!
I hope that you viewed the debate last night. I hope that you plan to watch AND listen to the following debates which are scheduled as:

Vice Presidential candidates on October 4–remember that these two candidates are the potential #2 leaders of the United States

Presidential candidates on October 9

Presidential candidates on October 19

“Finished” in its meaning has the connotation of “ended” or “done.” It has a finality to it. Think of our election results instead as the continuity of our nation or as we say in our pledge of allegiance:

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, One Nation, under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.”

As a final comment, I do believe that the Pledge of Allegiance should be brought back to the schools. We said the Pledge everyday at the beginning of the school day, I attended a public school and a parochial school, we recited the Pledge at both schools. It was patriotic.

If there is anything that is “unfinished” it is our national identity. Perhaps our individual identities are changing but our National ideals and beliefs should not. We can “work it out,” we really can.

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Unfinished

U.S. Presidential election archive

We are almost “at the wire”, the U.S. Presidential election is November 8, 2016. There are four (4) debates scheduled before the November 8 election:
• September 26 (Presidential candidates)
• October 4 (Vice Presidential candidates)
• October 9 (Presidential candidates)
• October 19 (Presidential candidates)

Who is qualified to participate in the U.S. Presidential debates in the year 2016??? That’s the $64,000 (U.S. Dollar) question!

The responsibility for deciding this question is the Commission on Presidential Debates. “The CPD’s primary mission is to ensure, for the benefit of the American electorate, that general election debates are held every four years between and among the leading candidates for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States.”

“Under the 2016 Criteria, in addition to being Constitutionally eligible, candidates must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College, and have a level of support of at least 15 percent of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations’ most recently publicly-reported results at the time of the determination.”

Will third party candidate Gary Johnson have a change to participate in the U.S. 2016 Presidential election debates? Here’s what the New York Times thinks about that question: Will Gary Johnson quality to debate?

Here’s an archive of my postings that reference the upcoming U.S. Presidential election.

Frontline Documentary: The Choice 2016, dated September 28, 2016

Introducing the Party of “Neither” dated August 31, 2016
Show me the Money! dated August 12, 2016
FYI: What is the Electoral College dated August 8, 2016
Fact Checking the Clinton Speech July 29, 2016
Debt-Deficit Conundrum dated July 23, 2016 (fact checking Trump Speech)
It doesn’t really matter (I guess!) dated July 20, 2016
American Dream circa 2016 dated May 30, 2016

You can also look under my categories “election” and “presidential election” at the bottom of my Blog page for these blog articles.

It is famously quoted that Marie Antoinette (Queen of France) said “let them eat cake.” So to do a bit of a paraphrase, I say “let them debate!”
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Argument
Promises

So how connected do we want to be?

rear-window2The Chicago Tribune newspaper (Trib) recently published two (2) articles about the “Internet of Things.” I thought I’d include a photo of the view of my backyard from in the house. Not very “pretty” is it! Lots of wires, the signs of civilization, perhaps I should say, signs of “pre-Internet” civilization!!!

There is a French company, Sigfox®, “provider of network connectivity for Internet of Things devices, ..now live in Chicago.” Here’s an article from the Trib: Sigfox, Internet of Things

The idea is that different devices will offer support to our lives and our “way” of doing business through connections using the Internet as a wire-free conduit. This support would not use cellular technology necessarily.

Two (2) separate areas of Chicago are being “outfitted” with sensors and cameras. The initial idea, as least, is that “traffic” will be monitored, i.e. pedestrian and vehicular. This Trib article also mentions being able to monitor an area for “flooding” issues: Array of Things sensors.

There are several European countries experimenting with such technology and besides Chicago, several other U.S. cities are participating in use of the technology.

Here in Chicago, according to the Trib, collaboration is among the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Isn’t technology amazing! To think that this current “Array of Things” is ultimately possible because of electricity. Of course there are a myriad of inventions “between” the discovery and harnessing of electricity but I don’t believe it would be possible without the use of electricity. Perhaps there will be a comment in this regard from one of my readers.

There are issues being raised about privacy. Actually how “smart” do I want my home to be??? Is it better if my refrigerator orders butter and eggs from the grocer, who is going to make sure none of the eggs are broken? Ok, ok, business enterprises will surely benefit from improved “supply chain” operations, and as we are told “benefits” flow to the consumer or user. And, surely, do I need to “control” my wash machine from a cell phone while I’m flying several hundred miles above the earth???? Now, really!

Am I being too “small minded” or just “very old-fashioned”??? Guess being born in the mid-century has its “ups and downs”. Since I many times link to a light-hearted bit of nostalgia here’s one for you, The Jetsons! If you remember this TV show, then you belong to my mid-century generation (and there’s nothing wrong with that.)

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Passionate
Graceful

The Hole dug by Wells Fargo Bank

Wow, what can I say about the chicanery at the Wells Fargo Bank! It is shocking us here in the States. Here’s one version of the fraud story as reported by Reuters.

The Bank is iconic “Americana.” The Wells Fargo Company dates way back (1852) to the “Wild West” days of the United States. Even the Wells Fargo logo reflects its western heritage with its stagecoach imagery. Funny thing about the illegal activities which employees performed at Wells Fargo, I don’t think even the Glass Steagell Act would have protected the Wells Fargo customers! You see Glass Steagall helped to put a “wall” between the retail and commercial activities that a bank could legally execute and perform. Glass Steagell was revoked by Congress and signed “out of law” by President Clinton around the year 1999.

The “magic” of the Glass Steagall Act was that it protected the retail bank customer from illegal bank activities that probably caused the stock market crash in 1929. The Dodd-Frank Act was enacted in 2008 to create protections and decrease risks in the financial and banking system in the United States after the housing crash in 2008/09. However, in the year 2016 there are still parts of the Dodd-Frank Act which have not been completely executed or installed within the financial/banking system of the U.S.

I don’t know if Dodd-Frank implementations would have prevented the dishonest activities performed by employees of Wells Fargo Bank. It seems to me that integrity, honesty, ethical behavior, and honest business practices are the “fall guys” in this debacle or should I call it a “too aggressively executed marketing program being used at the bank. It would appear that the illegal activities of the employees were driven by “incentives” and “market goals.”

What shocks me the most is the vast extent of the illegal activity and why it was not detected and stopped by management?

I don’t know what scares me more: the idea that bank employees can “play” with my money, or that negative interest rates will sap my money from my bank account. From news that I watch and articles that I read, the world’s financial and banking system is not as healthy as it should be. The repercussions from the financial and banking crash in 2008/09 are still being felt, the “war” in the Middle East still rages, and even container ships of commerce (Hanjin) and trade are adrift in the middle of the International waters of the World.

Guess what I’d like to say to the employees of Wells Fargo…what were you thinking!!! And, to the management of Wells Fargo…where were you when these illegal activities were happening, why didn’t you stop it!!! I worked in the business world and it’s all about bonuses. Wow, they had to flow up the ladder “a-ways”. Gee did it get to the Board Room?

We are worried about Identity Theft these days; I guess this is an example of it on a massive scale. What are the banks going to do to get our trust back? Maybe we will have to keep our savings “under the mattress” or “behind a loose brick” in the basement. Oh, wait, some of us don’t have a basement any more because a basement is part of a house!

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Stump
Generous

Recap of Financial Week: September 9, 2016

Well, I guess it’s time for a “recap” of the “week that was.” I have previously recapped the following financial “points in time” for my and my readers’ edification. Enjoy the “looking glass” view if you wish:
Recap of September, 2015 U.S. stock market
Market recap for week of January 8, 2016

Or, continue to the next paragraph for this week’s catalytic effects on the financial markets. Here’s my candidates “naughty actors” that contributed to the downward drop or behavior of the “DOW” (Dow Jones Industrial Average)

• The Hanjin container ships marooned at sea drama Hanjin. Also see my blog item: Ghost Ship
• Fear of a Fed interest rate increase Federal Reserve Rate Increase?
• “Bad” behavior of Wells Fargo Bank Banks behaving Badly
• North Korea “flexing” their military muscles North Korea
• End of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s financial conference at Jackson Hole Federal Reserve at Jackson Hole. Here’s another blog item I wrote regarding the conference Woodstock for Economists.

and, just for a “light” bit of humor:
• It was only a 4-day work week in the U.S.

I have read and heard on the news recently that the months of September and October are “tricky” or perhaps a better word is “dangerous” months for the “markets.” Well, who am I to argue with that, the 1929 stock market crash happened in October of 1929, the 1987 crash happened in August, 1987 (close enough to September for me). (Incidentally, I was watching a financial TV program the day of the “’87” crash, and yes, I can remember where I was and who was with me at that time.) I lost a couple of “bucks” in the Dot Com crash in 2001. Next came the housing bubble in 2009, seems to me that I starting hearing about “housing” credit problems in the summer of 2008 but anyway, I do know that there was no snow on the ground when the dominoes started to fall.

So, that’s my list of reasons for the U.S. stock market “readjusting” itself today and closing down around 2% or so.