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.”

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

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

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.

Ghost Ship

I’ve been scanning the business headlines as I usually do to find my next blog topic. Bloomberg® the business news empire of Mr. Michael Bloomberg, has posted a timely article about the Hanjin container ships that ply the oceans of the world delivering trade goods from one nation to another around the world. Bloomberg’s article refers to “ghost ships.” Because of lack of money, legal issues, international trade laws, you name it, these vessels are stranded in International waters or perhaps at a destination port of call. There are rumors that food and water may be “short” in supply for the ship crews.

Again, today I encountered a homeless person on my travel through my home area. As I have seen before, this person was walking the median strip on the highway bridge with a sign. I don’t know the circumstances of this person but as I have mentioned before in my post “Encounter,” seeing homeless people is so troubling to me. The Bloomberg article, is another example of a “homeless” situation; of course, on a very grand scale but one could make a case for connecting the two circumstances. It’s all about “representation” you see. I could make it about “symbolism” or matter of perception.

Perhaps one could call the two situations “a dichotomy” of current economy conditions. On the one hand a “boat load” of “finished goods” manufactured, built, assembled, created, in one or more “foreign” countries and the “ready to purchase or use” product ready to be deliver to customers; on the other hand, people adrift in society with no home, no stable job, no dignity of life. The container ships are “adrift” on an ocean of water and the individual is adrift on an ocean of indignity.

I think the container ships represent the total dysfunction of our global economy. Here in the United States we have a Congress that won’t talk to each other or splinter groups have their own agenda certainly not the agenda of “the American people.” I live in the State of Illinois which still does not have budget and it’s been over a year! I have one cousin who fortunately was able to change jobs so she would be paid! She works in elderly care situations. I have a nephew who lost his job as a teacher! He fortunately has found another job. He got “lucky.”

Are we adrift? Wow, I’d say so. The U.S. stock market is hitting all-time highs again. It looks good, it sounds good. It’s good for a very tiny minority of people “with money.” The US is the place to put money because it seems money is “safe” here. Thanks to certain laws regarding real estate ownership, non-citizens can purchase real estate in the US and I mean million-dollar condos as well as single-family homes for “investment” purposes. At the same time, families are “priced out of the market” and can’t buy a home because of all the “cash” chasing the purchase of a house for sale.

Ah, CASH. Zero percent interest rates have not been introduced here in the States, YET. We are almost there because a “Saver” only earned maybe 0.5% interest on savings. Actually less than that, I think, down to 0.01% or 0.02%. Does accuracy matter with these miniscule rates?

Interestingly, the hullabaloo about the “goods” that are on these container ships consist of a large “inventory” of Christmas goods for retailers here in the States. Ah, Christmas, a time of sharing and cheer and gift-giving. Ah, “retail” which at one time meant going to a “brick-and-mortar” store to purchase your holiday items. Nothing wrong with on-line retailers or on-line buying, I buy on-line just like most other consumers, but I also patronize local stores and I do like to see and feel products that I wish to purchase.

Well, I’ve gone from the International oceans to a highway overpass in this blog entry. Guess I’m trying to “let off” some steam and sort out the situation as usual.

Our last summer holiday (Labor Day) is over and the next two months get real serious because of the Presidential election. There are three (3) Presidential debates scheduled and one (1) Vice President debate scheduled over this period spanning September and October. There is much “talk” about foreign entities “hacking” or influencing the US presidential elections. Politics is always interesting and sometimes “entertaining!” In fact, one of our “third” party candidates might get on the debate podium along side Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton. I wrote about that possibility here: Show me the Money.

Well, meet you all in the blogosphere and “stay tuned” for the next episode of one heck of a “soap opera.” Trouble is, whose writing the script, dialogue, and storyline?????
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Silence

Introducing the Party of “Neither”

What a great editorial in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Here’s the link: Neither for President. Evidently the WSJ does not endorse any candidates, “If ‘neither’ could make it onto the November ballot, maybe we’d reconsider our longstanding editorial policy of not endorsing candidates.”

“An unprecedented plurality of 35% responded neither, which means neither meets the 15% threshold to make it into the presidential debates. Can neither get a podium on stage?”

In my blog posting dated August 12, 2016, and titled “Show me the Money”, I offer the reader links to the four Presidential candidates’ websites and their political platforms. I also include a couple of links in my blog that refer to the 15% survey “results” requirement for inclusion in the Presidential debates.

What an interesting dilemma is posited by the WSJ! I mean, what if no Presidential candidate met the 15% “inclusion” criteria? Of course the criteria would be changed. Gee, maybe citizens should be “registered” survey responders in order to participate in the “national surveys.” Or, what if, and I know that this is really silly, but…what if only ONE candidate met the 15% requirement! They would be “onstage” debating against him or herself!

For those who can remember “Alfred E. Neuman,” should I quote him by saying “What, me worry!”
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Shiver

Encounter

My mom and I had an encounter with reality yesterday… a homeless man begging me for a dollar on our local bus service which only operates through the local streets of our village. It was a scary event. Scary because the encounter reminded me of the homeless who are panhandling around our town, scary because the homeless are the “face” of our failure as a nation. Scary for the homeless man awash in a sea of social apathy, scary because of deadlock government inaction, and a US economy which doesn’t know whether it is “up” or “down” among other things, and yes scary because he might have assaulted us or the bus driver because of his desperation. It’s a failure to “fix the problems” and the problems seem more insurmountable in every passing day. I see more homeless people “visibly.” There is a saying “the homeless are always with us”, I don’t know who said it and, for that matter, it doesn’t matter who said it.

It’s now more than 24 hours later and I am “haunted” by the memory of that homeless man. I have thought to myself in the past encounters that I have had seeing homeless people, “there but for the grace of God, go I.” I am a senior citizen and live on a fixed income. I am very worried about the ZERO percent interest rates and how the lack of income from savings is devastating the senior population. The “savers” are being punished and meanwhile others can buy cars (SUVs) at near ZERO percent interest rates because “money” is “cheap” to borrow. What is so ludicrous is that NEGATIVE percent interest rates are now being used by the European banks to try to get companies to “spend” their money instead of storing the money in banks. Basically, if you are a “saver” at a bank, you will pay the bank to hold your money for you! The Federal Reserve “isn’t there yet” but I’ve read some financial news that it could happen here in the States. As an individual and not a company, if I’m forced to spend my savings then I have “nothing”, and actually that is happening anyway because the “non-existent” inflation is very existent for me and other seniors for sure.

Here’s a blog I’ve written previously about Negative Interest Rates.

Unfortunately, my writing this blog item will not help that homeless man. Every homeless person has a “story” as to why he or she is in such a sad and seemingly helpless predicament. Am I trying to relieve my conscious? It just bothers me I guess, our whole economic “condition”. We don’t have to look at the slums of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, (or India or other “third” world country) with disgust, horror, curiousity, or smugness (I hope not), we have the “unfortunate” right here among us, just open our eyes.

And, of course, “except for the Grace of God, go I.”
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Witness

“Show me the money!”

Author update, 8/15/2016: Here’s an update on the rules being enforced in order to choose the Presidential debate candidates. This update is courtesy of CNN.com: CNN debate update

After the Labor Day holiday, the Presidential debates will begin. There are three (3) presidential debates scheduled on September 26, October 9, and October 19, 2016. There is one vice-presidential debates scheduled for October 4, 2016.

Just as I created a blog entry to links for the multiple Republication and Democrat candidates’ economic platforms while seeking their party’s nomination, this time I’m focusing on the winners of those contests, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton (Democratic nominee)
Official website: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/om-an-economy-that-works-for-everyone/
Factcheck.org analysis of Hillary Clinton’s economic speech: http://www.factcheck.org/2016/08/clintons-economic-speech/

Donald Trump (Republication nominee)
Official website: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/economic-vision
Factcheck.org analysis of Donald Trump’s economic speech: http://www.factcheck.org/2016/08/trumps-economic-speech/

Although the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, will probably not be participating in the Presidential debates, I’m including his Party’s web site: https://www.lp.org/platform

The Green Party also has a candidate, Jill Stein, planning to run for President. Here’s the link to their website: http://www.gp.org/

The criteria for inclusion in the Presidential debates is that each candidate must command at least 15% in five (5) mainstream polls. Here’s some information on that:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-gary-johnson-libertarian-debate-edit-20160805-story.html

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-welch-debates-johnson-stein-20160810-snap-story.html

In some of my blog posts, I make reference to a motion picture, or perhaps a TV or radio show, the film that comes to mind, relative to this posting, is the movie, Jerry McGuire. To me, one of the great lines in the movie is “show me the money”, which was uttered by Cuba Gooding Jr. Here’s a trailer clip from the movie that contains that scene: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi878683161?ref_=ttvi_vi_imdb_1

The “economic” themes in the candidate’s platforms include tax treatment, infrastructure investment, military readiness, treatment of immigrants (legal or ortherwise), to name some of them. Each candidate has his or her way of “showing the money” or perhaps “stowing” the money through various taxation techniques.

Being an informed voter is more important than ever. Casting one’s vote is more important than ever. Making “the right” choice for our country is more important than ever. I hope that everyone who is a legal and registered voter, does vote. Unfortunately, the issue of being “registered” is rearing its ugly head again. We just can’t seem to “get it right!” Well, that’s a topic for another blog item.
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Confused

Are the “Boomers” causing a Business Bust?

I guess the “Boomers*” are now being blamed for the short-sightedness and “short-term” instead of “long-term” planning that Corporate America should have been doing all along. Here’s an article in the Chicago Tribune® written by Rex Huppke: As boomers leave workforce, transfer of knowledge is key. Basically as the Baby Boomers are retiring their “job-related” knowledge retires with them!

*Post WWII babies born between 1946 and 1964)

Here’s a very short story of mine about the value of “tacit knowledge” as it was named by Prof. Dorothy Leonard in Mr. Huppke’s above article:

We needed a plumber (ha, who doesn’t need a good plumber) and thus called one to our home. During his visit with us, the plumber commented how difficult it was to find new help for his business. He said that the men (in this case) came with the requisite “book” knowledge but did not have the “trouble-shooting” knowledge needed in order to “problem-solve” plumbing issues. Unfortunately, that “tacit knowledge” only comes with years of working the “plumber’s trade” and being presented with hundreds of flooding basements, leaky faucets, over-flowing toilets, plugged drains, and the milieu of plumbing problems that only a really handy husband, friend, or expert plumbing can solve.

Of course, apprenticeships and trade schools were common here in the States during the 40s, 50s, and 60s. During high school, there were courses called “shop” meaning those courses that introduced teenaged students to blue-collar-type skills such as carpentry or auto repair. Here’s an article from Forbes.com (a business magazine) written in 2012 that talks about California eliminating “shop classes”: The Death of Shop Class and America’s High Skilled Workforce.

Call these “unintended” consequences of “off-shoring”, H1-B visa permits, trade agreements, cost-cutting measures for financial/economic reasons… call it or point a physical or virtual finger at whatever one’s wishes to blame but… we “are” economically where we “are.” First, blue-collar jobs were “lost” in the US to lower-paying jobs in companies in other countries, then white-collar jobs started vanishing in the US, funny thing about some of those jobs, the “jobs” still might remain in the US but the guy or gal in the cubicle next to you was hired by a contractor agency who was not domiciled in the US and the co-worker might be working here with one of those H1-B work visas.

Now we can get into “lack” of skilled workers to fill the positions, etc.; but just like China’s One Child Policy has really come to slap them in the face, US citizens have been smacked in the face for several decades due to short-sighted policies, lack of proper training policies, or lack of long-range planning (to name a couple of reasons).

I have written a six-part blog series on the subject of jobs. Here are the links for your edification, enjoyment, amusement, or gain in “tacit knowledge”.

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Youth
Expert