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.”

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

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

Horseshoe Nail

 

It’s strange (at least to me) how one topic or comment or news article in this case, can lead one “on and on” to different searches on the Internet. In this particular case, the news article that touched off my latest rummage of the ‘Net’ is a news piece on the Financial Post, a Canadian newspaper. Well, in thinking about my cyber journey a little more, it’s not so strange. My head is full of the two presidential conventions just ended and all of the rhetoric that transpired therein.

The particular Financial Post article to which I am referring is this one: Inside the Aging Lock that is one breakdown away from crippling North America’s Economy. After reading the news article it triggered in my head the old adage “the battle was lost because of a horseshoe nail.” So I searched around for the correct version of this adage and found that Benjamin Franklin wrote a version of it in his “Poor Richard’s Almanac” news paper. Here’s a version of Franklin’s verse at: goodreads.com. www.goodreads.com.

What I really want to talk about is the Financial Post article. Basically, the “Soo Locks” are two water locks that control access to the Great Lakes of North America. The Great Lakes  are: Lake Superior, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, and Lake Huron. They are “fresh” water lakes vs. “salt water” such as our oceans, the Atlantic and Pacific contain. The Great Lakes are connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Seaway.

If we are to believe the article from the Financial Post, the Poe Lock, which is 50 years old, is vulnerable to serious breakdown and economic impact to the U.S. as well as Canada. Getting back to the Presidential conventions and the themes of the political parties’ platforms vis-à-vis economic issues, to quote from the news article: “A six-month shutdown of the Poe Lock … would plunge the nation into recession, closing factories and mines, halting auto and appliance production in the U.S. for most of a year and result in the loss of some 11-million jobs,” the report warns.”

There are obviously other “issues” that one could pick to launch into about the types of jobs these “11-million” are referring to, where the freighters are taking the out-going cargoes, are jobs being lost because of this “shipping”, whatever else one can think of. My point is that how short-sighted are we getting (have we gotten) that our U.S. economy is disastrously threatened??? We have not recently heard about the sequester funding bill that was enacted in Congress and its impact on the U.S. economy for a while now. What potential disasters that legislation may be causing thanks to the lack of elected officials not doing their jobs.

Anyway, here’s an interesting paper written by Robert M. Williamson For the Want of a Nail. It highlights Ben Franklin’s adage and discusses the idea of apprenticeships for job training. I guess I started out this blog entry talking about water access but ended up talking about jobs, that’s what happens when one’s mind wanders across the Internet. Relative to the jobs or “lack of” issue, I have written several articles about that in the past. If you are interested, here is a link to the compilation of these articles:  Jobs Archive.

How can we, with conscience, allow the deterioration of our society because of such “craziness.” It’s all about “money,” the lack of it, too much of it, too little of it, the temptation of it and what it can buy, who has it and who doesn’t have it or enough of it. It brings to mind a motion picture “Other People’s Money”. In the movie Danny DeVito is a Wall Street “raider” who buys and sells companies for their assets. There is a happy ending to the movie, the employees save their jobs and a manufacturing plant stays “vital” in the community. The real lesson from this movie is the value of “compromise”, this value is sorely lacking in our current Federal, State, and perhaps local governments. Custer’s last stand ended up with a slaughter and it seems we just can’t get out of that type of mentality!

Apology

What is the REAL cost of doing business in the U.S.?

Answer: It’s pretty cheap when you are passing the “cost of doing business” on to the consumer* of your goods and services!

(*or perhaps an employee or “independent contract employee)

Here I am reading my “hard copy” newspaper, the Chicago Tribune®; actually, I get many of my blog posting ideas from reading the newspaper. Anyway, an article in the Friday, July 01, 2016, Business Section of the Trib is entitled “Grubhub delivery drivers sue over contractor status.” Several terms are used in the news article: gig economy, sharing economy and on-demand economy. Reading this article made me think of the Uber® lawsut, here’s a link to those details: Uber lawsuit.

I have written previously about “Killer Apps”, the software** used on smartphones in order to call, locate, hire, order, purchase, contact, WOW…I’m running out of active verbs!

**Google definition: What is mobile programming?

Mobile application development is a term used to denote the act or process by which application software is developed for handheld devices, such as personal digital assistants, enterprise digital assistants or mobile phones.

Anyway, it all boils down to JOBS! Another posting that I have written, Peripheral Stuff also addresses the “work world” in which we are now living. Working “temporary” in past decades was considered “temporary” most of the time. It evolved into “permanent” temporary work for many during the 1980s. Another concept, “the independent consultant” also evolved during the 1980s, and 1990s. After the dot-com crash in 2001 and that happened just before the “9-11” tragedy in September of 2001, thousands of people were working as “independent consultants.”

Every time a company wants me to accept a digital copy of a statement or invoice, it “grates me”. This is a “cost of doing business.” They “save” money by not having to generate, print, and mail a “hard copy” to me. So, OK, they email it to me. Guess what! I have to “print out” the statement or invoice. Company ABC just passed on their “cost of doing business” to me. I believe in having a “hard copy” for record purposes. Speaking of “temporary”, what’s temporary is literally everything that’s stored digitally! Lose electricity, have a magnet pass over stored data, break a CD (that happened to me) and, gee, your data is gone. That’s what “back-ups” are all about. So, mine are “hard copies.” (Here’s my “take” on digital currency, Bitcoin and the Perception of Value.)

Getting back to the theme of my post, “independent contractors” are rebelling. Business models are reliant on the use of “cheap labor,” low cost of labor, low operating margins and high profits. Guess I’m ranting about “capitalism” in general but the United States has been built on capitalism. So I’m not against “capitalism”, after all it “gave” me several jobs.  In another blog post, The Idea of a Resume is so passé, I have commented about the mechanics and “orchestrations” involved in successfully getting a job circa 2016.

As usual, I’m just pointing out the “yin” and the “yang” of issues. When is a job “a job” and not just a “side-job”? The IRS has a measurement for determining whether income reported, was generated from a ‘hobby” or from “taxable work.” This is for “expense” reporting purposes. In other words, can you deduct the gasoline, car repairs, office supplies, etc., from your income, and thus not pay income tax on the income generated by your work-related activity. Is the expense a legitimate deduction? A company expenses such items as a “cost of doing business.”

I have written a 6-part series on jobs, here’s a link to them: Signs of the Times #3: Thoughts on jobs and jobs training. By the way, I wish you luck and good fortune in your “PERMANENT” job hunts.
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Fifty

Looking ahead through a Rear-view Mirror

Rear_view_mirror_view_in_Mt._Rainier_National_Park,_driving_to_Longmire
courtesy of wikepedia media

Sometimes looking back helps us to look forward with a clearer vision. Fortune Magazine® just published their annual listing of the 500 highest revenue-producing public companies in the United States of America. Here’s their listing of the 10 highest revenue producing companies for the year 2016:

For the year 2016 Fortune 500’s top ranked companies are:

  1. Walmart $482,130 Retail
  2. Exxon Mobil $246,204 Oil
  3. Apple $233,715 Computers
  4. Berkshire Hathaway $210,821 Holding Company
  5. McKesson $181,241 Chemicals
  6. UnitedHealth Group $157,107 Healthcare
  7. CVS Health $153,290 Healthcare
  8. General Motors $152,356 Automobiles
  9. Ford Motor $149,558 Automobiles
  10. AT&T $146,801 Communications

http://fortune.com/fortune500/

The above 10 companies  consist of :

  • 2 automobile companies:   General Motors, Ford Motor
  • 2 healthcare companies: CVS Health, United Health Group
  • 1 oil company: Exxon Mobil
  • 1 retail company:  Wal-Mart
  • 1 computer company:  Apple
  • 1 chemical company:  McKesson
  • 1 communications company:  AT&T
  • 1 conglomerate “holding” company:  Berkshire Hathaway

In the year 1955, the top ranking Fortune 500 companies were:

  • 2 automobile manufacturers: General Motors, Chrysler
  • 3 oil companies:  Exxon, Mobil, Gulf Oil
  • 1 steel company:  U.S. Steel
  • 1 chemical company:  DuPont
  • 1 industrial manufacturer:  General Electric
  • 1 food processing conglomerate:  Esmark
  • 1 meat packing company:  Armour

Now, let’s gaze into the rear-view mirror and take a look at America’s manufacturing and industrial past.

This table includes the top ranking companies in the Fortune 500 for every decade from 1955 to 2016.  In the year 1955, there were automobile, oil, and food manufacturers on Fortune’s 10 highest ranking list. In the year 2016, oil companies are almost “non-existent” and healthcare has overtaken manufacturing industries, retail is “big” business, and a “holding” company, Berkshire Hathaway, makes the list.

1955 1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 2016
AIG [1] x
Altria x
Amoco x
Apple Computer x
Armour x
AT&T x x x
Berkshire Hathaway x
Chevron x x
Chrysler x
Chrysler x
Citigroup x
ConocoPhillips x
CVS Health x
DuPont x x
Esmark x
Exxon x x x x x x x
Ford Motor x x x x x x
General Electric x x x x x x
General Motors x x x x x x x
Gulf Oil x x x
IBM[2] x x x x x
ITT[3] x
McKesson x
Mobil [4] x x x x x
Sears[5] x
Texaco x x x
U.S. Steel x x
United Health Group x
Wal-Mart x x x
  1. [1] American International Group
  2. [2] International Business Machines
  3. [3] ITT Industries
  4. [4] ExxonMobil did not exist until a merger of the separate oil companies Exxon and Mobil until 1999 but the Fortune listings show the combined name for all the listings years that I’m using.
  5. [5] Sears, Roebuck & Company

 

I recently posted an article referencing industries that are “thriving” or “dying” in the U.S. Here’s the link: Signs of the Times #8: Thriving or Dying: Which type of industry do you work in?

The 1965 Fortune 500 illustrates “blue collar” America. The three automobile companies in the top l0, GM, Ford, and Chrysler, were at the “top of the heap,” the importing of VWs (Volkswagon) and Toyotas was just beginning to steal sales from them.

There were four oil companies. These were mostly blue collar jobs, high paying blue collar jobs. This was before the 1970’s price fixing and the 1970’s OPEC oil embargo and escalation of crude oil prices in the world market place.

General Electric was a manufacturing behemoth, it is now (in the years since the Great Recession of 2008) shedding its “financial” aura and returning to its manufacturing roots.

IBM (International Business Machines) was called “big blue”. There was a saying in the Corporate world, “you would never lose your job by purchasing Big Blue” (IBM equipment).

Enter: The Internet

The Internet really changed everything around the year 1993. I have chosen that year because that’s the year that the “graphical” Internet was “born.” The graphic browser Netscape was introduced to the “masses” and we have never looked back. I was fortunate to meet Mark Andresen here in Chicago at a presentation of Netscape to local educators, business people and computer aficionados. Netscape was developed at the University of Illinois.

Thousands of jobs today are a result of the Internet. Thousands of jobs historically performed in business settings by humans sitting in an office, are now “remotely” performed by humans or computers over the Internet. Outsourced or independent contractor-type jobs are now performed more and more over the Internet. As if the “Great Recession” did not screw up the world’s economies enough over the past 10 years or more, now, ironically, the British vote to exit the European Union will probably cause untold ripples throughout the world’s economies.

So, looking ahead using a rear view mirror, in particular I see many challenges for anyone looking for a job. Nimbleness does not even begin to describe what the U.S. worker must possess to find as well as retain a “good” job.

Here’s my “way-out” predictions of the top 10 companies in the Fortune 500’s listing 10 years from now:

  • FaceBook
  • Tesla
  • Apple
  • Amazon
  • GE
  • General Dynamics or Lockheed Martin or other defense manufacturer
  • Disney
  • PayPal
  • Senior housing
  • One or more water companies

 

What are your predictions for companies on the Fortune 500 top 10 listing? Your guesses are as good as mine!

 

Signs of the Times #8: Thriving or Dying: Which type of industry do YOU work in?

America’s 25 Dying Industries

By Evan Comen and Samuel Stebbins   December 16, 2015 2:43 pm EDT  http://247wallst.com/special-report/2015/12/16/25-dying-industries/

 

America’s 25 Thriving Industries

By Samuel Stebbins and Evan Comen   December 16, 2015 2:42 pm EDT  http://247wallst.com/special-report/2015/12/16/25-thriving-industries/

 

The above two articles were published in December, 2015 on the website 247wallst.com. The America’s 25 Dying Industries  article is an interesting “read” and, of course, encapsulates the decline of the U.S. manufacturing story unfolding over the last 100 years. Manufacturing jobs (blue collar jobs) were being exported for decades but not necessarily mourned by the “white collar” segment of the population. After all they were only “blue collar” jobs! Well, thanks to the ever-accelerating high technology discoveries and innovations happening in the U.S., the “white collar” community also starting experiencing an exodus of jobs. Ironically, the “white collar” jobs did not necessarily leave the U.S. borders. The outsourced jobs are still here state-side but the people executing the tasks of the “outsourced” jobs are working for contractors such as Tata who is headquartered in the country of India. It’s a high-tech job sourcing contractor, one of many. So the jobs are still “here” but are being performed by H1-B visa employees imported into the U.S. and displacing U.S. employees who were performing the jobs previously. This is not an attack on Tata after all they are taking legal advantage of American H1-B visas, a legal U.S. “job vehicle” for filling job vacancies here in the U.S. The point of these jobs, however, is that they did not “leave” the U.S., only the “sourcing” of them did!

The second article, America’s 25 Thriving Industries, also published in December, 2015, features such a different fabric-design of America in the second decade of the 21st century! The post-WWII (World War II), 20th century make-up or design of the U.S. was as an industrial giant; a manufacturing behemoth, a job-creation machine with opportunity for those who worked hard. Our economic bubble grew and grew and grew. It was fueled by American know-how and American sweat. The muralist Diego Rivera painted some marvelous Industrial America scenes in U.S. public buildings. See the following two links for examples of a mural that was painted in Detroit, Michigan.

http://www.diego-rivera-foundation.org/Detroit-Industry–1932-33-large.html

http://www.diego-rivera-foundation.org/Detroit-Industry-9,–1933.html

 

What’s different about the “dying” vs. the “thriving” industries listed in these two articles? The “dying” industries listed are: clothing (apparel) manufacturing, physical printing of newspapers, communications equipment manufacturing, mill work such as knit fabrics, hosiery and sock mills,  broad woven fabric, curtain and linen, and textiles mills; mobile and manufactured home components, computer media such as CDs and tapes. Photofinishing, (remember the companies Kodak and Polaroid?). The inventions and discoveries of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s created the groundwork structure of the U.S. industrial revolution. The invention of the microchip (among other later 19th century discoveries) laid the ground work for the computer and Internet revolutions and the birthing of the jobs into the 21st century. Let’s look a little deeper into the industries mentioned in the article “America’s 25 Thriving Industries.” Ironically, six of the “thriving” industries mentioned in the December, 2015, article are already “dying or dead.” They are “oil industry” related and the American shale oil industry literally blew itself out in about five years!!! Wow, how’s that for accelerating job obsolescence. Five industries mentioned are agriculture (farming) related. There’s nothing wrong with that. After all agriculture was a “family” business up until the “corporate farms” starting buying up family farms, the children of farmers went to the city to find adventure, the automobile created the “suburb” after WWII, and farm land was “lost” to the building of the suburb.

Seven of the “thriving” industries mentioned probably would be considered small or “micro” businesses. Wine-making, beekeeping, dry pea and bean farming. How about goat farming! Talk about “back to basics”, it would appear we are coming full circle in our cultural evolution. The pendulum is swinging back. I have no problem with that but like the high tech revolution in the 80s and 90s, people aren’t necessarily equipped to handle the jobs or the change very well (efficiently).

After all, how does a college education specifically prepare one to work at a winery or on a goat farm? How about knowing how to grow beans or corn successfully? Or, tend colonies of bees for commercial pollination use? Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders wants to give everyone free college education. What kinds of education are needed to fill these “thriving” industry jobs? Obviously, more agricultural with some finance expertise, than perhaps scientific skills such as engineers.

I’m like most everyone else, trying to make sense every day of what’s happening to our economy and have empathy for the younger members of the extended family as far as concern for job security, the job market, the future of current jobs now held by them.

In fact, one of my nephews has LOST his job not because it has become obsolete or an H1-B employee has taken the job BUT our state government can’t get their act together and pass a STATE BUDGET! My cousin was lucky enough to change jobs last year (2015) because her old job employer could not pay her on-time. WHY! Because our state could not pass a State Budget! Well, I’m getting into another totally different subject with my tirade here, but you get the idea. Everything is so crazy now. An industry thought to be a newer “thriving” industry can disappear in a very short time. Old skills lost by innovation and commercialization such as farming are now becoming “in vogue” again. Some industries are trying to “re-shore” their manufacturing back to the U.S. and complain that they can’t find the “skills” to fill the available jobs! Well, I say to that, I’m so happy that jobs are destined to return to the U.S. but….Mr. Businessman, what do you expect when those skills have not been in demand here for years. People can be trained but that takes time and money.

I have written about the issues of jobs and job training in the past. Here are links to those blog articles:

Jobs, jobs, jobs, and the mono-economy of the new millennium-part 1

Some past prescriptions to the jobs-employment problem-part 2

Jobs, jobs jobs and the job-training dilemma-part 3

Part-4-jobs, jobs-training-the more things change, the more they stay the same

Part-5A: Jobs and the re-tooling of an industrial-titan Chicago

Part-5B: Jobs, training and the search for long-term solutions

 

Signs of the Times #6: Peripheral Stuff

We have been hearing and reading for several decades that the United States is becoming (has become) a “service” economy. So, exactly what is a “service” economy? I turned as usual to the Investopedia website: “The portion of the economy that produces intangible goods. ” (http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/service-sector.asp)

In other words: trucking, information, housekeeping, financial, and administrative activities, I think you are getting the idea. So in my head, I said, “Gee, all the peripheral stuff!”

So we don’t make the machine, we might buy the finished machine through a service entity (Amazon or Sears). We don’t make the motor that runs the machine that we buy through a service entity (Kohl’s or Macy’s). We don’t make the wiring or solder the circuits or install the “on-off” button on the motor of the machine that may be sold (actually IMPORTED) by our sales service entity (Amazon, Sears, Kohl’s or Macy’s). We don’t make the metal (steel, aluminum) that contains the motor that runs the machine that needs wiring or solder or the “on-off” button (if one even exists anymore on the design of the item!)… we work doing the “peripheral stuff.” That includes unloading the container from the ship coming from the country that is EXPORTing the goods to the U.S.

So when are we going to wake up to the fact that the service jobs are NOT going to pay the same amount of money that manufacturing jobs do. Pushing up the “minimum wage” to $15.00/hour is not the answer. Let’s define a “minimum wage” job… gee, they are jobs that are HISTORICALLY performed by UNskilled labor. That means, not highly-educated people. In the early years of fast food joints, high school students did many of the part-time jobs. The jobs were not meant for adults, especially the parent or household income-earner. Ironically, the success and growth let alone, increased prosperity of the middle-class and the housewife leaving the home and going to work, the dual-income household appearing on the scene, caused less pressure on teens to get a job after school. (This was not a universal phenomenon, I started working part-time at 16. There were middle-class (wealthier) families developing and there were families with two parents working but the dream to live a pleasant life was a constant “struggle.”

What I’m getting at is the money was in the making of stuff not just marketing or selling it. Funny thing, the appliance sales people at a retail store were paid a “commission” on their sales not a salary. In other words, you don’t sell it, you don’t get paid! Real estate was always based on a commission pay scheme. My dad worked at a shoe factory. He however was paid by “piece work.” In other words, he was paid by the number of pieces that he did. If he had a “bad” day, he obviously had a poorer paycheck. The rise of the unions in the United States were, in some ways, for good reasons, child labor laws, “living” wage, working conditions. Like other human endeavors, greed, power, and other avarice gets in the way.

I’m getting a bit off of my topic of “peripheral stuff.” The point I’ve been trying to make is that the U.S. now is all about the “peripheral stuff.” That’s why our standard of living has fallen. I do love a bargain as well as the next guy, but I also remember when “Made in United States” was a phrase of pride. Did Wal-Mart and the idea of “buy it cheaper” kill the American Dream? Did “prosperity” kill the American Dream? Heck, what is the “American Dream?” For those growing up in the 50’s, it was buying a house not renting one. Homes were a place to live in not “flip” after living in it for six months.

Well, American values have changed. The times change. The company General Electric had a motto “Progress is our most important product.” I found a bit of nostalgia about GE (http://www.smecc.org/frontiers_of_progress_-_1961_sales_meeting.htm#reagan). Funny thing about “progress”, it comes at a “price.” No one ever talks about the “price” of progress. I’m not against progress, I’m a product of progress just as everyone else. It’s the “pace of progress” and our human ability to adapt to an “ever accelerating” pace of progress that concerns me.

So, can a new President in 2017 reverse our “service economy” type jobs orientation? Can the U.S. become a manufacturing powerhouse again? Are some of us just being nostalgic, silly, ole Americans? Presidential want-a-bees Trump and Sanders are popular because they “voice” the thoughts and feelings of the “silent majority.” Complacency, prosperity, and yes progress have made the “silent majority what it “has become” …silent. We have progressed from an agrarian to an industrial to a information-age society. It’s the Age of Peripheral Stuff. Funny thing, I think 3-D printing will bring manufacturing back to the family garage and maybe a “corner” grocery store (remember those!) Since I’m full of “quotes” in this writing piece , here’s another: “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Signs of the Times #5: Presidential candidates economic platforms

I want to focus on the economic thinking of the current Presidential candidates since my blog writings are focused on economic issues. Obviously, there are other issues such as security, foreign affairs, and gun control. The candidates are NOT listed in any preferential order on my part. In fact, I’ve put them in alphabetical order.

It’s time to start looking at each candidate’s policies, issues, and view points. Please note, however, HOW each candidate chooses to present his/her approach to their presidential platform to us the citizen voter. Each candidate is presenting their views and preferences couched in a different way, some issues are combined under different “umbrellas” than other candidates.

My web links are NOT all-inclusive, please rummage around each candidate’s site for more information. Some candidates seem to have more detailed information on “economic related” issues, at my writing of this blog entry, than other candidates. So check back with the individual websites for future updates.

Incidentally, the Rubio and Kasich web links show up with graphics and quotes, not because I wanted to show them, but that’s the way that the “link” displays on your web page.

Jeb Bush
https://jeb2016.com/jeb-on-jobs/?lang=en
https://jeb2016.com/policy-tax-plan/?lang=en
https://jeb2016.com/border-security/?lang=en

Ben Carson
https://www.bencarson.com/hubfs/issues/20160131_immigration_3.pdf?t=1455297795118
https://www.bencarson.com/hubfs/issues/20160103_Prescription_for_Growth.pdf?t=1455297795118

Hillary Clinton
https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/plan-raise-american-incomes/

Ted Cruz
https://www.tedcruz.org/issues/secure-the-border/
https://www.tedcruz.org/issues/jobs-and-opportunity/

John Kasich

Creating Jobs and Strengthening the Economy

Marco Rubio

How Marco Will Help American Farmers and Ranchers Prosper

Marco Will Stand Up for Small Business Owners

What Marco Will Do for American Workers

How Marco Will Finally Get Washington Spending Under Control

How Marco Will Start Securing Our Border on Day One

This Is How We Create Jobs in the New American Century

Marco’s Plan to Restore Sanity and Restraint to Regulation: A National Regulatory Budget

It’s Time to Cut Off Sanctuary Cities

How Marco Will Boost the Sharing Economy

A Pro-Growth, Pro-Family Tax Plan for the New American Century

Bernie Sanders
https://berniesanders.com/issues/income-and-wealth-inequality/
https://berniesanders.com/issues/creating-jobs-rebuilding-america/
https://berniesanders.com/issues/a-living-wage/
https://berniesanders.com/issues/a-fair-and-humane-immigration-policy/
https://berniesanders.com/issues/improving-the-rural-economy/
https://berniesanders.com/issues/how-bernie-pays-for-his-proposals/

Donald Trump
https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/us-china-trade-reform
https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/immigration-reform