Where are the jobs?

This is an anthology.  Let’s Start with this facebook post by Former Labour Secretary, Robert Reich:

Buried in yesterday’s jobs report was the fact that only 85.3 percent of men aged 45 to 54 are now working. This is the lowest percentage of working men in that prime age group since 1948. It’s 2 percent below the lowest level of their labor participation during the Great Recession. Why are so many of these men without jobs? Presumably, they lost them starting in 2008 and haven’t been able to find new ones. Many have stopped looking altogether. So how are they getting by? Some got extended unemployment benefits, which are now running out. Others qualified for disability insurance. But it’s undoubtedly also true that many men not in the workforce are now dependent on their wives’ earnings. This marks a completion of a trend that began in the late 1970s, when male earnings first began stagnating or declining, and wives and mothers streamed into paid work in order to prop up family incomes. The two-income middle-class family represented the largest social revolution in modern American history. It gave women more economic independence, altered traditional parenting roles, and caused new stresses and adjustments in families. Now, in many cases, we’re back to a single breadwinner — but instead of it being the man it’s the woman of the family. If the trend continues, what can we expect of the future? When will men become obsolete?

Next, let’s move to this description of a show on Britain’s Channel 4 called The Intern, which is basically another version of the apprentice.

Channel 4 framed the programme (through a concerned Devey) with shocking figures about the millions of unemployed – and the particular problems for those under 24. This was the show’s supposed raison d’être, to highlight the problem and give youngsters hope. To help give a hand-up, not a handout, to Britain’s youth.

Then the really heartbreaking part. We met three young people – good people – who just needed a break. One was a young mother determined to build a career after having a child at 20, another a university graduate who’d found it impossible to get work. The third was a studious hard worker with 100 applications under his belt and not one interview.

I can’t really come up with a good quote from this Salon Magazine article about the glut in Lawyers. It’s nothing I haven’t said before about how overlawyered the US happens to be, but the really important part is that people go to law school and believe they will receive a high paying job.  Unfortunately,  most are ending up with a pile of debt and no high paying to pay off the debt.

This is perhaps the most relevant comment in the article:

Yet most pre-law students ignore the persistent warnings. Somehow those negative images can’t compete with the positive ones. Psychologist Daniel Kahneman, who won a Nobel Prize in economics, may have a partial explanation. Kahneman researches and writes about a universal human characteristic: clinging to preconceived notions, even as contrary information and unambiguous data undermine them. The phenomenon is a variant of confirmation bias, the tendency to credit information that comports with established beliefs and jettison anything that doesn’t. In the context of the legal profession, most prelaw students think they’ll be the exceptions—the traps that ensnare people like Mitch McDeere won’t get them.

That last paragraph probably sums up why people are willing to overlook reality and vote against their interest–they are too hopeful that something will indeed trickle down for the.

But, you would think that 30+ years of that philosophy would have changed people’s minds.

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7 thoughts on “Where are the jobs?

  1. Just as I was reading this I was passed a “personal” letter from my attorneys telling of a new law in Ohio to protect one’s assets and the need to set up a meeting to adjust my financial structure in light of this law. (aka They were sending out “spam” to clients trying to drum up business.)

    I had to read your post twice before I got the gist of it. I think you’re right about people not wanting to change established reasoning. My own observations is that they think their case is “individual” to them and the rest of the World has not changed. And seriously, if they listen to Fox News their antiquated reasoning is just reinforced.

    I could take a potshot at another poster on this blog, but for some reason I hold out that he has some suspicion of the faulty ideas that surround him. And I personally would rather show someone the light instead of insulting them. It just takes a mule train sometimes to get them to even consider incongruous thoughts.

  2. The question you pose Laci is a good one, but yet seemingly impossible to answer. Muddy recently asked the same in a comment. And maybe you’re on to something. A question I have is this. People on welfare routinely vote Democratic. That is in their best interest, and they vote accordingly. However, the welfare recipient is still most likely in the vicious cycle of need. They have voted their interest and still, nothing has trickled down. So who’s to say what best interests are? And why do we think any politician will have them in mind?

    I find what Mr. Reich wrote a little odd. So we are fighting for equal rights for women, but are afraid of men becoming obsolete?

  3. … a universal human characteristic: clinging to preconceived notions, even as contrary information and unambiguous data undermine them. The phenomenon is a variant of confirmation bias, the tendency to credit information that comports with established beliefs and jettison anything that doesn’t.

    This quote by psychologist Daniel Kahneman could have been in reference to religious fundamentalists as well. Fundamentalist fanatics throughout the world continue to spew their Iron Age stupidity on ‘the faithful’ and the faithful act accordingly.

    If it ‘works’ in religion, then why wouldn’t it also work in economics? Financial fundamentalists [to coin a phrase] work hard to keep ‘the faithful’ as ignorant as their religious counterparts. Yet, the financial interests have an ally in the media with talking heads spewing the proper propaganda to ‘the faithful.’ Naturally, there are religious media doing the same with their ‘product’ yet many people understand and easily dismiss the religious hucksters.

    Yesterday on one of the real broadcast networks there was a story of a new concept in dealing with the unemployed. Unemployed workers can receive retraining as long as they promise to take the job offered them at the end of their retraining program. Imagine that. Some people, however, are ‘afraid’ of shifting from what they ‘knew how to do’ to something new and different. Nonetheless, the jobs are there for those who are willing and able to become retrained.

    Note: these are not factory or blue collar jobs. These jobs are not widely available because of outsourcing overseas. Yet there are millions of potential jobs awaiting capital: infrastructure. Sadly, political reasons keep this set of workers on the unemployment line.

    1. “If it ‘works’ in religion, then why wouldn’t it also work in economics?”

      I like the way you worded that question Muddy. Maybe the problem is it works in religion, because religion is not reality. To the contrary, the Economy is here and now. It always changes, where as most religious practices and beliefs do not.

      “Note: these are not factory or blue collar jobs. These jobs are not widely available because of outsourcing overseas.”
      I wonder how many factory jobs could be saved if we the consumer made a more conscience effort to buy American made products. Sure it may cost a little more. But I would think that the satisfaction of saving American jobs would be well worth it.

      1. Sorry, JOB, that is nostalgia. We will not return to the past. It is economically impossible. Time to move on, my friends…..

  4. Nostalgia is a Robert Frost poem UTF. It is not to late and it is not economically impossible. Spend the extra money. do the extra research. We CAN make a difference. YOU can help save American jobs.

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