The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

What Is the Future of the Worker?

      Things are bad all over, or so I've been hearing.  The repercussions of a bad U.S. economy are being felt worldwide and prospects for the future often look rather dismal.    

     Unemployment is on the rise in most areas of the United States.  Some reports have said that the unemployment figures are not accurate because some have been unemployed for so long that they have given up on looking for work. Many of the work force eligible have fallen under the radar because they have not applied for unemployment benefits.  There are some indications that this current unemployment trend will continue for quite some time and may never really recover.

          The U.S. population is aging.  People are living longer and often retiring earlier. Older workers are in competition with the younger workers and there are not enough jobs for all.  Retirement funds and social security funds could be threatened into a state of collapse. The increasing numbers of elderly will require more workers in healthcare, but not everyone is suited for this field.

          Many industries in the United States have shut down or moved to other countries where labor is cheaper.   Union demands for higher wages and more benefits have made manufacturing in the U.S. less attractive and companies continue to seek cheaper ways of operating.  Consumer demands for less expensive products and competition from other companies encourage U.S. companies to reconsider producing goods in the U.S and instead move elsewhere.   The unions may temporarily benefit U.S. workers but often seal the fate for long term job security.  The need for manpower has also been reduced by more mechanization.

         Outsourcing is becoming the norm for jobs that involve telephone or computer work.  Jobs that could be done by American workers are done much less expensively by workers on the other side of the world.  Even India is beginning to outsource phone and computer work to countries where it is cheaper to operate.  American jobs have been disappearing like crazy.

          The flood of illegal and legal immigrants has also taken a toll on native born American workers.  The new arrivals are willing to work for less money and will take the jobs that many Americans deem to be beneath them.  But even to the immigrants the potential for finding work in the U.S. is growing dim as the economy declines. 

           Declining economy, loss of job opportunities, more competition from workers willing to work for lower pay--these are some of the factors that threaten the future of the United States and the world.  We have seen this same problem in the past.  Is war the answer?  Large scale wars have sometimes been a catalyst for economic upsurge.  Massive cooperation on communal efforts like space travel or curing disease might be a solution, but where does that money come from and would that really boost the economy?

            What is the future of the worker and of work in general?

            What are the jobs of tomorrow?   Are more government jobs the answer?   Should the tax dollars that come from a few wealthy go to support the many?   Will the movements related to socialism or Marxism be the saving grace of future generations?   Should companies be highly pressured through government intervention to bring all jobs back to U.S. workers?   Should immigration--legal and illegal--be tightened?  Does the U.S. need a major war commitment to unite citizens and require massive manufacturing and defensive efforts that will provide millions of new jobs?

             Please remember that this is a debate topic.  I am merely posing questions concerning possible solutions to the current employment problems.  I do not necessarily support these measures, but I offer them to fuel the discussion.  I would like to hear what you think about this topic.

35 comments:

  1. It does sound gloomy :-( We were hit pretty hard by the falling economy in Australia, but already seem to be on the mend. Sounds crazy, but a positive attitude seemed help. Our then Prime Minister decided we would not fold and we didn't. I hope America feels the mending soon too :-)

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  2. Well, I'm all depressed now.
    Government jobs are not the answer, because we the taxpayers must fund those jobs. The more government jobs, the more the government has control over our people.

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  3. I have read several articles on the subject and it is very depressing. My father's Engineering job has been outsourced a few times, but he is fortunate to have found something else.

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  4. Remember studying about the Industrial Revolution that began in England? Well, I think we're in the midst of a Technological Revolution that will require a few more years to shake out. Some jobs lost will never return.

    But new jobs will be created. I have friends who work in energy-related fields, for example, and business is booming. And, good news for August is that there was an up-tick in job hires.

    Yes, it's not good out there. We weren't in a recession, but a depression that took more than a few years to build. But I also think we've turned the corner. I'm a big believer in a positive attitude.

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  5. It seems we're in the midst of a paradigm shift. The old way of doing things no longer works. As people, as communities, a society, a nation, we're at the edge of something new. But we haven't reached the tipping point yet. Positive attitudes and a focus on what works in our own lives is the best place to start.

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  6. I'm with Alex, now I'm depressed. I think the answer here lies within us all. From the studies and projections I have read it is the entrepreneur's of the world that will bring us back.

    Lord, please don't bring anymore wars.

    Very thought provoking post Lee. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  7. Not being American I can't comment on your problems with employment. over here people will be retiring later as a bill is going through parliament to cease the compulsary retirement age 60yrs for women and 65 for men, There is a lady somewhere in the area who is 92 and still a cashier checkout at a supermarket and she looks great .
    Enjoyed the post Lee.

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  8. As a young person simply struggling to get that first job out of college, I can say that the majority of people my age that I know haven't even bothered trying to find a job that they know will support them in the ways that our parents found jobs that supported their own families.

    Times are changing and I'm not sure what to expect for my future, but I do think that entrepreneurship with be an important step in my future. I firmly believe that small businesses of America need more support, and not government jobs.

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  9. Warning: My liberal leanings are about to be unleashed:

    This BAD has been coming since deregulation under Reagan and has been made possible by greed, consumerism and cheap credit.

    1-3% of our population has gotten SO WEALTHY that they could never spend their earnings in a lifetime. The bottom HALF has more debt than assets. The middle class has shrunk to non-existence. How?

    By deregulating banks and making credit accessible to the masses 2 things happened: 1) workers stopped demanding higher wages when costs went up and 2) consumerism and greed made us all think we needed EVERYTHING NOW. Gone are the days of saving for that special thing (of saving at all)

    Yes, the world economy would have grown slower without all this American consumerism. But the growth might have been sustainable.

    Another culprit: Oil prices kept falsely low. In reality, GOODS priduced in China should make up for lower production cost with higher transport cost. It should be the SAME.

    Yet ANOTHER culprit: lack of national healthcare means employers have to tack the cost of health insurance onto the price of goods.

    Still another culprit: quarterly outlook. Three decades ago American industry got this bright idea that if things didn't LAST, they'd have to be replaced more often. Quality went way down. Investment in technology was ALSO hard on balance sheets... and THIS quarter couldn't take it (or next)--we stopped investing. We gave golden parachutes to CEOs so that if they did a bad job they only got TEN million dollars to LEAVE.

    I think business needs to be regulated, or it behaves badly. I think workers need to be paid fairly and ALL people deserve insurance (working or not) and I think subsidizing needs to be OVERHAULED so that the corn and oil industries don't get paid so much for being really bad for us--so that there is some diversity added to the food and energy industries.

    My husband was laid off two years ago and we've never applied for unemployment. Instead he became a student, and hopefully we won't run out of credit (oh, the irony) before he becomes a nurse. But my dire prediction is that it won't get better until some critical mass of the baby boomers is gone. It's going to be a long haul.

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  10. It's all such a mess Arlee that I wouldn't even attempt to offer a solution. I'm just trying to hang on until 2012, after that I won't have to worry about anything anymore, LOL!!!
    Love Di ♥

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  11. The outlook for employment is dismal, particularly in specific industries - construction, auto, newspapers and real estate.

    And, if one is over 50 years of age their outlook is even bleaker - all very scary.

    Anything having to do with "Green" technology, I believe, is a good place to start investing in our nation's future as is infrastructure (the latter being a quick-start.)

    Robert Reich did an excellent Op-Ed piece a few days ago for the NYT. He takes a look at the past/present and gives an eye toward the future. Thought I'd pass it along:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/opinion/03reich.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

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  12. Stephen McCarthy will probably want to kill me for this, but while I agree with him that there is a chance of a real economic crisis (hyperinflation, massive depression), I think a more realistic sequence of events will be the continuation of the dissolution of the middle class.

    I've spent a little time in Europe, and European blog readers can chime in since they live there, but my impression of the UK (where I spent most of my time) was that you had a handful of people who were wealthy and then everyone else.

    The US is approaching that point, having outsourced most of our business that would drive a growing economy to other countries. The problem with a "service" economy, is that the bulk of the jobs simply do not pay a lot and do not offer much opportunity for advancement.

    What are the jobs of tomorrow? Hope your kids like working in customer service centers.

    Are more government jobs the answer? I don't think so. While some would say that government spending fuels growth, the government has to tax, borrow or print money to spend, and we've really exhausted the first two options, and the third leads to inflation and possible hyperinflation.

    Should the tax dollars that come from a few wealthy go to support the many? Has this ever happened in the history of the planet? The wealthy support the political machine, who does not bite the hand that feeds them.

    (continued)

    Larry C

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  13. Part two...

    Will the movements related to socialism or Marxism be the saving grace of future generations? I do not believe so, based on how it has worked in other countries.

    Should companies be highly pressured through government intervention to bring all jobs back to U.S. workers? I do not believe government intervention is ever a good thing.

    Should immigration--legal and illegal--be tightened? Yes, for many reasons, not the least of which are our ever-expanding social programs and security.

    Does the U.S. need a major war commitment to unite citizens and require massive manufacturing and defensive efforts that will provide millions of new jobs? I think the Korean and Vietnam wars, as well as the Gulf skirmishes, have proved that wars are a drain on an economy, not the answer to improving it. Plus, I'm not certain that I could support waging death abroad in order to improve our economy.

    This is all good discussion, and my opinions above are just that-opinion. I could be wrong. I hope I am wrong.

    We've gone so far down the path we're on that I am not sure there is any turning back. I do wish people would examine their priorities, because even if that did nothing to stem the tide, it would at least help to make the world a little better place.

    I just saw the Todd Rundgren mini-tour, so I still have my rose-tinted glasses on...

    Sons of 1984 by Todd Rundgren

    Open your eyes and see
    The world I couldn't change for you
    Reach out your hand and take
    The world that will belong to you
    We were on our way to a better day
    And the spirit was in us all
    But as time went by we fell by the wayside
    Maybe you'll be the last to fall

    You are the only ones
    There is nobody left but you
    You are the chosen ones
    There is nobody else to choose
    Back when I was young, my hope was strong
    But the time blew it all to hell
    If I thought I knew what was good for you
    I would have gone and done it for myself

    Worlds of tomorrow
    Life without sorrow
    Take it because it's yours
    Sons of 1984

    I can still see the great panorama of hate
    Being cleansed by our loving hands
    But the brothers broke stride, the sisters cried
    Now you have to start all over again

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  14. One final point-I do agree with Hart Johnson that a lot of our problems have been "made possible by greed, consumerism and cheap credit."

    I would caution Hart to not fall too easily into the trap of government regulation always being good.

    The biggest success the two parites have had was fooling the American public into believeing that there is really any difference between them.

    And if we could steer the people away from greed and consumerism, everything else would take care of itself.

    "use your head, use your heart, save yourselves"
    -Todd Rundgren

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  15. Just wanted to pop in and let any readers who are keeping up with the discussion that I want to thank you all for the great comments so far. There are some very good arguments presented and some excellent information offered. Keep the good stuff coming!
    Lee

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  16. Good questions and interesting, passionate comments. I love America and feel very blessed to be here. I lack in the political conversation, so I won't try to add more. I'll just say that I remain optimistic (which is hard), will vote and contribute in any way I can, and ride the wave. Nothing stays the same.

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  17. Wow, lots of cans of worms to open:) I think the current path that the US is on is not great, but I am not sure what the solutions are. I do think that immigration, especially illegal, needs to be tightened. I also think that we cannot look to the gov't to solve everything. I don't want to be controlled in this way through health care and other things. It's a good time to trust the Lord in all things. As Anita said, nothing stays the same. But He does.

    Thanks for starting a hearty discussion!

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  18. ah, imagine living in my country where teachers have just $5,000 per year, not per month! And then imagine how it is for ordinary blue-collar workers who have even less than that.

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  19. Part 2 Of 2:

    >> Will the movements related to socialism or Marxism be the saving grace of future generations?

    6. On the contrary, the movements related to Keynesian socialism (and Marxism) are the very ones which have brought us to this point. Not until the Federal Reserve is abolished and socialistic principles are abandoned and replaced with GENUINE free market Capitalism will this country ever recover. (Psst: These things will not occur because recovery is not part of the plan. Our economic demise has been designed. What we are experiencing was not unforeseen nor unwelcomed by our puppet masters at The Council On Foreign Relations [CFR], et al.)

    >> Should companies be highly pressured through government intervention to bring all jobs back to U.S. workers?

    7. See #5 above!
    I certainly agree with Lincoln: If we purchase steel from a foreign country, our country keeps their steel and they keep our money. But if we produce our own steel, our country keeps the steel AND the money.

    So, I ABSOLUTELY want to see jobs returning to the U.S. But... “Should companies be highly pressured through government intervention to bring all jobs back to U.S. workers?” Government just needs to follow the restrictions placed on it by The Constitution and get its intrusive nose out of the business of businesses. Our jobs have gone overseas BECAUSE – BECAUSE! – OF GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT.
    I repeat: SEE #5 ABOVE!

    Government is not the solution; . . . [everyone, say it with me now] . . . GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM!

    >> Should immigration--legal and illegal--be tightened?

    8. Illegal, certainly!

    >> There are some indications that this current unemployment trend will continue for quite some time and may never really recover.

    9. As I said, real recovery is not part of the plan. If it were, the government would not continue to do the same sorts of things that got us in this mess to begin with. (Sorry, folks, but the dumbest people don’t automatically wind up in Washington. They know what they’re doing up there. To paraphrase FDR: In government, if something happens, you can be sure it was planned that way.)

    Wiping out the American Middle Class has been in the works for a long time and our economic woes are going according to the plans laid out by our Elite Masters (at the CFR, et al.) I know most of your readers, Lee, will think I’m a paranoid nut. But they are welcome to view all of the evidence that I have presented in my political blog ‘Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends’.

    I suggest that a person start by reading “See The New World Order In Black & White” and then “Stop Being A Useful Idiot” – both of which are linked under the category ‘The Best O’Blog?’ here . . .

    http://xtremelyun-pcandunrepentant.blogspot.com/

    Good blog bit, Lee!


    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

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  20. Part 1 Of 2:

    r-LEE-b ~
    You've hit a hot topic today!

    >> Unemployment is on the rise in most areas of the United States. Some reports have said that the unemployment figures are not accurate because some have been unemployed for so long that they have given up on looking for work. Many of the work force eligible have fallen under the radar because they have not applied for unemployment benefits.

    1. The unemployment numbers are certainly higher than being reported. Once a person’s unemployment benefits run out, they are removed from the unemployment figures regardless of the fact that they haven’t found work. The rule of thumb is this: If the statistic tends to put government in a bad light, it is falsely reduced; if the statistic tends to put government in a good light, it is falsely increased. The bottom line: you can’t trust liars to tell you the truth. Ever.

    >> Does the U.S. need a major war commitment to unite citizens and require massive manufacturing and defensive efforts that will provide millions of new jobs?

    2. Actually, this falls under the heading of “The Broken Window Fallacy” (see Frederic Bastiat and Henry Hazlitt). As Hazlitt writes in ‘Economics In One Lesson’: “[T]he broken-window fallacy, under a hundred disguises, is the most persistent in the history of economics. …No man would want to have his own property destroyed either in war or in peace. What is harmful or disastrous to an individual must be equally harmful or disastrouns to the collecton of individuals that make up a nation.”

    Regardless of how often we’ve heard it said, war does not create prosperity, or wealth. It is a destructive force. Just as in the broken window fallacy (the glazier’s gain of business…is merely the tailor’s loss of business”), with war, the wealth that seems to be created through increased production is in reality only wealth removed from other sectors. Yes, it may be profitable to the owners of the company that produces munitions, but it will not profit the people overall and much of what is being created will merely be destroyed rather than being productive and creating new wealth.

    >> The need for manpower has also been reduced by more mechanization.

    3. In truth, this is another fallacy. (Again, see Hazlitt.) The Luddites got it wrong. While it’s true that mechanization eliminates some jobs, it also creates new jobs, as manpower is required to create, program and repair more machines.

    >> The new arrivals are willing to work for less money and will take the jobs that many Americans deem to be beneath them.

    4. I don’t so much feel that there are jobs that Americans deem to be beneath them. It is the PAY SCALE for some employment that Americans don’t accept. What an American won’t do for $5.00 an hour, he would do for $10.00. As long as illegal residents are artificially holding down the wage, Americans will reject certain jobs. And usually, as long as the employer can employ workers who are holding down the wage, he will do so. It works to the employer’s benefit and to the detriment of the average American employee.

    >> Are more government jobs the answer?

    5. More government in ANY form is NEVER the answer. Never, ever, EVER! To steal from Thoreau: That government is best which governs least. To steal from Reagan: Government is not the solution; government is the problem.

    Let’s not forget: That which the government subsidizes, the government controls. To rephrase the question then: “Are more employees being subjected to strict government control the answer?” What does government do that the private sector couldn’t do better (i.e., more efficiently and less expensively)? Nothing.

    Continued below… (or above?)

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  21. Part 1 Of 2:

    r-LEE-b ~
    You've hit a hot topic today!

    >> Unemployment is on the rise in most areas of the United States. Some reports have said that the unemployment figures are not accurate because some have been unemployed for so long that they have given up on looking for work. Many of the work force eligible have fallen under the radar because they have not applied for unemployment benefits.

    1. The unemployment numbers are certainly higher than being reported. Once a person’s unemployment benefits run out, they are removed from the unemployment figures regardless of the fact that they haven’t found work. The rule of thumb is this: If the statistic tends to put government in a bad light, it is falsely reduced; if the statistic tends to put government in a good light, it is falsely increased. The bottom line: you can’t trust liars to tell you the truth. Ever.

    >> Does the U.S. need a major war commitment to unite citizens and require massive manufacturing and defensive efforts that will provide millions of new jobs?

    2. Actually, this falls under the heading of “The Broken Window Fallacy” (see Frederic Bastiat and Henry Hazlitt). As Hazlitt writes in ‘Economics In One Lesson’: “[T]he broken-window fallacy, under a hundred disguises, is the most persistent in the history of economics. …No man would want to have his own property destroyed either in war or in peace. What is harmful or disastrous to an individual must be equally harmful or disastrouns to the collecton of individuals that make up a nation.”

    Regardless of how often we’ve heard it said, war does not create prosperity, or wealth. It is a destructive force. Just as in the broken window fallacy (the glazier’s gain of business…is merely the tailor’s loss of business”), with war, the wealth that seems to be created through increased production is in reality only wealth removed from other sectors. Yes, it may be profitable to the owners of the company that produces munitions, but it will not profit the people overall and much of what is being created will merely be destroyed rather than being productive and creating new wealth.

    >> The need for manpower has also been reduced by more mechanization.

    3. In truth, this is another fallacy. (Again, see Hazlitt.) The Luddites got it wrong. While it’s true that mechanization eliminates some jobs, it also creates new jobs, as manpower is required to create, program and repair more machines.

    >> The new arrivals are willing to work for less money and will take the jobs that many Americans deem to be beneath them.

    4. I don’t so much feel that there are jobs that Americans deem to be beneath them. It is the PAY SCALE for some employment that Americans don’t accept. What an American won’t do for $5.00 an hour, he would do for $10.00. As long as illegal residents are artificially holding down the wage, Americans will reject certain jobs. And usually, as long as the employer can employ workers who are holding down the wage, he will do so. It works to the employer’s benefit and to the detriment of the average American employee.

    >> Are more government jobs the answer?

    5. More government in ANY form is NEVER the answer. Never, ever, EVER! To steal from Thoreau: That government is best which governs least. To steal from Reagan: Government is not the solution; government is the problem.

    Let’s not forget: That which the government subsidizes, the government controls. To rephrase the question then: “Are more employees being subjected to strict government control the answer?” What does government do that the private sector couldn’t do better (i.e., more efficiently and less expensively)? Nothing.

    Continued below... (or above?)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Here is part 1 of Stephen T McCarthy's post:


    Part 1 Of 2

    r-LEE-b ~
    You've hit a hot topic today!

    >> Unemployment is on the rise in most areas of the United States. Some reports have said that the unemployment figures are not accurate because some have been unemployed for so long that they have given up on looking for work. Many of the work force eligible have fallen under the radar because they have not applied for unemployment benefits.

    1. The unemployment numbers are certainly higher than being reported. Once a person’s unemployment benefits run out, they are removed from the unemployment figures regardless of the fact that they haven’t found work. The rule of thumb is this: If the statistic tends to put government in a bad light, it is falsely reduced; if the statistic tends to put government in a good light, it is falsely increased. The bottom line: you can’t trust liars to tell you the truth. Ever.

    >> Does the U.S. need a major war commitment to unite citizens and require massive manufacturing and defensive efforts that will provide millions of new jobs?

    2. Actually, this falls under the heading of “The Broken Window Fallacy” (see Frederic Bastiat and Henry Hazlitt). As Hazlitt writes in ‘Economics In One Lesson’: “[T]he broken-window fallacy, under a hundred disguises, is the most persistent in the history of economics. …No man would want to have his own property destroyed either in war or in peace. What is harmful or disastrous to an individual must be equally harmful or disastrouns to the collecton of individuals that make up a nation.”

    Regardless of how often we’ve heard it said, war does not create prosperity, or wealth. It is a destructive force. Just as in the broken window fallacy (the glazier’s gain of business…is merely the tailor’s loss of business”), with war, the wealth that seems to be created through increased production is in reality only wealth removed from other sectors. Yes, it may be profitable to the owners of the company that produces munitions, but it will not profit the people overall and much of what is being created will merely be destroyed rather than being productive and creating new wealth.

    >> The need for manpower has also been reduced by more mechanization.

    3. In truth, this is another fallacy. (Again, see Hazlitt.) The Luddites got it wrong. While it’s true that mechanization eliminates some jobs, it also creates new jobs, as manpower is required to create, program and repair more machines.

    >> The new arrivals are willing to work for less money and will take the jobs that many Americans deem to be beneath them.

    4. I don’t so much feel that there are jobs that Americans deem to be beneath them. It is the PAY SCALE for some employment that Americans don’t accept. What an American won’t do for $5.00 an hour, he would do for $10.00. As long as illegal residents are artificially holding down the wage, Americans will reject certain jobs. And usually, as long as the employer can employ workers who are holding down the wage, he will do so. It works to the employer’s benefit and to the detriment of the average American employee.

    >> Are more government jobs the answer?

    5. More government in ANY form is NEVER the answer. Never, ever, EVER! To steal from Thoreau: That government is best which governs least. To steal from Reagan: Government is not the solution; government is the problem.

    Let’s not forget: That which the government subsidizes, the government controls. To rephrase the question then: “Are more employees being subjected to strict government control the answer?” What does government do that the private sector couldn’t do better (i.e., more efficiently and less expensively)? Nothing.

    Continued Below...

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have to agree with Alex J C. that government jobs are NOT the answer. The sad thing is seeing so many Americans with broken spirits. I know that Christ is in control. Just maybe we need to be bought to this low point so we all begin to look at what is really important in our lives. I personally strive to continually grow in faith. Its my survival kit to fight whatever comes my way. Knowing God has a personal plan for each and every one of us including myself, what do I have to fear? I choose to put my faith in Christ, He is our solution - not man.

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  24. This might sound strange, but often a struggling economy is a good thing. The people learn to band together and help each other. People learn to make the most of things and no throw out so much and appreciate more. Hmm...maybe I'm too much of an idealist :(

    Anyways, I gave you an award on my blog
    Lyn
    W.I.P. It: A Writer's Journey

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  25. Hi, Arlee! What a subject for me to come back to take a part in! I know that times have really changed in the 59 years that I first entered the work force back in 1951! Back then people did not make a lot of money, but it certainly went a lot farther than it does now. We were just a few years out of World War II and military people could go to school courtesy of the U.S. Government after leaving the service. A lot of education was achieved in that manner. Jobs were plentiful, and the economy was good, factories were going full force and life was good. Twelve years later, I was going to college on a National Defense Loan, and paid half of it back by teaching five years, and paid the other half back in money for five years. So, five years later, my loan was paid off.
    Factories were still producing and were still based here in the U.S. It was only in later years, that with business taxes being raised, many of them began to move to other countries, because foreign labor was cheaper. Now, the number of illegal aliens in this country enables those businesses that are still here in the states to operate cheaply. I don't blame the illegals for working and trying to make a better life for themselves. I do blame the legal system that allows them to come in and make it easy for them to stay here.
    What to do about the whole mess? Danged if I know! it is just a conundrum that is difficult to solve and I don't have any answers, and I don't think the people in Congress are trying to solve it either. It seems they are in the pockets of the lobbyists.
    Well, that's about all I got to say on the matter. It is good to be back talking to all of you friends. Ruby. Arlee, thank y0u for all the support you have given me. It is wonderful to know you.

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  26. Fellow Bloggers:

    This has been an extremely interesting and enlightening debate. Thanks for your enthusiastic participation. I really don't have much to add to what has been said, but I will attempt to address each of you to the extent time and blogger will allow.

    Charmaine -- Is it just politcal optimism or are you actually seeing it. We hear a lot of optimism, but I'm afraid the realities may prove that optimism wrong.

    Alex -- You shouldn't be depressed --yet. At least you still have your job--so far. The way the current government in power is talking it sounds like they are thinking more government jobs. I just don't know if they can keep paying for them. Look at California for example.

    J.L. -- Those who find something after they lose their jobs are fortunate. I keep hearing more stories about the people who don't.

    Kittie-- I'm also a big believer in positive attitude, but realism is important. I do think you are correct about some of the types of jobs for the future. Tomorrow will definitely be different.

    Trish and Rob -- Thank you for coming back. Innovation and positive outlook is always the ideal alternative to moaning about how bad things are. The problem I'm seeing is getting the rest of the world to cooperate. We might start moving forward at home but I think there are a lot of outside forces that want to see us fail. It's a weird world.

    Jules -- I hope there aren't any more wars, but that doesn't mean that their aren't thoughts of war brewing elsewhere. We may not be able to avoid it.

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  27. Yvonne -- The current economic situation has an effect on all of us no matter where in the world we are. I do think retirement ages will need to be raised so as not to break the bank of retirement funds.

    Ginny -- I've heard many stories about adult children still living with parents and not finding jobs. It makes one wonder if the college education is the best route for everyone. Small business and individual enterprise will probably be a solution, but I hope not in a third world sense.

    Hart -- You make some great and relevant points. The credit situation has created a distorted reality for many. I'm also disturbed by the huge salary disparities. Certain people like CEO's are making obscene amounts and for what?
    If were waiting for the baby boomers to go away it will still be awhile. And then there are always the unthinkable events that would get rid of vast numbers--2012 anyone?

    Diana -- oops -- one vote for 2012! Let's hope for the best.

    Paula -- You bring up valid issues. For anyone who missed the op-ed piece that Paula recommended the link is How To End The Great Recession. This piece offers some interesting thoughts.

    DisConnected (Larry) -- Great epic comment! If anyone missed it, read it.

    Anita -- You are correct. Everyone has a part to play and no one should give up.

    Karen -- Trust in God. That is so true. I think for the issues I pose here today all the answers can be found in God's Word and through prayer.

    Dezmond - I think the point you make illustrates that this is not just a U.S. problem and indeed we haven't seen the worst like some countries have experienced.

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  28. Stephen McCarthy-- You also offer a very comprehensive comment that is full of detailed information. Anyone who did not read this needs to go back and do so as it is very important. Read it and then follow back to Stephen's blog as he suggests to get even more education. Thanks Stephen for another great comment that I konw took a lot of time and effort.

    Cher-- You have the best survival kit I'd say. Amen!

    Lynda -- Sometimes the simplest solutions provide the best results. Thank you for the award.

    Grammy -- I think you summarized recent history well and nailed it as to where we are now. It's difficult to know exactly what to do when you got so many people running things who have conflicting ideas and ideas that are not in the interest of the people. Glad you stopped by Grammy. Don't get your feet wet in the rain.

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  29. A very emotional and passionate topic for sure. I think we are seeing the disappearance of the American bourgeoisie. We will soon be a country of the haves and the have nots.

    Stephen Tremp

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  30. Stephen Tremp -- I think you could be right about that. I hope the have nots can still afford to buy books.

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  31. Lee-

    Good topic. A lot of people really chose to participate this week.

    Everyone remember-

    "The future ain't what it used to be"

    -Jim Steinman

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  32. DisC Larry-- Thanks for your participation. I was very impressed with some of the replies. A lot to think about. As we used to say when I was younger, "That was heavy, man!"

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  33. Personally, I think free enterprise should be allowed to thrive, because so much good stems from people being able to follow their dreams and become successful. I like the idea of socialism, but I don't think the human race is evolved enough to really make socialism work. We'd have to be far more fair minded and selfless for it to really work.

    But when we allow people to succeed or fail on their own--that's when true growth and prosperity can happen.

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  34. Hi Lee .. I do think we have to go back to being more frugal in our own lives - save money, help others .. keep the string!, cook more prudently and in season ..

    Supporting others - but without propping them up ..

    Life is tough now .. but if you want to earn .. and the toilets are the only way to earn a buck .. then so be it .. and take pride in that work ..

    Those Great Depression and 2nd World War principles have gone out of the window & now is the time we need them .. we may recently have ridiculed re-using everything .. but now we need to ..

    Thanks - as you said .. great comments - Hilary

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  35. Ali -- Free enterprise is an important system to preserve and it will help a great deal if it is allowed to thrive with minimal interference. The systems based on idealism sound good to the dreamers, but dreams are probably all they will ever be in this world.

    Hilary-- People are going to have to sacrifice more, but it will be difficult for many of us who have been so spoiled by the good abundant life. We will all have to learn to adjust.

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
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Lee