Comments on: The missing ingredient for middle-class jobs Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: OneOfTheSheep Mon, 10 Feb 2014 22:28:22 +0000 @baroque-quest,

Solutions to complex problems are seldom simple and usually require some compromise. There are certain things that our government does or does not do that should change, and as one who is able and willing to think about improving that reality some of your comments are worthy of due consideration. Common ground should be always sought, as well as “win-win” solutions (when possible).

I have long said that capitalism is the “engine of prosperity”, but it is much like a V-8 sitting on the concrete. Without fuel, a reliable source of ignition, a throttle and a worthwhile destination, it is without value. “Intelligent employment” is necessary.

I was never “riffed”. In every instance I chose my “bets” for my future considering that which I saw or could find out before making each major decision. There is no reason to question what you see as “abuse” by some employer of the H-1B visa process (and others) in this country, and you’re right…I have no personal experience with this.

I believe it was Hunter S. Thompson who said: “The [software] business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”

By: baroque-quest Mon, 10 Feb 2014 17:17:38 +0000 Okay, Sheepster, I take back what I said about your opinion being irrelevant. When you previously said you were 70+, I assumed you were were looking at life in the rear-view mirror of your La-Z-Boy. I’m not young either.

I’ve seen lay-offs in my time. I’m not saying you deserved to be riffed, but many people who are laid-off are just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I saw a room-full of people being laid-off around ten years ago: 99% men, 80% over 50 with the other 20% composed of almost all people 40+, no minorities, no LGBTs, etc. A number of the men in the room were project managers, so don’t think that skill prevents your poop from stinking. Others were engineers who worked in an obscure area of expertise; when the company laid them off, their skills were of no value to other companies.

Another lay-off I saw with a different company was composed of 100% men of various ages. This same company brought in Indians by the boatload via H-1B visas; when Americans refused to work until midnight or later (for no more pay), they were riffed.

Sorry, but you were lucky; if you were in the software business, you’d have an entirely different view of things. That’s why I despise the Tea Party because they all think they are geniuses. I despise liberals for entirely different reasons.

“Life isn’t fair”

I really think you have no idea, no idea whatsoever, how H-1B and other visas are abused by employers in the USA. Try searching for “H-1B visa abuse”; stories from the Boston Globe, Businessweek (before Bloomberg bought it), and other sources will be informative.

By: OneOfTheSheep Sun, 09 Feb 2014 21:11:44 +0000 @baroque-quest,

Life isn’t fair, never has been, never will be, get used to it. I’ve worked my way up (on salary) as a draftsman, designer, and project manager. I’ve been an entrepreneur/business founder (successful business first time, printing, sold after 12 years, still going a decade later), handling my own books, payroll, purchasing and sales.

I’ve successfully invested in real estate and designed my own home. I’m a prostate survivor (fifteen years out and “clean”) and served as medical advocate/caretaker for a wife with stage four breast cancer survivor (sixteen years out and “clean, quit counting when medical bills exceeded a million dollars).

I’ve also served as estate executor for three people with “complicated” lives. If you’re not brain-dead, you continue to “work” whether you are paid by someone else or not.

“…you are retired so your opinion is irrelevant…”? Those who dismiss real-world experience in what is now history are doomed to repeat mistakes made and lessons not learned. We are all born ignorant, but that’s nothing less than accepting “obtuse” as a philosophy.

All that said, I substantially agree that the ideas you put forth in your second and third paragraphs are worth serious consideration. What America is presently doing (or not doing) is not exactly accomplishing the purpose intended in what is the “new economic normal”.

By: baroque-quest Sun, 09 Feb 2014 20:09:48 +0000 On the contrary, OneWhoLovesSheep, I want a fair playing field.

If companies outsource or use H-1B visas, classify them as foreign corporations and tax the bleep out of them. And the reverse should be true; if you have all American workers, you get a corporate tax rate close to zero.

I want companies where, if employees are disposable, then corporate officers need to be paid solely on performance. For example, the Target CEO should only receive his base pay of perhaps $50,000 next year because he was world-class incompetent. Normal employees are fired for gross incompetence.

But you are retired so your opinion is irrelevant. To slightly paraphrase a Cabinet official from decades ago: you no play-a the game, you no make-a the rules.

What were you during your working life: a farmer or rancher?

By: OneOfTheSheep Sat, 08 Feb 2014 17:24:42 +0000 @baroque-quest,

All those sour grapes in your mouth prevent you from tasting the wine of the present or the future. You want heat from the stove before you would put wood in it. Life doesn’t work that way, which you probably already know.

You would be an oyster, anchored to one comfortable spot expecting the ocean to bring everything to you for your enjoyment. Be aware…such spots are few and far between…more “right place, right time” than earned.

Few comfortable spots get sufficient nutrients, and few spots with sufficient nutrients are comfortable. Nobody promised easy.

By: baroque-quest Fri, 07 Feb 2014 15:03:01 +0000 @AllisonSchrager “Polack began his Apple career as a ‘creative genius.’ He thrived in his job fixing customers’ technology problems and quickly rose through the ranks, getting more on-the-job training along the way”

Yes, that is the way things used to work. Companies used to train their employees. Now they are discarded like yesterday’s fish, replaced by new graduates and/or H-1B visa holders from India.

“The modern worker must possess a constantly evolving skill set, a large professional network, and the ability to anticipate future trends and technology. A person can only gain these skills by working at different firms.”

Employers will not hire someone who is missing essential skills; job ads are full of “must have X with Y&Z; must speak BBB and know jargon in CCC.” In other words, you will either learn these skills on your own or be unemployed. You will not learn on the job.

As to the “large professional network,” you will spend all of your free time looking for your next position. Just think how their children will feel growing up, essentially abandoned by their parents.

As for the “ability to anticipate future trends and technology,” welcome to our brave new world. What that means in practice is that you will never plan a long vacation in advance because you will always be afraid of missing your next gig. And if you anticipate the wrong technology, you might find yourself only partially employed, waiting for one of the companies which still use that technology to need a specialist.

And you did not mention that all of these uber-workers must have the personality of a used car salesman to tolerate the abuse they will receive in their careers.

You must be a relative or friend of Tom Friedman.