Since he retired from the Army, Swenson has made no secret of the fact that he has struggled with combat stress. He is currently unemployed, though he has applied to go back to the military on active duty status, and says he often likes to escape to the mountains where he can find solitude. He told one reporter he specializes in Pyrrhic victories – wins that comes at such a devastating cost that they are indistinguishable from defeat.
Tag Archives | Unemployment
All too often you hear “flash mobs” associated with riots and acts of vandalism. This isn’t one of those kinds of flashmobs
The truth is out. We are living in a time when a shocking four out of 5 U.S. adults will struggle with joblessness or poverty. This revelation not only flies directly in the face of another drop in unemployment, but reconfirms what many of us had already known, we’re in trouble.
If you find yourself looking for a job, you’re in an over-crowded market where the young and educated are relegated to jobs well below their intellectual station. This is due in part to the heavy competition at the of the top of the job market among the highly-skilled. Basically, those left out of the jobs they really want are knocked down a peg, creating what Economist Paul Beaudry calls “cascading.” The top pushes down on the middle and the middle pushes down on the bottom, burying those who are most vulnerable and under-qualified.
This phenomenon stems from what’s been deemed “The Great Reversal.” That is, there used to be an over-abundance of high-paying jobs that required skill, intellectual capital and education, but now there just aren’t. In fact, demand for those types of jobs peaked all the way back in the year 2000. That’s right, even with all this talk of a “skills gap,” the need for high-skill jobs actually stopped growing 13 years ago.… Read the rest
Via Salon, virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier puts forth his argument that it is so:
… Read the rest
The photography company Kodak employed more than 14,000 people. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. The number of people who are contributing to the system to make it viable is probably the same. Instagram wouldn’t work if there weren’t many millions of people using it.
So there’s still a lot of human effort, but the difference is that whereas before when people made contributions to the system that they used, they received formal benefits, which means not only salary but pensions and certain kinds of social safety nets. Now, instead, they receive benefits on an informal basis. And what an informal economy is like is the economy in a developing country slum. It’s reputation, it’s barter, it’s that kind of stuff.
What comes next? Via the Guardian, Nina Power argues that work is becoming obsolete:
… Read the rest
As with all major institutional entities – law, prison, education – to question work is to tamper with reality itself. As with law, prison and education, it is almost always “never a good time” to talk about reform, or the abolition of existing structures.
But as wages bear less and less relation to the cost of living, it seems as good a time as any to ask if the underlying fantasy is that employers will one day be able to pay their workers nothing at all, because all those issues like housing, food, clothing, childcare will somehow be dealt with in another, mysterious, way.
Against the backdrop of rising inflation, increasing job insecurity, geographically asymmetrical unemployment, attacks on the working and non-working populations, and cuts to benefits – a debate about what work is and what it means has been taking place.
It takes one to know one comes to mind. Tommy Christopher on the tarred former GE CEO’s conspiracy tweet, at Mediaite:
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The uninformed perceptions of the voting public giveth, and the uninformed perceptions of the voting public taketh away. After exactly one day of basking in the glow of a hideous-lie-powered victory in Wendesday night’s debate, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was dealt a blow Friday morning when September’s jobs report saw the unemployment rate plunge to 7.8%. Conservatives aren’t taking this lying down, led by Romney booster and former GE CEO Jack Welch, who tweeted that this is all the work of “these Chicago guys.”
“Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers,” Welch tweeted, making the job of Romney surrogates that much tougher by calling them “unbelievable,” and causing a sigh of relief from the members of the bands Styx and Foreigner, who are actually the ones behind the conspiracy to cook the jobs numbers.
FlowingData points out a recent graphic from a story on Fox News showing the unemployment rate changes under Obama. The numbers are presumably correct, but do not seem to correspond to the rise and fall of the visual, in which, for instance, 8.6 is a higher number than 8.8 or 8.9. Ah, the “Fox Chart” — what does it mean? Is it a work of postmodern art?
Via Nation of Change:
… Read the rest
Roughly 3,000 unemployed workers from around the country are expected in the nation’s capitol next week for four days of protests with labor, religious and social justice groups that say Congress cares more about America’s wealthiest 1 percent than it does the masses of struggling middle-class families.
Piggybacking on the Occupy Wall Street movement, the three-day “Take Back the Capitol” protest will open Monday with construction of a “Peoples Camp” on the National Mall as a base of operations. On Tuesday, protesters will hit Capitol Hill to lobby members of Congress about extending federal unemployment benefits. The group walks to K Street on Wednesday to protest the political influence of corporate lobbyists.
And on Thursday, they’ll host a national prayer vigil for the unemployed on Capitol Hill. At the same time, the AFL-CIO will coordinate simultaneous protests at congressional district offices across the country to call for extending unemployment benefits that are slated to expire Dec.