Category Archives: Jobs
OK. I confess. It was a trick question.
Immediately, it would seem the wealthy were benefiting, the least wealthy 90+% suffering. But realization is growing that that kind of inequality is destructive, not just to American democracy, but to America’s economy as well. In short, you’re not going to sell goods or services if no one can afford to buy.
Think about it. Why are so many small businesses forced to shut their doors and close for good soon after Walmart plops one of its “big boxes” in town? It isn’t because of guv’mint regulations, and it isn’t because of guv’mint taxes. It’s because people abandon local shops and take their custom to the big box.
No money? No shopping. No shopping? No customers. No customers? No business.
On a less frustrating, but still not-funny note of irony…
How can you tell just from looking whether a person would be likely to get a tax reduction under Republican plans? Lots of ways, of course. One of them is to see which items a person buys when shopping. Here’s an example from an ad for Fahrney’s stationery chain I got in this morning’s email.
For which shoppers will Republicans reduce taxes? For which raise them? Hint: How much are these shoppers willing and able to spend on a fountain pen plus ink to fill it?
What do these 4 countries have in common?
Lesotho – Papua New Guinea – Swaziland – U.S.A.
So we’ve made it to the Final Four in the Tournament of Predatory Capitalist Exploitation and Shame! “Hoo-Ray for the Oooo-Ess-A”!!
How can this be?
- Because in their own families congressmen never have to experience the damage this can cause?
- Because in their campaigns they get most of their contributions from people who got fabulously rich by exploiting the workers (and the former workers whose jobs these heartless, unpatriotic oinkers shipped overseas)?
- Because conservatives feel that good women don’t need parental leave from their employers because they don’t have employers but instead stay home cooking, washing clothes, and cleaning house?
- Because they feel that “real” men leave parenting to the ladies, restricting themselves to setting a proper example and inflicting corporal punishment for real or imagined missteps by their children?
Arts Students Are Motivated More by Love of Subject Than Money or Future Careers
Saturday, 22 November 2014 13:07
Science and engineering subjects are often presented as better career choices for students than the arts or humanities. Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, recently said that STEM subjects – sciences, technology, engineering and maths – unlock doors to all sorts of careers and that pupils who study maths to A Level earn 10% more over their lifetime.
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
Restructure arts degrees
Careers are often judged by financial success – and not without a reason. And graduates from arts and humanities degrees seem to make less money than their STEM peers. For example, a 2011 report by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, puts most arts and humanities subjects at the bottom of the pay scale.
But perhaps the reason for that is not that those careers are a bad choice. If arts and humanities degrees attract people who are not career-driven, could that explain why they do not do as well financially in their career in the future? In order to make more money, you need to strive for that – it doesn’t just come by itself.
If it is the case that arts and humanities students do not do as well financially because of low career aspirations, should we discourage them from choosing arts and humanities? Probably not – these degrees are where they might do the best – because they enjoy it. Instead, universities should provide them with more career focus in their undergraduate courses that can make those students more structured in achieving their career goals.
In response to the article, I wrote this comment:
What’s a “career”? To me, it was a lifetime spent doing what I truly loved. (I’m a retired university professor whose specialization lay in the humanities.) My career aspirations had nothing to do with money or power or prestige. They had everything to do with the intrinsic rewards of learning and of sharing what I had learned.
By the definition implied here that meant I had “low career aspirations.” By my definition that meant I had the highest possible career aspirations. And I can assure you I had intense and unwavering “career focus.” I wanted to learn and to share, not just what I had learned, but also the intrinsic joy and rewards of learning – and I worked continually to do that as well as I possibly could.
My colleagues in other disciplines taught students how to do things, including accumulating wealth. I taught students to consider deeply whether to do those things; the moral and ethical implications of how they did those things; and, in the event they were successful, how they might invest in promoting the common good.
Herman Melville’s short story “Bartleby” is narrated by a lawyer who is incapable of imagining the way his ostensible subject sees the world. This article seems to have been written by a researcher who is incapable of imagining the way I and those like me see the world. Read Chaucer’s description of the “Clerk of Oxford.”
Source of literary allusions in that final paragraph, just for the record:
From the “Prologue” of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Lines 287-310
A CLERK from Oxford was there also,
Who’d studied philosophy, long ago.
As lean was his horse as is a rake,
And he too was not fat, that I take,
But he looked emaciated, moreover, abstemiously.
Very worn off was his overcoat; for he
Had got him yet no churchly benefice,
Nor he was worldly to accept secular office.
For he would rather have at his bed’s head
Some twenty books, all bound in black or red,
Of Aristotle and his philosophy
Than rich robes, fiddle, or gay psaltery.
Yet, and for all he was philosopher in base,
He had but little gold within his suitcase;
But all that he might borrow from a friend
On books and learning he would swiftly spend,
And then he’d pray diligently for the souls
Of those who gave him resources to attend schools.
He took utmost care and heed for his study.
Not one word spoke he more than was necessary;
And that was said with due formality and dignity
And short and lively, and full of high morality.
Filled with moral virtue was his speech;
And gladly would he learn and gladly teach.
From the early part of Herman Melville’s Bartleby (also known as Bartleby the Scrivener)
Imprimis: I am a man who, from his youth upwards, has been filled with a profound conviction that the easiest way of life is the best. Hence, though I belong to a profession proverbially energetic and nervous, even to turbulence, at times, yet nothing of that sort have I ever suffered to invade my peace. I am one of those unambitious lawyers who never addresses a jury, or in any way draws down public applause; but in the cool tranquillity of a snug retreat, do a snug business among rich men’s bonds and mortgages and title-deeds. All who know me consider me an eminently safe man. The late John Jacob Astor, a personage little given to poetic enthusiasm, had no hesitation in pronouncing my first grand point to be prudence; my next, method. I do not speak it in vanity, but simply record the fact, that I was not unemployed in my profession by the late John Jacob Astor; a name which, I admit, I love to repeat, for it hath a rounded and orbicular sound to it, and rings like unto bullion. I will freely add, that I was not insensible to the late John Jacob Astor’s good opinion.
In contrast to what the narrator says here of himself, Bartleby
- takes the hardest possible way.
- is an eminently unsafe man.
- demonstrates that “his first grand point” is imprudence…
- and his second lack of method.
- doesn’t care a flip about name or fame.
This letter may or may not be authentic, but it definitely makes a lot of sense:
Mon Nov 10, 2014 at 10:26 PM PST
Many of us Canadians are confused by the U.S. midterm elections. Consider, right now in America, corporate profits are at record highs, the country’s adding 200,000 jobs per month, unemployment is below 6%, U.S. gross national product growth is the best of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. The dollar is at its strongest levels in years, the stock market is near record highs, gasoline prices are falling, there’s no inflation, interest rates are the lowest in 30 years, U.S. oil imports are declining, U.S. oil production is rapidly increasing, the deficit is rapidly declining, and the wealthy are still making astonishing amounts of money.
Fox News Thinks Young Women Are Too Busy With Tinder to “Get” Voting
—By Inae OhWed Oct. 22, 2014 3:09 PM EDTFox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, a woman, shared some advice for us feeble-minded young ladies out here: Let’s not burden ourselves with voting! After all, we’re far too busy swiping for a man on Tinder to cast an educated vote in the midterm elections, or any election for that matter.
“It’s the same reason why young women on juries are not a good idea,” Guilfoyle explained to her approving co-hosts. “They don’t get it!”
“They’re not in that same life experience of paying the bills, doing the mortgage, kids, community, crime, education, health care. They’re like healthy and hot and running around without a care in the world,” she added.
Believe it or not, I agree with Ms. Guilfoyle on one crucial point: There’s at least one woman shown in this cartoon who is too ignorant; self-absorbed; complacent; lacking in empathy, sensitivity, awareness, and understanding to be trusted to vote wisely. Guess which one I’m thinking of! [Hint: She appears in more than one frame.]
If you watch the whole video clip Mother Jones references, you’ll see a curious dance.
- Democrats have had a big advantage among younger unmarried women.
- No, not really. The statistics have been wrong.
- No, the statistics have been right, and they’re changing now in our favor.
- Younger, unmarried women are too [supply your own pejorative adjectives] to be voting.
- Who cares, as long as they’re voting for us?
BTW, the asset shown in the lowest right frame really is Guilfoyle’s.
O’Reilly went on to predict that Romney would lose the election if he lost Ohio.
“How do you think we got to that point?” host Megyn Kelly wondered.
“Because it’s a changing country,” O’Reilly insisted. “The demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore and there are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff, they want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama.”
“The white establishment is now the minority,” he added. “And the voters — many of them — feel that this economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. You’re going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama, overwhelming black vote for President Obama and women will probably break President Obama’s way.”
“People feel that they are entitled to things. And which candidate between the two is going to give them things?”
Published under: Civil Rights, Corporate Psychopathy, Earned Benefits, Economic Equality, Education, Environment, Equality of Education, Fox, Fundamentalists, Global Warming, Guns, Health, Immigration, Jobs, Media, Oligarchy, Paranoia & Xenophobia, Plutocracy, Politics, Racism, Science, Social Justice, Taxes, Theocracy, Voting Rights, Wingnuts, Women's Issues
By reflecting on their images and their signs, you can learn a lot about the persons protesting the way the refugee children are being treated by the U.S. government. And what you learn is hardly flattering, either to the protestors or the nation itself.
- The hard to read sign on the left says. “God save us all. Build the wall.” I guess this is analogous to the famous title of Frank Loesser’s song “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.” You know, pray for God’s help but build your own defenses…just in case. Odd to see such tough posturing mujeres y hombres being so frightened of children! The sign on the right is a bit difficult to understand, suggesting that the guy holding it himself has difficulty understanding things. “Amnesty” is a code word, of course, a simple-minded substitute for mature understanding of incredibly complicated realities. I’m not sure whether the second line is addressed to the refugee children or to Americans who like hiring undocumented workers because they can pay them less, treat them worse, and still get done the work American citizens can’t or won’t accept. The “food stamps” thing makes no sense in this context. No one who gets food stamps can do so without providing evidence that he or she works (perhaps at Wal-Mart) or is actively seeking work. And no undocumented person can get food stamps regardless of work.
- What part of “illegal” do I not understand? I’m not sure. Of course if I don’t understand it, then I don’t know that I don’t understand it. I do at least know that stopping a public school bus on a public highway is illegal—even if the local police look the other way. And I know that these children are trying lawfully to obtain asylum. The government is acting lawfully to give them a proper hearing before either accepting or deporting them … as required by the law George W. Bush signed and approved of.
- “I pledge allegiance to the flag. I am proud to show the world that Americans are cruel, fearful, bigots.”
- These folks want to support the border patrol. They want to stop illegal immigration. Doesn’t make them special. Almost everyone wants to stop illegal immigration. The current problem involves legal pleas for asylum, plus legal procedures and hearings.
- How are you going to pay for increased border security if you won’t pay taxes? Republicans like to sneer about “tax and spend” Democrats. Meanwhile, they themselves spend even more (on illegal wars, subsidies to the already rich, etc.) while cutting taxes — for the wealthy. And then, of course, they blame Democrats for the size of the deficit.
- Enforce existing laws? We are enforcing existing laws. Your problem is that you don’t really know what the law is.
- These children are not “illegals.” They are following the law in seeking asylum.
- That yellow thing is the “Gadsden Flag.” You know, the flag dropped on the body of the ambushed and murdered policeman in Nevada. What was that about “legal” and “illegal”?
- We’ll grant you right not to be silenced. In return, you grant others the right not to be slandered, threatened, intimidated. Fair enough?
- Sheriff? Yeah. Arpaio. You want the sheriff who himself ignores the law to stop others from ignoring the law! D.H.S. is a Trojan Horse? Honestly, I don’t get it. The D.H.S. was created by the George W. administration. Are you saying that George W. Bush intends to destroy America?
More vexing is the extension of the RFRA to corporations. Business owners now have a new basis for trying to evade anti-discrimination laws and their responsibilities to their employees. Religious liberty is already the rallying cry for conservatives looking for a legal way to discriminate against LGBT Americans; other business owners have tried to use religion to justify opposition to minimum-wage laws and Social Security taxes. Faith groups are already trying to capitalize on the Hobby Lobby decision out of court; on Wednesday, a group of religious leaders asked the Obama administration for an exemption from a forthcoming federal order barring federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
According to Alito, courts have no authority to “tell the plaintiffs that their beliefs are flawed.” Where, then, are the boundaries? How will courts decide which beliefs are “sincerely held?” Alito asserts that the majority opinion provides “no such shield” for other forms of discrimination, but we have to take his word on it. The language of the ruling may be limited to contraception, but there are no explicit constraints on its underlying logic.
A Bold Shift in America’s Minimum Wage Debate
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Thursday 12 June 2014
At last, our political leaders in Washington are taking action for low-wage workers and the middle class, striking a bold blow for America’s historic values of economic fairness and common good.
“We did it — workers did this,” said Kshama Sawant. She has been a leader of Occupy Seattle, and then became the tenacious, articulate leader of a large grassroots coalition of low-wage workers called “15 Now.” Last year, Sawant was elected to the City Council by putting the case for the $15 wage floor directly to the voters.
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