Monthly Archives: September 2003

There is no labor shortage, there was no labor shortage, there won’t be a labor shortage

Just three years ago, there was a chorus from companies selling that there wasn’t enough good labor here in the USA to satisfy their needs. Some were saying it was related to the age of our working population.

It was bullshit then and it is bullshit now.

I can’t help but feel insulted whenever I hear a large corporation pushing for imported labor when there are too many people I personally know, who if given the opportunity, would give their all and it would be far more then enough. Capable people that want to climb the ladder – they either haven’t been given the same tools others have to start with or have been suddenly displaced and are falling behind.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m just arguing for some compassion. For some bootstraps for people to pull themselves up by.

Of course, as this NYTimes story spells out, we’d rather settle for a couple extra bucks right now then invest in our workforce, invest in our children, invest in our future. Screw giving people bootstraps. Screw giving people boots.

Related:

Dr. Norman Matloff: Testimony to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee: Debunking the Myth of a Desperate Software Labor Shortage

NYTimes: Good Economy. Bad Job Market. Huh?

NYTimes:
As Factory Jobs Disappear, Workers Have Few Options

CIO Magazine: Backlash (check out the comments folks!)

CIO Magazine: The Radicalization of Mike Emmons

CIO Magazine: No Americans Need Apply

Metafilter: Well…now what?

Salon: Welcome to the machine?

Salon: White-collar sweatshops

Economist: Mayhem in May via rc3.org.

A Nation Of Copiers?

That is what John Leland asks if we are in this NYTimes article.

“The quintessential American company was Enron, which made nothing,” said Neal Gabler, author of “Life the Movie.” In today’s culture, he added, “the product is almost immaterial; it’s the consciousness about it.”

“What the Internet does is, it pries everything out of moral context and lets people feel knowing about it,” he said, because the skills used to cut and paste something with a computer are more valued than those used to manufacture it.

“In a sense, Internet technology is a metaphor for the new morality. As long as you can get it, it doesn’t matter how.”

Clark already ahead in the polls

At least that’s what I read from Kos. I hope so. He better not continue to show signs of waffling however.

Joshua Marshall calls the waffling charge stupid and asks “is simplism the new integrity”?

Being a man who doesn’t believe in stupid questions …

The answer to that is no. It’s not the new integrity. Simple statements, to most folks, always sound more genuine and truthful.

Small Philly Publishers Lose Street Space

Is the following article real?!?!?!

By MARYCLAIRE DALE
The Associated Press
Saturday, September 13, 2003; 8:51 AM

PHILADELPHIA – In Philadelphia, the latest turf battle involves street
corners – and who gets to distribute newspapers there.

Under a three-year-old law the city plans to start enforcing Monday, papers
that don’t publish at least once a week will have to move their boxes to a
mid-block location.

“That’s a far inferior location for any paper. The foot traffic is a lot
lower. People aren’t really stopping and pausing,” said Mattathias Schwartz,
24, who last year started The Philadelphia Independent, a quirky, monthly
broadsheet whose design conveys an 18th-century feel.

Some people question the timing of the crackdown.

Democratic Mayor John F. Street, whose administration ordered the news box
crackdown, remains in a tough re-election fight with less than eight weeks
to go in the race.

“When anything happens this close to election time, and when the main
victims are going to be the smaller, infrequent publishers, the
independents, one gets kind of suspicious as to why,” said Councilman David
Cohen.

“Under the bill, the big press owns the street corners,” Cohen said.

City Council passed the ordinance, which also sets fees for the boxes, in
1999, following prompting from a group that advocates beautifying the city.

But the new rules have gone largely unnoticed, allowing for the usual array
of free newspapers, foreign language papers and apartment guides to appear
on Philadelphia’s street corners.

According to a city spokeswoman, Managing Director Phil Goldsmith detected a
problem after a recent move to Rittenhouse Square, a high-rent neighborhood
downtown.

“The managing director has decided that there’s a need to improve the way
our city looks by removing a lot of things that are … blighting the city
and are also creating public safety hazards,” spokeswoman Luz Cardenas said
Friday.

Some boxes have been chained to fire hydrants or block handicap access, she
said.

“There is no intention to violate anybody’s First Amendment rights or cut
out the smaller papers,” Cardenas said.

Bruce Schimmel, who started the free weekly Philadelphia City Paper in 1981,
said the paper wouldn’t have gotten off the ground under the current rules.

The paper started as a monthly before becoming a biweekly and then, in 1985,
a weekly. Schimmel sold the paper – which today has a circulation of over
100,000 – in the mid-1990s.

“To me, that’s what makes the life of the city, the ideas you can get on the
street all the time,” Schimmel said. “(It’s) the only public green we have
left … and they want to license it. That’s wrong.”

Schwartz, a Portland, Ore., native believes the law exemplifies the problems
inherent in media consolidation.

“We want to make sure that Philly remains a place – it has been for hundreds
of years – where anyone can find their voice and present it to the public in
the tradition of (Thomas) Paine and (Benjamin) Franklin,” he said.

Why Buffy Kicked Ass

Buffy, excluding its last, never-shoulda-happened season, was one of the most unique pieces of fiction I have read or seen anywhere. It had characters that you can relate to, humor that was actually clever, and story lines that compelled you to watch. But it featured something I have yet to see in any other series – long term consequences. Each character has had face consequences for their actions – sometimes severe. And in facing the aftermath of both good deeds and bad – there were lessons imparted, and growth.

Virginia Postrel, in this Reason Online story shares some precepts that are imparted from the show:

  • Evil exists.

  • Redemption is possible. Bad guys can reform! Good guys can be seduced or willingly choose wrong – and they can reform as well! Whadda concept!
  • Evil must be fought. If you don’t face it – it will overtake you.
  • Evil never goes away. Better said: There is always more evil out there. Sometimes evil can reform. See “Redemption is possible”.
  • We don?t get to choose our reality. Life isn’t fair. You need to deal with the cards you’re delt. Again – whadda concept!
  • We do get to choose what we do. You get to play your own hand.

  • And let me add one: Everything you do matters. Even if you think you are the most inconsequential of characters in a larger play, everything you do brings consequences either for yourself or others.