If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Economist)   What's wrong with the economy in the good old US of A? You ...it's all your fault   (economist.com) divider line 84
    More: Obvious, angst, labour markets, jobless recovery, Volcker, economic indicators  
•       •       •

5764 clicks; posted to Business » on 30 Apr 2011 at 10:12 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



84 Comments   (+0 »)
   

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2011-04-30 09:07:48 AM
Don't blame me. I just helped the economy by spending $80 to fill up my tank, so I can get to work next week.
 
2011-04-30 10:12:57 AM
As Fark's resident unemployed person, UP YOURS ECONOMIST!

Maybe if corporations didn't get farking tax credits for offshoring American jobs people would be working!
 
2011-04-30 10:22:30 AM
Whee, underemployment!

/could make more, but would be completely miserable
 
2011-04-30 10:25:58 AM
FTA: Stemming the decline in low-skilled men's work will also demand more education reform to boost skills, as well as a saner approach to drugs and imprisonment.

You hear this all the time, "boost skills". What specific skills exactly are they talking about?
 
2011-04-30 10:32:35 AM

DrewCurtisJr: FTA: Stemming the decline in low-skilled men's work will also demand more education reform to boost skills, as well as a saner approach to drugs and imprisonment.

You hear this all the time, "boost skills". What specific skills exactly are they talking about?


Reading, writing and simple algebra would be a good start.
 
2011-04-30 10:34:31 AM

DrewCurtisJr: FTA: Stemming the decline in low-skilled men's work will also demand more education reform to boost skills, as well as a saner approach to drugs and imprisonment.

You hear this all the time, "boost skills". What specific skills exactly are they talking about?


I often wonder this. When I was unemployed I considered going back to school, but it really didn't seem worth it. Skills that seem in demand now probably won't be so much in 2-4 years.
 
2011-04-30 10:36:44 AM
Really the rich not giving a fark about the poor. Washington ignoring the labor problem and their plan is: 'well I hope it goes it away'. The deficits won't cripple our nation but not figuring out how to get the majority of people the means to support themselves will.
 
2011-04-30 10:41:14 AM
 
2011-04-30 10:42:57 AM
It's all your fault!
It's all your fault!
It's all your fault!
It's all your fault!
It's all your fault!

LOOOOO-SSSSEEEEERRRRR!
 
2011-04-30 10:44:36 AM

DrewCurtisJr: You hear this all the time, "boost skills". What specific skills exactly are they talking about?


I wasn't able to find work 2 years ago so I started a professional master's program. When I talked to the outgoing students during my campus visit, nearly all of them had jobs lined by graduation. Now, my class is getting ready to graduate, and two people have a summer job lined up.

Fark you economist.
 
2011-04-30 10:53:11 AM

Charlie Freak: Reading, writing and simple algebra would be a good start.


Are there a lot of jobs out there going unfilled because they don't have enough qualified applicants with those skills?
 
2011-04-30 10:53:43 AM
Spreading the wealth around has kept the income gap somewhat tolerable until recently. As you can tell, that growing gulf is filling with anger and hatred.

The lower the average wage goes in relation to the upper earners, the more unpleasant this business will become.
 
2011-04-30 10:59:04 AM
FTFA

Technology and globalisation are remaking labour markets across the rich world, to the relative detriment of the lower-skilled.

Yep, and there's not much any government can do about it. If your job is so easy a machine can replace you, you are in a world of trouble in the foreseeable future.

I design software systems for businesses, automation is usually the top goal I hear stakeholders talk about.
 
2011-04-30 11:02:04 AM

fn129: DrewCurtisJr: FTA: Stemming the decline in low-skilled men's work will also demand more education reform to boost skills, as well as a saner approach to drugs and imprisonment.

You hear this all the time, "boost skills". What specific skills exactly are they talking about?

I often wonder this. When I was unemployed I considered going back to school, but it really didn't seem worth it. Skills that seem in demand now probably won't be so much in 2-4 years.




You are doing it wrong.
 
2011-04-30 11:03:31 AM
Why bother with investing in human reeducation when you can replace them with computers?
 
2011-04-30 11:05:12 AM

Kirk's_Toupee: Why bother with investing in human reeducation when you can replace them with computers?


Because computers won't break into your gated communities loot and burn everything in sight.
 
kab
2011-04-30 11:14:41 AM
Lets see here:

Though unemployment has been falling and share prices are close to a three-year high, house prices are still in the dumps

You'd be rather amazed at the amount of people who have absolutely no stocks outside of a rather dismal 401k portfolio. And home prices are nothing even close to "in the dumps" across the board.

Tellingly, a majority now regard China, not America, as the world's leading economy.

Well yeah. We push paper and sell the service back to ourselves, they actually make things. That isn't a sustainable recipe.

The system of corporate taxation is a mess and deters domestic investment.

Ah, THERE it is. The whole "if it was cheaper to do business here, we could hire more US employees.... no, really.. we would!" thing.

These were caused not only by sweeping changes from technology and globalisation, which affect all countries

And not all in a positive fashion, but lets just skip that.

This is a country that by and large wants to somehow keep its admittedly excellent living conditions, constantly increase the cost of said living conditions, while also trying to reduce the overall income of most of the workforce here.

It's a formula that is just impossible to continue.
 
2011-04-30 11:27:04 AM
Have we considered that we are at the end of a technological epoch?

Returns have diminished to the point where companies have to cut costs and resort to underhanded tactics to stay alive (not that I'm excusing that behavior) because there exists a global ability to produce the same widget pretty much anywhere.

World War II and the Cold War did more to spur technology than any other period in human history due to the urgency of competition. However, the progress was very measured and closely held lest it fall into enemy hands. This had the effect of creating a lot of new companies that made fast progress and unseated the old corporate regime, but kept the money in US hands.

The fall of the Soviet Union did two things: it released a bunch of technology to the public markets that previously was held only by the military (and their civilian manufacturing counterpart), which spurred a lot of technological growth - mainly in computing and communications. The other thing it did was open up the global labor pool - no longer were we worried about entering their sphere of influence and/or protecting our own.

The tech bubble of the late 90's was the returns finally diminishing - too much growth too fast and it needed to correct.

But by that time, the writing was on the wall - the experts of the financial and accounting world saw two massive problems: technology growth was slowing down, due to diminishing returns and an already-established infrastructure (both physical and protocol-wise) and increasing energy costs.

The last 10 (some might say 15) years has been profit-taking by the few companies that have any semblance of control remaining - creating artificial demand while shaping the world and the laws that govern them to their liking so that they remain in power as their returns inevitably diminish.

There is still progress being made, to be sure. Take for instance the iPad (which I love, don't get me wrong) - is it really much of a leap forward? Think of the things that my grandparents (the Greatest) generation saw in terms of advance, then compare it to the changes we've seen and it's really not that much of a step forward - nothing has really improved our quality of life on a daily basis except maybe the cell phone (and that is up for debate). Sure, things have gotten better and easier, but there has been no REAL big change.

Energy tech looked very promising, but until it can be scaled-up I'm getting less hopeful.

So the question is "will there ever be The Next Big Change?"

We had better hope there will be, because our way of life for the last century depends on us leading the technological charge. Otherwise as the labor pool increases to produce the same old shiat, we're going to dilute out and become like every other country - controlled by a few.
 
2011-04-30 11:30:47 AM

DrewCurtisJr: Charlie Freak: Reading, writing and simple algebra would be a good start.

Are there a lot of jobs out there going unfilled because they don't have enough qualified applicants with those skills?


I have rejected quite a few applicants based on their inability to spell words correctly on their résumé, though that is less about their spelling and more about attention to detail, or lack thereof.
 
2011-04-30 11:35:47 AM

Charlie Freak: I have rejected quite a few applicants based on their inability to spell words correctly on their résumé, though that is less about their spelling and more about attention to detail, or lack thereof.


Were you able to fill those positions or did the jobs remain open because you couldn't find qualified applicants?
 
2011-04-30 11:35:54 AM

Charlie Freak: DrewCurtisJr: Charlie Freak: Reading, writing and simple algebra would be a good start.

Are there a lot of jobs out there going unfilled because they don't have enough qualified applicants with those skills?

I have rejected quite a few applicants based on their inability to spell words correctly on their résumé, though that is less about their spelling and more about attention to detail, or lack thereof.


Isn't there an app for that?
 
2011-04-30 11:36:40 AM
America's habit of locking up large numbers of young black men, which drastically diminishes their future employment prospects

Stopped reading at that point. Stop locking up criminals, it makes it harder for them to find work!
 
2011-04-30 11:39:31 AM
The American experiment is an interesting one. What is the end result of a bootstrappy, capitalist society? It turns out the answer is neo-feudalism. We broke free from a monarchy and established our own country, only to wind up replacing royal families with corporate CEOs.

Corporations have all the rights of an individual citizen, and none of the responsibilities. They have unchecked power to influence elections, draft legislation, and buy judges. They write the laws to allow themselves to rape the country of all its resources, then leave the taxpayers to clean up after them. Doing any business with them requires signing an EULA contract giving away any rights to protect yourself from abuse, while they are free to break any contract at any time, and again, the taxpayer is left to cover the balance.

How could the experiment have ended any other way? Industry has moved far enough away so our captured government can turn a blind eye to its practice, and your services, if needed, are needed only on a part-time basis and come with no benefits. And if you feel you are being mistreated, you are encouraged to tear down what your neighbor has in a fit of jealous rage.
 
2011-04-30 11:44:28 AM

eddyatwork: As Fark's resident unemployed person, UP YOURS ECONOMIST!

Maybe if corporations didn't get farking tax credits for offshoring American jobs people would be working!


The day you live up to your Fark handle, I will be proud.

Sorry you're still having trouble, eddy.

kittyhas1000legs: Whee, underemployment!

/could make more, but would be completely miserable


I'm with you there.
 
2011-04-30 11:53:43 AM

LouDobbsAwaaaay: The American experiment is an interesting one. What is the end result of a bootstrappy, capitalist society? It turns out the answer is neo-feudalism. We broke free from a monarchy and established our own country, only to wind up replacing royal families with corporate CEOs.

Corporations have all the rights of an individual citizen, and none of the responsibilities. They have unchecked power to influence elections, draft legislation, and buy judges. They write the laws to allow themselves to rape the country of all its resources, then leave the taxpayers to clean up after them. Doing any business with them requires signing an EULA contract giving away any rights to protect yourself from abuse, while they are free to break any contract at any time, and again, the taxpayer is left to cover the balance.

How could the experiment have ended any other way? Industry has moved far enough away so our captured government can turn a blind eye to its practice, and your services, if needed, are needed only on a part-time basis and come with no benefits. And if you feel you are being mistreated, you are encouraged to tear down what your neighbor has in a fit of jealous rage.


The corporations found a way to do this themselves, but only in the last few decades. Like I said, they saw the writing on the wall long before we did and bought off the people who write the laws - and not necessarily by direct money, but by both blinding the rest of the populace into thinking the laws they write are good for us, or distracting us with bullshiat while they pass their amendments in the middle of the night.
 
2011-04-30 11:59:03 AM

DrewCurtisJr: Charlie Freak: I have rejected quite a few applicants based on their inability to spell words correctly on their résumé, though that is less about their spelling and more about attention to detail, or lack thereof.

Were you able to fill those positions or did the jobs remain open because you couldn't find qualified applicants?


The job was open for months. We ended up hiring someone who we had to fire a few months later - we had settled by simply taking the best candidate of the bunch.

We just hired someone else and I hope it goes better this time.
 
2011-04-30 12:18:08 PM

Charlie Freak: DrewCurtisJr: Were you able to fill those positions or did the jobs remain open because you couldn't find qualified applicants?

The job was open for months. We ended up hiring someone who we had to fire a few months later - we had settled by simply taking the best candidate of the bunch.

We just hired someone else and I hope it goes better this time.


Either you aren't offering enough to draw qualified applicants, or let me know where you are so I can avoid it at all costs. You're scrambling to find someone who can read/write/do math at an eighth-grade level? Christ.
 
2011-04-30 12:20:26 PM

PACMANCoW: America's habit of locking up large numbers of young black men, which drastically diminishes their future employment prospects

Stopped reading at that point. Stop locking up criminals, it makes it harder for them to find work!


Well, it is true that many employers request background checks and tend to pass over those applicants that have a record, whether it be for a misdemeanor or a felony. Wasn't there an article posted to Fark not to long ago that addressed this issue, of having such a large segment of the population with a criminal background and unable to find a job? I could of sworn I read that here...
 
2011-04-30 12:20:34 PM

jehovahs witness protection: Don't blame me. I just helped the

Saudi economy by spending $80 to fill up my tank, so I can get to work next week.

FTFY

/or Canadian economy
 
2011-04-30 12:21:09 PM

LouDobbsAwaaaay: Charlie Freak: DrewCurtisJr: Were you able to fill those positions or did the jobs remain open because you couldn't find qualified applicants?

The job was open for months. We ended up hiring someone who we had to fire a few months later - we had settled by simply taking the best candidate of the bunch.

We just hired someone else and I hope it goes better this time.

Either you aren't offering enough to draw qualified applicants, or let me know where you are so I can avoid it at all costs. You're scrambling to find someone who can read/write/do math at an eighth-grade level? Christ.


People already avoid it at all costs because the winters are horrible. We have a very large university, but most students leave town as soon as they graduate. It's a problem the town is trying to address, but other than building a giant dome, things will not likely change.
 
2011-04-30 12:22:51 PM

LouDobbsAwaaaay: The American experiment is an interesting one. What is the end result of a bootstrappy, capitalist society? It turns out the answer is neo-feudalism. We broke free from a monarchy and established our own country, only to wind up replacing royal families with corporate CEOs.



THIS.

To quote Mark Twain: "History doesn't repeat itself - at best it sometimes rhymes"

/ wonders if ACTUAL noble titles will reappear in the US in a century or two.
// maybe the far future will resemble that outlined in "Dune", with a bunch of Great Houses vying for power...
 
2011-04-30 12:30:15 PM
And this thread is a prime example of the problem. "It's THEIR fault! The Republicans! The Democrats! The Corporations! We cannot make services and sell them to ourselves! But we cannot trade internationally either! It's too much spending! It's the falling dollar! It's the gays! It's the Christian Right!"

The problem with this country is that we are focusing on things that don't matter, based on totally false assumptions and ALL sides are doing it.

Our tax system is messed up, not because taxes are too high but because it's damn near impossible to navigate, THAT is what is driving investment away.

We jail people for minor infractions, a serious socio-economic problem.

We don't have an economic plan beyond "Fight about it until it fixes itself,if it doesn't, blame the other guy." If we have a long term economic plan as in "Our policy for the next 20 years will be X." It would go a long way towards signalling what to expect.

I have a few ideas but no one is interested in hearing them. They're not interesting.
 
2011-04-30 12:33:01 PM

ptelg: And this thread is a prime example of the problem. "It's THEIR fault! The Republicans! The Democrats! The Corporations! We cannot make services and sell them to ourselves! But we cannot trade internationally either! It's too much spending! It's the falling dollar! It's the gays! It's the Christian Right!"

The problem with this country is that we are focusing on things that don't matter, based on totally false assumptions and ALL sides are doing it.

Our tax system is messed up, not because taxes are too high but because it's damn near impossible to navigate, THAT is what is driving investment away.

We jail people for minor infractions, a serious socio-economic problem.

We don't have an economic plan beyond "Fight about it until it fixes itself,if it doesn't, blame the other guy." If we have a long term economic plan as in "Our policy for the next 20 years will be X." It would go a long way towards signalling what to expect.

I have a few ideas but no one is interested in hearing them. They're not interesting.



Yeah yeah yeah, everybody is wrong except you.
 
2011-04-30 12:52:41 PM

MrSteve007: jehovahs witness protection: Don't blame me. I just helped the Saudi economy by spending $80 to fill up my tank, so I can get to work next week.

FTFY

/or Canadian economy


I bought beer too.
AMERICAN BEER!
 
2011-04-30 01:02:57 PM

Forbidden Doughnut: LouDobbsAwaaaay: The American experiment is an interesting one. What is the end result of a bootstrappy, capitalist society? It turns out the answer is neo-feudalism. We broke free from a monarchy and established our own country, only to wind up replacing royal families with corporate CEOs.



THIS.

To quote Mark Twain: "History doesn't repeat itself - at best it sometimes rhymes"

/ wonders if ACTUAL noble titles will reappear in the US in a century or two.
// maybe the far future will resemble that outlined in "Dune", with a bunch of Great Houses vying for power...


Zaibatsus and Megacorps. Get your 'running shoes on, chummer.

/but without the magic
//dystopia, here we come
///would be cooler with elves and orcs
 
2011-04-30 01:03:06 PM

Charlie Freak: People already avoid it at all costs because the winters are horrible. We have a very large university, but most students leave town as soon as they graduate. It's a problem the town is trying to address, but other than building a giant dome, things will not likely change.


There are small pockets of the country with labor shortages and there are some jobs that go unfilled because of a lack of qualified candidates, ex. Phd in bio-astro-nanotechnology, but generally we have a large surplus of workers. And it's not because they lack skills, there just aren't jobs for them.

ptelg: We jail people for minor infractions, a serious socio-economic problem.


No we don't.
 
2011-04-30 01:04:04 PM

jehovahs witness protection: MrSteve007: jehovahs witness protection: Don't blame me. I just helped the Saudi economy by spending $80 to fill up my tank, so I can get to work next week.

FTFY

/or Canadian economy

I bought beer too.
AMERICAN BEER!


I bought two motorcycles.
JAPANESE MOTORCYCLES!

Wait...

/dammit
 
2011-04-30 01:04:46 PM

DrewCurtisJr: ptelg: We jail people for minor infractions, a serious socio-economic problem.

No we don't.


Yes we do.
 
2011-04-30 01:06:15 PM

LouDobbsAwaaaay: You're scrambling to find someone who can read/write/do math at an eighth-grade level? Christ.


Dude. My BIL runs his own practice, and so he and my sister do all the hiring. They have applicants who can't spell anything, who can't speak basic English, and have no concept of showing up on time, etc. Finding good employees is his hardest task.

This is in Houston, so it's not like the pool is too small.
 
2011-04-30 01:21:47 PM
Would you like fries with that opinion subby?
 
2011-04-30 01:38:52 PM

YixilTesiphon: They have applicants who can't spell anything, who can't speak basic English, and have no concept of showing up on time, etc. Finding good employees is his hardest task. This is in Houston, so it's not like the pool is too small.


Houston has a lot of people. A lot of SMART people, not so much. Natural result of letting the goddamn Texas Board of Education groom the farking state's future generation. What the fark did anyone expect? Education is the foundation of a first-world nation. At least they all worship Jesus.
 
2011-04-30 01:52:41 PM

janzee: Would you like fries with that opinion subby?


McDonald's hired 2k people last week out of 75k applicants (new window) in my area. It's tough odds even getting a fast food job.
 
2011-04-30 02:06:43 PM
DrewCurtisJr:
janzee: Would you like fries with that opinion subby?

McDonald's hired 2k people last week out of 75k applicants (new window) in my area. It's tough odds even getting a fast food job.



IF I heard correctly, hired a total of 62K new employees from barely over 1 million applicants. Country is screwed, thank God!
 
2011-04-30 02:08:06 PM

HotSalsaZoot: Country is screwed, thank God!


Wait, what?!
 
2011-04-30 02:18:09 PM
Around here (Los Angeles Area), "The Gap" won't even consider your resume unless you have a BA.

To work at entry level retail now requires a BA... and they have more than enough applicants to fill their positions. Part time positions no less.

/The economy is double-plus good!
 
2011-04-30 02:19:38 PM
Ultimately in a Republic where the leaders are selected in a democratic process pretty much everything is the fault of the electorate.

//obvious
 
2011-04-30 02:30:14 PM

Dughan: Around here (Los Angeles Area), "The Gap" won't even consider your resume unless you have a BA.

To work at entry level retail now requires a BA... and they have more than enough applicants to fill their positions. Part time positions no less.

/The economy is double-plus good!


Yep, I was just laid off from a retail (Borders) store in the L.A. area. These jobs are no longer a dime a dozen.
 
2011-04-30 02:55:07 PM
FTA:On the plus side, it is hard to think of any large country with as many inherent long-term advantages as America: what would China give to have a Silicon Valley? Or Germany an Ivy League?

The author must have a curious definition of inherent. Bot these examples depend largely on the people in these institutions, and their knowledge and skills and the continued renewal and transference of said skills to new people. Not to mention that with outsourcing and lowering of education standards both are actively endangered.

The author also acts as if he was asking a rhetorical question, when both can be answered. You just need to look up or google how much money Germany is investing in their attempt to create "Eliteuniversitäten" and so called center of excellence and how much China payed for things like IBM's PC making business.

The inherent advantages might be gone tomorrow in the US and the rest of the world is actively trying to catch up.
 
2011-04-30 02:57:01 PM
There's a lot of good stuff in this thread that I want to quote, but I can sum it up in this short sentence:

Capitalism is an inferior way to run a country.

We're running headlong into the flaws of the system. America was a great place for this idea to flourish because it plays into our own little rugged individual narrative. "You can get as much as you want if you work hard enough for it"/"your fate is in your hands." It's a very addictive way of looking at things. But unfortunately, it's simply not true or even right. It fades out in a few generations to inherited wealth held by people who really don't deserve it and leads to the idealism/cynicism circle that represses more people than a thousand armies could. And at the end, we end up with a system of people holding most of the wealth who were born into it that think they earned it controlling the fate of a nation that is filled with millions of people trying to work harder for less and losing faith in the system.

Capitalism really has no plan for those who don't 'work hard enough.' It only gives people who have enough money a little ego boost. It's a horrific system that, at its heart, still backs the feudal system. Then again, America was born of a revolution that sparked other revolutions as well: the French where the disinterested hierarchy was executed in the streets, and the Russian where the same occurred. Both of those resulted in a populist dictatorships that were eventually overthrown regardless of how ugly it got there. Moral? The next big paradigm shift won't be nations, it'll be economic systems. It'll be the replacement of capitalism with something else. Something that takes into consideration how everybody deserves to live.

At this point, however, I imagine America is more of an example than a trendsetter. The Western world needs an example of how not to do things. I fear America will be that example, and that this century will not be kind to us unless we start fixing some things really farking quick. One of those 'fixes' will be robbing corporations of their rights. I imagine that will take some time.
 
2011-04-30 03:03:22 PM

DrewCurtisJr: FTA: Stemming the decline in low-skilled men's work will also demand more education reform to boost skills, as well as a saner approach to drugs and imprisonment.

You hear this all the time, "boost skills". What specific skills exactly are they talking about?


We know what skill they are not talking about, such as the ability to put on hubcaps
 
Displayed 50 of 84 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all



This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report