08.24.16

Retraining Camp (continued)

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Made in China, The Corporate Bund at 1:17 pm by George Smith

In the discussion of the rise of Trump the only thing the six figure explainers consider is the anger of those left behind by the great leap forward of globalism. They’re the factory workers displaced by offshoring and trade deals written to hand power to corporate leadership at the expense of everyone else. They, the angry, are the unskilled and uneducated. And white, of course.

But if you’ve paid attention the educated and over-educated have gotten a rum deal, too, depending on where you stand and if you’ve been able to read basic English and understand minus numbers most of your life.

So today’s post considers a note from a reader, one that keys in on the domestic information technology worker, citizens considered to be pretty far from uneducated and unskilled.

An introduction, by way of an excerpt from Computerworld:

When a company decides to outsource IT jobs overseas, there is no protection for U.S. workers. Professional accomplishments are irrelevant. Degrees — whether in computer science, mathematics, or in some field that has allowed them to figure technology out — do not matter. The internal awards of merit, the five-star performance reviews are meaningless. The unpaid hours, at nights and on weekends, make no difference. The workplace turns cold, hostile, indifferent.

“The Democrats, having sold out to corporate America years ago, have no choice but to fall back on the retraining fallacy,” e-mails a blog reader. “Otherwise they’d have to point out that their donors are screwing us and doing that might stop the money train.”


It’s a common story. And one wonders why it hasn’t occured to the six-figure explainers that this very educated class of workers is also really angry about the alleged “meritorcracy” of America and the universal benefits of globalization.

For example, from last year, a story in the LA Times, one of many on a Disney maneuver, one curtailed by its increasingly bad optics:

Disney has canceled recent plans to replace employees in 30 technology positions with workers from an agency known for outsourcing jobs to immigrants on temporary work visas.

Employees of Disney/ABC Television in New York and Burbank first heard of the layoffs in late May. In recent weeks, before the company reversed course, some of the employees were asked to help train their successors, mostly via teleconference but also in person in some cases …

Keith Barrett, who had been a technology employee at Disney World for more than a decade until he was forced into retirement earlier this year, posted on his Google+ account that companies should address skills shortages by repositioning or training existing employees.

“In short; if you are laying off your good performing and long term staff, especially in bulk numbers, and replacing them with inexperienced, cheaper non-hires, you aren’t using the H-1B program to increase your staff by hiring rare skills,” Barrett wrote. “You are using it to cut costs.”


At the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Dean Baker is not particularly impressed by a LA Times article on how post-NAFTA, Mexico has boomed and this has been good for American workers.

It means, Baker says in the post’s hed, the you redefine “boom” as “downward:”

[The] promotion of the post-NAFTA Mexican boom continues. The latest guilty party is the Los Angeles Times which devotes a lengthy piece to telling us how the boom is not just good for Mexico, but also the United States. Mexico’s per capita GDP growth since 2008 is less than 0.7 percent. This is a growth rate for a developing country that would more typically be described as “pathetic” than a boom.

Made curious, I went to read the LAT’s piece.

The newspaper’s reporter and editors interpret graphs in a very unusual way. If you page down, you’ll see a graphic labelled “US factories slowly climb back …”

The climb back, for this year being a negative 0.2 percent in employment. That would be a loss, in arithmetic class.

And the values preceding it are not particularly impressive. From 2011 – 2015, alleged good gains in employment seem to hover around 1 percent or less, hardly anything to crow about. On the other hand, there are nice pictures of Mexican workers in automotive factories in Nuevo Leon and San Luis.

There is a great bit in the piece:

“In the process, workers like Zarate are being lifted into the middle class by the thousands … That sounds like an exported version of the American dream, circa 1965, in places such as Dearborn, Mich., or Marysville, Ohio.”

That’s some soaring description. And so don’t you think, if you’ve stumbled in here by accident and still have a well-paying job, that you, like, ought to selflessly sacrifice it right now so that somewhere else in the world a ca. 1965-like middle class American dream might bloom?

What crap.


Warning: Tasteless.

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