10.04.10

Made in China: WSJ poll indicates nausea

Posted in Made in China at 3:33 pm by George Smith

The frontpage story in today’s Wall Street Journal led with the headline: Americans Sour on Trade

“The American public, already skeptical of free trade, is becoming increasingly hostile to it,” it reads.

“It is also prompting concern among US businesses reliant on the rest of the world for growth.”

“Even Americans most likely to be winners from trade — upper income, well-educated professionals whose jobs are less likely to go overseas and whose industries are often buoyed by demand from international markets — are increasingly skeptical.”

A whopping 94 percent of “professionals/managers” and 89 percent of “white collar workers” agreed with the statement: “Do you agree or disagree that outsourcing of production and manufacturing work to foreign counties is a reason the US economy is struggling and more people aren’t being hired.”

“To many, China has replaced Wall Street as the villain du jour,” the newspaper continued.

Not entirely. DD thinks many aren’t so stupid to believe the two aren’t related, Wall Street tending to reward US multinationals when they shuck US labor in favor of outsourcing.

For example, in the newspaper’s “Marketplace” section, the lead story is “Propelling the Profit Comeback.”

“Aggressive retooling helps American companies wrest near-historic earnings from reduced revenue,” reads the subhed.

And how has this been done?

More predatory behavior: Firing people and shutting units, mostly.

“Starbucks Corp. eliminated 648 US stores …

“Despite the hefty profits, executives aren’t expected to boost spending on new employees, products and equipment anytime soon.”

Priceless stereotypical quote from the CEO of Electronic Arts, a company that laid off more than a quarter of its workers, moving jobs to “China, India and Canada.”

“The human cost of eliminating jobs is always painful, but in a way, the economic melee has helped us build a stronger company,” he told the Journal.

That was Carly Fiorina’s tune, too, until the recent political ad with her saying it started killing her chances of unseating Democrat Barbara Boxer in California.

A viewer of the China Toilet Blooz video on YouTube recommended an older clip, recommended Ha Ha Ha America.

That unfortunately hilarious clip, well worth a view, is here.


Continual lameness: Job training programs, sponsored by McDonalds and The Gap

This is what the president thinks is a good plan?

Reaching out to big business, President Barack Obama is set to announce a new program that links top companies with community colleges in hopes of ramping up America’s job skills.

The partnership plan — called “Skills for America’s Future” — is a key recommendation of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, which has a meeting scheduled later Monday with Obama at the White House.

A White House official said the plan aims to improve industry partnerships with community colleges and build a nationwide network to maximize workforce development. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan had not yet been publicly announced.

The initiative has the backing of Gap Inc., McDonald’s, Accenture and other big-name companies, the official said. — AP

Skills for America’s future — working the hamburger chain and retail sale of jeans made in China.

I commented on the president’s increasingly bizarre fetish for community college boosterism last year in “Bed Pan Technician-Training Schools Rejoice.” The idea that encouraging people to go into debt at community college for minimal jobs that may not exist for them, anyway, seems more parasitic than anything else.

It has, however, led to an explosion of questionable and possibly immoral on-line advertisements for loan services which will enable one to buy some on-line or community college chit.

The interior joke is that you really don’t need any training to do such jobs, just a chit from a community college that reassures human resource departments at hospitals you can read sufficiently well enough to know exactly who, in the room of two, is supposed to get the enema. For a big $20k a year.

Excerpted:

“President Barack Obama wants unemployment insurance to become a stepping stone for future work by making it easier to enroll in school or job training,??? reported AP today. “Whether he succeeds will depend on the willingness of states and colleges to change the rules.???

“‘Community colleges applauded the president’s plan. George Boggs, president of the American Association of Community Colleges, said Obama would remove obstacles that keep the unemployed from heading back to school. The association represents about 1,200 such colleges.???

“Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a former Republican Party chairman, said his state already allows the unemployed to enroll in job training and encourages them to do so,??? informed the AP.

=========

Such unemployment reforms may quickly clear the way for the jobless to enroll in community college, making courses available to train them for a multiplicity of jobs.

Such jobs will include but not be limited to: test-tube cleaning, shelving and getting reagents, learning to use a Metler balance, mucous, surgical drain and breathing pipe maintenance, teeth scraping, gram-staining, changing oxygen tanks for those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, blood pressure-taking, temperature taking, enema giving, supervision of administration of Fleet’s Phospho-Soda, cleaning up messes in hospitals and clinics, airport security, turnstyle security, public transit security, frisking, pat downs and strip searching, simple detentions, immigration status checking, herding, temporary staffing, manning the metal detectors at court houses, X-ray smock fitting, checking dosimeters, wheelchair-bound patient moving, massage, bed pan emptying, restraining and strapping the old and mentally ill into chairs in various warehousing environments, bed sore monitoring, security work in privately administered prisons, embalming, corpse dressing, using word processor and accounting software, installing anti-virus software, transcribing, bank tellering, cafeteria work, how to wear a sterile smock, simple sterile procedures, transfers and transport of pees and poos in the clinical lab setting, refrigerated organ transport, transport of organs reclaimed from cadavers, preparing cadavers for organ reclamation, selling door to door, telemarketing, on-line promotion and astro-turfing, using Blogger, search engine optimization, building a network with Twitter, repeat calling debt collection, data entry and processing tax returns, using Adobe Acrobat or Photoshop and using Microsoft Powerpoint.

Robert Titman, an expert on the economic impact of continuing education at the City College of Gobble-Wallah in Birmingham, Alabama, predicted that in the next two years the US would see a big economic boom from the new highly educated and skilled workforce. The country would leap to the forefront in retraining the unemployed, providing a leading example for the rest of the world, he said.

Some of the names have been changed for purposes of satire. I’m not telling which ones.

James K. Galbraith, in “The Predator State”:

“The problem is that poverty and unemployment are not much influenced by the qualities and qualifications of the workforce. They demand, rather on the state of demand for labor.”

And, “Training and even education are no substitute, in other words, for ensuring that good jobs at decent wages are actually available when needed.”

1 Comment

  1. blog said,

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