Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Tag: jobs (page 2 of 2)

Jobless Recovery

To understand why we are having a jobless recovery, you must understand economics.  Unfortunately, most people in this country do not really understand economics.  So, here’s a very brief explanation.

Our economy is consumption driven – the old supply and demand.  Let’s say I own a widget factory and I make one widget a day – 5 widgets a week.  I send my widgets to the marketplace and every week, I sell all of my widgets.  But, one week, I notice that there are still 5 people in line wanting to buy my widgets.  If I could make more widgets, I’m certain that I could sell all of them, as well.

So, I return to my factory, and hire a person to help me make widgets.  I pay him an hourly wage that pretty much leaves me with most of the profit – this is MY factory and these are MY widgets and if he was bright, he could start his own widget factory.  This is America after all.

Now,  because there are two people building them, I can make and sell ten widgets a week.  Some time goes by and word gets out that I make the best widgets.  Now, I notice that there are three people standing in line when my widgets are sold out.  So, instead of hiring someone new, I make my one and only employee a salary employee (which means I don’t have to pay him overtime) and I make him work longer hours to make those extra three widgets.  Since I don’t have to pay him overtime, I’m still making an enormous profit.

This is how companies work.  This is capitalism, admittedly, at its very basic level, but you get the idea.

If the economy falters and I stop selling 13 widgets a week, I’ll cut my employee’s job.

If I discover that I can outsource widget making to China or Taiwan, bye bye employee.

And, guess what, if the government cuts my taxes, I’m not going to use that money to build another factory (creating new jobs) or hire employees in my old one, I’m going to keep it.  I deserve it.  I came up with this idea for a company and I built it.  And, that’s why giving tax breaks to the richest in this country, isn’t going to create jobs.

If there is not consumption on the bottom and middle rungs of our country, there is no reason for companies to hire.  Cutting the taxes of the rich does not cause jobs to magically appear.  It just makes the rich, richer.  And, because that revenue needs to be made up in some manner, it makes the poor, poorer.  Cutting things like health care for the poor to give tax breaks to the rich is absolutely the most despicable thing we could do in this country.  Cutting school lunches for poor kids or the breakfasts before school, where this might be their only decent meal – and give a 10% tax break to the rich who can afford to pay their taxes under the guise that this will create jobs is irresponsible and ridiculous.  But, that’s what the Republicans are selling you – a tax break for those at the top who don’t need one.

Are there people in this country that don’t pay any money in taxes?  Yes, yes there are and if the Republicans have their way, more of them will be rich than poor.

Assembly Passes Budget Bill

The Assembly passes the budget bill and despite Representative Suder’s written statement: “The vote we took wasn’t the easy thing to do, but it was the right thing to do”, it wasn’t the right thing to do.  Aside from killing union’s rights for collective bargaining, the Republicans have sold out our state.  The no-bid for state owned energy assets means that the government can sell / lease them off to the companies they deem should have them.

Who gains from that?

Walker’s largest campaign contributor: Koch Industries.

Despite their blanket denials that they will not benefit, Koch Industries will benefit the most.  How will Walker turn down his buddy?  The punking of Walker by Ira Murphy showed that Walker is in the Koch brothers’ pocket and truly believes what is good for them is good for him.

The sad thing is that people who do not understand how the world works, don’t understand just how bad it will be for Wisconsin with Walker as our governor.

By the way, where are the jobs Walker promised?  So far, he shut down the high speed rail which would have amounted to 4000 jobs (yes, some temporary) and Talgo Inc is moving to Illinois killing even more jobs.  So far, Walker has killed unions and not created one job.

Can you say RECALL, boys and girls?

Show us the JOBS you promised, Mr. Governor.  If anyone deserves to be laid off – it’s this lousy state government.

Unemployment really just 6.5%?

I saw a very quick blurb in last week’s Businessweek.  I’ve been a little busy, so I’m behind on my reading.  According to the blurb, there are 2.3% of jobs out there that cannot be filled with the right people.  2.3%  — that would bring our unemployment rate down to around 6.5%.

But, why can’t these companies find the qualified people — here are two my quick and dirty off the top of my head ideas.

  • We have a huge disconnect between out secondary education and our business needs.  We need to get business and higher education better aligned.  How we can do that or where we can start — that I don’t know.  But, it’s sad, isn’t it?
  • We have a huge housing problem because qualified people are now locked into homes they can’t sell, so they can move to the jobs.

Anyone else have any ideas?

Harley-Davidson – Leaving Milwaukee?

In the news this morning is an article – rumors of which I’ve been hearing about for months – that Harley Davidson wants to move their operations to another state.  (The rumors I heard was they were moving to Canada.)  At issue is the company’s desire to “cut millions of dollars at the factories that build the bikes”.  According to the article, they plan on making their decision within the next two months.

Also, according to the article “The company, he (Harley chief executive Keith Wandell) said, would also be open to incentives to keep the 1,630 manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin.”  I’m sure those incentives include tax breaks paid for by us – the taxpayers of Wisconsin.

And, is Harley-Davidson suffering?  Are they about to go broke?

Not according to their financial report:

“Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) reported second-quarter 2010 income from continuing operations of $139.3 million, or $0.59 per share, compared to income of $33.4 million and earnings per share of $0.14 from continuing operations in the year-ago quarter.”

Granted, sales of Harleys are down, but with the economy suffering as it is – isn’t that to be expected?  Harley-Davidson is the best motorcycle in the world.  Their sales will bounce back.

I don’t want to see 1,630 of my fellow Wisconsinites to be out of jobs, but do we really want our state to bend over and give incentives as a bribe to keep them here?

I know what’ll happen.  Our cash-strapped state will give in, save those jobs and the tax payers of Wisconsin will pay for the privilege of having Harley-Davidson motorcycles built in Milwaukee.

Genco is trying to Acquire ATC Technology

I saw a news article that states that Genco (Pittsburgh, PA)  has offered to purchase ATC Technology for “$512.6 million in cash”.  According to the CEO of ATC Technology, Todd R. Peters, “said the deal serves the best interest of its stockholders, customers and employees.”

Well, maybe the customers and maybe the stockholders, but I can assure you that it won’t serve the employees.

To ATC Technology employees — RUN!  Start looking for a new job now.  Because everything is going to look wonderful and it will be all happy and lovey dovey, but in a year or even two, GENCO corporate will come in and make your life miserable.  I know, I’ve seen it happen.  That’s why they are my ex-employer.  I worked there for just shy of three years.  The first two were fine, but the last year was pure hell.

And, since GENCO is privately held, they don’t have to tell you about their finances.  They don’t have to tell you how much they’ve made.  They can tell you business is bad, so you’re all getting a 1.1% raise and at the end of the year, they’ll say they had the best year ever.

Just trust me, RUN!

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