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05 February 2015


joe smith

Quote from my previous post about those who make themselves unemployable. Blame the government if you like, I don't buy it. Why work when you can sell drugs, whores, or stolen iPhones?

The bigger problem is finding employable workers who actually want to work, show up on time, aren't covered in tattoos, don't dress like hoods, speak proper English, and have a clean driving and arrest record. At least between Fresno and Red Bluff this is an almost impossible talent pool to draw from. Those who fit the bill have jobs.

Bill  Tozer

Don't think Obama should use the Robin Hood analogy. Rood hood stole from the government (like the Sheriff of Nottingham and the Royal Treasury and gave to the poor. Obama steals from the rich in the private sector which Robin Hood never did.

In fact, Obama represents The Goverment who steals from the middle class and poor through unreasonable and burdensome taxation and mandates from Royal Decrees. If anything, Obama is doing the reserve of what Robin Hood did, which was steal from the government. Robin Hood and Obama have nothing in common except one was a hero and the latter is a zero.

Bill  Tozer

The only reason I even got this steady employment I stumbled across is not because I was the brightest, most qualified, nor even had experience. And I wasn't interested in new fangled gadgets in the least. Heck, when I got hired I did not even own a computer or TV nor gave a lick about technology. The reason I was hired was a process of shear elimination. I be the only one who could pass a drug and background test. It don't matter who is the the best, it matters only who is still standing at the end of the day.

Looking forward, our workforce (myself included) needs to understand that all jobs are temporary. Whether one receives steady employment or not, in this day and age is it all temp work.



The current generation has been sold a bill of goods by LIBS that they are "owed" something. Working is for the "other guy" from who they can leach off of. That ggod ol' "spread the wealth". Government will make it all better. Remember? " Unemployment is good for the economy". "O" and Co. with their cradle to grave government assistance.
LIBS have been pushing for years "Robinhood" economics. Take from the rich, and say they are going to give it to the poor. ( spread the wealth)
Now with the flood of illegals, they now somehow have gained priority in the job market.
All the "new" jobs have been taken by them.
More people than not are not working, and thanks to government number monkeying the published unemployment is 6 or 7 %. Only fools buy that BS.


Then I find this...

Todd Juvinall

When I got out of high school I started my owning cleaning biz and worked all the hours normal people don't. All it takes is determination and the will to do a good job and the rest will fall into place. Now all one needs to do is sit on their arse and go to the mailbox. We have allowed PC and income envy too much time.

joe smith

Boy Todd, that sure is an inspiring story. When I got out of high school I went straight to work at one of those government jobs you so belittle. I got drafted and sent to Vietnam. Sorry you had to work all those inconvenient hours that normal people didn't.

joe smith

Todd. I'm pulling your leg. I never went to Vietnam, but I think you get the point that we all have had our paths through life, and yours is not terribly inspiring.

Don Bessee

Getting back on point, the IRS said that 0's amnesty if in full effect will allow the illegals to file back taxes for up to 3 years after they get a ssan. That's up to $28,000 per family. Talk about redistribution, are you kidding me! All the net new jobs under Obama have not helped the American underclasses at all but instead went to illegals and 'dreamers'. So now we have generations of entitlement enslavement in the inner cities and the coal belt out of work and all the entitlements being guaranteed to the illegals. The pie is not that big for our socialist in chief. Check out the total of the private wire transfers from here to south America in relation to the gdps of the smaller countries. In some cases we are sending 10% of their gdp out of our economy and into theirs. OH ya, we are borrowing that money they are sending out of the country.

Todd Juvinall

Golly Joe Smith, it appears your reading and comprehensive skills are really lacking. Are you sure you attended school? I was not trying to inspire anyone but obviously you are not even up to snuff on my little job after school. You must be one of those silver spooners? What a jerk! Oops sorry. I guess your ganga habit tricks what is left of your gray matter. Too funny!

Bonnie McGuire

We were in the trucking business over forty years. Aside from our sons (who cared about doing a good job) we had one other employee who cared about doing a good job. He eventually went into trucking also. Consequently, we told our sons they'd never have to worry about a job, if they did more than expected as though it was their own business. Those employees are hard to find and valuable.
When the government started discriminating against trucking and it's irresponsible agents caused expensive repairs etc. we decided it was time to do something else that was very creative. We bought a wonderful sawmill in 1994 just the two of us worked until 2011 when old age caught up with us. The experience was a hands on education concerning real economics. It's easy to recognize the miseducated fools from those who know what they're talking about. Jim Goetsch's opinion in the Union today was an excellent example of experienced observation.

Wayne Hullett

Regarding the SOTUS proposal for free AA degrees from community colleges, perhaps I am a dufus also, but I see it differently. I think that the argument from the Fallacy of Composition is itself fallacious. The argument is that getting an AA degree is futile, because if everyone gets an AA degree, then one is no better off that anyone else – your effort has gone for naught. Let us apply that same argument to the class that has just finished the 11th grade. By that argument, it is a waste of effort to go on to the 12th grade and thus graduate from high school, because everyone is doing it and thus you will have no competitive advantage. We can again apply the argument to those just finishing the 10th grade and reason that there is no advantage to even attempting the 11th grade. Continuing in this manner to apply the argument down through all the grades and kindergarten, we are led to the conclusion that there is no advantage to attending school at all. This is such an obviously foolish conclusion that we must find that the argument itself is flawed. There is a reason why we have free education in this country up through high school. There is no fallacy in providing an additional two years; especially if it helps our young compete more effectively with the European and Asian work force who, in my experience, are better educated at the end of their high school that we are.

I also think the paradox of a lengthening “cultural curriculum” is being misapplied. That argument is that the gap between those that are left behind and those who have “made it” keeps getting wider. Providing two additional years of free education for all who are able to benefit, it seems to me, helps reduce that gap. As long as their choice of subjects is guided by the predicted requirements of the job market, those who successfully undertake the additional education will benefit. I agree that there exist subject areas that will provide no benefit to those foolish enough to pursue them (gender studies, etc).

Finally, the pages of this blog have often lamented that we need more scientists, engineers and other technically trained graduates. Since an AA degree is one half of a college degree, more students will be able to afford to continue on to a Bachelors degree since it will cost them only half of what it now costs.

Bill  Tozer

A view from Joe K's beloved website. Somehow, it all fits together nicely with the rich, the middle class, and those who will be left behind. A view that the right government action is the answer, and an admission that government can't do much. Duh.


Todd Juvinall

I think JoeK and Joe Smith appear to me to be tax takers. Probably always lived off others like leeches on a healthy body. Their government is one that must be powerful and big enough to confiscate our money. Just like the commissars did in the USSR.

Paul Emery

Gosh Todd

Who do you think is going to pay for the 5 trillion plus defects left by Reagan and assorted Bushes (shrubs) while in office?

Michael R. Kesti

Paul Emery 06Feb2015 11:42 PM

It seems you intended "deficits" rather than "defects," Paul, although that may not be the parapraxis I suspect it might be.

A deficit, the measure of how much more the government spends than it takes in over the course of a single year, isn't directly paid for but is instead added to the national debt. It is the debt, eventually, that needs to be paid off.

It seems, then, that you actually intended to ask who will pay off the debt incurred during the Reagan and both of the Bush administrations. The ultimate answer, of course, is the American citizens, in one way or another.

I'm curious why you didn't include Obama in your query, as the national debt has increased about 8 trillion dollars in the last six years.

I'm also curious why you included your parenthetic jab at the Presidents Bush. I would have thought that I could expect better of you but perhaps I should not.

It seems that you may not be the equal opportunity basher of politicians that you have others believe.

Bill  Tozer

Mr. Kesti, one cannot expect others to think clearly if they suffer from Bush Degrangement Syndrone. Hate clouds reason, thus I cut the old angry white man, Mr. Paul, some stack.

George Rebane

WayneH 912pm – A worthy line of argument indeed, the counter to which involves what may be called the ‘terminus effect’. A long sequence of education is supposed to get people prepared for a randomly varying jobs market – different levels of demand for different skill sets. In the normative case, a fixed length (years) course of education may be viewed as a preset sequence of curriculum steps that start out without branching for specialization and/or consideration for special needs. These provide the basic skill set common to everyone in the culture. Then at some point branching begins where certain students start emphasizing acquisition of specialized skills, primarily suited for select job market sectors, while still knowing that their education has a known fixed ending at which time they will have to provide for themselves. The bets made at some midpoints may or not pay off as the jobs market may have changed in the interval.

It is clear that if the student(s) missed correctly assessing their target job market – which can be oversubscribed or totally altered when they finish – then for a small cohort an additional two years may be of use to align them with the jobs still wanting. But given the recent history of jobs migration and the propensity/ability of the aggregate of students to acquire needed skills in the amount of time allotted to their education, the utility of universally adding two more years of schooling will be low because through such marginal education the overwhelming number of students simply can’t get there from where they finished their formerly accepted 12 year term of schooling. And again in the aggregate, the skill sets they are able to attain in the added two years are already over-subscribed in the jobs markets.

The little/no utility argument cannot be peeled back iteratively to the beginning of schooling because of the basic educational skill set our culture has historically mandated. However, your argument may hold water for, say, the 12th and 11th grades that for most did not provide much added benefit for the jobs students with only high school diplomas attain. But our society still uses the K-12 completion certificate as a proxy for some minimum level of accomplishment and therefore demonstration of probable success from, say, on the job training by the employer. The accepted terminus is the diplomaed 12th grade; no one makes the above argument and gives out 10th grade diplomas.

In sum, most processes in this universe have non-linear (e.g. diminishing returns) and even non-monotic (e.g. Laffer curve) utilities. Just because the next increment in a process does not contribute to its cumulative utility does not necessarily infer that the last increment did not or will not.

And finally, extending free AA degrees to all high school graduates in the hope that a miniscule fraction of them will devote those for completing the first half of a STEM baccalaureate is a very poor investment given its overall cost and impact on the remainder of the workforce. Better to take a fraction of that sum and just award them as stipends for successful work towards a STEM degree. Thoughts?


Who do you think is going to pay for the 5 trillion plus defects left by Reagan and assorted Bushes (shrubs) while in office?

pssssst....Todd...tell him the same people who are on the hook for the Reagan/Bush/Bush five trillion are on the hook for Pauls "OMG look at his poll numbers soar" President 8 Trillion all by himself Obama!

Russ Steele

Wayne@9:12 and George@08:03

Since studies have shown that students graduating from high school are only reading at the 7th grade level and are incapable of doing college level math, why are we sending them for two more years of education at the college level? It would be more effective to increase the performance of the students graduating from high school, to make sure they are reading at the 12th grade level and capable of doing college level math.

Then there are the emerging cultural issues. Millennials don’t want to work in sales, reports the Wall Street Journal. They think it’s exploitative. They also hate the idea of variable compensation; they want a nice, steady job where the company takes the risk, not the worker.

It would appear that our education systems is designed to produce government workers, rather then entrepreneurs and small business CEOs. I do not think that two more years of education will modify this cultural trend.

Add automation to the list of challenges facing graduating students and two more years of education are not going to make a difference. They would be better served to use MOOCs to develop skill sets that fit in the niches that automation has yet to take over, right after they learn to read at grade level and do the math.

Paul Emery

Thanks for agreeing with me Fish.

Todd Juvinall

Fish, psst, that is our secret. Don't let Paul Emery know. wink wink.


I once asked a Trustee of Sierra College how many entering students end up either getting an Associates of Arts or otherwise transfer into a 4 year college; the answer was, "Don't ask".

My late first wife, Teri taught Math at Sierra. Mostly a competency math that was at a 7th grade level at best, intended to bring a student to a point where they can take an 8th grade algebra class, and pass... under Common Core, make that a 9th grade Algebra class. She loved the returning adult students, as old as in their 40's, who had a short term career goal (aka hated the crappy job they were stuck in) and wanted to get a degree. They were motivated and honest about how little they worked in high school; a large number wanted to get an RN at Sac State, and actually grokking 8th grade algebra was a requirement. Her worst students were kids right out of high school who still didn't work very hard, or were just plain dumb.

A free 2 years at a CC to repeat what was already paid for in K-12 but not taken advantage of is a bad idea.


Posted by: Paul Emery | 07 February 2015 at 10:21 AM

Agreement in fact, not in sentiment. It is clearly ridiculous to condemn the Reagan/Bush deficits and ignore entirely the Obama contribution.


Posted by: Gregory | 07 February 2015 at 10:33 AM

Your wife described my late high school/early college experience almost exactly.


Posted by: Russ Steele | 07 February 2015 at 09:03 AM

"Then there are the emerging cultural issues. Millennials don’t want to work in sales, reports the Wall Street Journal. They think it’s exploitative. They also hate the idea of variable compensation; they want a nice, steady job where the company takes the risk, not the worker."

We seem to assume that the millennials aren't looking around and rationally assessing their situation. Why should they bust ass, take risks, work insanely long hours building productive enterprises while hearing from the president and those who think like him that, "You didn't build that......!" while still feeling entitled to harvest a significant fraction of their efforts?

Win and the government wins with you.....lose and you lose alone!


"They also hate the idea of variable compensation; they want a nice, steady job where the company takes the risk, not the worker."

My guess is that the lesson of public safety pensions is not lost on anyone.


"Better to take a fraction of that sum and just award them as stipends for successful work towards a STEM degree."

If this is any indication of modern life in universities, you have to wonder about the wisdom of spending any public money outside of STEM at all.


(fair warning, longish read)

Wayne Hullett

George R 8:03 am, RussS 9:03 am and Gregory 10:33 am

Perhaps you are right – it could be an expensive boondoggle from which we would not get our money’s worth.

What do you think about changing over to the German system?




It certainly seems to work when comparing Germanys booming economy with ours.

Bonnie McGuire

I think it's ridiculous to blame Reagan or Bush for whatever the financial mess. I remember it was the Dem Congress majority who did exactly what they always do to get what they want. They make a deal that they'll do this if the other side will go along with them on that, but never keep their word. That's why that one Rep in Calif (a few years ago) wouldn't go along with their deal unless they put it down in writing. Three cheers for him because he exposed the cheaters for what they are. And all those lies about the Fed Gov shut down being the Reps fault!? All it amounted to was the Dem majority saying if we don't get our way...shut it down, and blame it on the minority Reps. We can go around and around on this discussion, but it comes down to unionized government of, by, and for it's self. Looks like the socialist history of Russia and Germany evolving again wearing a differing costume to deceive the new generations who don't know the past. It's very depressing to see the real producers made out to be the bad guys by the peddlers of class warfare.

George Rebane

WayneH 413pm - The German approach would make a lot of practical sense, but not within our cultural milieu. Here the student wishing to major in African Lesbian Studies would scream his head off if he didn't get equivalent government aid as someone in a hard core STEM major (and the ACLU would be there immediately with a platoon of lawyers).

Bill  Tozer

When times are good and we are rolling out the barrels, not much interest is directed at immigration. When the economy turns south, suddenly immigrants are stealing jobs. I have witnessed this before our current malaise or recovery, depending on your point of view and understanding of current economic events and trends.

Articles like this link are nothing new, but are not the sole dilemma facing us going forward.

The real cold hard bone chilling hair raising facts have been laid out by Dr. Rebane concerning the advent of The Singulary. Hopefully it will be a slow process/ evolution so I will be too old to care as the world passes me by. Yes, a very selfish statement.

Those with the wherewithal to keep up and keep ahead will inevitably be fewer and those left behind will increase in numbers. Hopefully it will not affect every phase of everything we do at work, at home, and at play. I comfort myself that during the Great Depression, 75% of the workers had jobs. Robotics and machines may even displace the organic pot farmer, the manufacturing sector, and even the white collar service professionals comprised of doctors, lawyers, architects and interior designers.

Talked last year with a young man with a Masters from Princeton. Told me an interesting story of what happened at a rival Ivy League College. Some bio/chem advanced students came up a program to find the cure for a serious disease such as leukemia or something along thos lines (can't remember). They put it into the Interagency Supercomputer. The computer starting revving up and kept searching all combinations and equations at mind blogging speeds. The students left after a few hours as the computer kept searching and matching millions of possibilities, surprised it was taking so long. Finally, after a full 24 hours of running, the computer spit out an extreme long mathematic formula.
"What is it?" The question was asked. "It's the cure, but nobody knows what it means."

Hopefully we will still need techs and humans to interpret data until the machines do it all. Somebody will be imputing data until the machines learn to input their own data. Until that time, folks will keep on seeing a need and filling the void. Yes, those folks will not be left behind, now or tomorrow, albeit some may be so good at what they do, they will develop artificial intelligence that eventually might even displace their own job,


Tozer 9:40

Yes, the SCE layoffs with the older experienced IT staff having to train young inexperienced H1B visa replacements so they can actually do their jobs. George, how do you rationalize that one?

George Rebane

Gregory 1042am - Indeed hard to rationalize if the US had the unemployed talent to fill those jobs. But we keep reading (e.g. WSJ) that tens of thousands of STEM related jobs are going unfilled, and other keep assuring us that we have thousands of qualified STEM workers sitting on the sidelines (who for some mysterious reasons are not applying for the open jobs), therefore we should abbreviate the H1B program. Where is the truth?


"Indeed hard to rationalize if the US had the unemployed talent to fill those jobs."

George, you didn't read very carefully... the jobs were already filled with experienced staff who were expected to train their underskilled and lower paid H1B replacements before they could get their last paycheck and severance. So, all they would need to do if the jobs needed to be done is not to lay off the folks doing the job already.

Now, did you also miss the post I made a week or so ago... the Chronicle Sunday classifieds... something like 80% of the IT job listings that day provided no email or web address to respond. Only USPS. Those were all ads that I guarantee were placed not to find someone to do the job but to prove to an uninquisitive Federal bureaucracy that, 'gee, we really did try to find someone with citizenship or a green card, and no one qualified applied... can we hire that H1B from Tata like we wanted to all along?'

The game has been played for years right under the noses of many who are similarly uninquisitive.

George Rebane

Gregory 348pm - Apologies, I mistook from you 1042am that the older worker was going to retire and therefor training the younger one. You made no such case.

I apparently missed your previous post, else I would have asked what you meant by "... provided no email or web address to respond. Only USPS."


Geeze, George, a "layoff" isn't a "retirement". How you read that into "Yes, the SCE layoffs with the older experienced IT staff having to train young inexperienced H1B visa replacements so they can actually do their jobs" is beyond me.

Read the link I provided above, repeated here:

Here's an earlier thread where you didn't seem to want to believe that Pfizer was similarly requiring soon-to-be laid off employees to train their H1B replacements:


Generally, about three quarters of the IT/software jobs advertised in the Sunday Chronicle do not give an email address or a web site for more information. I put it to you ALL of those advertisements are fake openings... they don't want a qualifed citizen or green card holder to apply, they already have someone in mind, but they need an H1B to work and so there's a Kabuki to meet the requirements of the Feds. If someone actually spends eight bits to send a resume in the mail, it will dutifully scanned to find where it doesn't meet their full requirements and if it still can't be dismissed out of hand, a pointless phone screen will occur.

Bill  Tozer

Most are already left behind. The truth is this: At no time during our Nation's history has the numbers of full time workers as a percentage of the workforce been lower. At no time, including the Great Recession, the eras before and after the Roaring Twenties, the 1800's or the 1700's. So, lib's, tell me again about all them green sprouts and why Obama is not getting enough credit for the economy.
I already gave him credit for our economic outlook. I began lavishing praises on him by stating "At no time during our Nation's history......" Gotta give credit where credit is due.


Bill  Tozer

Opps. Meant to save "even the Great Depression" not G Recession and meant to post this link. It's even worse for black people.


Bill  Tozer

There is hope


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