The Employment Wall

This year 1,750,000 students will graduate from colleges within the United States.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, last year the economy created only 172,000 jobs requiring college degrees.  Or since the collapse of the economy in 2008, US colleges have graduated six million and using 2011 as a bell weather, less than 20 percent of those graduates have found a job in their chosen discipline.  Fortunately, for government none of these people are counted or even considered as unemployed in this American wasteland.

You must have a job before you can be considered unemployed and likewise once you use up your unemployment benefits you are no longer unemployed having become a discouraged worker.  Think about that for a moment, the difference between unemployed and discouraged.  It gives the clear implication that it is the worker who has given up rather than the system having failed the worker.

Everyday we hear the media use the word, “recovery,” as every germ of economic good news is trumpeted as an indicator of great news.  The rest of the “not so” good information is simply discounted or ignored altogether.  There is no recovery, there is only a languishing, this from last months Bureau of Labor Statistics report:

  • Civilian noninstitutional population – up 180,000
  • Civilian labor Force- down 342,000
  • Participation rate – down 0.02
  • Employed – down 169,000
  • Employment – population ratio – down 0.01
  • Unemployed – down 173,000
  • Unemployment rate – down 0.01
  • Not in labor force – up 522,000

See the recovery?  The largest single factor in the falling unemployment rate isn’t people finding employment, it is Americans penciled out of the system.  These numbers don’t include the tens of thousands of young people graduating from colleges, trades schools and high schools.  What is the official government policy towards these suffering millions; well there it is right before your eyes, a policy of ignorism. Ignore them and maybe they will go away.

Job seekers also face a rising corporate bureaucracy; thirty years ago I filled out a two sides of a page job application and was hired.  Today, a background check is required, a credit check and a drug test because deep down inside they really don’t trust you.  I’ve known professionals who could not get hired for a menial job because they had defaulted on a credit card.  Students with college loan debt that can’t get hired because their college loan debt is considered too high.  You have no rights when it comes to corporate America, they can check your finances, your personal history and even your urine.

Sometimes though, they tell on themselves.  I found this on Craigslist the other day: “If you are not fully qualified for this job, please do not apply, we’ve been inundated with desperate jobs seekers.”  You mean to say they aren’t actually discouraged, but only desperate?  Recently, I have seen new additional requirements added.  A driver’s license and valid automobile insurance for a job as a part time store clerk.  Then there are employers who won’t hire anyone with a gap in there employment history.  The average (mean) duration on unemployment this month is 42.1 weeks up from 41.4 weeks last April.  The highest category of unemployment counted by government is 27 weeks and over. It's like standing by a highway and only counting the cars going 0-10 miles per hour and 10-20 miles per hour giving a totally inaccurate picture of the labor force.

What Corporate America is doing is building themselves an employment wall, a sieve to punish the disobedient.  Failure to make payments on your CITI bank card makes you unemployable at the Gap.  A DUI in college makes you unreliable, too much risk involved.  I’ve written before about a guy I met who had a felony counterfeiting conviction because when we was twenty years old he photocopied dollar bills and fed them into change machines; now he’s fifty.  The theft of a few hundred dollars as a kid has placed him in employment purgatory.  Only the ring is closing, now it’s become merely missing a credit card payment or a DUI.  “Hello, Big Brother?”

I went to the grocery store the other day and just to the right of the big sign informing me I was under hidden camera surveillance was a brand new sign.  “It is a crime to remove a shopping cart from these premises!”

Why thank you, it’s nice to be here after making me feel so welcome and all! First off, anyone who is going to steal a shopping cart isn’t going to be deterred by hanging up a paper sign, anyone not planning on stealing a shopping cart should be offended.  This is their corporate greeting, “We’re watching you! Don’t steal nothing!”  I understand that all businesses must try to stop theft and this was after all a grocery store that sells…food.  People steal food because:

A. thrills / kicks
B. social pressure / look cool
C. frat / gang initiation
D. hunger

Either these are the reasons, or maybe they just don’t think much of us as a people.  But let’s look over the horizon, after Obama is re-coronated in January will he turn to the left or to the right politically?  This coming January 2nd President Obama will face sequestration budget cuts.  Across the board deep cuts in federal funding unless Congress acts, but why should Congress act?  Deep budget cuts to social programs while congressman and senators can all claim that their hands were tied, “Oh it was terrible, I really hated to see it come to that, but the other side was unreasonable and intractable.”

Will the Congress be filled with remorse when those who fund their campaigns approve of that outcome?  And Barack Obama, that friend of the working man will do exactly what for us?  This administration which has so famously said, “Fuck the UAW as it sold retirees down the river while sending aid to GM.  That’s not to say they haven’t suddenly become very socially conscious lately.  But is that an indicator of future performance or is it that other Obama, the election year Obama?  If you were disappointed with Obama’s first term just wait and see what his second term has in store.

  • “As of early last week, nearly 20,000 people have applied for the 877 new jobs that Montgomery’s Hyundai plant created to add a new production shift.  And the applications are still coming.  The deadline to apply is June 2, but Hyundai was so overwhelmed by the initial response that they suspended the application process on May 18 because of the high volume.  Last week, HMMA issued a statement saying that it would reopen the application procedure through June 2 but warned that anyone who applies after May 18 may not have time to be processed.” – The Montgomery Advertiser
  • "Looking for a second chance for someone to rent to my family and we are a famiy of four more information pleas email me at vanxxxxxxxxxxx.com  We are looing for two to three bedroom house, duplex apartment"  – Craigslist
  • "My name is Rev. XXXXX and I am attempting to find a place for a small family with a 4 year old daughter. T he husband was laid off and they lost their house and the wife was a homemaker, the daughter is very respectful.  I am aware the father is seeking full-time employment.  If you're able to provide a room for them and they can surely repay you as soon as he finds work, which will be soon as he is 50 and has a strong warehousing history, it would be a blessing.  Family is quiet and respectful.  Also, if you have something like a project he is able to do or own a company I'm certain he'd work for you to pay some of the money until steady work is acquired.  PLEASE HELP."    Their eviction date is 5/28/2012 at midnight. – Craigslist

A government which ignores the problem and its people while planning a, "Look Ma, no hands" approach to cutting social programs.  Austerity is telling the starving they need to go on a diet.  A government which ignores the people telling the poor that you must be poorer still to help keep the taxes down for the wealthy, to preserve missile systems or bases in Kazakhstan.  It isn’t a government at all, it is a corporate front.  You versus the corporation and the only friend in this world you’ve got in this whole damn world to stand beside you and against said corporation is government, which means you ain’t got no damn friends.  It is the textbook definition of Corporate Fascism, in the dawn of the security state.

  • Part time for economic reasons – up 181,000
  • Slack work or business conditions – up 106,000
  • Could only find part time work – up 26,000

“Don't fight it son. Confess quickly! If you hold out too long you could jeopardize your credit rating.” From the film “Brazil” -1985

“And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world.  And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected.  And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.  This is what I am and what I am about.” – John Steinbeck

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