Monday, 5 August 2013

By on August 5th, 2013 in government, politics

09:56 – I’ve seen several articles about the US private sector creating 200,000 new jobs in July. The problem is, most of those shouldn’t be counted as real jobs. Depending on who you listen to, since Lehman kicked off the crisis the US has created about two new jobs for every three that were lost as a result of the crisis. The problem is, most of those three jobs were real jobs and most of those two jobs are garbage. I mean, if a job lost paid $40,000/year with full benefits and a job gained pays $8/hour part time or temporary with no benefits, how can anyone claim with a straight face that the new job makes up for the loss of the old one?

The government collects all the data needed to provide honest employment figures, but they never do. I mean, removing people from the unemployed category when they’ve given up looking for jobs because there aren’t any available is simply dishonest. We need to dump the whole idea of unemployment rates and substitute employment rates. What percentage of adults aged 18 to 70 are employed, and at what level? Temporary and part-time jobs should be separate categories, as should jobs that pay less than, say, $20,000/year, as should government “jobs”. The reason these figures are not easily available is that people would be stunned to find just how small a percentage of adults have real private-sector jobs. You know, ones that involve actually making something or providing a service that people are willing to pay for voluntarily, as opposed to ones that involve extracting money from taxpayers and transferring it to the pockets of the otherwise unemployable.

14:20 – LinkedIn Creates Furor When It Bars Photos Of Pretty Female Engineers

I guess LinkedIn thinks this young woman is too pretty to be an engineer. Morons.

13 Comments and discussion on "Monday, 5 August 2013"

  1. brad says:

    That would be a great idea for the shadow-stats people to do, if they can get the data.

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I’d guess that if the government published an honest unemployment rate–including those who’d given up looking, those who were part-time but wanted full-time, those with graduate degrees working at McDonalds, etc.–it would be north of 30%.

    I do wish I’d been able to convince Jasmine either to major in engineering or become a plumber.

  3. Lynn McGuire says:

    As ye wish, here ye be granted:

    Warning! These numbers are not for the faint at heart who believe that every thing is hunky dorky. That said, we are muddling our way into a double dip. The riots will not start until the unofficial unemployment rate hits 30%? 35%? 40%? Or when those really neat food cards stop working.

  4. brad says:

    I am working with two highly competent young female software engineers on a project just now. There aren’t all that many female programmers, but they do exist.

    I just wish we would stop trying so hard. If a woman wants to be an engineer, great. If she doesn’t, that’s also fine. Twisting ourselves in knots just doesn’t help.

    An example from today, that Chuck may especially appreciate: When our students write their bachelor theses, one of the things I am supposed to grade them on is their gender-neutral language. Since German has gendered nouns, this is even more of a mess than in English.

    For example, I am not supposed to use the word “Student”. This means the same in German as in English – generic student – but it can also be specifically a male student; a specifically female student would be “Studentin”. It’s just not PC to use the same word both for male and generic, so we are supposed to refer to students collectively as “Studierenden”, roughly “studiers”. Of course, the singular of “Studierenden” would be “Studierende”, which is – guess what – a male-gendered noun.

    Just how this circus is supposed to encourage more women to become computer science students is beyond me.

  5. Lynn McGuire says:

    I guess LinkedIn thinks this young woman is too pretty to be an engineer. Morons.

    Wow. Wow. What blatant sexism. I have worked with many female engineers over my 30+ year career. Some pretty. Some not pretty. Some very pretty. Most very nice people and highly competent. Quite a few of them better engineers and smarter than me.

    As usual, the Brit papers name names:

  6. Greg Norton says:

    I live on the WA side of the river in the Portland, OR metro area. I’d put the real unemployment here at somewhere north of 25%.

    The dominant pizza chain here, by a wide margin, is based on a “take and bake” concept which allows them to accept Food Stamp money. If I want anything edible, the other places charge about double what we used to pay for pizza back in FL.

  7. SteveF says:

    Quite a few of them better engineers and smarter than me.

    Honestly, Lynn, the typical hamster is probably smarter than you. I mean, you managed to lose a cache of firearms in a river shallow enough to cross without getting the tops of your boots wet.

    To be fair, the hamster might not be a better engineer than you. They have tiny little fingers and have trouble working a calculator or a keyboard. (And I’m sure there’s some joke to be made about hamsters refusing to use a computer mouse because of rodent solidarity, but I’m too tired and not nearly caffeinated to think of it.)

  8. Miles_Teg says:

    If a software engineer is just a fancy name for a computer programmer I’ve known some goddesses in my time in the industry.

    I always think of an engineer as someone who gets their hands dirty.

  9. Lynn McGuire says:

    I haven’t gotten my hands dirty since … yesterday. I added a PVC 1.5″ pipe down to hose pipe adapter to the well house line so I could put a garden hose to fill the north pond. Man, the water coming up from the new well is 60 F and the tank is sweating to beat the band. I’ve already got about six inches in the pond over the last 24 hours. Two more feet to go.

    I’ve got a pair of whistling ducks out in the north pond with four babies. The babies are just about three inches long. There is no way that they flew here as they are still downy.

  10. Miles_Teg says:

    Looks like Portuguese politicians are smarter than American (and Australian) ones:

    But at least the US is winning the war against kids selling lemonade:

  11. Dave B. says:

    I always think of an engineer as someone who gets their hands dirty.

    If engineers work for a company with union employees, then they can’t get their hands dirty in the US. I remember when I was in college, I worked for a small division of a major company with a union. I had a very little project, and found a bored electrician. I asked him if he was bored and wanted something to do. So we went out and did a trivially small program on a programmable controller. Actually, I believe I was instructing him on what to do, since what I was doing was something an electrician had to do.

    Major company spun off small division in 1998. Spinoff closed 8 or 10 years later. Major company went through bankruptcy reorganization a couple years after that. The only surprising thing about the closure and the bankruptcy is it took so long.

  12. Lynn McGuire says:

    If engineers work for a company with union employees, then they can’t get their hands dirty in the US.

    Sorry, that is not true in a right to work state like the Great State of Texas. I was working on the power plant test crew of a major electric utility in the Dallas area back in 1985. We were down at a Jacksonville plant, , hooking up our instrumentation when three guys grabbed me and took me over to a corner. This plant had union electricians and instrument techs. They wanted to know if I was stealing their jobs since I was wearing a tool belt *with* tools even though I was a white hard hat (supervisors and engineers). I had to explain to them that I was a central office engineer running a two week test with two other engineers. They were good with that. Believe you me, we engineers got dirty doing that job.

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