Layoffs at new high: Gallup

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by leekohler, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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  2. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #2
    It's hitting us too, especially in sectors that are heavily tied to the U.S.
     
  3. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #3
    Oh quit your whining Lee! If McCain, Bush, and Dr. Phil Graham say the economy is fine, it's unpatriotic to question them.

    Besides, shedding jobs like this just goes to show how desperate the economy is. We'll have the recessionary trends defeated in no time if they're that desperate.
     
  4. iGary Guest

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  5. bradl macrumors 68040

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    #5
    Anyone notice that this trend of layoffs started approximately 6 to 8 months after Bush took office, and has been pretty much high ever since?

    Red White House, Red Senate, Red House.. yet when the Blues finally get majority, this comes out, and let's blame the Blues!

    (don't get me wrong; I totally see your sarcasm! :) )

    Lessee.. which would you prefer.. Parties in the White House, prosperity, cheap gas, and innovation, vs. war under false pretenses, huge layoffs, unemployment and foreclosures at an all time high, markets in a slump, Big Brother watching you, and expensive gas while those offering it profit into the tens of billions...

    Any of this sound like "restoring honour, dignity, and respect to the White House" (Bush's exact words)?

    At least when Clinton got caught in a scandal at least he got some. ;)

    BL.
     
  6. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #6
    No, it sounds like "compassionate conservatism". ;)

    I just read a newspaper article that, here in Ohio, the unemployment rate is 7.2%, the highest in 15 years. And when I read that "7.2%", I'm sure they actually mean something more like 15%, because we all know they don't include the underemployed and those who have given up, which roughly double the "official" figure.

    However, I'm getting quite cynical in my old (well, middle) age, and I feel it hard to be sympathetic to voters who keep electing the same people who are working against their interests. Ya want jobs and a healthy economy? Stop electing all the damn Republicans, and take a healthy look at some of the Democrats as well.

    For God's sake. It's like these people bang their heads against a wall all day, and then go to the doctor and want him to do something about their headache.
     
  7. MacHipster macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Cripple labor unions? Check.
    Keep a low minimum wage? Check.
    Give tax breaks to the wealthy? Check.
    Give tax breaks to Big Oil? Check.
    Stall universal health care? Check.

    Well, blue collar workers do keep voting for these policies. Be careful what you wish for.
     
  8. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Well, lessee: Some 46 years back, "Buy American" was the UAW watchword when I worked at Chevy's test lab. Aside from those funny furrin cars, they didn't want jobs exported to Canada. Unfortunately, we've been exporting union jobs for some forty-plus years. Must be Bush's fault.

    Yeah, go ahead and tax Big Oil. That'll lower gas prices, won't it? And that'll provide additional incentive to produce, won't it? Hey, great solution! Tax the Bejaysus out of seven percent of the world's oil folks. That'll help us a lot.

    Question: When you have an admitted debt of some nine trilion smackeroos, and some sixty trillion of obligations, where does the money come from for universal health care? We're on the verge of disaster with Social Insecurity, Medicare and Medicaid, and Bush then got Gore's Free Pills for Olde Pharts through the Congress. Whence cometh the money?

    But let's really stimulate the economy, and raise the minimum wage to, say, $20/hr. I'll bet that would be a stimulus! Hmmm. Trouble is, who's gonna hire the sort of folks who are only worth minimum wage to begin with and pay them that twenty bucks? Not me, for sure. I'm not into producing something with advertising, "Untouched by human hands." Seen that. Bummer.

    All booms are followed by busts. We can thank Mr. Greenspan for the soft-landings from previous might-have-been hard busts, but now those proverbial chickens are coming home to roost.

    This one's gonna be a booger.

    'Rat
     
  9. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    #9
    Your healthcare "system" is significantly more expensive than a universal healthcare solution. Less efficient means more expensive. A change to a universal system could well result in a surplus of tax dollars.
     
  10. MacHipster macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Didn't say it was Bush's fault. This policy was exacerbated by Reagan and has continued through to now.

    Giving them tax breaks doesn't seem to be lowering gas prices either. Poor Big Oil, suffering with those multi-billion dollar quarterly profits.

    As has already been pointed out, we have the most expensive health care industry in the world. Granted, the quality of health care is great..if you can afford it, which many cannot. But, who cares about the poor, right? As long as the rich are taken care of, they'll trickle down their success to the rest of us.

    If you think someone can afford to live humanely on $6.55 per hour in or near an urban center, you're sorely mistaken. Then again, screw the poor, right?

    I'll agree with you there. Greenspan just slowed the eventual decline of the American economy. However, 40 years of making the rich richer while the poor stay within their confines has come home to roost. While it would be interesting to see the working class wake up, I doubt they will. Then again, screw the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free,the wretched refuse of foreign teeming shores, the homeless, and the tempest-tossed.
     
  11. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #11
    MacHipster, you took the words right out of my mouth

    I can only add that it always boils down to whether you believe a healthy economy comes from the top down or from the bottom up. The former side has been winning this rigged game for 40 years now, and these are the only ones that seem to be getting richer.

    For the rest of us, it's been a slow, painful descent into hardship and (sometimes) destitution. While the trickle-downers are getting fat, more and more of us are working two or three jobs to support a family the way our parents did, or cutting back to (or into) the bare bone.

    Perish the thought that paying people a decent wage via good jobs might actually put some money into people's pockets. Why, they might actually go out and buy more things. And they might even be quality things, not cheap crap sold at K Mart. And that might actually start a cycle of creating better jobs and bettering the lower and middle classes, who'd go out and buy more things. And that might result in more revenue for government through taxes.

    No, that'd never work. We proved that in post-World War II America, from the mid-40s through the 60s. God, what terrible financial times. As the trickle-downers keep telling us, we're much better off now.
     
  12. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #12
    First- as Iscariot mentioned earlier, our health care system costs us far more that a not-for-profit system would. 'Rat- you're not a stupid guy, open your eyes and look at that in an honest way. Stop with the uninformed Limbaugh talking points.

    Second- Social "Insecurity" as you so ridiculously put it, is only in trouble for the same reason many companies' pension plans are in trouble, because the fools we elect keep raping it to cover their a**es.

    Please use the brain I know you have before posting this nonsense.
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #13
    Actually, I am kind of surprised that the layoff rate has exceeded the manufacturing crisis right after 9/11. At that time, the manufacturing industry had already become paranoid about signs of slowing, and was already trying to shed jobs wherever possible in attempts to restructure. Then, when 9/11 hit (lucky me, I got laid off about two months before that, albeit not from a manufacturing job, and it took me eight months to land all in all), it became a magic excuse to shed jobs because of the unprecedented lack of predictability in where consumer spending was going to go.

    In related news, though, NPR was abuzz last night with the rumors that Lehman Bros is going to be the next to fall on Wall St, as more evidence that the finance aspect of the current crisis has not crested yet....
     
  14. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #14
    I'm not surprised at all. Come to my office. We have "industrial engineers" whose full-time job it is to look for ways to get rid of people. Of course they're all 20-somethings barely out of school who've never had jobs before. They're worse than drug reps. Can you imagine that being your job? How could you look in the mirror?
     
  15. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #15
    This was actually almost the job I got laid off from (management consulting at Deloitte). God, I hated that job. It was that job that convinced me to begin my permanent exit strategy from the engineering industry. But yes, those jobs existed ten years ago, also....

    On the flip side, from a business management perspective, downsizing really hurts a lot more when the economy is generally recessed like now, than it does in a vibrant economy. It always stinks to lose your job, but if you flip back to the late nineties, when skilled individuals had unemployment rates of 2% or something like that, sure... people were still being routinely laid off, but so many of those stories ended happily that no one cared. But it's a totally different story when you get laid off and there's very little availability of good jobs. Like the "300 people applied" story you were telling 'tother day.
     
  16. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #16
    Good for you for leaving. And yeah, that did freak me out. I couldn't believe that many people were trying for that one job.
     
  17. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

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    #17
    It really depends on the region. My current shop has been looking for a qualified person for a position for close to 2 months, and no good candidates. Heck they had only a few people apply.

    The position I interviewed for on Monday had a total of 7 ppl who applied. 2-3 will make it to round 2.
     
  18. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Billions in profits is a trivial matter, compared to percentage return. Nine percent profit margin just isn't that big an amount--nicer than lesser percentages, obviously--no matter how many billions of dollars it represents.

    Why do people castigate such as Exxon for profiting by some $4 per barrel, yet say nothing while OPEC governments profit by some $100 per barrel?

    What US government policies could possibly have prevented the rest of the world from industrializing and selling the same items as we do, but at lesser costs? Why would our government institute policies that would result in denying those of lower income from buying these lesser-cost products?

    The idea of minimum wage was for those first entering the job market to have more than a trivial level of pay during the first year or two of work. It was never intended to be adequate to support a family. It is not supposed to be a career-long wage.

    Medical care? During my lifetime, the technological advances have been enormous--and very costly. We could have afforded subsidized medicine for all, probably, back before heart transplants, lung transplants, MRIs and CT scans and sonograms, etc., etc, etc. I maintain that the money just flat-out doesn't exist to provide a top-end level of treatment for the entire population.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_(United_States)

    Scroll down to the part about costs:

    "According to the 2008 report by the board of trustees for Medicare and Social Security, Medicare will spend more than it brings in from taxes this year (2008). The Medicare hospital insurance trust fund will become insolvent by 2019."

    Note that Medicare only applies to those over 65 years of age. That's some 37 million out of 304 million. Sure, old folks cost more, but the census data says there are now some 41 million disabled folks here, and they're part of our cost picture as well. Medical costs as well as support costs, adding to the SS load.

    IOW, there is a reason beyond "meanness" or "conservative" that causes me to believe the money isn't available.

    As far as layoffs, it's gonna get worse. M3--money supply plus outstanding credit--has fallen to zero growth or to negative, which means a helluva lot less business activity.

    This, today, from Agora:

    “It takes new money to keep a credit bubble inflated (or to keep it from deflating),” says Dan Denning, watching events from down under. “If the figures from the Fed can be trusted, and if they show that new money isn't forthcoming, then it may be a sign of even greater financial asset deflation in the months ahead.

    “Translation: It's going to get a lot worse. If stocks are cheap, they're going to get even cheaper. It means if good resource projects are good values now, they'll be even better values as the market falls.

    “Not that it's an easy thing to stomach. But let's remember what we're watching here. As investors de-lever and pay down debts, they sell assets to raise cash. It's a bull market in cash. And money that is used to pay down debt is money that is not spent on stocks or new cars or the things people spend money on when they aren't worried about debt.”

    And:

    "As if to put a point on the issue, mortgage applications fell to their lowest level in nearly eight years last week. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s application index fell to 419.3 today, the worst score since December 2000 and a 61% crash in volume since February 2008. For reference, that same index peaked at 1,856.7 in 2003."

    One of the reasons that I use cites from the folks at Agora is that they've been predicting this present mess as being highly probable--since several years back. An "If this goes on..." sort of thing. A helluva lot closer to reality than CNBC or pMSNBC.

    'Rat
     
  19. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #19
    We should abolish Social Security anyway.

    I'd like to see some studies to back up your first assertion, Lee.

    Are you really serious in thinking paying for everyone's healthcare is cheaper than the current system?
     
  20. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #20
    In favor of what? Letting the elderly and disabled wind up on the streets? I suspect that would cost the economy more than SS. Every municipality seeking to ban panhandling and other homeless activities cites the tremendous effect the homeless have on businesses that happen to be located near their chosen panhandling site.

    Are you really serious in thinking you don't pay for the uninsured's health care right now today? When they show up in the ER, you and I pay for them. Why do you think an aspirin costs $50 at the hospital?
     
  21. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #21
    In every civilised country it appears to be so.
     
  22. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #22
    it depends how it is done. Industrial engineers general job is to find a way to be able to find the most effeinct use of man power.

    So there job in some ways is to find ways to "get rid of people" but better term is find ways to reduce company over head and labor cost per unit produced.

    Some times that just means reassigning people and figuring out ways to get ride of unions.

    I can not stand labor unions they are a royal pain in the rear to work with and waste a huge amount of money. They cost a lot of money. Waste a huge amount of man power. You get much less productivity out of the workers. Plus they get paid less compared to a non union person. On top of that you can not fire a worthless worker so to speak.
     
  23. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #23
  24. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #24
    Social Security as first envisioned was, IMO, a good thing. It was intended to be an old-age assistance system. It was never intended to provide full support for those over age 65.

    Then came the add-ons for eligibility for all manner of support programs, and those added to the cost--and to the payouts.

    Even those might not have been bad, had the FICA monies been invested via a trust fund, as originally intended and set up. The end of the trust fund has led to the federal book-keeping juggling and we've finally gotten to the point that the entire house of cards is about to tumble.

    And now, with the dire financial straits that we're in, the Bad Stuff is even worse.

    Layoffs are increasing and will continue to do so. We're nowhere near the end of the loss of asset values, whether homes or stock market. Or pickup trucks and SUVs, for that matter. Consumer prices are rising and will continue to do so.

    skunk says (by implication) that the free public healthcare systems cost the entire society less per person than ours does. Okay, I don't know. But I read in an English newspaper that a poll showed that a majority of hospital personnel go outside the system when they, themselves,need medical treatment. I read--and hear from a few Canucks--that it is commonplace for Canadians to come to the U.S. for medical treatment because of issues of both quality and waiting periods.

    I've watched the increased involvement of our government into the world of medicine, these last 25 years. As the involvement has increased, the costs have increased. Causal relationship? Seems as reasonable an answer as any. I recall that the advent of HMOs was hailed as The Answer, and I guess folks can recall the later changes in that view.

    IOW, I'm suspicious.

    And right now, given the state of the economy, I don't see where the tax money will come to pay for more social programs. That's competing with all the other demands on tax money--including infrastructure.

    Back again to the thread: I just hope y'all got secure jobs and low debt.

    'Rat
     
  25. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #25
    Bottom line is this: as long as we have for-profit health insurance companies, the focus will not be on the well-being of the patient, only on the well-being of the company. That's just how it works. Is anyone going to even try to deny that? The free market is great for a lot of things. Keeping people healthy is not one of them. That should be more than obvious by now.
     

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