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  • Using school to kick the can down the road.

    I think the money we throw into sending so many people on a free ride through college is one of the single biggest wastes of tax payer money. I know it is a sacred cow, but I have always hated the idea that college is always good and the decision to support secondary education beyond reproach.

    Now with the extended UI if you are enrolled in classes, and more tax funded programs to pay to (over)educate our work force, we are setting ourselves up for big trouble. First, I know people who are too lazy to work that are now looking to get fired so that they can take advantage of the program. Second, if all of the people who are supposedly too uneducated to join the workforce now start graduating in 2 and 4 years, the workforce will be flooded with graduates and the degrees will be almost meaningless. Then, for people like me who are NOT trying to take advantage of the programs and instead work my *** off to pay my bills, taxes (and am doing so without a degree) if I do get laid off after this glut of free riders graduate I won't be able to get a job pushing a broom. All because I paid for everyone else to up the stakes. By doing something that many of them don't want to do. Working.

    I recently saw a telemarketing job that asked for B.A. or higher. This will only become more common. Most of the mattress salesmen and women in my company are college grads and I am beating them ALL in every sales category. PLUS I can build a house from foundation up. What the hell did they really get from their 4-8 years of producing debt and tax burdens? I'll tell you one thing they got, they have been looked at as a higher entity than I have while I dug ditches, crawled under houses, got up early every day to work my way up the construction ladder, and PAID TAXES every year of my life while they drew on that same system. They were making something of their lives while I was a dim blue-collar hammer-ape. Now that we are doing the same job I blow them away because I know how to WORK.

    The purpose of going to college for many individuals is to get out of working. The purpose for our government to promote school like it is the solution to our unemployment problems to diminish the unemployment numbers by creating students. It's two cases of kicking the can down the road. It infuriates me.

    Eli

    PS Of course school is not useless for everyone. But for many, many people it is a cop-out and it is only those that I am speaking of.
    Last edited by woodenstickers; 10-23-2009, 10:46 PM.
    A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

  • #2
    Re: Using school to kick the can down the road.

    Just remember there are plenty of people who go to college and pay for it through hard work. When I was in graduate school I made $23,500 a year, all of it funded via NSF grants. The same work with the same education that I already had would have gotten between $75,000 and $100,000 in the private sector.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Using school to kick the can down the road.

      I'm too college uneducated to even participate in this discussion!



      !!!


      !
      Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Using school to kick the can down the road.

        Originally posted by cpw View Post
        Just remember there are plenty of people who go to college and pay for it through hard work. When I was in graduate school I made $23,500 a year, all of it funded via NSF grants. The same work with the same education that I already had would have gotten between $75,000 and $100,000 in the private sector.
        You are not one of the people I am talking about, sir. In fact I often think about you personally when I consider the merits of school and programs to fund it. I have a ton of respect for you. I am not of the opinion that MOST students are wastes of money, but many, many are. I know many of them and I am sure you do too. Either because they are doing nothing with their degrees or were only enrolled to get a free extra adolescence and party through their twenties. I am not even against education for educations sake, but that should be strictly a privilege that one pays for on their own if they are lucky enough to afford it. I plan to look into that myself one day!
        A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Using school to kick the can down the road.

          In my country this problem was fixed very easily. If you want to go to college/uni you have to pass admission exams, where you compete with up to 150 people PER SEAT. If you pass and study well (3.8+ GPA), government pays YOU. Most unis are relatively cheap ($300 - $2500 per semester). So basically if you are a lazy moron, you fail and go to army (mandatory if you are not in secondary school full time). Then you come back 2 years later, go to an evening "technical school" and become a half-arsed plumber or carpenter. If you finish uni and necessary extra study then you become an engineer, doctor etc. Basically system filters lazy people automatically. Hence high crime rates.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Using school to kick the can down the road.

            Eli,

            I sort of lean in your direction with my thinking of "degree" requirements and the mainstream thoughts that if you don't have a degree, you're tremendously less valued. But, it's an impossible fight that you'll never win with most of today's businesses. I think that in most cases, the person who has gone to college has probably worked hard to achieve their degree. But, there are certainly exceptions.

            My problem is that companies generally don't filter properly and all too often won't look at a person's qualifications or experiences, until they've gotton the degree question out of the way. Simply, that takes work and a typical HR team will prefer the much simpler process of filtering... by simply stating a particular level of degree that is required.

            Obviously, my opinion is largely shaped by my personal experiences... I don't have a degree, of any kind. I do have a talent and have worked hard to hone my skills. But in my more than forty years working in industry, the lack of a degree has greatly kept my salary down. Within the company where I spent thirty years, the lack of a degree meant that I wasn't promotable. Even with more awards than I can count, my salary was pale in comparison with the rate that I could charge for freelance work with other industries. With freelance, they generally don't ask for a degree... they simply want your performance results.

            The sad thing is that there were so many times when I ran across people in my profession as a technical artist, that seemed to lack the knowledge or the ambition to explore the possibilities or to be "inventive". It seemed that much of their education was about limitations and rules. I used to joke that perhaps I was just too stupid to know what couldn't be done and therefore I plunged ahead and found a way to accomplish the task.

            The problem with NOT having a degree is usually when someone like the new boss or new management team discovers you don't have one. I've never pretended otherwise, I just show my stuff and prove my worthiness through my work. If the organization is stable, I survive... but when it changes, I'm subject to "discovery" and the reaction is usually, "What's going on, that job requires a BA, and he doesn't have one!

            Of course there are disciplines like engineering, medical practice, and the sciences, among others, where university studies are critical. But as we all know, there are many vocations where a degree is little more than a piece of paper that says you spent a few years reading and listening and not particularly doing.

            Today, most of the doorways are blocked by digital resume submittals. NO degree, your resume never gets before human eyes and no one will ever see your resume, you, or your portfolio. On the flip side, if a manager hires that particular degree and it doesn't work out, it's no reflection on his accessment skills; after all, the new hire had a degree.

            The simple fact that you hold a degree says that you are "qualified" and without one, the only chance you have is a personal referral or maybe coming into the organization as a freelancer, where hopefully they won't ask... but that's almost impossible in these times. As a matter of fact, it's been pretty much improbable since the early 80's.

            For example, I worked for a big compressor manufacturer for just less than 10 years when the division move south in 1982 and I lost my job. There's not a lot of job slots for an illustrator in my region of the country. I had house, a wife, and a little boy and I was desperate. I remember sitting in the car while my wife was buying groceries. The morning job listings were on the radio and I remember particularly a job for a shoe salesman at a local store..."Bachelors Degree Required". He!! man, I wasn't even qualified to put shoes on somebody's smelly feet.

            There was no sense in even looking... so I set up a crude drawing board in my garage and started freelancing. For three years I had more work than I knew what to do with. I branched out into industrial photography, technical writing, and presentation work. I even got job referrals from out-of-town concerns. I remember interviewing for a subcontract writing job at the local "glass technology" company. I went in with a referral and my portfolio and went through five interviews before I got to the senior manager. Looking at the paperwork, he told me that all the other managers gave me great ratings... then he looked at my resume' and asked where my "education sheet" was. On hearing that I didn't have a degree, he immediately dismissed me like I was some piece of trash. I remember being rather upset and politely told him so.

            Three days later the contract placement company called and wanted to know when I could start. The job paid $17.50 an hour (good money for 1984). I told the guy that we needed to discuss the rate. When he said why, I told him that $17.50 was for a Bachelors Degree... if they wanted someone who could DO THE JOB, my rate was $20... I started the next morning, completing the full length of the job. While I was there, I also recommended a solution for a feed mechanism problem and was rewarded for the idea.

            A year later, I returned to my old company, in another division.But again, it was my reputation and abilities that got me in the door. In 2003, it was a joint venture and new management and NO DEGREE that got me retired.

            Today? Well, I'm just glad that it's all behind me. Today, I couldn't get my foot in the door, as all resume's must be sent in electronically. They'd never get to see my portfolio or meet me personally. My son on the other hand holds a BA from Cornell, and in another month or so, he'll have his Masters. So while I took the hard road, I fully understood the importance of a degree and took all measures to get him on the right track.

            So bottom line, don't fight it. Hate it if you wish, but it will probably just swallow you up. Hopefully your talents and your reputation in the business will always be your calling card in your particular profession.

            CWS

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Using school to kick the can down the road.

              When I was in the Navy, years ago, I was assigned to a mobile technical unit. There was a Chief Fire Controlman (Electronics rate) who we all considered brilliant. He had taken and passed every USAFI math and science course that existed. Over his 20 year career he had been involved in the repair and design of complex weapons systems.

              Nearing retirement, he applied for an engineering position at a major national electronics company. He had several interviews and was hired with a start date after his retirement.

              Several days later, Human resources called him and wanted to know what college he had graduated from just for their records. He replied that he was self educated and had never attended college. The company terminated the job offer.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Using school to kick the can down the road.

                I forgot what the graduation rate from college is but I know it is very low. So I see it as the free tax money given to those students was wasted and the debt they incurred was also a waste. I don't like my tax dollars paying to educate people I will compete with in the work force.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Using school to kick the can down the road.

                  I have some college credits but not nearly enough. Although I have survived all these years without a degree I still consider the lack of a degree to be one of my biggest failures.

                  Mark
                  "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                  I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Using school to kick the can down the road.

                    Jobs and professions that require college education are fine. A society with well educated is a great idea. A society with well educated people who are not finding jobs, losing jobs, healthcare and their homes has serious flaws. Our economy is a puzzle and there are pieces missing which are necessary to it's completion. High tech, high paying jobs must be complimented by less skiiled and unskilled lower paying jobs also located in the USA. When one exists without the other, we find ourselves paying other nations to supply our consumer goods. Not a good idea. Encourage people to seek higher education, and encourage people who are not so inclined to produce our goods and supply our services right here. Communist china and the rest of the world does not need all our lawyers, doctors or many other well educated Americans, but we sure as heck need the lowest of their low to produce our consumer goods. anyone see a problem with this ?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Using school to kick the can down the road.

                      I graduated college with two degrees, didn't use either one for 30 years and now I'm teaching so I needed at least one of them again. funny world.
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Using school to kick the can down the road.

                        Franki,

                        I mean no personal disrespect when I say this, but you seem to have a real hangup with your so-called "communist china" You seem to mention it in the majority of your posts. I get the impression that you somehow have the idea that America has a gun to it's head and we're being forced to do business with those damned commies in Asia.

                        Perhaps you don't realize that nobody in China forced anybody in the U.S.A. to buy thier products or to move our industries there. On the contrary, ALL of the responsibility for that is right here in the good o'l U.S. of A. You have a problem with "China"... er, a excuse me... "Communist China".... but the fact of the matter really is that it's the American free market, damn anything to make a buck/save a buck, capitalist American business and consumer system that has cost us our jobs!

                        We rale over medical care in our country as we selfishly reflect on our personal wallets and label those less fortunate than ourselves as lazy and wasteful and we simply don't want to share the cost of health care with those considered less than our almighty selves. Yet health care is one of American businesses biggest burdens, for those that are fortunate enough to be employed.

                        In China, health care is NOT a burden to business, it is a cost of the state. And though it may not reach the widespread high-tech cost that it is here in the U.S. it does have widespread, and free availability to the average Chinese citizen. You may also recognize that the mobility, reactive health community in China has proven to be much more efficient in China than it is here in the U.S. Just with the H1Ni vaccine, China has revolutionized syrum production, and offered that free to the U.S. We however still use the old chicken egg as the main production vehicle... a very old, and slow technology. 1,000 of our children have now died, and the vaccine is way behind delivery schedules, but what the hey, I bet the industy is making a nice profit on it.

                        We here in the U.S. can be very proud of our 200 plus years of growth and history. Our industry is fantastic in it's innovation, research and development, and industrial productivity. But we also have a history of terrible neglect and unscrupulas profitering off the backs of our workers too. We are also ingenius in our ability to de-engineer a product and our production workers to ensure that we squeeze every dime of profit that is possible.

                        But our 200 plus years pale in the face of China's 3,000 years of technological advances and cultural history. Yes, it's true... since our bungled Asian foreign policies of the 30's and 40's, China is "communist". But within the last decade they are fast becoming capitalistic beyond dreams. All one has to do is pickup any modern tool or appliance and you'll see a world of difference over the American product of just a few years ago. And, we see a brand like "Lucky Gold Star" go from junk to be the highly praised, brand leader "LG" in a little more than a decade.

                        Our industry is still innovative, but we have largely forgotten that much of the innovations of our time have come from the workers on the factory floor, who used to have a major voice in the product. It doesn't take a college degree or a "step-through-hoops" certification to be inventive, innovative, or even slightly productive. What it takes is envolvement, empowerment, and an interest from your senior in your work and your ideas. It also takes a sense of good old American community and sharing.

                        I hear the term "slave labor" that is so often labeled on so-called "Communist China" and frankly it makes me wonder where people have their head. You don't get the kind of product build and innovation from "slaves". You want to see slaves, step onto some of today's factory floors. Look at the conditions, look at the way the labor force too often is reduced to living. Watch when the bonuses come and where they go and the unbelievable amounts that they represent... and then look at the sacrifice that the average American is forced to make, to enable such riches to go to the management. Then take a look at the pay differences between the average Chinese factory and office worker, as compared to thier management! America certainlly represents a much closer image of "slavery" than exists in China!

                        But the problem I see here is that it's much easier to place the blame halfway around the world, label it in the worst way possible and then simply go about business as usual.

                        So, blame who you will, but as William Shakespeare once wrote, "The fault dear Brutus is not in the stars, but in ourselves."

                        Respectfully,

                        CWS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Using school to kick the can down the road.

                          Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
                          Franki,

                          I mean no personal disrespect when I say this, but you seem to have a real hangup with your so-called "communist china" You seem to mention it in the majority of your posts. I get the impression that you somehow have the idea that America has a gun to it's head and we're being forced to do business with those damned commies in Asia.

                          Perhaps you don't realize that nobody in China forced anybody in the U.S.A. to buy thier products or to move our industries there. On the contrary, ALL of the responsibility for that is right here in the good o'l U.S. of A. You have a problem with "China"... er, a excuse me... "Communist China".... but the fact of the matter really is that it's the American free market, damn anything to make a buck/save a buck, capitalist American business and consumer system that has cost us our jobs!

                          We rale over medical care in our country as we selfishly reflect on our personal wallets and label those less fortunate than ourselves as lazy and wasteful and we simply don't want to share the cost of health care with those considered less than our almighty selves. Yet health care is one of American businesses biggest burdens, for those that are fortunate enough to be employed.

                          In China, health care is NOT a burden to business, it is a cost of the state. And though it may not reach the widespread high-tech cost that it is here in the U.S. it does have widespread, and free availability to the average Chinese citizen. You may also recognize that the mobility, reactive health community in China has proven to be much more efficient in China than it is here in the U.S. Just with the H1Ni vaccine, China has revolutionized syrum production, and offered that free to the U.S. We however still use the old chicken egg as the main production vehicle... a very old, and slow technology. 1,000 of our children have now died, and the vaccine is way behind delivery schedules, but what the hey, I bet the industy is making a nice profit on it.

                          We here in the U.S. can be very proud of our 200 plus years of growth and history. Our industry is fantastic in it's innovation, research and development, and industrial productivity. But we also have a history of terrible neglect and unscrupulas profitering off the backs of our workers too. We are also ingenius in our ability to de-engineer a product and our production workers to ensure that we squeeze every dime of profit that is possible.

                          But our 200 plus years pale in the face of China's 3,000 years of technological advances and cultural history. Yes, it's true... since our bungled Asian foreign policies of the 30's and 40's, China is "communist". But within the last decade they are fast becoming capitalistic beyond dreams. All one has to do is pickup any modern tool or appliance and you'll see a world of difference over the American product of just a few years ago. And, we see a brand like "Lucky Gold Star" go from junk to be the highly praised, brand leader "LG" in a little more than a decade.

                          Our industry is still innovative, but we have largely forgotten that much of the innovations of our time have come from the workers on the factory floor, who used to have a major voice in the product. It doesn't take a college degree or a "step-through-hoops" certification to be inventive, innovative, or even slightly productive. What it takes is envolvement, empowerment, and an interest from your senior in your work and your ideas. It also takes a sense of good old American community and sharing.

                          I hear the term "slave labor" that is so often labeled on so-called "Communist China" and frankly it makes me wonder where people have their head. You don't get the kind of product build and innovation from "slaves". You want to see slaves, step onto some of today's factory floors. Look at the conditions, look at the way the labor force too often is reduced to living. Watch when the bonuses come and where they go and the unbelievable amounts that they represent... and then look at the sacrifice that the average American is forced to make, to enable such riches to go to the management. Then take a look at the pay differences between the average Chinese factory and office worker, as compared to thier management! America certainlly represents a much closer image of "slavery" than exists in China!

                          But the problem I see here is that it's much easier to place the blame halfway around the world, label it in the worst way possible and then simply go about business as usual.

                          So, blame who you will, but as William Shakespeare once wrote, "The fault dear Brutus is not in the stars, but in ourselves."

                          Respectfully,

                          CWS
                          CWS, great post. You and probably others who have read my many rants mentioning our dependance on communist china, fail to see that my upset is with us! If the roles were reversed and china depended on an industrial America for most of their consumer goods and there was an uproar from the chinese public over the foolishness of such a policy, I would have the same attitude. I would think, nobody is forcing them to have us provide their essentials. I mention communist china, india, mexico and other countries that provide us with our goods to make a point of how insane this behavior is on our part, not theirs. Diminishing return! They build their economies with American dollars while our trade deficit sky rockets. In the absense of labor laws, OSHA, the EPA, those foreign workers and their environment are at serious risk. We have the laws, we need to understand that our free market is destroying our economy because it has flaws. There should have been legislative intervention years ago to prevent the flight of all our manufacturing jobs. Call it unAmerican, but had the jobs stayed, so would our wealth. These are just my opinions and I respect yours as well. I honestly wish the people of china and those in other countries good lives, but if we are to survive then our concerns must be first and foremost for the good of America. Please tell me how we can survive with our agenda of high tech jobs and service related industries, while we enrich all these other countries who do not reciprocate? On a much smaller scale and an example of my reasoning, imagine two villages, one doesn't make the vital things they need to survive, they employ their workers to provide services for those in the village that can afford them. The other village makes the various items the first villagers need, lumber, metal goods, clothing, etc. and in addition extends credit to the first village! How long can the first village survive? I propose to you that as much as communism failed, the free market system of our great Democracy will be our down fall. There must be corrections to the system that got us in this predicament. Respectfully, Frank.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Using school to kick the can down the road.

                            Frank,

                            Now there I must agree with you. But as it appears that we agree, the fault is not on the other end, it's with us. I guess then that my point would be to let's not single out China, as India and Japan, and Germany and France and others are not far behind.

                            But to a solution... IF I WERE KING (joking of course)... no company would be able to import into this country unless they could prove (with oversight) that they paid a regionally proper living wage and that they were environmentally responsible. Beyond that I wouldn't care what their politics were, as long as they met the rules of international decency and human rights. They don't necessarily have to have a freedom to vote, but they do need to live without fear and without the basic human wants.

                            Regarding American companies, NO American-based company could move their manufacturing facitlities to any country, unless such facility met all U.S. environmental and human safety laws. Wages must meet the regional requirements as previously mentioned, but the benefit package must equal that of thier U.S. workforce. No U.S. company could escape their responsibilities or increase their profitability by cheating their workforce through "off-shoring".

                            On top of that, there should be a labor excise tax charged directly to any company that hires a foriegn worker or exports a job to a foriegn worker.

                            Obviously business would hate this, but you can be assured that your job or my job would not go overseas, unless we didn't have the skills required. And if that occurred, the company would be taxed for that move and such taxes would go for the training of the domestic workforce.

                            Likewise if foriegn workers were imported, the company would be taxed for that worker, and in addition, said foriegn worker must be covered with the same medical, vacation, holiday benefits, and wages or the domestic worker. In other words, there would be no profiteering off the backs of the worker and no domestic worker would be replaced "because the foriegner is cheaper".

                            Surely there would be some exception, in the case where there is traditionally no domestic workforce (like in the agricultural harvesting business). But even then, there must be a "fairness" of wage and benefits so that Americans are not having to compete with "slave labor".

                            Obviously prices have to go up in some products, but likewise there would be no increase in profit margins by offshoring or importing a workforce, like we do with India in the tech business.

                            On the downside for Americans, one has to be more willing to become educated to meet the job requirements. We also have to recognize that wage demands have to be more fair. What we have recently witnessed with General Motors is a joke. We don't pay workers to not work and we shouldn't be paying $75 an hour for people to turn a wrench... just because a Unionized effort has a stanglehold on the company. Skill levels and proper wages need to be balanced... and that goes triple for management! There is not a single individual on this planet who is worth $20 million dollars a year for a so-called job!

                            But understand that I'm talking wages here, not benefits. Benefits need to be equal within a company, but wages need to be focussed on the value to the business and as a percentage of the final product price.

                            I look at money as a very limited commodity. If there is someone making these obsurd amounts, then it is obvious that they are stealing from the rest of us. That is a clear case in the financial community and certainly on Wall street. You can't pay me a mere 3% on my money and then turn around and pay the top executives $millions.

                            The bottom line is that the American worker and the foriegn worker both have value. But we need to understand and make enforceable that no sacrifise should be made off the backs of the American workers sweat and blood for the sake of management or stockholders profit, or for human and environmental responsibilities.

                            Likewise, all countries and their busninesses need to understand that they have a responsibility which they should be legally held to, by thier governments and by the world trade organization, to benefit their domestic workforce, first and foremost. Rich, powerful countries do NOT HAVE the RIGHT to impoverish either thier own workforce or the workforce of another less powerful country.

                            Things are very wrong on this planet and in this country (and others too). Wars are too often spawned out of corporate greed and the casualties are rarely part of the executive class, but most always from the ranks of the labor force. The American worker has sacrifised a lot in the last three decades. The middle class is almost gone as the richest of the rich sucks our economy and our livelyhood dry. We need to stop blaming foreign workers who are doing nothing but trying to make ends meet, like we are? Instead, we need to ask ourselves, "At what point do we take our anger to the doorsteps of those responsible?"

                            CWS

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Using school to kick the can down the road.

                              Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
                              Frank,

                              Now there I must agree with you. But as it appears that we agree, the fault is not on the other end, it's with us. I guess then that my point would be to let's not single out China, as India and Japan, and Germany and France and others are not far behind.

                              But to a solution... IF I WERE KING (joking of course)... no company would be able to import into this country unless they could prove (with oversight) that they paid a regionally proper living wage and that they were environmentally responsible. Beyond that I wouldn't care what their politics were, as long as they met the rules of international decency and human rights. They don't necessarily have to have a freedom to vote, but they do need to live without fear and without the basic human wants.

                              Regarding American companies, NO American-based company could move their manufacturing facitlities to any country, unless such facility met all U.S. environmental and human safety laws. Wages must meet the regional requirements as previously mentioned, but the benefit package must equal that of thier U.S. workforce. No U.S. company could escape their responsibilities or increase their profitability by cheating their workforce through "off-shoring".

                              On top of that, there should be a labor excise tax charged directly to any company that hires a foriegn worker or exports a job to a foriegn worker.

                              Obviously business would hate this, but you can be assured that your job or my job would not go overseas, unless we didn't have the skills required. And if that occurred, the company would be taxed for that move and such taxes would go for the training of the domestic workforce.

                              Likewise if foriegn workers were imported, the company would be taxed for that worker, and in addition, said foriegn worker must be covered with the same medical, vacation, holiday benefits, and wages or the domestic worker. In other words, there would be no profiteering off the backs of the worker and no domestic worker would be replaced "because the foriegner is cheaper".

                              Surely there would be some exception, in the case where there is traditionally no domestic workforce (like in the agricultural harvesting business). But even then, there must be a "fairness" of wage and benefits so that Americans are not having to compete with "slave labor".

                              Obviously prices have to go up in some products, but likewise there would be no increase in profit margins by offshoring or importing a workforce, like we do with India in the tech business.

                              On the downside for Americans, one has to be more willing to become educated to meet the job requirements. We also have to recognize that wage demands have to be more fair. What we have recently witnessed with General Motors is a joke. We don't pay workers to not work and we shouldn't be paying $75 an hour for people to turn a wrench... just because a Unionized effort has a stanglehold on the company. Skill levels and proper wages need to be balanced... and that goes triple for management! There is not a single individual on this planet who is worth $20 million dollars a year for a so-called job!

                              But understand that I'm talking wages here, not benefits. Benefits need to be equal within a company, but wages need to be focussed on the value to the business and as a percentage of the final product price.

                              I look at money as a very limited commodity. If there is someone making these obsurd amounts, then it is obvious that they are stealing from the rest of us. That is a clear case in the financial community and certainly on Wall street. You can't pay me a mere 3% on my money and then turn around and pay the top executives $millions.

                              The bottom line is that the American worker and the foriegn worker both have value. But we need to understand and make enforceable that no sacrifise should be made off the backs of the American workers sweat and blood for the sake of management or stockholders profit, or for human and environmental responsibilities.

                              Likewise, all countries and their busninesses need to understand that they have a responsibility which they should be legally held to, by thier governments and by the world trade organization, to benefit their domestic workforce, first and foremost. Rich, powerful countries do NOT HAVE the RIGHT to impoverish either thier own workforce or the workforce of another less powerful country.

                              Things are very wrong on this planet and in this country (and others too). Wars are too often spawned out of corporate greed and the casualties are rarely part of the executive class, but most always from the ranks of the labor force. The American worker has sacrifised a lot in the last three decades. The middle class is almost gone as the richest of the rich sucks our economy and our livelyhood dry. We need to stop blaming foreign workers who are doing nothing but trying to make ends meet, like we are? Instead, we need to ask ourselves, "At what point do we take our anger to the doorsteps of those responsible?"

                              CWS
                              CWS, we do agree on quite a bit. Even as a Union man I see no win situation on having a "strangle hold" on an employer. I agree legislation is one way to keep our country strong and Americans employed. I place no blame on foreign workers, they have my sympathy for brutal and unsafe working conditions. As to your last line, the best I can manage right now is my vote. Last election I voted democrat to show my displeasure with the administration. You can bet I will vote soild republican in the coming elections. I can only hope if more people vote like me, politicians will begin to understand that it is our agenda and not that of their party that needs attention. No disrespect to the hardworking folks around the world, but we need to plug up the leaks in the barrel of our economy and employ Americans.

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