Monday, May 13, 2013

Corporations: Americans Are Lazy Buggers, Just Like Their Forefathers

Strip mining gained popularity in 20th century as an efficient practice employed by corporations to extract profit from the Earth. 

Later in the 20th century, coal corporations came to the conclusion that it is more cost effective to tear down mountains for the goal of extracting coal, rather than ordering teams of men to dig tunnels following veins of coal. In this world that is now operated entirely on jewish principles (do what thou wilt to make a buck) such destruction is OK, provided the business doing the destruction has a share price that inflates.

 That leaves landscapes looking like this:

So what if creeks and streams and rivers and animals and humans survived for ages in the valleys below. This is how fortunes are made. Making money is the single most important endeavor we take on during out time on Earth. And it is morally reprehensible to stand in the way of corporate interests that are engaged in this remodeling activity. 

I bring this up because it is important to accept reality: America is entirely judeafied. When was the last time you heard a politician or lawyer or judge or spokesperson (or even a preacher or priest) say: "xyz is morally wrong''? In years gone by were there stated morals that were immoral? Of course. No truly moral person could enslave a fellow human, regardless if they shared the same skin color (Britain in Ireland) or not (the jewish slave trade and slavery in the US). But now we've gone way beyond false morality - we now reside in a condition Christ-based morality is mocked. Where it is acceptable to damage and destroy nature for the sake of the dollar. And, if they will destroy mountains and streams and river for a buck, isn't it then obvious that they'd sell you and your children out if it would improve their bottom line?

Should it be surprising that the same mindset that destroys nature for a dollar would, at some point, turn its sights on man?

 In some ways it has always existed (sending boys off to foreign lands to kill and be killed to chants of 'Onward Christian Soldiers!') but it was usually either hidden or justified. Physical and sexual abuse of boys and girls took place behind closed doors. Killing Natives was accepted because they were 'savages'. Doing it (whatever 'it' may be) to others.  But as we learned in this previous post, the same immoral behaviour became aimed by Americans at fellow Americans; though since the target was the working poor and middle class, I guess it was acceptable to those it didn't directly affect.

Politicians and the corporations who pimp them, thru their co-creation known as NAFTA, directly insured the 21 century would dawn for America with a new round of mass immigration of poor peoples from points South. These immigrants from humble roots, many of whom were left (thanks to NAFTA) unable to provide for their families at home, were given a choice. Stay at home and starve, or set off on the expensive and arduous journey to the USA in hopes of finding work and earning a living. Is it any wonder that, for the ones that survived the journey and sidestepped border agents and police, many of these immigrants were willing to undercut wages paid to lower and middle class American workers? In fact, the corporations that 'assisted' in authoring NAFTA knew the desperate immigrants would destroy the wage floor for both union and non-union jobs in the USA, leaving more American citizens reliant on government 'freebees' for their very existence. 

Now that, outside of government and small pockets of manufacturing, labor unions are nearly extinct, the same corporate interests are turning their sights on upwardly mobile Americans. Assorted high-tech and engineering-based American corporations are 'stuck' paying good wages for specialized American employees. They have taken note of the success Smithfield and others found in depressing wages thru immigration and are prepared to run a very similar con. This one centers on the H1B Visa. First though, a bit of history.

While slavery was outlawed by Lincoln in the 1860's, indentured servitude would survive for another 2 decades before being made illegal. Surprisingly(?) indentured servitude (I.S.) made a return in the early 1900's to be considered a lawful (and some argued moral) way to treat their fellow humans.  The first time I.S. was outlawed was 1885 with the passage of the Alien Contract Act, which was a response to the 'coolie' labor found primarily in the far West, imported to serve as indentured servants, sometimes for a lifetime. The Act stated it was now illegal to import aliens under contract for the performance of labor or services of any kind. Though later repealed in certain instances, The Act was an important building block for what would become in the 20th century the broad and relatively wealthy 'Middle Class' in America as it (despite having no enforcement mechanism) set the stage for labor to be marketable, which in turn (together with unionized labor) allowed the freedom for the lower classes to aspire to and create a middle class existence in America.

The Immigration Act of 1917 was another stepping stone for the budding middle class.

No people were allowed to migrate to the USA who "have been induced migrate to this country by offers or promises of employment." 

The 1917Act also imposed a head tax on immigrants and excluded immigrants over 16 who could not read at least 40 words in any language. Many farmers in California balked at the Act, claiming they just couldn't find Americans willing to do the work. Yes, this was 100 years ago! Because your great-great granddaddies were lazy and unwilling to perform manual labor and because they were awash in food stamps and welfare.  No, wait, there were no government issued 'freebees' back then -zero- and still farmers claimed to be unable to find enough cheap labor! "... An exception to the Immigration Act of 1917 (was passed).  US farmers who could demonstrate that they faced labor shortages were permitted to recruit Mexican workers who could remain in the United States for up to one year. These Mexican workers had contracts that required them to remain with the farmer who recruited them, but they had to repay growers if they grower paid their transportation. Many Mexican workers arrived in debt, and piled up more debt at stores operated by US farmers (the 'Company Store', famously despised by coal miners, was alive and well on the West Coast, too). There was a great deal of Mexican dissatisfaction with the program by the time it ended in 1922."

By WWII farming and railroad interests were again calling on Congress to change immigration policy, because Americans who weren't stuck killing and/or bleeding to death in Jewish War II were apparently too loafish and refused to put in day's work for a day's pay.  I guess those great granddaddies of the old days produced some real lazy granddads of ours. Thus migration was again opened to Chinese and other Asians, and Native Americans were (finally) allowed to naturalize.

President George H.W. Bush's signing of the "Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1990" is often considered the day H-1B was born. 

Under the 1990 Act Visas for employment-based immigrants rose to 140,000 from the 58,000 cap established in 1976. The 1990 Act set an annual cap of 65,000 non-immigrants entering the U.S. under H-1B visas.The Act also required employers to pay H-1B workers the prevailing wage. In addition, the 1990 Act created three other new visa categories for skilled temporary workers--the H-1A visa for nurses and O and P visas for prominent scientists, educators, artists, athletes and entertainers. [4] A cap of 25,000 visas per year was placed on the annual number of newly created "P visas" available for foreign workers in the entertainment industry. [14]
When the H-1B visa was created in 1990, the 1952 requirement that the visa was temporary was removed. H-1B became a dual-intent visa which allowed the foreign worker to remain in the U.S. while applying for permanent residency (green card). 

American labor unions had traditionally been against granting visas to foreigners as they correctly deduced the obvious: an influx of foreign labor decreases the wages corporations have to pay to hire an employee for a specific job. This should be obvious to everyone - we're repeatedly told by our media and politicians that both legal and illegal immigrants 'do the jobs Americans won't do'... with the implication being that Americans are lazy, shiftless, mouth breathing bozos. In fact, legal and illegal immigrants 'do the jobs Americans won't do for the wage being offered' would be a more honest assessment. "No American will perform farm work... no American will work in a slaughterhouse... no American will wash dishes in a restaurant....." Americans will perform any work, no matter how miserable or mundane, if they consider the rate of pay per hour to be commensurate with the work. The corporate farm can't find American men and women to pick and pack their tomatoes? There's one reason and one reason only for their difficulty - they aren't offering a rate of pay that is attractive to prospective workers. Cesar Chavez, a third generation American and labor organizer of farm workers said: 
"... when the farm workers strike and their strike is successful, the employers go to Mexico and have unlimited, unrestricted use of illegal alien strikebreakers to break the strike. And, for over 30 years, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has looked the other way and assisted in the strikebreaking. I do not remember one single instance in 30 years where the Immigration service has removed strikebreakers. ... The employers use professional smugglers to recruit and transport human contraband across the Mexican border for the specific act of strikebreaking..."

It is beside the point but nonetheless interesting to note that professional human smugglers have been at work for decades and the federal government routinely turned a blind eye to the practice. Since a few cavemen with superhuman piloting skills attacked us for our freedoms in 2001, however, the very same federal government has made a big deal about building fences across the SW and hiring more and more agents to 'keep America safe' from an act to which they turned a blind eye whenever corporate interests told them to. 

In the present day, H1B visas have been limited to a ceiling of 85,000 issued per year. Now though, with Microsoft leading the charge, we're being told that there just aren't enough Americans with the adequate brainpower and education to fill all the positions currently open, and that many more thousands of visas just have to be issued right away in order to mitigate this 'crisis'.

Brad Smith is a lawyer for Microsoft. Recently he took his sob story to DC: Microsoft unveiled a lobbying push on Thursday to produce more applicants with the skills to fill technology and engineering jobs.

The proposal would boost visas for high-skilled foreign workers and invest millions of dollars in federal funding for education.

Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel and executive vice president, said at a press briefing that the lack of qualified job applicants is "approaching the dimensions of a genuine crisis" for tech companies.

It is not just a crisis, it is a 'genuine crisis'! 
As of this time last year, Microsoft was sitting on about $50 Billion dollars of cash - Apple twice that amount. If, as the mouthpiece Brad Smith claims, Microsoft and other tech corporations and chemical manufacturers just can't find Americans with the education to do what they want, why doesn't Microsoft begin training American citizens with a small portion of that $50,000,000,000 that's hidden under their mattress? Isn't it reasonable to expect a wildly successful corporation to 'invest in the future' by investing in Americans?

Bill Gates has been beating the drum for the importation of ever greater numbers of foreigners to work in the USA. In fact, Gates has gone so far as to argue there should be no cap whatsoever on the number of H1B visas issued each year. Gates claims it would be just grand for the USA if his company were able to hire as many foreigners as it wished. "My basic view is that an infinite number of people coming, who are taking jobs that pay over $100,000 a year, y'know, they're gonna pay taxes, we create lots of other jobs around those people. My basic view is the country should welcome as many of those people as we can get." (link: 

This is remarkable. If one takes Gates at face value, we learn there are an infinite number of jobs, sitting open, unfilled, in the USA that pay over $100,000 per year. Otherwise, why argue for unlimited visas? Further, Gates can apparently create a lot of other jobs that 'feed' off this great plethora of unfilled jobs. So if we simply allow Gates and our other great corporate minds to import as much third world labor as they want, we'll have such an economic boom we'll need even more folks to fill all the ancillary jobs that were created and thus have to invite even more foreigners to work in the US.  Who knew the answer to a busted economy and stagnant employment opportunities was to bring in more labor? I really want to believe and trust in Gate's brilliance - he's the richest guy in the US and we all know the richer one is, the smarter one is - but perhaps we should first consider a few points:

1) Corporations currently pay a 'fee' for each H1B visa-holder they import. The tax is $1,500. Microsoft claimed, in return for many more H1B visas to be issued, that the fee should be increased to $10,000 and that the money raised should go to fund the education of Americans: 

US software giant Microsoft Corporation has suggested a whopping fee of $10,000 (over Rs 5 lakh) for a new category of H1B visas and $15,000 (more than Rs 7.5 lakh) for permanent residency or Green Card.
Both the new categories of H-1B and Green Cards, according to the Microsoft plan, would have an annual capacity of 20,000 and would be restricted to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
According to Microsoft, the proposed hike could see nearly $5billion raised in over a decade. The money thus raised, according to the US company, would be used for the STEM education programs."

Yet some are claiming Microsoft conned them into supporting the increased numbers of visas  and there's no intention of collecting the $10K per head tax
A member of a powerful DC-based coalition of education and labor groups says Microsoft tricked him and others into opening the door to the Immigration Innovation Act, a federal bill that would promote the offshore outsourcing of American jobs.
"It was a classic bait and switch," says the source, a member of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education Coalition, an umbrella organization of some 500 corporate, labor, and education groups that was cofounded by Microsoft. The source, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of jeopardizing his relationships with allies on Capitol Hill, described Microsoft's approach to the bill as "lobbying malpractice."
Though Microsoft did nothing illegal, it appears to have run afoul of its would-be allies by making the bill a vehicle for for significantly looser immigration restrictions—thereby putting its own interests ahead of those of the education and labor groups it had seduced by promising something more palatable.
For more than a decade, Microsoft has supplemented its American-born workforce with foreigners who come to the US on temporary H-1B work visas. The federal government offers just 65,000 H-1B visas each year, however, and in prosperous years the cap quickly maxes out. In September, the software giant claimed it couldn't fill some 6,000 domestic jobs due to a shortage of qualified Americans and a lack of available visas.
The company proposed a novel workaround: If the federal government would raise the H1-B cap by 20,000 additional visas and make available an equal number of additional green cards, Microsoft said it would be willing to pay nearly four times the usual fees, handing over $10,000 per H-1B visa and $15,000 per green card. It called its proposal the National Talent Strategy because the additional revenue—more than $500 million annually—would be used to fund STEM education programs around the country.
For political support, Microsoft turned to the STEM coalition, a powerful force on Capitol Hill. Its members include corporations such as Time Warner Cable, education nonprofits such as the National Science Teachers Association, and labor advocates such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Last year, the coalition spent nearly $250,000 lobbying Congress on education issues. But the coalition may have had yet another allure for the tech giant: Its executive director, James Brown, lobbies legislators directly on behalf of Microsoft.
In early December, Microsoft got what it wanted: The coalition signed a letter expressing support for funding STEM education "through a targeted increase in high skilled foreign worker visas and green cards coupled with a significant new contribution by companies…that together would total more than $500 million annually."
With the coalition in its corner, Microsoft approached a bipartisan group of senators to craft what would become the Immigration Innovation, or "I-Squared" Act. And that's where the alleged "lobbying malpractice" came in. The act, as promised, would boost the caps on visas and green cards and use the fees to pay for STEM education. But in a crucial difference that has angered some of Microsoft's would-be allies, the bill would nearly quintuple the number of available visas—raising the cap to 300,000—and charge companies far less for them: as little as $1,825 apiece.
Microsoft, which helped draft the bill, appeared pleased with the end result. "Today's introduction in the Senate of the bipartisan Immigration Innovation Act is a major step forward," Brad Smith, the company's general counsel and executive vice president said in a January press release issued by Compete America, a coalition of tech companies such as Microsoft and outsourcing firms such as Deloitte. "Microsoft strongly supports this legislation and urges Congress to send broader immigration reform that includes these solutions to the President's desk this year."
But to labor groups and some educators, the difference between Microsoft's original offer and what it delivered was night and day. Charging $10,000 for a visa would have priced outsourcing firms out of the market, but charging less than $2,000 while vastly raising the cap would most likely do the opposite.
As it stands, nearly half of the 65,000 H-1B visas issued last year went to offshore outsourcing firms such as Tata and Infosys, which often train foreigners in the United States before hooking them up with jobs with American companies overseas. Moreover, research suggests that a glut of H-1B visas would depress tech wages—bad news for anyone who cares about cultivating science and math students in the United States; the threat of more job competition from foreigners and a lower future earnings potential, the thinking goes, may discourage American students from pursuing careers in those fields.
Under ordinary circumstances, you'd expect a group like the STEM Education Coalition to lobby for higher visa fees and fewer visas, but Brown, the executive director, demurred. "Immigration is not really [the coalition's] focus area," he explained in an interview. "Our interest is just this notion of companies contributing to the long-term solution" to a lack of education funding.
Jodi Peterson, the STEM coalition's chairwoman, told me that she was unaware that Brown also lobbied for Microsoft. "I don't know much about the immigration issue," she confessed.
A lobbyist who works on immigration issues described Microsoft's handling of the education groups as masterful. "They're not a multibillion-dollar company for nothing," he told me.

2) What about all those jobs sitting unfilled around the USA for want of qualified applicants? Surely it is essential for our economic sake that they are filled sooner rather than later - and so what if foreigners take the positions? If Americans are too stupid to qualify, well, that's our own damn fault. 
Except maybe that's a load of bullshit, too. 
A few years ago, the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer informed hundreds of tech workers at its Connecticut R&D facilities that they'd soon be laid off. Before getting their final paychecks, however, they'd need to train their replacements: guest workers from India who'd come to the United States on H-1B visas. "It's a very, very stressful work environment," one soon-to-be-axed workertold Connecticut's The Day newspaper. "I haven't been able to sleep in weeks."
Established in 1990, the federal H-1B visa program allows employers to import up to 65,000 foreign workers each year to fill jobs that require "highly specialized knowledge." The Senate's bipartisan Immigration Innovation Act of 2013, or "I-Squared Act," would increase that cap to as many as 300,000 foreign workers. "The smartest, hardest-working, most talented people on this planet, we should want them to come here," Sen. Marco Rubio, (R-Fla.) said upon introducing the bill last month. "I, for one, have no fear that this country is going to be overrun by Ph.D.s."
To be sure, America's tech economy has long depended on foreign-born workers. "Immigrants have founded 40 percent of companies in the tech sector that were financed by venture capital and went on to become public in the U.S., among them Yahoo, eBay, Intel, and Google," writes Laszlo Bock, Google's senior VP of "people operations," which, along with other tech giants such as HP and Microsoft, strongly supports a big increase in H-1B visas. "In 2012, these companies employed roughly 560,000 workers and generated $63 billion in sales."

But in reality, most of today's H-1B workers don't stick around to become the next Albert Einstein or Sergey Brin.ComputerWorld revealed last week that the top 10 users of H-1B visas last year were all offshore outsourcing firms such as Tata and Infosys. Together these firms hired nearly half of all H-1B workers, and less than 3 percent of them applied to become permanent residents. "The H-1B worker learns the job and then rotates back to the home country and takes the work with him," explains Ron Hira, an immigration expert who teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology. None other than India's former commerce secretary once dubbed the H-1B the "outsourcing visa."

Of course, the big tech companies claim H-1B workers are their last resort, and that they can't find qualified Americans to fill jobs. Pressing to raise the visa cap last year, Microsoft pointed to 6,000 job openings at the company.

Yet if tech workers are in such short supply, why are so many of them unemployed or underpaid? According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), tech employment rates still haven't rebounded to pre-recession levels. And from 2001 to 2011, the mean hourly wage for computer programmers didn't even increase enough to beat inflation.

The ease of hiring H-1B workers certainly hasn't helped. More than 80 percent of H-1B visa holders are approved to be hired at wages below those paid to American-born workers for comparable positions, according to EPI. Experts who track labor conditions in the technology sector say that older, more expensive workers are particularly vulnerable to being undercut by their foreign counterparts. "You can be an exact match and never even get a phone call because you are too expensive," says Norman Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of California-Davis. "The minute that they see you've got 10 or 15 years of experience, they don't want you."

A 2007 study by the Urban Institute concluded that America was producing plenty of students with majors in science, technology, engineering, and math (the "STEM" professions)—many more than necessary to fill entry-level jobs. Yet Matloff sees this changing as H-1B workers cause Americans to major in more-lucrative fields such as law and business. "In terms of the number of people with graduate degrees in STEM," he says, "H-1B is the problem, not the solution."
Even detractors of the H-1B visa program concede that it can fill important roles, such as encouraging brilliant foreigners to permanently relocate to the United States. EPI immigration expert Daniel Costa suggests a couple of tweaks to the I-Squared Act: Require employers to prove that they've tried to recruit Americans before applying for foreign workers, and make sure that H-1B workers get paid as much as Americans do for comparable jobs. "If that was fixed," he says, "I think it would be a different story."
As it stands, though, there are plenty of stories like the one Jennifer Wedel told to President Barack Obama last year (see video below). "My husband has an engineering degree with over ten years of experience," the Fort Worth resident told the president during a web chat hosted by the social network Google+. "Why does the government continue to issue and extend H-1B visas when there are tons of Americans just like my husband with no job?"
"We should get his résumé and I will forward it to some of these companies, " Obama replied.
But more than two months later, Wedel's husband was still looking for a job. 

Obama ain't much of a headhunter, either....

So here we see the truth behind H1B visas and can further understand why Microsoft and Google and Chevron and Dow Chemical and Pfizer and other corporations that routinely hire a plethora of engineers are so eager to have restrictions on the visa relaxed. They can fire current American employees, replace them with more malleable foreign 'temps' (and by malleable, understand, if a visa holder is fired or otherwise terminated from his job in the US, he's put on the boat back to his home country. If you know you'll be deported are you going to resist anything your boss orders you to do?).  Once the temp learns the job, he goes back home where the standard of living is still lower than ours here in the US (but not for long) and takes the position with him. 

As to Microsoft's (and others) claim that they just can't find qualified American employees to fill its current 6,000 openings?
....A similar thought process applies when Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith expresses alarmabout 6,000 unfilled jobs.
Well, are 6,000 openings at Microsoft higher than normal, lower than normal, or typical?
I checked. In 2006 and 2008, employment at Microsoft went up by at least 8,000 workers. More to the point, in 2009, Microsoft laid off over 5,000 workers! Plus or minus 6,000 seems typical at Microsoft.
A Microsoft human resources manager told me that their percentage acceptance rate for job offers is in low 90′s. That means Microsoft could fill more openings by making more offers.
Another measure Microsoft uses for high-tech labor shortage is that unemployment for engineers is low, compared to the country as a whole.
Putting that statistic into context, we come to the opposite conclusion.
2012-12-25-HightechunemploymentHistorically, engineering was relatively recession-proof, with unemployment running at a small fraction of unemployment overall. Not so much, anymore. Unemployment for engineering is still much worse than pre-recession levels.
Economists argue that a chronic labor shortage is technically not possible. The problem is not a shortage of workers; rather, employers are offering too little.
That’s something else we can check. Are salaries going up? Not really. Engineering salaries, college enrollment and employment have been very stable — inching up slowly — for many years.
Figure 2. High tech salaries are inching up at a tiny rate.

During the Tech Boom in 1999, we did see a real labor shortage. Employers offered signing bonuses, job applicants could negotiate, having multiple offers of employment, and workplace perks were profiled in glowing newspaper accounts. Nothing remotely like that is happening, now.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft is currently campaigning to flood the high-tech labor market by dramatically opening our immigration system to foreign high-tech workers. Microsoft’s talking points align with their policy demands for more foreign workers. However, labor market statistics and graduation rates say we have plenty of workers, a conclusion backed up by the life experience of thousands of unemployed and underemployed domestic workers.
We can duel over statistics, but a deeper issue is working here.
More and more, employers see themselves as global companies, who want “flexible” labor practices. (This is key. Many Americans still mistakenly believe that because ExxonMobil and ChaseManhattan and Microsoft and General Electric are headquartered in the US, they must be loyal to the nation. Nothing is further from the truth. These are multinational entities that operate in many foreign lands. The moment they can better their bottom lines by decamping for Tel Aviv or Moscow or Beijing, they'll do so. In the meantime, they'll continue their direct attack on what remains of the middle class because they no longer need the middle class to purchase whatever it is they produce) That means less commitment to long-term careers, more global outsourcing, and more frequent layoffs. Microsoft and other high-tech employers use legions of contractors and contingent labor. Europeans call this “precarious employment.”
The IT industry is notorious for discarding older workers, and replacing them with younger workers who are lower on the pay scale. In 1996, Intel’s chief operating officer, Craig Barrett, told his stockholders, “The half-life of an engineer … is only a few years.”
In the July 6, 2012 Wall Street Journal, 3G Studios CEO James Kosta said, “Engineers were outliving their usefulness from one project to another. When projects end, it’s better to re-evaluate your entire staff and almost just hire anew.”  
This approach may have a certain logic in the motion picture business. However, it sounds harsh when you hear it from the NASA mission commander for the Mars lander, who guided his spacecraft to a successful landing, and is now looking for work.
Years ago, employers used a different workforce strategy, based on long-term careers rather than short-term jobs. New hires needed basic skills. Once in the workplace, they would develop expertise through on-the-job training, knowledge transfer, and experience. In that view, the best job training is a job.
A retired general told me that the military also needs experienced specialists. He was often asked if he could get enough eight-year Master Sergeants? He said he could get all he wanted! It takes eight years.
Microsoft and countless other employers are making a conscious business decision to commoditize work, and turn to the labor market to satisfy their precise demand, just-in-time.
But if, as a result, they have a “problem” with labor shortage, it’s a problem of their own making.
 And, we have this: 

US chemistry graduate education needs an overhaul to address a possible glut of chemistry PhDs and other obstacles, according to a new report released by the American Chemical Society (ACS).
There is ‘significant insecurity’ about career opportunities for new graduates with chemistry degrees, warns the ACS commission that wrote the report. The panel said the economic collapse in 2008 drove much higher unemployment rates among degree holders in the chemical sciences, which have persisted through the slow recovery.
Prior to 2008, less than 2.5% of chemists at all degree levels were unemployed and seeking jobs and by 2011 that number had doubled to 4.6%, the report noted. For new chemistry graduates, the picture appears bleaker. The panel found that about 4% of new PhDs in chemistry were unemployed but seeking jobs in 2008, and that figure grew to 9% in 2011.
About half of new PhDs reported full-time permanent employment in 2008, but that figure fell to one-third in 2011. Postdoctoral work accounted for only 1.3% of all chemists in 2008, but that fraction tripled to 4.2% by 2010 and then fell back down to 2.6% in 2012...

The corporate interests, along with their collaborators in DC have effectively destroyed wages and income for the working poor and middle class in the USA. They are now prepared to do the same to the upwardly mobile (who'll be downwardly mobile soon, if not already), many of whom have accepted loans to pay for undergraduate and graduate school - loans that the Feds demand be paid back, no matter what. 

Gates and his kind care only about their bottom lines. They have no loyalty to the nation in which they reside and where they made their fortunes. They're more concerned with how to make even more billions. And care not who is destroyed in their lust for lucre.  

 A local note: 

Congrats to the Portland Winterhawks. 
Western Hockey League Champions this evening!
In Edmonton, the Hawks and Oil Kings faced off in what was the Hawks third straight trip to the finals and second  straight with the series final in Edmonton, vs. the Kings. A physical series by both teams, uptempo play for 60 minutes of all 6 games, the series was a joy to watch. The reigning champion handed over the trophy to 2013's champion. Ty Rattie, with a hat trick tonight, now singlehandedly owns the WHL's all time playoff scoring record with 50 goals. So many great young men on both teams. Mac Carruth, you proved yourself. One of the greatest ever. 

 I won't get into the fireworks that WHL commissioner Robison shot off over Portland at the beginning of this season, suffice it to say, they did not all follow the tack Robison expected. Yeah pal, you may ultimately wipe out this team and leave Portland with no choice but to bring in an NHL team, but this year you were forced to hand the Chynoweth Trophy to the Winterhawks. You did not deserve the honor.  And Edmonton fans.... I know y'all do have a NHL team so the Oil Kings are secondary to, I'd guess, 99% of you. The sparse crowd you provided for your team after they came back and beat the Winterhawks in overtime in front of a vocal full house in Portland in order to get back home alive really didn't look too good for you. One would expect fans of the defending League champions would be vocal and boisterous throughout,  whether down 3 games to 2 or a win away from the title. The players on both teams deserved better from you tonight.

Now, bring home a Memorial Cup boys! 

Here's a video of the on-ice celebration - sure would have been cool if this had taken place in the Rose Garden

A final note: 

Who is the jackass who chooses the music played over the PA system at every single sporting event in both Canada and the USA? It must be one individual, because it sure seems like the same crap gets played in every venue.  'Shook me all night long' and 'Back in black' and the other garbage you've played for the past 20 years is really dated and tiresome. And to think people used to say the organ at hockey and basketball and baseball was boring. If you are going to play music, update the playlist. There's some fine music that's been made in the last 10 years. Hire someone who actually appreciates music to choose what gets played and let him or her be inventive. Avoid 99.99% of the crap that gets radio airtime. OR, bring back the organ. But this same old garbage played at 110 decibels is boringly painful. 


  1. Darn good work!!

    I just found your blog via a comment you left at Hoffmans' On The Contrary blog. I'll be back soon.

    That's one heck of a big pile of information in this post, it will take a few days to take it all in.

  2. I appreciate you taking the time to comment, Bob, and thanks for reading (and for supporting Hoffman's work).