Posts Tagged ‘unemployment’

If you’re like most people in the United States, you’re working 60 or more hours a week and taking home less spending power.  In addition to the past decade of wage stagnation or reduction, prices of goods and services necessary to sustain life have continued rising.  Although the US inflation rate is under 2%, consumers’ ability to purchase has decreased over time specifically because of what is now called “quantative easing”.  That’s where the Federal Reserve prints money and lends it to banks for them to decide whether or not to lend it to business and individuals.  This injection of money into the system is intended to stimulate the economy to return to prosperity.  When the money is used for long term investment, reinvigorating enthusiasm and hope, this process can indeed be like a shot of adrenalin to a shock victim.

The reason we can print unlimited supply of dollars is because we no longer use gold or other uniform standard by which to establish value.  It’s like pledging a drawing of your home as collateral for the loan.  The drawing, while looking good on paper, is worth what the holder thinks its worth.  If you happen to be a famous artist, you can command big bucks for throwing paint on a canvass.  But if you are like most of us, no matter how talented you are, after two weeks on the fridge, the drawing of your house is fit for the recycle bin.  This is called the fiat money system.

I saw a music video that sums it up nicely on YouTube.

It’s time to rethink what kind of world we are creating.

There is a lot going wrong with the world today.  It is a make-or-break time in human history.  We can choose to keep believing in the American Dream with capitalism as its engine or we can look around and see it isn’t working because of one deadly sin:  Greed.  It is the responsibility of every corporation to increase shareholder wealth, at any cost.  Destroying the planet and human life is called collateral damage and tolerated as long as it costs fewer dollars.

Today’s pink slips are no longer due to insufficient volume requirements.  Employees are called upon to work longer hours, completing the work of those laid off.  Now companies terminate employees for short-term profit, making Wall Street smile.  Those left behind endure unreasonable expectations so they eliminate all “unessential” steps.  Unfortunately, the only “essential” step in business is one that immediately demonstrates revenue, regardless of quality or ethics.   When uncertainty and fear permeate the masses, decisions made by the people who comprise corporate America are directed toward self preservation, and hording becomes the norm.  Corporations reap huge profit and save, rather than invest at a time of market transformation; further eroding the foundation upon which our society is based.

Now that America, the poster child for capitalism has splatters of innocent citizen blood, the reputation celebrating democracy and capitalism is tainted.  After being exploited since the Industrial Revolution, those who developed technology, innovation and workmanship are more expensive than labor people in developing nations.  Outsourcing is the only rational decision any business executive can make because his job is to increase share holder wealth at any cost.  People’s lives are destroyed as their ability to food and shelter evaporates.  Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, cornerstones of the country, are guaranteed … according to your ability to pay.

This degree of corruption is unfathomable for a freely elected government.  Conventional wisdom suggests offenders would be exposed voted out of office.  But that isn’t the norm.  Instead, government officials that successfully keep constituents in enough fear to surrender liberties get polished by the political establishment and supported in an unimaginable web of deception.  Capitalism is supposed to reward the highest value to society but instead, bestows financial manna to whoever can market it best and make it cheapest.  In a demonic dance, corporate and government mingle until their minds are as one, focused on control of resources by the elite.  It is sad to add that the masses are considered elite resources to be controlled.

Centrally owned media fills the air waves with mentally addictive formats to establish various elite-sponsored perspectives, giving an illusion of creative thought and self-governance.  Corporations spend as much money as necessary to support specific political campaigns through elaborate marketing strategies designed to fool the public into believing government officials work for us.  Exercising voting rights is like being asked to choose which convicted sex offender to hire as your nanny.  It’s a very bad joke by the elite at the expense of the masses.

About 40 years ago, the United States Corporation abandoned the gold standard of money.  Like a credit card, fiat money can be used wisely in an investment for long-term productive reasons – as long as the balance can be paid off at a reasonable rate of interest.  Unfortunately, with the questionable practice of the Federal Reserve, a private/pseudo governmental agency, printing fiat dollars and lending them to banks, combined with fractional banking, lending many times more dollars than they have in deposits, there will never be enough money in circulation to pay off even the interest, much less the principle.  This is called a debt-based currency.

Our fiat system of money has been an open credit card for the wealthy and influential interests of the world.  They took us off the farms with self-sufficient life styles to make them richer, creating a dependent on corporate America to earn our daily bread.  As reward for our success, millions of once productive members of society fall toward poverty through unemployment while everyone else works at least full-time and a half, just to scrape by.

This is not an American problem alone.  The world money supply is based on the American dollar.  Unemployment, famine, disease and homelessness encroach upon an ever increasing mass of people all over the earth.  People are organizing against injustice, peacefully demonstrating in large numbers at government and businesses around the world.  The good news is that there are more of us than there are of them.  We still have a voice and we’re raising it in unity with diverse and distant people across the globe.  Our hope is in the numbers.

If you work harder and longer for less, look at the unemployed and see your future.  Will it be in 5 years, 5 months or 5 days?  I don’t know.  But if you think you’re immune, you’re probably not.  Skills, experience and education mean nothing when your industry gets flushed.  Or a computer program you designed to make yourself more productive is operated by a clerk you hired and then you get the axe.  After 6 months or a year of diligent job searching, your next best thing might be at 50% of your former wage.  Governments also reduce their workforce as more and more people require services.  But that’s okay because funding to feed the hungry, house the homeless and provide medical care for the unfortunate is vanishing anyway.  Just about no one is “safe” from the economic collapse.  Any perceived financial stability you have is a mirage.

If you work harder for less, look around and see how many other people are feeling the same way.  Then look at those people whose job you’re doing to make your company rich and realize the unemployed people are not to blame for your suffering.  They are early collateral damage in the middle class meltdown.  Fiat money is the vehicle used to transport your investment dollars and work hours into the pockets of very rich.

You can either read this and say “they can take care of themselves or die” because you’re already busting your tail just to lose ground or you can consider yourself fortunate, do your own research about demonstrations, petitions, legislation, wars, etc. and join with others taking action to make the world better for everyone.

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Fact:  It is an employer’s market and the system is imperfect. All of us, recruiters, job seekers, hiring managers, small businesses and people who still have jobs are part of the system. Every day people comprise the majority stake holders at any major corporation. The few major shareholders employ every day people to engage activities that affect other every day people.  We all get consumed with out own concerns, identifying with that which earns our income and often contribute to the agenda of powers that (think they) be unknowingly.  Have you ever thought about how what you do in the name of your employer affects every day people?

The middle class has unknowingly been at war with existing power structures for as long as there has been a middle class. When industry needed labor, it encouraged people to abandon family farms to become dependent on selling labor in return for food, shelter and medical care. For many years, the United States demonstrated the ideals of Capitalism, becoming an industrial and a technological leader.  Many of us buy into these beliefs and do what we can to attain “financial freedom”, even when it means treating our fellow middle-class citizens unfairly.

Every-day people established labor unions to set fair labor standards. The middle class began to enjoy ‘free time’, buying toys and contraptions to occupy this discretionary time.  Consumerism was born.  Throughout the invasion of Japanese cars, the introduction of Pac Man, Disco, Heavy Metal and Hip-Hop Music, middle class Americans maintained an illusion of expansion.  Credit was available to anyone that ‘could fog a mirror’.  When overtime was cut, we financed this lifestyle on credit cards …until the elite took a major withdrawal of middle class wealth from the financial markets in October of 2008 and credit dried up.  Most everyone believes the cycle nature of the economy is natural and try to retain our life styles during the down turns.

Although ‘Globalization’ has been confused with greedy redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the elite, the idea is to tap locally abundant natural resources and make them available for the good of the entire planet.  For example, the mid-western American states can efficiently grow food.  If the global system worked for the good of all, farmers would not be paid by the government to refrain from growing food.  They would not destroy ‘excess crop’.  What can be considered ‘excess crop’ when there are millions of starving people, some in shadow towns like Detroit?

Globalization was promoted as the wave of the future, as agents of the elite manipulated legislation to enabled giant corporations to reduce the American labor force.  American plants closed to reopen in countries with abusive or non-existant labor protection laws and minimal environmental protection.  Corporations market themselves as saviors, raising the living standard and bringing hope to developing nations.  At first glance, it looks like a good thing, to improve lives in impoverished countries.  However, raising the standard of living in one country by lowering another, results in zero net benefit; or worse.  Unfortunately, we have become so bombarded with “information” that we create blinders and focus on only that which affects us personally.

Especially because so many American people can not find living wages, now is the time to come together and demand Industry be held accountable for greed, deception and fraud, government execute the public agenda and to empower ourselves against the abuses causing this economic meltdown.  Individual power is limited.  Have you ever felt helpless to change the system?  Perhaps that is by design.  The current social systems serve to divide and conquer every-day people into socially contrived ‘Us’ vs. ‘Them’ camps, limiting cooperation and therefore, perceived power to affect change.  In other words, it is in the best interest of wealthy players to maintain status quo and the best way to do that is to convince everyone else that there is nothing they can do about it.

When every-day people experience injustice, 99.99% of the time, the injustice is perpetrated by another every day person working in fear, hoping to maintain a means to buy food, shelter and medicine. One person may be a collection agent and the other a laid off auto worker, but they are both one, in a sea of masses, playing adversarial roles within the fabricated social structure, designed to benefit the obscenely rich.  It is in the interest of Big-Business to manage a fear-based society, by withholding life-sustaining necessities and to foster a divisive social structure.

I think about how I’ve made decisions throughout my life.  When I was a child, I wanted to pursue my passion as a source of living.  Everything I learned about capitalism said we all had the freedom to do what we love as our contribution to society and earn a life style to the extent we provided a quality product or service.  However, my parents, concerned for my ability to support myself, encouraged me to become educated in a field that offered unlimited opportunity; business.  I didn’t realize it then but looking back, I see how I decided to get an undergraduate and graduate degree in business administration out of fear – of being poor.  I made employment decisions to avoid adversity, rather than move toward abundance.

These past few years have become a scary time.  It is important to acknowledge these fears, strengthen personal and professional networks and change the way we think about employment.  Employment is selling time in return for the privilege of life.  Business exploits desperate people, lowering wages to 1970’s levels as executive pay and corporate cash reserves increase.  They flock to states with the highest unemployment rates, anticipating crowds willing to work on straight commission or at near poverty rates – then indignantly demand the elimination of unemployment compensation.  Some suggest eliminating minimum wage to solve the unemployment problem, as if working, not living was the objective.  Many people will agree you have no choice.  Don’t believe it.

Every day people can negotiate, learn to value their own time and talents and refuse to participate in systemic corruption.  That means recognizing that every business exploits human and natural resources to profit.  Exploit means to earn more dollars from the resource than it costs.  This is reasonable and in fact, necessary in any sort of capitalistic or trade-based society.  In order for it to work for the good of everyone, employees must earn enough money to live a balanced life.  When well-meaning friends and family suggest former executives take “anything” at any rate, just to feel like you have a purpose, smile and nod politely then flush that advice.  Few legitimate low-wage employers want someone who will quit as soon as possible.  Hiring managers in fear of their own job don’t want to hire someone who could replace them in a heart beat.  Besides, what sense of purpose is generated when someone who followed the rules of capitalism is forced take work he hates for insufficient pay due to no fault of his own?

Refusal to participate in systemic corruption applies to personal decisions about minimum standards for employment.  Employees often think of the Corporation as the only player setting standards, failing to accept responsibility for their own choices.  When you feel squeezed to accept unreasonable terms, you are in victim consciousness; desperation.  To reclaim personal power, answer the question ‘Do you work to live or live to work?  Unless people are passionate about work, they work to live. Life requires sufficient income and time off to enjoy life.  If possible, refrain from making employment decisions that do not provide for the means to enjoy life.

If you used to make $75,000 a year, you might consider $55,000 – $60,000 in this market but not $25,000 in his field of expertise using transferable skills.  Don’t even apply for full time work that will not provide for a reasonable life style, based on personal qualifications as well as the market.  If the job posting doesn’t include a salary range and you get an unacceptable offer, make a counter offer.  Working full time for less than enough to survive increases your stress levels by adding a lousy job to continued financial challenges.  It can eliminate time for job searches, family and pursuing passions that may provide for long term financial stability.  It is also unfair to your employer because you won’t be giving your best.

Accepting employment or employing people for far less money and benefits when nothing but the price of a new house has decreased is destructive to the employer and society.  Stressed employees make lots of mistakes, are less than fully productive, can cause quality and safety violations resulting in financial penalties to employers.  They focus on short term personal benefit rather than long term company success.  These people may have more than one job, working excessive hours instead of getting sleep and having fun.  This makes us less effective at providing quality, quantity and service required for a respectable corporate reputation.

Part-time or contract work can be better than no work.  It might lead to full time or facilitate finding better work.  However, specifically because employers do not pay benefits to part time employees, part-time or contract employees need to earn a higher wage than ½ a reasonable full-time job.  Accepting work for less than is fair and reasonable perpetuates the recession and long-term success of the country because without discretionary income you can’t stimulate the local economy, save for the future or fully contribute your unique talent to improve the world.

Practically no one is paid to stop the corruption and fraud plaguing the world. The only reasonably way to fight against corruption is to refuse to participate and take action to correct injustice. If that means earning less money than through unscrupulous and ruthless means, so be it.  It takes regular people reporting illegal and dangerous activities embedded in business, education, non-profit, religion and government to initiate corrective action.  Every decision every person makes in every-day activities contributes to the problem or the solution.

When we act out of fear, we contribute to the problem. When we act out of compassion, we contribute to the solution. Fear-based actions include standard ‘fight-or-flight’ responses as well as subtle actions with well thought rationale, having roots in unconscious programming.  Actions based in compassion include standard and subtle implications too.  For example, many people pursue professions based on the model ‘find out what they are buying and sell it to them’.  It is a perfectly rational model until the intentional manipulation of consumers is factored in and we realize people will buy what ever enough advertising, marketing, promotion and lobbying yield convinces them they need, and that it will change based on the agenda of businesses with the most money.

I propose and live by a different model that says ‘If you have a passion within your heart, there is someone that needs you to express it’.  That means hobbies can become a primary source of income.  Let the magnitude of that sink in.  While it is not always a means to address an immediate need, there is always a way to make a living doing what we love.  Love-based decisions move us toward what we want, whereas fear-based decisions move us away from what we don’t want.  Because love expands and fear contracts, we become more than we were when acting out of love and less of our true selves in fear.

Rational factors, such as consumer demand, competitors, barriers to entry, expected return on investment and investment recuperation period are all important considerations.  They are measurable, coming in all sorts of charts, graphs with any number of text-book theories.  Unfortunately, information is often intentionally manipulated, rendering it deceptive.  At best, rational factors demonstrate historical results from measured indicators.  Rationale can not verify proper weight given to intuition, predict synchronicity or rectify thousands of years mass-programming that work is not supposed to be fun.  With the current speed of intellectual progress, history can not predict the magnitude of human potential for an unprecedented consciousness evolution of every day people.  Trust your intuition and follow the path it urges you to go.

Regardless of man’s ability to measure, every action we take matters, regardless of apparent results. These seemingly insignificant actions form a collective of other right-action and it makes a difference.  One voice is drowned out by the loud clanks of a machine called status quo.  But a chorus of voices persistently singing harmoniously to a new song can draw a crowd.  When a crowd gets big enough, the fields of injustice are trampled, making room for a new crop.  Society needs to plant new seeds.

Make your voice heard by contacting those claiming to be ‘public servants’ with views, opinions, concerns and demands.   Speak or write with authority.  Government works for the people, even if the system is compromised.  Call the White House switch board at 202-456-1414 and leave a passionate message to the President.

Research concerns.  Read about history not found in school books.  Write letters to editors, news stations; comment on articles and in blogs.  Join causes that match your beliefs.  Refrain from subscribing to ‘group think’, also know as ‘herd mentality’.  Network with like minds.  Build vocational relationships.  Sharpen critical thinking skills.  Ask tough questions.  Refuse to accept lame excuses and unnecessarily complicated explanations.  If you don’t understand, know it is intentionally planned.  Ask again.  Confront abusers directly, with compassion.  Stand up for your rights and follow your dreams, no matter how futile it feels.

Don’t entrust your fate to unemployment predictions or your livelihood on the whim of an employer.  Use employment as a means to your ends and do something you enjoy as you develop your hobby into a career.  Negotiate fair terms and give employers a little more than agreed.  Think about the affect your actions have on other every day people at work, in social groups and in your personal decisions.  Be loyal first to yourself, knowing with certainty fair employment provides for a balanced life.

Acknowledge fear and its derivatives doubt, anxiety and confusion without judgment.  Fear in its most basic state is a natural signal that action is required.  Don’t ignore or cover it up. Discover it.  Personal introspection, development and acting on faith leads to empowered, right-action.  But the road to survival in the 21st Century job market isn’t straight.  In addition to the curves of a normal scenic route, expect U-turns due to construction.  It’s easy to try a new way of living for a day, week or month but slip back into fear when you don’t see immediate results.  Be committed to a new way of thinking as a way of life, not a short term experiment.  When you seem to “fail” at meeting your objective, realize you have more inner work to do.

In order to survive the 21st Century job market, you need to do extraordinary things.  It begins with a personal inventory of skills and talents.  Knowing your self and personal passion is an on-going project.  Anything within your soul demanding expression is something others require.  Packaging and marketing takes time, effort and defiant persistence.

Go back to school, follow your passion and stop trusting business or government to rescue you. Stop thinking you are informed because you watch the corporate-owned news. Stop believing you can’t do anything to improve your life. Take your unemployment as an opportunity to open your own business, go to school or become socially active.  Learn new skills to keep your mind sharp and developing.

This is a ‘make-or-break moment’ in human history.  The powers that (think they) be have been and want to continue to be in control.  If the middle class hadn’t taken such a blow with the market crash, wage reductions and unemployment, after decades of wealth-reduction, the elite would have had a better chance to slowly bleed the masses to death without anyone noticing.  So let’s make this time the proverbial ‘rope’ by which systemic greed and deception ‘hangs it’.  Learn to recognize this period of uncertainty as a wake-up call, when every day people do extraordinary things, have confidence in yourself and fulfill your dreams.