Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Great "Job Training" Hoax

What do you do with an unemployed sociology grad? Make him/her a job training counselor. Just as good as any other do-gooder scam. But, let’s focus on job training.

First, a really serious flaw in the way the American economy works is that there is an insufficiency of entry-level opportunities. Why? Mostly because of totally moronic minimum wage legislation… perpetrated by economically ignorant tyrants… who will continue to demagogue their “mine don’t stink” point of view into the grave. The balance is due to a complete lack of real world skills as part of the union thug government run educational curriculum.

I was a general partner in an Oakland based printing company for twenty-two years. I trained countless individuals in various aspects of graphic arts. Hence my point: Employers should do the training… at their own expense. But they can’t… because minimum wage laws have scrubbed entry level jobs from the menu.

What do we do with all the “at risk” kids in the public schools? In a more perfect world I would allow them to work part time in local businesses. They’d get paid a minor stipend and they’d get class credit. But, most of all they’d learn something extremely valuable: they’d learn how to be dependable. They’d learn how to show up at work on time… for every day they were scheduled to work. They’d learn how to tell the boss that they weren’t completely sure of the meaning of the instructions they were given… when necessary.

After sufficient experience these individuals would have the opportunity of enhancing their skills at local community colleges, and private technical schools. It’s OK to have a degree in sociology. But it doesn’t come with an entitlement to a remunerative career.

In my personal experience, I hired a guy from a local job training center. His task was extremely simple, requiring minimum skills. Right off the bat he essentially murdered most of his family… meaning he was always missing work to attend funerals of various relatives. One day his case worker called, wanting to know how he was doing. “We don’t know” was the answer because he hardly ever showed up. The case worker called his home. He was in his jamies watching TV.

One other case: This guy was a good worker. But his mother made him miss work all the time to do errands for her… like pick up her welfare check. He eventually joined the army to get away from the anchor chained to his ankles.

The pervasive dishonesty expressed among our political “luminaries” in describing economic disadvantage is breath taking. Career advancement is often and aptly described as a ladder. One rung at a time. Because of minimum wage laws and other punative employer mandates (viz. health care) the bottom rungs have been stripped off the ladder. It’s not as easy to climb a ladder when there’s no way to start.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Oakland To Lose Federal Funding For Poor?

Let's hope so.

One thing that more or less guarantees that you'll wind up with lots of poor people is when you construct programs that pay them to be poor.

Apparently both the Chronicle and Mayor Qunt are worried about these cuts reducing Oakland's ability to continue all its handouts to the folks who are unwilling or unable to work.

One program that appears to be of particular concern to Qunt is Head Start. I guess she's never read the research which demonstrates pretty conclusively that Head Start does nothing to improve children's later prospects. Same goes, by the way, for poor kids bussed to nicer parts of town.

The irony of all of this is that these folks are ignoring the real story this week, which is the census data indicating Oakland continues to gentrify rapidly in spite of the recession and housing crash.

Maybe instead of trying to keep its poor, Oakland should welcome this reduction in funding as an opportunity to try and attract people who actually add something to the local economy.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

OUSD Graph By Ethnicity

Take a look at this:

You can switch it around to see different ethnicities. As you can see, every year whites and latinos tick up, and blacks tick down. OUSD has lost 40% of its black population in the last decade. That's a huge decline, and sort of oddly worrying.

There must be a story here. Anyone in the mainstream media care to comment?