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View Diary: The Bifurcated Recovery (193 comments)

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  •  If you don't have a college education (16+ / 0-)

    structurally, in this economy, you are screwed.  Companies are getting rid of high school educated jobs and lots of them will never come back.

    The day when you could expect, on average, to lead a middle class lifestyle in this country with a high school diploma will be over soon.

    Great charts btw.

    "We will now proceed to construct the socialist order."

    by 7November on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:11:57 AM PST

    •  Thanks. (14+ / 0-)

      The lower you are on the socioeconomic scale, the more this Recession has hurt you, and the more permanent it looks.

      "When the going gets tough, the tough get 'too big to fail'."

      by New Deal democrat on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:13:14 AM PST

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    •  Interestingly (24+ / 0-)

      The best study of offshoring indicates that high wage jobs are likely to be as targeted as low wage jobs.  Alan Blinder wrote in the Washington Post in 2007:

      How large? In some recent research, I estimated that 30 million to 40 million U.S. jobs are potentially offshorable. These include scientists, mathematicians and editors on the high end and telephone operators, clerks and typists on the low end. Obviously, not all of these jobs are going to India, China or elsewhere. But many will.

      It's going to be painful because our country offers such a poor social safety net to cushion the blow for displaced workers. Our unemployment insurance program is stingy by first-world standards. American workers who lose their jobs often lose their health insurance and pension rights as well. And even though many displaced workers will have to change occupations -- a difficult task for anyone -- only a fortunate few will be offered opportunities for retraining. All this needs to change.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:26:26 AM PST

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      •  Accounting, radiology, legal research (13+ / 0-)

        All of these can be done overseas.

        I tell young people in college that if they are interested in the law, courtroom appearances are one thing that cannot be outsourced!

        Skilled blue collar trades like plumbing, HVAC and hair cutting also can't be outsourced.

        "When the going gets tough, the tough get 'too big to fail'."

        by New Deal democrat on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:33:20 AM PST

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        •  Radiology cannot be done overseas (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          New Deal democrat

          I'm sure you are talking about Radiolgists as they are the ones who have so far been outsourced.  The middle class workers who actually do the tests (Radiologic Technologists) cannot be outsourced.

          Sure, they can send over a chest xray or a mammogram or an MRI, but there aren't too many radiologist that are gonna cry poverty because they don't get that $17 for reading a chest xray.

          The real money in radiology is, as in other specialties, in the procedures, and procedures can't be outsourced.

      •  Production Editing (15+ / 0-)

        By large publishers is being outsourced as we speak. It's thrown my wife's work as a freelance editor into chaos. She still gets work, but in many cases her supervisor is now a 25-year old Indian communicating in a second language about an industry they know very little about, instead of a middle-aged professional with a master's degree in English.

        Don't assume college will save you (never mind that college now comes with enough debt to purchase a small home).

        •  That started happening 3 years ago. (8+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rick, tmo, bara, Pozzo, 3goldens, buddabelly, ilex, BYw

          It's when I lost my job. In production editing.

          I had to train my replacements in India whose work was full of mistakes because they don't get American idioms and usage.

          But they make a quarter of what the company paid me.

          "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

          by Brooke In Seattle on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 07:36:44 AM PST

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          •  You get what you pay for (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tmo, Pozzo, BYw

            Has anyone quantified the cost to customers or other affected people from the drop in quality of work after outsourcing? Back offices in India and China usually provide much poorer customer service in dealing with loan servicing, or answering product questions, or addressing other problems.

            Of course, the less people have to deal with Customer Service because it stinks, the more companies can get away with ripping off their customers.

            "Big Darkness, soon come"-Hunter S. Thompson

            by NoMoreLies on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:16:04 AM PST

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            •  Often there is little or no cost savings (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tmo, BYw

              When everything is factored into account. Yes, you save a lot in wages up front, But then you have to figure in things like training, supervisions, having to re-do outsourced work that was done improperly, cost overruns etc. A lot of call center jobs have been shifted back to the USA from India due to poor satisfaction. Personally, I find that the India call center workers are polite, but can only help me with the most simple inqueries. Anything beyond that has to be sent to the US call centers.

    •  You're two recessions behind. (14+ / 0-)

      White-collar jobs are being massively outsourced.

      On the other hand, it's trade certificates and other occupational credentials that are largely still employed.

      All the certified mechanics I know are doing just fine.  Can't say the same about code-monkeys.

      H.G. Wells was right. Gather your flowers or sharpen your fangs, as you will.

      by JesseCW on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:37:01 AM PST

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      •  Query though (6+ / 0-)

        as to how much work there will be for people in those trades if the outsourcing trend continues. Lots of jobs can't be sent overseas due to the need for client contact or physical presence of the worker. But what happesn if there isn't that much work for them to do, because so many people are unemployed due to outsourcing? For example,  you could have a job cleaning offices. That can't be sent to India but the jobs of those who sit in the offices you are cleaning could be and if they are, you won't be needed either.

        •  We Use In-Sourcing of Foreign Nationals (6+ / 0-)

          For jobs like cleaning offices.  This is the point of "comprehensive immigration reform."

          Adam and Eve had Iraqi birth certificates.

          by bink on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:45:00 AM PST

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          •  That's been true in the recent past (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bink, LI Mike

            but with sustained double-digit real unemployment, will it be neccessary?

            More and more US Nationals are willing to take that grave-yard job cleaning the local hospital for minimum wage...

            H.G. Wells was right. Gather your flowers or sharpen your fangs, as you will.

            by JesseCW on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:47:21 AM PST

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            •  Not Sure (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              methinshaw

              Immigration reform is a bit of a paradox.

              On the one hand, undocumented status as a worker gives some aliens an advantage over citizens or legal residents.  Namely, an undocumented worker can work for less than the minimum wage and/or without benefits like Social Security or insurance.  That makes him or her a better bargain for employers.

              So, naturally it seems like the remedy to this would be to give some sort of official status to the millions of foreign undocumented workers in the country.  This would act as a shield to exploitation and protect other workers in the pool from downward pressure on wages.

              At the same time, when you remove the pain from the equation, you provide incentives for even more workers to enter from outside the system, further depressing wages.

              Who knows.

              But you are right -- it would be hard to get a U.S. worker to work for $2.50 an hour when the legal minimum is $7.

              Adam and Eve had Iraqi birth certificates.

              by bink on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 07:36:17 AM PST

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        •  That's completely true (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pozzo, Brooke In Seattle, LI Mike

          But that's "unskilled labor".

          H.G. Wells was right. Gather your flowers or sharpen your fangs, as you will.

          by JesseCW on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:45:55 AM PST

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          •  Right (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LI Mike, JesseCW, methinshaw

            but it's not difficult to see it effecting skilled labor as well. And, if the new plan is "learn a trade", won't there be a rush toward that, resulting in a surplus of workers and lower wages?

            •  Oh, we're hitting a "new normal" of (6+ / 0-)

              higher unemployment unless we experience some systemic change I don't see happening.

              There is certainly a rush to get into colleges right now, with some people thinking that will be their golden ticket.

              No matter how you look at it, I think we can expect to see virtually all wage outside of the FIRE Sectore stagnate.

              H.G. Wells was right. Gather your flowers or sharpen your fangs, as you will.

              by JesseCW on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:53:35 AM PST

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              •  They already have (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BYw, JesseCW

                look at the past 30 years as an example. Not just production and service work have stagnated...but also higher level professional and technical work, such as scientists, engineers or computer professionals.

                Compensation has essentially been stagnant to declining for the lower 90 percent of Americans since 1980.

                "Big Darkness, soon come"-Hunter S. Thompson

                by NoMoreLies on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:19:13 AM PST

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      •  Actually college educated unemployment is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        scorpiorising, MGross

        at 5% and high school educated unemployment is 15%.

        "We will now proceed to construct the socialist order."

        by 7November on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:46:21 AM PST

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        •  Misses the point. (5+ / 0-)

          There's a whole world of education between "high school only" and "college educated".

          H.G. Wells was right. Gather your flowers or sharpen your fangs, as you will.

          by JesseCW on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 06:48:01 AM PST

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          •  My husband and I disagree (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus, Pozzo

            about this.  He is all about planning for our daughter (4 years old) to have a college education.

            I see things differently.  College is an investment like starting a business.  None of us can really see the future, but it makes sense to estimate the amount of the investment vs. the expected return.

            If we continue on a downward trend then I expect fixing things to be a good bet for steady employment.  Right now it doesn't make sense to repair a lot of things since repair costs as much or more than replacement.  

            If wages remain flat, inflation continues, and the dollar is weak vs. other currencies then that will likely change.

            •  If you are capable of college (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BYw

              in terms of affording it and doing the work, you should go that route. It's still a worthwhile investment. Plus, there's nothing to stop you from then going to tech school if college doesn't yield suitable employment. If you go the tech route and echew college, you could find yourself without the credentials to get the jobs you  need and it's hard to get them later in life.

              •  I'm by no means opposed (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pozzo, BYw, JesseCW

                to our daughter going to college if that is right for her.  I just think we should focus on other savings first.  

                Dear daughter can hopefully work and/or get loans if she needs to.  

                Admittedly said saving are purely hypothetical right now.

            •  without college your daughter will be poor (0+ / 0-)

              today's young need college, your daughter will probably need a graduate degree to be middle class. The world keeps spinning -- everything is becoming more high tech.

              Without the needed education, your daughter will be left behind.

              •  Oh, Horseshit (0+ / 0-)

                God I hate the "your life will be hollow" if you don't go to college crap.

                Guess what, lots of people with a college education are being "left behind," with the added bonus of carrying tens of thousands of dollars of student loans on their backs until they in their 40s.

    •  I have TWO degrees, thank you, (16+ / 0-)

      and I've been out of work for three years.

      An education does not guarantee ANYONE a job.

      I wish Obama would stop talking like that. Not everyone is cut out for college. I know -- I used to teach college-level English.

      Obama needs to concentrate on fixing the schools -- and not with his stupid programs of merit pay or bribery to achieve. He needs to pay teachers decent wages so that there are good people in the classroom, not people who couldn't do anything else. And I'm sorry, teachers, but you know there are lots of teachers who are useless as educators of our future leaders. I went to a teacher's college. I know the caliber of students who go into education.

      Education in and of itself is not the answer. Getting corporations to stop off-shoring our good jobs is the answer. Creating new job fields is the answer. Paying people decent wages is the answer.

      And PS: Neither of my kids went to college. Both are employed in jobs that have advancement potential. If they had gone to college, they would have been excluded from those lower-level jobs that allowed them to start stepping up.

      Education without a good-paying job to go to when schooling is done is just about worthless. This happened in the 1970s when men with PhD's were driving taxis because there was no other work for them.

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 07:29:59 AM PST

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    •  My plumber makes damn good money with just a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, Ezekial 23 20

      high school diploma....better than a teachers salary, in fact.

      Although I generally agree with your point, there are exceptions.

      Besides, even people with an MBA are having a hard time finding work. One example here that was in the paper is a fellow with an MBA that works as a grocery bagger to make ends meet.

      "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, US AG

      by Mr SeeMore on Mon Mar 01, 2010 at 09:44:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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