Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘employment’

What Destroyed American Cities

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

From The Wall Street Journal, an analysis of how fear of racial violence has destroyed American cities:

The economists William Collins of Vanderbilt University and Robert Margo of Boston University argued in a 2004 paper that black job prospects have been harmed since the 1970s by a “riot effect” that dates to the previous decade. The effect is not only felt in the immediate aftermath but can linger for decades. The riots had “negative effects on blacks’ income and employment that were economically significant and that may have been larger in the long run (1960-1980) than in the short run (1960-1970),” they wrote. “After a riot, firms and residents might revise their expectations of the benefits, costs, and risks of locating in or near a particular central-city neighborhood even if they were not directly affected by the riot.” In other words, Detroit and Chicago and other cities didn’t riot after the factory jobs left. The riots came first.

Wandering around the neighborhood today, I found that African-Americans were quite pleasant but there was massive passive hostility from Hispanics. Which group is closest to losing its place at the American table?

Democracy specializes in denying reality because most people want to believe reality is not real and they can focus on their own drama instead of paying attention to their world. In reality, diversity never works. Each group has a self-interest that includes self-determination, and that requires subjugating all other groups.

As a result, Africans riot; Mexicans steal; Asians cheat on taxes; Irish people form machine politics; Italians join mafias; Jews go Communist. Each group recognizes that it is not the majority and begins working so that it can overthrow that dominate group, or at least subvert it, because that gets the minority group closer to have control of territory.

There is no future for the USA. The mistake was made long ago to import diversity, both white diversity and racial diversity, and this has created a tense standoff where each group is at the throats of all others. There is no escape from this condition; one group must win, and everyone else will be destroyed, in turn destroying the “winner” as they are absorbed into it and genetically obliterate it.

Typical democracy experience.

Democratization Of Education Makes Education Worthless

Monday, March 13th, 2017

The average voter does not understand cause and effect. For this reason, crises seem to them to pop up out of thin air, and solutions involve making rules about what is acceptable. Naturally this fails and the problem begins again, with no diagnosis ever of the actual causes.

Consider the crisis of modern education as seen in Canada:

Since graduating last year, McCrave has applied for 250 engineering jobs, but he’s only had four interviews and no job offer.

McCrave isn’t alone. More than 12 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 15 and 24 are unemployed and more than a quarter are underemployed, meaning they have degrees but end up in jobs that don’t require them.

The latest numbers from Statistics Canada show that the unemployment rate for 15-to-24-year-olds is almost twice that of the general population.

Once upon a time, a college education meant something because a high school education meant something. The problem is that good education is the opposite of egalitarian; it produces some winners, lots of people who do just okay, and some losers. This offends our democratic sensibilities, so we democratized education starting in high school.

The hard tests that required thinking? Out, replaced by rote memorization and regurgitation. Reading complex books and understanding depth of thought? Out, replaced by political thinking. Classes that pushed kids beyond their comfort zones? Out, replaced by safely pre-chewed bits of information. Thinking was replaced by conformity.

These sound like clichés because people have been complaining about this tendency of modern “education” for some time. However, stereotypes are often true as are many clichés because they reveal something that our society seems unable to change that nonetheless irks. It just took a few decades to collapse.

First, since high school kids declined in ability, colleges converted the first two years of their coursework into being mostly remedial. This probably happened in the 1970s, and so it became necessary to have an advanced degree to get anywhere. However, a college degree still seemed to hold weight, until Political Correctness hit in the late 1980s.

At that point, the remaining collegiate part of education was dumbed down to include all those new protected groups. Not everyone can think, so thinking was out… tasks became rote, more memorization and research than thinking. Grades became inflated, especially if politically important topics were mentioned. And so, a college degree became worthless for Generation X.

This meant that higher degrees were required, and that in turn increased the number of people willing to do anything to get an advanced degree. As a result, schools expanded to hand out more of these degrees, resulting in a need to democratize post-collegiate education. Graduate school got a lot easier, but only a few kids — at the top of the class — came out on top.

Now industry has caught up with the full democratization of college. A high school diploma meant little more than that the recipient was an obedient memorizer; now a college degree meant the same. As a result, doors started to open with post-collegiate degrees, but then treated the first few years of work (“entry-level”) as an apprenticeship.

This means that students are getting a start in life at age thirty as opposed to age twenty-two, and because so many people are over-qualified, jobs are hiring five people to do the work of one, paying everyone less, and promoting very few people to a decent wage. This means that most kids Gen X and beyond could expect to struggle for peanuts until they were forty.

Not surprisingly, many of them have dropped out and accepted do-nothing mediocre jobs instead because that way, they can avoid spending years of their lives on time-consuming but unproductive behavior. The intelligent are the most penalized, since for them the ersatz coursework is the most tedious and pointless.

Democratization of education has now reached all levels of our “education” system, such that there is high pressure to force success on low-IQ and low-motivation students, resulting in scandals as teachers cheat the standardized tests:

Prosecutors alleged that Hall had run a “corrupt” organization that used test scores to financially reward and punish teachers. The extent of the test-cheating scandals around the country remains unknown because they are hard to find and prove.

…No Child Left Behind, President George W. Bush’s chief education initiative, and then Race to the Top, President Obama’s central education program, placed increasingly high stakes on standardized test scores. They had to go up, or else there would be negative consequences not just for students but schools and teachers and principals. Such testing mandates were coupled with a “no excuse” management push by school reformers who said teachers had, well, no excuse not to raise their students’ test scores. Not sick or hungry students, not a lack of materials, not overcrowded classrooms. Obama’s Race to the Top initiative — which pit states against each other in competing for federal funds in exchange for implementing specific school reforms — linked student test scores to teacher evaluations and pay.

At some point, some schools began reporting test scores jumping high in just a year, though later, these “miracles” did not stand up to scrutiny.

Why are standardized tests popular? They are meritocratic, meaning that everyone is given an equal opportunity to memorize enough stuff to do really well on them. No one is rewarded for intelligence or the ability to think deeply, but anyone can become a superstar by devoting all of their time to memorization and gaming the test.

In this way, the politicians can turn to the dumb voters — who demand equality at every turn — and claim that the problem is being solved. Even if Johnny is dumb as bricks and perceptive as a mushroom, he can succeed by just spending those extra hours… weeknights, weekends and other free time he might need to mature like a normal person… on memorizing and conforming.

Because people need jobs, the democratization has extended to entry tests for public service, which means that we must dumb those down, too, so that they are also democratic:

New York education officials are poised to scrap a test designed to measure the reading and writing skills of people trying to become teachers, in part because an outsized percentage of black and Hispanic candidates were failing it.

…The literacy test was among four assessments introduced in the 2013-2014 school year as part of an effort to raise the level of elementary and secondary school teaching in the state.

…But the literacy test raised alarms from the beginning because just 46 percent of Hispanic test takers and 41 percent of black test takers passed it on the first try, compared with 64 percent of white candidates.

In typical democratic inversion, the test designed to raise quality is instead made to certify low quality, which means that teachers who can barely read and write are instructing children in the same, which does nothing but damage those who could learn so that those who cannot can feel equal too.

This is happening all across the West, at every level of profession, as we see from this appalling example from the UK:

New Transport for London rules include a requirement that drivers complete a £180 written essay and speaking test to gain a licence to work in the capital from September.

…But opponents have claimed it would lead to indirect racial discrimination as many drivers were immigrants, as well as putting around 30,000 jobs at risk.

Democratic thinking always prioritizes universal inclusion, or egalitarianism, over competence. As a result, standards decline and institutions fail. This is a form of soft corruption that then spreads like a wave through the rest of civilization, punishing the competent and defending the incompetent.

The markets react by being skeptical about new hires and paying them less, then keeping only the most devoted. The end result is that you must give much more of your time in order to just rise above the minimum, and this in turn alienates people by keeping them immature as they never have time to develop intellectually, morally and socially until later in life.

Once upon a time, STEM education was a safe bet. The idea was that becoming competent as necessary skills guaranteed employment. Instead, through the democratization process, it has now become a way to join a mass herd in which only a few will be winners, and the rest will merely be profit centers for those selling education by the pound.

Make-Work

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

make-work

This is a typical event for the modern consumer:

He needs a service — given that there is great confusion between “want” and “need” — so he signs up for it. He then finds out that it does not work with his existing technology, a common type. There is a work-around: he can use another gadget, but it will be so cumbersome as to render the whole process inefficient.

He goes to the website of the service provider. There are separate websites for sales and service. He logs into sales, then goes to service, where they ask him for a customer number. He has not been given one. For this reason, he cannot login to the service he needs to explore other options, although by looking at what others have written, he can see those do not really exist anyway.

This leaves him scratching his head in wonder. Why is it that the service is so bad, and yet still popular and profitable? Does the company know its website does not work? Why do they not provide the service on the type of gadget he has, just as many hundreds of millions of others do?

Our society retires people because after forty years of observation, they know the workplace jive too well. The people who are advanced to the top are the Hillary Clintons of the world: good at the type of questions they ask in school, smugly self-serving and ready to justify their actions in terms of good intentions.

Let us look at the company that our hypothetical consumer has encountered.

At the top is a businessman. He knows he has a product that people will buy, and they buy enough of it that he can afford to hire a bunch of idiots. He hires idiots because they will not threaten him and take his company from him. He does not care about the quality of the product.

Below him are chattering women and flabby men. These are the middle management layer. Their job is to neurose. For example, when they considered expanding their service to another type of gadget, the people here Did The Right Thing, which was to send off for an exploratory study, a consultant, a feasibility study and a prototype. They hired many people out of the office and generated eighteen metric tons of memos, reports, studies and white papers.

They will not make the service for a new gadget because their experts tell them that it is a bad idea. The experts make money by being contrarian, or telling people that what is true is what is contrary to obvious common sense. The people in the business want to avoid taking risks, but since any action is a risk, this means they want to avoid action. Instead they want to spend their time on the process of being at a job, instead of trying to achieve anything.

To keep the process of the job alive, they will insist on the most mind-numbing tedium possible. They will call many meetings. They will have paperwork requirements for every activity. Every task will become formalized, awash in process and procedure, and will reference at a least a dozen books stating the obvious. To do even a simple task will take months.

For example, they will eventually roll the service out for the other type of gadget. After the exploratory and feasibility studies, the planning and budget meetings, the buy-in by all of the divisions, the marketing and legal sniffover, and then soliciting for bids and choosing vendors, it will take them a year to get the process started. Then, because no one will have thought about the practical dimensions, half of the necessary decisions will be unmade. It will take another five years of back-and-forth between the company, its vendors, and its internal meetings to even get a prototype ready, and at that point, the market (and our hypothetical consumer) will have all but moved on.

The point of jobs is that one must rationalize. The worker must be at a job, so that is good. Then they must succeed at the job. Herein is the problem of equality that guarantees that all jobs will be make-work: when all people are equal, no one is considered for his unique abilities, and so any failure is considered “equally” independent of what he was trying to achieve. This is why the do-nothing working who never does more than just act out the process of the job will always be promoted, but someone who takes a risk by attempting something more than just acting out the process of the job may get fired.

After a few years, the only people left at jobs like these are those who are fascinated — downright excited! — by tedious and inconsequential make-work, or work activity designed to show conformity to the process of the job and therefore, “good work” according to other minds hampered by egalitarianism observing them. They drive away the competent and select for the useless.

This is why the website is broken. The people involved at the time knew it would not work, but knew that they were taking a career-ending risk by mentioning it, so they said nothing. The email address for complaints goes to someone who left the company three years ago, and piles up in her inbox.

The IT guy knows that if he says something, he can make enemies in the company of those who will now have to sort through the email. So he says nothing and simply increases the allotment of space for the account when it fills up. Customers write complaints, those go nowhere, and no one “notices” the broken web site because to do so is to take on risk.

At a job, taking any risk is bad because under egalitarianism, any failure is presumed to be a fatal failure. We cannot look at someone and say, “Sure, Charles hosed that website launch, but he is smarter than the rest of that group and he usually gets good results.” No, in order to placate the herd, who might rebel at any time, we must crucify him.

We destroy people in this society. It is our pastime, since we no longer have a goal and have not for many centuries. We all demand attention, which is why if someone steps out of line, we smash him down. He has threatened the stability by which we all receive attention and/or paychecks. The expectation has become reality because at this point only the very brave or very crazy take risks, knowing the intolerance that failure receives.

The Soviet Union also had this problem. Those who failed to deliver were shot. Since they were often given impossible tasks, they were frequently shot. The end result was that anyone sane refrained from taking any risk possible. That means that if you have a fire risk in your factory, you ignore it, because it is greater personal risk to try fixing it and fail than it is to have a fire. That can always be blamed on the capitalists, anyway.

Jobs are jails. Most of what makes them jail-like is that they are not oriented toward goals, but conformity to the process of work and avoidance of risk-taking; in other words, appearance matters more than reality. Obedience matters more than achievements. And so, people check out. Blatant errors are not noticed. Incompetence and ineptitude rule the day.

As we gather to write an epitaph for post-democracy Western Civilization, itself an epitaph of Western Civilization after it went individualistic after giving up on the ability to get consensus for another Golden Age, we should not forget to note the many ways that this time has failed us. Jobs and incompetent services seem small until you consider that these take up most of most days for the average person.

When it is said that our society died of a spiritual disease, this is true. People have no hope of anything except going along with the conformity and hoping for a regular paycheck. The thought of ambition has died, except in the narrowest sense of piling up money, as has the ability to be noticed for competence, intelligence or other inner traits. In the name of including everyone, we have created a hell on earth.

Work is killing you

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

The headlines rage: The people are unfit! The people are unhealthy!

Constant news articles tell us that the people are too fat, too thin, smoking too much, or just generally unhealthy. Why is this everywhere? Is it because the government is concerned about our well-being? Of course not –- it’s all about saving them money.

Sick people cost the state money. They take up valuable hospital space and often require insurance or government pay-outs. This is the only reason for the current interest of the state in the private health of citizens.

Let’s take a moment to ponder this thought. Ignoring the people who have become ill via their own self-destructive tendencies (e.g. alcoholism), exactly why are some of these problems on the rise? Simple answer: The government did it.

Most people work at 9-5 jobs which involve little or no exercise. When an adult comes home, there are children and housework to do. Fast food is everywhere, and having little time for anything but work, they graze here and there, nibbling at whatever high fat product is the cheapest.

Before the urban desk job, people moved around more and burned off the calories. Now, only the wealthy or unemployed have time for exercise.

Likewise, more people than ever have serious vitamin D deficiencies from lack of sunlight. The forty hour week is turning us into a species of sickly obese hairless urban rats that dwell inside a central warren.

The government, in lieu of preventing the problem, complains about it with well-intentioned press releases: “The people are fat, the people are unhealthy”, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the lifestyle it imposes on working adults is the leading factor in creating this new species of light-shunning hefty hominids.

On one hand it dishes out sloth and gluttony, and on the other hand it punishes the people who obediently and diligently labor to make themselves ill in the name of the all-powerful, almighty state. It then laments this condition as if its acts were not the proximate cause of this condition.

To avoid being slowly killed by crippling Vitamin D levels and/or weight problems, we need to think in terms of prevention.

Cut the working week and bring the cost of housing down to realistic levels. At the moment it takes two average incomes to sustain a mortgage. Bring the cost of housing down and create 20 hour per week positions so the people can become healthy and productive again.

A nation of sickly, depressed workers is not a strong nation. It is not a happy nation. It is a sick nation, and sickness is not conducive to prosperity. Heal the people, heal the country. Prevention is always the remedy.

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