Dr. Paul Krugman for Treasury Secretary

This is all I want for my birthday.  Anyone who knows me can attest I haven’t asked for anything for my birthday in years.

Paul Krugman is a Nobel prize winning economist and Professor of Economics and International affairs at Princeton when he’s not writing for the NY Times.  He received a BS from Yale and a Ph.D. from MIT by the time he was 24.  I’ve been a fan since January of 2007 when he published an this article, The Dark Age of Macroeconomics.  He was also one of the first people to call out the sinister Phil Gramm as one of the architects of the recession long before it was known he authored the legislation allowing the retention bonuses at AIG.

We need a Wall Street outsider at the helm of this disaster.  Not another former Wall St. Chairman and bankers best friend.  Keeping bankers happy will only do so much to alleviate the crisis we’re in.  Bring in an outsider.  Since before Obama appointed Geithner (which was the moment I first questioned Obama’s commitment to “change”), Krugman was a known contender for the job.  Draft him if necessary but do what should have been done in the first place.  Time and money are burning.

Joann Maynard of Raleigh. Are you there?

Seems that someone named Joann Maynard of Raleigh is tied to the disappearance of my Blackjack II.  Her phone number is 919-413-0450.  Feel free to give her a call.  No answer when I call.  I purposely allowed all of my contacts synchronized with Exchange when someone thought they wiped the config.  The only new number was listed as “CB” and this was Joann’s number.  I acquired her name through a reverse cell search on Reverse Phone Detective.  Someone who either knows or is Joanne has been playing with technology they don’t understand.  AT&T is on the case too.  For what that’s worth.

Increasing Gun Violence

Yesterday gunmen went nuts in Germany and Alabama killing a combined total of 28 people.  Both attacks were brazen, calculated and involved an initial attempt on the part of the perpetrators to escape.  Both killers obtained their weapons easily and legally.  The guns were initially bought and possessed by people considered to be responsible gun owners.

Access to firearms by those with a grievance is readily available.  For some reason it’s almost never a convicted felon or someone straight out of mental institution who goes on one of these violent killing sprees.  Guns are too prevelent.  Since rounding up all the guns is not a real option, what’s the correct response to this problem?

With mass availability of firearms and growing discontent and mental anguish because of the economy I expect we will hear about a lot more of these incidents in the coming months.

IT Jobs on Craigslist

A lot of companies and proprietors who post IT jobs on Craigslist are flat out cheap.  Cheap to the point of being ass-hat stupid.  I saw a few postings today that just made me laugh at the idiots who posted the positions.  I know the economy is bad but you still get what you pay for.  I would never hire or trust an “expert in MS Project” with “project management experience” that is only asking for $14.50 per hour.  That’s not smart hiring in a down economy, it’s ignorant wishful thinking that will most assuredly end in disaster.  Here some of the insulting wages I’ve seen posted for relatively technical, experienced positions:

Must have extensive knowledge of MS Project 2007; 14.50/Hr

I don’t care who takes the job, they’re not qualified.

15 hours a month basis for the general support regarding our phone line , cat5 lines , wireless cameras and POS maintenance…. If you are expecting hourly rate more than $15/hr, please do not respond.

So, you want someone to support all of your technology requirements in your two business locations for $225 a month?  Sounds like a bargain!  If you are someone who agrees to this position please do so with full recognition of the cheap ass owner you’re working for.   You will be used and abused accordingly.

We currently have positions available for Laser Printer and Copier Repair Technicians. We are a local company that specializes in sales and service of refurbished office equipment….. Compensation: 8 to 10/hr plus possible bonus

Not only do you get the opportunity to work with cranky, used copiers and printers from multiple manufacturers but you will do it at half the rate of technicians factory trained on specific models.  Again, what a bargain for the guy looking for frustrated slave labor.

This has got to be my favorite:

The ERP Configuration Support Analyst will have moderate to advanced understanding of computer principles and the ability to perform or supervise computer based tasks independently. They will generally have a thorough knowledge of CRM groups / Help Desk CSC and ERP client environment…. Experience with ERP implementation and ERP support an advantage…. Compensation: $10/hr.

Are they serious?  Really?  I quote again “thorough knowledge of CRM groups / Help Desk and ERP client environment”.   Here’s a hint: If someone even knows what these acronyms stand for they are worth more than this $10 per hour insult.  People at Arby’s get paid that much for taking an order.  In fact, in NC most people experienced with ERP deployments would make more on unemployment than this job pays.

These postings are an insult to the IT community and each of these employers deserve the failed employees they will end up hiring.  I understand the concept of getting the best bang for your buck but these ass clowns are trying to meet moderate to high technical criteria at janitor wages.  Get real.  The economy is struggling and I’m sure a few very overqualified people have sent in their resumes for these positions.  If you’re one of them thanks for running the market wages down.  Personally if I were in the unfortunate position of losing a technical job I would take the 60% unemployment and wait until the market rebounds.  Once there’s a recovery these jack asses will be forced to pay what skilled people are actually worth.

Oh and FYI: I’d watch out for most of these positions anyway because these fly-by-night cheapskates are obviously looking for something for nothing.  If they had any capital they would be searching for talent somewhere other than a site offering free job postings.  They may not have enough money to cover the first paycheck.

How bad can the economy get?

I’ve been playing through scenarios in my head to build an image of just how bad the economy could get in America.  Imagine this…

40-50% unemployment.  1 in every 2 Americans eligible working Americans without a job.  The “great” depression had a national unemployment rate of just over 20%.  This could result in closed schools becoming shelters as foreclosures skyrocket to 60-70% while the government continues to protect the banks by pumping more money into them.  This would be done so those who still have money without working can keep it.  But they won’t spend it.  There won’t be job creation and there won’t be any “re-distribution of wealth” in the private sector.

Once it is agreed there won’t be any continued redistribution of money the anti-socialists will cheer – hooray!  Capitalism has won!  America is a class system.  The divide that we see between the haves and have-nots today will pale in comparison as those who have wealth begin to protect themselves in fortress style residences.  The personal and private security industries will flourish.  Guns could be everywhere.

Education begins to take place inside of shelters and communal living facilities while schools sit empty as shaky municipal governments struggle to pay the increasing tax burden created to support the banks.  The rallying cry of politicians will continue to be “save the banks” to protect what little money is left in the hands of a few.

People will walk, not drive, passed their old houses which will sit empty and unkempt.  Infrastructure crumbles.  Third world conditions will truly exist literally in our back yards.  Medical care would become impossible to find and deteriorating sanitation conditions results in a 8-14% casualty rate with the youngest children dying the fastest.  Whether you live or die would be determined by nepotism (those born into the wealthy families will survive).

This is the current path America is on because we’ve decided against natural capitalism.  Banks are a business and many have already failed. This is what everyone is forgetting.  The super banks have already failed.  If they had not, we would not be continuing their operations with tax payer dollars.  This is so a certain segment of our population has a “safe haven” for their money.

How can you tell which side of this fallout you would be on?  Easy.  If you could currently take out all of your money from the bank and begin living by cashing your paycheck somewhere (other than a bank) and pay your bills with cash – you’re screwed.  It’s only those with vast wealth (100’s of thousands) and capital assets that will keep their homes, fortify them, and live in the top class.

In other words, this could be the beginning of the end for the middle class.  In this scenario there would be wealthy and poor and the transition would not be smooth.  There would be a rampant increase in crime, black market activity and underworld riches.  Education would be a privilege.  The majority of children would learn only what their parents can teach them.

How do we avoid this?  That’s easy too.  Stop the bailouts.  Let industries and businesses naturally fail as they should.  There is a worse thing than letting banks fail in a down economy.  It’s not letting them.