We all know someone who has been affected by the recession. Job losses, pay cuts and furloughs are becoming commonplace. The most recent data show 5.4 unemployed workers competing for each available job. Even for those still working, It just doesn’t pay to be an employee these days. Over the last 20 years, employers have embraced just-in-time labor management. The number of part-time workers has climbed to 9 million. The national average workweek for hourly workers is 33.2 hours-the lowest average work hours in 30 years. According to research by Columbia University economist Till von Wachter, anyone who’s entering the workforce for the first time or has lost their job during a recession will suffer significant and persistent wage losses for years.
When I lost my job over a year ago, I joined a few networking groups and attended job searching strategy workshops. I learned the science of resume writing and the art of interviewing. I’ve had casual conversations with MBA’s CPA’s PHD’s and PMP’s. Without exception, all the people I’ve met are highly educated and experienced professionals.
I can’t imagine how the economy continues to operate without all of these talented individuals contributing to our collective economic engine. It has occurred to me that our nation’s talent can’t depend on big business to get our economy’s engine started again. They've been wasting billions in working capitol gambling in the financial markets for the last decade. The traditional means of earning a living as a “wage slave” has eroded our sense of independence. Workplace and management consultant Michelle DeAngelis believes Americans sense of self-reliance has “been sucked into the vortex of job insecurity, mergers, upheaval of people at work, reduced income, [and] lost 401(k)s. Where it needs to reside is within each of us internally. We must disconnect ourselves from the traditional ideas of work and wages.
The process of disconnecting ourselves from the corporate environment is already underway. Business networking groups are springing up all over in the form of large and small gatherings of people who meet at restaurants, public buildings, and private residences. I counted over 50 of these groups in the DFW area. These groups connect small businesses, non-profits, sales representatives, managers, and even the British to exchange information, referrals and ideas. Social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are only tools for connecting people and opportunities.
For a really optimistic scenario about how this will affect our future, read Jump Point: How Network Culture is Revolutionizing Business by Silicon Valley guru Tom Hayes. He theorizes that the new economy will arrive at a single jump point by 2011, creating a new economy that will “function outside the traditional laws of commerce, free from today's impediments to business growth, and in a world where every person is connected to each other”.
It is up to us 6 million ex-employees to start up the economy from scratch. The first thing we need to do is be prepared to practice our skills by utilizing freelance or contract opportunities, volunteering, networking like crazy, and preparing our personal promotional plans. Join a business referral club even if you do not currently own a business. Just pretending to own a business is good training for the real thing. Create something real: Something to eat, wear, enjoy. Do something to help someone using your knowledge or compassion. Find a cause you believe in and you will find others to network with. We are at the beginning of yet another huge social and economic experiment. Let’s do the the best we can to make it work this time.
Karaoke I killed it tonight. At one point, I had about 4 or 5 couples up dancing while I was singing. Again, I didn't win the contest, but hey, there's some good singers there. It's always fun to hang with my peeps and share the love of good beer and good music.
Vacation Can't wait. Leaving Friday. I found some members of an outlaw motorcycle gang to house-sit while I'm gone. They'll be mostly sitting around cleaning their guns the whole time.
Encouragement Samantha, the Air Force is a good choice for you. I know you're nervous, and you may not agree with the mission, but just by serving, you are strengthening your country. Precisely because you do care about whether you're doing the right thing, your country needs you. I hope you'll keep in touch and let us know how it goes. I can put you in touch with other communications/ PR officers if you would like.
Logo Okay, I fully admit that the Independence Day logo currently gracing the top of the website here is stale. I wanted to do some sort of "super summer" hot-as-hell logo, but couldn't find any graphics that suitably represented how damn hot it's been down here the past few weeks. Well, that and it's kind of a hassle to replace that graphic due to the way the site templates work. Anyhow, I'm always open to ideas. Who or what should we honor with a commemorative graphic next?
WAUSAU, Wis. – An American flag flown upside down as a protest in a northern Wisconsin village was seized by police before a Fourth of July parade and the businessman who flew it — an Iraq war veteran — claims the officers trespassed and stole his property.
A day after the parade, police returned the flag and the man's protest — over a liquor license — continued.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin is considering legal action against the village of Crivitz for violating Vito Congine Jr.'s' First Amendment rights, Executive Director Chris Ahmuty said.
Auto Troubles As I mentioned in my Facebook status earlier this week, I took my van in for service because it has been running rough. I wanted to get it in good shape before I go get the inspection updated.
I got some pretty bad news: One of the 6 cylenders only has about 75 PSI compression, where they should have about 175. The only option for my 10 year old Nissan Quest minivan is an engine rebuild - at a cost from $3,300 - $4,300. Since the van would only be worth about $4,000 - $5,000 in top shape, and since ours is definitely not in top shape, it would have been a losing proposition.
It still drives, and the A/C still works - but it probably won't last long with a cylender misfiring. And it's probably not good for the environment either.
As a last ditch effort - and perhaps a a rebellious streak of wishful thinking, I bought a can of some oil additive that is supposed to restore compression. At $5 a can for "Liquid Rebuilt Engine", it's worth a try.
There will soon be a rollout of a new federal program that will provide stimulus dollars to trade in clunkers like mine. If I understand it correctly, Uncle Sam might give me a $4,500 rebate towards a new car or lease as long as I hand over the van for scrapping, and get something with at least an extra 10 miles per gallon over the 18 MPG that the van was rated for.
On an unrelated note: Van for sale: 1999 Nissan Quest GLE, Leather interior, captains' chairs, 3 row movable seats, power everything, disc changer, V-6 5 engine. Needs a small amount - just a little itty bit of work. Make offer. Email ses (at) whosplayin dot com.
New Car? Although Mamask8z has been wanting a jeep, we both realize it is impractical at this point. Yesterday we did some online shopping and looked at the Toyota Yaris. I'm not sure what we'll ultimately end up with. I just want something durable.
There will be panel presentations to educate attendees regarding the importance of energy efficiency and conservation. Organizations will also be exhibiting their products and services to inform and equip families and businesses to wisely utilize, conserve and save on their energy costs.
When: Saturday, July 11, 2009 - 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon Where: Killough Lewisville High School North 1301 Summit Avenue, Lewisville, TX 75077 Cost: Free to the public
Above is a hybrid diesel electric tractor displayed at last year's energy summit by Walmart.
Last year they even gave out some free Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs - despite Congressman Burgess' irrational fear of them.
We'll have someone there to report back on the event.
If you are a Democrat in a Red State, and you don’t necessarily fit a stereotypical image of one, then something you get used to is the occasional assumption by your more rabid right wingers that everyone around them agrees with their partisan way of thinking.
Being a white guy, with no visible tattoos or piercings, having a short haircut and clean shave and dressing fairly conservatively, I get to hear a lot of things that people wouldn’t normally say if they knew they were in mixed company.
While I am used to that, I don’t know that I can ever accept that kind of assumption in a taxpayer-funded forum such as a City Council meeting, School Board meeting, or Congressional Town Hall meeting. All of these forums are places where citizens and their elected leaders come together at government expense to discuss ideas and policy, and share information about what is going on.