jgo Resume jgo Books
jgo Econ Data jgo Econ News Bits Index
Economic News Analysis Summary
Kermit home
Links jgo's Work in Progress
Bottom

updated: 2013-02-18
 
2004 October
UMTWRFS
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            

 

2004 October

2004-10-01

2004-10-01
Victoria Craig Bunce & Merrill Matthews _Heartland Institute_
A comparison of political proposals WRT health care

2004-10-01
_Science Daily_
Cigarette Smoke Causes Breaks in DNA and Defects to a Cells' Chromosomes

2004-10-01
_Dice_
Dice Report: 55,671 job ads

Total55,671
UNIX8,280
Windoze7,846
Java 
C/C++7,866
body shop24,546
permanent35,257

2004-10-01
Rachel L. Swarns _NY Times_
Foreign Travelers Face Fingerprints and Jet Lag
"Officials [once again] began photographing and electronically finger-printing travelers from 27 industrialized nations, including long-time allies [with whom we have 'no visa required' agreements]."

2004-10-01
John M. Broder _NY Times_
Schwarzenegger Vetoes Bills Seeking Drugs From Canada
"Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed several bills on Thursday that would have made California the middle-man in large-scale consumer purchases of prescription drugs."

2004-10-01
Pam Belluck _NY Times_
Maine and One of Its Tribes Look to Buy Canadian Drugs
"Maine is trying to find a way to import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada, and is proposing to allow an American Indian tribe to distribute the imported drugs."

2004-10-01
Elizabeth Becker _NY Times_
Debt Relief Deal for Poor Nations Seems to Be Near
"The U.S.A. and top financial institutions indicated that they were closing in on an agreement to forgive the debts of many of the world's poorest countries."

2004-10-01
Elizabeth Becker _NY Times_
U.S. and Europe Fail to Resolve Dispute on Aircraft Subsidies
"Trade officials failed to resolve their dispute over government subsidies to aircraft manufacturers, especially Airbus and Boeing."

2004-10-01
Julia Preston _NY Times_
Judge Strikes Down Section of Patriot Act
"A federal judge ruled that the provision broadly violated the Constitution by giving federal authorities unchecked powers to obtain private information."

2004-10-01
Austan Goolsbee _NY Times_
Retiring Minds Want to Know
"With financial disaster looming for the pension system, employers, not tax-payers, should pay more to protect the retirement of working Americans."

2004-10-01 07:09PDT (10:09EDT) (14:09GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US construction spending soared
"A surge of home-building pushed total outlays for construction projects up by a better-than-expected 0.8% in August, the Commerce Department said Friday.   Outlays in July were also revised much higher, to a 1.1% gain from 0.4% previously."
census bureau report

2004-10-01 07:31PDT (10:31EDT) (14:31GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell to 94.2 in September from August's 95.9

2004-10-01 08:34PDT (11:34EDT) (15:34GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
ISM factory index slips to 58.5
"The ISM index fell to 58.5% in September from 59.0% in August...   The ISM has been above 50 for 16 consecutive months.   New orders fell to 58.1 in September from 61.2 in August...   The employment index rose to 58.1 in September from 55.7 in August.   This is the highest level since June."

2004-10-01 12:24PDT (15:24EDT) (19:24GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Crude petroleum ends above $50
"Crude for November delivery tacked on 48 cents to close at $50.12 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after falling to a low of $49.20 earlier...   But on an intraday basis, prices hit an all-time high of $50.47 a barrel on Tuesday and have been teasing the $50 level ever since.   The contract is up $1.24 for the week.   November heating oil also rose 0.97 cent to end the day at $1.3958 a gallon, tapping fresh record highs again, and November unleaded gas closed at $1.3522 a gallon, up 2.46 cents.   The product prices are up around 2% from their week-ago levels."

2004-10-01 13:16PDT (16:16EDT) (20:16GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Greenspan cautions congress on stock option accounting
"Congress should allow the Financial Standards Accounting Board to write accounting rules on stock options without 'unnecessary pressures' from Capitol Hill, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in a letter to senator Carl Levin, D-MI, released Friday.   'I am deeply concerned by the possibility of congressional interference in FASB's efforts' to ensure that corporations' accounting methods are correct, Greenspan said."

2004-10-01 14:13PDT (17:13EDT) (21:13GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Blue chips post triple-digit gain, Nasdaq up 2.4%
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 112.38 points, at 10,192.65, gaining 1.5% on the week...   The Nasdaq Composite shot up 45.36 points, or 2.4%, to 1,942.20, its best one day gain since March 25 when it rose 58 points.   The tech-rich index rose 3.4% on the week.   A 4.6% rise in the Philadelphia semiconductor index (SOX) underpinned gains...   The S&P 500 index rose 16.92 points to 1,131.50.   The broad gauge was up 2% on the week.   The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks climbed 2.1%.   [The Dow software index was up 3.15%, while the S&P IT index was up 0.32%.]"

2004-10-01 14:57PDT (17:57EDT) (21:57GMT)
Duncan Martell _Reuters_
Bill Gates, Secure with His Billions, Says USA Need Not Fear Over-Seas Tech While Millions of US Scientists, Engineers & Computer Programmers Remain Unemployed and MSFT Cuts Production Workers' Benefits While Giving Him another Big Pay-Off
"The United States has nothing to fear from rapidly growing technology markets in [Red China] and India, Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of MSFT Corp. said on Friday...   Out-sourcing of manufacturing and high technology jobs outside the United States has become a key issue in the U.S. presidential campaign."

2004-10-01 15:40PDT (18:40EDT) (22:40GMT)
Ed Frauenheim _CNET_
H-1B visa limit for FY2005 filled
"A federal official on Friday said the annual limit for the controversial guest worker program has been met for fiscal year 2005, which runs from 2004 October 1 to 2005 September 30.   United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, which processes applications for the H-1B program, is no longer accepting petitions for visas for initial employment for this fiscal year, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity...   U.S. employers do not have to attest that they sought U.S. workers to fill a job before applying for an H-1B visa, but they are supposed to pay the prevailing wage to the guest worker.   One-third of the approved visa applications in 2002 were for system analysts or programmers, though that figure was down from half of all approved visa petitions in 2001, according to USCIS."

2004-10-01
Michael Crawford _ComputerWorld_/_ARN Net_
Data Security Is Priority in Selection of Off-Shorer
"According to Gartner, the safest off-shoring havens are Ireland, Canada and New Zealand but users will not get the same level of cost savings that they may get with less-secure destinations such as Russia and [Red China].   Gartner VP of research, Partha Iyengar, said the security exposure that both clients and service providers have to deal with as global sourcing becomes more strategic and complex increases by order of magnitude."
 

2004-10-02

2004-10-02 07:13PDT (09:13CDT) (10:13EDT) (14:13GMT)
Mark Carreau _Houston Chronicle_
Private Space Pioneers Can Afford To Take Some Risks
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/nation/2827284
Science Daily
"SpaceShipOne -- as much a work of art as a ground-breaking flying machine -- has recast the mold for space-flight established by NASA largely because it doesn't have to worry about the space agency's coast-to-coast bureaucracy, ponderous congressional over-sight and a legacy tarnished by failure as well as graced by success.   If the privately built and financed craft reaches the fringes of space early Monday for the second time in less than week, it will win the $10M Ansari X-Prize, a purse offered to trigger an era of passenger travel to space.   The historic attempt will come five days after pilot Mike Melvill throttled the sleek ship to an altitude of 63.9 miles despite a twisting climb that put most spectators on the edge of their seats...   'We live in a society that is way too risk adverse, and that is a big problem.', said Peter Diamandis, founder and president of the St. Louis-based X-Prize Foundation.   'The only way we got to the moon in 1969 was by taking risks.   Without risks there can't be breakthroughs, and without breakthroughs we stay right were we are.'"

2004-10-02
Michael Moss _NY Times_
So-Called Democrats Voice Concerns About the Over-Seas Vote
"60% of the over-seas military voted in the 2000 election, but at the same time, voting by civilians dropped to 22%."

2004-10-02
_AP_/_Indianapolis Star_
Scientists at Ohio institute develop light-weight armor for vehicles
Battelle press release
"The new armor offers less protection, but weighs 750 pounds.   The military has tested 75 of the armor kits in the Middle East and has ordered 400 more from Columbus-based Battelle, the world's largest independent, non-profit research institute...   With no time to invent armor, Battelle went to the market-place and found that an armor made of polyethylene and titanium survived testing at its laboratory.   The armor is 15 times stronger than steel, according to John Bockbrader, project manager.   His team of engineers adapted the armor to fit Humvee parts considered vulnerable, including doors, seats, wheel wells and the under-body...   Traditionally, 90% of Battelle's business is contract work for the federal government."

2004-10-02
_HealthDay_
Ethanol-Based Hand Sanitizers Reduce Spread of GastroIntestinal Illnesses by 59%
"There was no significant decrease in the spread of respiratory illnesses in the families who used the sanitizer.   However, families that used greater amounts of hand sanitizer were less likely to spread respiratory illnesses."

2004-10-02
Loren Steffy _Houston Chronicle_
Prosperity and pain mix in Frisco
"Here in a fast-growing Texas city, just north of Dallas, growth isn't explosive, it's instantaneous.   New roads are unfurled like carpet, and buildings seem to rise from the ground over-night.   Yet people are worried.   Just across Highway 121 in Plano, the economic seed that spawned such tremendous growth has withered...   In Frisco, you notice it in subtle ways: the downcast eyes... in hushed conversations... in the pleading e-mails sent by people you know only from the soccer field or the scout meeting -- 'networking' stretched to acquaintances and even strangers in hopes of job leads...   Even with the threat of 20K lost EDS jobs, Frisco's unemployment rate remains well below the state average.   Its median income and average home value is well above.   Affluence, though, doesn't temper the pain and fear of sudden unemployment.   The paradox of our current economy is that it seems to be up and down at the same time, as if recovery and downturn co-exist."

2004-10-02
Richard Page _U of Chicago Maroon_
Voters should consider third parties
Badnarik for President
"One of the most ambitious candidates for this year's presidential election has remained largely unmentioned by the major news networks.   Nonetheless, this has not stopped Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik from earning ballot access in at least 48 states (Oklahoma and New Hampshire are being decided in court).   In comparison, Ralph Nader is only on the ballot in 35 states.   Despite the lack of any major media coverage and a limited budget, Badnarik...   Militarily, Libertarians see war as an option of last resort...   This combination of viewpoints translates into an ideological coherent platform of less government wherever practical.   If this stance sounds familiar to you, it is likely that you have studied the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, or other great works of our founding fathers...   His vice presidential running mate, Richard Campagna, is a returning scholar at the University of Chicago...   [Badnarik] was selected over frontrunners Gary Nolan (a radio talk-show host from Ohio) and Aaron Russo (a Hollywood movie producer) at the Libertarian National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, held 4 months ago."

2004-10-02
Stephen Oravecz _Tribune Chronicle_
Third-Party Candidates Say Debate System Is Rigged
Libertarian TV
Badnarik for President
"The system for presidential and vice presidential debates is rigged to keep third parties out, Richard V. Campagna, the Libertarian Party candidate for vice president, said Wednesday during a stop at Youngstown State University.   It's hard to argue with him.   After all, how many people even know who the third party candidates are and what they stand for?"
 

2004-10-03

2004-10-03
_AP_/_abc News_
Blasts & Gun-Fire in NE India Leave 57 Dead, 100 Injured on 135th Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's Birth as Local Groups Fight for Greater Autonomy
Australian

2004-10-03
Gregg Fields _Miami Herald_
Candidates' job promises ignore new economic forces: Some experts say Americans need training
Bradenton Herald
Duluth News Tribune
Wichita Eagle
Myrtle Beach Sun News
"'There is a disjunction between the economy [GDP] and the labor market.', says John Silvia, economist for Wachovia Corp., the nation's fourth-largest bank.   'There is a break in the relationship between growth [in revenues, profits, executive compensation] and hiring [and compensation of production workers].'...   training Americans to adapt to a rapidly changing economy...   'We really need in this country a more flexible, just-in-time labor system.', said Ed Potter, of the Employment Policy Foundation in Washington, a pro-business research center...   The nation is no longer having a jobless recovery so much as it's having a prolonged jobless expansion...   The problem here is that, in many cases, people working for themselves may be earning little money.   Traditionally, self-employment reflects difficulty in getting hired.   And even the household survey reflects weak job creation -- growth of just 1.3% since 2001 January...   Chief among them are out-sourcing of jobs to other countries, tax policies and soaring productivity growth...   In 2001, productivity of U.S. workers rose just 1.9%.   But in 2002 it jumped to 4.8% and in 2003, 4.5%.   Meanwhile job creation sputtered, but GDP revived...   Manufacturing, for instance, is losing workers worldwide because technology is replacing them.   But critics charge that some industries are in structural decline because of out-sourcing -- companies shifting jobs off-shore, usually in search of cheaper labor.   It's an old trend, but it has gained momentum in recent years as free trade agreements and new technologies made it easier to relocate business functions.   And it has provoked alarms, particularly as out-sourcing spread beyond manufacturing to higher-skilled work involving technology and financial services...   If a company earns income in an off-shore subsidiary, it doesn't pay taxes on the income unless it brings the money back home...   What most concerns Silvia, the Wachovia economist, isn't creating jobs, but training workers with skills for the new economy.   'Forget jobs.' said Wachovia's Silvia.   'The jobs are gone.   Focus on workers.'"

2004-10-03
Jack Roseman _Pittsburth Post-Gazette_
Forget IQ & EIQ. Best entrepreneurs have high BIQ
"Maybe in addition to IQ and EIQ (Emotional Intelligence), there is something we should call BIQ -- Business Intelligence -- and you either have it or you don't.   You can't test for it, but you can certainly see it in action.   People with high BIQ are the maestros of the entrepreneurial world, deftly orchestrating aspects of a business that those without it aren't even aware exist...   the answer is never very satisfactory.   In my book, _Outrageous Optimism_, I identify certain success traits in the first chapter: Passion, persistence, communication skills, people skills, an understanding of human nature, self-knowledge, and knowing the difference between a good idea and a market opportunity.   But all of these traits can be taught.   And when I was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, we did teach them.   I assume they still teach them.   And yet alumni don't always succeed...   There is something else.   And that's what I'm calling BQ.   It might be instincts; it might be personal identity.   But when you see it in action you recognize it as successful execution...   Even though they had been taught to hire the best by winning them over to their vision, they were either unable or unwilling to do this.   Not having the perseverance to do this was a blind spot.   Another example of blind spots is when people have an intellectual understanding of something, but freeze when you put them in the trenches...   I have good business instincts -- a good feel for business.   And some aspects of business I know better than others.   But when you put me on the field, I slip into my warrior mask...   Know yourself.   Understand what you can do and what you can't.   And when it comes to one of those areas where you are blocked, hand the ball off to another great individual..."

2004-10-03
Corilyn Shropshire _Pittsburgh Post-Gazette_
Tech workers are playing musical chairs as hiring picks up a tiny fraction
"Several local tech acolytes report signs of life on the job front after a long, quiet period of licking wounds left from the dot-com bust, allowing many to consider new opportunities at other firms...   after years of just hanging on, the freedom to even dream about change is welcome, job seekers say...   the evidence of a tech job rebound is more anecdotal than it is measurable...   recent Pittsburgh-area statistics from the state Department of Labor and Industry still show stagnant employment in the many categories that include tech work, such as telecommunications and technical services.   Chris Briem, a regional economist at the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Social and Urban Research, said tech industries in general are noted for a lot of turn-over, with workers shifting from one company to another.   So while some companies may be hiring, others may be laying off, creating little job growth overall..."

2004-10-03
Henry Eichel _Charlotte Observer_
Textiles' political punch has faded: Executives struggle to keep issue in eyes of US Senate candidates
"The roar of textile factories used to be a constant back-drop to life in this town of 8K people about 40 minutes south of Greenville...   The last 9 mills closed in 2001.   Today, only about 300 textile jobs remain in Laurens County.   Ten years ago, there were more than 3K...   The leading candidate, Republican U.S. representative Jim DeMint of Greenville, refuses to support trade barriers that would shield local goods from foreign competition.   Instead, DeMint argues that South Carolina's future depends on bringing in more new high-tech industries, many of them foreign-owned, like German auto-maker BMW.   So angry have textile executives been at DeMint that they have twice recruited candidates to run against him.   In 2002, they backed former state law-maker Phil Bradley in the Republican primary for DeMint's U.S. House seat.   Earlier this year, they supported former SC governor David Beasley in the GOP Senate primary.   Both races ended in land-slides for DeMint.   'I think what's happened here is that the diminished political clout of the industry has followed its diminished economic presence.', said Jim Guth, a political science professor at Furman University in Greenville.   In the past 15 years, South Carolina has lost more than 70% of its textile jobs....   Laurens County... unemployment rate -- 9.4% in August -- still lags several points behind the state average...   Textile employment since 1986 has shrunk from 162K jobs to 45K; during that same period, the SC population has grown by 800K.   Tourism, which provides more than 130K jobs, is now the state's biggest employer, while new manufacturing plants turn out such products as medical instruments, pharmaceuticals and electrical machinery.   Also, many of those who used to work in the textile mills have a very low voter turn-out rate.   [Discouraged workers are often discouraged voters, seeing no positive options open to them.]"

2004-10-03
Robert Pear _NY Times_
Congress Moves to Protect Federal Whistleblowers
"Over strenuous objections from the Bush administration, Congress is moving to increase protections for federal employees who expose government wrong-doing."

2004-10-03
Eilene Zimmerman _NY Times_
Both employers and prospective employees are finding that blogging can be useful and dangerous in the job search process.

2004-10-03
Dennis J. Willard & Doug Oplinger _Akron Beacon Journal_
4 dounties have more voter registrations than eligible voters
"There are 4 counties in Ohio where voter registration has exceeded the number of voting-age people, according to 2003 U.S. Census population estimates: Franklin, Delaware, Fayette and Mercer.   An additional 26 of the state's 88 counties have voter registration already exceeding 90% of their populations -- and many have stacks of voter registration cards to count.   Franklin County, won narrowly by Democrat Al Gore in 2000, has about 815K people age 18 or older.   On Friday, the county's voter registration number stood at 817K."

2004-10-03
Royal M. Hopper _Orange Leader_
Michael Badnarik: The other Texas candidate for president
Badnarik for President
"Libertarian Michael Badnarik was desperately trying to get people to notice a third name on the Texas ballot in November.   Inspired by the nation's founding fathers and his love for the Constitution, the Austin resident vows not to give up that fight until he wins it.   'George Washington lost most of the battles he fought.   People told him to give up, said he couldn't win - but he ignored that advice and continued to do what was right.', Badnarik said...   He was a candidate for the Texas House of Representatives in Austin...   His next move would be to use all his powers to eliminate what he calls the greatest threat to constitutional freedoms since the Alien and Sedition Act: The Patriot Act.   The act violates the Fourth Amendment by allowing police to conduct searches without warrants in some cases, violates the Fifth Amendment by allowing officials to be held for certain crimes without an indictment from a grand jury, and violates the entire Sixth Amendment guarantee to a speedy and public trial in the place the crime was committed."

2004-10-03
S. Casey Aplanalp _Chico Enterprise-Record_
Check out the Libertarians: Badnarik/Campagna
"both parties have a strangle-hold on a [supposedly] free-market economy, legislate laws inhibiting personal freedoms, and advance regulation at every corner of society.   It appears a one-party oligarchy is attempting to rule us rather than serve us by abiding by the Constitution (which was written to protect us from government).   Founding fathers would roll over in their graves.   They despised government control, taxes, kings and embraced the concept of liberty.   They were America's first Libertarians."

2004-10-03
Chris Graham _Augusta Free Press_
Campaigns with no cameras to record & broadcast them: How do third-party campaigns get their messages to voters without media coverage?
"And where are the candidates who do offer alternative perspectives on the war and health care and a host of other issues?...   'The reason that you don't hear from us is that the commission sponsoring the debates is a partisan organization.', said Scott Whiteman, the manager of the Michael Peroutka for President campaign.   'The Federal Election Commission is very similar in its makeup.   It has 6 commissioners, 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats.', Whiteman told The Augusta Free Press.   'The goal of these organizations is to ensure that Republicans and Democrats get elected.', Whiteman said...   'People are interested.   They are looking for an alternative.   And the alternative is not going to be on any of the TV debates.', Gordon said...   'The media has the power to change this in an instant, but it won't do that.   It has an interest in supporting what is going on, and it will keep supporting what is going on as a result.', [Ralph Nader campaign spokesman Kevin] Zeese said."
Badnarik
Bush
Cobb
Kerry
Nader
Peroutka
 

2004-10-04

2004-10-03 22:30PDT (2004-10-04 01:30EDT) (05:30GMT)
John Borland _CNET_
Tech companies seek anti-piracy accord
"The Coral Consortium... DRM software that protects content such as music, movies and video games is proprietary, and many different companies now produce incompatible varieties.   Participants say Coral will be aimed at creating a set of technology specifications that will let different kinds of copy protection be translated into other varieties...   Other groups have pushed for interoperability as well.   A project headed by Leonardo Chiariglione, founder of Moving Pictures Experts Group, has been working since last summer to find an interoperability standard.   Still, neither group includes Apple or MSFT..."

2004-10-04 08:15PDT (11:15EDT) (15:15GMT)
Jim Hu _CNET_
SpaceShipOne won X Prize
CBS.MarketWatch.com
SpaceFlight Now
"SpaceShipOne, the craft that breached the Earth's atmosphere last week, won the $10M Ansari X Prize for private space travel on Monday when it repeated its feat of reaching 100km.   Just after 08:00PDT, CNN reported that SpaceShipOne reached an altitude of 368K feet -- well above the 328K feet, or 100km, minimum altitude required to win the prize."

2004-10-04
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Factory orders dropped slightly in August
"Orders for U.S.-made factory goods unexpectedly fell 0.1% in August and July's gains were revised higher, the Commerce Department said Monday.   It was the first monthly decline since April...   Factory shipments rose 1.1%, unfilled orders rose 0.3% and inventories increased 0.5%.   July's orders were revised higher to 1.7% from 1.3% previously.   Orders are up 11.8% year-over-year...   Orders for transportation equipment fell 7.4%, while non-defense capital goods orders fell 7.7%.   Excluding transportation, orders for manufactured goods rose 1.3% in August, the fourth consecutive rise.   Excluding defense related items, orders for manufactured goods fell 0.2% in August after rising 2.2% in the previous month.   Orders for durable goods fell 0.3% in August..."

2004-10-04 05:30HST
_AP_/_KPUA_
high-tech jobs on the up-swing in the islands
"Federal labor statistics show the number of people employed in high-tech jobs in Hawaii rose nearly 7.5% from 2001 to 2003.   Meanwhile, the nation's high-tech work-force shrank by 10.5% during the same time.   Overall, the tech sector in Hawaii employs about 15K people, just 3% of the state's work-force.   Nationwide about 7.6M people work in tech jobs, or about 6% of all workers...   generous tax credits..."

2004-10-04
_HealthDay_
Stress & Aggression Are Bound Tightly Together
"October issue of _Behavioral Neuroscience_. Behavioral neuroscientists in the Netherlands and Hungary found that rats have a fast, mutual, positive feed-back loop between the aggression control center in their brains and their stress hormones."

2004-10-04
_Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
Supremes Uphold Anti-Trust Ruling Against Visa & MasterCard
CBS.MarketWatch.com
"Visa and MasterCard credit card networks violated federal anti-trust law by barring their member banks from issuing credit and charge cards on the rival networks of American Express Co. and Morgan Stanley's Discover."

2004-10-04
Alan Reynolds _Washington Times_
... amid delusions?
"National Review contributor Don Luskin noted the number of returns reporting incomes between $25K and $100K grew rapidly from 2000 to 2002, while the number earning higher or lower incomes (including capital gains) diminished.   By this measure, the middle class was expanding rather than shrinking...   the percentage earning less than $35K fell far more dramatically [from 1967 to 2003] -- from 52.8% to 40.9%...   The percentage of U.S. households with a real income higher than $50K rose from 24.9% in 1967 to 44.1% in 2003."

2004-10-04
Philip Willan _IDG_/_Wired_/_Computer Weekly_
Privacy International condemns US Visit
Privacy International
"Privacy International director Simon Davies... was speaking after the release of a critical report on the US Visitor & Immigration Status Indication Technology System (US-Visit) prepared by Privacy International and published a day after the system, which began operating in January, was [re-extended] to cover the citizens of 27 'visa waiver' countries - including the UK.   Germany, and Japan - whose populations are considered to be 'friendly'.   Under the system, supplied to the Department of Homeland Security by the technology services company Accenture [formerly Andersen Consulting, which reorganized after involvement in Enron accounting fraud], visitors have their photograph taken and undergo 2 digital index-finger scans before they can pass through immigration controls."

2004-10-04
Stephen Gordon _PR Web_
Libertarians Sue for Inclusive Presidential Debate in AZ
"This debate is scheduled for October 13 at the Arizona State University (ASU) campus in Tempe.   Representatives of the Arizona Libertarian Party (AZLP) and of the Badnarik presidential campaign conducted a joint press conference after filing the complaint with the Maricopa County Superior Court.   When asked by reporters why the case was filed, AZLP Vice Chair Barry Hess responded, 'They have absolutely no right to use our tax dollars for what is effectively a very expensive television commercial for Bush and Kerry.   This case is about equal protection of the law and specific violations of the Arizona Constitution.'   The complaint alleges that certain provisions of the Arizona Constitution are being violated as state resources are being used to carry out the debate.   The Arizona Constitution prohibits making grants or donations to any individual, association, or corporation...   Fourteenth Amendment equal protection guarantee.   ASU and the Commission for Presidential Debates were both named as defendants in the case."
Libertarian TV
Badnarik for President

2004-10-04
Spencer E. Ante _Business Week_
Stemming the storm surge of immigrants
"In 2003, the number of student visas issued by the U.S.A. dropped 8%, to 215,694, after falling 20% in 2002.   Those are the 2 largest drops since the government began to track student statistics in 1952...   The total number of immigrants -- those granted the right to stay in the U.S.A. permanently -- tumbled 34% in 2003, to 705,827, according to the report.   Excluding a special amnesty program 15 years ago, that's the steepest decline since 1953...   The number of workers with advanced degrees or exceptional skills who were [granted green cards inched down] 65% last year, to 15,459...   The back-log of applications hit an all-time high of 3.8M in January."

2004-10-04
Marc Montoni _Fredericksburg Free Lance Star_
Forget those tired old-party hacks, Vote for Libertarians Badnarik & Campagna
"Robotically, the proponents of state socialism have been battling back and forth on these letters pages, all claiming only their version of socialism has all the answers to solve America's problems.   Unfortunately, their collective delusions have dire consequences for the entire nation...   Why waste a vote for the lunatic politics of the past?   Votes for either of the old-party hacks guarantee only more of what we've always gotten from them in the past: bigger, more intrusive, less responsive, less accountable, more expensive, and more insane government.   Michael Badnarik and the Libertarians are the only alternative to the socialist parties.   Only the Libertarians offer less -- less expensive government, less intrusion into Americans' personal lives, less taxation, less regulation, and less wasteful and counterproductive government programs."
 

2004-10-05

2004-10-04 19:00PDT (22:00EDT) (2004-10-05 02:00GMT)
Andrea Coombes _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Some imported goods pose dangers

2004-10-05 02:00PDT (05:00EDT) (09:00GMT)
Ryan Singel _Wired_
House Bill Morphs 9/11 Commission Advice
"At issue are provisions that would:

" ---
HR10
S2845

2004-10-05 04:54PDT (07:54EDT) (11:54GMT)
Matt Moore _AP_/_Yahoo!_
3 Americans Share Physics Nobel for Strong Force
New Scientist
Wired
"Americans David J. Gross, H. David Politzer and Frank Wilczek won the 2004 Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for their explanation of the force that binds particles inside the atomic nucleus...   It was a 1973 break-through by the trio -- researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- that explained how the so-called 'strong force' works.   The force keeps quarks, the building blocks of protons and neutrons, tightly bound to one another even though the positive electromagnetic charge of protons in the nucleus would break them apart."

2004-10-05
_Los Angeles Times_
4 US Soldiers Charged in Suffocating Death of Iraqi General
Colorado Springs Gazette
"The U.S. military has charged 4 soldiers based at Ft. Carson with murder in the death of an Iraqi general who suffocated during an interrogation in Iraq, the Army said.   Chief warrant officers Jefferson L. Williams and Lewis E. Welshofer Jr., sergeant 1st class William J. Sommer and specialist Jerry L. Loper could get life in prison without parole in the 2003 November 26 death of major general Abed Hamed Mowhoush, 57, at Qaim, Iraq."

2004-10-05
_Los Angeles Times_
4 US Soldiers Charged in Suffocating Death of Iraqi General
Colorado Springs Gazette
"As many pension plans have failed in the past 3 years, some high earners who retired early have been left with pensions much lower than they expected."

2004-10-05
John Noble Wilford _NY Times_
1.66M Year Old Tools Found SW of Beijing

2004-10-05
Matthew Fordahl _AP_/_Los Angeles Times_
Software Woes Stem from Planning
"Such problems are often blamed on bad software, but the cause is rarely bad programming.   'In 90% of the cases, it's because the implementer did a bad job, training was bad, the whole project was poorly done.', said Joshua Greenbaum, principal analyst at Enterprise Applications Consulting in Berkeley...   'The limit we're hitting is the human limit, not the limit of software.', Greenbaum said.   'Technology has gotten ahead of our organizational and command capabilities in many cases.   It's amazing when you go into companies and see the kinds of battles that go on.'   Often, the first step leading to a failure is taken before the first line of computer code is drawn up...   A 2002 study commissioned by the National Institute of Standards and Technology found software bugs cost the U.S. economy about $59.5G annually.   The same study found that more than a third of that cost -- about $22.2G -- could be eliminated by improving testing."

2004-10-05 07:00PDT (10:00EDT) (14:00GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Lay-off plans leapt 45% in September
variant URL
"Lay-off announcements by U.S. companies surged 45% in September to nearly 108K, the highest number of planned job cuts since January, out-placement firm Challenger Grey & Christmas said Tuesday.   Job reduction announcements are up 41% from September 2003, while year-to-date job cuts are down 17% from 2003's pace, Challenger said.   The total of 107,863 announced lay-offs for the month was not seasonally adjusted, the firm said...   For the third quarter, job cuts were up 20% to 251,585 vs. the second-quarter's 209,895 and are up 4% from the third quarter of 2003.   The 12-month moving average, which smoothes out monthly distortions in the data, increased by 3% to 90,722...   corporations announced 16,166 job openings in September, the lowest since Challenger began tracking hiring announcements in May."

2004-10-05 12:10PDT (15:10EDT) (19:10GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Crude petroleum for November delivery closed at $51.09 per barrel on the NYMEX: Intra-day record of $51.29 per barrel

2004-10-05
David Autor _NBER_
Labor Market Intermediation
"The institutional change is the rapid diffusion of 'non-standard' work relationships in the United States and the OECD -- particularly temporary help employment -- through which firms employ workers at arms length and frequently audition them for direct hire positions.   The technological change is the deployment of electronic candidate assessment systems, which screen and vet job applicants using [defective] personality tests and on-line background checks.   Both developments under-score the growing importance of 'labor market intermediation' - mechanisms or institutions that intercede [or, many would say, constitute barriers] between job seekers and employers...   From 1972 to 2000, employment in the temporary help industry increased 5 times more rapidly than employment economy-wide.   The U.S. economy produced a record number of new jobs in the 1990s, and the temporary help industry laid claim to fully 10% of all of this job creation.   At their peak in 2000, temporary help agencies accounted for almost 3% of U.S. daily employment...   In 'Out-Sourcing at Will', I assess whether the adoption of wrongful-discharge laws by U.S. state courts in part can explain the rapid growth of temporary help employment...   In the year following adoption, states adopting wrongful-discharge laws saw 13% excess growth of temporary help employment (on average).   Within 4 years, this impact rose to 24%.   In net, I estimate that wrongful-discharge laws explain 20% of the growth in temporary help employment between 1973 and 1995.   This contribution is numerically large, amounting to 500K additional workers in temporary help employment on an average day in 2000...   Recent analyses of state administrative welfare data reveal that 15% to 40% of former welfare recipients who obtained employment in the years following welfare reform took jobs in the temporary help sector."

2004-10-05
Grant Gross _IT World_/_IDG_
Bush signed extension of R&D tax credit
"Bush signed the Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004, a $146G (over 5 years, or $29.2G per year) law designed to provide tax cuts to the middle class, at a ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa.   The bill included $13G in corporate tax cuts, more than half of that for the extension of the R&D tax credit...   The R&D tax credit, first passed as a temporary tax credit in 1981, had been extended 10 times before the current extension.   It allows U.S. companies conducting research and development activities to get a tax credit of up to 10% of R&D spending."

2004-10-05
Steve Dunn _Daily Gate City_
Bush trade policies promote off-shoring
"'The current administration promotes a lot of policies that encourage companies to move to other countries where the wages are lower and environmental restrictions are less.', said David Leshtz of the Iowa Fair Trade Campaign.   Citing NAFTA specifically, Jim Jontz, president emeritus of Americans for Democratic Action, said NAFTA is a laundry list of factors that make it easier for companies to go to Mexico.   'The prices of products though are not lower, but the owners of companies are making more money.', [Jontz said]...   'In many ways it becomes our fault.', said Olmsted, referring to the choices Americans make when buying products made in America or over-seas...   Many of the job losses have come in manufacturing and information technology, according to Osterberg.   About 30K manufacturing jobs have been lost in Iowa alone since 2001 March.   On top of that, wages have not been increasing much, and family units are working more hours, he said.   The high point in manufacturing wages was from 1959 to 1973...   Government procurement should favor domestic employment, he said.   In addition, private firms should be required to be transparent in their business dealings and the U.S. tax code should not reward off-shore investment, he said."

2004-10-05
Ray Motzon _Michigan Technological University Lode_
Presidential candidates debate
"the Libertarian Party's Michael Badnarik and Green Party's David Cobb actually had 2 debates prior to the Kerry-Bush debate, the second one only hours before the 'official' debate. Unfortunately, Badnarik and Cobb were not even seriously considered for participation in [those] debates. These men have a theoretical chance of winning the election, being on the ballot in enough states to win a majority of the electoral votes, but the Commission on Presidential Debates (a 'non-partisan' organization run solely by Democrats and Republicans) will not allow it... A debate traditionally implies a serious departure in perspectives leading to an impassioned conflict. Yet I saw rather little passion and hardly any departure of ideals during Thursday's programming."
 

2004-10-06

2004-10-06 05:10PDT (08:10EDT) (12:10GMT)
Matt Moore _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Israelis, American Win Chemistry Nobel for Protein Recycling Study
"Israelis Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko and American Irwin Rose won the 2004 Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for discovering a key way cells destroy unwanted proteins √≥ starting with a chemical 'kiss of death'.   Their work provides the basis for developing new therapies for diseases such as cervical cancer and cystic fibrosis.   The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences honored Ciechanover, 57, Hershko, 67, and Rose, 78, for work they did in the late 1970s and early 1980s...   a doomed protein is grabbed by a particular molecule, marking it for destruction.   Such marked proteins are then chopped to pieces.   The process governs such key processes as cell division, DNA repair and quality control of newly produced proteins, as well as important parts of the body's immune defenses against disease, the academy said in its citation."

2004-10-06
Richard Wilner _NY Post_
Off-Shoring Expo Hits NYC

2004-10-06 08:57PDT (11:57EDT) (15:57GMT)
Matt Andrejczak _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US government naively takes Boeing vs. Airbus spat to WTO
"Escalating a long simmering spat, the United States filed a World Trade Organization complaint Wednesday, seeking to end European subsidies to Airbus, Boeing's top rival in making airplanes...   'Since its creation 35 years ago, some Europeans have justified subsidies to Airbus as necessary to support an infant industry.   If that rationalization were ever valid, its time has long passed.', U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said.   Countered EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy: 'The U.S. move in the WTO concerning European support to Airbus is obviously an attempt to divert attention from Boeing's self-inflicted decline.'...   Airbus is 80% owned by European defense group EADS and 20% owned by BAE Systems [a defense contractor]...   The EU argues Boeing has received $23G in subsidies from U.S. agencies and states since 1992."

2004-10-06 10:45PDT (13:45EDT) (17:45GMT)
Heather Wilson _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stock-option expensing more certain with Greenspan's support
"The Federal Reserve chairman sent letters last week to senators Carl Levin, D-MI, and John McCain, R-AZ, backing the Financial Accounting Standards Board's plan to require expensing employee stock options.   The 2 senators are leading an effort to defeat a Senate bill that would drastically limit expensing.   'An accurate accounting of profits is essential if our nation's resources are to be directed to their most efficient uses.', Greenspan wrote to the senators.   'I am deeply concerned by the possibility of Congressional interference in FASB's efforts to achieve this result.'"

2004-10-06
Lee Swindell _Business Wire_
Another outfit to promote & facilitate off-shoring is hatched
"A group of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young, Hewlett-Packard and Lucent alumni have formed a new consulting company that will [encourage US firms to off-shore]...   Argea uniquely combines traditional consulting with out-sourcing education, planning, implementation and management services, including temporary personnel with specialized out-sourcing skills."

2004-10-06 (03:52PDT) (06:52EDT) (10:52GMT) (11:52UK)
_BBC_
Customers balk at off-shoring
"A third of UK consumers say they would take their business elsewhere if their bank or insurer moved its customer service operations over-seas...   However, only 4% of people said they had switched provider in response to customer services moving abroad."

2004-10-06 02:00PDT (05:00EDT) (09:00GMT)
Ryan Singel _Wired_
Senate Wants Data-Base Dragnet
"The Senate could pass a bill as early as Wednesday evening that would let government counter-terrorist investigators instantly query a massive system of interconnected commercial and government data-bases that hold billions of records on Americans.   The proposed network is based on the Markle Foundation Task Force's 2003 December report, which envisioned a system that would allow FBI and CIA agents, as well as police officers and some companies, to quickly search intelligence, criminal and commercial data-bases.   The proposal is so radical, the bill allocates $50M just to fund the system's specifications and privacy policies.   The Senate will likely have its final vote on the bill, sponsored by Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), Wednesday night.   The draft of the bill was based on recommendations of the so-called 9/11 Commission...   Civil liberties lawyer Lee Tien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation accused Congress of 'institutional laziness' for not holding hearings on the proposal to hear the perspectives of advocates for consumers or battered women.   Tien also argued that a widespread lack of privacy and due process protections would make data sharing dangerous."
EPIC
CPSR

2004-10-06
William Kates _Newsday_/_AP_
Presidential candidates debate at Cornell
Cornell Daily Sun
Ithaca Journal (photo)
Ithacan
"Far from the national spot-light, a group of third party presidential candidates debated several issues Wednesday night but found common ground in their criticism of the major parties' monopoly of the campaign process...   'The major and minor party candidates should be treated equally.'"
 

2004-10-07

2004-10-07 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 277,499 in the week ending October 2, a decrease of 5,805 from the previous week.   There were 337,880 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending September 25, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,373,981, a decrease of 23,841 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.3% and the volume was 2,958,923."
graphs

2004-10-07 06:23PDT (09:23EDT) (13:23GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US seasonally adjusted initial unemployment insurance claims fell by 37K to 337K
"The more reliable 4-week moving average of initial claims rose by 4,250 to 348,500, the highest level since February...   Meanwhile, the number of former workers collecting state unemployment checks fell by 1K in the week ended September 25.   At 2.86M, this was the lowest level since mid-July...   The number of initial claims in the September survey was 18K higher than in August, while the level of continuing claims in the September week was 27K lower than in August...   Similarly, continuing claims have been near 2.9M for the past 3 months after dropping by 600K between 2003 September and March...   In August, 20.7% of the 8M workers classified as unemployed had been out of work longer than 6 months.   The average duration of unemployment remained high at 19 weeks.   About 40% of those who go on unemployment exhaust their benefits before finding work."
graphs

2004-10-07 07:45PDT (10:45EDT) (14:45GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Oil futures pass $52 per barrel due to low inventories: Rise in crude stock lags estimate and distillate supply drops: Over $53 peak reached
"Crude for November delivery closed at $52.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the first futures close above $52 ever.   It was up 93 cents for the session, after gaining a total of $2.51 since last Wednesday.   November heating oil tacked on 1.41 cents to close at $1.4209 a gallon, also an all-time high for futures, while November unleaded gas closed at $1.3875 a gallon, up 2.09 cents."

2004-10-07 10:00PDT (13:00EDT) (17:00GMT)
_World Net Daily_
Law-makers consider driver's licenses with RFID chips to allow data to be read at a distance
"Government agents could, for example, easily identify large numbers of protesters in a march, and crooks could mine personal information from the wallets of passersby on a street corner, Wired.com said.   A government also could track the movement of its citizens by coupling global positioning data related to satellites with information from card readers that translate the signals...   Tests have demonstrated broadcast ranges of up to 30 feet [with a few having been successfully read from 150 feet]."
Electronic Privacy Information Center
People for Internet Responsibility
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
Spy Chips

2004-10-07 10:00PDT (13:00EDT) (17:00GMT)
_World Net Daily_
Federal Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office plans to track every car
"Under the plan, not only will movement be monitored but it also will be archived in massive data-bases for future use.   The paper reports a group of car manufacturers, technology companies and government interests have worked toward implementing the project for 13 years...   The report states that more than $4G in federal tax dollars has already been spent to lay the foundation for the system, which will use GPS technology and other methods to monitor Americans' movements.   The plan includes transceivers, or 'on-board units', that will transmit data from each car to the system, the first models of which are expected to be unveiled next Spring.   By 2010, the paper reported, auto-makers hope to start installing them in cars.   The goal is to equip 57M vehicles by 2015...   Neil Schuster is president and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, a group of government and business people that's the driving force behind the program."
EPIC
CPSR
PFIR
Privacy Rights Clearing House
Privacy Journal
EFF
Spy Chips

2004-10-07 10:00PDT (13:00EDT) (17:00GMT)
Jennifer Waters _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Buyers were frugal in September: 2.5% gain compared to last year's 5.6% increase

2004-10-07 14:44PDT (17:44EDT) (21:44GMT)
Jeffry Bartash _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
AT&T to cut more than 20% of work-force
"AT&T will cut nearly 7K additional jobs and write down the value of its network assets by $11.4G in a move that will boost future profits, the company said Thursday...   Under its latest reorganization, AT&T said it will end up reducing its work force by about 20% in 2004, well above its prior target of 8%.   The company ended 2003 with about 61,600 workers.   In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, AT&T said about 11,200 jobs will be eliminated by year-end.   Nearly 7K of those lay-offs are new.   Many of those employees have already been let go or notified."

2004-10-07
Audrey Hudson _Washington Times_
National ID kkkard in the works in congress
"Proposed federal standards for new driver's licenses contained in the intelligence-reform bill moving through Congress creates a national identification card, according to civil liberties groups on both sides of the aisle.   The Senate passed its intelligence-reform bill yesterday by a 96-2 vote, and the House is expected to vote on its version by the end of the week.   Senator John McCain, Arizona Republican and one of the amendment's sponsors, defended the legislation that was quietly added Friday."
Pam Dixon
EPIC
CPSR

2004-10-07
_Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal_
Executive job searches taking 4 months, but most, unlike production workers, find comparable pay
"Only 13% of executives and managers failed to gain equivalent or higher salaries in the new position, according to a new survey by the out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc...   The nationwide survey of 3K jobless managers and executives released Thursday by Challenger revealed that the median job search time increased from 3.8 months in the second quarter to 3.96 in the third quarter.   The third-quarter figure was only slightly below the record job search length of 4.2 months, recorded in the first quarter of 2003...   among those hired in the third quarter, 86.6% won equivalent or better salaries.   That is the highest percentage since the third quarter of 2001, when 87.1% secured equivalent or better salaries, Challenger says."

2004-10-07
_Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal_
Executive job searches taking 4 months, but most, unlike production workers, find comparable pay
"Austin computer programmer Michael Badnarik is the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate.   He and the Green Party's nominee -- former Houston lawyer David Cobb -- will meet today for an hourlong debate at West Mall on the University of Texas campus.   Ben Philpot of the campus radio station K-U-T will be one of the moderators."
Libertarian TV
 

2004-10-08

2004-10-08 06:06PDT (09:06EDT) (13:06GMT)
" Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
September non-farm pay-rolls up seasonally adjusted 96K: Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate 5.4%
In the past 13 months, pay-rolls have risen by 1.8M, although pay-rolls are still down about 800K since Bush took office in early 2001."

2004-10-08 06:57PDT (09:57EDT) (13:57GMT)
_Yahoo!_/_AFP_
Indian Finance Minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, Wages Propaganda War Against US, European, Australian Tech Workers
Bahrain Gulf Daily News

2004-10-08 08:56PDT (11:56EDT) (15:56GMT)
Bambi Francisco _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Web 2.0 conference recalls "love-fest" days
"Now they're back, after taking a respite during the bust - a period in which $7T in market cap vanished.   But rather than being drunk on Kool-Aid, they we're sober.   'Hard work ahead, but rewards if we do this right was our way of capturing the tone versus the low-hanging fruit, sky's the limit attitude that we remember from 1999 and 2000.', wrote Mark Mahaney, an analyst at American Technology Research."

2004-10-08 13:24PDT (16:24EDT) (20:24GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stocks fall due to petroleum prices and disappointing employment data: Oil tops $53 per barrel
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 70.20 points at 10,055.20, extending a triple-digit decline from the previous session.   The bench-mark index fell 1.4% on the week...   The Nasdaq Composite Index tumbled 28.55 points, retreating to 1,919.97 in a broad pullback led by semiconductor stocks.   The tech-rich index fell 1.1% on the week.   Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index was down 8.51 points, at 1,122.14, with the broad gauge pulling back 0.9% on the week.   The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks was off 1.2%."

2004-10-08
Thomas J. Lucente _Desert Dispatch_
Vote for liberty, vote for Badnarik
"Those issues include limited government, free trade, free enterprise, market-based health care, educational choice, deregulation, ending welfare, lower and fewer taxes, and defending the rights of the individual...   Regardless of who is in charge, government continues to grow...   Still, the only candidate in the presidential election who has a pro-liberty platform is Badnarik."

2004-10-08
_Times-Standard_
KEET TV to air presidential debate at 19:30
"David Brancaccio will moderate a conversations between Reform Party presidential nominee Ralph Nader and Green Party candidate David Cobb and between Constitution Party candidate Michael Peroutka and Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik.   'There are no ground rules agreed upon in advance.', said Brancaccio in a press release.   'We expect spirited conversation...'"

2004-10-08
_Capital Times_
Candidates for President Debate
"Of particular concern are the limits placed on participation by legitimate third party and independent candidates.   A recent Zogby poll of likely voters shows that 57% would like to see other candidates included in the presidential debates.   And the democratic instincts of the American people are appropriate.   When candidates are on enough state ballot lines to conceivably collect the Electoral College votes necessary to be elected, they ought to be included in the debates.   That means, at this point, that Green Party candidate David Cobb, Constitution Party candidate Michael Peroutka, Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik and independent Ralph Nader should be included."

2004-10-08
Deborah Lohse & Mark Schwanhausser _San Jose Mercury News_
Former tech workers are under-employed, 28% are unemployed or left California
"Battered by the technology bust, half of the Californians working in tech in 2000 have left the field, a new landmark study of 1M workers shows.   Nearly one-fourth of the tech workers have taken non-technology jobs that often pay less, according to the study by the Sphere Institute, a Bay Area public policy research firm.   Another 28% have fallen off California's job rolls altogether."

2004-10-08
David Streitfeld _Los Angeles Times_
Scurvy'e Plan to Rein in Off-Shoring Has Holes
"Not only were the jobs at the steel plant sent over-seas, but so was the equipment...   Yet changing the tax code to keep companies from shipping work abroad may not do much to solve the problem...   When [the plant was closed] in late 2002, Massillon was owned by Jindal Stainless Ltd., the largest stainless steel producer in India.   And an Indian company closing an American plant, cutting 100 jobs and sending its gear to [Red China], would presumably fall outside the scope of the proposals Kerry is advocating...   World Kitchen closed its Massillon plant in July, laying off 200 workers.   The privately held Reston, VA, company said it would start buying its Baker's Secret cookware from Asian suppliers instead of manufacturing it...   Massillon Stainless, for one, supplied its shiny metal to a long list of American icons, including the Empire State Building, World Trade Center towers and Chrysler building.   But under a succession of owners, employment declined from 1,200 people in 1976 to 750 in 1984 to 500 in 1999...   A factory in Michigan gets taxed at the standard U.S. corporate tax rate.   A U.S. factory in Malaysia gets taxed by Malaysia, but not by the U.S.A. until the profit enters the U.S.A...   But what if a U.S. company hires an Indian out-sourcing firm to run its computer technology department from Bangalore?   That's an expense for the U.S. company, not something it will book as a taxable profit...   The over-seas profits reported by multi-nationals have been soaring -- up more than 50% since 2001 -- without a commensurate rise in income-producing activities, according to an analysis in the journal Tax Notes.   Moreover, companies appear to be funneling as much as $75G of domestic profits to such low-tax havens as Bermuda in 'an aggressive use -- or abuse -- of the nation's tax laws.', former Treasury economist Martin Sullivan wrote."

2004-10-08
_Times-Mail_
More Voices Improve Debate
"Last week, at Franklin College, Democrat governor Joe Kernan, Republican challenger Mitch Daniels and Libertarian candidate Kenn Gividen participated in a televised debate.   While Gividen has no realistic chance of winning, his comments and opinions clearly enhanced the scope and quality of the encounter.   There's little doubt that Badnarik and Nader could serve the same function in presidential debates, just as Ross Perot did in his memorable appearances.   Perhaps the process should begin with numerous candidates in the opening debate, with the final encounter to feature the top 2 candidates squaring off in a format that permits nominees to directly question the opposition."
Badnarik
Bush
Cobb
Kerry
Nader
Peroutka
Ballot Access News
Libertarian TV
 

2004-10-09

2004-10-09
Former senator Larry Pressler, Infosys board member and advisor to Chrysalis Capital is now advising international bodyshopper Summit HR.   "He will look up his buddy from Oxford days, Montek Singh Ahluwaia, before proceeding to Bangalore to Infosys."

2004-10-09 13:12PDT (16:12EDT) (20:12GMT)
_CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Senate to vote Sunday on extortion bill
"The bill is designed to end trade sanctions against U.S. products, while also granting billions in unrelated tax breaks and incentives to businesses.   The legislation was spurred by the need to repeal a portion of the U.S. tax code known as the 'foreign sales corporation' and 'extra-territorial income' provisions -- essentially a roughly $5G a year tax break for exporters that was found to be an illegal trade subsidy by the World Trade Organization...   The FSC/ETI provision is replaced with a tax cut for domestic manufacturers, as well as other domestic firms, including construction companies, engineering and architectural films, and the oil and gas industry.   While efforts to replace the FSC/ETI provisions with tax breaks for domestic manufacturers had wide support, opponents of the final package complained that law-makers had used the bill to lard it with perks for special interests.   A $477G defense bill that would raise military pay was passed, 359-14, in the House on Saturday and sent to the Senate.   Besides a 3.5% increase in soldiers' compensation, the bill has $25G for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan...   The Senate passed a measure ending a 9.5% rate on student loans, sending it to the White House.   President Bush favors the bill, which carries an estimated $285M in savings.   Students have been paying about 3.4% recently, with the rest of the guaranteed rate a wind-fall to lenders."

2004-10-09
Maria Newman _NY Times_
Martha Stewart checked into prison in West Virginia

2004-10-09
David Brooks _NY Times_
The report by Charles Duelfer makes it clear that Saddam Hussein was an insatiable tyrant and needed to be deposed.

2004-10-09
Michael Moss _NY Times_
tens of thousands have lost their homes by using them to pay off credit card bills

2004-10-09
Peter Morton _Canadian National Post_/_Financial Post_
SAS joins the off-shoring trend
"SAS has 9,330 employees around the world, including 100 in India.   It develops and markets sophisticated data mining [and analysis] software to banks, financial institutions and large retailers...   But in Raleigh, unemployment is hovering around 4% -- well above its 5-year average of 3.4%.   In Wake County, which encompasses the research triangle, unemployment is about 5.3%, slightly above the 5-year average of 5.1%.   From 1994 to 1997, total manufacturing employment in North Carolina fell by 25K jobs, or 2.9%.   In textiles alone, 13.3% of the work-force was cut.   Apparel fell by 25% while tobacco manufacturing fell 6.5%...   'Rescue American Jobs believes as much as 10% to 15% of the U.S. work-force is at risk of losing their jobs to out-sourcing.   That's up to 21M jobs at risk of moving off-shore.'...   off-shoring of high-technology services is forecast to increase from $1G in 2002 to $24G by 2007.   The World Bank said among all the G-7 leading economies, off-shore out-sourcing may effect between 1% and 5% of total employment.   Deloitte Research put the number of U.S. jobs lost at 2M in the financial services sector alone by 2015 and the total number of jobs affected at about 4M...   Canada has nearly 72% of out-sourced American computer and data processing.   That compares with 7.2% for India and well-ahead of the United Kingdom with 4.7%.   In 2002, Canadian out-sourcers exported about $758M worth of services to the U.S.A. while importing $420M...   Intel, Mr. Barrett says, has had about 40% of its employees outside the United States for about 2 decades."
 

2004-10-10

2004-10-10
Ken Belson _NY Times_
Cellular phone use is decreasing our privacy, making us less autonomous and less capable of solving problems on our own.

2004-10-10
Jon Gertner _NY Times_
Healthy Chocolate
"Schmitz has spent most of his time at Mars working on something known in-house as the 'healthy chocolate' initiative, an expensive, 15-year investigation into the molecular composition and nutritional effects of cocoa, one of chocolate's primary ingredients.   In recent years, these studies -- undertaken first by company technicians and later by Mars-financed academics in the U.S., Europe and Australia -- have prompted Mars to aggressively pursue patents for dozens of new (and often strange) methods of manufacturing and ingesting cocoa products.   The claims, submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, that cocoa can be used 'in the maintenance of vascular health', or as an 'anti-platelet therapy', or 'in tableting compositions and capsule-filling compositions', at first glance seem more pharmaceutical in nature than food-related...   cocoa beans... from cacao trees... fermentation... roasting, transport, grinding and transformation into chocolate liquor, which can in turn be separated into powdered cocoa and cocoa butter...   fermentation, roasting and what's known as 'dutching', which is the addition of alkali to mellow flavor -- strip the nutrients, and especially the organic compounds known as flavanols, from the beans...   Mars has been juicing up the flavanol levels...   technicians worked on making a flavanol-rich cocoa taste good -- a tall order, since flavanols impart bitterness and astringency 'like a young wine'...   Mars's cocoa... is far richer than many green teas and red wines in flavonoids...   Norman Hollenberg, a professor at Harvard Medical School and a former editor of _The New England Journal of Medicine_.   In 2003, Hollenberg and an assistant professor, Naomi Fisher, published a paper in _The Journal of Hypertension_ offering exactly the kind of evidence Schmitz dreamed about: cocoa flavanols appear to stimulate the production of nitric oxide in blood vessels, which in their subjects had the effect of relaxing the endothelial lining and increasing blood flow to the extremities...   subjects who drank a cup of high-flavanol cocoa had [a 33% increase in] flow of blood to the brain..."

2004-10-10
Peter G. Gosselin & Janet Lundblad _Los Angeles Times_
For 25 years, government and business have shifted risks to workers(graph)
"Starting in the late 1970s, the nation's leaders sought to break a corrosive cycle of rising inflation and stagnating output by remaking the U.S. economy in the image of its frontier predecessor -- 'deregulating' industries, shrinking social programs and promoting a free-market ideal in which everyone must forge his or her own path, free to rise or fall on merit or luck.   On the whole, their effort to transform the economy has succeeded...   stable jobs, widely available health coverage, guaranteed pensions, short unemployment spells, long-lasting unemployment benefits and well-funded job training programs -- have been scaled back or have vanished altogether...   Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which is underwritten by the National Science Foundation and run by the University of Michigan.   Unlike most economic measures, which involve taking snap-shots of random samples of Americans at different times and comparing them, the panel study has followed the same 5K nationally representative families and their off-shoots for nearly 40 years...   During the 1970s... Although their incomes generally swung up or down as much as 16% a year, they ended each year an average of 2% ahead of where they began...   during the 1980s and early 1990s... The volatility of families' income nearly doubled to as much as 30% a year.   But now, instead of growing amid all the ups and downs, average family income dropped at an annual rate of 0.3% in the 1980s and an even steeper 2.3% in the early 1990s.   The bottom line: more risk for less reward...   Although volatility remained high in the late 1990s, with typical annual swings of as much as 27%, incomes finally began to grow again, improving families' odds of being able to get ahead...   Since 2000, incomes have reversed course and fallen about 1% a year, according to recently released census figures...   As recently as 1987, employers provided health coverage for 70% of the nation's working-age population, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington.   By last year, that had dropped to 63%...   Since 2000 alone, employers have raised the premiums their workers must pay by an average of 50%, or about $1K a family, according to a recently released study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust...   A late 1980s study by the Conference Board, a business research group, found that 56% of major corporations surveyed agreed that 'employees who are loyal to the company and further its business goals deserve an assurance of continued employment'.   A decade later, that number dropped to just 6%...   In 1978, middle-aged men could expect to be with the same employer for 11 years, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.   That's now down to about 7.5 years.   Since the 1970s, the average length of an unemployment spell has risen by 50% to almost 20 weeks...   Princeton University economist Henry S. Farber recently found that college graduates laid off in the early 1980s suffered a 10% decline in income through a combination of forgone pay hikes from the old job and lower wages once back to work.   In the last few years, laid-off college grads were taking a far bigger hit of 30%...   The amount that the gross domestic product -- a measure of all the goods and services produced in the U.S. -- jumps around from quarter to quarter has been cut in half since 1984...   Today, more than 70% of mothers work outside the home, compared with less than 40% in the 1970s...   Yet women's employment also has meant new costs -- for day care, extra cars, more meals out...   The traditional measure of household debt -- calculated as a percentage of a family's after-tax income -- has climbed from 62% a quarter century ago to almost 120%, according to Federal Reserve statistics...   But non-mortgage debt, including credit cards and auto loans, also has risen, from 15% to almost 24% of after-tax income...   The borrowing boom has already produced one disturbing trend -- a 6-fold increase in personal bankruptcies since 1980.   Bankruptcy filings reached a record 1.625M last year and were up again through March of this year.   Two decades ago, they totaled 288K."

2004-10-10
Peter G. Gosselin _Los Angeles Times_
As Risk Spreads, Corporate Executives Stay Immune
"At a time when business and government are asking the nation's working families to pay an ever-increasing share of the costs of their health care and retirement, as well as bear more of the burdens of losing a job, one group has carefully insulated itself from such hazards: America's CEOs.   In all, more than 300 chief executives among the Standard & Poor's 500 companies have contracts that promise the equivalent of one year or more of salary and benefits if they leave their jobs.   In most cases, they'll receive this pay-out even if they quit, according to an analysis of the companies' most recent Securities and Exchange Commission filings.   Half of the CEOs are promised 2 or more years' worth of pay should they head out the door...   And that doesn't count the stock wind-falls...   Only half of major companies have any formal severance packages for non-executive employees...   The typical package for a laid-off non-executive worker pays $14K to $27K.   And the benefits are tallied in weeks, not years."

2004-10-10
Paul Craig Roberts _VDare_
Economics: Science or Religion?
"It is easy to blame the Bush administration, but the real blame lies with out-sourcing and off-shore production.   By locating production for US markets off-shore, US firms can substitute much cheaper foreign labor for US labor to make the goods and services sold to Americans.   The high speed Internet makes it possible for US firms to hire foreigners residing abroad, where living costs are low, to do knowledge-based jobs formerly performed by US university graduates."

2004-10-10
Jennifer Pittman _Santa Cruz Sentinel_
Tech Troubles: Most workers have left region's tech sector
"San Francisco Bay Area high-tech workers, including more than 24K Santa Cruz County commuters, were mostly off the California pay-roll or working in lower-paying non-tech jobs by 2003, according to a work-force study released Friday.   The figures, gleaned from state Employment Development Department records, show tech workers who left the industry generally earned much less and had significantly higher gaps in their employment compared to those who stayed in tech jobs...   'The thing we really see is there is a different type of customer for us that has really different needs.', said Kathy Zwart, director of the Santa Cruz County Workforce Investment Board, which provides career services and was one of the sponsors of the study...   Santa Cruz County has experienced the loss of Texas Instruments and numerous down-sizings at many of the larger tech companies such as Borland Software, Caldera Systems, Rainmaker Systems and Seagate Technology as well as the dissolution of many smaller startups...   After the peak boom days of 2000, less than 40% of tech workers were in the same type of tech job 3 years later...   If they stayed in the tech sector, however, they faired relatively well.   Despite the recession that followed, they earned 8-14% more in median wages in 2003 than in 2000.   Their colleagues, however, who couldn't find another tech job or chose another industry entirely experienced a median wage loss of 10%...   Tech workers who went into wholesale and retail or business and employment services, saw their wages decrease by as much as 43% in the 3-year period.   Many of them experienced long periods out of work as well and continue to do so...   In 2000, Silicon Valley tech workers' wages rose 53% from what they were in 1995, which was generally much higher than in other parts of the state, which saw tech wages climb less than 30%."

2004-10-10
Matt Marshall _San Jose Mercury News_
Venture capitalists across Silicon Valley are falling for Red China
"For years, if not decades, entrepreneurs have dreamed of making it in [Red China], salivating at the prospect of more than a billion people and an economy growing at 9% a year.   But for the most part, those dreams have so far remained just that -- dreams, with few and limited cases of success...   Dick Kramlich, partner at Menlo Park's New Enterprise Associates.   He invested more money into SMIC -- $120M -- than any other start-up in his 25 years of investing.   Two years later, he has earned a paper profit...   In June, Silicon Valley Bank took 25 local venture capitalists to [Red China] to meet with local politicians and entrepreneurs.   Many had never been before.   On their heels came about 200 Israeli venture capitalists on a similar mission.   The interest is already translating into action.   Venture investments into [Red China] companies grew to $1.6G last year, up from $420M in 2002.   And they increased to $1.2G during the first 6 months of this year, according to the Asian Venture Capital Journal.   Last year, 172 venture firms operated in [Red China], up from 38 in 2002...   The trickle of [Red China] converts has since turned into a flood...   Half the population in several major cities has phones, compared with only 1% in 1990.   A large tide of U.S.-educated Chinese entrepreneurs and engineers have returned home to [Red China], taking back valuable management experience.   Finally, the massive growth of foreign direct investment in [Red China] from corporations is helping spur [Red China's] economy.   About $1G in capital is invested in [Red China] per week, according to McKinsey & Co...   Other VCs say they want to go, too, but fear huge risks.   Arcane regulations, nuances of local custom, loose accounting and legal standards, and fickle government policy pronouncements -- all make for hazardous conditions.   Chinese banks are burdened with debt, and electricity and transportation services are strained to keep up...   Don Valentine, the leader of highly regarded Sequoia Capital, predicts a coming crash in [Red China] that will make the U.S. down-turn look 'meaningless'...   And there are numerous horror stories...   Foreign investors, who make up about 90% of the VC investments [in Red China], are bidding up the price of investing in private companies -- offering more money for the same amount of ownership stake."
 

2004-10-11

2004-10-10 20:44PDT (23:44EDT) (2004-10-11 03:44GMT)
Jonathan Weisman _Washington Post_/_NBC_
Full-time permanent jobs prove illusive: Contingent labor has transformed the job market
"Temps are allowed only 3 days off a year, and H was coming up against that...   In a single generation, contingent employment arrangements have begun to transform the world of work, not only for temp workers, but also for those in traditional jobs who are competing with a tier of employees receiving lower pay and few, if any, benefits.   The rise of that work-force has become another factor undermining the type of middle-wage jobs, paying about the national average of $17 per hour and carrying health and retirement benefits, that have kept the nation's middle-class standard of living so widely available...   He works alongside full-fledged Toyota employees who earn twice his salary, plus health and retirement benefits...   The increasing [abuse] of temps 'is part of the diminished and inferior wages and fringe benefits you see in all the new jobs that are becoming available', said William B. Gould IV, a labor law professor at Stanford University and former chairman of the National Labor Relations Board.   The government does not have up-to-date figures for the size of the entire contingent work-force, which includes temps, independent contractors, on-call workers and contract company workers.   In 2001, the Labor Department classified 16.2M people -- as much as 12.1% of the labor force -- as contingent workers...   Since 2002 January, the nation added 369K temp positions, about half of the private-sector jobs created during that stretch.   Temporary jobs accounted for one-third of the 96K jobs added to the economy in September.   In 1982, there were 417K workers classified as temporary help.   Today, there are more than 2.5M, according to Labor Department data...   Barrie Peterson, associate director of Seton Hall University's Institute on Work in South Orange, NJ, said that as many as half of those lost manufacturing positions may have been converted to temporary employment...   Jobs categorized as precision production, repair, craftsmanship, operations, fabrications and labor now account for 30.7% of all temp jobs, nudging out clerical and administrative support, which represent 29.5% of the temporary army.   Peterson calls it 'the perma-temping shell game', part of a broader effort by employers to convert sectors of their work-force to temps...   About 83% of independent contractors in the Labor Department survey said they were satisfied.   By contrast, about 44% of temps and 52% of contingent workers said they were not satisfied...   As the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago noted in a paper last year, temporary workers 'receive much lower wages than permanent workers, although they frequently perform the same tasks as permanent staff members'.   An analysis by Harvard University economist Lawrence F. Katz and Princeton University economist Alan B. Krueger found that states with the highest concentration of temps experienced the lowest wage growth of the 1990s...   temps are applying for state aid to cover food costs and medical bills..."

2004-10-11
_Washington Technology_
Lights Out for MyFlorida Alliance as Off-Shore Contracts Are Terminated
Government Technology
Government Computer News
"In August, Florida cancelled an $87M help desk contract [with] Accenture Ltd. [formerly named Andersen Consulting until they were involved in the Enron accounting fraud].   At the end of September, the state cancelled a $126M contract held by BearingPoint Inc. of McLean, VA, for data center services and a $46.7M contract for applications management held by Accenture."

2004-10-11 16:49PDT (19:49EDT) (23:49GMT)
Kristen Gerencher _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Low-wage workers also lack health benefits and sick time off
"Low- and moderate-wage workers earning less than $15 an hour or $30K a year are more likely not to have employer-sponsored health insurance and related benefits such as paid sick days, and they're more likely to forgo care due to cost concerns, according to a study of 4K part-time and full-time workers by the Commonwealth Fund, a non-partisan research group.   64% of workers earning less than $10 an hour had regular doctors, compared with 89% of those in the highest-compensated group.   Overall health status also skewed lower in the lower-paid group, with 36% of those in the lowest-compensated group saying they were in fair or poor health or had a chronic condition versus nearly 25% of higher-paid workers reporting the same.   Despite their lower health status, 29% of the lowest-paid workers didn't go to a doctor when they were sick in the past year, citing the cost, compared with 6% of those doing higher-compensated work."

2004-10-11
Pam Baker _CRM Daily_/_News Factor_
Why Customer-Service Out-Sourcing Does Not Work
"'In our society we demean customer service and hand it over to the younger-generation work-force or to off-shore out-sourcing...', says Dane Anderson of Meta Group...   There is no such thing as a free lunch or cheap out-sourcing, says Gartner.   The firm predicts that 80% of organizations that out-source customer service will fail to reduce costs...   Jim Poole, CIO of W.C. Bradley, told NewsFactor, 'In terms of cost alone, out-sourcing is a high-risk solution.'..."
 

2004-10-12

2004-10-12
Dexter Filkins & Edward Wong _NY Times_
Cleric's Militia Begins to Yield Heavy Weapons
"In exchange, the rebels were paid for the weapons and U.S. commanders agreed to halt military operations against Sadr's militia."

2004-10-12
Louis Uchitelle _NY Times_
2 Mavericks in Economics Awarded Nobel Prize for Reporting the Obvious and Weighing It Differently
"An American and a Norwegian won the Nobel prize in economics for research into how new technologies and financial shocks play a role in booms and recessions...   The Prescott-Kydland finding assumed that demand was always at a high level.   Everyone who wanted to work did so at the prevailing wage and all production could be sold at the existing market price.   Supply, in effect, created its own demand.   Thus, they posited, changes to the economy came not from fluctuations in demand, but from shocks.   The oil embargo that caused sharply higher prices and the 9/11 terrorism would be negative shocks, while the Internet and high-speed computers would have a positive impact, increasing productivity and growth.   The negative supply shocks, and not policy, cut into consumer spending and job creation."

2004-10-12
John Schwartz _NY Times_
Now Earning Wings, a New Kind of Astronaut
"SpaceShipOne's pilot received a new honor: commercial astronaut wings awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration for those who fly more than 50 miles above Earth."

2004-10-12
Tom Zeller _NY Times_
Entertainment Industry Asks Justices to Rule on File Sharing
"The movie and music industries have filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to overturn a federal appeals court decision that favored makers of file-sharing software."

2004-10-12
_The Guardian_
Nuclear weapons materials, missiles and equipment in Iraq confirmed by UN as coalition removes materials and disassembles facilities
"Equipment and materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons have disappeared from Iraq, the UN's nuclear watch-dog warned yesterday.   Satellite imagery and investigations of nuclear sites in Iraq have caused alarm at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).   The agency found that in some cases entire buildings housing high-precision nuclear equipment had been dismantled; equipment that could be used to make a bomb, such as high-strength aluminium, had vanished from open storage areas, the agency said."

2004-10-12 08:09PDT (11:09EDT) (15:09GMT)
_Tampa Bay Business Journal_
USF to release off-shore out-sourcing study data
"The University of South Florida Center for Globalization Research will unveil the findings of a commissioned study on the effects of off-shore out-sourcing on Tampa Bay... 'Base-Line Analysis of Off-Shoring in the Tampa Bay Region'..."

2004-10-12 10:00PDT (13:00EDT) (17:00GMT)
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Textile industry association asks for curb of imports from Red China
"a coalition of U.S. textile makers has asked the Bush administration to curb imports of Chinese trousers and shirts, expected to flood the U.S. market when quotas are lifted at the beginning of next year.   The group wants the U.S. to issue new quotas on imports of some Chinese trousers, shirts and other knit products to limit the growth of those products to 7.5% annually from the level of shipments over the past year.   Under the rules of the World Trade Organization established a decade ago, quotas limiting textiles from entering the United States are set to expire on 2005 January 1."
 

2004-10-13

2004-10-13
Joseph Kahn _NY Times_
Red China Crushed Peasant Protest, Turning 3 Friends Into Enemies
"Since [Red China's] peasantry began falling far behind the urban elite in the go-go 1990s, the countryside has been a font of unrest.   It is the rare village, among the 700K across [Red China], where residents are not protesting something - corruption, high taxes or fees, confiscated land, punitive birth-control policies."

2004-10-13
Charlie LeDuff _NY Times_
Mexican-Americans Struggle for Jobs
"In a strange post-industrial twist, most people who have lost their jobs in the garment industry are first-generation Mexican women."

2004-10-13
William Safire _NY Times_
Duelfer to France: J'accuse!
"Charles Duelfer's Iraqi arms report implicates French officials and their profiteering friends in the U.N. oil-for-food scandal."

2004-10-13 08:56PDT (11:56EDT) (15:56GMT)
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
CEO confidence fell in 3rd quarter in Conference Board survey
"The survey, which asks a range of questions to nearly 100 chief executives in a wide range of industries, showed a decline to 63 from 70 in the second quarter.   It's the second consecutive quarterly decline.   A reading above 50 indicates more positive than negative responses..."

2004-10-13
Malcolm Rosario _Business Times_
MDC to conspire with NASSCOM to counter developed world's defenses against off-shoring
"Multi-Media Development Corp. (MDC)... senior vice president (regulation department) Narayanan Kanan met NASSCOM president Kiran Karnik last week to discuss the [conspiracy], but the details of the discussion are not expected to be made public... 'The main objective of the alliance is to [work through the] World Trade Organisation...'...   'The problem is very obvious in the software sector, where [hundreds of thousands] of workers in developed nations have been laid off in recent [years], giving way to [off-shoring] an increasingly dirty word..."

2004-10-13 15:38PDT (18:38EDT) (22:38GMT)
_AP_/_NBC_
FDA approves computer chip for insertion into humans
"Silently and invisibly, the dormant chip stores a code that releases patient-specific information when a scanner passes over it...   The VeriChip itself contains no medical records, just [ID] codes that can be scanned, and revealed...   'If privacy protections aren't built in at the outset, there could be harmful consequences for patients.', said Emily Stewart, a policy analyst at the Health Privacy Project.   To protect patient privacy, the devices should reveal only vital medical information, like blood type and allergic reactions, needed for health care workers to do their jobs, Stewart said...   Pushing for the strongest encryption algorithms to ensure hackers can't nab medical data as information transfers from chip to reader to secure data-base, will help address privacy concerns, he said.   The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday announced $139M in grants to help make real President Bush's push for electronic health records for most Americans within a decade."
EPIC
CPSR
PFIR
Spy Chips

2004-10-13
Amelia Gruber _Gov Exec_
Conference committee, led by William Thomas, drops measure to curb off-shoring from HR4520
"Christopher Dodd, D-CT, proposed the ban on off-shore contracting as part of an effort to keep jobs in the United States."
HR4520

2004-10-13
Devon Ryan _Daily Texan_
Open debates to all candidates
"While president Bush and senator Kerry were riveting audience members at the second presidential debate, outside the debate hall, Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian presidential candidate, and David Cobb, the Green Party presidential candidate, were being arrested...   The 2 third party candidates were arrested for crossing the police line in an act of civil disobedience.   Badnarik was attempting to serve the Commission on Presidential Debates with an Order to Show Cause, which summons the CPD to a court hearing to explain why it has excluded Libertarian participation in the debates.   The CPD is a private corporation owned by the 2 [major] parties since 1986.   This is why they were able to make all those crazy rules and almost totally abandon the debate format.   This is also why it has engineered the requirements for inclusion to almost automatically exclude anyone except [themselves]...   Free air-time is at a premium in this country.   The legions of propaganda thrown out by the major candidates and their parties all cost serious money, but the debates are free.   With all the replay and the spinners and the pundits and the Leno jokes, the debates bring in approximately $1G worth of free press to the 2 major parties...   Luckily, in this country you can't refuse to accept a court order.   Badnarik had his day in court yesterday morning in the Superior Court of Maricopa County.   Unfortunately, the judge ruled in favor of the CPD and did not restrain the debates but did allow the plaintiffs to continue to pursue damages.   The next debate is tonight in Arizona, where there are three candidates for president on the ballot: Bush, Kerry and Badnarik."
Badnarik for President
Libertarian TV

2004-10-13
Howard Fischer _Arizona Daily Sun_
A state judge refused to block today's presidential debate or order that Libertarian candidate, Michael Badnarik, be permitted to participate despite state constitution's provision against using state money for politically biased activities
"Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Pendleton Gaines rejected arguments by David Euchner, attorney for the party, that public funds were being spent illegally to finance the event...   Gaines also questioned Euchner's contention that it violates the state Constitution for Arizona State University to spend public funds for what is a gift to the 2 major parties: a chance to show off their candidates to the exclusion of others.   Euchner pointed out that Badnarik, like George Bush and John Kerry, is a candidate on the Arizona presidential ballot and argued that entitles him to equal treatment -- and equal benefit from spending.   But Tuesday's decision leaves the party free to sue the Commission on Presidential Debates, as well as the 2 major parties, to repay the approximately $2.5M ASU has spent."

2004-10-13
W. David Gardner _TechWeb_
Off-Shore Out-Sourcing Company, Orbograph, Seeks Out-Post in Omaha
"A Boston area company with Israeli origins and out-sourcing facilities in India is developing a new place to carry out its high-tech out-sourcing -- Nebraska.   Orbograph has teamed up with Goodwill Industries of Omaha, NE, to begin an outpost of its recognition solutions technology.   The program, announced Wednesday, has a goal of carrying out recognition services and check processing for U.S. financial institutions.   'We believe we can do both -- have keying centers in India and find a way to retain jobs in the U.S.', said Uriel Ben-David, vice president of Orbograph."

2004-10-13
Amelia Gruber _GovExec_
Congress dropped measure to curb off-shore out-sourcing of government work
"The corporate tax bill cleared on Monday for President Bush's signature would allow federal agencies to continue awarding contracts to companies working off-shore... congressional negotiators, led by Rep. William Thomas, R-CA, removed the provision from the compromise version of the tax bill (HR4520)."
HR4520
 

2004-10-14

2004-10-14
David R. Francis _Christian Science Monitor_
American programmers are an endangered species
USA Today
"Some experts think [American computer programmers will] become extinct within the next few years, forced into unemployment or new careers by a combination of off-shoring of their work to India and other low-wage countries and the arrival of skilled immigrants taking their jobs...   Since the dotcom bust in 2000-2001, nearly a quarter of California technology workers have taken non-tech jobs, according to a study of 1M workers released last week by Sphere Institute, a San Francisco Bay Area public policy group.   The jobs they took often paid less.   Software workers were hit especially hard.   Another 28% have dropped off California's job rolls altogether.   They fled the state, became unemployed, or decided on self-employment...   Although computer-related jobs in the United States increased by 27K between 2001 and 2003, about 180K new foreign H-1B workers in the computer area entered the nation, calculates John Miano, an expert with the Programmers Guild, a professional society.   'This suggests any gain of jobs have been taken by H-1B workers.', he says...   H-1B and L-1 visas are 'American worker replacement programs', says the National Hire American Citizens Society."
The Organization for the Rights of American Workers

2004-10-14
Floyd Norris _NY Times_
Audit Board Delays Rule on Options as Expenses
"The move will delay the reduction in reported profits for many companies, and may give them more time to lobby Congress to stop the rule from taking effect."

2004-10-14
Mary Williams Walsh _NY Times_
A Hard-to-Swallow Lesson on Pensions
"Tens of thousands of Americans are discovering, as they approach retirement, that money they were promised is not forthcoming."

2004-10-14
Paul Meller _NY Times_
4 European Nations Accused of Unfairly Favoring Intel
"The European Commission said on Wednesday that France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland had unfairly favored Intel in public contracts for computer equipment."

2004-10-14 07:44PDT (10:44EDT) (14:44GMT)
Kabir Chibber _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
GM to cut 12K jobs in Europe: Cutting costs by $600M there
"The job cuts represent around 19% of GM's European work-force."

2004-10-14
_TechRepublic_
MSFT losing in patent suit filed by TV Interactive Data
"TVI filed the suit in 2002, alleging that AutoPlay technology included in every PC version of MSFT's operating system since Windows 95 infringes on its U.S. patents 5,795,156 and 6,249,863."

2004-10-14
Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
Weekly unemployment insurance claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 336,528 in the week ending October 9, an increase of 57,113 from the previous week.   There were 368,876 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending October 2, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,353,221, a decrease of 14,675 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.3% and the volume was 2,943,805."
graphs

2004-10-14 12:32PDT (15:32EDT) (19:32GMT)
Jeffry Bartash _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
FCC promotes BPL, lets local monopolies remain

2004-10-14 14:22PDT (17:22EDT) (21:22GMT)
_Portland Business Journal_
Oregon unemployment 7.3% in September, down from 7.4% in August

2004-10-14
Ellen McCarthy _Washington Post_
Guest-Worker Visa Issues Vex Tech Workers
"experienced tech professionals who are still out of work. They say they are already under enough international pressure from the growth in off-shore out-sourcing of U.S. jobs.   IEEE-USA, an engineering association based in the District, is encouraging members to lobby Congress to keep the current caps in place.   'We continue to be concerned about unemployment.', said Vin O'Neil, IEEE-USA's legislative representative.   And until there are significant job gains, he added, it's 'difficult for us to support an increase in the cap... because it increases the competition for available jobs.'...   A bill introduced by representative Lamar S. Smith (R-TX) would allow an extra 20K visas to be awarded to graduates of U.S. higher education programs."

2004-10-14
Kathy M. Kristof & Joseph Menn _Los Angeles Times_
FASB Delays Rule on Accounting for Stock Options
"In a 5-2 vote, the FASB agreed to require companies to deduct the value of options from earnings starting 2005-06-15, instead of at the end of this year...   Rick White, chief executive of TechNet, a Silicon Valley interest group and a forceful opponent of expensing, said the new rule would have a chilling effect on technology companies...   Ann Yerger, deputy director of the Council of Institutional Investors, a Washington group that represents 140 pension funds.   'We believe that [option] awards are compensation and the value can be reasonably estimated.   As such, the cost should be expensed, as all other forms of compensation are.', she said.   'Right now, the financial statements of a company that is primarily compensating its employees with cash cannot be compared to a company that is primarily compensating with stock options and that is just ludicrous.'"

2004-10-14 04:00PDT (07:00EDT) (11:00GMT)
Ed Frauenheim _CNET_
IT bodyshops are beginning to hire
"But services employers these days want more than the programming chops of unemployed software developers -- they're looking for business smarts as well...   Employees at [bodyshops] handle tasks ranging from installing...   software programs to writing applications to helping clients stream-line the way they procure goods -- the sorts of project that require some business acumen...   research firm IDC projects technology and business services spending will rise 5.6% this year, to $553.3G...   To be sure, some of the hiring is abroad, as the off-shoring trend continues...   Tech workers, she said, 'tend to be pigeon-holed'.   Even coders with more than programming languages on their resume may not have it easy, however."
 

2004-10-15

2004-10-15 06:06PDT (09:06EDT) (13:06GMT)
Kathie O'Donnell _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
NY AG Eliot Spitzer charges protection rackets with bid rigging, illegal pay-offs over contingent commissions
Alistair Barr: more on charges, companies involved
Greg Morcroft: e-mail reveals evil intentions

2004-10-15 06:21PDT (09:21EDT) (13:21GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Retail sales were up 1.5% in September, up 4.2% in auto sales; PPI up 0.1%, core up 0.3%
PPI

2004-10-15 07:20PDT (10:20EDT) (14:20GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
UMich consumer sentiment index falls from 94.2 in September to 87.5 in early October

2004-10-15 07:34PDT (10:34EDT) (14:34GMT)
Krysten Crawford _CNN_/_Money_
Legal Work Being Off-Shored
"A number of U.S. companies, including members of the Fortune 500 and some of the country's largest law firms, are now embracing the idea of out-sourcing routine legal work to India, South Korea, Australia and other locales with far lower labor costs.   General Electric, the country's fifth-largest corporation, has taken the idea the farthest of any company and set up a subsidiary in India that employs about 30 lawyers."

2004-10-15 13:43PDT (16:43EDT) (20:43GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Off-Shoring Continues To Worsen At Accelerating Pace
Silicon Valley/San Jose Mercury News
"The data suggest that 406K jobs will be shifted from the United States to other countries this year, the study found.   By comparison, 204K jobs were shifted in 2001.   Cornell University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst conducted the study for the U.S.-[Red China] Economic and Security Review Commission.   Job shifting to India is out-pacing shifts to [Red China], the study found.   Richard D'Amato, the chairman of the commission, said Congress must 'enact corporate reporting requirements' to track job shifts...   the Midwest has been especially hard-hit...   Almost 40% of all jobs being shifted out of the country are from unionized facilities...   While the government found only 4,633 private sector workers lost their jobs to global out-sourcing from 2004 January to March, the authors said they were able to 'find solid confirmation for an absolute minimum of 25K jobs shifted out of the United States' during that same period.   The report said its methodology likely captures only a portion of the job shifts.   Over the first three months of the year, the study found 23,396 jobs moving to Mexico, 8,283 to [Red China], 3,895 to India, 5,511 to other Latin American countries, 4,419 to other Asian countries and 2,933 to other regions."

2004-10-15 16:10PDT (19:10EDT) (23:10GMT)
_CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Top News for the Week

2004-10-15
_Slovensko_
Unemployment rate was 13.1% in September after dropping from 13.2% in August

2004-10-15
Alana Roberts _In Business Las Vegas_/_Las Vegas Sun_
Immigration Lawyer Association Wants More Guest-Worker Visas: Other Businesses Say They Don't Need Them
"representatives of local companies said their companies don't need workers who use H-1B visas.   Representatives of International Game Technology, Bechtel Nevada and Southern Nevada Water Authority all said their companies don't rely on workers who need H-1B visas."

2004-10-15
Stephanie Maatta _Library Journal_
Placements & Salaries 2003: Jobs! (Eventually)
"If the economy is rebounding, the library world has yet to feel it."

2004-10-15
Sharon Gaudin _IT Management_
Off-Shoring Has Been a Real WMD to US Tech Workers
"America's high-end, high-paying IT jobs are increasingly moving to India, threatening the U.S.'s predominant position in the world and setting India up to become the next super-power, according to the author of a new book, _Rising Elephant_.   Ashutosh Sheshabalaya, a former journalist and technology consultant who heads Allilon, an IT services [out-sourcing] firm in Europe, is issuing a warning that the off-shoring of U.S. high-tech jobs marks the remaking of the American work-force, as well as the world economy...   High-value, high-tech jobs are equally at risk -- only the timing is different.   India's focus, Sheshabalaya says, is a 'full sweep of high-value white-collar services'.   He calls it the Great Displacement.   And the relocation movement quietly began about 20 years ago, starting in the mid-1980s and then slowly picking up in the mid-1990s."
 

2004-10-16

2004-10-17

2004-10-17
Dean E. Murphy _NY Times_
San Francisco's Instant Run-Off Voting Runs Into an Obstacle
"The introduction in November of a new municipal election system known as instant runoff voting has hit an unexpected snag with the city's Ethics Commission...   cooperation among rival candidates in races for the Board of Supervisors -- might be in violation of city and state campaign finance laws...   With the instant run-off in mind, some of the 65 candidates have been identifying their preferences for the second and third slots in their races.   Rivals have also held joint fund-raisers, shared web sites and printed campaign literature that identifies their ranked choices."

2004-10-17
Adam Geller _AP_/_San Diego Union-Tribune_
Union Certified at Quebec WM store
"The 165 hourly workers at this store 2 1/2 hours north of Quebec City could soon become the first anywhere to extract what the world's largest private employer insists its 1.5M 'associates' around the world neither want nor need - a union contract.   A government agency has certified the workers as a union and told the 2 sides to negotiate."

2004-10-17
Justin Pope _AP_/_Indianapolis Star_
Many don't apply for financial aid for college
"The study released last week by the American Council on Education, which represents colleges and universities, says half of the 8M under-graduates enrolled in 1999-2000 at institutions participating in federal student aid programs did not complete the main [egregiously intrusive] federal aid application form."
 

2004-10-18

2004-10-18 01:33PDT (04:33EDT) (08:33GMT)
Osamu Tsukimori _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Nikkei edges down as petroleum futures nose above $55 per barrel
"Japanese stock indexes fell for a seventh straight session Monday after crude oil prices topped $55 a barrel in New York, renewing concerns about the impact on consumer spending and economic growth.   'Crude oil prices hovered around $55, so investors mostly stayed on the sidelines amid a wait-and-see mood.', said Hiroyuki Nakai, chief strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research Center in Tokyo.   The Nikkei Average ended down 17.33 points, or 0.2%, at 10,965.62, while the broader Topix was down 4.28 points, or 0.4%, at 1,101.11.   Crude for November delivery hit a high of $55.33 in midday Asia trade, up 40 cents from its Friday close on the New York Mercantile Exchange."

2004-10-18 15:14PDT (18:14EDT) (22:14GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Growing job categories pay less; Shrinking categories paid more
UCBerkeley press release
report (pdf)
"New research on government wage data show that job categories with lots of new openings pay about $1.90 less an hour than job categories with lots of layoffs, according to Arindrajit Dube of Berkeley's Institute of Industrial Relations.   'We find that growing jobs have paid about 10% to 12% lower than shrinking jobs' over the past year and over the past 3 and a half years, Dube said...   'Adjusted for inflation, the average wage grew at 0.06% and 0.6% annually over 2002 and 2003, respectively.   During the current year, the real wage fell by an annualized 0.42%.   Overall, since the 4 th quarter of 2000, the real wage has grown at an annual average rate of 0.9%, but this was driven primarily by a 3.4% growth during 2001...   Some important examples of shrinking jobs in this wage range include: production workers in computer and electronics manufacturing; production workers in machinery manufacturing; administrative workers in telecommunications; and administrative workers in professional and technical services.'"

2004-10-18
_Los Angeles Times_
Workers Call for Better Benefits, Higher Wages at DC Demonstration

2004-10-18 14:05PDT (17:05EDT) (21:05GMT)
Michael Paige _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Cincinnati-based Convergys expects to rake in $50M from Texas Health & Human Services pay-roll services contract

2004-10-18
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee & Eric Chabrow _Information Week_
Work-Force Re-Aligns (graphs)
"222K fewer IT pros work as computer programmers and analysts...   Up to 70% of application-development work will vanish in the United States, through use of automated tools and off-shore out-sourcing, says Tom Austin, Gartner's research fellow and group VP...   Since 2000 Spring, the rolls of computer systems, network and data-base administrators have increased by 109K.   IT managers saw an even bigger jump, up 113K, or nearly 48%."

2004-10-18
Press Materials from the Forces of Evil

2004-10-18 07:42PDT (10:42EDT) (14:42GMT)
_Reuters_
Job Cuts in US Tech Sector Soar
Boston Herald/Tech News World
Hire America
"The U.S. technology sector suffered another round of widespread lay-offs during the third quarter, with computer firms slashing jobs most aggressively, [out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas] said on Monday...   Job cuts in technology jumped 60% between July and September to 54,701, compared with 34,213 lay-offs in the second quarter. Computer companies alone saw job cuts jump 127%, to 30,624."

2004-10-18
Jason Lopez _News Factor_
IT Jobs Dwindle in USA, Off-Shore Hiring Expected to Surge
ComputerWorld
"The market for off-shore I.T. services will balloon from $7G in 2003 to $17G by 2008, IDC predicts...   The number of people who held more than one job rose by 519K to 8M."
 

2004-10-19

2004-10-19
Joseph B. Treaster _NY Times_
NY AG is pursuing reports of pay-offs that may increase insurance coverage costs for tens of millions.

2004-10-19 06:00PDT (09:00EDT) (13:00GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US CPI rose 0.2% from August to September: Core up 0.3%
Los Angeles Times
BLS report

2004-10-19 07:05PDT (10:05EDT) (14:05GMT)
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Housing starts fell 6% in September, permits up 1.8%: US single-family starts down 8.2%, permits up 0.1%
Los Angeles Times
census bureau report

2004-10-19
Bill Sing _Los Angeles Times_
Job Growth in California Still Lack-Luster: Net 4,900 in September
"The increase followed a revised gain of 4,300 net non-farm jobs in August and a net loss of 9,300 in July, making September the third straight month of sluggish job creation...   Based on its 11% share of total U.S. employment, California should have generated more than 10K jobs in September...   What's more, the technology sector is adding jobs slowly as it continues to struggle to recover from the dot-com bust...   In September, the largest growth came from professional and business services, particularly temporary workers -- suggesting continued reluctance to hire permanent employees, said Brad Williams, director of budget overview and fiscal forecasting for the California Legislative Analyst's Office...   The household survey samples people reached at home and thus includes independent contractors and other self-employed workers who don't receive employer-paid health care and other benefits.   The household survey also includes recently formed small businesses that aren't established enough to be included in the pay-roll survey...   Information [which includes movie-makers, publishers and software product developers] posted the largest decline, down by 8,300 jobs."

2004-10-19
_Bloomberg_/_Los Angeles Times_
Judge Orders Sempra to Stand Trial for 2000 & 2001 Market Manipulation
"San Diego County Superior Court Judge J. Richard Haden ordered Sempra Energy, owner of the largest U.S. natural gas utility, to stand trial in a law-suit seeking as much as $24G for alleged market manipulation during California's power crisis in 2000 and 2001...   The suit, filed in 2000 by California and various cities and consumers, claims that Sempra conspired with El Paso Corp. to block competition for cheaper Canadian natural gas.   El Paso settled claims against it for about $1.7G.   The plaintiffs estimate that Sempra owes them about $9G, which could be tripled under state law, after giving credit for El Paso's payment."

2004-10-19
Olivia Winslow _NewsDay_
College Board Says Costs Rose 6% at Private Institutions, 10.5% at Public
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
USA Today
"Gaston Caperton, president of the College board... _Trends in College Pricing_ shows costs at private 4-year colleges averaged $20,082 in 2004-05, $1,132 more than the previous year, a 6% increase.   For 4-year public colleges, the average cost this year of $5,132 was up $487, a 10.5% increase.   At public 2-year colleges, the College Board found costs averaged $2,076, up $167, or 8.7%...   over the past decade, tuition and fees rose 51% at public 4-year colleges and 36% at private four-year colleges, increases educators attributed largely to personnel, technology and utility costs...   almost 60% of under-graduates receive grants and about three-quarters of under-graduates receive some form of financial aid.   As college costs have risen, student financial aid has increased as well, reaching a record $122G in 2003-2004, the most recent year for which figures were available, an 11% increase over 2002-2003...   $12.7G in Pell Grants provided 5.1M students with average grants of $2,466.   But because of a 7% increase in recipients, the average grant fell by 1%, after adjusting for inflation, in spite of a 6% increase in Pell Grant funding...   the average Pell Grant covered 23% of total charges at the average 4-year institution in 2003-04, down from 35% in 1980-1981...   student financial aid provided by the private schools grew to $1.8G by 2000, up from $300M in 1980."

2004-10-19
_AP_/_Houston Chronicle_
Students' share of rising tuition climbs: Private loans are up sharply
Poplar Bluff Daily American Republic

2004-10-19 12:36PDT (15:36EDT) (19:36GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Petroleum futures drop to $53.29 on NYMEX

2004-10-19
_Reuters_/_Crain's Chicago Business_/_Illinois Coalition for Jobs Growth & Prosperity_
Job cuts in US tech sector soared
The Dog Wags
"Job cuts in technology jumped 60% between July and September to 54,701, compared with 34,213 lay-offs in the second quarter, bringing the total to 118,427 so far this year.   Computer companies alone saw job cuts jump 127%, to 30,624.   Manufacturers in the sector are having trouble making money since they have been forced to lower prices in order to attract consumers, Challenger said.   So they end up firing workers in order to maintain healthy profit margins.   Also seeing increased job cutting are telecommunications (+8% to 19,825) and electronics (+75% to 4,092). The year-to-date total jobs cut account for 16% of the 724,320 announcements for all industries in the first 9 months of 2004."

2004-10-19
John R. Lott & Kevin A. Hassett _Social Science Research Network_
Is NewsPaper Coverage of Economic Events Politically Biased?
 

2004-10-20

2004-10-20
Timothy Egan _NY Times_
Local Governments Gave Tax Breaks, but Companies & Lobs Leave
"After a decade of tax breaks and union concessions to keep the company in a place that has been making refrigerators for more than 50 years, Maytag closed its factory last month, terminating 1,600 jobs...   District Attorney Paul L. Mangieri wants to sue Maytag to recoup what he says were excess tax breaks in a broad package of incentives to keep the company here...   There are echoes of Mr. Mangieri's argument in Putnam County, FL, which gave $4.5M in cash and tax breaks to attract a call center owned by Sykes Enterprises, only to have it pull up stakes this month after less than 5 years in Palatka...   a car dealer, fears suing Maytag will discourage future employers...   Next door in Iowa, officials are keeping one eye on the fight while trying to determine whether they should try to recoup up to $25M in public money given to business partnerships that have not lived up to their agreements to increase employment.   In New York, State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi said in an audit this year that a program that gives millions of dollars in tax breaks to businesses that promise to create work ended up rewarding some businesses that lost jobs...   Under Mr. Mangieri's interpretation of the original deal, Maytag was entitled to $1M in reduced property taxes.   That amount grew to $2.1M without protest from the county because the company was staying, county officials said...   Over the years, Maytag benefited from state and local tax abatements, as well as money raised when people agreed to increase the sales tax.   According to Mr. Mangieri, Galesburg raised $2.8M in sales tax revenue to retrofit the refrigerator plant here, the State of Illinois came through with $5.8M in aid, and Maytag was given 10 years of property tax abatements.   Those breaks ended in 1999 and were not to exceed $1M, Mr. Mangieri said.   Ms. Dragomier said Maytag, which is moving most of the work from Galesburg to a new plant in Mexico...   union leaders... backed a proposal for 'patriot corporations' that some law-makers are circulating.   Under that program, a company would receive a tax advantage if it kept production and a high percentage of sales in the United States."

2004-10-20
Landon Thomas _NY Times_
Citigroup Forces Resignations of 3 Senior Executives after Japanese Regulators Shut Down Some Private Banking Operations There

2004-10-20
_AP_/_NY Times_
Michael Powell, chairman of the FCC, said he would seek broad regulatory authority for the federal government over Internet-based telephone services to stifle competition in the emerging market

2004-10-20 10:00PDT (13:00EDT) (17:00GMT)
Ed Frauenheim _CNET_
Is IT hiring picking up?
"OT1H, on-line ads for tech jobs are increasing, IT services companies are hiring, and analysts are warning companies to take steps to retain prized workers as the job market tightens."

2004-10-20 11:46PDT (14:46EDT) (18:46GMT)
Andrea Coombes _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Census bureau says home-based work force grew 23% over the 1990s
"About 4.2M people worked almost full-time from home in 2000, up from 3.4M in 1990.   The number of home-based workers grew at a rate nearly double the 12% growth rate of the overall work force in that time...   From 1960 to 1970, a decline in family farms helped drive a 42% drop in at-home workers.   The decade spanning 1970 to 1980 saw a further 19% drop, but then things turned around, with a 56% gain in the number of at-home workers through the 1980s, followed by the 23% gain in the 1990s.   In 2000, more than 31% of at-home workers were company employees, while about 46% were self-employed in an unincorporated business.   Another 12% were self-employed in an incorporated company.   53% of the at-home workers were women...   The number of telecommuters working from home 'almost every day' rose to more than 12M this year, from almost 9M last year, according to a survey released last month by ITAC and The Dieringer Research Group.   The ITAC survey also found more than 8M teleworkers used broadband at home, an 84% rise from the 4.4M who did so last year."

2004-10-20 14:15PDT (17:15EDT) (21:15GMT)
Alistair Barr _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
California regulators follow Spitzer lead, set new rules against bid-rigging
"State Commissioner John Garamendi's proposed rules would require insurance agents and brokers in California to offer clients the best deal available and disclose all fees they receive...   The California Department of Insurance began working on the suits and the new rules in March after the Washington Legal Foundation, an advocacy group, wrote to Garamendi and Spitzer complaining about contingent commissions...   California's investigation and its planned law-suits include all insurance lines, including auto, health, and property and casualty, Garamendi said."

2004-10-20
Matt Hines & Ina Fried _Tech Republic_
Apple releases new machines, cuts prices

2004-10-20
_SoCalTech_
US Tech Jobs Down, Off-Shore Hiring Surging
CNET
"Staffing firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas has released a report that shows that US technology job cuts has accelerated greatly in the last quarter.   The firm is reporting that job cuts in technology jumped between July and September to 54,701 layoffs reported, up from 34,213 lay-offs the previous quarter.   The company said that computer companies alone had a 127% increase in job cuts.   Separately, Indian off-shore out-sourcing firms reporting their quarterly results say that business is booming."

2004-10-20
Ed Frauenheim _Silicon.com_
Are US tech jobs rising or declining?
Ziff Davis

2004-10-20
Jeff Mapes _Oregonian_
Badnarik's war views irk some Libertarian colleagues

2004-10-20
Rachel Mills _Men's News Daily_
Badnarik Black-Out
"Badnarik has lost the support of Oregon's highest-profile Libertarian, Tom Cox -- the former state chairman and current legislative candidate -- and some other prominent party members because he wants to immediately pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq...   Cox, who got 7.3% of the vote when he ran for governor in 2002 and is seeking a state House seat this year, said he doesn't think the United States can walk away from Iraq.   Badnarik's position also has been disputed by Neal Boortz, a syndicated talk-show host and Libertarian.   'I don't think pulling out is going to make us safer.', said Cox, adding that he thinks Badnarik is a 'terrific candidate in general'..."
 

2004-10-21

2004-10-21 04:00PDT (07:00EDT) (11:00GMT)
_Bay City News_/_Benicia News_
Venture Capitalist Confidence Declines But Remains High
eMedia Wire
San Francisco Business Times
University of San Francisco report
"Bay Area Venture Capitalists are clutching their purse strings a bit tighter in the third quarter of 2004 than they were earlier this year, reported the University of San Francisco Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Confidence Index Wednesday, but a high level of Bay Area financings and entrepreneurial activity is still expected in the coming months.   Out of a 5-point scale, confidence reached 4.05, according to Mark Cannice, co-creator of the index.   However, that number had decreased slightly from the first and second quarters of 2004 when confidence reached 4.3 and 4.1, respectively."

2004-10-21 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 278,662 in the week ending October 16, a decrease of 59,661 from the previous week.   There were 328,572 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.8% during the week ending October 9, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,300,163, a decrease of 20,224 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.3% and the volume was 2,890,257."
graphs

2004-10-21 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Seasonally Adjusted US Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Fell 25K to 329K for Week Ending October 16 (graph)
"The less-volatile 4-week average of new claims dropped by 5,500 to 348,250, the lowest in 3 weeks.   The number of former workers continuing to collect state unemployment checks fell by 8K in the week ending October 9 to 2.798M, the lowest in 3 months."
graphs

2004-10-21
Danny Hakim & Mary Williams Walsh _NY Times_
The SEC is examining whether corporations alter projections for health care costs, pension plan returns and other factors as a way of manipulating earnings.
"When small changes in actuarial assumptions are applied to such huge plans, the resulting numbers can significantly affect earnings...   G.M. said in its most recent annual report that every percentage point change in its health care inflation rate would add $7.6G to its future health care liability for retirees.   Liability for pensions for retirees and current workers after they retire already stands at $63.4G...   If G.M. raised its health care inflation assumption to the lowest possible 'double digit' rate of 10%, from the current 8.5%, it would reduce earnings by about $800M and add more than $10G to the company's long-term liability."

2004-10-21
David Mackey _Auburn Plainsman_
Given another viable option, why would anyone vote to continue the decline of a once-free nation?
York Daily Record

2004-10-21
Elaine Kurtenbach _Houston Chronicle_
Red Chinese government encourages investment in non-Chinese companies: Hunger for acquisition
"Metals trader China Minmetals is leading a bid by a consortium of major Chinese state companies for Canada's biggest mining company, Noranda.   The five-member consortium also includes Baoshan Iron & Steel, known as Baosteel; Citic Investment; Jiangxi Copper; and Taiyuan Iron & Steel...   The biggest U.S. deal to date was state-owned China Netcom's $1G acquisition of Asia Global Crossing...   South Korea's No. 4 auto-maker...   Japanese pharmaceutical maker Tao Seiyaku...   TCL bought Schneider Electronics... merged with France's Thomson, which owns the American television brand RCA...   Indonesian oil and gas fields...   U.S. law calls for reviews of foreign takeovers of companies handling defense contracts or strategically critical technologies.   In 1990, then-President Bush voided a 1988 purchase of a Seattle aircraft parts maker, Mamco Manufacturing, by China National Aero-Technology Import & Export."
 

2004-10-22

2004-10-22
_Business Report_
Red China urges EU not to renew textile tariffs
Pakistan Daily Times: EU trade commissioner Pascal Lamy says base tariff may increase by 3 percentage points, but not for textiles from poorest countries
Forbes
Bangladesh Daily Star
EU Business
Miami Herald
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Chinese textiles will lose their low-tariff support from the EU under a tariff reform proposed by the European Commission on Wednesday.   The new generalised system of preferences would deprive [Red China] of its right to pay only a 3% tariff, against the usual 12%.   EU textile import quotas are to end from 2005 January 1, as agreed under the Uruguay round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in the 1990s."

2004-10-22
Mark Harper _Daytona Beach News-Journal_
"Third parties" battle "3's a crowd" mentality
Kennebec Maine Journal
Akron Beacon Journal
Bradenton Herald
Knight-Ridder
"Michael Badnarik? Walter Brown, David Cobb, James Harris and Michael Peroutka?...   These men are running for president, though you'd never know it unless you've perused your ballot.   They represent 'minor' parties or 'third parties' and have largely been shut out of the voting public's attention.   They were not, for example, allowed on the stage during the 3 recent presidential debates.   Between the heavy gusts of hurricanes and hot air of negative campaign ads, minor parties and their ideas are virtually invisible."
Michael Badnarik for President
Walt Brown
David Cobb
James Harris
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

2004-10-22
_On-Line Recruiting_
In US, Highest Numbers of New Software and IT Jobs Are in California and DC
"[California] accounted for nearly 28% of employment openings in the high-tech sector in September, increasing from the 21% share it held in January.   DC had the second-highest number of new IT and software jobs during the same period, according to NimbleCat's study, with 8% of new IT jobs in September.   New York followed closely with 7.1%.   Other states that demonstrated notable high-tech job growth were New Jersey with 6.4%, Texas with 5.8%, and Massachusetts with 5.7%...   NimbleCat founder and CEO Sunil Mehta..."

2004-10-22 03:25PDT (06:25EDT) (10:25GMT)
Dudley Price & Jack Hagel _Raleigh News Observer_
Credit Suisse First Boston & Furniture Manufacturer Expected to Hire 480 in NC... by 2007
Miami Herald/AP
Triangle Tech Journal
"International investment banking firm Credit Suisse First Boston said Thursday it will invest $100M to build a global business center in Research Triangle Park with about 400 workers by early 2007.   The firm, based in New York, said it will begin hiring employees next spring to develop software and process securities trades around the globe for the banking giant.   Salaries will average nearly $72K annually, said governor Mike Easley, who announced the center with company officials at the state Capitol.   The project is good news for the Triangle, which has bled technology jobs the past few years.   Since 2000, telecommunications gear maker Nortel Networks alone has laid off about 4,500 employees, with its most recent layoff of 350 announced earlier this month."

2004-10-22
Gail Edmondson & William Boston _Business Week_
Show-Down in the Ruhr Valley: A new wave of 25K lay-offs looms in Germany's industrial heart-land, and unions are mobilizing for battle
"To revitalize the Ruhr, state and local governments have invested in research and education, transformed abandoned steel-works into industrial parks, and seeded new start-ups.   But despite two decades of redevelopment effort, unemployment across the valley's main cities remains stubbornly high at 12% to 19%, well above the national average of 10%.   And growth remains chronically weaker than in other regions of west Germany...   Like the rest of their German brethren, the factory hands at the Opel factory in Bochum work only 35 hours a week and earn wages of $41 an hour -- compared with $38 an hour in France...   German auto suppliers already have shifted some 100K jobs to eastern Europe and Turkey over the past 10 years -- and 40% of all suppliers plan to transfer additional production abroad...   Until 1965 the Ruhr had no universities.   Now it boasts five universities and seven advanced schools of applied sciences.   In addition, 13 cutting-edge research institutes have sprung up in the Ruhr since the early 1990s, including Frauenhofer and Max-Planck, thanks to $110M a year in federal and state funding."

2004-10-22
_Greeley Tribune_
Matsunaka out-lines Colorado research triangle plan
"The research triangle would be modeled after a similar concept in North Carolina that, in the past 45 years, has created 38K jobs with a total pay-roll estimated at $2.7G by sharing the talents of scientists and other high-tech professions in one central location...   'Here in the largest counties in the district we are acutely aware of the lay-offs in the high-tech sector of our local economy.'"

2004-10-22 12:05PDT (15:05EDT) (19:05GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
DJIA touched a new low, Crude petroleum above $55 per barrel
"The Dow industrials was sitting just off its new low for the year, down 103 points, at 9,762.   The index fell as low as 9,759.43, breaching its previous low for 2004 of 9,783.90 touched on August 13...   The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 36.55 points to 1,917, wiping the prior session's gains which saw the index close at a two-week high.   Taking the tech-rich index lower, semiconductor and Internet stocks pulled back sharply, handing back most of Thursday's gains.   Software and hardware companies were also under pressure.   The S&P 500 Index shed 10.40 points at 1,096.04...   The bench-mark December contract hit an intraday record $55.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, surpassing the $55.33 record reached in electronic trading October 18.   Crude was recently sitting at or near its intraday high of $55.48."

2004-10-22
_CWA_
MP3 radio ad regarding off-shoring
 

2004-10-23

2004-10-23
Milt Freudenheim & Robert Pear _NY Times_
Politicians are pushing an idea to fight high health costs by shielding employers from the most expensive medical cases.

2004-10-23
Chris Buckley _NY Times_
When Morris Chang, the founder of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, speaks of the future of the chip business, he sounds somber.

2004-10-23
Karen Freeman _NY Times_
With prosperity pulling Ireland closer to Europe, the Irish are investing time and money to hang onto their identity.

2004-10-23
James Dao _NY Times_
Miners' Benefits Vanish With Bankruptcy Ruling
"Nearly 3,800 union coal miners and their dependents in West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana lost their health insurance due to a judge's ruling last month."

2004-10-23 08:57PDT (11:57EDT) (15:57GMT)
_CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Japan to resume imports of US beef
 

2004-10-24

2004-10-24
Charles Markosi _Sarasota Herald-Tribune_
Loss of IT jobs
"As an information technology software architect and developer, I waited through all the debates to hear a question about the loss of high-tech jobs to India.   President Bush has made it abundantly clear that engineering jobs are not 21st-century jobs.   We IT engineers are supposed to accept the fact that our jobs are gone for good.   But, good news: He has a plan!   We are expected to go to a community college to get retrained for 21st-century jobs."
 

2004-10-25

2004-10-24 23:23PDT (2004-10-25 02:23EDT) (06:23GMT)
Lisa Twaronite _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Citibank's Charles Prince apologizes to Japanese Financial Services Agency
"Citigroup's CEO Charles Prince held a Tokyo press conference Monday to publicly apologize for the bank's recent misdeeds, and did the same earlier in the day at a meeting with Hirofumi Gomi, head of the Financial Services Agency, Japan's banking regulator...   Last month, Japan's Financial Services Agency effectively closed down Citibank Japan's private banking business after it was found to have breached securities regulations.   Last week, Prince dismissed three top Citigroup executives, including Vice Chairman Deryck Maughan, to take responsibility for the Japan unit's turmoil that erupted on their watch."

2004-10-25
James Glanz, William J. Broad & David E. Sanger _NY Times_
Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq
"The Iraqi interim government has warned that nearly 380 tons of the world's most powerful conventional explosives are missing from a former military installation."

2004-10-25 07:39PDT (10:39EDT) (14:39GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US existing home sales 3rd highest ever
"Sales of U.S. existing homes increased 3.1% in September to the third highest rate ever despite the devastation of a series of hurricanes in the Southeast, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.   Existing home sales increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.75M in September..."

2004-10-25
Ben Woosley & Clark Patterson _Daily Texan_
Libertarian Candidate Michael Badnarik Has a Lot To Offer
"We think that Libertarian Michael Badnarik's positions on the issues have a lot to offer liberal, conservative, moderate and independent voters.   He offers serious stands on issues that Bush and Kerry only wink at."

2004-10-25
_Seattle Herald_
Statistics show how the state stacks up
"2005 Competitiveness Redbook... Per capita personal income in Washington is $33,332 a year, 13th in the nation.   Connecticut is best with $43,173.   As a footnote, the Redbook mentions that income in Washington is very unevenly distributed.   Snohomish County, the third largest in Washington, is fifth in per capita income at $31,312.   We're behind King, San Juan, Kitsap and Jefferson counties.   Minimum wage.   Tops in the nation at $7.16 per hour.   Manufacturing wages.   Washington is second highest, with at average of $17.78 per hour.   In Michigan, which has a lot of auto-workers, the average is No. 1 at $19.42.   High-tech wages.   Washington is No. 1 here, at an average of $94,705...   In terms of high-tech jobs, we're 15th...   The tax foundation ranked Washington 12th, saying the figure for state and local taxes is $3,729 per person.   On taxes paid per $1K of personal income, we're 21st.   On property taxes, we're listed as 40th for the rate charged on homes in the largest city, in our case Seattle.   For commercial and industrial properties,we're 46th...   Unemployment.   Unfortunately, we're No. 1 in the nation with the highest cost of unemployment insurance, $695 per employee.   The state has the sixth-highest weekly benefit at $312.10 and the fourth-largest duration for unemployment checks, 18.7 weeks."

2004-10-25 13:46PDT (16:46EDT) (20:46GMT)
Vickie Chachere _AP_/_Seattle Post-Intelligencer_
Perception of Out-Sourcing & Off-Shoring Continues to Worsen
"The study commissioned by the University of South Florida's Globalization Research Center said off-shore out-sourcing also will be an issue for years to come as businesses seek ways to cut costs. The three-month study was released amid some anticipation for its potentially political ramifications in a key battleground region for the Nov. 2 election. The survey of Tampa Bay Area companies found that about 76K Tampa Bay area jobs were sent to other countries out of a total of more than 1M jobs in 2001, the most recent data available. The numbers of out-sourced jobs has increased consistently since 1993 when 45,328 jobs which were out-sourced, the study said. But in the region's steadily growing economy, out-sourcing has not had the disastrous effect on area's employment pictures as might be suggested by some high-profile lay-offs, including July's loss of 1,1000 [sic] jobs at a Capital One call center in a move which sent some of those jobs over-seas."

2004-10-25 13:58PDT (16:58EDT) (20:58GMT)
Brian Womack & John Wilfong _Dayton Business Journal_
Dayton could land RFID company & 100 jobs... to deploy evil
Spy Chips
"The Dayton Development Coalition has asked the Ohio Department of Development for a $2.3M grant to help bring Morgan Hill, CA-based Alien Technology Corp., which makes components for the radio frequency identification industry, to the area and establish an RFID center, according to a Third Frontier Project proposal submitted by the DDC."

2004-10-25
Roy Mark _Internet News_
Bush Signed Tech Tax Break
Info World
"President Bush signed into law late Friday $136G in corporate tax breaks, including a 1-year reduction from 35% to 5.25% on foreign profits for U.S. multi-nationals. The provision was strongly backed by the technology industry despite criticisms that the break rewards corporations that out-source jobs over-seas."

2004-10-25
Andy Mukherjee _Bloomberg_
Spitzer Settlement Creates Investment Research Jobs in India

2004-10-25
Michael Erb _Parkersburg News & Sentinel_
Limited jobs push students out of the area
"Wood County Commissioner Rick Modesitt... 'If someone wants to pursue a job in a high-tech job like computer animation, well, there really isn't a market for that here.'...   Parkersburg Mayor Jimmy Colombo... said providing good and varied job opportunities is key to bringing Wood County graduates back to the area after college...   'They have to build a resume and they have to build a background in the job they want to do.'"

2004-10-25
_Tech News World_/_Herald_
Tea May Fight Alzheimer's
WNEP
"_Phytotherapy Research_... Researchers at Newcastle University's Medicinal Plant Research Centre investigated the properties of coffee and green and black tea in a series of scientific experiments.   Black tea -- the traditional English breakfast tea -- is derived from the same plant as green tea but has a different taste and appearance because it is fermented.   They found that both teas inhibited the activity of enzymes associated with the development of Alzheimer's...   Both teas inhibited the activity of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), which breaks down the chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.   Alzheimer's is characterised by a drop in acetylcholine.   Green tea and black tea also hinder the activity of the enzyme butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE), which has been discovered in protein deposits found on the brain of patients with Alzheimer's.   Green tea went one step further in that it obstructed the activity of beta-secretase, which plays a role in the production of protein deposits in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease.   [Green tea] continued to have its inhibitive effect for a week, whereas black tea's enzyme-inhibiting properties lasted for only one day."

2004-10-25
David Moschella _ComputerWorld_
IT's Day in Political Sun Will Return
"Of course, by 2000 November, the smart money already knew that the dot-com bubble had been pricked some 6 months earlier.   But the media and most of the electorate had not yet caught on...   the endorsements and donations of leading high-tech CEOs were considered important coups, even newsworthy events...   We obsessed about the coming high-tech skills shortage and what the labor force of the 21st century should look like...   This year's race pits 2 lawyers against 2 oil men, not one of whom has ever shown any real interest in the IT industry, its promise, its challenges or its future.   The only time the IT industry has been part of the current campaign is when the topic of off-shore out-sourcing has come up.   The quality of that discussion hasn't been inspiring...   when nano-technology, bio-technology and RFID become more than just promises [and threats]..."

2004-10-25
Thomas Hoffman _ComputerWorld_
Meta Group says IT pay will increse by 10% to 15% by 2007
Computer Weekly
"However, a half-dozen IT managers interviewed last week said they don't expect IT staffers to receive increases of more than 3% to 5% for at least the next year...   Scot Melland, president of Dice Inc., a web-based IT job board in New York, said technical job postings on his site are up more than 90% from 2003 September to 2004 September...   Maria Schafer, author of the Meta Group report, said seasoned IT professionals with coveted data-base, networking, security, architecture and project management skills are already commanding 10% to 12% annual pay increases."
 

2004-10-26

2004-10-26
Heather Timmons _NY Times_
Wilbur Ross, whose buy-out firm [eliminated Bethlehem Steel and abrogated its retirees' pension agreements] created International Steel less than 2 years ago, is selling the company to Lakshmi N. Mittal, the billionaire steel tycoon, chairman & CEO of Ispat International, for $4.5G
"Just 10 months after he took the International Steel Group public, Mr. Ross is capitalizing on sky-rocketing steel demand sparked by industrialization in [Red China], Eastern Europe and India by selling the company to a billionaire steel businessman, Lakshmi N. Mittal of London.   Mr. Mittal intends to consolidate two family-controlled companies, and then merge them with International Steel, to create the largest steel producer in the world, bypassing Arcelor of Luxembourg.   If the plan goes through, the new company, Mittal Steel, will have projected revenues of $31.5G in 2004 and operating income of $6.8G to $7G, and will ship some 57M tons of steel this year.   Arcelor shipped 40M tons of steel in 2003...   Mittal Steel will be created in a two steps.   First, Ispat International, a publicly traded steel company headed by Mr. Mittal that is 75% owned by his family, will issue 525M new shares and purchase LNM Holdings, a privately held company completely owned by Mittal family members, in a deal worth $13.3G.   LNM, one of the world's five largest steel producers, shipped 19M tons of steel in the first 9 months of 2004.   Then the merged firm, with the new name Mittal Steel, will buy International Steel in a cash and stock bid that values Mr. Ross's company at approximately $42 a share -- 42% higher than Friday's close in New York.   International Steel share-holders will get $21 in cash and from 0.4793 to 0.6087 of a share of Mittal, depending on where it is trading, for each of their shares.   The Mittal family will control about 88% of the new company."

2004-10-26
Steve Lohr _NY Times_
A Technology Recovery in Post-Exuberant Times
"The report cards last week looked good both for old-line stalwarts of technology and for new-comers, but this is a recovery of diminished expectations...   IDC, the technology research firm, estimates worldwide growth in spending on information technology -- computer hardware, software and services - through 2008 to be 6.5% a year, one and a half times world economic growth over all.   That would represent a break with the past.   From the 1960s through the 1990s, technology spending has increased on average by 2 to 3 times the rate of economic growth...   In software, the low-cost migration includes the use of open-source software, which is distributed free, like the Linux operating system, the Apache server and MySQL data-base...   Steven Milunovich, an analyst at Merrill Lynch... sees the current period as more like the slump after 1984 in the personal computer business, which lasted until 1990.   During that time, the price-to-earnings multiples on PC companies were 13 to 15.   Today, he noted, the price-earnings multiples on technology stocks are more than 20."

2004-10-26
Roger W. Ferguson
prepared remarks: Solid gains in capital spending
Rex Nutting: CBS.MarketWatch.com
"Over the past 50 years, the average hourly output of American workers has increased nearly 200%.   According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one-third of this improved efficiency likely reflects increases in the use of capital goods.   Over the past decade, efficiency gains due to increased capital expenditures have been especially pronounced...   The largest component of business investment is expenditures on new equipment and software.   This category includes computers, routers and switches, machinery, aircraft, trucks, software, and a wide variety of other types of equipment that are used to produce goods and services...   Currently, demand for business products and services appears to be rising.   In addition, interest rates remain low, and the business sector has ample cash on hand...   the 'financing gap' -- the difference between a firm's capital expenditures and its cash flow, or internal funds...   Between 1991 and 2000, the financing gap rose from less than $35G to a peak of more than $300G.   The rapid rise largely reflected sharp increases in capital expenditures in the telecommunications, high-tech, and transportation industries that greatly out-stripped the increases in internally-generated funds.   However, the financing gap fell abruptly in 2001 and 2002, turned negative last year, and has stayed below zero since then.   This negative financing gap, which is widespread across industries, indicates that the business sector as a whole is generating enough cash to purchase capital expenditures without borrowing.   In fact, because it has been negative for a while, the gap has contributed to the accumulation of a large cushion of liquid assets.   Over 2003 and the first half of 2004, liquid assets in the nonfinancial corporate sector rose $244G, or more than 20%, to $1.3T...   The negative financing gap could very well be a sign that businesses remain cautious about the outlook -- a condition that, unfortunately, can become a self-fulfilling prophesy...   About 12% of business spending on equipment and software is for computer gear.   Some of that spending is to equip new plants and new employees, but a large share of it is to replace old machines and out-dated technology.   Over the past few decades, we have seen technology advance rapidly, and businesses have purchased a large amount of high-tech equipment.   More recently, the growth rate of business spending on computers has slowed -- from about 40% last year to less than half that pace, on average, in the first 2 quarters of this year...   Between 1992 and 2002, the quality-adjusted price of new computers fell at an annual rate of 18%.   The speed at which these prices fall reflects mainly the pace of technological progress.   Unfortunately, over the past several quarters, the rate of price decline slowed from that experienced during the preceding decade: Computer equipment prices fell just 9% at an annual rate in 2003 and the first half of 2004...   in 2001 and 2002, real out-lays for equipment and software fell at an annual rate of nearly 6%...   Based on the depreciation rates used by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, we estimate that the growth rate of the capital stock of equipment and software slowed from around 7% in 1999 and 2000 to about 2.5% in 2002, a slow-down large enough to substantially shrink most estimates of the capital over-hang."

2004-10-26
Karl Stampfl _Michigan Daily_
Libertarians seek to limit government
"Such is the creed of Libertarians: that governments should be limited to only protecting the basic rights of citizens...   As presidential candidate Michael Badnarik's campaign website puts it, 'Current proposals for welfare reform, including block grants, job training and workfare represent mere tinkering with a failed system.   It is time to recognize that welfare cannot be reformed: it should be ended.'"

2004-10-26 11:05PDT (14:05EDT) (18:05GMT)
Chris Isidore _CNN_/_Money_
Consumer Confidence Lowest Since March
"The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index fell to 92.8 from a revised 96.7 reading in September.   Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a drop to 94.0.   The reading was the lowest since March, when the index stood at 88.5...   People are a bit more bullish on the job market.   The percentage of consumers saying jobs are 'plentiful' rose to 17.4% from 16.6% in September, while the percentage claiming jobs are 'hard to get' was little changed -- 27.8% versus 28.0%."
Conference Board

2004-10-26
Michelle Malkin _V Dare_
The Illegal Alien Vote
 

2004-10-27

2004-10-27 07:16PDT (10:16EDT) (14:16GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US September durable goods orders up 0.2%: Core capital goods orders up 2.6%
census bureau report

2004-10-27
William Safire _NY Times_
The Afghan people were the real winners in their country's first free election

2004-10-27 08:13PDT (11:13EDT) (15:13GMT)
Leslie Brooks _Linux Insider_/_St. Paul Pioneer Press_
Silicon Graphics Claims Fastest Super-Computer
"High-performance computer maker Silicon Graphics announced that it has built the world's most powerful supercomputer at its Chippewa Falls, WI, plant...   It's a 10,240-processor behemoth that occupies a space the size of 4 basketball courts.   Much of the Linux software that runs the super-computer was developed at Silicon Graphics' 180-person office in Eagan, MN, spokes-person Linda Pistacchio said...   Columbia was fully available to NASA scientists as it was installed piece by piece...   61TFLOPS - or trillion [floating point operations] per second - at its peak.   More importantly, it recorded a sustained running speed of 42.7TFLOPS...   The $6G super-computer market is small compared to the $46.1G business server market, but demand for super-computers is growing steadily..."

2004-10-27 08:32:04PDT (11:32:04EDT) (15:32:04GMT)
Frank Barnako _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
U.S. Chamber's IM ads target business
"A political lobbying group, largely backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is using America On-line's instant-messaging platform to deliver streaming video commercials 'telling the truth about trial lawyers and their efforts to stop legal reform'.   This is the first time analysts have seen this technique, which the Time Warner subsidiary calls 'Buddy Video' in a national campaign, according to a report by EWeek.com.   The ad is running during business hours, according to Craig Karnes, a vice president at Democracy Data & Communications of Alexandria, VA, which placed the campaign.   He said click-through rates are three times normal and most people receiving the video ad on the IM client watch all 30 seconds."

2004-10-27 11:19PDT (14:19EDT) (18:19GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Fed's Beige Book shows economic growth despite energy prices

2004-10-27
_Federal Reserve Board_
Beige Book
"Philadelphia noted an increase in technology spending...   Nearly half of the Districts said that demand for temporary help increased since the last Beige Book, although momentum slowed in some areas.   Reports of permanent hiring became more frequent, notably in manufacturing industries.   Five District reports suggested a general increase in manufacturing jobs, while none indicated an outright decline.   Boston noted some 'sizable increases' in retail employment, and Richmond said that a broad array of service-producing firms were adding workers.   Hiring reportedly improved in financial services (New York and Minneapolis) and transportation (Dallas) as well.   Some Districts continued to report isolated shortages of workers in particular occupations such as skilled manufacturing (Boston, Chicago), truck drivers (Cleveland), and upper-level finance occupations (Minneapolis).   In addition, some Districts noted signs of more broad-based firming of labor markets.   New York said 'there are fewer people seeking (office worker) positions'; contacts in the Richmond District suggested there were 'fewer qualified candidates to fill permanent positions'; Chicago noted there were 'fewer applications for open positions'; and Minneapolis indicated that 'labor markets have tightened for a number of industries'...   Demand for high-tech goods was mixed.   Boston and San Francisco noted some softening in their semiconductor industries, but Dallas said that strong orders for consumer electronics helped boost demand for semiconductors...

1st District - Boston
Makers of pharmaceuticals and bio-tech, medical, and energy equipment report particularly large gains.   Firms manufacturing office and IT equipment indicate that their business continues to grow, but at least some segments of their customer base are being cautious in placing orders...   Most manufacturers are holding their U.S. head-counts fairly flat.   Those with rapid growth are adding cautiously, while others are shedding positions as they adopt labor-saving technologies.   Companies cite challenges in filling high-end positions that they attribute to heavy competition among employers in technology meccas such as Boston or to federal government security procedures...
3rd District - Philadelphia
There has been some growth in information technology services...
7th District - Chicago
With regard to hiring, one large temporary help firm indicated that year-over-year growth in billable hours had fallen considerably in September, but appeared to be rising in early October.   Much of the weakness in September was in lower-skilled positions; demand for professional and technical workers remained very strong.   Several temp help contacts said that permanent placements continued to rise.   More manufacturers indicated that they had recently hired, or planned to hire, additional workers in response to strong demand for their products.   Outside of manufacturing, there were scattered reports of permanent hiring.   Although outright worker shortages remained few, several contacts said that they were receiving fewer applications for open positions...
11th District - Dallas
High-tech manufacturers report stable to slightly stronger growth in orders...   Railroads continue to see increased activity -- hiring remains strong and investments in new technologies continue to help the industry expand capacity and stream-line operations...
"

2004-10-27
James K. Glassman _Washington Times_
High-tech rebound
"Suddenly, as Election Day nears, the high-tech sector of the U.S. economy is surging...   the new data show that high-paying high-tech jobs are growing rapidly here at home.   Yes, some U.S. companies are hiring people abroad to do their work, but those same companies -- because they are the most dynamic -- are hiring even more people back home...   The Labor Department just reported that the unemployment rate in the information-technology (IT) sector in the third quarter plummeted to just 3.4% -- down from 6.2% in the first quarter.     'Some 408K more Americans worked in IT this summer than... 6 months earlier.', says _InformationWeek_ magazine.   That's a spectacular increase of 14%.   Today, 3.4M Americans work in IT -- precisely the same number as in the spring of 2000 when the tech bubble inflated to bursting...   While fewer workers are employed in the United States today as computer programmers and analysts, many more are employed as managers and network and data-base administrators...
  a new study for the Organization for International Investment by Matthew Slaughter, a highly regarded Dartmouth economist, found that in-sourcing, the hiring of Americans by U.S. subsidiaries of companies based abroad -- many in the technology sector -- has been rising.   Such companies employed 5.4M at last report, up from 2.6M in 1987, and paid them 31 percent more than the U.S. average.   In-sourcing companies account for an incredible one-seventh of all spending on research and development in the United States... {A. That's not in-sourcing. In-sourcing is a foreign firm hiring Americans to work in the USA. B. What the author describes as in-sourcing is merely another step in off-shoring even more jobs.]
  federal research and development is up 44%; [low-speed] broad-band access has quadrupled; capital gains, dividend and corporate rate cuts and the extended R&D credit are spurring investment."

2004-10-27
David Castellon _Visalia Times-Delta_
Off-shoring raises security concerns: Medical records are not always secret
"Off-shoring medical transcription has become a booming business for countries, such as India, Pakistan and the Philippines, which usually undercut the prices charged by U.S. transcriptionists because of cheaper labor pools."

2004-10-27
Dylan Rivera _Oregonian_
Portland office vacancy rates shrink as employment increases
"In the first 3 quarters of the year, office tenants have absorbed a net 1.1M square feet of space, a near-record increase, according to the most recent research report by Grubb & Ellis, a commercial real estate brokerage.   The increase in leased space has driven the overall office vacancy rate down to 14.7% in the third quarter, from 16.2% in the second quarter and 16.9% in the first quarter.   Oregon's unemployment rate, 7.3% in September, remains one of the highest in the nation...   But in the Sunset Corridor, dominated by Oregon's high-tech industry, vacancies remain high at 28.8%...   It could take more than 3 years for the metro area market, including Clark County, to fill enough of the 6M square feet available to reach a 7.5% vacancy rate, according to an estimate by Holzgang and Gordon D. King of Colliers.   The estimate assumes no new office space is coming onto the market...   A 2% increase in jobs could generate a net increase of rented space -- called absorption -- of 750K square feet a year.   Job growth of 3% would generate net absorption of about 1.1M square feet a year, they estimated.   With 3% job growth annually, the Portland area market would reach 7.5% vacancy in just less than 3 years."

2004-10-27
Fran Foo _Ziff Davis Australia_
Skills shortages: Did they ever exist?
"The Department of Employment and Work-Place Relations (DEWR) says that on a national level, the information technology and communications sector is not suffering from a skills shortage...   According to DEWR, skill shortages exist when employers find it difficult or are unable to fill vacancies for an occupation or specialisation 'at current levels of remuneration and conditions of employment, and reasonably accessible locations'...   New South Wales is suffering the most in terms of [alleged] dearth of specialisations such as .NET technologies, Lotus Notes, Progress Software, SAP, PeopleSoft, Siebel, Linux and CISSP (certified information systems security professional)...   So, if there's no skills shortage, will we see a decrease in off-shoring IT work?   Not necessarily, says Andrew Bray at DEWR."

2004-10-27
_Tekrati_
Forrester Research Offers Off-Shore Out-Sourcing Research Collection

2004-10-27
Ed Parry _Search CIO_
R&D investments could help ease damage from off-shoring
"David Gergen, who was a keynote speaker at last week's BetterManagement Live Worldwide Business Conference... doesn't believe that protectionism or penalizing firms for sending jobs off-shore is the way America should react to the exodus of white-collar IT jobs...   Gergen believes the way to do that is for universities and tech firms to lead a national campaign to convince Congress, the administration and [tax-victims] that investment in research and development is crucial for keeping the U.S. at the forefront of discovery."

2004-10-27
_Masons_/_Out-law.com_
Data protection concerns related to off-shoring
"Capital One pulled out of India after unauthorised credit levels were offered to customers by Indian call centre operators.   Newspaper reports in the UK have referred to organised gangs offering a year's wages to foreign call centre staff in return for access to US and UK credit card details...   part of that privacy protection is the [EU] requirement, placed on companies, not to transfer personal data to countries which do not offer an adequate level of protection...   National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) is in the process of drafting legislation to amend the country√≠s existing Information Technology Act of 2000, with the intention of bringing the data protection regime up to the standard required by the EU Directive."

2004-10-26
Thane Burnett _Toronto Sun_
Out-Sourced USA
"in August [Techneglas] filed for bankruptcy protection...   The parent company, Nippon Electric Glass company, is opening a plant in Taiwan and expanding a deep labour pool in South Korea and Japan.   When the plant shut down, another 382 workers at a sister facility in Columbus, OH, followed their Pennsylvanian brothers and sisters on to the unemployment line...   When his wife was dying of cancer a decade ago... The manager promised Paul that if something ever happened to him, he and his wife would raise the child...   On the home-front, out-sourcing has become a major campaign issue...   The issue is greased thick with political double-speak, deceptions, blurry economics and badly wounded lives...   A U.S. congressional commission determined that 100K American jobs have shifted to [Red China] this year alone...   Economist Martin Baily, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) under the Clinton administration, has calculated that for every $1 an American firm spends on out-sourcing in India, 67 cents return to the U.S. economy.   And, thanks to production gains, as much as another 47 cents are added to the economy."
 

2004-10-28

2004-10-28 03:32PDT (06:32EDT) (10:32GMT)
_BBC_
Level of fraud in university applications hits record levels
"The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service said it had detected 1K fake qualifications in 2004 - more than twice the usual number.   The cancelled applications included 2 groups of 200 submitted by people from [Red China] and Pakistan."

2004-10-28 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (12:30GMT)
Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 317,712 in the week ending October 23, an increase of 38,123 from the previous week.   There were 352,117 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending October 16, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,404,902, an increase of 115,610 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.4% and the volume was 2,989,662."
graphs

2004-10-28 09:13PDT (12:13EDT) (16:13GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Seasonally adjusted US initial unemployment insurance claims up 20K: Seasonally continuing claims at 3-year low
"[Seasonally adjusted] Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly to 350K last week, up 20K from a week earlier, the Labor Department said Thursday."
graphs

2004-10-28 12:24PDT (15:24EDT) (19:24GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Petroleum fell under $51 per barrel

2004-10-28
Ray Martin _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
ID Theft Is Often an Inside Job
"According to a report from the Federal Trade Commission's consumer protection bureau, 27.3M Americans had their identity stolen between 1998 April and the end of 2003.   The pace seems to be picking up as 9.9M individuals fell victim over the last 12 months of that period...   cost businesses and financial institutions more than $48G in losses over this latest 12-month period.   The consumers who fell prey to these scams paid more than $5G in costs...   new-borns and the elderly are often the favorite prey of identity thieves as the fraudulent use of their personal information can go on longer before it is detected, if at all."

2004-10-28
Robert Morris _Palatka Daily News_
Sykes Enterprises closes as work is off-shored
"At the call center's peak, Carlisle and nearly 600 others served as technical support operators for clients such as Gateway Computers, MSN and Chase Home Mortgages, former employees said...   As Sykes closed its businesses in the United States, it opened other centers in countries such as India or the Phillipines, where workers with similar training can be paid much less...   said Putnam County Chamber of Commerce President Wes Larson; it received job incentives. The company received a tax credit for each job it created...   The 2000 deal Sykes negotiated with Putnam County was the same at every call center in the United States.   The company demanded a $3M economic development grant to build the call center, 22 acres of land in the business park, and the tax credits.   As the 42,500 square foot building was constructed, however, outside grant money tied to the development of the budding business park started pouring into the county.   In all, more than $3M in state and federal grants were received.   The largest grant, $2M from the state, built the roads inside the park and its eastern access through an extension of St. Johns Avenue.   U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, obtained a federal transportation grant of $750K to improve County Road 309C as a western entrance to the park.   The Economic Development Administration approved a $637K federal grant to extend water and sewer lines and install lift stations to service the business park.   An additional $250K in grants from the state Legislature was also received for park development."
 

2004-10-29

2004-10-29
Keith Bradsher _NY Times_
China's Bank, in Transition, Raises Rates, but the step could risk social unrest if heavily indebted state companies respond by laying off more workers.

2004-10-29
Jenny Anderson & Andrew Ross Sorkin _NY Times_
First Boston Said to Weigh Name Change and Lay-Offs
"First Boston is also exploring ways to integrate its back office operations with its parent, Credit Suisse, as it seeks to improve the profitability."

2004-10-29
_NY Times_
The discovery of the skeletal remains of hobbit-size humans on an island in Indonesia chips away at the notion that human evolution is a march toward bigger and brainier.

2004-10-29 06:33PDT (09:33EDT) (13:33GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US Q3 GDP increased by 3.7%, Consumer spending up, inflation moderates

2004-10-29 07:52PDT (10:52EDT) (14:52GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
UMich consumer sentiment index rose to 91.7 in late October from 87.5 earlier in the month

2004-10-29 13:51PDT (16:51EDT) (20:51GMT)
Susan Lerner & Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stocks rally for week as petroleum prices fall
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 22.93 points, at 10,027.47.   The bench-mark index bounced off year lows to put in a 2.75% gain on the week.   For the month, the index slipped 0.6%.   The Nasdaq Composite Index ended little changed, down 0.75 points at 1,974.99.   The tech-rich index rose 3.1% on the week and 4.1% on the month.   The Standard & Poor's 500 Index edged up 2.70 points, to 1,130.02.   The broad gauge rallied 3.1% on the week and 1.3% on the month."

2004-10-29 13:52PDT (16:52EDT) (20:52GMT)
Rachel Koning _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Chicago area purchasing managers' index at 17-year high
"The Chicago purchasing managers' index stood at 68.5% for the month from 61.3% in September.   The latest figure just outpaced May's reading of 68.3%...   Within the report, the production index rose to 79.7%, the highest reading since 1950, while the new orders index rose to 79.4%, the highest in two decades.   The employment index rose to 54.1%, marking a third month of more aggressive hiring after a summer slow-down."

2004-10-29 15:32PDT (18:32EDT) (22:32GMT)
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Osama bin Laden lays claim to attacks of 2001-09-11

2004-10-29
Norm Matloff _Communications of the ACM_
Globalization & the American IT worker
"Though programmer salaries in India are relatively low, the overall cost savings for off-shoring tends to range from 15% to 40% (see, for example, [6]).   This is about the same range of savings accrued for work done in the U.S. by hiring H-1Bs.   A number of studies have found that the H-1Bs are paid on average 15% to 33% less than comparable U.S. IT workers [footnote 2]...   The venture capitalists call this new business model 'micro-multi-national', with sales and marketing jobs in the U.S. but with R&D done off-shore...   importing foreign IT workers -- has already had a significant adverse effect on U.S. IT workers, and the other -- off-shoring IT work -- has the potential to be even worse...   most off-shoring software projects include a key onshore component staffed by H-1Bs and L-1s in the U.S.   The visa holders serve as liaisons to off-shore staff or are off-shore workers temporarily in the U.S. for training [3]...   the Indian IT giant Tata Consultancy Services reported that 50% of its programmers in the U.S. are under age 25, and 88% are under 30..."
 

2004-10-30

2004-10-30
Elizabeth Becker _NY Times_
The Bush administration agreed to consider a petition from a coalition of embattled textile manufacturers that would limit some imports from Red China

2004-10-30
_AP_/_NY Times_
Voters leaning both to the right and the left are checking out the other sides' sites, surprising researchers who expected to see "selective exposure" among Internet users

2004-10-30
Guy Hagen _Globalization Research Center_/_Innovation Insight_
Base-Line Analysis of Off-Shoring in the Tampa Bay Region
"Between 1988 and 2001, the number of establishments in the Tampa Bay region has increased by over 1,100 establishments and 25K employees per year.   The most prevalent occupational category in the Tampa Bay region is Sales and Sales-related Office and Administrative work.   In 2004, this category comprised 30.5% of total employment - nearly 1 in 3 jobs.   From 1993 to 2004, Sales and Sales-related Office and Administrative employment increased by 33.3%.   Most Tampa Bay employers are small establishments, and most small establishments do not appear ready to deal with the option of off-shore out-sourcing of labor for their company or organization.   Consequently, support of small business growth and entrepreneurism is important.   Conversely, larger employers are more likely to have the resources and incentive to participate in off-shoring of labor - particularly in professional and fi nancial services and manufacturing...   Off-shoring is not a new trend;it gained signifi cant attention in the 80s as signifi cant levels of US manufacturing employment went to foreign locations such as Mexico and the Pacific Rim.   Not all off-shoring involves out-sourcing,and not all out-sourcing involves off-shoring (in fact,by some claims only a small percentage of out-sourcing goes over-seas).   Most current research centers on information technology off-shoring (application and project-based)and business process off-shoring (business function based)...   Bain &Company estimates that roughly 40K jobs are currently off-shored each month, approximately 1% of all job losses, meaning that 50 times more Americans quit their job each month than get off-shored (Anonymous 2004/06/29)...   The largest movement in U.S.jobs - positive or negative - was the 10.7% increase in network communications and data communications analysis jobs with the second largest increase, 7.4%, coming in software application engineering jobs (Anonymous 2004/06/29)."

2004-10-30
_American Institute of Physics_
Latest Employmetn for Physicists & Related Scientists

2004-10-31

2004-10-31
Gary Rivlin _NY Times_
With fears that venture capital was running amok in Silicon Valley, there was good news last week showing that venture investing was down in the third quarter - way down.
"After 5 consecutive quarters of robust growth, the research concern VentureOne found, the amount venture capitalists invested fell 15%, to $4.6G, from $5.4G in the second quarter...   By the calculations of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Thomson Venture Economics and the National Venture Capital Association, the 3 firms that publish the quarterly MoneyTree Survey, venture investing in the third quarter fell by 26%, in dollar terms, from the second quarter.   The 601 deals that venture capitalists consummated from July through September were the fewest in any quarter since 1996...   At the height of the Internet boom, venture firms collectively invested $23G to $29G a quarter.   That figure plummeted to less than $5G a quarter by mid-2002 and held steady in the $4G range through the third quarter of 2003.   But venture investing jumped 36% from the fourth quarter of last year to the second quarter this year, to $5.9G, the MoneyTree survey showed."

2004-10-31
Gretchen Morgenson _NY Times_
Just when you thought you'd seen it all in excessive executive pay, along comes a money grab so creative - and lavish - that it simply must have its turn in the spot-light
"John J. Shalam, founder and chief executive of Audiovox, a maker of consumer electronics and wireless phones that is based in Hauppauge, NY, and Philip Christopher, an executive vice president in charge of the company's wireless business...   Audiovox agreed to sell the unit to UTStarcom Inc., a maker of communications equipment based in Alameda, CA, for $165.1M...   The Audiovox board approved the transaction in June.   At that same meeting, the directors decided that the sale of the wireless unit should be considered a change of control at the company, which would result in pay-outs to the 2 executives under their long-term incentive compensation plan.   Although the terms of the compensation plan, which took effect in 2002, did not note that an asset sale would qualify as a change in control, the Audiovox directors amended the awards plan to clarify that the sale would count as such.   Presto.   Mr. Shalam and Mr. Christopher both became $1.9M richer as a result of the deal.   And because Mr. Christopher will be leaving Audiovox for the new company, he received an additional $2.1M for the termination of his contract...   Mr. Christopher will also receive $16M for something called 'personally held intangibles', or assets in Audiovox Communications that he says are his.   According to company filings, these intangibles include Mr. Christopher's personal contacts and personal and professional relationships with suppliers, customers, contractors, financiers, employees and ex-employees of the wireless unit.   They also include his 'personal know-how', trademarks, trade names and patentable assets relating to the subsidiary...   In a deal worth $165.1M, management at Audiovox is set to receive $25M, an amount that equals 15% of the transaction amount.   Audiovox - and its share-holders - are paying, of course."

2004-10-31
_NY Times_
Banks - with a little help from their friends in Congress - are again poised to turn a basic service into a profit center.
"Last week, federal law began allowing banks greater latitude to process checks electronically, reducing to minutes or hours the time it takes for the money to be deducted from a check writer's account.   But there is no change in the length of time that banks can hold deposited checks before making the funds available - up to two days for local checks, five days for nonlocal checks and 11 days for checks over $5K.   So in addition to saving an estimated $2G a year in paper processing costs, the banks will make loads of money on the float...   As banks start using the new procedures, unsuspecting consumers will bounce an estimated 7M more checks a month and pay an additional $170M in monthly bounced-check fees.   Worse yet, to promptly correct problems that may arise from electronic processing, such as double payment of a single check or payment in the wrong amount, the new rules require a customer to present a copy of the check's electronic image, known as a 'substitute check'.   There's nothing to prevent a bank from charging a fee for providing the copy."

2004-10-31
Barrie Barber _Saginaw News_/_Michigan Live_
"Free trade" agreements raise hackles
"Governor Jennifer M. Granholm pushed what she said were unfair trade agreements to the top of her economic agenda this year when Electrolux announced its intentions despite an offer of a new plant and major tax incentives from the state to remain.   NAFTA lowered tariffs between the United States, Canada and Mexico and, some critics contend, went further by providing protections for corporate investors while putting some U.S. workers jobs at risk.   A labor-oriented Economic Policy Institute analysis concluded the pact has cost nearly 880K U.S. jobs through 2002 and more than 50K in Michigan.   Jim Rhein, a state Department of Labor and Economic Growth analyst, said productivity gains and job losses during recessions have eliminated more manufacturing jobs than out-sourcing has.   Michigan has lost more than 250K jobs the past four years, and has 15K fewer pay-roll jobs last month and a 6.8% unemployment rate -- compared with 5.4% nationally.   In Saginaw, Midland and Bay counties, unemployment stands at 7.3%, compared with 8.1% the same time a year ago and 5.8% in 2002 September, state figures show."

2004-10-31
Madlen Read _Houston Chronicle_
Class of 1999 trying to live with depression reality: Dot-com boom had led to lofty goals
San Francisco Examiner
"College graduates were uniquely affected by the dot-com bust and the recession, partly because their expectations were warped by the booming 1990s, according to Jordan Goodman, author of _Everyone's Money Book_.   Many graduates flocked to the technology sector, which had been paying top dollar for the young and computer-savvy [while older tech workers remained unemployed even then]...   Many soon found themselves on a downward slide.   To survive the work-place now, many young people have had to start over on the bottom rung -- not exactly the position many expected to be in 5 years after graduation."
 

2004 October

2004 October
IEEE Code of Ethics

2004 October
George F. McClure _Today's Engineer_
How Big of a Threat Is Off-Shoring?
"15 years ago [1989], Charles Handy [in _The Age of UnReason_] articulated the 'shamrock organization', which out-sourced all non-core functions...   The dual attractions to off-shoring are cheap labor cost and the availability of venture capital for foreign direct investment (FDI) in enterprises, plants and laboratories...

India was a charter member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995; [Red China] joined in 2001.   WTO had 147 member countries as of 2004 April."

2004 October
Roy Want _Queue_
The Evil of RFID
"Radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging technology, which enables the identification of an object, person, or place without a direct line-of-sight via an electromagnetic challenge/response interchange, has a 'magical' quality because its operations are largely automatic and invisible...   Communications become ineffective when tags are oriented perpendicular to the reader antenna, and building less orientation-sensitive antennas is probably the more cost-effective solution.   Furthermore, most RFID readers cannot operate in close proximity to another reader scanning for tags, which requires the presence of a standardized protocol to enable bandwidth sharing among these various systems."
Privacy Rights Clearing-House
Privacy Journal
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Spy Chips (RFID)

2004 October
Ron Hira _Technological Forecasting and Social Change_ vol71, #8 pp 837-854
U.S. immigration regulations and India's information technology industry

2004 October
M. Granger Morgan & Elaine Newton _Issues in Science & Technology_/_ACM_
Protecting Public Anonymity
"Technologies are emerging that could lead to a society where everyone can be tracked and identified, and thus abusively controlled both socially and politically.   Preventing this scenario involves efforts among law and IT professionals, civil libertarians, and the general public to bolster privacy rights and public anonymity.   Carnegie Mellon University's M. Granger Morton and Elaine Newton frown upon the legal authorization of detailed shopping center surveillance data, because its benefits to marketers and law enforcement would be outweighed by the potential for exploitation by criminals, politicians, and others.   The authors posit that potentially negative social consequences are more likely to be reduced or avoided if system designers carefully consider the effects of alternative designs before they make their choices, and they offer a preliminary list of design principles that include: Explicit identification of a system's intended functions; the collection of only as many measures necessary to carry out those functions; the use of measures that integrate information over space and time and are appropriate for the task's function and security level; provision of opt-in or opt-out to affected parties; and minimization of data sharing.   Suggested measures to promote the growth of effective system design standards while avoiding restrictive government regulation include public anonymity-protective performance standards instituted as best practices, demonstrated compliance with such standards via certification, establishing such certification as a prerequisite for system acquisition by public and private parties, and setting up a legal liability framework for companies whose products violate privacy and data-sharing regulations.   Morton and Newton think a new high-level commission akin to the one set up by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to shape the Privacy Act of 1974 should be established to build a legal framework to defend privacy and public anonymity while balancing them against other legitimate social goals.   Concurrent with this would be the development and distribution of a set of best professional practices for privacy- and anonymity-strong system design by IT professional communities such as the ACM."
Privacy Rights Clearing-House
Privacy Journal
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Spy Chips (RFID)
 

jgo Resume jgo Books
jgo Econ Data jgo Econ News Bits Index
Economic News Analysis Summary
Kermit home
Links jgo's Work in Progress
Top