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|"In 1896, the US Supreme Court went so far as to rule that a Utah jury of 8 persons was unconstitutional because 'when Magna Charta declared that '''no freeman should be deprived of his life but by the judgment of his peers...''' it referred to a trial by 12 jurors.'" --- Alfred H. Knight 1996 _The Life of the Law_ pg 22 (quoting John Marshall Harlan)|
Dice Report: 75,097 job ads
2005-09-01 00:48PDT (03:48EDT) (07:48GMT)
Jim Trageser _North San Diego County Times_
Facing Issues vs. Hurling Charges of Racism
"Still, it does seem of late as if anyone who so much as opines that perhaps illegal immigration is, well, illegal finds himself accused of being a racist. In a way, you can't really blame those who choose to defend illegal immigration for playing the racism card. What other ammunition do they have in their arsenal? There aren't any logical, sensible arguments in favor of simply opening our borders. Not even the most vehement supporters of illegal immigration will make that argument straight-out. So pro-illegal immigration activists don't argue for an open border. Instead, they criticize Border Patrol sweeps, assail efforts to deny benefits to those who break the law to get here, ridicule those who would watch the border voluntarily. And when they are called on the emptiness of their arguments, when they are asked why immigration law shouldn't be enforced in a logical, even-handed manner, they resort to a burned-ground campaign of character assassination against anyone who openly advocates in favor of fuller enforcement of our immigration laws. Who cares if it's true or not? The purpose of calling someone a racist isn't to change his mind or heart, not to convince others of the veracity of your position. The point is to distract. To intimidate. To silence. There is no possible logical, intellectual or even moral pretense for supporting illegal immigration -- a point made clear when Democratic governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico declared a state of emergency along his state's border with Mexico last month... Perhaps this momentary lapse can provide us the chance to conduct a sober, serious public debate about illegal immigration -- about how to humanely treat people who arrive here in violation of the law, about whether to increase the number of legal immigrants allowed in, about whether to bring back a bracero program."
2005-09-01 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 250,597 in the week ending August 27, a decrease of 2,204 from the previous week. There were 276,308 initial claims in the comparable week in 2004. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending August 20, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,388,266, a decrease of 30,655 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.1% and the volume was 2,614,899."
2005-09-01 06:58PDT (09:58EDT) (13:58GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
House prices up 13.4% since a year ago
"Average U.S. house prices have risen 13.4% in the past year, the fastest appreciation since 1979, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight [OFHEO] said Thursday. Average home prices rose at a 12.8% annual rate in the second quarter..."
2005-09-01 07:11PDT (10:11EDT) (14:11GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US Construction Spending Was Flat in July
census bureau data
2005-09-01 07:48PDT (10:48EDT) (14:48GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US savings rate fell in July: Inflation wiped out gains in personal income
"Personal incomes increased 0.3% in July, while spending soared ahead by 1%. As a result, the personal savings rate tumbled to negative 0.6%, the lowest since monthly records began in 1959. Quarterly data show negative savings rates for several quarters during the Great Depression. The savings rate was negative 0.2% in 2001 October and was 0% in June... In June, incomes rose 0.5%, while spending increased a revised 1%... The headline personal consumption expenditure price index rose 0.3%, eating up all income gains in the month. Disposable incomes were flat for the month. Core inflation - which removes food and energy prices in order to judge underlying inflation - increased 0.1%. Core inflation is up 1.8% in the past 12 months, down from 1.9% in June and 2.2% earlier in the year... Real spending - adjusted for inflation - increased 0.7% in July. Most of the new spending was due to the 5.2% rise in spending on durable goods, especially autos... The income gains were largely from wages, which increased 0.5%. Income from small businesses fell 0.4%, reversing strong growth over the past several years. Income from assets such as dividends and interest increased 0.5%."
BEA press releases
2005-09-01 08:17PDT (11:17EDT) (15:17GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM factory activity index fell from 56.6% in July to 53.6% in August: Employment index fell from 53.2% to 52.6%
2005-09-01 11:12PDT (13:12EDT) (17:12GMT)
Ed Frauenheim _CNET_/_ZD Net_
WashTech: Tech workers are less optimistic
"According to the study from the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, 40% of tech professionals polled in April said demand in the United States will increase for information technology workers. That compares with 53% predicting an increase in 2003. The web-based survey, which involved interviews with 369 respondents this year and 410 two years ago, also found that 52% of IT workers say their pay has decreased or stayed the same in the last year... The survey indicates sending tech tasks to lower-wage nations like India continues to be a significant issue for tech pros, but a less pressing one. This year, 44% of respondents said off-shoring has affected wages and benefits, down from 51% in 2003... the pace of tech-sector down-sizing is ahead of the rate a year ago. And the average number of unemployed workers in 9 high-tech categories fell by 64K last year but remained close to 150K, according to the U.S. Labor Department. What's more, a study released Wednesday by [body shop] Hudson found that technology workers' confidence in the job market fell sharply in August, thanks partly to job-loss fears... Last year, a report [by tech executive lobbying organization ITAA] on off-shore out-sourcing of software and IT services indicated the practice would improve the U.S. economy overall but hurt U.S. IT workers... WashTech's study found that 1 in 5 tech workers knows someone who has had to train a foreign worker and then lost the job to the person he or she trained. One in 20 have had to train a foreign worker, and then lost -- or suspect they lost -- the job to the person he or she trained, according to the report... In a press conference Thursday, Courtney said..., 'We should actually mandate that companies should have to look for qualified U.S. (talent) before they look over-seas.'... 56% of tech workers regularly work more than 40 hours a week, with a significant portion (37%) regularly working 50 or more hours a week. 61% of workers are paying an increasing percentage of their health care premiums, while virtually all workers with coverage have seen the extent of their coverage decline (47%) or stay the same (42%). High-tech temporary workers generally make less and carry a much higher proportion of health care costs than direct employees. While 1 in 5 direct employees has a household income below $50K per year, twice as many 'Agency/Contract[/Contingent/Body Shop]' employees have household incomes below $50K per year."
2005-09-01 12:15PDT (15:15EDT) (19:15GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Energy futures close higher across the board
"October unleaded gasoline... up 15.37 cents, or 6.8%, to close at $2.409 [per] gallon... October crude closed at $69.47 [per] barrel, up 53 cents. October heating oil ended at $2.1985 [per] gallon, up 5.9% and October natural gas climbed 2.5% to close at $11.757 per million British thermal units."
2005-09-01 14:11PDT (17:11EDT) (21:11GMT)
William Spain _MarketWatch_
Coffee prices rise due to Katrina damage
"On Thursday, September coffee rose 4.2 cents to close at $1.0195 [per] pound on the New York Board of Trade. Coffee could go higher still, depending on the fate of some 1.6M bags of beans stored in New Orleans, which is the nation's largest coffee port of entry, warehouser and roaster."
Bruce Lieberman _San Diego Union-Tribune_
40M differences between human and chimpanzee genomes, but contain 96% comparable sequences which are 99% identical
San Francisco Chronicle
"A draft of the chimpanzee genome, described by an international team of 67 scientists in today's edition of the journal Nature, offers biologists a powerful new tool to study what sets humans apart from the rest of the animal world. Comparing the chimp and human genomes could offer new insights into diseases such as Alzheimer's, diabetes and cancer. At a time when some people still question evolution, the chimp genome adds compelling evidence to support the theory, scientists said yesterday at a news conference in Washington, DC... The project, which cost $20M to $30M and included contributions from San Diego scientists, was accompanied by 8 other papers on chimp biology. More are expected tomorrow in the journal Science... Viewed in the context of the 3G bases, or chemical units, that make up DNA, chimps and humans are remarkably identical genetically... [Comparison of the human and chimp genomes reveals that their genetic sequences are directly comparable over 96% of their lengths, and these regions are 99% identical. Out of the 3G base pairs of DNA in each genome, about 35M differ, of which as many as 3M may lie in crucial protein-coding genes.] The number of genetic differences between humans and chimps is about 60 times less than that between humans and mice, and about 10 times less than that between mice and rats... "
India, USA tech bodyshops are making billion dollar deals: Dutch bank dumps 1500 employees
Rhiannon Edward _Scotsman_
olive oil can fight heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's and pain
"newly pressed extra-virgin olive oil also contains a compound that mimics the pain-relieving activity of ibuprofen - a member of the class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Dr. Paul Breslin and his team at the Monell Chemical Senses Centre in Philadelphia have discovered olive oil contains the compound oleocanthal which suppresses the same pain pathway as ibuprofen... a 50g daily dose of olive oil is equivalent to about 10% of the dose of ibuprofen recommended for adult pain relief."
Hazel Trice Edny _Amsterdam News_
Controversy swirls about kudos to firms under civil rights suits
"An annual luncheon, sponsored and hosted by the reverend Al Sharpton and his New York-based National Action Network, to 'honor those that keep the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King jr. Alive' is slated to give awards to Wal-Mart Corporation and Tyson Foods, both being sued for civil rights violations. 'Among the September 7 Dream Keepers Luncheon honorees are Lions Gate Entertainment, the distributor of the critically-acclaimed movie '''Crash'''; the legendary singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder, Wal-Mart Corporation, Tyson Foods, and Flora Walker, the Western Regional Director of AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, and Southwest Airlines', states a press release issued by Sharpton's group. 'This is absolutely unbelievable. I cannot believe that this is true because it is that unbelievable that companies with the reputations of Tyson and Wal-Mart -- when it comes to the way they have treated their employees -- would be considered for an award in the name of Martin Luther King,” says Bill Fletcher, a long-time labor and international activist, now president of TransAfrica Forum. 'No one in their right minds would be nominating such companies; therefore, it was a mistake. You got it wrong or they sent out the wrong release.' Contacted by NNPA, Sharpton said at the time that he was unaware of the federal law-suit again Tyson Foods, filed August 12 by 12 Black employees alleging segregated bathrooms with a 'Whites Only' sign, the pervasive use of the n-word, 'monkey', 'boy' and 'watermelon' insults of Black people and a threat with a noose. The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law is representing the plaintiffs, who are joined in the suit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The law-suit, which has gained widespread publicity, says Tyson violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by maintaining a racially hostile work environment and retaliating against employees that complained... Gene Morris, president of Chicago-based E. Morris Communications, nominated Tyson Foods approximately 3 months ago, well before the suit was filed, Sharpton said..."
Jeanette Burriesci _Intelligent Enterprise_/_Compliance Pipe-Line_
Data Law: Misdirected or Misdirection
"An ID theft victim can be devastated for years, with trouble getting jobs, loans or leases... Turns out that some businesses, such as Visa, advocate the legislation because it would preempt their liability under general tort law. Considering the general ineffectiveness of data breach notification, consumers are better off keeping their abilities to sue for damages."
2005-09-01 16:25PDT (19:25EDT) (23:25GMT)
Andrea Coombes _MarketWatch_
How to save gasoline
"The two biggest gas-saving tricks, it turns out, are using cruise control, which improved gas mileage by as much as 14%, and driving less aggressively, which pumped up mileage by up to 35%, based on road tests of two cars... Ensuring the cars' tires were properly inflated yielded similarly non-definitive results, 4.4% improvement in gas mileage for the Land Rover and zero for the Mustang."
Jennifer Talhelm _AP_/_Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram_
Tancredo predicts fight in Congress over immigration
"As pressure mounts for Congress to revisit the nation's immigration policy, representative Tom Tancredo, R-CO, said Thursday he is ready to fight any bill that would allow amnesty for workers illegally in the United States. In a conference call with reporters, Tancredo, who has long called for a tougher policy on illegal immigration, spoke on a slew of immigration bills lawmakers are expected to take up this fall dealing with everything from border security to guest workers... Republicans in Congress are deeply divided over the issue, caught between business leaders on one side, who rely on the [cheap] workers, and conservatives on the other, who want to restrict immigration... Tancredo has introduced his own immigration bill, which focuses on securing the border and enforcing immigration laws - including punishing employers who hire illegal immigrants - before creating a guest worker program."
2005-09-01 17:53PDT (20:53EDT) (2005-09-02 00:53GMT)
Kristen Gerencher _MarketWatch_
Sick workers cost $260G per year
"The figure represents the combined lost economic output from former employees too sick or disabled to hold down a job, workers who get sick and stay home and those who drag themselves in and toil less effectively, according to a survey of 4K adults from the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that supports research on health and social issues. The largest chunk of that figure results from the 18M adults -- or 12% of those age 19 to 64 -- who aren't working because of an illness or injury. Their lost productivity accounts for $185G, assuming they had minimum-wage jobs, the study said... The second biggest contributor came from the estimated 69M workers who said they missed work days due to illness in the last year. Employees called in sick a total of 407M work days in 2003, costing the United States $48G, according to the study... Distraction and fatigue caused by coming in to work ill or worrying about a family member's health kicked in $27G of the total lost productivity, the study said. About 55M workers said they were at some point unable to concentrate on the job because of their own or a family member's illness... About one-third of adults -- 34% -- said they lacked paid sick leave. But not everyone who had it got sick enough to use it or viewed it as an entitlement. About 30% of those with 1 to 10 days of paid sick days didn't use them, Davis said. More than half -- 56% -- said they had paid time off to see a doctor during work hours, which can be key for preventing illnesses from spreading and shortening future absences, she said... It isn't lack of paid time off but fear of losing a job or alienating co-workers that keeps many of Dr. Mary Frank's patients in Rohnert Park, CA, from taking the time they need to recuperate, she said. The trend has grown in the last few years."
2005-09-01 23:20PDT (2005-09-02 02:20EDT) (06:20GMT)
William Finn Bennett _North San Diego County Times_
Border Death Toll Sets Record
"With 28 days left in the Border Patrol's fiscal year, which runs from October 1 to September 30, a total of 415 men, women and children have died making the northward journey, said Mario Villarreal, a Washington spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 240 of those deaths came in the harsh desert landscape of Southern Arizona, mainly from dehydration, he added. The Southwest border's previous record for immigrant deaths was 383, in 2000... The Border Patrol's San Diego sector stretches from the coast to the Imperial County line. With 20 deaths so far this fiscal year, it represents a small fraction of the total number of deaths. However, that number is still higher than last year, when 15 people died during the entire fiscal year, Villarreal said. While none of those deaths was caused by dehydration, Border Patrol agents have rescued 11 people for heat-related symptoms in the same period, Border Patrol records show... since 1998, the Border Patrol's Search, Trauma and Rescue Team has rescued 11,428 illegal immigrants along the Southwest border, 2,466 of them just this fiscal year... the U.S. and Mexican governments recently began a voluntary repatriation program that provides air transportation to illegal immigrants who want to return to their homes far south of the border, he said. More than 15K illegal immigrants have already taken advantage of the offer, he added."
Jeannine Aversa _AP_/_abc News_
Hurricand Katrina Takes a Toll on Jobs: Hundreds of Thousands Find Themselves Out of Work
"Hundreds of thousands of people are finding themselves out of work and their livelihoods in limbo following the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. Experts believe it will take months before people get back to work in hurricane-ravaged areas. Some workers may not have jobs to return to and others may opt to move away and find work elsewhere, economists and other experts said... 'New Orleans is an economic disaster. This tragedy is so unprecedented people could be out of work for 3, 6, 9 months or longer.', said Rajeev Dhawan, director of the economic forecasting project at Georgia State University. By Dhawan's estimates close to 1M people have been thrust out of work in parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama because of Katrina."
Joe Guzzardi _V Dare_
Labor Day - As the Rich Get Richer
"Lo and behold it has since come to light that Teresa Porter, who holds a master's degree in English Literature and has taught for 14 years in California and Japan, applied to teach in Clark County but was rejected. ['Experienced Teachers Spurned Despite Alleged Shortage', Antonio Planas, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2005 August 25] Even though Porter was once Teacher of the Year' at her Stockton, CA, high school and is an English as a Second Language specialist, an area of high need according to Clark County officials, she was turned down. Porter -- get this -- was spurned because she did not do her student teaching in Nevada... The irony is that the Filipino teachers didn't do their student teaching in Nevada either. Nevertheless, the Clark County School District was clever enough to find a way around that road-block for the Filipinos. But it was unwilling to do the same for Porter. The net result is that 51 teaching jobs are gone. Americans will not be able to compete for those positions. In fact, they may not even want to since the Filipino teachers are paid less. And the same job for future prospective teachers is now locked in at a lower rate of pay... This Las Vegas scenario plays out over and over again across America in virtually every labor market... teachers, nurses, doctors, software managers. Employers scream 'shortage' and Congress rushes to increase visa caps. In 2005, it has already increased the H-1B visa cap by 20K, at least doubled the H-2B 'temporary worker' visas, and added an additional [10,500] E-3 work based green card visas for Australians... Don't look at those as merely raw numbers. They are lost job opportunities for Americans. The pattern sustains itself because an endless flow of workers comes to the US -- some legally and some not legally. But regardless of the worker's immigration status, they can be hired for less money. In 2004, Boston's Northeastern University Center for Labor Studies released a report by Professor Andrew Sum titled Foreign Immigration and the U.S. Labor Market. The report found that between 2000 and 2004 January and April, foreign immigrants arriving since 2000 accounted for at least 60% of all the labor force growth in the nation. The number of new immigrant workers rose by at least 2.1M during that period while the number of native-born workers and established immigrants declined by 1.3M. The majority of the new workers are young, poor and uneducated Mexican migrants, Sum discovered... With cheap labor dominating, U.S. wages have been stagnant for over two decades. And not only are wages flat but they have lagged significantly behind productivity... At the same time, according to the New York Times, the average 2002 salary for a Chief Executive Officer -- the very guys who holler 'shortage' -- is $10.8M. Their pay increases average 6%, more than twice that of workers' pay-checks."
last year's column
NASSCOM sayd off-shoring of legal work from the USA will likely reach 35K jobs by 2010
2005-09-02 07:44PDT (10:44EDT) (14:44GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Corporate job cut announcements fell by 32%
"U.S. corporations announced 32% fewer job reductions in August, dropping planned cuts to 70,571, the lowest since April, according to a monthly tally compiled by out-placement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas. Job cuts were down 4.8% from 2004 August, just the third time this year that job reductions were down year-over-year. Challenger said. So far in 2005, corporations have annouced 711,816 job reductions, 15.5% more than at this time last year... According to the latest Labor Department data, there were 4.4M separations from jobs in June -- including 1.5M lay-offs -- up about 130K from a year earlier. At the same time, 4.6M workers were hired, up about 140K from a year earlier."
Paul J. Lim _US News & World Report_
Another storm surge: the unemployed
"According to Challenger, transportation companies announced 17,341 job cuts last month (making it the highest-ranking industry in terms of August [lay-off announcements]), as high fuel costs have been blowing up budgets at airlines and municipal mass transit systems."
2005-09-02 13:34PDT (16:34EDT) (20:34GMT)
Mark Cotton _MarketWatch_
stocks closed lower, but up for the week despite hurricane damage
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12.26 points to 10,447 but managed a weekly gain of 0.5%. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 6.83 points at 2,141.07. On the week, the tech-rich index rose 1%. The S&P 500 Index dropped 3.57 points to 1,218.02 with the broad gauge rising 1.1% on the week... A leading catastrophe risk-modeling firm on Friday put the economic cost of Katrina at more than $100G. Falling stocks led advancers 17 to 14 on the New York Stock Exchange Friday, and led by a 17 to 12 margin on the Nasdaq Stock Market. With a lot of traders leaving early for the 3-day Labor Day weekend, volume was light. About 1.26G shares traded on the Big Board, while 1.14G exchanged hands on the Nasdaq... Contributing to the pullback was an announcement by the Energy Department that the International Energy Agency will make 60M barrels of crude product available to the marketplace over the next month -- at a rate of about 2M barrels per day. The Energy Department, as an IEA member country, will offer 30M barrels of this total amount of crude oil from the nation's emergency stock-pile. Unleaded-gasoline futures fell 9.4% to $2.1837 a gallon, but surged 17.8% on the week. Crude-oil prices fell $1.88, or 2.8% at $67.59 a barrel in New York trading. On the week, crude rose 2.2%."
William H. Rehnquist b: 1924-10-01 d: 2005-09-03 (supreme court 1972-2005, chief justice 1986-2005) m: Natalie Cornell (3 children)
2005-09-03 00:20PDT (03:20EDT) (07:20GMT)
Brier Dudley _Seattle Times_
M$ plans to off-shore more work to Red China
"M$ is on track to out-source more than 1K jobs a year to [Red China], according to blistering evidence released yesterday in M$'s increasingly nasty spat with Google over an employee who jumped ship in July. In a revelation that highlights the complexity of [Red China] president Hu Jintao's visit to Seattle and M$ on Monday, legal filings detailed claims of how M$ had offended the [Red Chinese] government by not out-sourcing as many jobs as promised to [Red Chinese] technology vendors. CEO Steve Ballmer visited [Red China] in 2003 and promised to step up the pace, from $33M worth of work a year to $55M a year, according to a statement by Kai-Fu Lee, a former vice president [of M$] who left to work for Google in July. Lee was charged with smoothing over relations with [Red China] and finding jobs that could be shifted to Chinese contract workers... M$ continues to hire thousands of new employees a year in Redmond, [WA], but the pace of hiring has slowed. Simultaneously, it has increased work in [Red China], India and other technology hubs."
"According to The Idaho Statesman, 2005-08-15 edition, the U.S. Hispanic population has nearly doubled since 1990. This influx has not been through legal immigration... No one has yet reported on the number of students in these schools who cannot speak or write English... If the federal government continues to allow unlimited immigration across the Mexican border and continues to demand that the law No Child Left Behind be met, it should, at the least, be funding special language schools for these immigrants' children. [Joan Smith]
The U.S. Hispanic population nearly doubled from 22M in 1990 to 41.3M in 2004. This is an increase of roughly 6% per year. If this growth continues at this rate, the Hispanic population will double again in less than 12 years to more than 82M. Here are just a few reasons why you should care:
Kuwait has donated $500M in oil products & other aid to the USA to compensate for losses from hurricane Katrina
Rebecca Barr _Northwest Herald_
High-Tech Workers Are Down-Beat
"More than half, or 52%, of highly skilled workers say off-shoring to low-cost countries already has affected their pay, the Seattle-based union said. Another 5% say they have lost their jobs to an over-seas worker they've trained... The proportion of workers who expect an increase in demand for skilled technology employees dropped to 54% this year, from 65% similar survey carried out in 2003, WashTech said. Off-shoring and cost-cutting is expected to keep pressure on industry workers."
Silvio Laccetti _Asbury Park Press_
Preserving Rewards for Hard Work
Bergen NJ Record
Matthew Fordahl _AP_/_Silicon Valley_
As Propaganda War Over Guest-Worker Visas Heats Up, Tech Firms Send Hundreds of Employees into Hurricane Relief Efforts
"High-tech companies in Silicon Valley and elsewhere are offering money, equipment and expertixe to help with recovery effort and [to] reconnect survivors in area devastated by hurricane Katrina."
K.A. Turner _Mobile Register_
Hurricane Katrina Put a Million People Out of Work
US News & World Report
"Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the Chicago-based out-placement firm, estimated Friday that unemployment rates would rise to 25% in New Orleans, and top 20% in areas of coastal Mississippi. "
_South Coast Today_
90K in USA lost jobs as result of mergers in 1st half of 2005
Portsmouth NH Herald News
"Number of Americans that have lost their jobs to mergers in the first half of 2005, according to out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas: 90K. Percentage increase from last year: 37%."
Tom Steinert-Threlkeld _BaseLine_ e-mail
Tracked Workers Outraged by RFID Tagging
"One of the largest trade unions [in the UK], GMB, is up in arms about radio frequency identification technology -- and is trying to put its foot down. The 700K-member General, Municipal, Boiler makers and Allied Trade Union is demanding the European Commission outlaw radio tags in ware houses. Not on merchandise, but on workers... Tagging a person [is] necessarily putting the 'mark of the beast' on the individual or Orwellian Big Brother act."
Paul E. Harrington & Andrew M. Sum _San Jose Mercury News_/_Perspective_
Dim Future for Workers
"For the past five years, a growing fraction of America's workers have joined an emerging cowboy labor market, something of a catch-as-catch-can market that is unstable, unregulated and often illegal. The transition began [more than 20 years before] the recession of 2001, an economic down-turn that created an excess of workers in America. But that labor over-supply wasn't the only impetus. Two other factors also created strong incentives for employers to jettison the old employer-employee relationship: the rise of the Internet and a growing immigrant labor force. As new jobs are created, they are fundamentally changing the structure of work across the country. The size of the shift is difficult to measure. And because the new type of work isn't so visible to government data gatherers, it takes an examination of the gap between two traditional measures of job creation -- the pay-roll survey and the monthly household survey -- to glean a clue of the scope... Both surveys are right as far as they go; the difference between them, of roughly 3M jobs, reveals that employment is shifting to off-pay-roll and frequently under-the-table jobs. These new American workers generally fall into three categories: self-employed, independent contractors and those who work completely 'off-the-books', including people in the burgeoning day laborer market. The self-employed include classic entrepreneurs like those in Silicon Valley, and also many people who work as full-time or part-time consultants to the same companies that laid them off or dangled early-retirement offers. Many of these 'second option' self-employed would prefer regular pay-roll jobs, but when they are not able to find what they want, they sell their services in the open market. Among these newly self-employed are software engineers who bid for information-technology work on web sites, a relatively new way of both organizing and finding work. And some are former professionals who have given up on information technology and formed landscaping companies, for example, or catering businesses. All told, the household survey has identified an additional 700K workers who report themselves as self-employed since the fourth quarter of 2001. Independent contracting also appears to have increased markedly, with those persons often working in the same companies and in similar jobs as regular pay-roll workers. Indeed, studies of these contract workers have found them virtually indistinguishable from pay-roll employees, with regular hours, supervision and all the other hallmarks of an employer-employee relationship. Except they are not on their companies' regular pay-roll and do not receive benefits such as health insurance and pensions... Finally, off-the-books work is growing, especially in landscaping, construction, food service, hotel, office-cleaning and household work. Many of these jobs are filled by [illegal] immigrants who arrive at convenience store parking lots waiting for any potential employer to come by and pick them up for a day's work... In 1980, immigrants represented about 8% of the labor force. Now they account for about 15%... Last year, 2.5M immigrants who had arrived in the United States since 2000 were working. Yet during the entire 2000-2004 period, total employment in the nation rose by just 2.1M. Thus, new immigrants accounted for all of the net increase in the nation's employment during the past 4 years... The fundamental breakdown in America's labor laws and standards signals a shift in our basic view of work. More and more, labor is bought and sold like any other commodity, and fairness, respect, upward mobility and dignity are becoming the quaint ideals of a bygone era."
2005-09-04 19:37PDT (23:37EDT) (2005-09-05 03:37GMT)
Dave Downey _North San Diego County Times_
State Border Polic Campaign Swings Into High Gear
"a campaign to put an initiative on the ballot to create the first state border police in the nation is gearing up... nearly 600K signatures of registered voters that will be required by December 122 to put the measure on the 2006 June ballot... The proposed initiative is the brain-child of Assemblyman Ray Haynes, R-Murrieta, who says he is fed up with the droves of people hopping the international border and entering the United States from Mexico illegally. Estimates suggest as many as 10M people are in the United States illegally [estimates range from 8M to 20M], 3M of them in California... Haynes is proposing to create a state border force of 2K to 3K agents that would operate on an annual budget ranging from $200M to $300M. If passed by voters, the agency could be up and running by the end of next year, he said... private surveys suggest public support is running in the 75% range... Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a political analyst at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, said the campaign likely will need 900K names, if not 1M, to qualify. To get that many, Bebitch Jeffe said, supporters will need to pay people to collect a significant chunk of the required signatures; relying on volunteers won't be enough. She said paid gatherers require anywhere from $1 to $3 per name."
2005-09-05 07:05PDT (10:05EDT) (14:05GMT)
_San Diego Union-Tribune_
France raises estimate of government debt to 3% of GDP
2005-09-05 07:08PDT (10:08EDT) (14:08GMT)
VW To Cut Jobs Among German Employees
"German auto-maker Volkswagen AG said Monday it plans to cut its work force in its home country, complaining that its factories have 'several thousand' surplus employees, despite rising demand for its cars. Volkswagen said it would extend early retirement programs, allow more staff to work part-time and offer incentives to persuade others to leave in order to trim its employment costs. The Wolfsburg-based company, which has agreements with labor unions that rule out firing any workers in Germany until 2011, did not say how many of its 103K jobs in the country would go or when. Still, the news sent its shares soaring... amid criticism from investors that the company was inefficient. Quality problems are also plaguing its North American operations... It is also under pressure from a fraud scandal which has forced out several top officials and prompted an investigation by German prosecutors... On the weekend, news magazine Der Spiegel reported that 10K Volkswagen jobs in Germany were at risk. Volkswagen refused to comment on that figure. Pischetsrieder earlier this year suggested some 6K jobs could go. The new SUV could only be built in Wolfsburg at costs below those laid out in existing wage agreements, he said. VW has suggested that it could opt instead for a plant in Portugal if labor unions do not agree.'
Aoife White _AP_/_Bucks County Courier Times_
Deal to Allow Red Chinese Textiles into Europe
"EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson and his [Red Chinese] counterpart Commerce Minister Bo Xilai, in Beijing, reached a deal on future quota limits, allowing some 75M garments into the EU, EU spokeswoman Francoise Le Bail told reporters... The agreement effectively raises import limits to allow in excess clothing amid growing concern that a flood of cheap [Red Chinese] goods under-cuts European producers... Mandelson said Friday that European governments had reached 'broad agreement' behind his proposal to allow in goods ordered and shipped during the month following a June 10 textile deal with [Red China] and subtract goods ordered after July 12 from next year's quota. European retailers have lobbied hard for the garments to be released [but neglected to mention their expectations for exceptionally high margins on the cheap goods]."
Randi F. Marshall & Patricia Kitchen _NY News Day_
Happy Labor Day, Let's Get Down To Business
"The last 4 months of the year are the heaviest job-cutting period, according to records from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an out-placement firm head-quartered in Chicago. Between 1993 and 2004, 38% of all job cuts came between September and December, Challenger found. In 2004 alone, the story was even worse, with 41% of the cuts coming during the end of the year."
Daniel McGinn _M$NBC_
777 CEOs left jobs in first 7 months of 2005
"In the first 7 months of 2005, 777 CEOs left their jobs, according to to Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That's 90% ahead of 2004's pace... 34% of S&P 500 companies that replaced a CEO in the first half of 2005 hired an outsider, according to recruiting firm Spencer Stuart. Recent research by consultants at Pearl Meyer Partners examined pay for CEOs hired between 2001 & 2004. They found that outside CEOs earned 24% more than the bosses they replaced, whiel insiders earned 6% less than the departing chief... after a few years on the job [the insiders'] 7-digit pay stubs usually catch up to the external hires. At the highest rungs of corporate life, there are very few losers."
Oil Prices Fall as US Rigs, Refineries Start
"Brent crude oil fell, erasing gains caused by Hurricane Katrina, after producers including BP Plc resumed output in the Gulf of Mexico and the International Energy Agency pledged to release emergency reserves. BP said today its Holstein platform in the Gulf started production. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Marathon Oil Corp. resumed processing at 2 refineries in Louisiana during the weekend. Storm disruptions sent U.S. average gasoline pump prices to a record $3.057 on September 2, the AAA motorists' group reported today... Brent crude oil for October settlement fell as much as $1.63, or 2.5%, to $64.43 a barrel on London's International Petroleum Exchange, the lowest price since August 24. The contract was down $1.31 at 15:01 local time. Brent reached a record $68.89 on August 30, a day after Katrina struck. Prices have gained 59% from a year ago. The New York Mercantile Exchange, the world's largest energy exchange, is closed today for the Labor Day holiday. October crude oil fell 2.7% to $67.57 in New York on September 2, its biggest decline since Hurricane Katrina struck. The contract reached a record $70.85 on August 30."
Gene J. Koprowski _eWeek_
Unions Step Up Efforts to Sign Up IT Workers as Part of Struggle Over Off-Shore Out-Sourcing
"'The industry's relentless down-sizing, health care cost shifting, job exporting and visa importing strategies are causing tech workers to be less optimistic about their futures in one of America's most important industries.'... Two years ago, 65% of respondents said they believed that there would be increased demand for tech workers. Today, only 54% of those surveyed had that response... Out-sourcing, however, is expected to grow in the coming years. According to research from OffshoreITOutsourcing.com, software out-sourcing is starting to transform the industry, and major Fortune 500 companies are engaging in the tactic. IT, overall, is the leading occupation to be out-sourced, beating sales and marketing and human resources, according to out-sourcing watchers."
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Ginger Thompson _Arizona Republic_/_NY Times_
Vicente Fox forcefully demands "cooperation" from USA over border issues: Wants far more migration, not less
San Jose Mercury News
"President Vicente Fox responded this weekend to criticism from U.S. officials about a recent surge in violence and illegal immigration along the border, saying the United States shares responsibility for the problems and should work harder with Mexico to correct them. Fox said he 'forcefully' rejected the statements by the Bush administration and border-state governors, contending they had unfairly depicted Mexico as a haven for organized crime, though his government has arrested more drug traffickers and dismantled more cartels than any of its predecessors. He also said Mexican immigrants had been portrayed as potential terrorists when they had become pillars of the U.S. economy... he said the United States should stop casting blame for problems created by both countries. He also said the United States should not allow concerns about border security to derail efforts to adopt new measures, two of them before Congress, that would allow millions of additional Mexicans to become guest workers in the United States... But Fox does not have a lot of time left; he is entering his last year in office... In recent weeks, U.S. officials have openly berated Mexico for failing to stop a wave of drug-related border violence. The Bush administration has issued numerous travel advisories, describing rampant violence by heavily armed drug traffickers and warning tourists that they cannot rely on corrupt Mexican authorities to protect them. Neither Fox nor his aides denied that the problems exist... nor did they acknowledge that Mexico had undertaken unprecedented efforts to address them."
3 Faces of Labor Day
"United for a Fair Economy... says today's minimum wage of $5.15 an hour would be $23.03 an hour if it had kept pace with the increases in CEO pay since 1990. A survey released recently by the AFL-CIO found that 53% of 805 workers surveyed say their income is falling behind the cost of living. Only 19% of those surveyed thought Democrats in Congress were doing a good job of looking out for working people. GOP congressional members scored 17%. President Bush got 21%... The [illegal] immigrant population, estimated at more than 10M [estimates range from 8M to 16M] and rising, provides labor that may hold down wages for American workers [and compensation up for executives], but also holds down costs for American consumers... immigration restrictionists and those who favor more generous immigration policies both have committed constituencies."
Jim Welte _Marin Independent Journal_
Laboring in Marin: Jobless rate paints incomplete picture
"Marin consistently leads the state with the lowest jobless rate, recording a state-best 3.9% in July. But several local experts said the numbers aren't comprehensive indicators of the job outlook here. 'There are a lot of people that are cobbling together a livelihood in many ways, and there are a lot of other people who have given up looking.', said Supervisor Cynthia Murray. Neither of those groups -- free-lancers and those who aren't seeking work -- count among the employed or the jobless, according to the state's employment development division... UC Berkeley research economist Arindrajit Dube reported that even with growth of 300K jobs in California in the past 12 months and 2M new jobs nationwide, there are still 2% fewer working-age adults now employed in California and the United States than at the start of 2001. Overall job creation hasn't been fast enough to keep up with the growth in the working age population, said Ken Jacobs, deputy chair of the center... Dube found that job categories in California experiencing growth in the past year paid $2.50 an hour less than job categories under-going reductions."
Barbara Rose _Republican American_
Survival jobs years after professionals are laid off
Sandra Rossi & Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_
HR Out-Sourcing Finds Heavy-Hitting Fans in Executive Suites and Government
Michael Coleman _Albuquerque Journal_
Congress May Act -- For Good or Ill -- On Immigration
"'Part of the reason we haven't done anything is that it's a political bombshell.', said representative Tom Udall, a Democrat, echoing an admission made by other New Mexico congressional leaders. 'My constituency and all New Mexicans are very torn on this one.'... Concerns about terrorism, the economy, border violence and over-burdened social services have reached a boiling point... However, senator Jeff Bingaman, D-NM, said he expects plenty of debate on immigration, but ultimately little action... Pearce, who spent August criss-crossing his district to host public forums on immigration, said he will propose a bill that would allow foreigners to come to the United States as part of a guest worker program, but would prohibit any kind of legal amnesty for those already in the country illegally... Wilson also said border enforcement must be improved, likely with a much more heavy reliance on technology. She rejected the notion that America should turn its borders into militarized zones."
William R. Hawkins _American Economic Alert_
Importing Poverty: The Cheap Labor Trap
"the kind of jobs being created makes a difference as to whether living standards are being raised and whether the country is really moving forward. One of the factors 'encouraging business to hire' is the availability of cheap labor, much of it from illegal immigrants. According to an article in the 2003 November/December issue of Southwest Economy published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, 'Immigrants overwhelmingly filled blue-collar jobs (operators, fabricators, and laborers) but also accounted for as much as half the growth in categories such as administrative support and services... It also means that as immigrants entered these occupations, native workers exited.'... they pushed tens of thousands of Americans out of those jobs, by under-bidding their wages. As the Dallas FRB stated, 'the foreign-born share of growth has risen, and it reached 51% of the total between 1996 and 2002'... The great success story of the United States is that it raised the working class into the middle class, the real path to higher standards of living for the population as a whole. But there are those in the business community who seem to think the American achievement has been overdone. In their view, we need more poverty, not less. Open borders and a new 'guest workers' program to legalize millions of illegal aliens is what groups like the Chamber of Commerce desire, in effect creating a proletariat. To many businessmen, cutting labor costs by reducing wage levels seems expedient. And in an economy where the laws against illegal immigration have collapsed, there is even competitive pressure on firms to match what rivals may be doing, even if owners and managers may personally find the practice distasteful. But the proper way to cut labor costs per unit of output is to increase productivity, a process that boosts worker incomes and company profits at the same time, and that is the only way to elevate the living standards of an entire society. The unregulated availability of cheap labor leads away from innovation. Technological progress is promoted by the pursuit of 'labor saving' methods in markets where labor supplies are tight and expensive... The paper, 'Immigration, Skill Mix, and the Choice of Technique' by FRB economist Ethan Lewis, concluded, 'Using detailed plant-level data from the 1988 and 1993 Surveys of Manufacturing Technology, we found in both 1988 and 1993, in markets with a higher relative availability of less skilled labor, comparable plants -- even plants in the same narrow (4-digit SIC) industries -- used systematically less automation. Moreover, between 1988 and 1993 plants in areas experiencing faster less-skilled relative labor supply growth adopted automation technology more slowly, both overall and relative to expectations, and even de-adoption was not uncommon... the higher the relative number of workers who were high school drop-outs in a metropolitan area, the less automated the plants in the area were. In addition, between 1988 and 1993, plants' use of technology grew more slowly, both overall and relative to forecasts, where the relative number of drop-outs in the local work force grew more quickly.'... If one looks around the world at those foreign societies with the worst living standards, their problem is clearly not a lack of cheap labor. Indeed, their problem is that cheap labor is all they have. What they need is capital investment in advanced methods... America's shift from a manufacturing economy where scientific progress is most fruitful, to a service economy dominated by cheap labor fits the model of a country in long-term decline. The United States needs to choose which path it wants to follow. America has historically been an economy short on labor. Though a 'nation of immigrants', there was an entire continent to fill up. Until the frontier closed a century ago, there were never enough people to utilize all the land, resources, and business opportunities available. The emphasis was thus on boosting productivity, substituting capital for labor in both field and factory, to make the best use of the working population."
Tray Smith _Atmore Advance_
Open House: Illegal Immigration Into the USA
"There are currently 11M illegal immigrants in the United States [estimates range from 8M to 16M], which is more than the entire population of Alabama and Mississippi combined. Half a million [500K to 1.2M] more illegal immigrants will cross the border this year, and they will bring with them one-half of our entire cocaine supply and one-fourth of our entire heroin supply. They take our jobs and they will soak up $10G [of federal expenditures] this year alone... our border with Mexico remains open to any terrorist trying to get into our country... No one seems to be worried about being compassionate to the millions of welfare-dependent and poverty-stricken Americans who could have a job if they were not competing against [cheap] labor from people who are here illegally. No one seems to worry about being compassionate to the land owners along side our border who have had much of their property wiped out, their fences destroyed, and their property deemed worthless... Putting up a concrete security fence, doubling the size of the [border patrol], or calling out the military or National Guard to solve the problem are all good ideas to help plug the flow of illegal immigrants. Allowing people who want to come work here be able to do so through a legal venue is also a much-needed policy, and that is why we need a temporary guest-worker program. But allowing illegal aliens to continue to [pour] across our border in the thousands is not an option. It is not that I do not want us to help the people of Mexico. It is not that I do not want legal immigration. I am all for each of those things. But we must make sure people come here legally so we know who they are, where they are, and what they are doing."
Julie Forster _Lexington Herald-Leader_
Akron Beacon Journal
"About a year ago, JV walked into his office at Best Buy head-quarters as a vice president in the information technology department. He walked out wearing a special contractor badge... 'We had the same desks, same phone numbers.', JV recalled. 'Everyone was the same except we knew we worked for Accenture [formerly Andersen Consulting before they were caught up in the Enron fraud]. It was an odd feeling. We were no longer part of the Best Buy family.' Best Buy's deal with Accenture affected 726 workers at the nation's largest consumer electronics retailer, based in Richfield, MN. About 130 lost their jobs. The other 596 joined JV as new employees of Accenture... A similar experience awaits workers at Carlson Companies... As many as 400 technology and finance workers at Carlson will be laid off as their work shifts to [IBM Global Services] business centers in Canada, Colorado and India... More than half thought vendors offering out-sourced services charged too much. One out of every 4 companies had brought functions back in-house, citing quality and cost issues... About 15% typically [leave] in the first year [after being bodyshopped]... For the rest, lay-offs might start as early as October."
Rebecca Barr _Arizona Republic_/_Bloomberg_
US tech workers suffer compensation drop from off-shoring
"U.S. technology workers expect more wage losses as companies including Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM Corp. cut jobs and hire workers over-seas, according to a survey by labor union WashTech. More than half, or 52%, of highly skilled workers say off-shoring to low-cost countries has affected their pay, the Seattle-based union said. Another 5% say they've lost their jobs to an over-seas worker they've trained."
Jeff Ostrowski _Palm Beach Post_
Salaries and work-place safety cast shadow over Florida's job market
"super-heated demand for bean counters, one of the hottest jobs in Florida's robust job market... Nurses, teachers and construction workers also are hot commodities as Florida's unemployment rate now matches its lowest point in 29 years... Indeed, many economists say the state's job market is at or near full employment, the point where everyone who wants a job has one. Although there's a long-standing debate whether full employment occurs when the jobless rate hits 3% or 4%, the consensus is that jobs are as plentiful as they've ever been here... In his 'State of Working Florida' report released today, Bruce Nissen, director of research at Florida International University's Center for Labor Research and Studies, points to some unflattering statistics: Wages are below the national average. Florida ranks 47th among all states in percentage of residents with health coverage and 49th in private-sector pension coverage. And last month, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics said Florida trailed only California in the total number of workers who died on the job in 2004... As the region's unemployment rate remains low -- it was 4.5% in July in Palm Beach County, 3.9% in Martin County and 5.4% in St. Lucie County -- and as home prices here soar, employers say finding workers grows harder... Hospitals, for instance, last year paid registered nurses signing bonuses that averaged $4,366, according to the Florida Hospital Association. And entry-level salaries for accountants have climbed from about $40K to as much as $50K... KL worked as an aquatic biologist at Toxikon Corp.'s Jupiter laboratory. When Toxikon decided to close the 12-person operation this year, KL was left jobless... She's one of 30 students who last month began Florida Atlantic University's certificate program for bio-tech lab technicians... FD, a former attorney who's looking for a job as a hotel manager. Feeling unappreciated, Davidson left his $40K job as general manager of a Fairfield Inn in Jupiter, a move he now calls a mistake... 27,558 unemployed job seekers in Palm Beach County in July, according to state figures... Holly Finch, spokeswoman at the Palm Beach County Workforce Alliance... 'When I hear people talk about full employment, I wonder who they're counting.', Finch said. 'There are plenty of people who are very skilled who are looking for jobs.'"
2005-09-06 07:55PDT (10:55EDT) (14:55GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
August ISM index shows growth in services
"The ISM services index rose to 65.0% from 60.5% in July. It was the 29th consecutive month of growth and the highest reading since 2004 April... The new orders index rose to a two-year high of 65.8% in August from 61.9%, the employment index rose to 59.6% from 56.2% and the inventories index rose to 53.5% from 52.5%. The prices paid index fell to 67.1% from 70.3%."
Larry Margasak _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Congress Returns Today, Its Agenda Altered
"Congress' agenda for the remainder of the year has changed dramatically in the last few days, as lawmakers vowed to help Gulf Coast hurricane victims and senators faced a confirmation decision for a new chief justice -- rather than an associate justice of the Supreme Court. The House and Senate met briefly last week, interrupting an August recess to approve $10.5 billion for Hurricane Katrina victims. But that was only a down payment in the overwhelming task of recovery from one of the country's worst disasters. The long-term effort to aid recovery begins after law-makers return Tuesday... Parts of the planned schedule will be set aside, said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-TN, including legislation on the estate tax. Congressional leaders were meeting with Bush at the White House on Tuesday, and senators were to get a briefing from Cabinet secretaries later that day on the Gulf Coast recovery efforts... The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee planned to hear the Energy Department and private energy analysts at a hearing Tuesday afternoon and on Thursday examine the country's refining capacity... Representative Joe Barton, R-TX, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said a hearing Wednesday will examine complaints about price gouging as gasoline costs at the pump soared well above $3 a gallon across much of the Midwest and East, jumping overnight from 50 cents to almost $1 a gallon in some cases."
Lauran Neergaard _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Sodium Nitrite Could Be Disease Cure
"could prove a cheap but potent treatment for sickle cell anemia, heart attacks, brain aneurysms, even an illness that suffocates babies... They hinge on problems with low oxygen, problems the government's research suggests nitrite can ease... Indeed, nitrite seems to guard tissues -- in the heart, the lungs, the brain -- against cellular death when they become starved of oxygen... Gladwin and an NIH cardiologist, Dr. Richard Cannon III, discovered nitrite's effect by accident while studying a related compound, nitric oxide, long known to improve blood flow by dilating blood vessels, but difficult to use as a drug. Gladwin and Cannon injected sodium nitrite into healthy volunteers. Tiny doses almost tripled blood flow. Moreover, when people exercised, nitrite levels plummeted in the muscles being worked -- the body was using it... High doses are an anti-dote for cyanide poisoning, but they're also toxic."
Philippe Naughton & Greg Hurst _Times of London_
PM Tony Blair hails new Red Chinese openness
"Tony Blair tried his best to break through a wall of strict [Red Chinese] protocol today and make progress on issues such as human rights and political reform during a second day of talks with [Red Chinese] leaders in Beijing... The first day of talks with Wen Jiabao, the [Red Chinese] Premier, came yesterday at the [Red China]-EU summit, where Mr Blair headed the European delegation. Those talks notably brought a deal to end the 'bra wars', a trade stand-off that has seen 80M Chinese-made garments pile up in European ports... British officials said that it had been difficult to persuade the [Red Chinese] to open up to a more personal one-to-one approach instead of larger meetings with all present sticking to established positions... Britain is the largest European investor in [Red China], pumping a total of £6.5G into the country by the end of last year. At a breakfast meeting with Chinese investors today, Mr. Blair predicted that trade and investment between Britain and [Red China] could exceed £20G in the next five years... From Beijing, Mr Blair flew on to New Delhi with Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief, and Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commissioner President."
2005-09-06 10:51PDT (13:51EDT) (17:51GMT)
_North San Diego County Times_
Immigrant Smuggling Ring-Leader Gets 3 Years in Prison and $1M Asset Fofeiture
"The leader of a San Diego-based immigrant smuggling ring that brought Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and Lithuanian citizens through Mexico into the United States was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison. Yervand Asriyants, 42, pleaded guilty June 9 to one count of conspiracy to induce illegal immigrants to enter the United States and two counts of bringing illegal immigrants into the United States for financial gain."
Julie Kay Smithson _Magic City Morning Star_
A Sovereign Nation's Border
"The U.S. Border Patrol's aggressive efforts to stem illegal immigration and cut crime along the Texas-Mexican border have been a resounding success. In just two years, Operation Rio Grande, the agency's high-tech interdiction effort, cut the number of illegal aliens attempting to cross the border from 216K in 1996 to less than 160K in 1999 along a 200-mile stretch of the Rio Grande River. If it weren't for the operation, Border Patrol officials estimate that there would have been 350K illegal aliens attempting to cross the border in 1999. In addition, in just one year, crime in Brownsville dropped 45%. However, if environmentalists have their way, all of these gains will be negated... These groups argue that the agency's use of high-powered lights, which prevent border crossings under the cover of night, also disrupts the habits of the ocelot and jaguarondi, two nocturnal-oriented wildcats on the endangered species list."
Larry Johnson _Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star_
Illegal aliens hurt the country
"I am almost sure the readers she quoted would define privileged as receiving unfair advantage from our government, in the form of subsidies, full immunity from our laws, and tax relief not available to citizens of this country. There is such a thing as carrying capacity and sustainability of a nation. We have every right and duty as a nation to protect our borders and our people from invasion, and this is not being done."
Jerry Large _Seattle Tims_/_Fort Wayne News-Sentinel_
IT jobs, what IT jobs?
"David Notkin says he's running the computer-science program at the University of Washington because... It's been a cutting-edge field, so I was a little surprised to read that Bill Gates says M$ can't find enough tech workers... There are still unemployed people with computer-related degrees, and some jobs are migrating to India and elsewhere... M$, despite its vacancies, hires only 1% of the people who contact the company... Notkin's special interest is how to more effectively build programs. He focuses on the people who write code - what they do, how they do it, why doing it can be such a pain, and ultimately how the process could be made better."
Noah Leavitt _FindLaw_
Danger Ahead?: Why America's Governors are Declaring States of Immigration Emergency and Why Congress Should Listen, and Act
2005-09-06 12:33PDT (15:33EDT) (19:33GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Crude petroleum closed at 2-week low: Gasoline prices fell
"Crude for October delivery dropped $1.61, or 2.4%, to close at $65.96 [per] barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The bench-mark contract hasn't closed at a level that low since August 23. October unleaded gasoline gave up 12.87 cents, or 5.9%, to close at $2.055 [per] gallon, after trading as low as $2.04, a level not seen since last Monday. October heating oil ended the session at $2.0543 [per] gallon, down 3.68 cents."
Mary M. Shaffrey _Winston-Salem Journal_
Congressional Session Agenda
"Representative Virginia Foxx said that during her travels in the 5th District during the August recess, illegal immigration was the 'number one issue I have heard about'. Watt heard about it too, during numerous town-hall type meetings he held over the last five weeks. Congress has before it numerous proposals on immigration. They range from full amnesty for [illegal] immigrants already in the country, to closing the American border altogether. Foxx would like to see the border issue dealt with first. 'Folks see a dilemma with how to deal with the people who are already here, I think that should be secondary to stopping the people we have coming here.', she said. But as it stands right now, the 2 bills getting the most attention inside Washington would deal with guest workers and amnesty programs for [illegal] immigrants. One would require them to return to their home countries and apply; another would allow them to apply in the United States. Immigration-reform groups believe that no matter what the solution, short of restricting the border, the federal government is not doing all it can to deal with the issue. 'The problem is the government has a credibility problem when it comes to enforcing its own bills.', said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that opposes amnesty programs."
Laura Wides _Philadelphia Inquirer_
US web site helps screen for illegal immigrants applying for work
North San Diego County Times
"But across the country, a small group of businesses is quietly testing a Department of Homeland Security program that can check immigration status with a few clicks on the Internet. The program probably will be at the heart of any federal immigration reform, even as critics say it needs improvement... Many businesses, however, oppose making the program mandatory because it would stop them from hiring illegal workers and force them to pay higher wages, said Maria Echeveste, an immigration expert and political consultant who worked as a deputy chief of staff in the Clinton White House... Under the Basic Pilot Program, employers enter a person's name, birth date and other data on a web site. The information is then run through databases maintained by the Social Security Administration and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Employers never learn whether the individual might be in the country illegally. They simply get a 'yes' or 'no' on the person's work status. Applicants can appeal if they disagree... The push for workplace enforcement of immigration law has languished since Congress passed a bill in 1986 holding companies responsible for checking the status of potential hires. The pilot program was started in 1996 in a handful of states and has grown by 40% since it expanded nationwide last December. About 700K job applicants are checked annually, said Chris Bentley, a spokesman for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Five full-time Homeland Security agents check the applications of those not immediately cleared to work by computers. In the last 3 years, an average of 83% of applicants were authorized to work: 81% were immediately cleared, and 3% were approved in 24 hours or more, according to a review of DHS data by the Associated Press."
D.A. King _Michigan News_
True goal of illegal immigration
"Where ever I go, people who are paying even a little attention to the invasion and colonization of our nation ask me the same question: 'Why is our government allowing this to go on?'. I normally give the short answer…' follow the money' I say - and hope that it is enough for most to connect at least some of the dots... Our intentionally unsecured borders and our government's deliberate and unapologetic lack of enforcement of our immigration and employment laws is merely a necessary step to a much larger goal - a 'New America' in a 'North American Community'... In 2005 March, President George W. Bush and the leaders of Mexico and Canada announced the establishment of the 'Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America'. This represents the official public beginning of an ongoing series of agreements and implementations aimed at combining the economies, populations and cultures of the nations of... America into a borderless '...American Free Trade Zone'... While most Americans expect to pass on to their children a nation of law, with defined, secured borders - and a common language, the Globalist elite who are actually making the decisions concerning our future have a far different America in mind."
Patrick Mallon _California Republic_
Citizen Reformers Control Immigration Debate
"This brings us to the citizen reformers, an increasingly well-organized and on-message political force that is tired of having the facts and the truth thrown back in their faces by open-borders provocateurs and "activists" who make a living exploiting lawlessness, legal loopholes, and American generosity. The challenge is multiplied by a shadow industry of insatiably greedy business and trade associations who deliver millions to corruptible politicians using well-connected lobbyists at all levels of government. The citizens understand this connection, and the pretenders are angry... This single subject affects all of planet earth because by default, everyone -- that's American citizens, legal aliens, and the estimated 15M-20M illegal aliens -- all want to be here. Millions more are on the way as our politicians continue to enthrall them with a buffet of tax-payer-funded freebies that resemble a carte du jour at a 5-star resort... To blame Mexico is to miss the bigger picture. While it is true that the 4K-a-day/3M-a-year tally of unauthorized entrants (Time Magazine 2004-09-20) come across the southern border, thousands more come from [Red China], Central American, and from numerous terrorist-sponsoring nations who are hostile to the United States... in the Texas border town of Nuevo Laredo, merely reporting the facts about the drug wars, the broken border, and the killing has been explicitly halted by the press... Widespread panic among immigration apologists is setting in, and all is not well in the GOP. Nationally, the Bush administration fumbles with an open-borders coalition called 'Americans for Border and Economic Security'... on August 26, [NM governor Bill Richardson] and Chihuahua State governor Jose Reyes Baeza agreed to bulldoze the Mexican village of Las Chepas, a notorious area for drug and human smuggling."
Saddam Hussein Confessed
Florida Appeals Court Upholds State Violation of Privacy
Conor Fridersdorf _San Barnardino Sun_
Illegal Immigration Hits Home
immigration issues blog
Jerry Seper _Washington Times_
Efforts against international gangs log 1260 arrests
"A federal law-enforcement initiative aimed at dismantling street gangs and their operations nationwide has accounted for the arrests of more than 1,260 suspected gang members in the past six months, including more than 600 members of Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman Michael E. Keegan said the arrests are part of a continuing enforcement initiative known as 'Operation Community Shield', which began in March in an effort to confront the national problem of violent street gangs... As of last week, Mr. Keegan said, Operation Community Shield arrests included 632 MS-13 gang members; 235 members of Surenos-13, also known as SUR-13; 41 18th Street gang members; 32 members of Tortilla Flats; 27 Vatos Locos; 26 Latin Kings; 21 members of the Mexican Posse; 17 Los Pelones; 15 members of Sombra Negra; and 11 Latin Locos. They are considered the nation's most violent gangs... An ICE and FBI raid on members of Riverside Locos, Westside Locos, Mexican Locos, Surenos Hard Times, La Raza and the Pure Latin Crew in Atlanta, during which 7 gang members were taken into custody. They all had criminal records ranging from armed robbery and forgery to possession of a controlled substance and stalking."
Top border prosecutors to have 3-day conference
"The top law-enforcement officers from Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas plus six Mexican states convene for a three-day conference to discuss border issues ranging from human smuggling and narcotics trafficking to extradition and auto theft."
Tepid Attention Won't Stop Illegal Aliens
"Having admitted that more needs to be done to stem the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs from Mexico into the United States, the president needs to keep focused on the issue. There are an estimated 11M illegals in the United States [estimates range fom 8M to 16M], and according to senator John McCain (R-AZ) another 3K cross the border every day from Mexico alone. It's not a problem that can be addressed occasionally and then ignored for long periods or allowed to drop down the priority list."
2005-09-07 07:44PDT (10:44EDT) (14:44GMT)
Dinesh C. Sharma _CNET_
Another Indian call center worker arrested for privacy violations
"The arrest was made after the call center, Saffron Global, reported the matter to the police. Company officials said the worker was found copying personal information about customers onto a compact disc. The employee has been booked under various provisions of the Information Technology Act and the Indian Penal Code. He appeared in a local court on Tuesday and was placed in judicial custody for 14 days... The incident comes after 2 recent under-cover operations by foreign media revealed that customer data of foreign clients was available for a price. Legal proceedings have not begun in those cases, however, because no formal complaints have been booked. The Indian trade body Nasscom has asked the media outlets involved to provide details about their investigations so that a formal complaint can be filed. The Indian Prime Minister has ordered a review of data protection laws to make them more stringent, while NASSCOM is working to set up a national registry of employees engaged in the out-sourcing industry [in an attempt to plaster over the country's image as unsafe when it comes to privacy and intellectual property matters]. About 350K workers are employed nationally in the business process out-sourcing, or BPO, segment of the IT industry."
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Immigrants Continue to Pull Further Ahead in August Employment Report
"Americans are being displaced in the work-place... a disproportionate share of the new jobs went to Hispanics. Although Hispanics account for 12.9% of the working-age population, they received 17% of jobs added in August -- and an incredible 57% of jobs created since George Bush's Administration took office in 2001 January. Since Dubya's first inaugural, Hispanic employment has increased by 2.648M, or 16.43%, while non-Hispanic employment rose 2.03M, or 1.67%. Accordingly, the ratio of Hispanic to non-Hispanic employment indices, which we call the V.DARE Worker Displacement Index (VDAWDI), rose to a record 114.5 in August... From 2001 to 2004, for example: Foreign-born employment grew by 2.8M, or 16.1% [and] Hispanic employment grew by 1.7M, or 10.7%."
2005-09-07 14:52PDT (17:52EDT) (21:52GMT)
John Shinai & Matt Andrejczak _MarketWatch_
Apple and Motorola unveil iTunes Cellular Phone
_Federal Reserve Board_
Steve Connor _The Independent_
Age discrimination is a bigger problem than racism or discrimination based on sex or disabilities
"The only group not to experience ageism [in the UK] are those people aged between 35 and 44 who are too old for negative youth stereotyping and too young for prejudice based on advancing years, the study found. Among the 43% of the participants of the survey of 1,843 people who said they had experienced prejudice of some sort, 65% said it included first-hand experience of age discrimination, said Dominic Abrams, professor of social psychology at the University of Kent."
John Yochelson _Silicon Valley_
Science & Technology Skills Shortage Propaganda
"The governor of California and president of the University of California will soon invite every freshman entering the state's flagship system to consider becoming a K-12 math or science teacher... Clearly, the United States is in a high-stakes race to develop human capital. That's why the heads of the nation's 15 most influential business organizations [i.e. lobbyists, of which the author is one] joined forces recently to call for doubling the number of American degree holders in technical disciplines by 2015... Another constraint on domestic supply stems from the declining appeal of science and engineering in the American job market. With [Red China] and India churning out tens of thousands of additional engineers each year, poorly paid research apprenticeships in science lasting longer, and the incomes of business and law school graduates going up, it is no surprise that U.S. degree production in many key technical fields has been flat or down since the mid-1980s."
Jerry W. Jackson _Orlando Sentinel_
Local job market can absorb an influx of workers
"Orlando economist Hank Fishkind said Orlando probably could fill 5K or 10K lower-skilled jobs fairly promptly, even though the early fall is a slower season for the tourism sector... Fishkind identified the construction industry, where labor is tight, as one area that could absorb a number of skilled or unskilled workers. Also mentioned: the hospitality industry, including hotels and restaurants. Those workers would fit in well with Orlando's service economy, said Bruce Nissen, director of research for the Center for Labor research and Studies at Florida International University... Full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs are available, she said, in all areas from housekeeping to food and beverage workers. Universal Orlando has 181 full-time openings right now and 200 part-time, ranging from culinary to ride attendants, spokesman Tom Schroder said..."
2005-09-08 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 264,474 in the week ending September 3, an increase of 13,945 from the previous week. There were 274,930 initial claims in the comparable week in 2004. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.8% during the week ending August 27, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,343,765, a decrease of 35,697 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.0% and the volume was 2,580,150."
Michael Hennigan _FinFacts_
U.S. Corporate Scandals and The Laws of Unintended Consequences
"Apart from the characters, what is stunning about the 1990s in the U.S. is how top executive pay as a multiple of the earnings of the average worker jumped from 45 times in 1980 to 458 times in 2000."
2005-09-08 12:13PDT (15:13EDT) (19:13GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US consumer credit rose $4.4G: Revolving credit fell by $1G
"Revolving credit, like credit card debt, fell by $1G, or 1.5%, and non-revolving credit like auto loans gained $5.4G, or 4.8%, the Fed said. Revisions to previous numbers showed consumer credit holding steady at an 8.2% increase, or $14.5G, in June. Revised figures show revolving credit increasing in June by 10.8%, or $7.2G, and non-revolving credit climbing by 6.6%, or $7.4G."
Federal Reserve numbers
2005-09-08 17:49:52PDT (20:49:52EDT) (2005-09-09 00:49:52GMT)
Craig Malisow ITPAA
Fool's Gold: Desperate clients hand over thousands of dollars for a chance to get a job
"A company lures unemployed professionals to its fancy office with the promise of offering premier career-counseling services. The counselor is actually a salesman, who verbally and illegally guarantees the client a cherry job in as little as six weeks. The counselor-salesman tells the client the company has a secret list of all the good jobs. All the client has to do is pay a minimum of $5K, sign a perfectly legal contract and circle 'no' on a questionnaire that asks if he was promised a job. If the client asks about that, the salesman assures him that it's just legal mumbo jumbo. Vulnerable, afraid of tapping too deeply into savings, the client goes along with it... After a few months of not being bombarded with job offers from the Fortune 500, the client realizes he's been had. But when he tries to get his money back, the company points to the contract. If the client complains to the Better Business Bureau or the attorney general's office, the company might kick back one or two grand, but the client must sign a confidentiality agreement saying he will not disclose any info to a third party. The company has now bought the client's silence and cleared three or four grand. That silence allows it to continue at will... TCM International... Last year, it was called Bernard Haldane Associates; three months ago, it was BH Careers... careerpositions.com ... The company's official name is Texas Career Management, according to articles of incorporation filed with the Texas secretary of state. Founded by 3 Haldane heavyweights, the company has since abandoned its Haldane/BH Careers monikers and kept TCM (which has a physical address and a web site) and SAS, whose function is not clear. The founding fathers are Ian McClure of Dallas, the former regional director of Haldane; Geoff Coy of Cincinnati, a one-time Haldane 'Man of the Year' who operated Haldane offices in Ohio; and Jerold Weinger, whose background is so awesome that it'll have to wait... Haldane's mid-1990s SEC filings (when it was a public company) warn of dwindling returns in the face of a saturated market... In Kansas, Haldane offices were forced to refund $300K to consumers in 2002. The offices did not admit any wrongdoing. A year later, Illinois AG Lisa Madigan filed suit and appeared on a CBS special about Haldane... Last year, Minnesota AG Mike Hatch filed the most detailed suit yet against the company, including excerpts of a sales script highlighting the Minnesota offices' illegal tactics... Furthermore, up until August 11, the only client testimonials posted on the web site had been lifted verbatim from testimonials on the BH Careers site. Those testimonials purportedly came from satisfied customers, identified only by initials, from BH Careers' Tampa office. The day after the Press asked TCM International's attorney why that was, the testimonials were removed from TCM International's site, and the entire Tampa office disappeared from BH Careers... his statement to the Press, McClure is identified as the company's president. But in a 'Background Information Questionnaire', the president is identified as none other than Cincinnati's Geoff Coy. (Coy appears to have ditched the Haldane name in Ohio, settling on the bland but functional Geoff Coy Management Group...)... In 1987, Jerold Weinger was the CEO of a Wall Street brokerage firm crushed under an avalanche of coke... Partner Wayne Robbins ultimately pleaded guilty to drug charges, and seven of the eight others either pleaded or were found guilty of possession, distribution or conspiracy to distribute cocaine, according to the DEA's New York office. According to federal court documents filed in the Southern District of New York, brokers at Brooks, Weinger, Robbins & Leeds regularly traded stock tips for cocaine... firm had been in trouble even before the 1987 busts, according to a New York Times investigation, which revealed that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged the firm with stock manipulation once in 1976 and twice in 1981. The firm settled each charge without admitting guilt, but was ultimately suspended from under-writing 'over-the-counter' stocks for two and a half years. And court records show that before and after the 1987 sweep, the SEC had fined and suspended Weinger for violations of the Securities and Exchange Act's antifraud statutes. States in which the firm had other offices had also fined and suspended brokers for fraudulent behavior. Weinger was personally suspended for 90 days, although he never admitted any wrong-doing. The final blow came in 1991, when the National Association of Securities Dealers fined the firm $1.4M for manipulating stock prices. The firm was booted out of the association, and its top officer, Michael Leeds, was banned from the industry... Weinger turned to his friend and business partner Joel Nadel in sunny Boca Raton... In 1991 April, the government froze $6.6 million of Nadel's assets; in August, Goldcor President Richard Brown was found in his home with a bullet behind his left ear; in November, a federal judge ordered Goldcor representative Carl Martin to refund $10.8M to investors. An estimated 3K investors lost at least $50M in the scam... Nadel ultimately was ordered to refund $400K to investors. So, now that both the Royal Society of Liechtenstein and the Royal Society of Cokehounds were kaput, Weinger and Nadel focused on their quiet little company, Quantum Ventures... According to SEC files, Quantum Ventures became Bernard Haldane Associates, a publicly traded company whose subsidiary owned the rights to the Bernard Haldane brand... Weinger's Manhattan office number has voice mail (no one's ever there) for the corporate headquarters of Career Services Management, which is the Bernard Haldane Associates subsidiary that owns yet another subsidiary that licenses the Bernard Haldane brand. But if you press the extension for the Career Services Management's vice president, her voice mail (she's never there either) says she's with BH Careers... the 1999 January SEC filing [reports] 'several licensed offices are owned by entities in which Jerold P. Weinger... serves as either an officer or director or is a share-holder'. Those included offices in Dallas and Houston, known as Texas Career Management, a.k.a. Bernard Haldane Associates, a.k.a. BH Careers, a.k.a. TCM International. Our applicant met with TCM International's Stephen Daugherty twice in August. As with every other sales-person in the Haldane family, Daugherty's title is 'vice president'... check out is the Texas Workforce Commission's free job site, www.workintexas.com ... While the site recently listed about 45K open positions, there are more than 630K registered job seekers."
articles indexed by ITPAA
2005-09-09 06:17PDT (09:17EDT) (13:17GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Import prices rose 1.3%, primarily oil
"Excluding the 7.1% rise in petroleum prices, import prices were flat, the fourth month in a row with no increase. Imported natural gas prices rose 4.3%. Excluding all fuels, import prices fell 0.2%, the fourth consecutive decline... Import prices were up 7.6% in the past year, down from 7.8% last month. Excluding petroleum, import prices were up 1.8% year-over-year. Petroleum prices were up 42.5% year-over-year. Meanwhile, prices of exports from the United States dropped 0.1% in August, with agriculture prices falling 0.6%. Export prices were up 3.1% in the past year... Prices of exported capital goods fell 0.4%. Prices of exported consumer goods were flat. Prices of exported industrial supplies rose 0.2%."
Gail Buckner _Fox News_
Hitting the Wall on Text Books
"It's no secret that college tuition has been rising faster than the rate of inflation for at least the past 20 years... In hearings held on Capitol Hill this past summer, the GAO reported that from 1986 December to 2004 December text-book prices nearly tripled, increasing an average of 6% per year... According to Travis Reindl of the American Association of State College and Universities (AASCU), it's not unusual for students to spend nearly $1K per semester on text-books, 'especially if they're in their junior or senior year and in the hard sciences such as chemistry or pre-med'... According to a survey by Half.com, the book re-sale arm of Internet retailer eBay, 56% of college students say they have avoided purchasing text-books for their classes because they were too expensive. One in six admits to either not taking a class or dropping a class because of the cost of the required texts... Although the official results won't be tabulated until next month, the AASCU's Reindl expects tuition at 4-year public college went up about 8% this year. That compares to a 13% increase 2 years ago and 10.5% last year. He predicts the picture will continue to improve next year, with tuition rising between 5% & 6% -- in line with its 20-year average -- 'if the economy holds'... Because 80% of the money is spent on people, Reindl says the sky-rocketing cost of health insurance 'is walloping higher education'. In addition, many of the campuses in this country were built in the late 1950s and 60s and are in need of updating. As everyone knows, the cost of concrete has also gone through the roof thanks to the building binge in [Red China]. There's also demand to retrofit existing buildings with technology such as broadband and high-speed computer lines, all of which costs money. Finally, higher fuel prices hit colleges and universities hard."
American Citizens First
"The time is right for a major crack-down on employers hiring illegal immigrants. With around 400K tax-paying Americans out of work on our Gulf Coast because of Hurricane Katrina the federal Government owes it to these people to create jobs. There is no faster way to create that many jobs than to crack down and start putting Americans first before profits. The Labor Department is holding [over] 50K high tech jobs for H-1b visa holders while over a million American IT workers are out of work. The August jobs report shows a continuing trend of a huge percentage of all new jobs created going to immigrants. Although Hispanics account for only 12.9% of the working age population, they have accounted for 57% of all jobs created since 2001. "
Tom Zucco _St. Petersburg Times_
Hot Market for Body Shopping: A vital part of the bay area's building boom is a nearly invisible army of people who work in the largely unregulated, and often dead end, day labor market.
"More than 50 condominium, townhome and apartment projects are in some stage of development in the Tampa Bay area, with some units selling for as much as $6M each. The projects need skilled and semi-skilled electricians, plumbers, masons and carpenters. But they also need people from the day labor pools. The ones who carry concrete block, clean up debris, climb down into a trench to set rebar and do the other grunt work the others can't or won't do. Nearly 80K people in the Tampa Bay area are employed in the construction business, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics - almost twice as many as 10 years ago. Nearly a third of them are unskilled laborers. And the numbers are growing... In Naples, where 1 out of every 6 jobs is in the housing-related industry, the ratio is the same. 'Day laborers are an integral part of the industry.', said Joseph Narkiewicz, executive vice president of the Tampa Bay Builders Association... The people who run the [bodyshops] that hire day laborers and farm them out to contractors say they have more jobs than workers and that they can find something for just about everybody. But some of the workers say it's just the opposite. That if you're not among the first at the office, and you're not someone they know, you stand an even chance of wandering the streets the rest of the day. 'And if you complain or make trouble', JR says, 'you won't work for them again.' Day laborers who can wire a house or drive a backhoe usually make several dollars above minimum wage. Those without skills start at the bottom - $6.15 an hour. After deductions for taxes, workers' compensation and a bus ride to and from the job, an unskilled laborer could be left with as little as $42 for 8 hours' work. There are no benefits, no sick leave, no raises and no guarantee how long the work will last or how well they'll be treated... JR used to repair circuit boards on machinery... No agency or government office keeps track of day laborers. No one knows exactly how many there are, where they come from, what they need or how many are illegal immigrants... This so-called stealth work force, which experts say is made up mostly of day laborers and illegal immigrants, generates nearly $1T a year in compensation nationwide. And it is expanding. 'Unburdened by pesky taxes and government rules, this underground economy is growing faster than the one populated by legitimate business owners and workers.', Fortune Small Business magazine reported recently... only a handful of unskilled laborers make enough to rent apartments and own cars... In the first 7 months of this year, 997 men had stayed there, nearly a third of them veterans, nearly all of them day laborers."
Enquirer 80 Index Up 0.58%
"The Enquirer 80 index of local interest stocks rose 1.65 points, or 0.58%, to close Friday at 286.60. 56 issues were up, 20 were down and 4 were unchanged. Leading gainers were Omnicare, up $1.75 to $54.30; Toyota Motor, up $1.55 to $85.15; LCA-Vision, up $1.36 to $41.70; Federated Department Stores, up $1.09 to $68.50; Ashland, up 91 cents to $60.62. Biggest laggers were NCR Corp., down $1.05 to $31.94; NS Group, down 78 cents to $40.99; Meridian Bioscience, down 64 cents to $19; Chiquita, down 48 cents to $24.81; American Financial Group, down 40 cents to $33.32."
2005-09-09 13:39PDT (16:39EDT) (20:39GMT)
Mark Cotton _MarketWatch_
Stocks end at one-month high
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 82.63 points to 10,678.56. The bench-mark index put in a weekly gain of 2.2%. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 9.48 points at 2,175.51, allowing the tech-rich index to book a weekly gain of 1.6%. The S&P 500 Index climbed 9.81 points to 1,241.48. On the week, the broad gauge rose 1.9% and put in its best weekly close since 2001 June... Crude for October delivery ended down 41 cents at $64.08 [per barrel] in New York trading, sliding over 5% for the week."
Cindy Wright _Associated Content_
Shawnee Indians of Ohio and the Legend of Tecumseh
|"competition amongst scholars increases wisdom and knowledge." --- Talmud (quoted by R. Berel Wein rbwein torah.org link)|
George Leef _Conservative Voice_
Do we need to produce more college graduates?
"Fifty years ago, college education was sold to students as a way of broadening their intellectual horizons... the situation has changed almost 180 degrees. Today most people look to higher education for job training (or at least preparation) and great numbers of students believe that without a college degree, they will be unemployable in all but menial labor. At the same time, the old idea that the purpose of a college education is to broaden one's intellectual horizons has been largely relegated to the broom closet... The increasing association between higher education and the job market has of late taken on macroeconomic dimensions, with people worrying that the economic well-being of the United States depends upon having a work-force that is able to face the global competition... Even if it is true that 80% of the fastest-growing jobs require post-secondary education or training, does it follow that there is a general trend in the economy toward jobs that can't be performed adequately by individuals who don't have college degrees?... The U.S. government's Department of Labor Statistics publishes such data. Here, in order of the number of workers employed, is a list of the 20 occupations that are expected to have the largest numerical increases in employment in the decade from 2002 to 2012:
Anthony Salamone _Express-Times_
Job market shows signs of growth
"The region has seen the creation of about 7,400 jobs in the first seven months, due to a decent cross-section of business growth. Despite some 23K people counted as still unemployed (among four counties that make up this metropolitan statistical area), the labor market appears to be moving forward... Last year's job fair drew more than 110 employers with approximately 3,500 available jobs and more than 5,200 job-seekers."
Dalia Naamani-Goldman _Detroit News_
In an age of bodyshopping, millions prefer to stay put: Rewards of loyalty, friendship and stability
"College graduates today are told to expect to change jobs 7, 8 or even 10 times in their life-time. Only 3 in 10 workers 25 and older had worked 10 years or longer with their employer in 2004 January, down from 32.2% in 1991, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics... Not everyone has the option to stay at one place. Technology is changing at breakneck speed. Companies go out of business. Trends change... Richard Price, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. 'There's a lot of evidence that job security is not what it once was. Job tenure is just a signal, an artifact, a sign that jobs are more insecure and people are changing jobs more often.' Employers rely more on part-time and contract workers because it's cheaper. Lay-offs are commonplace when companies hit hard times... As the terms of the work contract have changed, so has workers' sense of fidelity... Employers benefit from the institutional memory of longtime employees and their knowledge of the organization, while spending less on training... Being in control of his own schedule and responsibilities has kept S in the same position. Company perks and vacations also keep him motivated... Loyalty to a company is one of the things S looks for in employee candidates. But companies also have to work for loyalty, he said."
2005-09-12 02:02PDT (05:02EDT) (09:02GMT)
Steve Goldstein _MarketWatch_
Oracle's Larry Ellison to donate $100M to charity to settle insider trading allegations
"Lawyers who brought the case for share-holders would receive about $22.5M, separate from the $100M payment, the Times reported."
2005-09-12 07:11PDT (10:11EDT) (14:11GMT)
Michael Baron & Michael Paige _MarketWatch_
Oracle to acquire Siebel for $3.61G in cash and stock
"'In a single step, Oracle becomes the No. 1 CRM applications [customer relationship management, which some say should be called criminal due to their massive privacy violations] company in the world.', said Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison. Siebel's 4K applications customers and 3.4M CRM users, he said, would strengthen Oracle's position in business applications in North America and move it closer to top position in applications globally."
Dave Simanoff _Tampa Tribune_
Good Help Is Proving Difficult to Find
"It's been 4 weeks since MW, manager of Dan's Fan City on North Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa, taped up a sign in his window and started advertising in the newspaper for an assistant manager. He can count the number of applicants he's seen on one hand. And none of them was qualified for the job [define 'qualified']... the folks applying for jobs seem to have unrealistic expectations about pay and hours... The shrinking unemployment rate comes at a time when more people are working or willing to work in the Tampa Bay area. The labor pool has grown from 1.28M people a year ago to 1.33M people in July 2005, the Agency for Workforce Innovation said... He also said that prospective hires are much more demanding when it comes to work hours -- many don't want to work evenings and weekends, he said... The bakery employs 23 people... Landmark Engineering & Surveying Corp., based in Tampa, has started out-sourcing some of its work because it can't find workers. The company, which employs 85 people, has 8 free-lancers, including some out-of-state computer-assisted design operators... Bob Rohrlack, senior vice president for business development at Enterprise Florida, said a protracted tight labor market could cause problems for the entire state, especially if small businesses have a difficult time finding workers. Collectively, small businesses are major employers, account for three-fourths of all new jobs and diversify the state's business environment, he said... Scott Brown, chief economist for St. Petersburg-based Raymond James & Associates, said he's not worried about the tight labor market -- at least not yet. Brown said a tight labor market might force employers to raise wages... Tampa Bay Workforce Alliance, Enterprise Florida, local chambers of commerce, and the University of Florida's Small Business Development Center."
Rob Ramer _Minneapolis Star-Tribune_
Out-Sourcing Is Blowing Our IT Lead
"The United States still leads the world in software development and aviation and in most high-technology fields. But the current practices of industry, supported by government policies, are rapidly blowing our lead. And nothing illustrates this more than the head-long rush to out-source information technology (IT). America has the largest pool of experienced software engineers in the world, but the American IT industry, fixated on next quarter's profit margin, is investing less money in R&D than ever before. And when it invests, it does so over-seas... These issues and others were analyzed by some of the best IT minds of our generation in a recent series of meetings of the Job Migration Task Force commissioned by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), the world's leading information technology professional organization. The task force is completing its final report, which is expected to be published by year-end... the task force identified factors working against the American software industry. These include: Significantly higher wages and cost of living [in the USA vs. other countries]. Higher health care costs in the United States than other industrialized countries, let alone India and [Red China]. Decreasing investment in the U.S. software industry. Declining R&D spending. Declining enrollment in computer education programs throughout the country [which is an effect of declining quantity and quality of employment]... The United States produces more software than the rest of the world combined, and we have these critical advantages: The world's largest pool of experienced software engineers. The most experienced systems architects (application and operating systems). The world's largest software market... The research orientation of American universities still gives them a lead in computer sciences. Far from leveraging these advantages, we are throwing them out the window..."
Ann-Margaret Sobota _Pennsylvania Times Leader_
Negotiate for relocation
"without the generous relocation package the company had offered, K said, she never would have been able to handle all the costs and details... It's crucial to negotiate the best package for yourself and your family to minimize the financial and emotional stress of moving. Most larger companies will have some kind of formal relocation package. Common elements may include moving of household goods, temporary housing and house-hunting trips... Get estimates from several moving companies, ask friends or associates at other companies what their relocation policy is and know what you personally need to make the move worth it. But be careful of broaching the subject too soon, Lee warned... If you're asked about moving during the interview, show you are willing. 'I would consider it under the right circumstances' is a good answer, Lee said. And if you asked what the right circumstances are, come back with something such as: 'So that it makes good financial sense for my family.'... 'Companies are trying to be much more responsive to the individuals they want to hire.', Challenger said. 'If they can meet (a need) for you, they will. It's very important to be open. That may be the thing that clinches the deal.' Some companies will go as far as to research and compare real estate brokers and neighborhoods for the person who is moving. While it is rare nowadays for companies to buy a transferee's home, it is common for them to pay closing costs and real estate agency fees, said Anita Brienza of Worldwide ERC, a global organization of companies that regularly relocate employees. Most companies will reimburse all the costs -- aside from your mortgage payments, of course -- associated with the purchase of the home at the destination location, Brienza said. But that may also depend on your current job level and home-owner status. You should also ask about a 'miscellaneous allowance', formerly referred to as a current allowance, to cover other expenses associated with moving... This money is often used to pay for hooking up utilities and to cover incidental costs incurred from the move (like buying new curtains). Although it's typically equal to one or two months' salary, this is where doing research can help significantly if you are relocating for a smaller company. Knowing some numbers up front may make the company more likely to include this allowance in the relocation package."
Samantha Zee _Arizona Republic_/_Bloomberg_
CEOs were job-hopping in August
"US firms announced 116 chief-executive changes last month, up from 48 in 2004 August. The turnover rate is ahead of last year's pace, with 893 changes through August, up from 458 in the same period a year earlier."
2005-09-12 17:18PDT (19:18CDT) (20:18EDT) (2005-09-13 00:18GMT)
Call-center boom stalled
"The last thing you would expect India's call-center bosses to be worrying about is a shortage of staff. The entire 'business process out-sourcing' (BPO) industry, including a wide range of services besides manning the telephone, employs an estimated 348K people. And nearly 3M English speakers graduate from universities every year... The infant industry has grown explosively. Youngsters have hopped from job to job. Staff attrition rates for the industry have climbed to 45% to 50% a year. Entry-level salaries have reached about 10K rupees a month ($230), considered very high for a first job, which explains why out-sourcing to India remains so attractive. Training costs are also mounting, as firms take on less-qualified applicants. Sam Chopra, president of the Call Center Association of India (CCAI), which [lobbies for] about 60 of India's 400-odd business out-sourcing firms, said the pressure is such that firms do not always check staff references at once... The CCAI, with the Confederation of Indian Industry, has launched a training initiative. It will offer a standardized qualification for new out-sourcing workers: improving English, 'neutralizing' accents, teaching some computer skills and so on. NASSCOM, a lobby for the software and services industry, is introducing an 'assessment and certification' program for would-be employees."
Sharon Behn _Washington Times_
Hugo Chavez land seizures slammed
"State governors and the rural poor are moving quickly to implement President Hugo Chavez's vision of a social revolution, carving up and redistributing large landholdings and threatening to take over the premises of internationally owned companies... hundreds of rural poor who have been awarded 15-hectare (37-acre) lots from the El Charcote cattle ranch -- a British-owned, 32K-acre tract that was recently expropriated by the government... Others like him are building rickety, wood-slat, one-room homes on their 37 acres and quickly planting food staples such as cassava and bananas while they wait for government credits to buy seeds. At least 2 large land-holdings have been taken over in the Cojedes, and government authorities, backed by armed and uniformed military, on Friday were moving in on four other ranches in the Barinas and Apure states. Another 317 ranches are being studied for take-over by the government National Land Institute (INTI), says the national daily El Universal... The land expropriations, which began early this year and quickly are gathering pace, came after a new law giving the government the right to take over properties where the ownership documents are deemed unsatisfactory. The poor are given the use of the land -- but not ownership titles, which remain in the hands on the government. The government is studying the take-over of 1,149 factories -- roughly 10% of the private manufacturing sector, according to El Universal -- which are either closed or partially functioning, all part of Mr. Chavez's push to get greater control over the country's economy and boost production."
Takeru Kise _Iowa State Daily_
As visas become more difficult to obtain, foreign students have fewer opportunities to work in the USA
"Each year, several hundred international students at Iowa State apply for Employment Authorization Document, called Optional Practical Training [OPT], which grants international students an F-1 visa to gain work experience for 1 year... Virginia McCallum, program coordinator of International Students and Scholars, said almost 99% of international students seek an Employment Authorization Document in hopes of applying the knowledge they obtained in the classroom to practical experience... 'Companies are trying to hire the best-qualified people.', McCallum said. 'They are really pressuring Congress that they didn't find enough Americans qualified to fill the positions [which, otherwise, US citizens might obtain].'... Peterson said approximately 80% of students in the MBA program at Iowa State who tried to find a job last year in the United States found one, although international students still faced the biggest challenge."
2005-09-13 07:08PDT (10:08EDT) (14:08GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US PPI rose 0.6%: Core prices were flat
2005-09-13 08:09PDT (11:09EDT) (15:09GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Record exports helped make the monthly trade deficit 2.6% smaller
"The nation's trade deficit narrowed on the month by 2.6% to $57.9G, the Commerce Department said... the government revised the June trade gap to $59.5G, compared with the initial estimate of $58.8G... The trade gap totaled $404.3G for the first seven months of 2005, up from $342.2G in the same period last year, when the annual trade deficit was a record $617.6G... July's exports rose 0.4% to $106.2G, while imports fell 0.7% to $164.2G. Exports of goods alone rose 0.5% to $74.9G. Some of the strength came from exports of cotton, semiconductors and civilian aircraft. Imports of goods alone fell 0.6% to $137.5G. There were large declines in imports of consumer goods and capital goods excluding autos. The value of U.S. oil imports rose to a record $15.3G in July from $14.6G in June. The price of a barrel of oil was a record $49.03. The U.S. trade deficit with [Red China] widened to a record $17.7G in July compared with $14.9G in the same month last year. The U.S. also reported record trade deficits with the European Union, Germany and OPEC."
2005-09-13 10:08PDT (13:08EDT) (17:08GMT)
Preus pleads guilty in bodyshopping of illegal aliens
"Pavel Preus, 39, of Pompano Beach, FL, pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra at the federal court-house in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Preus, a native of Poland, holds conditional lawful permanent residency [LPR] in the United States. Preus pleaded guilty to conspiracy to induce and encourage aliens to enter and remain unlawfully in the United States for commercial advantage, conspiracy to transport and conceal aliens in the United States for commercial advantage, and conspiracy to cause the making of false statements to government agencies; conspiracy to commit money laundering; and conspiracy to defraud the United States of taxes due. Preus faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500K on the money laundering charge, and up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250K on the other counts. Sentencing is scheduled for November 21. From 1995 to the present, Preus conspired to provide unauthorized workers, mostly Eastern Europeans who had entered the United States on tourist visas, to American companies with which Preus and others had contracted to provide authorized foreign workers. During the course of the conspiracy, Preus and his co-conspirators failed to collect and pay approximately $6M in federal pay-roll taxes and laundered in excess of $20M. 'This defendant constructed an elaborate fraud with others which involved misrepresenting the visa status of hundreds of aliens, taking advantage of laws designed to secure opportunity for legitimate immigrant workers, and defrauding the American public of millions of dollars in revenue.', said Assistant Attorney General Fisher. 'The Department of Justice is committed to the vigorous prosecution of this defendant and others who believe that they can cheat the system by circumventing immigration laws for profit.'"
2005-09-13 14:45PDT (17:45EDT) (21:45GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
"Consumer Comfort" index at 15-month low
"The ABC/Washington Post consumer comfort index fell to negative 20 this week from negative 15 last week. The index has plunged 11 points in the past 2 weeks and 13 points in the past month... In the latest survey, 32% of Americans rate the economy favorably, down 10 percentage points since early August, to the lowest since 2004 April. Also, 56% of consumers rated their own finances favorably, the lowest since May and down 2 percentage points in the past week."
Dave Utter _Web Pro News_
Web Advertising Crushing Print Ad Revenues
"revenue for the news and trade markets grew 8.7% in 2004, but will likely be half that in 2005... Jupiter Research noted last month that revenue from search engine ads will double within five years to nearly $19G. Yahoo! had more than $1G in online ad revenue in the first quarter of 2005; that rose to $1.25G for the second quarter. Google's second quarter ad revenues were slightly higher at $1.36G... According to research firm Outsell's Market View report, individuals are spending 15% less on printed news and trade journals than they did in 2001... out-sourcing. As tech companies have aggressively placed jobs in low-cost countries, American employees have found themselves changing fields. Why would someone keep buying tech magazines when embarking on a new career? With fewer prospects for tech employment in the US, fewer students choose to enter the computer science fields in college. That leads to fewer tech trade readers, print or on-line, which now impacts print advertising to a much greater degree."
2005-09-13 21:01PDT (2005-09-14 00:01EDT) (04:01GMT)
Mark Hulbert _MarketWatch_
What is the VIX really telling us?
"Take the Volatility Index, or VIX, which is a measure of the implied market volatility based on a basket of widely traded options on the S&P 500. The Chicago Board Options Exchange, the Volatility Index's creator, refers to it as an 'investor fear gauge', and contrarians latched onto it soon after it was created in the early 1990s. Because high VIX values supposedly represented high levels of investor fear, they were taken to be bullish - on the contrarian grounds that the market likes to climb a wall of worry. By the same token, low VIX levels supposedly represented investor complacency and were considered bearish... While high VIX levels are indeed bullish, low levels are not bearish. Over the last 15 years, in fact, the market has actually performed at an above-average rate following both low and high VIX readings... [Ivan] Martchev argued that: 'When the VIX crosses above its [20-day] moving average from depressed levels, it's a sell signal for stocks. When it crosses below the moving average from extended levels, it's considered a buy signal for stocks.'... my PC's statistical package was unable to find support for Martchev's interpretation of the VIX. As I found with the original contrarian interpretation, his is at best half right: While the S&P 500 performs at an above-average rate following buy signals, it also performs at an above-average rate following sell signals."
Martin Crutsinger _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Industrial output Was Depressed by Hurricane Katrina: Retail sales down 2.1%
"The Federal Reserve reported Wednesday that industrial output rose a tiny 0.1% last month -- far below economists' expectations -- as Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast on August 28, forced sharp cut-backs in oil and natural gas extraction in the Gulf of Mexico and also depressed output at refineries and chemical plants in the areas hit by the hurricane. Without the adverse effects of the hurricane, industrial output would have been 0.3 percentage point higher, the Fed estimated... The Commerce Department said that retail sales plunged by 2.1% in August, the worst showing in nearly four years and double the drop that economists had been expecting. The weakness came from a big 12% plunge in auto sales. Excluding autos, retail sales rose by 1%, but much of the strength came from a huge rise in gasoline prices. The report on industrial production showed that output at factories rose by 0.3% while output at utilities dropped by 0.5% and production in mining, a category that includes oil and gas production, fell by 0.6%. The Fed estimated that hurricane-related shutdowns along the Gulf Coast contributed to a 1.1% drop in the production of chemicals and a 0.9% decline in petroleum production... The 2.1% drop in total retail sales last month was the largest decline since a 2.9% plunge in 2001 November, the period following the 2001 terrorist attacks... The Congressional Budget Office last week predicted that Katrina will reduce employment by 400K this year although it forecast that rebuilding needs in the devastated Gulf Coast area could increase economic activity next year. The International Council of Shopping Centers reported Tuesday that sales at chain stores fell by 0.2% last week as higher gasoline prices forced cut-backs in other areas of spending... Sales at clothing stores were flat last month, unable to show any improvement after a sharp 0.9% decline in July. Sales at department stores posted a modest 0.3% gain after having declined by 0.2% in July."
2005-09-14 06:18PDT (09:18EDT) (13:18GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Fed says hurricane Katrina hits industrial output
"Capacity utilization remained steady at 79.8% in August, after being revised up slightly in the previous month. Industrial production is up 3.1% in the past 12 months. Manufacturing output rose 0.3% in August. Overall, production was down 0.1% excluding motor vehicles and parts. Motor vehicle production rose 3.7% in August after falling 1.9 in July... High-tech industry output rose 1.5% following a 2.3% rise in July."
2005-09-14 08:06PDT (11:06EDT) (15:06GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Retail sales fell 2.1%
census bureau reports
Angela Shah _Portsmouth NH Herald_
South's economy will need evacuees back soon
"for businesses looking to reopen in the devastated area, an affirmative answer is crucial. Many of the displaced people were the back-bone of New Orleans' economy - largely a mix of hotels, restaurants and other service-oriented companies. Now, they have begun settling in Texas and elsewhere, gobbling up apartments and starting life anew. If they don't return, rebuilding New Orleans and other communities becomes a much harder task. A lack of adequate staffing 'threatens the recovery process as well as the long-term economic vitality of the entire region', said John Challenger, chief executive officer of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas... Nagin understands his city needs to repatriate as many of its workers as it can... 'New Orleans is going to have a labor shortage.', he said. 'They're going to need all these workers to rebuild.'... In the meantime, North Texas businesses and charities are working busily to integrate evacuees into new homes and jobs. 'We're being very careful not to appear predatory.', said Karl Zavitkovsky, the city of Dallas' director of economic development."
Red China's industrial output rose 16% from 2004 August to 2005 August
"almost level with the pace of growth in July, the govrnment reported Wednesday... Value-added industrial output in August totaled 596.8G yuan ($73.7G), the National Bureau of Statistics reported. Industrial output rose 16.3% in the first eight months of the year, over the same period of 2004, to 4.4 trillion yuan ($544.4G), it said. Electricity generation and coal output each rose 12% year-on-year in August, automobile production rose 15.8%, crude steel output surged 26.8% and rolled steel output jumped 27.6%, the report said. Foreign direct investment slipped 3% in August to $38G, the government said in figures announced Tuesday. However, contracted foreign investment - an indicator of future trends - rose 20.7% year-on-year from January to August to $112.7G... [Red China's] economic growth this year is likely to exceed 9%, said Sakpal. In the first half of this year gross domestic product grew 9.5%."
Barbara Ferry _New Mexican_
Advocacy group weighs in on proposals
"Although [illegal] immigrants have much at stake in this nation's debate over immigration reform, they have largely been left out of the discussion. That's why Somos Un Pueblo Unido called the meeting to discuss the pros and cons of various proposals up for consideration by Congress. Not surprisingly, those at the meeting, who wore 'Hello My Name is...' stickers but talked solely in Spanish, said they want [illegal] immigrants to be granted the same status as people who entered the country legally... Estimates of the [illegal-immigrant] population in the United States range from 11M to 15M. [Several] competing proposals to address their situation have been introduced , though the issue has not yet been debated by Congress."
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_
New Program Aims To Sucker More Kids Into IT Careers: M$ & SIM mount another attack in talent shortage propaganda campaign
"With the number of students enrolling in technology-related majors declining nationally, M$ and the Society for Information Management are launching a national program to woo more U.S. students into pursuing careers in IT. The new Accelerate IT program, which will feature half-day seminars for college students, debuts in New York City on October 5 at Pace University. A second seminar is planned for Boston-area students at Northeastern University in December. The goal for 2006 is for at least 10 additional seminars in other cities, says Phil Zwieg, who is VP of IS at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. and an executive board member of SIM, whose 3K members include CIOs, IT executives, academics, and technology leaders... Among the... factors that discourage students from pursuing IT careers are fears about IT jobs being out-sourced off-shore... 'we have a significant problem in Redmond to staff' positions, Maas says. 'Jobs are out there, we could place any of [Northeastern students] in them.', Ball says. A preliminary study released this week by SIM in Boston, at its annual SIMposium conference, says that critical tech skills that will likely be in short supply between now and 2008 include project management and 'business domain' or business-savvy tech capabilities. Besides dealing with the declining number of younger IT workers entering the field, companies will be faced with worsening expertise shortages as their older baby-boomer professionals begin retiring, according to the SIM report. The Accelerate IT seminars will include keynote speakers from the technology industry, discussion panels, and hands-on IT activities... John Oglesby, president of the SIM chapter in Memphis and director of IT strategy at ACH Food Companies Inc., a food manufacturer. The Memphis chapter worked with the local library and schools in recruiting kids to the program, which aimed to get youngsters interested in technology [while young]. It also was important to recruit kids younger than 16 because 'once they get their driver's licenses, you won't get them to go', to these kinds of programs, he quips... Oglesby's chapter spent about $2,500 on the summer camp program, which was free for the kids, and included guest speakers and hands-on activities such as teams building their own web sites. Each day also featured 'BSOs, or bright shiny objects'..."
Anne Howland _Ottawa Sun_
Penguins hold a hint of promise
"According to the [manPOWER body shop] survey, [only] 30% of employers to hire for the up-coming quarter, while 10% plan to reduce their work-forces. Another 53% of the city's employers expect to maintain current staffing levels, while 7% are unsure... Add to those numbers data released last week by Statistics Canada, showing local tech employment at 53,700 in August, up 16% from a year ago and up 28% since the start of 2005, but far off its peak of 70K in 2001 March."
Stephen Dinan _Washington Times_
Politicians try to duck "amnesty" label in latest proposals for amnesty for illegal aliens
"It's 'the A-word', and it can damn any immigration bill to oblivion. The word is amnesty, or as one immigration-control advocate calls it, 'the death word'. It's a charge that a lot of people... make and [no bill author] wants to hear... 'I've seen no guest-worker program that didn't include amnesty -- amnesty defined by Webster's.', says representative Steve King."
Edward J. Markey
staff report: Out-Sourcing Consumer Privacy (pdf)
international privacy report-card
2005-09-15 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 302,407 in the week ending September 10, an increase of 31,031 from the previous week. There were 250,568 initial claims in the comparable week in 2004. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.7% during the week ending September 3, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,227,211, a decrease of 96,469 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,455,140."
Rebecca Fater _Lowell MA Sun_
Most Area School Districts Pay Teachers More Than State Averages
"More than half of Greater Lowell's 24 districts and technical schools pay their teachers more than the state's average salary of $53,529, and 17 of them rank in the top half of the state, according to state Department of Education statistics. Massachusetts ranked eighth for highest average teacher salaries across the country, according to the National Education Association and salary figures for fiscal 2004, the most recent numbers available... NEA believes the state's teacher salaries are still not high enough. It is advocating for a minimum starting salary of $40K -- nearly $2,600 more than a first-year teacher is earning in Lowell this year. In a recent press release, NEA described the country's teacher salaries as 'stagnant' during the last decade. It says almost half of all new teachers leave the profession within 5 years because of poor working conditions and low pay... DoE numbers show the small district of Shirley saw its average salary swell by 73.3%, or $19,764 from fiscal 1997 to 2004. Shirley's 60 teachers, however, take home an average salary that ranks in the bottom half of the state: $46,741, or 268th out of 326 districts and technical schools... The Sun estimates Lowell's average salary to be $56,524... And while teachers' salaries climbed, textbook spending sank in the face of tight budgets..."
Rebecca Fater _Lowell MA Sun_
Real world economics justifies higher tech-school salaries
"T here's a simple, logical reason why technical high schools are paying their teachers so much more than traditional high schools these days... 'You can't hire plumbers for 40K bucks.', declared Charlie Lyons, Shawsheen Technical High School's superintendent. 'You're going to pay what the market bears.' Technical high schools have gone from fallback to payback, transforming themselves into the highest-paying establishments around when it comes to teaching. Shawsheen Tech ranked second in the state for highest average salary during the 2003-04 school year, paying teachers $67,297 -- $13,768 more than average teacher pay across the state."
Patrick O'Connor _The Hill_
Congress-Critters Talk Immigration
"Immigration reform is a particularly difficult issue for congressional Republicans because it divides supporters of the business community from those social conservatives whose goal is to shut down the borders and prohibit employers from hiring illegal immigrants. The business community, on the other hand, argues that the estimated 10M to 12M [some estimates range from 8M to 20M] illegal immigrants employed in this country fill jobs U.S. citizens would not otherwise take. This broad coalition, which includes large corporate interests such as the Chamber of Commerce as well as regional businesses such as seasonal crab farmers in Maryland, also argues that the relocation costs would be too high. While the political climate favors a strong border-security measure, the business lobby could be essential in creating the political momentum to pass a broader bill through the Senate... bills have provisions that would expand border security and increase fines for employers caught violating the law... practical details of enforcement, such as locating illegal workers, will eventually require law-makers to address instead the question of registering these employees [illegal aliens] before passing a separate enforcement bill... the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group strongly opposed to illegal immigration, released a report illustrating how immigration loop-holes could lead to another massive terrorist attack. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security last week relaxed document requirements for employers hiring workers who have been displaced by the hurricane. The department will not fine any businesses that hire any of these workers within 45 days of last Tuesday, which could create a major immigration loop-hole. Washington lobbying firm Quinn-Gillespie has organized a large coalition of business lobbies, including the Chamber, to work with the White House to pass a broader immigration bill, which would allow for more flexibility for employers to retain those workers already in this country."
2005-09-15 07:48PDT (10:48EDT) (14:48GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
CPI up 0.5%: Core up 0.1%
more CPI data
Michael Mandel _Business Week_
Starting Salaries for New Grads: Is it agood time to learn accounting? (graph)
"Yesterday the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) released their final salary report for the College Class of 2005, listing the average starting salary offers to new grads, by major... The biggest declines came in the computer-related majors -- no surprise there."
2005-09-16 06:44PDT (09:44EDT) (13:44GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US capital inflows rose from $80.9G in June to $87.4G in July
federal treasury report
2005-09-16 08:53PDT (11:53EDT) (15:53GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell from 89.1 in August to 76.9 in early September
David McHugh _AP_/_Lexington Herald-Leader_
German Economy at Cross-Roads
"Analysts predict the country will likely have its first female chancellor, in conservative Christian Democratic opposition leader Angela Merkel... If Merkel gets her majority, the former physicist can move ahead with proposals to streamline the tax system, make it easier for small companies to fire people, and loosen the rigid labor market - ways to attack the country's 11.4% unemployment rate and troublingly low rates of economic growth... Germany's sluggish growth rates - 1.6% counted as a meager recovery last year after 3 years of almost nothing - have been a drag on all of Europe, since Germany makes up about a third of the economy in the 12 countries using the euro."
Bill Arthur _Seattle Times_
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has $87G deficit
Jacksonville Business Journal
York PA Dispatch
St. Paul Pioneer Press
"The quasi-governmental PBGC, which recently assumed pension obligations of several airlines and steel companies, reported a deficit in its future obligations of $23.3G in fiscal 2004."
C.J. Karamargin _Arizona Daily Star_
White House Releases Latest Version of Guest-Worker/Illegal-Alien Amnesty Plan
"Those already here could stay for 3 years, then renew visas. The White House is preparing to unveil an immigration-reform plan that would allow millions of [illegal aliens] to remain in the United States as guest workers, 2 Arizona congressmen said. [illegal aliens] already here could apply for a 3-year guest-worker visa. As explained to the congressmen, the plan gives workers the opportunity to renew that visa for another three years before requiring them to leave the country. They could then apply again to return... Representative Jeff Flake, also at the White House meeting, was struck by the level of detail. According to Kolbe, the plan also bolsters border security and immigration laws in the United States... estimated 11M [estimates range from 8M to 20M] illegal workers now in the country. [The article does not mention whether Republican representative Tom Tancredo (CO) had been invited to preview the proposals.]"
Enquirer 80 Index rose 0.63%
"The Enquirer 80 index of local interest stocks rose 1.79 points or 0.63% to close today at 284.84. 54 issues were up, 22 were down and four were unchanged. Leading gainers were Cummins Inc., up $1.82 to $92.02; PNC Financial Services Group, up $1.80 to $57.96; Meridian Bioscience, up $1.24 to $18.94; Fifth Third Bancorp, up $1.09 to $39.54; and Federated Department Stores, up $1.09 to $39.54. Biggest laggers were Standard Register, down 83 cents to $14.29; Gannett Co. Inc., the parent company of the Enquirer, down 72 cents to $71.03; Boston Beer Co., down 62 cents to $23; Chemed, down 53 cents to $40.77; and Quebecor World, down 47 cents to $18.85."
2005-09-16 14:14PDT (17:14EDT) (21:14GMT)
Leslie Wines _MarketWatch_
US stocks close sharply higher today, but lower for the week
"The Dow industrials closed up 83.19 points, or almost 0.8%, at 10,641.94, with 23 of its 30 components in positive territory. The S&P 500 Index ended 10.18 points higher at 1,237.91 and the Nasdaq Composite Index up 14.2 points at 2,160.35. However, stocks closed lower for the week. During the last 5 trading sessions, the Dow lost 0.4%, the S&P 500 fell 0.3% and the Nasdaq shed 0.7% of its value. Advancing stocks outpaced declining shares by 19 to 13 on the New York Stock Exchange, where more than 2.5G shares were traded. More than 2.2G shares traded in the Nasdaq market, with rising stocks outpacing falling shares by 19 to 11... Crude futures closed down 2.7% at $63... the Commerce Department said the current account deficit narrowed by 1.5% to $195.7G in the second quarter. The deficit amounted to 6.3% of gross domestic product. Although the deficit narrowed, it still was the second highest on record."
"Kesiva v'chasima tova" - "May you be inscribed and sealed for good."
2005-09-16 18:29PDT (21:29EDT) (2005-09-17 01:29GMT)
Ill-Begotten Monstrosities has become creative in getting rid of American engineers
"after an older employee completes their teaching degree they can start out again at the bottom of the wage scale as under-paid junior high school math teacher. What fun! Of course if an older employee doesn't want to be a teacher then IBM will just out-source their job to India. That was fate of 14K IBM workers earlier this year... Then again why would anyone want to waste their time teaching Math and Science to American youth? By the time American industry gets done off-shoring all the high-tech positions to India or replacing their American workers with H-1b workers, there won't be jobs for the American students that you teach... If IBM and other American companies want to increase the supply of American high tech workers all they need do is pay them more, stop off-shoring their jobs, and stop bringing in H-1b workers. Then students will be drawn back into the field. Given that in the last 4 years there has been a decline of 24% in the number of employed computer programmers, 23% in the number of employed EEs, and 18% in the number of employed computer scientist, (source IEEE, 2005-03-05) American students are rightly fleeing the IT and Engineering career fields."
Stephanie Creech _Wilson Daily Times_/_News & Observer_
NC residents seek information about debt relief
Wilmington Morning Star
"The pastor, the reverend Tony Rivers, says the biggest interest is among people between the ages of 35 and 45 because he sees a frustration level in that age group. College-educated people in this age group carry a lot of credit card debt. Married with children, their salaries do not cover their life-styles... The latest income figures released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau show that while the median household income in the United States didn't change between 2003 and 2004, the number of people living in poverty increased from 35.9M to 37M, a 12.7% jump. North Carolina's 3-year median income between 2002 and 2004 was $39K. Only 6 other states posted lower median incomes... A Census Bureau banking abstract shows that in 2001, 7% of all U.S. families had at least one payment 60 days or more past due and 11% of families had debt payments greater than 40% of family income in 2001... The Census banking abstract indicates that 173M people in the United States were expected to have 1.4G credit cards this year. The number of credit card holders is up 10M from 2002. Credit card spending is projected to reach $2G this year with $922G in outstanding credit card debt... Between 2000 and 2004, more than 70K bankruptcy cases were filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina, which includes Wilson County. Between January 1 and July 31 of this year, 223 bankruptcy cases were filed in Wilson County, court records show."
Congress leaning toward restored funding of NASA Langley Research Center: Fewer job losses, lower scientist & engineer glut anticipated
"After President Bush announced a 6% reduction in aeronautics funding earlier this year, NASA Langley officials worried that almost a quarter of the 3,900 civil servants and contractors could lose their jobs. NASA officials now expect about 250 people to be laid off later this year, said Bruce Hoogstraten, a member of the National Aeronautics Support Team. All the jobs would likely be contract employees, as opposed to civil servants, he said... the agency no longer expects to lose 1K workers."
Dave Montgomery _Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram_
Citizan patrol coming to Texas
"In October, thousands of Minutemen will form a vigil stretching across much of the northern and southern borders, including Texas. Some Minuteman Civil Defense Corps volunteers are arriving early along the Texas-Mexico border in response to the Homeland Security Department's decision to temporarily shift some Border Patrol agents to the Gulf Coast to help in Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. Minuteman organizers said in a prepared statement that the shift 'leaves our country vulnerable to increased trafficking by illegal aliens and terrorists attempting to enter the United States'... the chiefs of the FBI and CIA, who have testified before Congress about the possibility that terrorists are crossing the border as easily as [illegal alien] workers."
Andrew J. Manuse _Boston MetroWest Daily News_
Labor groups and companies join forces for aging work-force
"According to a recent AARP study, the average duration of unemployment in 2004 was 25.8 weeks for older job seekers and 18.9 weeks for younger job seekers... But about 80% of baby boomers expect to work past the retirement age, for various reasons, according to AARP. Between 2002 and 2012, AARP projected that the number of people in the work force age 55 to 64 would increase by more than 50%, the number age 65 and older would increase by more than 40% and the number between age 35 and 44 would decrease by almost 10%... Last year, the state's career centers served nearly 35K job seekers ages 46 to 54 and nearly 25K more who were older than 55, according to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development."
Amy Baldwin & Stella M. Hopkins _Charlotte Observer_
Average CEO compensation in Carolinas rose to $3.4M
"For SPX Corp. investors, last year was full of heart-ache. The Charlotte Fortune 500 company went from turning a $236M profit in 2003 to losing $17M a year later. Share-holder return plunged 30%. The CEO resigned amid investor uproar. But he didn't share in the financial misery. SPX CEO John Blystone's $39M pay last year was the highest of top bosses at 50 of the Carolinas' largest companies. The average salary and bonus of top Carolinas executives on the job at least two years swelled 25% to $1.8M, according to an analysis by compensation consultants Pearl Meyer & Partners and the Observer. And that's only part of the CEO pay-check. Add long-term pay, such as stock options, and average CEO pay was $3.4M last year, up 5 percent from 2003. Put another way, the Carolina CEOs averaged twice as much pay in a week as Southern workers took home for a full year. The pay increase at the top came in a year when typical workers' raises lagged inflation... Typically, long-term pay drives the biggest pay-checks and includes restricted stock grants, payouts from incentive plans and gains from exercising stock options.Long-term pay accounted for nearly half of the $170M paid to the Carolinas 50, but it was mostly concentrated among the highest paid. Much of Blystone's pay came from a gain of nearly $25M in stock options that he exercised and then sold. Restricted stock grants provided nearly $6M. Long-term pay also fluctuates widely from year to year. [Bank of India Corp.'s, formerly Bank of America's] Ken Lewis ranked second in this year's pay report, with $19M in total pay, more than half from a stock grant. But his total pay was half what he made the previous year, when he cashed in stock options for $20M... Nationwide, CEOs last year earned 431 times what workers averaged, up from 85 times in 1990, Rees said."
Sara Ines Calderon _Brownsville Herald_
Minutemen count down to border campaign
"The group's activities consist of setting-up along designated areas and reporting illegal activities to the authorities... The group launched Operation Forward Air Control over Labor Day weekend, using 30 planes to search the area for [illegal] immigrants, organizers said... 'The main deployment for the operation Secure Our Borders will be during the month of October...'... The operation, though, kicked off a month early after hundreds of Border Patrol agents were moved off their watch to help hurricane relief efforts in Louisiana and Mississippi... Around town, all fingers point to the bus station. Dozens of immigrants line-up every morning, taking notices to appear in immigration court and hopping on buses to big cities. Most never return. Immigration officials say the majority of undocumented immigrants do not appear in court as instructed after release... The vast majority of Minuteman volunteers are retired military and law enforcement individuals, and the majority is aged at least 50, organizers said."
Mark K. Matthews _Arizona Capitol Times_
States unite in Effort To Control Immigration
Eric Bryant _AutoBLog_
Auto-workers are filing bankruptcy as over-time drops
"Personal bankruptcies are climbing at a rate of about 10% each year here in Michigan, and a significant factor is said to be the drop in over-time for auto-workers. Over-time has dropped from an average of about 8 hours/week a decade ago to under 3 hours/week this year, as reduced production takes its toll. Regardless, there are a lot of people who count on an extra 5 or 10 hours a week, assuming that it'll be there in the future just because it was in the past. Really, though - someone's pay drops to $87K/year and that forces a bankruptcy? Get Dave Ramsey on the case, ASAP. Deserving of scorn or not, this is the sort of thing that tends to have ripple effects throughout the economy, and one has to wonder how long it will be until the auto industry starts feeling some pain."
Georgina Prodhan _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Siemens cuts more than 2400 German jobs
"Siemens, one of Europe's biggest employers, said on Monday it would reduce staff and cut 1.5G euros ($1.8G) in costs over the next two years at ailing IT services unit SBS, and dissolve logistics unit L&A... He said he doubted the measures, Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld's widest-ranging since he took over from Heinrich von Pierer at the start of the year, would be the end of the story, especially at SBS... Siemens said it was in talks with workers' representatives about the planned job cuts. It employs almost half a million staff worldwide, around one third of those in Germany. [Siemens is already notorious for demanding that US employees train Indian L-1 and guest-worker replacements several years ago.]"
James Pinkerton _Houston Chronicle_
Routine immigration violators prosecutored: Some critics say efforts along border are a waste of personnel
"In years past, Border Patrol agents would have taken names and snapped photographs, and allowed them to voluntarily return to Mexico the same day. But in the sprawling Southern District of Texas, from Houston to Laredo and downriver to Brownsville, a get-tough policy has many immigration offenders being prosecuted. They are held in jail, brought before a federal magistrate, appointed a defense attorney, and allowed to plead guilty to misdemeanor immigration charges. Most are sentenced to time served and released. The new policy, which netted 18,092 convictions in South Texas border towns during fiscal year 2004 - has been touted by Justice Department officials as a step to bolster national security... under sentencing guidelines, even maximum sentences are no more than 6 months. Jailing the approximately 200K [illegal] migrants caught in the Southern District each year also will require a significant increase in staffing of Border Patrol agents, immigration inspectors, federal prosecutors, probation officers, marshals and a huge increase in detention facilities... The policy change was reflected in a recent study by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, which tracks federal cases, and showed immigration convictions in the Southern District rising from 4,062 in 2003 to 18,092 in 2004... 'When you prosecute someone for illegal entry, you get them into the system and there's a value to that.'... The magistrate, after sentencing the youth to time served, placed several U.S. citizens on probation for attempting to smuggle relatives across the border by claiming they were citizens."
2005-09-20 06:05PDT (09:05EDT) (13:05GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Housing starts dropped 1.3% to 2.009M
2005-09-20 12:19PDT (15:19EDT) (19:19GMT)
Federated Department Stores Plan to Cut 6200 employees
"Big cuts from Federated Department Stores. The Cincinnati-based company plans to cut up to 6,200 employees beginning next year. Jim Sluzewski with Federated says the impact on Cincinnati should be positive. He says they expect the corporate headquarters will be expanding. The size of that expansion is not yet known. Federated recently completed its acquisition of rival May Department Stores and will phase out May's headquarters in St. Louis. It will also do away with the Marshall Field's department store name by converting those stores to Macy's by next Fall."
2005-09-20 14:13PDT (17:13EDT) (21:13GMT)
Seth Sutel _AP_/_San Francisco Chronicle_
New York Times Will Cut 500 Jobs, About 4%
2005-09-20 14:19PDT (17:19EDT) (21:19GMT)
Greg Robb & Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Fed raised rates to 3.75%: 11th straight increase
Brady McCombs _Vail Daily_
Proposed laws frame immigration debate: Border security touted as priority by some while others want larger cheap labor force
"On July 20, two Republican senators, John Cornyn of Texas and Jon Kyl of Arizona, proposed hiring 10K border patrol agents and 1,250 new customs officers to strengthen border security. It also would provide $5G for as cameras, sensors and other devices aimed at preventing border crossings... Weld District Attorney Ken Buck... called the proposal exactly what the country needs. He said the legislation would help reduce flow of illegal drugs from other countries and increase homeland security. 'First, it shuts down the border, and I don't think you can do anything until you do that first.', Buck said. 'It doesn't matter what else you do. If you can't shut down the border, it doesn't matter the next day.'... She also sees it in frustrated employers who can't get the sufficient work visas to bring in [cheap] workers legally... Greeley's Democrat state representative, Jim Riesberg, said he agrees with the proposal's measures to secure the border and increase fines against employers hiring illegal immigrants... A recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center shows illegal immigrants account for 19% of farm workers, 17% of cleaning workers, 12% of construction workers, and 11% of food preparation workers."
Henry Juelch _Island Packet_
US Leaders Miss Big Picture
"Our elected representatives are unable to act in the best interests of the citizens of the United States. They are consumed by the effort required to act in their own and partisan interests... We are being invaded by illegal immigrants and becoming a Third World country. Our income tax system is incomprehensible. Our [Socialist Insecurity] program [has] become confiscatory even while cutting benefits. Our manufacturing capability is gone, and so are the jobs it provided. Our intelligence capability has been gutted, and the agencies responsible seem to be uncoordinated. No refining capability or nuclear power plants have been built in decades. The results? Get ready for heating oil/gas price increases. Homeland security is questionable, given the complexity of covering all access/entry possibilities."
Eunice Moscoso _Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram_
Immigration Battle On-Going
"Representative Tom Tancredo, R-CO, a critic of illegal immigration, spent much of August traveling to several states -- including Iowa, Utah, California, Arizona and New Hampshire -- to discuss the topic with citizens concerned about increasing numbers of illegal immigrants in their communities... Tancredo... leads an 88-member House caucus pushing for stronger immigration controls. President Bush and pro-business law-makers back the temporary worker program, which would allow millions of immigrants, including those here illegally, to work in the United States for a number of years."
_American Jewish Committee_
AJC Board of Governors Supports HR2330/S1033
"Bipartisan legislation (the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act of 2005 or 'SAOIA') has recently been introduced in Congress intended to enhance border security and enforcement, provide a mechanism to legalize undocumented immigrants currently in the United States, and to create a new temporary worker program for persons coming to the U.S. to perform labor or services other than those occupations classified as agricultural or high-skilled. The legislation would also encourage cross-border cooperation for enforcement and reintegration of those who return to their countries of origin and increase protections for national origin and citizenship status discrimination in the employment context. In the past, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) has generally supported legalization programs, rather than mass deportations, for illegal immigrants who have been living in the United States for an extended period of time, and encouraged the development of expanded temporary worker programs. For example, in its 1980 Statement on Undocumented Persons, AJC emphasized that '[s]ince a majority of undocumented persons seek only temporary worker status in this country, we urge development of a reasonable and flexible program to meet this need. Expanded enforcement of fair labor standards laws in all job situations is necessary.'"
Rob O'Neill _Sydney Morning Herald_
United front is a must for squabbly IT
"The Australian Computer Society is planning an advocacy service for its members, taking on a role more often associated with unions... John Vines, chief executive of the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia, whose advocacy recently blocked a new employment agreement at IT services company Electronic Data Systems Australia, says groups such as the computer society have limited power in worker disputes because they lack standing in the industrial relations system... Although Australian labour is not as cheap as some Asian destinations, he says it is 20% to 40% cheaper than the US, Japan, Britain and Europe."
Sherry Slater _Fort Wayne IN Journal Gazette_
Making career changes has paid off for a few
"Not only are employers less loyal -- making layoffs when sales slump and moving jobs to save money -- but the workers themselves are less likely to remain in the same job. But completely changing careers is rare, according to John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., a Chicago-based employment research and recruiting firm. Changing industries is more common, he said... Challenger estimated that only 5% to 10% of people change career paths after they turn 30."
2005-09-21 05:17PDT (08:17EDT) (12:17GMT)
Peter Brimelow _MarketWatch_
Anxiety Shows in Investment News-Letters as They Assess Federal Reserve Interest Rate Increase
2005-09-21 07:48PDT (10:48EDT) (14:48GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
IMF says global economic expansion is on track
"The IMF stuck with its spring projection of 4.3% for 2005 global growth, but trimmed its forecast for growth in 2006 to 4.3% from 4.4%. It trimmed its 2006 growth forecast for the G-7 nations. Forecasts for growth in the United States were lowered to 3.5% this year from 3.7% previously and to 3.3% next year from 3.6% previously. Growth in [Red China] is expected to be stronger over the next 2 years than previously forecast. [Red China] is expected to grow 9% this year and 8.2% next."
2005-09-21 08:34PDT (11:34EDT) (15:34GMT)
Carla K. Johnson _Tech News World_
US Medical Research Investment Doubled in the Last Decade
"Total US spending on medical research has doubled in the past decade to nearly $95G [per] year... The report in today's Journal of the American Medical Association... 'If we're soon going to be spending $100G [per] year, we'd better have treatments that work over a long period of time against diseases that are important today and will be more important tomorrow.', said Dr. Hamilton Moses III, co-author of the study and chairman of the Alerion Institute, which conducts studies on research policy... In their funding analysis, Moses and his colleagues found that the industry sponsors 57% of medical research and the National Institutes of Health pays for 28%. That proportion has remained unchanged over the past decade."
2005-09-21 09:17PDT (12:17EDT) (16:17GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US consumer & business debt grew 7.3% in 2nd quarter
"Household debt grew at a 9.9% rate, with mortgage debt rising 11.5%. Business borrowing increased 8.4%, the fastest in five years. All told, the U.S. non-financial sectors took on $1.8T in new debt during the quarter, with about half of it in mortgages. Total debt outstanding grew to $25.2T... Much of the new borrowing must be financed from abroad, swelling the U.S. current account deficit to record levels. Household net worth increased 1.9% to $49.83T, offsetting much of the increase in debt. The increase in net worth came from capital gains on existing assets, rather than from new investments in financial assets or physical property."
Federal Reserve Flow of Funds data
Joe Stepien _NY Daily News_
"Re "Does not compute" (editorial, September 3): I hold a B.S. in civil engineering and an M.S. in computer science, and I and a multitude of my colleagues were displaced by foreign workers with H-1B visas -- lesser-paid, of course. Exactly where is the benefit to the Americans pursuing these fields if their careers are routinely offered to lower-paid Asian counterparts?"
2005-09-21 14:02PDT (17:02EDT) (21:02GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Oil futures up 1%, methane at record
"November-dated crude eased from the New York Mercantile Exchange session's high of $68.10 per barrel, its highest in over two weeks. The contract closed up 60 cents at $66.80 a barrel on its first day of trade as the front-month contract. October natural gas futures climbed 10.2 cents, or 0.8%, to close at $12.594 per MBTUs after tapping a high above the $13 level. In petroleum products, October unleaded gasoline futures closed up 7.65 cents, or 3.9%, to end at $2.0531 a gallon, while October heating oil futures climbed 2.74 cents, or 1.4%, to finish at $2.0387 a gallon."
2005-09-21 14:16PDT (17:16EDT) (21:16GMT)
Tim Boyum _News 14 Raleigh NC_
Carolinians want fewer privileges for illegal immigrants
"A recent census estimate shows up to 300K illegal immigrants live in the state. The poll was done by the conservative think tank, Civitas. The poll shows that nearly 80% believe the state should not give illegal immigrants driver's licenses. Nearly 60% believe illegal immigrants who commit [other] crimes should be deported... 90% of those polled this month believe NC has an illegal immigration problem. And nearly 80% believe companies who hire illegal immigrants should be fined if caught... 52% of those polled were Democrats adn 36% were Republicans."
_San Diego Union-Tribune_
Mexican government razes smuggler hub along border
"Mexican authorities have demolished dozens of abandoned homes in a village on the U.S. border that was one of the major hubs for smugglers hauling drugs and for illegal migrants sneaking into the United States. After pressure from New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, bull-dozers flattened 34 adobe and stone built houses in Las Chepas, a semi-abandoned village just south of the border with New Mexico, 'The houses were all abandoned buildings used by smugglers and people traffickers for shelter. The rest of the village remains intact.', state public safety agency spokesman Carlos Gonzalez told Reuters. Richardson and Chihuahua state governor Jose Reyes Baeza agreed last month to raze the derelict buildings as part of a bilateral effort to crack down on smuggling across the remote stretch of desert border."
EU analysing fresh anti-trust complaints about M$
Seattle Post Intelligencer
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Looking In Vain for the Alleged Geek Shortage
"U.S. corporations love H-1bs. Why shouldn't they? They pay them less, force their American workers to train them, and then fire the U.S.-born employees. H-1b workers are little more than indentured servants, tethered to their sponsoring employers until they receive Green Cards... Just look at the latest figures on science and engineering graduate enrollment as reported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). In 2003 U.S. citizen S&E enrollment rose 5.8%, to 327,332... First-year U.S. citizen enrollment rose 9.4%, to 54,770... The median salary for all S&E doctorate holders was an unspectacular $77K in 2001, up just 10% from 1995 levels. [Employment Sector, Salaries, Publishing, And Patenting Activities Of S&E Doctorate Holders, NSF, 2004 June PDF] Many newly minted Ph.D.s accept post-doc appointments in the $25K to $35K range... The NSF found, for example, that 4.2% of science and engineering Ph.D.s work outside their field of training, chiefly for financial reasons... [Any increase in demand for talent] will drive up S&E salaries, attracting still more U.S. citizens into science and engineering, nullifying the need for 'temporary' H-1b workers. Unfortunately, the H-1b market is driven by politics [and the personal financial interests of executives], not economics."
2005-09-22 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 343,793 in the week ending September 17, an increase of 21,699 from the previous week. There were 275,846 initial claims in the comparable week in 2004. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.8% during the week ending September 10, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,319,107, an increase of 102,366 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.0% and the volume was 2,475,605."
2005-09-22 06:04PDT (09:04EDT) (13:04GMT)
Steve Johnson _San Jose Mercury News_
Bolstering Silicon Valley's Tech Center Status
"The session was sponsored by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group to discuss the organization's latest report, which found that Silicon Valley generally lags 7 other major technology regions in the country in a variety of key social and economic factors. On the plus side, the experts noted, Silicon Valley's economy is improving and California's $3G stem-cell initiative -- headquartered in San Francisco -- should lure new business. Moreover, they said, Silicon Valley still boasts top-notch universities, plenty of venture capital, an entrepreneurial spirit, great weather and fabulous scenery... Although the American dream always has included owning a home, 'it's slipping away for a lot of people who want to come here.', said state senator Abel Maldonado, R-San Luis Obispo, whose district includes part of Santa Clara County... Many business owners also feel oppressed by California's taxes and governmental rules, said Tom Campbell, California's finance director and a former congressman, who added, 'California imposes far more regulations than other states'."
Harry R. Weber _Yahoo!_/_AP_
Delta Air Lines Inc plans to cut up to 9K jobs by the end of 2007
Karl Schoenberger _Silicon Valley_/_San Jose Mercury News_
Silicon Valley urged to fight piracy
"U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez called on Silicon Valley leaders Wednesday to work with government agencies to combat intellectual property theft, which he said costs American companies $250G a year in lost revenue... Gutierrez outlined 3 new federal initiatives to fight global violations of intellectual property rights, and he warned that organized crime groups have gotten into intellectual piracy because the profits are high and punishment relatively light. 'Be aggressive in defending intellectual property', he told his audience of technology executives, 'because it's your property.'"
Intel India fired 250 accused of fraud
Billy House _Arizone Republic_
US representative Rick Renzi wants more military technology to monitor borders and track immigrants
"state-of-the-art military technology should be employed to help the U.S. Border Patrol peer into Mexico to locate and track the movements of immigrants, smugglers and potential terrorists before they cross the border. Aerostat balloons, equipped with night-vision capabilities and other intelligence equipment, already are in use by the Defense Department in various other regions... But Renzi said he believes the United States first must secure its borders before embracing a comprehensive immigration policy to address guest workers. Along with the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, drones, ground sensors and tower sensors, Renzi said the aerostat balloons would enable border agents to spot would-be illegal immigrants early on, miles before they attempt to enter the country, and even distinguish who may be coming for work and who might be drug smugglers, other potential criminals or even terrorists. Such information would allow federal authorities to shift limited manpower to where it is needed most to stop those coming over before they cross the borders. The use of such technology also could save the lives of immigrants who risk death by trying to cross the desert into the United States. Renzi estimates the cost of putting this technology in place along the entire 1,951-mile U.S.-Mexico border at about $500M. Arizona's 389-mile share of the border with Mexico includes remote, treacherous expanses of desert and well-established smuggling corridors."
Part-time work trend leading to increasing under-employment
"The Melbourne University's Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research says half of part-time working men and 33% of women who work part-time would like more work... It says in the last few years the number of underemployed has increased to 600K, compared with the number of unemployed which is 530K."
Japan's Government Debt Hits Record
"TOKYO - Japan's government debt, already the highest in the industrialized world, rose 1.7% to a record high of 795.8T yen ($7.1T) at the end of June, according to a report released by the Finance Ministry. The amount is equivalent to about 6.24M yen ($55,900) for every Japanese."
_Arizona Daily Sun_
Sony To Cut 10K Jobs, Close Plants before 2008 April
"Sony Corp.'s Howard Stringer, the first foreigner to head the Japanese electronics and entertainment company, promised a decisive turnaround Thursday centered on cutting jobs, closing plants and shedding unprofitable businesses... Those same analysts did not, however, deny the need for cost cuts, which included slashing 10K jobs, or about 6% of Sony's global work force, by the end of 2008 March. The shakeup also calls for closing 11 of Sony's 65 manufacturing plants and shrinking or eliminating 15 unprofitable electronics operations by the same dead-line."
Michael Malone _abc News_
Quest to Mars
"The more you ponder NASA's new plan the more you realize that it is fundamentally flawed. While the NASA lunar exploration plan is up-to-date on all of the new technologies invented over the last 50 years, philosophically and organizationally it is still trapped in the big business/big government paradigm of the 1950s... (My grandmother, who spent her infancy in a dugout cave on the Cherokee Strip, lived to see Neil Armstrong walk on the moon)."
Flow of Immigrants & Non-Immigrants Is Slowed
"Currently... 620K immigrant visas are available per year. While the bulk of those are alloted for immigrants petitioned by U.S. relatives,... 140K go for immigrants sponsored by businesses. That's less than 0.1% of the 150M employees in the U.S. labor market... Congress should lift the 140K cap altogether since these visas have a built-in regulator: A foreign worker can be hired only via an employer-sponsored visa when the Labor Department has certified that no American is capable or willing to do the job in question. In fact, 300K such visas were left unused in years that the cap was not reached. Another option would be to make those unused visas available. The cap on temporary visas for highly skilled workers, called H-1Bs, should also be hiked [in order to drive down compensation and discourage Americans from entering these fields]."
NJ Tech Industries Rate High Among Eastern States
"In detailed charts of numerous performance measures, the report shows New Jersey outranks Pennsylvania and New York in most categories, and ranks second in high-tech industry performance after Massachusetts. In addition, New Jersey rates first in many specific measures related to productivity, science and engineering employment, high-tech establishments and venture capital investment... NJTC represents more than 1,200 technology companies... The technology industry categories of information technology and life sciences account for roughly 75% of New Jersey's high-tech employment."
Mike Boyer _Cincinnati Enquirer_
3M Precision Optics to cut 150 jobs, possibly close Union twp Clermont county OH plant
"Three years ago, the plant, acquired by 3M from Corning Inc. in late 2002, employed 1,500."
Phil Kent _Atlanta Journal Constitution_
College is the latest perk for illegal aliens
"The illegal immigration time bomb, fostered by a vocal open borders lobby lusting after cheap labor, has exploded."
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Former Border Patrol employee sentenced to prison
"A former border patrol agent convicted of letting drug couriers slip through a checkpoint was sentenced to 10.5 years in federal prison. Aldo Manuel Erives pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy to possess a controlled substance and was sentenced Wednesday. He admitted that he, his brother and another agent were paid more than $5K to let more than 11 pounds of cocaine pass through the Sierra Blanca check-point... Another agent, Roberto Beltran, pleaded guilty to smuggling about 750 illegal aliens as a result of the investigation, Sutton said."
Immigration Lawyer Sentenced for Labor/Immigration Fraud
"sentenced Maqsood Mir, 52, an immigration lawyer practicing in Potomac, MD, to 78 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release in connection with his 2005-04-14 conviction by a federal jury of immigration fraud related to the filing of false immigration documents that allowed illegal aliens to enter and/or remain in the United States. The Judge also ordered Mir to pay a $25K fine and Mir Law Associates to pay a $200K fine. The jury determined that Maqsood Mir; his law firm, Mir Law Associates, LLC; Bajwa, 39, of Herndon, Virginia, a businessman and sponsoring employer; and Bajwa's construction company, New Superstar Corporation, were guilty of various charges of filing false labor certifications. Mir Law Associates, Bajwa and New Superstar Corporation were also convicted of conspiracy to submit false labor certifications and substantive immigration fraud counts."
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Hurricanes have complicated employment data estimations
"The regions most affected by the storm accounted for 1.9% of national employment, 1.7% of business establishments and 1.5% of wages, according to the BLS. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch are expecting payrolls to fall about 100K in September after a 169K gain in August. The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 5.1% from 4.9%."
Enquirer 80 stock index up 0.66%
"The Enquirer 80 index of local interest stocks was up 1.85 points, or 0.66%, to close at 280.16. 54 issues were up, 22 were down and four were unchanged. Leading gainers were LCA-Vision, up $2.05 to $37.49; Emerson Electric, up $1.85 to $69.61; WellPoint, up $1.55 to $74.74; Harris Corp., up $1.24 to $39.71; Omnicare, up $1.19 to $56.16. Biggest laggers were Johnson & Johnson, down 69 cents to $63.99; Ashland, down 65 cents to $53.44; Toyota Motor, down 31 cents to $86.64; Cinergy Corp., down 30 cents to $42.94; Cintas, down 29 cents to $39.11."
Mark Cotton _MarketWatch_
Storm-tossed week for stocks
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.46 points to 10,419.59, wrapping up a week in which the bench-mark index fell 2.1%. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 6.06 points at 2,116.84. On the week, the tech-rich index shed 2%. The S&P 500 Index was up 0.67 point at 1,215.29; the broad gauge booked a weekly loss of 1.8%. On Friday, stocks bounced off early lows after Hurricane Rita weakened to a Category 3 storm, sending crude-oil prices tumbling... On the broader market for equities, advancers held the edge over decliners by a 16 to 15 score on the New York Stock Exchange, and led by an even wider 18 to 11 margin on the Nasdaq. Volume was 1.51G on the Big Board, and 1.62G on the Nasdaq... Oil fields off the Texas and Louisiana coasts contribute about 25% of U.S. production. Refineries in Texas account for 26% of the nation's fuel-refining capacity. The bench-mark November crude contract ended down $2.31, or 3.5%, at $64.19 a barrel in New York trading. On the week, the contract rose 1.3%. Bench-mark gasoline and natural-gas futures contracts also ended lower on the session, but higher on the week."
_North Texas e-News_
Goodlatte & Berry introduce yet another cheap labor/open borders proposal
"Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Congressman Marion Berry (D-AK) today introduced HR3857, the 'Temporary Agricultural Labor Reform Act of 2005', legislation to modernize and improve the flexibility of the temporary visa program (H-2A), permitting foreign workers to enter the U.S.A. on a temporary or seasonal basis to engage in unskilled agricultural work. 'The U.S. needs a better guest worker program for agriculture. Under the current H-2A program, workers are subjected to a frustrating process that only encourages more illegal entry, while agriculture employers are forced to either participate in this costly, time-consuming, flawed program, or take the risk of hiring illegal workers. We need a reform of the H-2A program that promotes border security by allowing guest workers to come and go legally -- a reform that will streamline the costly and time-consuming process and establish a fair wage standard. This legislation accomplishes that.', said Goodlatte... This legislation simplifies and shortens the H-2A application process..."
Legislation proposed in the 109th congress
Simon Kennedy, Alison Fitzgerald, Craig Torres, Scott Lanman, Mayumi Otsuma & Vivien Lou Chen _Bloomberg_/_Miami Herald_
New Fed chief must be wise to world economy
"Among the possible challenges posed from over-seas: Rising oil prices [resulting from] inflation. The dollar being undermined by an unprecedented U.S. trade deficit. Market interest rates set by foreign demand for U.S. government securities. The loss of American jobs to cheap labor markets in [Red China] and India. The world economy swelled to $44T from $17T since Greenspan, 79, joined the Fed in 1987, with the U.S. accounting for a quarter of the total. [Red China's] economy is now the seventh largest in the world, eclipsing Canada... Competition from [Red China] and India and their cheaper work forces will likely continue to hold down U.S. wages, restraining purchasing power and costing jobs, economists say... just 2.8M jobs have been created in the U.S. since the most recent recession [in the midst of the current depression], below the pace of previous recoveries, in part as companies hire cheaper workers abroad. Foreigners also own almost half of the $4.6T outstanding U.S. government securities, capping market interest rates and requiring the Fed to manage the economy in a way that makes them want to keep holding U.S. assets... The price of oil, up 43% in the past year..."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Red China Wants To Impose New Restrictions on News & Information Over the Internet: USA-based firms cooperate in tyranny
State College PA Centre Daily Times
Kansas City Star
"The report did not give any details on the regulations but said sites should only post news on current events and politics. It did not define what would be acceptable under those categories. Only 'healthy and civilized news and information that is beneficial to the improvement of the quality of the nation, beneficial to its economic development and conducive to social progress' will be allowed, Xinhua said... On-line dissidents who post essays questioning government actions and policies or those who express their opinions in chatrooms are regularly arrested and charged under vaguely worded state security laws. Earlier this month, a French media watch-dog group said e-mail account information provided by Internet power-house Yahoo Inc. helped lead to the conviction and 10-year prison sentence of a Chinese journalist who had written about media restrictions in an e-mail... Authorities in Shanghai have installed surveillance cameras and begun requiring visitors to Internet cafes to register using their official identity cards to keep tabs on who's seeing and saying what on-line."
Ibrahim Barzak _Portsmouth Herald World_/_AP_
Israel delivers crushing reply to Hamas attacks
"militants fired 35 rockets at Israeli towns - their first major attack since the Gaza pull-out... squashed hopes that Israel's ceding the coastal strip to the Palestinians would invigorate peace-making. Israel's reprisals drew fresh Hamas threats of vengeance, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas came under growing Israeli pressure to confront the militants... Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz... promised a 'crushing' response, including air-strikes, targeted killings and arrest raids, participants said afterward... Israel also sealed the West Bank and Gaza, barring thousands of Palestinians from reaching jobs in the Jewish state... The heightened violence followed a chain of events starting Friday afternoon with an explosion at a Hamas rally in Gaza's crowded Jebaliya refugee camp. At least 15 Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded. Hamas blamed Israel, claiming aircraft fired missiles into the crowd, and said its rocket attacks on Israeli towns were retaliation. Israel denied involvement, and the Palestinian Authority held the Islamic militants responsible, saying they apparently mishandled explosives at the rally... On Saturday afternoon, Israeli aircraft fired five missiles at two cars carrying Hamas militants in Gaza City, killing at least 2 militants and wounding 9 people, officials said. Other officials put the death toll at 4. The strikes meant Israel has resumed targeted killings of Palestinian militants, a practice suspended during the truce. During more than four years of fighting, Israel has killed scores of militants and bystanders in such attacks. Hamas identified two of the dead as Nafez Abu Hussein and Rwad Farhad, local field commanders... At least 3 more rockets fell in Israel after the air-strike."
Jeannine F. Hunter _Tennessean_
21-year-old Nashville man died after being attacked by police with pepper spray and tasers
"Don Aaron, police spokesman... Jonathan Mays... Jamie Scruggs... '[He] was hit by Taser probes 4 times and he was Tased multiple times.' The total number of Taser shocks was 8, Aaron said."
Dave Gibson _Phoenix AZ American Daily_
We Are No Longer a Nation of Laws
"Former President Clinton and current President Bush have both showed their disdain for U.S. immigration laws. Rather than working to change the laws through legal means, while still carrying-out their constitutional duties -- both men have chosen instead to simply ignore the law. Thus, the United States is well on its way to Third World status. President Bush as well as Congress are failing to protect this nation from foreign invaders. Of course, cheap labor and securing the Latino vote are the motivating factors. Both the executive and legislative branches of the federal government should be considered criminals. Their inaction is tantamount to aiding and abetting felony fugitives... 30% of this nation's total prison population is comprised of both illegal and legal immigrants."
Swiss voters endorsed cheap guest-workers from EU
"Despite right-wing warnings of floods of cheap labor, 56% of Switzerland's electorate endorsed government plans to extend an agreement with the EU on the free movement of people to its new member states, according to the Swiss state television SF1. Ecnomics minister Joseph Deiss had warned that a 'no' vote would be 'difficult' for Switzerland... With 60% of Swiss exports going to EU countries and 80% of its imports originating from there, the bloc is the country's main trading partner by far and sour relations would not bode well for the country's export-dependant economy... only around 3K workers from the new EU nations would be allowed in each year. The unemployment rate stood at an average of 3.9% in 2004."
Elliot Spagat _AP_/_Contra Costa Times_
Greyhound cautions employees to screen for illegal immigrants
"Greyhound Lines Inc., the nation's largest intercity bus company, has threatened to fire employees who sell bus tickets to illegal immigrants... Greyhound also says immigrant smugglers give themselves away by calling bus stations to ask if immigration authorities are present, and by loitering, repeatedly buying large numbers of tickets for other people and using phrases like, 'These guys just crossed the line.', 'my cargo', and 'I've got to move my people.'... The Dallas-based company adopted the policy in 2002 in response to the criminal indictment of a now-defunct, California bus company that pleaded guilty to immigrant smuggling, she said... federal law also makes it a crime to knowingly transport an illegal immigrant... The policy was adopted in response to the 2001 indictment of Golden State Transportation company of Los Angeles on immigrant smuggling charges. [Golden State] later filed for bankruptcy and it pleaded guilty last year to transporting an estimated 42,100 illegal immigrants from Tucson, AZ, to Los Angeles, using a roundabout route through Las Vegas to avoid Border Patrol check-points... Greyhound, which carried 21.2M passengers last year to more than 2,200 destinations, with a fleet of 2,700 buses and 9,700 employees, isn't the only company with such a policy. Sistema Internacional de Transporte de Autobuses Inc., a Greyhound subsidiary, owned a 51% stake in Golden State. It currently operates the Crucero and Autobuses Americanos bus lines and has had a policy similar to Greyhound's since 2002, said Al Penedo, chief operating officer."
Felicia Benamon _National Ledger_
Illegal Immigration Is Contributing to America's Down-Fall
" I'm not against those who want to make a better life for themselves, but be realistic. In a post 911 world, we cannot afford to let just anyone come across the border... Secure our borders... No amnesty... Aggressive deportation... No benefits... No work... English first."
Fuel Cell Research Lab in Flint, MI
"Such private-sector buy-in to what Kettering [University] and local officials are pushing likely would draw the attention of other businesses with a science and engineering bent, companies that would help create high-tech employment that pays well and has a future. While many communities have the educated people and other resources to foster such exciting prospects, Kettering and its local partners have shown convincingly with this news that Flint can be one of those places, too."
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US existing home sales rose 2% in August to 7.29M unit annualized rate
National Association of Realtors report
Caffeine Allergy Masquerades as ADHD, Anxiety, Bi-Polar, Schizophrenia and other disorders
"research, and articles published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, Positive Health, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, and Medical Veritas, allergic response to caffeine causes ADHD, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD, TMJD, PMS, and other conditions. Whalen's recently released book "Welcome to the Dance: Caffeine Allergy - A Masked Cerebral Allergy and Progressive Toxic Dementia" (Trafford; 1-4120-5000-6; 418 pages, paper-back) with the foreword written by Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., President of the International Schizophrenia Foundation expands on the research. Containing 123 chapters, a reference section and index, _Welcome to the Dance: Caffeine Allergy-A Masked Cerebral Allergy and Progressive Toxic Dementia_ details allergic response to caffeine, a hidden condition that most doctors do not know about causing severe physical and mental abnormalities. The text explains the physical and mental symptoms, biochemical changes, and abnormal lab test results caused by caffeine allergy, which affect numerous persons diagnosed with a mental disorder..."
Jon E. Dougherty _Voices_
Reality of Immigration "Reform"
"The reality is, this plan ignores a basic truth, which is that most migrants coming into the U.S.A. [and US citizens] want to remain below the radar because they don't want to register with U.S. authorities; they don't want to pay taxes on their earnings; they don't want to take part in any tracking system... They like things the way they are now – anonymous... there is no way on God's green earth the federal government can register, track, and administer to the more than 13M of them currently residing and working in the U.S.A... Tens of thousands of these people will never register because a) they are criminals in their home countries; and b) they are criminals here as well. Also, creating millions of guest workers without getting serious -- no, really serious -- about immigration enforcement and border control will do nothing to staunch the flow of illegal drugs, weapons and, potentially, terrorists from crossing our borders. Finally, legitimizing millions of illegal aliens who are already working at below market wages in many parts of the country will just solidify those below-average wages, thereby permanently freezing out American workers who, because the cost of living here is much higher, have to command better wages in order to make ends meet... clearly this guest worker program is of benefit primarily to economic and business interests at the expense of American jobs and security..."
Jon Dougherty _World Net Daily_
Invasion USA: Legal Immigrants Blast Bush's Sucker Plan
"the president's revised plan would allow scores of illegal aliens to stay in the U.S. as guest workers by allowing them to apply for a 3-year guest-worker visa... permit the newly ordained guest workers to apply for one 3-year extension before they would be required to leave the country... [He really wanted a permanent visa, but applied for and got a student visa, then a guest-worker visa, instead, which he was hoping he could leverage into a permanent visa, but is complaining about how long it takes the feral government to process the visa applications.]... 'I have, several times, attended swearing-in ceremonies in Denver for immigrants who are being awarded their citizenship.', [Tom Tancredo] told WND in an interview. 'I always tell them that I have only 2 messages. The first is, '''Welcome to America.''', and the second is, '''Thank you for doing it the right way.'''.' "
Arnold Kling _Tech Central Station_
A Case for Immigration
"immigration laws are, like many other legamorons, enforced selectively by design. Selective enforcement serves the interests of politicians, and it has the tacit approval of the average citizen. However, one can argue that it subverts the goal of living under the rule of law rather than the rule of men... Some laws exist largely for the purpose of selective enforcement... You can drive 70 miles an hour in a 55 MPH zone all you want, unless the state needs to meet a revenue quota, in which case the police will set a speed trap. Another use for the speeding laws is to provide a well-defined basis for prosecuting drivers who do something wrong that is less well defined... One way to interpret the immigration laws is that they stay on the books because they make it easy to deport trouble-makers. The behavior that is punished is not immigration per se, but causing harm in some other way that gets the attention of the authorities. For example, suppose that we wanted to deport a suspected terrorist cell member who is not a citizen. Proving that he is in fact a terrorist may be quite difficult. However, if he happens to be in the country without proper documents, then booting him out of the country for not having the right paper-work is fairly straightforward... Having lots of laws on the books that are not obeyed means that we are at the mercy of the political class, because all of us are doing something illegal... Any time a politician wants to, he can come after us. Legamorons give politicians the option of going after political targets while leaving most constituents alone... When we are all illegal, any of us could be attacked by a crusading attorney general at any time. Only those of us who keep quiet are safe... Basically, I would like to encourage people from other countries to come here as tourists, students, guest workers, and -- if they are highly motivated -- immigrants. By highly motivated, I mean people who desire our system of government and who live in countries where they have no hope of enjoying freedom and democracy... The Milken Institute Review reports that: 'According to a new Census survey, the 30M second-generation Americans seem well on their way to achieving the American dream. Gen-2 workers have a median income of $38K, compared with $27K for the foreign-born and $35K for the total work-force...' So here is what I propose. Let all of the teachers, professors, journalists, celebrities and others who espouse disgust with America be encouraged to emigrate. And let immigrants take their places."
Virginia Robbins _ComputerWorld_
Standards and the IT Profession
"At my firm, roughly half of my technical staff graduated with English or other liberal arts degrees, and the other half have computer science, mathematics, MIS or other technical degrees. A smaller number have both, with either an under-graduate liberal arts degree and a technical master's degree or vice versa. I've found no correlation between degree and competency. I'd rather have an independent-studies major who can work exceptionally hard to stay on top of technology changes, communicate well and think clearly than many of the computer science majors who elected to reply to my last column... I have found not only that a computer science degree is optional, but also that many successful technologists don't have any degree at all. I've had great employees who never finished college, and I've had wonderful employees who have multiple master's degrees. Unlike other professions, such as accounting, law or medicine, technology has no uniformly accepted professional studies that must be completed before one can practice... it's no surprise that our profession doesn't have a universally accepted professional program."
_Contra Costa Times_
Round-Table Discussion of East Contra Costa Economy
"David Navarette: 'I think it could be finding the labor pool you are looking for. If I bring my business to Brentwood, where are I going to get my employees? That's going to present a problem as folks try to get some of the larger companies into this area.'... we always understood there were not enough jobs for East County residents... Clarke: 'I think there are a awful lot of people in East County that are skilled, since they worked somewhere else. So I don't know if I agree with you that there is a skills shortage. Right now our economy is changing so rapidly that the skills people had 10 years ago are obsolete.'... Henry: 'I think part of what you are both saying is that almost all of the high-wage jobs are going to require some level of higher education. The problem is in the matching. We have high-wage jobs that are going to people outside the area because we don't have people who do the process technology or system repair kind of work, because we haven't trained enough of them.'... Hillis: 'A little bit in the research and development and technology area. But it's mostly driven by financial services, mortgage companies, appraisers, the real estate offices.'... Henry: 'Keeping up is one of the difficulties. There is a big shift from tech-based, computer science programs as being one of the drivers at the college to being among our smaller programs now. We have 5 initiatives in the works now to address the needs of local industry. We need to build bridges and career pathways starting in high school and middle schools. They do have academics, but the traditional occupational pathways just aren't there. We need all of our transfer programs to be career-focused. We are going to try to make a shift to help our students get focused on an educational plan that is headed to a career pathway. We're looking at programs in environmental science, in industrial operators, industrial system. We are looking for the resources to do that, because it is not easy. And we are looking at partnerships with industry. We need their expertise, we need their help with facilities... We were nimble with a project with Cisco, to become a regional training center for Cisco. But that requires a big infusion of dollars. Our funding isn't strong. California is in the lower end of funding its college systems. That Cisco project did very well for a while. But the ability to change back now that tech is going to be dormant for a while and move into the next area we need to pay attention to is difficult. We're working on it.'... Hillis: 'What Leo is driving at is getting at is the need for quality jobs, quality office jobs, in office buildings, and not solely retailers. To take a piece of raw dirt from the time a company can move in is about 24 months in Brentwood. Antioch is the same. In Pittsburg, it would be 12 months. It is driven by over capacity in the planning departments and building departments of the cities. There's another factor. City employees fear for their jobs. This is an area that needs the kind of economic growth that the residents don't want to see. Residents don't understand that putting an office park next to their residential development is a benefit. The residents say traffic is being increased. But you get traffic off the road with office buildings and people can work closer to home.'"
Scientists propose small, distributed, more efficient power generation
"Power plants of the future may be designed to provide electricity solely for an individual housing estate, village, factory or college. That's the prediction of University of Southampton engineer Dr. Tom Markvart... large-scale systems of electricity generation used at present waste considerable amounts of energy by producing unwanted heat... microgrids... The proximity to customers would help boost energy efficiency to around 80% compared to 35%-40% for a conventional generation system... Dr. Markvart's research appears in the latest edition of the Royal Academy of Engineering's Ingenia magazine. The research was carried out in collaboration with, amongst others, Dr. Suleiman Abu-Sharkh (SES) and Dr. Neil Ross (School of Electronics and Computer Science), both also at the University of Southampton."
The Death of Software Profession
"I was reminded of an interview Bill Gates gave back on 2005-07-18, in which he wrung his hands over the 60% fall-off in computer science graduates during the past 5-odd years [of the on-going economic depression]. While Chairman Bill deplored the lack of talent coming out of our universities and bemoaned his inability to hire enough highly skilled computer science graduates to keep M$'s talent pool fully stocked, I can't help but wonder why he isn't turning to the thousands upon thousands of unemployed U.S. programmers who have the very talent and experience he claims to need. Is it any wonder college kids with a lick of sense are running screaming from the software business?... The past 4 years have been ghastly. And not just been ghastly for me and mine; I have seen enough colleagues to populate a mid-size city tossed out of their jobs with unseemly haste so some characters from India, [Red China], or some other benighted country can get the work."
Ill-Begotten Monstrosities hires globally while firing others
"Even as IBM completes plans to lay off 14,500 workers, it is continuing to scout for IT talent for numerous openings in Russia, [Red China], Brazil, India, Australia and the United States. Big Blue's employment peaked around 1985, when it had about 405K workers who used to a tradition of lifetime employment. In 1992, the company suffered a $4.97G loss, the largest annual corporate loss in US history to that time. By 1994, the work-force had shrunk to 219,207... Despite periodic lay-offs, including more than 14K job cuts in 2002, the number of IBM employees had rebounded to 329K by the end of last year. About 150K of those positions were in the United States. [Current total employee estimates are about 320K.]... An estimated 200K are college graduates, and at least 54K reportedly have post-graduate degrees. An estimated 195K are IT professionals. Less than 50% of its employees have been with the company more than 5 years, according to Alliance@IBM, a chapter of the Communications Workers of America. In May, IBM completed the sale of its PC business to Lenovo, a [Red China]-based computer maker, and announced 14,500 job cuts. Between 65% and 70% of the cuts were aimed at Europe, the Middle East and Africa... several thousand of the [latest] cuts are aimed at US jobs... Some 900 jobs were recently advertised in the United States, 134 positions in Brazil and 104 in Canada. No job openings were posted in France and [fewer] than 25 jobs were advertised in England... IBM has announced plans to double the number of employees in Brazil to 8K by the end of next year. The company also planned to add 14K programmers in India, where it employs nearly 40K workers, according to Communications Workers of America... A recently-released survey by the Society for Information Management showed that one-third of IT staff positions will be out-sourced by 2008... 'More than half of IBM's current hiring slots are in IBM's Business Consulting Services area.', Collins said."
David Schepp _Journal News_
"What do Delta Air Lines, Sony, Federated Department Stores and the New York Times Co. all have in common? These divergent businesses were among those announcing massive lay-offs last week -- more than 25K jobs among them."
Gregory Rodriguez _Salt Lake Tribune_
Immigrants to Flood La Nueva Orleans
Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Los Angeles Times
"No matter what [many of] the politicians and activists want, African Americans and impoverished white Cajuns will not be first in line to rebuild the Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast and New Orleans. Latino immigrants, many of them [illegal], will. And when they're done, they're going to stay, making New Orleans look like Los Angeles. It's the federal government that will have made the transformation possible, further exposing the hollowness of the immigration debate... suspended provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act that would have required government contractors to pay prevailing wages in Louisiana and devastated parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. And the Department of Homeland Security has temporarily suspended sanctioning employers who hire workers who cannot document their citizenship... the main effect will be to let contractors hire illegal immigrants. Mexican and Central American laborers are already arriving in southeastern Louisiana... At the same time, U.S. construction companies have become increasingly reliant on Latino immigrant labor. In 1990, only 3.3% of construction workers were Mexican immigrants. Ten years later, the number was 8.5%. In 2004, 17% of Latino immigrants worked in the business, a higher percentage than in any other industry. Nor is this an exclusively Southwest phenomenon... 40% of the workers who rebuilt the Pentagon after the 9/11 attack were Latino. Reliance on immigrant labor to complete huge projects is part of U.S. history."
Rob Thormeyer _Government Computer News_
Government has not trouble hiring tech workers
"The Office of Personnel Management projects that out of the 61,821 federal employees making up the General Schedule 2210 classification -- OPM's series for most federal IT workers -- approximately 8,460 will retire through 2008. 'The government has not had a difficulty in hiring, period.', said Marta Perez, OPM's associate director of human capital leadership... Of course, Pyke said, Commerce also is out-sourcing a sizable chunk of its IT work to the private sector, a practice common throughout government. Of its $1.5G annual IT budget, Pyke said $1.1G is contracted out."
Deborah Crowe _Los Angeles Business Journal_
Executives shift health care insurance costs onto production workers along with risks, while shifting more of profits into their own pockets
AP/WNY Media Network
Grand Junction CO Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Early indications for 2006 show that costs will rise nearly 10% from a year earlier, about 3 times greater than the increase in costs for food, clothing and other necessities. While that's less than the hikes that businesses have seen over most of the past 5 years, it comes on top of a cumulative 73% growth in employer premiums since 2000, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust... Preliminary results from an employer survey by Mercer Human Resources Consulting show that health insurers are demanding average cost increases of 9.2%, although companies expect to whittle that down to 6.4% by the cost-sharing... High-deductible plans were originally designed to have employers fund a percentage, while employees are offered tax incentives to squirrel away part of their pay-checks to cover the rest. But to cut costs, some employers are instituting them without providing any money up front, according to the Kaiser national survey."
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US new home sales fell 9.9%
"Sales of new U.S. homes dropped a sharp 9.9% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.24M, the Commerce Department said Tuesday... Meanwhile, the supply of new homes on the market increased by 2.6% in August to a record 479K, representing a 5-month supply."
census bureau report (pdf)
Britons worried about bank data security off-shore: Americans worry about bank data security on-shore and off-shore
"At a time that banks are setting up call centres and processing more operations overseas, accountancy firm KPMG said two-thirds of respondents to a survey said they would be very concerned if they knew their details were held in a customer service centre off-shore. Another 28% said they would be slightly concerned. But the research showed that 77% of respondents admitted they had no idea whether or to what extent their bank or credit card provider out-sourced any operations... KPMG said fraud against financial institutions is growing and estimated that it reached 12.9M pounds in value in the first half of 2005, up from 7.3M a year earlier... PwC said a quarter of the respondents to its survey had moved off-shore 10% to 20% of their head-count, but in 3 years' time almost half of the respondents expected this to be the case."
John Carroll _ZD Net_
M$ & Intel back HD-DVD: Blu-Ray is better
"Blu-Ray has a tighter track pitch (think grooves on a vinyl record), which means more data can be stored on the same disc. To support this pitch, Blu-Ray disks require a thinner coating over the tracks (the clear plastic that protects the disc from scratches) in order to enable the blue laser to focus on that tighter track pitch. "
Jeffrey Gold _AP_/_NY News Day_
PA driver license examiner and 7 others arrested for making false licenses, non-immigrant visas & altered passports, birth certificates and socialist insecurity kkkards
Bucks county Courier Times
"Federal agents say they have cracked a ring that supplied thousands of Pennsylvania drivers' licenses to illegal aliens and others who wanted false identification. The arrests Tuesday of eight people, including a former Philadelphia police officer who now works at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, followed a yearlong investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other agencies... The ring charged $2K to $5K, depending on the type of license... All were charged with conspiracy to commit identity fraud, which carries up to five years in prison."
Jessica M. Vaughan _ILW_
Development Continues on US-VISIT
"the administration's decision to exempt most Mexicans and Canadians from screening, despite well-documented problems in regulating the entry and exit of these visitors, along with foot-dragging in making use of the exit-recording capability, severely undermines the program and risks transforming this potentially critical national security tool into a high-tech Potemkin Village. In addition, this very limited deployment of US-VISIT will make it virtually impossible to under-take a secure large-scale guestworker program... only about 22% of all visitors are screened by US-VISIT... significant number of Mexican residents are using the [Border Crossing Cards] to commute to jobs in the United States, in violation of the law. The exemption of Canadian visitors from US-VISIT at land crossings is another major weakness. The US-VISIT controls now in place at airports intercepted 8 Canadian terrorism suspects who would not have been caught if they had used a land port of entry. Although visa overstays represent perhaps as many as 40% of all illegal aliens, DHS apparently is planning to implement only a very limited entry-exit-recording program... So far, the tab for US-VISIT stands at about $1G, with the ultimate cost possibly reaching $10G, depending on the project’s scope... The vast majority of visitors from Mexico and Canada, who make up about 78% of the entries from land, sea, and air, are exempt from enrollment in US-VISIT and DHS apparently has no plans ever to enroll these visitors."
Bill Sheppard _CNET_
Straight Facts on Blu-Ray
"25GB vs. 15GB (or more likely 50GB vs. 30GB) is a big deal. And Blu-ray has shown up to 8-layer technology is feasible, suggesting 200GB discs... Blu-ray has a fully-specified Java layer which will provide far more compelling bonus materials on the disc... the Playstation 3, which will put 7M Blu-ray players in consumer's homes within the first year of release, and there's simply no reason to believe HD-DVD can survive more than a year."
Stephen Ohlemacher _AP_/_Breitbart_
More illegal immigration than legal
St. Petersburg Times
Palm Beach Post
"The Pew Hispanic Center reported Tuesday that immigration in general has been picking up, tracking the reviving American economy and improving jobs picture... Immigration -- both legal and illegal -- topped 1.5M people in 1999 and 2000, according to the report. The number of people entering the United States then plummeted to 1.1M people by 2003, the same level as in 1992. Immigration bounced back to 1.2M in 2004, but the report cautioned that it is difficult to say whether the recent upswing is part of a new trend... Since 2001, the number of legal permanent residents entering the United States has declined from 578K to 455K, while the number of illegal immigrants has increased from 549K to 562K. Legal, temporary residents account for the remainder of people entering the country... _Mexico accounted for about a third of all U.S. immigrants, a percentage that was steady from 1992 to 2004. Other Latin American countries accounted for about 20% of all immigrants, Asia accounted for a little more than a quarter, and Europe and Canda combined to account for about 14%."
Hector Gutierrez _Rocky Mountain News_
Tancreco rips Mexican official
"[Tom] Tancredo criticized Geronimo Gutierrez, Mexico's undersecretary for North America, for injecting himself into U.S. politics when he told the Rocky Mountain News last week that he supported the McCain-Kennedy bill that would allow unauthorized employees to become part of a guest-worker program, permit them to normalize their illegal status and give them the opportunity to become citizens while imposing a monetary fine... In a statement released by his office Monday, the Republican congressman called the McCain-Kennedy bill a 'blanket amnesty' for illegal immigrants... [Tancredo's] Real Guest Act... would require unauthorized immigrants to return to their homeland before they are given guest worker status and would limit their stay in the United States to 365 days every 2 years. Gutierrez said the Real Guest Act was not 'feasible' because hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants have established themselves in the U.S. with homes and families and are not about to abandon them while they return to their countries. Tancredo criticized Gutierrez's remarks, saying it has been the Mexican government's unwritten position to encourage illegal immigration..."
Paralegal Pleads Guilty in Immigration Fraud
"According to the plea agreement, Elnor Veliev, 21, admitted that he and others at 2 law firms where he worked - including 2 attorneys - submitted fraudulent immigration documents in more than 200 cases to assist aliens in getting 'green cards' through an employment-based visa program."
Consumer Confidence Fell
"Those claiming business conditions are 'good' declined to 25.2% from 29.7%. Those claiming conditions are 'bad' increased to 17.7% from 15.1%. The employment picture was also less upbeat. Consumers saying jobs are 'hard to get' increased to 25.4% from 23.1%, while those claiming jobs are 'plentiful' fell to 20.1% from 23.6%."
Mexicans arrest 5 elite Guatemalan soldiers
"Mexican officials said Tuesday they have detained five former members of an elite Guatemalan counterinsurgency unit known for its brutality. They said the men may have been invited to Mexico to work with the drug hit men known as the Zetas. The detention of the Guatemalans -- who were turned over to prosecutors for possible immigration violations -- fueled fears that the paratroopers, known as Kaibiles, might add their military expertise to that already enjoyed by the Zetas, who are led by deserters from an elite Mexican army unit. The Zetas have been waging a bloody turf war in border towns such as Nuevo Laredo against other gangs for control of lucrative smuggling routes."
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Durable goods orders recovered
"Total durable goods orders rose 3.3% in August, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. It was the fourth increase in the last 5 months and the largest gain since May... Orders in July were revised to a 5.3% decrease from 4.9% previously estimated. A key measure with the report, non-defense capital goods rose 4.3% last month after falling 7.1% in July. Excluding aircraft, this subset of data rose 3.6%. Orders for computers and electronic products rose 5.5% after falling 6.5% in July."
census bureau data
Jeannine Aversa _Sarasota Herald Tribune_
Kkkredit kkkard payments hindered by high gasoline prices
"The percentage of credit card payments that were past due shot up to a record high in the second quarter as surging gasoline prices strained budgets and made it difficult for some peopel to pay their bills. The American Banksers Association reported Wednesday that the seasonally adjusted percentage of credit card accounts 30 or more days past due rose in the April-to-June quarter to 4.81%. That followed a delinquency rate of 4.76% in the first quarter and was the highest since the association began collecting this information in 1973... The personal savings rate dipped to a record low of negative 0.6% in July... The association's survey also showed that the delinquency rate on a composite of other types of consumers loans, including auto loans and home equity loans, climbed to 2.22% in the second quarter, up from 2.03% in the first quarter."
Demir Barlas _Line 56_
IBM continues a war against privacy begun before WW2
"IBM has made a significant commitment to radio frequency identification (RFID), which it classes as parts of a 'sensors and actuators' unit with IBM (remember, RFID is just one kind of sensor [well, no, RFID is a kind of information broadcasting device]). The commitment has taken the tangible form of a $250M investment over 5 years. Recently IBM's Ann Breidenbach, director of the sensor and actuator solutions product line management and strategy at IBM, talked to Line56 about some of the work Big Blue has been doing in this field. Of particular interest was her description of a project underway with the U.S. Army... IBM was a big part of this project. It contributed the middleware infrastructure (a big part of the overall RFID experience), a dashboard for monitoring data, links to global positioning, and integration with existing U.S. Army applications. Integration allowed the Army to look at information derived from non-RFID sensors, such as those embedded in the vehicles themselves, alongside RFID-derived information... 'RFID is an enabling technology, not a solution.', concludes Breidenbach."
Kristen Gerencher _MarketWatch_
Sleep loss impairs medical residents: Symptoms similar to drunkenness (Nurses sometimes face similar work schedules)
"Testing on a group of 34 pediatric residents showed similar impairments in vigilance, attention and driving skills after they had worked a month of hard duty and were sober versus working a normal month and then consuming 3 or 4 alcoholic beverages. Testing on a group of 34 pediatric residents showed similar impairments in vigilance, attention and driving skills after they had worked a month of hard duty and were sober versus working a normal month and then consuming three or four alcoholic beverages. The study was published in the September 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association... After AMSA's push, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in 2003 limited resident workloads to 80 hours a week on average and a maximum 24-hour workday. Despite the changes, some residents still say they work more than 100 hours a week, AMSA President Leana Wen said."
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 283,016 in the week ending September 24, a decrease of 62,823 from the previous week. There were 282,729 initial claims in the comparable week in 2004. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending September 17, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,362,099, an increase of 50,043 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,397,828."
Freeman Sawyer _North San Diego County Times_
Presidents & congress selling out America
"The national security of our country is critical to our survival, and no explanation can justify the president's refusal to defend our borders. When Bill Clinton sold U.S. classified computer technology to the [Red Chinese], we vowed to never forget his crime. Bush's continuing treachery is every bit as bad... Winning in Iraq won't mean a thing if we lose the battle at home... The survival of the party will be meaningless if we become another Mexico -- corrupt and impoverished. How would you like Nuevo Laredo to be your home-town? Information about Bush's latest 'guest worker plan' is starting to seep out. Those now in the country illegally get a free pass to stay permanently. New guest workers will be allowed to stay for 6 years before they go home -- but who will make them go?... More than 80% of Americans are demanding Bush seal the border at once, but his plan does no such thing because the rich contributors to the Republican Party have become addicted to cheap labor."
Ken Goldstein _Conference Board_
Help-Wanted Advertising Indicators Gave Ground
"Key market indicators gave ground just before the storms and flooding. While print want-ad volume rose a bit in June and July, it sagged to May levels in August. Consumers' concerns about finding a new job were also essentially the same in August as in May, but declined noticeably in September, after the hurricanes and flooding. Latest readings show that job growth has been down-sized significantly. Before the storms, there was a chance for 150K to 175K jobs per month over the near term. However, prospects may now be reduced by as much as half of that."
Frank Barnako _MarketWatch_
USA fights over Internet control: "No intergovernmental body should control the Internet"
"A proposal to establish a new international group to manage the Internet has drawn a strong rejection from U.S. negotiators in Geneva. The European Union proposed stripping the Commerce Department and the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers of authority over domain name management and other regulatory tasks. David Gross, the State Department official in charge of America's international communications policy, reacted saying, 'No intergovernmental body should control the Internet, whether it's the United Nations or any other' according to the International Herald Tribune. He said such a system would lead to unnecessary bureaucracy."
Despite poor job performance, US down-sizing and cuts in production employee compensation, Gates & Ballmer got 11% pay raises
"Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer each [were given] $1M last year, an 11% raise over the previous fiscal year, M$ reported in a regulatory filing Wednesday. Gates, the software company's chairman, and Ballmer, its chief executive, each [was given] a salary of $600K and a bonus of $400K for the company's 2005 fiscal year ended June 30. Ballmer also received $6,300 in matching 401(k) contributions and $2,773 in other benefits. Gates received $2,469 in other benefits, the company said. For the current fiscal year, the company said in a separate filing that the executives will [be given] base salaries of $620K and will be eligible for bonuses of up to 120% of their salaries. In its proxy statement, the company also disclosed that Gates owned 9.55% of M$ shares, while Ballmer owns 3.85%."
Fractured States of America
"You won't see the H-1B, H-2B and L-1 visas stop because corporations make more billions while Americans stand in unemployment lines."
Maggie McNeil _MarketWatch_
UMich sentiment index unchanged at 76.9
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Personal income down 0.1%: Spending down 0.5%
BEA news release
Michael Baron _MarketWatch_
P&G acquisition of Gillette cleared by FTC
Though both firms have long had good reputations based on the quality of their products, they have been under a shadow in recent years because of their enthusiastic adoption of RFID privacy violation systems.
"Cincinnati-based P&G -- which makes [Ivory soap], Tide detergent, Folgers coffee, Pampers diapers and numerous other brands -- struck a deal to acquire Boston-based Gillette in January for around $57G in stock. Best-known for its wet-shave razors, Gillette also makes Duracell batteries, Braun electric razors and small appliances, and Oral-B dental-care products... 'We are excited that we can now move on to the Gillette closing and integration.', said A.G. Lafley, chairman, president, and CEO of P&G, in a statement."
US Trade Negotiators offer more H-1B visas in exchange for agriculture concessions, thus driving the US economy furhter back from the cutting edge
"...win over [allegedly less developed] countries so that they tone down their agressive position on WTO farm negotiations by offering to increase the quota of temporary H-1B visas..."
Enquirer 80 up 0.81%
"The Enquirer 80 index of local interest stocks was up 2.27 points, or 0.81%, to close Thursday at 283.67. 57 issues were up, 19 were down and 4 were unchanged. Leading gainers were Toyota Motors, up $2.68 to $93.96; Chiquita, up $1.80 to $27.76; PNC Financial, up $1.48 to $58.47; NS Group, up $1.40 to $38.73; Midland, up 99 cents to $35.49. Biggest laggers were Rex Stores, down 85 cents to $13.10; Griffon Corp., down 66 cents to $24.14; Pomeroy IT Solutions, down 49 cents to $11.31; Humana, down 47 cents to $48.59; LCA-Vision, down 29 cents to $36.49."
Leslie Wines _MarketWatch_
Stocks close higher for the quarter
"The Dow industrials closed up 15.92 points at 10,568.70, up 0.8% for the month and up 2.9% from the second quarter. It was the blue chip index's first quarterly gain of the year. The S&P 500 Index, a gauge of the broader market, closed up 1.13 points at 1,228.81, giving it a 0.7% gain for the month of September for a second year in a row. The index logged a 3.1% gain for the third quarter, marking a second quarter of rises. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed up 10.47 points at 2,151.69, making for a small 0.1% loss for the month but a 4.6% gain for the quarter. There were more than 1.54G shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with rising stocks outnumbering decliners by 20 to 12. On the Nasdaq, more than 1.65G shares were traded; advancing shares led falling stocks by 17 to 12."
Lawrence W. Reed _Mackinac Center for Public Policy_
Great Myths of the Great Depression (pdf)
"the average rate increased from 20% to 34% on agricultural products; from 36% to 47% on wines, spirits, and beverages; from 50% to 60% on wool and woolen manufactures. In all, 887 tariffs were sharply increased and the act broadened the list of dutiable commodities to 3,218 items. A crucial part of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff was that many tariffs were for a specific amount of money rather than a percentage of the price. As prices fell by half or more during the Great Depression, the effective rate of these specific tariffs doubled, increasing the protection afforded under the act... Before its passage, clocks had faced a tariff of 45%; the act raised that to 55%, plus as much as another $4.50 per clock. Tariffs on corn and butter were roughly doubled. Even sauerkraut was tariffed for the first time... Most of the 60K people employed in U.S. plants making cheap clothing out of imported wool rags went home jobless after the tariff on wool rags rose by 140%."
Heather MacDonald _City Journal_
Mexico's Undiplomatic Diplomats
coming 2005 October 21
others Coming Soon
"[B]ig-league politicians who covet the Oval Office want power 1st & treat everything after that as negotiable, depending on prevailing political winds." --- Isaac Kramnick & R. Laurence Moore 1996 _The Godless Constitution_ pg 159
jgo Econ Data
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