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updated: 2018-06-20
2002 September
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  "Taxes upon consumption, from their very nature, never can effectually be carried into operation without vesting the officers appointed to collect them with powers most dangerous to the civil right of freemen, and must in the end destroy the liberties of every country in which they are introduced." --- _Gazette of the US_ 1792 September  


Dice Report: 28,530 job ads

body shop13,909

Michael Kinsman _San Diego Union-Tribune_ Despite San Diego's low jobless rate, workers are settling for less & enduring lengthy searches


Barry Serafin _abc News_
Show Me the Money: Workers Sue Companies for Lack of Overtime Pay

Mike Cassidy _SiliconValley.com_/_San Jose Mercury News_
Lucky enough to have a job?   If you do, labor to keep it

2002-09-02 06:41PDT (09:41EDT) (13:41GMT)

Who's watching you?   A surveillance society: Tracking technologies abound in everyday life


2002-09-03 05:00PDT (08:00EDT) (12:00GMT)
Davide Dukcevich _Forbes_ America's Best-Paying & Worst-Paying Jobs

2002-09-03 07:33PDT (10:33EDT) (14:33GMT)
_USA Today_/_AP_ Governments, technologists battle over Net censorship
"VietNam's government tries to block its citizens from such US-based Web sites as the one run by expatriate Pham Ngoc whose pro-democracy rantings it considers dangerous and subversive...   But lately, governments in such countries as Vietnam, China & Saudi Arabia have gotten smarter about blocking those proxies as well.   And that's forcing technologists to devise new ways of evading the censors...   Internet censorship is on the rise...   A 2001 February report from Paris-based Reporters Without Borders found censorship in 58 countries, including China, Vietnam and Tunisia...   Early this year, the Chinese government took 24 hours to discover new proxies...   Then it gradually went to 12 hours, 6 hours, now it's 15 minutes...   Other countries like Cuba & Iraq make accessing the Internet so expensive & difficult that it is effectively censored for the majority...   SafeWeb developed Triangle Boy, in which hundreds of volunteers in open societies serve as proxies for the SafeWeb proxy.   If a government discovers & blocks one, another volunteer would come along.   Other systems in development include Peekabooty & Flyster, which incorporate peer-to-peer technologies.   The idea is to clone a sensitive Web site on numerous, networked computers, frustrating those manning the filters.   Other systems such as Camera/Shy, Tangler and Freenet are also being built to slip sensitive documents through filters.   Money is the biggest obstacle for the volunteers and start-up companies involved.   Congress allocated $10M last year for the Voice of America & sister organizations to better reach audiences in Red China & Russia.   But only a small amount is going to fight Internet censorship in Red China, through partnerships with Anonymizer and SafeWeb."

Dot-com job cuts ease


2002-09-03 21:01PDT (2002-09-04 00:01EDT) (2002-09-04 04:01GMT)
Cecily Fraser 2002-09-04 00:01 ET CBS.MarketWatch.com
Salaries seen rising in 2003: Only 1% of employers plan to freeze pay, survey finds
"Pay increases for salaried & non-union hourly employees are seen averaging 3.85% in 2003, up from 3.55% this year...   Executive pay-checks will again see the biggest bump, rising 4.1% in 2003 vs. 3.8% last year...   2001, base salary increases were about 4.25% for salaried employees, 4% for non-union hourly workers & 4.5% for executives...   Major cities seen beating the national average are Houston at 4.6%, Milwaukee at 4.4%, Washington at 4.2% & Atlanta, Boston & San Francisco at 4%.   Salaried employees in Chicago, Dallas, New York, & Philadelphia should see increases at or just below 3.9% national average."

2002-09-03 21:03PDT (2002-09-04 00:03EDT) (2002-09-04 04:03GMT)
Mike Tarsala _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Software could again see 1990s boom: Optimists see parallels to last recession
"Robin Roberts, an analyst with Stephens Inc, an investment bank in Little Rock, AR... sees the same type of research & development spending, product upgrade cycles, & software stock values today that she saw at the start of the 1990s...   Software research labs in 2002 have put out some of their best work in years - even though overall R&D spending is down from last year, says Tim Bajarin, analyst with Creative Strategies, a market research firm in Campbell, CA... More than half of corporate executives will spend less than allocated in their tech budgets for the rest of the year, according to a Goldman Sachs survey."

2002-09-04 02:38PDT (05:38EDT) (09:38GMT)
Chris Plummer _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Sparing ourselves nightmares: Why we rarely dream about money
"Yet in traumatic situations, money trouble can produce nightmares, as Jerry Kroth [family therapist & professor at Santa Clara University in California] discovered in querying 28 stockbrokers in 2000 April after the worst week for the Dow in 11 years."

Maki Becker & Greg Gittrich _NY Daily News_
Hopeful signs that a scrap of Liberty remains: Weapons still fly at airports
"Carry-on bags concealing potentially deadly weapons.   Six major airlines.   Eleven airports.   Fourteen flights.   And not once did anyone catch on."

_abc News_
plug pulled on federal tech training program
alternate link
"Just as the government-funded technical training program is taking off, President Bush has pulled the plug.   It's part of a nationwide program, born of a political compromise.   For a fee, American companies were allowed to get more specialty visas, known as 'H-1B' visas, for skilled foreigners to fill vacant positions.   That money was then funneled into a program to train American workers for the same type of jobs with a view to reducing the need for foreign workers in this field in the long term.
  The reliance on foreign workers has become a... controversial issue for the companies doing the hiring from over-seas...   The Information Technology Association of America, even in its latest survey, says companies it polled say nearly 600K jobs will go unfilled in the IT field this year due to a lack of qualified applicants...
  But with the tech bust of the past few years and tech companies alone laying off more than 500K workers since last year, it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to argue they need to bring in more foreign labor.   The H-1B legislation is up for renewal in 2003, when many expect the cap for those visas to be dramatically reduced.   Employers involved with the job training program funded from the H-1B fees told ABCNEWS the homegrown graduates were just what they needed."

Bruce Mehlman, assistant secretary of commerce for technology policy 202-482-6185
(quoted in Sigurd R. Nilsen 202-512-7215, Joan T. Mahagan 617-565-7532 & Laura Heald
GAO report on use of H-1B fees for training (pdf)
"In 2001, the Department of labor's Current Population Survey indicated that employment in IT occupations declined by 1.6%, after recording 10.9% compounded annual growth from 1995 to 2000...   this would argue strongly against a current shortage in IT occupations broadly."


2002-09-04 21:20PDT (2004-09-05 00:20EDT) (2002-09-05 04:20GMT)
Andrea Coombes _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Plastic reigns over cashless society: But biometrics, transponders offer peek into a horrific future
"Debit cards are increasing in popularity -- at the rate of 30% to 40% per year according to some estimates...   A recent Federal Reserve Board study found that U.S. businesses & consumers made a total of 29.5G electronic payments worth $7.3 trillion in 2000, including credit, debit & ATM cards, & business-to-business money transfers among others...   An estimated 700K employees nationwide use Comdata's paycheck card, said Mike Brewer, spokesman at Comdata, a subsidiary of pay-roll-service provider Ceridian...   Paychex said it covers about 10K employees with its version of the product...
  'Tens of millions of drivers' nationwide already avoid long lines by going through electronic toll booths, said Patrick Jones, executive director of the International Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association.   But he said an increasing number of them are being offered 'open road tolling', in which cat-walks above the road hold devices that can read transponders in cars going at highway speeds...
  And experts say workers offered pay-check cards should proceed with caution.   First, workers with bank accounts should consider that money held in the card account does not accrue interest.   And, while the cards give workers without bank accounts relief from the steep costs of check-cashing outlets, they also often come with charges of their own, to the tune of about $2 per cash withdrawal."

2002-09-05 08:55PDT (11:55EDT) (15:55GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Seasonally adjusted 4-week average of unemployment insurance claims tops 400K: Busy data day points to tepid economic growth
"The moving average for first-time claims for state jobless benefits rose by 5,250 to 400K, the Labor Department said.   It's the highest since June 8.   The moving average has risen by 19,500 in the past 4 weeks, a trend that indicates growing lay-offs.   Claims peaked at 482K last October.   In the week ending August 31, first-time claims fell by 8K to 403K from the upwardly revised 411K (which was a three-month high).   Meanwhile in the week ending August 24, the 4-week average for continuing state claims rose by 20K to 3.54K, a 6-week high.   The figures do not include some 1.1M workers receiving extended federal benefits.   With productivity accelerating, firms can afford to cut their pay-rolls without sacrificing output.   'Companies are doing more, with fewer people.', said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.   Higher productivity should be a positive for profits."


2002-09-06 08:21PDT (11:21EDT) (15:21GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Unemployment rate sinks to 5.7%: Summer job growth slightly stronger than forecast
"A total of 39K jobs were added to non-farm pay-rolls in August following a revised 67K gain in July...   Read the full BLS release. Pay-roll gains in June and July were revised higher by 29K.   In the past 4 months, the economy has added 162K jobs, partially reversing the 1.1M jobs lost in the past year...   unemployment fell by 203K to 8.14M while 429K new jobs were added...   'While the monthly household survey is notoriously volatile, it is encouraging that the drop was driven by a huge increase in the number of people who say they are employed, rather than by discouraged workers leaving the workforce.', said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial...   The number of unemployed who've been out of work for longer than 27 weeks fell by 59K in August to 1.47M.   Some of those may have left the labor force because they are discouraged about finding a job...   temporary help services added 51K jobs...   Health care services added 26K jobs...   Construction firms added 34K jobs...   In manufacturing, job losses accelerated to 68K...   Since last August, 844K factory jobs have been lost.   The average workweek in the factory sector rose by 6 minutes to 40.8 hours...   Factory overtime averaged 4.2 hours, up 12 minutes.   Equally troubling, retail firms slashed 55K jobs, bringing the total jobs lost in the sector in the past year to 267K."

Dawn Gilbertson _Arizona Republic_
Forecast: Slow recovery: Tourism & tech still smarting
"The state shed 25K jobs in the 12 months through July, for a job growth rate of negative 1.1%."

Sharon Gaudin _CIO Update_
Lay-Offs Continue to Torment Dot-Com Sector
"Dot-com firms in August cut 1,193 jobs.   That's just 557 fewer lay-offs than the 1,750 job cuts the sector suffered in July...   The August figure was 76% lower than the 4,899 dot-com job-cut announcements in the same month a year ago.   Dot-coms have announced 10,550 lay-offs in 2002, which is well below the 2001 level.   Through 2001 August, job cuts in this sector totaled 87,795.   By the end of 2001, job cuts reached 100,925.   This year dot-com job cuts are on pace to stay below 16K...   Together, services and technology firms announced 1,160 job cuts or 97% of the month's total...   Challenger Gray & Christmas has recorded 152,990 cuts since the company began tracking dot-com job cuts in 1999 December."

Kevin Ferguson _Silicon Valley Business Ink_
Signs of hope on employment front
"Employers in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, one of the nation's hardest hit regions, are expecting double-digit increases in employment this fall, according to a survey of 16K employers in 400 U.S. markets by Manpower Inc., a New York-based staffing company...   The survey showed mixed results for San Francisco, where 43% of employers say they plan to expand, but 35% warn of job cuts.   Although in the tech sector, job opportunities still look bleak, as software and hardware sales remain flat, causing tech companies to be cautious about increasing pay-roll."

2002-09-06 10:15PDT (13:15EDT) (17:15GMT)
Bambi Francisco _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Google's killer brand
Neilsen/NetRatings Top 25 Parent Companies
"In January, Google's search ranked No. 4 behind Yahoo at 34.8M unique users while MSN and AOL.com ranked second and third, respectively, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.   But Google has surpassed AOL by ranking third behind Yahoo and MSN in both February and July of this year...   Already, in order to support its growth, Schmidt has grown the company from 190 employees when he first arrived in 2001 March to more than 500 today."


2002-09-07 02:49PDT (05:49EDT) (09:49GMT)
Jeffry Bartash _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Jobs data hopeful, but not conclusive: Recovery unlikely to gather steam without more hiring
"A mild improvement in the U.S. employment picture gave stocks a boost to end the week, but the economy needs to start adding a lot more jobs to protect the fragile recovery.   Granted, the Labor Department has reported four straight months of national job gains.   That ended 14 consecutive months of losses.   And in a surprise, the unemployment rate in August fell to 5.7% from 5.9%...   Donald Straszheim of Straszheim Global Advisors... calculates that the U.S. would need to add 115K jobs a month just to keep up with the growth in the labor force."

Siobhan Hughes _Bloomberg_
Rising Un-Employment Rate Encourages Self-Employment
"she joined the ranks of workers who are choosing self-employment in a sluggish economy...   The highest un-employment rate in more than 4 years is also encouraging other Americans -- many of them former employees at Internet companies -- to start their own businesses.   In the past year, some employees who quit or were fired have opened restaurants, become Web-design contractors, or created boat-repair shops.   That suggests that self-employment, which dropped to a record low in 2000, may start to rise.   The share of discharged managers and executives who started their own business rose to 7.95% in the second quarter from 7.8% in the prior 3 months, according to a quarterly survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc."



2002-09-09 08:46PDT (11:46EDT) (15:46GMT)
Bambi Francisco _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
On-line advertising recovery is elusive
"Overall advertising in the U.S. for all companies is expected to be up around 2% to 3K this year, after declining 6.5K in 2001, the first time advertising dropped since 1991 when U.S. advertising spending fell 1.6K.   That decline was the first drop since advertising in the U.S. fell in 1961."

Tony Parsons _London Times Mirror_
A Friendly Word with Uncle Sam
"The British should be against a war with Iraq not because we are America's enemies but because we are its friends...   Many more hate America out of envy - the title of a best-selling book in India is _Yanks Go Home - And Take Me With You_.   But there are millions of us who love America - who consider the USA our best friend, a beacon of freedom, democracy & happiness in a largely wicked, undemocratic, cruel world.   America is not perfect.   But its people are the most generous and welcoming in the world.   It pours billions of dollars of aid into countries that burn its flag (the sight of that brave, decent man Colin Powell being booed at the Earth Summit was all the reason anyone needs to boycott this Third World farce).   America is the most benevolent superpower that ever existed.   How would the old Soviet Union have reacted to the murderous assault of September 11?   How would [Red China]?   How, indeed, would the British of Empire and Queen Victoria?"

Diane Rezendes Khirallah _InformationWeek_
Tech Degree Pays, But Hiring's Tight: Students who specialize in technology command higher starting salaries.
"A job candidate holding a traditional MBA can expect to earn anywhere between $40K & $55K in his or her first year.   But a graduate with a technical MBA can earn between $55K & $78K, according to the survey, conducted for The New York Times Job Market by Beta Research Corp...   Some 46% of the hiring managers surveyed say that at the graduate level, they're more likely to seek out traditional MBA students.   Among undergrads, 43% of the managers say they're hiring those with business degrees, followed by liberal arts degrees (29%), & those with technical degrees (24%)...   Credentials aside, what do hiring managers look for in terms of professional attributes?   Nearly 90% cite sound ethics...   [Jennifer] Lacy expects ethics will level off but remain pretty high, at around 75%.   About 70% of managers look for people who can work on multiple tasks simultaneously & work well in teams.   And in what may seem to be a contradiction in terms, more than half want their new hires to be ready to think strategically, but also pay their dues by taking on grunt work willingly.   Lacy is surprised about one finding: Companies are still recruiting on campus, & salaries are healthy."


2002-09-09 20:51PDT (23:51EDT) (2002-09-10 03:51GMT)
Thomas A. Forgarty _USA Today_
Home foreclosures at 30-year high
"During April, May & June, 1.23% of mortgages -- about 640K -- were in the foreclosure process.   That's the highest rate in its 30 years of tracking, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Monday.   A year earlier, not even 1% of mortgages were in foreclosure...   In addition to high overall numbers of borrowers in foreclosure, the quarter also saw the highest percentage against whom foreclosure was initiated -- 0.4%.   The MBA survey also recorded an increase in homeowners more than 30 days behind in scheduled house payments, but not yet far enough behind to face foreclosure.   On a seasonally adjusted basis, 4.77% of mortgage borrowers were delinquent in the April-June quarter, vs. 4.65% the previous quarter.   The delinquency rate remains below records of the mid-1980s, when it ran 6%-plus."

Sangeeta Kulkarni _Economic Times_
cross-border "IT" bodyshops fired up again, start hiring
"Infosys, for instance, has accepted 1,350 offers it made in 2000 - 2001 expects to recruit more by 2003 March...   Wipro added 919 people in 2002 April-June and is recruiting another 2K in batches to ensure proper induction of the freshers...   Mumbai-based TCS (Tata Consultancy Services), the country's No 1 software services exporter, hired more than 3K people in the past year and expects a similar trend this year too.   Over 1,500 new recruits came on board in TCS in the first quarter and it intends to recruit over 3K this year as well -- including trainees as well as experienced middle management."

2002-09-10 01:33PDT (04:33EDT) (08:33GMT)
Republic of China denounces Red Chinese "terrorism"


2002-09-10 21:39PDT (2002-09-11 00:39EDT) (2002-09-11 04:39GMT)
William Spain _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Ad agencies face two hurdles: Taste, revenue become more important
"Tinkering with the message is something ad execs know how to do.   But the attacks and the corporate-scandal-driven market melt-down that followed put the financial squeeze on big ad agencies and highlighted problems that could be ignored during the previous boom years.   In response, 'they have applied the standard solution to the turn-down', said Graham Phillips, former head of agencies Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam.   'Cutting jobs.   It has always been the solution.   I did it myself.   But I am not sure it is the right one.'"

Urmi A. Goswami _The Economic Times_ US to cut H-1B visas to 65K

2002-09-11 07:27PDT (10:27EDT) (14:27GMT)
Barbara Gomolski, an analyst with IT research firm Gartner; quoted in Chris Plummer _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Rebels with a cause: Mid-managers may drive tech-spending rise
"The trouble is, CEOs & CFOs don't look at technology as an investment now, they only see it as an expense."

2002-09-11 07:27PDT (10:27EDT) (14:27GMT)
Chris Plummer _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Rebels with a cause: Mid-managers may drive tech-spending rise
"senior executives routinely deny requests for hardware or software purchases if the expense doesn't produce immediate revenue gains or, better yet, inure directly to the bottom line...   Ultimately, it's the CEOs now gumming up the works, in part because many feel short-changed by the massive amounts spent on the latest-and-greatest technology that didn't deliver...   Gartner sees corporate tech spending rising a modest 5% in 2003, up from 1% growth this year.   The estimated $1T total spending will be put to broader, more productive use than in recent years, such as wasted e-commerce efforts in 2000 & Y2K-preparation in 1999."

Tony Parsons _London Times Mirror_
Shame on You American-Hating Liberals
"There has always been a simmering resentment to the USA in this country - too loud, too rich, too full of themselves and so much happier than Europeans - but it has become an epidemic...   The anti-American alliance is made up of self-loathing liberals who blame the Americans for every ill in the Third World, and conservatives suffering from power-envy, bitter that the world's only superpower can do what it likes without having to ask permission.
  The truth is that America has behaved with enormous restraint since September 11...   America has never retaliated for 9/11 in anything like the way it could have...   AMERICA could have turned a large chunk of the world into a parking lot.   That it didn't is a sign of strength.
  American voices are already being raised against attacking Iraq - that's what a democracy is for.
  How many in the Islamic world will have a minute's silence for the slaughtered innocents of 9/11?   How many Islamic leaders will have the guts to say that the mass murder of 9/11 was an abomination? When the news of 9/11 broke on the West Bank, those freedom-loving Palestinians were dancing in the street.   America watched all of that - and didn't push the button.
  We should thank the stars that America is the most powerful nation in the world.   I still find it incredible that 9/11 did not provoke all-out war.   Not a 'war on terrorism'.   A real war.   The fundamentalist dudes are talking about 'opening the gates of hell', if America attacks Iraq.   Well, America could have opened the gates of hell like you wouldn't believe...
  Above all, America is hated because it is what every country wants to be - rich, free, strong, open, optimistic.   Not ground down by the past, or religion, or some caste system.   America is the best friend this country ever had & we should start remembering that."

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_/_IDG_
GAO to study impact of H-1B program on hiring
"George McClure, who heads the career policy committee of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers Inc., points to rising unemployment numbers for computer & electronics engineers, along with reports from IEEE members who say they have lost jobs to H-1B workers.   'We've got lots of unemployed members ... who can do the jobs that they are bringing in H-1Bs for.', said McClure.   He said he has heard from engineers who were instructed to train H-1B visa holders & were then laid off...   U.S. representatives James Barcia & Lynn Rivers, both Michigan Democrats & House Science Committee members, requested the GAO study a year ago."


2002-09-12 05:55PDT (08:55EDT) (12:55GMT)
_USA Today_/_Reuters_
Jobless claims hit highest level in more than 4 months
"Initial jobless claims climbed 19K to a seasonally adjusted 426K for the week ended September 7, the highest level since April 20 when claims hit 427K, the Labor Department said...   The number of workers remaining on state jobless aid rose by 38K to 3.6M, for the week ended August 31, the latest week for which the data were available."

2002-09-12 06:00PDT (09:00EDT) (13:00GMT)
Current account trade deficit widens to record $130B
The Commerce Department reported that the 'current account' deficit in the April-June (2nd) quarter rose to a record $130G.

2002-09-12 07:00PDT (10:00EDT) (14:00GMT)
Testimony of Chairman Alan Greenspan: Current fiscal issues Before the Committee on the Budget, U.S. House of Representatives

2002-09-12 08:33PDT (11:33EDT) (15:33GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Greenspan wants budget discipline: Urges Congress to restore balanced budgets
"Greenspan said the government should adopt accrual accounting, which would force it to put its obligations to retirees through Social Security and Medicare on the books -- a political football in Washington for well over a decade."


2002-09-12 21:01PDT (2002-09-13 00:01EDT) (2002-09-13 04:01GMT)
Rachel Konig _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Economy's fix is time, experts say: Capital spending, job growth, Iraq policy among risks
"Tell a laid-off assembly worker or a soon-to-be retiree that the economy is stronger & you'll likely get a dirty look.   Or a punch in the nose...   The number of workers involuntarily working part-time rose by 111K to its highest level since December last month, noted Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy & Research."

Caren Bohan _Forbes_/Reuters
WRAPUP 1-U.S. consumers spend heartily, shrug off worries
"Data from the Commerce Department [show] a 0.8% jump in August retail sales...   August's bigger-than-expected retail sales gain came on the back of gains of 1.1% in July and 1.4% in June...   The University of Michigan's preliminary September consumer sentiment index fell to 86.2, still at its lowest level since November 2001, from a final reading of 87.6 in August, market sources said on Friday...   Excluding automobiles, retail sales rose 0.4% after a 0.2% increase in July and a 0.4% rise in June...   Indeed, sales of clothing and accessories were weak, falling 0.3% after a 1.1% drop in July.   Purchases of furniture... grew 1.7% in August following a 0.7% drop in July...   General merchandise sales edged up 0.6%, while sales related to sporting goods and hobbies jumped 2.9%.   Same-store sales reports from retailers... came in below expectations in August, leading to predictions the government's data would show weakness in sales outside of the booming auto sector.   Retailers on average reported same-store sales rose 1.6% in August, versus a 3.6% increase a year ago, according to
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi."

2002-09-13 10:50PDT (13:50EDT) (17:50GMT)
Tom Floris of _Vogue_ on CNBC PowerLunch
"Retail has been soft since May of 2000."

Camille Luckenbaugh & Mimi Collins _NACE_
Starting Salaries for New Grads NACE 2002-2003 outlook
Economics & Finance$39,961




Evelyn Iritani _Los Angeles Times_
Lines Are Drawn in Debate on U.S. Tariffs
"Three decades of trade liberalization have lowered the average U.S. tariff to 1.6%.   But the highest fees, ranging from 10% to 48%, are found on inexpensive consumer goods such as clothing, shoes and small household items whose production is concentrated in lower-wage countries.   Those tariffs add up to about $20G a year.   Critics argue that tariffs have failed miserably in their original purpose: to protect U.S. jobs by making imports more expensive.   The U.S. footwear industry, for example, has nearly vanished, with imports claiming 95% of the market.   In 1968, U.S. footwear makers operated 1,200 domestic plants employing 250K people.   Today, there are fewer than 40 companies employing 28K people, mostly in specialty items such as work boots...   the tariff on imported fabric shoes selling for less than $3 a pair is a whopping 48%, but an additional 90 cents per pair is tacked on for shoes between $3 and $6.   'We must stay below $3, otherwise the cost is too high for them to sell.', said Chu, who was displaying his wares at the recent China Name Brand Products Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center...   Imported shoes made of leather carry a tariff rate of 10% while rubberized canvas shoes have a tariff rate of 48%.   Silver-handled forks have no tariff, but cheap stainless steel forks carry 15% tariffs.   Women's silk underwear is taxed at a rate of 2.4% while polyester underwear carries a 16.2% tariff."

David Holcberg _Ayn Rand Institute_
U.S. Should Eliminate All Barriers to Free Trade


Patricia Keefe _ComputerWorld_
Mapping IT's Future


2002-09-17 06:15PDT (09:15EDT) (13:15GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Industrial production fell 0.3%: First decline in output since 2001 December
"Output of U.S. factories, mines & utilities fell 0.3% in August, the first decline since December, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.   Output from factories fell 0.1%, also the first decline this year.   Production from utilities fell back 2.5% on slightly cooler weather.   Output from mines rose 0.8%."

2002-09-17 12:45:39PDT (15:45:39EDT) (19:45:39GMT)
Russ Britt _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Energy firms withheld needed power in 2000-2001 California Public Utility Commission reports

Federal Reserve Statistical Release: Industrial Production & Capacity Utilization
"Industrial production fell 0.3% in August, its first decline since 2001 December & a partial reversal of the 0.4% increase now reported for July.   At 140.5% of its 1992 average, industrial production in August was 2.8% above its 2001 December trough.   Manufacturing output decreased 0.1% in August, while production at mines rose 0.8%.   Although temperatures in August were still relatively high, the output of utilities dropped back 2.5% from July's elevated level.
  Capacity utilization for total industry was 76.0%, a rate that has remained essentially flat for the last 3 months...   The output of consumer goods fell 0.5% in August as the result of broad declines in the production of both durable & non-durable goods.   Consumer durables dropped 0.9%; the largest decrease in the sector was for miscellaneous consumer goods.   Automotive products, which posted sizable gains in June & July, decreased 0.5%.   Output also declined in the other major market groups within consumer durables--home electronics & appliances, furniture, & carpeting.   Production of non-energy non-durables fell 0.2%; all major sectors posted declines except paper products, which has risen in each of the last 4 months.   The output of consumer energy products, which includes electricity for residential use, dropped sharply [for August] after July's unseasonably warm weather.   The production of business equipment fell 0.4% in August...
  The factory operating rate was 74.4% in August, a rate nearly 6.5 percentage points below its 1967-2001 average & only 1.0 percentage point above its level at the beginning of this year.   The utilization rates for the primary-processing & for the advanced-processing industries were essentially unchanged.   The utilization rate for the selected high-technology industries rose slightly as the utilization rate for semiconductor producers increased for a ninth month.   The operating rate at mines also edged up, to 85.4%, but the rate at utilities fell to 86.3%."

_San Diego Union-Tribune_
San Diego to mull red light cameras today
Contact San Diego government

Angela Shah _Dallas Morning News_
Half of long-time jobless wear white collars: Professionals are having difficulty returning to work, analyst says
"Nearly half of Americans who have been out of work for at least 6 months are from professional ranks ‚Äì the highest in 20 years, according to an analysis of government employment statistics by out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas...   Of those jobless for more than 27 weeks, the percentage who were white-collar workers jumped from 38% in 2001 to 48% in 2002 [compared to 42.5% in 1992]...   In August, more than 1.5M Americans had been unemployed for 6 months or more -- 81% more than a year ago."

Christine Hall _CyberCast News Service_
Law Students Want Campus Gun Ban Lifted
"After 2 armed southwest Virginia law students stopped a campus shooting rampage in January, a Second Amendment group at a northern Virginia law school decided it was time to change their own school's ban on guns."

Public Agenda, John S. & James L. Knight Foundation, Knight Ridder/Tribune/Boston Sun
Few know Constitution well, poll says: On 215th anniversary, most agree with document but few claim expertise
"- 66% said the United States should help other countries replicate the Constitution only if they ask.
- 41% say the right to privacy is threatened, and another 24% believe the right has been lost.
- 57% see banks and credit card companies as the biggest threats to privacy, and 29% see the federal government as the biggest threat.
- Freedom of the press is the least popular right guaranteed by the Constitution, with 43% saying the Founding Fathers went too far.
- The right to keep and bear arms is the most divisive, with 32% saying it goes too far and 26% saying it has been too restricted."

Ginny Merriam _Missoulian_
New look at Montana's homeless
  ALPHA PROJECT: president Bob McElroy heads up this non-profit group that helps homeless in SD.
1620 Fifth Ave #100; San Diego, CA 92101
Call 619-542-1877
"One-fourth of the 2,229 homeless people in Montana live in Missoula, according to the latest state count...   The count was taken in April, but the numbers were just released."

2002-09-17 06:15PDT (09:15EDT) (13:15GMT)
Joel Mowbray _Town Hall_
freedom denied
"Only days before the anniversary of the 2001 September 11 attacks on the United States, the US State Department helped the House of Saud to keep 2 Americans from the very freedom for which we are fighting in the War on Terror.   A recent memo sent to State Department head-quarters in Washington DC from a US consular officer in London shows that the department wasted a unique opportunity to move the 2 now-adult daughters of Patricia Roush, Alia and Aisha, closer to freedom -- and in fact, State did the opposite.   Held hostage in Saudi Arabia since being kidnapped from their suburban Chicago home by their Saudi national father in 1986, Alia and Aisha recently were unwittingly involved in an international fiasco master-minded by the Hous of Saud...


2002-09-17 21:05PDT (2002-09-18 00:05EDT) (2002-09-18 04:05GMT)
Mike Tarsala _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
The IPO market is as sleazy as ever: Bill Hambrecht's on a quest for integrity

2002-09-18 06:50PDT (09:50EDT) (13:50GMT)
Steve Forbes _CNBC Squawk Box_
"When you get a bear market, confidence comes when the stock market goes up.   The market up-turn precedes the confidence."

Laura DeFrancesco _The Scientist_
Red Chinese transcript fraud case
"Last spring, Access administrators discovered that a Red Chinese student already accepted into the program had submitted a fraudulent transcript.   After offering the student a place in an entering class, the admissions committee received an anonymous e-mail tip that the stamps on the transcript, meant to indicate authenticity, had been faked...   a recent investigation by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), which administers the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), found that test scores from 40 countries showed a suspicious pattern in the Far East, indicating that test questions and answers were being shared.   ETS notified university admissions officials earlier this year that some GRE scores from Red China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, & Korea may not be valid."


William Safire _NY Times_
The German Problem "Gerhard Schroeder is using it to distract voters from 10% unemployment, 0.5% growth & a dispute about his hair color."

2002-09-19 06:51PDT (09:51EDT) (13:51GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Jobless claims hit 4-month high: Rising lay-offs reflect tepid recovery
"Lay-offs continue to rise, pushing the rolling average of first-time claims for state unemployment benefits up by 7,250 to 418,500, the highest in nearly 4 months, the Labor Department said Thursday.   Initial claims in the week ending September 14 fell by 9K to 424K from the upwardly revised 433K in the previous week.   Last week, the Labor Department had estimated that 426K new claims had been filed...   Meanwhile, unemployed workers are having a hard time finding jobs.   The rolling average of continuing claims rose by 29,500 to 3.562M, the highest since mid-July.   In the week ending September 7, weekly continuing claims rose by 71K to 3.615M, the most since late June.   Continuing claims peaked at about 3.8M in May.   The figures do not include about 1.1M workers receiving extended federal unemployment benefits.   In August, the Labor Department estimated that 8.1M workers were officially classified as unemployed.   Millions more are not currently looking because they don't believe a job is available."

Jack Wheeler _News Max Daily_
America's Saddam Hussein
"The BATF had assaulted the Davidian church complex a month earlier, and the stand-off was ensuing with the final holocaust a month away.   When I asked Joe [who was being considered to be director of the FBI] what he thought of what was going on at Waco, his entire demeanor and body language changed, his face turned purple with rage, and he announced: 'I'll tell you what the FBI should do.   Those people [the Davidians] killed Federal Agents.   We should go in there and kill every last one of them...   You don't understand.   No one can get away with killing Federal Agents.   They all deserve to be killed in return.'...   The FBI man in charge of the siege and final death raid of April 19, Richard Rogers, thought exactly like Joe...   It is important to grasp that what happened in Waco was no accident, that the Davidians were killed on purpose in an act of revenge by the American government."


2002-09-19 21:01PDT (2002-09-20 00:01EDT) (2002-09-20 04:01GMT)
Andrea Coombes _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
A slight tax break: Inflation-related bracket adjustments narrower in 2003
"The latest inflation indexing will mean the 15% tax bracket for a married couple filing jointly will top out at $47,450 for the 2003 tax year, up from $46,700, for a $90 tax savings.   The 27% rate will max out at $114,650 vs. $112,850, for a $54 savings, & the 30% bracket will peak at $174,700, up from $171,950, for a $138 savings.   Taxpayers now within the 15% bracket won't see their rate cut because the initial 10% bracket isn't indexed to inflation...   The standard deduction for married couples filing jointly will jump $100 to $7,950 in 2003, according to RIA.   The deduction for single filers will go to $4,750 from $4,700, & heads-of-household will see their deduction increase to $7K from $6,900.   The personal exemption amount will inch up $50 to $3,050...   Next year, itemized deductions will be limited for households making more than $139,500, compared to $137,300 this year.   A married person filing separately will hit those deduction limits at an income of $69,750, up from $68,650.   And the personal exemption is phased out for married couples filing jointly with an income of $209,250 or more, compared to $206K this year, & for single filers at $139,500, compared to $137,300."
For married couples, filing jointly
For single filers
For heads of household:

Historical Government Extortion Rates
The Century Foundation
History of Federal Extortion Tax with graphs
National TaxVictims Union
History of Federal Individual Income Extortion Top & Bottom Brackets
Personal Exemptions, 1913-2001

Office of Extortion Policy Research, World Extortion data-base
"1913 - Income Tax instituted.   Less than 2% of the population had to pay it.   Income up to $20K was taxable at 1%, and above $500K at 7%.   It exempted the first $3K earned by a single person and the first $4K by married couples.   Since the overwhelming majority of Americans supported families on less than $1K a year, most were exempted from the tax."

GRE Testing in Asia
"GSAS will continue to accept test scores from GRE tests taken before 2002 October 1.   The admissions committees of our departments carefully review all parts of the application.   Test scores on the GRE will have to be supported by academic transcripts, personal statements and writing samples, letters of recommendation, and other information."

Doug Guthrie _Grand Rapids Press_
Truth hurts for potential juror
"Lori Blumke thought she was doing her civic duty last week when she told a judge her recent hard feelings toward police officers might taint her ability to serve as an impartial juror.   She was stunned when David Buter, chief judge of Grand Rapids District Court, declined to excuse her from jury duty.   Instead, he ordered her to perform 24 hours of community service."

_Telecomm TV One_
Convergys faces largest employment law-suit in Scottish history
"The 220 staff, who were made redundant on 28th June by the receivers Deloitte & Touche, and who received no salary for the month, nor redundancy, notice payments nor statutory consultation, are bringing the £8M (US$12M) action.   Three days after the redundancies, the company was sold to US telecoms billing company Convergys for $10M."
WikiPedia: Convergys is a privacy-violation firm derived from the Cincinnati Bell local government-enforced monopoly and its privacy-violation arm, Cincinnati Bell Information Systems, together with MATRIXX/AT&T Solutions Customer Care/AT&T Transtech, DigitalThink, Intervoice, Datacom call center operations, Stream Global Services; with subsidiary operations including Infinys Rating and Billing (IRB), Dynamic Decisioning Solution (DDS), ICOMS, Customer Management Solutions




2002-09-23 08:53PDT (11:53EDT) (15:53GMT)
Margaret Quan _EE Times_
Rose-colored glasses
"National Engineers Week... brings together engineers, corporations, students and teachers to expose young people to engineering through activities, educational programs, contests and award ceremonies.   It's all done to boost public interest in and encourage the study of engineering.   One thing occurred to me as I read the press release about the event: Would students and young people be given the whole story about engineering?   Would the National Engineers Week agenda include any discussion of the rising jobless rate among engineers?   What about the fact that many organizations are moving engineering jobs overseas, especially in design engineering, to lower labor costs?   Or the perception that the EE labor force has become a disposable commodity because corporations no longer want to pay high salaries to U.S. engineers?   Would the students hear about any of that?...   the second quarter saw the number of jobless among all engineering disciplines rise to 85K.   For electrical engineers in particular, it stood at 34K.   Lay-offs among engineering organizations are rampant...   I am all for introducing young people to engineering and technology careers and boosting awareness of those professions, but let's give them the information they need to make an informed choice."

2002-09-23 14:16PDT (17:16EDT) (21:16GMT)
Julie Rannazzisi _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
NASDAQ plunges to 6-year low

Allan Hoffman _Monster.com_
No brainer article
"Specific findings include:


Jeff Johnson _CyberCast News Service_
Ads Compare Union Violence to Corporate Corruption
"[NTU's John] Berthoud agreed that malfeasance by even a few corporate executives is unacceptable, but he stressed that violence committed to achieve a union's goals is equally appalling...   'It is one thing to strike & quite another to engage in criminal activity.', he added."

Karen Alexander _LA Times_
Jobless Are Finding Places in Prayers: During the down-turn in a region known for affluence, employment leads are part of some ministries."
"It was Yom Kippur, Judaism's most holy day of the year, & the message from the pulpit at Congregation Kol Emeth in Silicon Valley last week included this startling & unusual appeal: Your fellow congregants need job leads.   At Congregation Beth Am, another synagogue in nearby Los Altos Hills, Rabbi Janet Marder's sermon on the eve of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, included an urgent plea on behalf of a family in the congregation who desperately needed housing...   In addition to regular meetings at the 2 synagogues, there is an e-mail group for job leads & inquiries that has attracted about 350 members.   And at Calvary Church in Los Gatos, a Baptist congregation, the weekly job support group that began in November with eight people now draws 90 to 100 per meeting."

U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Technology Policy
Understanding BroadBand Demand
"The most obvious factor limiting broadband demand today is cost.   An 2002 August survey by Yankee Group asking dial-up consumers why they were not upgrading to broadband networks found 72% of respondents complaining broadband was 'too expensive'.[9] ('Revamping High-Speed Access Strategies: Tiered Services Hold the Key to Broadband Adoption' Yankee Group, 2002 Aug.).   Many consumers fail to see the value proposition for investing in broadband, considering it a luxury they cannot afford or not yet worth the $45-$55 per month investment.[10]   Some consumers believe that broadband is a workplace technology with little value outside the office (and little interest in bringing work home).   Gartner Group predicted that only 10% of households in France, Germany, and the UK will have broadband access by 2005 unless prices fall.   (Gartner Group, 2002 February).[11]   These sentiments appear to be exacerbated by concerns over price instability – 91% of all broadband providers (that did not go bankrupt in 2001) increased price since the beginning of 2001, by an average of 11.4% for DSL and 16% for cable (ARS research, 2002 May).   Remember too that roughly 40% of Americans have not yet seen the value proposition for subscribing to any Internet service, while almost 75% of dial-up Internet users in the U.S. reported being content with the quality of the service they use in a 2001 Parks Associates Survey. (Parks Associates, 2001 November 11).[12] "

Roy Mark _dc.internet.com_
Demand for IT Workers Drops Sharply


2002-09-24 05:25PDT (08:25EDT) (12:25GMT)
Del Jones _USA Today_
Scandals lead execs to _Atlas Shrugged_
"Executive head-hunter Jeffrey Christian says many of his clients are re-reading the 1,075-page novel to remind themselves that self-interest is not only the right thing to do from an economic standpoint but is moral, as well [so long as you're not defrauding others]."

Alan Greenspan _Federal Reserve Board_
uncertainty persists
"However, considerable uncertainty persists about the extent & timing of the expected pick-up in production & employment owing in part to the emergence of heightened geopolitical risks."

Genaro C. Armas _Detroit Free Press_/_Associated Press_
U.S. poverty up & income down in 2000, Census Bureau says
"There were 32.9M Americans living in poverty last year, up from 31.6M in 2000.   The rate of 11.7% was up from 11.3% the previous year, which was the lowest level since 1974.   The median household income in 2001 declined 2.2% to $42,228, the second straight drop, according to the bureau."

Robert Tracinski _The Intellectual Activist_
Enron vs. Atlas
"But there is a specific element of the novel's plot that is particularly relevant to today's events.   Ayn Rand shows us two kinds of businessmen, exemplified by 2 of her characters, a brother and sister who are heirs to a railroad empire.   The sister is the novel's heroine, the Operating Vice President who literally keeps the trains running on time.   Her brother, James Taggart, is only good at running to Washington."


2002-09-25 14:47PDT (17:47EDT) (21:47GMT)
Jon Swartz _USA Today_
Resources dry up as joblessness drags on
"Nationwide, the number of people who have been jobless for long periods has risen to its highest level since 1994.   Almost 1.5M people have been out of work for more than 6 months, up 80% from a year ago, the Department of Labor says.   Especially hard hit: workers in telecom & tech, 2 fast-growth industries of the 1990s that have since suffered unprecedented downturns...   Hires of high-tech workers plunged 27% to 834,727 this year..."

Jennifer Bjorhus _San Jose Mercury News_
U.S. workers taking H-1B issues to court
printable plain text version
"No one knows how many US workers are reporting this problem.   Complaints made to the federal government are not public until they are resolved, and few have been.   The Mercury News has found scores of complaints at attorneys' offices and government agencies nationwide, from the EEOC to the Department of Justice and Department of Labor, the top enforcer of the H-1B program.   None of the agencies responsible for investigating complaints tracks them.   What's clear is that employers continued hiring H-1B workers during a period of mass lay-offs.   Silicon Valley's top 10 tech companies alone hired at least 2K H-1B workers last year -- when they shed more than 41K jobs...   Three university studies and H-1B salary data from the Immigration and Naturalization Service indicate that H-1B engineers and programmers are paid 15% to 30% less...   He came to work in February to find everyone packing their boxes.   Toshiba was out-sourcing the division to an India-based technology services company, Infosys, which employs H-1B workers in the United States...   [He] said Toshiba asked him to stay for 3 weeks to do 'knowledge transfer' with Infosys employee Rakesh Gollapalli, who told him he had an H-1B visa.   It hurt to be training someone who for all practical purposes was replacing him, and it felt wrong.   Exceptions to the Rules.   The H-1B guest worker program is supposed to allow US employers to fill only those jobs left vacant by a shortage of skilled US workers.   Critics say the H-1B rules that are supposed to protect US workers from being replaced are so full of loop-holes they are meaningless.  


Michael Brush _CNBC_
How to Spot an OverPaid Exec
I've one nit to pick with Michael Brush's article & Alfred Rappaport "an adviser to LEK Consulting".   They claim that it's bad for stock options to be accessible by anyone other than top execs.   On the contrary, the recurring problem is that top execs get cheaper options than the worker bees, & reap disproportional benefit from the brains & efforts of those worker bees.   At the same time, we're seeing that tens of thousands of those workers are the first to be jettisoned as a result of the abuses of those top execs.   So, they don't get the full benefits when things go well, & they get the punishment when they go poorly.

Jennifer Bjorhus _San Jose Mercury News_
US Workers taking H-1B issues to court
"No one knows how many U.S. workers are reporting this problem.   Complaints made to the federal government are not public until they are resolved, & few have been.   The Mercury News has found scores of complaints at attorneys' offices and government agencies nationwide, from the EEOC to the Department of Justice and Department of Labor, the top enforcer of the H-1B program.   None of the agencies responsible for investigating complaints tracks them.   What's clear is that employers continued hiring H-1B workers during a period of mass lay-offs.   Silicon Valley's top 10 tech companies alone hired at least 2K H-1B workers last year -- when they shed more than 41K jobs...   Three university studies & H-1B salary data from the Immigration and Naturalization Service indicate that H-1B engineers and programmers are paid 15% to 30% less."


2002-09-26 12;27PST (15:27EST) (20:27GMT)
Margaret Quan _EE Times_
Readers feel uneasy about jobs, stocks, national security

Jennifer Bjorhus _San Jose Mercury News_/_BayArea.com_ pg A1
U.S. Workers Say They Are Feeling Betrayed: H-1B issues going to court
"The H-1B rules give citizens almost no protection from being replaced by a foreign worker...   Complaints made to the federal government are not public until they are resolved, & few have been.   The _Mercury News_ has found scores of complaints at attorneys' offices & government agencies nationwide, from the EEOC to the Department of Justice & Department of Labor, the top enforcer of the H-1B program.   None of the agencies responsible for investigating complaints tracks them.   What's clear is that employers continued hiring H-1B workers during a period of mass lay-offs.   Silicon Valley's top 10 tech companies alone hired at least 2K H-1B workers last year -- when they shed more than 41K jobs...   Three university studies & H-1B salary data from the Immigration & Naturalization Service indicate that H-1B engineers & programmers are paid 15% to 30% less.   Some H-1B workers acknowledge tremendous pressure to toe the line & work long hours for employers who hold unusual power over their lives."

Diane Alden _Free Republic_
Left-Wing Billionaire Collectivist Running-Dog Pigs
"Do you stay up nights trying to figure out why so-called capitalists fund leftist causes or promote a collectivist agenda?   Think of Stephen Rockefeller or the entire Rockefeller family, Ted Turner, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros, Maurice Strong, Enron, Ford Foundation, Pew Charitable Trust, the Nature Conservancy, the American Bar Association and the AMA.   Why did billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett come out against ending or reducing the death tax?   Why do multimillionaire Stephen Rockefeller and the entire clan promote the most outrageous leftist globalist causes and malicious and inhumane programs in history?   Why does the Rockefeller family actively promote a collectivist nightmare like the Earth Charter?   Why did they fund the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in pre-war Nazi Germany?   Why are successful entrepreneurs such as Martha Stewart or Michael Bloomberg supporters of every leftist cause?   Why do the trial lawyers of America or a financial guru such as Robert Rubin typically promote Democrats?   Do all these left-wing capitalists consider leftist/'progressive' ideas regarding life, death and taxes as being more meritorious for people and society and the world?...   Robert Locke's essay on 'Corporatism' explains what has taken place economically and politically in the U.S.   On the political and philosophical side, the Hudson Institute's John Fonte wrote a brilliant piece titled 'The New Ideological War Within the West: Transnational Progressivism'.(Both may be found at Front Page Magazine)   Leftist/'progressive' religious, cultural, political organizations and individuals rake in big bucks from government and business.   Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition is worth millions, much of which was obtained by suing or black-mailing corporate America.   Yet neither Jackson nor his organization worry about an IRS audit or a visit from the FBI.   His cause is based on group identity politics and grievances.   Those are untouchable in modern society.   Environmental groups such as Sierra Club and Nature Conservancy receive disproportionate amounts of government grants and corporate money to fund efforts that are far removed from 'saving' the environment...   It also means the feudalization or collectivization of the land-mass of the United States.   Either way it allows an elite to maintain control...   Then there is the political identity group known as La Raza.   The Hispanic anti-assimilationist coterie collects money and takes fees for speaking on American university campuses.   The Hudson Institute's John Fonte relates that this Hispanic identity interest group advocates NON-assimilation of Mexican immigrants into American society.   It is funded by a notable capitalist institution.   Fonte states 'the financial backing for this anti-assimilationist campaign [La Raza] has come primarily from the Ford Foundation, which made a conscious decision to fund a Latino rights movement based on advocacy-litigation and group rights'...   Should free-market capitalists be concerned that at least a dozen CEOs of Fortune 500 companies made out like bandits while their employees can't make their house payments?   A study commissioned by Fortune magazine (2002-09-02) reported that officers and directors of the 1,035 companies that have fallen the most from their recent bull-market peaks, cashed in $66G worth of stock before the crash.   This was at a time when those companies' non-insider employees were watching as their children's college fund and their retirement incomes were in a nosedive.   Making out like robber barons were executives from AOL-Time Warner; before the crash they cashed in $1.79G.   Enron executives raked in $994M.   Charles Schwab's movers and shakers netted $951M."

2002-09-26 12:33PDT (15:33EDT) (19:33GMT)
Barbara Kollmeyer _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Wireless phone wars
"About 138M Americans - nearly half the population - now have cell phones, according to the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association.   But the customer growth rate is expected to drop to 5.8% in the coming year from 11% annually since 1995.   The average cost of a wireless call has fallen to 11 cents a minute from 56 cents in 1995, according to J.D. Powers & Associates...   What customers want is superior service, Powers found, and with wireless companies shelling out $300 to $425 on average for each new user, it's increasingly in their interest to deliver."


Chris McManes _IEEE USA_
Older Engineers Face Longer Un-Employment
"For each additional year of age, un-employment duration increases 1.3 weeks [to 3 weeks].   Additionally, those reporting age as a barrier to re-entering the work-force face longer lengths of un-employment (55 weeks) than those who do not (30 weeks)...   The survey also revealed that each additional year of experience helps to reduce un-employment by 2 weeks.   For example, when comparing two engineers of the same age (say 55), one with 30 years experience vs. one with 25, the engineer with more experience has 10 fewer weeks of joblessness.   When comparing 2 engineers, one 55 and one 60, both with 30 years experience, the older engineer can expect to endure 15 more weeks of un-employment than his younger peer.   Both examples assume that the engineers are comparable in all other respects, including education."

Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
UMich Consumer Sentiment Index eased in September
Forbes/Reuters: down for 4th month
"Consumer sentiment eased just a tad in late September.   The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index fell to 86.1 in late September from 86.2 in early September and 87.6 in August.   The current conditions index dropped to 95.8 from 95.9 in early September and 98.5 in August.   The expectations index 79.9 from 80.0 in early September and 80.6 in August."
Federal Reserve Board St. Louis
Federal Reserve Board St. Louis



Urmi A. Goswami _The Economic Times_
Cap on US guest-work permits to return to 65K
"he is all prepared to go to the US & has reason to feel confident, despite the down-turn: 3 in every 4 of all systems analysts & programmers are from India.   A recent report on the US technology sector says that by the time Talwar is ready to go to the US in 2004, the sector would have registered a 12.5% growth...   Indians have been granted nearly 50% of the total H1-B petitons approved.   There has been a 30% increase in the number of Indian beneficiaries between 2000 & 2001.   However, with an economic slow-down in the US, the demand for H1-B between 2001 October 1 & 2002 June 30 was only 60,500 compared to to 130,700 for the same period the previous year...   For the Indian IT professional the last three years have been a dream run.   The high demand for Indian IT professionals in the US has often meant fast tracking of green cards & then US citizenship."

Dan "I want higher taxes" Rostenkowski _Chicago Sun-Times_
Washington pulling the rug out from jobless
"By the end of October, more than 2M jobless Americans will have exhausted all unemployment benefits.   That exceeds the number placed into this painful category during the depths of the 1990-91 recession...   Under today's laws, workers in nearly all states can only collect benefits for a maximum of 39 weeks.   During the last recession, those in states hardest hit were routinely eligible for 52 weeks of benefits...   The new year will be marked by a 33% reduction in the maximum payment period -- from 39 to 26 weeks."
NBER says recession that troughed in 2001 April ended 2001 November.   The stock market crashed 2000-03-10.   The STEM job markets were already diving by 2000 September, and general job markets in mid-2001.   STEM product sales were tanking all through 2001 and 2002.   Job markets still had not fully recovered by the end of 2016.

Michael Kinsman _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Adaptability and attitude are key to overcoming rise of age discrimination
"Age discrimination accounts for about one-fifth of all federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission job claims.   In 2000, age claims increased 13% nationwide and an additional 9% last year.   And a survey for AARP of 1,500 workers ages 45 and older shows that 2 in 3 think discrimination is a fact of life."

Joyce Lain Kennedy _Dallas Morning News_
Tech firms want more for less
"we IT professionals want companies to know that we know what they're doing -- and we don't like it!   Every week, companies try to fill 4 positions with 1 person and pay that person one-third of what he's worth...   When your network goes down and there's no one qualified to fix it, and when millions of dollars are lost in revenue, it will dawn on someone that the senior guys should have been kept on staff...   American companies are allowed to bring in skilled foreigners on H-1B visas to fill vacant positions for which there are no qualified American workers.   At least, that's how it was supposed to work.   In reality, American programmers are available for the jobs, but companies prefer to hire foreign workers because of their willingness to work for lower wages and fewer benefits...   But industry is expected to lean on Congress to retain the high caps, which effectively depress IT programming salaries.   Many American companies see IT specialists not as talent but as a commodity, finding it irresistible to cut costs by hiring cheap foreign labor...   [A GAO] report says the government 'does not provide adequate assurance that US national security interests are properly protected'."


2002-09-30 03:53PDT (06:53EDT) (10:53GMT)
Dave Carpenter _AP_/_Yahoo!_
More Home-Owners Face Foreclosure
"According to data released this month by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, 0.4% of loans entered foreclosure in the second quarter & another 1.23% were still in the process -- both unprecedented in the 30 years the group has been keeping track...   The north-central United States, including lay-off-hit manufacturing areas, topped all regions with 0.47% of loans entering foreclosure in the second quarter.   But the trend has left no area untouched.   The South had the most mortgage problems as measured by payments 90 days or more overdue, nearly 1%, while Nevada, Pennsylvania & Utah were among other trouble spots...   The mortgage group's chief economist, Doug Duncan, says the main reason is the recession, which cost 1.8M jobs & shrank many paychecks as overtime fell...   More liberal lending practices have helped boost U.S. home ownership to 68% of all households, up from 63% a decade ago.   But experts say some of the innovative loans, including ones for 97% & even 125% of the home's value, are showing cracks under the stress of an economic down-turn."

Sue McAllister _San Jose Mercury News_
Laid-off tech workers turn to selling real estate
"With the technology industry showing no signs of quick revival, many un-employed or dissatisfied high-tech workers are leaving the fold and getting their real estate licenses, in the hopes of making good in the storied Silicon Valley housing market...   Technology workers tend to flow into home sales during down-turns, in part because practically the only 'barrier to entry' is passing the state's licensing exam.   Membership in the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors, the Bay Area's largest Realtor trade group, has risen from about 4,200 last September to 5,400 now, said Paul Stewart, the group's executive director.   Based on informal polling at the group's orientation meetings -- nowadays rather crowded events -- from 50% to 70% of new members are high-tech emigres, much higher than in recent years."

Ross Kerber _Boston Globe_
Massachusetts tech sector shown shrinking for 2d year: number of firms down 6%, employees 15%
"The annual survey by the Massachusetts Software & Internet Council counted 3,079 information technology companies in the state over the summer, down 6% from the 3,272 companies counted at the same time in 2001.   The high-tech companies employed 135,277 people this year, down 15% from 159,193 employees a year ago, the survey found...   The most recent declines were steeper than the fall-off that last year's survey found from the technology sector's peak in 2000, when the council counted 3,310 software & Internet companies employing 164,007 people in Massachusetts...   in 1989... the group's first survey counted 800 companies employing 46K people...   the number of Massachusetts software companies fell to 2,264, down 5% from 2,381 in 2001.   The survey counted 815 Internet companies, down 9% from 891 a year ago."

Sanford Selznick
The Do's & Don'ts of Shareware

2002 September

2002 September
Edith T. Carper _IEEE USA_
IEEE-USA Responds to Rising EE Un-Employment
"The rising un-employment rate for electrical engineers and computer scientists is a serious problem not only for affected professionals, but for the national economy as well.   IEEE-USA is fearful that the trend is not a short-term or cyclical phenomenon but 'represents a more fundamental shift in engineering utilization that has potentially negative impacts for the nation'.   In a 2002 July 12 letter, IEEE-USA President LeEarl Bryant called on Congress to investigate the 'effects of increased reliance on non-U.S. guest workers, the greater use of perma-temps and the over-seas out-sourcing of engineering work" on the current levels of engineering un-employment.   Bryant's letter also pointed out that, 'Historically, high levels of engineering un-employment are a warning that the gears of the economy are grinding to a halt.' Bryant also said that the term flexible labor markets -- in the parlance of corporate managers -- 'translates into management practices that make engineers' jobs less secure and careers in engineering increasingly unstable."

2002 September
_Ayn Rand Institute_
Impact: America at War (pdf)

2002 September
GAO-02-881: High-Skill Training: Grants from H-1B Visa Fees Meet Specific Work-Force Needs, but at Varying Skill Levels (pdf)
"15% is allotted for a direct or matching grant program to support private-public partnerships in education for kindergarten to grade 12, 4% to decrease processing times for H-1B petitions, and 4% for labor condition application processing and enforcement...   NSF provides scholarship grants to schools that grant associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degrees...   Initially, only students who were eligible for Pell grants could be eligible for scholarships, but NSF later relaxed this requirement to include students who were eligible for any federal financial aid.   Each student receives up to $3,125 per year for up to 4 years.   As of 2002 May, 277 schools have obtained grants ranging from $24,750 to $760,320 in a series of 3 rounds of grant awards totaling about $72M.   Schools may ask for an additional 5% of the total requested scholarship amount for administrative costs, an increase from the original 2% for the first set of grants awarded.   Schools may also ask for an additional 5% of the total requested scholarship amount for student support services...
All grantees provided information on the number of training participants in their program, reporting that a total of 16,590 individuals were enrolled in training between 2000 March 1, and 2002 January 31.   Grantees from the first 3 rounds who collected participant employment data (39 of the 43 grantees) report that approximately three-fourths of skill grant participants are employed workers upgrading their skills...
Unlike some other fields, occupations in the IT field are difficult to classify as to the level of education degree they require.   The Bureau of Labor Statistics in its _Occupational Outlook HandBook_ has noted that some IT workers have a degree in computer science, mathematics, or information systems, while others have taken special courses in computer programming to supplement their study in other fields, such as accounting or other business areas.   The National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies has identified IT skill cluster titles and the education necessary for the occupations.   For several of the occupations, workers can prepare academically with a range of training types, from a 1-year certificate program to a 4-year degree program."

2002 September
Walter Kirn _The Atlantic on-line_
Confidence Itself
"The responses are tabulated, analyzed, & released with much fanfare to the financial establishment, which quickly turns them -- by executing market decisions that by this stage represent feelings about feelings -- into seemingly science-based self-fulfilling prophecies."

2002 September
Sigurd R. Nilsen 202-512-7215, Joan T. Mahagan 617-565-7532 & Laura Heald
GAO report on use of H-1B fees for training (pdf)
"As of 2002 July 1, about $197M has been awarded through the skill grant program; as of 2002 May 1, about $72M has been awarded through the scholarship grant program...   Grantees could provide only limited data on outcomes...   The fee for employers who apply for H-1B visa workers, which funds the skill grants & scholarship grants, expires on 2003 September 30.   Currently, 55% of the fees collected are distributed to Labor for skill grants and 22% are distributed to NSF for scholarship grants.   The remaining 23 % of the funds is to be used for other activities: 15% is allotted for a direct or matching grant program to support private-public partnerships in education for kindergarten to grade 12, 4% to decrease processing times for H-1B petitions, & 4% for labor condition application processing & enforcement.
  The 2003 Labor budget proposed redirecting the skill grant funding beginning in fiscal year 2003 to reducing the back-log of applications submitted on behalf of foreign workers for permanent residency...
  The 2000 law provided specific guidance about the types of training that should be provided under the skill grants, which was absent from the 1998 law.   It said that the training is not limited to skill levels commensurate with a 4-year under-graduate degree, but should include the preparation of workers for a broad range of positions along a career ladder...   the data from our survey show that the skill grants are reaching a wide range of ages, though focusing more heavily [55%] on ages 22 to 39 [33% were 40-54, 6% were 55+; 2% had no HS diploma, 29% had a HS diploma but nothing beyond, 69% had some college, with 19% some college without a degree, 11% had a 2-year degree, 33% a 4-year degree and 6% had post-bachelor's education.   Allegedly] 1,796 participants were placed in new or upgraded positions; 1,571 participants increased their wages/salaries; 2,582 participants attained skill certifications...
  Only 1 of the 43 grantees is planning to measure reduced reliance on H-1B workers as an outcome...   The [INS] found that 25 (38%) of the 66 occupations in which training was provided could qualify for H-1B occupations, 30 (45%) would generally not qualify, & the remaining 11 occupations were too vague to be characterized either way."

2002 Autumn
Theodore Dalrymple _City Journal_
the barbarians at the gates of Paris: surrounding the city of light are threatening cities of darkness

2002 September
Sigurd R. Nilsen 202-512-7215, Joan T. Mahagan 617-565-7532 & Laura Heald
GAO report on use of H-1B fees for training (PDF)
Table 1: Top 10 Occupation Categories for H-1B Visa Petitions Approved for Fiscal Year 2001
Occupation categoryPercent
1. Computer-related58.0
2. Architecture, engineering, & surveying12.2
3. Administrative specializations7.2
4. Education5.3
5. Managers & officials (not elsewhere classified)3.8
6. Medicine & health3.4
7. Life sciences2.0
8. Social sciences1.9
9. Mathematics & physical sciences1.7
10. Miscellaneous professional, technical, & managerial1.7

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