One of the Tragedies of Our Time

i_060One of the Tragedies of Our Time

David Yamada touches upon one of the great tragedies of our time. The new generation is facing a wold in which doing vital, meaningful, satisfying work is not possible. We live in a time where any employment is difficult to find, where job security is a joke and where casual cruelty often substitutes for leadership.

I often wonder how people can seriously talk about an entitlement generation when we live in such times. The new generation faces a future beset by underemployment, high student debt and economic stagnation. Is that what they are entitled to?

Please read Yamada’s work and sign up as a follower on his excellent blog.

James Pilant

For many, the economic meltdown means shelving the idea of a true vocation « Minding the Workplace

In The Four Purposes of Life (2011), Dan Millman identifies a cluster of key criteria for developing a career:

“Do I find the work satisfying?”

“Can I make good money?”

“Does it provide a useful service?”

Some might add factors such as work-life balance, geographic location, and the like, but overall, I’d say that Millman’s three criteria are useful guideposts for most people. And during much of the last half of the 20th century, as America’s post-WWII economy went into high gear and fueled the nation’s growing middle class, having some choice over one’s vocation became a realistic option. Against the backdrop of a robust economy and labor market, people could start thinking about work as being more than a source of income.

Today, however, the scarcity of good jobs is limiting our vistas considerably. Especially for those who have struggled with layoffs and unemployment, finding work that “merely” pays the bills understandably outpaces job satisfaction and notions of service as individual priorities. Millions are just trying to get by.

via For many, the economic meltdown means shelving the idea of a true vocation « Minding the Workplace.

From Around the Web.

img386From the web site, Word Journey.

Is the cliché that all good things, or bad things, come in threes? Never mind, I can’t dictate it for you and you’re likely to take my question as rhetorical. Beginning a blog post with a cliché aside, I figured it was time to update my journey through joblessness. This will be my third and hopefully final post on the subject, unless you count my Gold Coast amendment post made after some criticism I received in relation to comments I made about my dear city in The Year of Living Idly – The Negatives. It will also, which I thought was appropriate, be my third and final, for a while at least, phone blog (or “phlog”). And I’ll presume any criticism of those previous two to be either withheld or still pending.

I have actually worked since initially becoming unemployed in July 2012, but have remained on the dole ever since early in 2013 – after I returned from three months’ glorious yet aimless travelling. Technically, I am now working but I don’t count it because it is only for two days per week, and it is work for the dole. I spend my Wednesdays and Thursdays or Thursdays and Fridays helping cook crisis meals for the disadvantaged and maintaining an about an acre property run by a Christian church. With other unemployed people. Depending on my mood, I either think it’s great or loathe it – just like real work. And my best prospect for some paid employment at the moment is blueberry picking, which was mentioned as an opportunity by my work for the dole supervisor. The system works. Or at least, it might. Such is life.

Rating Agencies Were Part Of The Disaster On Wall Street

Rating Agencies Were Part Of The Disaster On Wall Street

If the rating agencies were key players in the financial mismanagement that destroyed eight million jobs and threatened the world’s economy, why are they not included in the financial reform bill now before the Senate? Alain Sherter wants to know why. So do I.

This is a report from “Now” – a PBS program. In this particular episode an insider from a credit rating agency explains what happened.

Here is Alain Sherter explaining more about this ratings disaster –

The ratings agencies business model is based on a flagrant conflict of interest — they’re paid by the firms whose credit they evaluate. That makes them vulnerable to pressure from investment banks and securities issuers, which naturally want a bullet-proof rating in order to attract investors.

In the years leading up to the housing bust, Moody’s, S&P and Fitch passed out AAA ratings like candy bars at Halloween. In mid-2007 and early 2008, with the real estate market in free-fall and mortgage delinquencies soaring, they suddenly started downgrading scads of formerly top-rated securities. In January of ‘08, for instance, S&P lowered ratings on more than 6,300 and 1,900 CDOs — in a single day. Then, the deluge. The bottom fell out of the secondary market for subprime loans, and the rest is history.

Without the credit rating industry giving triple A ratings to these risky investments, the tragedy that has engulfed and continues to damage the lives of so many Americans would not have been possible.

What are these people not being called on the carpet or prosecuted for conduct that seems to many observers to look very similar to fraud?

James Pilant