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You've Got No Job!

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Adam Taggart via Peak Prosperity,

Today, the pundits are a-buzz making sense of the latest jobs report. Expect much hand-wringing over the impact of the 'polar vortex' and that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow.

But most of us care more about the state of one particular job: our own. How relevant is this latest bit of data to that? Not very.

So, to better understand the trends in the work environment most likely impact our own paychecks, it will help to look at another bellwether similar to our fuzzy groundhog friend: AOL.

AOL, a once-important pioneer in the transition to the 'digital economy', is once again showing us where the future of work is headed.

Unfortunately, like the health of AOL's business over the past decade, it's not a pretty picture.

The Expendable Employee

As we've transitioned to an economy in which corporate profitability -- and thereby, stock prices -- is THE metric for success, the employer-employee relationship has become much more superficial than in past generations.

No longer do workers expect (or in many cases, aspire) to work for a single company for their entire careers. And with the cost efficiencies offered by automation, outsourcing, temporary workers, and related trends -- companies are much more inclined to view their workers as expendable and/or easily replaceable, especially when facing a business downturn.

We've seen this dynamic play out in spades since the arrival of the 2008 credit crisis. Companies immediately shed workers in droves as the economy slowed down. But as things stabilized by 2010 and then the "recovery" of 2012-2013 sent corporate profits soaring, the pace of hiring those displaced workers back has been nothing short of anemic:

(source)

And of the jobs that have been added over the past five years, the majority have been temporary jobs. Read that as "Low Pay/No Benefits" jobs:

(source)

It turns out that companies used the 2008-2009 layoff wave as an opportunity to reduce their dependence on human capital (at least, US-based). A vigorous debate can (and should) be waged on whether that happened for good reasons or not, but the fact remains that the employment market remains frail over 5 years later.

More cynical critics will note that lower hiring budgets are NOT a result of companies investing more heavily in productivity-boosting capital expenditures. In fact, since 2008, CAPEX has remained depressed by over 20% compared to historic averages. Rather, it seems companies have been fattening profits by focusing on cutting costs, with the main intent of boosting stock prices. Profits of companies within the S&P 500 are at all-time highs right now. It's clear they're being artificially inflated, and most likely by means that can't be long sustained. 

Many companies have doubled-down on this approach, spending corporate profits on stock buyback programs. This has only served to send shares higher (as I type this, a headline just announced that Apple bought back $14 billion of its stock over the past two weeks). Is it any surprise this is going on when company executives have fantastically-sized compensation packages that are based on increases in.....oh, that's right... the price of their company's stock?

"You've Got No Job!"

Enter AOL, which incidentally bought back $600 million worth of its shares last August, along with a $1.1 billion special dividend to line its investors' pockets.

Since its ill-fated merger with Time Warner 14 years ago, AOL has been a train wreck by most business metrics. It received a dose of much-needed hope when former Google executive Tim Armstrong signed on as CEO in 2009, who was hired to turn things around.

I'll leave it other writers to opine on Armstrong's degree of success since then, but not surprisingly during his tenure, he's made a lot of cuts. AOL has had a steady parade of layoffs over the years (including six months after Armstrong's hiring, announcing it would cut 1/3 of its workforce).

And its the relentless drumbeat of its mass firings, and more notably, the anti-septic manner in which they've been handled, that I think is emblematic of the new era of the disposable worker.

Here's a powerful example. One of Tim Armstrong's first strategic deals after taking the reigns at AOL was to buy a company he had earlier founded called Patch. There was a boatload of drama around the Patch saga at AOL, but in order to avoid getting too diverted, let it suffice to say that Patch proved a massive distraction for the company. Armstrong was very personally invested in its performance and made many promises to both its employees and Wall Street that ultimately didn't materialize.

Last summer, Armstrong rallied the Patch team, calling on them to "fully commit" to the company's plans for the future, which he promised he was hell-bent on supporting. Then, jarringly, in mid-sentence during this pep talk, he was momentarily distracted by an employee whom he then fired on the spot, in front of an audience of 1,000 (you can listen to this drive-by canning here). This incident was reported at wildfire speed among the tech blogs, sparking a debate about the treatment of employees in the modern workplace - and questioning the wisdom of randomly firing people during an event intended to boost morale.

But even more soulless is the latest sad development at Patch. Despite proclaiming his "full" commitment as recently as August, Armstrong sold the controlling stake in Patch last month to investment firm Hale Global. Not surprisingly, soon after this deal was announced, the hatchet soon swung. 

I want you to listen here, as hundreds of Patch employees, many of whom stuck with the struggling company for years at Armstrong's urging, learn that they are losing their jobs, effective immediately:

 

"Thank you again. And best of luck". Oh, and you need to be out of the building by 5pm.

Don't Remain Vulnerable

Was AOL too cruel here? Or is this simply the healthy Darwinian nature of capitalism in action?

I'm going to leave that for others to debate; because that's not the point of this article.

The point is: If you're an employee (which most folks reading this are), recognize that the trend here is not your friend. For a variety of reasons, some defensible, some not, corporations are increasingly less motivated to train, compensate, develop and retain workers than in the past.

The question I want you to ask yourself is this: How impacted would my life be if I unexpectedly received a pink slip tomorrow?

For most people, the answer is: Substantially. For too many: Devastating.

Bills, debts, family obligations, etc keep most people soldiering on in their current jobs. Fears of lost income or the weak hiring market prevent folks from taking career risks. Most just keep their heads down and hope the axe doesn't fall on them. Of course, many of those who just celebrated 99 months collecting unemployment once felt that way, too...

The unhappy truth here is that it's an increasingly vulnerable time to be in the rank-and-file. And by 'rank-and-file', I mean pretty much anyone not senior enough in their company to have a voice in headcount decisions.

If that definition applies to you, don't give in to denial or despair. Neither will help you. And even if it may not feel like it at the moment, you have much more agency in your career destiny than you likely realize.

There are defined steps you can take and investments you can make that will dramatically reduce your vulnerability to the fickle hand of a company layoff or a bad economy. A lot of the foundational work is described in depth in my 2013 book on career transition Finding Your Way To Your Authentic Career, and much more can (and will) be written on the subject at PeakProsperity.com. The following are *not* quick fixes; they take a lot of inner work, dedication, perseverance and time to complete. But these steps are indeed achievable, and will make your chances for career success and security a heck of a lot higher than if you don't do them. The basics include:

  • Identify the work you're best suited for based on your natural aptitudes, interests and work experience - For many, this is the hardest step. Our educational system is notoriously bad at helping people actually figure out what kind of career path is right for them. The good news is that there is a defined process that, if followed conscientiously, makes your chances of identifying a "best fit" field highly probable -- even if you've been in the workforce for decades. It's what the first half of my book focuses on.
  • Make a career transition if you're currently in a 'bad-fit" field - If you're not on a career track that plays to your strengths, you need to move out of it. If you're in a bad-fit position, it's hard to outperform (or even perform at the average), and you'll be in danger of being one of the early casualties during a culling of non-essential employees. Making a transition to a new career track is time-intensive; but again, quite doable once you know what direction to head in (see above bullet). Not surprisingly, this transition process is the focus of the second half of my book.
  • Become a domain expert with organizational ownership - Management values most the talent it needs that is expensive (time and/or cost-wise) to replace. It can always reduce budgets or department staff levels, but it will do its utmost to retain talent that does work others can't (or can't do as well or as cheaply). 
  • Develop a professional support network - Make yourself known in your field, particularly outside of your company. Be a source of useful industry insights, and seek to learn as much as you share. Help other people. Seek out mentors. People change firms often throughout their careers; after a few years you'll find you have contacts across numerous companies. Should you fall victim to a layoff, you'll have insiders at other firms working on your behalf to get you hired in.
  • Develop a personal support network - Talk actively with family and friends about what you are willing to do for each other should one of you lose your job. How can you help  ease the burden (meals, child care, loans, etc) of the uncertain time between gainful employment? Figuring a plan out in advance, and making deposits in the Bank of Karma by supporting struggling folks in your community, will result in payback that will dramatically reduce the shock of sudden job loss.
  • Create multiple streams of income - Ideally, you want to develop enough diversity of income that the loss of any single one won't compromise your lifestyle dramatically. Again, there are no easy short-cuts here. But options include: taking on a second job, moonlighting, starting a side business, enabling an unemployed family member to start a paying job, investing in assets that produce cash flows/coupons/dividends, consulting, monetizing existing assets (e.g., renting out a room on AirBnB), etc. Spend some time deciding which approach seems most appropriate for you and start with that one. Once you've got that second income started, as yourself: How can I make it bigger? What other new sources can I add next? 
  • Save - Start by amassing a rainy-day fund equal to 3 months of your current monthly income. Then expand it to six. Then, if you're able to, a year. This cushion will take the pressure off immensely if you find yourself unexpectedly out of work. Concurrently, strive to not only live within your means, but below them. Learn to appreciate non-material joys in life. You'll reduce your expenses (the difference of which should go straight into savings) in the immediate term, and be able to better maintain your quality of life if your income takes a hit.
  • Develop a plan for business ownership - In the end, it's better to be the one calling the shots than answering to them. Yes, there are other types of risks that apply to business owners, but your employment and income destinies are much more within your control as long as the business remains solvent. As you currently build your domain expertise, develop a plan for converting it into your ticket to independence. How can you use it to create value that others will pay you for, versus depending on the single check from your employer? If you have multiple customers, it's unlikely they'll all stop doing business with you at once. With an employer, it's all or nothing.

This list is just a starting-off point, as entire books have been written on each of the steps above. But if you fall in the 100% vulnerable-to-a-pink-slip category, you should start thinking now about which one makes the most sense to tackle first.

As help for those at the beginning of this process, Peak Prosperity is offering its first-ever Countdown Deal for the Kindle version of Finding Your Way To Your Authentic Career. The promotion starts on Saturday, Feb 7, runs for a week, and depending on the day, will offer the e-book for as low as $0.99 (earlier buyers get the deepest discounts)

And The Hits Keep Coming

Even those who feel 'safe' in their jobs are seeing erosion of their 'purchasing power' as employees. Let's look at AOL again.

Like most other companies in the US, AOL will incur costs in complying with the Affordable Care Act. Its compliance expenses will be in the $millions, annually. So today, Tim Armstrong announced that AOL was cutting 401k benefits for its workers:

AOL Blames Obamacare for Plan to Reduce Retirement Benefits (Bloomberg)

 

AOL Inc. (AOL) blamed President Barack Obama’s health-care law for its plan to reduce spending on contributions to employees’ 401(k) retirement plans.

 

AOL, owner of websites such as the Huffington Post, will still match employee contributions to retirement plans up to 3 percent of their paychecks, Chief Executive Officer Tim Armstrong said. Under the new policy, it will make the matching payments in a lump sum at the end of the year, forcing employees who leave before then to forfeit the benefit, he said in an interview today on CNBC.

 

“Obamacare is an additional $7.1 million expense for us as a company,” Armstrong said. “We have to decide whether to pass that expense to employees or cut other benefits.”

 

The White House is defending the law from criticism that it causes consumers more economic harm than good. Republicans have seized on a report this week by the Congressional Budget Office, which said Obamacare will reduce the hours Americans work by the equivalent of 2 million full-time jobs in 2017.

 

Armstrong didn’t specify how the health-care law had increased costs for New York-based AOL. The CEO told employees today that the health-care expenses of two employees in 2012 played a role in his decision on which benefits to cut, Capital New York reported. The two workers had “distressed babies that were born,” costing AOL $1 million each, he said, indicating that he’d rather prioritize health care over retirement among the company’s benefits.

So, even the 'safe' salaried professionals are more vulnerable than they realize. Do you think they have any alternative other than "take it or leave it" to this news?

Parting Shot

If this article hasn't already driven home the point that employers are increasingly motivated to find ways to cut employee costs -- and employees -- out of the picture, perhaps this simple example will do the trick.

In the past, those finding themselves between jobs could often rely on unskilled, but unpleasant, work to provide temporary subsistence income. Well, more and more of those jobs are going away, largely due to performance advancements and cost declines in automation.

Ever see a sign spinner on a street corner and think "I guess if I couldn't find work elsewhere, I could always do that?". Not anymore. The robots are taking over:

 

Not only does the encroachment of automation remove income options for those temporarily out of work, but it's increasingly limiting the options for the large pool of unskilled labor with few other alternatives. Of course, this opens up a whole spectrum of economic, social, technological and policy-related questions, which will have to wait for another day...

But the takeaway is: Don't be 100% vulnerable. If you're employed, but at risk, use the time and income you have now to reduce the upheaval a pink slip could wreak on your life.

Even a 10-20% reduction in your vulnerability will mean a world of difference if you find yourself suddenly out of work. Your future self will be extremely grateful of the steps you take today.

 

 

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Fri, 02/07/2014 - 16:54 | 4413066 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Moral of this story : Never send a human to do a machine's job.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 16:57 | 4413070 Gankfest
Gankfest's picture

Fun times!

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 16:59 | 4413076 Skateboarder
Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:02 | 4413082 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

There will be a day when all of the baby boomers have retired (or terminated). Industry will regret this when no one is left to run their companies who are competent. If you don't train people now, there will be no trained senior employees in the future. This is plain and simple. This is not far away and is already close to the truth.

Demographics is destiny.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:06 | 4413098 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is confuse of term "Baby Boomer". Is Cold War terminology? In Russia is make REAL bomb, call "Tsar Bomba"! Not is weak "Baby Bomba".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwlNPhn64TA

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:24 | 4413163 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

But the takeaway is: Don't be 100% vulnerable. If you're employed, but at risk, use the time and income you have now to reduce the upheaval a pink slip could wreak on your life.

Anyone sit back and wonder what's the point of a jobs based economy that no longer creates jobs for the majority?

The point is: If you're an employee (which most folks reading this are), recognize that the trend here is not your friend. For a variety of reasons, some defensible, some not, corporations are increasingly less motivated to train, compensate, develop and retain workers than in the past.

Other than fuck common stock holders and enrich a few execs + banks... exactly what are they motivated to do?

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:46 | 4413240 tickhound
tickhound's picture

Clearly our economic model is to build as many monuments facing inland as possible primarily with our bare hands until the gods are satisfied and we can rescue ourselves off this island of limited resources called Easter Earth.

Do not question this model as the ramifications could be disastrous. The last thing humanity should ever want is to lose its identity and role as wage slave... for remaining narrow in mind and singular in trade skill provides us purpose in life.

As one brilliant zh scholar well versed in our ancient practices concluded...

"Humans will just have to find a niche."

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:27 | 4413179 max2205
max2205's picture

Set your goals to never have to work for anyone or corp or govt ever again

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 21:20 | 4414043 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

Skilled and semi skilled trades are already there. Everybodys old, near ancient.
The rest are half on pot or in jail. The few kids that are clean will clean up.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:03 | 4413089 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is lose job at nuclear power plant (head assistant custodial engineering support manager intern). At first is Boris upset, discourage, sad, blame self (4-step cycle of grief) and then, think, think, think, is decide exploitation of opportunity. Now Boris is very happy mining of subterranean copper ore in proximity of same nuclear power plant!

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:21 | 4413159 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Maybe is Boris think about insurance of job security. $1 a day is keep pink slip away.

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 02:15 | 4414562 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

The are russian girls are very hot on job, no?

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 19:18 | 4413646 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture

 

 

Article blames it on obamacare which if I remember correctly it was predicted that it would cause job loss but aside from that let's look at the likely mechanics behind it.

 

Obama got $20mil from healthcare industry in 2008
Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:00 | 4413077 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

More pornoGRAPHy with skittle color economic chart data.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 18:06 | 4413311 Dugald
Dugald's picture

I will say it for you..........

The increasing pool of Cannon Fodder.

Ask not what your country can do for you..............

IF I should die, think only this of me;
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever (insert country here) 

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:13 | 4413094 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Parasites are running corporations and .gov.

Individuals, families, and the greater good are being sacrificed at the altar of mammon.

The MBA/HR mentality has infected nearly every entity that employs human beings and those MBA/HR motherfuckers are blood sucking tapeworms.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:28 | 4413164 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is funny tapeworm story...

Is very sick man, is see doctor who is take x-ray. "You are inside tapeworm!" is saying doctor. Tomorrow you are return with kubasa and sweet pastry. Sick man is return and doctor is tell to drop pant and bend over. Man is very sick and is trust doctor, so is bend over. In is go sausage, in is go sweet pastry. "Why are you to do that!?" exclaim patient. "Trust me, I am doctor, so tomorrow, bring sausage and delicious pastry."

Next day, same is thing. Patient is bend over and in go sausage, in go sweet pastry. "I am still not for better and now bowel is irritable and scratching!". "Trust me, I am doctor. Tomorrow bring more sausage and delicious pastry."

Next day, same is thing. In go sausage, in go sweet pastry. "Doctor, this is not help. Boris is cannot even sit! Sausage and pastry is get more expensive!" exclaim patient. "Trust me, I am doctor. Tomorrow, bring sausage, pastry, and large hammer."

Next day, doctor is instruct patient "Bend Over." In go sausage. Patient is wince. Wait. Wait. Wait. "Doctor, where is pastry?" Doctor is brush pastry crumb from lapel and is say, "Trust me, I am doctor. Please stay bend over." Soon Tapeworm is stick out head, "Hey, where is my delicious pastry!?". Wham!

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 18:03 | 4413288 JP McManus
JP McManus's picture

I haven't heard this one for 20 years!

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 18:36 | 4413443 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Russia about 20 years behind the West.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 19:12 | 4413630 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Russia is maybe behind West, but USSA is quickly to catch up.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 18:15 | 4413356 Dugald
Dugald's picture

 

You got it nailed Boris........a lot of crap

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:09 | 4413103 robnume
robnume's picture

Paper route, anyone?

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:29 | 4413192 Gumbum
Gumbum's picture

Except printed newspapers are dying...

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:38 | 4413215 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Newspaper is very high demand in Venezuela.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:12 | 4413106 BigRedRider
BigRedRider's picture

Who needs a job.  You can still keep your car, tv, iphone, house, and best yet, your healthcare.  And you will have leisure time to pursue your happiness without "JOB LOCK"...at least that's what San Fran Nan says.  And best of all, you get to tuck your kids in at night and tell them bed stories.  What's not to like when you have no job.  Look ar all the positive things you get by being jobless.  Please...don't mention having money in your pocket.  You don't need it.  Messiah Jugears will provide for you.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:08 | 4413111 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture

Take it from a man whos had his own business nigh on twenty years.

This is not the time to be setting up any type of enterprise, no matter what your skill set.  Since 2008 I have seen a gradual loss of some 50-60% customer base.  People are fucking skint, broke, brassic, tapped out.

Strange times ahead folks.  If things dont pick up soon, I'm fucked, and I'm not the only one.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:41 | 4413178 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

In Amerikan prison, is opposite problem, you are not want thing to pick up.

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 13:58 | 4415214 SheHunter
SheHunter's picture

I want to go balistic on Fridays when the jobs report is due and the clowns of CNBS all sit around in their comfy chairs cleaned-up and made-up wagering what will be the number like they are at the F-ing horse races.

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 14:02 | 4415221 SheHunter
SheHunter's picture

And in case you are curious why I am around CNBS on Friday mornings it is because I am self-employed and, while winters always are slow, THIS winter is worse than slow.  In spite of that supposed betterment of the work force under the shining auspices of O'B.   

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:23 | 4413153 Blazed
Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:21 | 4413161 Gusher
Gusher's picture

A job is so old hat. Just some old white Republican's idea, whose time has passed. 

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:24 | 4413173 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

I see one Inthemix: Databases. For a long, forseeable future they remind me of the utlitarian value of paper. It is the back-end to EVERYTHING these days. There a few million coders in this country, but almost none of them know how to manage databases except for making a basic table for a website front-end. If your going to go to college. DO THIS PERIOD. Perhaps me stating this will reach one person here and that is enough...

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:32 | 4413198 Gumbum
Gumbum's picture

Queue gulag?

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:31 | 4413204 JohnG
JohnG's picture

 

 

Everybody can get an ObamaJob(tm) soon:

http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/04/sheila-jackson-lee-writing-executive-o...

You'll be paid in ObamaFood(tm) - has no nutrutional value but fills you up.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:44 | 4413235 saturno_v
saturno_v's picture

What about no taking debt, one of the most important points if not the most important.....in today "on demand" world do not undertake lengthy financial commitments.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 18:37 | 4413456 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Ever try to buy a 600K McMansion without taking on debt?! Retard.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 18:46 | 4413485 FredFlintstone
FredFlintstone's picture

It has been done. If we did not have the home mortgage deduction, we would have less incentive to lever. Housing would cost less. People would buy whay they can afford and not try to emulate others and over reach. I live in a neighborhood that you can buy into if you make 1/3 to 1/4 what I make if you go to a bank.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:54 | 4413259 FreeMktFisherMN
FreeMktFisherMN's picture

In some regards flat out the real value of peoples' output is getting exposed. But the anti-business--especially small and medium size-- climate is as big a culprit as any. A lot of businesses would rather have an actual person to interact with customers vs. a robot but the marginal costs and risks of hiring a person with all the PC and other BS is simply too much. Efficiency is always good. Anybody who says otherwise is a luddite. But this phenomenon of jobs going away is a result of anti business climate and malinvestment/misvaluations based on the funny money out there such that the actual value of work is not reflected, in this increasingly financialized system.

 

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 17:53 | 4413260 sangell
sangell's picture

Oh it can be fickle. Had a new company president killed ( murdered) on an airplane when the pilot was shot to death by an 'ex employee'. New guy brought in a contractor to replace us all. Offered mea nice severance deal if I would stick around long enough to help train new employees. I said let me think about it over the weekend. Took home my personal material and deleted all references to any personal notes in OEM manuals, instructions etc. Handed in keys and ID Monday morning to new boss. Learned he had been fired within 3 months. They owe you nothing, you owe them less.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 18:47 | 4413489 Rainman
Rainman's picture

more proof that working for humans just plain sux

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 18:02 | 4413283 Make_Mine_A_Double
Make_Mine_A_Double's picture

AOL is a POS. As is Yahoo whose only value is in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba's payment system (and they will screw Yahoo on this too...). Both run by Google azzholez and both will be defunk in the not-too-distant future.

And once we have our next "Pets.com" moment there's gonna be alot of more these kids in Mom's basement.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 18:16 | 4413359 LibertyBear
LibertyBear's picture

Bear need vegtable garden and chicken koop. Maybe grow something else to stick in pipe and smoke it. That will show me.

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 05:26 | 4413368 Yenbot
Yenbot's picture

Okay people, heads up. This is a War Meeting, and the material is CLASSIFIED.

The Word of the Day is OUTSOURCING, and the people helping AOL et. al to do it are eLance and other Silicon Valley/Australia/etc. "freelancer" sites. Your tech company outsources your desk to "contractors" from these companies, who live in the Philippines and make $0.91 an hour doing your job by teleworking. If you sign up as a teleworker, then you are competing for your old job against that $0.91 an hour worker.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 18:31 | 4413427 hockey7
hockey7's picture

Statistically, more people got a job in January...on a seasonally adjusted basis.  But in terms of actual bodies(I.e. nonseasonally adjusted), the month was a blood bath.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 18:49 | 4413496 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

I am sure married people experience job losses in different ways. Suppose the wife is terminated from her office job. This cuts deeply into family income, but the man likely has a full time income and a employer health insurance that can continue to cover mom and the kids. The wife thus has a safe haven, i.e. her home and husband, from which to venture out into the jobs market, or go back to school to gain more employable skills. Most families I know of, have weathered a wife's job loss and come out the other side pretty intact, even if wife ends up at lower pay. Two income families are a stable and secure way to go through life.

Let us suppose the man is the one who is terminated from his job. He too has the love, support and security of his wife and her income. So he too has that safe haven from which to venture back out into the hard job market, or upgrade his education. Again, the two earner family is the most secure way to go through life. But, and this is a big But! Women, especially wives have a very stern view of their man's role in her life. She will likely begin to consider her divorce options the instant husband breaks the news. Unless he looks set to return to a job of equal income and prestige very soon, she will begin to note that they are "no longer on the same page". She will note they have not really been "in love" for some time. She sees now, at last, that she is being held back by this drag in her life, the man. Running the numbers in the evenings, she comes to how much the man will pay in support and child support when her no longer compatible husband is divorced. The number look good, she will get the house and car as part of her childrens due. She will get most of any income he can produce, and the courts will demand he produce a lot! Thus the burden of forcing him to get back out there and earn is now upon a court and police agency. Her job provides and stripping him of all assets and forcing him to pay support, no matter what type of job he can find, the court cares not. She is entitled to a certain level of support. Thus he will soon get his walking papers and pack up for a shit hole apartment, while she redecorates and cosiders the bonanza a new boyfriend or husband could bring to her. A new Dad for the kids, and a new Third income for her to spend.

Given American family law, I would believe the man is totally fucked should he lose a job, the woman on the other hand, may see the perfect opportunity to get rid of someone she just discovered she doesn't love, on the very day he is fired. He hopes for another man to move in after she redecorates is probably pretty good. As a man can see she comes with house, car, job, child  support and his income will just be a cherry for them to enjoy life on. Not to say this is always the case, yet, I do know of quite a number of these cases just in the cricle of people I move in.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 19:41 | 4413729 Make_Mine_A_Double
Make_Mine_A_Double's picture

That's a pretty good summation and close to what transpired in my case with my ex. Our company was looking highly doubtful and we were loaded to the eyeballs with debt and it was putting a terrible strain on the marriage (along with a few other things). So Blondie decided this was an opportune time to crucify me. And what a hell on earth experience it was.

Nice even division of assets - she got the assets and I got the debt.

However, my largest client offered to open a new office just for me and my staff with much higher compensation a few months later. My attorney drove on the settlement based on my than based take home.

5 years later I'm out of debt and much better off - spiritually, physically, mentally and most certainly financially.

And having lived monastically for the last 5 years I have changed my consumption patterns completely and will not be returning to vapid consumerism.

There are going to be alot of lonely woman watching TV in the late middle ages - least based on what I see. My parents went through a 1000 times more difficulty than my ex and I did and they celebrated their 65th anniversary not too long ago.

I would also add I have very good male friends who have been laid off and much as they put a brave face on it, it's killing them inside. I think the talking heads don't understand behind those millions of unemployed is a family that's more than likely going to be torn apart. The human cost of unemployment is staggering and hits men the hardest.

 

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 19:52 | 4413758 GCT
GCT's picture

Been there, done that 30 years ago.  Guess what the courts will make a man destitute while the woman gets all the freebies from the gov to go along with my child support.  She also got a free college education, child care vouchers as well.  But just like "make mine" I am so glad it is over. 

I learned a valuable lesson in that divorce.  Just bend over if your a male even if she makes more then you. 

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 19:56 | 4413792 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Pussy is the cause of all war !

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 22:24 | 4413915 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

You guys might like http://therationalmale.com/

It's kind of like the ZeroHedge of dating.  Really explains why women secretly love assholes and nice guys only get screwed (not in a good way).  Guys on the site use the secrets of the Matrix to fuck around or, ironically, to get better treatment and more sex from their wives by acting more like a pimp-daddy.  Here are a few secrets the Matrix:

-Women aren't batshit insane.  They are just programmed with a relationship strategy that has become maladaptive for the species, like a peacock's tail.  Most of them lack awareness of this.  Don't try to discuss it with them.  It just makes them angry.

-Don't listen to what women say they want.  It's a trap.  Instead, watch what they do.

-Women want what other women want.

-If you feel like she's going out of her way to mess with you, she is.  Best to blow her off in this case.

-Always have options.

If this sounds cynical, remember all the poor bastards who got burned because they thought love alone would carry them through.

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 03:33 | 4414601 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Haha. I tell woman i am kind of an asshole :^}.
Actually, maybe I should tabk my ex for the evolutionary lessons because I kind of am an asshole these days. That's a good link and advices but to be Don Juan add reading the Five Love Languages too! Best $10 you'll ever spend.

Other priceless advice: Woman love gifts, even the more practical ones that say they dont. If you broke, write love letters once a month on a $2.00 Hallmark card. Texting i love you wont get you that freaky sex. But write them when you really feel it, woman recognize bullshit far better than men. They are coded to always want your attention so thinking of them with small but frequent gifts is far better than buying expensive ones on holidays. I would speculate I actually save money this way but I havent tried to calculate it :/D

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 13:40 | 4415169 SheHunter
SheHunter's picture

Too funny.  I just read your post (New World) and substituted the word "Men" each time you said women. 

Like "Men want what other men want".  and "If you feel he is going out of his way to mess with you he is."  How about "Don't listen to what men say they want. It's a trap. Instead watch what men do."

By God I think you are ON to something here!

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 03:26 | 4414595 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

An old joke: Why are divorces so expensive? Because they are worth it. Woman cheat more often too now because they know they can do what they want and get it all. My horror story lasted about five years too and is nearly over. My ex had issues but a good side too. When our you gest was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes she turned to drugs, alcohol and other dudes. My son was 13 and I waited and endured five years of this abuse to protect him. Diabetic teens come with mood disorders. I left literally a month before his 18th birthday. He is worth it. He told me a few months ago I should have left five years ago and that comment filled me with pride. His life is on track.

Divorce not yet final, she has asked for continuances to get more alimony as my income is rising. Yeah she has new guy that gets to hang out in the house I paid for, enjoy my bar, pool fireplace etc. Many of these these women dont wind up trading up.

Got vasectomy five years ago. Have great, younger girlfriend because the Gen Y and Millenials cant seem to find too men, they think they are PC Fags that cant make decisions. I have been blunt stating I will never marry again. However, we do have other protections for each other like insurance. I look at it this way now. Men are lions. If that female lion dares try to nip me in the ass I'll walk two miles and start a new pride. There are plenty of woman around, but half of the Boomer and Gen X woman are ruined, a direct casualty of Fed boom and expectations. Also womans lib/family law gone too far. The pendulum has swung too far the other way. Hey, our society isn't all bad. Lots of lonely woman and fun hunting out there gents, get that vasectomy and wear protection against disease. The vasectomy is the best $700 ever spent and your its a fifteen minute painless procedure (well except the next day for that you take Vikadins and have a stiff drink).

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 20:01 | 4413802 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Went through it myself, but not due to job loss. ANyways, I never trusted her, though I was madly in love with her, in a sexual sense. Stupid me thinks I had to have her, so I got her. Enough said, I lost a bundle but put my life back together. Ten years after the fact now. I saw her at her Dad's funeral, my daughter and I went, first time we saw her in ten years. You see, daughter went with me to escape the insane bitch, neither of us ever see or speak to her. She managed, due to her very good looks, to land a man in short order, but I do not envy him his life. I know what goes on in her world, and he is fucked, not in a good sense.

And, in my post above, I meant to be dead serious. I see this sort of thing all the time. Man supprts women after job loss, woman divorces man after his job loss, happens so often that people ahrdly remark on it.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 22:36 | 4413838 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

All the more reason to seek love outside the West, under a culture and legal system less blighted by the Illuminati.  They are running a war on families in general and honest men in particular.  Honorable men can't be trusted.  So they are made into chumps.  Slaves to greed.  It might be evolutionary psychology but I think there is also social engineering going on.  The puppetmasters want to breed the decency out of us, and keep us on the treadmill.  So they encourage natural female tendencies.

Assets outside the system, accumulated over time with cash, can protect men against the most likely fucking of their life.  DO NOT show the missus the whole stash.  All she will see is her shoes that you denied to her but she has ways of getting them back.  Arrange for her to only find out after you're dead.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 20:53 | 4413980 Debt Slave
Debt Slave's picture

+1

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 21:06 | 4414000 Tim_
Tim_'s picture

I couldn't find more recent statistics.


Advance Report of Final Divorce Statistics, 1988

"Approximately 61 percent of the divorces in 1988 were petitioned by the wife..."

"The proportion of divorces petitioned by the wife was 65 percent when there were children involved..."

"For the 27 States and the District of Columbia that reported race on divorce records, approximately 87 percent of divorcing wives were white..."

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 19:30 | 4413691 sceptical_economist
sceptical_economist's picture

Don't blame globalization...oh okay, blame it then.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 19:38 | 4413713 itstippy
itstippy's picture

Thirty years ago I worked my way through college by hauling trash during the Summer and on weekends.  The guy I worked for had a large year-round trash hauling business, but during the Summer camping & construction seasons he'd take on me and another guy (Herb) to drive a couple older trucks and service the seasonal work.  We worked our asses off and developed a close friendship.  When the season ended I'd go back to school and Herb would draw unemployment.

When the owner of the trash hauling business decided to retire he sold all the good trucks and the regular routes to a large waste management corporation.  He sold me the two older trucks, a fleet of beat-up dumpsters, and the cinderblock maintenance garage/office for an extremely low price and even financed the deal (he liked me).  Herb came to work for me.  We have worked together for 30 years.

Today I have four trash trucks and four regular drivers.  Mrs. Tippy and her neice do the books.  Herb runs the maintenance shop, and I do everything else (sales, schmoozing, etc.).

The maintenace job was something Herb & I came up with when medical issues made it impossible for him to drive a trash route anymore.  He was the best damn driver ever (next to Tippy The Trashman), but he couldn't do it anymore.  So together we did the math and figured out that if he did fulltime maintenance on the trucks and dumpsters we could save enough costs on repairs to cover his salary.  It doesn't quite actually (ask Mrs. Tippy), but close enough.

Herb & I built this business together.  I will stick with him to the end, and he will stick with me.  We spend lots of time together in the shop after hours, drinking beer and rebuilding broken equipment.  Mrs. Tippy doesn't mind (I'm not in a bar or out having an affair).  

A corporation would fire both our asses so fast your head would spin.  We're in our 50's and washed up as far as 10-hour days hauling trash.  We'd both be toast and we know it.

Cheers!  Enjoy the new damned economy where small businesses get driven under by Mega Corporations and everyone's treated like a disposable robot worker subject to obsolescence & age fatigue.

 

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 19:41 | 4413732 Son of Captain Nemo
Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Good article.

Comprehensive in the bullets it offers as to why we're in the mess we are in with technology but it left plenty of things out.

Such as...

No mention of the States in the Union that are "Right to Work" and the impact that it has on job security as well as all those wonderful H1B1 Visas roaming around the Country that have pulverized the landscape for tech jobs at wages that are substantially lower in some cases 1/5 of what they are for a U.S. citizen.  Ironic too when one considers the monolithic police state we are living in and that the rate of those visa applications keeps compounding substantially especially after 9/11?

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 20:10 | 4413826 Hook Line and S...
Hook Line and Sphincter's picture

An interesting article, but the usual in thread comments. I'd like to hear what actions ZH'rs have taken to build a new future for themselves and others. In the last 3.5 months, I decided to build an entire nexus for the construction industry. One that allows laborers, tradesmen, entrepreneurs, contractors, etc to reach out and conduct business free with each other. They can learn trades and market themselves as well. Check it out at www.searchtradesmen.com  

I'm strongly considering implementing a barter and/or 'bitcoin like' virtual currency that will allow all parties to interact in a more profitable way.

Thoughts?

 

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 20:45 | 4413956 Son of Captain Nemo
Son of Captain Nemo's picture

HLS

I'm in.  But only "in" if you can find this guy and his counterparts on the inside helping him to turn those internet service networks inside out to recast them with all of the IP and DNS security service protocols that have been around for the last 15 years are in the stack of most TCP/IP OSs but are not being used for reasons that haven't been thoroughly explained to the American public especially since the U.S. Government had a mandate for all Agencies (core to edge) as early as 2007 to have them firmly in place.

Many Countries such as South Korea, Japan and China are ahead of the curve on IP security.  I'm of the opinion that in order to endorse Bitcoin and have that idea flourish the FISA laws will have to be re-written and more strictly adhered to given the fallout of NSA, along with the telecom providers IETF/RFCs for next generation enhancements to IP service technology.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 20:48 | 4413968 Debt Slave
Debt Slave's picture

Damn. Robot sign spinners are going to put Jose out of a job. He might even have to return to Mexico. Bummer.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 21:04 | 4413995 I need Another Beer
I need Another Beer's picture

Great article, very inspiring. Gonna go pop a hunnert rds tomorrow and bury a nuther gallon of squeezins

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 21:10 | 4414007 My Days Are Get...
My Days Are Getting Fewer's picture
This is a very good article.  A wake-up call to everyone, who is dependent on others for their employment.  A good check-list for personal survival.    I am over 70 and set up my own business in 1979.  While somewhat vague in my mind, I remember how vulnerable I was working for others.  I went out on my own and never looked back.  I made good and am still trucking along.   To become self-employed, you must do a deep and searching study of yourself:  Many people are not cut out to work for themselves.  Putting financial vulnerabilities aside, you much ask yourself: what do I have to offer others so that they will hire me and need my help to achieve their goals.   Sales is the life-blood of business.  No sale, no revenue, no business.  For those of you who can sell, you should have no problem keeping a job or getting a new job.   But everyone is not a born salesman.  Most people, strong in sales, have limited technical and financial skills.  It is rare to find a person who is strong in all three talents.  So, if you do not have a sales bent, ally yourself with a strong salesman.  Make that person dependent on you for after-sales follow-up or the P/L calculation before the deal is nailed down.   I can not overemphasize the necessity to ally yourself with people having strong balance sheets.  You do not want to go down because that person has financial vulnerabilities beyond your control.  Keep close to the person who puts food on your table.  Know his family.  His girl friend.  His net worth.  His problems.  His unanticipated problems.  If he fails, you fail.  If you can help out in his time of need, your assistance will be rewarded and your small foibles overlooked.  I have had powerful women clients, who knew how to make and keep money and build businesses.  Never knock success and be grateful that you are associated with it.   Live under your means.  Avoid or eliminate financial vulnerability.  Never rest on your laurels.  Always be hungry - complacency means that you have lost your edge (and the necessity for others to keep you around).  Accept rejection, no matter how hard you have worked to make that thing happen.  That set-back should make you stronger and be a reminder that we are all living on the razor's-edge. Re-girdle your loins and get back in the fray.    

 

Good luck to all.
Sat, 02/08/2014 - 05:33 | 4414647 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Great comment MY Days -

I am the born salesman type and can validate what you say. I own a marketing tech business. I learned IT, especially databases. I studied economics and finance by hiring consultants from Babson College in 2005-2006. A couple of them are now mentors.

I ran into problems with success. I did biz with big companies and was referred to big name politicians to help them with database marketing and management by word of mouth. Without going into details, I will tell you that if you have a small business and are successful you had better hire an attorney because you WILL get sued by one of your employees.

Also, take another cue from big corps and invest real time into tax sheltering. Oh I learned the database tech because I had two employees that stole the data and opened up there own business with it. Though laws have become a tad better to prosecute such crimes, they are still woefully lacking. The result is huge data theft like Target credit cards.

That IT guy who did it was mostly likely an inside job. They almost all are. Say each CC was sold to a dealer in Czech Republic for .05 cents each. Multiply that times 44 M that is a $2 M hiest. That IT guy now paid $20 vs. $30 (plus inflation/purchasing power destruction) to compete against Chindians making $10 has to work very hard. They justify the theft because of few raises or cut benefits etc. That is why I learned databases. The IT staff cant even access it because I keep it mainly OFFLINE.

Now in a bigger business you hire a tech security expert like the banks do. Retailers should be penalized in the millions for allowing such theft. Course that IT guy that stole it wouldnt have had those overseas criminal contacts to sell it to in the first place if half the work wasnt outsourced to them.

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 21:41 | 4414091 John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

The author, while shilling for his book forgot to mention the #1 solution to a layoff.

Join the underground economy, pay no taxes, help to starve the beast.  There's a huge shortage of skilled chemists to synthesize new designer drugs to help fight the "drug war" by staying ahead of schedule 1.  Same for electricians skilled at "diverting power", electronic specialists to provide reduced and/or free cable and internet connections,  talented programmers to hack into poorly secured databases like Obamacare, Target  etc., machinists to invent and convert conventional fireaims to more diverse application etc.  Where's there's stupidity (think .gov) clever people do very well indeed.

If you've got real technical and analytical skills (paper pushers need not apply) there's lots of ways, both legal and illegal, to make a living.  For others (e.g. lawyers and bankers) not so much.

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 06:03 | 4414654 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Piss off John Coltrane -

One can invest time to pay the minimal amount of taxes like the "Club" does and your also starving the beast. Hey I didnt make those laws and I can render to Ceasar what's his, nearly nothing.

And instead of being a criminal, you can build tech for the "Club" which connects and exposes them to public skepticism, it gives all value while you help steer society one healthy degree at a time. Not all the club members are evil, actually most are not. You have to be old school and call
them on the telephone. Many of them unsurprisingly are older and they dont use much tech to identify new investments. And they are DYING for honest tech people that know a little finance but most of all DO WHAT THEY SAY.

I built a social news concept that was taking off and I was accused of being a sellout for talking to ex CB's that retired out of disgust for what banking has become. The model worked like a charm but required aome learning curves how to better manage ego driven authors. Many of such minds are brilliant, but bi-polar (also best musicians, scientists and actors).

I self funded (cost me a fortune) and launched it out of pure philanthropy. What surprised me was that I had very big, potential investors of like mind call me. I'm relaunching this summer with a revised plan. I'll probably call ABC Media investors first and learned to avoid Libertarians. Awsome ideology but as Lincoln once said "If you want to know a man, assign him a little power." I direct this comment to you Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform. You let down a lot of great Americans and if they knew your real behavior was more like this commentator John Coltrain, they would abandon your site. Fascist bi-polar piece of shit.

You will reap what you sow. The world will recover despite what I anticipate is another several more hard years. And you will be left behind John Coltrane and people like you if you dont clean up your act. Before you DARE judge you had best look into that mirror every day. It hurts at first to evolve, develop morals and demonstrate leadership, even to those investors that fucked up our society and now looking for solutions.

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 00:57 | 4414482 dynomutt
dynomutt's picture

I, for one, am glad to see AOL and its minions suffer the consequences of their blind obedience to the Obumptard.

 

Brown black orange, resist the flow down the drain. Muahahaha.

Sat, 02/08/2014 - 12:34 | 4415058 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"Profits of companies within the S&P 500 are at all-time highs right now"

 

I keep hearing that, but i read recently that operating profits are pretty flat, while pro forma profit was 7%.

 

 

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