I was going through old articles that I had saved from several years back and one of them from six years ago asked if outsourcing and H1-B visas were getting rid of America’s technical edge and eroding our middle class. I would say that the prediction came true, but things are more nuanced.
Definitely, going to any mall, at least here in Southern California yields a plethora of malls that are brimming with people and sales. Here in Santa Monica, restaurants catering to the middle class are not very popular as seen by the closing of Sizzlers. One can argue that people cannot afford to go out, so no big surprise, but the two eateries that replaced Sizzler is doing a phenomenal amount of business and charging a lot more.
Take another example, the Santa Monica Place, the main mall here in the city. The mall just reopened after a two-year renovation. The mall prior to closing had a Broadway and a Robinson’s May as anchor stores. The mall also had a roof. What changed in two years? The roof went away, which absolutely baffles me why people want to shop with radiation, when they have the Third Street Promenade next door and the beach. More to keeping on track, the two middle class stores were replaced by a Nordstrom’s and a Bloomingdale’s. There is a gourmet high end market on the third floor. From what I hear, the mall’s focus, like most everything else in Santa Monica caters to not the top 2%, but I would argue the top 0.1%. Driving down Montana Avenue, or most any other street here, yields one high end store after the other.
Did you know that a few years ago, there was a JC Penney? That store became a ‘Banana Republic,’ a high end Gap. The list of changes goes on. One can argue that Santa Monica is unique here in Southern California, but no.
One can probably argue that the rich get richer and the poor poorer, but I would disagree with that statement too. Definitely careers have a lot to do with things, and maybe there lies the answer. Professions that cannot be outsourced or do not have H1-B visas have a large and healthy middle class. Fields that are protected are another source of middle class. People here on H1-B are also middle class.
The people, who were affected, just do not shop or radically reduced. Okay, that is hard to fathom as well, if one looks at lines at movie theaters. AMC Theaters is now becoming so cocky that they got rid of the AMC Movie Watcher program and replaced it with AMC Stubs, which a program designed to be better. I agree. The question is better for whom. The answer is them. Six dollar per year fee, a huge decrease in benefits, and elimination of popcorn on Wednesdays definitely says that there business has not suffered, but is in fact booming. If lines, upgrades, and ticket prices have anything to do with sales, then they are doing one heck of a job. Yes, that is a quote from a few years ago, not that it was intentional.
I would say that if we take Southern California as a judge, the United States is not only away from the recession and the worst of times, but we are in the best of times, and far more so than Samuel Clemons knew in his day.
So how do these facts jive with 12.4% unemployment here in the Southland, which translates to upwards of 20% unemployment, as the labor statistics only report those people who collect unemployment insurance or go down to certain career centers and report themselves as a statistic? By the way, is there anyone that has done that or even knows how to do that, let alone has the time? Before going on, California has a huge deficit, 25 billion dollars. That also correlates to 20% unemployment plus probably another 10% underemployment. There is less money coming in, so less people pay taxes.
That must mean that either the rest of the population got huge raises and/or there has been an influx of rich people here to the Southland. Before anyone says that the Southern California is special, it is not. The rest of the nation says the same thing. Does the 30% of the population that is suffering live in a bubble? A percentage less than that toppled the Egyptian regime. At a minimum, there should be protests, but there are none.
It is hard to argue that America is losing its technical edge, considering how well America’s top firms keep doing, although I did read about an Indian company that created a drug, and is doing well. Russia and the Chinese are the two countries in manned space flight. The United States is retiring from that given the cancelation of the Shuttle, Constellation, and Venture Star programs. I am still upset about the Venture Star programming getting the ax years ago, but happy about the Constellation programming getting the ax. Did you all read/hear that William Shatner gave a wakeup call to the astronauts of Discovery today?
Maybe the lesson we wind up with is a tale of two cities, where one is quiet and the other so far not so quiet. The quiet ones do have it in their power to rise up and do something about it. We all do. Egypt has shown that. No, I am not talking of a revolution. Okay, I am, but not the overthrowing kind, but rather the Oprah kind, where we change tactics and do not rely on methods of old. There are jobs out there. We just have to get them.
That is where Jobfish comes in. If you are searching for a job the old fashioned way, then you do yourself a disservice. You really are. Just as we would work hard and organized for an employer, there is no reason to be sloppy and nonchalant about a job search. One should be more organized and methodical in a job search, then when working for someone else. We as Americans have to not take no for an answer, but rather say, and mean, yes we can. It is up to us. Jobfish is the first step towards that end. Be the one that shops at Nordstrom’s. If you shop there, then you might know of someone who does not, so help them out and turn them on to the tools that can help.
As a closing remark, the new build of Jobfish does away with support of Hot Jobs. That is because, as you probably heard, that Monster bought the job board from Yahoo and merged the site theirs. Hot Jobs no longer exists. Which one had the cold jobs?
Let me know your thoughts.
Sarah M. Weinberger
Butterflyvista is the maker of Jobfish 2010, a job search program to help the job seeker find a job. Just as the iPhone revolutionized the smartphone market, Jobfish 2010 is revolutionizing the job search market. From help with your resumes, to working with the job boards, such as Craig’s List, applying for jobs, and so much more, Jobfish 2010 relieves the burdens of the mundane stuff, which usually frustrates job seekers beyond belief. Knowledge and organization is power, and Jobfish gives you both.