Monday, December 22, 2014

Jobs and the Philly summit

In today's Philadelphia Inquirer, I wrote about the local Philadelphia version of the Washington jobs summit held Thursday by President Obama. Reader Bill Pacello of Haddon Heights, had an interesting response, particularly interesting in light of today's news. The news today, by the way, is that the economy only shed 11,000 jobs and that the unemployment rate is 10.2 percent. My fear with these numbers is that people will forget, somehow, about the 15.4 million people who are out of work. Anyway, take it away, Bill...

Jobs and the Philly summit

In today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, I wrote about the Philadelphia version of the Washington jobs summit held Thursday by President Obama. Reader Bill Pacello of Haddon Heights, had an interesting response, particularly interesting in light of today’s news. The news today, by the way, is that the economy only shed 11,000 jobs and that the unemployment rate is 10.2 percent. My fear with these numbers is that people will forget, somehow, about the 15.4 million people who are out of work. Anyway, take it away, Bill…

 

I read your article in the Inquirer about the meeting the local leaders held yesterday and can’t help but feel cynical.  Why are we still asking questions about how to create local, or for that matter, national jobs?

 

We, our government, allow these mega mergers to take place, like the Comcast/NBC, Exxon/Mobil, Pfizer/Wyeth, etc.  What’s the second thing we hear when one of these mergers takes place?  “Company X plans to begin layoffs after the merger.  So these huge corporations use the “economies of scale” lie and large enterprise systems like SAP to justify, in their minds, these layoffs.  SAP and their “partners” like IBM and such inform the CIO who tells the CEO, CFO and CAH that the software will eliminate the need for real labor.  Euphemistically known as right sizing, reduced head count, leaner and meaner…blah, blah, blah.

 

The shift goes from local jobs to global IT companies who pay dimes to dollars for programming and support.  Now instead of company X paying the local labor force 50 million in salaries, they’re paying a foreign labor force 50 million in salaries or more to “customize” an already expensive enterprise system that is supposed to do it all.

 

Working class people and entrepreneurs need to be invited to these sessions.  The president of the AFL/CIO wants to build a rail line parallel to 422.  That’s a great idea but with less jobs who’s going to ride the trains?  What was the cost of the light rail from Camden to Trenton?  Why is it called the light rail?  Could it be because the passenger count is extremely light?

 

 

Other items to help this group determine how to create local jobs:   Lessen the barriers to entry for entrepreneurs – like legal fees, insurance, insurance, insurance, facilitating the patent search process.

 

Am I the only one who’s tired of hearing the same old spin?  The answers seem obvious to me.

 

About this blog

Jobbing covers the workplace – employment, unemployment, management, unions, legal issues, labor economics, benefits, work-life balance, workforce development, trends and profiles.

Jane M. Von Bergen writes about workplace issues for the Inquirer.

Married to a photographer she met at her college newspaper, Von Bergen has been a reporter since fourth grade, covering education, government, retailing, courts, marketing and business. “I love the specific detail that tells the story,” she says.

Reach Jane M. at jvonbergen@phillynews.com.

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer
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