Saturday, June 2, 2012

Rodger Mitchell — “You can’t fire me. I’m on JG”

Rodger attacks what he terms the five myths of the JG.

Read it at Monetary Sovereignty
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG”
by Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
(h/t JK in the comments)


Tom Hickey said...

I left this comment at Rodger's place.

"But those low pay, less appealing jobs already exist – by the millions. So how does JG provide an improvement over the current situation? It doesn’t. It guarantees the same jobs the unemployed already have demonstrated they don’t want."

Patently false in the State of Iowa, which otherwise has low unemployment. There is a significant gap between low-skill job offers and the number of low skilled workers, Way too many low-skill workers for the number of job offers. There is almost full employment of high-skill workers, and a shortfall of mid-skill workers relative to the number of job offers, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette last week.

Clonal said...


Did you look at Conyer's HR870 - Which is a JG Bill he introduced. It is a rework of FDR's WPA, and would meet Bill Mitchell's (not Rodger's) approval

See Conyers' Website

Thomas HR870 Bill Status

Tom Hickey said...

Thanks for the reminder, Clonal. Up now.

Dan Kervick said...

I would prefer to describe the issues Rodger brings up as "challenges" at best.

I honestly don't understand why the job guarantee proposal fills people with such such rage and disgust.

The world is full of successful public enterprises. There is no inherent difference between a public body organizing work and a private firm organizing work.

Clonal said...


The Job Guarantee as exemplified in HR870 fills people who are hooked on cheap slave labor with terror, just as the emancipation after the Civil War filled the Southern plantation owners with terror.

Matt Franko said...

" I looked at and found more than 1,000 jobs, waiting to be filled, just in Chicago alone."

Oh boy 1,000 jobs! total in the US's 'Second City'. Saints be praised!

Hey Roger.... moron.... WE NEED 25 MILLION JOBS MORON!

Write off this moron too it seems... senile.

Jonf said...

The word "unhinged" comes to mind.

Ryan Harris said...

I think Tom focuses on the most important dirty detail in the job market that no one wants to talk about. Also Rodger is spot-on about the geographic problem. Job listings are filled with demand for people with high school educations that can make 150-200k /yr after 5 or 10 years working blue collar jobs.

Then you have the shortage of engineers.. acute but not as bad as the shortage of blue collar workers.

The number of people looking for $15/hr office jobs with general business degrees, accounting degrees, liberal arts degrees... thousands of unemployed with no specific real skills. There is a disconnect between the general high school educational system, college and companies. Other countries use apprenticeship and training programs that bridge the gap. Here, we just raise wages to dizzying levels to entice people. Apprenticeship programs are used to license and exclude people from trades rather than to attract and include people.

Look at these two listings from the top of RigZone (look at the pay benefits and required education levels -- this is typical),

Newman-Johnson-King, Inc. * Established 1957 *
Updated: Jun 2 2012
Desired Expertise: Pipeline Engineering, Project Engineer, Project Management
Experience: 10+ years
Minimum Education: Bachelors/3-5 yr Degree
Salary: $115K - $120K + Bonus

Need 20 Well Site Leaders - Supervisor
Newman-Johnson-King, Inc. /
Updated: Jun 2 2012
Desired Expertise: Drilling Foreman, Workover or Completion
Experience: 8+ years
Minimum Education: High School/Secondary
Location: US
Job Status: Active / Open
Pay to $160,000 or so + bonus, depending experience - minimum of 8+ years experience.

It is harder to fill jobs for people know how to manage AND know how to do real things than it is to find licensed engineers. The media certainly doesn't tell kids this. Universities that are hawking $150k educations don't tell kids that. People don't want their kids to grow up to be blue collar workers. It is socially unacceptable. Even though they make more than their counterparts. I know first hand Australia is in the same boat the US is on this issue.

Dan said...

The takeaway from my comment on Roger's blog:

"We actually do have a partial JG — it’s called the military. Except that the military is restricted to young people in good physical condition who have a high school diploma and are willing to travel all over the world blowing things up. Many poor people from rural areas, where there are no job opportunities, join the military precisely because it is a JG.

If we can have a military JG, then why can’t we have a civilian JG ?"

Ryan Harris said...


"Hey Roger.... *bleep*.... WE NEED 25 MILLION JOBS *bleep*!"

If the government could get even a million or two more people working by better training and matching them to existing open jobs it would not be enough to fix the problem but it would be a boost to the economy. It would Directly add a percent or two to GDP (142 million employed in US currently) which would of course create more jobs...

Dan said...

Ryan, a little off topic, but there is absolutely no shortage of engineers in the US. Engineering graduates often have a difficult time finding employment (I speak from experience as an engineer) and the jobs they end up taking are often sucky.

The problem with filling engineering jobs is that employers want someone who is an experienced expert in a very narrow field. There are plenty of job seekers with an engineering degree, but lacking experience in that particular specialty.

No shortage of skilled blue collar workers in the US.

Clonal said...

My favorite was highlighted in this article - Jobs That Nobody Qualifies For

Here is a great example. This was the #1 requirement for a Senior Linux Administrator position:

• 8+ years working with RHES v5.x+ and CentOS v5.x+ Linux systems administration.

The first public beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0 was announced on September 7, 2006. Nobody on the planet has that level of experience. Eight years ago RHEL 4.0 wasn't even released yet. It's even worse for Microsoft admins. I saw a position demanding 10 years of experience or more in SQL Server 2008 and Office 2010.

Ryan Harris said...

Great point about the millitary. Hard to refute.

Clonal nailed it on unrealistic specificity, HR people are doing a disservice with these crazy job descrips. The problem is that so many people have no specific skills that if don't get over specific they get flooded with entry level candidates.

Clonal said...


There is another reason for the way the job descriptions are written - for plausible deniability. Before I go to the reasons, let me say a few words below.

In my 40+ years of job hunting, and jobs, I have not gotten a single one (not a single one!) by sending in a resume to a company where I was not already known. All the jobs I have found have been by word of mouth, and from contacts in the companies where I ended up working. Similarly with getting funding for start ups - word of mouth, and already established contacts.

So many of the jobs you see advertised are already spoken for, or go to people who know people. Many organizations require that jobs be advertised, before a hire is made. Sometimes that is a legal requirement, and sometimes an organizational rule. Sometimes, the job that is advertised may not even exist, but remains contingent on budgets being approved, and money being released, but are advertised in anticipation - for after budget approvals, managers are expected to move fast and produce results rapidly.

Anonymous said...

If we can have a military JG, then why can’t we have a civilian JG"

You are hitting some nerves here. JG can only be repressive: military, police, prison complex.

Otherwise private sector would have to provide good job conditions for low paid works. Do you realize how much extortion power does have capital over labour by controlling this?

This is what capitalists fear, just like they fear strong unions. LMAO.

Tom Hickey said...

"If we can have a military JG, then why can’t we have a civilian JG ?""


And don't forget about the US per capita incarceration rate, not a small part of which is related to the war on drugs and petty crime, committed by people who don't see a future for themselves in normal society. So instead of approaching the issue rationally, the US creates a private prison industry, which can hire out is forced labor.

Something's wrong with this picture. Of course, one can say that it's the "natural outcome" of events. If so, why is the US unique in the proportion of military and incarcerated among developed countries?