Sunday, May 30, 2004

My Friends: Bob Reich & CNN

From: Michael L. Masters
To: lou@cnn.com ; wolf@cnn.com
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2004 10:58 AM
Subject: CNN: Continue Waving that Flag for Us Poor Souls



Wolf,

I am so glad that CNN has taken up the 'battle axe' and is swinging it against our current Economic Crisis for the people. I have been watching Lou's progress on this issue and I am finally glad that Lou's segments are being quoted on the House floor -- it's about time.

I thought your segment on Jan 29 with Dear Abby was excellent! Just as President Clinton said that day to the press and Democratic folks, "You need to put a face to this issue". Once again, he is absolutely right when it comes to domestic policies. For 110 million voices and opinions to be distilled into the No. 1 issue from a well respected source of advice, was simply amazing. I hope her insight and conviction on this issue will make it stick on top of somebody's agenda in Washington.

Before 2002, I was accustomed to paying $50k plus for Federal & State, Fica, Medicare deductions; annually. Since then, I haven't been able to find much value for my yearly contributions. It must benefit somebody else instead, and that is becoming a problem for us middle class folks. Furthermore, I don't even think we are an element of anybody's statistics -- especially those of us upper 5 figure and 6 figure unemployed, highly skilled folks that the "system" has cut the cord on. If you are not on unemployment insurance anymore, how can they know your status? They don't want to know in my opinion, it reduces the size and volume of the statistical reports.

Here's what really galls me --- when I was officially laid off on the day that George Harrison died, I trotted off to my local DOL center to make my claim for unemployment insurance. During group orientation on the 'ins & outs' of unemployment compensation, they separated us into (2) groups: those that they could help get a job and those that they were not equipped to assist and it kinda went like this: those of you that make $60k or over don't have to attend our required programs like the others. All you have to do is submit your weekly status to our online website. Good Luck and Good Bye.

I would have to say that we are at a crossroads right now, and somebody will have to make the tough decisions to get us out of this mess and get us back on track. The 'root cause' finger is currently pointed at Globalization and rightly so. Since the USA is the largest basket for consumers in the world, we should have the upper hand you would think. Or maybe the 'needs of the few out weigh the needs of the many?' Interesting concept.

When searching for the lost Holy Grail one only has to ask this simple question: "Who does it serve?". If a case can be presented that confirms Globalization is actually good for us --- then lets have that debate out in the open on the floor. Otherwise, we need to change our strategy and course to recover and build on what we have lost and put a barricade over the opening of that lurid, dangerous mine that leads to nowhere.

I am sorry, as an American, I do not desire my country to be turned into a 3rd World country for anybody's gain. And most 3rd World countries are defined by the simple fact that they have little or no middle class income populations in their economies. Is this the path we want for ourselves and our children and their children's children?

In closing I would have to say that this being my 4th recession, that I have never witnessed the utter and complete failure of our country's pillars of support to illustrate the lack there of. And one of the critical pillars is the media. When government of the people, for the people stray, the burden falls on our abundance of free press to get the message out to that entity and enable them to focus on our issues and get them back on track.

I am sorry, once again to say, that the only media I see waving the flag for us lost souls in America is CNN, thanks to Lou Dobbs, Wolf Blitzer, and the many fine producers working for us and CNN.

Regards,
M

PS: Just few suggestions to anybody that might be listening,

Unemployment Disability from Social Security - Wasn't the charter of Social Security Administration intended to provide 'Social Security' to the American people during times of adversity? If so, then for those of us that have paid in to the system generously without 401k's or have exhausted such plans, should we not be eligible for disability due to the current economic adverse conditions and provide the means to add fuel to this economy? Top Economic advisors think so.

Make the Phone Ring with Career Professionals - In the words of 'supply and demand': when demand is high you can afford to wait for the phone to ring, but once it doesn't ring anymore, you need to pick up the phone and make some calls to your customer base and rally them to your supply. For the high skilled, high income professionals, headhunters are their life-line to their next career move. Since the fall of the stock market and such, these headhunters went bankrupt or adapted to low producing ventures. Networking is KING in today's job market -- without it you are drifting around like a satellite in outer space, much like the adventures of the old TV show, Lost in Space.

Therefore, I would recommend that the DOL hire these headhunters as consultants, set goals, and measure the effectiveness of the program and produce results. The current scheme of the Lottery or Bingo style job market game is not very productive in the short-term period we have. We need results and we need it now. How are we gonna pay the deficit down and provide Social Security with the funds to service the ever looming baby boom massive retirement on the horizon making ZERO to 1/3 to 1/2 of our normal income? This does not compute. Make a list of those unemployed middle to upper income workers, descending by years out of work, and then one by one aggressively market them and place them wherever they may land.

Shutdown the Iraq Program - we simply can't afford it right now. With or without face it really doesn't matter because at home in America, we are unemployed, transitioning empty faces in a crowd, slowly our life forms are becoming ghosts that can only haunt the living -- we have very little else to do, or offer, or contribute.
----- Original Message -----
From: Robert Reich
To: mmasters@ispwest.com
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2004 4:45 PM
Subject: RE: Forum 2004 - A Skilled Workforce: A stronger Economy


Mike,

Many thanks, and thanks for your ideas, too.

Bob Reich

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