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August 6, 2011 11:38 AM   Subscribe

One Job for America. Carla Emil had a good idea. PBS has this report.
posted by GrammarMoses (43 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
MY EYES!
posted by slater at 11:47 AM on August 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


There are plenty of unemployed ophthalmologists who you could hire to fix that.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 11:49 AM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Advertising background. Who woulda guessed it.
posted by chasing at 11:55 AM on August 6, 2011


Ridiculous and disingenuous. Many (if not most) businesses in the US have a single employee — the owner. Few of these "businesses" are capable of hiring additional employees.
posted by Nomyte at 12:00 PM on August 6, 2011


I am so sorry to snark on this idea, which is well intentioned, but my first impression is that they really, seriously needed to do their part in encouraging America's economic recovery by hiring a web designer.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:01 PM on August 6, 2011 [12 favorites]


"I'm not an economist or a politician or an academic or even a blogger (until now)."
"Carla Emil’s professional career was in advertising. For many years she has been involved with various non-profit organizations where her focus has been the arts, arts education, poverty and human rights."

Do go on.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:05 PM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dibs on the upcoming MeFi opening.
posted by jwhite1979 at 12:07 PM on August 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was honestly expecting this to be a doomsayer saying that in the future, only one person in America will have a job.
posted by madcaptenor at 12:07 PM on August 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


It burns. It burns!
posted by whimsicalnymph at 12:10 PM on August 6, 2011


I assumed it was Obama hiring an intern (using his own money), so as to provide One Job for America. I mean, it'd add one more job than Congress has added recently...
posted by BungaDunga at 12:15 PM on August 6, 2011


I did not know my monitor's gamut was that wide!
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:21 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I already created two jobs for America in January of last year. Am I good, or do I have no make another one?
posted by The Giant Squid at 12:33 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


The ironic part is the huffington post.

Unrelated: please fire everyone in the TSA before starting up any new jobs programs.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:35 PM on August 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


If I don't have to pay them, sure. I've always wanted a valet for cravat tying and gossip mongering.
posted by The Whelk at 12:46 PM on August 6, 2011


You'd be paying them by allowing them to remain employed, which gives them a leg up when they try to apply for jobs to which no unemployed need apply.
posted by madcaptenor at 12:54 PM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Job doesn't equal employee. With many jobs being filled by permalancers, independent contractors or just plain temps, adding new positions without benefits, etc. doesn't really add all that much to the economy. What does One Job for America do besides have a website? The map of new jobs isn't exactly inspiring. 77 jobs created? I'm underwhelmed.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:54 PM on August 6, 2011


Speaking as someone who has been a permalancer, an independent contractor and a temp, I know that when I have work, in any capacity, I make money. Consequently, feeling more flush, I might go out and spend some, thereby keeping others employed. How is that not a win?
posted by GrammarMoses at 1:01 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought it was common knowledge that corporate America was deliberately postponing hiring, in an effort to continue the jobless recovery until after the election?
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 1:05 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]



Speaking as someone who has been a permalancer, an independent contractor and a temp, I know that when I have work, in any capacity, I make money. Consequently, feeling more flush, I might go out and spend some, thereby keeping others employed. How is that not a win?


Exactly. As another person who's been doing independent consulting for the last couple of years, I can certainly say that any work is better than no work at all, for both my family's finances and my local economy.
posted by deadmessenger at 1:13 PM on August 6, 2011


Emil needs to do twice as well as she's asking the rest of the country to do — and hire someone who knows anything about economics as well as a web designer. This is just flat-tax politics wrapped in a healthy helping of dumbass Capra-movie voluntarism: it puts a wildly disproportionate burden on the smallest employers, who can least afford it, and preemptively surrenders any real demand we might make of giant employers (private and public) to start hiring thousands of people rather than just one.
posted by RogerB at 1:14 PM on August 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


What's with the sheet of blotter waving at the beginning?
posted by Grumpy old geek at 1:23 PM on August 6, 2011


I have one job available; it is to go out into my backyard and clean off my children, who are covered head-to-toe in mud at this particular moment. I don't feel like getting up. $5.
posted by davejay at 1:26 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you live in my neighborhood, I'll take it.
posted by GrammarMoses at 1:28 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Still, most of the jobs in the U.S.ofA. are already created by small-if-not-tiny business. The bigger the business, the more it takes from the American People than it gives back economically, and the imbalance is getting more extreme all the time. What we need to do to truly turn the job situation around is not to give so much of the money we earn to them.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:30 PM on August 6, 2011


I pay a kid to mow my lawn. Does that count? I haven't checked his papers, so he could be illegal, but he charges me like he has a right to be here. I don't know what i'd do with another employee. Get my hedges trimmed? I'd rather just keep pissing off the neighbors.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:42 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been trying to hire an ActionScript / Flash developer at my company for two months with no luck. I've posted to Craigslist and Twitter, harangued friends on the almighty book of faces, put ads in the LA Times ... and I've gotten probably two dozen resumes.

My problem is that 100% of those resumes -- not "most", not "the majority", not "a bunch" -- appear to have been written by individuals with no knowledge whatsoever of spelling, grammar, or punctuation. If a person cannot craft a simple sentence, or at least take the time and have the self-respect to have a friend proofread or edit -- and I'm not asking for brilliantly creative writing or anything here, people; just the type of clear, declarative sentences you'd expect to see in a resume cover letter -- as a potential manager of that person I have to assume he (or she) cannot write code very well either.

There are plenty of people that are in the cohort of my mom and dad -- divorced Baby Boomers both unemployed for going on three years now, by the way -- who have excellent communication skills, who can write elegantly and read quickly, who are desperate for work. The problem is that (as far as I can tell) hardly any of them know anything about web development.

(I am not claiming to be the world's best writer, and I am not a grammar nazi or the type of person that winces at every single typo. But if you're applying for a job you should try to appear literate. There is a huge difference, for example, between the kind of comments you can regularly read on mefi and the kind of comments you can regularly read on TMZ or WWTDD.)
posted by GatorDavid at 2:01 PM on August 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Still, most of the jobs in the U.S.ofA. are already created by small-if-not-tiny business.

I don't think that is necessarily true. This data says that in 2008, non-employer firms (mostly self employed) was 21M people, all employer firms had 121M total employees, and firms with 20 or more employees employed 108M or 76% of the 141M (non employer and employer firms).

I know a lot has happened since 2008, but I'd have to believe these ratios are still pretty close, so my expectation is that firms with 20 or more people will be creating about three quarters of the new jobs. I work for a Fortune 500 company and have hired 2 into my group of 20 this summer.
posted by Edward L at 2:03 PM on August 6, 2011


Either I'm missing something, or this is rock-stupid naive.

If a business has something they need doing, they hire someone. If not, they don't.

This is like buying a glass of lemonade when you're not thirsty, because you think the kids running the stand look cutes. Only the glass of lemonade is going to be sitting around your office every day, looking for something to do and feeling awkward.

Money is fungible, jobs are not. If they're going to ask for charity, better to raise money for job training, or food pantries, or to start a campaign for a government stimulus.
posted by PlusDistance at 2:19 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is unimaginative bandwagon-jumping by a vainglorious marketing hack.

The idea here seems to be that what's holding our economy back is lack of initiative on the part of Great Men of Industry. This is a popular message today, and is completely backward.

Are the masses of unemployed today less capable of doing useful things for other people than they were before this crisis started? Why would they be? The reason people can't find jobs is that the people with economic power - so-called "job creators", as "capitalist" doesn't have the same sparkle it used to - don't have any incentive to offer them. There is nothing in it for them. This is nearly tautologically true.

But why should working people need to wait around for plutocrats to offer them a chance to do something useful? Can't workplaces organize themselves? What we really need is an economic organization that isn't controlled by handfuls of people, but by those doing the work.

Instead people turn to politicians who either have schemes to make it worth the plutocrats' while to hire again through Keynesian tweaking and government spending or push for ever more deregulation. The problem is much more fundamental than that.

If you want a grass-roots solution to the jobs problem, start a co-op, start (or join) a union.
posted by elektrotechnicus at 2:46 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


As another person who's been doing independent consulting manual labor for the last couple of years, I can certainly say that any work is better than no work at all some jobs just aren't worth it...
posted by ennui.bz at 3:03 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are plenty of people that are in the cohort of my mom and dad -- divorced Baby Boomers both unemployed for going on three years now, by the way -- who have excellent communication skills, who can write elegantly and read quickly, who are desperate for work. The problem is that (as far as I can tell) hardly any of them know anything about web development.

I think at some point employers need to take some responsibility when it comes to training their workers. If you can't find anyone in your area qualified in the way you want at the price you're willing to pay, maybe you should broaden your search. Any experienced developer should be able to pick up a new technology stack if you're willing to allow them a couple weeks to get up to speed - are you looking at experienced Java, PHP, or other developers?

Sorry, it's just a pet-peeve of mine that companies in tech try to recruit for a narrow skillset. Sometimes you do need a guru who knows all the finicky details of the platform you're using, but usually you really just need someone self-motivated, good with computers, and who knows how to structure good code and work well in a team.
posted by heathkit at 3:33 PM on August 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've been trying to hire an ActionScript / Flash developer at my company for two months with no luck.

Offer more money.
posted by Marty Marx at 3:47 PM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Either I'm missing something, or this is rock-stupid naive.

I am guessing you have a job. Lots of people don't, and cynicism dressed up like pragmatism helps them less than rock-stupidity.
posted by jwhite1979 at 5:36 PM on August 6, 2011


But it is true that the site could have benefited from a professional-looking white background.
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:56 PM on August 6, 2011


Either I'm missing something, or this is rock-stupid naive.

If a business has something they need doing, they hire someone. If not, they don't.



This isn't true, at least not anymore. Businesses have things they need doing, but force their existing employees to work 16 hour days to accomplish it, all in the name of work hard play hard culture, rather than hiring new staff to help out.
posted by sweetkid at 6:31 PM on August 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


@heathkit: I think that's unfair. Our ads have said that we're looking for an ActionScript / Flash developer. It's not my fault that no skilled PHP developers have sent me a resume saying, "I'm willing to learn ActionScript," and my company simply can't afford to place an ad saying we're looking for "someone who wants to learn how to be a developer."

@Marty Marx: It's not a question of offering more money. (We haven't even listed a salary range.) People just aren't applying for the job.
posted by GatorDavid at 6:42 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not a question of offering more money. (We haven't even listed a salary range.) People just aren't applying for the job.

Okay. Explicitly offer money. If you still don't get responses, offer more. And if you don't think that will work, then reconsider where you're placing your ads. It's unlikely that the people you want to hire simply don't exist or cannot be bought at any price.
posted by Marty Marx at 7:20 PM on August 6, 2011


If you live in my neighborhood, I'll take it.

I don't, and I ended up handling it myself. I'm trying to form some kind of connection between trickle-down economics and the trail of mud they left across the patio, but I can't quite make it happen.

People just aren't applying for the job.

As an ex-actionscript/flash developer myself, I can only say this: the more specialized the field, the more you're going to need to do the legwork the hard way, digging through your employees' networks to find the right person. Specialists rarely go looking for work; it tends to come to them through connections and reputation.

However, if you expanded your ad to say you're looking for a programmer, and you include those technologies as part of a larger set, you'll get a wider group of applicants. Since that seems to be what you want -- the right employee to train, rather than a turnkey solutions, and for that I applaud you -- use a bigger net.

and no I'm not looking, haven't done it regularly for six years now, and it's the kind of work you have to be doing constantly to do well
posted by davejay at 7:31 PM on August 6, 2011


...rather than a turnkey solutions...

Heh, count me amongst the actionscript/flash developers who can't write. :D
posted by davejay at 7:32 PM on August 6, 2011


Sorry, I guess this feels a little personal right now because someone I really care about is out of work because his small business just went under, in part due to rising personnel costs, but fuck you, lady. The answer to this is not to pressure small businesses that can't afford it into hiring more people.

A friend of mine actually had a better idea for job-creating stimulus, which was stolen from grad schools' employment models - allow citizens to apply for government fellowships for a given career, then look for jobs with the fellowship. So, an unemployed architect would apply for a US Government Architecture Fellowship, and if she got it, she'd be able to put on her resume that the government would pay, say, 30K a year of her salary. So the company that employs her gets an architect at a steep discount, she has a job and pays some amount of taxes, maybe you could make the fellowship contingent on the size of the business or the nature of the work or whatever - I just feel like a lot of nice side effects would fall out of such a system. Of course, this won't happen now because it involves government spending, but I think it's a drastically better idea than the one in the FPP.
posted by troublesome at 9:55 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


try buying things that are made in america, that might create a few jobs?
posted by GreyFoxVT at 5:16 AM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


So much snark!

I don't believe for a minute that this is the answer to fixin' all that ails this country. And yet, I've been thinking pretty hard about what I could do to help out the younger folk in my neighborhood who are simultaneously not finding worthwhile jobs & being screwed over by Califronia's college fee hikes. And the best answer I've come up with is to start my own business (which I hope to do soon anyway), and hire some of them.

Will it work? Who know.
posted by feckless at 8:17 AM on August 7, 2011


That site is pretty damn ugly, though
posted by feckless at 8:19 AM on August 7, 2011


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