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Posted: August 23, 2011

The answers to my FAQs

Readers ask the darndest things

John Heckers

Since August is drawing to a close, and I don't have a topic for this week at the top of my head, I thought I'd take this post to answer some questions I've been frequently. I figure if some readers are asking, a few others might be curious. So, here goes.

1). When do you think this recession will be over?
A: Not for at least another two years, and probably longer. Of course, Washington tells us that we're no longer in a recession. Perhaps they're technically right, but, tell that to the millions who can't find jobs. With the disastrous housing and job market, and Washington's austerity kick, we're going to see a great deal more pain before any gain.

2). Do you see any solution to the jobs problem?
A: Not really. Even a large government stimulus would only have a temporary, short-term effect, but probably wouldn't rev up the stalling economy. There are just too many things wrong for a quick fix. Look for high unemployment for the next few years, regardless of the results of the over-hyped election of 2012. No knights on white horses to save us!

3). What's going on with the job market other than the economy?
A: We're going through a "reset" where many jobs are going away forever. Robotics and other automation, higher efficiency, offshoring and many other factors mean that there will be too many people and too few jobs out there at all levels. It will hit two demographics especially hard: The working class and those over 45, especially at upper levels of employment.

4). You wrote an article a couple of years back calling for an end to extended unemployment insurance. Now you seem to be singing a different tune. Why?
A. I was wrong and would write a very different article today. We need to keep giving those who are long-term unemployed the pittance we throw them, even if we need to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations to do it. It is not only compassionate, but not to do so will throw the economy into further problems as unemployment dollars are immediately spent and, if not renewed, would be taken out of play.

5). What can be done to help reduce unemployment?
A: Support for small businesses would help, as the bulk of jobs are there, and they'll stay in America. We could also discourage offshoring rather than rewarding it. Those executives who order layoffs should not be paid bonuses that reward getting rid of people (which is the current norm). In the long-term, however, the current high rate of unemployment won't change much due to technology, a changing world and one other thing no one wants to talk about: Too many people. There just aren't enough jobs for people to do with our overpopulation in the world. That is a problem that will only get worse. Expect high unemployment the rest of the 21st Century.

6). What do you suggest the unemployed do?
A: Some folks can start a business, do odd jobs, get part-time work, and keep looking. Everyone is going to have to subsist as best as possible. I don't like it, but I think it is the new reality given our political and global climate.

7). Why do you have to bring your political opinions into career articles?
A: Politics and the decisions made by politicians dramatically affect the job market and everyone's career.

8). Are you liberal or conservative?
A: I'm neither. Useless misleading media labels! I believe that we should have the maximum of individual liberty consistent with the general welfare and taking care of one another. We are, after all, supposedly a civilized nation, not barbarians...though lately, you wouldn't know it.

9). When someone writes you at your email address, who answers your emails?
A: I do, personally. I highly value you, my readers. I also try to answer every comment in the "comments" section of each article, if it is civil and not ranting nor raving. I ignore trolls in either case.

That's all the space I have for this post. But I'd like to ask you a favor. I need some column ideas from you, my readers. If you have an idea for a good column, would you please write me at jheckers@heckersdev.com . Thanks!
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John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC was an Executive, Relationships, Life and Spiritual Coach in Denver with 30 years of experience  helping people with their lives, relationships and careers.

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Readers Respond

Thanks, Bart. "Giganomics," hmmmm? Sounds about right. I guess if we think about it, giganomics has been the norm for most of human history, hasn't it. The whole "employment" thing was a brief historical anomaly. But people used to travel around looking for something to do, didn't they? By John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC on 2011 08 25
John H great stuff - look forward to your next batch of reader responses. Giganomics is here - your advice to folks looking for work is right on. A gig here; a gig there. Small business must again be the engine of growth. By Publisher on 2011 08 25
Term limits would take care of the corruption or at least the polished professional corruption and Yes John, I DO believe that you are a wolf in sheeps clothing. Thou doth protest too much. It has become obvious from watching MSNBC that the liberal attack approach this year is your class warfare attack. You follow their "talking points" day after day to the letter. You fool no one. Your "stats" are irrelevant unless you can tie them to decades ago. I don't think they've changed much. I remember when I got by BS in 1963 that the figures were similar. hmmmm??? interesting. Being a college grad has never been the "answer." The job market has ALWAYS changed and always will, I hope. Deal with it and quit the class warfare. I NEVER got a job from a poor man. This liberal class warfare is dangerous to this country. By John Wray on 2011 08 25
Thanks, Tony. Here are the most recent and very scary stats, courtesy of Entry Level Rebel on Biznet: Only 57% of [recent grads] are currently working full-time. 43% of recent grads who have a job are working at a job that does not require a four-year degree. [33%] live with their parents. I am really glad I'm an old guy and not graduating now! As a piece of information...I don't wear wool in the summer, I don't mind being a wolf, and I never have dressed up like a sheep in my life. I do agree that the whole Congress and most of the rest of the crooks in government need to be tossed out, but anybody else we put in would rapidly become just as corrupt and just as controlled by the bankers and mega-corporations. This isn't a Liberal or Conservative issue, and it is the media and party apparatchiks who are making Americans think it is. This is an issue of survival and it's the bulk of us against the 1% of wealthiest Americans. If you aren't in the 1%...you ARE getting shafted. I'm not in that 1% and I bet my readers mostly aren't, either. By John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC on 2011 08 24
Ah another non business person heard from, or at least you sound like one Tony. I know of NO business person (and I talk to hundreds each week) who has any confidence. If this problem is in the "making" for a long time as you said, then the lack of confidence has been in the making for a long time. I wonder why it just showed up with this administration. I wonder when the Dem's will stop "blaming Bush" Even far left wingers are blaming Obama, esp black women Congress members. This problem will be FIXED when we get a new administration and that's that. you can take that to the bank. I've been in business for 40 years and I would have created two new jobs this years but for...... Multiply that times a million small business people and you'll understand, but I'm afraid that you're looking for "answers" in figures and numbers. NOT. By John Wray on 2011 08 24
John Heckers' political leanings are irrelevant. Our country's problems are decades in the making -- they didn't start on Jan. 20, 2009. We’re an impatient people, and the simple reality is no administration can improve the world in a reasonable amount of time. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Career politicians count on the electorate to: a) have short-term memory; b) remain generally ignorant of what’s really going on; and c) act out of anger and fear in response to invectives thrown out over the airwaves. The employment challenge has very much to do with a changing landscape. We used to value labor and blue collar workers (public and private) in this country. Unfortunately, our country’s race-to-the-bottom mentality helped gut our consumer-driven economy which was built on the backs of a healthy middle class. Many of the jobs lost during the recession are not coming back. Some of the jobs that have returned are now temp or contract positions -- often for less pay and fewer (if any) benefits. The available pool of workers is also changing. Many seniors are working longer in order to have benefits (especially healthcare). Also, the number of new college grads exceeds the number of retirees and new jobs now. In fact, 12% of college graduates under the age of 25 had no work at all in June, 2011 -- not even a part-time or entry-level job. We're on the verge of losing a generation of young workers. By Tony Peccolo on 2011 08 24
I believe John is a hard core liberal in sheeps clothing. But be that as it may, the jobs problem will not change until we get a new administration. The problem has LITTLE to do with "changing" environments. The problem is simple: LACK OF TRUST. Business people at ANY level WANT to take risks and invest in new jobs because that's the kind of people that they are. The problem is lack of faith in our government. With approval ratings around 20%, how can anyone expect an optimistic outlook for business?? I think that our entire Congress needs to be thrown out and term limits put in. I have a "recession proof" business and should be expanding but am putting EVERY nickel into paying off debt and saving the rest. I suspect that the majority of businesses from small to big are the same. By John Wray on 2011 08 23

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