Monthly Archives: May 2011

Ohio State Coach Tressel Does Right Thing: Resigns

OK. I know everyone has bigger burgers to fry today than fretting about Ohio State football. But this isn’t all about football. It’s about ethics, integrity and the value that a university places on education. And Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel did the right thing today by resigning. Unfortunately, he should have done it months ago when the news first broke about how he withheld information from OSU officials about a number of players who had violated NCAA rules but were allowed to continue playing last season.

I opined about this is March.

The perception of Tressel that I have — and I’ve never met him — is that he is a decent guy, an excellent coach and recruiter, and someone who cares about his players and the university. And he beats Michigan. Let me repeat that. He beats Michigan.

And I know that as a nation we set the ethical bar so low for those in business, government, education, sports and so on that people can roll over it — no lifting of the knee even required these days. Still, at a time when there is still considerable outrage — although not many criminal indictments — about the misdeeds of bankers, mortgage lenders, business executives, government officials and other miscreants, shouldn’t high-visibility and highly paid coaches of public and taxpayer supported universities be held to a high standard of ethical conduct?

I think so. And I recognize that university officials were not/are not going to fire Tressel. Hey, he beats Michigan. But he should have resigned.

Here’s from the statement from Ohio State this morning announcing Tressel’s resignation:

Athletics Director Gene Smith said, “We look forward to refocusing the football program on doing what we do best – representing this extraordinary University and its values on the field, in the classroom, and in life…

Yep. It’s not all about beating Michigan.

Sarah Palin, Ed Schultz and Civility

I made the mistake a few months ago during a dinner Inside the Beltway of asking why liberal women believe so strongly that conservative women are stupid? That question generated some polite smiles but no real answers. Still, since most at the dinner were liberal women (and men) the question went over like a fart in church.

I thought about that yesterday while chasing the treadmill and watching accounts of the Ed Schultz implosion. Schultz, a liberal Talking Head, called Laura Ingraham, a conservative Talking Head, a “right-wing slut.” Ouch.

Schultz later apologized and received one week in the cable TV penalty box from MSNBC.  And Ingraham didn’t appear to get her shorts in that big a knot over the description.

But what would have happened if a conservative gasbag made the same comment about a liberal woman? Just to make it interesting, let’s say Michelle Obama.

Here’s an interesting story by Noel Sheppard on News Busters, “Ingraham:If Conservative Called Liberal Woman What Schultz Called Me He’d Be Fired“:

One of the startlingly inconvenient truths about America is the double standard by which conservative women can be treated by the media compared to their liberal sisters.

And:

In America, liberal women and liberal minorities are a protected class. A conservative deigns to say anything derogatory about them even in jest does so at his or her peril.

But conservative women and minorities can be ridiculed with almost total impunity.

Consider what the left has done to Sarah Palin since the moment she was named as John McCain’s running mate in August 2008. There’s no chance a liberal woman would have been treated this way.

Quite the contrary, if Palin was a Democrat governor named as Barack Obama’s running mate, she would have been put on a pedestal by the same folks that mercilessly ridiculed her including Charlie Gibson, Katie Couric, and Tina Fey.

Condoleezza Rice is another example of a conservative woman who would be exceedingly revered and esteemed by America’s media if she was a liberal. Since she’s not, it’s completely acceptable for her to be trashed by all comers.

As further evidence of the double standard, consider that in 2007, radio’s Don Imus made a joke about a group of black, female, college basketball players that most of the nation likely never heard of. Within days, he was fired.

Four years later, a liberal radio host made a highly derogatory slur about a conservative woman – not in a joking fashion, mind you, but quite seriously – and he got suspended for a week while the ladies of ABC’s “The View” joked about how his offense was really nothing to take too seriously.

This certainly wouldn’t have been the case if Ingraham was a liberal.

Tough to imagine this double standard exists in the year 2011, isn’t it?

Well, no. Not really, especially since cable TV and shows like The View encourage and thrive on a total lack of civility.

Anyway, I guess I wasn’t all that stupid for asking that question of my dinner companions Inside the Beltway.

As we move toward the 2012 race for the White House, Michele Bachmann is expected to run and she should do well in the early primaries in Iowa and elsewhere.

And Sarah Palin is signaling that she may get into the race as well. She’s going to spend part of her Memorial Day weekend hitting the road on a national bus tour. First stop: New Hampshire.

The knock on both Palin and Bachmann from liberals, of course, is that they’re stupid.

We’ll see.

Enjoy the holiday weekend.

College Grads: Downsized and Falling Behind

Well, I guess I should be opining this morning about the nation’s top story: The victory by Steelers star Hines Ward on Dancing With the Stars. And with the possibility of no NFL season this fall, this gives the Steeler Nation the opportunity to celebrate ahead of the Steeler Bowl that is generally held in February.

But I’m still mad at DWTS for giving Bristol Palin the boot last season. And at my age, grudges become more intense and long lasting because I have so little else on my mind most days. Oops. I digress.

So I’ll return to a story much less interesting than that of Hines Ward: The plight facing many college graduates these days as they search for a decent job that pays north of minimum wage and that offers some prospect for a middle-class lifestyle or better. Also, the earnings losses for those graduating during a recession — or at best now a jobless economic recovery — will follow them for a lifetime.

The NYT examines these and a host of other issues facing college grads, our economy and our nation in one of its regular Room for Debate features, “The Downsized College Graduate“:

The employment rate for new college graduates has fallen steeply in the last two years, a Times article reported last week, and many of those who have gotten jobs find that the pay is low and the work does not require a college degree.

The reporter, Catherine Rampell, wrote in a later blog post that some older readers cited factors other than the economy for the drop in the number of new graduates in the work force: that young people have a sense of entitlement, were sheltered by their parents, and partied through college. Or, if they worked automatons, they took no risks, expecting to be rewarded no matter what.

Previous generations of graduates had trouble finding jobs during bad times, and complained about having to work in clerical jobs or at places like the Gap. Are there reasons besides the economy to explain why today’s group is different? Are some students affected more than others? How can we do a better job of steeling young people for the cruel world?

Here’s an excerpt, from Till Von Wachter, associate professor of economics at Columbia University:

How come earnings losses from graduating in a recession can be so large? Research based on past large recessions has shown that college graduates entering the labor market in a recession experience reduction in earnings of 10-15 percent lasting about 10 years or more. (This puts college graduates apart from those entering the labor market with a high-school degree, who experience larger swings in unemployment, but whose employment and earnings recovers with the labor market.)

The initial earnings losses of college graduates have two main sources, among other factors. First, the quality of jobs declines in recessions, and college graduates start to work at lower paying firms and sectors – a phenomenon known to economists as ‘cyclical downgrading.” (That is, they get a service-type job at Gap or Starbucks instead of a career-type job at Cisco or Goldman Sachs). Second, even once young workers find a good job, starting wages of new jobs typically decline in recessions.

And from Richard Arum, professor of sociology and education at New York University:

First, the amount of indebtedness many graduates have is pronounced and unprecedented.

Second, young adults today as a group are highly motivated, but often directionless. The sociologists Barbara Schneider and David Stevenson have astutely described recent cohorts as “drifting dreamers” with “high ambitions, but no clear life plan for reaching them.” Indeed, more than a third of college graduates in our study reported that they aspired to own their own businesses, even though there was little evidence that entrepreneurial skills were being developed.

Many colleges and universities are implicated in the difficulties that graduates are facing, since not only did they fail to ensure that college students experienced rigorous academic coursework associated with the development of higher order cognitive skills, but, more troubling, they typically have abandoned responsibility for shaping and developing the attitudes and dispositions necessary for adult success.

In my research with Josipa Roksa, more than a third of students reported studying alone less than five hours per week, but these students were able to graduate on-time and with high grades. If students have learned in higher education that success was possible with such little effort, colleges have done them a great disservice. Career, family and community achievements are not so easily attained.

And from Carl E. Van Horn, professor of public policy at Rutgers University:

While college graduates entering the labor market during and immediately after an economic recession always encounter difficulties landing their first job, this recession has presented even greater challenges. The Great Recession — and the lingering high unemployment — was the deepest and longest downturn in 60 years. The economy shed more than eight million jobs and many millions more were temporarily unemployed. The recovery, which has been under way for over a year, has thus far generated less than 20 percent of the jobs needed to get back to the pre-recession levels of 2007, let alone created enough jobs to accommodate normal labor market growth due to population increases.

Young workers — those who graduated before the recession — are also clinging on to their entry-level jobs and may be blocking new graduates from getting on the first step of the career ladder. Older workers are also holding fast to their jobs or cannot retire because the value of their homes or retirement savings has eroded.

Compared with the college graduates of 10 or 20 years ago, the recent college graduates are carrying higher debt levels due to the rising cost of a four-year degree. With an average college debt of $20,000 and median starting salaries of $30,000, graduates from 2006 to 2010 seeking their first jobs will be hard-pressed to pay their bills.

Given the harsh economic realities, it is not surprising that students are pessimistic about their ability to achieve the American dream and do better financially than those who came before them. Since the time these college graduates were very young, their parents, educators and political leaders have told them that getting a college degree is a ticket to success in the knowledge economy. The vast majority of these graduates worked hard to earn their degrees — over 80 percent of students reported that they were working in at least part-time jobs during college and nearly 25 percent said they worked full time. Over 90 percent reported working during the summer months. More than 8 in 10 still must pay back the money they borrowed to pay for their tuition and books.

Now as they enter the world of work during the worst recession in memory, more than half have not be able to get a full-time, salaried job with benefits, nearly half find themselves in jobs that do not even require a college diploma, and nearly one in 10 are unemployed.

OK. I’m a strong supporter of education. And in the long run, college graduates have higher lifetime earnings and more stable employment over the course of a career.

But the current situation facing new grads is troubling — and it represents a serious challenge not just to the individuals involved and their families but to our nation’s future economic prosperity.

Just sayin’.

Would You Like Fries With That?

OK. I’m an advocate for a liberal arts education. Both my undergraduate and graduate degrees are in journalism. And I always considered journalism to be a liberal arts major that offered the prospect of a job and a career. Don’t know if that is still true in today’s economy and job market.

But I do know that students graduating with liberal arts degrees these days are having a tough go of it. And many are beginning to question the value of college at all, especially given the cost involved and the amount of debt many students are accumulating as they work their way toward graduation.

Here’s an informative article in WaPo this morning, “On path to riches, no sign of fluffy majors“:

An old joke in academia gets at the precarious economics of majoring in the humanities.

The scientist asks, “Why does it work?”

The engineer asks, “How does it work?”

The English major asks, “Would you like fries with that?”

Ouch. But in all too many cases, true.

Here’s the meat of the WaPo article by Peter Whoriskey:

But exactly what an English major makes in a lifetime has never been clear, and some defenders of the humanities have said that their students are endowed with “critical thinking” and other skills that could enable them to catch up to other students in earnings.

Turns out, on average, they were wrong.

Over a lifetime, the earnings of workers who have majored in engineering, computer science or business are as much as 50 percent higher than the earnings of those who major in the humanities, the arts, education and psychology, according to an analysis by researchers at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

“I don’t want to slight Shakespeare,” said Anthony Carnevale, one of the report’s authors. “But this study slights Shakespeare.”

The report is based on previously unreported census data that definitively links college majors to career earnings. Earlier studies have looked at salaries immediately after graduation, but the new report covers earnings across a person’s working life and is based on a much larger survey.

The report comes as the recession and escalating college costs have renewed questions about the value of a college degree. During the past two decades, the average amount of debt a student takes on has roughly doubled in real terms, leading more parents and students to focus on the financial returns of their college investments.

According to the study, the median annual earnings for someone with a bachelor’s degree in engineering was $75,000. The median wage was $47,000 in the humanities, $44,000 in the arts and $42,000 in education or in psychology.

The individual major with the highest median earnings was petroleum engineering, at $120,000, followed by pharmaceutical sciences at $105,000, and math and computer sciences at $98,000.

The lowest earnings median was for those majoring in counseling or psychology, at $29,000, and early childhood education, at $36,000. Workers with a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature, the most popular major within the humanities, have median earnings of $48,000.

These figures do not include workers who went on to complete advanced degrees, and the study does not investigate the value of such degrees.

In general, the study found that a college degree is a good investment. It showed that a worker with a bachelor’s degree can expect to make 84 percent more in a lifetime than a colleague who has only a high school diploma.

“Education is so off-the-charts expensive now,” said poet and Florida International University professor Campbell McGrath. who noted that his son is considering an anthropology degree. “You are making a really weird decision if you decide to send your kids off to study philosophy. It would be a better world if we all studied the humanities. But it’s not a good dollars-and-cents decision.”

I expect that attending college and selecting a major will become in the years ahead even more of a “dollars-and-cents decision.” And we may be seeing this playing out now with the increase in students attending community colleges.

I would like to believe that there is still value in education just for the sake of being educated — and there is value in studying the humanities and pursuing a liberal arts degree.

But many will have to swallow hard if the result is a job that requires you to say: “Would you like fries with that?”


Rapture in Congress?

OK. I didn’t take the garbage out Saturday morning. And the world didn’t come to an end. Chill.

Apparently, though, some took the pending apocalypse much more seriously, making significant emotional and financial investments in Harold Camping’s forecast that the world would be kaput. Here’s from USA Today, “Apocalypse some other time“:

Camping used billboards, fliers and posters to spread the word. “I am utterly, absolutely absolutely convinced it is going to happen,” Camping said last week.

The figurative drumroll leading up to Saturday — and the anticlimactic non-event — seemed to generate more jokes than fear, Cathy Lynn Grossman reported in USA TODAY’s Faith & Reason blog. Some Rapture believers expressed shock when the end did not take place.

Robert Fitzpatrick, a doomsday believer and retiree who sank almost all he had — $140,000 — into warning fellow citizens about the impending end, told the New York Daily News he did not understand what went wrong.

“I can’t tell you what I feel right now,” Fitzpatrick, 60, said Saturday in New York’s Times Square, after Armageddon failed to happen. “Obviously, I haven’t understood it correctly because we’re still here.”

Wow. He would have been better off giving the cash to my “wealth adviser” at Merrill Lynch. Then he would experience a financial Armageddon. Oops. I digress.

I wonder if there are any parallels between Saturday’s nonevent and the doomsday message from Inside the Beltway about what will happen if we do — or don’t — raise the federal government’s debt limit.

According to estimates, the U.S. government is expected to hit the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling today. Gulp. Or not. Here’s from the online version of the WSJ, “As Debt Limit Reached, Agreement Still Far Off“:

The U.S. government is expected to hit the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling Monday, setting in motion an uncertain, 11-week political scramble to avoid a default.

The Treasury Department said Monday it will stop issuing and reinvesting government securities in certain government pension plans, part of a series of steps designed to delay a default until Aug. 2.

The Treasury’s moves buy time for the White House and congressional leaders to reach a deficit-reduction agreement that could clear the way for enough lawmakers to vote to raise the amount of money Congress allows the nation to borrow.

Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, said reaching the debt ceiling “should be a warning bell to the political system that it’s time to get serious about preserving our full faith and credit.” The Obama administration says a default would tip the U.S. back into a financial crisis.

But the pathway to a deal remains unclear, even to those doing the negotiating. The White House and Republicans are giving conflicting signals about how close they are to a deal. Vice President Joe Biden said last week the contours of an agreement were taking shape. House Speaker John Boehner painted a different picture Sunday, saying on CBS’s Face the Nation “I’m not seeing any real action.”

Many Republicans and some Democrats have said they won’t vote to increase the debt ceiling without an accompanying deal to cut spending or tackle such longer-term fiscal problems as health-care costs. They argue the debt ceiling is a good venue to force changes needed to help secure the nation’s solvency.

With all the talk — from both sides of the aisle — about a financial apocalypse, wonder why there isn’t any fire with all the hot air? Here’s from Sen. Tom Coburn, opining in WaPo, “Why is the Senate stalling on the debt debate?“:

Our country is facing the greatest threat to our freedom and future since 1941. Any honest view of our debt, deficits, size of government and demographic challenges shows we must make major changes if we are going to pass on the American way of life to our children. Each week seems to bring new warning signs: slower-than-expected growth (already as much as 25 to 33 percent every year, some estimate), higher-than-expected unemployment numbers, admonitions to get our act together from the international financial community.

If these facts are true — and very few policymakers deny them — why has the U.S. Senate become the least deliberative “greatest deliberative body” in the world?

The lack of leadership and initiative in the Senate is appalling. As of this week, the Senate has held just 72 roll call votes this year, about one per legislative day on mostly noncontroversial and inconsequential matters. By this time last year, we had taken more than twice that number of votes (152). By this time in 2009, we had taken 192 votes. If we continue to avoid tough choices, we will lose control of our economic destiny and go down in history as the Senate that lost America. Our epitaph will read: Never before in the field of legislating was so much ignored by so many for so long.

For the past several months I have been meeting with a small group of senators from both parties, informally known as the Gang of Six, that was designed to force the idle — not gridlocked — Senate, and then the House and the president, to enact a long-term deficit-reduction package. Our talks reached an impasse this week when, in my view, it became clear we would not be able to produce a balanced, specific and comprehensive deal that would improve on, and in some ways meet, the standard set by the Bowles-Simpson plan.

I understand the disappointment, and real danger, associated with our impasse. The question, though, is not how we tried and failed but why the Senate has not even tried. Commissions and “gangs” form when members lose confidence in the institutions in which they serve. Working groups have their place — but they should support, not replace, the open work of the full Senate. The truth is that we already have a permanent standing debt commission. It’s called Congress.

Well, I expect that as with all issues Inside the Beltway, there will be a resolution of the debt limit at the very last minute — with both sides pointing the finger of blame at the other.

In the meantime, when members of Congress constantly shout that the world is coming to an end, all I can do is say: chill.

The End of the World?

OK. I’ll admit it. I haven’t been paying much attention to the main event predicted for Saturday: Judgment Day. I’ve had my head so far up my ass fretting about jobs, the economy, education, teachers, federal government spending, Pippa’s underwear — or not — that I lost sight of the strongly held belief by many that the world is going to begin to self-destruct. Go figure.

And I know that religion — along with subjects like abortion, taxes and MLB’s designated hitter rule — isn’t something you should joke about. People take it seriously. And good for them.

Here’s the backstory from the NYT, “Make My Bed? But You Say the World’s Ending“:

Thousands of people around the country have spent the last few days taking to the streets and saying final goodbyes before Saturday, Judgment Day, when they expect to be absorbed into heaven in a process known as the rapture. Nonbelievers, they hold, will be left behind to perish along with the world over the next five months.

With their doomsday T-shirts, placards and leaflets, followers — often clutching Bibles — are typically viewed as harmless proselytizers from outside mainstream religion. But their convictions have frequently created the most tension within their own families, particularly with relatives whose main concern about the weekend is whether it will rain.

Kino Douglas, 31, a self-described agnostic, said it was hard to be with his sister Stacey, 33, who “doesn’t want to talk about anything else.”

“I’ll say, ‘Oh, what are we going to do this summer?’ She’s going to say, ‘The world is going to end on May 21, so I don’t know why you’re planning for summer,’ and then everyone goes, ‘Oh, boy,’ ” he said.

Oh, boy. We were planning to have someone come over this afternoon to spread mulch. Worth it?

Here’s some additional info as reported by the Associated Press:

The prediction originates with Harold Camping, an 89-year-old retired civil engineer from Oakland, Calif., who founded Family Radio Worldwide, an independent ministry that has broadcast his prediction around the world.

The Rapture — the belief that Christ will bring the faithful into paradise prior to a period of tribulation on earth that precedes the end of time — is a relatively new notion compared to Christianity itself, and most Christians don’t believe in it. And even believers rarely attempt to set a date for the event.

Camping’s prophecy comes from numerological calculations based on his reading of the Bible, and he says global events like the 1948 founding of Israel confirm his math.

He has been derided for an earlier apocalyptic prediction in 1994, but his followers say that merely referred to the end of “the church age,” a time when human beings in Christian churches could be saved. Now, they say, only those outside what they regard as irredeemably corrupt churches can expect to ascend to heaven.

Camping is not hedging this time: “Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment,” he said in January.

Such predictions are nothing new, but Camping’s latest has been publicized with exceptional vigor — not just by Family Radio but through like-minded groups. They’ve spread the word using radio, satellite TV, daily website updates, billboards, subway ads, RV caravans hitting dozens of cities and missionaries scattered from Latin America to Asia.

Well, as usual on Fridays, I extend to my thousands one or two readers an enjoyable weekend. I’ll be back Monday with more pithy commentary on events, domestic and foreign. Fingers and toes crossed.
And if we survive the Rapture, couldn’t we commit to devoting at least a little time and energy to repealing the designated hitter rule?
Just sayin’.

Arnold, Jobs and the Economy

Well, let’s see.  What’s the American public fretting about these days: jobs, the economy, federal government spending, education, the rat hole that we’re dumping billions a month into in Afghanistan? Nah. It’s Arnold.

I don’t pay all that much attention these days to national polls. I figure that the only people participating in them are old folks with land line telephones who are glued to the TV watching the network news shows. So I try to keep my finger on the pulse of the American public by looking at the most popular stories on USA Today.

This morning, four of the time five involve Arnold — and his secret love child. I didn’t find the USA Today stories particularly compelling; here’s one from the Los Angeles Times, “Arnold Schwarzenegger admits to adultery, Twitter erupts with jokes.”

Hasta la vista, baby.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the NYT has an interesting article this morning about the lack of jobs — and career opportunities — facing college graduates this spring: “Many With New College Degree Find The Job Market Humbling.”

The individual stories are familiar. The chemistry major tending bar. The classics major answering phones. The Italian studies major sweeping aisles at Wal-Mart.

Now evidence is emerging that the damage wrought by the sour economy is more widespread than just a few careers led astray or postponed. Even for college graduates — the people who were most protected from the slings and arrows of recession — the outlook is rather bleak.

Employment rates for new college graduates have fallen sharply in the last two years, as have starting salaries for those who can find work. What’s more, only half of the jobs landed by these new graduates even require a college degree, reviving debates about whether higher education is “worth it” after all.

“I have friends with the same degree as me, from a worse school, but because of who they knew or when they happened to graduate, they’re in much better jobs,” said Kyle Bishop, 23, a 2009 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh who has spent the last two years waiting tables, delivering beer, working at a bookstore and entering data. “It’s more about luck than anything else.”

The median starting salary for students graduating from four-year colleges in 2009 and 2010 was $27,000, down from $30,000 for those who entered the work force in 2006 to 2008, according to a study released on Wednesday by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. That is a decline of 10 percent, even before taking inflation into account.

Of course, these are the lucky ones — the graduates who found a job. Among the members of the class of 2010, just 56 percent had held at least one job by this spring, when the survey was conducted. That compares with 90 percent of graduates from the classes of 2006 and 2007. (Some have gone for further education or opted out of the labor force, while many are still pounding the pavement.)

Even these figures understate the damage done to these workers’ careers. Many have taken jobs that do not make use of their skills; about only half of recent college graduates said that their first job required a college degree.

And, of course, this isn’t a crisis just facing new college graduates. It’s a crisis facing millions of Americans, young and old, those with high school diplomas, postsecondary degrees and credentials and those with not. We are not creating enough new jobs, especially the kind of jobs that support a middle class or better lifestyle.

Here’s one reason: American-based multinational companies are sending jobs and investments abroad. Ted C. Fishman opines in USA Today, “Why the jobs are going over there“:

Americans have long stood beside our big global firms, which have been key contributors to our prosperity. Today, however, an aging workforce at home, a challenged economy and the lure of foreign markets are pushing our biggest, richest companies to recreate their American miracle abroad and to weaken their commitment at home.

The American economy is home to 139 of the world’s 500 largest multinational firms, nearly twice the number of runner-up Japan. The big American multinational firms employ about 22 million of the nearly 153 million people in the U.S. workforce; that is one out every seven workers in the U.S. A 2009 study by economist Matthew Slaughter showed that the average yearly salary for employees at multinationals was $62,784 in 2006, more than $12,000 above the average wage in the private sector overall. The higher pay, Slaughter reasons, results from the better job big multinationals do at making their employees contribute more to the bottom line.

Cheap labor did it

Executives quoted about the trend are quick to say that the movement of jobs is not about undercutting U.S. wages. Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE and head of the White House Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, said that “the era of globalization around cheap labor is over. … Today we go to Brazil, we go to China, … India, because that’s where the customers are.” Of course, many of those customers Immelt refers to are multinationals that did move factories abroad for cheap labor and which need GE there to supply them.

The era of globalization around cheap labor is still upon us. That is why we could see the trade deficit with China near $300 billion this year. Cheap labor and the gutting of American jobs are inseparable from the economic miracles multinationals now chase. It’s tempting to lay blame on the companies, but the dynamic is too large for that. Even workers in America have a version of this game. Last year, pension plans, retirement accounts and personal savings helped pour $908 billion into the emerging markets recreating the formerly American jobs. Investors without an emerging market strategy rightly fear they will fall behind in the long run.

I know it’s more entertaining to read about Arnold — but I hope somebody Inside the Beltway or elsewhere is keeping an eye on what’s happening to jobs and our economy.

Hasta la vista, baby.