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Rojo
08-12-2005, 02:15 PM
I know everyone likes the evolution/Pledge/war fights. But, its still about the economy. So I'm going to keep posting stuff like this.

CounterPunch (http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts08092005.html)

Good News! Soon You'll No Longer Need an Expensive College Education to Work in the US
Watching the Economy Crumble
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

The US continues its descent into the Third World, but you would never know it from news reports of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July payroll jobs release.

The media gives a bare bones jobs report that is misleading. The public heard that 207,000 jobs were created in July. If not a reassuring figure, at least it is not a disturbing one. On the surface things look to be pretty much OK. It is when you look into the composition of these jobs that the concern arises.

Of the new jobs, 26,000 (about 13%) are tax-supported government jobs. That leaves 181,000 private sector jobs. Of these private sector jobs, 177,000, or 98%, are in the domestic service sector.

Here is the breakdown of the major categories:

• 30,000 food servers and bar tenders;
• 28,000 health care and social assistance:
• 12,000 real estate;
• 6,000 credit intermediation;
• 8,000 transit and ground passenger transportation;
• 50,000 retail trade; and
• 8,000 wholesale trade.
(There were 7,000 construction jobs, most of which were filled by Mexicans immigrants.)

Not a single one of these jobs produces a tradable good or service that can be exported or serve as an import substitute to help reduce the massive and growing US trade deficit. The US economy is employing people to sell things, to move people around, and to serve them fast food and alcoholic beverages. The items may have an American brand name, but they are mainly made off shore. For example, 70% of Wal-Mart’s goods are made in China.

Where are the jobs for the 65,000 engineers the US graduates each year? Where are the jobs for the physics, chemistry, and math majors? Who needs a university degree to wait tables and serve drinks, to build houses, to work as hospital orderlies, bus drivers, and sales clerks?

In the 21st century job growth in the US economy has consistently reflected that of a Third World country--low productivity domestic services jobs. This goes on month after month and no one catches on--least of all the economists and the policymakers.

Economists assume that every high productivity, high paying job that is shipped out of the country is a net gain for America. We are getting things cheaper, they say. Perhaps, for a while, until the dollar goes. What the cheaper goods argument overlooks are the reductions in the productivity and pay of employed Americans and in the manufacturing, technical, and scientific capability of the US economy.

What is the point of higher education when the job opportunities in the economy do not require it?

These questions are too difficult for economists, politicians, and newscasters. Instead, we hear that “last month the US economy created 207,000 jobs.”

Television has an inexhaustible supply of optimistic economists.

Last weekend CNN had John Rutledge (erroneously billed as the person who drafted President Reagan’s economic program) explaining that the strength of the US economy was “mom and pop businesses.” The college student with whom I was watching the program broke out laughing.

What mom and pop businesses? Everything that used to be mom and pop businesses has been replaced with chains and discount retailers. Auto parts stores are chains, pharmacies are chains, restaurants are chains. Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowes, have destroyed hardware stores, clothing stores, appliance stores, building supply stores, gardening shops, whatever--you name it.
Just try starting a small business today. Most gasoline station/convenience stores seem to be the property of immigrant ethnic groups who acquired them with the aid of a taxpayer-financed US government loan.

Today a mom and pop business is a cleaning service that employs Mexicans, a pool service, a lawn service, or a limo service.

In recent years the US economy has been kept afloat by low interest rates. The low interest rates have fueled a real estate boom. As housing prices rise, people refinance their mortgages, take equity out of their homes and spend the money, thus keeping the consumer economy going.

The massive American trade and budget deficits are covered by the willingness of Asian countries, principally Japan and China, to hold US government bonds and to continue to acquire ownership of America’s real assets in exchange for their penetration of US markets.

This game will not go on forever. When it stops, what is left to drive the US economy?

Paul Craig Roberts has held a number of academic appointments and has contributed to numerous scholarly publications. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. His graduate economics education was at the University of Virginia, the University of California at Berkeley, and Oxford University. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com

RedsBaron
08-12-2005, 02:22 PM
As the closing paragraph noted, Paul Craig Roberts is a former Reagan administration official, not some far left wing socialist or far right isolationist.
I'm not persuaded that all-out protectionism is the way to go, but I'm not happy about the status quo either.

Rojo
08-12-2005, 02:29 PM
As the closing paragraph noted, Paul Craig Roberts is a former Reagan administration official, not some far left wing socialist or far right isolationist.

Although to be fair, Counterpunch is far left, as I'm sure some on here will be quick to point out.

I don't think we have to think about protectionism either. For starters, provided health insurance might attract more manufacturing or at least keep it here.

RBA
08-12-2005, 02:30 PM
The military is still hiring.

Rojo
08-12-2005, 03:00 PM
Ok, I'm spending too much time at Counterpunch (http://www.counterpunch.org/whitney07272005.html)

Doomsday Approaches
The End of the Housing Bubble

By MIKE WHITNEY

I sold my home three weeks ago anticipating what I believe will be "Economic Armageddon" in the United States. It wasn't an easy thing to do. My wife and I have lived in the same home for 25 years, raised both of our children there, and owned the property outright without any loans or mortgage. The house was paid for in "sweat-equity", that is, by wielding a shovel day-in and day-out in my one-man landscape business. I don't say that for sympathy, but to illustrate that we played by the rules, worked hard, paid our taxes, and took advantage of the American dream of home-ownership.

All that has changed.

I sold my home for one reason; George W. Bush. He and his protégé at the Federal Reserve have submerged the country into a morass of "unsustainable" debt, disrupted the nation's economic equilibrium and thrust us towards fiscal disaster. They've also generated a humongous housing bubble through their irresponsible and self-serving manipulation of interest rates.

The facts are astonishing.

The current housing bubble "is larger than the global stock market bubble in the late 1990s (an increase over five years of 80% of GDP) or America's stock market bubble in the late 1920s (55% of GDP). In other words, it looks like the biggest bubble in history." (The Economist)

The banks have lowered the standards for home loans to such an extent that the traditional loan of 20% down and a fixed interest rate is virtually a thing of the past. Instead, those conservative practices have been replaced with "creative financing" schemes that put the entire housing market at risk.

Consider this: In 2004 "one-fourth of all home-buyers including 42% of first-time buyers"made no down payment". (New York Times)

No down payment?

Sorry, but if a buyer can't come up with at least $5 thousand dollars for a down payment, he shouldn't qualify for a home loan.

Equally troubling is the fact that "nearly one third of all new mortgages this year call for interest-only payments (in California, its almost half)" (NY Times) This tells us that a large number of new buyers can barely make their payments, but are gambling that their property value will go up enough to justify their investment. This is "equity-roulette"; a shell-game that anticipates that salaries will go up while interest rates stay low.

Is that a reasonable judgment?

No, Greenspan has said that he will continue to ratchet up interest rates to head off inflation. This means that an economic slowdown is a near certainty. Remember, "class-warrior" Alan Greenspan lowered the prime rate to a ridiculously low 1% in 2002 to keep the economy humming-along while $300 billion was sluiced into Bush's "preemptive" war in Iraq and while the tax cuts were siphoning the last borrowed farthing out of the public coffers. The Bush tax cuts transferred an average of $400 billion dollars per year into the pockets of America's plutocrats. Now, the country is flat-broke and Greenspan will have to "incrementally" raise rates to stabilize the sagging dollar. This means a sluggish economy for most of us and doomsday for over-extended homeowners.

Greenspan assumed he could carry out his plan without too much unnecessary carnage. Unfortunately, gluttonous mortgage lenders have lowered long-term loans while the prime rate continues to go up. The banks, it seems, are addicted to the "cash cow" of shaky lending and are providing even riskier loans to new applicants. This has upset the Fed-master's strategy for a "soft landing" and Greenspan has begun feverishly issuing warnings about an inevitable "adjustment" when the market bogs down. The bottom line is that the housing bubble is getting bigger by the day and increasing the potential for catastrophe.

The current problem is compounded by the dramatic surge of speculation in the housing market. As "The Economist" says, "A study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that 23% of all American houses bought in 2004 were for investment, not owner-occupation. Another 13% were bought as second homes. Investors are prepared to buy houses they will rent out at a loss; just because they think prices will keep rising"the very definition of a financial bubble."

What will happen to these "speculative" buyers when the market "flattens out" or the economy takes a sudden dip?

And, what will happen to the US economy when the jobs that depend on new home sales vanish overnight?

"Over the past four years, consumer spending and residential construction have together accounted for 90% of the total growth in GDP. And over two-fifths of all private-sector jobs created since 2001 have been in housing-related sectors, such as construction, real estate and mortgage broking." (The Economist)

"Two out of every five" private sector jobs are now entirely dependent on an industry that is built on pure quicksand.

So, why would banks foolishly loan money to people who can't even scrap together a few thousand dollars for a down payment or who can scarcely meet their "interest-only" obligations?

The reason is simple; because they are not the one's taking the risk. Mortgage loans are acquired by investment banks and chopped up into various securities where they are sold in mutual funds, hedge funds and pension funds etc. To some extent, this takes the lenders off the hook, but it also means that the shock to the system will be much more widespread when the day of reckoning finally arrives. If we encounter a major glitch in the economy the shock-waves will be felt throughout the world. "Investors now hold $4.6 trillion in mortgage backed securities. That's more than the outstanding value of the US Treasuries." (NY Times) Think about it.

Shaky lending, interest-only loans, no down payments, a US government that is $8 trillion in debt due to Washington's profligate spending, and a "ticking-time bomb" of adjustable-rate mortgages that will reset within three years; the table is set for a disaster of Biblical proportions. If we hit a bump in the economic road ahead (rising gas prices? recession?) the "Land of the free" will be knee-deep in bankruptcies and foreclosures. We'll all be fighting for a soft-spot under the freeway on-ramp.

The fatuous Greenspan believes that all this can be avoided by regulating the money supply.

He's dead wrong, and I bet my house on it.

Note: The current dilemma could have been avoided if Greenspan had incrementally raised rates as the bubble began to appear. Instead he lowered rates to facilitate Bush's war in Iraq. It was purely a political decision that "postponed" the economic pain of the conflict and allowed the Bush administration to shift the cost of the war onto future generations.

Consider, also, how Greenspan paved the way for the budget-busting tax cuts (which he enthusiastically approved) and how they have increased America's debt by $3 trillion. This is real money that American workers will eventually have to pay back in the form of taxes and a higher cost of living. This "class loyalty" is strikingly at odds with his philosophy as a young man when he said, "Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth."

So it is; and the $3 trillion dollars that evaporated on Greenspan's watch was in fact stolen from the American people while the Fed-chief concealed the crime behind the smokescreen of low-interest rates. In the final analysis, Greenspan will be seen as a greater traitor than Bush.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

RedsBaron
08-12-2005, 03:34 PM
I'm generally a conservative, I'm a Republican, I voted for Bush--so I'm hardly a target of Counterpunch, which Rojo has characterized as "far left." I could also do without the inflamed rhetoric--"a greater traitor than Bush." I don't regard Greenspan or Bush, or Bill or Hillary Clinton for that matter, to be "traitors." I'm also not planning to sell my house.
All that said, the last article Rojo posted was interesting, and I've had some anecdotal evidence recently to support the idea that there is a housing bubble:
1. Last month a friend of mine, who had bought a condo in Florida last year to avoid WV winters while he recovered from cancer treatment, told me that he was buying more condos with the objective of "flipping" them. He agrees to buy a new condo at a set price with the expectation that by the time condo is actually built he can sell it to someone else for a big profit. He said this is all the rage down in Florida.
2. A few days ago a business publication ( I can't recall which one) I read was touting investing virtually everything in real estate as a "can't miss" investment.
3. Yesterday a lawyer friend reported he had just purchased three beach homes in The Outer Banks as an investment.
4. My mortage company sends me a letter almost every week telling me how to get the cash out of the equity in my home by taking a loan equal to the equity.

Caveat Emperor
08-12-2005, 03:57 PM
I can attest (anecodtally, of course) that the market for professionals is almost bone dry.

The summer legal market (where a good number of law students build job contacts in the 2nd year summer) is almost completely dry, and the law market in general is extremely slow. I've heard about a lot of recent graduates that are having an incredibly difficult time finding any kind of employment -- one kid I know has just been waiting tables for over a year, already having passed the bar and just looking for somewhere to work.

Rojo
08-12-2005, 04:20 PM
1. Last month a friend of mine, who had bought a condo in Florida last year to avoid WV winters while he recovered from cancer treatment, told me that he was buying more condos with the objective of "flipping" them. He agrees to buy a new condo at a set price with the expectation that by the time condo is actually built he can sell it to someone else for a big profit. He said this is all the rage down in Florida.
2. A few days ago a business publication ( I can't recall which one) I read was touting investing virtually everything in real estate as a "can't miss" investment.
3. Yesterday a lawyer friend reported he had just purchased three beach homes in The Outer Banks as an investment.
4. My mortage company sends me a letter almost every week telling me how to get the cash out of the equity in my home by taking a loan equal to the equity.

Sometimes anectdotal evidence is the best kind. "Flipping" has become the day-trading of the oughts. And some day, and that day is fast arriving, there will be no greater fools to buy these "investments".

After reading that article, I wonder if perhaps the selling of mortgages on a secondary market shouldn't be prohibited. If a bank doesn't want to stick out the life of the loan maybe it shouldn't make it.

Jeremy Piergallini
08-12-2005, 04:52 PM
Just want to see if my signature line works.

LincolnparkRed
08-12-2005, 05:47 PM
Sometimes anectdotal evidence is the best kind. "Flipping" has become the day-trading of the oughts. And some day, and that day is fast arriving, there will be no greater fools to buy these "investments".

After reading that article, I wonder if perhaps the selling of mortgages on a secondary market shouldn't be prohibited. If a bank doesn't want to stick out the life of the loan maybe it shouldn't make it.

I just can't believe that the consumers are so willing to take a 100% interest mortgage. We had to take a HELOC to buy our place but I thought only coming up with 10% was even a bad move because or interest rate on the HELOC went from 3 to 8.25% these days. Lucky for us we paid it off while it was at 6% but it just seemed like such a bad system for the buyer.

Rojo
08-12-2005, 06:39 PM
I just can't believe that the consumers are so willing to take a 100% interest mortgage.

But it works fine as long as the price of the home goes up 30%. Problem is that its only going up because the buyer is expecting it to go up further. Its the Amway theory of real estate.

MWM
08-12-2005, 08:02 PM
Well, I've believed for quite some time that the housing bubble will burst, and burst badly at some point in many of the major cities in the country. We're looking at moving to Minneapolis next summer and housing there has gotten pretty ridiculous in the last 5-7 years. Prior to that, the Twin cities area was one of the more affordable places to live, then they experienced a masive boom and it's impossible to get into a decent home for less than $250k. Already some homes are starting to decline in some of the higher end areas. I wish it would decline rapidly over the next 9 months, bottom out, then start to appreciate again. :evil:

As for the other doom and gloom stuff about outsourcing, I don't buy it. There's definitely merit to the arguments, but there's plenty of credible writings out there taking the other side of the issue that I tend to believe a little more. If I get some time tonight, I'll try to dig one up.

As for the market for professionals drying up, I know that's definitely not true at all. It might be for a few select professions (such as attorneys or high tech techies), but not across the board. There's been a growing trend towards the over-saturation of lawyers and too many law students to fill the demand. It's been heading in this direction for some time now and the number of law schools will have to correct itself to come to qequilibrium. It's a natural part of supply and demand.

But demand for professionals in other areas is plenty strong. There's more opportunities right now for people in business schools than there have been in a long time. There are more high good jobs than students to fill them. Head hunters are calling right and left with very good opportunities. Most people are having multiple offers to choose from. It's a great time to be in the business professional world, so I don't agree with the argument that the market is dry. That's been the exact opposite of my experience.

Caveat Emperor
08-13-2005, 01:40 AM
As for the market for professionals drying up, I know that's definitely not true at all. It might be for a few select professions (such as attorneys or high tech techies), but not across the board. There's been a growing trend towards the over-saturation of lawyers and too many law students to fill the demand. It's been heading in this direction for some time now and the number of law schools will have to correct itself to come to qequilibrium. It's a natural part of supply and demand.

Law school admissions rates are not held to any standards like they are in some other fields. Thus, there has ALWAYS been more lawyers graduating than there were jobs to be filled. In the stronger economic years of the mid-late 90s, though, you had fewer people entering the legal marke to begin with because it was so lucrative to head off to a job immediately after college. The heavy economic expansion also led to more jobs being created at firms and coproations for lawyers, which isn't the case now. And, making the situation even nicer, there were many lawyers in the 90s who eschewed the traditional legal market alltogether, in favor of high-paying jobs in the corporate world and a booming tech sector that everyone wanted to be a part of.

Now, with the market for jobs that a traditional 4-year grad can hold being tight, more people are choosing to return to get a professional degree instead of heading to the workplace, creating a squeeze at the front end (more people for less seats in school) and at the back-end (more people for less jobs). Thus, those places which are offering jobs in the legal field can afford to be more selective.


But demand for professionals in other areas is plenty strong. There's more opportunities right now for people in business schools than there have been in a long time. There are more high good jobs than students to fill them. Head hunters are calling right and left with very good opportunities. Most people are having multiple offers to choose from. It's a great time to be in the business professional world, so I don't agree with the argument that the market is dry. That's been the exact opposite of my experience.

I have no experience with this, but everythign I've heard from people who graduated business is that this is a great time to have a degree with heavy background in finance, but good luck even getting a nibble if your concentration is more towards the marketing end of the spectrum.

SunDeck
08-13-2005, 08:35 AM
My goal has always been to keep the annual return on investment in my home higher than it would be if I invested elsewhere. Through sweat equity and smart buying, we have always done that, to the point that we have about 60% equity in our property. Not bad for a one income family on public servant's wages. We joke about being like an old couple, but honestly I think what we are doing is solid, smart investing.

At some point, I will probably buy an investment property (Bloomington IN has a pretty solid market because of the university), but I'm just not capable of jumping onto the real estate bandwagon- we are just way too risk averse for that. My grandmother used to love to remind me that in german the words for debt and guilt were the same. That about describes us to a tee.

About the articles: So what if immigrants are getting loans? They come to this country and work their butts off to make it; what's wrong with that?
Unfortunately, we have to accept the fact that we can't insulate ourselves from the global competitors out there. Anyway, I don't believe protectionism is the answer. Rather, I think that organizing is the answer. As long as our government looks the other way while foreign companies undercut our economy by manufacturing with near slave labor, in horrible conditions, then our workforce will continue to lose. Force those companies to treat their workers with some respect and watch the price of their products rise. As it is, I have little confidence that this administration will do that, though.

MWM
08-13-2005, 08:42 AM
I have no experience with this, but everythign I've heard from people who graduated business is that this is a great time to have a degree with heavy background in finance, but good luck even getting a nibble if your concentration is more towards the marketing end of the spectrum.

I'm not trying to be a contrarian here, CE, but in my experience it's the marketing people getting the most opportunities, even moreso than finance. And I'm not suggesting my experience is representative of the overall picture, but my comments about head hunters above were mostly referring to marketing. In my program, even if you're not one of the more highly sought after candidates, if you're doing marketing you're going to have several offers to choose from.

My focus has been in marketing and I've had quite a few companies contact me directly without me even showing interest. I jus finished an internship with a company known to be one of the best marketing companies in the world, and the people I work with are getting a couple of calls a week from headhunters with jobs-a-plenty.

Again, what you're saying is completely different from my experience. I'm sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

RBA
08-13-2005, 09:27 AM
Hey MWM, you should PM SteelSD, he's considering a move to the Twin Cities also.

REDREAD
08-13-2005, 10:37 PM
I don't think we have to think about protectionism either. For starters, provided health insurance might attract more manufacturing or at least keep it here.

That might help, but I'm not so sure. He mentions engineers. You can get an engineer for $5k/year in India. That's why Intel, etc are creating all their new jobs there. Even if they don't have to pay health insurance here, that's not going to make a difference.

I think we're going to need at least some measure of protectionism, or else things are going to continue to spiral downhill. At bare minimum, tariff goods that do not meet the labor, environmental, and safety standards of the US government. What good does it do me to buy a wrench for a dollar cheaper if the Chineese ship dumps the polluted byproducts in the Pacific Ocean on the way over here? What about those Chineese women in basically slave labor camps sewing 14 hours/day until they get carpal tunnel and then thrown on the streets? There's no way the American Worker can compete with slave labor like that. This "free trade" is BS. It's not free trade. China has manipulated its currency for years (fixed exchange to US dollar) to help maintain its advantage. And there's many other things too numerous to mention, but I'm too tired tonight.

WMR
08-14-2005, 01:05 AM
"There's way too many lawyers in the world, but not nearly enough good ones."

"The cream will always rise to the top."

It all depends on a) where you're going to law school these days and b) where you rank within your class. If you attend an even somewhat prestigious school and graduate in the top part of your class, you *will* be courted by firms and corporations.

If you go to podunk university and graduate near the bottom of your class... yeah, you aren't going to be a very desirable candidate for a firm that has got so many different options available.

Not that one cannot succeed as a graduate of podunk law school; it's just that, by and large, the road will not be nearly as easy for those graduates as it is for those who graduate from "top" law schools.

Regardless of all that, though, in the most recent edition of U.S. News' report on every single of the 117 or so law schools in the United States, well over 90% of just about every graduating class is employed within nine months of graduation.

Rojo
08-15-2005, 01:55 PM
That might help, but I'm not so sure. He mentions engineers. You can get an engineer for $5k/year in India. That's why Intel, etc are creating all their new jobs there. Even if they don't have to pay health insurance here, that's not going to make a difference.

I think we're going to need at least some measure of protectionism, or else things are going to continue to spiral downhill. At bare minimum, tariff goods that do not meet the labor, environmental, and safety standards of the US government. What good does it do me to buy a wrench for a dollar cheaper if the Chineese ship dumps the polluted byproducts in the Pacific Ocean on the way over here? What about those Chineese women in basically slave labor camps sewing 14 hours/day until they get carpal tunnel and then thrown on the streets? There's no way the American Worker can compete with slave labor like that. This "free trade" is BS. It's not free trade. China has manipulated its currency for years (fixed exchange to US dollar) to help maintain its advantage. And there's many other things too numerous to mention, but I'm too tired tonight.

To clarify, I don't think we need knee-jerk protectionism. What your talking about, making free-trade contingent on labor and environmental standards, is perfectly reasonable. It will take international standards and monitoring that we alone are not up to however.

MWM, I'm glad that there still is a big demand for finance and marketing people, but that there is kind of butresses the point of the Roberts article. Namely, that all we do anymore is marketing and finance.

Some will say that this isn't a bad thing, that we've entered the "post-industrial" economy that values "knowledge workers". But if that's true then we are going to have to figue out how to make that work because a nation of hedge-fund managers and pizza delivery boys ain't very stable.

remdog
08-15-2005, 03:34 PM
I'm not worried about out-sourcing. Only yesterday I saw this: 'This t-shirt proudly made in America'.








(By illegal aliens) :p:

Rem

Puffy
08-15-2005, 04:12 PM
I can attest (anecodtally, of course) that the market for professionals is almost bone dry.

The summer legal market (where a good number of law students build job contacts in the 2nd year summer) is almost completely dry, and the law market in general is extremely slow. I've heard about a lot of recent graduates that are having an incredibly difficult time finding any kind of employment -- one kid I know has just been waiting tables for over a year, already having passed the bar and just looking for somewhere to work.

I am a 2002 graduate of Tulane Law, passed both the NY bar and the Florida bar and it took me 18 months to find a job.

Everywhere I went they told me that they were getting triple the number of applicants they expected.

Further, my brother, who was editor of his school newspaper, had a 3.7 GPA and works for the Democratic Governors Association, with recommendations from two professors and Governor Mark Warner of Virginia got rejected to 8 out of 8 law schools last fall. Yes, his LSAT were only average, but that only mattered because more and more people with college degrees (unable to find any jobs upon graduation) are applying to graduate and law schools in record numbers because its the only way to survive.

remdog
08-15-2005, 04:54 PM
I am a 2002 graduate of Tulane Law, passed both the NY bar and the Florida bar and it took me 18 months to find a job.

Everywhere I went they told me that they were getting triple the number of applicants they expected.

Further, my brother, who was editor of his school newspaper, had a 3.7 GPA and works for the Democratic Governors Association, with recommendations from two professors and Governor Mark Warner of Virginia got rejected to 8 out of 8 law schools last fall. Yes, his LSAT were only average, but that only mattered because more and more people with college degrees (unable to find any jobs upon graduation) are applying to graduate and law schools in record numbers because its the only way to survive.

Pretty much supply and demand scenario. Too many lawyers/not enough demand. (Although one would think that in this litigious society that wouldn't be the case.) Basicly, lawyers 'produce' nothing. They are a 'serivce business'. Sometimes, when there are too many janitors for the area that needs to be serviced, then some janitors are out of work. Same thing happens with lawyers, accountants, marketing executives (of which I are one :p: ). It's pretty much the normal ebb and flow of job areas that goes on over the years. As you get older you realize this-----just about the time in life when you are planning your 'second' career. :)

Rem

Puffy
08-15-2005, 05:27 PM
Pretty much supply and demand scenario. Too many lawyers/not enough demand. (Although one would think that in this litigious society that wouldn't be the case.) Basicly, lawyers 'produce' nothing. They are a 'serivce business'. Sometimes, when there are too many janitors for the area that needs to be serviced, then some janitors are out of work. Same thing happens with lawyers, accountants, marketing executives (of which I are one :p: ). It's pretty much the normal ebb and flow of job areas that goes on over the years. As you get older you realize this-----just about the time in life when you are planning your 'second' career. :)

Rem

Well, there's no doubt there are too many lawyers out there, and that was before the economy took this bad turn (in my opinion). The problem I see is the ecomony is forcing even more people into law school, which is just going to further the problem.

As for the Business industry, I cannot speak on that cause honestly I just don't know, but if MWM says its OK, then I trust him as thats where he is heading so he knows - all I know is that law schools are packed to the brim right now and the legal field isn't going to be able to support them (and their loans!).

remdog
08-15-2005, 08:54 PM
"The problem I see is the ecomony is forcing even more people into law school, which is just going to further the problem."

Um Puffy, I'm not trying to start anything here but how is the economy 'forcing' anyone into law school, said Remdog, scratching his head? People, it would seem to me, enter law school, to become lawyers, of their own free will and volition. Are the state unemployment boards now sending every fifth applicant for unemployement benefits to law school? Maybe people think it's a field where they can make a lot of money and so they gravitate to it for ulterior motives. Ya' think?

As for what MWM said about marketing positions, I concur. We've got a position a my Marriott property that only requires a year or two of background, pays between $75k-$90k (some commissions involved) and it's been open since April. We can't even get people to apply, much less take the job. Oh well,....

Rem

rdiersin
08-15-2005, 09:22 PM
Um Puffy, I'm not trying to start anything here but how is the economy 'forcing' anyone into law school, said Remdog, scratching his head? People, it would seem to me, enter law school, to become lawyers, of their own free will and volition. Are the state unemployment boards now sending every fifth applicant for unemployement benefits to law school? Maybe people think it's a field where they can make a lot of money and so they gravitate to it for ulterior motives. Ya' think?


It may not be forcing them into the field, but it is quite often the case that when the economy is lagging, there are more people that go for professional degrees or enter graduate school. They may be motivated by money as you say, but in good times they take that money right after their BS or BA, and in bad times they figure they might as well go on for more school and get more money later.

Puffy
08-15-2005, 10:17 PM
"The problem I see is the ecomony is forcing even more people into law school, which is just going to further the problem."

Um Puffy, I'm not trying to start anything here but how is the economy 'forcing' anyone into law school, said Remdog, scratching his head? People, it would seem to me, enter law school, to become lawyers, of their own free will and volition. Are the state unemployment boards now sending every fifth applicant for unemployement benefits to law school? Maybe people think it's a field where they can make a lot of money and so they gravitate to it for ulterior motives. Ya' think?


Rem

Well, I wouldn't of thought you were trying to start something if maybe you used a little less sarcasm, but whatever.

The answer, Remdog, is simple. People graduate from college. They have a degree in some bullcrap, but its a college degree and human resources people still value that. However, instead of 10 jobs there are only 5 jobs. So 5 qualified people are left out in the cold whereas 5 years ago they would be gainfully employed. So now we have 5 people with college degrees living with mommy and daddy, out looking for jobs and finding nothing but mail clerk and fry cook.

Or, how about the people who are about to graduate from college who see the horrible job market, who see that the middle class is getting smaller while the lower class is getting larger who think I need more education or I'm gonna be sucked into that lower class.

So, they decide that going for more school will set them out, because obviously the college degree wasn't enough. So they go for more school, and hey law school is a good place because the world always needs lawyers, an attorney can always find a job, and if he can't well, hang a shingle out and start your own practice.

So yes, people are being forced into law school. And if you don't believe me, ask anyone on this board who is a recent grad or who is about to grad - yes, they have a choice, but its not a pretty one. I know of at least ten people who are about to enter law school who have all told me that law school was not the first, second or third choice, but they really didn't know what else to do.

Anyway, Remdog, its just my opinion from what people have told me, from what I experienced when I got out. And if you don't see it, or don't believe me, hey, to each his own.

remdog
08-15-2005, 10:29 PM
"Well, I wouldn't of thought you were trying to start something if maybe you used a little less sarcasm, but whatever."

Actually, I wasn't using any sarcasm at all so it appears to me that either you read my intent wrong or you're the one trying to start something. I even told you up front that I wasn't trying to start anything.....

Perhaps you'll make a very good lawyer. You apparently don't believe people that are trying to have an honest discussion.

Rem

paintmered
08-15-2005, 10:33 PM
Take it private guys.

Betterread
08-15-2005, 10:49 PM
"Well, I wouldn't of thought you were trying to start something if maybe you used a little less sarcasm, but whatever."

Actually, I wasn't using any sarcasm at all so it appears to me that either you read my intent wrong or you're the one trying to start something. I even told you up front that I wasn't trying to start anything.....

Perhaps you'll make a very good lawyer. You apparently don't believe people that are trying to have an honest discussion.

Rem

Remdog quote: "Basicly, lawyers 'produce' nothing. They are a 'serivce business'." (spelling and grammar unaltered)

I think Puffy was giving you the benefit of the doubt by calling you sarcastic. Based upon your combination of ignorance, incivility and defensiveness, I would describe you as banal and shrill, but lacking in originality, which I guess was what you were aiming at when you posted your "opnions".

paintmered
08-15-2005, 11:01 PM
Based upon your combination of ignorance, incivility and defensiveness, I would describe you as banal and shrill, but lacking in originality, which I guess was what you were aiming at when you posted your "opnions".


Ahem...


Take it private guys.

REDREAD
08-16-2005, 10:22 AM
To clarify, I don't think we need knee-jerk protectionism. What your talking about, making free-trade contingent on labor and environmental standards, is perfectly reasonable. It will take international standards and monitoring that we alone are not up to however. .

That's a good point. My solution to this company would be that you have the companies producing the foreign goods pay a certification fee to have their plant reviewed and certified. Sure, that will add cost to that microwave oven made in China or Korea, but I'm not concerned about that. Companies that manufacture in America spend a considerable amount of money to meet environmental standards (that's one reason the jobs are moving overseas).

I see no reason why it's not fair to make the Chineese or Mexican manufacturers do the same paperwork if they want to sell in the US. Of course, they'd probably have to pay more, because I'd want periodic, surprise audits to make sure they were legitimately conforming.

This certification would be entirely paid for by fees from the companies. It wouldn't cost the taxpayers a dime.

REDREAD
08-16-2005, 10:29 AM
Well, there's no doubt there are too many lawyers out there, and that was before the economy took this bad turn (in my opinion). The problem I see is the ecomony is forcing even more people into law school, which is just going to further the problem.
.

Yes, that's true in a lot of professions that require higher education. My first kid is about 9 years from college. Unless things change, I'm going to push him to get an Associates Degree first in something marketable (if that's still an option by then), and then get his 4 year degree. It's getting to the point where a 4 year degree is worth less and less.

My friend had a son who just graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from a good school. Had a great GPA, etc. If he had graduated in the 80's, he could've probably worked for any company in America. But today, it's different. He looked for a long time, and finally had to settle for a 25k job.
IMO, that's not worth going to college for, unless you really have a passion for that career.

And the marketing/sales jobs will take a hit when the economy slows as well. Can't market stuff when consumers have no money to buy. We had the dot.com illusion, now we have the no interest mortgage/negative equity loan illusion driving the economy (which will crash eventually as well). At some point, driving the economy with deficit spending is no longer going to be a viable option.

RedsBaron
08-25-2005, 05:38 PM
Thanks for the post. I respect Roberts.
What I wish is that someone had a solution for the problems Roberts discussed. I know that many here were praising Obama's recent speech-my reaction was that the speech had nice wording and was surely delivered well, but where were the solutions to the problems Obama mentioned?
I'm not being critical of either Roberts or Obama. These are tough issues, and I sure don't have the solution either.

dman
08-25-2005, 06:22 PM
I can attest (anecodtally, of course) that the market for professionals is almost bone dry.

The summer legal market (where a good number of law students build job contacts in the 2nd year summer) is almost completely dry, and the law market in general is extremely slow. I've heard about a lot of recent graduates that are having an incredibly difficult time finding any kind of employment -- one kid I know has just been waiting tables for over a year, already having passed the bar and just looking for somewhere to work.

Boy aren't you right about the professionals!!!!! Imagine how low the market is for pilots, given the shambles that the airline industry is in.

Rojo
08-25-2005, 07:19 PM
Yes, that's true in a lot of professions that require higher education. My first kid is about 9 years from college. Unless things change, I'm going to push him to get an Associates Degree first in something marketable (if that's still an option by then), and then get his 4 year degree. It's getting to the point where a 4 year degree is worth less and less.

I know what you mean. My son's 15 and I'm still trying to get him to go for the 4-year, but I think its me that needs convincing.

We're kinda caught in the middle here in the good ol' USA. On the one hand you have emerging economies like China and India where you can rapidly increase your lot in life through education. On the other, you have Europe, where this isn't is much opportunity but they have all kinds of insulating social programs that allow people to work 25 hours a week and time to pursue an actual life. But like a 50-year old in hot pants we can't come to grips with our middle age.

Deepred05
08-27-2005, 09:20 AM
Perhaps some of you younger folk should consider a move out west. The economy is booming out here. I have lived in Vegas, Phoenix, Seattle, and now California, in the last seven years. These years have been the most profitable of my life. Also, being in the casino industry, I have been astonished at the amount of "disposable" income people seem to have these days. Blows me away. Definitely a dramatic increase in the amount of money people are wagering these days, compared to when I started in the business 20 years ago.

Rojo
08-28-2005, 05:23 PM
I live in San Francisco and the economy here is better than it was a couple of years ago, but it ain't great. Home construction and housing-equity fueled consumption is driving the economy in the west, more than anywhere else. And when that shoe falls.......

Anyhow, after the dot.com bubble burst we kept pumping out dollars to keep the economy afloat leading to the current housing bubble. When it bursts, I fear we'll be tempted to lower interest rates again and more speculation. But I'm guessing there will be no third light on this match. The public, having witnessed two successive bubbles, will not look for the "next big thing".

PS: Look for the bubble to burst in October when the new Bankruptcy law goes into affect and the credit card companies double their minimum payments.

Caveat Emperor
08-28-2005, 05:35 PM
Perhaps some of you younger folk should consider a move out west. The economy is booming out here. I have lived in Vegas, Phoenix, Seattle, and now California, in the last seven years. These years have been the most profitable of my life.

I've actually investigated trying to move out west, because I know there is a burgeoning legal market in areas like Arizona and Texas. However, I've found that it's really hard to get a foot in the door somewhere that you've never lived or have no other contacts or ties to. Heck, it's been hard enough looking for work in places I have lived (Washington DC, New Orleans, and Cincinnati)!

My mistake was going to Toledo for law school...I came for the full tuition scholarship and I'm getting exactly what I paid for. :laugh:

MWM
08-28-2005, 08:50 PM
CE, my brother graduated from Toledo's law school and is doing really well. There's hope.

Anyhow, I've long been extremely concerned over the reckless levels of debt the current administration is allowing to accumulate. IMO, the deficit is the most significant threat to the economy.

Here's a decent read on Greenspan's view of the current economy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/26/business/26cnd-fed.html

George Foster
08-28-2005, 11:11 PM
I can attest (anecodtally, of course) that the market for professionals is almost bone dry.

The summer legal market (where a good number of law students build job contacts in the 2nd year summer) is almost completely dry, and the law market in general is extremely slow. I've heard about a lot of recent graduates that are having an incredibly difficult time finding any kind of employment -- one kid I know has just been waiting tables for over a year, already having passed the bar and just looking for somewhere to work.

This is because there are to many law schools! In My little state of KY there are 3 law schools pumping out aprox 230 lawyers a year. That's why law suits are increasing. Suits that would not be filed 10-15 years ago, are being filed because the lawyers need to make a living. they will take a chance. It's sad.
I don't know what it is like in your state, but we are over-run with lawyers in KY. My dad is a retired Judge and is practicing again, he says the same thing. Most lawyers don't retire at 55 or 60 because they love what they do, and they have an established practice that is making good money. There are only 120 counties in KY and every three years there are about 700 new lawyers...thats nuts.
It has nothing to do with the economy, in fact my father said he makes more money in a bad economy due to bankrupties, divorces, etc.

registerthis
08-29-2005, 09:58 AM
This is because there are to many law schools! In My little state of KY there are 3 law schools pumping out aprox 230 lawyers a year. That's why law suits are increasing. Suits that would not be filed 10-15 years ago, are being filed because the lawyers need to make a living. they will take a chance. It's sad. George, do you know anything about the practice of law? Do you understand that trial/litigation attorneys constitute only a small portion of all attorneys nationwide? Do you understand that every real estate deal, every estate plan, every sizeable loan transaction, every community association bylaw, every business acquisition, every stock sale, every HR department, every health care office--plus many many more areas of society--require the work and advice of attorneys?

There aren't more lawyers today because more people are suing. There are more lawyers because the world's largest economy requires them in order to properly function.

REDREAD
08-29-2005, 10:36 AM
.

Anyhow, I've long been extremely concerned over the reckless levels of debt the current administration is allowing to accumulate. IMO, the deficit is the most significant threat to the economy.


I agree with you on that. In 20-30 years when Japan gets in a pinch and has to fund a lot of social programs due to its aging population and can't lend the US any more money, we're going to be in big trouble.

By then, probably 40-45% of tax revenue will be used to pay interest on the debt (maybe not that much, but a significant amount). We'll also have an older population to take care of, etc. It's going to be a mess.

George Foster
08-29-2005, 11:43 AM
George, do you know anything about the practice of law? Do you understand that trial/litigation attorneys constitute only a small portion of all attorneys nationwide? Do you understand that every real estate deal, every estate plan, every sizeable loan transaction, every community association bylaw, every business acquisition, every stock sale, every HR department, every health care office--plus many many more areas of society--require the work and advice of attorneys?

There aren't more lawyers today because more people are suing. There are more lawyers because the world's largest economy requires them in order to properly function.

Read my post again, I never said that "there aren't more lawyers today because more people are suing." I said that do to the over production of lawyers by law schools, they are taking cases that they would not have taken 10-15 years ago because they need the business.

If the worlds largest economy requires more lawyers to properly function, why are recent graduates from law waiting tables like was mentioned in the above posts?

registerthis
08-29-2005, 11:50 AM
Read my post again, I never said that "there aren't more lawyers today because more people are suing." I said that do to the over production of lawyers by law schools, they are taking cases that they would not have taken 10-15 years ago because they need the business. No, you didn't say "cases". You said that more suits are being filed--specifically, you said this:

That's why law suits are increasing. Suits that would not be filed 10-15 years ago, are being filed because the lawyers need to make a livingA majority of lawyers in practice never file a lawsuit, George. Taking on a case and filing a lawsuit are two completely separate things. That's why I say you show very little understanding of the practice of law.


If the worlds largest economy requires more lawyers to properly function, why are recent graduates from law waiting tables like was mentioned in the above posts?The same reason people with business degrees are working retail, people with CIS degrees are working in coffee shops, and people with economics degrees are working in book stores. Not everyone finds a job immediately out of school, and the market for individuals in the professional services sector has declined as the economy has declined during the past 5 years. That's attributable to a host of factors. But to say that more lawyers coming out of law school means more lawsuits is simply asinine.

Deepred05
08-29-2005, 01:51 PM
I've actually investigated trying to move out west, because I know there is a burgeoning legal market in areas like Arizona and Texas. However, I've found that it's really hard to get a foot in the door somewhere that you've never lived or have no other contacts or ties to. Heck, it's been hard enough looking for work in places I have lived (Washington DC, New Orleans, and Cincinnati)!

My mistake was going to Toledo for law school...I came for the full tuition scholarship and I'm getting exactly what I paid for. :laugh:

Tons of Ohio folk in Arizona. A sports bar in Glendale must set aside a whole room every Sunday to accomodate all the Browns fans. When the Reds are in town, they even serve Skyline Chili at the stadium. A real treat for those of us who moved away long ago.

I can personally attest to Phoenix booming right now. I have "flipped" two homes in the past year, and made twice my yearly salary. A lot of money from California is flowing into the state, these people are actually paying cash for multiple homes!

Going to school is never a mistake my friend. You may be behind your friends who didn't go at this point, but trust me that gap will close soon.

westofyou
08-29-2005, 01:55 PM
Tons of Ohio folk in Arizona.

Tons of folk from Ohio and Northern NY out west... I know maybe 30 people from both states