Capital Markets

Combating the Skilled White Male Menace

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look! a minority!

Advice Goddess and friend of Reason Amy Alkon points out this blog post from Clinton Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, titled "How to Create Jobs Without Them All Going to Skilled Professionals and White Male Construction Workers":

And if construction jobs go mainly to white males who already dominate the construction trades, many people who need jobs the most—women, minorities, and the poor and long-term unemployed—will be shut out.

Alkon correctly parses this odd (and oddly discriminatory) statement:

While I'm against government stimulus packages, and for government getting out of the way of business to kick-start our economy, if our tax dollars are going for a stimulus package and I don't have a choice in the matter, I'd really like to see the hiring done based on who's the best person for the job.

Also, Reich's blog post calls to mind an old, weary-yet-wonderful joke:

The world is ending, and reporters and editors valiantly put out their final editions amidst the chaos. Here are their front page headlines:

The New York Times: "World ends; story and analysis on page B11."

The Wall Street Journal: "Market down 5,000 point on news that world is ending"

New York Post: "BOOM!"

The Washington Post: "World ends; women and minorities hardest hit."

NEXT: The Reason.tv Talk Show, Episode 9

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  1. ok, lets not give the job to johnny, who is white and has a university degree. Lets give it to manuel who legally came over to work, and works harder than john, but knows squat, must be supervised, and speaks no english. to be fair! we must make sure that every race has an equal number of jobs, qualified or not. now that sounds smart eh?, LOL

  2. Well, we’re doing that with political jobs now, apparently.

  3. Rangel’s response to the diminutive doctrinaire’s proposition was even more precious:

    RANGEL: And one thing you can depend on, you don’t have to be worried about what the middle-class is gonna do. Things are so bad. They have to put food on their tables. Clothes for their kids. Get them in school.

    Democrats – Champions of the middle class!

  4. I think Radley Balko might not see Amy Alkon as a “friend of Reason.

  5. I didn’t realize Robert Reich still had any relevance.

  6. friend of Reason

    I’m seeing that a lot lately: “friend” of this and “friend” of that. I guess it’s the myspace syndrome. But a cliche nevertheless. I’d lose it.

  7. What our economy really needs is more jobs for unskilled manual labor. If our entire economy ran on unskilled manual labor, then we’d really be a first-world country again.

  8. Our long slide into ethic tribalism driven by ethnic cronyism continues.

    Every time we distribute some political favor based on race we make different races economic competitors and resent between races builds. After all, this is how we got into trouble in the first place.

    I don’t think this will end until we are bloodily balkanized.

  9. “And if construction jobs go mainly to white males who already dominate the construction trades, many people who need jobs the most — women, minorities, and the poor and long-term unemployed — will be shut out.”

    Great idea.

    Let’s have a new public works project right next door to Reich’s house that requires lots of blasting to excavate a foundation.

    We’ll hire Peggy the moocher to handle the TNT.

  10. Just imagine if he’d said we needed to keep black people from getting the money.

    If our entire economy ran on unskilled manual labor, then we’d really be a first-world country again.

    Heh, the pinnacle of parody. I salute you, sir.

  11. Shannon: you worry too much. Ethnic division is a game for a vocal minority of losers. Most people don’t care about race and just want to succeed.

    That’s what’s great about America.

  12. Lefiti is right (for once).

    Heck – I got it! Employs the unskilled, can’t be outsourced, employs only Americans (or at least, only folks here in the States), is Green in that it doesn’t burn any fossil fuels AND works in a totally sustainable and renewable part of the economy….yeah…..all those good lefti criteria for so called good jobs.

    Ban all combines on the farm.

    We’ll send all those unemployed folks to work cutting wheat and harvesting corn by hand. Sign up now for the ultimate in jobs creation – millions will be required to get the harvest in. And you can be there won’t be very many white professionals signing up for this gig to boot.

    (ah yes – feeling like a smart @ss this afternoon)

  13. Naomi Wolf was on one of the CNBC / MSMBC / CNN / whatever channels today, talking about the terrible, terrible thing it is that all of these jobs that are going to be “created” (my quotes) are going to be construction jobs – which typically go to men, and are higher paying than jobs women typically get. (my emphasis)

    Now, I don’t know about government construction jobs, maybe they start at $20/hr and go from there. I do know from my cousin who’s a GC, that his subs typically pay laborers $8 – $12 an hour, and skilled workers from between $15 – $25 / hr, depending on specialty.

    Since admin assistants with one year experience can make $13 – $16 an hour, and experienced ones over $20 / hr, I have to wonder what the hell she’s talking about.

  14. BTW, I’m talking about the central Florida market.

  15. …but knows squat, must be supervised, and speaks no english…

    Think of all the jobs that are created in order to supervise this bloke!

  16. and btw as a former soil inspector, i would say the only whites at a construction site are the foremans. who are outnumbered by hispanics and blacks at least 20/1. so i do not know where the whites in construction comes from LOL

  17. Fuck those white males. Do you what they’re doing to me? Trying to put me in fucking prison. Me! And over fucking nothing!

    Fuck that. You white male fuckers aren’t getting shit from me.

  18. Hmmmm, sunlight plays off the sweat-beaded chestnut skin as they swing the mallet and bring it down HARD! Gloved hands grip the jackhammer and braided muscled absorb the vibration, sending faint ripples across the taut dark fleshscape. The rhythmic thrum of machinery punches the air with a savage, seductive beat…

    If nothing else, the stimulus packeage will give gay porn a lot to work with.

  19. Don’t be born white.

  20. Mister DNA:

    Damn, Amy Alkon is trash. From that link on The Agitator

    Not surprisingly, black leaders are outraged. Also not surprisingly, their outrage is not directed at women in the black community who squeeze out litters of fatherless children, or the men who fuck and run, or fuck, deal drugs, and go to directly jail.

    What a fucking bitch.

  21. I’m not certain why “The Latest Swimsuits at DivaVillage.com” popped up, but I’m grateful it did!

  22. “friend of Reason

    I’m seeing that a lot lately: “friend” of this and “friend” of that. I guess it’s the myspace syndrome. But a cliche nevertheless. I’d lose it.”

    You’re no friend of mine.

  23. May I suggest eliminating some of the “prevailing wage” requirements and make it easier to fire people so that employers might be willing to chance on a few unproven workers?

  24. One aspect of this complaint that Katherine should have commented on but missed is the fact that one reason construction jobs from government bids favor white males is the heavy unionization of such jobs and the prevailing wage laws.

    Pro-union legislation gives union workers with seniority [in other words, middle aged white dudes] first call on these jobs. Prevailing wage laws make it difficult to substitute cheaper labor [in other words, younger people, immigrants and people of color, etc.].

    So the Democrats are complaining about a situation they have created, and which cannot be solved without changing legislation they would fight like hell to keep from being changed.

  25. What our economy really needs is more jobs for unskilled manual labor.

    What our economy really needs is for the government to stop sucking all the wealth out of it, so that everybody doesn’t have to work so fucking hard all the time.

  26. “Damn, Amy Alkon is trash. From that link on The Agitator
    Not surprisingly, black leaders are outraged. Also not surprisingly, their outrage is not directed at women in the black community who squeeze out litters of fatherless children, or the men who fuck and run, or fuck, deal drugs, and go to directly jail.
    What a fucking bitch.”

    You posted out of context. Here’s the entire piece…

    Who Places A Lower Value On Black Lives?

    Would that be a police officer who accidentally shoots and kills a black woman, or that woman herself, a mother of six children by five different drug-dealing fathers, who takes up with yet another drug dealer?

    That woman’s most recent boyfriend, Anthony Terry, was arrested and pleaded guilty in March to charges of drug trafficking. And yes, before him, all the fathers of her children were drug dealers…and this according to her mother!

    Her sister managed to find a bright side in Tarika Wilson’s, uh, strong values system. From a Christopher Maag story in The New York Times:

    Tarika Wilson had six children, ages 8 to 1. They were fathered by five men, all of whom dealt drugs, said Darla Jennings, Ms. Wilson’s mother. But Ms. Wilson never took drugs nor allowed them to be sold from her house, said Tania Wilson, her sister.
    “She took great care of those kids, without much help from the fathers, and the community respected her for that,” said Ms. Wilson’s uncle, John Austin.

    Maybe if the community disrespected women who live this sort of lifestyle she would’ve been less likely to get knocked up six times by a bunch of drug dealers, then taken up with yet another.

    And while I’m not a fan of our drug laws, and I agree with reason’s Radley Balko that these door-break searches too often have tragic consequences, and for those who are not perps…the fact remains that the police generally don’t seek to break down the doors of homes of women who’ve had five boyfriends who are all, say, accountants, architects, or managers at Subway.

    Not surprisingly, black leaders are outraged. Also not surprisingly, their outrage is not directed at women in the black community who squeeze out litters of fatherless children, or the men who fuck and run, or fuck, deal drugs, and go directly to jail. From an AP story on MSNBC:

    Following the shooting, many residents accused the police department of being hostile and abusive toward minorities. One group led a series of marches through the city to protest what they said was mistreatment by police.
    The Rev. Jesse Jackson visited the city and demanded that the officer who fired the fatal shots and those who planned the raid be held accountable. Chavalia was the only person charged.

    ‘Low value on black lives’
    Local black leaders had criticized the two misdemeanor charges as too lenient.

    “It’s another example that there’s very low value on black lives in this community,” said Jason Upthegrove, president of the Lima National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He said he was sickened but not surprised by the verdict and he hopes it won’t reflect poorly on the city.

    Arnold Manley, pastor of Pilgrim Rescue Missionary Baptist Church, said he and other black clergy leaders have been trying to work with police and city officials since the shooting, but that he was unsure whether that would continue.

    “I’m hurting deeply,” he said. “The message I got out of all this is that it’s OK for police to go and kill in a drug raid,” he said.

    Pastor Manley should be “hurting deeply” that there’s a need for drug raids in his community, and should maybe start speaking out about that. Again, the police aren’t targeting black dentists, black cable TV techs, or black newspaper columnists.

    It’s awful that this woman was killed, but the fact remains: Lie down with drug dealers, wake up with drug raids.

    Thanks, lujlp and purplepen!

  27. Ban all combines on the farm.

    We’ll send all those unemployed folks to work cutting wheat and harvesting corn by hand. Sign up now for the ultimate in jobs creation – millions will be required to get the harvest in. And you can be there won’t be very many white professionals signing up for this gig to boot.

    This is the essence of most left-wing arguments against free trade and capitalism in general. Anything that improves efficiency inevitably reduces demand for labor, especially unskilled (i.e. lower class) labor, and hence, wages for such.
    Therefore, according to the logic of this, we should do things LESS efficiently so as to increase the demand for manual labor.

    Hence we get things like organic, locally produced foods – which require hand weeding and picking, and don’t involve trade. We get opposition to technologies that increase efficiency – automation in factories, genetic engineering, nuclear power (which would eliminate many low-class jobs in the coal industry). Also favoritsm for “handmade” goods – produced at peak inefficiency (and hence maximum cost) by Guatemalan laborers.
    Etc.

    If you boil it down to the essence, the philosophy is basically: “Do things as inefficiently as possible so as to maximize the demand for labor”.

    No wonder the economy in every socialist state sucks balls.

  28. Hmmmm, sunlight plays off the sweat-beaded chestnut skin as they swing the mallet and bring it down HARD! Gloved hands grip the jackhammer and braided muscled absorb the vibration, sending faint ripples across the taut dark fleshscape. The rhythmic thrum of machinery punches the air with a savage, seductive beat…

    If nothing else, the stimulus packeage will give gay porn a lot to work with.

    Gay, progressive, socialist propaganda style porn.

  29. Yeah, Alkon is kinda whacked.

    However, I don’t really see a huge sin in Reich’s argument. Presumably, a stimulus is supposed to create jobs. And preferably directly. However, it seems more likely the jobs directly created would go to folks who probably need them least.

    This seems to actually be a criticism of stimulus in my view. That being, government make work programs are much less efficient creating jobs than actual free market. Of course, most of you folks already know that.

  30. Lefiti is right (for once).

    That’s what being spoofed will do for you.

    -jcr

  31. That being, government make work programs are much less efficient creating jobs than actual free market.

    There’s also the little detail that government programs can’t make jobs at all. They can move jobs from the private sector to the public sector.

    -jcr

  32. Of course Reich’s ideas are based on requirements and regulations and quotas — nothing as practical as simply subsidizing child care, which would both create jobs in child care and also permit many more women, including a disproportionate number of women of color to work in other fields.

  33. Mister DNA

    friend of Reason

    One of the things I like about Reason in general and especially H&R is that it still hasn’t devolved into a comfy ideological echo chamber.

  34. Heck – I got it! Employs the unskilled, can’t be outsourced, employs only Americans (or at least, only folks here in the States), is Green in that it doesn’t burn any fossil fuels AND works in a totally sustainable and renewable part of the economy….yeah…..all those good lefti criteria for so called good jobs.

    Clearly we need Great Pyramids to bury our beloved leaders in.

  35. Oh. My. The oppression.

  36. I agree with SpongePaul. I worked construction for many years and white males were definitely in the minority. Hell, the Mexicans used to make fun of me for being lazy! Which I was. Hey I’m a white guy I don’t have to work as hard as some dirty illegal! They did have the best weed though.

  37. Dear Reason:

    I posted on this – with a video and a photo of BHO and RR – about 30 hours before you did. Please live up to the promise of my domain name and try and shave six hours off the delay.

    Thanks!

  38. Weird, OLS. It’s almost as if no one reads your blog. I suggest posting more helpful links!

  39. Lonewacko,
    On behalf of all the sane Reasonoids (and the borderline types like Episiarch and Sugar Free*), Piss off you useless monomaniacal idiot. Don’t you have a Kenyan birth certificate to investigate?

    * I keed, I keed. A little bit antway.

  40. OLS, who is BHO? I don’t think I’ve seen anyone refer to this enigmatic character before.

  41. Don’t know about poor and minorities (there are in fact, hardest hit, really), but the unemployment rate for women is around a full percentage point less than that for men per the latest BLS stats.

  42. Didn’t McCardle cover this and point out that the jobs lost in the first place were those “white male” jobs such as construction anyway?

  43. I’m not certain why “The Latest Swimsuits at DivaVillage.com” popped up, but I’m grateful it did!

    Indeed.

  44. can I just point out that the Blago spoofer has been nailing it – very funny, I think.

    Is OLS lonewacko?

  45. Is OLS lonewacko?

    Yes. All of that insanity and stupidity is contained in the DamagedPsyche of a single DerangedIndividual.

  46. Is OLS lonewacko?

    Yup. He was also Click ‘n’ Learn. However, I’m not sure if his name refers to this Orange Line, or this one, or this one, or this one, or this one.

    (Actually, I’m all but certain that it’s a reference to WMATA, but I did want to link to as many different Orange Lines as possible.)

  47. Pro L,

    Well, we’re doing that with political jobs now, apparently.

    Outside rather small companies, there are few jobs left in the US that aren’t “political jobs” now. They’re jamming this affirmative action crap down our throats in the corporate world.

    And the corporate managers are swollowing it. Because corporations have no particular reason to object to bullshit.

  48. Shannon Love,

    I don’t think this will end until we are bloodily balkanized.

    Now you’re getting the drift.

    The socialists couldn’t tear capitalism down any other way, because the people wouldn’t go for it. So they started this divide and conquer approach a long time ago. Now you’re starting to see it bear some real (rotten) fruit.

    Oddly enough, they’ve taken what is arguably the (on average) most tolerant and least racially biased generation of white males, and they are systematically pissing them off by discriminating against them. And it’s ratcheting more and more as time goes on.

    I don’t believe the “affirmative action” pushers are really worried about genuine equality. What they’re after, is to tear down the whole freaking socio-economic order that we currently have.

    I’m an aerospace engineer, and I’m now watching inept, incompetent minority “candidates” get promoted way above their levels of competence, while the white males (who are competent) are being left to stagnate. And our own company VPs are pushing this bullshit.

    Mark my words: people are going to end up dead because of this BS. One of these days, some incompetently design flight hardware is going to end up in general circulation.

  49. I always assumed OLS was named after this bluegrass band.

  50. When “jobs” are an end and not a means, it doesn’t matter too much if, every now and then, a bridge collapses or a levee breaks. People don’t seem to get too worked up about those kinds of things.

  51. Maybe Reich is onto something. But why set our sights so low? We appear to have a dire shortage of doctors and health care workers…

  52. e socialists couldn’t tear capitalism down any other way, because the people wouldn’t go for it. So they started this divide and conquer approach a long time ago. Now you’re starting to see it bear some real (rotten) fruit.

    Oddly enough, they’ve taken what is arguably the (on average) most tolerant and least racially biased generation of white males, and they are systematically pissing them off by discriminating against them. And it’s ratcheting more and more as time goes on.

    I don’t believe the “affirmative action” pushers are really worried about genuine equality. What they’re after, is to tear down the whole freaking socio-economic order that we currently have.

    I’m an aerospace engineer, and I’m now watching inept, incompetent minority “candidates” get promoted way above their levels of competence, while the white males (who are competent) are being left to stagnate. And our own company VPs are pushing this bullshit.

    Mark my words: people are going to end up dead because of this BS. One of these days, some incompetently design flight hardware is going to end up in general circulation.
    ———————————

    People are already dying as a result of this nonsense — its simply blamed on “greedy corporations who do inferior”
    work because its cheaper.”

    The proposed solution is always: “do more of the same.”

  53. Tre,

    Are you providing the full context because you think it makes her look better, or worse?

    Because I think it makes her look worse, but usually people cry “Context” when they think it will make the target of criticism look better.

  54. White males are the true OpressedClass.

  55. I’m late to this party, but: shut the fuck up, Lonewacko.

  56. “There’s also the little detail that government programs can’t make jobs at all. They can move jobs from the private sector to the public sector.

    -jcr”

    Exactly – government doesn’t “create” anything – all it does is redistribute wealth.

    I get really irritated when I watch various cheerleaders for all this “stimulus” interviewed on business channels like CNBC or Bloomberg and none of the supposedly educated journalists asking the questions ever challenge the premise of government “creating” jobs.

  57. Whites Off Earth Now!

  58. ! | January 23, 2009, 10:49pm | #
    White males are the true OpressedClass.
    The Secret of Success in the USA, 2009 | January 23, 2009, 6:20pm | #
    Don’t be born white.

    [sigh]

    If you are a white male in this country and see that as the barrier to your success…you are way to far gone for help.

  59. Exactly – government doesn’t “create” anything – all it does is redistribute wealth.

    A patently false assertion.

    You’re not really that stupid are you?

  60. Bonus points for those that can find the fallacy in this article.

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=9825

  61. Exactly – government doesn’t “create” anything – all it does is redistribute wealth.

    A patently false assertion.

    A patently obvious assertion. Seizing wealth at gunpoint is the opposite of creating wealth. If you’re going to argue the government creates wealth, you’d have to explain how that’s different than other armed robbers “creating wealth.”

    Of course, there are other viewpoints…

    Rod Flanders: What do taxes pay for Daddy?

    Ned Flanders: Oh, everything! Policemen, trees, sunshine… and don’t forget those folks who just don’t feel like working, God bless ’em!

  62. That’s it! I was creating wealth!

    Now let me out so I can find the real killers!

  63. “Ethnic division is a game for a vocal minority of losers. Most people don’t care about race and just want to succeed.”

    Yes, that’s true. Unfortunately that minority largely runs the Democrat party and they have controls of the political bramches of the federal government. Their twisted priorties are paramount at the moment.

  64. So the Democrats are complaining about a situation they have created, and which cannot be solved without changing legislation they would fight like hell to keep from being changed.

    Fluffy, you have summarized the essence of most of our political problems in one sentence.

  65. Captain Obvious,

    Nope.
    Fail.

    If it seems obvious to you, you are not thinking about it very carefully. You are just repeating something that someone told you.

  66. I think a Black guy will SPIT on your tomato before picking it.

  67. Stop focusing on soldiers, oil, cars and buildings like we did during the Bush years where the biggest economic incentive orogram was the war for oil in Iraq.

    Put the focus on technology where it belongs in order to avoid a Malthusian fate. USA #1!

  68. White construction workers? I guess Robert Reich hasn’t been spending too much time in DC.

  69. White construction workers? I guess Robert Reich hasn’t been spending too much time in DC.

    No kidding

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