Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
The Almighty Buck It's funny.  Laugh.

The Surprising Benefits of Being Unemployed 1053

SimuAndy writes "David Dvorkin, a programmer and writer of some repute, has published an essay on The Surprising Benefits of Being Unemployed. Well worth the reading time as a small break in a busy day."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Surprising Benefits of Being Unemployed

Comments Filter:
  • Yeah right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sakusha ( 441986 ) on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @11:27PM (#7100591)
    I try to convince myself I've gotten out of the rat race of Upward Mobility, and it's morally superior to have Downward Nobility. But I just want a fucken job. I helped build this industry in the early 1970s, now I'm supposed to be in the peak earning years of my career, but I'm locked out due to the bad economy. It sucks. There is nothing good about being unemployed.
  • Excellent (Score:1, Insightful)

    by petabyte ( 238821 ) on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @11:29PM (#7100594)
    I think that many more people would benefit from these joyous unemployment moments. So don't hesitate, quit today. That way those of us who are stuck day in and day out applying to hundreds of jobs with the hope they we get so much as one interview.

    Unemployment is not fun no matter what a book or an article may say. Myself, and the other 10 dozen Slashdoter's need jobs.
  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @11:31PM (#7100611) Homepage
    Actually, it's harder to get a job when your unemployed then it is when you are employeed. Because, when your unemployeed, any future employer will want to know why and how long you have been without work. But, if you already have a job, then you have a much better reputation for current skill status and thus a better chance of swiching over to a new company.
  • by cscx ( 541332 ) on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @11:43PM (#7100680) Homepage
    To add to that, anyone could find a job if they really wanted to. It's just that too many Americans are too goddamn lazy to work jobs they don't like. If you're unemployed, I don't think you have a choice, now do you? McDonalds is always hiring. Sell magazines. Mow lawns. Clean toilets. Oh, but you don't like flipping burgers? Well too damn bad, quit whining about it on your blog and complaining about how GW Bush and "da man" is keepin' you down.
  • Bitter much? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Tyro ( 247333 ) on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @11:45PM (#7100689)
    Sheesh... a few of flashes of insight in there, but it's mostly bitter, sarcastic, angst-ridden despair... quite depressing read, actually.

    Notice how he blames it on everyone else, as if some puppetmaster controls his destiny? (evil corporations, GW Bush, supervisors and managers). Sheesh, guy... I hate to sound like your dad, but that's life. Lots of people have been screwed out of jobs before, and lots of peolpe have had jobs that frankly sucked, but there's always work out there if you are willing to swallow some pride, and make some sacrifices. Go back to school for god's sake.

    I wish I hadn't read that depressing little piece... I'd say it was a lot higher on the despair scale than the humor scale.
  • by wessto ( 469499 ) on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @11:48PM (#7100705) Homepage
    ...is at what point he gives up his monthly internet bill.

    I've been looking at my monthly budget for ways to save a few bucks and dsl is costing a lot, but I feel I can't let go of it.
  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @11:50PM (#7100712)
    I hear that.

    What good is 15 years of Netware experience today?

    How about someone who knows that the original PC had odd size ISA slots, so that 286 and later cards wouldn't fit?

    Who cares that you spent a million hours with DOS and QEMM getting an extra 60K of base memory so somone's blasted Autocad machine would work correctly?

    It's turning out that spending 20 years working with computers has been a really poor investment.

    I should have been a pharmacist and spent my weekends, evenings and not-having-to-wear-a-pager time doing anything else... it would have been more productive, economically speaking.

  • by SunPin ( 596554 ) <slashspam AT cyberista DOT com> on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @11:53PM (#7100735) Homepage
    Agreed entirely. I'd take it one step further: why are we forced to work for a living? The mind has no limitations once it's free from the bonds of repetitive bullshit. I'll bet that your post represents at least a thousand people here. Our slave week boils down to nothing more than plotting for food making us no different from Cuba or any other "lesser" state. If we're busy plotting for food or we have artificial and impossible ideals f'n with our heads then we aren't focus on the system stacked against us. Everyone has to make a living but being a drone in a corporate machine is not necessary. What do we need out of this world? Not enough to warrant working for the Man again.
  • by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @11:57PM (#7100756) Homepage Journal
    I like what he says about his expectations about being loyal to the company you work for. Most of us, at least deep down, expect that those days we come in sick or work a 20 hour day will show loyality to our employer that will be repaid with loyality right back. Then wouldn't fire you.. you're as good as best buds afterall. You're in it together.

    Ha ha ha! What shock when you're fired or laid off. Does it matter how much you sacrificed for your employer? Nope, not a damn bit. All those pep talks about being in it together.. they're complete bullshit. You may as well have gone home on time every day instead of missing out on quality time. Of course now there is no way I'm going to believe any employer when then make promises and ask for loyality and a little extra effort. Two words.. blow me. I'm not going to be gungho to finish projects ahead of schedule anymore.
  • by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Tuesday September 30, 2003 @11:57PM (#7100757)
    Here is where you are wrong. I'd rather that a guy like this spends his time improving himself and his skills, so he can be even more productive when the economy does improve, than that he waste his time flipping burgers at Macdonalds.
  • Re:Bitter much? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mvh ( 9295 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:00AM (#7100772) Homepage
    wow, now i have to say that comment was about as depressing as I can handle. The original guy seems to take life quite well.
  • by driftingwalrus ( 203255 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:01AM (#7100778) Homepage
    But what if you have a lot of technical skills? MacDonalds won't hire you because they're concerned that you'll run off the first instance that a better job shows up! Of course you would run off, but it means that you don't get the job. They just look at the resume and say, "What is wrong with this guy that he's applying here?!".

    So, I find myself in a situation where there is no work in my field(computers, and it's really, really dead), I don't have enough experience to work at a different trade(machinist or welder, for example), AND I know too much to get a job flipping burgers. Of course, the idea of an apprenticeship is completely out of the question, those are almost impossible to get these days. Employers *will* *not* train people. Period.

  • by cscx ( 541332 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:03AM (#7100795) Homepage
    Wasting time, sure. But at least it's income. He's blaming other people for his problems, but there are many people in this world who would love to have a job at McDonalds, here in the land of opportunity. You can be short-sighted like this guy, or take what you have and make the best of it.

    In short, life isn't fair. Blaming it on other people just isn't going to help.
  • by Yaztromo ( 655250 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:12AM (#7100842) Homepage Journal
    What about, ...

    Hey -- are you the one spying on me from the adjacent building? :).

    I lost my job (with a company often associated with the properties "blue" and "big", not necessarily in that order) nearly two years ago, back in January 2002. Since then, I've Open Sourced my PalmOS data synchronization project [jsyncmanager.org] (v3.0 final is due out in the next two weeks, so go download it!!!), run about 20km per week, and do about 60 push-ups, 80 sit-ups, and 12 chin-ups a day. I completely kicked the caffiene habbit (switched from regular Coca Cola to caffiene free Coca Cola... :) ), and am eating quite a bit better (and a whole lot cheaper!).

    The only things in your list I haven't done is any volunteering (unless you consider administrating and leading development on a large Open Source project every day to be volunteer work ;) ), or going to the library (I already have three bookshelves of books here, so I've been re-reading them all).

    Oh, and I haven't kicked the beer habit -- having never picked it up in the first place, I haven't really seen the point of starting, just so I can quit.

    Yup -- unemployment is the best thing that ever happened to me. More time to work on important projects, read, eat right, and get more excercise. If only I had an un-exhaustible source of money, things would be perfect (or, barring that, a decent job would do...).


  • by roninbix ( 710736 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:23AM (#7100888)
    I've gotten to the point where I wonder if I couldn't make something really cool happen on my own. Except of course I'm on salary so I end up working around 2 times what I should for the job. Add to that significant travel expectations and I just have no time to advance any ideas or any side ventures on my own.

    Given my skill sets I'm sitting down and telling myself I need to leave the corporate world and go my own way. I even have a large cushion of cash to fall back on. Plus my significant hours have resulted in a minimalist livestyle anyway. I estimate I could live for 5 years on my current savings at my current lifestyle, less the costs of other activities I take up (especially significant if you try to start a business). I just don't have time to piece it together while working. And I'm pissing away valuable years if I try.

    Only one thing holding me back. My attachment to having a stable respectable job that pays decently. All the skills are there, I could easily acquire support from skilled friends in any profession I could want. I could probably scrape together 50-100K for starting money if I begged a bit without approaching professional lenders. But it's pretty hard to actually quit to do nothing and take a huge "risk" on possibilities coming through. I'm much more the type of person to try to set it all up before I quit, but I just can't seem to get the time together for that unless I quit first.

    Anybody else? Could YOU quit?

  • What good is 15 years of Netware experience today?
    How about someone who knows that the original PC had odd size ISA slots, so that 286 and later cards wouldn't fit?
    Who cares that you spent a million hours with DOS and QEMM getting an extra 60K of base memory so somone's blasted Autocad machine would work correctly?
    It's turning out that spending 20 years working with computers has been a really poor investment.

    Sad. I always thought of learning as something that makes you human (as opposed to insects? viruses?), not rich or job-secure. A lot of people specialize in some industry and when that culture/economy/technology/employer changes and they lose a job (or are about to), they whine as if they've wasted their life or they go cry to the government to try save that dying industry so that they may (selfishly) preserve their outdated niche in society.

    Its called evolution. Its a way of life. Only the fittest will survive! And you know who survives? The beings who change. Honestly, if you feel your life was wasted because you specialized in something and the only thing that made you important was that job-field, then maybe you aren't really special. Sorry, but being an intelligent human means being able to use your knowledge for something beyond a stupid job. If all you are is someone who picks up knowledge with no intent to use it beyond the scope of its context, then you are not intelligent, IMHO. But I do not believe any human in this world is NOT intelligent, just someone who has a tainted definition of life.

    So here is my suggestion to all you unemployed or job-security conscious people out there: Make yourself special, use your intelligence, and learn things with the intent of using them beyond the scope of their context. Not only will your expertise grow (hence becoming more of an asset), but you may end up creating something innovative.
  • by SunPin ( 596554 ) <slashspam AT cyberista DOT com> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:31AM (#7100920) Homepage
    I don't think it's a resource problem. I think it's fear. People are afraid to step into the unknown or, as in Plato's Cave, step out to the unknown. Sure, it's scary at first because we've never seen our minds unbound. Our minds start fsckin with us for awhile while unemployed but then things settle and it's like being out in the warm light rather than a dark, stuffy cave.

    Note to moderators: I'm minding my own business and chatting with other /. denizens. Go mod somebody else down and leave me the fuck alone. You'll get yours in Meta-moderation.
  • by mc6809e ( 214243 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:37AM (#7100951)
    In college, you'll hear a lot of talk about how engineering is worthless because it only pays some petty 5 figure salary. People like to talk about how you should start a business, and how real losers become engineers. Increasingly, there's a trend for good American engineers to try and get their MBA or JD. All in all, I find the situation really disappointing and hard to cope with. I got into engineering thinking that I would be able to build cool things and be creative.

    People that run successful businesses must be good social engineers.

    And Social Engineering, being the most difficult kind of engineering pays the most.
  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sakusha ( 441986 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:48AM (#7100996)
    I'm only 46, just on the edge of greylisting (I started really young). I actually went back to school and got 2 degrees in different fields, and then of course the money got sucked out of those too. America is turning into a ghost town, by the time GWB is done selling this country to Halliburton, there won't be a single job left except in the Army (and I'm too old for that).
  • Warning! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CiXeL ( 56313 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:50AM (#7101006) Homepage
    Unless you feel like opening a vein don't read this article. I am officially depressed.
  • Corporate Loyalty (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Kow ( 184414 ) <putnampNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:52AM (#7101020)
    If you contribute to your company's success and help it to advance its interests and financial health, often making sacrifices of your own time to do so, then your company will reciprocate by making sacrifices in bad times to take care of you by not depriving you of your paycheck and benefits. That's the way I thought it worked.

    Funny that, we got a nice speech today from our CTO or some guy who can walk around happily because he won't get outsourced. The speech focused on how we need to keep our performance levels "above the bar", or we'd be managed up or out. [Tangent: GOD I love that term, 'managed out' - HOW FREAKING AWESOME is that?! That's even better than right-sized!] then he goes on to tell us that no job is sacred, and that as a company who has to strive to cut a profit, if outsourcing is a more fiscal option, then they'll take it.

    I'm pretty new so I didn't even think to point out the catch-22 he had presented us with. Work hard or get fired, but even if you do work hard, you may get outsourced.

    Of course this is the truth, there's no two ways about it. Nevermind the questionable nature of a US company (enjoying US corporate laws, tariffs, quotas, et. al.) that has a majority of its workforce offshores, it's a simple fact that until something changes, be it now or thirty years from now, this is how it is. The flipside is that I have the right to work wherever the hell I want (provided they want me of course), and can leave them at any time.

    Fresh out of college, yes, but I think I'll catch on to this twisted game soon enough. The question, however, is how do you maintain a sense of optimism in spite of all this?
  • by MikeySquid ( 309780 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:11AM (#7101087)
    Yea, that's what i'm talkin' about! Damn skippy.
  • by j-pimp ( 177072 ) <zippy1981NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:15AM (#7101099) Homepage Journal
    So we have a reduction in income taxes, a removal of dividend taxes, all sorts of extensions to unemploymet insurance, and a crackdown on Wall Street corruption. What the hell else do you want?

    Now if I let all the immigrannts in this country that are dying for McDonalds jobs, that brings down the standard of living for everyone. From the libeterian point of view this is a good thing, becasue the standard of living for the immigrants goes up. However, your not arguing the libeterian view.

    As to working at McDonalds or not working at McDonalds, obvisiously this guy has savings, or credit, or a shit job at McDonalds. The wonderful thing about shit jobs at McDonalds is you get to go home at the end of shift. No staying late to be a team player. He is surviving at the moment, and looking for a "real job." As long as its not off my tax dollars I'm ok with that. And if it is off my tax dollars than obvisiously Bush is doing something about it.

    Its not governemts job to fix the economy. If they can help its nice, but the market as a whole always eventually corrects itself. Goverment is one of the forces of the market, not the only force.
  • Yeah it sucks... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grimster ( 127581 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:29AM (#7101151) Homepage
    Ok unemployment sucks, but this article is.. not that good but I digress.

    I was unemployed 2 years ago on Oct 16th I knew it was coming, around March I realized (when quarterly earnings showed 1.9 million burned 4 million in the bank, can you say dot BOMB?). So I moved back to the small town I came from figuring it'd be easier to pay a $350 a month rent payment on unemployment than it would a $1300 a month payment in the Bay Area. I moved in July and telecommuted until the end.

    I immediately started planning on starting my own business I was hoping to last until about Christmas 2001 but I got axed on Oct 16th instead. Oh well. Started my company, did some consulting here and there, made ends meet, got some customers, a few more, no more consulting was scraping by on the business, more customers, and more, and then tax time comes and I realize I owe uncle sam $13,000 in taxes (YIKES!).

    Long story shorter, I get up when I want, go to bed when I want, leave when I want and stay at home with my 3 year old son (well he'll be 3 next week). I run my business from home.

    I've always been a unix geek/linux nut/internet addict so why not make a business out of it, web hosting is the perfect job :) Now I have a decent sized income bills are paid, and I get to play around with over 50 linux boxen hosting over 11,000 web sites.

    My wife also just lost her job of over 10 years, company sold out and that's that (they were dying anyway so sell out or bankruptcy they chose sell out). So she stays home draws unemployment and plays with the kid too, a kid with two stay at home parents how lucky can he be? She also is doing some volunteer work.

    When the unemployment runs out she might start her own business, she likes decorating cakes, or maybe open a daycare. Or get into real estate she likes going out and looking at nice houses, so why not sell 'em for a living. I told her don't look for another "job" do something you LIKE instead, the money isn't important the satisfaction is.

    The economy truly sucks right now and I really would hate to be trying to find a job, but sometimes you might have better luck making your own job instead of looking for one.
  • by vonFinkelstien ( 687265 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:36AM (#7101179)
    Open Courses at MIT [mit.edu].

    Not a bad idea for those with an abundance of time (I have a 2.5-year-old to take care of and entertain, so I wouldn't be able to take advantage of this).

  • Company != family (Score:4, Insightful)

    by seichert ( 8292 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:46AM (#7101221) Homepage
    The real benefit of this recession is that more and more people are starting to realize the difference between company and family. Your family members love you and will remain loyal to you in good times and bad. They have a vested interest in your success and happiness. They want to see you succeed at work and enjoy the fruits of your labor. The company you work for does not love you and is not loyal to you. That does not mean that individuals at your company are not compassionate and loving. However, they are not your family members.

    I suggest that you look at your company in a different manner. The company can provide you and your family with opportunity. The opportunity to earn a paycheck and possibly learn something. When the company has no need for the job that you do or can find someone to do it better or cheaper you will not have a job with that company. On the flip side when the company is no longer offering you a good paycheck or opportunity you will quit. The relationship is really no more than that. The company is not a family, clan, or tribe, just an opportunity.

  • Somehow touching (Score:1, Insightful)

    by darth_MALL ( 657218 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:51AM (#7101238)
    not to sound fruity, but it does give reason for a pause and reflect moment
  • by Grimster ( 127581 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @02:03AM (#7101273) Homepage
    Yes, absolutely, I've been trying to drill this into my wife's head for years, where you work is not your family, sure you like(d) working there, sure it's a good place to work, but when the chips are down they'd eat your young if it helped the bottom line.

    She found it out in July, they sold out, no warning, not even a WEEK before they closed up shop they were spouting off on how they had some good contracts coming up, etc etc etc. Less than a week later she's being "laid off" to make matters even more lovely the bastards quit paying their share of the Cobra health insurance so on Sep 1 that went away too! (luckily for us Alabama has a state run group health plan for people losing cobra or other group coverage, and our premiums are only $790 per month, yes sarcasm is implied).

    Now she's telling me how she's not getting emails every day from her friends (surprise remember how you said these people are like your family and they love you? well who's emailed you at all this week?). Not pretty to see a 29 year old woman have to learn such a hard lesson. Hey I learned it 4 years ago myself when I was 26 so I wasn't much better off.
  • by composer777 ( 175489 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @02:08AM (#7101286)
    Is America even "free enterprise"? Are you fucking kidding me? A country where a corrupt government regularly bails out it's richest? And gives billions of dollars to corporations, which immediately pay off corrupt CEO's. A country that doesn't give a shit about educatingg it's youth, because it's too busy gutting social programs and giving that money to Enron, Haliburton, et al. That's "freedom". Freedom means picking on the little guy. Apparently I'm supposed to understand that supporting a corrupt system is "freedom" to you. Call it what you want, I won't support it, and neither will a growing number of Americans. Let's not talk about fantasy land, I'm too busy trying to deal with the real world, I don't know what country you're talking about, but the country I'm living in is corrupt, and has problems that need fixing, and "freedeom" is the last thing that our business leaders are after. If you're too stupid to realize that, then I'm sorry for you.
  • by Raul654 ( 453029 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @02:09AM (#7101288) Homepage
    Consider all of the years that Bush I and II were in the White House. For each and every one of those years, you know how many net new jobs were created? None! After each year of them being president, fewer people were employed at the end of the year. Bush recovery my ass.
  • Don't fix it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by composer777 ( 175489 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @02:14AM (#7101304)
    just stand by and let others get crushed.

    Don't point out the problems you say, just let the rich eat the poor. The economy is bad, and your solution is to ignore the corruption. Don't compalin, just keep your chin up. Great idea. Yes, you're real "optimist".

    Yes, go back to school you say. Never mind if you're still busy paying back your loans for the first time around, and you're still trying to catch up on earning money. Simply spend more. That's just great. That's exactly what America needs, is a middle class that's in even more debt, that is ever more willing and subservient to employers that don't wannt to drop a dime on education. My response to employers is "Fuck 'em." Let 'em rot, burn and implode. Why should I spend the rest of my life worrying about what their needs are? I've got a bright future without them.
  • Re:Bitter much? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by qaggaz ( 148579 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @02:24AM (#7101330)
    but if he really wanted a job, the first step is to become a potentially useful employee

    Been there, done that...

    This comment obviously comes from someone who has never actually experienced the joys of unemployment. I actually agree that it is important to become a useful employee. I was unemployed for nine months last year and took the time to go back and actually read through RFCs, play with network equipment, do some volunteer work, take a few classes, and so on. And I did eventually get a job.

    On the other hand, it is as though someone else was controling my destiny. Afterall, was it my fault that the upper management of my former employer decided to divert corporate revenue away from the business (and stock holders) and into their own bonuses and golden-parachutes? Is it my fault that the stock holders often see lay offs as "trimming the fat" and reward these same executives for their "bold moves to improve the bottom line" with even larger bonuses?

    Capitalism itself may not be to blame, but surely the corrupt cabal that runs most American corporations as well as our political system should be held accountable.

    Perhaps if unemployment benefits were paid directly out of executive compensation, the unemployment rate would drop.
  • by mandolin ( 7248 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @02:26AM (#7101338)
    6 - that I can now be lazy at work, and get fired, or bust my ass at work, and get fired.

    Very true -- but. External commitments and priorities aside, if you're learning a lot at your current job, and get fired, it's still better than learning nothing, and getting fired.

    If you're lazy, you don't learn as much.

  • by gnunick ( 701343 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @02:32AM (#7101354) Homepage
    I'm not even sure you deserve a response, what with the 'hippie programmer' troll...

    But whenever I'm involved the hiring process, those candidates who have been involved in volunteer work of _any_ kind will always get extra points from me.

    I'd rather have someone working for me who isn't soley interested in their _own_ bottom line and that Escalade they've been lusting after. Someone who's a pure mercenary seems less likely to put their heart into the project they're working on, and more likely to rip off my company any chance they get. Funny, when I worked at a certain large corporation, that could have described my boss. Nope, I wouldn't have hired him either.

    So you don't like people who are willing to contribute to society while further developing their job-related skills?

    Let me guess. You wouldn't hire some slacker like Linus Torvalds in a million years, would you?

    Damned hippie programmers. Look what the 'great unwashed' have done with that kernel he gave them!

    I'm looking to hire someone who will put in the effort to grow our business and boost our stock price.

    Right, that'll also help those super-valuable (some day...) stock options you're offering them? Oh wait, that trick doesn't work any more does it?

    Oh, I get it, you're looking for slaves. Me, I'd rather have human beings working with/for me. I pity your little hirelings.

    ta GN>

  • by Phroggy ( 441 ) * <slashdot3@@@phroggy...com> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @02:37AM (#7101363) Homepage
    But at least it's income.

    It doen't pay nearly as well as unemployment.
  • by Phroggy ( 441 ) * <slashdot3@@@phroggy...com> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @02:45AM (#7101392) Homepage
    Thankfully, the job market is gradually improving.

    Remember, when you see the unemployment rate go down, it's not because people are finding jobs, it's because they've abandoned hope and are no longer trying to get a job, so they no longer get counted as "unemployed" - they're removed from the equation.

    However, for those who are still looking, yeah, maybe it is starting to get better. I've got an interview tomorrow.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @03:06AM (#7101493)
    The most annoying thing about being unemployed is that I still can't visit all those places that I wanted to visit but didn't have the time because now that I've got the time I haven't got the money.

    On the positive side I've done the other things that people have suggested ...

    I've got involved : restructured the local borough's service delivery and IT structures..

    I'm setting up a (hopefully) useful website www.opencouncil.org to promote open source in local government and, in particular, assist in the process of persuading the decision makers, not the techies, of the merits of open source.

    I'm creating an open source product ... one for creating "Rich Internet Applications" and front-ending web-services.

    I keep trying to write that book ... over 20 years of journalism only helping a little...

    And I'm keeping myself up-to-date with new technologies.

    Actually I was able to do more when I was employed and busy. Having so much time makes it so difficult to concentrate on individual projects.

    Staying up all night does let me discover old programs on cable (2hrs of Dr Who most nights) and catch up on the episodes that I missed decades ago..

    The availability of instant messaging and email to keep in contact with old friends would take up all my time if I let it..

    The bad bits : I am annoyed that my 35 years IT experience is considered a problem - "we have a young team". That being able to understand business systems and problem solving doesn't count if you experience only covers up to version 3.475 of some software that has just released version 3.476.

    Seeing job ads that want people in "mid-career" and define that as 2 to 3 years experience. Being unable to apply for lesser jobs because they'll think I'll leave.

    And then recently watching a TV ad campaign conning people into spending their money on computer training that will guarantee them high earnings "even if they have no experience".. You have to laugh don't you ??

  • by cbdavis ( 114685 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @03:08AM (#7101502)
    If I had 5 years cash I'd be gone in an instant.
    Ive worked in computers since 1969 and have only
    a heart attack to show for it. I can never retire and will probably die at my desk.

    Dont do this to yourself. Take off for a long time, learn photography, go to culinary college, volunteer as a computer mentor at a local school, etc.

    I'd give anything to have trained as a plumber growing up. But no, I had to be the geek and go into computer shit.

  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Triv ( 181010 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @03:13AM (#7101527) Journal

    Ever try to get a minimum wage job when you have a BS degree?

    Have you tried working at a bookstore? They crave people like that because they're smart and desperate. Sounds like a joke; it's not - I used to work with a guy at Shakespeare and Company who had a masters in english lit and was making 6.25 an hour like the rest of us. :)


  • by composer777 ( 175489 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @03:29AM (#7101572)
    That people are unemployed because there AREN'T ANY FUCKING JOBS TO BE FILLED, DON'T YOU? If there is a 7% unemployment, which is an understatment, it's really above 10%, then that means, that no matter how hard those people try, they are SOL. There just aren't jobs for that 10%, period. They can throw there shoulders back all they want, they can quack like a fucking duck for that matter, it's not going to make a bunch of jobs appear, stupid. According to your logic, all America has to do is throw it's shoulders back, and corporations are going to pull out of India, move back ashore, the government is going to clean up it's corruption, start investing in education, and everyone will be happy again.

    I'm supposed to believe that your way of "not taking it for granted", is to promote an ideology that trivializes the plight of that 10+% that doesn't have a job? In other words, those poor people whose plight you are using, ironically, to trivialize their plight. You have to be the stupidest, most superstitious fool that I've met in a long time. Just because you worked in a children's hosptial and a job magically appeared doesn't mean that the same magic trick is going to work for everyone else. I know people that have been out of work for YEARS. I bet if you hopped on one leg and got a job the next day, you would be telling people to do that too.
  • by Penguinshit ( 591885 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @03:29AM (#7101573) Homepage Journal
    So we have a reduction in income taxes

    I got my $400 "advance" on next year's tax liability. So what. There's no real reduction here; if you think there is, you're drinking the kool-aid, Karl.

    a removal of dividend taxes

    Oh come on now.. you can't be serious. The folks to whom a removal of this type of tax makes a difference are those who have MILLIONS of dollars invested. Those who have that kind of money to invest are those who need tax reductions the least. And don't even THINK about trying to mention Bush's re-do of Reagan's "trickle down". It didn't work then, and it won't work now.

    all sorts of extensions to unemploymet insurance

    This, in lieu of an actual job-creating economic program? No thanks. I'd rather work for my money. However, I'm not able to thanks to the ignorance or just plain disregard of your buddy in the White House.

    and a crackdown on Wall Street corruption

    Hmm.. two years and counting since Enron and no one seems to be going to jail, much less having a trial. If you mean the recent indictments of Kozlowski and Quattrone, a big yawn to you as these cases are just the tip of the scapegoat iceberg and will probably result in little more than "community service". Meanwhile, the rest of the scandals go unpunished. By the way, what's going on with Bernie Ebbers or John Rigas?

    Its not governemts job to fix the economy

    Uh, actually, yes it is. And so far, nothing is being done about it. The economy was softening prior to Bush. However, because of Bush's greed and neglect, it has continue to flounder much longer than anyone predicted. And it really isn't getting much better, despite what Fox news insists.

    but the market as a whole always eventually corrects itself

    That type of free economic thinking did well in the '30s... Thankfully a stronger engine was built during the 90s which could withstand a few years of neglect (even if a few million citizens have to bear the burden).

  • by benwaggoner ( 513209 ) <ben DOT waggoner AT microsoft DOT com> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @03:30AM (#7101576) Homepage
    After I got laid off 2.5 years ago, I decided to go the contract route, and it has been pretty good. The key is to have existing clients, and unique skill sets. I was the lead consultant for my former company, but a lot of the potential customers for that kind of service had competing products. So once I was on my own, a lot of my initial clients made products that competed with my former employer's stuff. My billable hours actually went UP.

    Glad I never signed that non-compete!

    Anyway, it's important to note that the business didn't really take off until I decided it really was a business, not just what I was doing until I found another job. Once I decided this is what I wanted to be doing for the next ten years, I was motivated to go out, take out some loans, spend the capital to get some marketing, and that kind of thing. The average service business like this isn't really profitable for the first two years. If you accept that and plan accordingly, that's not a big problem.

    The mistake I've seen others make is to blow their whole nest egg early in the process, not leaving enough to live on as things start to get rolling. What a business is evolves a lot depending on what clients you actually land, so you need to keep enough money in reserve to be able to keep adjust the plan mid-stream.
  • by Penguinshit ( 591885 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @03:45AM (#7101621) Homepage Journal

    I can've believe I'm responding to an AC.. but, just to clarify my point:

    It is also apparent that you love this country and are quite pissed for the current situation the nation is in. How can your stance be what it is yet you disagree with the war in Iraq & Afghanistan?

    Afghanistan I had no problem with. There was acknowledged direct involvement in the events of 9-11 and with the perpetrators thereof. Iraq, on the other hand, was a trumped-up load of bullshit which has cost us all of our international political capital and goodwill, not to mention almost 400 US military lives (I'm not even counting Iraqi civilians). Saddam, while a despicable human, had nothing to do with 9-11 or terrorism in general, obviously in hindsight had no WMDs (either to use or give to terrorists) and was effectively bottled up in his little locale doing nothing but making laughable press releases which the rest of the Muslim world largely ignored.

    I'm glad that the Afghanis and Iraqis are free from oppressive governments. It should have stopped at Afghanistan. Where is Osama these days? Is he bunked up with Saddam in some Baghdad suburb?

    How is it not worth the money to know the US freed them from a life of horror

    How about spending 1/4 of that money here at home making sure US citizens have jobs? I'm sorry, but when I'm constantly facing the loss of MY home and MY standard of living, I have to think about MY family first. A McJob wouldn't even begin to allow me to provide for them without uprooting everything we have built in the last decade (a decision, as a family, we have made not to do).

    So I take my job as a Patriot seriously enough to speak up against the transgressions of my current government, and seek to change the persons currently in power and responsible for those transgressions.

    Btw: Read some American history. Start with Nixon, and then go back to King George (18th Century).
  • Well duh! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @03:47AM (#7101626)
    The _only_ disadvantage to being unemployed is that you don't have any money. (At least if you're like most of us and aren't independently wealthy)

    If you're unemployed you don't have any money, if you're employed you don't have any time.

    If you're retired, you have (some) money and time, but you're old. If you're young and independently wealthy, you suck and i hate you :)

  • by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @03:51AM (#7101635)
    Several years ago, someone posted an interesting observation on this site:

    Your employer owns your job. You own your career.

    Don't confuse the two. The days of corporate loyalty are long gone. Even very popular and successful business leaders of large and successful companies can not guarentee a job.

    I view my employment as a mercenary contract. My loyalty is linked to my compensation. Don't get me wrong... I am loyal to my employer. But I don't do things for free.
  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by squaretorus ( 459130 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @03:58AM (#7101660) Homepage Journal
    The market may be totally different in the US, but here in the UK my advice to the IT grads in unemployment hell is to apply for a fasttrack management position with a retailer.

    These guys are desperate for talent which can feed through to more senior management, and even for 'talent' that won't forget to order the bread and wine for the weekend rush. They'll start you on a decent salary and put you in a position of relative power, pensions and healthcare should all be in there too if its a big company.

    When the market in IT picks up you can hop over and answer the 'Last position' question with something a hell of a lot better than 'Pizza delivery boy for 3 years'. 'I took a fasttrack management position in retail to get some people management under my belt - within 18 months I was running my own store with responsibility for 3 satellite stores - as the IT sector is picking up I've refused a more senior management position in retail to come back to where I think I can truly kick some ass - I want a board position within 5 years'.

    Try it kids - it might just work!!
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcrNO@SPAMmac.com> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @04:17AM (#7101719) Journal
    First of all, "soak the rich" may make an appealing sound bite to people like you, but in practice it just doesn't happen. Anyone making a million bucks a year who actually pays anything close to the nominal income tax rate has an incompetent accountant. Rich people have much more influence over government than you do, and if you think that goverment is ever going to help you satisfy your envy, think again.

    Consider for a moment the possible consequences of eliminating the tax on dividend income. *anyone* could start on developing a tax-free, property income for increments of a single share price. To get into making money from property today, you pretty much have to come up with the price of a house or condo that you can rent out.

    Eliminating dividend taxes would certainly help Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, but it would help *me* a great deal more, by lowering the barriers to property income.

    Without dividend taxes, I could go and buy a stock that pays a reasonable dividend yield (RJR pays 9 percent), and reinvest the dividend annually for as long as I'm working. By the time I retired, I'd have a pretty nice, tax-free income to live on.

    The way things are today, my best bet is to buy real estate, and hope I don't get screwed over by too many deadbeat tenants.

  • by pballsim ( 119438 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @04:21AM (#7101734) Homepage
    - working on that interesting open-source software project. Good for the resume as well

    Apparently you didn't read his resume =). He has the a very impresive resume! Worked at NASA back in the day and has been busy with lots of wonderful jobs and experience.

    I think he too over-qualified.

    - get in shape (running is cheap, and so are push-ups)

    - eat better; too broke to eat out, so buy lots of veggies; kick the coffee and beer habit (too expensive)

    Apparently you didn't read his page. He said he has been doing this.

    Sorry, just bitter =)

    "My kid reads your honor kids e-mail"
  • Re:Simple truths (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NerveGas ( 168686 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @04:41AM (#7101780)
    1. Capitalism sucks as bad as communism. It just takes a little longer to realise...but you realise it well when you are fired and you can't find a job.

    Making a comparatively huge wage for years, then spending a while unemployed before making another (comparatively) huge wage is much better than being forced to work in a tedious, menial, or back-breaking job for your whole life with no hope of ever escaping abject poverty. If that isn't clear to you, maybe you could use a stint in a poor country to help you see the real world. If you've never lived outside of the U.S., you've never seen what a hard life really is.

    3. Companies sell their products with up to 90% profit, especially those that outsource production. And the profit fills the pockets of their owners

    If you think that many companies make 90% profits, you obviously don't understand the costs of doing business. Any market where a company can repeatedly make a profit anywhere near that level is a market that will soon be flooded with competition. For a company to make actual profits even in the very low double-digits is very, very good.

    7. If you ever realized how good rich people live, a revolution would be started in a minute.

    If you've ever lived in a truly poor nation, you'd realize that you, by virtue of the fact that you're even posting on Slashdot, are likely within the wealthiest 5% of the entire world. The lifestyle accorded to an American working for minimum wage is literally an impossible dream to hundreds of millions of people.

    9. If you ever realized that the rich people got rich by stealing,

    Yes, we all know that poor people never obtain their means through criminal means.

  • by gdarklighter ( 666840 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @04:52AM (#7101809) Homepage
    Maybe for an encore, a bit more money could solve the drug problem, and improve student performance in our public schools!

    Actually, a spending increase would definitely improve student performance. Spending more on education leads to more qualified teachers, better facilities, and smaller classes, all of which contribute to a better learning environment.
  • by Zakabog ( 603757 ) <john@NOSpAm.jmaug.com> on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @05:04AM (#7101848)
    But what if you have a lot of technical skills? MacDonalds won't hire you because they're concerned that you'll run off the first instance that a better job shows up!

    First of all who submits a resume to McDonalds? They have a little application you fill out and that's it. I have a ton of technical skills yet I still managed to get a job at Taco Bell. I was working their and fixing computers on the side. Fast food places are always hiring, and if you have technical skills they don't say "Hey this person is over qualified we can't hire them" they say "Hey this person is pretty smart lets hire them because they'll be a great employee."

    The only time you'll ever give a fast food place a resume is for a management position, and the only way to get one of those is with past experience as a manager (or get hired as a regular employee and work your way up to manager.) If you really find yourself not able to get a fast food job you're too lazy to try, just show up and 99% of the time they will hire you and if they don't they'll send you to one of their stores that will (the taco bell I worked at was in desperate need of people, if anyone applied at one of the other 3 locations on staten island owned by our franchise they would be sent to where I worked.)
  • by Penguinshit ( 591885 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @05:09AM (#7101859) Homepage Journal

    Rich people have much more influence over government than you do, and if you think that goverment is ever going to help you satisfy your envy, think again.

    Believe you me, I was under no illusions there.. And I'm not saying "soak the rich". I'm saying "don't soak the rest of us to benefit the rich".

    To get into making money from property today, you pretty much have to come up with the price of a house or condo that you can rent out.

    Not really.. it just depends on how leveraged you want to be in the early going. It's actually much easier to break into the property market than most people think, and you have to start with shit-boxes with short-term neg-am mortgages hoping the value holds or increases. I shifted all of my invested money into property shortly before the bubble burst and my properties have so far held value (even slightly increased while others have dropped) but this was soley due to location. So far that is the only thing between me and a trailer park.

    Dividends don't really help me here, only a capital gains reduction would (if I flip short-term, which I'm not doing).

    Anyway, this isn't available to the majority of the populace. The middle and lower income folks just never see the benefit of a reduction of dividend taxes. This was intended to put more money in the pockets of business with the hope that business would spend that money creating jobs. In this economic environment, all it does is make business keep its cash reserves high for a little longer, hoping to ride out decreased revenue.
  • by The_Real_MrRabbit ( 541342 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @05:38AM (#7101957)
    bashing article in the guise of post-employment enlightenment.

    Don't people have better things to do then live for every opportunity to bash someone...geesh...

    Go hound the IRS or something...or join Al-Queda...

  • by colinleroy ( 592025 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @05:43AM (#7101971) Homepage
    I want a real career. Without computers. Without the corporation.
    Not focusing on your income may help. Where's the need to earn 60k if you can live correctly with 30?
    Let your job be only a little part of your life and you may be happier - there's so much more to do (you know, the "Real Life" people here often make fun of ;-)) than work for a company you don't care about .
    Of course this is not very valid for unemployed people. (I've been unemployed for a few monthes, just long enough to be able to consider this as nice vacations, but i wouldn't have wanted this unemployment to last too long).
  • by 10Ghz ( 453478 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @05:54AM (#7101997)
    No, probably not. Anyway, last I checked he didn't turn Transmeta into a big success story.

    Transmetas success or failure is not up to Linus. He's but a one software-engineer at the company. You wouldn't hire anyone who has worked at a company that for some reason or another was not a huge success? Isn't that kinda stupid?
  • by nagora ( 177841 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @07:07AM (#7102158)
    rather insulting partisan political nonsense

    I don't get it. Are you saying that you don't think self-proclaimed President Bush and his "cabinet" are a bunch of crooks and liars?!! I mean, we are talking about people like Rumsfeld here, a man that happily sold Saddam WMD while he was know to be using them on the Iranians? Or Dick "Dick" Chaney, who's being paid by Halliburton 1 million dollars a year to be VP! Let alone the rest of the half-crazed ultra-rightwing nut cases from the Project for the New American Century.

    Or have I mis-understood?


  • by BadElf ( 448282 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @07:10AM (#7102168)
    I've made the same realization. Good tech jobs requiring what used to be not-so-popular skills and paid 50-60k were everywhere. Now it seems everyone and their dog can write code and the employers know that -- no more 50-60k jobs.

    I got the boot from a good job only to find out they hired someone new at half the rate just a couple of weeks later. And now, having been actively looking for work for the past 9 months, I see that the few companies that *are* hiring are paying even less than that.

    I'm no longer looking for the good tech jobs anymore. Instead, I've enrolled at the local university to earn a B.A. in English -- or maybe psychology -- or anything else that doesn't smell like IT or technology.

    I figure I'll always have the tech experience to fall back on if that market recovers, but in the meantime I'll have earned a degree in something completely different with completely different opportunities.
  • by constantnormal ( 512494 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @07:24AM (#7102208)
    You apparently failed to read the guy's resume [dvorkin.com].

    It is evident that he HAS spent a substantial amount of time over the years improving his skills, to the end that he has better (certainly broader, likely deeper) IT skills than 99% of Slashdot readers.

    And his reward for this? He's too expensive. The "improve your skills" meme is not successful when facing offshore competition at 10% of the wage rate.

    The skills he has to improve in order to stay employed are those that cannot be shipped offshore, like becoming a plumber or an electrician. Of course, this means he is required to throw away a career he has invested over 30 years in, along with all that vaunted training and experience.

    I would like to think there is a case for a domestic IT industry, but until the dismal sciences recognize the benefits of a diverse local economy over a specialized global economy, all the arguments are going to be slanted towards cutting business expense by gutting the middle classes.

    One of the major reasons Linux is so successful outside the US is that foreign governments recognize that it would be nice to have an IT industry of their own, one that does not send all the profits overseas. They're not switching to Linux to be better positioned to export IT jobs to India or China.

  • Re:Yeah right. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dcw3 ( 649211 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @07:27AM (#7102215) Journal
    I try to convince myself I've gotten out of the rat race of Upward Mobility, and it's morally superior to have Downward Nobility. But I just want a fucken job. I helped build this industry in the early 1970s, now I'm supposed to be in the peak earning years of my career, but I'm locked out due to the bad economy. It sucks. There is nothing good about being unemployed.

    As a 45 yr old Principal SW Eng., writing this from my cube, I'd suggest to you that peak earning years in the 40s are due more to age discrimination than to economical issues. Otherwise, you'd see the peak at retirement age. This economy is NOTHING compared to the unemployment we saw in '81. It's easy (I won't debate the merit in this thread) for companies to dump us higher paid folks and hire a couple of recent grads or H1B Visa types for less. Your best bet is to find a niche, do work that others aren't willing or able to do, keep current on tech issues, and make sure your boss is aware of the value you're adding to his bottom line (from his viewpoint, if you're not adding then your dispensible). Anyway, good luck to you...from my vantage point, it looks like things have started picking up over the last six months.
  • by expro ( 597113 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @07:34AM (#7102236)

    You forget that working hard helps the company and helping the company ensures it still has money to pay you.

    And let's not forget to pay the boss his millions (or hundreds of millions) of dollars in bonus. The company could get much further in loyalty paying that money to help employees, if it hadn't written them off.
  • by vudufixit ( 581911 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @08:10AM (#7102362)
    A friend of mine, still living at home at the age of 29, got laid off from a major entertainment firm over two years ago. Got a six-month severance package, with benefits, AND unemployment insurance. Decided to wait a couple of months to really look for a job. Then the Sept 11, 2001 attacks really finished off the job market. Look, everyone's free to live their life as they see fit, but someone who collects that much money and doesn't seem to care about working is crapping on everyone that got a measly package and WANTS to work. He's even turned his nose up at fairly decent paying temp work ($15-$20) an hour, because it "wasn't what he wanted to do." So he's hurting his own chances of getting another job with a HUGE gap in his employment history. And setting himself up to not have the resources to start a family and retire well. He doesn't realize that these are peak earning years for us. In effect, he's retired at the age of 29 with not much in the way of assets. I'm sure he'll be working well into his 70's...
  • by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @08:49AM (#7102568)
    Look, you want a simple life, go get it. You want a short week, go for it. You want a 35 hour job and can't get one, start your own business and see if you can provide one.

    It's not enough that 46 cents of every dollar my company produces goes into a government coffer before hitting one of the employees bank acounts?

    How many chains do you want to put on us.

    Without excessive government interference, we'd be twice the size we are now (read that as "creating more jobs" for those of you that believe in our Marxist/Fascist economy).

    The middle class is getting squeezed by your policies. The government bails out/subsizes the biggest businesses to keep the stop market rising, which shifts tax money to the richest Americans (because they own stocks). Then the tax code hits people generating income.

    So: produce wealth, get it taxed away. Simply own wealth, and much of that money comes back to you.

    The government taxes productive businesses to give it to unproductive ones to "keep existing jobs."

    Sure, the Steel Tariffs saved jobs in the steel industry. For every job saved, how many jobs were lost/not created in the automotive industry because of higher steel prices. How many jobs were not created in corporate America because the company car-fleet costs more than it should? How many jobs were lost in the computer industry because consumers had less discretionary spending because their car lease costs an extra $10-$20/month.

    All this meddling destroys economic growth, and is killing those of us willing to work 60-100 hours/week greating the economic engine that the rest of you live off of.

  • by pebs ( 654334 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @09:25AM (#7102813) Homepage
    he said he had roommates. In some cities, rent is cheap even in the nice areas. If you have 2 or 3 roommates, you can find a 3 or 4 bedroom house or apartment that is quite afordable. Owning a house also helps, which would eliminate the need to pay rent (though other expenses would probably make up for this difference).
  • by VT_hawkeye ( 33442 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @09:57AM (#7103054) Homepage Journal
    Actually, a spending increase would definitely improve student performance. Spending more on education leads to more qualified teachers, better facilities, and smaller classes, all of which contribute to a better learning environment.

    The evidence indicates otherwise. Across the board, the school districts that spend the most per student are inner-city, failing systems like Atlanta, Washington, DC, Richmond, VA, Detroit, etc. -- usually several thousand more per student than the neighboring suburban districts. The extra money tends to go toward (1) gigantic, corrupt administrative bureaucracies and (2) security.

    The single most important factor for a good learning environment is the presence of interested parents. Money doesn't help that.
  • by siskbc ( 598067 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @10:02AM (#7103085) Homepage
    And it closes with a really stupid anti-Bush link. Sigh. Bring a salt shaker if you're going to read it all.

    I agree, and I'll even say I don't understand how anyone of even lukewarm intelligence can blame the dot-bomb collapse on Bush. Don't get me wrong - I don't *like* Bush, and there's *plenty* that he directly answers for - but this isn't it.

    The economy was already heading south by the end of 2000, and the crash was, by that time, completely inevitable. Christ himself (I mean Greenspan) couldn't prevent it.

    So if you actually feel like blaming a President for the collapse, Clinton's your man.

  • I'm sorry, but when I'm constantly facing the loss of MY home and MY standard of living, I have to think about MY family first.

    If you have to worry about it I have three suggestions for you:
    1. Life insurance, accidental death.
    2. New line of work.
    3. Stop worrying.

    I'm sick of people complaining about how they are constantly facing all these great losses because they're too fucking retarded to learn that they just shouldn't be in the IT Business. If you are constantly facing the challenges of losing your shit, get out.

    Make room for the people who deserve, love, and are good at IT jobs. I don't care if you love computers, if you are a retard, get out. If you can't hold down a job, get out. If you have been unemployed for more than a year, go to realty school and become a realtor.

    There are two types of people that I hate in this world, those who aren't stupid but act stupid because it's easier and those who believe they're entitled to shit they don't earn.

    You sound exactly like the latter, and I hope you are not.
  • by lobsterGun ( 415085 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @10:30AM (#7103285)
    I'm in favor of small government and all, but when you say things like...
    Without excessive government interference, we'd be twice the size we are now

    I feel I must point out that some amount of government interference is a good thing. Good things (as well as bad) have come out of government interference (things like civil rights etc).

    and when you say your bit about Tarifs
    Sure, the Steel Tariffs saved jobs in the steel industry....

    I say that's a bad example. I submit that there is such a thing as a strategic industry - an industry that a nation needs if only for it's own ability to defend itself. A strong nation must be able to provide from within, the tools that it needs to make war. Saving the American steel industry is a necessary evil. Now if you had mentioned that crap that we went through with that tarrif on wine and grape seeds I'd have agreed with you 100%.
  • by Cryofan ( 194126 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @11:00AM (#7103496) Journal
    America is too big now to be able to control our own govt. Look at what they are doing--cramming in every possible immigrant so as to continue to lower wages and increase real estate values, etc. With so fragmented a populace, how can we possibly fight back against our own govt?
  • by pmz ( 462998 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @11:00AM (#7103500) Homepage
    From his GWB rant: "Both men know that the Clinton presidency was the country's longest and most profound sustained era of growing optimism, wealth, opportunity, and hope!"

    What a trivial and superficial inference to make about a 4-year presidency which lies in the midst of much longer business cycles. The success of the USA really has little to do with Democrats or Republicans. Instead, it has to do with the US Constitution providing the essential freedom for people to seek prosperity. All the last several decades of government has succeeded in doing is slowing that progress through obsessive regulation that often trumps our original freedoms in favor of political ends.

    Here's a hint: even the Democrats can't save us from GWB and his cronies, because their only differences are the causes they use to front their agendas.
  • by glesga_kiss ( 596639 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:12PM (#7104176)
    Where is it written that we, as Americans, are responsible for the rest of world.

    Nowhere. Your government uses the "save the world" rant to get you onside whatever war you are in at that point; it's easier to get civilian support if they believe they are the good guys.

    The world doesn't want us there, why are we interfereing all over the world.

    The same reason that any other country interferes in another: personal gain. This can be in pure profit or political/strategic gain.

    I agree wth you on Afganistan. It involved American lives. We had a right to retaliate.

    It wasn't a retaliation. The Afgan war was in planning prior to 9/11. I believe it was around June/July when the Indian ambassidor was told by the US to expect a war in Afganistan "before the snow starts falling". 9/11 was used as propaganda to get the public onside.

    The gain? Well, Harliburton, the company directly linked to the current US regime, has been attempting to build a cross-Afgan pipe line, to ship the oil resources of the former USSR states to the north to the Persian gulf. When the Taliban awarded the contract to an Argentine company instead, the adminstration fell out with them. Prior to that, they were best-of-buddies, always in negotiations etc for the lucrative contract. The pipeline was under construction by US interests before the war was over, guarded by US troops.

    But Iraq? There was nothing going oon there at the time.

    Ah, you miss the point there. Question: where did the majority of 9/11 hijackers come from? Saudi Arabia. Where does the US rely mostly for foreign oil? Saudi Arabia.

    Back in the initial gulf war, the US convinced the Saudi's that positioning US troops in Saudi was neccessary in case Saddam advanced further than Kuwait. It is rumoured that the satelite inteligence shown to them of troops near their border was faked by the US. Previously, the US only supported the Saudi dictatorship with weapons and financing, in return, the US was able to access the oil. The US actually helped this dictatorship to power, after the previous democracy (yes, democracy) was toppled (again with US assistance) because it wasn't forthcoming to US interests.

    When the troops arrived, that's when the anti-US terrorism there really kicked off, away from the purely religious fanatics that hate all non-Islam, and into a more mainstream position. Al Qaeda's stated goal is to remove the US from Saudi, allowing them to control their own government. The "hate freedom & democracy" thing is a US propaganda lie, to prevent you from knowing why they hate you so much. If anything, that's exactly what they want, although their idea of Freedom is a bit more strict than ours.

    Anyway, back to Iraq. After Saudi, the second largest oil reserves are in Iraq. Under Saddam's regime and UN sanctions, this oil was essentially out of play for the west, increasing dependance on Saudi, a state with huge ties to terrorism and anti-US feeling.

    With Saddam gone, and a democratic government in Iraq, this oil is now available. The Saudi troops have already mostly moved to Iraq, which will become the new US reserve of power in the middle east. There will be a large US army stationed there for many years to come, even if the guerilla war ends before then.

    So, in essence, the west has actually conceeded to the terrorists goal. Of course, it's not going to work out. I estimate that the story of Saudi Arabia is going to be replayed in Iraq. There have been some good documentaries on recently on the BBC, and while there is some support for the war, the majority of the population were against it, and have lost family. Note we've never heard Iraqi soldier casualty figures on our news, they are very high. If the US is not careful, the hate for them could grow to the point that Iraqi becomes the source of a large amount of terrorism.

    American history shows that it is neccessary to disagree with you government if it dooing wrong

    And n

  • by Digizen64 ( 691804 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:28PM (#7104352)
    Uh, presidents don't control the economy but can influence the bone-crushing depths of a recession through sound fiscal, policy and social initiatives. Bush is a one trick pony i.e tax cuts. Clinton didn't create the boom nor did they create the bomb, they did do what they thought would create a favorable climate for an emerging Internet-enabled economy.
  • by KnarfO ( 320113 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @12:58PM (#7104680) Homepage
    Dvorkin, like so many on both ends of the pollitical spectrum, places the blame for his predicament not on his own shoulders, but at the feet of the opposing pollitical party. Get real! 90% of all polliticians give nothing more than token lip service to the plight of the un- or under-employed.

    He'll find solutions to his problems much faster if he wakes up and takes responsibility for his career, instead of waiting for some populus pandering pollitico to come rescue him.

  • Re:Not really (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Digizen64 ( 691804 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @01:33PM (#7105103)
    Actually, manufacturing jobs have been hit harder than programmers. Imagine if Clinton had tried to mute the boom. The howls from the pundits would have been deafening. In hindsight, accounting standards should have been better enforced. It's a no-brainer what Bush should have done. It's a demand-side problem, a demand-side problem deserves a demand-side solution. Tax-cuts geared towards consumers would have made far more sense than capital gains guts and dividend taxes reduced. Creating demand should have been the goal. Bush should have cuts taxes significantly towards middle and lower income earners. We haven't been facing a problem with productivity and companies have a glut of infrastructure. Companies didn't need more money to invest in growth, they needed to get people and companies to buy more of their products and services.
  • by tres ( 151637 ) on Wednesday October 01, 2003 @05:53PM (#7108318) Homepage

    I'm sick of simple, bullheaded idiots telling me that it's my fault that the tech industry has turned into a gobbling bunch of MBA cannibals more worried about preserving their own 6 figure salary than jobs.

    You keep on the platitudes, speaking about "deserving" and "earning," but the fact of the matter is, there is no hard and fast way of defining what exactly affords one the deservedness, or defines them as "good at IT jobs;" it's all arbitrary, and getting a job is based upon many other things than deserving or aptitude.

    I don't know where you are, but out here in the real world, rarely is it what you know, but rather WHO you know that gets you in the door. So you can be a kickass coder or a great sysadmin, but it still won't get you a thing if you don't have an edge over the 500 other guys who are kickass coders or great sysadmins and also have their resume in the same pile.

    You tell me; is David Dvorkin one of the retards who should be getting out?

    I tell you what, there's two types of people that I hate: idiots who know better and greedy self-serving retards who can't see the world except through the shaft of their own ego.

    You sir, sound exactly like the latter, and I hope you are not.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.