Archive for February, 2011

Liberalism v Conservatism: The War Is On!

Friday, February 25th, 2011

By John M. Williams

Across this country, the ideological war between liberalism and conservatism is being waged fiercely. The debate is over what is the role of all levels of governments in our lives? Local, state and the federal governments are broke. Local governments are broke mainly as a result of the recession. State and federal governments are broke as a result of the recession and asinine tax policies favoring the rich and businesses.

Achieving sound fiscal policies on all levels of government require an end to the recession and spending cuts and raising revenues. Neither of these policies will happen immediately. Liberals and independents recognize that to achieve balanced budgets spending cuts and raising revenues are absolutely necessary, and they will call for them, and hopefully fight for them.

Conservatives do not want governments to achieve balanced through cuts and raising revenues. They want to achieve balanced budgets through tax cuts and spending cuts. Even though history is against them in this area, they continue to lie to the American people that revenue lacking is not the problem rather excessive spending is. Gullible Americans swallow this lie as easily as they breathe dirty air.

Liberals believe that governments can have a positive role in peoples’ lives. Conservatives do not.

Under liberal governments more people progress economically than under conservatives.

Liberals want to rein in excesses and criminal activities by businesses; conservatives do not.

Liberals want a cleaner environment. Conservatives don’t.

Liberals know too big to fail is a fantasy. Conservatives reject the idea of too big to fail – despite evidence to the contrary.

Liberals want to provide affordable healthcare to everyone; conservatives oppose universal healthcare. They want the insurance market to operate without government interference.

Liberals support unions; conservatives oppose unions and want them dead.

Liberals want to protect women’s reproductive rights and choice; conservatives want the federal government to outlaw reproductive rights and choice.

Liberals support civil rights of everyone; conservatives support individual rights.

Liberals believe in a changing Constitution; conservatives want a static constitution.

Liberals believe in collective bargaining rights for workers; conservatives oppose collective bargaining rights.

Liberals believe in a free and open press that can criticize government without fear of oppression; conservatives dislike criticism and are willing to intimidate critics.

Liberals want curbs on presidential authority in national security areas; conservatives are willing to give conservative presidents unlimited power in national security areas.

Liberals believe in creating public service jobs to reduce unemployment; conservatives oppose using taxes to create jobs to rebuild and repair our infrastructure.

Conservatives believe taxes and tax laws should be used to enrich businesses and not to improve opportunities for the middle class and poor. Liberals hold opposing views.

Liberals want to expand Medicaid to help the poor; conservatives want to reduce the number of Medicaid recipients.

Liberals want to bring Pentagon spending under control; conservatives would spend a trillion dollars annually in defense of the country, regardless of waste, fraud, cost overruns and abuse.

Liberals want to regulate the banking and food industries; conservatives oppose regulations in these areas.

Liberals favor a path to citizenship for illegal aliens; conservatives oppose citizenship programs.

Liberals wanted to raise taxes to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Conservatives wanted borrowed the money, therefore raising the deficit by more than a trillion dollars.

The philosophical divide between liberals and conservatives grows daily. I am convinced that the differences are more economic than political. Conservatives believe that having lots of money is the only real measure of success and the government should not take any money from corporations and wealthy individuals. They believe in passing laws that favor the wealthy and corporations.

The war between Liberals (Democrats) and Conservatives (Republicans) is center stage in Washington, DC and Madison, WI. In the nation’s Capitol, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has passed $61 billion in cuts that hurt the poor. Instead of attacking revenue issues, the Republicans are attacking social issues. They do not want to fund National Public Radio, Planned Parenthood and other programs that they hate. They hate charity to the middle class and poor, but they lovingly embrace charity to corporations and the wealthy. A democratically-controlled Senate and a Democratic president can block such legislation and will in hopes of bringing sanity to the House of Representatives.

In Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker is out to destroy government unions by restricting the areas they can bargain. Walker wants to break the back of government unions. If he does, other states will follow his plan. And the middle class will suffer, and a democratic principle will die. If collective bargaining for better working conditions does not exist, then governments can raise working hours from 40-to-50 or more weekly. Health benefits and pensions can be reduced. Vacations can be reduced, and jobs can be eliminated.

Wisconsinites can end this brutal assault on their quality by recalling at least 8 Republicans
this year and Governor Wagner next January. This will send a message to Republicans everywhere that if you trample on my rights, your political career is over.

The lessons the American voter should take from the behavior of Republican office holders in states and in Washington, DC is know your candidate, because you may get a Jekyll/Hyde office holder. If you do, you deserve the consequences.

To comment on this article write to jwilliams@atechnews.com.

Future Jobs for People with Disabilities

Friday, February 18th, 2011

By John M. Williams

The help wanted ads for the next decade will scantily resemblance to today’s classifieds. Job titles more common in sci-fi novels such as space tour guide and molecular engineer will become common place.
For people with disabilities, employers are placing a premium on skilled and semi-skilled workers, especially in computers, healthcare, government, science and technology, engineering and medical pioneering. And there will be an avalanche of job openings aplenty in the trades as baby boomers retire.
Are you ready for the education race?
Opportunities abound as we become an information-rich society, says Marina Gorbis, executive director, the Institute for the Future. “With a growing number of video cameras, radio-frequency identification chips (RFID) and sensors gushing data, hot jobs will spring up, creating a demand for people who can cope and build new ways to comprehend it,” she said. “Your cell phone won’t be the only thing that vibrates.”
We’re entering an age where every object, every place, is surrounded by digital data. Massive amounts of data will be streaming in every direction. The only way we’re going to be able to live in this world of massive information is to be able to access it in ways that are more sensory rich. They have to appeal to our senses.
Job economist Tom Mason, Chicago, says learning all of our lives is the key to success. He argues that people with disabilities should expect to change careers six or seven times in their lifetime.
Mason believes that for people with disabilities to succeed there must be a restructuring of education in schools and students with disabilities must be introduced to the job market in their first year of high school and continues throughout their lives.
““This is an intellectual/academic race,” said Mason, who stutters. “Lifelong learning will be a forced march. If you stop learning, you will become unemployed and unemployable very quickly.”
Competitive innovation will produce hot jobs that are hard to imagine now. Synthetic biologists are creating organisms to perform specific tasks, said Leroy Hood, president and co-founder of the Seattle-based Institute for Systems Biology. In nanotechnology, systems engineers will fabricate new materials with ideal characteristics at the molecular level, said Frieder Seibel, dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California-San Diego, which opened a nanoengineering department in July. Engineers are building robots in new shapes and sizes.
People with disabilities should anticipate facing the stiffest competition of their lives decade by decade.
To get a high paying job, people with disabilities should think about international law and business, said Brady Thomas, international lawyer. He is blind in his left eye. He speaks Chinese, Korean and German.
International businesses man Thomas Elliott says, “Anyone who is not fluent in a second language will be at a huge disadvantage even if they never leave this country.”
Thomas adds, “Companies will navigate tax codes, laws, work regulations, environmental regulations and ethical questions worldwide.”
Highly skilled health-care professionals will be in demand because of rapid growth in aging. Health-care careers overall will likely enjoy job security. According to the U.S. Labor Department, 13 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations between 2004 and 2014 are related to health care. Home health aides, medical assistants and physician assistants are in the top five.
“As the global economy becomes more intermingled, more teachers with international experience will be needed, and people with disabilities should consider teaching as a career,” says Gloria Talbert, special education teacher, New York.
Talbert, who is dyslexic, also sees growth in assistive technology manufacturing worldwide and the employment of people with disabilities.
Talbert believes people with disabilities should anticipate living in different countries over their careers to succeed. Hot jobs are worldwide, and the ambitious must follow, especially this generation.
The hardest jobs to fill can’t be outsourced or turned over to robots, and they’ll probably still be hot in 2012 because of retiring baby boomers, said Melanie Holmes, vice president of North American corporate affairs for Manpower, a worldwide employment services company. Sales representatives, teachers, mechanics, technicians, managers and truck drivers are the six hardest jobs to fill today, according to Manpower surveys.
John M. Williams can be reached at jwilliams@atechnews.com. His web site is www.atechnews.com