Who really gets the jobs?

This is probably the biggest question I have with regards to unemployment but why do I keep getting rejected for jobs where I fit the job to a T and would be someone the employer would like. However, this is not just affecting me now but my dad.

As I mentioned previously he had a job he loved as a maintenance superintendent. My dad’s skills are in lawnmower repair, small engine repair (he is certified in both), just cleaning up in yards like mowing the lawn, fixing cars (though he is not certified in this)and the like. People always come to him to fix their car or their lawn mower and he makes additional money as a lawn landscaper. Because he is receiving social security he isn’t interested in a full time job now but part time. He’s always been one of those anti college types who couldn’t understand why me and my brother attended college and both finished (me with a masters, my brother as a doctor). Knowing now of course I can’t blame him since I have been unemployed almost 5 years.

This brings me to this week. My dad happened to see a local store last week was hiring a groundskeeper/maintenance person who knew lawn mower repair. This store is a farming type chain and I know they have several in other areas but this is the only one within 100 miles or more. My dad heard they were hiring on Tuesday, he brought in his application on Wednesday, they called Thursday to set up an interview for this Wednesday. He had an hour long interview and was so sure he got it. Today he got a rejection notice. Honestly, why? there can’t be that many people who can do those things he can. I can only suspect that the person who got it was probably not as skilled and maybe not skilled at all.

Election Wrap

I was in a subway station yesterday when I heard a very outspoken woman, about 20 feet away, talking to her friend.  She had voted for Obama because Romney, if he had been elected, would take away food stamps, Section 8 housing vouchers, and all other manner of government goodies.

New York was always going to go for Obama, so much so that there was very little campaigning or advertising by either candidate.  While the Romney camp talked about cutting government spending, I don’t remember anything about serious cuts to existing programs.  Yet it was easy enough to read between the lines and believe that a Romney victory would lead to cuts in food stamps.

It’s a powerful argument to vote for Obama if your life depends on government subsidies, but is was almost entirely unspoken, other than the response to Romney’s remarks about the 47% who pay no Federal income taxes.

I can’t begrudge this lady her vote: she voted in her rational self-interest, as all of us do.  But to her, it doesn’t matter whether the economy does well or badly, or whether unemployment is 5% or 15%, as long as the government goodies keep flowing.

That there may not be enough productive activity to support these government goodies in the future, however, is another question.

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I was in Amsterdam for a professional conference this week, and conversation often devolved into discussions about Sandy and the US Presidential election.  Generally, Europeans were expecting that Obama would be re-elected, and some people looked questioningly at me when I told them I had voted for the other guy.  Certainly, Obama is closer to the European image of what a President should be than Romney.

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I don’t expect good things to come from Obama’s re-election: more economic stagnation, and a resurgence of price inflation.  But at least it’s over.

Alas, Campaign 2016 begins next week.