Friday, November 25, 2011

Who Are the 1% and Who are the 99%


I have been very concerned of the rising tide of two kinds of unemployment: The college kids and the middle aged boomer. Two groups seemingly book ended on a dead end for financial security.

While one group is starting out with immense debts already acquired, the other is trying to maintain a lifestyle no longer affordable or attainable. Each see each others as enemies and rivals for the few jobs and wages available.

I have written about the group I call the Shadow People - those too young for Social Security/Medicare but too old to be desirable in the marketplace. This is due to a series of reasons I call "the over/under" phenomena - "over" experienced and too old to be "under" paid - people who still have "overwhelming" and immense skills, talents, and resources but cannot afford to work for subsistence "under" wages. In a country where most of the wealthiest are all over 50 its ironic to think that over 45 you somehow you become stagnant and useless, well unless you are wealthy then be 80 and people call you an "oracle".


I was listening to a interesting Australian Economist, Steve Keen, discuss the problems in our current economy on BBC America and he has some interesting real truths about our current global realities regarding this collapse. And one is simply we are heading to a long term decade or longer Depression if we don't start reducing debt - both on a micro and macro level. And we hear a lot "of eat our "peas" and "tighten belt" talks but in reality comparing the two types of economies is always challenging. But how Mr. Keen proposes this debt reduction is by a simple "write off" of debt on a massive level; this move would require the banks to take the loss. And across the board you can see in the US and Europe that has been the last tool in the equation. Everyone must suffer for the banks fraud, duplicity in greed, so much for "everyone"

We are facing massive crisis in hope, future of the economy globally and yet the arguments still seem about "austerity" but the only one's feeling that are the 99%.

Simple facts about wage inequality are this.. (as taken from Paul Krugman's column in the NY Times)

According to that report, between 1979 and 2005 the inflation-adjusted, after-tax income of Americans in the middle of the income distribution rose 21 percent. The equivalent number for the richest 0.1 percent rose 400 percent.

For the most part, these huge gains reflected a dramatic rise in the super-elite’s share of pretax income. But there were also large tax cuts favoring the wealthy. In particular, taxes on capital gains are much lower than they were in 1979 — and the richest one-thousandth of Americans account for half of all income from capital gains. (not from inventing or creating jobs or "working harder" all myths perpetuated to build a class warfare that is INTRA not INTER - more confusions such as comparing micro to macro economics)

For who are the 0.1 percent? Very few of them are Steve Jobs-type innovators; most of them are corporate bigwigs and financial wheeler-dealers. One recent analysis found that 43 percent of the super-elite are executives at nonfinancial companies, 18 percent are in finance and another 12 percent are lawyers or in real estate. And these are not, to put it mildly, professions in which there is a clear relationship between someone’s income and his economic contribution.

Executive pay, which has skyrocketed over the past generation, is famously set by boards of directors appointed by the very people whose pay they determine; poorly performing C.E.O.’s still get lavish paychecks, and even failed and fired executives often receive millions as they go out the door.




The reality is that this current model of economics is not sustainable. While Capitalism is certainly demonstrated success its not working any longer and its time for a change. Perhaps we are leaving the Guilded Age to the Age of Equity.

To understand the long term affects and results another editorial in the NY Times clarifies what long term unemployment and income inequity results.



The Age of the Superfluous Worker
By HERBERT J. GANS
Published: November 24, 2011


AMERICA, like other modern countries, has always had some surplus workers — people ready to work but jobless for extended periods because the “job creators,” private and public, have been unable or unwilling to create sufficient jobs. When the number of surplus workers rose sharply, the country also had ways of reducing it.

However, the current jobless recovery, and the concurrent failure to create enough new jobs, is breeding a new and growing surplus pool. And some in this pool are in danger of becoming superfluous, likely never to work again.

The currently jobless and the so-called discouraged workers, who have given up looking for work, total about 15 percent of the work force, not including the invisible discouraged workers the government cannot even find to count.

In the old days — before Social Security, welfare and Medicaid — poverty-caused illnesses killed off or incapacitated some of the people who could not find jobs. Even earlier, some nations sold their surplus workers as slaves, while the European countries could send them to the colonies.

In addition, wars were once labor-intensive enterprises that absorbed the surplus temporarily, and sufficient numbers of those serving in the infantry and on warships were killed or seriously enough injured so that they could not add to the peacetime labor surplus.

The old ways of reducing surplus labor are, however, disappearing. Decades of medical and public health advances, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, have reduced the number of poverty-related deaths. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have left many more service members injured than killed.

Over the past quarter-century, one very costly way of decreasing the surplus has been the imprisonment of people, mostly dark-skinned men, for actual and invented offenses. Felons are not often hired when they leave prison. Many, at least those who do not become recidivists, become surplus and then superfluous labor. As incarceration becomes less affordable for financially strapped states, inmates will reach surplus or superfluous status at a younger age.

Meanwhile, new ways of increasing surplus labor have appeared. One is the continued outsourcing of jobs to low-wage countries; the other is the continuing computerization and mechanization of manufacturing and of services not requiring hands-on human contact. Continuing increases in worker productivity add yet more to the surplus. So does the unwillingness of employers to even consider hiring people who have been unemployed for a long time.

When the jobless recovery ends and the economy is restored to good health, today’s surplus will be reduced. New technology and the products and services that accompany it will create new jobs. But unless the economy itself changes, eventually many of these innovations may be turned over to machines or the jobs may be sent to lower-wage economies.

In fact, if modern capitalism continues to eliminate as many jobs as it creates — or more jobs than it creates — future recoveries will not only add to the amount of surplus labor but will turn a growing proportion of workers into superfluous ones.

What could be done to prevent such a future? America will have to finally get serious about preserving and creating jobs — and on a larger, and more lasting, scale than Roosevelt’s New Deal. Private enterprise and government will have to think in terms of industrial policy, and one that emphasizes labor-intensive economic growth and innovation. Reducing class sizes in all public schools to 15 or fewer would require a great many new teachers even as it would raise the quality of education.

In the long run, reducing working time — perhaps to as low as 30 hours a week, with the lost income made up by unemployment compensation — would lead to a modest increase in jobs, through work sharing. New taxes on income and wealth are unavoidable, as are special taxes on the capital-intensive part of the economy. Policies that are now seemingly utopian will have to be tried as well, and today’s polarized and increasingly corporate-run democracy will have to be turned into a truly representative one.

Whatever the costs, they would be a small price to preserve America as a healthy society. A society that has permanently expelled a significant proportion of its members from the work force would soon deteriorate into an unbelievably angry country, with intense and continuing conflict between the have-jobs and have-nones. America could become a very sick society, just when it needed to be stronger than ever to flourish in the global economy.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pool Time


Well its the end of summer and its a great time to switch from the outdoor pool to the indoor one.

If you are looking for family fun that is affordable then try home games that can build skill while having fun doing so. Is your game of choice Bumper Pool, Air Hockey, Foosball or Shuffleboard Table Game?

I find the holidays are a best time to purchase a larger table game as they make great features in those remodeled basement family rooms. If you are thinking about your office or community center and want to find a way to build a team there is no better way than over a game of Air Hockey or Shuffleboard.

Table games are great for larger more diverse groups who would like to play sports together in a way that is both fun and easy for all ages and genders.

The way to build relationships and team skills can result from participating in something as easy as a challenging Foosball game. As I frequently say that community is essential in building sustainability.

So when thinking of what to get the family for Christmas think about a Game Table for your family room.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Have a little Eco Chi


No its not the latest drink offering from Starbucks its a new way of examining the well established principles of Feng Shui with Sustainability in design.

I cannot think of a better merger of ideas as the concepts of Feng Shui and Green Design as they are so mutually inclusive its a wonder it took so long for someone to do as such.

Well better late than never; Debra Denelier has devised the principles of what she calls, "Eco Chi", in her new book - Eco Chi - Designing for the Human Experience. Using the principles of Feng Shui and sustainable living practices that encourage healthy living and positive environmental psychology, Debra has devised a simple integrated approach to changing the way you live in relation to your space.

Feng Shui had been a popular concept in the late 1990s and I too was very encouraged to remodel a property incorporating some of its most easiest attainable options. Many of those ideas today - from plants, to water to light are certainly ones you see in relation to current green build designs. Incorporating these principles in her book, Debra has devised a simple strategy on you and your home can find Yin and Yang and in turn find yourself feeling healthier, happier and more in tune with your surroundings.

Debra has done an excellent job in this simple guide on how you can find Eco Chi in your life. Using personal experiences and success stories you can see how many of her suggestions are ones very similar to the Green Build/Design movement and her approaches are both affordable and easily approachable for any layman interested in a crash course of the ancient art of Feng Shui.

Eco Chi is available at ....

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Let the Blogger Beware


I have been reading of late of numerous threats or litigation towards bloggers or trades people who on their websites or blogs mention problems with certain products or even use photos with logos or trademarks.

As a blogger who frequently touts issues relating to the good, the bad, the ugly and the great with regards to Sustainability - predominately build related - I tread a fine line to recommend one product or concept vs another. Which on most cases centers on the absurd "verifications" of all kinds and types of buildings.

My issue is that one is NOT better, superior or worse than the other - it is the simple fact that they are mutually inclusive not exclusive when it comes down to the basic of building science and frankly charging people money to put stars or what have you on them doesn't fundamentally change the fact: If a building is built smart well designed with ultimate energy conservation and consumption in mind adding more bells and whistles doesn't make it greener it just makes it with more stuff. Fundamentally a green building is one that uses less resources and is made with less resources with a long lifespan of performance and function. The End.

Having bamboo floors, high end quartz counter tops and the like are all lipstick, frosting or superfluous extrinsic factors that lend to a building's overall shade of green but it ultimately does not make it "greener." That comes fundamentally from its design and construction.

So when I read about two lawsuits regarding one site that mentioned a specific company/brand by name saying its a poor performer and another where the discussion was about performance overall over materials - not by name but by concept - however it used a photo with a brand clearly illustrated, you wonder what the purpose of the suit was?

Well we are all entitled to an opinion. And the fact is the web allows for a myriad of such often without substantive documentation or even identification. There are so many ways now to manage and of course subvert messages. You can use this power for good to inform and advise and in some cases to destroy and malign professional reputations and businesses with no more agenda than a personal one.

I try to stay away from the product recommendations overall although frankly its also how I support myself but I disclose those as sponsored posts. I do recommend on time to time my own personal likes and dislikes but I steer clear of trashing one product over another. I can only say that this was my experience overall and as anyone knows when it comes to products we find results that work for us.

I share this link with this article I found on GBA today (I normally do not link to them as they are very proprietary to their material but I am hoping they respect that this is to aid people from similar situations) and another on Builders Counsel Blogdiscussing two very different cases regarding the same issues however.

Blogger beware. The photos used, such as the ones I often use, can also be a problem Many of them are trademarked or copyrighted and must be used with permission. While I find no problems with many of the news articles I cite and I try to find generic Google photos from free sites its a difficult line to know until well that letter arrives from an Attorney demanding a removal. As I said I try to reprint all articles I cite as sources from magazines, papers and journals that I PAY AND SUBSCRIBE to; I don't reprint from those I do not. And I link back to the source. All of these things are done with acknowledgement that the web has made "borrowing" material considerably easier. As I certainly can attest the Huffington Post certainly has done that better than most. With 90% of its content often taken from other major magazines and newspapers without remission - so if they can do it - why can't anyone else?

Free speech, the right to access information, the right to reprint it if you have subsequently paid for it are all significant issues. And the blog-o-sphere struggles with it like any other industry.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Green Comes at a Cost

When I started the remodeling company the biggest focus was on "affordability" of going green.

As I evolved the business to educate and consult with others I have never lost that message that green is affordable and approachable for those with any budget and a project of any size. The idea being that green is easier the smaller the budget and scope vs the larger ones. There is just an antithesis in the notion that you must "build it green."

At first I was very keen to believe that endorsing, certifying and registering a project was essential to legitimizing the project's intent. I respectively took every course, class and quiz that gave me Energy Star, LEED, NAHB, Green Advantage and my local Built Green verifier's qualifications. Then I began to realize the costs. For my liability insurance, my level of risk and the absolute lack of financial incentives by any of the organizations providing certifications that would enable me to value one over the other.

And of course they simply can't. They all have the same fundamental principals involved, the same goals, perscriptives and ideas each with their own unique approaches that allow a building to be certified green.

In turn I would also have to raise my fees, get undoubtedly more equipment and the time involved for me alone to do most of them would require a herculean effort on my part thereby negating the whole "affordability" concept.

So I discontinued maintain the verifier requirement by all of them (more time away working on studying to test one program over another) and spending more time simply studying building science, issues on sustainability and keeping my fees and costs down.

I find that yes even the 99% are looking for ways to go green. In Seattle its a mantra and I find myself edged out of a marketplace saturated with green at all levels. So where does one go to find green?

Today this article in the NY Times discusses that for cities who have the mandate they also don't have the budget. And of course the 99% go without the basic necessities that make communities green - public transport, clean air and water and affordable housing.

When one looks at a plan for LEED for Communities these are all over the "certifications" but how to pay for them in communities torn by the mortgage meltdown and subsequent economic crisis are not not mentioned. Just as the fact that we will have an excessive housing surplus in the years ahead with the slow down of immigration, births and families co-habituating (or living in parks occupying if you will). I brought this up at the Department of Energy conference in Denver and I have yet to hear back from the presenter with those statistics. I don't expect to either.

A couple of years ago at a Building Science workshop, John Staube thought we would need a million or so homes year to meet demand. I demurred, but its hard to debate someone so knowledgeable about building, but about census and migration patterns I wondered. He is also Canadian, lives there, and how much did he or even I know at the time where we were heading regarding this matter?

Its clear my deepest doubts and fears are reality. We have a decimated industry and homes literally rotting empty or un-maintained due to owner neglect thanks to underwater mortgages and financial constraints.

The article below is about the cost and dark side of going green in one of America's most underwater (irony perhaps) cities - Phoenix, Arizona.

To go green costs money. We get that and the payback can be time consuming. Yet even today we are finding that Solar is starting to get cheaper (thanks again to the Chinese - a trade off that cost Solyndra however) and in turn the need is never greater.

The wealthiest people in this Country - the 1% - most are from the Energy fields. All of them carefully against "climate change" and the idea of a green economy. Not unlike their brothers in the Automotive trade who resisted the notion of sustainable vehicles, these dinosaurs are waiting to either let fossil fuels die first or they themselves to die before moving into a sustainable course. This is one course doomed for failure and at what costs?

The challenge Phoenix faces is no different than what Detroit, Cleveland or any other major city in financial free fall faces. But there is one hope the potential for those "green jobs" everyone was talking about.



The Dark Side of the ‘Green’ City
By ANDREW ROSS
Published: November 6, 2011

The struggle to slow global warming will be won or lost in cities, which emit 80 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. So “greening” the city is all the rage now. But if policy makers end up focusing only on those who can afford the low-carbon technologies associated with the new environmental conscientiousness, the movement for sustainability may end up exacerbating climate change rather than ameliorating it.

While cities like Portland, Seattle and San Francisco are lauded for sustainability, the challenges faced by Phoenix, a poster child of Sunbelt sprawl, are more typical and more revealing. In 2009, Mayor Phil Gordon announced plans to make Phoenix the “greenest city” in the United States. Eyebrows were raised, and rightly so. According to the state’s leading climatologist, central Arizona is in the “bull’s eye” of climate change, warming up and drying out faster than any other region in the Northern Hemisphere. The Southwest has been on a drought watch 12 years and counting, despite outsized runoff last winter to the upper Colorado River, a major water supply for the subdivisions of the Valley of the Sun.

Across that valley lies 1,000 square miles of low-density tract housing, where few signs of greening are evident. That’s no surprise, given the economic free fall of a region that had been wholly dependent on the homebuilding industry. Property values in parts of metro Phoenix have dropped by 80 percent, and some neighborhoods are close to being declared “beyond recovery.”

In the Arizona Legislature, talk of global warming is verboten and Republican lawmakers can be heard arguing for the positive qualities of greenhouse gases. Most politicians are still praying for another housing boom on the urban fringe; they have no Plan B, least of all a low-carbon one. Mr. Gordon, a Democrat who took office in 2004, has risen to the challenge. But the vast inequalities of the metro area could blunt the impact of his sustainability plans.

Those looking for ecotopia can find pockets of it in the prosperous upland enclaves of Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and North Phoenix. Hybrid vehicles, LEED-certified custom homes with solar roofs and xeriscaped yards, which do not require irrigation, are popular here, and voter support for the preservation of open space runs high. By contrast, South Phoenix is home to 40 percent of the city’s hazardous industrial emissions and America’s dirtiest ZIP code, while the inner-ring Phoenix suburbs, as a legacy of cold-war era industries, suffer from some of the worst groundwater contamination in the nation.

Whereas uptown populations are increasingly sequestered in green showpiece zones, residents in low-lying areas who cannot afford the low-carbon lifestyle are struggling to breathe fresh air or are even trapped in cancer clusters. You can find this pattern in many American cities. The problem is that the carbon savings to be gotten out of this upscale demographic — which represents one in five American adults and is known as Lohas, an acronym for “lifestyles of health and sustainability” — can’t outweigh the commercial neglect of the other 80 percent. If we are to moderate climate change, the green wave has to lift all vessels.

Solar chargers and energy-efficient appliances are fine, but unless technological fixes take into account the needs of low-income residents, they will end up as lifestyle add-ons for the affluent. Phoenix’s fledgling light-rail system should be expanded to serve more diverse neighborhoods, and green jobs should be created in the central city, not the sprawling suburbs. Arizona has some of the best solar exposure in the world, but it allows monopolistic utilities to impose a regressive surcharge on all customers to subsidize roof-panel installation by the well-heeled ones. Instead of green modifications to master-planned communities at the urban fringe, there should be concerted “infill” investment in central city areas now dotted with vacant lots.

In a desert metropolis, the choice between hoarding and sharing has consequences for all residents. Their predecessors — the Hohokam people, irrigation farmers who subsisted for over a thousand years around a vast canal network in the Phoenix Basin — faced a similar test, and ultimately failed. The remnants of Hohokam canals and pit houses are a potent reminder of ecological collapse; no other American city sits atop such an eloquent allegory.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Disaster Avoided


No one appreciates the DIY or HGTV channel more than I. I find it a tremendous resource. That said it often avoids details such as costs. Why? Because regionally costs, fees and requirements vary. And thanks to the miracle of editing the time frame permitted for projects are often unstated.

Ultimately theese are projects often for television and many magic elves often assist to complete the project. (I should know I had a project filmed for the DIY channel once and it was a nightmare behind the scenes, but a dream on camera)!

So as a result even them most jaded and experienced person might think that project is not as difficult as it appears. So what you see is definitely not what you get.

What are the most common errors that many homeowners make when it comes to remodeling projects? Here are the top 5:

Cost based Assumption:

Assume you know what your project will cost without doing the research first.
An example is a homeowner who thinks that a kitchen remodel with all new appliances, custom cabinets and granite counter tops will only cost $20,000. What they find is that a $20,000 kitchen most likely includes a basic appliance package, laminate counter tops and stock cabinets from a home improvement store. In fact, the average kitchen remodel is closer to $50,000, with many approaching $80,000.

Knowing that the actual costs versus what you think they cost and determining your budget based on that "knowing" can affect your options and financing as well. Developing a real project cost goes hand in hand with selecting your materials before starting any work. Appliances and materials will make the biggest difference in what your remodel costs end up.

Example: Apppliances. The dishwasher for $300 will definitely not perform at the same level one for $500 does. So what is most important to you and tailor your project around that. Manufacturers, Energy Star ratings aside - finding value in an appliance requires research.

Because cabinets are usually a big ticket item, Understanding the costs and materials involved in cabinetry is the largest variance vs the labor (altought with Ikea there are added costs as they take more time to install). Cabinets themselves can vary from $100 per lineal foot for already made stock cabinets bought at Home Depot to over $500 per lineal foot for custom made or specialty cabinets.

And don’t forget to account for every little thing, lazy Susan's, sliding shelves even drawer pulls and door knobs can start to add up. It may seem unnecessary to develop a budget that detailed, but you’ll be much better prepared if you do.

A great idea is to work with a contractor AS PART of setting the budget. You can get a lot of good advice during the pre construction process, and learn whether or not you can work with that contractor as a result. And this is why I recommend hiring a Contractor initially to work with you on the plans and budgets and pay him accordingly for his/her time. Even if you end up not working together on the final project there are no hard feelings and you have gotten good working advice if you decide to move forward on the project or not.

Include all non-construction costs such as permits, and design costs. And don’t forget to add tax. In Washington State it is 9.5 percent, so a $300,000 construction quote from a contractor actually will come in at $330,000.

Start without a design or a plan.

Many homeowners don’t know how to come up with a plan or design, and don’t understand the importance of how design will affect the final outcome. Design is not decoration. It is the practical application of where permanent items will be installed in your home, how they will function, and what they look like.

One easy example of poor design is a bathroom where the door can’t be opened without hitting the toilet.

Don’t start without design, and make sure you take the time to understand it. If you don’t allow enough time to understand it, you’ll be surprised in the end, which is always bad.”

Visualize the design and do a final check when the construction is in the rough in phase. Check the height, distance and spacing for counter tops, electrical switches, shower heads, and faucets. Otherwise, fixing mistakes later is quite expensive.

Time Management.

It’s all too common for home improvement projects to take longer than you think they will, even after you’ve doubled or tripled the estimate in your head. Whether you are doing the work yourself, or working with a professional, things don’t always go as planned. The unexpected can and will happen.

And for large projects find out from the professionals but more importantly their past clients how long it took from start to finish. You may be surprised. Allocate time for drawings, design, building permit, to interview contractors, get quotes, to buy the materials, move out, and schedule the workers. And, there are many more tasks than just those.

Many Designers, Architechts and Contractors recommend at least 2-4 hours a week.
and sometimes more when selecting materials. Allow time each week for meetings, walk throughs, decisions, and progress reports.

And, remember if you are working with professionals that you’ll have to take time off from work during the day to meet with them. Contractors, architects and designers have families at home, too!

Changing Midstream.

Ask yourself why you want to do this project? Is it for resale, to make your home more functional while you live there, or just improve its cosmetics? Each of those answers should help in your selection of materials, colors, and maintenance.

Once you have those selections made avoid second guessing oneself, and don't change your mind about design or materials choices mid-stream. This will almost always cost more, and take more time. But it’s wise to allow 10% of your budget for surprises or to adopt new ideas.

Select professionals based on price alone.

Of course, we’ve all heard horror stories about contractors gone bad, but reputable designers, contractors and subs want you to be happy with their work and will stand by it with written guarantees.

Don’t cut corners by going with a cheap installer for an expensive product. If you are using a general contractor, get a warranty for work done – get it in writing, and get it for more than 1 year. A reputable firm will stand behind their work. In Washington state law requires a 2 year warranty. So know what your current law or code says and confirm it on the contract.

If you are handling really high end or specialized materials, you may need a higher level of expertise for installation than normal.

Trust and communication are the number one and two qualities you should look for in a professional who will be coming into your home.

Looking at the minimum to get the maximum is not the best way to approach a home remodel. Build strong communication with all professionals on your team early on, even if you are letting others Project Manage don't be an absentee homeowner.

Remember, pricing and service go hand in hand. When you focus on price alone, you may save hard dollar costs, but the end result may not be what you wanted.

The Wo-Man Cession

Yesterday I read a Pew Study on the long term affects of being unemployed and they found that unilaterally the time one was unemployed only slightly varied between those with upper degrees, high school and no degree. Showing that now for what is qualified as the "long term" unemployed there was little difference in percentage points when it came right down to it. Because be it Manufacturing, Finance, Building or Education - all industries have taken massive hits when it comes to employment. (So you will see an Architect just as unemployed as a Carpenter)

That length of time out of the market is perceived by many in "job creation" as a loss of skills and they become less desire able to rehire when seeking applicants. Of course experience doesn't deteriorate as well really what in many fields are advancing at high rates during an economic downturn? You would need productivity and dedication to innovation and advancement and given that the predominant resources in many companies are to the Executive Compensation area its a claim I find hard to believe.

And we have the man-cession, the man-gap and the overwhelming fact that women are outpacing men with regards to Education and opportunity but the wage gap has remained. Wages are declining across the board and for women that really isn't' that far to go.

I found this article in American Prospect bemoaning the fact that women regardless of industry are still finding themselves shut out when it comes to professional compensation and growth. We are not coming or going a long way baby. Coupled with the increasing hostile political climate toward women and their reproductive rights, the demands on child care due to Education cuts only points to the situation getting worse.

Add to this that for white women particularly (again according to Pew) this group, along with Black Males falls out of the Middle Class faster as a result. Clearly we are doing something wrong here in determining that gender and income inequity are linked and this is also contributing to many other problems that affect overall society's growth and potential.

As a woman who finds herself at largely male dominated events I find myself often isolated from the men and yet also from the women who have no skills in mentoring and see many women as threats (which is not surprising given the enviornment who wouldn't be?) I find myself wondering if this experience and isolation is a result of the field or is just a larger scale problem.

I also find myself frequently asking "where are the faces of color" as a I look around and again wonder if this is a regional issue or professional one? Whatever the question the answer is simple - the issues manifested from income inequality are doing damage financially, emotionally and professionally overall.



HomeE.J. Graff How Far We Haven't Come, Episode #1707
E.J. Graff
November 4, 2011

Remember "The End of Men," the concept that the future belongs to women, because women are more prepared for today's economy? Well, it hasn't hit us yet. Even when women are better educated, men earn more, at least in most parts of the workforce. As Motoko Rich reports at the New York Times,

Even with the same college and professional degrees, men earn more than women. And among so-called creative class workers like architects, teachers, artists, engineers, bankers and journalists, men earn much more than women, even though more women hold such jobs.

It’s similar at the bottom end of the scale. According to a report issued Thursday by the United States Government Accountability Office, a higher proportion of women finish high school than men, a milestone that is a minimum requirement for any job mobility. Women — especially younger women — are also completing bachelor’s degrees at higher rates than men. Yet they represent a higher proportion of low-wage workers, defined in the report as those who earn hourly wage rates that put them in the bottom 20 percent of the work force.


Think that wage gap might have anything to do with sex discrimination, including that portion of sex discrimination called "sexual harassment"—by which a woman loses months or a year to facing a personally hostile workplace? Or with the fact that, in a society with so few social supports, women end up with more of the unpaid "care" work for children and relatives? Or with ... oh, you've heard me on this before

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'll Trade This



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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vehicular Movement


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