How about we “reinvent” some competent leadership?

28 Jun 2009 11:30 pm
Posted by: Donna

I had ignored Chad Graham’s “New career path: Reinvention” in the Republic this morning because I assmumed it would be yet another regurgitation of the retrain-retool-reschool-rebrand-yourself-for-the-new-economy trope. As I idly picked up the front page section that was sitting on the couch next to me and scanned the article I found was right. I really can’t stand these types of pieces, well-intentioned as they may be, because they put most of the onus on you, the poor schlub who’s been outsourced or downsized, to have the prescience to figure out what the Next Great Thing is, even though you clearly didn’t have the foresight to avoid the ill-fated career path you did pick. The article offers some helpful suggestions, in an inset called “Top job prospects”. They’re from the Labor Department’s Occupational Handbook and they include things like network systems analysts, home health aides, skin care specialists, and pharmacy technicians. Not anything that could ever be outsourced, so taking one of those jobs is an assurance of lifelong stable employment. Yeah right.

Amongst all the blah blah blah about the global economy necessitating more “resilient” workers was a paragraph that made me drop the important things I was doing (watching an MSNBC prison doc and playing Freecell) and write this blog post. In my opinion the writer did what’s known as “burying the lede” – in other words, he failed to make the most salient part of the piece the lead paragraph. In the fourth column and something like 20 paragraphs in there’s this:

From No. 1 to 50

As the economy boomed earlier this decade, many Arizonans didn’t have to ponder how they’d thrive professionally in the 21st century.

The unending supply of thousands and thousands of new residents expanded the economy as never before – and made it seem as if there always would be plenty of growth-related jobs, bigger paydays and opportunities for advancement.

Arizona ranked No. 1 for job growth.

In 2006, “one out of every 52 jobs in the United States is found in Arizona,” the Arizona Blue Chip Economic Outlook reported at the time, but “Arizona accounted for one out of every 15 new jobs created.”

Today, it ranks 50th as its overreliance on housing led to a historic bust.

The state’s current job performance is the worst of any recession since the Great Depression, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

“The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale economy is hemorrhaging jobs at an accelerating pace as the housing downturn intensifies,” a Moody’s report said in May.

W. T. F. We went from no. 1 in job creation to no. 50. In less than 3 years. It’s not like people didn’t see it coming. Numerous economists, journalists, and plain old regular people with an ounce of common sense were warning the numbskulls who run this state for YEARS not to be so over-reliant on housing and retail but they did not listen. The Legislature handed this state on a platter to developers and, to add insult to injury, they STILL want to give them MORE tax cuts!

Number 1 to number 50. I mean, damn, at least there was a gradual descent to the bottom with the schools. I find myself in agreement with this ASU economist (and apparent expert in corporo-speak) about the viability of Republican legislators (italics mine):

As the global economy changes, workers must become more resilient, said economist Dennis Hoffman, director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at ASU.

“They’re going to have to be constantly aware that in order to be prosperous, they’re going to have to continually find ways to add value to their firm (state),” he said. “When they can’t figure out a way to add that value, you and your boss (the voters) are going to mutually decide you’ll figure it out somewhere else.”

1 Comment(s)

  1. Comment by native on June 29, 2009 7:21 am

    Well done. So much for any lip service about providing for a sustainable future. This legislative leadership is all about the idealogue’s wet dream of drowning our government (and the institutions it supports, like education) in the bathtub.

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