Friday, January 29, 2016

Thoughts on Population and work participation rate

Long ago in a University far far away a professor expounded on a fact or theory that countries with declining populations were at risk economically because of the fewer available participants in the work force at the age of majority.

Surprisingly enough, that is probably the only thing I took away from whatever the course was about.  It tied in with the zero population growth movement in the 1980s and early 1990s.  He said France having been a champion of zero population growth for a long time was beginning to realize their mistake when the 18 to 20 year old entering the work force was at an all-time low and the United States was not far behind. 

Seems somewhere in the mid-1990s the zero population movement seems to die out as the baby boomers ended and the millennials took over.  By 2020 the millennials will be 1 in 3 adults in the United States.  That means that the other 2 people will be counted among the aging group and retiring from the work force.  From now to 2060 older Americans will double.

One of the things I've seen during my academia years is that people that study a particular theme, especially those that go on to a doctorate, feel the need to complicate or con-volute a part of their specialty in order to qualify for their PhD.   In some instances needlessly.  With that acquired skill set they are able to pervert what seemingly looks like a simple premise with convoluted logic to achieve a particular end.  A mayor of a large city wants to show an improvement in crime rates conveniently directs that certain crimes be removed from the count.  The same is true with the employment rates by the government.  But, the government takes figuring out what the percentage of people that is not working to greater heights.  Let's look at the way a sane man's reasoning would see it.

Take the number of adult people without a job as a percentage of the adult population.  Okay, I agree that would not be a fair calculation.  There are handicapped and retired persons that don't work.  Subtract them out.

How is the unemployment percentages figured out now.  I'll give you a link. It is interesting read and in my estimation the calculations are designed to be a political tool for a couple reasons.  One is it is so hard to understand.  That means the numbers published cannot be proven without great effort which leads to my other reason.  It is easy to make small a change the criteria so that it is hardly noticeable and effect is huge in the outcome which is, of course, favorable to their argument.  Here is the link.

In conclusion, with a smaller youth market reaching majority the unemployment lower wage, summer jobs, second jobs, school years work will suffer.  The work participation rate will look pretty good for the young age group up to about 25 but the unfilled jobs will be high.  This can be remedied by an immigration work force and/or raising the minimum wage to entice an older demographic to step into those positions. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

True to one self

As you walk into the room you find is something like cave drawings all over the wall up to about four feet.  In front of the depictions of primitive life on the planet is a three year old and a box of crayons.  Something is about to snap.  There has been a session or two already with this child about marking on the walls in the past months. 

"Why did you do that?" You ask exasperated.  "I told you…" 

The child looks down at the floor and says quietly, "I don't know."

Fifteen years later, you are driving him home from the police station.  "Why did you drink and drive?  Your car is totaled, you have to get a lawyer and have fines to pay that you cannot afford.  Why, Why, Why."

He looks down at the floor board and says quietly, "I don't know."

There comes a time when forethought shapes action before reaction has too. 

One thing about consistency is we wonder why we did or even do some things again and again.  Thus consistency isn't so good if we do bad things over and over.  Belief in our self is good, but it takes a bit of time to get to whatever that belief is.  There was a time I held myself second to no one.  I always felt that I could do what any other man had done be that physical or mental or both.  Fears and insecurities never has knowingly played a role in the shaping of my life.  But that said, now my mental facilities have diminished mostly in memory, and my six-pack has turned to a keg; I don't hold to such a notion as equality any longer.  I embrace reality.

My challenging of my beliefs came way later in life.  I have found in hindsight that in many ways I was mentally better off with my ridged views of life.  I doubted nothing and certainly didn't challenge what I thought was right.  Tunnel vision and a lack of world perspective that generally comes from education and a desire to be informed left my personality pretty stunted.  I hope it isn't that way now. 

I think everyone has some fear and insecurity.  It's innate.  There are volumes written on the topics.  Basically in my Cliff Notes take on it is I think on a personal level it has to do with what you think of yourself and what you want to project as to the kind of person you want others to think you are.

In the realm of ultimate happiness, it is nearly unattainable.  There are brambles and stones along the way and I think the only measure of ultimate happiness is to die in that state.  There is always something somewhere we are unhappy about even though we could be happy with our self at the same time.  Unhappiness can be a motivator.  I was unhappy over some events due to my lack of education and because I didn't want to experience anything like that again, I went back to school and got educated.

Some people look at life as one test after another.  If so, then being faithful to one self is important to pass those tests but not entirely necessary.  The arsonist just caught after setting a string of fires in Seattle area over the past several months must have believed his test was to keep it up without getting caught.   The young lady in Sandy Hook that took a bullet because she confessed to being a Christian certainly had faith the Lord would receive her with open arms.  That was her last test.  Generally we think of tests as adverse.  They aren't really.  Test take a measure of us and gives us feedback on how we are doing so we can learn from them and take steps to pass the next similar test better.

I'm not big on generalities.  When a person talks about their true path what is that?   Some people are inspired to follow a specific noble path to notoriety and those that particularly tread the path that lessens the suffering of others is lauded.  Most of us are not like that.  Sister Teresa took such a path and never ask for the notoriety.  It just came.  I don't think she died happy, there were still many that needed her and others like her.  A soldier that returns maimed from a conflict and is awarded the Medal of Honor didn't think when he or she choose that path that was going to happen.  We recognize their sacrifice on our behalf and the behalf of others.  They don't ask for it.

Disintegration of self comes from the manner in which we follow whatever path we get on.  The path isn't so important as to how we tread it.   Over the years I have met, worked with and dealt with many people that didn't wear the right shoes for the path they were on.  We called them misfits.  Many were able to change to a path that fit them and many others languished truly disintegrating physically and mentally.  Why is that?  I think it goes to self-worth.  For instance, in the Navy there are jobs that require an advanced level of intelligence to work in.  The Navy takes these young people trains them for months to years to perfect the work and sends them to a ship.  On the ship they are assigned tasks like compartment cleaner, mess cook, damage control petty officer, boat pocket painter, tiger team member and  host of other things.  In the end, they don't do the job the Navy spent hundreds of thousands of dollars training them on for anywhere from six months to a year and a half.  The irony isn't lost on them.  Many of these people get in to trouble, act out because their heightened sense of intelligence tells them that it makes no sense.  They have not yet matured enough to handle the oxymoron. 

In time it is good to grow into the strong mighty oak, glad of our place, confident and at peace with ourselves.  We will be pleased with what we've accomplished and resolved with our failures.  Early in life I think it better to be a sapling that can be easily transplanted to an environment that is more suited to us, where the soil is more nourishing and accommodating to roots that strive to sink deep.  If you've had a few times when asked why you did what you did you will have a better response than "I don't know." 

Finally, being an example is important.  There are people that are mentors.  They are the example we strive to emulate.  We hang on their every word and deed.  These people don't always set out to be mentors and don't even think of themselves as such.  Yet, by the way they conduct themselves, the things they say, their views and attitudes made mentors of them.  I for one have had a number of mentors in my life people I've looked up to and as I rose in stature and position I never sought mentorship, but rather as mentioned just to be a good example.  As a leader I never asked anyone to do anything I hadn't done myself or was willing to do.  I showed by example that conversation and work could be accomplished without cursing, recreation could be enjoyed without drinking and getting drunk.  That caring and patience weren't weakness.  How successful was I?  Guess we'll see how many come to look me up when they get to heaven.

Be the person you want others to think you are and rest falls into place.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


It makes no sense to write nonsense.  However, it sometimes makes sense to write no cents, rather than nonsense, if you're at the bank.  Otherwise the teller might think that you are without sense at all.  To be without sense at all could indeed be stated, "Here is a person of nonsense."  Yet, in a nonsensical manner a person will retain some sense, for to be a person of no sense/cents you must be dead/broke, in either case be without money.  It is of little sense to be with no cents, or no sense, or in the state of nonsense; so thus a person strives to achieve a higher sense of sense.  Once this high state of sense is obtained, a person soon sees the absurdity of nonsense and then strives ever harder to make sense, even of nonsense.  Nonsense, then being the root of all that makes no sense can-not make sense.  Yet, when sense is made out of that which has no sense a person is held in awe of the senselessness of that; that makes sense.  In order to accommodate the periods of nonsense that evidently follow lapses of some sense, a person must assess the purpose behind his momentary loss of his higher sense and bring into accord the nonsense with the higher sense, finally making cents into dollars.  Dollars and cents have little to do with making sense except that without cents no sense can be learned of nonsense because you would not be able to pay for the lessons in any sense.  Moving into a realm of the six sense a person finds sense in many things that appear to the senses as nonsense, only if nonsense is nonsense, then it truly cannot appear to any sense especially the six sense which is of no physical sense,  thus leaving a person wondering how is it that any sense can be made of any nonsense.  Then in view of that new found sense of nonsense it is determined that in order to make sense of anything, all that which has no sense is then brought from the world of nonsense into the presences of sense and made sense of.  In other words, all that which is nonsense has some sense otherwise it would make no sense and will be forgotten.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Poet

A piece of paper, unlined and bare
Lies before the poets unwinding flair.
Wet ink on pulp shows ideas unleashing. 
The poets mind is now unrelenting.

In simple sentence or in compound structure,
the poets hand commences his inner struggle.
The spirits there, he can feel it.
But, will the paper, the ink reveal it?

When people read the poem, how can they know
whither the act was long or slow.
Could it be the poet just let it flow?

The spirit draws the poet, demanding,
requiring performance.
Authoring not from aberration,
but through warm, careful consideration.

At last, the paper lies alone on the table,
On the paper lies a thought, a feeling, an emotion
 for those that can feel able.
The poet rests now, resting for the future moment.

The moment he dreads, when someone asks,

What did you mean by that?

I beg forgiveness of those strict constructionist.  I am not a poet, unless this small piece vaults me into such distinguish ranks.  I think not.

I am an avid reader and honestly not much poetry.  When I was young and in the Navy fellow sailors would come around and present their poetry for review.  I was kind, but secretly I felt that they were short changing the reader as I didn't see the poetry but fragmented slices of life as they saw it.  

Years later as I was forced to consider poetry and read some; one of the main thrust by the professors was did we get what the poet meant by the poem.  According to the instructor these famous or lessor so, imported deep hidden meaning like the road less traveled.  Which I thought was rather obvious.  Thus it promoted me to write this one.