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Bloviating Zeppelin: Is This The Real Reason?

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Is This The Real Reason?

"Outsourcing." I dislike it intensely. According to the Washington Times, even American passports are being made overseas, assembled in Thailand. Yes, American passports. The article indicates there are no U.S. printers who can handle the job. I disbelieve that.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - The head of the top U.S. phone company AT&T Inc (T.N) said on Wednesday it was having trouble finding enough skilled workers to fill all the 5,000 customer service jobs it promised to return to the United States from India.

However, he makes a scathing but pointed observation when he says:

Stephenson said he is especially distressed that in some U.S. communities and among certain groups, the high school dropout rate is as high as 50 percent.

"If I had a business that half the product we turned out was defective or you couldn't put into the marketplace, I would shut that business down," he said.

Our public schools, then, should be shut down. U.S. public schools are laughingstocks; they are a shambles, filled with youngsters with no real drive, no real discipline, no real motivated teachers, filled with complacency, emasculated boys, historical inaccuracies (when history is taught at all), emotions, "feelings," "self-esteem," children with highly overestimated senses of individual worth, little responsibility, and teachers and admin staff more worried about their unions and keeping their jobs than actually performing. And oh-my-God, don't you dare question or second-guess a teacher or their value or their ability to be efficient or meet standards! Heresy! Blasphemy!

So: is this why we can't compete globally?



Blogger Mark said...

My Daughter is homeschooling all her kids. why? because public school IS a joke, almost NO practical education takes place anymore, kids exit high school having gotten A's and B's in every class, yet cannot do basic math, something as simple as counting change back. or reading an analog clock.
ask any public high school grad who Thomas Jefferson was and all they know of him is he was a slave owner, that's it. ask them what the bill of rights is and all you will get is a dumb look. yes, it's that bad! and in inner cities it's even worse.

Fri Mar 28, 04:04:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Another reason I'm glad I didn't have kids. How can we keep this nation on its current track of strength without quality education?


Fri Mar 28, 04:18:00 PM PDT  
Blogger shoprat said...

It is indeed a compelling and interesting observation.

Fri Mar 28, 06:13:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Ranando said...

I wouldn't send my dog to public school. Since I don't have childrens, I don't have to deal with it.

You outsource not because of public schools. You outsource because of better quality and price, it's as simple as that.

Fri Mar 28, 06:58:00 PM PDT  
Blogger TexasFred said...

The PUBLIC schools in this nation are nothing more than a 'cover' for leftist indoctrination and the main purpose they serve is to further 'dumb down' the younger generations of this nation...

Fri Mar 28, 07:47:00 PM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Way back when in my first month of real posting I looked at "education reform" and pointed out that all the money spent, all the worrying, all the anguish, all the fixes yielded a system no better than that of 1958 when poor Johnny couldn't read. Money is *not* the solution, nor are *experts*: these approaches have failed and are no better than the one room schoolhouse in rural TN at the turn of the last century (that from Jerry Pournelle).

Vouchers should not be done at the federal level: ever. The incapacity of the federal government to know what it is doing in this area is manifest. State vouchers? Sure!! Go for it!! For the federal government the only litumus test that any 'reformer' has put up is 'performance' and so, yea and verily, that should be the ONLY way to pay out and do so in proportion of performance to the top scoring Nation in each category. If the government sets aside $X in block grant funds per pupil and your child only scores 79%, then the teaching institution (or home schooler) gets 79% of $X and the *rest* goes back to the People. Only when the US is back at the top does this then go on a State to State comparison against the top ranking State. So long as the basics are taught I don't care if its a home schooler, a public school, a private school, one run by IBM, one run by the Roman Catholic church or one run by Satanists - they are not teaching religion, company values or any such thing but the three Rs. And get rid of this bloated bureaucracy which dare not *fix* the problem because it will put an entire dependent class of 'experts' out of jobs.

Now having beein in the federal government in DoD I got the lovely opportunity to participate in an A-76 study. This heralded by the Clintons and the Republican Congressional heads as a great way to do work.

What is it?

It is the outsourcing of work to contractors when there are 'equivalent jobs' in the private sector.

Sounds great, right?

I actually have no problem with it for things like mowing, tree trimming, and janitorial work. But it does not *stop* there, and goes far deeper than that.

What happens is that every employee gets to put in their job description and duties and the A-76 team then 'verifies' this and accumulates it and then looks to see what jobs can be handed over to 'contracting'. Contractors salivated and the Agency I worked for set up a sweet deal with a minority owned company on the other side of the Nation filled with enough people to make it a small business and who had no idea what we actually did as work. Such a great deal! The janitorial and exterior work went like a shot... then the secretarial staff... then they started to look at things like IT and information services...

Now, being in the DoD there is a major catch on the civil side of things: when the Nation goes into an emergency, every single individual can be called in for a 12/12 all-week cycle. Yes, 12 hours on/12 hours off all week long as long as the emergency lasts. This is often modified to 3x10 with overlap.

So what happens when you have 'contracted' such jobs out and they are no longer employees of the federal government? As a civil employee the maximum amount you could make was *capped* at the highest level of the GS schedule: no one made more than that even with time-and-half + holiday adjustment + night/midnight adjustment + locale adjustment. With 'contractors' you start to look at serious cost time if they are needed for overtime and god help your budget if it goes beyond that.

In theory the costs in normal times is a 'savings': but this is ephemeral as after the first few years of a 1 + extension years contract the costs expand. And on a new contract you may not even *get* the personnel you *had* under the old one. That is a major 're-training' time. It turns out that while job categories may look the same, the actual jobs are *not* the same. There was talk of moving INTEL Analysts for terrain, BDA, and other battle necessary items over to 'contract personnel'. This was finally scotched as a 'government essential job category', but for awhile everyone was trying to imagine what would happen when the first contract ended, the second began and the inevitable 'emergency' came...

Suddenly this all started to look not so hot after 9/11 and the run-up to Iraq as lots of data had to be gone over, churned, burned to disk, printed on media for these things known as 'maps', and delivered to the troops flying out.

In 10 hours.

SOCOM is damned demanding.

Then there is the problem of this in the 'private sector' and I have family stories on that and the junk work done in the Philippines and Malaysia and other fun places that then requires lots of US skilled worker 're-work time'. But they work 'so cheap' overseas!

And their quality control sucks like an Electrolux.

NAFTA was great for Mexico right up until the Republicans got all sweet on China. Then those lovely border factories started to face work problems, payment problems and soon having work to do problems. Hey, where are all this drug gangs the worse in Mexico? Why right in those same areas with lots of unemployed workers who came off the farms to work in the factories that are closing up shop... hmmmmm....

Hows that 'trade will instill values in China' deal working out? Folks still being worked to death? Any more repression around? Are they a lovely, liberal democracy? Nixon did, indeed, go to China... and wew have been suckers for lovely industrial chants ever since.

I do love India! Largest english speaking democracy on the planet! They also have a long time, multiple insurgent problem backed by al Qaeda, Pakistan, and China (in reverse order of appearance). Plus the 'free lancers' who take up a 'cause and a pipe bomb' for whatever the gripe du jour is. And having technical training is no remedy to this or causes 'moderation', as we found out with 9/11 and Atta and Shehhi getting high skilled visas delivered to them.


Good work, you guys! A terrorist coming to get skilled training becomes a 'skilled terrorist' not a lover of western ideals. So lets do background checks, hmmmm? And if that holds up the process... well, thats America, isn't it?

Sorry for the rant, but this sort of thing just ticks me off no end: it is culture degenerating before our very eyes and those backing it calling it 'good'.

Sat Mar 29, 06:19:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Gayle said...

I hate outsourcing too, BZ, and Mark is right about the public schools. Disgusting liberal brainwashing being taught to America's children. I certainly would not send a child of mine to a public school anymore... not unless we manage to change things and it doesn't look very encouraging that things will ever be changed. It would probably take a revolution! :(

Sat Mar 29, 07:28:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Rivka said...

Great post BZ, I am thankful our school is more conservative and has a conservative school board, THAT SAID, there is liberal ideology there.

Regarding outsourcing. I hate it. I don't like talking to customer service reps who don't speak english. I mean, I don't hate them, but it sure does make it not customer service friendly when you have to spend 20 minutes trying to understand one sentence.

Sat Mar 29, 05:06:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous WMD_Maker said...

I have a sneaking suspision that its not that ATT cant find 5000 workers "qualified" to do the job but cant find 5000 qualified people who will do the work for minimum wage even here in San Antonio which has a fairly low cost of living.

Tue Apr 01, 10:44:00 AM PDT  

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