Showing posts with label Unemployment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Unemployment. Show all posts

Friday, November 02, 2012

Its Black vs Tan [307/365]

Ah America!
What a glorious land it is!
School text books in most countries call America- the lone Superpower in a tumultuous world, maintaining peace and stability and sanity.
Most Indians (and Asians) aspire to become a citizen there. Green Cards were a groom's or bride's ticket to a grand wedding here in India. Kids want to study there. Proud parents of kids who got married to an American citizen will gloat about the great pot of gold their kids managed to get.

Seven seas away, the Americans are struggling to keep the shine on their rust.
The coveted American Dream is slowly unraveling. Most households live hand to mouth and paycheck to paycheck. Statistics reveal that a vast majority of Americans will file for bankruptcy if they miss two paychecks in a row. And if this does not sober most Indian parents, then a reality check with the number of unemployed will.

At a little over 7.9%, the unemployment rates are perhaps the highest since the Great Depression. With Obama and Mitt battling it out, it could be a close call. However, it isn't a great competition.
Mitt with his guffaws is no match for the suave sophistication that O brings.
While many people are secretly against O, not many will deny that he just inherited a lot of his predecessor's trash. In the 8 years that Bush ruled he took America to the battlefield and left most of it in the gutters. His daddy's connections with the Oil mafia effectively sealed America's fate. If millions of Americans are unemployed, then it is because of the way Bubba spent all their tax dollars fighting ragtag mercenaries with AK47s six timezones away.

I am no Obama supporter but I do believe him when he says he is trying. What Americans need is security. Not security from foreign terrorists, but from bad policies from leaders with vested interests.

I am amazed how a country as great as America does not have affordable healthcare and efficient employment plans, when much smaller countries like Canada, Kuwait, and Sweden are able to provide for their citizens.

O will win. Not because I have strange powers of seeing into the future but because what America needs now is continuity and some semblance of stability.


Tuesday, May 01, 2012

May this day [121/365]

Yesterday, the 30th of April, was the International Honesty Day.
Today, the 1st of May, is the International Worker's Day (also known as Labor Day)

Across the world today, what we are seeing is a crisis of ideals and morals. Employees stealing from their employers, Employers undercutting their employees, and corporations cheating their communities. There is a shocking dearth of honesty and integrity. This morning was no different.

Woke up to a headline which described how the Indian President went on an official trip with her grandchildren. (The high flying news here)

While it is true that she has been the least favorite and perhaps the most forgettable person to have occupied the highest seat in the Indian government, what is also shocking is how she has been the most corrupt too. But can you really blame her? 
She is only doing what every other civil servant does. 
She is only doing what your local MLA or cop does - They use their official vehicles for everything from shopping for groceries to picking up the in-laws. So like Pepsi used to say 'Nothing official about it'

Her stint at the Rashtrapati Bhavan is the fuzzy stuff that you dream about but want to forget in a hurry. In what can be described as a utterly shameful act of wasting the public exchequer, she is the most traveled Indian President in history. She will be one of the few Presidents who will be forgotten with a flourish. With her current term ending by the end of this month, I doubt if we'll ever get to see a prez with the acumen and caliber of  APJ Abdul Kalam.

With the kind of autocratic power that women like Mamata, Jayalalitha seem to be wielding, I am beginning to rethink how women in power in India has been a good thing. At the risk of sounding sexist, I say women leaders in Indian politics have been over-rated and over-sold.
While female leaders are a wonderful asset in a corporate, politically they are duds. Driven by the men or lack of one in their lives, they become the very monsters they started out to fight.

But here's a toast to the first day of May.
A day that is celebrated across the world, in one form or the other.
May we learn to live and work with honesty and integrity today and every single day here on.

In the meanwhile, here's a quote I read and one I think is very appropriate:
'Lord, give me work for all the days of my life,
And give me life so that I can finish all my work'
Poignant yet true, won't you agree?


Tuesday, January 03, 2012

You're Fired [2/365]

In parts of India, unless you have a job in a PSU or with the Central Government, you are a loser.

I know several people (related and otherwise) who have continued to study well into their late 20's, piling up post graduate degrees like it was going out of style, aiming only to work with PSU's. It is after all 'a job for life'. They crave the security, the easy pace of work, the pension benefits, gratuity and all the other perks of being a government employee. Working anywhere else is a stigma.


Anti-austerity demonstrators in central Madrid earlier this year. New government has announced freeze on public sector pay and minimum wage. Photograph Arturo Rodriguez/AP

So, when I read about how the unemployment rates are going through the roof across Europe, I struggled to understand how 'developed' economies can flounder. (Read article)
With a continent that failed to check it's spending and a currency that is struggling to keep up with the dollar, the great European honeymoon is almost over. 
The staggering number of jobless in Spain, (at 4.42 million is equal to the population of Greater Boston or the combined population of Meghalaya and Goa) the slide is inevitable. Add this to the five million of the jobless whose benefits have run out, and you have an entire economy that is teetering on bankruptcy. 
As the crisis deepens, the need of the hour are aggressive reforms in the labour market and a tighter rein-in of the government expenditure. 

Many hundreds of miles (or kilometers) away, many in the Subcontinent still prefer to play it by ear. Waiting for that cushy government job.    


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Freedom and Equality. Touche'

Part 3


Third of a 4 part series about events that are changing our world

After seeing the sudden spread of discontent in the Arab world, I've come to realise that Men in Power and cockroaches are made of the same stuff. You think they'd evolve into something better or be good for the society but history and evolution has a strange way of disappointing you.


The Arab world is up in arms. Burning. What started off in Tunisia, changed Eygpt, shook up Libya and is shaping up revolutions of epic proportions in Bahrain, Yeman, Algeria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Most Arabs are normally perceived as wealthier than citizens of other countries. But the recent spate of uprisings are an overwhelming cry for help against corrupt and repressive dictators and politicians. A yawning gap between the have's and the have-not's, the disparaging spread of oil wealth and rising unemployment among the educated youth have ultimately become the death knell of those in power.  


Why does power entice a person and once achieved, why does it corrupt so absolutely?
What does our rulers want?
Democracy or otherwise, all men (and a few women) in power have always plundered and amassed wealth. On this tiny planet that we call home- Earth. Its not like we are going to plunder another planet or going to be able to upgrade to a large planet. We aren't even going to be able to take even one ounce of it back to Hell.

Just Do It, huh?

Looking back, I'd say the first decade of the 21st century will be the single most turning point in man's history. Starting with 9/11, we've seen unabashed greed, and the pursuit of ill gotten wealth. We've seen countries and people go at each other with a vengeance. 

Well down, Wikileaks! You've unleashed the truth. It hurts but it feels good to know that we've always been lied to. Where are the good ol days where politicians were noble and didn't philander? Well, actually there were any. All politicians (with the exceptions of a few) have always looted and destroyed us. And in most cases, we had voted for them! WOW! Talk about bad judgment and a nasty hangover, huh! 

As Indians, we enjoy a lot of freedom. Something that Arabs have almost never had in their own countries. A press that is freer (albeit kitschy at times) and people who are more aware of their rights now (all thanks to Cable TV and the Internet) than in the past 60 years. 


While we covet the wealth (and the lighter skin tones) of the Arabs and the West, I hope we'd understand that the grass is always greener on the other side. Would we be willing to live a wealthier life without any of the freedom?

Many can debate that freedom and equality can never co-exist but you'll never miss it until you lose it.


Jump to the other parts here:
Apocalypse, Oil, Evil


Thursday, October 07, 2010

Will Work for Food

Perhaps the few times in a man's life that he humbles himself and when all else seems less important:
Its when he’s desperately waiting for an interview.

India has the largest educated unemployed. Yes, its true.
Any consultancy or recruitment agency worth its salt would have young hopefuls just waiting  for those magical 2 words. You're hired!

Who said BPO's are running out of people? Who's ashamed of working in a Call center?
Not the 1000's of young literate boys and girls who stand, sit and pace for many hours waiting for an interview.

They would come early and many would spend almost the whole day but only a few will get lucky.

Of the many things in life, applying for that job, waiting for your interview and then waiting for the verdict is one of two or three times in a man's life when he turns into the gentlest of gentle creatures. Soft voices, gentle and the most discreet. All sins are forgiven and all indiscretions pardoned. Egos deflated, you can almost walk over the pride of a man and he will never even wince. Nearly everyone around you seem to be more anxious than you. Everyone tries to avoid each other's glances, they all seem to have lost their collective Appetite.
The prettiest young thing does not even get a third glance from the men.

I imagine how many will keep their jobs down for the rest of their active life, but who cares. Candidates will profess their undying love and loyalty to working hard for their future employers.

The recruiters invariably feel like gods, fully aware that their every nod and gesture is being interpreted and scrutinized by eager Candidates.
Many of the men seem to have woken up, and hurried to come. Deodorants are given an obvious miss. The razor too.
I don’t know about the others, but many seem oblivious to good dressing sense. Jeans coupled with formal shoes, formal trousers mated with the ubiquitous white, dirt stained sneakers and nearly all of them carrying a college bag that seems ridiculously heavy (what are they carrying?). And don’t even get me started on the communication skills. I wonder how any of them will ever be able to stand a sentence with a Westerner. Tooth brushes were obviously given a miss too.
The nervous fidgeting, the flitting glances, tapping, the bored yawns, the swinging of the feet, cracking of the knuckles and the more confident ones among them will be trying to demystify their phones, watches or whatever gadget they have with them.
Nearly all of them look as if they have just been given the death penalty.

There seems to be no end to the deluge and while we grownups are haggling with petty laws and debating on the right to education, I would like to ask just one question.

Where is the quality of education and our graduates right now?

We sure are book smart but street smart? No. I have seen candidates come in slippers for an interview.

I suddenly feel old (and a little bit wiser) when i think about how teachers in my day and age gave a lot of importance to proper etiquette.

Something’s amiss here. Perhaps i am old fashioned and this might be the age of the metrosexual male but i think manners still make a man.

But… oh who’s listening.


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