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Austerity *is* working!

by Colman Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 06:23:59 AM EST

Turns out Ireland is, in fact, a success story:

“The owners of capital – people who own shares – are getting more and more of the national income.” Within the labour market, “professional employees are doing quite well but the middle is being hollowed out and the lowest paid are being screwed.” This is mirroring trends in the US, he adds, where “college-educated people” in sectors like technology, medicine and law are pulling ahead in a two-tier workforce.(Irish Times)


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Over 1.5 million people have €50 or less left over at the end of the month after their essential bills have been paid, according to a survey. (RTÉ)
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 06:26:01 AM EST
essential bills

Well, at least it is a good thing that there are no serious consequences for not paying the non-essential bills.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 11:06:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or 42.4% of Ireland's adult population.  Can't have a functional economy when that large a percentage of the population can't afford to buy anything.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 11:26:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
of today's EU. We may be behind America in terms of implementing "reforms" (an EU euphemism for social regression) and so we are also behind the income inequality trend.

What comes next is that the skilled workers, the better educated, themselves find their class hollowed out, as more and more income is captured by capital, less and less by labor, eventually hitting the higher tiers as well, as the highest tier becomes ever wealthier.

by redstar on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 06:33:24 AM EST
"college-educated people" in sectors like technology, medicine and law are pulling ahead

Is that actually happening in Ireland or the US? Suppose you finished your studies in law/medicine or whatever tech thing they are thinking of in the last few years, are you now "pulling ahead?"

Sounds like decade old talking points.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter

by generic on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 07:04:51 AM EST
It's probably true of medicine.  There's some regional variation to it, but incomes for everyone from surgeons to nurses seem to be going up.

Law and tech, I highly doubt.  Both are fields that exploded in the late-'90s on college campuses and now seem to have far more grads than jobs.  I saw some figures a few months ago suggesting that there was going to be an excess of something like 50,000 lawyers over the next ten years.

Which is going to be devastating to those grads, because even at cheaper state schools, law school is going to cost $20k/year plus living expenses.  So you're looking at $100k+ in debt right off the bat.  

At a private school -- thinking of my colleague who went to Villanova's law school up in Philly -- it's more like $200k+.  (Fortunately for him, he graduated 10 years ago, so was able to get into practicing at a major firm before the labor market crashed in it and presumably stuffed a good bit of cash away before coming down to work for us.)

Everybody thought law and tech were first-class tickets to the upper-middle class.  You'd be better off studying engineering or physics.  Or even one of the traditionally well-paying-but-not-tremendous fields (accounting, actuarial science, etc).

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 10:20:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not a lot of jobs in engineering and from what I'm reading the demand for physicists has collapsed.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 11:33:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What is there demand for, then?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 12:25:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Big Data in general with Bioinformatics in specific.  Another field I've read about is Petroleum Engineering which may have some openings as the current workforce retires.  There's a community college here in New Mexico training wind power technicians and, as of 3 years ago, the demand was hot: people taking the course were being hired before they graduated.  Still accurate?  Don't know.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 12:36:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely as soon as the infrastructure reaches a collapse point that can no longer be ignored, and as the results of global warming become more and more obvious, there will come a point at which the world must have lots and lots of engineers in order not to crumble entirely? Am I being too naive?

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Sun Jan 20th, 2013 at 08:26:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Usually, by the time it becomes sufficiently obvious to even the 50th voting percentile, it is too late for engineers.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Jan 20th, 2013 at 09:18:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tech in the US should probably be separated into two zones - Silicon Valley and the rest. Mainly because housing prices in the Valley really distort the pay scales compared to some other parts of the country. It's easy to look at pay there and think people are "pulling ahead" but it seems that many of them are not doing as well as it looks after they have paid for accommodation.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 11:37:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
as well as Actuarial Science, is being increasing offshored and/or automated.
by redstar on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 11:57:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The "law school scam" in the US deserves special mention. Each year there are double as many graduates as job openings. Inflation-adjusted, the cheapest law school now costs as much as Harvard a generation ago. Generally costs have multiplied by a factor of 2 to 5, again inflation-adjusted. Today's graduates can look forward to serving $100,000-250,000 non-dischargeable debt loads at 7+% interest with no real job prospects. Most graduates will never ever work as lawyers. Those who do get lawyer jobs can rejoice at the diminishing big-law business model, at declining salaries for all the other pedestrian lawyer jobs. Lawyering makes sense only for 10%, maybe at most 20%, of students. Which means 80-90% are getting screwed.

The cost of a medical degree is even higher but at least the number of graduates is constrained by the ABA.

by epochepoque on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 10:32:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems like it, in tech anyway. If anything, we're short of techies here.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 12:45:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Though pulling ahead only because the rest are falling way behind.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 12:47:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Sweden there is a permanent lack of experienced engineers. However lately it has turned out that there is no lack of engineer graduates, just a lack of starting positions. So we are educating more engineers, get engineers doing other stuff because of lack of entry level positions, and still have the industry moan about a lack of engineers. Wonderful system.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 12:49:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a lack of in-house training of engineers.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 12:56:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In-house training is so 1965.  Engineers are supposed to work their day job and then spend their evenings doing continual education in the hopes what they are learning will be of use to their corporate masters employers three years from now.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 01:08:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That was already the case 15-20 years ago when I started: everybody was looking for <30 years old with more than 10 years' experience...

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jan 20th, 2013 at 06:18:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd like to point out that wages being largely related to relative power position within firms, there can be both good wages in a sector and really hard to get any of those jobs even with proper education. I think this is covered at lenght by russian authors in the 19th century. The desperate search for that position that will start a career into the high paid jobs and validate not only the investment in education but also the person in the eyes of those around him (because in russian 19th century literature it is a young man).

So a sector can pull ahead in wages and still be a poor choice unless the student knows people in that sector that can make sure he or she can land those crucial steps on the career ladder.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 12:56:09 PM EST
Back to the future. How wonderful.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 02:51:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't this typical 3rd world stuff?
All the way up to the riches being concentrated around the multinationals exploiting a local resource (in this case, low EU corporation tax rates?)
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 05:57:38 PM EST
To expand on this, an acquaintance has just been visiting family in West Africa - and this sounds a lot like this...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Sat Jan 19th, 2013 at 05:59:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well austerity is working even better in Greece, college educated people only have the privilege of searching for real jobs abroad. Only (some) employers benefit, mostly the top tier

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sun Jan 20th, 2013 at 05:56:46 PM EST
The owners of capital - people who own shares - are getting more and more

What a surprise. The states are run like corporations for some years already. That means, all profit for shareholders (of the state particularly), and miserly "competition" for the rest. The governments are doing their corporate governing well indeed, and the public relations departments (the media) are doing it even better.

by das monde on Mon Jan 21st, 2013 at 10:30:12 AM EST


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