Tag Archives: Jobs

The president of Pittsburg, not Paris

Life on Mars

Life on Mars

There are plenty who embrace space travel and the science that might take us to Mars – in part because a lot of these wannabe astronauts have given up on saving earth – and think space flight to Mars is next up to form colonies.  Any takers?

These self-styled survivalists delude themselves that these other worldly colonies are a good idea because of what Matt Damon’s stranded character did in a sci-fi movie – given the ingenuity of this imagined scientist to stay alive until he could be rescued.

If we do the kitchen table math, to get to the fourth rock from our sun, to Mars, we could travel the 35 million miles in several hundred days if we were going at about 36,000 miles an hour.

But here’s the rub, putting aside how complicated that space mission would be, based on low bidder equipment, when we get there with our landing party, we have to terraform Mars, modify its atmosphere, temperature, topography and ecology so that Mars is habitable.

What makes us think we can or would make Mars livable when we won’t take the time or effort to sustain the planet where we now live – and the only known space rock in the universe where we can live.

You might ask Mr. Donald Trump that question.

The Paris agreement was a break through to address the threat of global climate change.  The objective was for the nations to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) – to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

After all, we are the 2nd greatest carbon emission polluter on the planet.  We are a large part of the “problem.”

It took more than twenty years for nations around the world to agree to an approach, and Mr. Trump preferred instead to join Syria and Nicaragua in dissent from that approach, with a thumb in the eye and thug shove to every other nation who might have believed we were all in this together to save the planet.  Continue reading

The War on Women

Before the war on women continues down the path recently begun by Virginia’s Republican men and a Republican candidate for president, we might do well to review what life was really like for women before the Civil Rights Era and the Women’s Movement.

My first memory is being told by the bank manager where I worked part-time while in college, that my male counterpart (who had barely passed high school with a D average, whereas I was the school valedictorian) deserved twice my wage per hour, because he was a man and I was a woman. No other reason needed to be given.

Continue reading


[Promoted by Liz, because YEAH! What she said!]

Below is a small sampling of financial data from three diverse corporations (Intel, Home Depot and Walmart). See for yourself. Research more if you like, by going to Google and typing in “company name, financials 2011 annual.”

If these companies and others like them are not creating jobs, it is because they don’t want to. Giving them tax-free money won’t change that. (Is it possible that the only entity that will actually create jobs would be government projects for infrastructure, education and research?)

Further, when looking at financial statements, keep in mind that the net profit shown on an Income Statement is NOT the net income reported to the IRS. There are markedly different rules for depreciation between Generally Accepted Accounting Principles required for SEC filing and the rules for IRS reporting: http://www.section179.org/ (on tax reports, a company can write off 100% of new equipment purchased and placed in service this year…. And $500,000 more of used equipment.)
AND yet the corporate world thinks the only way to balance the US budget is to refuse to honor the Federal contract with its elderly—the workforce that built this wealth over the last 50 years, while paying into funds to ease their end of life.

Think about it.

What kind of people are we?
Intel (December 2010) Earnings per share doubled over last two years; and cash and cash equivalents: $21,000,000,000 +

Home Depot (January 2011) Earnings per share increased 150% over last two years; cash and cash equivalents: $545,000,000

Walmart (January 2011)
Net Cash provided by operating activities: $23,643,000,000

“In fiscal 2011, we recorded $434 million in net tax benefits that resulted primarily
from the repatriation of certain non-U.S. earnings that increased U.S. foreign tax
credits and favorable adjustments to transfer pricing agreements.” – Annual report
Dividends paid to stockholders doubled over the previous 5 years.

Just curious..

Do you think this has anything to do with the recent hostility toward public sector jobs?

Even as historically male-dominated industries remain in the doldrums and men look elsewhere for work, local governments have been slashing their majority-female workforces. Employment in the sector held steady during the recession, but in the past year tens of thousands of schoolteachers and other civil servants have been laid off.

Continue reading

The Unemployed Generation

I am now thirty-six years old. That means that I really cannot qualify as “young” anymore. Monickers such as “younger than…” might still apply, but on the other side of thirty-five, the single designation “young” is inappropriate. I mention this because I am very lucky to count among my friends a good number of people on the other side of that divide. People who are inarguably still young, by any reasonable measure. And among my friends of the generation(ish) following mine, a single issue stalks their lives and decision-making:


Of all the cohorts that the Great Recession pummeled, none were hit harder than young people. Indeed, beyond just the anecdotal evidence of friends moving back in with their parents after graduating from some of the best schools (and grad schools!) in the country, the statistics on unemployment among twenty-somethings are frightening. Even as slightly older workers (like me) find jobs and their unemployment rate creeps below 8%, people aged 20 to 24 see a stubborn unemployment rate of 15%. And that rate has stayed high for years. Students have gone through four or eight years of college without seeing any improvement in the economy for themselves when they graduate. And the news is even worse for those who didn’t go to college.

In 2009 and early 2010, it was chic to write articles about this new lost generation. Eighteen months later, their prospects aren’t any better, but they’re no longer good copy. More than lost, they’ve become forgotten – not even worth reporting about.

It will be impossible for America to address its myriad challenges without first, and foremost, putting the generation who will deal with whatever solutions we implement on a solid economic footing. And that means creating and sustaining good jobs for people who have entered the workforce in the past ten years.

Continue reading

House votes to de-fund NPR

So far, they’ve tackled: removing funding from Metro; medicaid payments for abortions; taking away funding for basic women’s health care (pap smears and breast exams); and taking away enforcement power from the EPA.

Now they’ve taken funding away from NPR.

But they haven’t even begun on a single jobs bill.

Weren’t jobs their biggest priority back in November?

#DearJohn, #WhereAreTheJobs?

Workers have rights

Originally published in the Purcellville Gazette, March 4, 2011
By John P. Flannery

Con Ed Union Workers - "Dig we must for a growing New York."

My grandfather, Charles Flannery, worked for Con Edison in New York, and was a member of a union; his union negotiated for working conditions, for pay, sick and retirement benefits.

My paternal grandmother had her children at home in her walk up apartment in the Bronx.

My grandfather told me, “we’d never have been able to raise your father and his brother and his sisters if it wasn’t for the union at Con Ed; we couldn’t have bargained for these wages and benefits individually.”

Ultimately, my father and his brother worked for Con Ed, and so did my younger brother Charles for a time.

Edward Bennet Williams, a great criminal defense lawyer, used to say to his clients, “We all hang together, or we all hang separately.” Continue reading

R & D Tax Credits Bill Passes the Senate

From Senator Mark Herring’s Twitter page today:

SB 1326 creating an ‘R&D’ Tax Credit in Virginia passed the Senate 38-1.

This is good news for getting jobs created in Virginia. Companies that invest in R & D now have incentives to hire more people to help with that R & D, and they can do so starting next year.

Here’s hoping that the near-unanimous Senate vote carries over to the House of Delegates with similar support, since the Governor supports it as well.

The text of SB 1326:

Income tax; research and development expenses tax credit. Allows income tax credits for individuals and businesses for qualified research and development expenses for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2012, but before January 1, 2017. The tax credit amounts are (i) 15% of the Virginia qualified research and development expenses, or (ii) 20% of the Virginia qualified research and development expenses, if the research was conducted in conjunction with a Virginia public college and university. The Tax Department shall develop policies and procedures for the application process for the tax credits. There is a $10 million cap on the total amount of credits allowed in any taxable year.

Sen. Herring noted SB 1326 on his webpage:

Among the highlights of Senator Herring’s legislative package is SB 1326, which creates a Research and Development Tax Credit in Virginia.  This legislation is the top priority of the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the Virginia Biotechnology Association, with whom Senator Herring has worked closely in the past, including last year on the passage of the Virginia Innovation Investment Act.  For his efforts to promote science and technology based economic development, Senator Herring was named “Legislator of the Year” in 2010 by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).

This legislation was also included among Governor Bob McDonnell’s “Opportunity at Work” legislative proposals.  The Governor thanked Senator Herring for carrying this legislation during his State of the Commonwealth address delivered this past Wednesday.

More reason why Mark Herring is working hard for Virginia (and Loudoun County) individuals and families. We should all workk hard to re-elect him in November.