The Disposable American - Layoffs and Consequences.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by SouthAmerica, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. .

    March 28, 2006

    SouthAmerica: This book has been published on March 28, 2006 – I have a very good understanding of what this book is trying to say.


    New book:

    The Disposable American - Layoffs and Their Consequences
    Written by Louis Uchitelle

    The Disposable American is an eye-opening account of layoffs in America—their questionable necessity, their overuse, and their devastating impact on individuals at all income levels. Yet despite all this, they are accelerating.

    The award-winning New York Times economics writer Louis Uchitelle explains how, in the mid-1970s, the first major layoffs, initiated as a limited response to the inroads of foreign competition, spread and multiplied, in time destroying the notion of job security and the dignity of work. We see how the barriers to layoffs tumbled, and how by the late 1990s the acquiescence was all but complete.

    In a compelling narrative, the author traces the rise of job security in the United States to its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, and then the panicky U-turn. He describes the unraveling through the experiences of both executives and workers: three CEOs who ran the Stanley Works, the tool manufacturer, from 1968 through 2003, who gradually became more willing to engage in layoffs; highly skilled aircraft mechanics in Indianapolis discarded as United Airlines shut down a state-of-the-art maintenance facility, damaging the city as well as the workers; a human resources director at Citigroup, declared nonessential despite excellent performance; a banker in Connecticut lucky to find a lower-paying job in a state tourist office.

    Uchitelle makes clear the ways in which layoffs are counterproductive, rarely promoting efficiency or profitability in the long term. He explains how our acquiescence encourages wasteful mergers, outsourcing, the shifting of production abroad, the loss of union protection, and wage stagnation. He argues against our ongoing public policy—inaugurated by Ronald Reagan and embraced by every president since—of subsidizing retraining for jobs that, in fact, do not exist. He breaks new ground in documenting the failure of these policies and in describing the significant psychological damage that the trauma of a layoff invariably inflicts, even on those soon reemployed. It is damage that, multiplied over millions of layoffs, is silently undermining the nation’s mental health.

    While recognizing that in today’s global economy some layoffs must occur, the author passionately argues that government must step in with policies that encourage companies to restrict layoffs and must generate jobs to supplement the present shortfall. There are specific recommendations for achieving these goals and persuasive arguments that workers, business, and the nation will benefit as a result.

    An urgent, essential book that tells for the first time the story of our long and gradual surrender to layoffs—from a writer who has covered the unwinding for nearly twenty years and who now bears witness.

    You can read an excerpt of the book at:


    About the Author:

    Louis Uchitelle worked as a reporter, a foreign correspondent, and the editor of the business news department at the Associated Press before joining The New York Times in 1980. He has been writing about business, labor, and economics for the Times since 1987. He was the lead reporter for the Times series “The Downsizing of America,” which won a George Polk Award in 1996. He has taught at Columbia University and was a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York in 2002–2003. He lives with his wife, Joan, in Scarsdale, New York.

  2. Are you fucking kidding me?

    The ability to adjust payrolls as needed is what keeps US unemployment extremely low (basically zero with unemployment at 4.8 %). That is considered full employment as many people simply do not wish to work. Any half way educated person here can get a job easily. Employers in most regions are struggling to find help.

    Look at France now (or Germany for that matter). They have endemic high unemployment because it is so difficult for employers to fire people. They are rioting in the streets cause they fear this once they actually land a job. They want it guaranteed.

    The ability to fire/ hire at will is also largely responsible for the constant near 4% GDP growth. Show me another mature industrial economy that comes even close.

    Your constant USA bashing is getting old. BTW, I have visited and lived in S America (Brazil, Venezuela, and Ecuador). Comparatively speaking, the place is a mess.

  3. BTW, South America,

    I have 3 Econ degrees. Only one US.

    Guess what they all say:

    Helsinki School of Econ.

    You are a moron!!!!

  4. Can we install a forumBOT that automatically forces every post from SouthAmerica into the Chit-Chat section?
  5. .

    March 28, 2006

    SouthAmerica: Reply to Jayford and to Ivanovich

    You people are pathetic.

    Jayford – you know what you can do with the 3 Econ degrees that you have from Thunderbird, Stanford, and Helsinki School of Econ. – you can stick it where the sun does not shine.


    The New York Times:

    On March 26, 2006 The New York Times published an article about the above book – “Retraining, But for What? – For many laid-off workers, empty promises of new jobs.

    Bloomberg News:

    Yesterday, they interviewed the author of the book Louis Uchitelle on Bloomberg Radio.

    Other mainstream media in the US:

    They are mentioning this book on many business-television shows here in the US. The subject of this book it is a hot topic right now and will become even hotter when most Americans understand what is really going on.


    Jayford also said: “Your constant USA bashing is getting old. BTW, I have visited and lived in S America (Brazil, Venezuela, and Ecuador).”

    I just posted the initial information regarding a book that it will become a best seller in the coming months – Your rage it was completely misplaced since you reacted to what the publishers of the book posted on their website at:

    By the way, guess who are the “Morons” with degrees and everything else.

    You claimed that you have an eco degree from Stamford – for any chance do you mean Stamford, Connecticut?

  6. Cesko


    You dumbass. Pinochet was absolutely clear about what to do with people like you. The result?? Chile the only truly prosperous country in South America.
    Now go spread this stupid propaganda shit somewhere else.
    Go help to build socialism in Venezuela. They are on their way to paradise Comrade Southamerica.
  7. Cuba has 3-4% GDP growth and 2.5% unemployment rate, so did the Soviet Union (significant GDP growth rate and full employment), what does that prove? These two indicators while important don't reflect a complete picture of a nation's economy. The distribution of wealth is as important as its creation Mr. Three Diplomas, and that's what the book is about, a nation with full employment at Walmart is not a great nation.
  8. I started to post a response but realized this guy is so far gone and so ignorant it wasn't worth it.

  9. .

    Cesco: Pinochet was absolutely clear about what to do with people like you. The result?? Chile the only truly prosperous country in South America.


    March 31, 2006

    SouthAmerica: Reply to Cesco

    Pinochet is your idol – and you call me a dumbass?

    Your hero is a butcher and a criminal!!!!!!!

    Who else are on your list of “Heroes”?

    Probably: Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Mugaby, Mao Tse Tung and so on…


    Sputdr: I started to post a response but realized this guy is so far gone and so ignorant it wasn't worth it.


    SouthAmerica: You are reading too much into what I wrote on that posting.

    All I said in that entire posting: “I have a very good understanding of what this book is trying to say.”

    Nothing more, and nothing less - The rest of the posting was about the book, and what the publisher wrote on their website to market the book.

    You guys are pathetic.

  10. SA you never answered my question.

    How will Brazil become a superpower when 1/3 of the population is illiterate?
    #10     Apr 1, 2006