Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Panda Bear on Election Stress, the Middle Ages and Health Insurance

This year the election has been stressful.    As this blog is intended as a relief from the stresses of life The Panda Bear will attempt to be nonpartisan.    However, the Panda Bear is saddened by the deteriorating nature of the American political system.    In fact the Panda Bear thinks the American political system is increasingly sounding like pre-Enlightenment European politics.    In these ways the Panda Bear thinks American politics looks more and more like pre-modern politics.

1) The election is more about the candidates rather than political issues.

2) This election resembles a war.    In the Middle Ages governing was about brute force, power and alliances.    In this election one feels the winning party is the one that can impose his/her will on the rest of us by a display of massive strength.    Rule of law does not seem to matter.    The candidates try to win alliances with certain groups.

3) It is election it one is seen as a traitor if one supports the opposing candidate.   The idea seems to be gone that one can be patriotic and loyal to this country but have differing world views.  The demonization n of the opposition is used to justify this warlike nature of the elections.

4)  Religion has become a key issue for both of the two dominate parties.   The Panda Bear grew up in the seventies where she was taught that in the United States after John Kennedy people did not vote for candidates based on their religion.    She also was taught Christians were trying to resolve their differences and become more united.   In this election, the Panda Bear has heard both Trump and Clinton state proudly that they were mainstream Protestants.   The Panda Bear thinks this is a step backwards for both political parties in terms of religious toleration and commitment to secular government.  The Panda Bear thinks the religious tome of this election resembles something of out 1600 not 2000.   

Meanwhile in her personal life, the Panda Bear will be starting a new job next week.   It is twenty hours per week.   The Panda Bear does not need the money from full-time employment.   To her the greatest luxury is an afternoon off.   More importantly, the Panda Bear does not need health insurance from work.   For the past twenty years the Panda Bear has gotten health insurance through Mr. Panda.    

Some people think it was an accident in US history that health insurance is employment based.   The Panda Bear knows of many people who work mainly for the health insurance.    As the Panda Bear hears of more people embracing the idea of Medicare for all, the Panda Bear realizes that this idea would be a revolution not just in the world of health care but in the world of employment.    It would be a drastic change in the nature of employment if people did not have to get their health insurance through work.    Probably this change would benefit small business.    However, the Panda Bear thinks this effect of Medicare for All on the workplace needs to be examined.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Panda Bear obtains a New Job, Russia and Globalism

As readers of The Panda Bear Blog know, the Panda Bear Blog was looking for work after attending a training program.    The Panda Bear is pleased to inform her readers that she has found a new humble office position,   This piece of information makes the Panda Bear feel that the official statistics were correct and unemployment is improving in Massachusetts.    Since the Great Recession the Panda Bear mistrusts the official statistic; she is convinced all what the financial interests who control this country would be quite happy with high unemployment as long as the stock market was doing alright and inflation was low.

Like many Americans, the Panda Bear feels burnt out by this election...    She is frustrated by major role the social issues play in the elections when major issues of US' security is at stake.   Furthermore, she is tired of the US major parties having the same arguments about the social issues year after year.

However, The Panda Bear feels very depressed that some US politicians seem to be so anxious to have a confrontation with Russia when the welfare is of the US is not directly involved.    How many wars can the US fight at once?

The Panda Bear is no lover of Russia or the former Soviet Union.   She has met when the Soviet Union was still strong Russian communists and she hated them.    She also felt they were totally dishonest and highly manipulative.   However, after 9/11, the Panda Bear felt somewhat nostalgic for the old Cold War,    The USSR did not seem to be bent on self-destruction to further their goals. .   Furthermore, despite all its shortcomings, the USSR did seem to want on some level to be a "modern”, "civilized" country. In some parts of the world, much of the population seems not to pay even lip service to what Americans think of as being modern society.

It also ironic that the US party that now favors confrontation with Russia is the Democratic Party which used to be the more pro conciliation with the former USSR is now more hawk like than the Republicans in this respect. .   Furthermore, Hillary Clinton herself is old enough to remember when the Democratic Party was the party of moderation concerning the former Soviet Union.

What stressful times we live in now.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Panda Bear returns to Blogging, Unemployment and the New Science of Job Hunting

The Panda Bear Blog, the populist blog of a humble office worker is back.

When the Panda Bear last wrote her last blog piece, she had lost her job and decided to go to school to upgrade her jobs skills.    She went under what is called Section 30 where unemployment lets you go back to school instead of job searching.   The Panda Bear successfully completed her program in August and since September has been job hunting.   She has learned much since she has started her new job hunt.

The first thing she learned that despite the official unemployment rate being at four percent, people are still unhappy with the job market.   The Panda Bear is surprised that so many people are still ashamed to say their unemployed, despite there being many layoffs and high unemployment rates(The Panda Bear thinks it is ashamed that so many people are still quiet about being unemployed.    These people are loosing some networking potential and it stops society from recognizing the extent of the unemployment problem.

The Panda Bear notices that two age groups have the hardest time finding jobs.   The first group are the young workers with no or very little experience.   Employers nowadays don't want to train people. The other group of workers that seem to be effected are the "mature" or not young workers(this group includes the Panda Bear).   Probably these workers are have more trouble finding work because of both ageism and this group can be costing companies more money earning higher salaries and being eligible for more benefits.

The unemployment office gives advise on how to get around age discrimination in the workplace.   The first suggestion is that one should remove dates on resumes of when one attended school and the work history should only go back ten to fifteen years.   Less obviously, the Panda Bear discovered that the fonts one uses could indicate age.    People should be using modern and contemporary fonts not the old fashioned Arial and Times Roman.

It is not without controversy about whether business practises are correct or outdated.    One young career counselor upset a lot of people in her class by saying that the use of the word "Dear" in cover/business letters had become outdated and suggested the person using it was old.   Many clients objected and said that using "Dear" was proper English.   The Panda Bear tried typing a cover letter and just addressing it "Hiring Manager" seemed abrupt.   However,  upon reflection that Panda Bear thought that modern cover letters probably are a shade more informal since they are uploaded into an application system rather than going through snail mail.   Also the Panda Bear has heard that the younger generation constantly abbreviates the language and many say they don't use proper English.   Therefore, the Panda Bear has decided to address cover letters to "Attention: Hiring Manager".

The use application(automated) tracking systems has in itself revolutionized the job hunting process.   The application is screened by a computer before it gets into human hands.    There is a whole series of strategies that one has to use to get it to clear the system sp the hiring manager sees it.    This
type of application does not bother the Panda Bear too much;  in her type of job one is expected to be good at computers.  However, even the simpliest types of jobs now require online applications which many people find difficult to use.

With the start of applying jobs, the Panda Bear has started to feel the beginnings or work pressure.   She has been surprised with how busy she has gotten job hunting.  

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Panda Bear bids Au re·voir to her readers for the present.

The Panda Bear will be moving indefinitely to other blogging projects under her real name.   She needs to move in her life.

However, Panda Bear sees many other writers share the anger she has felt.  She encourages other humble bears to hold hands and help each other confront the elite oligarchy.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Panda Bear on Vocational Training and College Education

The Panda Bear Blog is the blog of humble but kindly office worker who wants to reform the world.

As the readers of the Panda Bear Blog know, after a steady work history for twenty years, the Panda Bear lost two office jobs in two years.   She has recently been approved by Massachusetts Department o Unemployment to attend an advance office skills program which includes an internship.

The Panda Bear thinks that job training programs are very much needed nowadays even for people with job skills.   Organizations now want people to be up and fully functioning after the first week the employee starts.   Companies are now running very thin staffed so employees don't have time to train people.  With rising concerns about job security, many workers think that a form of job security is that no one else but you can do your job so they don't want to help other workers.     In additions, it costs money for companies to train people and nowadays employees don't stay long with companies.   When companies train people, they are taking a risk that employee may not be able to do the job.

However, the Panda Bear also thinks companies are being lazy in not training people.    Every company has a unique structure and culture which new employees need to learn.    Probably many employees simply don't know what they are doing and are afraid to ask.    In times of high unemployment jobs go unfilled because workers need a shorter training program.  (Also it is a source of job dissatisfaction for those that are working that the companies don't provide them with training and growth opportunities).

The Panda Bear in Massachusetts is seeing more joint industry and state educational ventures to give people job training that leads to jobs.   For example the Panda Bear is seeing industry-state bank teller training programs; banks used to to training in house but now they want experienced tellers.

The Panda Bear thinks that in the modern environment training is actually more important that "higher education".   Counselors at the Mass Unemployment Office(and from what the Panda Bear agrees from has seen) say that even if people with get college degrees the jobs are there for people with with very narrow skills.

The Panda Bear also thinks that companies not being willing to train people is leading to abuse of the practice of bringing on foreign workers on Visas.   There is no attempt to train Americans even if it is a very minimal training requirement.