Sunday, October 18, 2009

Being Unemployed and Unduly Stressed

It is highly unusual that marathon runners die in a marathon. In fact, the Detroit Free Press reports that "deaths at marathons are relatively rare, occurring in about 1 in roughly 67,000 participants or 1 in 100,000 participants, according to various studies. About half of all deaths happen in the last mile." But today at the 32nd annual Detroit marathon three men died. "Two of the men...collapsed at the finish line. One man collapsed around the 12 mile mark at a fluid station."

The names and cities of the deceased have not as of yet been released. But I could not help but to wonder if stress was a major factor. Detroit has an unemployment rate of 25% and the State of Michigan's unemployment's rate is 15%. Detroiters and Michiganders are hurting badly and I really feel for them. This is the city and state that largely built the middle class; now our technologies and jobs have been shipped abroad building the middle class of other countries. Leadership (nationally and locally, executives and unions) is to blame. Globalization gauges. Greed governs.


Corrie Howe said...

Wow! That is unusual. Our former pastor went up there to start a church. His family ended up abandoning both the project and their mortgage. They've been without an income since January and are living with her parents in Louisiana. He's still having a hard time finding a job.

I was reading over the summer, in several books about improving children's writing skills, that the U.S. next "economy" will be knowledge. What do you think?

Judith Ellis said...

"Wow" was tantamount to the reaction I had when I read of the three deaths online. I was also deeply saddened. Sorry to hear of the misfortune of your former pastor. "He who began a good work in him shall complete it."

Regarding education in general, I think that this is extremely important. I thought President G. Bush's "no child left behind" was a good initiative. But it went without funding and we began an unnecessary war to secure our country, as if war is the only thing that will secure it.

While I believe in the importance of education, having gone to the PhD level myself, I DO NOT believe that the masses will ALL be so educated and that we really must rebuild the middle classes with jobs that require labor. Even the labor of our small farmers have been taken over by big business who essentially work out deal with foreign farmers who themselves use their hands to produce their crops and send their produce to us.

The whole knowledge economy is great. But the reality has always been that not all people will be in service or money shufflers, like bankers and insurers who create little real value save what they gain by OPM, other people's money. Now, I'm 100% for local banks and credit unions but Wall Street banks and AIG have become moral hazards.

What is a moral hazard?

"Moral hazard is the fact that a party insulated from risk may behave differently from the way it would behave if it would be fully exposed to the risk. In insurance, moral hazard that occurs without conscious or malicious action is called morale hazard...Moral hazard arises because an individual or institution does not take the full consequences and responsibilities of its doings, and therefore has a tendency to act less carefully than it alternately would, leaving another party to hold some responsibility for the consequences of those actions. "(Wikipedia)

By the way, while many of us were reveling in the glories of globalization with phrases such as "service is the new economy," the economy itself was tanking and the middle class incredibly shrinking. It just seems utterly foolish that a county the size of America will become a service or knowledge based economy alone. While knowledge and service are essential, labor is crucial.

Read recently that GM is beefing up its business in China. How do you think that we will get our GM cars should we want to purchase them from this once great company? Undoubtedly they will come from China if our trading laws do not change. These companies seem to be for the shareholder and against Americans. Jeff Immelt of GE finally has gotten it right. He has been talking lately about the necessity of building here where the former legend of GE, Jack Welch, spoke largely about shareholder value for many years.

Welch, I think, has since changed his mind too. But the disastrous deeds have already been done. Let’s hope we can correct it. By the way, I generally like Welch and have read most of his books. But over the past six month or so I have appreciated him though less for his performances on television. I have seen him less so lately. My hero is Jack Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group and author of Enough: True Measures of Money, Business and Life. I have had the pleasure of conversing with him on more than a few occasions and hope to fly out and meet with him. He's a truly great man.

Corrie Howe said...

Judith, I feel blessed to have come to your blog. You challenge me to think more than I have in a long time. Too wrapped up in my family and life. I never thought I would become like this.

I do read a lot, but more about autism, special education law, and advocacy. I also read a lot about faith, the bible, church health, ministering in our spiritual gifts and ministering to women and teens.

And I'm a "flavor of the day" reader too. Whatever I'm currently "into" I'll read about. I've read through biographies of "Heroes of the Faith." I've read currently popular children's books. I've read the books assigned to my teenager for summer reading. I'm currently reading about blogging and FBI investigations of cyber crimes....

In my "past life" I read lots of leadership, business, re-engineering, and change management books. When I was a reporter, I read lots of investigative reporting books. "All the President's Men" was my first in 6th grade. I read about Watergate and the Vietnam war when I was younger.

I read "Three Cups of Tea" about setting up schools in Afghanistan...

On any of these subjects, I could carry on a more intelligent conversation with you.

Again, I greatly admire you and learn a lot from your conversations and your thoughts. Thanks!!

Thanks for the compliment on our sketch of Jonathan. It's not exactly what I wanted, but the artist freaked when I asked him to do just these few things.

I wanted something that captures Jonathan and the theme of the blog. The artist did a great job on Jonathan...even down to the "flying tails" on the back of the baseball cap" for Jonathan's created comic book character, "Purple Man." But I don't care for the "pickle." It looks like an evil eel to me. And I would've liked for the pickle to have a purple cape and cap too. Oh, well. I can live with it ...for awhile anyway. :-)

Judith Ellis said...

Corrie - We are helpers one to another. I visit your space to remind me of home and of the joys and struggles of childhood. This focuses me in my daily interactions with children and young people that I meet at the supermarket, on my walks or wherever I am. You have a beautiful family and you seem like a wonderful mother. I appreciate the honesty with which you write. Plus, your kids make me laugh. Thank you for that.

Oh, it must have been so much fun being an investigative reporter. That's fantastic! So, I can really see that you are a bit adventurous by the way you raise your children and the freedom of expression that you seem to allow. I so admire the way you work through Jonathan's challenges with autism. You are patient, determined and thoughtful. Although, I'm sure that you must get frustrated with some situations too. I have a niece with a form of autism. I don't know which.

My niece's parents have never really spoken to the family in detail about it. It has something I think to do with their particular faith in "calling those things which are not as though they are." It's the whole faith and healing thing. Most times I have wondered if this is just plain foolishness, disassociated with faith and more connected to hope. Hope is an earnest expectation; faith is substance. It’s a knowing. When we know we act accordingly. But faith and hope are necessary, I think. I used to challenge them on some things a whole lot. Now, I do much less of that. My niece is a beautiful girl. She's my favorite. Don't tell the 25 nieces and nephews. I tell them they’re my favorites too. :-)

By the way, you may always express whatever you like here, even if it's not on topic. I tend to drift about sometimes too. I like detours; this is often where I learn most. I love that you are a reader. I am too. I used to read some 20 or so books a month on every topic imaginable. I read by far less now. I'm like you. A great many things interest me. I usually exhaust a topic, move away from it, and then come back to it when someone else has a different perspective on it. This is how I grow. But without the initial input of knowledge and experience, I might add, how do we ever grow?

I am happy to have found you too. :-) Oh, regarding the "evil eel" rendering I think you may have a point. But I was not terribly bothered by that. Kids also wrestle with issues of good and evil. All the very best, Corrie, to you and yours.