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March 11, 2004

Yow

It's been quite a day for your humble host. I try not to let too much of my personal life creep into this site, but I've got a move coming up, due to a big career step of my wife's, and it looks like we found a house today, in the northeastern college town to which we will be relocating within the next few months.

Nothing big, nothing fancy--it is what realtors euphemistically describe as "cozy"--but I'm 42 years old, and humble as it may be, it's going to be the first house I've ever owned. No more landlord. Woo hooo!

So I'm a late bloomer.

Also: I got home late, and was browsing the usual sites, and saw this over on Wil Wheaton's blog. Now, what you have to understand is, everybody and their damn brother may have a blog these days, but there was a time, back in the distant past, maybe two or three years ago, when nobody had ever really heard of blogs--myself included--and this site owes its very existence to the fact that I followed some link from Fark one day and found myself at Wil Wheaton's blog, and the little light bulb went off over my head and I thought, ah ha! what a great format, that's where all those extra ideas that never make it into cartoons can go! The right wingers owned the political blogsophere in those days, and this may come as a shock to the more self-centered among them, but I'd never heard of any of them--and I'm a guy who spends maybe a little too much time online. At any rate, Wil has a book he self-published awhile back, and now he's got a real publisher, and it looks like he blames me for the whole thing. It's funny--words have power. You never know how the things you type on your keyboard are actually going to affect people. I suspect Wil would have put this stuff out whether or not I provided the encouragement he mentions, but if I did play some small part, helping him to recognize his own talent, well, it's not the worst thing I've ever done.

--------------------

March 10, 2004

Thursday

I'll be out of the office (and offline) all day.

From Pandagon
We need to sell national health care not as a nice thing or a moral responsibility, we need to sell it as a way to keep America's businesses competitive. Dean was almost right when he compared us to all those other countries who grant their citizens health care. But he framed it as a morally enlightened policy and tried to shame us into providing it. Kerry needs to compare us to those other countries, and countries with no worker rights or standards, and explain how it is a business imperative.

One way to do it is to make national health care a piece rather than a policy. Put out a major package called "The American Advantage" or something similarly patriotic. The package should have 3 main components:

Incentives for businesses to stay in America and hire here. Unveil a logo that businesses who make X amount of goods stateside and treat their workers well can put on their products. Make sure Americans know about it and they can decide who they wish to support. Roll out tax breaks for businesses who move back to America and create jobs here.

Much more, go read.

The irony here is that--as I understand it--back in the thirties, businesses fought the unions to keep control of health care, as a means of keeping control of their workers. Now, in a classic example of the law of unintended consequences, they're getting crushed by the costs, and at least some of them are beginning to realize that a national health insurance plan is actually a pretty good idea.

Perspective...

...from Molly Ivins:

AUSTIN, Texas -- Living proof that the Democrats haven't gotten any smarter since the last time they ran a candidate for president. Much huffing (and a huffy Democrat is a terrifying sight) over the fact that George W. Bush used images of 9-11 and of the firefighters at Ground Zero to tout his candidacy in his first campaign ad. How crass, said the D's. Exploiting a national tragedy for political purposes -- oh, how tacky.

Dammit, the problem is not that the ad is in bad taste, the problem is that Bush screwed the firefighters in a famous case of his favorite bait-and-switch tactic, and now he has the chutzpah to exploit them anyway and that, my friends, is gall. Bait, switch and then claim credit anyway.

For those of you who have forgotten what happened (apparently including the entire Bush campaign) shortly after the 9-11 attacks, President Bush promised a $3.5 billion aid package to provide equipment and training in dealing with such attacks to local police and fire departments. For over 18 months, no money appeared, and when money finally did appear, it was nowhere near the promised levels (hey, he had to cut those taxes on the richest 1 percent of Americans).

Furthermore, the New York City firefighters who worked Ground Zero were specifically screwed. They were promised $90 million to monitor the long-term health effects of breathing in all that ash for months while they cleaned up. The money was to have been included in the overall post 9-11 aid package for New York City, but it got shifted to another bill that Bush rejected the following August. About half the workers screened before the money ran out suffered from respiratory problems.

More. (Hat-tip: reader Liz S.)

--------------------

March 09, 2004

Our story so far

(If you've been following the site lately some of this will be redundant, but stick with me--the ending's good.)

On Sunday, Thomas Friedman wrote:

Yamini Narayanan is an Indian-born 35-year-old with a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Oklahoma. After graduation, she worked for a U.S. computer company in Virginia and recently moved back to Bangalore with her husband to be closer to family. When I asked her how she felt about the outsourcing of jobs from her adopted country, America, to her native country, India, she responded with a revealing story:

"I just read about a guy in America who lost his job to India and he made a T-shirt that said, `I lost my job to India and all I got was this [lousy] T-shirt.' And he made all kinds of money." Only in America, she said, shaking her head, would someone figure out how to profit from his own unemployment. And that, she insisted, was the reason America need not fear outsourcing to India: America is so much more innovative a place than any other country.

He goes on to make his usual case: Americans needn't fear globalization, because our innate pluckiness will always overcome any obstacle. I was a little curious about that guy who made all the money off those shirts, though, and after doing a little Googling I found what I thought was a rather glaring flaw in the anecdote: the shirtmaker was neither unemployed nor American.

Except I got that one wrong. Sort of. You see, Friedman responded, pointing out that there was, in fact, an American selling a similar shirt:

The argument seems to be that it was a British Web site that came up with the idea of the T-shirt -- ``My job was lost India and all I got was this lousy T-shirt'' -- and therefore the whole premise of my column was wrong, that Americans are not  innovative.

First, all one has to do is Google that phrase and you will discover that it is not only a British Web site offering this t-shirt for sale, but that a U.S.-based Web site, indeed one located in Palo Alto where so many jobs have been lost, has been selling the same T-shirt for some time. It is the online design-your-own t-shirt and apparel store, Zazzle.com   

So either someone in America copied it -- or independently came up with the idea themselves and therefore it is not a British exclusive. The point I was making about the innovative nature of American society and institutions obviously rests on more than a T-shirt.

Well, the larger point may rest on more, but the specific column is planted firmly atop that anecdotal t-shirt. And it was still an anecdote I found...questionable.

So I tracked down this guy--to whom, let us remember, Friedman personally pointed as a justification for the anecdote upon which Sunday's column was predicated--and sent him an email, and asked (1) if he is or was unemployed and, (2) if he's made a bundle of money off his shirts. (Also (3), if he's an American, which he is--Friedman got that much right.)

His name is Gary Young, and he was gracious enough to respond promptly:

Wow! So that WAS my shirt Friedman was talking about. I had seen the article and laughed...

To answer your questions:

1. No, I didn't lose my job YET. My department has been told month after month for the last 6 months that we'd be next in line to be offshored. Several peers at my work have had their jobs sent to India, and my partner had his job offshored.

2. Have I made all kinds of money? This is where I laughed the hardest. I've made about $10 profit total.

So there you have it. At the risk of beating a dead horse, I'll say it one more time: this is the guy Friedman himself brought to my attention--and as it turns out, he is neither unemployed (though he fears the prospect) nor a fabulously successful t-shirt entrepreneur, having made about ten bucks off the idea so far.

The future's not quite bright enough to necessitate sunglasses just yet, it would seem.

Look, my argument is obviously not, as Friedman interprets it, that "Americans are not innovative"--it is that selling novelty t-shirts is not a replacement for a decent paying job with health benefits.

As the man he holds up as an example makes perfectly clear, when given the chance to speak for himself.

By the way, Gary's t-shirts are here. If enough of you buy one, he'll make several hundred dollars, which might see him through a week or two if he does, in fact, lose his job.

...just for the record, I'm aware that it's a complicated, interdependent world, and many of the products I use are, in fact, made overseas, in whole or in part. I just don't think the solution to that is to ship even more jobs offshore, on nothing more than a utopian promise that our innate ingenuity will somehow see us through. But as I am the first to point out, I am just a simple, uneducated cartoonist.

Friedman's response
Dear Tom Tomorrow,

Thank you for your message. I thought this might be useful to you and your readers.

Mr. Friedman informed us of the following regarding your concerns about the t-shirt mentioned in his column (3/7), "The Secret of Our Sauce."

"The argument seems to be that it was a British Web site that came up with the idea of the T-shirt -- ``My job was lost India and all I got was this lousy T-shirt'' -- and therefore the whole premise of my column was wrong, that Americans are not  innovative.

First, all one has to do is Google that phrase and you will discover that it is not only a British Web site offering this t-shirt for sale, but that a U.S.-based Web site, indeed one located in Palo Alto where so many jobs have been lost, has been selling the same T-shirt for some time. It is the online design-your-own t-shirt and apparel store, Zazzle.com   

So either someone in America copied it -- or independently came up with the idea themselves and therefore it is not a British exclusive. The point I was making about the innovative nature of American society and institutions obviously rests on more than a T-shirt."

I include a link to the T-shirt shown on Zazzle.com below:

(link)

Sincerely,
Arthur Bovino
Office of the Public Editor
The New York Times

My original posts are here and here; I leave it for the reader to decide for him or herself if the point I was trying to make is that "Americans are not innovative." (Hint: pay special attention to the speculation as to whether such t-shirt sales are likely to supplant a regular income and health insurance benefits.)

(...I have a Cafe Press store, and thanks to my cartoon's relative visibility and this site's traffic, I probably do about as well with these print-on-demand shirt sales as pretty much anybody--and I'll tell you, if I had to live off what I make there, I would, quite literally, be living in the street.)

...At any rate, I should acknowledge that I was at least partially wrong in the post below, since there was, in fact, an American making these shirts as well. As to whether or not the the anecdote is therefore valid--well, I tracked the guy down and sent him an email to see if he is/was unemployed and making "all kinds of money" off his shirts. I'll be sure to let Tom Friedman know if I get a response. (I intend to respect this guy's privacy, however, so if I don't hear back, I'm not going to post anything more about him. He didn't asked to be used as the anecdotal evidence for a ridiculous newspaper column.)

...this isn't about the Zazzle.com shirt, but here's an article from the Times of India about an American who printed shirts with a similar slogan: "My job went to India and all I got was a pink slip." I have no way of knowing if this is the article which Friedman's source read, of course, but the creator of this shirt, while undeniably innovative, seems less than sanguine about the whole experience:

WASHINGTON: Nothing in Scott Kirwin’s resume or background suggests he’s xenophobic, much less an India-hater or -baiter. He is a widely travelled American, lived in Japan for five years, trekked through Africa, loves Indian food, and has even enjoyed some turgid Bollywood movies.

Yet, he’s now a one-man army who has put India on the anti- outsourcing radar and is raising alarms about the issue in the United States . Scott’s gripe? He hears what he thinks is a giant sucking sound of India cleaning out white collar jobs from the United States.

Scott Kirwin's pain and rage began with his own job loss . An American software programmer, he worked for a US finance major which decided in 2001 to outsource the responsibility of his department to an Indian company. For nine months, Scott worked alongside three Indian programmers on temporary visas at the firm’s Delaware facility, teaching them the ropes, and expecting to stick around as manager when the work moved to India.

Last March, he got a pink slip.

Since then, Kirwin has parlayed his unemployed status into a cause calibre, knocking together an organization (Information Technology Professionals Association of America) and a website that has becoming the stomping ground for the anti-outsourcers.

The website (www.itpaa.org) even sells anti-outsourcing products, including a T-shirt with the legend "My job went to India and all I got was a stupid pink slip," and bumper stickers saying "Outsource Bush."

In fact, Kirwin is far from unemployable, and has even got job offers from India (including one at $ 20,000 a year, which he says is "plenty in India but won’t pay my bills in America.") But he appears to have made a career out of being laid off – he is quoted in dozens of stories - although he claims the website itself is a labour of love (and loss) and funding is difficult to come by.

(Edits, and more edits)

War President

I keep reading conservatives who say they support Bush because he's the only one who's serious about the war on terror, as if John Kerry is just some frivolous little airhead, more concerned with "American Idol" than with Osama bin Laden.

Well, here's how serious Bush has been about addressing the threat of terror, since the day he took office:

THE WARNINGS – BUSH ADMINISTRATION WAS TOLD: Upon coming into office, the Bush Administration inherited a government that was receiving more and more specific warnings about the threat of an Al Qaeda attack on the United States. As ABC News reported, Bush Administration "officials acknowledged that U.S. intelligence officials informed President Bush weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks that bin Laden's terrorist network might try to hijack American planes." Similarly, Newsweek reported "that as many as 10 to 12 warnings" were issued, and "more than two of the warnings specifically mentioned the possibility of hijackings." Meanwhile, George Tenet, "was issuing many warnings that bin Laden was 'the most immediate' threat to Americans." The warnings were so explicit that in the months leading up to 9/11, Attorney General John Ashcroft stopped flying commercial airlines and instead began "traveling exclusively by leased jet aircraft instead of commercial airlines" because of "what the Justice Department called a 'threat assessment.'" That "threat assessment" was not made public.

THE WARNINGS – POST-9/11 DENIALS: Despite these explicit warnings, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice claimed that the Administration was never warned of an attack before 9/11, saying "I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile." Similarly, President Bush denied having any idea about the threat, saying on 5/17/02, "Had I know that the enemy was going to use airplanes to kill on that fateful morning, I would have done everything in my power to protect the American people."

There's more.

...Counterspin has more. Also, I'm bumping this post to the top so it doesn't get buried under the rather long one about Dean.

Party unity

From Charles Lewis, director of the Center for Public Integrity and author of The Buying of the President 2004.

On November 7, 2003, a strange new group no one had ever heard of called "Americans for Jobs & Healthcare" was quietly formed and soon thereafter began running a million dollar operation including political ads against then-frontrunner Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean. The commercials ripped Dean over his positions or past record on gun rights, trade and Medicare growth. But the most inflammatory ad used the visual image of Osama bin Laden as a way to raise questions about Dean's foreign policy credibility. While the spots ran, Americans for Jobs-through its then- spokesman, Robert Gibbs, a former Kerry campaign employee-refused to disclose its donors.

The Dean campaign cried foul, but no one, including the news media, could figure out exactly who was behind "Americans for Jobs." The disturbing mystery was partly solved by Jim VandeHei of the Washington Post on February 11, after reviewing public Internal Revenue Service records filed under Section 527 of federal tax law. Unfortunately for voters and the general public, that legal disclosure information was filed January 30, 2004, nine days after the Iowa caucuses in which Massachusetts Senator John Kerry upset former Vermont governor Howard Dean. Those contribution records were updated again with another $337,000 in donations on March 4, 2004, for a total of exactly $1 million that the group raised.

The most stunning single fact to emerge-which should have been covered more heavily nationwide and was first broken by the Web site PoliticsNJ.com-was that disgraced former Senator Robert Torricelli, severely admonished for his unsavory campaign finance practices and forced to leave the Senate, had quietly donated $50,000 from his old Senate campaign account to Americans for Jobs. Torricelli reportedly also is a fundraiser for Senator Kerry's presidential campaign.

Why is one of the sleaziest former public officials helping Senator Kerry collect campaign cash? And now that Torricelli and other Kerry campaign donors have been "outed" for supporting the controversial group, why hasn't Kerry been directly asked about the entire controversy? Indeed, why hasn't the avowed campaign finance reformer publicly criticized either the caper or Torricelli? Kerry and his campaign staff declined to answer these and other related, on-the-record questions from the Center for Public Integrity. A Kerry spokesman, Chad Clanton, was quoted in the Washington Post as saying that "I am told no one knew anything about it."

Americans for Jobs was a street rumble after dark, in which donors or fundraisers for the major Democratic presidential candidates then overshadowed by Dean-Kerry, Rep. Richard Gephardt, and retired General Wesley Clark- all piled on. Labor unions that had publicly endorsed Gephardt accounted for a fifth of the money-the International Longshoremen's Association ($50,000), the Laborers' International Union of North America ($50,000), the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers ($100,000), the International Association of Ironworkers ($25,000) and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers ($5,000). A former Dean donor, former Slim-Fast Foods businessman S. Daniel Abraham, gave $200,000. Past Kerry donor Bernard Schwartz, chairman of Loral Space and Communications-the tenth leading donor to the Democratic Party, giving $5.3 million over the years-chipped in $15,000. A top money chaser for Wesley Clark, Alan Patricof, also donated to this shadowy group.

Indeed, a Center for Public Integrity study of the 28 contributors to Americans for Jobs found that they have given more than $8.7 million to the Democratic Party in recent years and another $550,000 to the committees of those running for president.

Among the greatest beneficiaries of these donations was Gephardt, who received more than $417,000. In fact, at least 23 of the 28 people contributing to Americans for Jobs had donated to Gephardt in the past. Some of the donors are also aligned with Kerry and gave almost $60,000 to his campaigns over the years.

Four of these 28 individual contributors had also given $7,200 to Dean between March and July of 2003. One of the donors told the Center that he had no idea the money would be used on attack ads. Rick Sloan, the communications director for International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, told the LA Times: "I tell you, these ads are despicable. If I have my way, we'll ask for a refund." But following his remarks published on December 17, 2003, his labor union is reported to have made another donation to Americans for Jobs for $50,000 on January 9, 2004.

Who exactly forms a stealth, hit-and-run operation in presidential politics today, up and down in six weeks, doing $1 million worth of damage in advertising and other spending before the new federal, 30-day broadcast limit on political issue ads by outside groups kicked in December 21?

Here's the rest.

Just a question or two

Why are Republicans so filled with rage these days? Why do they hate John Kerry so much? Could John Kerry ever do anything right in their eyes, or are they just so filled with hate and bitterness and rage that they've lost all perspective?

I know you are but what am I?

"My opponent clearly has strong beliefs -- they just don't last very long."

George W. Bush
Remarks at Fundraising Lunch
March 8, 2004

Oh, yes. Well. Here's a post from one of Kos's readers to knock that softball right out of the park:

Bush is against campaign finance reform; then he's for it. * Bush is against a Homeland Security Department; then he's for it. * Bush is against a 9/11 commission; then he's for it. * Bush is against an Iraq WMD investigation; then he's for it. * Bush is against nation building; then he's for it. * Bush is against deficits; then he's for them. * Bush is for free trade; then he's for tariffs on steel; then he's against them again. * Bush is against the U.S. taking a role in the Israeli Palestinian conflict; then he pushes for a "road map" and a Palestinian State. * Bush is for states right to decide on gay marriage, then he is for changing the constitution. * Bush first says he'll provide money for first responders (fire, police, emergency), then he doesn't. * Bush first says that 'help is on the way' to the military ... then he cuts benefits * Bush-"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. Bush-"I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care. * Bush claims to be in favor of the environment and then secretly starts drilling on Padre Island. * Bush talks about helping education and increases mandates while cutting funding. * Bush first says the U.S. won't negotiate with North Korea. Now he will * Bush goes to Bob Jones University. Then say's he shouldn't have. * Bush said he would demand a U.N. Security Council vote on whether to sanction military action against Iraq. Later Bush announced he would not call for a vote * Bush said the "mission accomplished" banner was put up by the sailors.  Bush later admits it was his advance team. * Bush was for fingerprinting and photographing Mexicans who enter the US. Bush after meeting with Pres. Fox, he's against it.

(Hat tip to Billmon for the reminder on the Bush quote.)

A federal grand jury has subpoenaed White House records on administration contacts with more than two dozen journalists and news media outlets in a special investigation into the improper leak of a covert CIA official's identity to columnist Robert Novak last July. They include:

Robert Novak, "Crossfire," "Capital Gang" and the Chicago Sun-Times

Knut Royce and Timothy M. Phelps, Newsday

Walter Pincus, Richard Leiby, Mike Allen, Dana Priest and Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post

Matthew Cooper, John Dickerson, Massimo Calabresi, Michael Duffy and James Carney, Time magazine

Evan Thomas, Newsweek

Andrea Mitchell, "Meet the Press," NBC

Chris Matthews, "Hardball," MSNBC

Tim Russert, Campbell Brown, NBC

Nicholas D. Kristof, David E. Sanger and Judith Miller, The New York Times

Greg Hitt and Paul Gigot, The Wall Street Journal

John Solomon, The Associated Press

Jeff Gannon, Talon News

Novak knows who the leaker is, obviously--I just wonder who else on this list does also? (Via Ailes.)

...of course, Novak thinks it's all a big joke.

--------------------

March 08, 2004

Those t-shirts

As discussed below, Tom Friedman claims anecdotally in his column yesterday that some victim of outsourcing proceeded to make a bundle selling "I lost my job to India and all I got was this lousy..." t-shirts, so it didn't really matter that he lost his job after all:

Only in America, she said, shaking her head, would someone figure out how to profit from his own unemployment. And that, she insisted, was the reason America need not fear outsourcing to India: America is so much more innovative a place than any other country.

So I got to thinking: let's find this guy! So we can, you know, celebrate his success!

Googling the phrase as it appeared in Friedman's column turned up nothing, but it occurred to me that the shirt was far more likely to have read "My job went to India...", playing off the usual "Grandma went to Florida and all I got..." motif.

Well, here's the shirt. As you will see if you follow the link, it's not made by a plucky American entrepreneur at all--it's being offered by a British website which provides snarky commentary on information technology issues such as outsourcing.

In other words, that guy, who made the bundle of money selling the shirts, whose triumph over adversity provides the anecdote upon which Friedman bases his entire column? He, in all probability, does not exist. The shirt is not an example of American ingenuity, turning lemons into lemonade. It's rueful humor--British, at that--satirizing exactly that which Friedman champions.

And it took a bleary, sleep-deprived cartoonist working on his first cup of coffee about thirty seconds to determine that fact.

UPDATE: I'm wrong about the above, partially--it turns out there's also an American who also made similar shirts, though it's extremely questionable that he "made a bundle." More here.


The Times' ombudsman can be reached here, if you feel like sending him a note.

(Minor edits.)

Update from British reader Richard Martin:

Having read your article I thought I'd add my own side of the story, such as it is.

I "invented" the "My job went to India..." slogan and sent it off to The Register's editor as a joke in July 2003. I still have my job and it resides very much in the UK (at least for now but who can be certain?) so its not as though I'm making money out of my misfortune. Actually its not as if I'm making any money whatsoever as all I got out of the deal was a free t-shirt. Still I'm hardly negative about it as its great to see one's thoughts emerging into the Zeitgeist occasionally and after all I didn't design the shirt or produce it, so all credit to the Register.

Hmmm. Typical Brit "success" story there - we invent it, others make the money from it, and then the Yanks claim all the credit.

...and a followup in the Register.


--------------------

March 07, 2004

Submitted for your approval

The Bush campaign ads, remixed.

Thunk, thunk, thunk

That is the sound of my head hitting the kitchen table as I read the latest from Tom Friedman:

Yamini Narayanan is an Indian-born 35-year-old with a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Oklahoma. After graduation, she worked for a U.S. computer company in Virginia and recently moved back to Bangalore with her husband to be closer to family. When I asked her how she felt about the outsourcing of jobs from her adopted country, America, to her native country, India, she responded with a revealing story:

"I just read about a guy in America who lost his job to India and he made a T-shirt that said, `I lost my job to India and all I got was this [lousy] T-shirt.' And he made all kinds of money." Only in America, she said, shaking her head, would someone figure out how to profit from his own unemployment. And that, she insisted, was the reason America need not fear outsourcing to India: America is so much more innovative a place than any other country.

Do I even need to bother commenting?

Actually, I'm tired, it's late Sunday night, so I'm going to let reader Erich H. provide the obligatory snarky comment:

"I'm sure those t-shirts earn a steady $75,000 a year and provide family health insurance and retirement bennys..."

Thanks, Erich.

Meanwhile, in the same section in which Tom Friedman shares this latest exciting installment in his ongoing journey deep into the heart of mediocrity, another article points out that the future looks bright--if you're a waiter.

But some economists point to those same federal forecasts to poke holes in the argument that the key to job creation is more sophisticated education and knowledge. Yes, the greatest increase is expected to be for registered nurses (an increase of 623,000 jobs) and college and university teachers (an increase of 603,000).

But according to forecasts issued last month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7 of the 10 occupations with the greatest growth through 2012 will be in low-wage, service fields requiring little education: retail salesperson, customer service representative, food-service worker, cashier, janitor, waiter and nursing aide and hospital orderly. Many of these jobs pay less than $18,000 a year. Forecasting an increase of 21 million jobs from 2002 to 2012, the bureau predicted 596,000 more retail sales jobs, 454,000 more food-service jobs and 454,000 more cashier positions.

Forecasts like these raise fears that many Americans will end up disappointed after spending years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on college degrees. "The education-and-training solution, while it sounds good, is simply too facile," said Jared Bernstein, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research group. He noted that the number of Americans with college degrees who are unemployed for more than six months has quadrupled in three years.


--------------------

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