All posts tagged jobs

The high school turns Brown

Published April 26, 2018 by justicewg

Robert Brown TwitThe principal of the high school can be seen as the number three position in the school administration (after the super and the treasurer). The school has just announced a replacement for the departing Ken Chaffin. Robert Brown, Assistant Principal and Athletic Director, McCord Middle School in Worthington, OH, will be heading the high school soon. He will be starting Aug 1, at $110,000 salary.

A search of the social media shows not much beside a twitter account – @rbrown035 .He is not very active in tweeting his own material, most are re-tweets of others at the school. I do see some anti-bullying material in his tweets, good to see that he takes that seriously enough to repeat. A lot of his posts are about sports teams, which can be expected for an asst. principal who is also an athletic director.

While looking around in Brown’s tweets, I again found links to the blog used by Trent Bowers, the Superintendent at Worthington. Read the post he made about cell phone policy at the school.

The post is a very interesting look at the positive and negative effects of cell phone use, including an experience in his own family that showed the ways it can distract students from learning just to keep up with frivolous chatter. Most importantly, the post ends in a question, asking if there should be changes in policy at the school, and then allows a conversation to develop among the people who are reading his blog.

Could you see that happening with the superintendent at Grandview Heights? Why is that something that will never happen at our school (at least until there is a major change in the school board).

Although he never had much public conversation on his blog, Ken Chafin did have a wordpress blog during his time at Grandview. It is possible for an administrator to have a blog – but feedback from parents just isn’t encouraged here.


Big announcement about the Yard Monday evening

Published June 30, 2014 by justicewg
NRI announcment 2007

NRI announces the start of Grandview Yard in the middle school, Dec. 19, 2007.

Mayor Ray DeGraw will be giving us the details of a new development in the Grandview Yard on Monday at 5:30, in the Community Center. A big change in focus for the Yard will be on the way following Nationwide Insurance’s announcement that they will be moving 3K jobs to new offices inside the development. There have been stories about the move in the Dispatch and the Business First.

Two thoughts on this news before the meeting.

This will mean jobs and a big increase in the income taxes Grandview will be receiving from the Yard. So, hooray. I’m not so happy about getting those jobs by taking them away from Dublin and Westerville. This moving jobs around inside the central Ohio area is not real growth, it is moving the chess pieces. Grandview might be the winner now, but if the numbers are run in 10 years and some place else looks better, we could be left with a lot of empty buildings as Nationwide moves on.

Second, this is not bringing us any nearer to the large retail shopping development that was promised back in 2007. Although NRI never said anything other than “commercial development”, we were hoping for a Mini-Easton. I don’t see how that is possible now with 500K sq. ft. of office space being used up by Nationwide (the current offices built and in construction are only 200K). We will hear NRI’s plans on Monday, I’ll be interested in hearing them say if any big retail shopping is now possible, or if that dream is dead.

Replacing the Gas Meter reader

Published December 8, 2011 by justicewg

A guy came into my house yesterday and worked on my gas meter. From now on there will be no need for a meter reader to walk house to house, pushing buttons on his little beeping device that records the gas usage. A van will drive down the street and a computer will send a radio signal to the meter, allowing remote reading. Say goodby to a lot of jobs.

Those jobs were not so great. Walking all day in summer heat and winter cold is no fun. The jobs were outsourced long ago by the gas companies, so the wages were low. But at least they were real jobs (that’s a sad line that might be the most common employment wisdom for the foreseeable future).

Anytime I mention this loss of jobs caused by automation, someone jumps up with a comment like “think about all the jobs that were created designing and building those gas meters!” Yes, a few jobs were created. It didn’t take a lot of engineering to create a radio gas meter. The factory where they were built had a few workers, but I’m sure the automation in that factory was high enough to use no more than a fraction of a man-hour per unit. The net result was way over in the “lost jobs” side of the equation.

There is another dumb zombie arguments that is still shambling around the issue of jobs. The proponent notes that the US used to be a agrarian nation, then as mechanical farm production took away jobs, workers switched to factory work. As factory work becomes more automated, jobs switched to service sector. Now that even service sector work is being automated, the argument is made that some new sector of work will provide jobs. There is no “new” sector of jobs. Primary (agriculture, fishing, and extraction such as mining), the secondary sector (approximately the same as manufacturing), the tertiary sector of the economy (service sector or the service industry) are the three parts of the private economy.

That’s all there is. No amount of wishful thinking will produce a new sector.

I’m a science fiction reader, so the concept of automation and robots taking away most of the jobs is something I have read about extensively. There are a few stories where this transition is managed so that society is able to deal with the loss of jobs and ends up improved. The Star Trek series is the most popular, they have no unemployment, in fact they have no money, they use other means to distribute scarce resources. Lots of other stories foresee a huge impoverished lower class, ruled by an elite who spend time amusing themselves with ephemeral games while doing their best to stop thinking about the class beneath them. Marshall Brain’s story Robotic Nation is required reading for the details of how we lose jobs.

The present job losses are not all cyclical, caused by the Great Recession. There are many structural losses, jobs which will never return. I don’t hear a lot of politicians acknowledging this fact. Republicans have a philosophy that requires them to ignore lost jobs, and given the quality of the candidates they are running for president, ignoring reality seems to be a party platform. I hear a few Democrats talk about structural job loss, but they get scared when the shouts of “socialist!’ are thrown at them.

This week President Obama kicked off his campaign with a new theme. It echoed a historic address given by former President Theodore Roosevelt in the same Kansas town more than 100 years ago. Roosevelt infuriated his fellow republicans with the speech that railed against the great trusts that controlled the economy. I have a suspicion that Obama might freak out some of his fellow Democrats with this new line on the economy. I selected a segment of the speech that directly mentions automation and structural job loss.

Read the rest of this entry →