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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Locals swamp evacuee job fair

From the Detroit News:
A job fair for victims of Hurricane Katrina was overwhelmed Monday by victims of an economic storm, as unemployed Metro Detroiters searched for work of their own.

The job fair at the main Detroit Public Library was billed as a means for Michigan companies to help evacuees now temporarily living in Metro Detroit. But as hundreds of Detroit residents lined up in the library hallway Monday morning, the event instead became a symbol of the help needed by the city's own residents.

More than 80 percent of the nearly 400 people filling out applications at the Katrina job fair were from Metro Detroit.

"There are a lot of people who need jobs," said Bianca Dave, 23, of Detroit, as she filled out four job applications. "They (Katrina victims) need jobs. But I need a job. Bad."
I recently finished reading Barbara Ehrenreich's new book, Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. She investigates the nightmare world of white-collar job searching--job fairs, coaches, boot camps, faith-based networking (notworking), books and web sites. Job seekers are continually encouraged to blame their job-finding problems on themselves and only themselves, rather than the corporations or the politicians or the idiot globalization pundits (yes, I mean you, Tom Friedman) who think that a system of borrowing foreign money to import foreign stuff made by low-wage foreign workers to be sold at cut-rate prices by a cut-rate sales force is just the only way to run an economy in the 21st century.

It's the Repug dream world--what few unions are left are now scabbing each other, knowing that relentless, unending unemployment is the only alternative. Ehrenreich suggests, more or less, that white-collar job seekers stop blaming themselves and organize to change this insane "system."