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Makework Stories, Jan-Jun, 2002


12/28/2002  1 makework case found in Wall Street Journal (WSJ) &/or New York Times (NYT) -

12/12/2002  1 makework case found in Wall Street Journal (WSJ) &/or New York Times (NYT) - 12/03/2002  1 makework case found in Wall Street Journal (WSJ) &/or New York Times (NYT) - 11/25/2002  1 makework case found in Wall Street Journal (WSJ) &/or New York Times (NYT) -
  1. Massive federal R&D initiative to fight terror is under way, by Bob Davis, WSJ, A4.
    WASHINGTON - A Pentagon project to build a computer system to sift through billions of consumer records for clues to terrorist activity gives privacy adocactes fits. But it is just the start of a lavish federal research and development [R&D] effort shaped by 9/11/01. In all, the federal government will likely spend about $115B on R&D in the year ending Sept. 30, far more than Japan and the 15 [now 25 (12/13/2002)] European Union governments will spend collectively....
    [Massive Republican makework, funneled, as is usual with "conservatives," through the military. They will do anything before giving the Palestinians justice, and reigning in the hawks that have taken over Israel and made it one of the premier racist states in the world today. Note the squib on the front page today -]
    What's news - ... World-wide, WSJ, front page.
    ...• Israel barred Church of the Nativity services after retaking Bethlehem in response to last week's bus bombing.... Two Islamic Jihad suicide attackers wounded 4 Israeli sailors with a bomb-laden boat on Saturday. ...
    [And with all the fuss about nuclear-weapon potential in Iraq and Iran and other Islamic nations, the "impartial" USA has never mentioned nuclear-weapon potential in Israel, which has never opened itself to UN inspectors. Perhaps this one-sidedness explains the sentence we clipped from the middle of the above squib: "Israel said its forces mistakenly killed a UN official near Jenin Friday." So injustice, one-sidedness and racism are big tools of makework advocates to keep massive military spending motivated.]

  2. [A related makework story today -]
    Small firms see promise in homeland security - Small-stock focus, by Karen Talley, Dow Jones Newswires via WSJ, C8.
    NEW YORK - Many small companies are counting on the Dept. of Homeland Security, which pResident Bush is expected to sign into law this week. The agency is one of the first embodiments of the administration's effort to hand out more government contracts to small businesses.... But it won't be easy for them because federal procurement practices have historically favored large companies, and it's hard to change practices in Washington, even under a presidential mandate. ... The Homeland Security Dept. [is] expected to spend billions of dollars over the next several years in an effort to make the country safe....
    [As we said in comments on the above article, the plutocrats running the biggest world "democracy" will do ANYthing but follow the Hebrew Bible, which says, "Let justice flow down as waters, and righteousness as an ever-flowing stream." (Amos 5:24.) Massive technological efforts and monetary outlays - with no taxpayer input - in response to an act of terrorism that relied only on $4.95 boxcutters and "got lucky" when the buildings unexpectedly collapsed. The desperate grasping for alternatives to simply sharing the vanishing work scurry on.]

11/21/2002  1 makework case found in Wall Street Journal (WSJ) &/or New York Times (NYT) - 11/10/2002  1 makework case - 10/30/2002  1 makework case found in Wall Street Journal (WSJ) &/or New York Times (NYT) - 10/29/2002  1 makework case reported in Wall Street Journal (WSJ) &/or New York Times (NYT) - 10/25/2002  1 makework case reported in Wall Street Journal (WSJ) &/or New York Times (NYT) - 10/11/2002  1 makework case reported in Wall Street Journal (WSJ) or New York Times (NYT) - 10/01/2002  1 makework case reported in Wall Street Journal (WSJ) or New York Times (NYT) - 9/25/2002  1 makework case reported in Wall Street Journal (WSJ) or New York Times (NYT) - 9/17/2002  1 makework case reported in Wall Street Journal (WSJ) or New York Times (NYT) - 9/15/2002  1 makework case reported in Wall Street Journal (WSJ) or New York Times (NYT) - 9/12/2002  1 makework case reported in New York Times (NYT) or Wall Street Journal (WSJ) - 9/07/2002  1 makework case reported in New York Times (NYT) or Wall Street Journal (WSJ) - 9/02/2002  1 makework case reported in New York Times (NYT) or Wall Street Journal (WSJ) - 8/29/2002  1 makework case reported in New York Times (NYT) or Wall Street Journal (WSJ) - 8/19/2002  1 makework case reported in New York Times (NYT) or Wall Street Journal (WSJ) - 8/8/2002  1 makework case reported in New York Times (NYT) or Wall Street Journal (WSJ) - 8/06/2002  1 makework case reported in New York Times (NYT) or Wall Street Journal (WSJ) - 6/29/2002  2 makework cases reported in New York Times (NYT) -
  1. Talks in Mexico push regional growth, by Ginger Thompson, NYT, A3.
    The presidents of Mexico and Central America [yester]day reiterated their commitment to a regional development plan aimed at stimulating their struggling economies as they ended a two-day summit meeting in the southern Mexican state of Yucatan.... Projections for Plan Puebla-Panama include $5.5B in infrastructure spending - $1.5B in Mexico, the rest in Central America..\..
    The plan...calls on leaders to commit public funds and to pursue private financing to build roads, airports, railways and energy installations across a region that is largely cut off from the "advances" [our quotes - ed.] of globalization.... Critics of Puebla-Panama [say] a rush of foreign development [will] lead to the destruction of environmental reserves and the exploitation of the region's Indians....

  2. Mexico is attracting a better class of factory in its South, by Ginger Thompson, NYT, A3.
    The numbers add up to doom for cheap labor, one of Mexico's most marketable commodities since World War II. In the last two years, some 280,000 jobs have vanished with the closure of more than 350 maquiladoras, the foreign-owned assembly plants that manufacture for export everything from blue jeans to blenders, televisions to toys.... The closing of so many maquiladoras reflects the harsh economics of globalization.... Cheap as Mexico's labor is, it is not as cheap as that in Asia or Eastern Europe. They now attract the kind of manufacturing that sprang up here, first along the border with the U.S. and then farther south, in places like [Merida, a] balmy part of the Yucatan peninsula .\..
    So Mexico has embarked [on] an effort to attract a new kind of maquiladora, one that requires more skilled workers and will , the government hopes, offer more satisfying, stable jobs....
    [The apologists for makework, starting with Tugwell, always make ambitious allusions to how "satisfying" their artificial jobs are going to be. But they just never create enough of them to reverse the prevailing labor surplus and the market-starving funneling of wealth and income. And Mexico still doesn't get it. It's still travelling the ambitious but futile makework route instead of going for modest but feasible sharework. It's still awhoring after Rex Tugwell and his "Industrial Discipline and the Governmental Arts" (1933) instead of reading the handwriting on the wall of "governmental interference and industrial control" remarked by Art Dahlberg in his "Jobs, Machines and Capitalism" (1932).]
    One such beacon of hope is...a subsidiary of an Ohio-based company that produces airplane parts for GE. ...Said Patricio Patron, governor of the state of Yucatan..."We want to give opportunities to higher level factories - and some are beginning to come." Nonbelievers say such sentiments are wishful thinking. They note the number of high-tech factories that have opened is relatively small and say Mexico's poor education system [is inadequate] for highly skilled jobs....
6/18/2002  1 makework case reported in New York Times (NYT) or Boston Globe (BG) - 4/30/2002  1 makework case reported in New York Times (NYT) or Boston Globe (BG) - 4/09/2002  2 makework cases reported in New York Times (NYT) or Boston Globe (BG) -
  1. Bush pushes volunteerism...by Elizabeth Bumiller, NYT, A23.
    KNOXVILLE, Tenn...- Bush made a speech here to promote his new national volunteer corps.... Citizen Corps [is] a part of the national volunteer program that he first announced in his State of the Union address. Citizen Corps is to recruit and train retired doctors and healthcare workers for emergencies.
    [Many of these people have no pension to speak of anyway, so this gets them out of the generally candidate-swamped job market - although the way healthcare has slipped into megahours in this country, IT'S going to be one big emergency soon with zero job candidates. Us Canucksters don't like to gloat (much), but, guess what bunch of swaggering fat-brained morons it was who, until recently, were yelling and screaming about how great their private non-universal healthcare system was???]
    In a separate program called Operation TIPS - for Terrorism Information and Prevention System - the administration plans to enlist truckers, letter carriers, ship captains and others in reporting suspicious activity to the authorities....
    [Oh great. What a formula for a witch hunt!]
    "Without..\..guidelines to protect privacy and constitutional rights...the program has the potential to entirely circumvent probably cause and warrant requirements as well as promote vigilantism," said Rachel King, a legislative counsel for..\..the American Civl Liberties Union...in a statement....

  2. [and yet another group of good-intentioned American pols are trying to siphon off excess labor into voluntary slavery -]
    Michigan: Promoting national service bill, by Jeremy Peters, NYT, A25.
    Senators John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Evan Bayh, Democrat of Indiana, started a series of town meetings to promote their national service bill at the University of Michigan, birthplace of the Peace Corps. The bill would expand AmeriCorps to 250,000 members from 50,000 and encourage military service with an $18,000 bonus after 18 months of active duty and 18 months of reserve duty.
    [Well, that's one way of taking care of the floods of college graduates that our outdated economy, with its inrushing robots and frozen 1940-era workweek, can't absorb. See "Have degree, may travel - Many recent graduates of Boston-area schools would like to stick around - But with today's harsh economy, it's not easy," by Beth Greenberg, 4/07/2002 Boston Globe, City Weekly 1. Smarter, however, would be to modernize the economy with a flexible market-oriented worksharing system and spread the vanishing work.]

4/01/2002  1 makework case reported in New York Times (NYT) or Boston Globe (BG) -

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