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U.S. nonfarm payrolls plunged 533,000 in November -- far worse than economists expected. They used words such as "almost indescribably terrible" and "dreadful" to describe the numbers, because they were much worse below the surface. Job losses in September and October were revised downward by a total of 199,000. A gauge of unemployment that takes into account discouraged workers and those whose hours have been cut back shot up to 12.5 percent. The average workweek fell to a record low of 33.5 hours in November. That's the equivalent of a loss of 300,000 jobs, according to David Rosenberg of Merrill Lynch, who has had this economic calamity accurately pegged for many months. The data suggest that the economy will contract at a 5 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter, he says. If the price of gas had not declined from $4 to below $2 a gallon, the contraction would have been 10 percent, he says. "Never before has the economy been so weak with such a de facto tax cut from lower energy prices," he says. Bottom line: this is very, very bad. (Pay no attention to the sharp rise in the stock market today. Steep bear markets, particularly in depressions, are marked by huge one-week and one-day rises or declines. It's known as panic.)

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Burwell Dec. 5, 2008 @ 8:44 p.m.

I still maintain my prediction that unemployment will hit 20% by 9/30/2009. I also predict San Diego's 2009 budget deficit will top $250 million, and 25% of the City's workforce will lose their jobs by 12/31/2009.


Burwell Dec. 5, 2008 @ 9:02 p.m.

I also predict severe social disorder as the state gradually runs out of money and is forced to cut welfare payments. Drug addicts and alcoholics will no longer have state funds to pay for their addiction and will go berserk. Massive riots will break out, particularly along the El Cajon Blvd. corridor in San Diego where many substance abusers live. Hordes of hungry and strung out rioters will march down El Cajon Blvd and pillage Mission Hills.


Don Bauder Dec. 5, 2008 @ 10:37 p.m.

Response to post #1: The unemployment rate could hit 20 percent next year, both nationally and in San Diego, but I personally consider the odds of that very slim. I agree that the City deficit will balloon and the workforce will have to be slashed drastically. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 5, 2008 @ 10:38 p.m.

Response to post #2: These are frightening scenarios you sketch. Best, Don Bauder


JF Dec. 6, 2008 @ 6:53 a.m.

Luckily, unlike zombies, strung out junkies aren't too hard to defeat. Just distribute little balloons with ground up Valium.


Ponzi Dec. 6, 2008 @ 8:56 a.m.

They may be letting Americans go, but the issuance of H-1B Visa's is still at full steam. When they replace these let go workers, many are replaced by cheaper imported workers on H-1B visas. You can go to many web sites, including this one, and find thousands of jobs for foreign workers with various work visas in the US.. http://www.myvisajobs.com/?gclid=CL7qssO5rJcCFSMgDQodFjlijQ

They companies get the US Dept. of Labor to issue these visas by saying that "they can't find enough qualified workers..."

They forget to complete the sentence though..."they can't find enough qualified workers that will work for what they can pay an H-1B applicant..."

This sham has been going on for decades bringing in from 125,000 to 500,000 foreign workers a year who will accept work for lower pay. Even during all these lay offs, the quota for H1-B's is maxed out.


Don Bauder Dec. 6, 2008 @ 9:12 a.m.

Response to post #5: JF to the rescue. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 6, 2008 @ 9:19 a.m.

Response to post #6: One effect of the phenomena you describe could be social unrest. I am concerned about that for other reasons, too. Best, Don Bauder


JohnnyVegas Dec. 6, 2008 @ 11:54 a.m.

They may be letting Americans go, but the issuance of H-1B Visa's is still at full steam. When they replace these let go workers, many are replaced by cheaper imported workers on H-1B visas.

Ponzi-do you watch Lou Dopbbs??? 4PM CNN, M-F.

Lou has been working the H1-B Visa scams for the last couple of years-and you are on the money-they put Americans OUT of work for the benefit of cheap labor for Big Busiess.


Don Bauder Dec. 6, 2008 @ 1:45 p.m.

Response to post #9: That is Dobbs's favorite topic. Best, Don Bauder


Ponzi Dec. 6, 2008 @ 5:08 p.m.

JohnnyVegas, no I do not watch Lou Dobbs. Perhaps once or twice in 10 years. I know he is an opponent of the program.

My experience comes from being inside the IT industry for 25 years and watching it transform. I would compare it to how Japan dumped cars into our market and tookover. Except with H-1B's we are having bodies dumped on us, which displace existing citizen domestic workers.

The H-1B scam works because big business and media keep the general public focused on illegal immigration taking away cheap jobs, while your distracted with that, they simply fly over hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals on visas to do work here for less money. Middle class jobs, the "real jobs that Americans want to do."

The proponents will claim there's a shortage or they "are smarter" but that is a smoke screen. That's an insult. Why do companies perform any internal practice like that? Because they can cut costs.

American companies no longer want to invest in Americans. They don't want interns, apprentices or trainees when they are allowed by our government to bring over cheap labor.


ronaldi Dec. 6, 2008 @ 5:21 p.m.

City of San Diego Management and Politicians have their heads in the sand (and very deep). Let's visit the dilemma of a few of years ago: Pension fund $1.4 billion under funded and several employees charged with crimes relating to this very big problem. Now let's visit today's problems: Pension fund $2.8 billion under funded, the employees charged with related crimes still pending trial and the City cutting services. With this track record, in 3 more years, the pension fund will be $5.6 billion under funded, no one punished for this mess and the citizens will likely have trash stacked on the street in front of their houses.

It was especially dishartened to see San Diego vote Mike Aguirre out of office and vote in another Republican rubber stamp for City Attorney. I suggest that the citizens of San Diego lift their heads out of the sand, buy shovels and help dig out the City Politicians and Management.

These circumstances will require major concessions by employee unions or the City filing for bankruptcy. Wait a minute - maybe a new downtown City Hall and Library will solve the problem?


JohnnyVegas Dec. 6, 2008 @ 5:53 p.m.

Ponzi-I agree with you 100% about the Visa scams.

America has like 12 different VISA programs, the H-1B just one of them.

Bill Gates says there are not enough programers-but the true reason is because Gates and Big Business can pay much less in wages and benefits to foriegn nationals-and this meltdown is a direct cause of outsourcing American jobs-whch the H-1B does except the outsourcing happens right here, with foriegn nationals.


Don Bauder Dec. 6, 2008 @ 7:58 p.m.

Response to post #11: How can we boost domestic employment with such programs billowing? Sure, the programs help boost profits, but can't corporations put workers' welfare first? The more profits are boosted, the more outrageous CEO salaries become. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 6, 2008 @ 8:02 p.m.

Response to post #12: You make excellent points. City officials clearly violated state and federal laws. Nothing has happened and I get the idea the courts are stalling. City workers' salaries and pensions are out of control. The mayor and council are doing nothing -- except, as you point out, plotting for more development projects. It borders on lunacy. Best, Don Bauder


Don Bauder Dec. 6, 2008 @ 8:03 p.m.

Response to post #13: Gates means that there aren't enough programmers willing to work for extremely low wages so Microsoft can boost profits. Best, Don Bauder


californiascreaming Dec. 8, 2008 @ 2:24 p.m.

I think the Obama/Bush/Bernanke Plan is the same. Their solution is to throw so much money at the problem to overheat the economy. Their attitude is better to have an overheated economy than no economy at all. I believe this is the reason Paul Volcker was selected. He strangled inflation with his out of control interest rates. Therefore he wants to create 1979-1982 all over again. But this time we have a huge 11 Trillion Dollar debt. Our society does not save and I think we will ultimately have hyperinflation. Obama will not allow economy to hit 8% unemployment with all the money being thrown at it. However, I think ultimately it will not work and we will be in a depression.


Don Bauder Dec. 8, 2008 @ 3:49 p.m.

Response to post #17: What frightens me is that it is an overwhelming consensus -- both Democrats and Republicans, left and right of center -- believing that we have to throw piles of money at the problem. The purportedly conservative Republican administration has already tossed $8.4 trillion at it. Similarly, it was an overwhelming consensus that considered it urgently necessary to overthrow Glass-Steagall and deregulate the financial system. The result was the greed-obsessed orgy that led to the mess we are now in. And people like Larry Summers, who won't admit he was wrong, are now joining the Obama administration. Ditto for Geithner. At least, Geithner can be cross-examined at his confirmation hearings. However, he probably won't be. The members of the committees also overwhelmingly felt that deregulation was essential. Best, Don Bauder


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