Daily Digest

Daily Digest 11/13 - Overview Of MF Global's Demise, Time Runs Short For Euro, Why Americans Won't Do Dirty Jobs

Sunday, November 13, 2011, 10:45 AM
  • Background, Impacts & Solutions to MF Global's Demise
  • Even as Governments Act, Time Runs Short for Euro
  • Berlusconi Bravado No Match for Euro-Region Debt Crisis
  • After a Romney Deal, Profits and Then Layoffs
  • Senate OKs Bill To Boost Hiring Of Veterans
  • Why Americans Won't Do Dirty Jobs
  • EDF fined €1.5m for spying on Greenpeace
  • Young Farmers Find Huge Obstacles to Getting Started

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Economy

Background, Impacts & Solutions to MF Global's Demise (June C.)

The failure of MF Global directly contributed to the loss of approximately 2,800 jobs or more during this period of already high unemployment. But, the unnecessarily slow speed of this bankruptcy process will cause the loss of even more jobs as it directly damages other brokerage firms, investment advisors, and commodity consumers and producers. In fact, the only person served by the current bankruptcy process is the Trustee who has already submitted bills to the MF Global estate at $891/hour for his time and an average of approximately $500/hour for his staff. This is the same Trustee that spent 3 years working on the Lehman bankruptcy and billed the estate over $160 million dollars despite not returning any customer funds.

Even as Governments Act, Time Runs Short for Euro (jdargis)

Looming over all the discussions of reform and financing mechanisms is the slowdown in the Continent’s already anemic growth rate, to 0.5 percent in 2012, and even the threat of a double-dip recession, the European Commission said in a forecast for the euro zone last week.

Berlusconi Bravado No Match for Euro-Region Debt Crisis (jdargis)

The mix of bombast and aplomb Berlusconi displayed at Cannes partly explains his appeal to Italians, who helped turn the billionaire media mogul and former lounge singer into Italy’s longest-serving prime minister and the dominant figure in Italian politics for almost two decades.

After a Romney Deal, Profits and Then Layoffs (jdargis)

At Bain Capital’s direction, Dade quadrupled the money it owed creditors and vendors. It took steps that propelled the business toward bankruptcy. And in waves of layoffs, it cut loose 1,700 workers in the United States, including Brian and Christine Shoemaker, who lost their jobs at a plant in Westwood, Mass. Staggered, Mr. Shoemaker wondered, “How can the bean counters just come in here and say, Hey, it’s over?”

Senate OKs Bill To Boost Hiring Of Veterans (jdargis)

The nation has been quick to tell veterans how grateful it is. Nine in 10 veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan told Pew researchers someone has thanked them for their service. At the same time, 84 percent say the public doesn't understand the problems that military families face. Longtime war correspondent Tom Ricks says he worries about the widening gap between the 1 percent of Americans who now fight U.S. wars and the 99 percent who are increasingly detached from military service.

Why Americans Won't Do Dirty Jobs (jdargis)

It’s a common complaint in this part of Alabama. A few miles down the road, Chad Smith and a few other farmers sit on chairs outside J&J Farms, venting about their changed fortunes. Smith, 22, says his 85 acres of tomatoes are only partly picked because 30 of the 35 migrant workers who had been with him for years left when the law went into effect. The state’s efforts to help him and other farmers attract Americans are a joke, as far as he is concerned. “Oh, I tried to hire them,” Smith says. “I put a radio ad out—out of Birmingham. About 15 to 20 people showed up, and most of them quit. They couldn’t work fast enough to make the money they thought they could make, so they just quit.”

EDF fined €1.5m for spying on Greenpeace (jdargis)

Its head of nuclear production security in 2006, Pascal Durieux, was given a three-year sentence with two years suspended, and a €10,000 fine for commissioning the spying. The Nanterre court also sentenced the security No 2 in 2006, Pierre-Paul François, to three years, 30 months suspended.

EDF has also been ordered to pay €500,000 in damages to Greenpeace.

Young Farmers Find Huge Obstacles to Getting Started (jdargis)

Similar stories prompted the National Young Farmers’ Coalition, a new group that has grown out of the Hudson Valley in New York, to survey more than 1,000 young farmers nationwide in an effort to identify the pitfalls that are keeping a new generation of Americans from going into agriculture.

“Everyone wants young farmers to succeed — we all know that,” said Lindsey Lusher Shute, who oversaw the survey. “But no one was addressing this big elephant in the room, which was capital and land access.”

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17 Comments

littlefeatfan's picture
littlefeatfan
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 20 2009
Posts: 141
Shock Doctrine in Europe

The "Shock Doctrine" is clearly at work again. Look at Italy's new leader’s credentials, probably Mario Monti http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Monti

Monti is the first chairman of Bruegel, a European think tank founded in 2005, and he is European Chairman of the Trilateral Commission, a think tank founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller.[4] He is also a leading member of the Bilderberg Group.[5] Monti is an international adviser to Goldman Sachs and The Coca-Cola Company.[6]

In Greece the new PM Lucas Papademos served on the Federal Reserve of Boston! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucas_Papademos He has served as Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in 1980. He joined the Bank of Greece in 1985 as Chief Economist, rising to Deputy Governor in 1993 and Governor in 1994. During his time as Governor of the national bank, Papademos was involved in Greece's transition from the drachma to the euro as its national currency.[4] After leaving the Bank of Greece in 2002, Papademos became the Vice President to Jean-Claude Trichet at the European Central Bank from 2002 to 2010. In 2010 he left that position to serve as an advisor to Prime Minister George Papandreou.[4] He has been a member of the Trilateral Commission since 1998.[5]

You can't make this stuff up, the Banksters are now just out right stealing governments and will perpetuate debt slavery and socialize their losses. 

 

http://market-ticker.org/post=197458  Now the EFSF is buying its own debt

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/efsf-denies-it-illegal-pyramid-scheme  EFSF denies it is an illegal pyramid scheme

Doug's picture
Doug
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Posts: 3125
Migrant labor

"Tom Surtees is tired of hearing employers grouse about their lazy countrymen. “Don’t tell me an Alabamian can’t work out in the field picking produce because it’s hot and labor intensive,” he says. “Go into a steel mill. Go into a foundry. Go into numerous other occupations and tell them Alabamians don’t like this work because it’s hot and it requires manual labor.” The difference being, jobs in Alabama’s foundries and steel mills pay better wages—with benefits. “If you’re trying to justify paying someone below whatever an appropriate wage level is so you can bring your product, I don’t think that’s a valid argument,” Surtees says."

Of course.  It's simple supply and demand.  Americans will do any kind of work if you give them a liveable wage and some benefits.  There is so much hypocricy around this subject that it sickens me, and it has sickened me for a long time because the clearly illegal system has been openly in place for generations.  The farmers spoken of in part of that article were sitting around grousing about not being able to find workers to pick their tomatoes.  Why don't they stop grousing and go pick themselves?  Too hard?  Too bad.

Of course if the farmworker positions weren't filled by illegals, then the farmers would have to pay a legal wage, OSHA would come snooping around and discover the often brutal working conditions and workers might start organizing.  That's what built the American middle class.  Living wages, decent working conditions and the chance for the next generation to do better.  That's gone folks.  Farmers and the factories that employee illegals need to get a grip and start obeying basic American labor law.  Of course prices will go up, but that's the way the so-called free enterprise system is supposed to work.  If you price yourself out of the market, then either change your business plan or go out of business.  The businesses that depend on illegals have had it easy for a very long time.  They should be called what they are, criminals.

The truth is that the dawning public attention to this problem is an early (or not so early) sign of where we as a culture are going.  Stuff, including the food on our dinner table, is going to cost more and we are being squeezed by job losses and disappearing income, not to mention what more expensive energy is going to do to the whole food industry.  We better get our gardens and farmers' markets going.  We're going to need them.

Doug

PeggyMD's picture
PeggyMD
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Young Farmers

Just because these young farmers want to till the land, doesn't mean that society should be responsible for their perhaps unsuccessful businesses.  If they wanted to sell beads on a city street or have their wildlife photos support themselves, they would run up against the reality of the market economy.  Agriculture should not be any different.  These coddled kids with high esteem focused schools are too insulated from reality.  If it won't pay, it won't pay.  That's not someone else's responsibility.  Find another area to make it pay, don't have your hand OUT!  Work for one of those 57 year old farmers and take over their business, once you learn it, because their children have no interest in the committement and all the WORK.  And most of the agricultural market is not organic, it is big business.  Just because you want to do it, doesn't mean society owes you a living at doing it, i.e, running a nice little organic farm.  Gee, do you think there should be more subsidies for cowboy poetry...anything you want to do, you can do and get paid for it.  Nice world, if you can find it.

 

rhare's picture
rhare
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Misplaced indignation - artificially high wages
Doug wrote:

Americans will do any kind of work if you give them a liveable wage and some benefits.  There is so much hypocricy around this subject that it sickens me, and it has sickened me for a long time because the clearly illegal system has been openly in place for generations.

Yeah right!  Americans will do easy work for high wages because that's what we have all be trained to expect.  We are all living way above our means and that means artificially inflated labor prices that will soon correct.  Through regulation (minimum wage laws, OSHA, benefits, insurance, etc) have artificially inflated wages higher than they would be in the open market.  

Doug wrote:

Of course prices will go up, but that's the way the so-called free enterprise system is supposed to work.  If you price yourself out of the market, then either change your business plan or go out of business.  The businesses that depend on illegals have had it easy for a very long time.  They should be called what they are, criminals.

You are quite right, and the artificially high labor prices will force those remaining manual production type jobs out of business.  I suspect we will no longer grow any food that can't be automatically harvested in this country.  All that production will move to foreign countries, just like many of the manufacturing industries.  So we will become more dependent on foreign countries and their cheap labor to support our artificially high standard of living.

Great until we no longer have the worlds reserve currency and we discover that we can no longer afford any of those goods, yet no longer produce them in country.  We will have lost much of the farmland and the know how that was built up over generations.

So yeah, you can be indignant about the farmers that have hung on via cheap labor, but when they are gone it's going to be a real problem.  I prefer to look at it that we have destroyed ourselves by pursuing this illusion of good wages without the equivalent work.  LIke it or not, we will have to complete on a global scale.  While we probably would have had to anyway due to our need for foreign energy supplies, now that we have lost much of our internal capability we rely on foreign trade even more.  So better start accepting we are going to have much lower wages (at least in real value).  It would be nice if that would be recognized before we can't feed ourselves.

 

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doorwarrior
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rhare wrote: Yeah right! 

rhare wrote:

Yeah right!  Americans will do easy work for high wages because that's what we have all be trained to expect.  We are all living way above our means and that means artificially inflated labor prices that will soon correct.  Through regulation (minimum wage laws, OSHA, benefits, insurance, etc) have artificially inflated wages higher than they would be in the open market.

Recently I tried to fill a new position in my small business. I have eleven employess and the shortest time any of them has worked for me is three  years. The job paid $50K per year with benefits. All that was required was a high school diploma , clean driving record, drug free, and a hard work ethic. I hired and fired 23 people in three months until I found someone that met those requirements. I ran into all types of problems with these people but the underlying problem was that they thought they were doing me a favor by working for me. So even if you give people a good paying job with benefits they still want more, or will do less. The average american these days is not worth my respect.

Rich

butterflywoman's picture
butterflywoman
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hi folks yep farming is just

hi folks

yep farming is just one of the things that is changing....to what- we are not sure yet but there are many aspects of how we grow food for the world that are now changing, including work force. some for the good some not so good.

i've been growing my own food and it's alot of hard work and alot of times things have to be done when i am not really wanting to go do them. but if i don't do it, it doesn't get done, would i do it for someone else....most likely not especially not for someone who doesn't have a clue of what is involved or undervalues what i have done

i've been taking this year  to continue to "practice" what i'm sure i will depend on someday. yes , today it would be alot easier to go to the store and buy a can of corn than to grow it myself, but then i don't get realistic information do it? i get the status quo, which isn't gonna help me one bit down the road.

i think we need to worry less about how others work, and focus on how we plan to get our own food. i want to know exactly what i can do and what i can't do before this whole shabang collapses

how things are valued and what is valued is going to change quite a bit in the coming days...

alot of americans are going to starve to death in the future as they sit on their porches talking about the lazy people who won't grow food for them anymore

.why debate among ourselves over status quo that isn't going to carry forward?

the luxury and opportunity to have an opinion is quickly becoming pointless...it's time for all of us to hoe our own row.and have  a neighbor over for dinner in the spirit of true hospitality

Mirv's picture
Mirv
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not so simple

I generally agree that we need to start growing our own food. But I disagree that plenty of Americans are available to work to replace foreigners.   I run a business and have learned to hire Asians (at the same salary) instead of Americans simply because they work much better.  Have you ever lived overseas???  Japanese work at least twice as hard (simple things like delivering mail, picking up garbage, answering the phone is MUCH faster and more efficient when done by an asian ).  I have tried hiring Americans but have found that Japanese are much faster and more efficient .  Anyone who has lived and worked in Asia will easily understand what I am saying...... Please be objective and open your mind.  We are a little spoiled over here.  If you dont see that then you are missing a big part of reality.  Americans are spoiled.  Sorry but that is the truth.  If we had to compete on a level playing field, Americans  would lose drastically.......................

patrickhenry's picture
patrickhenry
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Mirv wrote: I generally
Mirv wrote:

I generally agree that we need to start growing our own food. But I disagree that plenty of Americans are available to work to replace foreigners.   I run a business and have learned to hire Asians (at the same salary) instead of Americans simply because they work much better.  Have you ever lived overseas???  Japanese work at least twice as hard (simple things like delivering mail, picking up garbage, answering the phone is MUCH faster and more efficient when done by an asian ).  I have tried hiring Americans but have found that Japanese are much faster and more efficient .  Anyone who has lived and worked in Asia will easily understand what I am saying...... Please be objective and open your mind.  We are a little spoiled over here.  If you dont see that then you are missing a big part of reality.  Americans are spoiled.  Sorry but that is the truth.  If we had to compete on a level playing field, Americans  would lose drastically.......................

 

Mirv - if the 50% of American who are collecting something from the government suddently didn't have that, they would quickly find their work ethic.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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reality
patrickhenry wrote:

 

Mirv - if the 50% of American who are collecting something from the government suddently didn't have that, they would quickly find their work ethic.

And the other 50%?  Suicide?  I think WTSHTF so many people will be unable to deal with reality, that reality will deal with them.

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TANSTAAFL, But We Pay For Two Lunches

There is no incentive to raise wages in agriculture when illegal immigrants are willing to work hard for low pay in order to get free services for themselves and their children. But we pay for those services in other ways.

A pair of illegal immigrant parents may work for minimum wage on a farm field, but they can get free hospital care and delivery ($10,000 for a natural birth), and then the babies qualify for welfare, food stamps, WIC. And then from K-12, school districts spend an average of $10,000 per student per year to deliver a free public school education (teachers, staff, admins, classrooms, facilities, playgrounds, libraries, equipment, textbooks, materials, etc.) and that doesn't include the free school lunches. By the time the child of an illegal alien graduates from high school, over $120,000 has been spent on their education.

So an illegal immigrant-headed family of four may earn $25,000 per year (seasonal work) - a large chunk of which is remitted overseas - but can also easily get over $30,000+ in additional government assistance (including education)... Aid that is paid for by everyone else with much higher property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, health insurance and medical expenses, etc. All to make labor costs cheaper for farmers and disguise the cost of food for supermarkets that can often mark up products by 50% to 100% for corporate expenses and profits). All to make other costs cheaper in other industries, with profits to flow to the corporate bottom line (meat packing, construction, etc.)

But ultimately, the "cheap" food and goods and services we buy isn't really cheap. It's paid for by property taxes, income taxes, sales taxes, high health care costs, policing and incarceration costs, that are subsidizing that "cheap" food, etc. It's also paid for when millions of displaced American workers are collecting unemployment insurance, welfare, food stamps, policing and incarceration costs, etc.

We should not be paying twice: once for an illegal alien worker and societal costs to subsidize to him and his family, while ALSO paying for an idled American worker and societal costs to subsidize him and his family. If American farm workers made more and could work slower and easier, food and other goods and services would cost more. But other costs to society could also be much lower. We would also have fewer unemployment problems.

Poet

taxed2death's picture
taxed2death
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doug, i hear you,however as

doug,

i hear you,however as a small business owner i have to say,"Stop blaming people who want to be in business(i.e. profit)!"

End the Federal Reserve,End Federal Income Tax,etc...Then we can talk.

the cost of the dow,of fuel,mortgage rates,or the price of milk doesnt matter until we decide to resume trading money instead of this paper we call

the dollar.

buy some money,

capt. insano

rhare's picture
rhare
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It's all about the manipulation....
Poet wrote:

There is no incentive to raise wages in agriculture when illegal immigrants are willing to work hard for low pay in order to get free services for themselves and their children. But we pay for those services in other ways.

A pair of illegal immigrant parents may work for minimum wage on a farm field, but they can get free hospital care and delivery ($10,000 for a natural birth), and then the babies qualify for welfare, food stamps, WIC. And then from K-12, school districts spend an average of $10,000 per student per year to deliver a free public school education (teachers, staff, admins, classrooms, facilities, playgrounds, libraries, equipment, textbooks, materials, etc.) and that doesn't include the free school lunches. By the time the child of an illegal alien graduates from high school, over $120,000 has been spent on their education.

Ding. Ding. Ding.  Exactly ... It's this market manipulation all around that causes the problems.   Either though those you listed above or the abuse of the dollar to prop up the standard of living for the rest of us.  It's the manipulation of the cost of labor and goods that results in all kinds of distortions. Until we value labor and resources appropriately we will continue to make poor choices.   Those manipulations result in us sending our jobs overseas for cheap labor, or manipulation of wages so we can all afford those cheap ipads.

Doug was complaining about one half of the equation - the lower wages for farm workers, while not realizing all the manipulation on the other side that artificially inflates most of the other wages in this country.    The devaluation of the dollar and rising prices are really just a reflection of the manipulation of the dollar - and it will show how unsustainable many of the professions in our fiat based economy really are.   I suspect farming, metal work, fabrication, fix-it know how, etc. may soon become much much more valuable than knowledge of financial instruments or how to make a latte.

 

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Wendy S. Delmater
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work ethic and expectations

My step daughter is a supervisor at a fabric store and has noticed the same attitude in so many young people that they interview (and sometimes hire). It is a sort of "this job is beneath me" mentality. Unjustified pride. I think it's because many schools have been teaching self-esteem without accomplishments. And television and movies have been teaching unrealistic expecations to us and the rest of the world. My ex and my husband's ex wanted a Dallas lifestyle in what is increasingly a Waltons or Little House on the Prarie sort of world. It never was a Dallas sort of world, except on TV. Even without peak oil they were chasing an illusion.

When push comes to shove people like that will not do well

Yes, buterflywoman, at the moment it would be easier to buy that can of corn than grow it yourself, but like many of us here you are interested in food security in an increasingly changing world. It would be easier to heat our home with electricty than chop firewood, but my husband does it anyhow so we will be able to heat our home post-crash. Canning the harvest this year left me so tired I was shaking at times, but I pushed through my exhaustion because it needed to be done. All of these skills take hard work to even learn.

I wonder how many of my neighbors will do the same. In the not too distant future I am concerned that they will have to work this hard or perish. Like Poet and rhare and others here I wonder -  how many of them will rise to the challenge? What no one is saying in this thread is that--for some--stealing will seem easier that the hard work required to survive honorably. Society will change, but for a time lawlessness will increase. Our ability to get more people the tools to fend for themselves honorably will help decide just how bad that lawlessness will be in each of our communities. It's that simple and that incredibly hard. I've been saving enough heirloom seeds for my neighbors - will they have the will to put them in the ground, fertilize and weed the plants, water them? Will they have the energy to dig up sweet potatoes (hard work)

We have to learn survive the turmoil, and then teach. One thing we will teach is a work ethic, to those who can learn.

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Poet said

We should not be paying twice: once for an illegal alien worker and societal costs to subsidize to him and his family, while ALSO paying for an idled American worker and societal costs to subsidize him and his family. If American farm workers made more and could work slower and easier, food and other goods and services would cost more. But other costs to society could also be much lower. We would also have fewer unemployment problems.

+1

Brilliant analysis. The whole system is dysfunctional, and trains both the employers of illegal aliens and the undocumented workers to lie as a way of life.

Doug's picture
Doug
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couple points
Quote:

i hear you,however as a small business owner i have to say,"Stop blaming people who want to be in business(i.e. profit)!"

I'm not blaming business owners who conduct their businesses legally, just those who are engaged in the black market economy of hiring illegals.  They gain an unfair advantage over those business owners who try to conduct their businesses legally.  (The fact that there are entire industries dependent on illegals is irrelevant, it just shows the domination of businesses in those industries over those who would conduct their businesses legally)  This is particularly galling when the ones hiring illegals have been abetted for generations by regulatory indifference.  Then, when they start whining because their individual states decide to crack down I'm reminded of the whiners who are deprived of whatever government entitlements they are used to collecting.  Not much sympathy.

The argument that undocumented workers will become more like American workers (i.e., slow, lazy) if they are made legal is also a non-starter.  I once had a conversation with a business owner from New Jersey who moved his business to the southern US to take advantage of lax regulations and cheap labor.  He remarked that southern business owners love to hire northerners who have moved south because they are much more industrious (i.e., harder workers, less lazy) than the southern counterparts.  However, he conceded, after about 5 years those transplants become southern in their work habits.  I found that amusing and ironically applicable to the current conversation.

Mostly, however, I just find the way we have dealt with this issue for a very long time to be the very essence of hypocrisy.  We have maintained a class of people in essential peonage because we like cheap food (and other products that rely on illegals, but mostly food). 

Doug

butterflywoman's picture
butterflywoman
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this whole thread is

this whole thread is reflective(and lots of good examples) of what happens when a society becomes too complex to make sense anymore  we are seeing/living at the stage where a society breaks up it's complexity and transitions toward simplicity

the rules are laid out and then we all choose our strategy in life.  poverty is a strategy as well as middle class as well as black market or working under the table... all are attempts to work the system that seems best to each person.this is reality and i take it into account as i proceed forward. i don't have the luxury to waste my energy on being angry with someone elses choice--this is the resilence i am learning.

theft and violence will increase

i have given up on trying to educate those around me in attempt to make it safer for me in the days to come.they don't want to know.   that is why i have a pump shot gun now  i've traded education for fortification for the time being.

i have collected various items that can be used at different stages of decay for self defense. as the ante is upped so will my response be.

trying to ask folks to play fair while they are cold and starving is like standing in the middle of the road with a semi barreling down on you and thinking it won't run you over.hungry angry people are treated like cornered snakes...i move back away from them

peaceful years have made us forget how dangerous a threat  our fellow man could become under dire situations. civility is one of the first things that gets thrown out....and it's the one thing i hope to retain and take with me into the future.

i see the whole work situation changing rapidly..i have to think beyond this system

what i have lived in is no long the same as it was 2 years ago..

i wish us all well being for the future

 

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saxplayer00o1
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.

 

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