Thursday, 17 May 2012

Federal globalism?

Federal study suggests relocating EI recipients. ... To Regina aboard a freight train ...Because Regina has the lowest unemployment rate in the country right now now (@ 3.2%). Of, course there is no mention in that number if those 3.2% are looking for good jobs or better than good jobs, since there is no such thing as a bad job anymore, nope, the government must have decreed that there are no bad jobs and now it is possibly illegal to claim that your job is BAD. I will have to consult my latest copy of 'Canadian law for dummies' to verify this claim, that is, if I can lift it.

In all of this there is no mention as to whether or not they plan to ship people across the country for work that is in their own field of study or not. If that is the case, when I next become unemployed, they will have to ship me to India, or China if that is, indeed, how they intend to run this relocation program, because I cannot technically live in the cloud™.

Of course this all calls into question how many jobs could simply telecommute to workplaces from Fredericton to Calgary every day? I could do at least 85% of my network administration from home but companies don't like this idea of not being able to watch your every move like a hawk. It isn't like being in the office doesn't lead to it's own distractions... Removing me from the office removes all those people in other cubicles from the distractions in favour of adding the cat... But since they sleep all day, that is a much reduced distraction than several dozen people converging on the water cooler or coffee maker. Most corporations do not like this idea though because they feel that is they can't see you, you must be scratching your ass all day.

I am aware that this does not mean every job could be done from the other side of the continent, so are they going to propose that more corporations hire remote employees when applicable? I am sure the answer to that is going to raise unemployment when they hire telecommuters in Bangladesh or Malaysia instead of Canada. That is how corporations operate: the government is forcing our hand right out of the country, they will claim.

So what of the manual or skilled trades which usually require the worker to be there? If corporations are forced to pay moving expenses by edict of the government they will cry foul because it hurts their bottom line, and have to raise prices to compensate, leaving it on the consumer to pay. Or they will take actions in the court or lobbyist circles leaving this moving expense to the taxpayer... Wait a minute... I am both of the people who will pay for this and I don't like it one bit.

There are other factors to consider: are we breaking up families? If I fall unemployed right now, I can only imagine how long it will be before I find a job... I've been looking for a different job for 4 years as it stands, and there are fewer now than there were 4 years ago (fewer well-paying jobs in my field, that is... I have been offered 2 in the past 4 years with a reduction in pay, and increase in workload which I laughed at). I have grand-parents, parents, siblings, and children (over whom I do not have sole custody) in this city. How long would I have to be unemployed for them to decide that I should abandon everybody and go somewhere where I do not know a single soul? or did they mean only single people without kids who's parents and siblings are either; never going to be old and infirm -- or -- all died in a car accident? So, after any single people without kids (or possibly parents or siblings) have been relocated who's next?

Is it not enough that we are slowly raising retirement age by 2 years? Frankly I suspect it will be raised a few more times before I get to 67 years old, or very possibly even before the next election.

I think some people might even want to move for a job when the economics makes sense; like including: moving expenses, relocation assistance (finding residence, schools, work for spouses, daycare, etc), and counseling for those less happy about their new home, and a salary to compensate for cost of living disparities between the old place and new one. Because I know the cost of living increases as you travel westward in Canada, and some luxuries like food rise exponentially as you travel north. 

I doubt any of this will be considered if this 'study' were to make it to the planning phase.


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