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April 28th, 2010
11:29 AM ET

Jobs and Population: Rethinking illegal immigration

Editor's Note: This article continues our series excerpted from AC360°'s contributor David Gewirtz's book, How To Save Jobs, which is available now. AC360° viewers can download it for free at HowToSaveJobs.org. To learn more about the book, follow David on Twitter @DavidGewirtz.

David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute

This article is a continuation of Jobs and population: Controlling population.

With all the hubbub coming from Arizona this week about the state's new immigration policies, I thought it might be interesting to share the results of some research I did last year on the subject.

While I was writing How To Save Jobs, I built a computer model to analyze the logistics of tracking down illegal immigrants and sending them home. The bottom line was simple: it would simply cost far too much and be logistically impractical to gather all 13 million people and send them home.

Let me be clear. Illegal immigrants are here illegally. They're violating the law.

What my analysis showed, however, is that it would cost America billions of dollars simply to move illegal immigrants back home - and that's after they were located, apprehended, and processed through the legal system.

Let's put the illegal immigration problem into perspective

There are about 13 million illegal immigrants living in the United States today. Thirteen million people is a lot of people. That's pretty much the population of the state of Illinois, or the population of New York City and Los Angeles combined. That's almost 5 percent of the population of the United States.

Assuming you could gather all the illegal immigrants, it would take 166,666 buses, more than 13 billion gallons of fuel, and about 48 million pounds of food (around 195 million meals) simply to transport them to the nearest border.

FULL POST

April 14th, 2010
12:53 PM ET

Jobs and Population: How our religious leaders can help

Editor's Note: This article continues our series excerpted from AC360°'s contributor David Gewirtz's book, How To Save Jobs, which is available now. AC360° viewers can download it for free at HowToSaveJobs.org. To learn more about the book, follow David on Twitter @DavidGewirtz.

David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute

This article is a continuation of Jobs and population: Controlling population.

The paradox, of course, is that if we don't curb our rampant population growth, the planet will not be able to support us.

This is where religious leaders can help in a way no enforced government policy like the jìhuà shengyù zhèngcè can. Religious leaders have a reach and an influence far beyond that of most political entities. Religious leaders teach values and provide guidance to their congregations.

Religious leaders make up the single most effective values-message distribution channel on the planet.

While about 15 percent of the world's population doesn't practice a religion, nearly 85 percent does. Christians and Muslims make up more than 50 percent of the world's religious practitioners. Buddhists and Hindus make up the vast majority of the remaining devout throughout the world.

Many of the world's religions rely on ancient texts to provide guidance for a modern world. While believers contend that these sacred texts reflect the philosophy of their respective divine beings, these books also represent field guides to life in ancient times, a look into society as it was millennia ago.

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April 7th, 2010
03:33 PM ET

The "true" inside story of why Barack banned the bomb

David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute

Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past few days, you know that President Obama has disclosed his plans to sharply curtail the rules of engagement for nuclear weapons.

What you may not know is the "true" story of why. That true story (with a few editorial liberties, of course) is detailed in the following timeline of the events. I know this isn’t April Fools, but this is still just for fun (sometimes the fun stories don’t occur right on April 1).

Near midnight, March 11, Israel snubs Biden

Joe Biden has just returned from Israel, a brutal 12-hour flight. Biden had been expecting to spend his flight time playing with an early release of the iPad, but Apple reneged at the last minute, so the VP had to content himself with playing Scribblenauts on his Nintendo DS.

Biden was even more cranky because Israel had effectively snubbed his diplomatic efforts, announcing a plan to build 1,600 more homes in East Jerusalem, despite Biden's desire to broker a peace.

FULL POST

March 30th, 2010
06:13 PM ET

Finding bugs in the new health care code

David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Insurance companies are not to be trusted with our health. While the Democrats are out celebrating that they finally learned what the term "majority" means, America's insurance companies are looking for loopholes.

They already found one. Even though the health care bill is 2,700 pages long, apparently the lawmakers forgot one detail: although kids can't be refused insurance because of pre-existing conditions anymore, the law wasn't written to explicitly prevent kids from being flat-out refused.

That's right. While the law's intent was to make sure kids born with birth-defects could get health care coverage, and it was written specifically so that insurance companies can't drop kids with pre-existing conditions, there are bugs in the new legal code.

Yesterday, the New York Times reported that some insurance companies were saying that there's no law that says they have to cover kids at all.

Insurance companies have one, fundamental trade skill: saying no.

FULL POST


Filed under: David Gewirtz • Health Care
March 23rd, 2010
10:27 AM ET

I actually respect the Democrats. How weird is that?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, backed by fellow Democrats, speaks at a press conference after the successful passage of health care reform in the House.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, backed by fellow Democrats, speaks at a press conference after the successful passage of health care reform in the House.

David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute

Sunday was a strange day. It took me most of the day to figure out what it was I was feeling. Turns out it was respect. Respect for the Democrats. How weird is that?

I had pretty much written the 110th Congress off as being completely ineffectual. Weak. Useless. I was ashamed of them. After all, how can you have an unbeatable majority and still lose on all your key issues?

But this weekend I saw a Democratic party that Lyndon Johnson, that wonderfully nasty old wheeler-dealer, would have been proud of.

The Dems wanted to pass health care and by golly, they actually did.

Can you imagine? The Dems actually doing something? And doing something hard. Doing something that Presidents and political parties have tried to do for a hundred years. And our Congress did it? Those woosies? Shocking.

Now, before I sing their praises too much, I need to say a few things about this health care bill. First and foremost, based on my analysis in How To Save Jobs, I'm convinced this isn't the full solution we need. As long as health care is linked to employment, and as long as every company in America has health insurance as a component of Cost of Goods Sold (unlike most industrialized nations, and even our third-world competitors), the health care problem won't be solved.

And I'm also concerned about how long some of these provisions will take to kick in. In six months, some big benefits kick in. There will be no more lifetime limits on medical coverage. People who have expensive conditions can no longer be dropped from coverage. FULL POST


Filed under: David Gewirtz • Economy • Job Market • Opinion
March 19th, 2010
11:21 AM ET

Jobs and population: controlling population

Editor's Note: This article continues our series excerpted from AC360°'s contributor David Gewirtz's book, How To Save Jobs, which is available now. AC360° viewers can download it for free at HowToSaveJobs.org. To learn more about the book, follow David on Twitter @DavidGewirtz.

David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute

There’s no doubt that as we move through the next few decades, the planet simply won’t be able to support as many people as will be born. In America alone, we need to create 2 million more jobs every year, simply to keep up with the population.

The problem of supporting a growing population becomes doubly true of hugely populous countries like China and India, which are pursuing goals to move the bulk of their population into the middle-class. China and India alone will need to consume more than 50% more energy than actually exists in the entire world.

Like issues relating to climate, population is really a world-wide issue and somehow needs to be addressed across national boundaries.

There are a variety of approaches that can be taken. These include scientific advances in generating new sources of fuel and renewable energy so our growing population doesn’t run out of power.

But, without a doubt, the planet needs to produce less people. No one likes the idea of government-imposed population control, and yet this is what China has been attempting since the late 1970s, with less than positive results.

In 1979, China instituted the jìhuà shengyù zhèngcè, unofficially known as the one-child policy. The policy restricts the number of children couples can give birth to and raise. While China claims that the program, in its first 30 years, has prevented as many births as there are people in the United States, the program is not without its serious problems.

Chinese parents who ignore the one-child policy are subject to enormous fines and heavy-handed government prosecution. As you might imagine, the rate of abortion and infanticide is off-the-charts, in part because prospective parents are often faced with no other choice than to terminate the pregnancy.

Parents who do actually go through with giving birth are often required to “dispose” of the newly born baby, according to testimony by Gao Xiao Duan (a former Chinese population control administrator) to what was then the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations human rights subcommittee in 1998.

A disturbing culture of kidnapping and black-market selling has grown out of the one-child policy. Gender roles are still strong through much of Chinese culture and some families value having a boy far more than having a girl.

This has resulted in a reduction in female children and, as Nobel Prize–winning economist Amartya Sen described, more than 100 million women are “missing” from what would have been a normal population – through abortion, infanticide, or starvation as a result of poor nutrition.

Depending on how coldly you measure it, China’s one-child policy has either been a measured success or a horrible, gruesome failure. In a country overwhelmed by population, preventing hundreds of millions of births may well have helped China manage scarce resources with more effectiveness.

But, the cost in terms of simply life itself is hard to ignore. Children being kidnapped, never to be seen again by their parents, infants being put to death, families forced to starve in order to pay the fines required to keep a beloved child - all of these are chilling effects that no one wants to see in a civilized world.

Follow David on Twitter at @DavidGewirtz.

Editor’s note: David Gewirtz is Director of the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute and Editor-in-Chief of the ZATZ magazines. He is a leading Presidential scholar specializing in White House email. He is a member of FBI InfraGard, the Cyberterrorism Advisor for the International Association for Counterterrorism & Security Professionals, a columnist for The Journal of Counterterrorism and Homeland Security, and has been a guest commentator for the Nieman Watchdog of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. He is a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley extension, a recipient of the Sigma Xi Research Award in Engineering and was a candidate for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Letters.


Filed under: David Gewirtz • Economy • Job Market
March 9th, 2010
01:42 PM ET

Is Boeing's all-but-assured tanker bid as good for America as it seems?

David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute

You may not know it, but yesterday the earth shook in America's military-industrial complex. The largest procurement deal in Air Force history now seems a lock for Seattle-based Boeing.

This is a story of American lives and livelihood, where nothing is truly as it seems.

Let's first look at what's at stake. When American military planes fly long distances, they need to be refueled in the air. This extremely dangerous dance is part of what gives America its advantage in the skies, but many of the KC-135 tankers we use are 50-years-old.

For the past decade, the Air Force has been trying to buy itself some new tankers. The price tag is the single largest in Air Force history, ranging from some $35 billion up to $100 billion dollars.

As you might imagine, with up to $100 billion at stake, a lot of companies will want a piece of the action. And it's here that things start to get ugly.

Boeing was America's favorite. But the European maker, Airbus, had some innovative design features that might make for a better solution. Of course, Airbus is European, so selling that kind of outsourcing wasn't easy.

FULL POST


Filed under: David Gewirtz • Economy • Job Market
March 8th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

Jobs and population: Can our big companies create enough jobs?

Editor's Note: This article continues our series excerpted from AC360°'s contributor David Gewirtz's book, How To Save Jobs, which is available now. AC360° viewers can download it for free at HowToSaveJobs.org. To learn more about the book, follow David on Twitter @DavidGewirtz.

David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute

Seventeen million people still need work. That's a lot of people. Add to that the ever-changing numbers from our current financial crisis: as of spring 2009, seven million jobs were lost. That's a lot more people looking for work.

Here the Bureau of Labor Statistics mucks with the unemployment numbers a bit, which is subject to raging debate among the talking heads.

BLS tends to not count every unemployed person. Those who are unemployed and have simply given up don't show up in BLS's estimates of the number of unemployed citizens. They call these folks "discouraged workers and others marginally attached to the labor force." Special.

As of the first quarter in 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us there are 2.1 million of these "discouraged workers" and another 13.5 million workers who are unemployed, but, presumably, keeping a stiff upper lip. By 2010, it's worse.

That's 15.6 million people who need jobs. That's a lot of jobs. That's a lot of jobs we need to create.

FULL POST


Filed under: David Gewirtz • Economy • Job Market
February 23rd, 2010
03:16 PM ET

My car buying misadventures

David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute

I recently bought a new car, which was a lot harder to do than it should have been. During a nearly three-week long process, I became convinced that American car dealers are grossly incompetent when it comes to selling.

I wound up with a Ford Escape, but my intention was to buy my fifth Subaru Forester. For the Subaru dealer, this sale should have been a slam dunk. My lease was running out in a few weeks, they said I had "approved" credit, I knew precisely what I wanted (it was to be the fifth lease of the exact same model), and all I needed was paperwork faxed to me to sign.

Needless to say, it didn't work out as I'd planned.

I bought my first Subaru Forester back in New Jersey in the mid-1990s, where snow storms sometimes made it impossible to get to work without four-wheel drive. Even though I'm now in Florida, I've continued to buy Foresters because I like four-wheel drive, they fit me nicely (which is important for a big dude) and none of the four Foresters I've owned has ever had any mechanical or maintenance issues. Ever.

What broke down was the dealer network.

FULL POST


Filed under: David Gewirtz • Economy
February 19th, 2010
03:00 PM ET

Jobs and Population: Keeping up with America's population growth

Editor's Note: This article continues our series excerpted from AC360°'s contributor David Gewirtz's book, How To Save Jobs, which is available now. AC360° viewers can download it for free at HowToSaveJobs.org. To learn more about the book, follow David on Twitter @DavidGewirtz.

David Gewirtz | BIO
AC360° Contributor
Director, U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute

So far, we’ve talked about China’s and India’s population, but now let’s look specifically at the American labor force. The Bureau of Labor Statistics regularly comes up with a number that represents the civilian, non-institutional population as those individuals, 16-years-old and older, who are not institutionalized (mental health facility, hospital, prison, etc).

This civilian, non-institutional population number is key, because it reflects the number of people in America who need jobs. Obviously, not all working-age Americans will be part of the workforce. Some are house partners. Some are wealthy enough to simply enjoy life. Others live at home with Mommy and Daddy and are enjoying the slacker lifestyle for as long as they can get away with it. And others simply can’t find work.

My goal with this book is to help create an America where every person who wants a job can get one. The number of people who make up the U.S. civilian, non-institutional population number gives us the number of jobs that need to exist for everyone who wants a job to have a job.

Therefore, this number is very, very important.

If you ever want to have a partisan fight, here’s a great topic: the number of jobs created during a President’s administration. As you might imagine, the party in power will claim success and the party not in power will claim the other side did a terrible job.

FULL POST

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