What happens to workers when jobs leave for good?

WASHINGTON — Over the last year, out-of-work Americans, already down on their luck, have had to endure a barrage of unsympathetic, even mean-spirited, criticism from several of their elected representatives. Many Republicans, especially, have portrayed the jobless as either shiftless deadbeats too lazy to look for work or pompous failures too proud to take a job beneath their social standing.

Neither analysis is an accurate reflection of the desolate landscape in which many American workers find themselves. Surely those Republicans know that the unemployment rate has been stuck near ten percent for a year and a half; there are about five applicants for every job opening.

And, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said recently on “60 Minutes,” we’re unlikely to see a flush economy for several more years. That’s because the recent recession, brought on by Wall Street excesses, isn’t the only culprit.

For decades now, globalization and technology have been grinding away at American jobs, a process which has gained speed of late. And most of those jobs are never coming back.

Take my southern Alabama hometown. Best known as the  setting for Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” it was never a prosperous place, but its textile mills and pulpwood plants used to provide a decent living for working-class residents.

The textile company now known as VF Corporation brought factories to Monroeville in the 1930s, providing paychecks to women (mostly) from the white working-class. By the 1970s, black women were also employed at its sewing machines, making Vanity Fair underwear sold in well-known department stores.

By the 1980s, Parsons & Whittemore Enterprises, one of the world’s largest producers of pulp for paper-making, was operating several mills in Monroe County. Its Alabama River Companies became the local standard for good wages. In 2000, Medline, a huge manufacturer and distributor of health care products and hospital scrubs, opened a small facility that seemed to promise a semblance of security.

But times have changed. The sewing mills have largely moved to low wage countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh. Medline closed its Monroeville facility, though it has expanded its operations in Mexico and other locales.

For its part, the pulp business has been buffeted by such disparate technology-related trends as the decline of newspapers (a huge consumer of newsprint) and the rise of digital cameras (which circumvent the old print-snapshots-on paper habit). Plants have been shuttered and workers laid off. Some may eventually be re-hired, but many will not find work again that pays as well.

While the state of Alabama has an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent, lower than the national average, Monroe County has an unemployment rate of about 16 percent. Its jobless residents can knock on doors, submit applications and spend countless hours in re-training classes at the local community college, but most are unlikely to find work any time soon. If your job experience is limited to cutting and dying at a textile mill, you’ll find it difficult to remake yourself as a nurse or a computer technician.

The prospects for Monroeville’s jobless workers won’t be transformed by the deal that President Obama has struck with Republican leaders, who insisted on maintaining Bush-era tax cuts for the richest Americans. The owners of textile plants are unlikely to decide that southern Alabama has suddenly become better for business than Brazil. Nor will the hiring plans at Georgia Pacific, which bought Parsons & Whittemore’s Monroe County holdings, change because its executives keep more money in their pockets.

The best news for the unemployed all over the country is that Obama managed to wrest a year-long extension of unemployment benefits out of the deal. For those workers who have nothing else, that’s the difference between eating and going hungry, paying the heating bill and sitting in the cold.

Indeed, Congress — despite its deficit hawks and its compassion-less conservatives — needs to reconsider the old idea that unemployment benefits are a short-term lifeline that is dropped after a recession ends. This was no ordinary recession; it is an earthquake that is destroying the old economy and creating a new one in its wake.

The victims of those tectonic shifts — especially workers too old to learn a new skill or move to a new city – may need long-term, government-funded assistance. It’s not their fault that the ground suddenly shifted beneath their feet.

457 comments Add your comment

Nothing Is Free

December 8th, 2010
11:25 am

They BOTH suck

We are never going to agree about who caused this so let’s talk about fixing it. How do we do that? How do we get jobs back here?

Are unions helping to do that?

Is our minimum wage helping to do that.

Is our horrible education system helping to do that?

Is our tax structure helping to do that?

Don’t all of those things need to be drastically changed?

Do you think the democrats are going to fight the unions?

Do you see the democrats fighting to lower the minimum wage? (Neither party would touch that one)

Education is completely controlled by democrats and unions.

Who is fighting to raise taxes and who is fighting to lower them?

Both do suck, but who sucks on more issues. (It’s hard to believe that this is the topic for discussion)

Mala Cori

December 8th, 2010
11:26 am

TXM: Sure, it’s hard for the people of Monroeville to leave, but I came from the same type of pulp and paper town and left everything (my home, my family, my friends) to have a better life for myself and to not wait for a solution. Why didn’t CT stay in her home town? She knew it was a dying town.

The unions contributed to the demise of the pulp and paper towns across the country due to their inflexibility to move at a market pace (this comes from my personal experience in working in a pulp and paper mill for 10 years). Did CT ever even work in a pulp mill?. My town (which at one time had over 15 pulp and paper mills now only has one. A few year’s back one of the company’s unions wouldn’t work with the owners regarding pay cuts, so the owners shut the paper mill down in my town and moved it overseas. The workers all lost their jobs. The workers did something unique in that they pooled together and bought the paper mill (requiring that they give themselves pay cuts). 4 years later unfortunately, they went bankrupt as they didn’t know how to run a business efficiently, no matter how many cuts they gave themselves. It was too late — the owners were long gone and they didn’t have the skills to keep the place running. People need be nimble, quick thinkers, and continuous learners or you’ll be left behind.

Zeke

December 8th, 2010
11:26 am

mjj, please post the locations of these 3.5 million job openings you speak of. Cities, states, towns. I am sure a lot of folks would appreciate that.

Small Biz

December 8th, 2010
11:28 am

Thanks Butthead. Hows the Beav? MC- I cant speak to all the loopholes and breaks you describe, but you may be right. In my opinion, people who look for loopholes are simply trying to recover the taxes for which they are obligated to pay under the current system. If you convert to a consumption style tax, it is clear what you pay at time of purchase. It’s simplicity would put CPA’s out of business.

They BOTH suck

December 8th, 2010
11:29 am

@Nothing

This is not right or left. We can argue the degree of blame but fact is there is plenty to go around.

40 yrs ago the US didnt have much competition when it came to manufacturing. As China and other markets opened up, we have seen a decrease here in the States on a per-capita basis. No tax cut or decrease in wage can compete with 500.00 a month at BEST including benefits (if any) for what workers are doing it for overseas. The right might be selling you that, but it is what it is. The left needs to realize that as well when it defends unions for every single item of BS that they support.

With globalization, many in America across the board have benefited, but look at wages for the ‘middle class’. They are not keeping up with inflation. I’m not knocking the top 5%ers. Good for them and their hard work, but their increases in wages and wealth in the last 30 yrs skews the data and makes it look as if the whole country is gaining in this new economy. People can call me any name that they like, but the data speaking for itself.

How we get out of this mess to be honest is beyond my comprehension. I’m just glad, I have little to no debt, have saved money and made a few good investments

DDT

December 8th, 2010
11:30 am

Debbie22 you are obviously are way more in tune with reality than all these Fox News watching brain dead “conservatives” posting here today.

Nothing Is Free

December 8th, 2010
11:31 am

One of my biggest client ever was a paper mill.

Most moved because of the EPA. The plants were built when dumping all those acids and chemicals into the ground water was OK. It was cheaper to move to another country than upgrade their plants.

There are exceptions, but not many.

Azazel

December 8th, 2010
11:32 am

Well jobs are gone for good!. R2D2 and C3PO can do more faster better and cheaper than humans. The result of our tedchnological evaolution is that maintaining industrial society modes of thinking in a post-industrial world is an ecology where there are more people than can be supported, through employment, since the modes of production are incresingly automated.

Wow

December 8th, 2010
11:32 am

“That’s because the recent recession, brought on by Wall Street excesses, isn’t the only culprit.
For decades now, globalization and technology have been grinding away at American jobs, a process which has gained speed of late.”
Hahahahahaha! How does this woman have a job? And why do I find myself reading her stuff? Because it’s hilarious, that’s why. She can’t really believe the garbage she writes, can she?

CHIPSHIRLEY.COM

December 8th, 2010
11:33 am

I agree completely…we definitely need to continue the benefits…
===============
The water of truth and not the gasoline of politics.
AM talker defends FDR on Pearl Harbor Day OMG!
First time FDR mentioned and not denigrated on US AM in more than a decade!!!
I’m serious folks. If you’ve done your due diligence and want to talk about politics in America today you have to fully realize that AM talkers have painted an evil lie about FDR very successfully. And their trick is that they let a lot of the worst lies be told by their callers who truly become threatening at times… and the way they endorse, ‘but don’t endorse’, is that they act interested…’hmmm, well a lot of people do feel that way…good point.’ And they will react that way to thinly veiled revolutionary rhetoric, which is utterly uninformed and the hosts all know this…except maybe Sean Hannity, he’s not smart.

Anyway.
So when Tim Bryant [WGAU morning host] played FDR’s Pearl Harbor reaction (given the day after) on the 69th anniversary of the event, today, it was quite a tribute and a much needed drink of the water of truth and not the gasoline of politics.
CHIPSHIRLEY.COM

They BOTH suck

December 8th, 2010
11:34 am

@Nothing is free

No need to debate the tax issue again. Nominal rates across the board in the last 30 yrs, even if all rates would have went up next year, is much lower than previous 30yrs.

We can both show individual and corporate tax rates at different periods where GROWTH occurred and where it slowed down. My point: it is not the only factor in terms of supply and demand and a viable economy.

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 8th, 2010
11:34 am

“the recent recession, brought on by Wall Street excesses, isn’t the only culprit.”
—————————-

The recent recession was brought on by deadbeats not paying their mortgages. Homebuyers got greedy and thought real estate would go up forever.

MC

December 8th, 2010
11:34 am

Absolutely BW. When the largest areas of job growth in a country is health care and accounting you know the end is near.

SMDH

December 8th, 2010
11:34 am

And Georgia will remain azz backwards and dumb forever…..

What a bunch of idiots. YOU really THINK that keeping the Bush tax cuts will be the answer. Uhhh, the have been in place for at least 8 years and we wound up on the brink of collapse..and as much as you hate to admit it, President Obama and his administration veered us away from disaster. The ReThuglicans held the American citizens hostage to keep those tax breaks in place for the wealthy. Call it what it is, WRONG! Yes, companies moved the majority of its labor to more corporate friendly countries and EXPECT tax breaks for them sending their products back for the U.S. to consume. Hmmm, while making record profits and flushing millions of American jobs (and not just wage positions, but, management and executive level positions.)

Yes, its a ReThuglican world….we ain’t seen nothing yet….

AmVet

December 8th, 2010
11:35 am

I warned him that persistent itch of his wouldn’t go away, no matter how much leg humping he performed, didn’t I?

Addiction is an ugly thing to behold.

Also, I’ve always admired (/sarc/) at that technique of using a small d for democrats and a capital R for Republicans – “The democrats lie about caring about people and the Republicans…”

I first noted it back in the 60s when I saw some of the racist tracts of the time that referred to black men and White men.

Niiice…

Kamchak

December 8th, 2010
11:36 am

Nothing Is Free

December 8th, 2010
11:38 am

They BOTH suck

Then let’s hang it up. I agree, there is no simple solution.

The “Dirty Jobs” like steel and Paper have gone. Furniture is leaving NC and going to the orient. Our cars are decades behind even the Korean cars that we laughed at a few years ago.

I’m OK. My kids have good jobs. My old car will last a long time because it has no miles on it. (I walk to work. It’s only a few blocks rom home)

I guess I could retire to St. Croix, but how long would I enjoy doing nothing?Maybe that’s the answer. Play music in a little beach bar and make documentaries to be seen on Utube.

Small Biz

December 8th, 2010
11:39 am

Kamchak, thanks for the insight, I didnt realize there was a second book. I’m heading to the bookstore right after work. Got any stock tips?

Mala Cori

December 8th, 2010
11:39 am

I agree with most of the posters here that stupid people caused the economy to crash, not a system of government. With a free market, there are risks to any business venture you go into (including a mortgage). 8 years ago I was at one time approved for a mortgage of $600,000. With my basic high school math skills, I quickly realized the banks were crazy and that I could barely afford a home in the $150,000-$200,000 range. I bought an affordable small 2 bedroom house at a price I could manage in any economy. My co-workers and friends made fun of us at the time and thought we were cheap. Guess who’s laughing now? Every investment is a risk (even a home). If you took a big risk and lost big, it’s no one’s fault but your own. I grew up with simple values from immigrant parents where paying with real cash (not credit) was a constant message. They grew up in a war torn country, and warned that the best economies can fall in a heartbeat and that you need to be prepared (even in America). Nobody ‘lost’ a home if the bank owned in the first place. I can’t stand when the media states that people are ‘losing’ their homes. In actuality, they lost a rental agreement with a bank. As long as I have a mortage, I don’t believe I own my home. I’m paying rent to a bank while taking on all the expenses and risk. When it’s paid, I’ll breath a little (as long as taxes don’t cheat me out of my hard work).

Question...

December 8th, 2010
11:41 am

Kamchak-

What would you do to fix this mess that we’re in?

Azazel

December 8th, 2010
11:41 am

NOTHING WILL BRING BACK JOBS THAT ARE NO LONGER NECESSARY!! It’s not tax cuts, illegal aliens, outsourcing, Jack the Ripper or Freddy Krugger that have led to high unemployment — it is technology that has reduced the need for labor and changed modes of production to encapsulate labor needs into simple individual enterprises.

willie lynch

December 8th, 2010
11:43 am

Debby22

December 8th, 2010
11:21 am

Your situation is mirrored by many other Americans. It’s a sad state of affairs.

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 8th, 2010
11:44 am

Kamchak would take more from people who work for a living and give it to those who don’t.

They BOTH suck

December 8th, 2010
11:44 am

@wtf?

Bundling is not knew, so we can argue that point all day. It got out of hand with the issue you correctly pointed out. Just like no one put a gun to the borrowers head, no one made these banks and investment firms purposely hyper-inflate something they knew or should have known would burst

I have no issue saying that people were stupid for buying more than they should, but I will also say any bank that gave 250k loans with little to no money down and person make 50k didn’t need to be bailed out. They need to suck it up as well as the buyer. Problem is that more banks/investment firms, etc are getting more WELFARE than the home buyers. And yes both Parties gladly BAILED them out.

Nothing Is Free

December 8th, 2010
11:45 am

AmVet

You are pathetic. No body is humping your leg. It’s just that your ideas are so bigoted and so wrong, it is always such a pleasure to slap them down.

You say that corporations are traitors but I have never seen a single post from you or most any other liberal praising capitalism or profit-making. So what are they betraying? Hate and going broke? The abusive husband is the perfect parallel.

You are a simpleton, pal. Deal with it.

MC

December 8th, 2010
11:47 am

Mala Cori….at first I thought you were too good to be true but the minute you mentioned immigrant parents I knew you were the real deal. But please be careful. Some of your supporters here will now turn on you like a pack of rabid dogs and look for a way to deport you. This is Georgia you know.

They BOTH suck

December 8th, 2010
11:48 am

@Nothing

Regardless of political persuasion, thanks for being one of the few with intelligent posts and thoughtful opinion and insight to your point of view.

have a great day

Good Grief

December 8th, 2010
11:48 am

Kamchak – I’m proud of how well you’ve memorized your talking points on the Fair Tax and the books written about said topic.

Small Biz

December 8th, 2010
11:51 am

Lil Barry, go easy on him, he’s just misguided. I do like the concept, you sound like a man who works hard for what he makes. If the tax breaks go through, I’ll be hiring Q1. Need a job?

They BOTH suck

December 8th, 2010
11:51 am

@wtf

meant to type “new” not “knew”………

Not the best typist and when I’m trying to do two things at once, I get even worse at it.

Keep fighting the good fight for what you believe

Max

December 8th, 2010
11:52 am

Cynthia, how much “extra” taxes do you pay???

Carl Davis

December 8th, 2010
11:53 am

I need a job Small Biz. What is the name of your company?

Nothing Is Free

December 8th, 2010
11:53 am

They both suck

You too. If I decide to move to St. Croix, I’ll let you know.

Azazel

December 8th, 2010
11:54 am

FIX THIS MESS:
1. Envision a society where one’s worth is not place on labor.
2. Assure infrastructure can support technological evolution.
3. Use technology to support society at low or no costs.
4. Make intelligent use of technology to create essentially free energy; and, avoid the sorrows of empre.
5. Assure a clen and healthy environment; musch new research points to social, economic and physical environmental issues lead to cross generational proclivity for chronic disease, low birth weight and obesity.
6. Assure and demand support for world class competive education for our children.
7. Assure: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,
Just for starters — think of the jobs I just created

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 8th, 2010
11:55 am

Thanks, Small Biz. I’m certainly not averse to new opportunities! I don’t need a job, so I’m probably just the kind of person you’re looking for.

Say it Aint so

December 8th, 2010
11:57 am

Cynthia,

Again here you go, take take take, give me give me give me.

American companies are leaving america because of the regulations that your democratic counterparts have put on them. You big labor unions have taken over the rules of private companies forcing them out of business. Then your cap and trade, ahhhh ha ha ha ha. that was a real job killer and you know it.

Cynthia, unemployment is insurance paid for by the employer. Its good for 26 weeks. When you extend that 26 weeks then you have another social program simular to welfare only these people dont have to qualify by income, they just complain, stand in line and get their money at tax payer expense. Now make them qualify after 26 weeks and you might find out that a lot of these people are not hurting at all. They have a very good family income though their spouce.

I dont have a problem with the unemployment being extended but after the initial 26 weeks, you need to qualify just as you would for welfare. After your benefits are expired then its up to your family income. By doing that a lot of people would no longer qualify. Sorry landlord, sorry doctors wife, sorry wife of accountant, sorry dentist husband. Stop taking my tax money without verifying the need first. 26 weeks, then qualify by need.

Kamchak

December 8th, 2010
11:57 am

What would you do to fix this mess that we’re in?

Much smarter people than me have tried and failed at that task

I was against all of the bail-outs.I say let there be a planet-wide melt-down. Only through pain do we learn from our mistakes.

It took the pain of the Great Depression to enact the regulations necessary avert another one, but one by one we deregulated the financial sector to the point they were at in the late twenties.

So we had another melt-down. Really no big surprise. Brooksley Born warned about the dangers of deregulation, specifically the derivatives market, but no one wanted to hear it.

willie lynch

December 8th, 2010
11:58 am

I’m still having trouble with this blaming the borrower. Sure if you can’t afford it you shouldn’t buy it but that’s why financing was created to give the illusion of the ability to afford. But if I’m a banker why would I loan 500K to someone who doesn’t have the ability to handle the payments that come along with that?

A person who lends money will always want to know where you’re comfortable with a certain payment amount. Once you’ve given that information their job is to raise that number in small increments. Now that you’ve committed to $800.00 per mth what’s $50.00 more dollars going to hurt. It’s a game that’s played everyday and because people like shiny new things they bite.

Not everyone is as saavy as all of us on this blog. There is such a thing as a predator and they wear suits too.

Lil' Barry Bailout

December 8th, 2010
11:59 am

People who want to fix problems aren’t consumed by rehashing yesterday’s.

another voice

December 8th, 2010
11:59 am

Just a few comments and observations. I’m thankful to George W for noting that corporations are not responsible for caring about the people. Now if someone would kindly explain that to the Supreme Court of the United States in their ruling that is based on the idea that corporations are as much the people as are we the people. It seems a fundamental notion of being human is that one cares about humans. Did not one once say something to the effect that we are to love one another as we love ourselves?

Speaking of spin…while the Bush tax cuts have become the Bush era tax cuts according to those on one side of the aisle, some on the other side of the aisle now say that they are not tax cuts at all but merely an extension/revision of the tax rate structure. Yet when the current tax rates were being debated, voted on and heralded in 2001 and 2003 they were trumpeted as tax cuts by everyone from the White House to the Heritage Foundation.

About unions and minimum wage and their influence in the job market….only 12 in every 100 workers in the United States is a union member. In the private sector only 7 in 100 workers are union members. Those numbers have been consistent for several years. Thus, the effect of unions being greatly responsible for our lack of jobs in today’s market and responsible for the shift of jobs to overseas markets is minimal. As for the minimum wage it is $7.25 per hour That is $290 a week, That is $15,080 annually. That does not seem like a whole lot in today’s world. How can that be such a hindrance to a company’s bottom line? But then again as one noted earlier, a corporation is solely responsible for profits not to care about the people.

Equality 7-2521

December 8th, 2010
11:59 am

Cynthia has not commented directly on any of the suggestions that would create a better job environment in Georgia.

The only conclusion is that this is not really about actually creating jobs in Georgia, but having someone to blame.

Erica

December 8th, 2010
12:00 pm

I for one am so very tired of watching the endless fingerpointing. Whose fault is our current status? Democrats? Republicans? Progressives? Does it really matter? Here are the fundamental questions, in my mind, as another hard working citizen who is somewhat disillusioned at the direction our country seems to be headed in. Her are the questions: 1) Is the US economy/society/culture now going to be simply comprised of the wealthy and the poor with no working middle class? 2) If yes, who will comprise the wealthy v. the poor?, 3) What if anything, will be done to ensure the basics for the poor (i.e. food, shelter, clothing, health care). Or will they simply be expected to survive via Darwinism? 3) At the end of the day, what really can each American citizen expect of our government in terms of its role in our (i.e. support and defend, taxation, governance,etc.) 4) Is our country moving towards the whole states’ rights governance model that was the genesis of the civil war? 5) Is there such a thing as “equality” in the U.S.,in terms of rights to finding employment, health care, etc? Or has our culture now shifted to a “sink or swim on your own” model. I think that our country is at a major crossroads in our history. One thing is clear, in order for the US to move out of its current crisis state, the country needs to decide if “who’s to blame” is more important than unity.

AmVet

December 8th, 2010
12:05 pm

NiF, here is the bottom line.

If there was am absolute mandate on these forums prohibiting childish and loutish behavior you would be long gone.

In other words, were you required to avoid making insult-laden, unprovoked, personal attacks against other people here, you would not last a single day.

Hell, more often than not you can’t even make your first post of the day towards me of that non-insulting variety. As was the case this very day.

Clearly, you are absolutely tormented by my opinions. Why? I haven’t the foggiest. Because it certainly is a one-way street.

Again, nobody here is mistaken.

If you had to talk only about the issues and not the other bloggers here you would suffer the same fate you did at Bookmans. Being banned to blogging Land of Nod.

You have a lot to contribute and are clearly are very bright and experienced, but your puerile behavior and incessant attempts to turn this forum into a school yard full of brats is beyond tiresome.

For gawdsakes man, grow up and quit making everything personal…

Scooter (The Original)

December 8th, 2010
12:06 pm

Let’s us look past the obvious fact that most jobs move over seas because we have an excessively onerous regulatory and tax environment for businesses to operate in. The main creators of that hostile business environment are populists democrats. So look in the mirror when you are typing about outsourcing CT, politically strong arming businesses does not create jobs. It’s high time the people of this country learn that and realize not even government can make life “fair”.

Azazel

December 8th, 2010
12:07 pm

There is no one to blame! Politicians and corporations have behaved expectedly based on their foundations in concentration of wealth and power at the expense of any large scale innovations that would dissolve the power assymetry they enjoy.

Rafe Hollister

December 8th, 2010
12:08 pm

This country continues to do stupid things that make the situation worse. We have few industries left and people are desperate for jobs, oil prices are rising to the point that they will demand more of our household budgets than any tax savings can make up for.

So what does Barry do? He bans offshore drilling for the forseeable future, a decision that makes these problems worse. You can’t make this stuff up!

snoqualmiefalls

December 8th, 2010
12:11 pm

It’s been 4 weeks since the mid terms, so I ask my Republican, conservative, Tea Party friends, in what has been described as a “mandate” for your politics…… where are the jobs, where are the jobs?

Libertarian

December 8th, 2010
12:15 pm

HAHA…CT calls me an elitist. Hilarious. Well, CT there are LOTS of folks going to Rathbun’s. The place was full to the max.

And I don’t want to throw sticks and stones about Repubs vs Dems…I said YOU don’t offer any solutions…you just criticize republicans. But you conveniently forgot to address that part of my post. I won’t hold my breath.

Kamchak

December 8th, 2010
12:15 pm

For gawdsakes man, grow up and quit making everything personal…

If only….

Wage Slave

December 8th, 2010
12:15 pm

Anyone who really wants to work can find a job. The recession ended over a year ago and employers are hiring. If you’re unwilling to do work that’s beneath your perceived status for less money than you earned previously then you’ll be unemployed forever.

The latest welfare benefits extension just enables these shiftless slackers to sit on their ass for another 13 months.