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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "jobs"

Target Workers Get a Predictable Rude Awakening After Company Implements Minimum Wage Increase

Westlake Legal Group seattle-minimum-wage-620x319 Target Workers Get a Predictable Rude Awakening After Company Implements Minimum Wage Increase target raise the wage progressives Politics North Carolina minimum wage Media journalism jobs Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Economy democrats Culture Capitalism Business & Economy Allow Media Exception #FightFor15

As I’ve written before, the “Fight for $15” campaign may have had its share of victories in a handful of blue states like New York, but studies have shown that over time these “wins” are largely symbolic and ultimately end up hurting workers.

They hurt them in an number of ways, and one of them is in how companies – in response to these campaigns – start exploring different ways to save money to offset rising labor costs.

Though not bound by any mandate, Target decided to get woke a couple of years ago by announcing they would raise their minimum wage to $15/hour by 2020.

In a shocking display of actual journalism, CNN recently interviewed over 20 current and former Target employees who say that the gradual wage hike (their minimum is now $13) brought along with it less hours and, of course, less take-home pay. Why? Because Target started to look for ways to cut corners:

But some store workers say the wage increases are not helping because their hours are falling, making it difficult to keep their health insurance and in some cases to pay their bills.
[…]
“I got that dollar raise but I’m getting $200 less in my paycheck,” said one, Heather, who started in November at a Florida store working around 40 hours a week. She’s now below 20 some weeks, she said. “I have no idea how I’m going to pay rent or buy food.”
[…]
Beyond just a drop in earnings that Target workers who spoke with CNN Business have experienced, employees who average fewer than 30 hours of work a week during the year aren’t eligible to qualify for health insurance benefits through the company during annual enrollment season in the spring.
[…]
Target workers who say their hours have dropped have been given a variety of reasons why by their supervisors, including that there were not hours available or that their managers couldn’t fit additional hours in their budgets. Others said they received no explanation for why their hours fell.

One former store director in Ohio who oversaw around 130 employees said hours dropped at the store in the past year for several reasons, including the introduction of self-checkout and elimination of backroom shifts.

It’s almost as if this had been predicted or something.

——-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

The post Target Workers Get a Predictable Rude Awakening After Company Implements Minimum Wage Increase appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group seattle-minimum-wage-300x154 Target Workers Get a Predictable Rude Awakening After Company Implements Minimum Wage Increase target raise the wage progressives Politics North Carolina minimum wage Media journalism jobs Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Economy democrats Culture Capitalism Business & Economy Allow Media Exception #FightFor15   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Watch: Dan Crenshaw Wrecks the Left’s “Income Inequality” Narrative

Westlake Legal Group RepDanCrenshaw-620x317 Watch: Dan Crenshaw Wrecks the Left’s “Income Inequality” Narrative socialism republicans Poverty Politics Middle class jobs Income Inequality Front Page Stories Economy Dan Crenshaw Business American Enterprise Institute Allow Media Exception

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, left, listens as Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought testifies before the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 12, 2019, during a hearing on the fiscal year 2020 budget. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

During a House Committee on the Budget hearing titled “Solutions to Rising Economic Inequality,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw totaled the idea that income inequality is not only a worsening problem in our society, he destroyed the idea that it’s a problem at all.

Speaking to Romesh Ponnuru of the American Enterprise Institute, Crenshaw started off by pointing out the two different ways we tend to look at financial prosperity, opportunities, and the economy which are usually defined by the left and the right’s views on wealth:

So, on the one hand, you have a deep and persistent focus on inequality – it’s defined as the gap between the rich and the poor – and at first glance, that seems pretty reasonable. But in reality, it means you’re dividing your attention. Half your attention is focused on protesting the wealthy – and these days that seems actually where most of the attention is – and that leaves only a small amount of focus on the real issue, which is people in poverty and their ability to move up the economic ladder. This is the kind of backwards thinking that leads to ideas like Andrew Yang’s, where we raise taxes on the rich only to give it right back to them in the form of universal basic income. It’s hard to imagine a more inefficient and ineffective way to reduce poverty.

As a conservative, our approach is different. Instead of creating resentment against success, we focus on who actually needs our help, which is the people who are having trouble moving up the economic ladder. After all, the fact that there’s a much wealthier person down the street from you is not the problem.

Crenshaw then asked Ponnuru whether or not income inequality is worse than ever, especially given all the welfare benefits and inflation. Ponnuru let everyone in the room know that we’ve actually never looked better economically:

No, it does not appear to be true. The Congressional Budget Office’s reports on the distribution of income suggest that income inequality peaked in 2007, that it has been falling since then, and so, we are, I think to some extent, looking at a problem in the rearview mirror. Of course that could change. Maybe next year’s numbers will be different, but the trends over the last decade or so have been toward shrinking inequality.

Crenshaw later dropped some statistics that back up the claim that Americans are more economically prosperous than the left lets on.

“It also turns out that 56% of Americans will at some point in their lives be in the top 10% of earners. 73% of Americans will be in the top 20% of earners in their lifetime. It’s an amazing statistic,” said Crenshaw.

Crenshaw pointed out that this means that the left is right, and the middle class is shrinking, but not because people are becoming impoverished, it’s because they’re moving up in the income brackets. Therefore, the narrative that income inequality is worse than ever is actually wildly inaccurate.

“This is all good news – doesn’t mean we can’t improve – the point is that the rhetoric about inequality is not only inaccurate, but it’s just flat-out unhelpful to the people we are actually trying to help,” said Crenshaw.

Crenshaw’s point was clear. The left gets too preoccupied with income inequality to the point where they actually set up roadblocks for people to become wealthy, or even come up with inane solutions that only make the problem worse like “universal basic income.”

They are effectively relying on socialism, which is a provenly failed method of economic governance, to fix problems that we’re not even having in the first place. At least not on a scale nearly so bad as the left is claiming.

The Daily Wire even backed up Crenshaw’s point by referring to various sources that showed America has been improving for years when it comes to upward economic mobility:

According to AEI’s Mark Perry, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, from 1967 to 2017, the percentage of high-income households in the United States increased from 9% to 29.2%. Meanwhile, the percentage of low-income households decreased from 37.2% to 29.5%. The share of middle-income households did shrink (from 53.8% to 41.3%), but many moved upward.

A 2018 publication from Pew Research states: “From 1971 to 2011, the share of adults in the middle class fell by 10 percentage points. But that shift was not all down the economic ladder. Indeed, the increase in the share of adults who are upper income was greater than the increase in the share who are lower income over that period, a sign of economic progress overall.”

While Crenshaw is right, and we can always improve, we need to begin looking at ways to use positive solutions for the economy instead of continuously resorting to solutions to “even the playing field.” The goal isn’t to be even, the goal is to get ahead. Onward and upward.

 

The post Watch: Dan Crenshaw Wrecks the Left’s “Income Inequality” Narrative appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group RepDanCrenshaw-300x153 Watch: Dan Crenshaw Wrecks the Left’s “Income Inequality” Narrative socialism republicans Poverty Politics Middle class jobs Income Inequality Front Page Stories Economy Dan Crenshaw Business American Enterprise Institute Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

NYC Sees Thousands of Jobs Disappear Thanks to Wage Hike as Leftist Pretend It’s Not Happening

Westlake Legal Group Minimum-wage-protest-New-York-620x414 NYC Sees Thousands of Jobs Disappear Thanks to Wage Hike as Leftist Pretend It’s Not Happening Wage hike Unemployment raise the wage Politics New York City New York jobs Front Page Stories Fight for 15 Featured Story Economy Allow Media Exception

At this point, it’s undeniable that hiking the minimum wage hurts businesses and the employees who work there. Protesters think they’re securing more money for lower-income workers, but there is no magic in economics. While some workers were fortunate enough to keep their jobs with $15 an hour, they were also likely to have their hours cut back while everyone else lost their jobs due to forced cutbacks.

It’s happened pretty much everywhere it’s been tried, especially in New York City where over 75 percent of restaurants had to cut back on staff thanks to wage hikes, and the problem only continued to worsen as time went on.

Now, as the New York Post reveals, the problem is getting to a point where long standing New York restaurants are closing down and even more staff are losing their jobs:

Big Apple restaurants are feeling the heat from minimum-wage hikes, cutting staff hours and even closing kitchens as they struggle to shoulder the extra payroll costs.

Gabriela’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar, a margarita and taco staple on the Upper West Side for the past 25 years, is closing at the end of September — and it has been a long, painful road downhill, according to its mom-and-pop owners.

Since the $15-an-hour minimum wage hit New York City in December, Liz and Nat Milner say, they’ve been forced to slash their full- and part-time staff to 45 people from 60. Quality has suffered, they admit, and customers have noticed: They’re not coming in like they used to, and when they do, they’re spending less.

Jazz Shaw of Hot Air reported on this and further added that some 4,000 jobs have been lost in New York thanks to the wage hike:

It’s not just the loss of local watering holes and eateries that are the problem. All of the jobs they support are going away too. As of August, the restaurant industry in the Big Apple has shed a shocking 4,000 jobs this year.

You’d think that this kind of loss of livliehood would make people stop and reassess their beliefs about what is and isn’t the correct course of action. Instead, it caused people to lash out at Shaw for daring to come to the conclusion that these loss of jobs were the result of their activism.

As you can see below, they put up every barrier they can to make it seem like Shaw was telling a blatant lie.

And so on, and so on.

The city of New York contains some 8 million people and has over 25,000 places to eat at. If a shop closes down, it’s not at all difficult to find something else close by. So what seems to be happening is that many are still being served their food and drink without interruption, and as such are calling the entire trouble with New York’s minimum wage causing job losses a lie.

This is quite possibly one of the most first-world spoiled positions a person can take. The data that people are losing their jobs due to wage hikes aren’t just coming from right-wing reporters and commentators, this is information being given to us by business owners and publications like the Wall Street Journal.

If that doesn’t do it for you, then perhaps the fact that 74 percent of economists called the wage hike a bad idea and predicted this very thing would happen.

Just because they don’t notice it happening in New York due to its volume, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. But it’s worse than just mistaking surface level experience with facts. Those who are in support of raising the minimum wage are purposely turning a blind eye to the trouble their positions are causing in the face of mounting evidence.

This could be because they refuse to face the fact that their actions meant to help people are actually having the opposite effect, and that their take about how economics work has been wrong all along. That their opponents were right.

Instead of backing off, they’re more than willing to let the destruction continue and people lose their livelihoods so that they can keep on believing that they’re right. If a restaurant closes down, they’ll find an excuse for it and go to a different one. If that one closes down they’ll repeat the process. As things stagnate they’ll find something to blame for it like the policies of those pesky Republicans and that filthy pro-capitalist sentiment.

This is some head in the sand nonsense, and it’s actually hurting people.

The post NYC Sees Thousands of Jobs Disappear Thanks to Wage Hike as Leftist Pretend It’s Not Happening appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Minimum-wage-protest-New-York-300x200 NYC Sees Thousands of Jobs Disappear Thanks to Wage Hike as Leftist Pretend It’s Not Happening Wage hike Unemployment raise the wage Politics New York City New York jobs Front Page Stories Fight for 15 Featured Story Economy Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Sheer Brilliance: AOC Points Out That Raising the Poverty Line Would Show That More Americans Live in Poverty

Westlake Legal Group media.townhall-2-4-620x317 Sheer Brilliance: AOC Points Out That Raising the Poverty Line Would Show That More Americans Live in Poverty washington D.C. Social Media Poverty Politics North Carolina New York Media jobs Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Economy democrats Congress Business & Economy AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., addresses The Road to the Green New Deal Tour final event at Howard University in Washington, Monday, May 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) says she’s on a mission to tackle poverty in America, but that to understand the full scope of what we’re dealing with some big changes in the poverty line must be made.

In an interview she did Wednesday on CNN, the freshman Congresswoman was asked by Prime Time host Chris Cuomo about a new legislative package of six bills she introduced earlier this week. The bills, she asserted in a statement at the time, will help us “once again recognize the breadth and consequences of poverty in this country and work together to ensure a path forward to economic freedom for everyone.”

She told Cuomo on Wednesday that when it came to poverty, it was time to “push the bounds” (and, of course, to forcibly share prosperity):

And we have to establish an advanced society here in the United States of America. What that means is that we have to push the bounds. We have to start treating housing as a right. We need to start protecting renters. We need to start updating the federal poverty line.

Our last – our – our calculation for the federal poverty line is based on 1955 spending habits that assumes one income earner, a stay-at-home mom, and that’s why we don’t talk about child care. That’s why we don’t talk about geographic differences in cost of living.

So, we need to update our poverty line. We need to address the housing crisis in this country. We need to stop treating people who duly paid their debt to society, the formerly incarcerated, as – as – as outcasts for the rest of their lives.

The problem we have here in America, according to AOC, is that people are making a lot of money but not enough of it is cascading down to everyone else. In fact, she suggests the problem is so bad that if we raised the poverty line, it would actually show that even more people were living in poverty (really!):

The problem is that America is at its wealthiest point that we’ve ever been. And yet, we’ve – we are at one of our most unequal points that we’ve ever been. You would not know that our country is posting record profits because 40 million Americans are living in poverty right now.

And if the poverty line was real, if it was at around what some people think it should be, about $38,000 a year, we will be shocked at how much the richest society on the planet is – is allowing so much of its people to live in destitute.

Watch AOC make this brilliant deduction below:

Well, um, yeah. I mean, if you raised the poverty line to $60,000 that would add even more to the poverty rolls.

Good grief.

Beyond the ridiculousness of her comment, lets take a look at a few stats:

Here are the poverty guidelines for up to a family of three (which Twitter users also pointed out):

So what AOC is proposing is to triple the poverty rate for a single person from what it is now to $38,000.

A family of two, three, four can live on $38,000 a year if they live within their means.

A family of seven is considered living in poverty in America if their household income is around $38,000, which actually makes more sense than AOC’s wild calculations:

I’d like to think AOC didn’t actually run the numbers on this before she proposed it, but I’m sure she did and went with it anyway. Because when it comes to “spreading the wealth”, no dollar amount is too high to Democrats.

—–
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

The post Sheer Brilliance: AOC Points Out That Raising the Poverty Line Would Show That More Americans Live in Poverty appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group media.townhall-2-4-300x153 Sheer Brilliance: AOC Points Out That Raising the Poverty Line Would Show That More Americans Live in Poverty washington D.C. Social Media Poverty Politics North Carolina New York Media jobs Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Economy democrats Congress Business & Economy AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Damian Green: Labour’s dishonest attack on us this week will only work if we narrow our appeal

Damian Green is a former First Secretary of State.  He is Chair of the One Nation Caucus and MP for Ashford.

The cover of Labour’s Conference Guide this year is full of the usual upbeat (and of course impractical) promises: “More doctors and nurses”, “Free bus passes”, “Reduced class sizes”. You only have to turn the page to find what they really want to talk about-a distortion of what today’s Conservative is about.

The Welcome to Conference message contains a familiar dishonest litany. “The impact of almost ten years of Tory austerity is clear; in work poverty, Universal Credit, NHS Funding Cuts, regional inequality, and acts of malice like scrapping free TV licenses”……”We need a Government that will work for the common good, not just to reward the rich.”

Of course it’s unfair propaganda. The new element is that Corbyn’s Labour seeks constantly to make this attack personal. They want to create an atmosphere where every individual Tory must by definition be cruel and unfeeling, as well as rich and posh. From the “Never kissed a Tory” badges to Labour MPs saying they could never be friendly with Tory colleagues, the Labour attack is a calculated part of modern culture wars. The aim is not just short-term political advantage, but a long-term wish to make individuals who espouse Conservative values seem unfit for decent society. The more this attack succeeds, the more difficult it is for us to attract new supporters, particularly young supporters. So we have to refute it strongly and effectively.

As ever, the most effective argument follows the rule “show, don’t tell”. Throughout its history, the Conservative Party has been at the forefront of social reforms which have helped the poor and disadvantaged, flatly disproving the Labour thesis. Paul Goodman is writing a series of articles on ConHome this week showing this repeated phenomenon.

Modern history is equally full of evidence of this vital strain of Conservatism which seeks to bind society together by ensuring that no one is left behind. Some of the most neglected communities in the country in the early 1980s, from East London to Liverpool, have been utterly transformed by the practical energy displayed by Michael Heseltine. Where there was once dereliction and despair, there is now prosperity and hope, thanks to Conservative Governments.

The Environment is another issue where lazy or malevolent commentators assume the left must have the best tunes. In fact, the first prominent British politician to realise its central importance was Margaret Thatcher. Bringing the story more up to date, David Cameron was equally seized of its importance (at least in his younger, more idealistic days). We still remember the huskies. The current Conservative Government will certainly continue this honourable tradition, and we should all publicly proclaim it. Vote Blue Go Green should be a slogan for the ages.

We should also be relentless in pointing out how the children of poorer households have benefitted from Conservative education reforms over recent years. All of this was outweighed by the anger of teachers at the last general election over spending levels during the period of austerity, so it is very important that the extra spending that will be made in schools in the coming years is accompanied by a continuing commitment to reform. For example, Michael Gove’s Free Schools are a great innovation which would certainly be killed by a Labour Government.

Equally, for all of its teething problems we can be proud of Universal Credit. The best argument for how it is helping benefit recipients is the historically low level of unemployment. The fact that it is always better to work, and always better to work longer hours, is the biggest single change in the benefit system since Beveridge, and it is good news for those on benefits as well as for the general health of society. Work is always the best long-term route out of poverty, and we should happy to argue with the Left on this point.

So we are able to show numerous examples where practical Conservative policies are hard-headed but not remotely hard-hearted. By contrast, they are helping people who have no advantages make the most of themselves and share in rising prosperity. Now we have moved out of the period of austerity this is an easier argument to make, so we can be more aggressive in calling out Labour’s attempts to demonise all of us.

At the same time, we must be vigilant in not giving Labour the chance to claim that the moderate Conservative tradition is in danger. This is not the article in which to discuss in detail the removal of the Whip from some of my colleagues, but it is absolutely the place to remind us all that the One Nation tradition is a central part of conservatism, and its underlying insight that the Conservative duty is to bind society together is more important than ever in these troubled times.

The biggest task for any Conservative is to convince a dubious electorate that properly regulated capitalism is the best system both for creating wealth and for spreading it fairly. We will need the maximum number of supporters, and the full breadth of all Conservative traditions to make this argument with force. At a time when Labour is determined to convince the non-political majority that Conservatives are basically evil, it is more important than ever that we demonstrate on a daily basis that we are the normal, decent majority in this country.

Even in the short term we should remember that the Liberal Democrats attract some normally Conservative voters in the same way that the Brexit Party does. We need to be careful on both our flanks. A strategy of delivering Brexit and simultaneously demonstrating that we can improve public services to the benefit of everyone is not just the best approach for the coming election, but the most convincing way of dismissing the Labour smear about our underlying motives.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Here’s your inside look at Amazon’s Arlington Career Day

Westlake Legal Group Amazon-Feature-Edit Here’s your inside look at Amazon’s Arlington Career Day News & Updates News jobs hq2 Culture crystal city arlington amazon news amazon hq2 amazon
Outside of Amazon’s HQ2 Career Day in Arlington, lines extended down 12 Street South and led to two-hour-long wait times, just to get inside. (Photo by Jennifer Zeleski)

It’s safe to say that the excitement over Amazon’s arrival in Northern Virginia is real, and it’s spreading.

The Seattle-based company held its first of many Amazon Career Days in Arlington on Tuesday, Sept. 17, in an attempt to fill the first round of an estimated 30,000 jobs within the next 12 years, even before breaking ground at its incoming HQ2 location in Crystal City.

Before the event had kicked off at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, and a two-and-a-half-hour line stretched down the block of 12 Street South in Arlington, registration to get inside had already closed on Sunday, Sept. 15. Over 6,000 people had registered in hopes of getting facetime with a real, in-person Amazon employee in their desired department or program.

The first person stood in line at 6 a.m., two hours before the large, circus-like white tent at the Amazon HQ2 site, named The Grounds, (and across the street from Whole Foods) would open to the public with dozens of stands, thousands of informative flyers and a lot of hopeful job candidates in every nook and cranny of the offered space.

I arrived at 1:30 p.m. after the event had already cycled through a minimum of 1,500 people and was hardly seeing the horizon of the day ending, since the company extended the hours to 8 p.m. to account for longer waiting times and more presentations from senior-level employees.

Security guards held down the fort outside, not allowing any outsiders without an Amazon employee badge to cross the threshold unless they were being herded inside with another batch of 25-plus interested attendees. But once inside, it was clear that this event wasn’t your average job fair.

Amazon’s Arlington Career Day felt like a solid mix of a stereotypical job fair and a college open house. There were areas for interview tips and resume reviews, lots of separate tables and handouts to grab, but it was mostly filled with Amazon employees meant to teach the community about the company, and welcome job-seeking hopefuls from all aspects of its sprawling business model.

It felt like everyone was there.

Fresh-out-of-college graduates looking for entry-level positions, experienced ex-military professionals looking for a fresh start and dozens upon dozens of casually dressed Amazon employees ready to answer questions and pass out informative flyers.

Westlake Legal Group Amazon-2-Edit Here’s your inside look at Amazon’s Arlington Career Day News & Updates News jobs hq2 Culture crystal city arlington amazon news amazon hq2 amazon
Attendees waited inside to speak with Amazon employees about resumes, the interview process and a variety of offered roles in the company. Gina Rice-Holland (third from right), traveled from Prince William County to see what she “needs to do right,” after submitting over 100 applications over the last year. (Photo by Jennifer Zeleski)

On one side of the decorative walls, Amazon’s technological history was listed in a timeline, from starting as a online bookseller, all the way to the development of Amazon Web Services and the Alexa devices that now sit atop kitchen counters around the world.

Dueling lines wrapped around the space, with one leading to the resume review area (where an Amazon employee would look through, circle phrases, offer tips and lead candidates to their intended department stand) and another location to sit down with an Amazon employee and work through interview tips (such as problem-solving scenarios, using job-specific terminology and more).

As the attendees waited in line, they could grab a bag of chips, a bottle of water and simply wait.

“The lines are getting through fairly quickly,” said Gina Rice-Holland, a resident of Prince William County who has applied for over 100 positions at Amazon within the past year. “And everyone has been extremely pleasant and patient.”

Much like other attendees, Rice-Holland was looking to find out what she needs to do to get her resume through to the next round. So she stood in the resume review line with several hundred others as some made their ways around the more career-specific stands.

The various stops included finance, human resources, military recruitment, Amazon web services, Amazon Alexa, Kindle Direct publishing, Amazon delivery, selling on Amazon, Amazon stores, apprenticeship programs, student programs, training and certifications and more. Messy lines formed around certain areas to listen to employees speak about the positions’ requirements and the company’s benefits, while others waited and hoped to offer a resume and make a human connection.

The only problem? The recruiters from the event (many who traveled from the company’s headquarters in Seattle), weren’t taking resumes. They were there to answer questions and let people know, “Here’s why you might want to work for Amazon.”

“It feels like a lot of this could have been done online,” says Lester Grant, who recently moved back to Arlington and is actively looking for a software engineering position. “They’re not taking resumes, so really I could have just found the job postings myself.”

But when asked what drew him to the company, Grant replied, “I see Amazon as a more career-driven company.”

It was a common theme for others too: The image of solidity from a large company that is the second-largest private employer in the United States (only falling behind Walmart), with over 566,000 employees.

“It’s the stability,” Julian Edwards, a resident of Prince George County, Maryland, said, after asked why he wanted to get his foot in the door at the multi-billion-dollar company. “It seems like they just keep growing.”

And the company is, according to Ardine Williams, the vice president of Workforce Development. The company currently has around 30,000 job openings across the country,  from software engineers to delivery-truck drivers, and all are guaranteed part-time or full-time work with highly competitive benefits, which is why Arlington was one of several Amazon Career Days, also being held in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Nashville and Seattle.

In the DMV, Williams says, there are about 1,500 current job openings and an estimated 150 to 200 for HQ2, and the company is on track to hire 400 by the end of the year in the Northern Virginia area.

But if this event wasn’t meant to find strong candidates for those roles, what exactly was it for?

“This event gives people the opportunity to learn about Amazon, find out specific job titles and roles (along with the responsibilities), and then once they have those conversations, they can go outside and click to apply,” says Williams. “The candidate’s experience is very important, and you can’t have a thoughtful conversation in this environment. It’s just not practical.”

With the loud, upbeat music, to the whirl of the air conditioners and long wait times, it surely didn’t seem like the ideal environment to get to know someone, let alone offer them a job. But, after my two-and-a half-hour stint inside, one thing seemed very clear: It was just enough to let the job-seeking community get to know Amazon.

Westlake Legal Group Amazon-3-Edit Here’s your inside look at Amazon’s Arlington Career Day News & Updates News jobs hq2 Culture crystal city arlington amazon news amazon hq2 amazon
The company passed out snacks while folks waited in line, including this aptly designed trail mix. (Photo by Jennifer Zeleski)

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Here’s your inside look at Amazon’s Arlington Career Day

Westlake Legal Group Amazon-Feature-Edit Here’s your inside look at Amazon’s Arlington Career Day News & Updates News jobs hq2 Culture crystal city arlington amazon news amazon hq2 amazon
Outside of Amazon’s HQ2 Career Day in Arlington, lines extended down 12 Street South and led to two-hour-long wait times, just to get inside. (Photo by Jennifer Zeleski)

It’s safe to say that the excitement over Amazon’s arrival in Northern Virginia is real, and it’s spreading.

The Seattle-based company held its first of many Amazon Career Days in Arlington on Tuesday, Sept. 17, in an attempt to fill the first round of an estimated 30,000 jobs within the next 12 years, even before breaking ground at its incoming HQ2 location in Crystal City.

Before the event had kicked off at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, and a two-and-a-half-hour line stretched down the block of 12 Street South in Arlington, registration to get inside had already closed on Sunday, Sept. 15. Over 6,000 people had registered in hopes of getting facetime with a real, in-person Amazon employee in their desired department or program.

The first person stood in line at 6 a.m., two hours before the large, circus-like white tent at the Amazon HQ2 site, named The Grounds, (and across the street from Whole Foods) would open to the public with dozens of stands, thousands of informative flyers and a lot of hopeful job candidates in every nook and cranny of the offered space.

I arrived at 1:30 p.m. after the event had already cycled through a minimum of 1,500 people and was hardly seeing the horizon of the day ending, since the company extended the hours to 8 p.m. to account for longer waiting times and more presentations from senior-level employees.

Security guards held down the fort outside, not allowing any outsiders without an Amazon employee badge to cross the threshold unless they were being herded inside with another batch of 25-plus interested attendees. But once inside, it was clear that this event wasn’t your average job fair.

Amazon’s Arlington Career Day felt like a solid mix of a stereotypical job fair and a college open house. There were areas for interview tips and resume reviews, lots of separate tables and handouts to grab, but it was mostly filled with Amazon employees meant to teach the community about the company, and welcome job-seeking hopefuls from all aspects of its sprawling business model.

It felt like everyone was there.

Fresh-out-of-college graduates looking for entry-level positions, experienced ex-military professionals looking for a fresh start and dozens upon dozens of casually dressed Amazon employees ready to answer questions and pass out informative flyers.

Westlake Legal Group Amazon-2-Edit Here’s your inside look at Amazon’s Arlington Career Day News & Updates News jobs hq2 Culture crystal city arlington amazon news amazon hq2 amazon
Attendees waited inside to speak with Amazon employees about resumes, the interview process and a variety of offered roles in the company. Gina Rice-Holland (third from right), traveled from Prince William County to see what she “needs to do right,” after submitting over 100 applications over the last year. (Photo by Jennifer Zeleski)

On one side of the decorative walls, Amazon’s technological history was listed in a timeline, from starting as a online bookseller, all the way to the development of Amazon Web Services and the Alexa devices that now sit atop kitchen counters around the world.

Dueling lines wrapped around the space, with one leading to the resume review area (where an Amazon employee would look through, circle phrases, offer tips and lead candidates to their intended department stand) and another location to sit down with an Amazon employee and work through interview tips (such as problem-solving scenarios, using job-specific terminology and more).

As the attendees waited in line, they could grab a bag of chips, a bottle of water and simply wait.

“The lines are getting through fairly quickly,” said Gina Rice-Holland, a resident of Prince William County who has applied for over 100 positions at Amazon within the past year. “And everyone has been extremely pleasant and patient.”

Much like other attendees, Rice-Holland was looking to find out what she needs to do to get her resume through to the next round. So she stood in the resume review line with several hundred others as some made their ways around the more career-specific stands.

The various stops included finance, human resources, military recruitment, Amazon web services, Amazon Alexa, Kindle Direct publishing, Amazon delivery, selling on Amazon, Amazon stores, apprenticeship programs, student programs, training and certifications and more. Messy lines formed around certain areas to listen to employees speak about the positions’ requirements and the company’s benefits, while others waited and hoped to offer a resume and make a human connection.

The only problem? The recruiters from the event (many who traveled from the company’s headquarters in Seattle), weren’t taking resumes. They were there to answer questions and let people know, “Here’s why you might want to work for Amazon.”

“It feels like a lot of this could have been done online,” says Lester Grant, who recently moved back to Arlington and is actively looking for a software engineering position. “They’re not taking resumes, so really I could have just found the job postings myself.”

But when asked what drew him to the company, Grant replied, “I see Amazon as a more career-driven company.”

It was a common theme for others too: The image of solidity from a large company that is the second-largest private employer in the United States (only falling behind Walmart), with over 566,000 employees.

“It’s the stability,” Julian Edwards, a resident of Prince George County, Maryland, said, after asked why he wanted to get his foot in the door at the multi-billion-dollar company. “It seems like they just keep growing.”

And the company is, according to Ardine Williams, the vice president of Workforce Development. The company currently has around 30,000 job openings across the country,  from software engineers to delivery-truck drivers, and all are guaranteed part-time or full-time work with highly competitive benefits, which is why Arlington was one of several Amazon Career Days, also being held in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Nashville and Seattle.

In the DMV, Williams says, there are about 1,500 current job openings and an estimated 150 to 200 for HQ2, and the company is on track to hire 400 by the end of the year in the Northern Virginia area.

But if this event wasn’t meant to find strong candidates for those roles, what exactly was it for?

“This event gives people the opportunity to learn about Amazon, find out specific job titles and roles (along with the responsibilities), and then once they have those conversations, they can go outside and click to apply,” says Williams. “The candidate’s experience is very important, and you can’t have a thoughtful conversation in this environment. It’s just not practical.”

With the loud, upbeat music, to the whirl of the air conditioners and long wait times, it surely didn’t seem like the ideal environment to get to know someone, let alone offer them a job. But, after my two-and-a half-hour stint inside, one thing seemed very clear: It was just enough to let the job-seeking community get to know Amazon.

Westlake Legal Group Amazon-3-Edit Here’s your inside look at Amazon’s Arlington Career Day News & Updates News jobs hq2 Culture crystal city arlington amazon news amazon hq2 amazon
The company passed out snacks while folks waited in line, including this aptly designed trail mix. (Photo by Jennifer Zeleski)

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It’s A Miracle: Ilhan Omar Has A New Jobs Plan That Will Pay For Itself!

Rp. Ilhan Omar has co-sponsored a bill called the Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act with Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) which, according to the ladies, will provide a job with a living wage and benefits to “anyone who wants one.” Sen Cory Booker is the Senate champion of the bill.

The Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act  would guarantee that adults in participating communities who want to work can do so, in a job that pays a living wage and provides benefits like health insurance, paid sick leave, and paid family leave. When it was originally introduced in 2018, this was the first federal jobs guarantee legislation ever to be introduced in Congress.

That’s ambitious,” CNN host Erin Burnett told Omar when asking her about the legislation. “It would cost a lot of money.” (It’s estimated, according to Grabien founder Tom Elliot, to eventually cost $543 billion per year.)

How, Burnett wonders, does she plan on paying for it?

“Ultimately when these jobs are created and people are place in these jobs, it will pay for itself,” the totally serious member of Congress responded. Watch the full exchange at the twitter link above.

The post It’s A Miracle: Ilhan Omar Has A New Jobs Plan That Will Pay For Itself! appeared first on RedState.

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Neil O’Brien: Corbynomics – and why it means that your house, business and savings don’t really belong to you,

Neil O’Brien is MP for Market Harborough.

What is Corbynomics? It goes without saying that it’s a much more extreme economic programme than Labour have ever had before. And that government will spend, tax and borrow more. But Labour have a lot more damaging, half-baked and dangerous ideas.

No-one is thinking about them at the moment, but the scary thing is that within weeks these ideas could be affecting your house, your pension and your job.

For me, the most frustrating thing is that Labour have identified various important issues, but their proposed “solutions” would make matters worse. Let’s look at a couple of examples.

Seizing 10 per cent of all large companies’ shares

Lots of people, including me, worry that current corporate structures create pressures that make managers behave in a short-termist way, squeezing investment to hit short term profit targets and dragging down productivity growth. I’m concerned that publicly quoted firms are beholden to increasingly transient shareholders, interested in immediate returns. They certainly invest far less than privately owned firms who can take a longer-term view.

But my answer to this would be to change the tax treatment of investment, and increase capital allowances so that there’s no disincentive to invest.

Labour’s answer, in contrast, is to forcibly transfer 10 per cent of all companies shares to create a sort of employee-ownership-at-gunpoint.

This is a terrible idea, which would make investment into the UK dry up overnight. After all, if government can steal ten per cent of your shares, what’s to stop them coming back for the rest? Labour protest that the shares are not being stolen – just given to the workers. But that’s a lie, as they also propose that a Labour-run Treasury would take the great majority of the dividends that those shares attract. At the moment, these are owned by savings and pension funds – so the money is ultimately coming out of your pocket.

The total value of the shares stolen by government would be around £300 billion, according to the Financial Times. For comparison, raising the basic rate of tax by one per cent raises £4.5 billion a year, so you can see what a vast tax grab this would be.

Forcing people to sell their properties at a price set by government, and control rents

There are major issues about the balance of rented and owner-occupied property in Britain. We had a long period when the number of properties being moved into the rent-to-buy sector was outstripping the number built, meaning owner occupation fell dramatically. Between 1996 and 2016, the home ownership rate among middle income people aged 25-34 fell from 65 per cent to 27 per cent.

However, in 2015 the Conservative Government reformed the tax treatment of rent to buy and second homes, and in the years since we have seen homeownership rebounding upwards, with both ownership and the rented sector growing in a more balanced way. There are lots more things we could do to grow home ownership.

Corbynista Labour doesn’t really believe in home ownership. They are nostalgic for the world of the 1970s, where around two thirds of households in places like Islington lived in social housing. But they know ownership is popular.
So they have announced the “private sector right to buy”. This will give private tenants the right to make their landlords sell their properties to them at a discount.

In an interview last week, John McDonnell made it clear that government would set the price: “You’d want to establish what is a reasonable price, you can establish that and then that becomes the right to buy,” he said. “You (the government) set the criteria. I don’t think it’s complicated.”

It’s not complicated. But it is deeply unfair. It would be a retrospective raid on people’s assets. People, including some who are not so rich, have invested in property under certain rules, and would have their savings ripped off them, while other people who invested their money in other things would not. This is arbitrary and unreasonable and would I’m sure be challenged in the courts.

Labour would also set rental prices, promising in a recent document that “There should be a cap on annual permissible rent increases, at no more than the rate of wage inflation or consumer price inflation (whichever is lower).”

This is unworkable or will lead to under investment in rented properties. Why spend lots doing up a flat if you can’t charge more for an improved property? We would quickly be heading back to the 1970s, when there wasn’t enough rented accommodation to go round, and conditions were squalid because of rent controls.

Sectoral wage bargaining

With the National Living Wage, the Conservatives have introduced one of the highest minimum wages in the world. For the lowest paid, the National Living Wage plus the cuts in taxes for lower paid people mean that they take home £4,500 more than they did under the last Labour Government – while employment has soared to a record high. We should be really proud of our record.

However, the National Living Wage is still set by an independent body, and as percentage of average pay in the market, so there is a sensible link to what businesses can afford without sacking people.

In contrast, under Labour politicians would just set rates directly. Labour have also pledged to “roll out sectoral collective bargaining”. Labour said it would “fix the going rate” in each industry and “set fair conditions” for the sector. This would represent an end to the system whereby unions negotiate company by company and, instead, give them power effectively to set national standards on pay and conditions. A new government unit would work with unions to bring firms into line.

This means that if politicians or trade unions decide your business is part of a particular “sector” (a pretty subjective question) then you would be in line for a change in wages which your business might simply be unable to afford. The scope for union bullying and endless court cases and demarcation disputes is obvious. In the car industry, wages are high, so a sectoral wage would be high. If I make plastic bits for the car industry but also other industries, is my business in or out of the automotive sector?

Rebecca Long Bailey has also said that “Labour will also legislate to reduce pay inequality by introducing an Excessive Pay Levy on companies with staff on very high pay.” There is no detail on what the rules will be, but the idea of having wages directly controlled by Jeremy Corbyn is likely to deter inward investment.

What do these ideas have in common?

When New Labour left office, a million people had been thrown on the dole, we’d had the deepest recession since the second world war and government was borrowing more than at any time in our whole peacetime history. In the final year alone, they borrowed £7,900 for every family in Britain.

And that was New Labour. Imaging what the country would look like after Corbyn and McDonnell.

Where Corbyn’s ideas really differ from previous Labour leaders is that he doesn’t really believe in the rule of law. Your house, your business, your savings: all these things don’t really belong to you, in Corbyn’s eyes: you have them only as long as the government suffers you to have them, and they can be retrospectively taken away if he sees fit. In the week Robert Mugabe died, we’ve seen underlined just how important the rule of law is. But under Corbynomics, it would be the first casualty.

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James Frayne: An election is coming. Here are the messages – beyond Brexit – that the Conservatives need to win it.

James Frayne is Director of Public First and author of Meet the People, a guide to moving public opinion.

Let’s assume an election soon. While the Conservatives are surely finished if they don’t go into the campaign as the clear choice for Brexit voters, this won’t be enough to secure a majority. The next election will not be a re-run of the referendum: people will be make their final decision on a broad range of issues. It’ll fundamentally be like any other election.

Last time around, the Conservatives slipped up badly with prospective voters. This has been endlessly discussed but three mistakes still stand out: firstly, they made no effort to own the “change” narrative even though public demands for change must have been clearly audible in their focus groups; secondly, they angered vast numbers of people by suggesting those that had lived a careful and modest life – owning a house with savings – should be punished with massive social care costs; and, thirdly, the threat to raise people’s taxes was mad. Brexit aside, there was comparatively little to attract working class and lower middle class swing voters – which explains the party’s patchy performance amongst them.

Politics is so volatile it’s hard to predict where the Conservatives’ relative strengths and weaknesses will be in a week, let alone two months. As I write, the weakness of Corbyn’s Labour and the lack of a powerful and credible anti-Brexit party means the prospects for the Conservatives look good. However, the Party still has vulnerabilities it must address fast. I won’t dwell on the obvious – like the NHS (and the text on that bus) – and instead look at those areas that haven’t received the political attention they deserve. And I’ll look at vulnerabilities amongst the working class and lower middle class of provincial England – who the Party needs to turn out in massive numbers and where this column has always focused.

Everyday life in England’s towns. In focus groups I’ve moderated in recent times, I’ve been struck by how people across provincial England are in despair about the state and prospects of their towns and suburbs. We’re a country that enjoys self-deprecation about our own backyards. But pessimism has intensified recently. People have come to terms with industrial decline as time has passed, but bad memories are returning now they’re witnessing the rapid decline of their town centres – as shops, pubs and services close, as anti-social behaviour and crime increase, as aggressive begging comes to small towns from cities, as visible drug use rises, and as more and more kids leave school and college with few local career prospects.

The Conservatives recently pledged new funds to support British high streets. This shows they’re hearing something. But they need to be careful not to misread or underplay what’s really being said. People don’t look at their town centres and just think: “we need more shops”; in fact, many people think high street shops are a rip-off, open at stupidly inconvenient times, and have a tiny range of interesting or useful goods. Rather, above all, the residents of these towns want to feel like they live in a proper community. They want safe and clean streets, integrated populations, free and cheap leisure facilities and parks, buzzing high streets and nice, affordable local pubs. The question the Conservatives need to answer is not “how do you save the high street?”, but “how do you improve everyday life in provincial towns?” It’s a completely different question. (And the Party’s approach to crime should be framed partly through improving communities, not just, say, dealing with serious violence).

People know the answer does not lie in simply throwing huge amounts of cash at these places. But, in the absence of ideas, the Conservatives are highly vulnerable to a Labour offer of vast new spending on things like public transport, libraries, parks, leisure centres, social housing, homeless shelters, drug rehabilitation programmes, community integration programmes, youth clubs, CCTV, policing and security guards and so on. The Conservatives need to think about the challenges of living happily in these towns, not narrowly around simply more shops or more police.

The party of the rich. When the audiences we’re thinking about here are asked about the Conservatives, one thing always comes up: “they’re the party of the rich, while Labour are the party of the working class”. This perception has been widespread for years, and the recent defection of working class voters from Labour to the Conservatives has barely changed this fact. Boris Johnson’s only mis-step in his leadership campaign was to give disproportionate attention to tax paid by higher earners and he is lucky this was barely noticed by the electorate. The Conservatives need to ensure they do everything possible to avoid looking like they’re a party of the rich, for the rich. (Incidentally, it doesn’t matter necessarily that Boris Johnson is rich and posh).

What does this mean in practice? A few obvious ones, which they surely won’t get wrong: target tax cuts on working class and lower middle class voters and don’t talk about helping higher earners; don’t ever talk about the benefits of private education; and ensure there are enough spokespeople from ordinary backgrounds.

But there are some less obvious ones, too: don’t focus economic and social policies purely on the poorest, which sends the message to working class and lower middle class audiences that they in turn must be rich; be careful about how you talk about aspiration, which can seem you’re saying their lives are substandard; and carve out some specific tax cuts directly targeted on the lives of working class and lower middle class voters (tax is really rising up the public’s list of priorities, incidentally, which I will write about in more detail here soon).

Education for all. (I should point out that my agency Public First has worked for many clients in the education world. Here, our work for Pearson and Universities UK is relevant.) The Conservatives’ reputation as the party of the rich is usually undeserved, but there are times, because relatively few of their senior team come from ordinary backgrounds, where they unintentionally make it look like they live on another planet. Two issues stand out, one specific and one general.

Firstly, in an act of breath-taking political stupidity, the Department for Education is consulting on the de-funding of the best known and respected vocational qualification, the BTEC. To be clear, this would mean telling the vast numbers of young people currently studying for BTECs that their courses are essentially worthless and introducing a new system that would make many of their chosen careers impossible. (James Kirkup of the Social Market Foundation wrote about this for the Spectator recently). Secondly, more generally, the Party still gives off the sense that it considers the expansion of universities to have been a mistake and that most students of newer universities are wasting their time.

The Conservatives should certainly be promoting academic excellence and indeed elite education where appropriate. In fact, I believe they should do this far more explicitly than they ever have done. But this does not mean they should not be promoting education for all – high quality education for those with differing interests and with different levels of academic ability. They should be on the side of educational progress and achievement full stop. Working class and lower middle class audiences will not mind if the Government promotes elite education for those that will thrive in such institutions (they have no hostility to these people) but they will mind if it looks like the Party wilfully opposes or misunderstands those institutions and courses that enable them to improve their children’s lives. (Personally, I would have focused on this way more than on things like teachers’ pay, which never comes up amongst ordinary voters).

Rewarding hard work. Over the last decade, and particularly under George Osborne’s time as Chancellor, the Conservatives began to establish a lead over Labour as the party that rewarded hard work. In focus groups I’ve run in the last few years, working class and lower middle class voters have consistently fumed at Labour’s excessively generous attitude to welfare and talked positively about Conservative welfare reforms (yes, including Universal Credit). Such is the strength of feeling on this issue, the Conservatives emphatically must not consider their lead secure and their reforms effectively banked with the public. And they must not confuse media criticism of UC with public opposition; the two are different. They must look at how to double down on their recent progress and take this further. The most obvious place to look is at introducing a much greater contributory element to the welfare state (another declaration of interest: Public First is working for the Centre for Policy Studies on creating such a system).

Ownership of the change narrative. Last time around, it seems likely that the Conservatives underplayed the change narrative because Theresa May was a new Prime Minister that theoretically embodied change. That wasn’t enough and it won’t be enough for the Conservatives this time around. Boris Johnson is seen as a different sort of politician and his early start has sent shockwaves through the political system. But, again, it’s vital that the Conservatives keep up the pace. Johnson has been around now on the frontline of British politics for over a decade and the Conservatives have been in power for nearly a decade. Many of their most visible politicians have also been around a long time. As a Government and Party, they look comparatively new but not absolutely so. They should be rolling out new faces consistently in coming weeks. Their general rhetoric – and how they package both fights and positive announcements – should focus on how they’re changing the political system as we know it. Before I bored everyone to death about the importance of lower middle class and working class voters, I used to bore people about the need to harness anti-politics as a force for change. Now is the time to do this in earnest.

In very difficult circumstances over the last few weeks, Johnson’s Government has not put a foot wrong politically. His team know the path to political and electoral success is extremely narrow, though, and it will be hard to deliver. In the next few weeks they’ll need to raise their game even further.

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