Monday, December 19, 2011

Fascist Chicago?

One of the hallmarks of fascism is correctly outlined in Wikipedia:
Fascists advocate: a state-directed, regulated economy that is dedicated to the nation; the use and primacy of regulated private property and private enterprise contingent upon service to the nation or state; the use of state enterprise where private enterprise is failing or is inefficient.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is out with a commentary in WSJ that would make Mussolini proud. In the commentary, he announces a partnership between certain Chicago-based corporations and Chicago-based community colleges. Emanuel writes:
Despite stubborn unemployment, we have companies offering well-paying jobs that have to go begging for skilled applicants. This is because our community college system, which was a worker's ticket into employment and the middle class during the postwar boom, has failed to keep pace with today's competitive jobs market. Consequently, in a 21st-century economy, our workers still have 20th-century skills...

This situation will only get worse. In the next 10 years, the Chicago area will need 9,000 additional computer-science workers, 20,000 new transportation workers and 43,000 new health-care workers, including 15,000 nurses.

In order to fill these jobs, we need to modernize our community colleges so that Americans no longer regard community colleges as a last ditch effort for a remedial education, but as their first choice for high-skill job training...

So, last week I announced a series of partnerships between our community colleges and our top employers that will draw on their expertise to develop curricula and set industry standards for job training in high-growth sectors like health care, high-tech manufacturing, information technology and professional services.

This program, "Colleges to Careers," will team AAR Corp. with Chicago's Olive-Harvey College to design a curriculum for avionics and mechanics careers. It will partner companies like Allscripts and Northwestern Memorial Hospital with Malcolm X College to design job training in health-care information technology and nursing.

These partnerships will align workers' training with the expectations of employers so that community college students will not have to worry about whether they have the right skills for their chosen field. They will have the confidence of knowing that the company they want to work for has helped design their curriculum specifically so that they can be hired and be successful. Employers won't need to search for the skilled workers they need to invest and expand. They will have confidence in their future work force because they were a partner in shaping it.I hope that cities across the country will follow Chicago's model.

If we revive and modernize our training programs to match the needs of our high-growth industries, our community college system can catapult millions of people into employment and into the middle class, as it has done for generations of Americans.
The question which must be asked is if this type of education is in demand, why isn't the private sector offering it?  The private sector offers everything from bartender school to medical school. Does the mayor seriously think that mechanics teaching would not appear on the scene if the pay was high enough for mechanics?  This "partnership" with industry smells an awful lot like corporations getting their employees trained by the city of Chicago through the community college network.

It will result in an increase in supply, with little cost to corporations. The Chicago taxpayer picks up the tab. In a free market. an extremely limited supply of skilled workers results in increasing salaries for those skilled workers, and private educational institutions respond by providing more classes which will increase the skill level in the areas where the higher salaries are. And the taxpayers get to keep their money!

Emanuel is a typical modern day politician, he sees any problems beyond swollen hemorrhoids as something government should solve. Eventually, it becomes all bureaucratic with more and more centralized power that works for the benefit of the politically connected.

David Storch Chairman and CEO of AAR Corp, the company that will benefit from the Mayor's new training program, is a case in point. Storch appears to be a huge suck up to the mayor. He even issued a press release after meeting with the mayor in October:
AAR (NYSE: AIR) announced today that its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, David P. Storch was among five aviation industry leaders that attended a session hosted by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at City Hall where the Mayor invited business leaders to share challenges and discuss opportunities to protect and grow Chicago’s position as a leading international aviation hub.

“I was very impressed with Mayor Emanuel and the initiative that he demonstrated in pulling this group of industry leaders together in the interest of growing the local economy and creating jobs,” said David P. Storch. “The session was an excellent opportunity for aviation businesses with operations in the Chicago area to share common challenges and explore ways to advance aviation as a part of the City’s growth agenda.”
In a more recent press release, Storch indicates the earlier gushing paid off (my emphasis):
AAR (NYSE: AIR) has been selected by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Office as aviation industry partner for a new education to careers engagement strategy between the City Colleges of Chicago and private business to prepare residents for jobs in high-growth sectors.

AAR Chairman and CEO David P. Storch joined Mayor Emanuel for the announcement of the "Colleges to Careers" initiative, which will focus on building industry partnerships for careers in aviation, healthcare, logistics, hospitality and information technology. These high-growth sectors are in need of skilled workers to fill open positions today and to build a pipeline of talent for the future. The initiative will draw on its partners' knowledge and expertise to develop the definitive standard in industry credentials, drive job creation and help increase the competitiveness of Chicago-area companies.

"This initiative will have long-term benefits for the viability of Chicago's future workforce," Storch said. "It also will help to reduce employer costs for education and skills training on the job so that the people we hire are properly trained from Day One."
How true! The cost has been shifted to Chicago taxpayers! Nice move Mr. Mayor. Yes, indeed, Mussolini would be proud.


  1. Actually, there is an opportunity for Rahm to get in on the hemorrhoids intervention bandwagon, as the worker's comp law in Chicago does not seem to provide well for victims:

  2. This kind of thing is being done at the national level too with Skills for America's Future Obama launched with the Aspen Institute back in June:

  3. You sure swollen hemorrhoids aren't covered under Medicare?

  4. Storch? Any relation to Adam, onetime Goldman boy and SEC enforcer?

  5. Rahm likes spreading the cash around:

  6. In a free and prosperous society with sound money, free markets and little political corruption, education is naturally interwoven with community and business needs.People are free to choose what they want to do.There is no need of apparatchiks to tell them what to do.

  7. "Emanuel is a typical modern day politician, he sees any problems beyond swollen hemorrhoids as something government should solve."

    Hahaha! I just sprayed my beer through my nostrils.

  8. Actual education has long since been sacrificed for low wage job training.

  9. In 1974, Milton Friedman provided the Free To Choose floating currency script for Neoliberalism. But also in 1974, the 300 elite of the Club of Rome, provided the Clarion Call for regional global governance for Neoauthoritarianism.

    The Banker Regime featured wildcat finance, a Doug Noland term, and the seigniorage of fiat money. But the Beast Regime features wildcat governance, where leaders bite, rip, and tear, one another, where only the most fierce and cunning survive, and the seigniorage of diktat.

    Collapsing world currencies and emerging market currencies cannot sustain banking and and economic growth. Collapsing currencies evidences the failure of sovereign authority. Fate is now passing the baton of sovereign authority from nation states to regional sovereign leaders and sovereign bodies such as the EU ECB and IMF Troika. A EU Federal Union, with a Fiscal Union, and a Federal Treasury, and a Federal Bank, led by a triumvirate of Berlin, Brussels and Berlin, will soon come forth to establish regional global governance as called for by the Club of Rome in 1974. This will be followed by other regional global governance authorities such as the Shanghai Cooperative and the CELAC Group. Regional global governance is synonymous characterised by statism: stakeholder groups will managed economic life and provide credit for companies that are essential to the security and prosperity of the region. Banks will be nationalized and key natural resource companies, such as Keystone Pipeline, TRP, and infrastructure and military companies will essentially become public private partnerships, and receive liquidity funding. Floating currencies underwrote the Banker Regime of Neoliberalism, which prevailed from 1971 to June of 2011, and democracy prevailed. But now with collapsing currencies, the Beast Regime of Neoauthoritarianism, is rising out of the failure of growth, and it will survive and endure through diktat.

    Despotism will prevail universally and Public Act 4 in Michigan was is showing the way forward with the installation of an emergency city manager in Benton Harbor. Janel Flechsig, wrote in WSWS, on May 2, 2011, Michigan’s Anti Democratic Emergency Financial Manager Law Takes Effect. On March 16, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 4 of 2011 into law. The bill, also called the Local Government and School District Financial Accountability Act, extends the powers of appointed Emergency Financial Managers, EFMs, to institute fiscal reform of local and municipal government. Less than a month after the passage of the new law, on April 14, Benton Harbor’s EFM, Joseph Harris, issued an order suspending the decision-making powers of the city commission, effectively barring them from taking any action without his permission.