Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Take Advantage Of The Unemployed Week

As Congress plays games and twists itself into political gridlock, millions of Americans are losing their unemployment benefits. Coincidentally, just as benefits stalled last week, rates for several upcoming reviews plummeted. I am sure this is all just a normal function of the market and not just a carpetbagging opportunity for certain sleazy agency middlemen to stuff extra money in their pockets.

"Contracts Attorneys Needed ASAP

Date: 2010-06-28, 6:17PM EDT
Reply to: job-ytcgp-1816081049@craigslist.org

Fortune 500 Company is seeking several contract attorneys for a review starting this Wednesday!

We are seeking licensed attorneys who can commit to at least 10 hours a day and who are available to work through this upcoming holiday weekend and all of next week.

If you are interested, please send your resume in WORD.

Compensation: $26/hr (flat rate)"


Anonymous said...

The irony of sites like this is that many seem to be conservatives.

Yet, when it comes to unemployment benefits, it is conservative Republicans and Democrats who are the masterminds behind the political system that allows your own down fall.

We are seeing this on issue after issue. We have two right wing parties in control right now. The policy outcomes that you are complaining about are policies that many here have defended in the past. Yet, when it works against you - you argue it should be different.

Think about it: the deflate the rate issue is a direct product of what conservative economic theory says should happen. Free market enterprise at its "best." You "negotiate" your income without any regulation to prevent them from exploiting you.

Some will claim its about the offsetting, but that's just the facade. The truth is that many conservatives in Congress argue that with unemployment you are just more likely to loaf around doing nothing than take any job you can get. That's their real concern.

I should say this is not something I believe in. I am not for free markets without hedging to protect against excess. Individual business decisions are okay so long as they are balanced against other needs.

For example, if we got rid of at will employment, the agencies could not operate as they operate. They would be forced to really negotiate with you rather than simply deflate the rate. Its never going to happen.

Nando said...

I don't like when people say "This is where the legal industry is headed." Headed?! This is where we are at!

Lemmings never seem to grasp that they have a better chance at ending up in the basement, reviewing boiler-plate BS than actually practicing law.

Anonymous said...

Dental Plan?

Anonymous said...

Just got a call here in Houston about a new project. Rate of $25 an hour. Never mind the fact that several huge reviews at $30 are going on right now, including one with this same agency. The rate is $25, and they "can't do anything about that." God forbid they take a cut to their share of the profit to keep the rate up. Oh no, there's nothing they can do. 25 bucks.

Anonymous said...

Well, I rather have $25 in Houston than $26 here in New York.

Anonymous said...

"The irony of sites like this is that many seem to be conservatives."

What I find odd is that these conservatives never seem to hold Republicans accountable, even they this is their political party, and should presumably be fighting to protect their interests. It's almost sad because no matter how much they vituperate about the Dumbocrats, they never seem to have any ideas about what the Republicans should be doing to stop them.

Anonymous said...

" They never seem to have any ideas about what the Republicans should be doing to stop them"

This statement confuses me.

Republicans are doing what conservatives say they want. They want less government. Less regulations. Less government programs like unemployment benefits. Conservatism argues that the market always knows best. The GOP is simply responding to this. So are conservative Democrats.

It is FDR type liberalism that says "no, this is wrong." You need ways to protect workers. You need to have unemployment insurance, minimum wage and a form of employment that requires firing someone for cause rather than at will employment.

So, when someone says conservatives are not pushing the GOP its failures, that's wrong. The GOP is not failing in its ideological goals.

Now, if you mean, by failing, that people are being hurt by the policies, including conservatives. That's true. But, it would be hypocritical to complain about policies you endorse that hurt you when you were for them when you thought they would only hurt others.

No one said that you would be at the top of the heap. Yet, market forces depend on winners and losers.

What I find ironic is the whining because we are the losers when the ideology is predicated on some of us losing. Its like complaining that gravity works if someone drops a ball on your head. Gravity worked regardless of your individual harm. Its what the theory predicts. Same with conservatism as practiced in the U.S. It assumes some of us will be serfs to the owners of business.

Just as was historically the case before FDR liberalism came into play to address the excesses of capitalism.

It would be less hypocritical if the conservatives admit the ideology wrong. But, Americans don't like to be wrong about anything even when they are. Therefore, I wouldn't wait around for that moment of enlightenment to happen.

Anonymous said...

I just fundamentally don't understand conservatism, and I'll give an example of what confuses me. "Lower taxes."

It seems to me that "low taxes" might be a coherent policy position. Then, all you have to do is look around the world and see what tax rate is low enough given what other countries rates are set at, and pricing in the reality that we should have higher taxes because our consumer market is the high-rollers club. People want in regardless of the tax rate. Maybe that's the liberal in me, though.

"Lower taxes", however, is a corrupt ideology. When Reagan took office, the top marginal tax rate was 70%. Conservatism said that lower taxes would benefit everyone. And so we did it. Now it's 2010. The top marginal tax rate is 35%. Still, the ideology is "lower taxes". It seems that no matter the tax rate, the conservative argument is that is always must be "lower."

That's just an example, though. The same holds true for "less government" or "less regulation". At what point is the level of regulation limited enough? It's a fine thing to argue for capitalist - ahem - free enterprise principles, but conservatives never say what role regulation DOES have. The mantra is always about railing against the role that currently plays. And so, it seems sometimes like they don't have a very good idea of what this conservative concept of "free enterprise" really looks like. To make this diatribe relevant to our purposes, I really, sincerely and genuinely want to ask what role bankruptcy regulation (because if there is anything which interferes with the sovereignty of contract, this is it) has in the free enterprise system. Are people allowed to fail under the "free enterprise system"? Are they allowed to fail and then start over? Is mutuality of risk part of the conservative concept of free enterprise? If so, should students be able to discharge student loans in bankruptcy when the worst recession since the 1920's ruins even the best laid (and, to that point, executed) plans? Most importantly, do conservatives believe in bankruptcy legislation? How do you distinguish between regulation which is fundamental to the American experience - as bankruptcy legislation seems to be - and legislation which is an unacceptable re-writing of our history and reforming of our basic beliefs as a people?

I would be genuinely interested if anyone took it upon themselves to respond to any of these questions.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh my little legal lemmings....Republican schmublican.....Dumbocrat schmumbocat.....Google Gerald Celente & researchtrends.com.....do it. He tells you that it is what he calls the "red carpet crowd" and I refere to them as those who resemble Jerry Seinfeld and Martha Stewart. The elites. Party matters not.

The elites have seen to it that not one thin dime is given to those who are not they that wasn't pried out of the hands of the chiseling elites. They only have use for themselves and the serf class immigrants. No one who dwells in between need apply. Its getting so bad that even semi upper class types who somewhat resemble them suffer. They are starting to eat their own even.

Google Gerald Celente and watch clips of his various TV appearences. He fortells the future.

Sooner or later there will be damn near riots in the streets. Many folks will be forced to go off the Man's grid. Get ur off grid hustle skills on folks because things are only going to get uglier not only in lawland but also in this dying nation that we used to call America. Right now the standard rate is $32 but soon it will be $26. It used to be $35 or $40.

The Great One has spoken. Big ups to L4L for scooping me up on Gerald Celente over on JDU.

Anonymous said...

themoneymasters.com is very helpful to all this madness.

Don't fall for the right v. left charade people. It's part of the Hegelian dialectic (essentially a form of Kabbalism) that has been and is currently enslaving the world. Antony Sutton explains it fairly well about the elites and Hegelian dialectic (start listening at 3:00 minute mark):


Anonymous said...

ah, both dental plan guy and martha stewart/jerry seinfeld elite guy are back. feels like the good old times.

while it's true that the republican answer to everything is "lower taxes" it's equally true that the democrat answer to everything is "raise taxes"

How 'bout a compromise. Just keep taxes the same and fight over some other stuff.

Anonymous said...

Cut taxes, but also lower spending. This is the key that neither party is willing to adopt.

Jim O said...

" They never seem to have any ideas about what the Republicans should be doing to stop them"

The major motiviating idea behind this site, and most of those on its blogroll, is not that the Gummint, be it Democrat or Republican at any parrticular time, should be subsidizing those who have fallen for the Law School - BigLaw scam. It's to stop the lemming-like parade of victims.

It is to get the knowledge out there that the scam exists, that it is huge and immoral scam, and that if you get caught in it you risk having your life ruined.

Right now, most potential students and their parents don't know about the scam. Like any market, the law school - BigLaw market works most efficiently when accurate information is out there for all. But BigLaw, its feeder schools and its friends in government and media have done a great job of keeping it hidden. Students think that all they need to do is beg and borrow to get into an "accredited" law school, and their futures are as a secure is if they got a job with a public school or the post office, except, of course, they'll make more money.

Government subsidies and easy-available (but non-dischargable)school loans artifially prop up tuitions, faculty and staff salaries, and BigLaw profits, while artifially depressing the salaries of the rest of us.

The answer,as ususal, is not more government, but more truth. The only thing "Republicans" can do abou is to is to get the government out its role in the scam, and - like it is supposed to do throUgh the SEC with business corporations (when its employees are not distracted by porn) - force the schools disclose the lousy odds they're asking their admittees too accept.

To the extend that some of the "anonymouses" here conflate conversatism with Republicanism, they're just off base. Any true conservative knows that both parties are corrupt to the core.

Anonymous said...


Yes, the old "conservatism can never fail us. We can only fail conservatism."

Its like the Christians or Communists or any true believing fundamentalist closed system. Facts, history, stats, etc are only as important as it reinforces the system of belief.

Now, that you want unemployment, conservatism, of course, doesn't include the item that you want. No, that's "Republicanism" rather than conservatism.

Any "true" conservative knows this. Or, Occam's Razor, you are just a hypocrite who believes the ideas you believe in so long as they don't harm you personally.

Many of you probably should not have been admitted into law school. Yet, according to ideas of personal responsibility, that was your choice to do so, and thus, according to conservative notions of responsibility are solely responsible for your actions. So are the other lemmings.

The only way you reach a liberal view is to admit that there is a system and that no matter how well prepared the individual is- they can not operate in a system without hedging in the form of government action. Even your demand for information is government action.

Republicans are conservatives. They come out of Reaganomics, which many of you bought into until it started to fail you personally. Indeed, even your argument over student loans, while I am sympathetic to them, is Reaganism. The problem isn't supply and demand.

The problem is that education cost too much. If didn't cost so much, you wouldn't need student loans to pay for it. Guess why it costs so much- because in the 70s and 80s we started to treat education like a market commodity or business rather than as a core list of items (health care being another) that one needs to have in order to have a viable middle class quality of life.

Whatever the major purpose of these sites are, they often are populated by comments that include a lot more conservative ideological perspectives than liberal ones.

Its like you are in a cave, and you see a light against the cave wall due to the fact that you personally are suffering, but you don't understand what it means. Its not about any systemic implications in your mind other than your small part of it.

To mix a metaphor, its the canary in the coal mine about the fact that conservatism, like communism, is a failed ideological perspective. Always has been. Always will be. But you ignore this, and continue to poison yourself with it.

Jim O said...

Anonymous, you don't have to call me by the time of my post. Some people actually stand behind what they say.

Some don't. They call themselves 'anonymous.'

Your post is too muddled to respond to briefly, and I have very little time. But I note that you concede that "[t]he problem is that education cost too much. If didn't cost so much, you wouldn't need student loans to pay for it."

What a profound insight. You give away this advise for free?

Now get to work on:(1)why that is. (2) whether even more liberal/progressive subsidization of the current system would ameliorate or exacerbate it.

Look, if you liberals are going to insist on subsidize the suckers who fell for the scam, please stop the scam first!

Brian said...

I am glad that people seem to get that Bush and the radical religious right and their hatred for lawyers, the law, and the Constitution are the primary cause of all the problems that attorneys are facing today. Notice that the religious industry is as profitable as ever. Bush and his cronies at Big Oil and Haliburton, who were tired of being held accountable by trial lawyers, did everything they could to destroy attorneys. They encouraged outsourcing to India, and did everything they could to limit access to the courts but the poor, women, minorities, and gays. That's why Bush nominated two white-bread corporate lawyers to the Supreme Court, to protect his pals that made him and Dick Cheney filthy rich. We need to keep ditching Republicans so that the legal industry can get healthy again.

Anonymous said...


Whether I call you by your time stamp or the screen name that you use, you are anonymous. The idea that you are not anonymous (or "brave" as you see yourself) due to a screen name is first as far as non-sequitur arguments go.

Education costs did not start to rise until it became a commodity in the late 70s and early 80s.

This is significant regarding policy. Why? Because student loans (and government funding of education) predates the rise in cost. Therefore, disproving causation wherein government student loans are root of the problem.

The loans are symptom of the underlying disease of turning education into a business. These numbers can be tracked, and evidence can be brought to prove this rather than relying on assumptions as your argument does.

Just because you don't get a point doesn't mean a point is not a significant one. Your cockiness aside- the argument goes to the idea that we can simply end government based student loans and that will end the problem.

The current "system" is one where education is a business. Unless you end that element, you aren't going to address the problem with education.

You are just as likely to obtain more unfavorable loans from the private sector since they are not subject to bankruptcy laws and other liberal protections for consumers. And yes, consumer protection laws like bankruptcy are based on liberal ideological arguments.

The assumption you make due to conservative ideology is that education is a market place like buying a car.

This is what gets conservatives into trouble. Not all goods and services are widgets. Not all consumers are rational. Because they are not, your solutions aren't rational since they depend on people making the choices that you expect them to make due to pricing.

What if they don't? Does that mean we aren't still suffering due to poor choices or high costs? We as a group of lawyers being stuck with lawyers who now have only private sector loans who are now even more desperate than before. Yeah, that's a solution.

Whereas, I am asking a more fundamental question- why is law school 50k a year?

If its not 50k, but instead 10k, we never arrive at the point of exploiting students based on loans or have to risk a subprime market for student loans.

You can't arrive at a solution if you are ignoring the nature of the problem and relying on unfounded assumptions.

Jim O said...

Non-sequitor, 2:55? Click on the link and follow to my name to find out who I am and where I live.

Unlike the mass of you, who can hurl your ad hominim remarks from behind your wall of anonymity.

And you missed my points so badly I've concluded that its not worth it to try to re-state them for you with smaller words. You have no idea what I'm talking about. None.

Bionic Commando said...

Anonymous has succeeded in vocalizing something that has irked me for a while now, especially because I _do_ agree with the "scambuster movement". Yet, at the same time, I see an unusually high percentage of right-wing thinking, as well as some outbursts of outright racism, while at the same time reading a lot of people complaining about how they've been edged out of the industry. The racist aspect, of course, is the same old thing you see time and time again, when economic times are hard, and an easy target is needed. In this case, since there are, stereotypically or not, a fair number of Jewish people in the practice of law, as well as a growing number of foreign doc reviewers here, and outsourcing to India, there's plenty of generic anger at these groups. It happened in Germany in the '30s, and it's happening again. Of course, never mind that there are plenty of Jewish shitlaw associates getting raped by low salaries, the foreign doc reviewers are also stuck in the same S&C as everyone else, and the guys doing the gruntwork in India are essentially just TTT guys like the rest of us, but on the other side of the world. At the end of the day, we're all gettin' screwed by the have-mores, no matter what race or religion we are.

As far as the politics are concerned, I think it's the fact that the "scammers" in the education industry seem to have the same face that dictated political correctness during our college years, and much of the higher education establishment on the school side appear to be politically linked to the Democratic party, the way big oil/big corporate interests are joined at the hip with the Republicans. That being said, it's not really "liberal" policies that have caused this law school scam mess so much as these schools taking gross advantage of the idea of helping students get into and fund higher education. The schools took an admirable idea, and horribly mutated it to fund the cushy lifestyle those who run said schools have. Think of it in the same way the stock market went from being a great way to start funding for productive businesses, to becoming a way for people to profit by shuffling money from party to party willy-nilly in the extreme short term. A lot of this could've been at least limited by requiring schools that get student loans to meet basic post-graduate employment criteria for eligibility, while forcing the ABA to take a more proactive role in keeping the profession from becoming saturated. Somehow I doubt either side of the aisle is willing to make any kind of meaningful change though, as the Democrats are awfully chummy with much of academia, and the regulations and rules such an approach would require are anathema to "free market" Republicans.

Anonymous said...

Your point was not missed.

You are not particularly brilliant except in your own mind.

You didn't rebut my point about student loans predating the rise in the cost of education because you can't.

Your point is not of value if causation can't be shown. If you really were a practicing lawyer, you would have understood my point about causation.

Anonymous said...

" The schools took an admirable idea, and horribly mutated it to fund the cushy lifestyle those who run said schools have. Think of it in the same way the stock market went from being a great way to start funding for productive businesses, to becoming a way for people to profit by shuffling money from party to party willy-nilly in the extreme short term.

A lot of this could've been at least limited by requiring schools that get student loans to meet basic post-graduate employment criteria for eligibility, while forcing the ABA to take a more proactive role in keeping the profession from becoming saturated. Somehow I doubt either side of the aisle is willing to make any kind of meaningful change though, as the Democrats are awfully chummy with much of academia, and the regulations and rules such an approach would require are anathema to "free market" Republicans."

I agree completely with this statement. But, let me add about the cost issue that its really the 800 lb elephant in the room that it is because schools went from education being about education to schools, especially law schools, becoming profit centers.

I am not per se against changing student loans to make them subject to same market forces as other debt. To some degree. But, not completely because education really is a way up for the lower classes unless it costs too much to go to school.

The real issue is that it costs too much to go to school, especially law school, because the schools seem themselves as profit centers. That's why you must address the cost of education as well as the loan issue.

So, while I think limiting the number of lawyers and addressing loans are a factor, a bigger one is cost. No one should have to take out 100k or more in debt to practice law even after the rules are changed. That's just too much cost.

Anonymous said...

dental plan lisa needs braces

Jim O said...

Wow, you are something else.

OK! I'll do what I said I would not do, just because you really seem to need the help.

The fact that loans preceded the rise in cost of education IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF MY POINT! You just admitted that you missed it.

I hate to get snarkey with people, but, Jeezzus, your reading comprehension is terrible.

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Anonymous said...

Wow, these comments are abysmally dumb.

Anonymous said...

I always say that the biggest beneficiaries of law schools are NEVER the law graduates, but the law firms and other employers of law graduates.

Another beneficiary of law schools is the faculty and the administration running the law schools.

In this capitalistic society, why would the law school industry in general make the law graduates the biggest beneficiaries, when the people running the law industry are law firms, employers of law graduates, and the faculty??

As a corollary, college education in the US mainly benefits corporate America, who are the employers of college graduates. Education in America produces workers for corporate America, not citizens for the society.