USA’s working poor are getting poorer

The Economic Populist has published an interesting overview of wages statistic in USA. It turns out that nearly a third of people working are extremely poor. These are not jobless but people who actually have jobs. Still, one third of working people receive wages before taxes below $15,000 a year and nearly 15% of workers – below $5,000 a year. Most Americans, 52.4%, make less than $30,000 a year yet those very Americans only have 15.3% of the total country income from wages.

The chasm between the rich and poor is growing yearly. An astronomical 23.1 million wage earners made less than $5,000 per year in 2013. Those making less than $5000 a year are only getting 0.7% of the total compensation pie as a group. The top wage bracket – over $50 million – has 110 people in it or 0.000064% of wage earners. This top wage bracket received 0,18% of the total net compensation. And this inequality of wages keeps increasing.


The Economic Populist concludes that “The bottom line here is the rich are getting richer and most of America continues to get squeezed even though in 2013 wages improved.  As a trend we can see since 1990 just a never ending attack on regular wage earners in this country. The bounce back in 2013 isn’t enough to make up for 30 years of a spiral down.”… -->

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Teleconference scheduling made simple

Can we get to grips with teleconference scheduling already? Why do I always have to look for the times, the numbers, deal with people who send an invite five minutes before it starts and complain that I did not participate? What is so difficult about it?

Look, if you want to schedule a teleconference, here is what you do:

  • Set the objective. We are not interested in a teleconference “just to share information”, you can send that by e-mail, we have other things to do.
  • List people who you want to attend and make sure you have a good reason for them to attend at all. Too many conferences have too many people in them.
  • Pick a good time for all of them. Hint: a good time is never today. If you need a decision today, you will have to call each person individually and discuss.
  • Put together the teleconference call-in and call-back numbers that could be useful for all of the people you invite. I am not going to dial international to spend one hour on a teleconference, this is so passe.
  • Finally, send an invite with the objective, agenda, numbers and reminder.

It is that simple. Oh, and if you need to reschedule – start from the beginning.… -->

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Quality of teaching

How would one go about determining a quality of teaching? Or, rather, the quality of a teacher? Say, you have a teacher in your school, you want to know if he is good or not, so you can replace him or keep him. What do you do?

It seems a difficult question and it seems that judging the quality of work the teacher does is really hard, especially if harmonious personality development is much higher on your agenda than getting end-year tests passed. Some thoughts on the matter include:

  • Participating in a class (what if you do not understand the subject completely and cannot judge?)
  • Reading through class plans, trying to figure how much effort the teacher puts into preparation
  • Interviewing pupils or students for both their feeling and their understanding of the subject
  • Setting independent tests (problems with tests are huge and numerous, so this may not quite work)

But there must be already some methods that work… Aren’t there?… -->

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