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September 10, 2009

What we really have is an allocation problem

The single biggest risk to our nation is our national debt.  The single biggest contributor to our national debt is the amount we spend on defense:

2009 (in billions of dollars)2009 percent of federal funds budget

Current Military Spending74230.9%
Cost of Past Wars32413.5%
Total military percent 44.4%
Health care47219.7%
Responses to Poverty28411.8%
Interest on Non-Military Share of Federal Debt26110.9%
Government Operations1667%
Education and jobs522.2%
Science, Energy, & Environment602.5%
Non-Military International Programs371.5%
Source: Budget Chart: President Bush's FY 09 Budget Proposal, Friends Committee on National Legislation, February 15, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Do we really need to spend $742 billion dollars on defense?  Certainly, that depends on what other nations spend:

 

Military spending in 2008 ($ Billions, and percent of total)

 

CountryDollars (billions)% of totalRank

Source: U.S. Military Spending vs. the World, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, February 22, 2008

United States71148.28%1
China121.98.28%2
Russia704.75%3
United Kingdom55.43.76%4
France543.67%5
Japan41.12.79%6

 

 Enough said.

 

September 06, 2009

Adecco Labor Day Worker (Dis!)Satisfaction Survey

Remember, a dissatisfied employee is a wealth-shifty employee... 

Adecco Labor Day Survey Finds Majority of Workers Dissatisfied with Compensation, Career Growth Opportunities & Retention Efforts

(MELVILLE , NY) September 2, 2009 – Adecco Group North America's latest American Workplace Insights Survey indicates that only one-quarter of workers are less likely to be looking for another job in today's tightening labor market. Why the rush out of their cubicles? According to survey findings, companies seeking to retain their employees when the recovery begins should start by addressing three key areas of dissatisfaction: compensation, career growth paths and retention efforts.

The survey, conducted on Adecco's behalf by Harris Interactive showed that tw o-thirds (66%) of American workers are not currently satisfied with their compensation. Additionally, 78% of American workers are not satisfied with their company's overall retention efforts and 76% are not satisfied about future career growth opportunities at their company.

Other key findings of the survey included:

  • Relationships are strained: Almost half (48 % ) of workers are not satisfied with the relationship they have with their boss and the majority (59%) of workers are not satisfied with the level of support they receive from their colleagues.

  • Company vision and leadership is lacking : The majority of workers (77%) are not satisfied with the strategy and vision of the company and its leadership.

  • Retirement contributions : 68% of workers are not satisfied with their company's contribution to their retirement plans. 

“As Labor Day approaches and we move closer to an economic recovery, employees and managers should remember that career development is a mutual responsibility, particularly for companies looking to reduce an exodus of top talent,” said Bernadette Kenny, chief career officer, Adecco Group North America. “What workers are telling us is that even during a recession, just having a job does not equate to job satisfaction. Employers need to be conscious of the concerns their staff is managing through on a daily basis and proactively come up with the appropriate solutions to improve retention and reduce the current and future high cost of turnover.”

Adecco Group North America offers the following tips for employers to reduce feelings of dissatisfaction among their staff:

  • Make retention efforts more visible: Behind the scenes, managers may be doing what they can to retain their employees, but staff won't feel valued if these efforts aren't visible to them. Retention efforts begin through mutual dialogue and building trust.  Managers should engage their employees in the realities of the business challenges to foster employees' understanding of the market and competition.

  • Reward and provide reason: If increasing compensation due to the current economic climate is not possible, look to reward employees through an awards program or team contest. Improving morale just by recognizing good work can help ease compensation complaints. As the survey found, dollars and cents are not the only way to improve satisfaction so be sure your putting in the extra effort where extra investment is not available. In addition, employees benefit greatly by understanding the reasons behind lower compensation and how these short term adjustments will help them and the company in the long run.

  • Communicate growth path for employees : Managers should map out a growth plan for employees and communicate it to their teams. Employees will then understand that managers are invested in their future and they'll be more confident in investing their time and career with the organization.