2012-02-01 / Features

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

BY TED J. BLOOM MLS. MSED.

President Obama taught constitutional law at University of Chicago Law School and thus one would expect him to be a seasoned public speaker as, evidenced at his recent, well written, State of the Union Address. To read transcripts of over 100 of the President’s speeches visit http://Obamaspeeches.com. Compared to other political sites that contain the President’s speeches, it has less advertising per webpage, enabling for shorter printouts and quicker reading. Consider the following recent excerpt: “The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, and a retirement that is dignified.” Our readers know that in past Internet in Bloom columns we have tackled the issue of using the Internet to find employment in various ways.

Moreover, another way to find work is to target jobs that offer pensions. Pensions pay out guaranteed benefits for the worker’s life, unlike more common 401(k) plans, which may or may not involve employer matching of a percentage of employee savings. However, this guarantee is only as good as how well the fund is managed. Remember the Enron scam? The public sector, such as local, state and federal government positions typically offer the most pensions. Traditionally, police, firefighters, teachers and judges have pensions. Many jobs that offer pensions are dangerous and do not always pay well. Thus, pensions are an added incentive. Most union government jobs have pensions, thus joining a union helps. However, according to the 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics research, see www.Bls.gov, in 1983 the national union membership rate—the percentage of wage and salary workers who were union members—was 20.1 percent with 17.7 million union workers. That percentage has declined by almost half to 11.9 percent as of 2010. Thus, organized labor in the U.S. is at an historical low point, unlike in countries such as France and Germany where organized labor is stronger with a larger middle class. The site www.Unionjobs.com lists openings by geography, with both domestic and international listings and alphabetical listings by individual organizations. Of course, one may wish to contact the union business agents directly, as getting into a powerful union is typically very competitive, to say the least.

Lastly, to end on an up note, www.Groveshark.com provides free music streaming, online radio stations, and lets you connect with artists and friends. Unlike other music sites, no software download is required to listen to your favorite tunes. For example, www.Youtube.com has become commercialized, often forcing users to view movie trailers and other commercial interruptions before being allowed to access the desired video—a growing trend online. Furthermore, www.Groveshark.com is compatible with the latest smartphone apps for: Android, iPhone, Nokia, Blackberry, etc.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

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