Who deserves jobs?

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    Ben Yahr

    I’d add to your list
    -Maintenance and improvements to water infrastructure.
    -Revise energy policy.

    Thomas J. Johnson

    – Legalize and tax cannabis (stop spending billions on persecuting non-violent / no victim offenders / release those in captivity at huge cost to tax payers) I don’t smoke the stuff but also don’t believe in wasting money on a substance less harmful than alcohol or cigarettes.
    – Revamp our education system to compete with China / India / Europe (So far the govt has not been successful)
    – Compensate bicycle commuters (tax write offs) at the same rate as automobiles ( +/- $.75/mi) if you really want to get people to stop driving, reduce pollution and get healthier.

    Noah Mabry

    -abolish current farm subsidy policy. replace with incentives for crop diversity and smaller scale agg.


    Now we’re cooking with gas! Guys these are the kind of solutions I want to hear from politicos in Washington, but some are just too afraid to shake things up. I don’t know if any one person has the answer to fix all of the country’s problems, but we at least need to try some new ideas. If something doesn’t work make adjustments or try something else. I’m sick of our politicians being cowards that will bend in any direction that allows them to keep their job.

    Ryland Fox

    If you haven’t read it, Zinn’s last chapter in The Peoples History of the US elaborates beautifully on what you are saying.

    Trace One

    hm..you know, of course, that Obama just ordered some changes to the USA jobs stuff, to try to streamline the process.
    Can’t really argue with you..The only thing about those TYPES of jobs, ie, site p lan reviewer, stormwater reviewer, is that east coast is WAY more local than west coast – that was a shock to me..I really can’t comment on federal..
    But if you look at the local level, City and County, those same jobs are very available to the LA graduate, on the east coast, and very NOT available on the west coast..
    Sorry..Only got jobs off local or state websites..Really can’t speak about federal.first hand..But I do know that Obama decreed some streamlining, specifically to USA jobs (really – you can look it up!) a few months ago..

    previous thought was job offers are random and n ot predicatble..May stick to that thought..

    Jonathon Martinez

    I don’t see what all the commotion is regarding a shortage of jobs. As I recall, the feds passed a near trillion dollar stimulus bill a year ago that continues to create MILLIONS of jobs, and we recently finished the “Summer of Recovery” just as the administration predicted. Just get on the USAJOBS website and with no trouble at all you’ll get an LA job with a federal agency. Everything is peachy right now.

    Leslie B Wagle

    This topic has become more about general politics (thoughtful entries, by the way) but I just wanted to say, as a baby boomer, I don’t know where this image came from that we had it so easy (further down page). I endured 3 bad recessions and times that I worked as a newspaper ad layout person, textile designer, signage designer, landscape company sales/designer, at a student paper grading service, and at an environmental center (sort of a zoo/museum) part time a few rough spots along the way to survive low places in my design business.

    I really feel for the new grads wondering how they can get their required time in to qualify for the exam, as I faced the same thing in ’74…..but you can’t really ask a “who deserves” question because there is no “central agency” for that and we wouldn’t want for one to operate over the whole complex field of employment (in spite of how arbitrary management hiring and layoff decisions seem to be). The comments about a diverse office drawing on wisdom and tech talent in tandem mirror what I think is usually the pattern across successful human enterprises of history.

    However, as a retired LA, I also have decided that I now have the smallish income setup that allows me to do the freebie type things I run across as a “social service” that is keeping my brain alive and hopefully doing a little good without exhausting myself on job-hunting or taking away opportunity for someone else (even if I would be hired). I could mourn about how my mind and talents would still have value but I think, having reached a point that I can get by, that my challenge should adjust accordingly. Also several years prior to this change, I cultivated another area (music) and I’m having some luck with a small venture where I’ve hooked up with another person, and I play piano for a church. I feel I can have an “informed supporter” role in the profession and even pay my fees for the license more or less to keep the state board showing it has a function (I’m emeritus ASLA now) but that’s just my own sort of spiritual solution.

    (Side comment to further down page: I would also question the MLA however. Even years ago when I considered it, it seemed to be just a repeat of fifth year BLA courses and mostly was a set up for non-LA bachelor grads to get into the field by marketing to them so they could fell they wouldn’t have to be undergrads again. If you have a good studio courses background, you won’t benefit that much getting a Masters unless things have changed a lot, and likewise I doubt many offices put a lot of weight on it, unless you’re headed for academia).

    Meanwhile, you next generations on the trail, don’t despair. Just please don’t make the real error of thinking that we earlier folks -whatever you want to call us- “had it easy.” I forgive you as you just weren’t there, but you have no idea how rough it was or how far short of our own dreams our realities turned out in the narrow passages we faced, as well.


    That’s a nice nugget of wisdom – Thanks Leslie!

    I’ve accepted along time ago that life comes in cycles of good and not-so good times. As a “late baby boomer / me generation” person, sometimes I feel like we are a bunch of selfish latte drinking whiners that are getting a good spanking right now for our excesses. We were so busy chasing money and material things that we failed to instill what some would call good old “corny” values in our children. Things like a sense of perseverance, team work, caring for one another and being respectful. This is what we could use a little of to help pull each other through this struggle.

    When I get a little bummed out because I have to compete for business against landscape contractors who will design someone’s front yard for “free” or wait for a check that may or may not ever come, I imagine what it must have been like to live through the Great Depression or WWII. Those were truly trying times. Honestly, I should be happy to win what I used to think were crappy little residential jobs from “freebie” contractors. Yes we’re in a recession and our boys and girls are dying over seas, but it doesn’t compare to what our predecessors endured.

    I continue to say to everyone, we will come through this better off. This recession has made Americans with common sense know that we can’t keep doing things the way we’ve been doing them. Most of us know now that we can’t continue to clear-cut forests, fill and pave wetlands, dump our waste into our waters, burn massive amounts of fossil fuels, and fill our land with garbage. Regular people are starting to talk about things like urban gardens and forests, walk-ability and access to public transportation, green roofs and so on.

    These things point to a positive future for Landscape Architects. Maybe it’s because I’m older, but I feel more optimistic about the future for LAs than I did when I entered the profession in 1989. We have a ton of things we need to fix and build in this country. The smart LAs will be prepared to take full advantage of the next boom and squirrel away some money before the inevitable next recession.

    To get back to the original question of who deserves the jobs and who should be hired. I agree with the previous posts. Anyone with the knowledge, skills and abilities for the particular needs of an employer should get the job.

    Also, there are not too many Landscape Architects. There’s just a temporary shortage of new projects for us all to work on right now. Just watch in the not so distant future we’ll be back to the problem of our schools not being able to produce enough quality LA grads. And then we LAs will be back to thumbing our noses up at strip mall and residential subdivision projects again (Think: mandatory Chanticleer Pears 25’ on-center, rip-rap lined trapezoidal retention pond and gushing boulder waterfalls).


    Thanks. Will check it out.


    You are funny! You made me laugh when I probably should be crying.

    Just to keep things light. Our decline started a long time ago and I believe both the Republicans and the Democrats contributed to it. What worries me most is the panic and absolute insanity coming from the right. If your not happy with the current bunch. Who do we turn to? I’m starting to believe we’re all nuts.

    If the current political dog and pony show didn’t affect my life it could be entertaining.

    Folks I’m ready to crab a pitch fork and run them all out of Washington. Then we can start all over again with a new group that will have the fear that if they don’t produce we’ll throw them out.

    Kevin McQuade

    I find it to be that Baby Boomers are probably laid off because they are getting paid to much for what they are worth in a company (they have been in the practice for so long with wages going up each year at some point they reach a point where to many baby boomers means to much money being paid out in a compnay). Why pay a person who has been in an office for a long time more money when you can hire someone with half the experience half the wage and get the same job done. I also find the prob with the gen y situation is that gen x’s that get laid off are appling for entry level jobs and beating out gen y’s because they have more experience and are willing to take a less attractive job with less salary because they currently have dont have one. I graduated in 2009 and currently have a job in a design build firm. I applied to everything and anything, recieving about 8 interviews, most of which I was beat out by someone with more experience (some of which im sure had a good or better portfolio than me, some which im sure just had more experience not a better portfolio) as i only had 6 months of interships as my experience. Why would a firm hire someone that was not good enough to stay at a firm over someone fresh out of school? Hard to gain experience with no shot at getting a job.

    Leslie B Wagle

    Craig, as for “we failed to instill what some would call good old “corny” values in our children. Things like a sense of perseverance, team work, caring for one another and being respectful” well….the media and other influences don’t make it easy, but I really tried to instill that in my son. However, I’ve noticed (at 43) he also is very survival/investment/savings oriented, maybe because he saw us struggle so hard. Is that really materialistic when it’s not driven by trying to outshine some neighbors or relatives so much as just being prepared and self-reliant?

    As for the comments on the environment, we can HOPE the average person is coming into this awareness; however Ian McHarg’s ideas were out there in the time of an earlier generation of LA students, yet my whole career has passed by with little overall plugging in the kinds of values he explained to guide land use. In fact with today’s technology we could even more easily correlate soils, forest resources, etc. now than we could have dreamed of then. But I’m betting what will happen instead may be a push-back (as I’m seeing it in my area) where people who never wanted any curbs on standard sprawl will use the current situation of public disenchantment with government (for unrelated reasons) to hold their ground. So I’d like to hope LA’s will finally arrive at the dawn of a new era but I don’t know if it will really happen unless there are some kind of coinciding financial world forces to dovetail with those goals. I hate to sound cynical but the record isn’t encouraging that a voluntary “higher consciousness” will arrive from somewhere to bring a change. It has to be slowly instilled from the ground up. To add another gray thought, “Last Child in the Woods” makes the case that children currently don’t even get up from their new entertainment modes enough to develop that sense of wonder by playing outside, that at least many of us developed in childhood.

    Of course everything does evolve – nobody engages in personal duels or primitive medicine any more….I’m just saying that while we work for change, the likelihood is that environmental awareness won’t come in any one person’s career time frame, but will stretch out and be sidelined a lot before it is really a automatic and expected set of values and practices.

    steve phillips

    Nick, I like your list!!! I wonder if -election reform, would be one that you would also add?

    I am stuck on the last point,”-boycott public humiliation as entertainment, faux news, and other trash being spoon fed to the masses.” I don’t see how a boycott would help stop propaganda… although I DO see your point. One thing I was thinking is that it should be mandatory to publish, on TV, just like the lottery numbers, how your representatives are voting. I just think it is odd that most people know more about Paris Hilton than the state reps or local government. Also, don’t you believe that employing illegals is an immediate problem? Just wondering…

    steve phillips


    Hey just brainstorming here, but how about another reality show, “Dancing with the Government”? Well, it is just an IDEA!…. Somehow, the masses need to get imformed! I agree with you, Nick, but don’t think your “boycott” will work.

    Craig, Got any better ideas? I sure hope you do!

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