April 11th, 2009
02:00 PM ET
5 years ago

King: Job counselor both teacher and painful example

Don Witte's classroom is a diverse one: A former senior executive, an auto mechanic, nurse and laborer are among his students.
Don Witte's classroom is a diverse one: A former senior executive, an auto mechanic, nurse and laborer are among his students.

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina - Don Witte is in command of the classroom, offering advice on how to write an attention-grabbing resume and extolling the virtue of truth-in-advertising while networking.

"Be yourself, always be yourself," he tells the crowded classroom at Forsyth Technical Community College. "Don't try to be someone you are not."

The diversity in the classroom is telling: A former senior executive sits a few feet from an auto mechanic. A middle manager chats with a nurse. A teacher and a laborer listen as Witte doles out tips.

"It's affecting everybody," Witte tells us. "Each one of them has a little different story and the common thread is they haven't looked for a job in 10 years or so."

In these tough economic times, Don Witte is both a teacher and a painful example.

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Filed under: Economy
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Mississippi Mike

    Essentially we've taken a post-war economic downturn coupled it the results of bad housing policy and turned the whole mess into what will be a lont-term recession. Obama's "fairness" policies, the demands that businesses be "green" and the reluctance of investors to put their money into businesses that may be taken over by the government will keep the economy shrinking. You can't tax and regulate an economy out of a recession. Either the government will take over all of the major industries and turn them into fruitless burreaucracies or congress will lower taxes, relax regulations and instill confidence in the capitalist economy. Based on recent experience, expect our economy to keep shrinking.

    April 10, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  2. Liberal and Proud of It dot com

    Mississippi Mike says: "Essentially we've taken a post-war economic downturn coupled it the results of bad housing policy ... . Obama's "fairness" policies, the demands that businesses be "green" and the reluctance of investors to put their money into businesses that may be taken over by the government will keep the economy shrinking. You can't tax and regulate an economy out of a recession. Either the government will take over all of the major industries and turn them into fruitless burreaucracies or congress will lower taxes, relax regulations and instill confidence in the capitalist economy."

    This is pure "Voodoo Economics" and absolute nonsense. These policies failed in the Reagan years. During the Reagan years, we did cut taxes at the beginning but then raised other taxes (social security, income tax, "user fees," "revenue enhancements") later in the 80s. Reagan and Bush1 increased the national debt from $1 trillion to $4 trillion in 12 years(www.liberalandproudofit.com/Backgrounder_National_Debt_v1.pdf or google "national debt"). It was deficit spending, not tax cuts, that stimulated the economy. Bush2 increased the deficit from $6 trillion to $11 trillion. The Reagan-Bush-Bush years served only to prove that economic stimuli by government work to stimulate the economy.

    Our economy was led off a cliff by corporate leadership, not bad housing "policies" as Mike would have us believe. A bunch of corporate executives realized that they could enhance their own personal fortunes by bankrupting the nation, so that's what they did. Now they are rich, and we are paying the price for their decisions. American Capitalism has morphed into American Corporatism, which is a completely different thing.

    We spent 25 years proving that Voodoo Economics leads inevitably to disaster. Do you think we should give it another try?

    April 10, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. And.....we know this!

    Surprised for the first time John King did not inject a Republican tone in his article.

    Fox news is hiring. Join the other Republican rejects like O'Reilly..

    April 10, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Casey

    Shortly after 9/11, I was laid off of a salaried job (>$100K yr) after just buying a home in the area (S. California)... I spent the next year stressing the cost of my mortgage while building a freelance business in my field (web development). The next year, I sold my house - thankfully, for a profit.

    Lucky? No, just perceptive. This recession (if you want to call it that) started THEN, not just recently. Because of 9/11, our country's moron president decided to spend the wealth of this country on two wars and giving tax cuts to millionaires...

    THAT is the reason we are where we are.

    Create your OWN business or work freelance. You won't find a job with any benefits anyway, so you might as well be the one in charge.

    April 10, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. Some guy

    Communism failed because people want to own stuff"
    -Frank Zappa

    Unregulated capitalism failed because some people want to own everything.
    -Some Guy
    Have a nice day!

    April 10, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Casey

    @Liberal and Proud of It dot com

    WELL SAID. And let's also add that starting two wars and their associated costs didn't help one single bit, since most of that money ended up in the hands and countries of the very terrorists who threatened us.

    For anyone who doubts that corporate libertarianism is the root of our problems, read "When Corporations Rule the World" by David Korten. They've been privatizing wealth and socializing the risk for decades.

    April 10, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Fair is Fair

    @ Liberal and Proud:

    First, as a conservative, let me state I'm completely against welfare of any kind, including corporate welfare. If it was up to me, these failing businesses would have done just that – fail.

    On the other hand, 2/3 of the economy is consumer spending. Consumers can spend only if they have income-producing jobs. Who creates these jobs?

    If you think the government stimulus does, you're sadly mistaken. In the short term, it might. But eventually, Stimulus I is going to run out of funds. What then? Stilmulus II? Stimulus III?

    Permanent job creation is the solution, and that can only come from the private sector.

    April 10, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Chi Town

    Fair is Fair

    Agree... bottom line is without profit... there is no payroll

    April 10, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. sorry,I dont get paid to post

    We need more teachers.Lets help a republican get an education today.

    April 10, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. sara-fl

    I'm on the waitlist for layoff soon! I'm in the travel industry and its the worst in decades, my whole lifes been travel, and I can't afford to go back to school with small kids at home. Most people that are laid of recently are the ones that were workin in Wall st, banks, or Auto companies that have some 401, pensions and servance pay for their time and enough money, to start fresh new career!
    But what about the others who don't have this, and that's so count your blessing and enjoy the new vacation while you learn somethin new..
    .

    April 10, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. sara-fl

    The only ones that are finding work are the illegal!

    April 10, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Farley Hineman

    You know, truth in government would be nice, too. We haven't been getting that lately from Obama's group.

    April 10, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. obama/mama

    Our economy has been ripped off by two economic pirates who are now kicking back with their feet up and filthy rich....

    April 10, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX, USA

    Due to the depressed hiring these days what gets lost in the Unemployment figures is the number of UNDER employed people:

    Lawyers, Engineers, Investment Bankers, and even Nurses that have resorted to taking jobs out of their respective professions.

    Those partimers that would like to be in Full time jobs with benefits but can't because none are available!!

    5.85 million are receiving unemployment benefits because they can demonstrate that they have been looking for jobs.

    But what about those that have GIVEN UP ON LOOKING for a job at all. The total jobless then would come to around 14 or 15 million people.

    April 10, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. Roberta

    I'm in a bad situation. I've been working in the same place for 4 years and I do a good job but not perfect. People who have been working here for less time get paid less. My company is looking to save money. .......... Help?

    April 10, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. Simmy

    The wealth of the wicked will be given to the righteous. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. Give and it shall be given to you....Give acts of kindness.......Give a smile....Given encouragement to one who is down and feeling helpless.....Take care of the widows and orphans, and even in times of famine, your needs will be supplied.

    April 10, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. phoenix84

    too bad Bush created such a mess of our country

    Obama will fix it

    April 11, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |

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