Education

 
 

Kennedy leads fight against pot legalization


Comment:  Ask Recovering Addicts, Not Ones Who Want to become an Addict
June 23rd 2013

Who would know more about the Dangers of Drugs and Alcohol and what it leads to, than recovering Addicts.

1: How many people have died from Drug  and Alcohol use every year?
2: How many kids will die every year from Drugs and Alcohol use?
3: And what is it going to take to get Drug and Alcohol use under control?
4: And to get enforcement tougher on Drug Use, Selling, and Trafficking, and making them pay for their own Treatment?
5: If it was so healthy as they want you to believe, then why have they spent so much money on drug treatment, if it is not a health problem? That money could have been used for real health problems.

They talk about Cigarettes being a health risk and what it will cost to treat illness from them, then you look at all the money that has been spent on drug treatment of Addicts, and then they have the gall to say that Marijuana (a drug) is not as bad as Cigarettes as a health hazard, this shows what Politicians will do to get Elected, whether it is legal or safe.

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The Olympian

Kennedy leads fight against pot legalization

ROB HOTAKAINEN | Staff writer
Published June 23, 2013

WASHINGTON — Stung by momentum to legalize marijuana, opponents are fighting back with an unlikely leader: a recovering drug addict and liberal ex-congressman from Rhode Island named Patrick Kennedy, a member of the famous political clan.

“I cannot be silent, and I don’t imagine anyone else could be silent if they knew the facts as I know the facts — and all I’m trying to do is get those facts to the broader public,” said Kennedy, son of the late Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Spreading the word, Kennedy is traveling the country as chairman of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), which he formed in January and which now has affiliates in five states. Kennedy will announce new affiliates July 1 in San Diego and July 10 in Seattle.

No stranger to substance abuse, Kennedy long ago made public his battle with depression and alcohol and drug abuse, including an addiction to the pain reliever OxyContin. In 2006, he fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed his car into a barrier near the U.S. Capitol. His problems forced him to retire from the House of Representatives.

In an interview, Kennedy said he has smoked marijuana, but not much.

“In spite of the fact that I’m also an asthmatic, I did try and experiment with marijuana, but I quickly migrated to other drugs and alcohol,” he said.

He also once backed using marijuana as medicine. “I now stand corrected by the science,” said the 45-year-old Kennedy.

After making a mark in Congress promoting mental health, Kennedy said he wasn’t surprised by the legalization votes in Washington state and Colorado in 2012, or by polls showing increased acceptance of marijuana.

“They’re votes and they’re polls that reflect my early opinions and viewpoints, which were uneducated,” Kennedy said. “When you don’t have the facts and when you don’t have the public policy experts, then what you have is a vacuum where anecdote and opinion become public policy and reality. And that’s dangerous.”

Kennedy said he’s partly to blame for the rush to legalize because he didn’t speak out sooner. But he said he didn’t understand the big picture until he began working with the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Research now makes it clear that marijuana is a gateway drug that can induce psychosis and cause teens to lose IQ points they’ll never recover, creating “devastating health consequences,” he said.

Mason Tvert, spokesman for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project, called Kennedy a hypocrite.

“His family made millions off the sale of alcohol, and we hope that he and his organization recognize that marijuana is far less harmful and that adults should not face penalties just for using it,” said Tvert, adding that Kennedy wants to force marijuana users into “education camps.”

Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, another pro-legalization group, said Kennedy is relying on arguments from a past generation: “Most of the stuff he’s saying is about 20 to 30 years old.”

“Over a 40-year period, there have been dozens to hundreds of anti-marijuana groups — most of them don’t really last very long and they don’t have much success,” St. Pierre said. “We have to see in a year or two or three if Project SAM is going to be around, or is it just a flash in the pan?”

Kennedy said he understands the shots.

“We’re a truth-telling organization,” he said. “Their biggest threat is that people will find out the truth. So it’s not Patrick Kennedy they need to be worried about — it’s the truth.”

Kennedy called the legalization effort “a knee-jerk reaction” and said it will lead to more teens smoking pot, making more of them susceptible to addiction. And with marijuana use surpassing tobacco use among teens, Kennedy said they face a greater risk because of the rising potency of the drug.

“This isn’t your Woodstock weed,” he said. “This is genetically modified marijuana that is more closer to hashish. And its impact on brain development, especially if teenagers are using it, is profound and permanent.”

In February, Kennedy asked Attorney General Eric Holder to enforce federal law and not allow Colorado and Washington to sell and tax marijuana.

“I woke up after the last election and saw there’s kind of a wrinkle in the whole environment dealing with mental health and addiction. … It was hard to ignore that we’re moving in the opposite direction,” Kennedy said.
Rob Hotakainen: 202-383-0009 rhotakainen@mcclatchydc.com

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Categories: Abuse, Children, Democrats, Education, Governments, GREED, Health, Money, People, Politics, Republicans, School Kids, Taxes, White House | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

How Many Things Can Go On A Ban List?


Comment By bob L.
05-25-2013

Whoops Obama is now going to have to put a ban on BOMBS, lets see, there is Guns, Knives, and now Bombs, how is Obama going to keep up with all these bans and still do his job on putting the screws to the American People.

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Ore. teen accused of planning to attack school

Associated Press By STEVEN DUBOIS | Associated Press
05-25-2013

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon high school student is being charged with attempted murder after the authorities say he planned to attack his high school with bombs.

The student, 17-year-old Grant Acord, was taken to a juvenile jail Thursday night after police received a tip that the youth was making a bomb to blow up West Albany High School.

Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson said late Saturday that authorities found six bombs in a secret compartment in the boy’s bedroom.

Haroldson said Acord had written plans and checklists, and his intent was “forged and inspired by the model of the Columbine shootings.”

Haroldson said the teen is being charged as an adult.

Police found no bombs during a search of West Albany High, which about 75 miles south of Portland.

Categories: America, Children, Education, Governments, News, Obama, People, safety, School Kids, Terrorist, violence | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

College Sticker Shock, WHY?


Comment by Bob L.
05-20-2013

Sticker Shock for colleges? Ask the GREEDY Professors and Administrators.

I read an article here the other day and it made the comment that they have to raise them to keep their Professors, start there, if you want to stop it, boycott these Colleges, plus you could probably get a better Education by going to local Community college. 

Is it that by going to a Big Name College, you can Party and walk around with your nose up in the air Bragging that you went to Blah Blah  College and not really getting the Education that you deserve, which is, go to a party School, or a go to a  less expensive College and get an Education.

As you read this article you will see a lot of double talk to why the cost is so high, basically it all stems to GREED, Public Schools are having the same problem.

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The Lookout

Sticker shock: New college graduates, here is why your education cost so much money

By Liz Goodwin, Yahoo! News The Lookout
05-20-2013

When high school senior Jenny Bonilla got her college acceptance letter in March, she felt shock and heartbreak rather than joy. That’s because the letter from Goucher College, a private liberal arts school in Baltimore, also brought news that she would owe an unaffordable $20,000 a year in tuition and board, even with a scholarship the college was offering.

Bonilla had been in the running for a full ride to Goucher but eventually lost out because her parents’ combined income of $57,000 a year was deemed too high.

“That was heartbreaking,” she said.

Bonilla’s experience is all too familiar to many students and their parents contemplating college, as higher education price increases have far outpaced the growth in middle-class wages over the past three decades.

The average tuition and fees at a public, four-year university rose to $8,655 in 2012-13, not counting the costs of room and board, according to the College Board. That’s 250 percent more than it would have cost in 1982, when a year of college would have set the average student back just $2,423 in today’s dollars.

The tuition at private colleges has increased at a slightly lower rate over the same period: the average four-year private institution costs $29,056, not counting room and board. It would have cost $10,901 in 2012 dollars back in 1982.

The pricey degree comes with big returns, on average: College educated workers earned 79 percent more than high-school educated workers in 2012, and were much less likely to be unemployed.

The pain of the price hikes has been partially offset by an increase in federal grants and tax breaks for college, as well as by private schools offering deeply discounted tuition rates to lower-income students. But even with that help, some students like Bonilla are finding themselves locked out of the system.

Why is college so much more expensive now than it was 30 years ago? Economists fall into two main schools of thought in explaining the trend.

One theory, referred to as “Bowen’s Rule,” says that the decisions made by many colleges and universities—such as how many administrators to hire and how to spend its cash—primarily drive the cost.

A competing theory, called “Baumol’s cost disease,” posits that higher education is expensive because of outside macroeconomic factors that affect other businesses, like the cost of hiring highly educated workers.

In other words, it’s either the colleges’ fault, or it isn’t.

In their book, “Why Does College Cost So Much?” Robert Archibald and David Feldman, economists at The College of William & Mary, are firmly in the Baumol camp. They argue that a college’s hefty price tag isn’t actually surprising at all, given that it depends on the performance of its workforce—highly educated professors and teachers who provide a face-to-face service, not a material good.

Larger economic trends have jacked up the salaries of highly educated workers across the board in recent decades, while the cost of face-to-face services has also remained high, since technological advances do not necessarily make these services cheaper.

Feldman used the example of the cost of a haircut, which has also outpaced inflation in the past 30 years.

While technology has made factories vastly more efficient at producing goods for less money, technological advances have not been able to make the time a haircut takes shorter or replace the skilled person who has to give the haircut. College is like a haircut on steroids, since the barbers have PhDs.

“Higher education is an industry where there’s not a whole lot of productivity growth and not a whole of scope for productivity growth,” Feldman said.

The vast majority of most colleges’ budgets go to personnel, and that cost is unlikely to come down any time soon.

Benjamin Ginsburg, a political science professor at John Hopkins University, takes the Bowen view.

In his book, “The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters,” Ginsburg argues that a significant increase in administrative employees is in part responsible for college’s runaway pricing.

He writes that between 1975 and 2005, the faculty to student ratio has remained fairly constant at universities, while the student-to-professional staffer (such as an admissions officer) ratio increased from one to 50 to 1 to 24.

“As colleges and universities have had more money to spend, they have not chosen to spend it on expanding their instructional resources—that is, on paying faculty,” Ginsburg writes. “They have chosen, instead, to enhance their administrative and staff resources.”

Feldman discounts this argument. He points out that students demand a broader bundle of services from college now than they did 50 years ago, and that the price reflects that. Students want staffers to plan student life activities, career counselors, fancy dorms, nice gyms and up to date technology.

The economy as a whole, not just higher education, has also shifted to include more administrative positions in the past decades, he argues.

Some argue that colleges have had no choice but to hire more administrative staff, in part because they are so thoroughly regulated by both state and federal governments. Colleges are required to report to the government all gifts accepted from foreign governments, supply information about the salaries of coaches, and prove they commemorated Constitution Day every September 17, among other rules. Complying with the regulations requires staff.

“Externally imposed regulations increase the cost of doing business and that cost is passed on to consumers,” Terry Hartle, one of the chief lobbyists for the higher education industry, said.

State budget woes have also hiked the cost of many colleges. Sandy Baum, an economist and independent policy analyst for the College Board, says the price increases at public institutions have been driven by declining support from states, which have cut higher education in order to balance their budgets.

“It’s not actually that the colleges are spending more money on the students, it’s that they’re getting … much less money per student from the state government,” Baum said.

That means students aren’t necessarily getting more for their money, especially at public institutions.

Advances in technology might help colleges cut costs in the future, either by allowing them to have fewer in-person classes as more people take classes online or by streamlining some library costs, among other possibilities. But higher education experts say there’s no silver bullet.

“Colleges are looking at how to save money and they need to look harder because it’s just so expensive,” said Baum. She mentioned increasing technology, streamlining government regulations and cutting back on administrators as some possible things to help costs. “There’s no miracles there,” she said.

Jenny Bonilla didn’t have time to wait for a miracle. Bonilla’s father lost his job just days after she received her letter from Goucher, reducing the family’s annual income to $40,000.

Bonilla’s parents didn’t want her to take on $60,000 in debt, and knew they couldn’t come up with the money to help her on their own. They decided she should enroll in nearby Prince George Community College for two years and then try to transfer to a four-year public school from there.

“I applied to so many schools and then for me to end up at community college is kind of devastating,” Bonilla says.

Categories: America, Children, Democrats, Education, GREED, JOBS, Money, Obama, People, Republicans, School Kids, Taxes, Unions, White House | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Stupid Some Times More Stupid Then Other Times


Comment: I can see discrimination or profilling coming
03-10-2013

I can agree but I can disagree with what Government is trying to do, what if you have a good Teacher in a school with a good showing and the Principal does not like that Teacher because they do not do what the Principal wants, or they might want one of their good bodies there, then what do you have, than you have what is going on now, poor standard of Education, and then you have more strikes which is not good for the students THAT THESE teachers took the oath to teach, not strike, but they are teaching these kids it is alright to break the law to get what you want.

From what I have seen in the last Twenty years is that these Teachers are more worried about them selves then they are for the Students that they are there to teach, just look at the signs that they were carrying, it did not say NO STUDENT LEFT BEHIND, it said NO TEACHER LEFT BEHIND, now how much education was done at that time while they were still getting paid, if they go on strike no pay or back pay from going on strike, give them ZERO income for no education, like the old saying NO TICKY NO WASHY period, you don’t work you don’t get paid.

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Peacemaker in Tacoma teachers strike deal could be doomed

Melissa Santos; Staff writer
Published: March 9, 2013

Barely 18 months after teachers in Tacoma went on strike over their district’s proposal to give principals more authority over teacher placement, the Legislature is poised to derail the plan that helped make peace between the union and school system.

Senate Bill 5242, which passed out of the Senate Wednesday on a 27-22 vote, would give principals veto authority over teacher reassignments.

Districts often move teachers between schools based on staffing needs, which are determined by student enrollment.

Under the bill that passed the Senate last Wednesday, principals and teachers would have to come to a “mutual agreement” about a teacher’s placement at a given school — otherwise, the teacher could be put on temporary assignment by the district, and potentially fired after eight months if he or she can’t find a permanent spot.

The bill would apply to all contracts entered into after Aug. 1 of this year. That means the three-year contract the district and the Tacoma Education Association hammered out in 2011 would be allowed to stand through its expiration date of August 2014.

But after that, any new contracts between the district and the union would be have to stripped of language that allows reassignments to be decided by a three-member committee of a principal and two teachers, said John Prosser, a union member who served on a committee to develop Tacoma’s new teacher displacement policy.

Prosser wrote a letter to the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee saying that Senate Bill 5242 “will undo the monumental work” Tacoma just completed.

“We’re in that healing phase,” Prosser said Friday. “Anything that undoes that process is just going to open up old wounds. This is the reason we went on strike.”

Republican state Sen. Steve Litzow, who chairs the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee, said the logic behind Senate Bill 5242 is that “the principal knows what’s best for his school.” The Mercer Island lawmaker introduced the legislation.

“It’s not about good or bad teachers,” Litzow said on the Senate floor. “It’s about the kind of teacher the principal believes he needs in his school to get the best out of his students.”

As a condition of the fall 2011 contract, Prosser and eight other committee members worked between November 2011 and June 2012 to develop the new rules in Tacoma, which the district just put into effect this year.

Dan Voelpel, spokesman for Tacoma Public Schools, said that district officials don’t want to see their newly developed process change, either.

“We love it,” Voelpel said Wednesday. “We wouldn’t be in favor of having any prescriptive changes.”

The state teachers union opposes the bill, as do the lobbying arms of the state principals association and the state school administrators association. Education reform groups, including Stand for Children, support the proposal.

“Mutual consent policies create strong matches between teachers and schools, which benefits teachers, schools and students,” said Anne Luce of Partnership for Learning, the education foundation of the Washington Roundtable.

Adrienne Dale, the president of the Tacoma Education Association, said that her union plans to fight the bill in the state House, which has a Democratic majority that is more likely to try to block its passage.

Should those efforts fail and the measure pass into law, Dale said that it would be “going backward.”

“We are allowed to bargain our contract language, and that’s one of our basic rights,” Dale said. “I would hate to see that disappear.”

Melissa Santos: 360-357-0209
msantos@theolympian.com

Categories: America, Children, Democrats, Education, Governments, Olympia, People, Profiling, Republicans, School Kids, Unions, White House | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment
 
 

Moderate Drinking Linked to Increased Cancer Risk


Comment For Ignorance and Brain Washing
02-16-2013

I have always contended from the study of health that What youdrunk3 Eat and What you Drink and what you put IN or ON your body, has a lot to do with cancer, and how many time you come down sick each year, call me old fashion but I payed attention to health in school, just not English and Spelling.

Every time some one cones up with a study, it is not always to the good, but it is to help some one profit, it does not matter if it is good for you or not, just as long as the Rich can make more money off unsuspecting people not knowing.

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Even Moderate Drinking Linked to Increased Cancer Risk

By Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! ShineHealthy Living
02-15-2013

New research shows that even a single alcoholic drink per day can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer, including breast cancer in women.

Though people have long believed that a glass or two of wine can be good for your heart, the new study, conducted in conjunction with researchers in the U.S., Canada, and France, shows that the cancer risks far outweigh any heart-healthy benefits.

Related: What the Author of “Drinking With Men” Has to Say About Boys, Bars, and Drinking Alone

“Alcohol has long been known and recognized as a human carcinogen, so even some alcohol consumption raises your risks,” Dr. Timothy Naimi, an alcohol researcher at Boston University’s School of Public Health and a physician at the Boston University Medical Center who helped design and direct the study, told Yahoo! Shine in an interview. “On the balance of all people who begin drinking, many more people are killed by alcohol than helped by it.”

Related: Heavy Drinking Raises Risk of Divorce

“No public health body or clinical body recommends that people start drinking to improve their health,” he added.

The research, published Friday in the American Journal of Public Health, relied on existing data about cancer deaths, alcohol consumption, and risk estimates from other scientific studies. It marks the first time that researchers have examined alcohol-related cancer rates in 30 years.

They found that alcohol could be blamed for about 20,000 cancer deaths each year, or 1 out of every 30 cancer deaths in the United States, which was about what they expected. But while heavy drinkers faced the highest risks, about a third of those deaths were among people who drank only small amounts of alcohol—1.5 alcoholic drinks or fewer per day. And it didn’t matter what type of drink was consumed; standard servings of beer (12 ounces), wine (5 ounces), and hard liquor (1.5 ounces) all contain the same amount of alcohol.

The stats sound scary, but Naimi told Yahoo! Shine that the risks for mild to moderate drinkers are very low. “The people who drink small amounts of alcohol needn’t be duly concerned about this,” he said. “But it is important to recognize that when it comes to cancer, there’s no free lunch.”

While more men die from alcohol-related cancers than women (men do tend to drink more), women have more adverse consequences from drinking, not only because they tend to have less body mass than men, but because they also metabolize alcohol less efficiently. The study found that about 6,000 female breast cancer deaths each year—or 15 percent—could be attributed to alcohol consumption; for men, cancers of the mouth, throat, and esophagus were the most common types of alcohol-related cancer. Alcohol is also linked to cancer of the liver, colon, and rectum.

The study also eliminated the common misconception that Europeans, especially in France and Germany, are healthier than Americans even though they drink plenty of alcohol. If Europeans are healthier, Naimi said, it’s not likely because of their drinking habits: The number of cancer deaths attributable to alcohol in Europe was higher than in the United States.

Researcher acknowledge that people are unlikely to give up alcohol altogether. “In general, drinking less is better than drinking more, and for people who drink excessively it’s something to think about,” Naimi said. “Alcohol is a big preventable cancer risk factor that has been hiding in plain sight.”

Also on Shine:

Drinking Among College Freshmen Hits Record Low
What Your Drinking Habits Say About You
5 Amazing Lessons Learned by Giving Up Alcohol

Categories: Abuse, America, Democrats, Education, Health, Money, Obama, People, Republicans, White House | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment
 
 

IMPACT: From the Recession take from the poor gives to Democrats Rich


Comment By Bob L.
01-23-2013

They say five years after the recession, but people we have not come out of the Obama Recession we are still in it, and we are on the edge of another Depression if you have not noticed, and if this Administration does not get their head out of their a== to protect this Country, I thought that is what they were elected to do, not protect themselves, it is sooner coming than you think.

BERNARD CONDON and PAUL WISEMAN, these two can see it, why can’t any one else see it, I saw it coming Ten years ago, but not as bad as the last Six years, it did not take a Brain Surgeon to see it, because if it took a smart person to see it, the Government and these Think Tanks could have seen it coming, but they were to busy patting themselves on the back for what they are doing to America.

Now I know why no one else can see what is going on, just go to Facebook and tweeter, and look at them standing in front of a Mirror taking pictures of them selves with their fancy expensive phones to see what is coming, they are to busy doing that to worry about this Country.

And a word about the Article, COMPUTERS DO NOT BUY PRODUCTS, working people do, so here is where GREED BYALL mostly Public Employees through Taxes, is rearing its UGLY head.

 

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The Associated Press

By BERNARD CONDON and PAUL WISEMAN | Associated Press
01-23-2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Five years after the start of the Great Recession, the toll is terrifyingly clear: Millions of middle-class jobs have been lost in developed countries the world over.

And the situation is even worse than it appears.

Most of the jobs will never return, and millions more are likely to vanish as well, say experts who study the labor market. What’s more, these jobs aren’t just being lost to China and other developing countries, and they aren’t just factory work. Increasingly, jobs are disappearing in the service sector, home to two-thirds of all workers.

They’re being obliterated by technology.

Year after year, the software that runs computers and an array of other machines and devices becomes more sophisticated and powerful and capable of doing more efficiently tasks that humans have always done. For decades, science fiction warned of a future when we would be architects of our own obsolescence, replaced by our machines; an Associated Press analysis finds that the future has arrived.

EDITOR’S NOTE: First in a three-part series on the loss of middle-class jobs in the wake of the Great Recession, and the role of technology.

The AP’s key findings:

—For more than three decades, technology has reduced the number of jobs in manufacturing. Robots and other machines controlled by computer programs work faster and make fewer mistakes than humans. Now, that same efficiency is being unleashed in the service economy, which employs more than two-thirds of the workforce in developed countries. Technology is eliminating jobs in office buildings, retail establishments and other businesses consumers deal with every day.

—Technology is being adopted by every kind of organization that employs people. It’s replacing workers in large corporations and small businesses, established companies and start-ups. It’s being used by schools, colleges and universities; hospitals and other medical facilities; nonprofit organizations and the military.

—The most vulnerable workers are doing repetitive tasks that programmers can write software for — an accountant checking a list of numbers, an office manager filing forms, a paralegal reviewing documents for key words to help in a case. As software becomes even more sophisticated, victims are expected to include those who juggle tasks, such as supervisors and managers — workers who thought they were protected by a college degree.

—Thanks to technology, companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index reported one-third more profit the past year than they earned the year before the Great Recession. They’ve also expanded their businesses, but total employment, at 21.1 million, has declined by a half-million.

—Start-ups account for much of the job growth in developed economies, but software is allowing entrepreneurs to launch businesses with a third fewer employees than in the 1990s. There is less need for administrative support and back-office jobs that handle accounting, payroll and benefits.

—It’s becoming a self-serve world. Instead of relying on someone else in the workplace or our personal lives, we use technology to do tasks ourselves. Some find this frustrating; others like the feeling of control. Either way, this trend will only grow as software permeates our lives.

—Technology is replacing workers in developed countries regardless of their politics, policies and laws. Union rules and labor laws may slow the dismissal of employees, but no country is attempting to prohibit organizations from using technology that allows them to operate more efficiently — and with fewer employees.

Some analysts reject the idea that technology has been a big job killer. They note that the collapse of the housing market in the U.S., Ireland, Spain and other countries and the ensuing global recession wiped out millions of middle-class construction and factory jobs. In their view, governments could bring many of the jobs back if they would put aside worries about their heavy debts and spend more. Others note that jobs continue to be lost to China, India and other countries in the developing world.

But to the extent technology has played a role, it raises the specter of high unemployment even after economic growth accelerates. Some economists say millions of middle-class workers must be retrained to do other jobs if they hope to get work again. Others are more hopeful. They note that technological change over the centuries eventually has created more jobs than it destroyed, though the wait can be long and painful.

A common refrain: The developed world may face years of high middle-class unemployment, social discord, divisive politics, falling living standards and dashed hopes.

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In the U.S., the economic recovery that started in June 2009 has been called the third straight “jobless recovery.”

But that’s a misnomer. The jobs came back after the first two.

Most recessions since World War II were followed by a surge in new jobs as consumers started spending again and companies hired to meet the new demand. In the months after recessions ended in 1991 and 2001, there was no familiar snap-back, but all the jobs had returned in less than three years.

But 42 months after the Great Recession ended, the U.S. has gained only 3.5 million, or 47 percent, of the 7.5 million jobs that were lost. The 17 countries that use the euro had 3.5 million fewer jobs last June than in December 2007.

This has truly been a jobless recovery, and the lack of midpay jobs is almost entirely to blame.

Fifty percent of the U.S. jobs lost were in midpay industries, but Moody’s Analytics, a research firm, says just 2 percent of the 3.5 million jobs gained are in that category. After the four previous recessions, at least 30 percent of jobs created — and as many as 46 percent — were in midpay industries.

Other studies that group jobs differently show a similar drop in middle-class work.

Some of the most startling studies have focused on midskill, midpay jobs that require tasks that follow well-defined procedures and are repeated throughout the day. Think travel agents, salespeople in stores, office assistants and back-office workers like benefits managers and payroll clerks, as well as machine operators and other factory jobs. An August 2012 paper by economists Henry Siu of the University of British Columbia and Nir Jaimovich of Duke University found these kinds of jobs comprise fewer than half of all jobs, yet accounted for nine of 10 of all losses in the Great Recession. And they have kept disappearing in the economic recovery.

Webb Wheel Products makes parts for truck brakes, which involves plenty of repetitive work. Its newest employee is the Doosan V550M, and it’s a marvel. It can spin a 130-pound brake drum like a child’s top, smooth its metal surface, then drill holes — all without missing a beat. And it doesn’t take vacations or “complain about anything,” says Dwayne Ricketts, president of the Cullman, Ala., company.

Thanks to computerized machines, Webb Wheel hasn’t added a factory worker in three years, though it’s making 300,000 more drums annually, a 25 percent increase.

“Everyone is waiting for the unemployment rate to drop, but I don’t know if it will much,” Ricketts says. “Companies in the recession learned to be more efficient, and they’re not going to go back.”

In Europe, companies couldn’t go back even if they wanted to. The 17 countries that use the euro slipped into another recession 14 months ago, in November 2011. The current unemployment rate is a record 11.8 percent.

European companies had been using technology to replace midpay workers for years, and now that has accelerated.

“The recessions have amplified the trend,” says Goos, the Belgian economist. “New jobs are being created, but not the middle-pay ones.”

In Canada, a 2011 study by economists at the University of British Columbia and York University in Toronto found a similar pattern of middle-class losses, though they were working with older data. In the 15 years through 2006, the share of total jobs held by many midpay, midskill occupations shrank. The share held by foremen fell 37 percent, workers in administrative and senior clerical roles fell 18 percent and those in sales and service fell 12 percent.

In Japan, a 2009 report from Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo documented a “substantial” drop in midpay, midskill jobs in the five years through 2005, and linked it to technology.

Developing economies have been spared the technological onslaught — for now. Countries like Brazil and China are still growing middle-class jobs because they’re shifting from export-driven to consumer-based economies. But even they are beginning to use more machines in manufacturing. The cheap labor they relied on to make goods from apparel to electronics is no longer so cheap as their living standards rise.

One example is Sunbird Engineering, a Hong Kong firm that makes mirror frames for heavy trucks at a factory in southern China. Salaries at its plant in Dongguan have nearly tripled from $80 a month in 2005 to $225 today. “Automation is the obvious next step,” CEO Bill Pike says.

Sunbird is installing robotic arms that drill screws into a mirror assembly, work now done by hand. The machinery will allow the company to eliminate two positions on a 13-person assembly line. Pike hopes that additional automation will allow the company to reduce another five or six jobs from the line.

“By automating, we can outlive the labor cost increases inevitable in China,” Pike says. “Those who automate in China will win the battle of increased costs.”

Foxconn Technology Group, which assembles iPhones at factories in China, unveiled plans in 2011 to install one million robots over three years.

A recent headline in the China Daily newspaper: “Chinese robot wars set to erupt.”

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Candidates for U.S. president last year never tired of telling Americans how jobs were being shipped overseas. China, with its vast army of cheaper labor and low-value currency, was easy to blame.

But most jobs cut in the U.S. and Europe weren’t moved. No one got them. They vanished. And the villain in this story — a clever software engineer working in Silicon Valley or the high-tech hub around Heidelberg, Germany — isn’t so easy to hate.

“It doesn’t have political appeal to say the reason we have a problem is we’re so successful in technology,” says Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at Columbia University. “There’s no enemy there.”

Unless you count family and friends and the person staring at you in the mirror. The uncomfortable truth is technology is killing jobs with the help of ordinary consumers by enabling them to quickly do tasks that workers used to do full time, for salaries.

Use a self-checkout lane at the supermarket or drugstore? A worker behind a cash register used to do that.

Buy clothes without visiting a store? You’ve taken work from a salesman.

Click “accept” in an email invitation to attend a meeting? You’ve pushed an office assistant closer to unemployment.

Book your vacation using an online program? You’ve helped lay off a travel agent. Perhaps at American Express Co., which announced this month that it plans to cut 5,400 jobs, mainly in its travel business, as more of its customers shift to online portals to plan trips.

Software is picking out worrisome blots in medical scans, running trains without conductors, driving cars without drivers, spotting profits in stocks trades in milliseconds, analyzing Twitter traffic to tell where to sell certain snacks, sifting through documents for evidence in court cases, recording power usage beamed from digital utility meters at millions of homes, and sorting returned library books.

Technology gives rise to “cheaper products and cool services,” says David Autor, an economist at MIT, one of the first to document tech’s role in cutting jobs. “But if you lose your job, that is slim compensation.”

Even the most commonplace technologies — take, say, email — are making it tough for workers to get jobs, including ones with MBAs, like Roshanne Redmond, a former project manager at a commercial real estate developer.

“I used to get on the phone, talk to a secretary and coordinate calendars,” Redmond says. “Now, things are done by computer.”

Technology is used by companies to run leaner and smarter in good times and bad, but never more than in bad. In a recession, sales fall and companies cut jobs to save money. Then they turn to technology to do tasks people used to do. And that’s when it hits them: They realize they don’t have to re-hire the humans when business improves, or at least not as many.

The Hackett Group, a consultant on back-office jobs, estimates 2 million of them in finance, human resources, information technology and procurement have disappeared in the U.S. and Europe since the Great Recession. It pins the blame for more than half of the losses on technology. These are jobs that used to fill cubicles at almost every company — clerks paying bills and ordering supplies, benefits managers filing health-care forms and IT experts helping with computer crashes.

“The effect of (technology) on white-collar jobs is huge, but it’s not obvious,” says MIT’s McAfee. Companies “don’t put out a press release saying we’re not hiring again because of machines.”

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What hope is there for the future?

Historically, new companies and new industries have been the incubator of new jobs. Start-up companies no more than five years old are big sources of new jobs in developed economies. In the U.S., they accounted for 99 percent of new private sector jobs in 2005, according to a study by the University of Maryland’s John Haltiwanger and two other economists.

But even these companies are hiring fewer people. The average new business employed 4.7 workers when it opened its doors in 2011, down from 7.6 in the 1990s, according to a Labor Department study released last March.

Technology is probably to blame, wrote the report’s authors, Eleanor Choi and James Spletzer. Entrepreneurs no longer need people to do clerical and administrative tasks to help them get their businesses off the ground.

In the old days — say, 10 years ago — “you’d need an assistant pretty early to coordinate everything — or you’d pay a huge opportunity cost for the entrepreneur or the president to set up a meeting,” says Jeff Connally, CEO of CMIT Solutions, a technology consultancy to small businesses.

Now technology means “you can look at your calendar and everybody else’s calendar and — bing! — you’ve set up a meeting.” So no assistant gets hired.

Entrepreneur Andrew Schrage started the financial advice website Money Crashers in 2009 with a partner and one freelance writer. The bare-bones start-up was only possible, Schrage says, because of technology that allowed the company to get online help with accounting and payroll and other support functions without hiring staff.

“Had I not had access to cloud computing and outsourcing, I estimate that I would have needed 5-10 employees to begin this venture,” Schrage says. “I doubt I would have been able to launch my business.”

Technological innovations have been throwing people out of jobs for centuries. But they eventually created more work, and greater wealth, than they destroyed. Ford, the author and software engineer, thinks there is reason to believe that this time will be different. He sees virtually no end to the inroads of computers into the workplace. Eventually, he says, software will threaten the livelihoods of doctors, lawyers and other highly skilled professionals.

Many economists are encouraged by history and think the gains eventually will outweigh the losses. But even they have doubts.

“What’s different this time is that digital technologies show up in every corner of the economy,” says McAfee, a self-described “digital optimist.” ”Your tablet (computer) is just two or three years old, and it’s already taken over our lives.”

Peter Lindert, an economist at the University of California, Davis, says the computer is more destructive than innovations in the Industrial Revolution because the pace at which it is upending industries makes it hard for people to adapt.

Occupations that provided middle-class lifestyles for generations can disappear in a few years. Utility meter readers are just one example. As power companies began installing so-called smart readers outside homes, the number of meter readers in the U.S. plunged from 56,000 in 2001 to 36,000 in 2010, according to the Labor Department.

In 10 years? That number is expected to be zero.

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NEXT: Practically human: Can smart machines do your job?

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“The jobs that are going away aren’t coming back,” says Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of “Race Against the Machine.” ”I have never seen a period where computers demonstrated as many skills and abilities as they have over the past seven years.”

The global economy is being reshaped by machines that generate and analyze vast amounts of data; by devices such as smartphones and tablet computers that let people work just about anywhere, even when they’re on the move; by smarter, nimbler robots; and by services that let businesses rent computing power when they need it, instead of installing expensive equipment and hiring IT staffs to run it. Whole employment categories, from secretaries to travel agents, are starting to disappear.

“There’s no sector of the economy that’s going to get a pass,” says Martin Ford, who runs a software company and wrote “The Lights in the Tunnel,” a book predicting widespread job losses. “It’s everywhere.”

The numbers startle even labor economists. In the United States, half the 7.5 million jobs lost during the Great Recession were in industries that pay middle-class wages, ranging from $38,000 to $68,000. But only 2 percent of the 3.5 million jobs gained since the recession ended in June 2009 are in midpay industries. Nearly 70 percent are in low-pay industries, 29 percent in industries that pay well.

In the 17 European countries that use the euro as their currency, the numbers are even worse. Almost 4.3 million low-pay jobs have been gained since mid-2009, but the loss of midpay jobs has never stopped. A total of 7.6 million disappeared from January 2008 through last June.

Experts warn that this “hollowing out” of the middle-class workforce is far from over. They predict the loss of millions more jobs as technology becomes even more sophisticated and reaches deeper into our lives. Maarten Goos, an economist at the University of Leuven in Belgium, says Europe could double its middle-class job losses.

Some occupations are beneficiaries of the march of technology, such as software engineers and app designers for smartphones and tablet computers. Overall, though, technology is eliminating far more jobs than it is creating.

To understand the impact technology is having on middle-class jobs in developed countries, the AP analyzed employment data from 20 countries; tracked changes in hiring by industry, pay and task; compared job losses and gains during recessions and expansions over the past four decades; and interviewed economists, technology experts, robot manufacturers, software developers, entrepreneurs and people in the labor force who ranged from CEOs to the unemployed.

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