June 2nd, 2010
06:00 PM ET

How do you define 'job' in 2010?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The good news is: Jobs are finally starting to come back... the bad news: they're not the kind of jobs many Americans are used to.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/02/art.jobs.jpg caption=" "]
CNNMoney.com reports that many new jobs out there are temporary or contract positions instead of traditional full-time jobs with benefits.

And employers can afford to do this... because with unemployment at nearly 10 percent... there are people lined up willing to take any kind of work they can find.

It's estimated that in the next 10 years more than 40 percent of jobs could be such temporary positions; and that within the next few decades, full-time employees might become the minority of workers in this country. That means most workers won't have benefits like health care, paid vacation and retirement plans - all things many of us have taken for granted for years and years.

Some temporary workers suggest that employers are taking advantage of the weak labor market... and make them feel like 2nd class citizens... we'll find out just how weak that labor market is with a big jobs report due out Friday.

But the fact of the matter is that major changes in demographics also make it easier for employers to rely on temporary workers or independent contractors. For example, lots of younger people are okay with the idea of not being tied to one employer.

Also, with baby boomers becoming eligible for Medicare... they don't need to depend on their employer for health care.

Finally, it's worth pointing out that President Obama's health care plan will require employers to provide health benefits for employees - but not for contractors.

That translates to huge savings for employers who hire fewer full-time workers.

Here’s my question to you: How do you define "job" in 2010?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Kevin in Florida writes:
J.O.B. = Just Over Broke. With unemployment rising and an administration doing nothing about it, I see most of us begging in welfare lines. It's time the working and middle class make yet another big American stand and send all of these people packing in Nov. before it's too late!

Michael in New Mexico writes:
What you described as the current situation is what I have been living with since 1976 when I first entered the workforce. I worked in kitchens for 30 years. I had no benefits. I had no regular schedule. I had no livable wage. I had jobs, too many to remember, that used me up and threw me out. Currently I am a security guard. Same deal as before.

Jayne writes:
A job is that place you used to go to at 8 o'clock in the morning and stay until 5, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year. Now it's that place far, far away where the Chinese worker – possibly a child – works at your job for 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a small percentage of your former salary and without benefits. The wealthy CEO, by the way, still has his job and probably got a 6 figure bonus for outsourcing yours.

T.S. writes:
Is this not a good trend? Did anyone believe we would go from posting job losses to job gains without a period where we had to adjust? Give me a break. Will it go back to exactly how it was? Probably not, but as always we will adjust.

Kay in Camarillo, California writes:
Jack, Any work that pays a person's bills and keeps them out of bankruptcy!

P.S. – Those employers who claim that an "employee" is really an "independent contractor" should count on a visit from the IRS. Falsely classifying an employee as a contractor carries hefty penalties.

Mark in Houston writes:
Jack, When used as a transitive verb, it's exactly what Congress and its related cronies have done to this country.

Scott in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina writes:
Jack, The answer is simple. Ozzie and Harriet don't live here anymore. Neither does their culture.

Filed under: Recession • Unemployment • Unemployment / Economy
June 2nd, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Is Israel looking to start a war?


European newspapers' front pages are pictured after nine activists were killed when Israeli navy commandos stormed a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, sparking international outrage - plunging Israel into diplomatic crisis. (PHOTO CREDIT: THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's no wonder Pres. Obama's hair is turning gray... With the Middle East seemingly on the verge of erupting.

The U.S. continues to stand by Israel, which is coming under tremendous international condemnation for that botched, deadly raid on an aid flotilla headed for Gaza.

Details of the attack on the Turkish ship are still fuzzy. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is defending the raid which left nine dead; he says Israel's troops were met by a "vicious mob" and that they were stabbed, clubbed and fired upon.

The ship carried 10,000 tons of aid including wheelchairs, notebook paper and water purification systems.

The leader of the group that organized the flotilla says Israel used excessive force on unarmed civilians.

The U.N. has condemned Israel. Turkey, which is Israel's' top ally in the Muslim world, is calling it a "bloody massacre," and describes Israel's actions as "murder."

The U.S. is walking a fine line here... trying not to anger Israel or the Arab world. Good luck. The White House says it's sorry for the deaths but is not condemning Israel's actions.

Tensions are already running pretty high between the U.S. and Israel, and this will undoubtedly only further complicate peace talks in the Middle East and the push for sanctions against Iran.

And the raid raises questions about Israel's ongoing blockade of Gaza... it insists the blockade is meant to stop Iran from sending weapons to Hamas in Gaza. But critics want the blockade to end now.

Meanwhile this story is far from over - with another ship with humanitarian aid due to arrive in Gaza later this week. Israel says it will stop that one too.

Here’s my question to you: Is Israel looking to start a war?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Israel
June 2nd, 2010
12:52 PM ET