Perception is Reality

This morning on C-Span Washington Journal, Walter Isaacson of the Aspen Institute was on the program to talk about his article in Time magazine titled "How to Save Your Newspaper".   The Newspaper industry is collapsing  and the heavy hitters are coming out to try and save it.

"During the past few months, the crisis in journalism has reached meltdown proportions. It is now possible to contemplate a time when some major cities will no longer have a newspaper and when magazines and network-news operations will employ no more than a handful of reporters.

There is, however, a striking and somewhat odd fact about this crisis. Newspapers have more readers than ever. Their content, as well as that of newsmagazines and other producers of traditional journalism, is more popular than ever — even (in fact, especially) among young people.

The problem is that fewer of these consumers are paying..."

Something that Isaacson said made my heart leap with joy so I fired off an email to C-Span hoping that they would read it - at least off air if not on air.  They did read it - on air.  Here is what I wrote:

Mr. Isaacson,
You made my day.  You said online advertising revenues went up and up and then dropped off and now newspapers are in trouble.  It's a joke Mr. Isaacson.  The newspapers have just experienced the "pump and dump" with ad revenues.   And I'm going to enjoy every single minute of watching the decline because when my industry - IT industry experienced the same thing... the newspapers all supported the corporations perpetrating the scam. When the same thing happened with Nurses' salaries, newspapers played right along.   Now it's their turn for "creative destruction" by fraud. 
What a great day. 
Vicky Davis
Twin Falls

He only read part of it ending before the part about newspapers supporting the corporations perpetrating the scam but that's ok.  He read enough of it to get the gist which was to identify the "pump and dump" as something going beyond the Wall Street stock fraud.  The "Pump" is the use of the media by Public Relations (PR) people to create a perception and the "Dump" comes when the game is over.  The way it works is that PR people hired for the purpose of creating a certain perception create "News", it's hyped in the media - both broadcast and print.  The game is over when objective is achieved whatever the objective happens to be. 

I became aware of the strategy when I was researching the outsourcing of Information Technology (IT) jobs to India.   The propaganda promoted by the media was that there was a shortage of IT professionals which was pretty damn odd because I couldn't get any responses to my resume even though I was willing to relocate anywhere and I had 20 years of solid experience behind me.  Then I found out about Harris Miller of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA).    Miller was the inspiration for the 'Benedict Arnold' section of my website (speakers on).   If you click on the picture of Miller, you'll find this in his profile:

Harris Miller is an immigration lobbyist who made his name in labor arbitrage when his firm, Immigration Services Associates was hired in the 1980’s as a consultant/lobbyist for the National Council of Agricultural Employers.  In 1982, the Council raised a million dollars for the campaign of George Deukmejian.  “Between 1983 and 1990, Deukmejian began shutting down enforcement of the state's historic farm labor law. According to the UFW: “Thousands of farm workers lose their UFW contracts. Many are fired and blacklisted”.[1]   

During that period, Miller used a strategy of propaganda to create the image of ‘shortages’, which he then used as evidence to lobby for the increased supply of imported migrant farm workers.  He supplied the media with stories "fields full of crops, just lying there, rotting in the sun because of the 'crisis' of a 'shortage' of farm workers."[2]  He then used that as evidence to lobby lawmakers to allow massive importation of temporary farm workers from Mexico to ‘save the crops’ thereby breaking the United Farm Workers Union.  

In 1995, Harris Miller became president of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA).  Since that time, he has honed his strategy of ‘shortage’ and lobbying for remedies.  With the big money backing of the Information Technology corporations - (400, 11,000 or 26,000 members depending on who he is talking to), he not only helped flood our labor markets with foreign workers, he used a massive media propaganda campaign to create the image of a shortage while at the same time, he was working proactively to export our high tech sector to India.

Not content to simply use the lobbying power of the ITAA, other organizations were spun off for the purpose of selling the idea that there were shortages and to give cover to Congress using the illusion of 'numbers'.  One such spin off for lobbying and PR supplied propaganda is Compete America.   Even though the newspapers pretend there is a Chinese Wall between their editorial page and their news page, it's simply not true and everybody knows it - most of all the reporters who write stories for the paper know it.  They know who signs their paychecks (or who used to sign their paychecks... hehehehe  what goes around - comes around).

Customer Service jobs, telephone technical support,  writing software are all classified as a 'service jobs' because they involve a person engaged in an activity classed as services.  Knowledge/Service jobs - including what I did for a living were roughly 65% of our economy prior to the Internet going public.  These jobs were among the best, high paying jobs in this country.   When the Internet became available to the public and Harris Miller perpetuated his "shortages" scam to justify the export of those jobs, it was the torpedo to our economy that started the collapse.  And the "journalism" profession that Isaacson would like to save is complicit in the collapse because of their dishonesty in the News Department and it is sweet justice to see that their industry is collapsing too - victims of the same game they played against the working people in this country.  They were suckered by manufactured perception perpetrated by Google and Yahoo that there was going to be big money - coming is small amounts - for internet advertising.  George Soros is the master of this strategy - create a bubble by manipulation of perception - and then pop it. 

The biggest misperception in this country today is in the nature of automation - computer systems.  What computer systems do is to enable the centralization of control and with the centralization of control, comes the power to control and the power to kill off competitors to that control.  That might seem counterintuitive because there are what?  50 or 100 million PC's in this country?   Where is the centralization of control?   Microsoft and Apple to a lesser extent.   And by virtue of the Internet which has become the economic circulation system of the country (and the world because of the global network) CISCO systems which manufacturers the Internet infrastructure.  And in transportation of packages and mail - Fed Ex and UPS (DHL recently bit the dust).  Automation is creating a few giants who are destroying everybody else.  What the Internet did was to turn our country into one big organization - all receiving "nourishment" from the Internet circulatory system - but only the biggest will survive when all is said and done because of the centralization of control and the corresponding power that comes with it. 

In the past week or so, I've written a quite a bit about Buckminster Fuller and to a lesser degree - about the Futurists who were predicting the future based on the anticipated technological gains and how they would change the world.  In one of the things I read or videos I watched, someone - and I do think it was Fuller, said that because of automation, only 10% of the people employed at that time (mid 1960's) would have jobs because of the automation - centralization - fewer and fewer people able to control more and more resources.  And he was right.  And the collapse of our economic system is the manifestation of it.   The "winners" at the automation game are like giant leeches on our collective body and they are sucking the life out of it and our extremities are dying.  And because of their power to control, they won't do a thing to stop it - rather they will hasten the demise  -  increasing their own power.   Despite my glee at watching the death of the faux News industry, it breaks my heart to see what's coming and to not be able to do anything about it.    

Vicky Davis
March 1, 2009