January 19, 2006

Hey, That Drunken Toga Party Only Happened Once (But a Potential Employer Doesn’t Know That)

Filed under: Money Tip of the Day,Privacy/ID Theft — Tom @ 2:45 pm

Maybe it was a onetime doozy of a mistake, but job recruiters don’t know that. And according to Career Journal (via ComputerWorld, HT TechDirt), they’re looking you up:

JANUARY 17, 2006 – Unflattering personal information drifting around the Internet, known by some as “digital dirt,” can doom a job search before it even gets started. Job hunters should know that recruiters can, and often do, read much of what’s posted about them on the Web.

Christine Hirsch, president of Chicago Resources, a professional-services recruiting firm, says she regularly uses Google and other sites to check on candidates. In one instance, she found details about a candidate on a law school Web site describing disciplinary actions related to a fraternity prank involving public intoxication. The candidate, who had received a verbal offer (and who had disclosed a drunken-driving conviction in college), didn’t get the job after the new information surfaced.

According to a 2005 survey of 102 executive recruiters by ExecuNet, an executive job-search and networking organization, 75% of recruiters use search engines to uncover information about candidates, and 26% of recruiters have eliminated candidates because of information found online.

The article offers four main tips to help job seekers clean up their digital dirt:

  • Google yourself to see what’s out there. If there’s untruth out there, try to get rid of it. If you can’t, be ready to bring it up proactively. You may have to put your name in quotes to cut down the number of results, and use variations of your name to make sure you catch them all.
  • Clean up your profile and records on social-networking sites.
  • Bury your dirt by putting so much recent and positive stuff out there that the good stuff shows up at the top of the search engines and the bad stuff is buried so deep no one will get to it.
  • Monitor what is being said about you by subscribing to a site, like pubsub.com, which sends you an e-mail every time you’re mentioned newsgroups, blogs, and securities filings.

An additional suggestion: Set yourself up in Google Alerts for News, News and Web, and/or Groups to see what is being written and said about you.

I would suppose that these ideas will soon not be just for job seekers; they may become very relevant to people who want to keep their jobs, too.

Great News: Pundit Review’s Radio Slot Doubled

Filed under: Business Moves,General,News from Other Sites — Tom @ 11:50 am

PunditReview.com has announced that WRKO in Boston (680 AM in Metro Boston, web site here) has expanded Pundit Review Radio’s time slot on Sunday nights to two hours.

I was on with Kevin and Gregg on a special Saturday morning edition a couple of weeks ago (on-page audio is at this link, my recap is here). By the time they got to me they were well into the third hour and still going strong, so they’ll have no trouble doing two solid hours every week.

Pundit Review Radio also go a nice write-up today in the Boston Herald. Way to go, guys.

WRKO is no slouch station. It’s the Boston home of Rush, Michael Savage, and regional legend Howie Carr. It is Number 7 in the Boston market. While the talk format is flat in a lot of markets, WRKO has gone from a 3.9 share to a 4.5 in the past year, even though much of the year-ago period was during the heat of the 2004 presidential election and its aftermath.

Column of the Day: John Stossel’s Follow-up to His Friday TV Report on US Schools

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:35 am

Stossel, as you might imagine, is being ripped for his claim that schools have plenty of money, and they just squander it.

His response column is outstanding (HT Econlog). Among other things, he tells the story of Kansas City’s court-ordered orgy of spending the in late 1980s and what it accomplished (guess; bolds are mine):

Myth: Schools don’t have enough money

The hate mail is coming in to ABC over a TV special I did Friday (1/13). I suggested that public schools had plenty of money but were squandering it, because that’s what government monopolies do.

Many such comments came in after the National Education Association (NEA) informed its members about the special and claimed that I have a “documented history of blatant antagonism toward public schools.”

….. Not enough money for education? It’s a myth.

The truth is, public schools are rolling in money. If you divide the U.S. Department of Education’s figure for total spending on K-12 education by the department’s count of K-12 students, it works out to about $10,000 per student.

Think about that! For a class of 25 kids, that’s $250,000 per classroom. This doesn’t include capital costs. Couldn’t you do much better than government schools with $250,000? You could hire several good teachers; I doubt you’d hire many bureaucrats. Government schools, like most monopolies, squander money.

America spends more on schooling than the vast majority of countries that outscore us on the international tests. But the bureaucrats still blame school failure on lack of funds, and demand more money.

In 1985, some of them got their wish. Kansas City, Mo., judge Russell Clark said the city’s predominately black schools were not “halfway decent,” and he ordered the government to spend billions more. Did the billions improve test scores? Did they hire better teachers, provide better books? Did the students learn anything?

Well, they learned how to waste lots of money.

The bureaucrats renovated school buildings, adding enormous gyms, an Olympic swimming pool, a robotics lab, TV studios, a zoo, a planetarium, and a wildlife sanctuary. They added intense instruction in foreign languages. They spent so much money that when they decided to bring more white kids to the city’s schools, they didn’t have to resort to busing. Instead, they paid for 120 taxis. Taxis!

What did spending billions more accomplish? ….. $2 billion later, the Kansas City school district failed 11 performance standards and lost its academic accreditation for the first time in the district’s history.

Walter Williams Gets to the Root Cause of the “Lobbying Problem”: Government’s Too Big

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:43 am

Mr. Williams explains it with characteristic eloquence. I absolutely love the last paragraph of this excerpt:

Let’s start this analysis with a question. Why do corporations, unions and other interest groups fork over millions of dollars to the campaign coffers of politicians? Is it because these groups are extraordinarily civic-minded Americans who have a deep interest in congressmen doing their jobs of upholding and defending the U.S. Constitution? Might it be that these groups and their Washington-based lobby arms, numbering in the thousands, just love participating in the political process? Anyone answering in the affirmative to either question probably also believes that storks deliver babies and there really is an Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.

A much better explanation for the millions going to the campaign coffers of Washington politicians lies in the awesome growth of government control over business, property, employment and other areas of our lives. Having such power, Washington politicians are in the position to grant favors. The greater their power to grant favors, the greater the value of being able to influence Congress, and there’s no better influence than money.

The generic favor sought is to get Congress, under one ruse or another, to grant a privilege or right to one group of Americans that will be denied another group of Americans. A variant of this privilege is to get Congress to do something that would be criminal if done privately.

Here’s just one among possibly thousands of examples. If Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) used goons and violence to stop people from buying sugar from Caribbean producers so that sugar prices would rise, making it easier for ADM to sell more of its corn syrup sweetener, they’d wind up in jail. If they line the coffers of congressmen, they can buy the same result without risking imprisonment. Congress simply does the dirty work for them by enacting sugar import quotas and tariffs.

Bizzy’s AM Coffee Biz-Econ Links (011906)

  • Final US inflation numbers for 2005 — 3.4% overall, 2.2% excluding food and energy.
  • Fed Beige Book says US economic activity increased — in the last few weeks of December. If you don’t know, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book is a supposedly internal document with very detailed information about how the economy is doing that usually gets leaked.
  • Suit Targets Kellogg, Viacom’s Junk Food Marketing to Kids — Guess we’re just pushovers for junky cereal ads and have no free will to decide what our kids will eat.
  • Companies Launch All-Exercise Cable News Network — I’m tired just thinking about it. Maybe the people suing over junk cereal will also try to force us to watch it.
  • Your Tax Dollars Wasted (HT Club for Growth) — An anonymous blogger at the CDC rips management for overspending on opulent buildings, offices, and office furniture. I hope there’s no way he can be traced, because if he can be, he’s probably history.
  • Winchester Rifles to Be Discontinued — end of an era, and the beginning of a lot of collectible value build-up in the ones that exist.
  • Man Gets Stolen Corvette Back — after 37 years.

Positivity: Delphi Workers Donate Coats

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:05 am

Given the obvious financial stress of their company’s bankruptcy and the theatened wage and benefit cuts, this is a remarkable story: