Thursday, 21 Feb 2013 10:39 AM
By Sandy Fitzgerald
President Barack Obama now has his highest approval ratings since September 2009, according to a new Bloomberg poll, and those responding say they prefer his economic message over that of Republicans.
The poll found that 55 percent of respondents approve of the president's job performance, the highest numbers since his first year in office, Politico reports. Another 40 percent disapprove.
Meanwhile, 55 percent say they have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party, while 35 percent approve, according to the poll of 1,003 adults conducted Feb. 15-18 and released Wednesday.
But while Americans approve of Obama's overall job performance, only 35 percent actually approve of his handling of the economy, and 55 percent disapprove of his handling of the federal deficit.
A majority of survey participants also say they approve of Obama's handling of foreign policy and his efforts to combat terrorism.
And on the immigration issue, 47 percent approve of how Obama is handling immigration reform efforts, while 38 percent disapprove.
Obama's ratings were hindered slightly by the ongoing controversy over automatic spending cuts due to take effect on March 1. Only 42 percent approve of how the president is negotiating with Republicans on the issue of sequestration, while 44 percent disapprove.
However, 44 percent of those surveyed say they blame Republicans more than Democrats for problems in Washington, while 34 percent blame Democrats.
Despite the approaching deadline for spending cuts to kick in, 74 percent say they expect the economy to improve or stay the same this year, while 73 percent say they are optimistic about job growth. Meanwhile, 81 percent say they are optimistic as well about the housing market.
But that optimism vanishes when healthcare comes up; 55 percent say they think healthcare costs will get worse.
The conventional wisdom among some observers of the U.S. economy is that manufacturing can't compete with low-cost labor in China. Germany has shown this viewpoint to be utter rubbish. One study by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics found that hourly manufacturing compensation (wages plus benefits) was $48 in Germany and only $32 in the United States (that study was for all manufacturing workers, not just those in SMEs, but Germany's manufacturing workers in SMEs make comparable wages to those working for their large corporations).
German workers in SMEs also all have quality, affordable health care. In the U.S., many workers in SMEs tend to have inferior health care if they have it at all. American apparel workers employed by SMEs are likelier to work in sweatshop-like conditions, with Sweatshop Watch reporting that "67% of Los Angeles garment factories don't pay their workers minimum wage or overtime." Workers in Germany's SMEs are not subjected to such deprived conditions.
All of these components have allowed the German manufacturing and export sectors to enjoy a sterling reputation around the world, and contributed greatly to Germany being the world's fourth-largest economy with a sizable trade surplus. And Germans have harnessed that wealth to foster an equitable and broadly shared prosperity that has given Germans an enviable living standard.
Moreover, unlike in the U.S. where Democrats and Republicans, left and right, fight bitter battles over the best manufacturing strategy, in Germany its various governments from both the right and the left mostly have been joined at the hip when it comes to manufacturing policy, as well as other economic policies. This has included specific policies to deal with the economic crisis, as well as longer term strategies. Good policies can make a difference, and Germany's have given it a competitive edge.
So for President Obama to cite Germany's vocational training for youth as a model is certainly a step in the right direction. But the German example cannot be cherry-picked. It is the sum of its parts -- from vocational training, through the strength of its SMEs, to its high-productivity export focus -- that makes it the envy of so many Americans.
Have you really been polled mikesimon? I honestly never have. Once they asked me when I was in my mid 20's to do the nielsen ratings and i declined because at the time, it felt intrusive. Missed my chance to be heard on something!!
Well, I guess I get to vote so I'm heard. I'll quit being a cry baby. (phrase used lovingly)
Really, I shouldn't post. I'm just being silly and not very serious here.
Good for Obama. Polls are that interesting thing that change like fair weather fans love or ditch their favorite footbal team. There are good days and bad days based on certain things. At least that is how I always look at it. Celebrate the good days but don't get a big head and minimize the bad days and don't get too discouraged.
"German workers in SMEs also all have quality, affordable health care. In the U.S., many workers in SMEs tend to have inferior health care if they have it at all. American apparel workers employed by SMEs are likelier to work in sweatshop-like conditions, with Sweatshop Watch reporting that "67% of Los Angeles garment factories don't pay their workers minimum wage or overtime." Workers in Germany's SMEs are not subjected to such deprived conditions."
"All of these components have allowed the German manufacturing and export sectors to enjoy a sterling reputation around the world, and contributed greatly to Germany being the world's fourth-largest economy with a sizable trade surplus. And Germans have harnessed that wealth to foster an equitable and broadly shared prosperity that has given Germans an enviable living standard."
Unions are not needed when companies and Governments do their job.
ha ha, well. Intesting. My husband has a list of about 3 guys he needs fired in Germany for not doing their job. Can't get it done. They have laws that pay workers for one to two years after being fired so it rarely happens. That's just some 'real life' for you from a person that works with German employees. Europe has a lot of problems.
Yep, except for the part about Europe having issues. So many countries there are way way down for exports and imports which is a key factor for economies. They do indeed provide many items for their citizens but they also are faltering in other areas that eventually will mean they can't anymore.
"My husband..." - wow, I have to say that sounds just like all the anecdotal evidence that comprises 99% of the CE rights supporting data. I didn't think I'd hear that stuff from you - no, I really didn't. What is it with you guys? Don't you ever read anything - ever? I would hate to think you all live at the ratio of your personal experience because, regardless of how worldly you happen to be, that is a rather limited perspective.
And while I could tell you anecdotal things my husband talks about while doing business with Germany (and that his company is German based), I will spare you------ here is some information on the contraction of their economy that was recently released.
We have very very strict guidelines and policies around firing people in Canada, and I can tell you that it is a double edged sword. Of course, you can fire anyone if you are prepared to give them enough money.
The Pros - it of course protects people from being fired for non legitimate issues such as racial predjiduce, or a supervisor just not liking someone, or even just having a bad day.
The Cons - it is unbelievably difficult to get rid of a poor performing employee. Some examples.....
You first have to give a documented verbal warning specific to the issue. That is followed by minimum 2 written warnings, very specific to the issue and signed off by the person being warned. Termination would be next step, but you still have to give a decent severance package, and even then they might fight you.
If the employee claims stress, hardship, or even addiction, counseling and stress leave must be offered (insurance or EI pay this, so not out of employers pocket).
It is really really hard. It's a good thing in many ways, but if you've got someone you legitimately need to deal with, really really hard.
Really? A severance package? A severance package is a "reward" in a sense. In my experience, if you don't do your job, you get fired and there's nothing...... no wages, no insurance, no nothing.... you're gone/done; find another job.
Again, from my own experience, severance packages may be given to some who are being laid off, or offered early retirement, etc. But not from being fired for doing a bad job or breaking company rules.
In my last job, there was a guy doing prescription pain meds (both selling and using); lots of times we'd find him in remote places sleeping off the pills; one day he got into an accident and totaled his company van.... he was gone - no severance package, no addiction counseling or anything. He'd been with the company long enough to have a pretty good retirement account, but was nowhere near retirement age, so he lost all of that.......
If someone isn't doing their job, or is abusing drugs, putting others in danger, etc, they don't deserve to have a job.......
Yep, unless its something very blatant and obvious (such as stealing), you pretty much pay. Like I said, it's a good thing in some cases as it protects people from less then rational supervisors or employers, but the flip side is, a bad employee can be tough tough tough to get rid of. Even if caught doing something blatant and dangerous, as a manager the only thing I can do immediately is to put them on leave (with pay) while the situation is investigated. I know my Agency tends not to fire people, but rather moves them into roles that might be more appropriate. Firing here is a pretty big deal.
"Even if caught doing something blatant and dangerous, as a manager the only thing I can do immediately is to put them on leave (with pay) while the situation is investigated. " Wow, that's got to be tough..
I agree that touch discharge laws keep the employee from suffering for the boss's bad hair day, or whatever, people not doing their jobs need to be fired; plain and simple.
"Here in La. "Goodbye says it all." " Same, here in FL, because we're a "right to work" state, but people do still have recourse through the court system if they can prove they were treated unfairly.
I won't even go into what I, personally, endured as a union member.
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