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TOTAL S.A. Message Board

  • Dee_Dee_Z Dee_Dee_Z May 8, 2012 5:00 PM Flag

    A construction hypothesis

    As the foundation for a future argument, I'm on the threshhold of making a Sweeping Generalization, which is:
    >>>All Construction Jobs are Temporary.

    I would claim that if you're in one of the building trades, you move from one project to another, whether it's a freeway, a pipeline, or a sports stadium. Doesn't matter if you're a concrete finisher, an electrician, a crane operator or a sheet-metal guy, you work on a project until your part is done, and then you're effectively unemployed until the next project comes along. Right so far?

    If that's true, then everyone who's running for office on a "jobs" platform, from presidential to city council candidates, should be grilled on how many Temporary jobs vs Permanent jobs their favorite projects will actually create.

    Example: A few states over from here, there's a big debate on building a new stadium for a football team, and one side is arguing for all the "Really Good Jobs" it will create. My opinion, still forming, is that
    * The "Really Good Jobs" are in construction, but they are all temporary and will disappear;
    * The permanent jobs -- ticket takers and food vendors -- are NOT "Really Good Jobs", they pay close to minimum wage, likely have little-to-no benefits, and are probably going to be taken by the people who /currently/ do those jobs in the existing facility. In other words, DARN FEW of them are NEW jobs, and they're not really too good.

    I think the same thing applies to pipelines. A Canadian company will build Keystone, which will "create" a lot of jobs -- I'd guess a mixture of Canadians and Americans. There is no question that those workers will get paid well for skilled labor -- but in a couple of years, they'll be gone, off to a different project whose champion has also claimed credit for "creating" a bunch of jobs.

    What do you think of my theory so far?

    DeeDee Z.

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    • So working at Starbucks would be a permanent job? That is the nature of construction work-finish and hopefully move on to another. A pipeline such as Keystone has dozens of compressor stations that require full time employees. In addition it would generate many millions in tax revenues to states,counties, and schools and other taxing entities as long as it is in operation. Morticians and tax collectors, now there are two "permanent" jobs.

      • 1 Reply to carchandco51
      • [carchandco] > So working at Starbucks would be a permanent job?

        A qualified "yes" -- more permanent than the crane operator and concrete finishing jobs that stopped (were un-created, maybe) when the project was completed and turned over to its eventual owners.

        Maybe permanent isn't the right word. How about on-going, or post-construction?

        > That is the nature of construction work-finish and hopefully move on to another.

        Agreed. What if there isn't another to move on to? And when there is, would you count that next project as another job CREATED?

        > A pipeline such as Keystone has dozens of compressor stations that require full time employees.

        Do you have any data on how many of those jobs will go to Americans? Remember, the builder/owner is a Canadian firm.

        > In addition it would generate many millions in tax revenues to states,counties, and schools

        I'd REALLY like to see some hard documentation for that. Are you actually saying that every school district that such a pipeline goes through taxes the oil somehow? Any idea how much? I'm really curious to know more of that, please.

        > Morticians and tax collectors, now there are two "permanent" jobs.

        Ooh, I LIKE that, I'll use it in the next version!

        Peace,
        DeeDee Z.

 
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