Readers' Letters
by: Christopher Onstott, Mitch Besser waits on hold to find out about his unemployment benefit status as his wife Diana organizes the home office. Besser, who was featured in a July 22 Tribune story, worked for a software company that moved its operations to China, laying off most of its Oregon workers.

Interesting, so in this day and age of 'our kids need a college education,' when the trades are being given the short end of the stick, we find that the college jobs are most at risk (Are workers trading down?, July 22).

Funny, if you need your plumbing fixed, I'm not thinking that they will be able to outsource that. If your house needs to be rewired or have a roof put on, I don't see those jobs being shipped to India. But no, we don't want our kids in 'those' blue collar jobs, they need to be college-educated - and what do you get?

While I understand people wanting/needing to stay where they have roots, sometimes you just have to lick your wounds and move on. I find it odd that the fellow with the experience and the masters degree in software (Mitch Besser) can't find a job - somewhere. Probably not in Oregon, but has he tried elsewhere? I've looked at job openings across the United States, and I see openings that sure as heck look to be in his field.

The one thing I can say is that if you are not willing/able to move, then I don't care what you are trained in, you will have a hard time finding a job in Oregon

(Hint, you might want to look at Texas and some of the Southern states - they are weathering the recession much better due to better state rules that welcome business, instead of scaring it like Oregon does).

Michael Wagoner


Retraining still won't land jobs

'Lake Oswego resident Mitch Besser, 48, lost his job as a software engineer for a Nevada casino company when it shifted operations to Beijing. Now, he hopes the government retraining program will pay him to study bioinformatics at Oregon Health and Science University' (Are workers trading down?, July 22).

I wish him all the luck in the world. I actually paid my own way through and completed my MBI (master's in bioinformatics) at OHSU more than three years ago and have yet to find a job that utilizes my skill set. He might want to do some more research into the field before committing to it, because unless he is a clinician, he has no chance of landing a position.

Oscar Levant

Lake Oswego

Greatest threat is the greed of CEOs

America has become a land where the 'ruling class' of CEOs, CFOs and the like are making more than any time in history, and laughing at the plight of the workers (Are workers trading down?, July 22).

In their gated enclaves and multimillion dollar mansions, there are no problems. What they should realize is that they - and not foreign terrorists - are the greatest threat America faces. Every time a gold or platinum 'parachute' opens for an executive and thousands of ordinary Americans lose their jobs, the anger level will rise.

As we drift toward a Third World status with have and have-nots, the rich will learn it is not so safe to ignore the well-being of those below them. In the next few years, we may find that rampant money-grubbing capitalism may not fare better than the old Soviet-style communism. Unless the perfect storm of greed is brought under control, we cannot long stand.

Dennis Lively


We dug our own economic grave

Let us all move to China, India and Japan, where all those jobs used to be your parents' jobs, before your parents bought their Toyotas and Subarus and sold out your jobs (Are workers trading down?, July 22).

Now, we can all be retrained to be plumbers, or go to work for government unions that will protect us and pay us well. When we all work for some form of government, we will then quit complaining about how onerous and unfair it might be.

Dan Maher

Southeast Portland

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