April 20th, 2011
With the unemployment rate nationally still hovering around 9 percent, many people are grateful simply to get a paycheck -- but gratitude doesn't take the stress out of the daily grind.
To get a sense of the most stressful jobs in America, CareerCast.com looked at 11 different factors that can cause stress on the job, and ranked 200 professions by how significantly these demands factor into the average workday. Factors that weighed into stress include work environment, job competitiveness, physical demands, deadlines, on-the-job dangers and even the job's growth potential.
Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com, highlights an interesting trend in America's job market: "As for people who want to throw themselves into bigger challenges, there are simply less of those people than there used to be. "This phenomenon is having an effect on new entrants into the job market. Specifically, he says, new college graduates are seeking jobs that bring them less stress, a choice that may be difficult to realize for individuals who have been entrenched in their jobs for an extended period of time.
Lee says there will always be people willing to take on the challenges of consistently stressful jobs, such as firefighters and policemen. However, these professions feel the additional stress of the overall economy in the form of uncertainty about budget cuts and pension benefits -- which can considerably add to an already stressful job.
For almost every job in America, the recession has in some way affected how individuals feel in their everyday work routine. How have the rankings of stressful jobs changed and which jobs rank as the most stressful this year? Let's take a look.
©Dale Wilson/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
1. Commercial Airline Pilot
Stress score: 47.60
Average annual salary: $117,060
Hours per day: 9
The most stressful job of 2011 is a commercial airline pilot, according to CareerCast.com. Tony Lee points out that several recent events demonstrate how a pilot's job can be stressful, as it depends on factors out of their control. For instance, a pilot must rely heavily on equipment: the incident with the damaged Southwest 737 earlier this year revealed how this reliance can cause tension during a pilot's normal working day. In addition, a pilot's reliance on control tower operators also increases stress, especially after the revelations that air traffic controllers are falling asleep on the job, requiring planes to land without help.
Pilots also experience big swings in stress, says Tony Lee, going from "periods of extremely low stress when they're not flying, followed by periods of extremely high stress. And these stressful swings are not the best thing for your health." The profession has also been affected by the economy, he says, with layoffs, high oil prices, and cost cutting in the airline industry threatening pay raises and employment levels. For these reasons, being a commercial airline pilot is the most stressful job in America this year.
©Jon Feingersh/Blend Images/Getty Images
2. Public Relations Executive
Stress score: 47.60
Average annual salary: $101,850
Hours per day: 9
Public relations executives are "completely at the mercy of their clients and buyers," says Tony Lee, noting that their success or failure depends on the actions and decisions of clients, creating a stressful situation because their performance is in many ways out of their hands.
They also bear the burden of being connected constantly to social media while also managing small details of several campaigns at once.
3. Senior Corporate Executive
Stress score: 47.41
Average annual salary: $167,280
Hours per day: 11
Corporate executives are highly paid, and for a good reason: they have held one of the most stressful jobs in America for the past two years. Not only does the job require extensive knowledge of business but also involves understanding trends, technological developments, and implications of their decisions.
"Corporate executives are at the behests of their shareholders and corporate boards," says Tony Lee. "They have to keep their company profitable, which is a complex task. In an upturn, they have higher expectations, and they can't simply cut costs and ride out the recession. They're being held to a higher standard now that the economy is on the rebound -- and much of the time, they are not in control of their own destiny."
Stress score: 47.09
Average annual salary: $43,270*
Hours per day: Varies
Much like newscasters, photojournalists are expected to be on the front lines, with a job description that requires them to enter some of the most dangerous, remote or volatile places on earth. Many are on call 24 hours a day. And when news breaks, the photojournalists may have to mobilize with extremely short notice and stay on assignment for extended periods of time.
The dangers of the job are also evident: earlier this year, four journalists for the New York Times were captured and held in Libya and eventually released. In fact, journalists in the US and abroad are killed in the line of work every year (14 so far in 2011), according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
-- This figure corresponds to "Reporters and Correspondents" according to the BLS.
Stress score: 43.56
Average annual salary: $43,270*
Hours per day: 8
The news business is always a stressful place. Because of global crises, environmental disasters, and wars, newscasters are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They research, write, and report from the front lines, and they're expected to go on-air with little or no preparation.
Technology is another reason the job of a newscaster is stressful: they must be continually plugged in, interacting with the dynamic landscape of the internet, which is continuously changing the way they broadcast the news. "It just doesn't get much more stressful than the expectations put on someone involved in the news," says Tony Lee.
-- This figure corresponds to "Reporters and Correspondents" according to the BLS.
April 19th, 2011
A Shadow Government
That other part belongs to the Shadow Government movement that has blossomed during the Obama administration. As we continue to persevere through our ongoing theme of left-wing capitalism at apex, we can also see that our last words on the subject were reinforced and even spread to a much wider audience.
In The Rise Of Left-Wing Capitalism, we were able to prove Obama's ultimate feelings on capitalism and how, according to him, it has failed. We then went on to illustrate how the radical left wishes to eradicate free-market capitalism and remake America into something else altogether. But the even deeper question that goes to the heart of America's predicament is both the how and the why along with the who. Who has the power, the influence and the ability to help the radical left bring down America, and how have they devised a means to meet that end, and why? (And why, by the way, has the writing of these particular articles, met with all sorts of nearly comical interruptions, strange happenings, and unfortunate interludes of odd goings-on, probably just me...)
Meet Darth Soros
The one particularly powerful anti-individual with a Globalist agenda who wants to see America taken down is global financier George Soros, the left-wing capitalist who brought down the Bank of England, along with a number of other nations in various multifarious ways. When asked why Soros feels that America needs to be taken down, Soros will tell you that his reasons are ones which are global in nature. Soros actually states that:
"The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States."
Soros bemoanedly believes that America "sets the agenda for the world" and the world must respond to that agenda, and that this is beyond bad for the Globalists among our international community, and therefore, all of us, according to Soros.
Interestingly, this viewpoint seems to fit right in with both Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's views, who have repeatedly stated that America can no longer be the "engine of the world's economies." Secretary Geithner even recently stated that America was "open" to considering the possibility of replacing the dollar as the world reserve currency.
Soros Attacks The US War On Terror
Regarding the saga of George Soros, however, it actually gets far worse. Soros has even stated that the US war on terrorism was a "wrongful decision" because of the "innocent victims." The other side of this argument, which Soros fails to apparently consider, are the millions of innocent victims who suffer as a very real and very direct result of world-wide terrorism. Terrorism, which is primarily perpetrated by radical Islamists, certainly never have any innocent victims, now do they? Soros, dare we leave out, also despised George W. Bush and waged a near-victory in defeating Bush on his second successful term run....
April 19th, 2011
The Federal Election Commission has launched an audit into President Barack Obama's record-breaking 2008 campaign.
Individuals familiar with the campaign told Roll Call Friday that the FEC has been investigating the financial records of Obama's previous campaign. The scope of the probe, which began approximately two
years ago, is unknown. Presidential audits typically take years to complete and can cost millions of dollars.
The newly formed 2012 Obama campaign did not deny there was an audit, but a spokeswoman called it a "review."
"The FEC is conducting a routine review — as is true with the McCain Campaign, the Romney Campaign and many others — to determine if they have any questions with the information reported," said Katie Hogan, deputy press secretary for the campaign. "Given that there was an historic number of contributors and contributions — nearly four million and over nine million respectively — this takes time."
The FEC was not required to audit the president's campaign because Obama chose not to accept $84 million in federal funds following the Democratic National Convention in 2008. However, the agency was obligated to launch a similar investigation into Republican nominee Sen. John McCain's (Ariz.) 2008 White House bid after he opted to receive government funds.
FEC spokespeople would not confirm the audit of Obama's 2008 bid or say why the agency used its discretion to launch its investigation. But the decision came in the wake of Republican allegations of illegal contributions, as well as dozens of letters from the agency questioning transactions that appeared out of compliance with campaign finance laws.
The FEC's decision to audit the campaign is not surprising, given that it was the largest federal campaign in history, raising more than $750 million in receipts. If Obama's campaign were not audited, it would have been the first presidential nominee's campaign to escape such scrutiny since the public financing system was created in 1976.
The potential for the FEC's audit became increasingly more likely as the FEC questioned some of Obama campaign filings. In all, the FEC wrote 26 letters to Obama for America warning the campaign that if it did not adequately respond to the agency's questions that it "could result in an audit or enforcement action."
These letters totaled more than 1,500 pages of questions and data that outlined compliance concerns — including the longest one ever sent to a presidential candidate.
The Obama campaign has shown signs of an audit for years as it has ramped up its spending on legal fees and other similar expenses, according to CQ MoneyLine study of disclosure reports.
As of the end of March, Obama for America had spent nearly $3 million on legal fees since the 2008 election. In all, the president's campaign spent three times more on lawyers after Election Day than in the two years preceding it.
The lion's share of Obama's legal spending went to Perkins Coie, a well-known Democratic legal and accounting firm. Perkins Coie is representing the Obama campaign in all major legal matters, including
seven of the FEC's known investigations involving the White House bid. In each of these cases, the FEC voted to dismiss the case or found "no reason to believe" that the Obama for America or related committees had violated any laws.
Perkins Coie may be also representing Obama for America in the FEC's spending investigation of a Republican National Committee complaint. A few weeks before the election, the RNC alleged that Obama's campaign accepted donations from foreign nationals, received contributions that had exceed limits and submitted fictitious donor names to the agency. The status of this investigation is unknown, though the FEC confirmed it received the complaint.
Obama campaign officials said they have made significant efforts to track down elusive donor information for some of its contributors. In many situations, it has chosen to make large refunds or give any questionable money to the government.
During the 2010 cycle, the Obama campaign led all organizations when it came to sending refunds to individual donors. Following the election, it disclosed disbursement transactions totaling more than $5.7 million in refunds.
Though the FEC has not penalized Obama, the president's campaign has also voluntarily paid more than $400,000 to the Treasury Department during the past two years for donations that were out of compliance
with campaign finance rules.
This sum is not just the most of any campaign; it is greater than all other similar spending by House, presidential and political action committees put together during the 2010 cycle. The Obama campaign paid the Treasury Department $232,000 at the end of 2009 for "disgorgement of unverifiable contributors" and another $182,000 in June 2010 for "uncashed checks."
"Legal fees and disgorgement are consistent with FEC proceedings," said Jan Baran, who heads the election law and government ethics group at Wiley Rein.
April 19th, 2011
By Shahien Nasiripour
The financial system poses an even greater risk to taxpayers than before the crisis, according to analysts at Standard & Poor's. The next rescue could be about a trillion dollars costlier, the credit rating agency warned.
S&P put policymakers on notice, saying there's "at least a one-in-three" chance that the U.S. government may lose its coveted AAA credit rating. Various risks could lead the agency to downgrade the Treasury's credit worthiness, including policymakers' penchant for rescuing bankers and traders from their failures.
"The potential for further extraordinary official assistance to large players in the U.S. financial sector poses a negative risk to the government's credit rating,” S&P said in its Monday report.
But, the agency's analysts warned, "we believe the risks from the U.S. financial sector are higher than we considered them to be before 2008."
Because of the increased risk, S&P forecasts the potential initial cost to taxpayers of the next crisis cleanup to approach 34 percent of the nation's annual economic output, or gross domestic product. In 2007, the agency's analysts estimated it could cost 26 percent of GDP.
Last year, U.S. output neared $14.7 trillion, according to the Commerce Department. By S&P’s estimate, that means taxpayers could be hit with $5 trillion in costs in the event of another financial collapse.
Experts said that while the cost estimate seems unusually high, there's little dispute that when the next crisis hits, it will not be anticipated -- and it will likely hurt the economy more than the last financial crisis.
"The impact of the next crisis will be greater because the economy is in a much more fragile state," said Andrew Lo, professor of finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
"My worry about the next financial crisis is it will come from some corner we haven't really thought about, and we'll be locked into more constraints on the Fed's ability and on the Treasury's ability to really do anything," said Jeremy Stein, an economics professor at Harvard University who worked as an adviser to both the Treasury Department and the White House in 2009.
The constraints are a result of the last round of multiple bailouts.
"I think it's literally going to be politically harder to put in resources, for better or for worse," Stein said. That could either induce those in the financial system to take less risk, forestalling the next breakdown, or, "the mop up will be more difficult," Stein said.
The U.S. banking industry poses as much of a credit risk as Spain's, S&P wrote in an April 8 report in which it judged 92 nations' banking sectors. Spain is frequently mentioned as a candidate for an international bailout because many of its banks are under-capitalized, its banking system remains dogged by delinquent bubble-era loans and it faces losing investor confidence.
The ranking is partly based on the quality of a nation's financial regulation and lending patterns. U.S. bank regulators failed to prevent the crisis or the poor lending that led to it, S&P analysts wrote in a Jan. 6 report.
"Systemic risk is greater now," said Mark T. Williams, a finance professor at Boston University and a former bank examiner for the Federal Reserve. "It was uncorked because of the fall of Lehman Brothers, and the genie has been let out of the bottle," he said, referring to the September 2008 failure of the former investment bank.
The continued rise of globalization and the separate growth of derivatives -- financial instruments that aim to spread risk -- have led to greater connections between countries, industries and companies, Williams said. The level of so-called interconnection has tied firms to one another in ways experts do not completely understand. Regulators and policymakers didn't know how interconnected various banks and insurance companies were prior to the near-financial meltdown of 2008.
Because the giant insurer American International Group, better known as AIG, was connected to so many firms through derivatives, policymakers felt forced to bail the company out when it ran into trouble.
"Systemic risk knows no national boundaries," said Williams, who published "Uncontrolled Risk," a book on the topic, last year. "It is not random or a force of nature, it is man made. [And] the global financial market remains fragile due to weak policies, lax regulation, poor accountability and systems not designed to capture global risk management."
The risk of another financial collapse also has increased, Lo of MIT argues, because banks have not accounted for losses on poorly-performing assets they're still hiding on their books; lawmakers' likely aversion to another bailout should the system run into trouble again; and the perception that many national economies aren't as durable as they were just a few years ago. China, for example, was able to help the U.S. through the depths of the last crisis thanks to the steps it took to increase domestic spending.
But today, China is trying to cool down an over-heating economy.
"Next time around, if we see another systemic shock, it will be very difficult for us to depend on our foreign trading partners to cushion that kind of a blow," Lo said. "The world economy is not as resilient as it was just a few years ago."
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April 19th, 2011
By the CNN Wire Staff
Washington (CNN) -- A plane carrying Michelle Obama had to abort its landing on Monday after it came too close to a military C-17 cargo plane ahead of it, according to a senior administration official and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The planes -- which were both trying to land -- were three miles apart, when they are supposed to be five miles apart, the official told CNN. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating what went wrong, as it is believed to be an air traffic controller mistake, the official said.
The White House does not believe the first lady's life was ever in danger, the senior official said.
The FAA said in a statement controllers at Andrews Air Force Base instructed an incoming Boeing 737 to perform a "go around" "because the plane did not have the required amount of separation" behind the military plane.
The FAA is investigating. "The aircraft were never in any danger," the agency said.
The landing was briefly aborted and Obama's plane had to circle, the official said.
Obama was actually on a C-40, a military version of the 737 that was part of the Air National Guard -- not the regular Air Force fleet used by VIPs at Andrews, said Maj. Michelle Lai of the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base.
The FAA did not want Obama's plane to be caught in the "jet wash," of the C-17 as it landed, Lai said. That refers to the force of the air from the back of the C-17.
"It's important to know the FAA made the right call and at no time was the first lady's life in danger," Lai said.
When the Potomac TRACON, the regional radar facility, handed off the plane to the Andrews Air Force Base tower, the planes were three miles apart, a government official told CNN. "Both facilities knew how far apart they were" at the time of the handoff, the official said. But the official declined to say why the hand-off occurred.
The TRACON could have slowed Obama's plane down or order it to turn earlier, the official said. Why that wasn't done is under investigation. But "it was a controlled situation," the government official said.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was gathering information on the incident and will be making an assessment to determine whether it will investigate more closely.
CNN's Ed Henry, Jeanne Meserve and Mike Ahlers contributed to this report.