Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

Neoliberalism war on labor

“Robots are coming for your job” may be more scare talk than reality,
but instilling that belief helps weaken labor bargaining power.

Outsourcing is the way to decimate union power

News Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Recommended Links Over 50 and unemployed Identity politics as diversion of attention from social inequality Atomization and oppression of workforce Neoliberal rationality of false Gods of neoliberalism
The neoliberal myth of human capital Chronic Unemployment Redistribution of wealth up as the essence of neoliberalism Scapegoating and victimization of poor and unemployed Anti-globalization movement Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers  
Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Populism as a social protest against neoliberalism Tucker Carlson's rejection of neoliberalism and neoconservatism   Glass-Steagall repeal Destruction of the New Deal Think Tanks as Enabler of Neoliberal Coup d'état
Attack of Think Tanks Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite The Deep State Predator state Lewis Powell Memo The Essential Rules for Dominating Population
New American Militarism Neoconservatism Neo-fashism National Security State Propaganda  Inverted Totalitarism  Totalitarian Decisionism
Neoliberalism and Christianity Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism The Iron Law of Oligarchy Anglican Church on danger of neoliberalism Animal Farm Quite coup Neoconservatism as an attack dog of neoliberalism
Audacioues Oligarchy and Loss of Trust Crowd manipulation Agenda-setting theory Manufacturing Consent Jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Media-Military-Industrial Complex War is Racket
Small government smoke screen "Starving the beast" bait and switcht Bill Clinton, the man who sold Democratic Party to Wall Street and helped FIRE sector to convert the country into casino Over-consumption of Luxury Goods as Market Failure Two Party System American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism The Grand Chessboard
Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living American Exceptionalism Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Machiavellism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Atomization of workforce and establishment of national security state after 9/11 so far prevented large organized collective actions (recent riots were not organized, and with the current technical capabilities of the three letter agencies any organization is difficult or impossible). I think that conversion of the state into national security state was the key factor that saved a couple of the most notorious neoliberals from being hanged on the electrical posts in 2008 although I remember slogan "Jump suckers" on the corner of Wall Street.

But neoliberal attacks on organized labor started much earlier with Ronald Reagan and then continued under all subsequent presidents with bill Clinton doing the bulk of this dirty job. his calculation in creating "New labor" (read neoliberal stooges of Wall Street masked as Democratic Party) was right and for a couple of elections voters allow Democrats to betray them after the elections. But eventually that changes. Vichy left, represented by "Clintonized" Democratic Party got a crushing defeat in 2016 Presidential elections. Does not mean that Trump is better or less neoliberal, but it does suggest that working class does not trust Democratic Party any longer. 

2008 was the time of the crush of neoliberal ideology, much like Prague string signified the crush of Communist ideology. but while there was some level of harassment, individual beatings of banksters in 2008 were non-existent. And in zombie stage (with discredited ideology) neoliberalism managed to continue and even counterattack in some countries. Brazil and Argentina fall into neoliberal hands just recently.   Neoliberals actually managed to learn Trotskyites methods of subversion of government and playing on population disconnect in case of economic difficulties as well if not better as Trotskyites themselves.

Neoliberalism is based on unconditional domination of labor by capital ("socialism for the rich, feudalism for labor"). American scholar and cultural critic Henry Giroux alleges that neoliberalism holds that market forces should organize every facet of society, including economic and social life. In labor relations neoliberalism promotes a social darwinist ethic which elevates self-interest over social needs. A new class of workers lost "good" jobs in the  USA since arly 90th. They all, especially, "over 50" caterory, facing acute socio-economic insecurity, There is no a special tern for such people. They are called  'precariat'. 

The imposition of neoliberalism in the United States arose from a the political counterrevolution led by financial oligarchy in the 1970s. It was their reaction on the falling rate of profitability in manufacturing industry as well as the emergence of strong competitors both in Europe and Asia, competitors which no longer were hampered by WWII decimation of industrial potential and in some way even manage to benefit from reconstruction getting newer better factories then in the USA.

Neoliberalism doesn't shrink government, but instead convert it into a national security state, which provides little governmental oversight over large business and multinationals, but toughly control the lower classes, the smacks -- including mass incarceration those at the bottom. With the inmates along with illegal immigrants slowly becoming an important  source of low-wage labor for some US corporations. Essentially a new incarnation of slave labor. 

Neoliberal policies led to the situation in the US economy in which 30% of workers earn low wages (less than two-thirds of the median wage for full-time workers), and 35% of the labor force is underemployed; only 40% of the working-age population in the U.S. is adequately employed. The Center for Economic Policy Research's (CEPR) Dean Baker (2006) argued that the driving force behind rising inequality in the US has been a series of government step to impose on the society deliberate, neoliberal policy choices including anti-inflationary bias, anti-unionism, and profiteering in the health industry

It can not be hidden. Redistribution of wealth up is all the neoliberalism is about. Simplifying, neoliberalism can be defined as socialism for the rich and feudalism for poor.

So forms of brutal exploitation when people work 12 hours a day (as many "contractors" do now, as for them labor laws do not apply) or when even bathroom breaks are regulated now are more common.  Amazon, Uber and several other companies have shown that neoliberal model can be as brutal as plantation slavery.

In a way, we returned to the brutality of the beginning of XX century on a new level characterized by much higher level of instability of employment. This is not disputed  even for neoliberal stooges in economic departments of major universities. As interesting question arise: "What form the backlash might take, if any ?"

I think it is an observable fact that the US neoliberal elite is now is discredited and entered political crisis in which it can't govern "as usual": defeat of Hillary Clinton and ability to Trump to win nomination from Republican Party and then managed to win them despite opposition from intelligence agencies and attempt to discredit him by trying him to Russia national elections. Tump victory signifies the start of discreditation of the neoliberal political elite. The sma is true for the success of Sunders in Democratic Party primaries and the fact that DNC needed to resort to dirty tricks to derail his candidacy signifies the same. Even taking into account his betrayal of his voters.

If this does not suggest the crisis of neoliberal governance, I do not know what is. Neoliberal Democrats ("Clintonized" Democratic Party) by and large lost workers and lower middle class votes. It became "Republicans light", the second War Party in Washington and now rely of "CIA-democrats" (candidates with background in intelligences serves or military) to win the seats in Congress much like Republicans in the past.  There was even (quickly suppressed) revolt against Pelosi in the House of Representatives, as it is clear that Pelosi represents the "Party of Davos" in the Congress, not American people.  

The crisis of neoliberalism created conditions for increased social protest which at stage mostly result in passive "f*ck you" to neoliberal elite.  In 2016 that led to election of Trump, but it was Sanders who captures social protest voters only to be derailed by machinations of DNC and Clinton clan.  At the same time, the efficiency with which Occupy Wall Street movement was neutered means that the national security state is still pretty effective in suppressing of dissent, so open violence probably will be suppressed brutally and efficiently.  "Color revolution" methods of social protest are not effective in  the USA sitution, as the key factor that allow "color revolutionaries" to challenge existing government. It is easy and not so risky to do when you understand that  the USA and its three letter agencies, embassies and NGOs stand behind and might allow you to emigrate, if you cause fail.  No so other significant power such as China or Russia can stand behind the protesters against neoliberalism in the USA. Neoliberals controls all braches of power. And internationally they are way too strong to allow Russia or China to interfere in the US election the way the USA interfered into Russian presidential election.   


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Sep 15, 2019] Wall Street Ignores Cyclical Jobs Growth Downturn As Employment Indicator Hits Great Recession Levels

Notable quotes:
"... Most of the ads for good jobs are fake. ..."
"... Instead of submitting a general application, as used to be the case in the past, and have the ability to work with the company to find the role that works best. HR has ruined a lot of good companies and their recruiting processes by going to rigid job descriptions instead of just hiring smart people and letting them work. ..."
Sep 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Economic Cycle Research Institute's (ECRI) Lakshman Achuthan recently sat down with CNBC's Michael Santoli to discuss the jobs growth downturn. Keep in mind, this conversation was held on Wednesday, several days before Friday's disappointing jobs report.

Achuthan told Santoli there's a " very clear cyclical downturn in jobs growth, there's really no debating that, and it looks set to continue ."

Achuthan said January 2019 marked the cyclical peak in jobs growth, has been moving lower ever since, and the trend is far from over. Both nonfarm payrolls and the household survey year-over-year growth are in cyclical downturns, he said. While the economic narratives via the mainstream financial press continue to cheerlead that the consumer will lift all tides thanks to the supposedly strong jobs market, Achuthan believes the downturn in jobs growth will start to "undermine consumer confidence." And it's the loss in consumer confidence that could tilt the economy into recession.

He also said when examining cyclically sensitive sectors of the economy, there are already "questionable jobs numbers," such as a significant surge in the construction unemployment rate.

Achuthan said nonfarm payroll growth has plunged to a 17-month low, and the household survey is even weaker. He said the top nonfarm payroll line would be revised down by half a million jobs in the coming months, which would underline the weakness in employment.

Achuthan emphasized to Santoli that ECRI's recession call won't be "taken off the table. We've been talking about a growth rate cycle slowdown. We're slow-walking toward -- some recessionary window of vulnerability -- we're not there today -- but this piece of the puzzle [jobs growth downturn] is looking a bit wobbly. This is the main message that Wall Street is missing."

As Wall Street bids stocks to near-record highs on "trade optimism" and the belief that the consumer will save the day, in large part because of solid jobs growth. ECRI's Leading Employment Index, which correctly anticipated this downturn in jobs growth, is at its worst reading since the Great Recession .

And Wall Street's bet today is that the Fed can achieve a soft landing – as in 1995-96 – when it started the rate cut cycle the same month the inflation downturn was signaled by the U.S. Future Inflation Gauge (USFIG) turning lower.

However, this time around, the inflation downturn signal arrived in September 2018, the moment when the Fed should have started the cut cycle. With a ten-month lag in the cut cycle, belated rate cuts have always been associated with recession.

And now it should become increasingly clear to readers why President Trump has sounded the alarm about the need for 100bps rate cuts, quantitative easing, and emergency payroll tax cuts - it's because he's been briefed about the economic downturn that has already started.


GotAFriendInBen , 15 minutes ago link

Actually, MSM cheerleads rate cuts as the cure-all, instead of throwing shoes at Powell

Keyser , 41 minutes ago link

How do you continue to have jobs growth when the country is at full employment?

Typical ******** from C-NBC...

Alex Droog , 19 minutes ago link

The network that employs dotards like Jim Cramer to cheerlead the lemmings.

Build-It-Well , 1 hour ago link

Have we learned anything?

https://soundcloud.com/daniel-sullivan-505714723/little-saigon-report-170-have-we-learned-anything

Art_Vandelay , 1 hour ago link

I don't agree with him that the Fed can do anything to correct this, nor do they have an incentive to do so. The Fed is not on the consumer's side. They will appropriate funds to whoever they want to, just like 08, and give the middle finger to everyone else.

pitz , 1 hour ago link

Job quality is horrible, particularly for US citizen STEM workers. This has been the case since the downturn that began in the late 1990s. Trump needs to fully cancel the OPT program and almost eliminate the H-1B program. Major employers don't even bother considering US citizen STEM talent before they hire foreign nationals.

pump and dump , 1 hour ago link

Most of the ads for good jobs are fake.

pitz , 1 hour ago link

Yes, but they don't bother to come out and tell you its a fake ad. One of the tragedies of the online job application process is that it forces a person, with little to no knowledge of a company and its internals, to pick, out of potentially hundreds of roles, which one would be best for them.

Instead of submitting a general application, as used to be the case in the past, and have the ability to work with the company to find the role that works best. HR has ruined a lot of good companies and their recruiting processes by going to rigid job descriptions instead of just hiring smart people and letting them work.

ZD1 , 1 hour ago link

Congress first established the H-1B program with the The Immigration Act of 1990. It was supposed to be temporary.

Congress needs to abolish it.

Future Jim , 2 hours ago link

This seems to contradict the labor participation rate.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CIVPART

J S Bach , 2 hours ago link

"Wall Street Ignores Cyclical Slave Growth Downturn As Enslavement Indicator Hits Great Recession Levels"

Ahhh... what truth a few seconds of editing can convoke.

The EveryThing Bubble , 2 hours ago link

It's all rigged folks

don't believe anything you read

[Sep 13, 2019] Clowns, AI and layoffs

Sep 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Bugs Bunny , September 13, 2019 at 4:25 pm

Clowns should be increasingly used in redundancy (layoff, firing) meetings until it becomes the norm and employers start to compete with each other to offer the best clown redundancy experience and promote it as a benefit.

It would also create clown jobs, which would probably require more clown schools, meaning that the tuition prices would go through the roof and young people dreaming of becoming redundancy clowns would either have to come from wealth or take out massive clown loans to fund their education for clown universities and grad schools. Shareholders can only take so much top line costs and Wall Street pressure would force corporations to improve return on investment and reduce redundancy clown labor expenses. Sadly, redundancy clowns would find themselves training their own replacements – HB1 clowns from "low cost" countries. Employers would respond to quality criticisms of the HB1 clown experience by publishing survey results showing very similar almost ex-employee satisfaction with the new clowns.

Eventually, of course, redundancy clowns will be replaced by AI and robots. It's just the future and we will need to think about how to adapt to it today by putting in place a UBI for the inevitable redundant redundancy clowns.

[Sep 10, 2019] Focus Voters' Anger on Corporations, Not Just Republicans Portside by Gordon Lafer

What changed in five years? Almost nothing other then the crisis of neoliberal is now deeper and involved trade war with China, the new, more dangerous, and unconstrained by any treaties stage of the arm race with Russia, and the attempt of Trump administration to economically strangulate and force color revolutions in Iran and Venezuela. Trump betrayed almost all his election promises much like Obama before him.
Jan 28, 2013 | portside.org

Economic decline produces fear, resentment, rage--and a politics that is combustible and unstable. Workers voice anger in many directions: against the banks and insurance companies, against public employees and immigrants. The economic elite works hard to ensure that resentment is directed at someone other than them, but it's a force not easily controlled.

... ... ...

When pollsters ask if we should sign a NAFTA-style treaty with Vietnam and Malaysia, no one is more opposed than Tea Partiers. Yet the base is rudely ignored; the interests of the Kochs and Waltons trump the nationalism of the rank and file.

The one-percenters control the party largely by keeping the base engrossed in non-economic issues: campaigns against abortion rights, gay marriage, and undocumented immigrants. The problem for the GOP is that now such campaigns seem likely to backfire.

... ... ...

The conservative base hates "free trade," for instance. If Democrats held press events in every district, standing in front of plants that shipped jobs overseas and challenging Republicans to disavow contributions from corporations that promote more NAFTAs, legislators would start feeling real pressure.

If this was followed by hearings on minimum wage, class size, and guest workers, we might do to the Chamber of Commerce what the right did to ACORN--make it toxic for politicians to be associated with it.

But Democrats will never take on this fight. Instead, they engage in a kind of political Stockholm syndrome, forever seeking opportunities to agree with the same corporate lobbies that fund their opponents.

Labor's job is not to make the Democrats into a better version of themselves. Our job is to do what the Democrats cannot.

WHAT WE CAN DO

There is no Master Plan that guarantees victory. But here are a few steps unions can take to move politics forward in 2013:

Focus on the states. The federal government is going to remain politically deadlocked. We should concentrate our resources where they can make the most difference.

Put workplace organizing at the center of our political operation. Our unique strength, workplace organizing, is also the most effective way to actually change people's minds.

When "paycheck protection" was first proposed, as a 1998 ballot initiative in California, it was supported by a majority of union members, who at first blush thought that requiring members' annual written permission to spend dues money on politics sounded reasonable.

Labor worked hard to explain that the real purpose was to silence workers' voice in politics. After the initiative was defeated, people who had started off supporting the measure but changed their minds were polled. Did they get their primary information from television, radio, mail, phone, or talking with a co-worker at work?

Talking with a co-worker was 20 points more effective than any other medium in changing people's minds.

PEOPLE CAN CHANGE

The core principle of union organizing is that people can change. Indeed, the work of organizing is almost nothing but that--helping scared people become brave, changing how people understand the boss and their own collective power.

But there's no place for such transformations in traditional electoral campaigns, where voters' preferences are treated as fixed and "messaging" is limited to superficial, poll-tested buzzwords.

Such campaigns do nothing to transform how people think about the economy, or to build organizations that last beyond elections. We need to initiate campaigns where we can engage in deeper education and build rank-and-file leaders in the process.

Since most unions' political staffs come out of electoral politics, they often don't understand workplace internal organizing. To do politics right, we must bring together political and organizing staffs that often operate on separate tracks.

Recruit members to serve as public ambassadors. Attacks on public employees are fueled by misleading propaganda about the nature of their work. Thus 80 percent of Americans think the public school system deserves a grade of "C" or lower, but the same number give their kid's school an A or a B.

In other words, when people encounter the reality of schooling up close, they appreciate the work teachers do.

If each local teachers union, for instance, recruited 50 members who each committed to giving five presentations to Rotary clubs, church groups, or neighborhood associations--describing in unscripted terms what their job is like--we could establish a more realistic understanding of teachers' work.

Such an undertaking would draw on our strength and leave the unions with stronger leaders when the campaign was done.

Campaign against the corporate lobbies. Unions need to do what Democrats cannot: run campaigns that directly challenge the corporate interests that stand behind the Republicans. We should promote common-sense reforms that benefit the vast majority even if unacceptable to big business.

Consider, for example, a proposal to undo state tax breaks for the rich and earmark the money for job creation or universal preschool.

As the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) does for the corporate right, we should identify a set of proposals that can be advanced in multiple states.

Run offensive ballot initiatives. The best vehicles for this are ballot initiatives, which avoid the messy and various reasons that people choose candidates. Note the failed recall of Scott Walker versus the successful referendum overturning Ohio's union-busting law.

It's easy for corporations to buy off legislators, but harder to sway the population on well-defined issues. In 2012 a number of red states passed progressive initiatives that directly contradicted the actions of their legislators. In deep red Idaho and South Dakota, for instance, voters overturned anti-teacher laws by wide margins.

While our recent political campaigns have shown what the labor movement is against, few non-members can say what we're for--and many members are hungry to go on offense. It's time to spell out our vision of how the economy should work.

Gordon Lafer is an associate professor at the University of Oregon's Labor Education and Research Center. A longer version of this article is in the Winter issue of New Labor Forum.

[Sep 09, 2019] Wages Have Stagnated for Low- and Mid-wage Workers and Pay Disparities by Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Persist

Sep 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Joe , September 05, 2019 at 09:17 AM

https://calbudgetcenter.org/resources/californias-workers-are-increasingly-locked-out-of-the-states-prosperity/

Wages Have Stagnated for Low- and Mid-wage Workers and Pay Disparities by Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Persist
Earnings for California's workers at the low end and middle of the wage scale have generally declined or stagnated for decades. In 2018, the median hourly earnings for workers ages 25 to 64 was $21.79, just 1% higher than in 1979, after adjusting for inflation ($21.50, in 2018 dollars) (Figure 1).

Inflation-adjusted hourly earnings for low-wage workers, those at the 10th percentile, increased only slightly more, by 4%, from $10.71 in 1979 to $11.12 in 2018.

Much of this increase occurred in recent years, likely due to the rising state minimum wage as well as the improving job market. In contrast with the experience of low- and mid-wage workers, high-wage workers -- those at the 90th percentile -- saw their hourly earnings increase by 43%, after adjusting for inflation, from $40.19 in 1979 to $57.65 in 2018.

These hourly wage disparities translate into sizeable income gaps. Someone earning at the 90th percentile in 2018 would earn an annual salary of $115,300 if she worked full-time, year-round, while someone working just as much but earning at the 10th percentile would have an annual income of just $22,240. (As striking as this income gap is, disparities in wealth are even greater.)

-----

The Cal Budget Center reports bad news. I can hire construction workers for a buck above minimum wage, $11, vs the $10 they got in 1979. Why are they coming to California to live in poverty? For half of them, they were born in California , the other half were born in either Central America or the Northeast US.


ilsm -> EMichael... , September 05, 2019 at 01:38 PM

In wages you need to throw some salt in on the "average", like what is the median income to see the lumps (of inequality of) wage distribution.
anne -> Paine... , September 06, 2019 at 09:03 AM
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=oMXN

January 15, 2018

Average Hourly Earnings of All Construction Employees in California and United States, 2007-2018

[ Average hourly earnings for all construction employees in California in July 2019 was $37.17 and $30.72 through the United States. ]

likbez -> anne... , September 06, 2019 at 10:58 PM
Anne,

$37 looks way too high. This is around $74K a year.

What is the median wage?

Paine -> likbez... , September 07, 2019 at 02:28 PM
No what is the marginal non union crew wage

[Sep 09, 2019] What's the True Unemployment Rate in the US? by Jack Rasmus

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The real unemployment rate is probably somewhere between 10%-12%. ..."
"... The U-6 also includes what the labor dept. calls involuntary part time employed. It should include the voluntary part time as well, but doesn't (See, they're not actively looking for work even if unemployed). ..."
"... But even the involuntary part time is itself under-estimated. I believe the Labor Dept. counts only those involuntarily part time unemployed whose part time job is their primary job. It doesn't count those who have second and third involuntary part time jobs. That would raise the U-6 unemployment rate significantly. The labor Dept's estimate of the 'discouraged' and 'missing labor force' is grossly underestimated. ..."
"... The labor dept. also misses the 1-2 million workers who went on social security disability (SSDI) after 2008 because it provides better pay, for longer, than does unemployment insurance. That number rose dramatically after 2008 and hasn't come down much (although the government and courts are going after them). ..."
"... The way the government calculates unemployment is by means of 60,000 monthly household surveys but that phone survey method misses a lot of workers who are undocumented and others working in the underground economy in the inner cities (about 10-12% of the economy according to most economists and therefore potentially 10-12% of the reported labor force in size as well). ..."
"... The SSDI, undocumented, underground, underestimation of part timers, etc. are what I call the 'hidden unemployed'. And that brings the unemployed well above the 3.7%. ..."
Sep 09, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

The real unemployment rate is probably somewhere between 10%-12%. Here's why: the 3.7% is the U-3 rate, per the labor dept. But that's the rate only for full time employed. What the labor dept. calls the U-6 includes what it calls discouraged workers (those who haven't looked for work in the past 4 weeks). Then there's what's called the 'missing labor force'–i.e. those who haven't looked in the past year. They're not calculated in the 3.7% U-3 unemployment rate number either. Why? Because you have to be 'out of work and actively looking for work' to be counted as unemployed and therefore part of the 3.7% rate.

The U-6 also includes what the labor dept. calls involuntary part time employed. It should include the voluntary part time as well, but doesn't (See, they're not actively looking for work even if unemployed).

But even the involuntary part time is itself under-estimated. I believe the Labor Dept. counts only those involuntarily part time unemployed whose part time job is their primary job. It doesn't count those who have second and third involuntary part time jobs. That would raise the U-6 unemployment rate significantly. The labor Dept's estimate of the 'discouraged' and 'missing labor force' is grossly underestimated.

The labor dept. also misses the 1-2 million workers who went on social security disability (SSDI) after 2008 because it provides better pay, for longer, than does unemployment insurance. That number rose dramatically after 2008 and hasn't come down much (although the government and courts are going after them).

The way the government calculates unemployment is by means of 60,000 monthly household surveys but that phone survey method misses a lot of workers who are undocumented and others working in the underground economy in the inner cities (about 10-12% of the economy according to most economists and therefore potentially 10-12% of the reported labor force in size as well). The labor dept. just makes assumptions about that number (conservatively, I may add) and plugs in a number to be added to the unemployment totals. But it has no real idea of how many undocumented or underground economy workers are actually employed or unemployed since these workers do not participate in the labor dept. phone surveys, and who can blame them.

The SSDI, undocumented, underground, underestimation of part timers, etc. are what I call the 'hidden unemployed'. And that brings the unemployed well above the 3.7%.

Finally, there's the corroborating evidence about what's called the labor force participation rate. It has declined by roughly 5% since 2007. That's 6 to 9 million workers who should have entered the labor force but haven't. The labor force should be that much larger, but it isn't. Where have they gone? Did they just not enter the labor force? If not, they're likely a majority unemployed, or in the underground economy, or belong to the labor dept's 'missing labor force' which should be much greater than reported. The government has no adequate explanation why the participation rate has declined so dramatically. Or where have the workers gone. If they had entered the labor force they would have been counted. And their 6 to 9 million would result in an increase in the total labor force number and therefore raise the unemployment rate.

All these reasons–-i.e. only counting full timers in the official 3.7%; under-estimating the size of the part time workforce; under-estimating the size of the discouraged and so-called 'missing labor force'; using methodologies that don't capture the undocumented and underground unemployed accurately; not counting part of the SSI increase as unemployed; and reducing the total labor force because of the declining labor force participation-–together means the true unemployment rate is definitely over 10% and likely closer to 12%. And even that's a conservative estimate perhaps." Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jack Rasmus

Jack Rasmus is author of the recently published book, 'Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression', Clarity Press, August 2017. He blogs at jackrasmus.com and his twitter handle is @drjackrasmus. His website is http://kyklosproductions.com .

[Sep 07, 2019] The number of murders and armed robberies committed by people addicted to methamphetamine is "truly frightening", Western Australia's Chief Justice says.

Sep 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Joe , September 06, 2019 at 03:25 AM

Do Immigrants Threaten U.S. Public Safety? - Dallasfed.org


https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs13/13853/trans.htm

Mexico. Mexican criminal groups based in Mexico smuggle bulk quantities of methamphetamine via couriers traveling in private and commercial vehicles, usually equipped with hidden compartments, or by foot through and between land POEs along the Southwest Border. These criminal groups also smuggle small shipments (2 kg to 4 kg) via couriers aboard commercial flights and via mail services. Methamphetamine shipments often are transported to stash sites and staging areas, primarily in California and Arizona, before the drug is distributed locally, regionally, or nationally.

Methamphetamine transported from production areas in Mexico to the Southwest Border typically has been smuggled through and between POEs in California; however, recent data indicate that more methamphetamine may now be smuggled through or between POEs in Arizona than other Southwest Border states. According to EPIC seizure data, the combined amount of methamphetamine seizures from 2001 through 2003 at or between POEs in California (1,725 kg) was much higher than the amount seized at or between POEs in Texas (1,145 kg), Arizona (1,120 kg), or New Mexico (60 kg). However, in 2003 the amount seized in Arizona (640 kg) surpassed seizures in the other Southwest Border states including California (593 kg), Texas (484 kg), and New Mexico (16 kg) possibly because of specific law enforcement operations conducted in Arizona (see Figure 11).
-------
Pick an index then call it something vague like crime.

Are these immigrants importing meth? Mostly, immigrants crossing back and forth across the border.

How much crime does meth cause?
---
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-25/wa-chief-justice-says-ice-problem-truly-frightening/6261310

The number of murders and armed robberies committed by people addicted to methamphetamine is "truly frightening", Western Australia's Chief Justice says.

Justice Wayne Martin said 95 per cent of armed robberies and up to half of all murders could be attributed to people taking methamphetamine, also known as ice or crystal meth.
---
The number I hear is about half of all crime.

So, sure, pick a particular index, generate the result you want, and if it meets the delusional demands of Economist View then it is printed.

I didn't even need to read it, I already know what result he engineered, otherwise it never would have appeared here.

[Sep 07, 2019] Wages Have Stagnated for Low- and Mid-wage Workers and Pay Disparities by Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Persist

Sep 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Joe , September 05, 2019 at 09:17 AM

https://calbudgetcenter.org/resources/californias-workers-are-increasingly-locked-out-of-the-states-prosperity/

Wages Have Stagnated for Low- and Mid-wage Workers and Pay Disparities by Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Persist

Earnings for California's workers at the low end and middle of the wage scale have generally declined or stagnated for decades. In 2018, the median hourly earnings for workers ages 25 to 64 was $21.79, just 1% higher than in 1979, after adjusting for inflation ($21.50, in 2018 dollars) (Figure 1). Inflation-adjusted hourly earnings for low-wage workers, those at the 10th percentile, increased only slightly more, by 4%, from $10.71 in 1979 to $11.12 in 2018. Much of this increase occurred in recent years, likely due to the rising state minimum wage as well as the improving job market. In contrast with the experience of low- and mid-wage workers, high-wage workers -- those at the 90th percentile -- saw their hourly earnings increase by 43%, after adjusting for inflation, from $40.19 in 1979 to $57.65 in 2018. These hourly wage disparities translate into sizeable income gaps. Someone earning at the 90th percentile in 2018 would earn an annual salary of $115,300 if she worked full-time, year-round, while someone working just as much but earning at the 10th percentile would have an annual income of just $22,240. (As striking as this income gap is, disparities in wealth are even greater.)
-----
The Cal Budget Center reports bad news. I can hire construction workers for a buck above minimum wage, $11, vs the $10 they got in 1979. Why are they coming to California to live in poverty? For half of them, they were born in California , the other half were born in either Central America or the Northeast US.

anne -> Paine... , September 06, 2019 at 09:00 AM
Correct for local living costs

[ Average hourly earnings for construction employees in California in July 2019 was $37.17. There is enough correction right here. ]

anne -> Paine... , September 06, 2019 at 09:04 AM
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=oMXN

January 15, 2018

Average Hourly Earnings of All Construction Employees in California and United States, 2007-2018

[ Average hourly earnings for all construction employees in California in July 2019 was $37.17 and $30.72 through the United States.

Understand? ]

EMichael -> Paine... , September 06, 2019 at 09:05 AM
And that has what to do with $11 an hour?

Granted there are other issues, but $11 an hour is a stone cold lie.

[Sep 04, 2019] Starving Seniors How America Fails To Feed Its Aging naked capitalism

Sep 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

https://eus.rubiconproject.com/usync.html

https://acdn.adnxs.com/ib/static/usersync/v3/async_usersync.html

https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2343&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2019%2F09%2Fstarving-seniors-how-america-fails-to-feed-its-aging.html <img src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&c2=16807273&cv=2.0&cj=1" /> By Laura Ungar, who health issues out of Kaiser Health News' St. Louis office, and Trudy Lieberman, a journalist for more than 45 years, and a past president of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Originally published by Kaiser Health News .

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Army veteran Eugene Milligan is 75 years old and blind. He uses a wheelchair since losing half his right leg to diabetes and gets dialysis for kidney failure.

And he has struggled to get enough to eat.

Earlier this year, he ended up in the hospital after burning himself while boiling water for oatmeal. The long stay caused the Memphis vet to fall off a charity's rolls for home-delivered Meals on Wheels , so he had to rely on others, such as his son, a generous off-duty nurse and a local church to bring him food.

"Many times, I've felt like I was starving," he said. "There's neighbors that need food too. There's people at dialysis that need food. There's hunger everywhere."

Indeed, millions of seniors across the country quietly go hungry as the safety net designed to catch them frays. Nearly 8% of Americans 60 and older were "food insecure" in 2017, according to a recent study released by the anti-hunger group Feeding America. That's 5.5 million seniors who don't have consistent access to enough food for a healthy life, a number that has more than doubled since 2001 and is only expected to grow as America grays.

While the plight of hungry children elicits support and can be tackled in schools, the plight of hungry older Americans is shrouded by isolation and a generation's pride. The problem is most acute in parts of the South and Southwest. Louisiana has the highest rate among states, with 12% of seniors facing food insecurity. Memphis fares worst among major metropolitan areas, with 17% of seniors like Milligan unsure of their next meal.

And government relief falls short. One of the main federal programs helping seniors is starved for money. The Older Americans Act -- passed more than half a century ago as part of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society reforms -- was amended in 1972 to provide for home-delivered and group meals, along with other services, for anyone 60 and older. But its funding has lagged far behind senior population growth, as well as economic inflation.

The biggest chunk of the act's budget, nutrition services, dropped by 8% over the past 18 years when adjusted for inflation, an AARP report found in February. Home-delivered and group meals have decreased by nearly 21 million since 2005. Only a fraction of those facing food insecurity get any meal services under the act; a U.S. Government Accountability Office report examining 2013 data found 83% got none.

With the act set to expire Sept. 30, Congress is now considering its reauthorization and how much to spend going forward.

Meanwhile, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, only 45% of eligible adults 60 and older have signed up for another source of federal aid: SNAP, the food stamp program for America's poorest. Those who don't are typically either unaware they could qualify, believe their benefits would be tiny or can no longer get to a grocery store to use them.

Even fewer seniors may have SNAP in the future. More than 13% of SNAP households with elderly members would lose benefits under a recent Trump administration proposal.

For now, millions of seniors -- especially low-income ones -- go without. Across the nation, waits are common to receive home-delivered meals from a crucial provider, Meals on Wheels, a network of 5,000 community-based programs. In Memphis, for example, the wait to get on the Meals on Wheels schedule is more than a year long.

"It's really sad because a meal is not an expensive thing," said Sally Jones Heinz, president and CEO of the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association , which provides home-delivered meals in Memphis. "This shouldn't be the way things are in 2019."

Since malnutrition exacerbates diseases and prevents healing, seniors without steady, nutritious food can wind up in hospitals, which drives up Medicare and Medicaid costs, hitting taxpayers with an even bigger bill . Sometimes seniors relapse quickly after discharge -- or worse.

Widower Robert Mukes, 71, starved to death on a cold December day in 2016, alone in his Cincinnati apartment.

The Hamilton County Coroner listed the primary cause of death as "starvation of unknown etiology" and noted "possible hypothermia," pointing out that his apartment had no electricity or running water. Death records show the 5-foot-7-inch man weighed just 100.5 pounds.

A Clear Need

On a hot May morning in Memphis, seniors trickled into a food bank at the Riverside Missionary Baptist Church, 3 miles from the opulent tourist mecca of Graceland. They picked up boxes packed with canned goods, rice, vegetables and meat.

Marion Thomas, 63, placed her box in the trunk of a friend's car. She lives with chronic back pain and high blood pressure and started coming to the pantry three years ago. She's disabled, relies on Social Security and gets $42 a month from SNAP based on her income, household size and other factors. That's much less than the average $125-a-month benefit for households with seniors, but more than the $16 minimum that one in five such households get. Still, Thomas said, "I can't buy very much."

A day later, the Mid-South Food Bank brought a "mobile pantry" to Latham Terrace, a senior housing complex, where a long line of people waited. Some inched forward in wheelchairs; others leaned on canes. One by one, they collected their allotments.

The need is just as real elsewhere. In Dallas, Texas, 69-year-old China Anderson squirrels away milk, cookies and other parts of her home-delivered lunches for dinner because she can no longer stand and cook due to scoliosis and eight deteriorating vertebral discs.

As seniors ration food, programs ration services.

Although more than a third of the Meals on Wheels money comes from the Older Americans Act, even with additional public and private dollars, funds are still so limited that some programs have no choice but to triage people using score sheets that assign points based on who needs food the most. Seniors coming from the hospital and those without family usually top waiting lists.

More than 1,000 were waiting on the Memphis area's list recently. And in Dallas, $4.1 million in donations wiped out a 1,000-person waiting list in December, but within months it had crept back up to 100.

Nationally, "there are tens of thousands of seniors who are waiting," said Erika Kelly , chief membership and advocacy officer for Meals on Wheels America. "While they're waiting, their health deteriorates and, in some cases, we know seniors have died."

Edwin Walker, a deputy assistant secretary for the federal Administration on Aging, acknowledged waits are a long-standing problem, but said 2.4 million people a year benefit from the Older Americans Act's group or home-delivered meals, allowing them to stay independent and healthy.

Seniors get human connection, as well as food, from these services. Aner Lee Murphy, a 102-year-old Meals on Wheels client in Memphis, counts on the visits with volunteers Libby and Bob Anderson almost as much as the food. She calls them "my children," hugging them close and offering a prayer each time they leave.

But others miss out on such physical and psychological nourishment. A devastating phone call brought that home for Kim Daugherty, executive director of the Aging Commission of the Mid-South , which connects seniors to service providers in the region. The woman on the line told Daugherty she'd been on the waiting list for more than a year.

"Ma'am, there are several hundred people ahead of you," Daugherty reluctantly explained.

"I just need you all to remember," came the caller's haunting reply, "I'm hungry and I need food."

A Slow Killer

James Ziliak , a poverty researcher at the University of Kentucky who worked on the Feeding America study, said food insecurity shot up with the Great Recession, starting in the late 2000s, and peaked in 2014. He said it shows no signs of dropping to pre-recession levels.

While older adults of all income levels can face difficulty accessing and preparing healthy food, rates are highest among seniors in poverty. They are also high among minorities. More than 17% of black seniors and 16% of Hispanic seniors are food insecure, compared with fewer than 7% of white seniors.

A host of issues combine to set those seniors on a downward spiral, said registered dietitian Lauri Wright , who chairs the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of North Florida. Going to the grocery store gets a lot harder if they can't drive. Expensive medications leave less money for food. Chronic physical and mental health problems sap stamina and make it tough to cook. Inch by inch, hungry seniors decline.

And, even if it rarely kills directly, hunger can complicate illness and kill slowly.

Malnutrition blunts immunity, which already tends to weaken as people age. Once they start losing weight, they're more likely to grow frail and are more likely to die within a year, said Dr. John Morley, director of the division of geriatric medicine at Saint Louis University.

Seniors just out of the hospital are particularly vulnerable. Many wind up getting readmitted, pushing up taxpayers' costs for Medicare and Medicaid. A recent analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Center found that Medicare could save $1.57 for every dollar spent on home-delivered meals for chronically ill seniors after a hospitalization.

Most hospitals don't refer senior outpatients to Meals on Wheels, and advocates say too few insurance companies get involved in making sure seniors have enough to eat to keep them healthy.

When Milligan, the Memphis veteran, burned himself with boiling water last winter and had to be hospitalized for 65 days, he fell off the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association's radar. The meals he'd been getting for about a decade stopped.

Heinz, Metropolitan's CEO, said the association is usually able to start and stop meals for short hospital stays. But, Heinz said, the association didn't hear from Milligan and kept trying to deliver meals for a time while he was in the hospital, then notified the Aging Commission of the Mid-South he wasn't home. As is standard procedure, Metropolitan officials said, a staff member from the commission made three attempts to contact him and left a card at the blind man's home.

But nothing happened when he got out of the hospital this spring. In mid-May, a nurse referred him for meal delivery. Still, he didn't get meals because he faced a waitlist already more than 1,000 names long.

After questions from Kaiser Health News, Heinz looked into Milligan's case and realized that, as a former client, Milligan could get back on the delivery schedule faster.

But even then the process still has hurdles: The aging commission would need to conduct a new home assessment for meals to resume. That has yet to happen because, amid the wait, Milligan's health deteriorated.

A Murky Future

As the Older Americans Act awaits reauthorization this fall, many senior advocates worry about its funding.

In June, the U.S. House passed a $93 million increase to the Older Americans Act's nutrition programs, raising total funding by about 10% to $1 billion in the next fiscal year. In inflation-adjusted dollars, that's still less than in 2009. And it still has to pass in the Republican-controlled Senate, where the proposed increase faces long odds.

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, an Oregon Democrat who chairs the Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee, expects the panel to tackle legislation for reauthorization of the act soon after members return from the August recess. She's now working with colleagues "to craft a strong, bipartisan update," she said, that increases investments in nutrition programs as well as other services.

"I'm confident the House will soon pass a robust bill," she said, "and I am hopeful that the Senate will also move quickly so we can better meet the needs of our seniors."

In the meantime, "the need for home-delivered meals keeps increasing every year," said Lorena Fernandez, who runs a meal delivery program in Yakima, Wash. Activists are pressing state and local governments to ensure seniors don't starve, with mixed results. In Louisiana, for example, anti-hunger advocates stood on the state Capitol steps in May and unsuccessfully called on the state to invest $1 million to buy food from Louisiana farmers to distribute to hungry residents. Elsewhere, senior activists across the nation have participated each March in "March for Meals" events such as walks, fundraisers and rallies designed to focus attention on the problem.

Private fundraising hasn't been easy everywhere, especially rural communities without much wealth. Philanthropy has instead tended to flow to hungry kids, who outnumber hungry seniors more than 2-to-1, according to Feeding America.

"Ten years ago, organizations had a goal of ending child hunger and a lot of innovation and resources went into what could be done," said Jeremy Everett, executive director of Baylor University's Texas Hunger Initiative. "The same thing has not happened in the senior adult population." And that has left people struggling for enough food to eat.

As for Milligan, he didn't get back on Meals on Wheels before suffering complications related to his dialysis in June. He ended up back in the hospital. Ironically, it was there that he finally had a steady, if temporary, source of food.

It's impossible to know if his time without steady, nutritious food made a difference. What is almost certain is that feeding him at home would have been far cheaper.

[Sep 04, 2019] US army now and then: Today's soldiers aren't too different than the slave legions of ancient Rome

Sep 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

VietnamVet , September 3, 2019 at 11:13 pm

This discussion avoids comparing society in the mid-19th century and today. It really isn't that long ago. I've lived through almost half of it. Except for officers most of the soldiers I served with were conscripted or enlisted because of the draft. In a war your choices are limited. If they were in the march, driving wagons, armed to the teeth, they were soldiers; no matter how they got there.

Today's volunteer Army most of the soldiers and contractors are there because they couldn't get a better job unless they are adrenaline junkies or psychopaths. The current neoliberal economy purposefully exploits people and the environment to make a profit. Today's soldiers aren't too different than the slave legions of ancient Rome. Perhaps, "warriors" isn't that much of a misnomer.

[Sep 02, 2019] Discrimination thru stupid job descriptions is catching up to the economy

Jan 11, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
cocomaan, January 10, 2017 at 4:04 pm

Coulnd't get the JOLTS, November 2016 links to work, but the skills gap is wild.

At an institution of higher ed I'm familiar with, both faculty and administrative positions continue to be unfilled. There are very few candidates even for entry level positions. Failed searches are now the norm. It's feast or famine: either people are perfect for the job and have many options, or have no related experience at all.

I wonder if the labor force participation rate is starting to catch up with the job market. That is, there are a lot of healthy adults who have dropped out of the workforce who would be the people you'd want in those positions.

Or that the job market is not nearly as liquid as they'd have you believe, and people can't relocate from where they are because of adult children who live with them, or things of that nature. All kinds of weird things now in the job market. I know someone who commutes a significant distance to work that has to look for another job because their workplace's health care plan only covers a geographic area close to that job.

alex morfesis , January 10, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Discrimination thru stupid job descriptions is catching up to the economy paying $12 per hour five years experience required nonsense job descriptions designed to help the accredited and credentialed have a leg up

There seem to be three types of employment categories

IMUO it is not a skills gap it is the demanding of irrelevant capacities and experience that almost always have very little to do with the actual tasks required

[Sep 02, 2019] Neoliberals often argue that people should be glad to lose employment at 50 so that people from other countries can have higher incomes

Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberals often argue that people should be glad to lose employment at 50 so that people from other countries can have higher incomes, and leftists often agree because hey "free movement" and because after all the professional class jobs aren't at risk ..."
"... "I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people." ..."
"... No one has literally argued that people should be glad to lose employment: that part was hyperbole. But the basic argument is often made quite seriously. See e.g. outsource Brad DeLong . ..."
"... To the guy who asked- poor white people keep voting Republican even though it screws them because they genuinely believe that the country is best off when it encourages a culture of "by the bootstraps" self improvement, hard work, and personal responsibility. They view taxing people in order to give the money to the supposedly less fortunate as the anti thesis of this, because it gives people an easy out that let's them avoid having to engage in the hard work needed to live independently. ..."
"... Attempts at repairing historical racial inequity read as cheating in that paradigm, and even as hostile since they can easily observe white people who are just as poor or poorer than those who racial politics focuses upon. ..."
"... The extent to which "poor white people" vote against their alleged economic interests is overblown. To a large extent, they do not vote at all nor is anyone or anything on the ballot to represent their interests. And, yes, they are misinformed systematically by elites out to screw them and they know this, but cannot do much to either clear up their own confusion or fight back. ..."
"... The mirror image problem - of elites manipulating the system to screw the poor and merely middle-class - is daily in the news. Both Presidential candidates have been implicated. So, who do you recommend they vote for? ..."
"... My understanding is trumps support disproportionately comes from the small business owning classes, Ie a demographic similar to the petite bourgeoisie who have often been heavily involved in reactionary movements. This gets oversold as "working class" when class is defined by education level rather than income. ..."
"... Eric Berne, in The Structures and Dynamics of Organizations and Groups, proposed that among the defining characteristics of a coherent group is an explicit boundary which determines whether an individual is a member of the group or not. (If there is no boundary, nothing binds the assemblage together; it is a crowd.) The boundary helps provide social cohesion and is so important that groups will create one if necessary. Clearly, boundaries exclude as well as include, and someone must play the role of outsider. ..."
"... I am somewhat suspicious of leaving dominating elites out of these stories of racism as an organizing principle for political economy or (cultural) community. ..."
"... Racism served the purposes of a slaveholding elite that organized political communities to serve their own interests. (Or, vis a vis the Indians a land-grab or genocide.) ..."
"... Racism serves as an organizing principle. Politically, in an oppressive and stultifying hierarchy like the plantation South, racism not incidentally buys the loyalty of subalterns with ersatz status. ..."
"... For a time, the balkanization of American political communities by race, religion and ethnicity was an effective means to the dominance of an tiny elite with ties to an hegemonic community, but it backfired. Dismantling that balkanization has left the country with a very low level of social affiliation and thus a low capacity to organize resistance to elite depredations. ..."
Aug 01, 2004 | crookedtimber.org

Rich Puchalsky 08.04.16 at 11:40 am 177

fn: "Of course there is a subtext to these racist hate campaigns that someone else here raised and rich ran with a bit, which is the hatred of the unemployed. I think a lot of people voting leave imagine that the next thing on the agenda is slashing the dole to force poor white people to do the work the Eastern Europeans did. "

Yes, in part. In part, also, people imagine that poor citizens will get jobs that previously were done by migrants. This has a hatred of slackers element that is bad, but as economics, it's pretty well-founded that if you reduce the size of the labor pool relative to the population then unemployment will go down and wages will go up. Neoliberals often argue that people should be glad to lose employment at 50 so that people from other countries can have higher incomes, and leftists often agree because hey "free movement" and because after all the professional class jobs aren't at risk. But strangely enough some people seem to resent this.

Layman 08.04.16 at 11:48 am 178

Lupita: "I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people."

... ... ...

Rich Puchalsky 08.04.16 at 12:03 pm

"I can't recall any particular instance where someone made this argument."

No one has literally argued that people should be glad to lose employment: that part was hyperbole. But the basic argument is often made quite seriously. See e.g. outsource Brad DeLong.

engels 08.04.16 at 12:25 pm

While this may be the effect of some neoliberal policies, I can't recall any particular instance where someone made this argument

Maybe this kind of thing rom Henry Farrell? (There may well be better examples.)

Is some dilution of the traditional European welfare state acceptable, if it substantially increases the wellbeing of current outsiders (i.e. for example, by bringing Turkey into the club). My answer is yes, if European leftwingers are to stick to their core principles on justice, fairness, egalitarianism etc

http://crookedtimber.org/2005/05/31/talking-turkey-over-welfare/

Lupita 08.04.16 at 2:42 pm

Large numbers of low-income white southern Americans consistently vote against their own economic interests. They vote to award tax breaks to wealthy people and corporations, to cut unemployment benefits, to bust unions, to reward companies for outsourcing jobs, to resist wage increases, to cut funding for health care for the poor, to cut Social Security and Medicare, etc.

The same thing has happened in Mexico with neoliberal government after neoliberal government being elected. There are many democratically elected neoliberal governments around the world.

Why might this be?

In the case of Mexico, because Peña Nieto's wife is a telenovela star. How cool is that? It places Mexico in the same league as 1st world countries, such as France, with Carla Bruni.


Patrick 08.04.16 at 4:32 pm

To the guy who asked- poor white people keep voting Republican even though it screws them because they genuinely believe that the country is best off when it encourages a culture of "by the bootstraps" self improvement, hard work, and personal responsibility. They view taxing people in order to give the money to the supposedly less fortunate as the anti thesis of this, because it gives people an easy out that let's them avoid having to engage in the hard work needed to live independently.

They see it as little different from letting your kid move back on after college and smoke weed in your basement. They don't generally mind people being on unemployment transitionally, but they're supposed to be a little embarrassed about it and get it over with as soon as possible.

They not only worry that increased government social spending will incentivize bad behavior, they worry it will destroy the cultural values they see as vital to Americas past prosperity. They tend to view claims about historic or systemic injustice necessitating collective remedy because they view the world as one in which the vagaries of fate decree that some are born rich or poor, and that success is in improving ones station relative to where one starts.

Attempts at repairing historical racial inequity read as cheating in that paradigm, and even as hostile since they can easily observe white people who are just as poor or poorer than those who racial politics focuses upon. Left wing insistence on borrowing the nastiest rhetoric of libertarians ("this guy is poor because his ancestors couldn't get ahead because of historical racial injustice so we must help him; your family couldn't get ahead either but that must have been your fault so you deserve it") comes across as both antithetical to their values and as downright hostile within the values they see around them.

All of this can be easily learned by just talking to them.

It's not a great world view. It fails to explain quite a lot. For example, they have literally no way of explaining increased unemployment without positing either that everyone is getting too lazy to work, or that the government screwed up the system somehow, possibly by making it too expensive to do business in the US relative to other countries. and given their faith in the power of hard work, they don't even blame sweatshops- they blame taxes and foreign subsidies.

I don't know exactly how to reach out to them, except that I can point to some things people do that repulse them and say "stop doing that."


bruce wilder 08.04.16 at 5:50 pm

The extent to which "poor white people" vote against their alleged economic interests is overblown. To a large extent, they do not vote at all nor is anyone or anything on the ballot to represent their interests. And, yes, they are misinformed systematically by elites out to screw them and they know this, but cannot do much to either clear up their own confusion or fight back.

The mirror image problem - of elites manipulating the system to screw the poor and merely middle-class - is daily in the news. Both Presidential candidates have been implicated. So, who do you recommend they vote for?

There is serious deficit of both trust and information among the poor. Poor whites hardly have a monopoly; black misleadership is epidemic in our era of Cory Booker socialism.


bruce wilder 08.04.16 at 7:05 pm

Politics is founded on the complex social psychology of humans as social animals. We elevate it from its irrational base in emotion to rationalized calculation or philosophy at our peril.


T 08.04.16 at 9:17 pm

@Layman
I think you're missing Patrick's point. These voters are switching from one Republican to another. They've jettisoned Bush et. al. for Trump. These guys despise Bush. They've figured out that the mainstream party is basically 30 years of affinity fraud. So, is your argument is that Trump even more racist? That kind of goes against the whole point of the OP. Not saying that race doesn't matter. Of course it does. But Trump has a 34% advantage in non-college educated white men. It just isn't the South. Why does it have to be just race or just class?


Ronan(rf) 08.04.16 at 10:35 pm

"I generally don't give a shit about polls so I have no "data" to evidence this claim, but my guess is the majority of Trump's support comes from this broad middle"

My understanding is trumps support disproportionately comes from the small business owning classes, Ie a demographic similar to the petite bourgeoisie who have often been heavily involved in reactionary movements. This gets oversold as "working class" when class is defined by education level rather than income.

This would make some sense as they are generally in economically unstable jobs, they tend to be hostile to both big govt (regulations, freeloaders) and big business (unfair competition), and while they (rhetorically at least) tend to value personal autonomy and self sufficiency , they generally sell into smaller, local markets, and so are particularly affected by local demographic and cultural change , and decline. That's my speculation anyway.

T 08.05.16 at 3:12 pm

@patrick @layman

Patrick, you're right about the Trump demographic. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-mythology-of-trumps-working-class-support/

Layman - Why are these voters switching from Bush et al to Trump? Once again, Corey's whole point is that there is very little difference between the racism of Trump and the mainstream party since Nixon. Is Trump just more racist? Or are the policies of Trump resonating differently than Bush for reasons other than race? Are the folks that voted for the other candidates in the primary less racist so Trump supporters are just the most racist among Republicans? Cruz less racist? You have to explain the shift within the Republican party because that's what happened.


Anarcissie 08.06.16 at 3:00 pm

Faustusnotes 08.06.16 at 1:50 pm @ 270 -

Eric Berne, in The Structures and Dynamics of Organizations and Groups, proposed that among the defining characteristics of a coherent group is an explicit boundary which determines whether an individual is a member of the group or not. (If there is no boundary, nothing binds the assemblage together; it is a crowd.) The boundary helps provide social cohesion and is so important that groups will create one if necessary. Clearly, boundaries exclude as well as include, and someone must play the role of outsider. While Berne's theories are a bit too nifty for me to love them, I have observed a lot of the behaviors he predicts. If one wanted to be sociobiological, it is not hard to hypothesize evolutionary pressures which could lead to this sort of behavior being genetically programmed. If a group of humans, a notably combative primate, does not have strong social cohesion, the war of all against all ensues and everybody dies. Common affections alone do not seem to provide enough cohesion.

In an earlier but related theory, in the United States, immigrants from diverse European communities which fought each other for centuries in Europe arrived and managed to now get along because they had a major Other, the Negro, against whom to define themselves (as the White Race) and thus to cohere sufficiently to get on with business. The Negro had the additional advantage of being at first a powerless slave and later, although theoretically freed, was legally, politically, and economically disabled - an outsider who could not fight back very effectively, nor run away. Even so, the US almost split apart and there continue to be important class, ethnic, religious, and regional conflicts. You can see how these two theories resonate.

It may be that we can't have communities without this dark side, although we might be able to mitigate some of its destructive effects.


bruce wilder 08.06.16 at 4:28 pm

I am somewhat suspicious of leaving dominating elites out of these stories of racism as an organizing principle for political economy or (cultural) community.

Racism served the purposes of a slaveholding elite that organized political communities to serve their own interests. (Or, vis a vis the Indians a land-grab or genocide.)

Racism serves as an organizing principle. Politically, in an oppressive and stultifying hierarchy like the plantation South, racism not incidentally buys the loyalty of subalterns with ersatz status. The ugly prejudices and resentful arrogance of working class whites is thus a component of how racism works to organize a political community to serve a hegemonic master class. The business end of racism, though, is the autarkic poverty imposed on the working communities: slaves, sharecroppers, poor blacks, poor whites - bad schools, bad roads, politically disabled communities, predatory institutions and authoritarian governments.

For a time, the balkanization of American political communities by race, religion and ethnicity was an effective means to the dominance of an tiny elite with ties to an hegemonic community, but it backfired. Dismantling that balkanization has left the country with a very low level of social affiliation and thus a low capacity to organize resistance to elite depredations.

engels 08.07.16 at 1:02 am

But how did that slavery happen

Possible short answer: the level of technological development made slavery an efficient way of exploiting labour. At a certain point those conditions changed and slavery became a drag on further development and it was abolished, along with much of the racist ideology that legitimated it.


Lupita 08.07.16 at 3:40 am

But how did that slavery happen

In Mesoamerica, all the natives were enslaved because they were conquered by the Spaniards. Then, Fray Bartolomé de las Casas successfully argued before the Crown that the natives had souls and, therefore, should be Christianized rather than enslaved. As Bruce Wilder states, this did not serve the interests of the slaveholding elite, so the African slave trade began and there was no Fray Bartolomé to argue their case.

It is interesting that while natives were enslaved, the Aztec aristocracy was shipped to Spain to be presented in court and study Latin. This would not have happened if the Mesoamericans were considered inferior (soulless) as a race. Furthermore, the Spaniards needed the local elite to help them out with their empire and the Aztecs were used to slavery and worse. This whole story can be understood without recurring to racism. The logic of empire suffices.

[Sep 02, 2019] How Can Older Workers Compete In An Economy That Values Youth

May 28, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com

...

Workers of all ages are caught in a vice. Older workers need to keep working longer in an economy which values younger workers (and their cheaper healthcare premiums). Younger workers are caught in the vice of "you don't have enough experience" and "how do I get experience if nobody will hire me?"

Middle-aged workers are caught between the enormous Millennial generation seeking better jobs and the equally numerous baby Boom generation seeking to work a few more years to offset their interest-starved retirement funds. (Thank you, predatory and rapacious Federal Reserve for siphoning all our retirement fund interest to your cronies the Too Big to Fail Banks.)

Workers 55 and older are undeniably working longer. Here is the labor participation rate for 55+ workers:

... And here's why so many workers have to work longer--earned income's share of the GDP has been in a free-fall for decades as Fed-funded financiers and corporations skim an ever greater share of the nation's GDP.

I am 62, very much an older worker with a startling 46 years in the work force (first formal paycheck, 1970 from Dole Pineapple). (Thanks to the Fed's zero-interest rate policy, I should be able to retire at 93 or so--unless the Fed imposes a negative-rate policy on me and the other serfs.)

But I recall with painful clarity the great hardships and difficulties I experienced in the recessions of 1973-74, 1981-82 and 1990-91 when I was in younger demographics. My sympathies are if anything more with younger workers, as it is increasingly difficult to get useful on-the-job experience if you're starting out.

That said, here are some suggestions for 55+ workers seeking to find work in a very competitive job/paid work market.

1. Target sectors that haven't changed much. There's a reason so many older guys find a niche in Home Depot and Lowe's--power saws, lumber, appliances, etc. haven't changed that much (except their quality has declined) for 40 years.

The same can be said of many areas of retail sales, house-cleaning, caring for children, etc.

Everyone knows the young have an advantage in sectors dominated by fast-changing technology, so avoid those sectors and stick to sectors where your knowledge and experience is still applicable and valued by employers.

2. If at all possible, get your healthcare coverage covered by a spouse or plan you pay. Those $2,000/month premiums for older workers are a big reason why employers would rather hire a $200/month premium younger worker, or limit the hours of older workers to part-time so no healthcare coverage is required.

Telling an employer you already have healthcare coverage may have a huge impact on your chances of getting hired.

3. If you have any computer-network-social media skills, you can get paid to help everyone 55+ with fewer skills. Your computer skills may not be up to the same level as a younger person's, but they are probably far more advanced than other 55+ folks. Many older people are paying somebody $35/hour or more to help them set up email, fix their buggy PCs and Macs, get them started on Facebook, etc. It might as well be you.

4. Focus on fields where managerial experience and moxie is decisive. Even highly educated young people have a tough time managing people effectively because they're lacking experience. Applying biz-school case studies to the real world isn't as easy as it looks. (I found apologizing to my older employees necessary and helpful. Do they teach this in biz school? I doubt it.)

The ability to work with (and mentor) a variety of people is an essential skill, and it's one that tends to come with age and experience.

5. Reliability matters. The ability to roll with the punches, show up on time, do what's needed to get the job done, and focus on outcomes rather than process are still core assets in a work force.

Being 55+ doesn't automatically mean someone has those skills, but they tend to come with decades of work.

6. If nobody will hire you, start your own enterprise to fill scarcities and create value in your community. The classic example is a handyperson, as it's very difficult for a young person to acquire the spectrum of experience needed to efficiently assess a wide array of problems and go about fixing them.

#3 above is another example of identifying one's strengths and then seeking a scarcity to fill. Value, profits and high wages flow to scarcity. Don't try to compete in supplying what's abundant; seek out scarcities and work on addressing those in a reliable fashion.

Every age group has its strengths and weaknesses, and the task facing all of us is to 1) identify scarcities we can fill and 2) seek ways to play to our strengths.

Shizzmoney

That's easy: the elitist old people in power will start a war, force the young people into that war, where they will all be killed and the old people get their jobs.

Also, for those young people who protest the war, the government and corporate military security forces will detain and kill them, too.

Problem solved!

KnuckleDragger-X

Bob Seger: Ballad of the Yellow Berets

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WP6Xt3GBhdQ

Syrin

Exactly. Value youth? Is that why we saddle them with $250,000 worth of student loan debt and a degree in women's studies to find no jobs because we let in illegals and skilled workers with Visas from foreign countries? Seems like we hate our youth. Of course, they deserve it since they have been focused on being social justice fucktards rather than getting any marketable skills and paying attention to what the gov't is doing to their future. Schadenfreude.

deja

No, they are stupid enough to saddle themselves with $250,000 worth of student loan debt for a degree in womens' studies.

cougar_w

The OP doesn't make much sense to me. Most of the work people my age do, the young people either don't want or are not qualified for. Maintaining vital COBOL apps or air traffic controller software from the 70's? Really? And the ones are, they don't mind working with older employees and seem to enjoy our "gravity".

I work in IT so maybe things are a bit different. Grey beards are huge around here and always will be.

But this has been a challenge for centuries, young people have to find their own way and "their way" (being probably a dream from childhood or an inspiration from a college professor) might not be practical at first. They bounce around a little until marriage hits them and then they find something that works for supporting a family. Same as it ever was. The idea that "their way" is some kind of unswerving life's mission is usually part of the corporate "just do it" meme that sells $400 specialty running shoes. Yeah whatever, just figure it out actually, life will tell you what you are supposed to be doing, and who you are supposed to be doing it with.

GeezerGeek

The market for COBOL programmers had a sudden surge around Y2K, but only certain industries still maintain their old COBOL apps. Curiously, a certain computer/software has recently tried pushing a visual version of COBOL, much like Gates did when he came out with Visual Basic back in the early 1990s. I retired after 40 years in IT in 2011, so I am a bit out of touch where COBOL is concerned. Does anyone even teach it anymore in college? Maybe if someone modified it to create phone apps and games it would once again be popular.

Abbie Normal

Then it's a good thing I didn't follow my undergrad English Prof's advice and switch my major from science to arts, because he thought there was some "real intelligence" in my writing style that even his grad students lacked. Maybe I should look him up....

eatthebanksters

I have two buddies, one a 61 year old attonery who has never lost a case and the other a 59 year old facilities director. The lawyer has been seeking work for 6 years and has pretty much given up...he can't even get hired at lesser jobs because he is overqualified and 'will leave when something better comes along'. The facilities director has a great resume and knows his stuff but has been out of work for almost two years. He has come in 'second' more times than I can count. He is working od jobs and living with a friends mother, exchanging work on the house for rent and meals. Welcome to Obama's economy.

N0TaREALmerican

He'd work if he'd accept less money, but he feels "entitled to earn what HE thinks he's worth". Just another lazy old-fart who feels the world owns him something. Welcome to a competitive economy old-fart, nobody said life was fair. Stop bitching and work for less.

mary mary

If you ever need an attorney, you might look for an experienced attorney who worked so hard that he never lost a case.

If you ever inherit a zillion bucks and buy a bunch of properties, you might confer with an experienced facility manager who actually managed a bunch of properties.

I doubt an attorney who never lost a case achieved that record by going around saying, "somebody owes me something".

I doubt a facilities manager who managed a bunch of properties achieved that by going around saying, "somebody owes me something".

Baa baa

What a load of crap. Most will take anything. I know, I am one. Don't lecture me about being "entitled" you punk. Your post reeks of the entitlement generation. Slug through 50 years of working, rearing a family, kids to college... I am beginning to wonder if the hundreds of thousands spent on the education and well-being of your ingrate ass was a misallocation of funds.

corporatewhore

Give credit where credit is due. This inability to find work at an older age has been going on for years and can't be blamed on Obama. Senior buyers at Macy's, older workers at Monsanto or television weather people at KSDK in St Louis all suffer the same fate. Labor cost and benefits are all less for the younger generation no matter what level of experience or capability. We develop a mindset throughout our productive career that we are indispensable and worth it because of our knowledge, contacts and industry wherewithal. It's all an illusion and we are NOT prepared or equipped to face the reality at an older age that we are completely dispensable.

At an older age if you want meaning you have to find it and think out of the paradigm that you've been led to believe is real. No one owes you anything for your experience or wealth of knowledge. Figure it out and rethink yourself as to what you love to do and want to do not what you must do to make money.

At 58 in 2008 I was fucked over by my corporation and wallowed in miserableness and poverty while i worked every contact and firm I knew. Nothing resulted. I had to work 3 part time jobs until I earned 2 full time ones and work over 90 hours per week because I enjoy it. It is work that covers the bills and allows me to create what I want to work on for the future while I still can walk think and breathe.

Best advice to your children: Go in business for yourself because just as it happened to me, it will happen to you when you become 55.

Nobody For President

Thanks for that, corporate whore. That sounds like an honest reprise of an incredibly hard time in your life, and I totally agree. I'm telling all (4) my grandkids, from 7 to 20, to live your life, not someone else's. The oldest one gets it, and I think the other ones will also, if I live long enough, because I walked that walk.

I'm old, and work full time (more or less) and make a living - not a killing, but a living - at it.

nuubee

Good news old people, the economy currently doesn't value anything you can produce, unless you can print money.

Cautiously Pessimistic

You get up every morning
From your 'larm clock's warning
Take the 8:15 into the city
There's a whistle up above
And people pushin', people shovin'
And the girls who try to look pretty
And if your train's on time
You can get to work by nine

... ... ...

mary mary

MSM says Baby Boomers "have stolen everything", but in fact Baby Boomers are having to extend their careers because they're broke. This is the easily foreseeable result of 20+ years of the Fed keeping interest rates artificially low, making Baby Boomers suffer the double-whammy of (1) not having their deferred income (pensions) grow, while (2) inflation in fact continued at 6% annual, thanks also to the Fed keeping interest rates artificially low.

Yes, someone "have stolen everything". That someone is the owners of the Fed.

[Sep 02, 2019] Labor Union Approval Hits Decade Highs

So despite multibillion campaign to discredit union launched on the dawn of neoliberalism and continued by neoliberal MSM to that day the situation now starts slowly changing to the better.
commend demonstrates very well how libertarian/neoliberal discourse poisoned the minds in the USA and how brainwashed people are.
Sep 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
United States , marking the 125th anniversary of the federal holiday and the unofficial end of summer. The holiday celebrates workers across the United States.

As Statista's Sarah Feldman notes , President Grover Cleveland signed the law in 1894 after agitation from union workers . Several municipal and state celebrations came before it officially became a national holiday, with union leaders organizing many of those early celebrations.

You will find more infographics at Statista

Since the late 19th and early 20th century, labor union support in the United States has fluctuated. It hit an all-time low in 2009 when Gallup recorded a 48 percent approval rate for unions. A decade later, unions now enjoy a 64 percent approval rate, rebounding by 16 percentage points. This is the third consecutive year that Gallup has recorded a union approval rate above 60 percent.

Additionally, over the past decade, while approval of labor unions has surged by about 16-17 percentage points across all parties, according to Gallup , Democrats are still more likely to support unions, with approval standing at around 80 percent among self-identified party supporters .

You will find more infographics at Statista

A little under half of Republicans now support unions, up from 29 percent of Republicans holding that position in 2009.


hooligan2009 , 5 minutes ago link

the stat should read "60% approve that labor unions are less and less relevant".

how else would you describe actual union membership of just 10%?

https://qz.com/1542019/union-membership-in-the-us-keeps-on-falling-like-almost-everywhere-else/

oh look

" The drop has been particularly steep in the private sector. Just 6.4% of workers in the private sector are unionized, compared with 16.8% in 1983. On the other hand, government employee unions, like those for teachers and postal workers, have remained fairly strong, with a small decline from about 37% of the workforce in 1983 to 34% in 2018.

frankthecrank , 5 minutes ago link

Union membership is on the rise as younger people realize how shitty their degrees are relative to what those degrees will pay.

Noob678 , 10 minutes ago link

Labor Unions are under the control of ZOG. You still lose, suckers!

[Sep 01, 2019] NetSlaves: True Tales of Working the Web by Bill Lessard

Notable quotes:
"... Being an unemployed techie myself, I cannot begin to describe what a godsend this book is. NETSLAVES finally reveals the truth about what it is to be part of what is likely the most under-appreciated sect of the working class. ..."
"... It is a comment on upper and middle management corporate business practices in general, and the dismal fate of the vast armies of workers used as cannon fodder since day one for the follies of unscrupulous robber barons; or morons who just happen to find themselves in the right place at the right time to make market killings; or Scrooges who will never learn what it is to have a heart. Baldwin and Lessard are heirs to the muckrakers of the early 20th Century. Corporate E-merica, take heed. ..."
Apr 16, 2003 | www.amazon.com
Arthur Lindsey III , April 16, 2003
A 246 Page "Support Group"

Being an unemployed techie myself, I cannot begin to describe what a godsend this book is. NETSLAVES finally reveals the truth about what it is to be part of what is likely the most under-appreciated sect of the working class.

The stale stories of "dorm-room success" have been supplanted by the pathetically sad/darkly humorous accounts of those who have been saddled with with million-dollar job titles, bleeding ulcers, and ramen noodle grocery budgets.

NETSLAVES is an entertaining and enligtening read, written by two men who have actually been passengers in every sewer pipe that is the new-media industry. This book is a must for every modern library, as it can be considered a "warning shot" for those with IT aspirations, or as a source of vindication for those of us who have been dismissed and trampled on. Bravo!

A customer, November 24, 1999

Handwriting on the Wall

NetSlaves tells it like it is for the millions of us on the business end of the IPO and monopoly screwdrivers. Apply these lessons to the law, publishing, automotive, chemical, airline industries, etc., etc. This book is not just a cerebral and satirical indictment of the internet industry.

It is a comment on upper and middle management corporate business practices in general, and the dismal fate of the vast armies of workers used as cannon fodder since day one for the follies of unscrupulous robber barons; or morons who just happen to find themselves in the right place at the right time to make market killings; or Scrooges who will never learn what it is to have a heart. Baldwin and Lessard are heirs to the muckrakers of the early 20th Century. Corporate E-merica, take heed.

[Sep 01, 2019] The Trump NLRB's Anti-Labor Day Capital Main

Sep 01, 2019 | capitalandmain.com

Employee rights advocates say this Labor Day's family barbecues and union solidarity picnics will take place in the shadow of a Trump administration that has quietly stacked the National Labor Relations Board with anti-labor members. The federal agency is far less well-known than the IRS or EPA, but its five presidential appointees issue rulings with often far-reaching consequences for America's working men and women. The NLRB was created in 1935 to oversee collective bargaining and protect labor standards; the majority of its current board have worked for years with pro-employer firms or on behalf of industry.

Under the Trump administration, says Henry Willis , a veteran employment rights attorney at Schwartz, Steinsapir, Dohrmann & Sommers, "They are rolling back rights as fast as they can."

Even before Trump was elected president, labor advocates had long lamented an NLRB process weighted towards employers who have the power of the paycheck and an array of tactics to shut down union organizing drives. A 2009 study , published by the liberal Economic Policy Institute think tank, found that during 57 percent of union election processes, employers threatened to shut down their workplaces; and during 34 percent of those organizing drives, employers fired workers and used one-on-one meetings with employees to threaten them.

Study author Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research and a senior lecturer at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, says those numbers have remained steady since 2009.

Moreover, Bronfenbrenner adds, when an administration changes it's not uncommon for boards to reverse some preceding labor decisions, but that "there's a different tone to this board in that it is reversing long-held law. Not just changing rules but reversing decisions that had been agreed upon for a long time."

In other words, the NLRB under Trump represents a tectonic shift in the way the agency has traditionally operated.

Bronfenbrenner cites a recent decision that allows employers to stop bargaining and call for a new union election each time a contract approaches expiration -- in effect, inviting company employees to decertify their union. "[Employers] can just say, 'I no longer believe the union has support, and then there will be an election," she says. "Employers can do that every single time a contract expires."

Willis, who litigates on the front lines, ticks off a list illustrating a piece-by-piece dismantling of employee rights.

"The current board has been attacking Obama board decisions on issues such as [establishing] who's an independent contractor and who's an employee," he says, referring to a January 2019 revision of the standard used to determine whether independent contractors are covered by the National Labor Relations Act, which, the NLRB proclaims on its website , was passed by Congress in 1935 "to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices, and which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the U.S. economy."

The January decision makes it less likely that the contractors will be given the same rights as employees.

"That's a big issue," Willis says. "Especially with the gig economy."

Another 2017 NLRB decision upended the definition of bargaining units . An employer no longer has to recognize or bargain with smaller units within a single work location, forcing a union to do large-scale organizing.

Organizing a shoe department, Willis notes, is less daunting than organizing an entire department store.

The Obama NLRB strove to proactively extend protections to unorganized shops -- where workers are less likely to know their rights. "The Trump board is taking a reactionary approach -- pulling back wherever possible," Willis says.

* * *

Currently operating with a vacant seat , the five-member board consists of three Republicans and Obama appointee Lauren McFerran, and it's set to term out in December. Conservative interests have urged President Trump to wait until McFerran leaves and then to fill the two empty seats to lock in a unanimous pro-employer majority.

Also in the works is a restructuring of the NLRB that would centralize decision-making in Washington and bring decisions now investigated and adjudicated at the regional level under scrutiny there.

Trump general counsel appointee Peter Robb issued a 2017 memo directing NLRB regional offices to submit to his Division of Advice for review cases involving "significant legal issues . " In 2018 Robb announced an intention to reorganize the agency's 26 regional offices into a smaller number of districts that report directly to Robb -- who could then present the issues to the NLRB in a way to give cover to the board to reverse local decisions and create precedent.

"The current general counsel has been trying to shift decision-making power from the regions to D.C. and creating a new layer of administration to give him more control over how the regions handle unfair labor practice charges," says Willis. "It hasn't been carried out, but the general counsel certainly has a big foot and brings it down much more frequently these days."

It's not all bleak news for labor, however. Unions are now organizing and representing contract workers, including hundreds of thousands of janitors, whether or not the NLRB designates them as employees, says Bronfenbrenner.

She sees the most vibrant aspects today's labor movement in industries where the majority are women and men and women of color -- and notes that those constituencies were largely shunned by organized labor when it was at the height of its strength.

"Organized labor only started getting a move on when their density had gone down below down to 12 percent and that's a little late. If they had done it when their density was 50 percent or 45 percent, they could have used their bargaining power."

[Aug 31, 2019] Linux on your laptop A closer look at EFI boot options

Aug 31, 2019 | www.zdnet.com
Before EFI, the standard boot process for virtually all PC systems was called "MBR", for Master Boot Record; today you are likely to hear it referred to as "Legacy Boot". This process depended on using the first physical block on a disk to hold some information needed to boot the computer (thus the name Master Boot Record); specifically, it held the disk address at which the actual bootloader could be found, and the partition table that defined the layout of the disk. Using this information, the PC firmware could find and execute the bootloader, which would then bring up the computer and run the operating system.

This system had a number of rather obvious weaknesses and shortcomings. One of the biggest was that you could only have one bootable object on each physical disk drive (at least as far as the firmware boot was concerned). Another was that if that first sector on the disk became corrupted somehow, you were in deep trouble.

Over time, as part of the Extensible Firmware Interface, a new approach to boot configuration was developed. Rather than storing critical boot configuration information in a single "magic" location, EFI uses a dedicated "EFI boot partition" on the desk. This is a completely normal, standard disk partition, the same as which may be used to hold the operating system or system recovery data.

The only requirement is that it be FAT formatted, and it should have the boot and esp partition flags set (esp stands for EFI System Partition). The specific data and programs necessary for booting is then kept in directories on this partition, typically in directories named to indicate what they are for. So if you have a Windows system, you would typically find directories called 'Boot' and 'Microsoft' , and perhaps one named for the manufacturer of the hardware, such as HP. If you have a Linux system, you would find directories called opensuse, debian, ubuntu, or any number of others depending on what particular Linux distribution you are using.

It should be obvious from the description so far that it is perfectly possible with the EFI boot configuration to have multiple boot objects on a single disk drive.

Before going any further, I should make it clear that if you install Linux as the only operating system on a PC, it is not necessary to know all of this configuration information in detail. The installer should take care of setting all of this up, including creating the EFI boot partition (or using an existing EFI boot partition), and further configuring the system boot list so that whatever system you install becomes the default boot target.

If you were to take a brand new computer with UEFI firmware, and load it from scratch with any of the current major Linux distributions, it would all be set up, configured, and working just as it is when you purchase a new computer preloaded with Windows (or when you load a computer from scratch with Windows). It is only when you want to have more than one bootable operating system – especially when you want to have both Linux and Windows on the same computer – that things may become more complicated.

The problems that arise with such "multiboot" systems are generally related to getting the boot priority list defined correctly.

When you buy a new computer with Windows, this list typically includes the Windows bootloader on the primary disk, and then perhaps some other peripheral devices such as USB, network interfaces and such. When you install Linux alongside Windows on such a computer, the installer will add the necessary information to the EFI boot partition, but if the boot priority list is not changed, then when the system is rebooted after installation it will simply boot Windows again, and you are likely to think that the installation didn't work.

There are several ways to modify this boot priority list, but exactly which ones are available and whether or how they work depends on the firmware of the system you are using, and this is where things can get really messy. There are just about as many different UEFI firmware implementations as there are PC manufacturers, and the manufacturers have shown a great deal of creativity in the details of this firmware.

First, in the simplest case, there is a software utility included with Linux called efibootmgr that can be used to modify, add or delete the boot priority list. If this utility works properly, and the changes it makes are permanent on the system, then you would have no other problems to deal with, and after installing it would boot Linux and you would be happy. Unfortunately, while this is sometimes the case it is frequently not. The most common reason for this is that changes made by software utilities are not actually permanently stored by the system BIOS, so when the computer is rebooted the boot priority list is restored to whatever it was before, which generally means that Windows gets booted again.

The other common way of modifying the boot priority list is via the computer BIOS configuration program. The details of how to do this are different for every manufacturer, but the general procedure is approximately the same. First you have to press the BIOS configuration key (usually F2, but not always, unfortunately) during system power-on (POST). Then choose the Boot item from the BIOS configuration menu, which should get you to a list of boot targets presented in priority order. Then you need to modify that list; sometimes this can be done directly in that screen, via the usual F5/F6 up/down key process, and sometimes you need to proceed one level deeper to be able to do that. I wish I could give more specific and detailed information about this, but it really is different on every system (sometimes even on different systems produced by the same manufacturer), so you just need to proceed carefully and figure out the steps as you go.

I have seen a few rare cases of systems where neither of these methods works, or at least they don't seem to be permanent, and the system keeps reverting to booting Windows. Again, there are two ways to proceed in this case. The first is by simply pressing the "boot selection" key during POST (power-on). Exactly which key this is varies, I have seen it be F12, F9, Esc, and probably one or two others. Whichever key it turns out to be, when you hit it during POST you should get a list of bootable objects defined in the EFI boot priority list, so assuming your Linux installation worked you should see it listed there. I have known of people who were satisfied with this solution, and would just use the computer this way and have to press boot select each time they wanted to boot Linux.

The alternative is to actually modify the files in the EFI boot partition, so that the (unchangeable) Windows boot procedure would actually boot Linux. This involves overwriting the Windows file bootmgfw.efi with the Linux file grubx64.efi. I have done this, especially in the early days of EFI boot, and it works, but I strongly advise you to be extremely careful if you try it, and make sure that you keep a copy of the original bootmgfw.efi file. Finally, just as a final (depressing) warning, I have also seen systems where this seemed to work, at least for a while, but then at some unpredictable point the boot process seemed to notice that something had changed and it restored bootmgfw.efi to its original state – thus losing the Linux boot configuration again. Sigh.

So, that's the basics of EFI boot, and how it can be configured. But there are some important variations possible, and some caveats to be aware of.

[Aug 30, 2019] Over 50, Unemployed, Depressed and Powerless by D. A. Wolf

Notable quotes:
"... I know what it feels like to be marginalized because you're out of work. To be judged by others as if there's something wrong with you. To grow increasingly depressed, demoralized and despairing as three months turns into six months and that goes on for a year or more; as rejection after rejection becomes crushing, humiliating, and leaves you feeling worthless. ..."
"... All money-related impacts aside, you lose confidence. You wear out. You start to give up ..."
"... Now and then, an acquaintance will make an off-hand remark about those who borrow money or live on credit cards. The assumption is that credit purchases are frivolous, or that the person who racks up consumer debt does so out of irresponsibility and poor judgment. ..."
"... Never assume. Yours truly? I borrowed to put food on the table. I borrowed to pay for school supplies for my kids. I borrowed to enable them to take advantage of academic opportunities that they earned through their own hard work. I also counted my blessings. While I had no family to assist, my kids were healthy and doing well, I was basically healthy despite chronic pain, and I was able to use credit. Borrowing is a double-edged sword of course, especially if it continues for an extended period. But for my little household, debt was the only path to survival. For all I know, it will be again. ..."
"... These days? I still live on a tight budget, I dream of recovering from the years of financial devastation "someday," and I take every gig I can get. Willingly. I've gained new skills along the way and continue to refine them, I'm always looking for another project and thrilled when I nab one, and I'm accustomed to a 12- to 14-hour workday. I put in long hours throughout my corporate career and I have no problem doing so now. In fact, I'm grateful for these workdays and I take none of them for granted. Moreover, I suggest that few of us should take our sources of income as a given ..."
"... The longer that Americans are unemployed, the more likely they are to report signs of poor psychological well-being," says the study. "About one in five Americans who have been unemployed for a year or more say they currently have or are being treated for depression - almost double the rate among those who have been unemployed for five weeks or less. ..."
"... To be in this position - wanting to work, needing to work, knowing you still have much to contribute but never getting a foot in the door - is deeply frustrating, horribly depressing, and leaves us feeling powerless. Add up these elements and you have the formula for despair. ..."
"... One small act of compassion can breathe new hope into the worst situation. And here's what I know with 100% certainty. We may be unemployed, we may be depressed but we aren't powerless if we come together and try to help one another. ..."
Apr 30, 2016 | Daily Plate of Crazy

Are you over 50, unemployed, depressed and feeling powerless? For that matter, are you any age and feeling hopeless because you can't seem to land a job?

Frustrated Middle Age Man

The recession may be officially over, and for some segments of the population, things are looking up. But too many are still sinking or hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Long-term unemployment or underemployment has become a way of life.

This issue, for me, is personal.

I know what it feels like to be marginalized because you're out of work. To be judged by others as if there's something wrong with you. To grow increasingly depressed, demoralized and despairing as three months turns into six months and that goes on for a year or more; as rejection after rejection becomes crushing, humiliating, and leaves you feeling worthless.

All money-related impacts aside, you lose confidence. You wear out. You start to give up. And you don't even make it into the "statistics." It's been too long since your last employment relationship.

Overqualified, Over-Educated, Over 50

Despite my fancy educational background and shiny corporate career history, for a number of years I was unable to obtain work that was even remotely close to using my skills. Paying me a living wage? Let's not even discuss it. I must have applied to 100 positions over the course of several years, attended the usual networking events, and schmoozed every contact I could come up with.

No go. I suffered from the three O's: Overqualified, Over-educated and Over 50, though I may not have looked it. That last? If you ask me, age was the kicker. Throughout that period, as post-divorce skirmishes continued to flare (further complicating matters), I nonetheless took every project I could eke out of the woodwork, supplemented by debt.

Hello, bank bail-out? How about a few bucks for those of us who foot the bill in tax dollars?

The Borrowing Trap

Now and then, an acquaintance will make an off-hand remark about those who borrow money or live on credit cards. The assumption is that credit purchases are frivolous, or that the person who racks up consumer debt does so out of irresponsibility and poor judgment.

Never assume. Yours truly? I borrowed to put food on the table. I borrowed to pay for school supplies for my kids. I borrowed to enable them to take advantage of academic opportunities that they earned through their own hard work. I also counted my blessings. While I had no family to assist, my kids were healthy and doing well, I was basically healthy despite chronic pain, and I was able to use credit. Borrowing is a double-edged sword of course, especially if it continues for an extended period. But for my little household, debt was the only path to survival. For all I know, it will be again.

Fighting Your Way Back

These days? I still live on a tight budget, I dream of recovering from the years of financial devastation "someday," and I take every gig I can get. Willingly. I've gained new skills along the way and continue to refine them, I'm always looking for another project and thrilled when I nab one, and I'm accustomed to a 12- to 14-hour workday. I put in long hours throughout my corporate career and I have no problem doing so now. In fact, I'm grateful for these workdays and I take none of them for granted. Moreover, I suggest that few of us should take our sources of income as a given.

You know the expression - "There but for the grace of God go I." Misfortune can visit any one of us. Layoff. Accident or illness. Gray divorce. The phone call or email with no warning, saying "you're done" as you're replaced by someone 20 years younger.

And yes, I've internalized the wisdom of this little gem: "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." But I also know it isn't always possible, and the secret to success is not as simple as hard work. It's aided by the assistance of others, not to mention - luck.

Unemployed and Depressed

Forbes reminds us of the clear links between unemployment and depression, which isn't to say that underemployment or hating your job is a picnic.

Forbes staff writer Susan Adams cites a Gallup poll as follows:

The longer that Americans are unemployed, the more likely they are to report signs of poor psychological well-being," says the study. "About one in five Americans who have been unemployed for a year or more say they currently have or are being treated for depression - almost double the rate among those who have been unemployed for five weeks or less.

She goes on to note:

The long-term unemployed, unfortunately, have good reason to be depressed. They suffer plenty of discrimination in the job market. A 2012 study by economist Rand Ghayad found that employers preferred candidates with no relevant experience, but who had been out of work for less than six months, to those with experience who had been job hunting for longer than that.

.... ... ...

I'm certain that many of you have fought your way back; I'm still fighting after years, but I have seen progress. Slower than I'd like, but progress all the same.

If someone helped you out, have you paid it forward by making connections for others?

Please do read this comment from Cindy. I have responded as best I can. I'm sure she would welcome your suggestions.

A Note on Despair

To be in this position - wanting to work, needing to work, knowing you still have much to contribute but never getting a foot in the door - is deeply frustrating, horribly depressing, and leaves us feeling powerless. Add up these elements and you have the formula for despair.

It's brutally hard to fight your way back from despair. But sometimes, an act of compassion can help.

I've been on the receiving end of those incredible kindnesses - from strangers, from readers, and from one friend in particular, herself too long living on the edge.

One small act of compassion can breathe new hope into the worst situation. And here's what I know with 100% certainty. We may be unemployed, we may be depressed but we aren't powerless if we come together and try to help one another.

... ... ...

[Aug 30, 2019] Over 50 and unemployed: Don t panic!

Highly recommended!
Don't panic is always a good advice. Following it is another story...
Notable quotes:
"... Using contacts, no matter how far in the past they rest, is nothing to be ashamed of! You've probably spent most of your life working, and meeting a lot of people along the way. ..."
"... Your resume should be tailored to each and every job you apply for. While it is important to showcase your talent and skills, how you present the information is equally important. ..."
Jan 03, 2012 | Palmetto Workforce Connections

When you find yourself over 50 and unemployed, the thought of finding another job may seem daunting and hopeless.

It is quite easy to become discouraged because many people fear being stereotyped because of their age, the tough job market, or the prospect of being interviewed by someone half their age. However, there are some things the older unemployed should keep in mind while on the job search. Using the following tips will increase your chances of a short job search and create an overall more pleasant experience.

  1. Quit telling yourself that no one hires older workers. This is simply just not true. In some cases older workers have to exert more effort to overcome discrimination, but this is certainly not the case for every employer. There are even entire websites with jobs posted specifically for older workers, and a quick Google search will render you a list of those websites. Take advantage of such resources!
  2. Take advantage of new technology. Learn to blog and micro-blog, via Twitter, about your profession and interests. You should even create a LinkedIn profile (a website similar to Facebook yet has a more career oriented function) to assist it meeting people in your desired field. All of which will help you stay fine tuned on your skills, while developing new ones. Learning to use social networking will indicate to potential employers that you can adapt to change and learn new things, particularly technology, fairly quickly.
  3. Use all those hard earned contacts. Using contacts, no matter how far in the past they rest, is nothing to be ashamed of! You've probably spent most of your life working, and meeting a lot of people along the way. It is completely acceptable to reach out to former colleagues, class mates, co-workers and employers for job possibilities. Using resources like Facebook or LinkedIn are great ways to find those long lost contacts as well. Chances are they would love to hear from you and help you out if possible.
  4. Don't clutter your resume. Your resume should be tailored to each and every job you apply for. While it is important to showcase your talent and skills, how you present the information is equally important. This means keep it straight to the point and relate your past experience to the skills necessary for the job you are applying for. Essentially, don't do a history dump of every job you've ever had, instead, make each word count!
  5. Don't act superior to the interviewer. It is likely that the people interviewing you will be younger than you. But this does not mean you should look down upon them. Obviously they have earned their position, and if you play your cards right, in due time, you will earn yours! Even if you've worked more years than your interviewer has been alive, it's not okay to tell him or her that you can "teach" them anything. A better idea would be to state your experience working in a multi-generational work place.

Use these tips to help make your job search less stressful and more positive. Whatever you do, don't throw in the towel before you've even tried. Your experience and knowledge will be recognized. All you need is the right employer to identify it.

[Aug 29, 2019] Over 50 and out of work Program seeks to help long-term unemployed

This is essentially a scam. Help in landing $13 per hour job is not a big achievement.
Notable quotes:
"... Older workers like Lane make up a larger percentage of the persistently jobless than ever before. Nearly 40 percent of unemployed workers are over the age of 45 - a 30 percent rise from the 1980s. ..."
"... P2E is an intensive, individualized five-week bootcamp that teaches job skills and works to build job-seekers' confidence and emotional health. "We acknowledge that there are serious emotional issues for people who'd been unemployed for that long," Carbone said. ..."
"... The privately-funded program makes deals with businesses who hire P2E graduates for "internships," a few-week trial period for the would-be employee, whose salary is subsidized by the WorkPlace. Often, it leads to full-time work. According to P2E, 80 percent of their participants have been granted trial periods, and of those, more than 85 percent have been hired by employers. ..."
"... This acceptance of a new economic reality is at the heart of P2E; the program isn't solving the problems of precarity, real-wage decline, or manufacturing losses so much as doing damage control. ..."
"... "I'd say 100 percent of the people who went through Platform are making less than they did previously," said Carbone. "We get them prepared for the fact that their standard of living will go down, that they probably have to change careers." ..."
Nov 16, 2013 | NBC News
When Bret Lane was laid off from his telecommunications sales job after 16 years, he wasn't worried. He'd never been unemployed for more than a few days since he started working as a teenager. But months passed, and he couldn't find a job. One day, he heard the Purina plant in his Turlock, Calif., neighborhood was hiring janitors for $14 an hour. When he arrived early at 4 a.m., he counted more than 400 people lined up to interview.

"That's when I realized things had gotten serious," said Lane, 53, who called being out of work "pure hell."

Lane's experience is hardly unique. As of September 2013, 4 million people had been unemployed for six months or more. The economy has been slow to regain the 8.7 million jobs lost during the Great Recession, making prospects grim for many of the long-term unemployed.

Older workers like Lane make up a larger percentage of the persistently jobless than ever before. Nearly 40 percent of unemployed workers are over the age of 45 - a 30 percent rise from the 1980s. And for this group, the job hunt can be particularly long and frustrating. Unemployed people aged 45-54 were jobless for 45 weeks on average, and those 55 to 64 were jobless for 57 weeks, according to an October 2013 Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll.

Younger workers didn't have such a hard time, perhaps because many employers perceive them to be more energetic or productive than older workers, said Linda Barrington, an economist at Cornell University's Institute for Compensation Studies. Employers "acting on such inaccurate assessments or stereotypes is what benefits younger workers and disadvantages older workers," she said.

Addressing the emotional side of unemployment

An innovative program based in Bridgeport, Conn., is helping to get those who are over 50 and unemployed for long periods back into the market. Platform to Employment started in 2011 when a Connecticut job center called the WorkPlace was overwhelmed by calls from "99ers"-people who had been unemployed for 99 weeks, exhausting their unemployment benefits-many of whom were older workers.

The exact number of 99ers across the country is unknown; the Bureau of Labor Statistics hasn't distinguished between 99ers and those out of work for a year since 2010, an oversight that some say renders this group even more politically invisible. Already, the long-term unemployed face biases in hiring. It's both legal and common for employers to write "unemployed need not apply" on job postings.

There has been virtually no public policy tackling long-term unemployment since the recession hit, said P2E founder Joe Carbone, and his program seeks to fill that gap. "These people have lost access to opportunity, which is a basic American tenet," said Carbone. "We find a way to make them competitive and feel hopeful."

P2E is an intensive, individualized five-week bootcamp that teaches job skills and works to build job-seekers' confidence and emotional health. "We acknowledge that there are serious emotional issues for people who'd been unemployed for that long," Carbone said.

The privately-funded program makes deals with businesses who hire P2E graduates for "internships," a few-week trial period for the would-be employee, whose salary is subsidized by the WorkPlace. Often, it leads to full-time work. According to P2E, 80 percent of their participants have been granted trial periods, and of those, more than 85 percent have been hired by employers.

Accepting a new economic reality

Bret Lane washes out his coffee pot at his home after a shift at a call center in San Diego, Calif., on Oct. 31. Lane was laid off after 16 years as a salesman in telecommunications and was unemployed until he got a job at a call center. Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images for NBC News

The program has spread to 10 other cities across the United States, including San Diego, where Lane, a P2E graduate, has been employed full-time at a call center since May. After a year and nine months of unemployment, Lane sold his two-bedroom house, pared down his possessions to fit in a 5x10 storage unit, and drove to San Diego to live with his sister. That's when he saw an ad in the paper for Platform to Employment.

He learned how to make his online resume more searchable by adding keywords, as well as how to create an impressive LinkedIn profile. "It also occurred to me that I was being discriminated against" because of age, rather than being rejected for not being good enough. Lane now makes about half of his previous salary and still lives with his sister, but he's "happy to be working again."

This acceptance of a new economic reality is at the heart of P2E; the program isn't solving the problems of precarity, real-wage decline, or manufacturing losses so much as doing damage control.

"I'd say 100 percent of the people who went through Platform are making less than they did previously," said Carbone. "We get them prepared for the fact that their standard of living will go down, that they probably have to change careers."

This guidance is necessary, Barrington said. "A lot of [the long-term unemployed] came into the workforce still thinking you could work for the same company for your whole life," she said. "Someone has to sit you down and tell you that's not going to happen."

She added that businesses need to be reminded of the value of older workers, who often bring intangible skills, such as punctuality, responsibility, and "being able to write a memo," that younger employees may not yet have.

Heidi DeWyngaert, President of Bankwell, a holding company of several banks in Connecticut, said one of her banks hired an older worker from P2E who is succeeding on the job precisely for these reasons. "She's mature, reliable and responsible with a great attitude," said DeWyngaert.

The program has gained so much prominence that it's become competitive in its own right. Early last year, after P2E was featured on 60 Minutes, the Bridgeport office was flooded with inquiries. The program routinely gets 1,000 applicants for around 20 spots.

Hoping to spark a national conversation

Vanessa Jackson, 57, saw the segment and kept track of P2E's growth until it expanded to her area in Chicago. Jackson had been unemployed off and on since 2008, when she lost her $100,000 job as a marketing manager during a corporate downsizing. "I thought, of course, I would get another comparable job," she said.

But it didn't happen. She decided to get an MBA to "ride out the recession," but that just landed her more debt. She finally got a part-time job as a deli clerk, until she broke her arm and went on disability for 10 months. Her $300,000 401(k) account dwindled to $60,000. She sold her house in the suburbs and moved in with her boyfriend on the South Side of Chicago.

"It was the most desperate thing in the world," Jackson said. It pained her to remember the days when recruiters would tell her she was one of "the top African-American women in marketing."

P2E "revived my energy," she said. "It lifted the depression that was very much there."

Jackson now works part-time as a project coordinator at a home care service agency for $13 an hour, which she admits is inadequate for her level of education. Still, she almost missed out on the opportunity. When P2E came to Chicago earlier this year, she wasn't selected at first. "It felt like applying for a job in itself," she said. "I beseeched [Chicago program manager Michael Morgan]. He said 'I admire your ambition' and let me in."

Carbone is all too aware of P2E's limited reach. "We've helped hundreds of people, but that doesn't put even a small dent in the amount who need help," he said. Carbone hopes to spark a national conversation and, eventually, get the attention of Washington.

"Let's be clear," Carbone said. "I wouldn't be doing this if there were appropriate and relevant government policies."

[Aug 28, 2019] My Top 5 Movies About Unemployment

Apr 30, 2016 | Christianity Today
Erin Brockovich

2000 | Rated R
directed by Steven Soderbergh
Based on the true story of an unemployed mother of three who forced her way into a job as a legal clerk and built an anti-pollution case against a California utility company. Erin Brockovich has become a name for someone with tenacity and perseverance.

The Journey of Natty Gann

1985 | Rated PG
directed by Jeremy Kagan
Disney's family-friendly adventure demonstrates how tough the Great Depression was on kids, namely the teenage girl of the title who journeys across America to reunite with her father. Grounded by strong performances, including a young John Cusack, this gem serves as a fine introduction of a difficult subject to younger viewers.

Tootsie

1982 | Rated PG
directed by Sydney Pollack
This light-hearted, quirky comedy stars Dustin Hoffman as an unemployed actor who pretends to be a woman for a full-time role in a soap opera. Beneath the hilarity is a sobering reminder that landing a job sometimes requires thinking outside the box, to say the least.

Up in the Air

2009 | Rated R
directed by Jason Reitman
George Clooney is stellar as a veteran hatchet man who has lost his ability to form meaningful relationships, living a life on the road. Ultimately this is a poignant drama about identity and what defines us. If we are nothing more than our occupation, what remains when that is gone?

Russ Breimeier, a freelance film critic who lives in Indianapolis, was unemployed for two years until recently landing a part-time job.

[Aug 28, 2019] What do you call a 50 year old engineer?

Mar 03, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Synoia , March 3, 2016 at 10:25 am

Q: What do you call a 50 year old engineer?

A: Unemployed.

[Aug 27, 2019] The Death of the Professional: Are Doctors, Lawyers and Accountants Becoming Obsolete

Probably not. But the quantities necessary might diminish considerably...
Notable quotes:
"... Adapted from the new book The Future of the Professions by Richard Susskind & Daniel Susskind (Oxford University Press, 2015).Originally published at Alternet ..."
"... The proof is in how there is one premium cost if the medical provider is on their own and magically it is cheaper if theu are part of a group or hospital.. Same doctor same practices lower rates prima facia evidence of insurance company rate fraud ..."
"... Re solidarity, you might be surprised. One reason law school enrollments are down is that it is becoming public knowledge that employment for graduates in upwardly mobile career positions is way down ..."
"... Many are shunted into low level proletarian type legal work, churning out evidence for use in lawsuits owned and managed by large firms. Lawyers who do this earn less then a good paralegal with less job security and no benefits. ..."
"... So much of the 'grunt work' of professions – once the entry and training province of new graduates – is now being done overseas by shops that specialize in legal research, or reading x-rays, or accounting and tax preparation. ..."
"... The 'grunt work' that grounds one in the full knowledge of the profession and how it works is slowly removed from the profession. That omission leaves future practitioners with an incomplete understanding. ..."
"... This loss makes them more reliant on big data as both assistant and excuse/defense, and makes them less master craftsmen (if I may use the term without giving offense) and more the front-end interface of one-size-fits-all processes. Very good for corporate profits. Not so good for the professions or their clients. ..."
"... Long ago, firms started off-shoring basic, tedious, repetitive tasks, generally considered as unrewarding, such as software testing or error correction to India. The idea was to focus on "high added-value" jobs such as system architects or project management, and leave low-level operations, supposedly requiring less qualifications, to cheaper Indian contractors. Decades later, there is a shortage of qualified people for those high-skilled jobs - precisely because fewer and fewer young people have had the possibility ..."
"... The result? It is now necessary to import expensive project managers and system architects from foreign countries. ..."
"... Bottom line: the race to the bottom for wages is "on". ..."
"... Professionals would be the next logical choice of squeezing cost out of work; unions, middle management, big industry, airlines, manufacturing and construction have all paid their price at the alter of the 1%. ..."
"... I also agree with the concept of there being less for the bottom 90% to spend. And as more automation kicks in, there will be even less bad choice jobs for these folks to scramble for. Just waiting for truck drivers to be slowly replaced with auto-drive trucks. ..."
"... " . Prefer a fence at the top of the cliff to an ambulance at the bottom " ..."
"... The rich and the truly rich will always have skilled, artistic human professionals to serve their personally tailored bespoke needs. It is the rest of us who will be assigned the doctorobots, the lawyer machines, etc. ..."
"... Part of the "crapification of everything" except for managers and owners, it is part of their cost cutting plan. ..."
"... First they came for the blue collar workers, and I did nothing? Then they came for the white collar workers, and I did nothing? Now they are coming for the professionals, and they are laughing at my passivity? ..."
"... They have played all the classes, higher than the one they are currently discarding, and the remaining consumers are happy to throw their neighbors under the bus. But your turn will come. Karma. ..."
"... Once corporations start setting guidelines and dictating the drugs you can and can't use for treatment, do you think they'll do it according to what's cost effective and least risky for the patient based on current science or do you think they'll do it based on their own profits? ..."
"... The shift from reactive to proactive ..."
"... Proactive cannibalism ..."
Jan 09, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Posted on January 9, 2016 by Yves Smith Yves here. Many members of the top 10% regard their role in society as relatively secure, particularly if the are in a niche that serves the capital-deploying 1% or better yet, 0.1%. But a new book suggest their position is not secure. And trends in motion confirm this dour reading, such as the marked decline in law school enrollments, and the trend in the US to force doctors to practice out of hospitals or HMOs, where they are salaried and are required to adhere to corporate care guidelines. For instance, my MD is about to have her practice bought out, and is looking hard as to whether she can establish a concierge practice. Mind you, she appears regularly on TV and writes a monthly column for a national magazine [not that is how I found her or why I use her]. Yet she has real doubts as to whether she can support all the overhead. If someone with a profile can't make a go at it solo in a market like Manhattan, pray tell, who can?

Adapted from the new book The Future of the Professions by Richard Susskind & Daniel Susskind (Oxford University Press, 2015).Originally published at Alternet

The end of the professional era is characterized by four trends: the move from bespoke service; the bypassing of traditional gatekeepers; a shift from a reactive to a proactive approach to professional work; and the more-for-less challenge.

The Move From Bespoke (Custom) Service

For centuries, much professional work has been handled in the manner of a craft. Individual experts and specialists-people who know more than others-have offered an essentially bespoke service ("bespoke" is British for "custom"). In the language of the tailor, their product has been "made-to-measure" rather than "off-the-peg." For each recipient the service has been disposable (used once only), handcrafted ordinarily by a solitary scribe or sole trusted adviser, often in the spirit of an artist who starts each project afresh with a blank canvas.

Our research strongly suggests that bespoke professional work in this vein looks set to fade from prominence, as other crafts (like tailoring and tallow chandlering) have done over the centuries. Significant elements of professional work are being routinized: in checklists, standard form materials, and in various sorts of systems, many of which are available online. Meanwhile, the work that remains for human beings to handle conventionally is often not conducted by individual craftspeople, but collaboratively in teams, sometimes collocated, but more often virtually. And, with the advance of increasingly capable machines, some work may not be conducted by human beings at all.

Just as we witnessed the "death of gentlemanly capitalism" in the banks in the 1980s, we seem to be observing a similar decline in bespoke professionalism.

The Bypassed Gatekeepers

In the past, when in need of expert guidance we turned to the professions. Their members knew things that others did not, and we drew on their knowledge and experience to solve our problems. Each profession acted as a "gatekeeper" of its own, distinct body of practical expertise. Today this set-up is under threat.

We are already seeing some work being wrested from the hands of traditional professions. Some of the competition is coming from within. We observe professionals from different professions doing each other's work. They even speak of "eating one another's lunch." Accountants and consultants, for example, are particularly effective at encroaching on the business of lawyers and actuaries. We also see intra-professional friction, when, for example, nurses take on work that used to be exclusive to doctors, or paralegals are engaged to perform tasks that formerly were the province of lawyers.

But the competition is also advancing from outside the traditional boundaries of the professions-from new people and different institutions. We see a recurring need to draw on people with very different skills, talents, and ways of working. Practicing doctors, priests, teachers, and auditors did not, for example, develop the software that supports the systems that we describe. Stepping forward instead are data scientists, process analysts, knowledge engineers, systems engineers, and many more. Today, professionals still provide much of the content, but in time they may find themselves down-staged by these new specialists. We also see a diverse set of institutions entering the fray-business process outsourcers, retail brands, Internet companies, major software and service vendors, to name a few. What these providers have in common is that they look nothing like twentieth-century doctors, accountants, architects, and the rest.

More than this, human experts in the professions are no longer the only source of practical expertise. There are illustrations of practical expertise being made available by recipients of professional work-in effect, sidestepping the gatekeepers. On various platforms, typically online, people share their past experience and help others to resolve similar problems. These "communities of experience," as we call them, are springing up across many professions (for example, PatientsLikeMe and the WebMD communities in medicine). We say more about them in a moment. More radical still are systems and machines that themselves generate practical expertise. These are underpinned by a variety of advanced techniques, such as Big Data and artificial intelligence. These platforms and systems tend not to be owned and run by the traditional professions. Whether those who do so will in turn become "new gatekeepers" is a subject of some concern.

The keys to the kingdom are changing. Or, if not changing, they are at least being shared with others.

Jim Haygood ,, January 9, 2016 at 8:57 pm

'medium and large corporations are also struggling to deal with increasing regulation'

My claim is that large corporations don't "struggle to deal with" regulation - they write it.

Case in point, Obamacare was drafted by Liz Fowler, formerly of WellPoint.

alex morfesis , January 10, 2016 at 12:05 am

You nailed it on medical professionals would like to add, that at least here in flori duh there seems to be massive pricing fraud by malpractice and liability insurance providers which state regulators allow to continue to force small or single practitioners to join groups by financial obliteration at least in floriduh, there is the usual massive distortion suggesting insurance companies are paying out huge amounts when there in fact seems to be collusion amongst insurance companies neglecting the legal requirement to try to settle on good faith and end up forcing people to settle for pennies on the dollar yet the insurance companies keep picking the pockets of medical professionals

The proof is in how there is one premium cost if the medical provider is on their own and magically it is cheaper if theu are part of a group or hospital.. Same doctor same practices lower rates prima facia evidence of insurance company rate fraud

jrs , January 9, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Yes some of it is only logical though, if masses of the population see their income declining and yet the costs of medical care keeps increasing eventually noone can afford to see the doctor never mind the ACA etc.. And it can get to be this way with a lot of professional services less urgent and distorted than medical care, like soon noone can afford an accountant, you use turbo tax, a lawyer – no middle class people start to make their own wills. Many professions seek ever further protections of government for their guilds (more and more requirements to practice to try to preserve their privilege) and yet with nothing protecting the income of the other 80% (read: unions, that would be their role) unless they plan to only serve the fellow 20%

So solidarity? Yea, but making the solidarity argument with many (not all) members of such professions is a waste of time as they instinctively side with the 1s.

Local to Oakland , January 9, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Re solidarity, you might be surprised. One reason law school enrollments are down is that it is becoming public knowledge that employment for graduates in upwardly mobile career positions is way down

Many are shunted into low level proletarian type legal work, churning out evidence for use in lawsuits owned and managed by large firms. Lawyers who do this earn less then a good paralegal with less job security and no benefits.

ilporcupine , January 9, 2016 at 4:33 pm

It has been said Paralegals are being squeezed out, to make way for the huge increase in law graduates from prior class booms. Why not use cheap lawyers, with better credential, and desperate for employment?

flora , January 9, 2016 at 5:39 pm

So much of the 'grunt work' of professions – once the entry and training province of new graduates – is now being done overseas by shops that specialize in legal research, or reading x-rays, or accounting and tax preparation.

There are 3 downsides to this, in my opinion. New college grads have fewer entry slots. The 'grunt work' that grounds one in the full knowledge of the profession and how it works is slowly removed from the profession. That omission leaves future practitioners with an incomplete understanding.

This loss makes them more reliant on big data as both assistant and excuse/defense, and makes them less master craftsmen (if I may use the term without giving offense) and more the front-end interface of one-size-fits-all processes. Very good for corporate profits. Not so good for the professions or their clients.

guest , January 9, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Big Data is not a solution.

Your first two points (no entry-level jobs for beginners, no acquisition of professional basics) are essential - and their detrimental effects are already painfully felt in some professions.

Case in point: software development.

Long ago, firms started off-shoring basic, tedious, repetitive tasks, generally considered as unrewarding, such as software testing or error correction to India. The idea was to focus on "high added-value" jobs such as system architects or project management, and leave low-level operations, supposedly requiring less qualifications, to cheaper Indian contractors. Decades later, there is a shortage of qualified people for those high-skilled jobs - precisely because fewer and fewer young people have had the possibility to

(a) start in the profession at entry-level positions (when job postings all require qualifications as senior software engineer and five years experience, what do you do?)

(b) learn the ropes and practice the skills from the ground up (the necessary step before rising in the professional hierarchy).

The result? It is now necessary to import expensive project managers and system architects from foreign countries.

From what I read, the UK has been especially hit by this phenomenon, because it was particularly enthusiastic about off-shoring IT to India.

polecat , January 9, 2016 at 8:18 pm

Uhm ..oh wait uh ..I know .uh Brondo's got what plants need ..right?

Phil , January 10, 2016 at 2:34 am

Attorney's work is being automated and outsourced. For more on one aspect of outsourcing:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/business/global/05legal.html?_r=2

I can't find the cite, but last year I read that some of the Indian companies that American law firms have outsourced to are now moving offices "stateside" to hire American attorneys, here.

Bottom line: the race to the bottom for wages is "on". Add to this job automation that will only get more efficient, over time.
http://www.futuretech.ox.ac.uk/news-release-oxford-martin-school-study-shows-nearly-half-us-jobs-could-be-risk-computerisation

armchair , January 9, 2016 at 5:17 pm

The Washington State Bar has initiated a legal technician program , and I find the timing questionable, even if the premise of the program is good-hearted. As the market is awash in underemployed, licensed attorneys, the Bar is going ahead and turning veteran paralegals into the people to undercut the market even further. It seems like bad timing to let someone who has years of experience, and no law school debt get over on a bunch law school grads who are facing a life of being hounded for their debts. I spoke to someone at the Bar who made a good defense, that the legal technician is like an ARNP. Only later did it occur to me that there are very few out-of-work doctors.

From another perspective, the legal technician answers another problem of the collapsing paralegal market. Much of the collapse has been driven by advances in document management, especially scanning that 'reads' the text and makes it searchable. But hey, here is a shiny new program. Go ahead and set up a parenting plan with your abusive ex for $75! What could go wrong?

The key to really get the legal field de-humanized would be robot judges and robotic juries. I hope someone is already working on it.

polecat , January 9, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Don't worry what's old is new again. At some point in the future we'll all be scratching glyphs on clay tablets .once the 2nd law of thermodynamics really kicks in ..plenty of work then!

armchair , January 9, 2016 at 9:02 pm

Work! What about George Jetson? The go west value system we are stuck with these days is almost perfectly incompatible with a future that requires very little human labor.

MyWag , January 9, 2016 at 5:33 pm

Professionals would be the next logical choice of squeezing cost out of work; unions, middle management, big industry, airlines, manufacturing and construction have all paid their price at the alter of the 1%.

Public sector unions are hanging on but as the majority of local & state taxpayers have less to give, these wages, benefits and especially pensions will be cut. Those earning less and less will gleefully pull down those public employees who are 'living like kings'.

I also agree with the concept of there being less for the bottom 90% to spend. And as more automation kicks in, there will be even less bad choice jobs for these folks to scramble for. Just waiting for truck drivers to be slowly replaced with auto-drive trucks.

This leads us to an enhanced confrontation at the Federal level on how to go forward. The earned income tax credit, a good concept also under siege, I believe, will have to be supplemented with a minimum guaranteed income.

By this time, 20 years, the DEMs will be the party of business and the GOP will be entirely dependent on fed govt subsidies. Oh the irony.

Brooklin Bridge , January 10, 2016 at 12:00 pm

By this time 20 years, the GOP will be saying, "I told you so", regarding Global Warming.

Ptup , January 9, 2016 at 6:12 pm

Reading Rise of a The Robots right now, and the law and accounting profession have and will continue to be hurt hard by computers armed with big data, and the education and medical profession are next. Has to be. It's already a travesty that education and medical costs continue to rise as incomes stagnate and drop, and that just cannot continue. Well, maybe it can, until all of those guns out there are used by the people as they rise up. Look at the buffoon who many are considering for the Republican nominee, more out of blind, misinformed anger, than anything. Scary.

RBHoughton , January 9, 2016 at 7:31 pm

" . Prefer a fence at the top of the cliff to an ambulance at the bottom "

You have a delightful way with words Yves. Many thanks.

different clue , January 9, 2016 at 9:19 pm

The rich and the truly rich will always have skilled, artistic human professionals to serve their personally tailored bespoke needs. It is the rest of us who will be assigned the doctorobots, the lawyer machines, etc.

James Koss , January 10, 2016 at 11:13 am

The French phrase "Everything changes and remains the same" remains true today.

Whereas today the top of society has its professionals to isolate and protect them from the remainder of the population and the rules nobility and the church had its knights, nobles, obedient serfs and peasants to fight and protect "their" nobility. Names and titles changed but the rules remained. Those who have will get those who don't will not.

Inverness , January 10, 2016 at 11:29 am

Correct. The same applies in education. The wealthy know what kinds of schools serve their children best: those with better teacher to student ratios, rich arts curricula, and a progressive approach to instruction. Just see what Obama's kids got at their fancy Quaker school. The rest get standardized lesson plans, big class sizes, deep cuts in music and the arts, and high-stakes testing.

They can privatize their lives; we cannot.

Disturbed Voter , January 9, 2016 at 10:42 pm

Part of the "crapification of everything" except for managers and owners, it is part of their cost cutting plan.

Why would you trust a medical system run by politicians and insurance companies a system promoted by those same managers and owners. Like hiring the Three Stooges as your plumber, electrician and roofer. Gullibility will be the death of us that and malice.

First they came for the blue collar workers, and I did nothing? Then they came for the white collar workers, and I did nothing? Now they are coming for the professionals, and they are laughing at my passivity?

They have played all the classes, higher than the one they are currently discarding, and the remaining consumers are happy to throw their neighbors under the bus. But your turn will come. Karma.

flora , January 10, 2016 at 2:19 am

In Oregon some doctors are unionizing to resist medical assembly line medicine.
From NYTimes:

Doctors Unionize to Resist the Medical Machine

"Dr. Alexander and his colleagues say they are in favor of efficiency gains. It's the particular way the hospital has interpreted this mandate that has left them feeling demoralized. If you talk to them for long enough, you get the distinct feeling it is not just their jobs that hang in the balance, but the loss of something much less tangible - the ability of doctors everywhere to exercise their professional judgment."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/10/business/doctors-unionize-to-resist-the-medical-machine.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

digi_owl , January 10, 2016 at 4:12 am

I find myself thinking about an episode of the original Connections series, that was produced in the 70s.

There it was mused about how corporate management would idle their days away waiting for the computer in the basement to crunch the numbers and come up with company decisions they were then to implement.

Instead what happened was that the professional managerial class, the MBAs, dug in while computers instead replaced the laborers via robotics.

Jesper , January 10, 2016 at 6:55 am

Or shorter: The common argument that 'we (by that I mean you) have to become more employable' is about to hit home among the people with long education. Will they recognize the similarity to what has already happened to others and/or will they themselves make themselves more 'employable'?

financial matters , January 10, 2016 at 8:11 am

I think one of the major consequences we are seeing as a result of a misguided professional system is the lack of basic legal services for millions of people. This resulted in people being thrown out of their homes as the result of very obvious fraud and yet having no recourse unless they were able to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees.

I think the popular new series 'Making of a Murderer' emphasizes this problem. I don't think a show that emphasizes the problems that the very poor have with justice from the lack of being able to pay for legal services would have been this popular 10 years ago.

financial matters , January 10, 2016 at 8:17 am

I think this would require a 'single payer' legal system similar to the need for a single payer medical system.

Wade Riddick , January 10, 2016 at 8:53 am

Once corporations start setting guidelines and dictating the drugs you can and can't use for treatment, do you think they'll do it according to what's cost effective and least risky for the patient based on current science or do you think they'll do it based on their own profits?

What happens when they own their own pharmacies – as they're all scrambling to do right now – and try to jack up reimbursement through that unit too? Do you think patients were served when Philidor started (criminally) altering scripts and making substitutions?

For profit healthcare is really sickcare, isn't it? Why cure a disease when treating it brings in more revenue? Why sell cheap human insulin when you can patent a variety on the molecule, jack up the price and carve up the market?

Keep the sucker paying the vig

These guys aren't adopting better guidelines for treating chronic disease based on the best available science. In fact, as they corporatize they're getting worse. I've talked to these clowns. They're typically ten years behind the state of the art in their field. Patients do the reading and then they stare at us like we're morons. Fifteen years later they swear they knew the truth all along.

If these corporate suits are setting the guidelines for care, how come there's no common national board standard for care, no portfolio investment model approach where they model the disease with the best available experts, determine how to intervene in the various genetic pathways that are perturbed and then pick the simplest, cheapest methods/chemicals to try first?

That sounds like a pretty reasonable, scientific approach to treatment – but, if that's your standard, then these people are in breech of fiduciary duty left and right and it all has to do with that old canard "maximizing shareholder value." What about maximizing customer service? Corporate medicine will lead to tobacco-level deaths. I know doctors who have been personally injured in this system already. Corporations want to avoid risk to their profit – *not* their patient. Imagine what *those* mandatory arbitration clauses are going to look like. Imagine what the sequel to _Merchants of Doubt_ will look like in the era of corporate medicine and Supreme Court decisions that bust doctors' unions.

I'm still burning from Peter Thiel's comments on monopolies in the New York Times this morning. Does he have any clue how bad the service is in regional hospital cartels already and how fast prices are rising?

It's not even a matter of price in the drug markets now. It's basic availability. Aside from the persistent shortages of cheap, effective generics due to the kickback scheme in PMOs/PBMs, we now have explicit regulatory interference. The FDA has been moving to withdraw entire lines of medication from compounding pharmacies even when there's no rival big pharma product competing against them or any indication of patient risk. These are decades-old treatments. (It's the CDC's job to set treatment guidelines, by the way, not the FDA's).

It's just a knee-jerk reaction at this point to protect imaginary future profits, I suppose. You can't make up this stuff. The FDA has even imposed a 30% sales volume rule for "safety." It has nothing to do with purity or contamination of compounded products. If Tesla sold exploding cars, how would restricting 30% of their sales volume to California improve consumer safety? It's clearly a market-rigging reg – and it's because the corporate medicine lobby wants it.

What does this have to do with corporate medicine? Compounding pharmacies in big chain hospitals – which are often pitifully narrow in their professional scope – are all magically exempt (oligopolistic and more expensive too). Isn't that wonderful?

The current corporatization of medicine rests on the notion that the chief challenge faced by those of us with serious illnesses is that we simply don't read enough fine print or fill out enough paperwork.

If you think that corporations have done a fine job handling your retirement investments in this era of lax accounting standards, wait until you see what they do with your actual body.

Brooklin Bridge , January 10, 2016 at 1:00 pm

Exceptional comment!

Brooklin Bridge , January 10, 2016 at 12:18 pm

This article is based on the faulty perception that this is all normal benign efficiency working it's way out of an antiquated system, perhaps with a few -to be expected- hiccups. It isn't.

What we are experiencing is wholesale greed and corruption on an international scale working it's way into the core of our civilization like mold or cancer, and perverting technology as well as the process of social change and adjustment to that change – for it's exclusive benefit – as it goes. It is unconscionable that we could call this progress or adjustment in anything but the most cruelly ironic sense.

The shift from reactive to proactive my foot! 60 years ago doctors were getting out proactive messages far better than today via education, television, the media and so on. And they gave a damn!!! Today, insurance companies are devising ever new ways to minimize what they spend on your care, maximize what they charge you for it, and call it, "proactive." Proactive theft, or genocide for fun and profit, would be closer to the mark.

Brooklin Bridge , January 10, 2016 at 12:26 pm

Proactive cannibalism also comes to mind

[Aug 26, 2019] Overshoot The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change

Secular stagnation of the US economy might be parcially driven by high (above $50 per barrel) oil prices. That nessesarity generates high level of unemployment, especially chromic unemployment and "perma-temps".
Apr 08, 2005 | www.amazon.com

Amazon.com

By J. Mann on April 8, 2005

Masterpiece, offers solution for THE problem of our time/div> I am astonished at the quality of this book, which is about the eighth book in a personal reading program that included Paul Roberts' The End of Oil, Kenneth Deffeyes' Beyond Oil, Jared Diamon's Collapse, Cottrell's Energy and Society, Michael Klare's Blood and Oil, and others, all extremely good and relevant books.

The task this author undertakes is to help readers find a new perspective from which to constructively and usefully interpret inevitable and major changes the world around us. By taking this approach, the author is providing the very essential tool we need to cope with these changes.

The issue is our ecological footprint.

Catton uses the term "Age of Exuberance" to represent the time since 1492 when first a newly discovered hemisphere and then the invention of fossil-fuel-driven machines allowed Old-World humans to escape the constraints imposed by a population roughly at earth's carrying capacity, and instead to grow (and philosophize and emote) expansively.

He then reminds us that we are soon to be squeezed by the twin jaws of excessive population and exhausted resources, as our current population is utterly dependent on the mining and burning of fossil energy and its use to exploit earth's resources in general.

In spring 2005, the buzz about "the end of cheap energy" is reaching quite a pitch, and when and if the "peak oil" scenario (or other environmental limit-event) is reached, the impact on our social / political world will be enormous. Already the US is brandishing and using its superior weaponry to sieze control of oil assets; this same kind of desperate struggle may well erupt at all levels of society if we don't find a way to identify the problem, anticipate its consequences, and find solutions.

Catton offers a perspective based on biology / ecology -- not bad, since we are indeed animals in an ecology and we are indeed subject to the iron laws of nature and physics.

With this perspective we can avoid ending up screaming nonsense at each other when changes begin to get scary. My urgent recommendation is, read this G.D. book and do it now.

[Aug 26, 2019] A new assessment of the role of offshoring in the decline in US manufacturing employment

Notable quotes:
"... What has caused the rapid decline in US manufacturing employment in recent decades? This column uses novel data to investigate the role of US multinationals and finds that they were a key driver behind the job losses. Insights from a theoretical framework imply that a reduction in the costs of foreign sourcing led firms to increase offshoring, and to shed labour." [link above] ..."
"... It looks like 'free' trade fundamentalists like Krugman are going to have to revisit their ideology... ..."
"... How pathetic can Democrats get with thier anti-worker policies ..."
"... Late 90's US corporations went whole in to industrializing [extreme low wage] China... FOREX, federal deficits, ignoring the US worker, etc. were in the [sympathetic] mix. There is a chicken, which egg is not important. ..."
"... Personally, I think that Trump is exploiting the distress of the working stiff and not doing anything for him. Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership has shown callous indifference toward the working stiff so Trump gets their votes, because at least he will acknowledge that there's a problem unlike kurt and his ilk. ..."
Aug 26, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH , August 23, 2019 at 03:37 PM

"A new assessment of the role of offshoring in the decline in US manufacturing employment," by Christoph Boehm, Aaron Flaaen, Nitya Pandalai-Nayar 15 August 2019
What has caused the rapid decline in US manufacturing employment in recent decades? This column uses novel data to investigate the role of US multinationals and finds that they were a key driver behind the job losses. Insights from a theoretical framework imply that a reduction in the costs of foreign sourcing led firms to increase offshoring, and to shed labour." [link above]

It looks like 'free' trade fundamentalists like Krugman are going to have to revisit their ideology...

As for kurt, expect him to continue to deny the fact that 'free' trade has cost a significant number of jobs and caused enough economic disruption to tilt the election to Trump in 2016.

Further, expect the Democratic leadership to continue to tout the benefits of 'free' trade without acknowledging its severe adverse effects, both economically and politically. And of course, as long as they never acknowledge the adverse effects, they will never have to address it which will allow Trump to continue to bludgeon them on the issue.

How pathetic can Democrats get with thier anti-worker policies


ilsm -> JohnH... , August 23, 2019 at 04:47 PM
Late 90's US corporations went whole in to industrializing [extreme low wage] China... FOREX, federal deficits, ignoring the US worker, etc. were in the [sympathetic] mix. There is a chicken, which egg is not important.

The US worker lost in the evolutions. Aside from Trump who has tried anything for the US working stiff?

JohnH -> ilsm... , August 23, 2019 at 05:06 PM
Personally, I think that Trump is exploiting the distress of the working stiff and not doing anything for him. Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership has shown callous indifference toward the working stiff so Trump gets their votes, because at least he will acknowledge that there's a problem unlike kurt and his ilk.
ilsm -> JohnH... , August 24, 2019 at 04:39 AM
Like Andrew Jackson taking on Charleston on Nullification?

[Aug 25, 2019] Chronic unemployment should not >lead to despair. It is now a new normal. I recommend Stoicism , which is the way Greeks and Romans coped with their own decline

Notable quotes:
"... It has to be explained that Stoics believe that nothing external to the individual is secure, and thus the truly important thing is virtue, based on ethics and moral. ..."
"... Stoicism is the appropriate philosophy for what awaits us. It brings out the best of us and it eases the anguish. The illusion of control is our worst enemy. Matters are completely out of our control and Nature will deal with them as she pleases. ..."
Jan 09, 2016 | peakoilbarrel.com
Javier , 01/09/2016 at 5:29 am

I wholeheartedly agree that even a cursory look at things reveals the overwhelming scope of things and quickly leads to despair.

It doesn't have to lead to despair. I recommend Stoicism , which is the way Greeks and Romans coped with their own decline.

In the words of Seneca:

"Let Nature deal with matter, which is her own, as she pleases; let us be cheerful and brave in the face of everything, reflecting that it is nothing of our own that perishes." (De Provid. v.8)

It has to be explained that Stoics believe that nothing external to the individual is secure, and thus the truly important thing is virtue, based on ethics and moral. Virtue can not be taken from an individual whatever the circumstances, and helps him deal with adversity. That is what Seneca means with "nothing of our own that perishes" .

Stoicism is the appropriate philosophy for what awaits us. It brings out the best of us and it eases the anguish. The illusion of control is our worst enemy. Matters are completely out of our control and Nature will deal with them as she pleases.

[Aug 25, 2019] In defence of slakerism

Notable quotes:
"... This is probably the most innocuous manner in which your free labor adds to capitalist profit. The remainder of the film is devoted to showing far more sinister examples. ..."
"... We learn about the long hours some engineers working for a Japanese company put in just to keep pace with their workload. The company only decided to take ease up when the employees came in glassy-eyed and groggy in the morning after putting in unpaid overtime through the wee hours of the morning trying to complete a project on time. To make them more productive during normal working hours, the company cut off internet access and electricity after 7 pm. This did not stop the workers desperate to keep pace. They brought flashlights and portable routers with them and kept going. ..."
"... While engineers and computer programmers are notoriously gung-ho, other workers in more alienating occupations took other measures to get off the treadmill, namely suicide. The Japanese called this karoshi , or death by overwork. A restaurant manager forced to work 18 hour days could not take it any longer and jumped out of the upper story window of an office building. ..."
"... To subject workers to the clock's iron rule, it is necessary beforehand to make time-keeping itself an adjunct of the capitalist system. An hourglass is not suited to measuring activity in a 19 th century Manchester textile mill. ..."
"... Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. The time during which the labourer works, is the time during which the capitalist consumes the labour-power he has purchased of him. ..."
"... If the labourer consumes his disposable time for himself, he robs the capitalist. ..."
"... One of the biggest breakthroughs was the time-clock that was invented only five years after the adoption of standard time globally. The two advances in capitalist control meshed together perfectly. Standard time made it possible to regulate global trade and transportation and the time-clock made it possible to regulate the human beings that produced the commodities that steamships and locomotives transported. ..."
"... When I got back to NY, I reported to my job as a database administrator at Goldman-Sachs. There, time equaled money. I wore a beeper and got used to phone calls late at night. I could put up with that but I never got used to fellow programmers glaring at me when I left at 5 pm. Like the Japanese engineers, they had a can-do spirit that came with their identification with a company I hated. Leaving aside my feelings toward the company, I had been in information systems for 20 years at that point and had put in more unpaid overtime over the years than had put in as programmers. I was at the point in life when leisure time meant a lot to me, especially when it was devoted to recruiting engineers and programmers to work in Nicaragua. ..."
"... Amazon warehouse workers are forced to pee in bottles or forego their bathroom breaks entirely because fulfillment demands are too high, according to journalist James Bloodworth, who went undercover as an Amazon worker for his book, Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain . Targets have reportedly increased exponentially, workers say in a new survey revealed over the weekend, and as result, they feel pressured and stressed to meet the new goals. ..."
Aug 25, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

Slaves to the Clock by Louis Proyect As I have pointed out in previous reviews , Icarus, the New York film distributor, is far and away the most important source of anti-capitalist documentaries. In keeping with their commitment to class struggle cinema, "Time Thieves", their latest, hones in on the ways in which the capitalist system makes us slaves to the clock.

When I worked at a Boston bank in the early 70s, I kept Marx's words pinned to my cubicle wall:

The worker therefore only feels himself outside his work, and in his work feels outside himself. He feels at home when he is not working, and when he is working he does not feel at home. His labor is therefore not voluntary, but coerced; it is forced labor. It is therefore not the satisfaction of a need; it is merely a means to satisfy needs external to it.

–Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844

At the start of "Time Thieves", we see people of all ages at leisure enjoying themselves. After a minute or so, we see another cross-section of humanity trudging off to work or to school as narrator Sarah Davidson comments: "Under capitalism, time has become a resource with a huge economic value. And those profiting from it want as much of our time as possible. They even steal it from us."

Director Cosima Dannoritzer begins by showing the chaos that ensues when a new restaurant billed as completely staff-less opens up. Patrons save money by preparing the meals themselves, going one step further than the automats that enjoyed a heyday in the 30s through the 50s. In the kitchen, it is a miracle that those conned into trying this out did not lose a finger or suffer third-degree burns. I say conned because we soon learn that a restaurant workers union staged the whole thing to illustrate the importance of having trained professionals doing the work.

While this is an extreme case, how far are we from Jeff Bezos's automated version of Whole Foods when all you need is a smartphone and the willingness to do the work that clerks usually do but without pay? I got my first taste of this workerless future when I went to see Tarantino's latest at a multiplex on West 23 rd Street. There were only ticket-dispensing machines in the lobby that looked like ATMs. It might have saved me standing in a line to buy a ticket but I wasn't getting paid for my labor, as minimal as it was.

This is probably the most innocuous manner in which your free labor adds to capitalist profit. The remainder of the film is devoted to showing far more sinister examples.

We learn about the long hours some engineers working for a Japanese company put in just to keep pace with their workload. The company only decided to take ease up when the employees came in glassy-eyed and groggy in the morning after putting in unpaid overtime through the wee hours of the morning trying to complete a project on time. To make them more productive during normal working hours, the company cut off internet access and electricity after 7 pm. This did not stop the workers desperate to keep pace. They brought flashlights and portable routers with them and kept going.

While engineers and computer programmers are notoriously gung-ho, other workers in more alienating occupations took other measures to get off the treadmill, namely suicide. The Japanese called this karoshi , or death by overwork. A restaurant manager forced to work 18 hour days could not take it any longer and jumped out of the upper story window of an office building.

We meet immigrant poultry workers in the USA who were in constant surveillance every minute on the job, including being seen on CCTV on their way to a bathroom, where their minutes were closely monitored. This was part of a production system that was engineered to keep both workers and the animals they slaughtered as tightly controlled as those in Fritz Lang's "Metropolis", a film way ahead of its time.

To subject workers to the clock's iron rule, it is necessary beforehand to make time-keeping itself an adjunct of the capitalist system. An hourglass is not suited to measuring activity in a 19 th century Manchester textile mill.

Among the experts, we hear from in this eye-opening documentary is Robert Levine, the author of "A Geography of Time". He points out that standard time did not exist until 1883. Different cities had their own timeframes. This did not matter much to those living in a particular city but as cross-country or cross-oceanic transportation systems became the norm as capitalism developed, it was an obstacle to predictable and efficient outcomes. In one case, a train departing from Chicago crashed into one departing from New York on a section of track that only allowed one-way traffic coordinated through telegraph communications. In one particularly bad year, there were 180 such crashes. As part of the film's narrative power, we see archival footage of the aftermath of one.

Eventually, there was a recognition that time had to be standardized globally. The Eiffel Tower beamed a signal that the day had started at 12:00 am globally and local participants in this system recorded it on a "time ball" that was visible throughout a city. You can see still one at the Titanic Memorial, a lighthouse at the intersection of Fulton and Pearl in lower Manhattan.

Today, time management is done through atomic clocks that are accurate to the millionth of a second.

In Chapter 10 of Capital, titled "The Working Day", Marx describes the importance of controlling the time workers spent in the hellish textile mills of his age.

Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. The time during which the labourer works, is the time during which the capitalist consumes the labour-power he has purchased of him.

If the labourer consumes his disposable time for himself, he robs the capitalist.

As the decades advanced from the time Marx wrote these words, the bourgeoisie invested heavily in "scientific" methods that could sharpen the fangs of the vampire.

One of the biggest breakthroughs was the time-clock that was invented only five years after the adoption of standard time globally. The two advances in capitalist control meshed together perfectly. Standard time made it possible to regulate global trade and transportation and the time-clock made it possible to regulate the human beings that produced the commodities that steamships and locomotives transported.

The bosses were always looking for ways to make workers even more like robots. It was up to Frank and Lilian Gilbreth to come up with methods that have become universal in mass production today, even to the point of making Amazon warehouse workers feel like they are in the 9 th circle of hell. They were "efficiency experts" whose research into time-motion resulted in productivity gains for the boss even if it left workers with carpal tunnel syndrome, shattered nerves, bloody accidents and all the rest. The Gilbreths only hoped to reduce extraneous motions through ergonomically designed workspaces but the capitalists who introduced their methods never considered the need for allowing the workers to carry out a task in a reasonable amount of time. If you've seen Charlie Chaplin walking maniacally down the street with a monkey wrench in each hand trying to tighten the buttons on a woman's dress in "Modern Times", you'll get an idea of the effects that time-motion studies can produce.

I am sure that if you see "Time Thieves", you'll be reminded of how these things come into play wherever you live. In the late 1980s, I made a couple of trips to Nicaragua to do a needs assessment for Tecnica, the technical aid project to aid the Sandinistas. If we set up a meeting for a ministry official at 10 am, we'd understand that they might be operating on "Nicaraguan time", which meant they might show up at 10:15 or even later. They never apologized since that was the way things worked in Nicaragua, where time-motion studies, time-clocks, etc. never came into play in an agricultural society. Once the meeting started, however, they were as serious as a heart attack as Michael Urmann, the founder of Tecnica, used to say.

When I got back to NY, I reported to my job as a database administrator at Goldman-Sachs. There, time equaled money. I wore a beeper and got used to phone calls late at night. I could put up with that but I never got used to fellow programmers glaring at me when I left at 5 pm. Like the Japanese engineers, they had a can-do spirit that came with their identification with a company I hated. Leaving aside my feelings toward the company, I had been in information systems for 20 years at that point and had put in more unpaid overtime over the years than had put in as programmers. I was at the point in life when leisure time meant a lot to me, especially when it was devoted to recruiting engineers and programmers to work in Nicaragua.

In 1967, E.P. Thompson wrote an article for the journal "Past and Present" titled " Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism " that thankfully can be read here. It provides a sweeping historical overview on how we ended up on this treadmill.

To start with, pre-class societies had a different understanding of time that we do. The Nuers of Ethiopia, a nomadic cattle-raising people, have a "cattle clock", the round of pastoral tasks that define their day. The Nandi people of Kenya, who also are nomadic cattle-raisers, break down their day into half-hours with 5-5:30 am understood as when oxen go off to graze, 7-7:30 am for the goats going to graze, etc. The Cross River natives of Nigeria were reported to say things like "the man died in less than the time in which maize is not yet completely roasted." (Less than 15 minutes).

Fast forward to the 18 th century and everything has changed, at least where the peasants have been turned into proletarians as a result of the Enclosure Act or, in Africa, simply forcing men and women into mines and plantations at gunpoint.

In England, it was where time thievery was most advanced. The man who owned Crowley Iron Works found it necessary in 1700 to write a 100,000-word in-house penal code to keep the workers in line.

From Order 40:

I having by sundry people working by the day with the connivence of the clerks been horribly cheated and paid for much more time than in good conscience I ought and such hath been the baseness & treachery of sundry clerks that they have concealed the sloath & negligence of those paid by the day .

From Order 103:

Some have pretended a sort of right to loyter, thinking by their readiness and ability to do sufficient in less time than others. Others have been so foolish to think bare attendance without being imployed in business is sufficient . Others so impudent as to glory in their villany and upbrade others for their diligence .

To the end that sloath and villany should be detected and the just and diligent rewarded, I have thought meet to create an account of time by a Monitor, and do order and it is hereby ordered and declared from 5 to 8 and from 7 to Io is fifteen hours, out of which take i? for breakfast, dinner, etc. There will then be thirteen hours and a half neat service .

Not much has changed by the evidence of the Amazon warehouse:

Amazon warehouse workers are forced to pee in bottles or forego their bathroom breaks entirely because fulfillment demands are too high, according to journalist James Bloodworth, who went undercover as an Amazon worker for his book, Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain . Targets have reportedly increased exponentially, workers say in a new survey revealed over the weekend, and as result, they feel pressured and stressed to meet the new goals.

"Time Thieves" is essential viewing to understand how all this came to pass. Currently, the film is being marketed to institutions like universities and libraries according to Icarus . I urge those in a position to make such a purchase to do so since the film will be of great value to sociology and political science students trying to develop a class analysis of a society turned to rot. Perhaps the film will become available eventually on Ovid , a consortium of distributors of such films that includes Icarus. Ovid is a very reasonably priced streaming service for documentaries, foreign-language films and indie productions that would be of keen interest to CounterPunchers. I have reviewed many of the films that can be rented there over the years and couldn't recommend them more highly. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Louis Proyect

Louis Proyect blogs at http://louisproyect.org and is the moderator of the Marxism mailing list. In his spare time, he reviews films for CounterPunch.

[Aug 25, 2019] Back then Allyssa Milano and others were telling us that we must believe all women (so now guilty until proven innocent), but those same women have been completely silent when one of Epstein's accusers said she was forced to have sex with Bill Richardson (D) and George Mitchell (D), both of whom denied the allegations.

Aug 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

Amanda , says: August 24, 2019 at 10:47 pm GMT

@Paul Tarsus Good question. Others have asked the same thing:

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/08/22/the-missing-howls-of-denunciation-over-major-sex-trafficking/

I've always wondered if the whole MeToo movement was orchestrated by a hidden hand–same for those horrible pussy hats they came out with after Trump was elected.

It seemed like the MeToo was weaponized and ready to go when Kavanaugh was nominated (and I'm not a fan–he's connected to Bush and the Patriot Act). They brought out Dr. Chrissy Fraud and Julie Swetnick (who seemed quite mentally unstable with her accusations that Kavanaugh was connected to gang rape parties). Back then Allyssa Milano and others were telling us that we must believe all women (so now guilty until proven innocent), but those same women have been completely silent when one of Epstein's accusers said she was forced to have sex with Bill Richardson (D) and George Mitchell (D), both of whom denied the allegations. And, of course, such accusations were barely mentioned in the MSM.

[Aug 24, 2019] DoJ 64% Of All Federal Arrests In 2018 Were Non-Citizens

Aug 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Non-citizens accounted for 64 percent of all federal arrests in 2018, according to new data released on Aug. 22 by the Justice Department. The surge was driven largely by immigration -crime arrests, which have soared to the highest level in at least two decades.

Federal authorities conducted 108,667 arrests for immigration crimes in 2018, up more than five times from the 20,942 arrests in 1998. Immigration arrests accounted for 95 percent of the total increase in the number of federal arrests over the past 20 years, the data shows.

That data also shows a flip in the percentage of arrests of noncitizens compared to arrests of U.S. citizens. In 1998, arrests of citizens accounted for 63 percent of the total arrests. By 2018, arrests of noncitizens had grown to 64 percent of the total.

In a press release accompanying the data, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) noted that while noncitizens accounted for 7 percent of the U.S. population, they committed 24 percent of all federal drug arrests, 25 percent of all federal property arrests, and 28 percent of all federal fraud arrests.

... ... ...

In terms of prosecutions, more than 78 percent of noncitizens were prosecuted for illegal reentry, alien smuggling, and misuse of visas. The most common prosecutions of noncitizens outside of immigration-related offense dealt with drugs, at 13 percent of the total, and fraud, at 4 percent.


cynicalskeptic , 1 hour ago link

a 95 % increase in immigration arrests.... they were getting arrested for BEING illegal immigrants, right?

so....that 64% of all Federal arrests statistic comes from arresting 'non-citizens' BECAUSE they were not citizens.

really a bogus statistical mash-up....

the question should be:

What percentage of serious crime is committed by non-citizens?

Faeriedust , 4 hours ago link

Weall, they say it right out. 78% of those noncitizen arrests were for illegal immigration, a "victimless" crime. Most prosecutions for robbery, murder, rape, assault, and even drug trafficking are prosecuted under state laws. They'd only move it to federal court specifically because non-citizens or cross-border activity was involved. So what this really says is, "Hey, folks. Trump is actually enforcing immigration laws." That's it. The only crimes that foreigners really commit more than citizens are immigration violations. That and, historically, organized criminal gangs have used connections in other countries, whether Mexico or Sicily, to escape American justice and facilitate smuggling of whatever's profitable.

Expendable Container , 4 hours ago link

'Mexico or Sicily'

Hey you forgot to mention safe haven Israel and the international Jewish Mafia (that call the Sicilian mafia 'the MICKY MOUSE MAFIA').

HyperboreanWind , 5 hours ago link

Fits the demographics of the invasion.

US: Noncitizens Commit Crime At 2.5X Their Population Share (2018)

"At least 21 percent of people convicted of non-immigration crimes in the United States between 2011 and 2016 were non-citizens -- 2.5 times their share of the population, a new study has shown."

http://newobserveronline.com/non-us-citizens-commit-crime-at-2-5x-their-population-share/

... ... ...

HyperboreanWind , 5 hours ago link

Not yet.

High Numbers Of Indian Nationals Crossing Into US At Southern Border (2019)

"In the 2018 fiscal year, 8,997 people from India were apprehended at the Southwest border -- more than triple the number from the year before, when 2,943 Indian migrants were apprehended."

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/14/us/border-migrants-india/index.html

Arab Living In Mexico Smuggles 6 Yemenis Into US Via Southern Border (2018)

https://www.judicialwatch.org/corruption-chronicles/arab-living-in-mexico-smuggles-6-yemenis-into-u-s-via-southern-border/

[Aug 23, 2019] Nobody here wants to hire an over 60 IT worker

Notable quotes:
"... I am lucky in that I lived very frugally my whole life as I have always feared what was coming, and what in my opinion has now come. I am retired, and have been for over 4 years, but not by choice. ..."
"... For me, the misery index is High. I am lucky that I am not in danger of homelessness, but I have to be very careful about what I spend as prices keep going up and up and most things I consume. Meaning, food, utilities, taxes, etc. These days food doesn't go up by cents, but rather usually a dollar at a time. Carrots at my local Costco just went from $6.99 to $7.99 for example. ..."
"... I think that for everyone but the top 10%, the Misery Index is High ..."
Aug 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

BoulderMike , , August 23, 2019 at 4:19 pm

From just outside Boulder, CO: John Edwards said "there are two Americas". I am thinking he was more than correct, but that it should be 4 Americas: the top ,1%, the rest of the top 10%, the people who were prudent and saved and are older who are suffering but still can afford to live, and the truly poor who can't come up with $400 in an emergency, which would include the homeless. I am lucky in that I lived very frugally my whole life as I have always feared what was coming, and what in my opinion has now come. I am retired, and have been for over 4 years, but not by choice. Nobody here wants to hire an over 60 IT worker.

I measure the "economy" and the it's health by what I refer to as the "misery index". It isn't measured in numbers but rather in how one feels about their life and the world around them. For me, the misery index is High. I am lucky that I am not in danger of homelessness, but I have to be very careful about what I spend as prices keep going up and up and most things I consume. Meaning, food, utilities, taxes, etc. These days food doesn't go up by cents, but rather usually a dollar at a time. Carrots at my local Costco just went from $6.99 to $7.99 for example.

I think that for everyone but the top 10%, the Misery Index is High . But, around here, it is I believe one of the more affluent areas of the country. People are buying up $1.5 million dollar houses like crazy, and tearing down $1 million dollar old houses to build new custom houses. Tesla's and Mercedes are everywhere. Google has taken over Boulder and the young Tech workers are numerous. My little town of about 10,000 people is building new homes on every square inch of available land. They are talking about another 500 new homes of close to a million dollars to well over a million dollars. Traffic is outrageous, and bad air pollution days seem to be more and more numerous these days.

So, "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times". Depends on who you are.

I think though that we are in the midst of a class war. The racial issues we are experiencing are to distract people and divide people. Divide people on race, divide people on age, divide people on ideology. No matter what, just divide people so while the common "man" is fighting each other, the rich plunder more and more.
Finally, from my perspective, as a student of history, especially Nazi Germany, and Russia under Stalin, I am more and more frightened each day by the acceptance of the Trump rhetoric. It is messianic and dangerous.

[Aug 23, 2019] The USA likely absorbed around 44 million immigrants from 2010 to 2017

Aug 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Kurtismayfield , August 23, 2019 at 4:15 pm

That NYT article is not for the proles.. it is for the ten percent. They want their hairdressers, lawn maintenance, nannies, and home health aides to make $10 an hour. It is better for them to have a lower class pool of people's to do this work. This is why the author didn't question the "$10-12 an hour for a CNA" statement. He/she wants that cheap labor for themselves.

marym , August 23, 2019 at 4:23 pm

Typo in the text for your link s/b 44.5 million. The report makes a further adjustment for illegal immigrants to obtain a total of "likely 46.4 million" immigrants. Then, from your link:

Between 2010 and 2017, 9.5 million new immigrants settled in the United States. New arrivals are offset by roughly 320,000 immigrants who return home each year and natural mortality of about 2ha90,000 annually among the existing immigrant population.2 As a result, growth in the immigrant population was 4.6 million from 2010 to 2017.

So net average about 12.6K per week, though the detail shows numbers increasing over the time span.

As far as "overloading the social systems, welfare and finances" it would be helpful to see some detail. There are often studies showing factors like the overall contribution of immigrant labor to the economy, and comparative immigrant uses of social services which illustrate these issues, pro and con. For example, a recently proposed change would make it more difficult for military veterans to obtain a green cards for themselves and their families if they had accepted public benefits, though some would argue that military service is a valuable contribution to the country.

A key consideration for me is that there are powerful politicians, and those who vote for them, who favor even the most inhumane versions of gutting or ending immigration who also favor gutting or eliminating social programs and workers rights for non-immigrants.

Monty , August 23, 2019 at 8:19 pm

facts schmacts!

Don't an overestimate in the order of magnitude interfere with our shared fight against The Others!

NotReallyHere , August 23, 2019 at 6:17 pm

This is NOT about immigration. Get the terms right and you can see the problem clearly. Allow others to define the vocabulary and you get the mess we are in where illegally trafficked, quasi-slaves are lumped together with legal immigrants.

The difference is rights. A legal immigrant has the right to a minimum wage, safe working conditions, a vote and all of the other protections afforded a native born citizen. And guess what, both government and corporations work hard to make legal immigration difficult. It costs thousands of dollars, takes years and if, at any time throughout that period you, or – more likely your now teenaged kid – makes a mistake involving law enforcement, then YOURROUT.

On the other hand we have human traffickers trawling around Guatemala, Nicaragua and probably rural Mexico selling the American dream for your teenage son. And all you have to do to get him trafficked to a life of luxury working fifteen hours a day in a battery chicken shed for 4 bucks an hour .. is to give over the deeds of your Guatemalan shack. So if kiddo doesn't work hard enough or, heaven forfend, says forget this and bails, then you're all homeless.

Get the difference?

anon in so cal , August 23, 2019 at 6:35 pm

Yes, "get the difference."

Unfortunately, open borders proponents are partly to blame for the terminological murkiness.
Pro illegal immigration advocates typically use slogans affirming the value of immigrants and immigration. They correctly note that immigrants make the country great, etc. No argument there. But they use these slogans and line of argumentation to advocate for illegal immigration. They deliberately conflate the two processes of legal and illegal immigration.

Summer , August 23, 2019 at 7:09 pm

"The difference is rights. A legal immigrant has the right to a minimum wage, safe working conditions, a vote and all of the other protections afforded a native born citizen "

They..the legal immigrants also often enjoy protections from their original country and dual citizenship. They have an escape route

Leaving the US citizen ass out with ZERO protections.

Carey , August 23, 2019 at 7:16 pm

"..Leaving the US citizen ass out with ZERO protections."

Thank you!

GERMO , August 23, 2019 at 7:45 pm

Just, ugh, to seeing rightwing talking point anti-immigrant comment thread on NC. Sorry. Thanks to anyone attempting to correct the stirring-up-of-reactionary-resentments with some critical thinking. Right now, I can't even.

Monty , August 23, 2019 at 8:21 pm

Superb satire!

NotReallyHere , August 23, 2019 at 7:57 pm

That's fair, but you pay taxes at full rate with no rights for a decade, then you pay thousands in legal fees to keep your legal status correct and you can't leave the job your in till you get the green card – which can take years.

The "right" to go back to your own country" is indeed true. But now you have American kids and likely/eventually American grandkids who know nothing of your "old country" – which is itself unrecognizable from when you lived there – and maybe that "right" is less valuable than you think.

Anyway, my aim was to point out the difference between a legal, organized system of immigration and a cynical nasty system of wage suppression using quasi- slavery. They are different things and conflating them serves to hide what is going on

[Aug 22, 2019] BOLD ENDEAVORS Lessons from Polar and Space Exploration

Notable quotes:
"... A lesson of use at job interviews, schools and even in families. I am thankful for an added knowledge and understanding of the many problems associated with these Endeavors. This book should be a "must" to all young people. ..."
Oct 16, 1999 | Amazon.com
Britta Sahlgren, October 16, 1999
An intriguing story of human relationships in the extreme.

Bold Endeavors by Jack Stuster proved to be a real page-turner! Since childhood reading about adventures and explorers had been my favorite literature. In this book the persons behind these endeavors came to life.

They were of flesh and blood and you as a reader took part of their everyday life, their hardships and personal problems. A thrilling experience. A lesson in the importance of relationships not only among people in isolation

A lesson of use at job interviews, schools and even in families. I am thankful for an added knowledge and understanding of the many problems associated with these Endeavors. This book should be a "must" to all young people.

[Aug 22, 2019] https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-purpose-of-life-is-not-happiness-it-s-usefulness

Aug 22, 2019 | getpocket.com

Advertisement

Pocket Worthy

·

Stories to fuel your mind. The Purpose Of Life Is Not Happiness: It's Usefulness Happiness as an achievable goal is an illusion, but that doesn't mean happiness itself is not attainable. Darius Foroux

For the longest time, I believed that there's only one purpose of life: And that is to be happy.

Right? Why else go through all the pain and hardship? It's to achieve happiness in some way.

And I'm not the only person who believed that. In fact, if you look around you, most people are pursuing happiness in their lives.

That's why we collectively buy shit we don't need, go to bed with people we don't love, and try to work hard to get approval of people we don't like.

Why do we do these things? To be honest, I don't care what the exact reason is. I'm not a scientist. All I know is that it has something to do with history, culture, media, economy, psychology, politics, the information era, and you name it. The list is endless.

We are who are.

Let's just accept that. Most people love to analyze why people are not happy or don't live fulfilling lives. I don't necessarily care about the why .

I care more about how we can change.

Just a few short years ago, I did everything to chase happiness.

But at the end of the day, you're lying in your bed (alone or next to your spouse), and you think: "What's next in this endless pursuit of happiness?"

Well, I can tell you what's next: You, chasing something random that you believe makes you happy.

It's all a façade. A hoax. A story that's been made up.

Did Aristotle lie to us when he said:

"Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence."

I think we have to look at that quote from a different angle. Because when you read it, you think that happiness is the main goal. And that's kind of what the quote says as well.

But here's the thing: How do you achieve happiness?

Happiness can't be a goal in itself. Therefore, it's not something that's achievable.

I believe that happiness is merely a byproduct of usefulness.

When I talk about this concept with friends, family, and colleagues, I always find it difficult to put this into words. But I'll give it a try here.

Most things we do in life are just activities and experiences.

Those things should make you happy, right? But they are not useful. You're not creating anything. You're just consuming or doing something. And that's great.

Don't get me wrong. I love to go on holiday, or go shopping sometimes. But to be honest, it's not what gives meaning to life.

What really makes me happy is when I'm useful. When I create something that others can use. Or even when I create something I can use.

For the longest time I foud it difficult to explain the concept of usefulness and happiness. But when I recently ran into a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, the dots connected.

Emerson says:

"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."

And I didn't get that before I became more conscious of what I'm doing with my life. And that always sounds heavy and all. But it's actually really simple.

It comes down to this: What are you DOING that's making a difference?

Did you do useful things in your lifetime? You don't have to change the world or anything. Just make it a little bit better than you were born.

If you don't know how, here are some ideas.

That's just some stuff I like to do. You can make up your own useful activities.

You see? It's not anything big. But when you do little useful things every day, it adds up to a life that is well lived. A life that mattered.

The last thing I want is to be on my deathbed and realize there's zero evidence that I ever existed.

Recently I read Not Fade Away by Laurence Shames and Peter Barton. It's about Peter Barton, the founder of Liberty Media, who shares his thoughts about dying from cancer.

It's a very powerful book and it will definitely bring tears to your eyes. In the book, he writes about how he lived his life and how he found his calling. He also went to business school, and this is what he thought of his fellow MBA candidates:

"Bottom line: they were extremely bright people who would never really anything, would never add much to society, would leave no legacy behind. I found this terribly sad, in the way that wasted potential is always sad."

You can say that about all of us. And after he realized that in his thirties, he founded a company that turned him into a multi-millionaire.

Another person who always makes himself useful is Casey Neistat . I've been following him for a year and a half now, and every time I watch his YouTube show , he's doing something.

He also talks about how he always wants to do and create something. He even has a tattoo on his forearm that says "Do More."

Most people would say, "why would you work more?" And then they turn on Netflix and watch back to back episodes of Daredevil.

A different mindset.

Being useful is a mindset. And like with any mindset, it starts with a decision. One day I woke up and thought to myself: What am I doing for this world? The answer was nothing.

And that same day I started writing. For you it can be painting, creating a product, helping elderly, or anything you feel like doing.

Don't take it too seriously. Don't overthink it. Just DO something that's useful. Anything.

Darius Foroux writes about productivity, habits, decision making, and personal finance. His ideas and work have been featured in TIME, NBC, Fast Company, Inc., Observer, and many more publications. Join his free weekly newsletter.

Advertisement

Darius Foroux

More from Darius Foroux

Advertisement

This article was originally published on October 3, 2016, by Darius Foroux, and is republished here with permission. Darius Foroux writes about productivity, habits, decision making, and personal finance.

Join his newsletter.

Advertisement


[Aug 21, 2019] Losing a job in your 50s is especially tough. Here are 3 steps to take when layoffs happen by Peter Dunn

Unemployment benefits currently are usually is just six month or so; this is the time when you can plan you "downsizing". You do not need to rush but at the same time do not expect that you will get job offers quickly, if at all. Usually it does not happen. many advertised positions are fakes, another substantial percentage is already reserved for H1B candidates and posting them is the necessary legal formality.
Often losing job logically requires selling your home and moving to a modest apartment, especially if no children are living with you. At 50 it is abut time... You need to do it later anyway, so why not now. But that's a very tough decision to make... Still, if the current housing market is close to the top (as it is in 2019), this is one of the best moves you can make. Getting from your house several hundred thousand dollars allows you to create kind of private pension to compensate for losses in income till you hit your Social Security check, which currently means 66.
$300K investment in A quality bonds that returns 3% per year is enough to provides you with $24K per year "private pension" from 50 to age of 66 when social security kicks in. That allows you to pay for the apartment and amenities. The food is extra but with this level of income you qualify for food assistance.
This way you can take lower paid job, of much lower paid job (which mean $15 per hour), of temp job and survive.
And if this are many form you house sell your 401k remains intact and can supplement your SS income later on. Simple Excel spreadsheet can provide you with a complete picture of what you can afford and what not. Actually the ability to walk of fresh air for 3 or more hours each day worth a lot of money ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... Losing a job in your 50s is a devastating moment, especially if the job is connected to a long career ripe with upward mobility. As a frequent observer of this phenomenon, it's as scary and troublesome as unchecked credit card debt or an expensive chronic health condition. This is one of the many reasons why I believe our 50s can be the most challenging decade of our lives. ..."
"... The first thing you should do is identify the exact day your job income stops arriving ..."
"... Next, and by next I mean five minutes later, explore your eligibility for unemployment benefits, and then file for them if you're able. ..."
"... Grab your bank statement, a marker, and a calculator. As much as you want to pretend its business as usual, you shouldn't. Identify expenses that don't make sense if you don't have a job. Circle them. Add them up. Resolve to eliminate them for the time being, and possibly permanently. While this won't necessarily lengthen your fuse, it could lessen the severity of a potential boom. ..."
Feb 15, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

... ... ...

Losing a job in your 50s is a devastating moment, especially if the job is connected to a long career ripe with upward mobility. As a frequent observer of this phenomenon, it's as scary and troublesome as unchecked credit card debt or an expensive chronic health condition. This is one of the many reasons why I believe our 50s can be the most challenging decade of our lives.

Assuming you can clear the mental challenges, the financial and administrative obstacles can leave you feeling like a Rube Goldberg machine.

Income, health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, bills, expenses, short-term savings and retirement savings are all immediately important in the face of a job loss. Never mind your Parent PLUS loans, financially-dependent aging parents, and boomerang children (adult kids who live at home), which might all be lurking as well.

When does your income stop?

From the shocking moment a person learns their job is no longer their job, the word "triage" must flash in bright lights like an obnoxiously large sign in Times Square. This is more challenging than you might think. Like a pickpocket bumping into you right before he grabs your wallet, the distraction is the problem that takes your focus away from the real problem.

This is hard to do because of the emotion that arrives with the dirty deed. The mind immediately begins to race to sources of money and relief. And unfortunately that relief is often found in the wrong place.

The first thing you should do is identify the exact day your job income stops arriving . That's how much time you have to defuse the bomb. Your fuse may come in the form of a severance package, or work you've performed but haven't been paid for yet.

When do benefits kick in?

Next, and by next I mean five minutes later, explore your eligibility for unemployment benefits, and then file for them if you're able. However, in some states severance pay affects your immediate eligibility for unemployment benefits. In other words, you can't file for unemployment until your severance payments go away.

Assuming you can't just retire at this moment, which you likely can't, you must secure fresh employment income quickly. But quickly is relative to the length of your fuse. I've witnessed way too many people miscalculate the length and importance of their fuse. If you're able to get back to work quickly, the initial job loss plus severance ends up enhancing your financial life. If you take too much time, by your choice or that of the cosmos, boom.

The next move is much more hands-on, and must also be performed the day you find yourself without a job.

What nonessentials do I cut?

Grab your bank statement, a marker, and a calculator. As much as you want to pretend its business as usual, you shouldn't. Identify expenses that don't make sense if you don't have a job. Circle them. Add them up. Resolve to eliminate them for the time being, and possibly permanently. While this won't necessarily lengthen your fuse, it could lessen the severity of a potential boom.

The idea of diving into your spending habits on the day you lose your job is no fun. But when else will you have such a powerful reason to do so? You won't. It's better than dipping into your assets to fund your current lifestyle. And that's where we'll pick it up the next time.

We've covered day one. In my next column we will tackle day two and beyond.

Peter Dunn is an author, speaker and radio host, and he has a free podcast: "Million Dollar Plan." Have a question for Pete the Planner? Email him at AskPete@petetheplanner.com. The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.

[Aug 20, 2019] Trump Promised Massive Infrastructure Projects -- Instead We ve Gotten Nothing>

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... So far, that wager has netted Americans nothing. No money. No deal. No bridges, roads or leadless water pipes. And there's nothing on the horizon since Trump stormed out of the most recent meeting. That was a three-minute session in May with Democratic leaders at which Trump was supposed to discuss the $2 trillion he had proposed earlier to spend on infrastructure. In a press conference immediately afterward, Trump said if the Democrats continued to investigate him, he would refuse to keep his promises to the American people to repair the nation's infrastructure. ..."
"... Candidate Donald Trump knew it was no joke. On the campaign trail, he said U.S. infrastructure was "a mess" and no better than that of a "third-world country. " When an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in 2015, killing eight and injuring about 200 , he tweeted , "Our roads, airports, tunnels, bridges, electric grid -- all falling apart." Later, he tweeted , "The only one to fix the infrastructure of our country is me." ..."
"... Donald Trump promised to make America great again. And that wouldn't be possible if America's rail system, locks, dams and pipelines -- that is, its vital organs -- were "a mess." Trump signed what he described as a contract with American voters to deliver an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his administration. ..."
"... He mocked his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton's proposal to spend $275 billion. "Her number is a fraction of what we're talking about. We need much more money to rebuild our infrastructure," he told Fox News in 2016 . "I would say at least double her numbers, and you're going to really need a lot more than that." ..."
"... In August of 2016, he promised , "We will build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, seaports and airports that our country deserves. American cars will travel the roads, American planes will connect our cities, and American ships will patrol the seas. American steel will send new skyscrapers soaring. We will put new American metal into the spine of this nation." ..."
"... That contract Trump signed with American voters to produce an infrastructure plan in the first 100 days: worthless. It never happened. He gave Americans an Infrastructure Week in June of 2017, though, and at just about the 100-day mark, predicted infrastructure spending would "take off like a rocket ship." Two more Infrastructure Weeks followed in the next two years, but no money. ..."
"... This year, by which time the words Infrastructure Week had become a synonym for promises not kept, Trump met on April 30 with top Democratic leaders and recommended a $2 trillion infrastructure investment. Democrats praised Trump afterward for taking the challenge seriously and for agreeing to find the money. ..."
"... Almost immediately, Trump began complaining that Democrats were trying to hoodwink him into raising taxes to pay for the $2 trillion he had offered to spend. ..."
"... Trump and the Republicans relinquished one way to pay for infrastructure when they passed a tax cut for the rich and corporations in December of 2017. As a result, the rich and corporations pocketed hundreds of billions -- $1 trillion over 10 years -- and Trump doesn't have that money to invest in infrastructure. Corporations spent their tax break money on stock buybacks, further enriching the already rich. They didn't invest in American manufacturing or worker training or wage increases. ..."
"... I have seen this movie before. A State builds a highway, it then leases that highway to a corporation for a bucket of cash which it uses to bribe the electorate to win the next election or two. The corporation shoves brand new toll booths on the highway charging sky high rates which puts a crimp in local economic activity. After the lease is up after twenty years, the State gets to take over the highway again to find that the corporation cut back on maintenance so that the whole highway has to be rebuilt again. Rinse and repeat. ..."
"... Promises by any narcissist mean nothing. You cannot hang your hat on any word that Trump speaks, because it's not about you or anyone else, but about him and only him. ..."
"... Here is a heads up. If any infrastructure is done it will be airports. The elite fly and couldn't give a crap about the suspension and wheel destroying potholes we have to slalom around every day. They also don't care that the great unwashed waste thousands of hours stuck in traffic when a bridge is closed or collapses. ..."
Jul 26, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. In a bit of synchronicity, when a reader was graciously driving me to the Department of Motor Vehicles (a schlepp in the wilds of Shelby County), she mentioned she'd heard local media reports that trucks had had their weight limits lowered due to concern that some overpasses might not be able to handle the loads. Of course, a big reason infrastructure spending has plunged in the US is that it's become an excuse for "public-private partnerships," aka looting, when those deals take longer to get done and produce bad results so often that locals can sometimes block them.

By Tom Conway, the international president of the United Steelworkers Union (USW) . Produced by the Independent Media Institute

Bad news about infrastructure is as ubiquitous as potholes. Failures in a 108-year-old railroad bridge and tunnel cost New York commuters thousands of hours in delays. Illinois doesn't regularly inspect , let alone fix, decaying bridges. Flooding in Nebraska caused nearly half a billion dollars in road and bridge damage -- just this year.

No problem, though. President Donald Trump promised to fix all this. The great dealmaker, the builder of eponymous buildings, the star of "The Apprentice," Donald Trump, during his campaign, urged Americans to bet on him because he'd double what his opponent would spend on infrastructure. Double, he pledged!

So far, that wager has netted Americans nothing. No money. No deal. No bridges, roads or leadless water pipes. And there's nothing on the horizon since Trump stormed out of the most recent meeting. That was a three-minute session in May with Democratic leaders at which Trump was supposed to discuss the $2 trillion he had proposed earlier to spend on infrastructure. In a press conference immediately afterward, Trump said if the Democrats continued to investigate him, he would refuse to keep his promises to the American people to repair the nation's infrastructure.

The comedian Stephen Colbert described the situation best, saying Trump told the Democrats: "It's my way or no highways."

The situation, however, is no joke. Just ask the New York rail commuters held up for more than 2,000 hours over the past four years by bridge and tunnel breakdowns. Just ask the American Society of Civil Engineers , which gave the nation a D+ grade for infrastructure and estimated that if more than $1 trillion is not added to currently anticipated spending on infrastructure, "the economy is expected to lose almost $4 trillion in GDP , resulting in a loss of 2.5 million jobs in 2025."

Candidate Donald Trump knew it was no joke. On the campaign trail, he said U.S. infrastructure was "a mess" and no better than that of a "third-world country. " When an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia in 2015, killing eight and injuring about 200 , he tweeted , "Our roads, airports, tunnels, bridges, electric grid -- all falling apart." Later, he tweeted , "The only one to fix the infrastructure of our country is me."

Donald Trump promised to make America great again. And that wouldn't be possible if America's rail system, locks, dams and pipelines -- that is, its vital organs -- were "a mess." Trump signed what he described as a contract with American voters to deliver an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his administration.

He mocked his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton's proposal to spend $275 billion. "Her number is a fraction of what we're talking about. We need much more money to rebuild our infrastructure," he told Fox News in 2016 . "I would say at least double her numbers, and you're going to really need a lot more than that."

In August of 2016, he promised , "We will build the next generation of roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, seaports and airports that our country deserves. American cars will travel the roads, American planes will connect our cities, and American ships will patrol the seas. American steel will send new skyscrapers soaring. We will put new American metal into the spine of this nation."

In his victory speech and both of his State of the Union addresses, he pledged again to be the master of infrastructure. "We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, school, hospitals. And we will put millions of our people to work," he said the night he won.

That sounds excellent. That's exactly what 75 percent of respondents to a Gallup poll said they wanted. That would create millions of family-supporting jobs making the steel, aluminum, concrete, pipes and construction vehicles necessary to accomplish infrastructure repair. That would stimulate the economy in ways that benefit the middle class and those who are struggling.

That contract Trump signed with American voters to produce an infrastructure plan in the first 100 days: worthless. It never happened. He gave Americans an Infrastructure Week in June of 2017, though, and at just about the 100-day mark, predicted infrastructure spending would "take off like a rocket ship." Two more Infrastructure Weeks followed in the next two years, but no money.

Trump finally announced a plan in February of 2018 , at a little over the 365-day mark, to spend $1.5 trillion on infrastructure. It went nowhere because it managed to annoy both Democrats and Republicans.

It was to be funded by only $200 billion in federal dollars -- less than what Hillary Clinton proposed. The rest was to come from state and local governments and from foreign money interests and the private sector. Basically, the idea was to hand over to hedge fund managers the roads and bridges and pipelines originally built, owned and maintained by Americans. The fat cats at the hedge funds would pay for repairs but then toll the assets in perpetuity. Nobody liked it.

That was last year. This year, by which time the words Infrastructure Week had become a synonym for promises not kept, Trump met on April 30 with top Democratic leaders and recommended a $2 trillion infrastructure investment. Democrats praised Trump afterward for taking the challenge seriously and for agreeing to find the money.

"It couldn't have gone any better," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal , D-Mass., told the Washington Post, even though Neal was investigating Trump for possible tax fraud.

Almost immediately, Trump began complaining that Democrats were trying to hoodwink him into raising taxes to pay for the $2 trillion he had offered to spend.

Trump and the Republicans relinquished one way to pay for infrastructure when they passed a tax cut for the rich and corporations in December of 2017. As a result, the rich and corporations pocketed hundreds of billions -- $1 trillion over 10 years -- and Trump doesn't have that money to invest in infrastructure. Corporations spent their tax break money on stock buybacks, further enriching the already rich. They didn't invest in American manufacturing or worker training or wage increases.

Three weeks after the April 30 meeting, Trump snubbed Democrats who returned to the White House hoping the president had found a way to keep his promise to raise $2 trillion for infrastructure. Trump dismissed them like naughty schoolchildren. He told them he wouldn't countenance Democrats simultaneously investigating him and bargaining with him -- even though Democrats were investigating him at the time of the April meeting and one of the investigators -- Neal -- had attended.

Promise not kept again.

Trump's reelection motto, Keep America Great, doesn't work for infrastructure. It's still a mess. It's the third year of his presidency, and he has done nothing about it. Apparently, he's saving this pledge for his next term.

In May, he promised Louisianans a new bridge over Interstate 10 -- only if he is reelected. He said the administration would have it ready to go on "day one, right after the election." Just like he said he'd produce an infrastructure plan within the first 100 days of his first term.

He's doubling down on the infrastructure promises. His win would mean Americans get nothing again.

Arizona Slim , July 26, 2019 at 6:26 am

Paging Bernie Sanders: You need to be all over this Trump-fail. And sooner, rather than later.

The Rev Kev , July 26, 2019 at 6:40 am

The whole thing seems so stupid. The desperate need is there, the people are there to do the work, the money spent into the infrastructure would give a major boost to the real economy, the completed infrastructure would give the real economy a boost for years & decades to come – it is win-win right across the board. But the whole thing is stalled because the whole deal can't be rigged to give a bunch of hedge fund managers control of that infrastructure afterwards. If it did, the constant rents that Americans would have to pay to use this infrastructure would bleed the economy for decades to come.

I have seen this movie before. A State builds a highway, it then leases that highway to a corporation for a bucket of cash which it uses to bribe the electorate to win the next election or two. The corporation shoves brand new toll booths on the highway charging sky high rates which puts a crimp in local economic activity. After the lease is up after twenty years, the State gets to take over the highway again to find that the corporation cut back on maintenance so that the whole highway has to be rebuilt again. Rinse and repeat.

When President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act in 1956, can you imagine how history would have gone if they had been handed over to a bunch of corporations who would have built toll booths over the whole network? Would have done wonders for the American economy I bet.

Wukchumni , July 26, 2019 at 6:48 am

One of the things discussed at our town hall meeting the other night, was a much needed $481k public bathroom, and that was the low bid.

It has to be ADA compliant with ramps, etc.

$48,100 seems like it'd be plenty to get 'r done, as you can build a house with a couple of bathrooms, and a few bedrooms, a kitchen and living room for maybe $200k.

Ignacio , July 26, 2019 at 8:58 am

And if toll revenues don't come as high as expected, mother state will come to the rescue of those poor fund managers. I find it amazing that Trump uses the stupid Russia, Russia, Russia! fixation of democrats as an excuse to do nothing about infrastructure. Does this work with his electorate?

cnchal , July 26, 2019 at 7:09 am

Tom, grow up.

Promises by any narcissist mean nothing. You cannot hang your hat on any word that Trump speaks, because it's not about you or anyone else, but about him and only him.

Here is a heads up. If any infrastructure is done it will be airports. The elite fly and couldn't give a crap about the suspension and wheel destroying potholes we have to slalom around every day. They also don't care that the great unwashed waste thousands of hours stuck in traffic when a bridge is closed or collapses.

Carla , July 26, 2019 at 7:47 am

Well, fix the airports and you've still got Boeing, self-destructing as fast as it can. And Airbus can't fill all the orders no matter how hard it tries. Guess everybody will just have to . stay home.

WheresOurTeddy , July 26, 2019 at 7:16 am

Are all the coal jobs back? How about the manufacturing? NAFTA been repealed and replaced with something better yet? How's the wall coming and has Mexico sent the check yet? Soldiers back from Afghanistan/Iraq/Syria yet?

Got that tax cut for rich people and a ton of conservative judges through though, didn't he?

Katniss Everdeen , July 26, 2019 at 8:17 am

"It couldn't have gone any better," Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., told the Washington Post, even though Neal was investigating Trump for possible tax fraud.

What a surprise. It's simply "amazing" that the insane status quo jihad that has been waged against Trump since he announced his candidacy had real consequences for the country. Who would have thought that calling ANY president ignorant, ugly, fat, a liar, a traitor, a cheater, an agent of Putin, a racist, a misogynist, a xenophobe, a bigot, an isolationist and an illegitimate occupant of the White House 24/7 since he or she won the election would make actual accomplishment nearly impossible.

The mere mention of his name on college campuses has even been legitimized as a fear-inducing, "safety"-threatening "microagression."

It's just so rich that having determined to prevent Trump from doing absolutely anything he promised during the campaign by any and all means, regardless of what the promise was or how beneficial it may have been, his numerous, bilious "critics" now have the gonads to accuse him of not getting anything done.

With all due respect to the author of this piece, the result he laments was exactly the point of this relentless nightmare of Trump derangement to which the nation has been subjected for three years. I tend to think that the specific promise most targeted for destruction was his criticism of NATO and "infrastructure" was collateral damage, but that's neither here nor there.

The washington status quo has succeeded in its mission to cripple a president it could not defeat electorally, and now tries to blame him for their success. Cutting off your nose to spite your face has always been a counterproductive strategy.

[Aug 20, 2019] The immigrant , whether skilled or much more likely unskilled, is the slave in this arrangement for whatever period of time he or she is paid significantly below what was, or what would of been, the prevailing real time local costs of labor without the immigration taking place or the immigrant being present.

Aug 16, 2019 | www.unz.com
Mevashir , says: August 14, 2019 at 11:49 pm GMT
@geokat62

Amazing Tony Martin lecture with David Irving

[Aug 17, 2019] Bankruptcy-related job losses are rising at rates not seen since 2009

Aug 17, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , August 07, 2019 at 05:44 PM

"Bankruptcy-related job losses are rising at rates not seen since 2009"

Grim foreshadowing of what may come and quickly...

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/bankruptcies-cause-the-highest-number-of-job-losses-since-2009-when-the-us-was-in-the-depths-of-the-great-recession-2019-08-06

"Bankruptcy-related job losses are rising at rates not seen since 2009, invoking grim reminders of the Great Recession"

By Quentin Fottrell, Personal Finance Editor...Aug 7, 2019...8:24 p.m. ET

"The recent spate of bankruptcies in corporate America is taking its toll.

In the first seven months of the year, U.S.-based companies announced 42,937 job cuts due to bankruptcy, up 40% on the same period last year and nearly 20% higher than all bankruptcy-related job losses last year, a report released Tuesday concluded. Despite record-low unemployment, bankruptcy filings have not claimed this many jobs since the Great Recession.

"It is the highest seven-month total since 2009 when 50,258 cuts due to bankruptcy were announced," according to the report by outplacement and business coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "In fact, it is higher than the annual totals for bankruptcy cuts every year since 2009."...

[Aug 15, 2019] Why a Banking Heiress Spent Her Fortune on Keeping Immigrants Out

Aug 15, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , August 14, 2019 at 03:48 PM

A MUST READ in its entirety

Be prepared to have your mind blown

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/14/us/anti-immigration-cordelia-scaife-may.html

"Why a Banking Heiress Spent Her Fortune on Keeping Immigrants Out"

'Newly unearthed documents reveal how an environmental-minded socialite became an ardent nativist whose money helped sow the seeds of the Trump anti-immigration agenda'

By Nicholas Kulish and Mike McIntire...Aug. 14, 2019

"She was an heiress without a cause -- an indifferent student, an unhappy young bride, a miscast socialite. Her most enduring passion was for birds.

But Cordelia Scaife May eventually found her life's purpose: curbing what she perceived as the lethal threat of overpopulation by trying to shut America's doors to immigrants.

She believed that the United States was "being invaded on all fronts" by foreigners, who "breed like hamsters" and exhaust natural resources. She thought that the border with Mexico should be sealed and that abortions on demand would contain the swelling masses in developing countries.

An heiress to the Mellon banking and industrial fortune with a half-billion dollars at her disposal, Mrs. May helped create what would become the modern anti-immigration movement. She bankrolled the founding and operation of the nation's three largest restrictionist groups -- the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA and the Center for Immigration Studies -- as well as dozens of smaller ones, including some that have promulgated white nationalist views."...

[Aug 08, 2019] Revised Profit Data Are Good News But Don't Reverse Decades of Wage Stagnation

Notable quotes:
"... corporations were able to increase their share of income at the expense of labor, even with an unemployment rate below 4 percent. ..."
Aug 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , August 05, 2019 at 11:03 AM

http://cepr.net/publications/op-eds-columns/revised-profit-data-are-good-news-but-don-t-reverse-decades-of-wage-stagnation

August 5, 2019

Revised Profit Data Are Good News But Don't Reverse Decades of Wage Stagnation
By Dean Baker

In July, the U.S. Department of Commerce released data showing GDP growth had slowed sharply in the second quarter. Most economic reporting appropriately highlighted the data showing that we were not getting the investment boom that the Republicans had promised would result from their tax cut.

But there was also an important item in the annual GDP data revisions that many overlooked in the report: The revised profit data for 2018 showed that the profit share of corporate income had fallen by 0.4 percentage points from the prior year. This is a big deal for two reasons: It means that workers are now clearly getting their share of the gains from growth, and it tells us an important story about the structure of the economy.

On the first point, we know that the wages of the typical worker have not kept pace with productivity growth over the last four decades. While productivity growth has not been great over most of this period (1995-2005 was the exception), wages have lagged behind even the slow productivity growth over most of this period.

The one exception was the years of low unemployment from 1996 to 2001, when the wages of the typical worker rose in line with productivity growth. With unemployment again falling to relatively low levels in the last four years, many of us expected that wages would again be keeping pace with productivity growth.

The earlier data on profits suggested that this might not be the case. It showed a small increase in the profit share of corporate income, suggesting that corporations were able to increase their share of income at the expense of labor, even with an unemployment rate below 4 percent.

The revised data indicate this is not the case. The low unemployment rate is creating an environment in which workers have enough bargaining power to get their share of productivity gains and even gain back some of the income share lost in the Great Recession.

This brings up the second issue. Most of the upward redistribution over this period was not from ordinary workers to profits, but rather to high-end workers. The big winners in the last four decades have been CEOs, hedge fund and private equity partners, and at a somewhat lower level, highly paid professionals like doctors and dentists.

The shift to profits takes place only in this century after much of the upward redistribution had already occurred. One obvious explanation was the weak labor market following the Great Recession. With unemployment remaining stubbornly high, wages were not keeping pace with productivity growth or even inflation. An alternative explanation was that growing monopolization of major sectors (think of Google, Facebook and Amazon) was allowing capital to gain at the expense of labor.

The revised profit data seem to support the first story. In the last four years, the profit share has fallen by 3.2 percentage points. (It had dropped another percentage point in the first quarter of 2019, although the quarterly data are highly erratic.) At this rate, in four more years, the run-up in profit shares in this century will be completely reversed.

If the weak labor market following the Great Recession is the story of the rise in profit shares, there is still the problem of the run-up in profit share in 2003-2007, the years preceding the Great Recession. One explanation is that the profits recorded in these years were inflated by phony profits recorded by the financial sector.

Banks like Citigroup and Bank of America were recording large profits in these years on loans that subsequently went bad. This would be equivalent to a business booking large profits on sales to customers that did not exist. Their books would show large profits when the sales were recorded, but then they would show large losses when the business had to acknowledge that the customer didn't exist, and therefore write off a previously booked sale.

Profits that are based on sales to nonexistent customers don't come at the expense of workers, nor do profits that are booked on loans that go bad. (The subsequent recession was, of course, very much at the expense of workers.) For this reason, we should be somewhat skeptical of the shift from wages to profits in the years of the housing bubble.

In any case, the revised profits data are good news. They show a tight labor market is working the way it is supposed to. But this doesn't mean everyone is doing great. You don't reverse four decades of wage stagnation with four relatively good years.

However, things are at least moving in the right direction now, and that is good news. That has not generally been the case over the last 40 years.

[Aug 05, 2019] Gun homicides get far more attention in the popular press, but most gun deaths are the result of suicide

Aug 05, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to ken melvin... , August 04, 2019 at 09:29 AM

(Are NRA members this suicidal?)

There are more gun suicides
than gun homicides in America
https://www.vox.com/2015/10/1/18000510/gun-suicide-homicide-comparison via
@voxdotcom - Nov 14, 2018

Nearly 23,000 people died by firearm suicide in 2016.

Gun homicides get far more attention in the popular press, but most gun deaths are the result of suicide. In 2016, the last year for which the CDC provides numbers, 22,938 people committed suicide by firearm, while 14,415 people died in gun homicides. ...

[Aug 01, 2019] A 26-year-old billionaire is building virtual border walls -- and the federal government is buying

Aug 01, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , July 30, 2019 at 06:53 AM

(Is this anything?)

A 26-year-old billionaire is building virtual border walls -- and the federal government is buying

Sam Dean - July 29, 2019

https://techxplore.com/news/2019-07-year-old-billionaire-virtual-border-wallsand.html

On a Friday afternoon in late July, a crowd of techies, military types and a few civilians deployed to the new Irvine, Calif., headquarters of Anduril Industries, a defense tech start-up, to sip hibiscus margaritas and admire the sensor towers and carbon-fiber drones on display. Dave Brubeck tinkled over the sound system, and the dress code skewed office casual and pastel, offset by the bright red pop of a lone "Make America Great Again" hat by the taco bar.

After an hour of socializing amid surveillance equipment, Palmer Luckey, the company's 26-year-old near-billionaire founder, mounted a stage for the ribbon-cutting. Luckey had wanted to use the company's namesake sword -- a legendary weapon in "The Lord of the Rings" wielded by the hero Aragorn -- for the ceremony. ...

Armed instead with large scissors, and wearing his trademark uniform of Hawaiian shirt, cargo shorts and flip-flops, he dropped some Tolkien on the audience.

"Anduril," he said, leaning into the long Elvish vowels, "means Flame of the West. And I think that's what we're trying to be. We're trying to be a company that represents not just the best technology that Western democracy has to offer, but also the best ethics, the best of democracy, the best of values that we all hold dear."

Along remote stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border, and on the perimeters of military bases around the world, Luckey's vision was already becoming reality. Customs and Border Protection is using Anduril's high-tech surveillance network as a "virtual wall" of interlinked, solar-powered sentry towers that can alert agents of suspicious activity, and the company has signed similar deals with U.S. and U.K. military branches. ...

likbez , August 01, 2019 at 09:07 AM
Much depends on the flow via particular area. If the flow is low this is probably a viable technological solution.

Cheaper then the physical wall as spacing between towers can be hundred yards or even more.

Solar powered towers is an interesting feature suitable for this particular area, where sun is abundant during the year.

Drones add flexibility of following intruders "from above" until they are captured, but how efficient they are at night remains to be seen. Again this presupposes a very low flow in the guarded area.

In any case the main task of walls and other entrance barriers is to slow down the flow not to eliminate it completely.

So that those who manage to penetrate the barrier can be dealt with more quickly and efficiently.

[Jul 31, 2019] America's Late-Stage Decadence

This is way too primitive thinking...
Jul 31, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Doug Casey : The PC types say there are supposed to be 30 or 40 or 50 different genders -- it's a fluid number. It shows that wide swathes of the country no longer have a grip on actual physical, scientific reality. That's more than a sign of decline; it's a sign of mass psychosis.

There's no question that some males are wired to act like females and some females are wired to act like males. It's certainly a psychological aberration but probably has some basis in biology.

The problem is when these people politicize their psychological peculiarities, try to turn it into law, and force the rest of the society to grant them specially protected status.

Thousands of people every year go to doctors to have themselves mutilated so that they can become something else. Today they can often get the government or insurers to pay for it.

If you want to self-mutilate, that's fine; that's your business even if it's insane. To make other people pay for it is criminal. But it's now accepted as normal by most of society.

The acceptance of politically correct values -- "diversity," "inclusiveness" -- trigger warnings, safe spaces, gender fluidity, multiculturalism, and a whole suite of similar things that show how degraded society has become. Adversaries of Western civilization like the Mohammedan world and the Chinese justifiably see it as weak, even contemptible.

As with Rome, collapse really comes from internal rot.

Look at who people are voting for. It's not that Americans elected Obama once -- a mob can be swayed easily enough into making a mistake -- but they reelected him. It's not that New Yorkers elected Bill de Blasio once, but they reelected him by a landslide. All of the Democratic candidates out there are saying things that are actually clinically insane and are being applauded.

International Man : In fact, in the recent Democratic debate, candidate Julián Castro even mentioned giving government-funded abortions to transgender women -- biological men. It received one of the loudest bouts of applause from the audience.

That's not to mention that two other candidates spoke in broken Spanish when responding to the moderator's questions.

[Jul 28, 2019] Supreme Court Ruling Will 'Really Accelerate' Border Wall Progress DHS Chief

Jul 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

A Supreme Court decision to allow President Trump to redirect $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds towards his long promised border wall will "really accelerate" progress on the project, according to Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan in Sunday appearance on Fox News .

The 5-4 decision will allow for the construction of more than 100 miles of fencing - the most significant step yet, according to Bloomberg .

McAleenan said while the court's ruling was "a big victory" to build more of the wall, " we do remain in the midst of a border security crisis " with migrants flooding the region and that Congress must take more action to deter crossings.

"We made very clear the targeted changes in law that we need," McAleenan said. - Bloomberg

... ... ...

The wall segments in Arizona, New Mexico and California would give Trump a tangible achievement to tout in his re-election campaign. Until now, congressional and court resistance had thwarted significant progress toward a stronger barrier on the almost 2,000-mile frontier.

During his campaign, Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall. On Saturday he said the U.S. would be "fully reimbursed for this expenditure, over time, by other countries." He didn't say how. - Bloomberg

Drop-Hammer , 53 minutes ago link

'Accelerate border wall progress'-- give me a fuckin' break. Trump has had almost three years to secure the border but has done nothing but blame the Demotards and our ***-infested jewdiciary for why he can not perform his sworn constitutional duty as POTUS to protect our borders/citizens. Christ, he must think that he has to have their permission and go on bended knee before them with his begging bowl in hand. Trump is a god-damned waste. He is what he described politicians in his campaign-- All talk and no action.

I voted for the guy and supported him. I will not support him in the next go round. Time to get a fuckin' crazed loon Demotard in office to motivate us to cross the line and start the shootin'. I ain't gonna end up a slave to jews/niggers/beaners/muslims/hindus/illegal alien mudmen just because I am a normal Christian Heritage American white guy. **** that noise. I no longer slumber in The *** Matrix.

chubbar , 2 hours ago link

Trump should award contracts to 10 contractors and immediately disburse the funds so libtards can't stop the building.

100 miles isn't near enough and we've seen areas where replacement walls are being put up at over a mile a day by one contractor. He could get 10 contractors or more building a couple hundred miles a month. Trump needs to build faster!

[Jul 17, 2019] Donald Trump's false comments connecting Mexican immigrants and crime - The Washington Post

Jul 17, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

Donald Trump's false comments connecting Mexican immigrants and crime By Michelle Ye Hee Lee July 8, 2015

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

–Real estate mogul Donald Trump, presidential announcement speech , June 16, 2015

"I can never apologize for the truth. I don't mind apologizing for things. But I can't apologize for the truth. I said tremendous crime is coming across. Everybody knows that's true. And it's happening all the time. So, why, when I mention, all of a sudden I'm a racist. I'm not a racist. I don't have a racist bone in my body."

–Trump, interview on Fox News' "Media Buzz," July 5, 2015

"What can be simpler or more accurately stated? The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc."

–Trump, statement about his June 16 comments, July 6, 2015

Several readers asked us to fact-check Trump's initial comment, which has drawn outrage from Latino groups and led to breakups with his corporate partners distancing themselves from the inflammatory remarks.

This posed a conundrum for The Fact Checker. We had fact checked most of his statements from his news conference announcing his effort to win the GOP presidential nomination, but many of those were in the realm of domestic and international policy. We tend not to wade into fact checking incendiary comments that some might label opinion.

But Trump's statement -- which he repeatedly has defended -- underscores public perceptions that can drive immigration policies. For example, the 2010 murder of a rancher by a suspected smuggler in an Arizona border city fueled public and political pressure on then-Gov. Jan Brewer to sign the controversial anti-immigrant Senate Bill 1070 into law.

What do the data tell us about the criminal threat of immigrants?

The Facts

Data on immigrants and crime are incomplete, but a range of studies show there is no evidence immigrants commit more crimes than native-born Americans. In fact, first-generation immigrants are predisposed to lower crime rates than native-born Americans. (The Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for restrictive immigration laws, has a detailed report showing the shortfalls of immigrant crime data.)

Immigration and crime levels have had inverse trajectories since the 1990s: immigration has increased, while crime has decreased. Some experts say the influx of immigrants contributed to the decrease in crime rates, by increasing the denominator while not adding significantly to the numerator.

In his July 6 statement, Trump clarified that he was referring to cases where undocumented immigrants commit violent crimes or smuggle drugs. He pointed to the recent incident in San Francisco , where an undocumented immigrant and a repeat felon who had been deported five times to Mexico was arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting a woman.

Trump's campaign pointed to data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission , which tracks citizenship of offenders in federal prisons by primary offense, which is the offense with the longest maximum sentence when a person is convicted of multiple offenses. Of 78,022 primary offense cases in fiscal year 2013, 38.6 percent were illegal immigrant offenders. The majority of their cases (76 percent) were immigration related. Of total primary offenses, 17.6 percent of drug trafficking offenses and 3.8 percent of sex abuse were illegal immigrants. Of 22,878 drug crime cases, 17.2 percent were illegal immigrants.

But these numbers are not indicative of general crime trends of non-citizens. Federal prisoners made up 10 percent of the total incarcerated population in the United States in 2013. When asked how the data are indicative of the Mexican government sending criminals to the United States, or that there is a crime wave coming across the border, a Trump campaign adviser said: "The data speaks for itself."

The Congressional Research Service found that the vast majority of unauthorized immigrants do not fit in the category that fits Trump's description: aggravated felons, whose crimes include murder, drug trafficking or illegal trafficking of firearms.


(Congressional Research Service)

CRS also found that non-citizens make up a smaller percentage of the inmate population in state prisons and jails, compared to their percentage to the total U.S. population.

[Jul 06, 2019] Neoliberal democrats for profit love of minorities

Nov 10, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com

JamesWonnacott , 10 Nov 2016 11:18

"And of course, they answer it by bashing immigrants and people of colour, vilifying Muslims, and degrading women."

Muslims, of course, never degrade women do they?

[Jul 06, 2019] The whole globalised neoliberal paradigm - allied to the metropolitan elite s obsession with identity politics at the expense of bottom-line issues - has been broken up by people who now realise centre-left politicians (Clinton/Obama) have presided over whole communities being gutted in the name of free trade (for free trade read labour arbitrage).

Notable quotes:
"... I am an angry white male, and I am not a misogynist, as this paper would have it. I am fully aware of the appalling nature of Donald Trump. ..."
"... On the other hand, I fully understand the bureaucratic nature of the Democrat Party, the embedded interests of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex in that bureaucracy, the dirty tricks that that bureaucratic machinery got up to in order to extinguish Bernie Sander's campaign ..."
"... And I am aware of how Hillary was so keen to service this reality and American image of itself. And to go beyond that, and bomb Libya for 6 months, killing thousands of civilians (Middle eastern unpeople) and, may I suggest, doing nothing whatsoever for the women of Libya. Quite the opposite! ..."
"... Michael Moore, in a talk in which he predicted the victory of Trump before the election, notes how Trump went into an American car factory and told the executives of that company that if they relocated to Mexico, he would put a huge tax on their cars coming into America. Not all was misogyny in the vote for Trump. Whether he delivers on his threat or not, unlike the democrat bureaucratic machinery, he showed he was actually listening to working class Americans and that he was ;prepared to face up to company executives. ..."
"... However, the right wing have very skilfully redirected the anger that SHOULD be directed at what Naomi cleverly calls the "Davos class" onto a very small "immigration" issue that we have in the UK today. ..."
"... It is not going to happen. The holier than thou, supremacist arrogance of the illiberal class, means they can never admit they were wrong. ..."
"... It's all about jobs, really, isn't it? There is a natural fear of 'the other', but if times are good and jobs (proper jobs, not ZHC) are plentiful, it feels less important. On the face of it, it seems odd that the most fear of immigration is in places where there isn't much immigration, but they're often places where there isn't much work either. ..."
"... Rights are important, but identity politics contain too much whimsy and focus on the self. ..."
"... Yes, but they're politically and economically cheap, don't require much thought, and you get to hang out with pop-stars. ..."
Nov 10, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com

dartmouth75, 10 Nov 2016 10:26

That ship has sailed. Bernie was the opportunity and it wasn't grasped. The moment for a 'left' alternative has been lost for a long time. The whole globalised liberal paradigm - allied to the metropolitan elite's obsession with identity politics at the expense of bottom-line issues - has been broken up by people who now realise centre-left politicians (Clinton/Obama) have presided over whole communities being gutted in the name of 'free' trade (for 'free' trade read labour arbitrage). I felt it in my bones that Trump would be elected - 55% of US households are worse off than they were in 2000, how on earth could anyone possibly think that that would result or a vote for the status quo.

KelvinYearwood , 10 Nov 2016 10:30

Well said Naomi.

I am an angry white male, and I am not a misogynist, as this paper would have it. I am fully aware of the appalling nature of Donald Trump.

On the other hand, I fully understand the bureaucratic nature of the Democrat Party, the embedded interests of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex in that bureaucracy, the dirty tricks that that bureaucratic machinery got up to in order to extinguish Bernie Sander's campaign.

I am aware of how that machinery has been ramping up a situation of global conflict, shamelessly recreating an aggressive Cold war Mk II situation with Russia and China, which is simply cover for the US racist colonial assumption that the world and its resources belongs to it in its sense of itself as an exceptional entity fulfilling its manifest destiny upon a global stage that belongs to its exceptional, wealthy and powerful elites.

And I am aware of how Hillary was so keen to service this reality and American image of itself. And to go beyond that, and bomb Libya for 6 months, killing thousands of civilians (Middle eastern unpeople) and, may I suggest, doing nothing whatsoever for the women of Libya. Quite the opposite!

Michael Moore, in a talk in which he predicted the victory of Trump before the election, notes how Trump went into an American car factory and told the executives of that company that if they relocated to Mexico, he would put a huge tax on their cars coming into America. Not all was misogyny in the vote for Trump. Whether he delivers on his threat or not, unlike the democrat bureaucratic machinery, he showed he was actually listening to working class Americans and that he was ;prepared to face up to company executives.

What has this paper got to say about Hillary and the Democrat Party's class bigotry – its demonstrable contempt for 10s of millions of Americans whose lives are worse now than in 1973, while productivity and wealth overall has skyrocketed over those 43 years.

What has this paper got to say about the lives of African American women, which have been devastated by Republican/Democrat bipartisan policy over the last 43 years?

What has Hadley Freeman got to say about Hillary's comment that President Mubarek of Egypt was "one of the family? A president whose security forces used physical and sexualised abuse of female demonstrators in the Arab Spring?

A feminist would need more than a peg on their nose to vote for Hillary – a feminist would need all the scented oils of Arabia. Perhaps Wahhabi funded Hillary can buy them up.

rebuydonkey , 10 Nov 2016 10:31

Great article. I think there needs to be a lot of soul searching in certain sections of the media and amongst the left wing political parties too. They don't have the correct approach to a rapidly changing ground swell of opinion. They are fast becoming out of touch - leaving a huge void for more conservative rhetoric (euphemism) to take over.

The failure to tackle immigration concerns across the west is the greatest example of comfy left wing elites being so far away from general consensus imo. The assumption that if you are concerned about immigration then you are a racist, xenophobic half wit appears rife amongst elites and the highly educated.

brianpreece -> rebuydonkey

I agree that this is a great article. And I agree that there is a coming migration crisis that we need to be very worried about, as the refugees from the Middle East try desperately for a better life away from conflict zones and poverty. However, the right wing have very skilfully redirected the anger that SHOULD be directed at what Naomi cleverly calls the "Davos class" onto a very small "immigration" issue that we have in the UK today.

The evidence for this is that in the EU referendum, the areas that were most strongly Leave were generally speaking those with few or no immigrants. I campaigned for Remain here in Stockport where there are very few immigrants and I also campaign regularly against privatisation in the NHS and over and over again, I am told that immigrants are the problem in an area which has virtually none. I don't think that people are concerned about immigration are half wits, but I think they've been manipulated.

"Fear the stranger" is an evolutionary response buried deep in our brains that we need to control with rationality and it's such an easy button for the right wing to push. I grew up in Northern Ireland so I saw this at first hand. My grandfather was a highly intelligent technocrat, but he was also an Orangeman. He did not seem able to understand that the Catholics he knew and were his friends were the same "them" that he demonised. All progressive people need now to find a way, as Naomi's article says, to repoint this anger to where it belongs. Sorry if this makes me a comfy left wing elite!

TeTsuo36 -> rebuydonkey

It is not going to happen. The holier than thou, supremacist arrogance of the illiberal class, means they can never admit they were wrong. Look at the past year here ATL and then BTL. Witness the absolute, unchanging and frankly extreme editorial line, in the face of massive discourse and well argued opposition BTL. Even now there are no alarm bells ringing in the back of their minds, they are right and everyone else is wrong. No attempt to understand, such is their unwavering belief in the echo chamber. You will only find an attempted programme of re-education in these pages. They will be still be doing it as Europe falls into the hands of the far-right.

zephirine -> brianpreece

I campaigned for Remain here in Stockport where there are very few immigrants and I also campaign regularly against privatisation in the NHS and over and over again, I am told that immigrants are the problem in an area which has virtually none. I don't think that people are concerned about immigration are half wits, but I think they've been manipulated. "Fear the stranger" is an evolutionary response buried deep in our brains that we need to control with rationality and it's such an easy button for the right wing to push.

It's all about jobs, really, isn't it? There is a natural fear of 'the other', but if times are good and jobs (proper jobs, not ZHC) are plentiful, it feels less important. On the face of it, it seems odd that the most fear of immigration is in places where there isn't much immigration, but they're often places where there isn't much work either.
ID3924525 , 10 Nov 2016 10:33

Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain. Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatisation, austerity and corporate trade, their living standards have declined precipitously. They have lost jobs. They have lost pensions. They have lost much of the safety net that used to make these losses less frightening. They see a future for their kids even worse than their precarious present.

Yes. But, in the meantime, the system has become so right-wing that it only permits a right-wing outburst - a Social-Democratic one is instantly discredited by the totalitarian media outlets.

There is no way to articulate an effective response to this attack within the system.

OhReallyFFS , 10 Nov 2016 10:34

As usual Klein seems to make more sense than anyone else.

This paper needs to decide where it's going to stand politically for the next few years.

Rights are important, but identity politics contain too much whimsy and focus on the self.

tomandlu -> OhReallyFFS 2 3

Yes, but they're politically and economically cheap, don't require much thought, and you get to hang out with pop-stars.

SaintTimothy , 10 Nov 2016 11:01

This article is spot on except that both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren jumped on the Clinton neoliberal train for reasons of political expediency. From now on, anything either of them say should be critically examined before being supported.

[Jul 06, 2019] In order to justify the unjustifiable (a corporate elite exploiting the world as their own private estate), they constructed an artificial equivalence to make it seem that their self-interested economic system was part and parcel of a package of 'democracy', 'multi-racial tolerance', 'LGBT tolerance' etc

Nov 10, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com

PaulDLion , 10 Nov 2016 11:43

In order to justify the unjustifiable (a corporate elite exploiting the world as their own private estate), they constructed an artificial equivalence to make it seem that their self-interested economic system was part and parcel of a package of 'democracy', 'multi-racial tolerance', 'LGBT tolerance' etc, so that people would be fooled into thinking that rejecting the economics meant rejecting all the other things too.

George Soros' "Open Society Foundation'" is a key offender here. The false consciousness thus engendered does indeed set the scene for fascism, but a genuine left opposition can and needs to be built and we can only hope that we can succeed in so doing.

[Jul 06, 2019] There is a fundamental difficulty here which progressives have not fully faced. It is that more open trade and welcoming immigration policies are, on the one hand, a progressive and moral good (we should feel solidarity with people from the global south; it feels wrong to bar them from our countries and stop them from benefiting from our economies)

Notable quotes:
"... On the other hand, more open immigration policies will mean more workers, which will of course take jobs away, especially from the poorest in our own societies. Similarly, more open trade will more jobs in poorer countries and fewer jobs here, again taking jobs, especially from the poorest in our societies. this is morally wrong: we should feel solidarity with our own poor. ..."
"... Further, more open immigration policies are what capitalism 'wants': more workers will necessarily drive wages down, and so produce greater profits for corporations and the rich, and therefore greater inequality in our society overall. ..."
Nov 10, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.com

HuckleAndLowly, 10 Nov 2016 10:03

There is a fundamental difficulty here which progressives have not fully faced. It is that more open trade and welcoming immigration policies are, on the one hand, a progressive and moral good (we should feel solidarity with people from the global south; it feels wrong to bar them from our countries and stop them from benefiting from our economies).

On the other hand, more open immigration policies will mean more workers, which will of course take jobs away, especially from the poorest in our own societies. Similarly, more open trade will more jobs in poorer countries and fewer jobs here, again taking jobs, especially from the poorest in our societies. this is morally wrong: we should feel solidarity with our own poor.

Further, more open immigration policies are what capitalism 'wants': more workers will necessarily drive wages down, and so produce greater profits for corporations and the rich, and therefore greater inequality in our society overall. Comfortably well-off liberals can appear and feel progressive by supporting more open immigration, while in fact this support aligns with capitalist policies that benefit them and exploit those who are worse off.

We need a progressive movement that can resolve this and square the circle.

ydobon -> HuckleAndLowly

Well said. ,

Well said.

olivercotts -> HuckleAndLowly

'We need a progressive movement that can resolve this and square the circle'.

A good point, but any idea how to progress?

HuckleAndLowly -> olivercotts

Honestly, no, beyond stressing the fact that more open and welcoming immigration policies are not unalloyed morally good things: they lead to lower wages for the poor and middle class, and lead to greater inequality, since lower wages translate into greater profits for corporations and their owners.

Perhaps if a progressive argument towards tempering and controlling immigration can be made, based on the fact that open immigration leads to greater inequality and in the end benefits the 1% the most, then we can get some sort of progress.

[Jul 04, 2019] Nearly half of global wages received by top 10%, survey finds: ILO says bottom half of all workers paid just 6% of total pay with wage inequality rising in developed world

Jul 04, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Data is from 2004 to 2017.

Excerpt (first three paragraphs):

Nearly half of all global pay is scooped up by just 10% of workers, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), while the lowest-paid 50% receive just 6.4%.

The lowest 20% – around 650 million workers – get less than 1% of total pay, a figure that has barely moved in 13 years, the ILO analysis found. It used labour income figures from 2004 to 2017, the latest available data.

A worker in the top 10% receives $7,445 a month (£5,866), while a worker in the bottom 10% gets just $22.

Posted by: vk | Jul 4 2019 17:14 utc | 14

jayc @10

As a Can-knucklehead I am sad to say I agree 100%. In 2005, Kurt Vonnegut quoted Susan Sontag: "10 percent of any population is cruel, no matter what, and that 10 percent is merciful, no matter what, and that the remaining 80 percent could be moved in either direction."

Posted by: spudski | Jul 4 2019 17:19 utc | 15

[Jul 02, 2019] Yep! The neolib scum hate poor people and have superiority complex>

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Both neoliberal-driven governments and authoritarian societies share one important factor: They care more about consolidating power in the hands of the political, corporate and financial elite than they do about investing in the future of young people and expanding the benefits of the social contract and common good. ..."
"... Michael Yates (economist) points out throughout his book 'The Great Inequality', capitalism is devoid of any sense of social responsibility and is driven by an unchecked desire to accumulate capital at all costs. As power becomes global and politics remains local, ruling elites no longer make political concessions to workers or any other group that they either exploit or consider disposable. ..."
"... At bottom, neoliberals believe in a social hierarchy of "haves" and "have nots". They have taken this corrosive social vision and dressed it up with a "respectable" sounding ideology which all boils down to the cheap labor they depend on to make their fortunes. ..."
"... The ugly truth is that cheap-labour conservatives just don't like working people. They don't like "bottom up" prosperity, and the reason for it is very simple. "Corporate lords" have a harder time kicking them around. ..."
Apr 10, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

Originally from: Seven signs of the neoliberal apocalypse - Van Badham - Opinion - The Guardian

slorter, 27 Apr 2018 01:37

Both neoliberal-driven governments and authoritarian societies share one important factor: They care more about consolidating power in the hands of the political, corporate and financial elite than they do about investing in the future of young people and expanding the benefits of the social contract and common good.

Michael Yates (economist) points out throughout his book 'The Great Inequality', capitalism is devoid of any sense of social responsibility and is driven by an unchecked desire to accumulate capital at all costs. As power becomes global and politics remains local, ruling elites no longer make political concessions to workers or any other group that they either exploit or consider disposable.

At bottom, neoliberals believe in a social hierarchy of "haves" and "have nots". They have taken this corrosive social vision and dressed it up with a "respectable" sounding ideology which all boils down to the cheap labor they depend on to make their fortunes.

The ugly truth is that cheap-labour conservatives just don't like working people. They don't like "bottom up" prosperity, and the reason for it is very simple. "Corporate lords" have a harder time kicking them around.

Once you understand this about the cheap-labor conservatives, the real motivation for their policies makes perfect sense. Remember, cheap-labour conservatives believe in social hierarchy and privilege, so the only prosperity they want is limited to them. They want to see absolutely nothing that benefits those who work for an hourly wage.

You also need to remember that voting the coalition out, which you need to do, will not necessarily give you a neoliberal free zone; Labor needs to shed some the dogma as well.

bryonyed -> slorter , 27 Apr 2018 01:41

Yep! The neolib scum hate poor people and have complexes of deservedness.

[Jul 01, 2019] Kamala Harris as Hillary No.2 Her level of neocon warmongering in foreign policy probably will hurt her chances, but will bring a lot of donor money

Notable quotes:
"... Kamala Harris is multi-cultural, East Indian and Jamaican, globalist educated in the USA and Canada. To be elected and earn rewards she identifies herself as an African-American. ..."
Jul 01, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jun 30, 2019 6:16:41 PM | 51

Kamala Harris's Hillaryesque tweet re Trump meeting Kim at DMZ:

"This President should take the North Korean nuclear threat and its crimes against humanity seriously. This is not a photo-op. Our security and our values are at stake."

Comments on the thread are telling, and she's not fooling anyone.

VietnamVet , Jun 30, 2019 8:11:02 PM | 76

Thank goodness that there is one place where Globalism, Boeing, and Kamala Harris can be discussed. From the bottom, looking up, they are intertwined. Corporate media strictly ignores the restoration of the robber baron aristocracy, the supremacy of trade treaties, the endless wars for profit, the free flow of capital, and corrupted governments. The sole purpose is to make the rich richer at the expense of everyone else.

There are many tell-tale signs that this is an apt description of the world. With deregulation and outsourcing, there is no incentive to design and build safe airplanes. That costs money. Two 737 Max(s) crash killing 346. Workplaces are toxic. The life expectancy in the UK and USA is declining. The US dollar is used as a military weapon. Monopolies buy up innovation. Corporate law breaking is punished by fines which are added to the cost of doing business. There is no jail time for chief executives. The cost of storm damage is increasing. Families are migrating to survive. Nationalist and globalist oligarchs are fighting over the spoils. Last week the global economy was 10 minutes away from collapse by an American air attack on Iran.

Kamala Harris is multi-cultural, East Indian and Jamaican, globalist educated in the USA and Canada. To be elected and earn rewards she identifies herself as an African-American. Neo-Populism and France's Yellow Vests are the direct response to global capitalism that is supported by Corporate Democrats, New Labour Party, and Emmanuel Macron. The rise of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson in response is no coincidence.

uncle tungsten , Jul 1 2019 8:07 utc | 121
snake #97

Why burden b when you can read this by Caitlin Johnston: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/kamala-harris-is-everything-the-establishment-wants-in-a-politician/

especially read this by Helen Hanna in the comments section:

kamala looked aside while wells fargo bank established 3 million fraudulent accounts while she was attorney general of california. she did nothing to punish them. she might as well be wearing a hillary mask. as someone who lived in the bay area for 31 years, i remember her on the 'matier and ross' interview program--her performance was juvenile and silly--- and i remember her being willing to join the parade of willie brown's cocaine addicted mistresses,. as number 21 and as a woman of color, she was a relief---not white, not skanky, no silver cocaine spoon around her neck while pretending to eat dinner at chez michel with willie, but why on earth would you want to join this parade and go out with this sleazy man whose kiton suits do not improve his image one bit, a politician who offended the san francisco public by his obnoxious habit of publicly flaunting his many skanky female hangers on, and reveling in their 'whiteness.' what a bad choice kamala made. remember that pelosi and feinstein wouldn't let willie brown anywhere near the inauguration podium of barack obama because these women did not want willie's offensive background to sully obama. willie had had an illegitimate child while 'serving as' mayor of san francisco, a city of 500 churches, mostly catholic. the catholic church continued to retain him in the role --'of counsel.' that was astounding to me, absolutely astounding.... willie also laundered drug money in a sutter street garage with his haberdasher, wilkes bashford, but dianne feinstein prevented him from being jailed. i can just see the sisterhood at temple emanuel where dianne feinstein worships--i can just see them admonishing her for even suggesting one of serial adulterer willie's former mistresses be the first woman president....is that why senator feinstein is keeping such a low profile lately? what i don't understand is why pelosi and feinstein keep bringing us these puppet-like women----hillary will always be bill's puppet and kamala will be willie's puppet. you cannot possibly choose two more sleazy, obnoxious men to be your superior.

[Jun 29, 2019] The working class of the most developed economies with higher wages continues to lose jobs as the multinational corporations offshore industrial production

Notable quotes:
"... This process will not be stopped nor reversed by the "great men" Putin, Trump nor the "benevolent society" China. Economic "nationalism" will likewise not resolve globalisation. These are myths. People organising and fighting back politically are still the only tools at our disposal. Globalisation makes the fight more difficult but doesn't eradicate the need for the class struggle. ..."
"... And this is not to say Putin isn't a historically "great" man nor that China is not a "benevolent" society. Clearly, in relation to decadent western models they are. But this is to say these categorisations are beside the point of battling global capitalist development. This only tends to obscure the need to fight back. ..."
Jun 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

donkeytale , Jun 29, 2019 10:29:45 AM | 137

[From Putin interview]

What happened in the US, and how did it happen? In the US, the leading US companies -- the companies, their managers, shareholders and partners -- made use of these benefits. [..] The middle class in the US has not benefited from globalisation; it was left out when this pie was divided up.

The Trump team sensed this very keenly and clearly, and they used this in the election campaign. It is where you should look for reasons behind Trump's victory, rather than in any alleged foreign interference.

Trump did indeed "use" this discontent to get elected. However, what has he, and Putin for that matter, delivered in the way of results to the "middle" class and what will their open pursuit of authoritarian fascism deliver in the future for the "middle" class?

The future course of globalisation is obvious. The past is prologue. The working (or middle) classes of the most developed economies with higher wage bases (US, EU) lose jobs and income as the multinational corporations offshore industrial production to lesser developed economies with lower wage bases (China, Asia "Tigers").

As China and the "Tigers" ascended the higher stages the same process occurs, offshoring to lesser developed economies (Vietnam, Sri Lanka).

Imperialism 101.

This is a historical process which evolves. It also lends itself to the destruction of the global environment which itself is hardly soemthing to cheer.

This process will not be stopped nor reversed by the "great men" Putin, Trump nor the "benevolent society" China. Economic "nationalism" will likewise not resolve globalisation. These are myths. People organising and fighting back politically are still the only tools at our disposal. Globalisation makes the fight more difficult but doesn't eradicate the need for the class struggle.

And this is not to say Putin isn't a historically "great" man nor that China is not a "benevolent" society. Clearly, in relation to decadent western models they are. But this is to say these categorisations are beside the point of battling global capitalist development. This only tends to obscure the need to fight back.

Reverence at MoA for Putin's baldly political rhetoric, which is neither particularly interesting nor original (neither the rhetoric or the reverence). Neither Putin, Trump or Xi lift a finger to challenge the globalist status quo. They are themselves charter members of the club.

This is all a political con game meant to anesthesize those who should know better and who should rise up in opposition or at least exhort the younger generations to rise up and challenge the oppressive systems.

Alas, the drugs seem to be working all to well....

[Jun 28, 2019] Identity politics remains the central element of the Democratic Party with Harris as flagbearer

Jun 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Originally from: We’ve Seen the Debates–And What Could Be Our Future The American Conservative

... ... ...

Those emotions erupted in the Thursday debate when Kamala Harris took on Biden for his earlier remarks about the old days of the Senate when he could work collaboratively with Southern segregationists such as Alabama's James Eastland. Harris said it was "very hurtful" to hear Biden "talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputation and career on the segregation of race in this country." She scored Biden also for working with such senators in opposition to busing for racial balance in schools during the 1970s.

"Do you agree today, do you agree today that you were wrong to oppose busing in America then? Do you agree?" she asked with considerable emotion in her voice. She added it was a personal matter with her given that she had benefited from busing policies as a young girl.

Biden retorted: "A mischaracterization of my position across the board. I did not praise racists." He added that he never opposed busing as a local policy arrived at through local politics, but didn't think it should be imposed by the federal government. "That's what I opposed," he said.

The exchange accentuated the extent to which racial issues are gaining intensity in America and roiling the nation's politics to a greater extent than in the recent past. Biden's point, as he sought to explain, was that there was a day when senators of all stripes could work together on matters of common concern even when they disliked and opposed each other's fundamental political outlook. That kind of approach could point the way, he implied, to a greater cooperative spirit in Washington and to breaking the current political deadlock suffused with such stark animosities. But that merely stirred further animosities, raising questions about whether today's political rancor in Washington can be easily or soon ameliorated.

[Jun 26, 2019] The Individual Costs of Occupational Decline

Jun 26, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. You have to read a bit into this article on occupational decline, aka, "What happens to me after the robots take my job?" to realize that the authors studied Swedish workers. One has to think that the findings would be more pronounced in the US, due both to pronounced regional and urban/rural variations, as well as the weakness of social institutions in the US. While there may be small cities in Sweden that have been hit hard by the decline of a key employer, I don't have the impression that Sweden has areas that have suffered the way our Rust Belt has. Similarly, in the US, a significant amount of hiring starts with resume reviews with the job requirements overspecified because the employer intends to hire someone who has done the same job somewhere else and hence needs no training (which in practice is an illusion; how companies do things is always idiosyncratic and new hires face a learning curve). On top of that, many positions are filled via personal networks, not formal recruiting. Some studies have concluded that having a large network of weak ties is more helpful in landing a new post than fewer close connections. It's easier to know a lot of people casually in a society with strong community institutions.

The article does not provide much in the way of remedies; it hints at "let them eat training" when programs have proven to be ineffective. One approach would be aggressive enforcement of laws against age discrimination. And even though some readers dislike a Job Guarantee, not only would it enable people who wanted to work to keep working, but private sector employers are particularly loath to employ someone who has been out of work for more than six months, so a Job Guarantee post would also help keep someone who'd lost a job from looking like damaged goods.

By Per-Anders Edin, Professor of Industrial Relations, Uppsala University; Tiernan Evans, Economics MRes/PhD Candidate, LSE; Georg Graetz, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics, Uppsala University; Sofia Hernnäs, PhD student, Department of Economics, Uppsala University; Guy Michaels,Associate Professor in the Department of Economics, LSE. Originally published at VoxEU

As new technologies replace human labour in a growing number of tasks, employment in some occupations invariably falls. This column compares outcomes for similar workers in similar occupations over 28 years to explore the consequences of large declines in occupational employment for workers' careers. While mean losses in earnings and employment for those initially working in occupations that later declined are relatively moderate, low-earners lose significantly more.

How costly is it for workers when demand for their occupation declines? As new technologies replace human labour in a growing number of tasks, employment in some occupations invariably falls. Until recently, technological change mostly automated routine production and clerical work (Autor et al. 2003). But machines' capabilities are expanding, as recent developments include self-driving vehicles and software that outperforms professionals in some tasks. Debates on the labour market implications of these new technologies are ongoing (e.g. Brynjolfsson and McAfee 2014, Acemoglu and Restrepo 2018). But in these debates, it is important to ask not only "Will robots take my job?", but also "What would happen to my career if robots took my job?"

Much is at stake. Occupational decline may hurt workers and their families, and may also have broader consequences for economic inequality, education, taxation, and redistribution. If it exacerbates differences in outcomes between economic winners and losers, populist forces may gain further momentum (Dal Bo et al. 2019).

In a new paper (Edin et al. 2019) we explore the consequences of large declines in occupational employment for workers' careers. We assemble a dataset with forecasts of occupational employment changes that allow us to identify unanticipated declines, population-level administrative data spanning several decades, and a highly detailed occupational classification. These data allow us to compare outcomes for similar workers who perform similar tasks and have similar expectations of future occupational employment trajectories, but experience different actual occupational changes.

Our approach is distinct from previous work that contrasts career outcomes of routine and non-routine workers (e.g. Cortes 2016), since we compare workers who perform similar tasks and whose careers would likely have followed similar paths were it not for occupational decline. Our work is also distinct from studies of mass layoffs (e.g. Jacobson et al. 1993), since workers who experience occupational decline may take action before losing their jobs.

In our analysis, we follow individual workers' careers for almost 30 years, and we find that workers in declining occupations lose on average 2-5% of cumulative earnings, compared to other similar workers. Workers with low initial earnings (relative to others in their occupations) lose more – about 8-11% of mean cumulative earnings. These earnings losses reflect both lost years of employment and lower earnings conditional on employment; some of the employment losses are due to increased time spent in unemployment and retraining, and low earners spend more time in both unemployment and retraining.

Estimating the Consequences of Occupational Decline

We begin by assembling data from the Occupational Outlook Handbooks (OOH), published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which cover more than 400 occupations. In our main analysis we define occupations as declining if their employment fell by at least 25% from 1984-2016, although we show that our results are robust to using other cutoffs. The OOH also provides information on technological change affecting each occupation, and forecasts of employment over time. Using these data, we can separate technologically driven declines, and also unanticipated declines. Occupations that declined include typesetters, drafters, proof readers, and various machine operators.

We then match the OOH data to detailed Swedish occupations. This allows us to study the consequences of occupational decline for workers who, in 1985, worked in occupations that declined over the subsequent decades. We verify that occupations that declined in the US also declined in Sweden, and that the employment forecasts that the BLS made for the US have predictive power for employment changes in Sweden.

Detailed administrative micro-data, which cover all Swedish workers, allow us to address two potential concerns for identifying the consequences of occupational decline: that workers in declining occupations may have differed from other workers, and that declining occupations may have differed even in absence of occupational decline. To address the first concern, about individual sorting, we control for gender, age, education, and location, as well as 1985 earnings. Once we control for these characteristics, we find that workers in declining occupations were no different from others in terms of their cognitive and non-cognitive test scores and their parents' schooling and earnings. To address the second concern, about occupational differences, we control for occupational earnings profiles (calculated using the 1985 data), the BLS forecasts, and other occupational and industry characteristics.

Assessing the losses and how their incidence varied

We find that prime age workers (those aged 25-36 in 1985) who were exposed to occupational decline lost about 2-6 months of employment over 28 years, compared to similar workers whose occupations did not decline. The higher end of the range refers to our comparison between similar workers, while the lower end of the range compares similar workers in similar occupations. The employment loss corresponds to around 1-2% of mean cumulative employment. The corresponding earnings losses were larger, and amounted to around 2-5% of mean cumulative earnings. These mean losses may seem moderate given the large occupational declines, but the average outcomes do not tell the full story. The bottom third of earners in each occupation fared worse, losing around 8-11% of mean earnings when their occupations declined.

The earnings and employment losses that we document reflect increased time spent in unemployment and government-sponsored retraining – more so for workers with low initial earnings. We also find that older workers who faced occupational decline retired a little earlier.

We also find that workers in occupations that declined after 1985 were less likely to remain in their starting occupation. It is quite likely that this reduced supply to declining occupations contributed to mitigating the losses of the workers that remained there.

We show that our main findings are essentially unchanged when we restrict our analysis to technology-related occupational declines.

Further, our finding that mean earnings and employment losses from occupational decline are small is not unique to Sweden. We find similar results using a smaller panel dataset on US workers, using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979.

Theoretical implications

Our paper also considers the implications of our findings for Roy's (1951) model, which is a workhorse model for labour economists. We show that the frictionless Roy model predicts that losses are increasing in initial occupational earnings rank, under a wide variety of assumptions about the skill distribution. This prediction is inconsistent with our finding that the largest earnings losses from occupational decline are incurred by those who earned the least. To reconcile our findings, we add frictions to the model: we assume that workers who earn little in one occupation incur larger time costs searching for jobs or retraining if they try to move occupations. This extension of the model, especially when coupled with the addition of involuntary job displacement, allows us to reconcile several of our empirical findings.

Conclusions

There is a vivid academic and public debate on whether we should fear the takeover of human jobs by machines. New technologies may replace not only factory and office workers but also drivers and some professional occupations. Our paper compares similar workers in similar occupations over 28 years. We show that although mean losses in earnings and employment for those initially working in occupations that later declined are relatively moderate (2-5% of earnings and 1-2% of employment), low-earners lose significantly more.

The losses that we find from occupational decline are smaller than those suffered by workers who experience mass layoffs, as reported in the existing literature. Because the occupational decline we study took years or even decades, its costs for individual workers were likely mitigated through retirements, reduced entry into declining occupations, and increased job-to-job exits to other occupations. Compared to large, sudden shocks, such as plant closures, the decline we study may also have a less pronounced impact on local economies.

While the losses we find are on average moderate, there are several reasons why future occupational decline may have adverse impacts. First, while we study unanticipated declines, the declines were nevertheless fairly gradual. Costs may be larger for sudden shocks following, for example, a quick evolution of machine learning. Second, the occupational decline that we study mainly affected low- and middle-skilled occupations, which require less human capital investment than those that may be impacted in the future. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, our findings show that low-earning individuals are already suffering considerable (pre-tax) earnings losses, even in Sweden, where institutions are geared towards mitigating those losses and facilitating occupational transitions. Helping these workers stay productive when they face occupational decline remains an important challenge for governments.

Please see original post for references

[Jun 24, 2019] America To Weimar Germany Hold My Beer

Notable quotes:
"... a cosmetic surgeon in Baltimore is purportedly offering to lop off women's breasts -- including the breasts of teenage girls -- at a discount, to celebrate Pride month: ..."
"... Discount breast-lopping to celebrate a holiday -- is that not the most American thing ever? And you used to think two-for-one radial tire sales for Washington's Birthday were trashy! Can't you just feel the pride? ..."
"... A "pride month" sale on plastic surgery to mutilate children's breasts is the most "snapshot of America in 2019" story imaginable. ..."
Jun 24, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Our deranged media continue their propaganda offensive. Here is a Houston TV station celebrating the sexualization of a little boy, whose parents ought to be ashamed of themselves. We have completely lost our moral minds.

This is true:

I long thought the sexualization of little girls in beauty pageants had become gross, and until recently there seemed to be a growing consensus about that. Now the sexualization of little boys dressed as girls is a cause of great celebration. Count me out. https://t.co/j7nVQkRJEX

-- Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) June 22, 2019

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Meanwhile, a cosmetic surgeon in Baltimore is purportedly offering to lop off women's breasts -- including the breasts of teenage girls -- at a discount, to celebrate Pride month:

1. Latest leak from our source in the affirming parents Facebook group: Dr. Beverly Fischer in Baltimore, MD is offering a $750 discount on double mastectomies if booked during Pride month, according to this mother. pic.twitter.com/Od9w0TFXPp

-- 4thWaveNow (@4th_WaveNow) June 22, 2019

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

No kidding -- the surgeon tweeted this out herself:

June is PRIDE MONTH! Celebrate with a $750 discount on our Top Surgery procedure! #plasticsurgery #cosmeticsurgery #genderaffirmation #gendertransition #FTM #DrBevsBoys pic.twitter.com/6tuPy8tl1v

-- Dr. Beverly Fischer (@BeverlyAFischer) June 7, 2019

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Discount breast-lopping to celebrate a holiday -- is that not the most American thing ever? And you used to think two-for-one radial tire sales for Washington's Birthday were trashy! Can't you just feel the pride?

We are a sick civilization that deserves to be punished.

Nate J 19 hours ago

A "pride month" sale on plastic surgery to mutilate children's breasts is the most "snapshot of America in 2019" story imaginable. Welcome to the brave new world, where the neoliberal obsession with consumerism (and the reduction of all human experience to markets) meets prog-left social chaos. What an unholy union.

[Jun 23, 2019] As a matter of semantics, neo-liberalism delivered on the promise of freedom...for capitalists

Apr 10, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

marshwren , 10 Apr 2019 22:29

As a matter of semantics, neo-liberalism delivered on the promise of freedom...for capitalists to be free of ethical accountability, social responsibility, and government regulation and taxes...

[Jun 23, 2019] Two things characterize neo-liberalism. Deception and repression of labor.

Apr 11, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

mi Griffin , 11 Apr 2019 01:15

2 simple points that epitomize neo liberalism.

1. Hayek's book 'The Road to Serfdom' uses an erroneous metaphor. He argues that if we allow gov regulation, services and spending to continue then we will end up serfs. However, serfs are basically the indentured or slave labourers of private citizens and landowners not of the state. Only in a system of private capital can there be serfs. Neo liberalism creates serfs not a public system.

2. According to Hayek all regulation on business should be eliminated and only labour should be regulated to make it cheap and contain it so that private investors can have their returns guaranteed. Hence the purpose of the state is to pass laws to suppress workers.

These two things illustrate neo-liberalism. Deception and repression of labour.

[Jun 22, 2019] CNN Helen Thomas 'Jews don't have the right to take other people's land' - YouTube

Jun 22, 2019 | www.youtube.com
grantgalea , 7 years ago

I agree with you toria555 ,they have no right to persecute the Palestinians and another thing Jews are NOT the ONLY Semites. Helen Thomas is correct !

Todd Randall , 7 years ago

She's not an "antisemite" because she's a semite. Damn straight!

theTRUTHprincess , 7 years ago

helen = ultimate truth princess! may love surround her and all the others who take a stand in speaking up the truth

Scherzo7 , 7 years ago div clas

s="comment-renderer-text-content expanded"> I'm part Jewish, but consider myself Russian above everything else, as Russia is my home country. I don't entirely agree with this lady, but on some issues she's spot on. Twenty million Russian civilians were exterminated by Germans and millions of Chinese died at the hands of the Japanese, but how come we only hear about 6 million Jews all the time almost 70 years after the war? It's only evoked to victimize Israel, not to benefit Holocaust survivors in any way.

Fihelvete , 7 years ago

im german and i tell you STOP MILKING OUR MISTAKES!

eassaspades , 7 years ago

You're so brainwashed. The Zionist jews of Israel are treating the Palestinians like the jews were treated in Germany just before the holocaust. That's why you see the REAL jews protesting against their Israeli government and the occupation of Palestine

1980redkremlin , 7 years ago div tabindex="0" role="articl

Helen Thomas is old but that shouldn't mean the less intelligent interviewer should talk down to her. Thomas is right Israeli people should go back to Poland or Germany, they were pushed out of there unfairly sixty years ago. I think that she was misinterpreted because she should've added that second part. Likewise now Israel are doing the same thing to Palestine. I find it hard to sympathize with journalists and writers especially nowadays but Helen Thomas was wrongly interpreted in my view.

deeplake33 , 7 years ago

She spoke the truth & they didn't like it. What they would like to hear is continuous lies, then u get a pat on the back. Start talkin the truth & bam they're all over you. She exercised her freedom of speech & they shut her down.

999newaccount , 7 years ago div class="comm

ent-renderer-text-content expanded"> It's amazing how unable to process logic that stupid host woman is. Everything Helen Thomas said is obvious truth, but she acts as if she is hearing another language. "Oh but the Jews are sensitive because of WW2!" is literally her only response, as if that is justification for anything that's happened in the past 50 years. Why does this view persist in America? Are they all so afraid of offending Jewish people? They sure don't care about offending anybody else.

pfcfatmax2010 , 7 years ago div class="comm

ent-renderer-text-content expanded"> She is talking about the Zionist Jews. The is those Jews who own these networks trying to discredit a wonderful old woman for stating the truth. Israel is Zionism and its disgusting that the world turns their eye to the atrocities happening to the Palestinians.

My heart goes out to them. I pray that one day the world will open their eyes. I pray that I am alive to see it come to pass. Zionism is going to lead to WWIII and it so many are blind to that fact

Llyn Kidner-Williams , 7 years ago

Helen is my Heroine but she is talking to an idiot who does not know her own history.

asrafoo , 7 years ago div class="

comment-renderer-text-content expanded"> lol america is the exact place indians got almost wiped out and black got enslaved. should you give them a land some where? hell no !! please wtf and know what? they come back to germany with israeli pasports and gert german one too and every year they flood the streets with israeli flags no one attacks them! they could have stayed lol but now we might wonder what the fuck they really want!

Oscar Sun , 7 years ago

This lady has bigger balls than most American and European males combined.

britturk123 , 7 years ago

She may be old but she is not there for the taking. Although i disagree with the way helen spoke because israel exists and that is that, i think she is fighting against current injustices that are happening in palestein. Some people hate injustice and helen is not one to turn her back on what she believes in so kudos to her.

herdpoisoning , 7 years ago div tabindex="0" role="artic

le"> It is a sin against the Torah to support the "State of Israel" in any way. Thus, no Jews support Israel, only Zionists. Many Jews who lived in Palestine prior to the Zionist reign of terror (Irgun, Stern Gang) that drove the Palestinians (including those Jews who lived there peacefully, often communally with their Muslim and Christian neighbors) off the land ended up in New York, and are known now as the Neturei Karta. Google them and learn why Rabbis burn the Israeli flag for Purim.

Shery Awan , 7 years ago

@SaarVardi Let me show you the difference..... they [ the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger 'shoah' [a Hebrew word for catastrophe and a synonym for the Nazi Holocaust] because we will use all our might to defend ourselves." Israel's deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai told Army Radio on Friday, February 29, 2008

Yvonne Romano , 7 years ago

The shill reporter starts by saying....."well you have to PAY the price for FREE speech. "

John Verber , 7 years ago

v> @SaarVardi But using the "Holocaust" as a means and way to take land from someone else is wrong. The crap the Israeli army does to kids over there is wrong. Kids throw rocks at "TANKS" and the Israeli army breaks their arms. It's crazy. I'm a Native American the estimates are that we lost up to 20 million native Americans when the "white dudes" took over America...you don't see me crying about it. It sucks but just get over it and stop using it as a reason to do whatever you want.

John Verber , 7 years ago

v> @SaarVardi Jews yes have been living in the Palestine area forever. But they were a very small percentage of the population. After World War II, the "Big Three" sent all the Jewish refugee's and the one's calling for a Homeland to what is now Israel. Palestinians have whipped out actual land deeds, not archeological evidence. As you say the Jews were there before....yes again as a small percentage of the people within the area.

Caliq Summo , 7 years ago

v> @SaarVardi Mexico is not called Spain,and there live Mexicans (many from Indians), Most of South America people are Indians (Bolivia, Colombia...). U.S. is an other story: most of the space was empty but yes, there was an extermination (is that ok for you?) we are not in the 1500 or 1700, Israel is from 1947 (yesterday) and they are killing people right now. Israel was left empty in the Diaspora (70A.C.).You cant go back now and kill the people who's livin there for 2,000 years

[Jun 21, 2019] Trump Barters For Borders -- And Wins, Big Time by Ilana Mercer

Notable quotes:
"... Trump issued an executive order, according to which a schedule of tariffs will be implemented unless Mexico polices its borders and ups its dismal rate of deportation, currently at 10 to 20 percent. ..."
"... Beginning on June 10, " a 5 percent tariff was placed on all imports from Mexico, to be increased by five percentage points each month until it hits 25 percent in October." ..."
"... Lo and behold, Mexico quickly promised to arrest Central American migrants headed north. Agreements may soon materialize with Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, to which Trump has already cut off foreign aid, in March ..."
"... How free and fair is trade anyway? Are unfettered markets at work when Canada, for instance, taxes purchases of American goods starting at $20, while America starts taxing Canadian goods at $1000? Hardly. ..."
"... There needs to be a huge turnaround in the number of illegals crossing the border if Trump wants to avoid being a one term president. It's hard to see the republicans staying relevant as well if the current numbers continue. They might hold the Senate for a little while but the presidency and a majority in Congress will be out of reach forever. ..."
"... In 2018, there were 70 million refugees, seeking safety from the world's conflict zone. One person was forced to flee their home because of war and violence every two seconds. ..."
"... Trump should have made reducing LEGAL immigration (and building the Wall to stop illegals) his #1 priority as soon as he was inaugurated. Instead, he dithered with personnel issues, then Obmacare (betrayed by rot-in-hell you bastard McCain), then tax cuts, Kavanaugh, loss of House, the End. ..."
Jun 21, 2019 | www.unz.com

If President Trump doesn't waver, his border deal with Mexico will be a victory. The Mexicans have agreed to quit serving as conduits to hundreds of thousands of central Americans headed for the U.S.A.

Despite protests from Democrats, stateside -- Mexico has agreed to significantly increase enforcement on its borders.

At first, Mexico was as defiant as the Democrats -- and some Republicans.

Democrats certainly can be counted on to argue for the other side -- any side other than the so-called sovereign people they swore to represent.

In fairness to the Democrats, Republicans are only notionally committed to the tough policing of the border. And certainly not if policing the porous border entails threatening trade tariffs against our neighborly narco-state. Some Republican senators even considered a vote to block the tariffs.

Nevertheless, to the hooting and hollering of the cretins in Congress and media, Trump went ahead and threatened Mexico with tariffs .

More than that. The president didn't just tweet out "strong words" and taunts.

Since Mexico, the party duopoly, and his own courts have forced his hand, the president proceeded to "retrieve from his arsenal a time bomb of ruinous proportions."

Or, so the Economist hyperventilated.

Trump issued an executive order, according to which a schedule of tariffs will be implemented unless Mexico polices its borders and ups its dismal rate of deportation, currently at 10 to 20 percent.

Beginning on June 10, " a 5 percent tariff was placed on all imports from Mexico, to be increased by five percentage points each month until it hits 25 percent in October."

Lo and behold, Mexico quickly promised to arrest Central American migrants headed north. Agreements may soon materialize with Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, to which Trump has already cut off foreign aid, in March

It remains for Trump to stick with tough love for Mexico and the rest. If the torrent of grifters from Central America does not let up, neither should the tariffs be lifted or aid restored.

Trump's trade and tariff tactics are about winning negotiations for Americans; they're not aimed at flouting the putative free-market.

How free and fair is trade anyway? Are unfettered markets at work when Canada, for instance, taxes purchases of American goods starting at $20, while America starts taxing Canadian goods at $1000? Hardly.

Free trade is an unknown ideal, to echo Ayn Rand's observations. What goes for "free trade," rather, is trade managed by bureaucratic juggernauts -- national and international -- central planners concerned with regulating, not freeing, trade; whose goal it is to harmonize labor, health, and environmental laws throughout the developed world. The undeveloped and developing worlds generally exploit labor, despoil land and kill off critters as they please.

The American market economy is massive. Trump knows its might. The difference between the president and his detractors is that Trump is prepared to harness the power of American markets to benefit the American people.

But what of the "billions of dollars in imports from Mexico" that are at stake, as one media shill shrieked .

Give me a break. The truth about what Fake News call a major trading partner, Mexico, is that it's a trade pygmy -- a fact known all too well to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard.

The reason these leaders were quick to the negotiating table once a schedule of tariffs had been decided upon by the president is this. Via the Economist :

"Only about 15 percent of the United States' exports go to Mexico, but a whopping 80 percent of Mexico's exports head the other way. 'There is nothing we have in our arsenal that is equivalent to what the United States can do to us,' says Andrés Rozental, a Mexican former diplomat and minister."

Next, President Trump must compel Mexico to accept "safe third-country status." Translated, this means that the U.S. can expel any and all "asylum seekers" if they pass through Mexico, as Mexico becomes their lawful, first port-of-call.

Thinking people should realize that Trump's victory here is a Pyrrhic one. For what the president has had to do is convince the Mexican president to deploy his national guards to do the work American immigration police is not allowed to do.

The U.S. must turn to Mexico to police its border because the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has, to all intents and purposes, outlawed immigration laws.

Congressional quislings, for their part, have sat back and grumbled about the need for new laws. But as Daniel Horowitz argues convincingly, this is "a separation of powers problem." Unless the Trump administration understands that the problem lies with the lower-court judges [exceeding their constitutional authority] and not the law -- there will be no fix.

For President Trump, the executive order serves as a way around the courts' violation of the constitutionally enshrined federal scheme, within which the role -- nay, the obligation -- of the commander in chief -- is to defend the country.

Although they're temporary fixes, executive orders can serve to nullify unjust laws. As I argued in my 2016 book, "The Trump Revolution: The Donald's Creative Destruction Reconstructed," executive orders are Trump's political power tool -- justice's Jaws of Life, if you will -- to be used by the Executive to pry the people free from judicial oppression.

Understand: The right of a nation to stop The World from flooding its communities amounts to upholding a negative right. In other words, by stopping trespassers at their borders, Americans are not robbing invaders of the trinity of life, liberty and property.

All Americans are asserting is their right to be left alone. What we are saying to The World is what we tell our disobedient toddlers every day, "No. You can't go there."

That's all.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald's Creative Destruction Deconstructed " (June, 2016). She's on Twitter , Facebook , Gab & YouTube


Nehlen , says: June 21, 2019 at 4:29 am GMT

If you believe Mexico is going to squelch the flow of humans into America -- the same humans who are wiring $25BILLION per year back to family members in Mexico -- I've got a fleet of taco trucks with square tires to sell you.
SeekerofthePresence , says: June 21, 2019 at 4:56 am GMT
Do you really believe this "deal" will have a substantial effect? It is like holding up an umbrella to Noah's flood of migrants.
Whitewolf , says: June 21, 2019 at 5:18 am GMT
There needs to be a huge turnaround in the number of illegals crossing the border if Trump wants to avoid being a one term president. It's hard to see the republicans staying relevant as well if the current numbers continue. They might hold the Senate for a little while but the presidency and a majority in Congress will be out of reach forever.
Honor is Loyalty , says: June 21, 2019 at 6:26 am GMT
The more this nonsense carries on, the more I empathize with Stalin. Sometimes you gotta bulldoze your way through. Democracy produces nothing but obstacles. Time to put the keys into the caterpillar.
sarz , says: June 21, 2019 at 6:33 am GMT
I'd love to see what Ann Coulter would say on this and on Trump's total score on immigration.
Leon Haller , says: June 21, 2019 at 7:58 am GMT
I applaud this move by Trump, and will of course vote for him in 2020 (for a patriot, what is the alternative?). But unless we end the LEGAL immigration invasion, all this is for nought, and Trump will likely be the last non-leftist Republican President.

I have fought immigration for 40 years without success, except for CA Prop 187 in 1994, quickly overturned by a dirty Muslim immigrant Federal judge. Immigration of racial and cultural and (now it's clear to everyone, as I knew by the 80s in CA) ideological aliens is simple invasion, imperialism by non-military means. We needed Pat Buchanan in the 90s; instead, the stupid Christianists, with whom I used to argue in the 80s-90s-00s endlessly wrt their insane priorities, worried more about abortion and queers (how'd that work out, morons?) than alien conquest – with the obvious result that "globohomo" is stronger than ever – AND we have another 50+ MILLION race aliens voting 8-1 Democrat.

Sadly, Trump and the all-GOP 2017-18 Congress were America's very last chance to stop the invasion and save our (and the GOP's) future. Trump blew it, utterly. Now the USA as a unitary, Occidental, Constitutional, capitalist nation-state cannot be salvaged and/or restored. The only hope for American patriots is White conservative territorial ingathering and eventual racial secession and new sovereignty.

Bardon Kaldian , says: June 21, 2019 at 8:16 am GMT

Unless the Trump administration understands that the problem lies with the lower-court judges [exceeding their constitutional authority] and not the law -- there will be no fix.

This is the crux. And this is true, too..

Free trade is an unknown ideal, to echo Ayn Rand's observations. What goes for "free trade," rather, is trade managed by bureaucratic juggernauts -- national and international -- central planners concerned with regulating, not freeing, trade; whose goal it is to harmonize labor, health, and environmental laws throughout the developed world. The undeveloped and developing worlds generally exploit labor, despoil land and kill off critters as they please.

Renoman , says: June 21, 2019 at 8:22 am GMT
There are many times when a punch in the face is far more effective than diplomacy, this was one. Good for Donny, good for America.
Gracchus Babeuf , says: June 21, 2019 at 9:03 am GMT
In 2018, there were 70 million refugees, seeking safety from the world's conflict zone. One person was forced to flee their home because of war and violence every two seconds.
Greg Bacon , says: Website June 21, 2019 at 9:28 am GMT
"And I'll huff and puff and bow your house down," said the Big, Bad Wolf.

When stories about the record number of illegals flooding in stop hitting the news cycle, and we no longer get possibly Ebola infected Congolese with wads of $100 bills, I might believe your assumptions.

Africans Coming Across The Southern Border Have "Rolls Of $100 Bills"

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-17/africans-coming-across-southern-border-have-rolls-100-bills

Has Herr Trump huffed and puffed the same hot air towards the Congo?

Greg Bacon , says: June 21, 2019 at 9:42 am GMT
One more thought: Remember that hot air the Big, Bad Orange wolf blew that ICE was going to start rounding up millions of illegals on Tuesday? Here it is Friday and no action.

How many times will people fall for Trump's BS promises where nothing gets done or he backtracks?

Madame Mercer, I suspect the real reason behind your story is that Trump is the best POTUS for Israel since the traitor LBJ and that a certain group wants to keep Tubby the Grifter in the WH so he can keep acting as Israel's de facto real estate agent.

Realist , says: June 21, 2019 at 10:09 am GMT

Trump Barters for Borders -- and Wins, Big Time

Trump was won nothing big time. Including his election. His wins are miniscule. You are becoming an insufferable sycophant.

wesmouch , says: June 21, 2019 at 10:11 am GMT
The simpleton Mercer misses what is really going on. The re-election push is on and Trump will roll out "plans" to deal with immigration. They will never come into fruition as they are mere "boob bait for bubba". The drug cartels run Mexico and people trafficking is a bigger business than drug trafficking. If you think they are going to stop, you are as delusional as Ms Mercer. By the way the politicians work for the drug cartels in Mexico. Of course the advice that Mercer gave to South Africa led to the current situation where the ANC runs the country and whites are disenfranchised. But what else would you expect from a Jew who sell the goyim down the river every chance they get.
Leon Haller , says: June 21, 2019 at 10:26 am GMT
@sarz Grade: D+ (every other President since Kennedy: F)

Trump should have made reducing LEGAL immigration (and building the Wall to stop illegals) his #1 priority as soon as he was inaugurated. Instead, he dithered with personnel issues, then Obmacare (betrayed by rot-in-hell you bastard McCain), then tax cuts, Kavanaugh, loss of House, the End.

America is gone as not only a White nation, but within 25 years, even a semi-civilized and First World one. Diversity is what destroyed us. We could have integrated (more or less) the blacks, but the sheer numbers of mostly clannish nonwhite colonizers since 1968 has doomed us. America was its White, Christian, Anglo-Nordic majority. Without that majority, American dies.

On to the Ethnostate!

vinteuil , says: June 21, 2019 at 10:36 am GMT
@Gracchus Babeuf

I guess it's ok to bomb the crap out of other countries, but when those people try and get away from the hell created, that's supposed to be wrong.

Has the U.S. been bombing Central America, lately? I must have missed that.

[Jun 20, 2019] In the US they never called austerity and militarism to be human rights violations by Ajamu Baraka

Notable quotes:
"... As I have called to attention before , a monumental rip-off is about to take place once again. Both the Democrats and Republicans are united in their commitment to continue to feed the U.S. war machine with dollars extracted -- to the tune of 750 billion dollars -- from the working class and transferred to the pockets of the military/industrial complex. ..."
"... As seen, a state's legitimacy was based on the extent to which it recognized, protected and fulfilled the human rights of all its citizens and residents. Those rights included not only the right to information, assembly, speech and to participation in the national political life of the nation but also the right to food, water, healthcare, education, employment, substantial social security throughout life, and not just as a senior citizen. ..."
"... The counterrevolutionary program of the late 60s and 70s, especially the turn to neoliberalism which began in the 70s, would reject this paradigm and redefine the role of the state. The obligation of the state to recognize, protect and fulfill human rights was eliminated from the role of the state under neoliberalism. ..."
"... Today the consequences of four decades of neoliberalism in the global South and now in the cosmopolitan North have created a crisis of legitimacy that has made state policies more dependent on force and militarism than in any other time, including the civil war and the turmoil of the 1930s. ..."
"... Today, contrary to the claims of capitalism to guarantee the human right to a living wage ensuring "an existence worthy of human dignity," the average worker is making, adjusted for inflation, less than in 1973; i.e., some 46 years-ago. 140 million are either poor or have low-income; 80% living paycheck to paycheck; 34 million are still without health insurance; 40 million live in "official poverty;" and more in unofficial poverty as measured by alternative supplemental poverty (SPM). And more than half of those over 55 years-old have no retirement funds other than Social Security. ..."
Jun 20, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

austerity has been a central component of state policy at every level of government in the U.S. and in Europe for the last four decades. In Europe, as the consequences of neoliberal policies imposed on workers began to be felt and understood, the result was intense opposition. However, in the U.S. the unevenness of how austerity policies were being applied, in particular the elimination or reduction in social services that were perceived to be primarily directed at racialized workers, political opposition was slow to materialize.

Today, however, relatively privileged workers who were silent as the neoliberal "Washington consensus" was imposed on the laboring classes in the global South -- through draconian structural adjustment policies that result in severe cutbacks in state expenditures for education, healthcare, state employment and other vital needs -- have now come to understand that the neoliberal program of labor discipline and intensified extraction of value from workers, did not spare them.

The deregulation of capital, privatization of state functions -- from road construction to prisons, the dramatic reduction in state spending that results in cuts in state supported social services and goods like housing and access to reproductive services for the poor -- represent the politics of austerity and the role of the neoliberal state.

This materialist analysis is vitally important for understanding the dialectical relationship between the general plight of workers in the U.S. and the bipartisan collaboration to raid the Federal budget and to reduce social spending in order to increase spending on the military. This perspective is also important for understanding the imposition of those policies as a violation of the fundamental human rights of workers, the poor and the oppressed.

For the neoliberal state, the concept of human rights does not exist.

As I have called to attention before , a monumental rip-off is about to take place once again. Both the Democrats and Republicans are united in their commitment to continue to feed the U.S. war machine with dollars extracted -- to the tune of 750 billion dollars -- from the working class and transferred to the pockets of the military/industrial complex.

The only point of debate is now whether or not the Pentagon will get the full 750 billion or around 733 billion. But whether it is 750 billion or 733 billion, the one sector that is not part of this debate is the public. The attention of the public has been adroitly diverted by the absurd reality show that is Russiagate. But this week, even though the budget debate has been disappeared by corporate media, Congress is set to begin debate on aspects of the budget and specifically on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Raising the alarm on this issue is especially critical at this moment. As tensions escalate in the Persian Gulf, the corporate media is once again abdicating its public responsibility to bring unbiased, objective information to the public and instead is helping to generate support for war with Iran.

The Democrats, who have led the way with anti-Iran policies over the last few decades, will be under enormous pressure not to appear to be against enhancing military preparedness and are likely to find a way to give Trump and the Pentagon everything they want.

Support for Human Rights and Support for Empire is an Irreconcilable Contradiction

The assumption of post-war capitalist order was that the state would be an instrument to blunt the more contradictory aspects of capitalism. It would regulate the private sector, provide social welfare support to the most marginal elements of working class, and create conditions for full employment. This was the Keynesian logic and approach that informed liberal state policies beginning in the 1930s.

The idea of reforming human rights fits neatly into that paradigm.

As seen, a state's legitimacy was based on the extent to which it recognized, protected and fulfilled the human rights of all its citizens and residents. Those rights included not only the right to information, assembly, speech and to participation in the national political life of the nation but also the right to food, water, healthcare, education, employment, substantial social security throughout life, and not just as a senior citizen.

The counterrevolutionary program of the late 60s and 70s, especially the turn to neoliberalism which began in the 70s, would reject this paradigm and redefine the role of the state. The obligation of the state to recognize, protect and fulfill human rights was eliminated from the role of the state under neoliberalism.

Today the consequences of four decades of neoliberalism in the global South and now in the cosmopolitan North have created a crisis of legitimacy that has made state policies more dependent on force and militarism than in any other time, including the civil war and the turmoil of the 1930s.

The ideological glue provided by the ability of capitalism to deliver the goods to enough of the population which guaranteed loyalty and support has been severely weakened by four decades of stagnant wages, increasing debt, a shrinking middle-class, obscene economic inequality and never-ending wars that have been disproportionately shouldered by the working class.

Today, contrary to the claims of capitalism to guarantee the human right to a living wage ensuring "an existence worthy of human dignity," the average worker is making, adjusted for inflation, less than in 1973; i.e., some 46 years-ago. 140 million are either poor or have low-income; 80% living paycheck to paycheck; 34 million are still without health insurance; 40 million live in "official poverty;" and more in unofficial poverty as measured by alternative supplemental poverty (SPM). And more than half of those over 55 years-old have no retirement funds other than Social Security.

In a report, Philp Alston , the UN's special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, points out that : the US is one of the world's wealthiest countries. It spends more on national defense than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Kingdom, India, France and Japan combined.

However, that choice in public expenditures must be seen in comparison to the other factors he lays out:

For African Americans in particular, neoliberalism has meant, jobs lost, hollowed out communities as industries relocated first to the South and then to Mexico and China, the disappearance of affordable housing, schools and hospital closings, infant and maternal mortality at global South levels, and mass incarceration as the unskilled, low-wage Black labor has become economically redundant.

This is the backdrop and context for the budget "debate" and Trump's call to cut spendings to Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Education, Labor, Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, and even the State Department.

The U.S. could find 6 trillion dollars for war since 2003 and 16 trillion to bail out the banks after the financial sector crashed the economy, but it can't find money to secure the human rights of the people.

This is the one-sided class war that we find ourselves in; a war with real deaths and slower, systematic structural violence. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans can be depended on to secure our rights or protect the world from the U.S. atrocities. That responsibility falls on the people who reside at the center of the Empire to not only struggle for ourselves but to put a brake on the Empire's ability to spread death and destruction across the planet.

Ajamu Baraka is a board member with Cooperation Jackson, the national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace and was the 2016 candidate for vice president on the Green Party ticket. He is an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report and contributing columnist for Counterpunch. He can be reached at www.AjamuBaraka.com Read other articles by Ajamu , or visit Ajamu's website .

[Jun 19, 2019] America s Suicide Epidemic

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... A suicide occurs in the United States roughly once every 12 minutes . What's more, after decades of decline, the rate of self-inflicted deaths per 100,000 people annually -- the suicide rate -- has been increasing sharply since the late 1990s. Suicides now claim two-and-a-half times as many lives in this country as do homicides , even though the murder rate gets so much more attention. ..."
"... In some states the upsurge was far higher: North Dakota (57.6%), New Hampshire (48.3%), Kansas (45%), Idaho (43%). ..."
"... Since 2008 , suicide has ranked 10th among the causes of death in this country. For Americans between the ages of 10 and 34, however, it comes in second; for those between 35 and 45, fourth. The United States also has the ninth-highest rate in the 38-country Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Globally , it ranks 27th. ..."
"... The rates in rural counties are almost double those in the most urbanized ones, which is why states like Idaho, Kansas, New Hampshire, and North Dakota sit atop the suicide list. Furthermore, a far higher percentage of people in rural states own guns than in cities and suburbs, leading to a higher rate of suicide involving firearms, the means used in half of all such acts in this country. ..."
"... Education is also a factor. The suicide rate is lowest among individuals with college degrees. Those who, at best, completed high school are, by comparison, twice as likely to kill themselves. Suicide rates also tend to be lower among people in higher-income brackets. ..."
"... Evidence from the United States , Brazil , Japan , and Sweden does indicate that, as income inequality increases, so does the suicide rate. ..."
"... One aspect of the suicide epidemic is puzzling. Though whites have fared far better economically (and in many other ways) than African Americans, their suicide rate is significantly higher . ..."
"... The higher suicide rate among whites as well as among people with only a high school diploma highlights suicide's disproportionate effect on working-class whites. This segment of the population also accounts for a disproportionate share of what economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton have labeled " deaths of despair " -- those caused by suicides plus opioid overdoses and liver diseases linked to alcohol abuse. Though it's hard to offer a complete explanation for this, economic hardship and its ripple effects do appear to matter. ..."
"... Trump has neglected his base on pretty much every issue; this one's no exception. ..."
Jun 19, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. This post describes how the forces driving the US suicide surge started well before the Trump era, but explains how Trump has not only refused to acknowledge the problem, but has made matters worse.

However, it's not as if the Democrats are embracing this issue either.

BY Rajan Menon, the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Professor of International Relations at the Powell School, City College of New York, and Senior Research Fellow at Columbia University's Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. His latest book is The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention Originally published at TomDispatch .

We hear a lot about suicide when celebrities like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade die by their own hand. Otherwise, it seldom makes the headlines. That's odd given the magnitude of the problem.

In 2017, 47,173 Americans killed themselves. In that single year, in other words, the suicide count was nearly seven times greater than the number of American soldiers killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars between 2001 and 2018.

A suicide occurs in the United States roughly once every 12 minutes . What's more, after decades of decline, the rate of self-inflicted deaths per 100,000 people annually -- the suicide rate -- has been increasing sharply since the late 1990s. Suicides now claim two-and-a-half times as many lives in this country as do homicides , even though the murder rate gets so much more attention.

In other words, we're talking about a national epidemic of self-inflicted deaths.

Worrisome Numbers

Anyone who has lost a close relative or friend to suicide or has worked on a suicide hotline (as I have) knows that statistics transform the individual, the personal, and indeed the mysterious aspects of that violent act -- Why this person? Why now? Why in this manner? -- into depersonalized abstractions. Still, to grasp how serious the suicide epidemic has become, numbers are a necessity.

According to a 2018 Centers for Disease Control study , between 1999 and 2016, the suicide rate increased in every state in the union except Nevada, which already had a remarkably high rate. In 30 states, it jumped by 25% or more; in 17, by at least a third. Nationally, it increased 33% . In some states the upsurge was far higher: North Dakota (57.6%), New Hampshire (48.3%), Kansas (45%), Idaho (43%).

Alas, the news only gets grimmer.

Since 2008 , suicide has ranked 10th among the causes of death in this country. For Americans between the ages of 10 and 34, however, it comes in second; for those between 35 and 45, fourth. The United States also has the ninth-highest rate in the 38-country Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Globally , it ranks 27th.

More importantly, the trend in the United States doesn't align with what's happening elsewhere in the developed world. The World Health Organization, for instance, reports that Great Britain, Canada, and China all have notably lower suicide rates than the U.S., as do all but six countries in the European Union. (Japan's is only slightly lower.)

World Bank statistics show that, worldwide, the suicide rate fell from 12.8 per 100,000 in 2000 to 10.6 in 2016. It's been falling in China , Japan (where it has declined steadily for nearly a decade and is at its lowest point in 37 years), most of Europe, and even countries like South Korea and Russia that have a significantly higher suicide rate than the United States. In Russia, for instance, it has dropped by nearly 26% from a high point of 42 per 100,000 in 1994 to 31 in 2019.

We know a fair amount about the patterns of suicide in the United States. In 2017, the rate was highest for men between the ages of 45 and 64 (30 per 100,000) and those 75 and older (39.7 per 100,000).

The rates in rural counties are almost double those in the most urbanized ones, which is why states like Idaho, Kansas, New Hampshire, and North Dakota sit atop the suicide list. Furthermore, a far higher percentage of people in rural states own guns than in cities and suburbs, leading to a higher rate of suicide involving firearms, the means used in half of all such acts in this country.

There are gender-based differences as well. From 1999 to 2017, the rate for men was substantially higher than for women -- almost four-and-a-half times higher in the first of those years, slightly more than three-and-a-half times in the last.

Education is also a factor. The suicide rate is lowest among individuals with college degrees. Those who, at best, completed high school are, by comparison, twice as likely to kill themselves. Suicide rates also tend to be lower among people in higher-income brackets.

The Economics of Stress

This surge in the suicide rate has taken place in years during which the working class has experienced greater economic hardship and psychological stress. Increased competition from abroad and outsourcing, the results of globalization, have contributed to job loss, particularly in economic sectors like manufacturing, steel, and mining that had long been mainstays of employment for such workers. The jobs still available often paid less and provided fewer benefits.

Technological change, including computerization, robotics, and the coming of artificial intelligence, has similarly begun to displace labor in significant ways, leaving Americans without college degrees, especially those 50 and older, in far more difficult straits when it comes to finding new jobs that pay well. The lack of anything resembling an industrial policy of a sort that exists in Europe has made these dislocations even more painful for American workers, while a sharp decline in private-sector union membership -- down from nearly 17% in 1983 to 6.4% today -- has reduced their ability to press for higher wages through collective bargaining.

Furthermore, the inflation-adjusted median wage has barely budged over the last four decades (even as CEO salaries have soared). And a decline in worker productivity doesn't explain it: between 1973 and 2017 productivity increased by 77%, while a worker's average hourly wage only rose by 12.4%. Wage stagnation has made it harder for working-class Americans to get by, let alone have a lifestyle comparable to that of their parents or grandparents.

The gap in earnings between those at the top and bottom of American society has also increased -- a lot. Since 1979, the wages of Americans in the 10th percentile increased by a pitiful 1.2%. Those in the 50th percentile did a bit better, making a gain of 6%. By contrast, those in the 90th percentile increased by 34.3% and those near the peak of the wage pyramid -- the top 1% and especially the rarefied 0.1% -- made far more substantial gains.

And mind you, we're just talking about wages, not other forms of income like large stock dividends, expensive homes, or eyepopping inheritances. The share of net national wealth held by the richest 0.1% increased from 10% in the 1980s to 20% in 2016. By contrast, the share of the bottom 90% shrank in those same decades from about 35% to 20%. As for the top 1%, by 2016 its share had increased to almost 39% .

The precise relationship between economic inequality and suicide rates remains unclear, and suicide certainly can't simply be reduced to wealth disparities or financial stress. Still, strikingly, in contrast to the United States, suicide rates are noticeably lower and have been declining in Western European countries where income inequalities are far less pronounced, publicly funded healthcare is regarded as a right (not demonized as a pathway to serfdom), social safety nets far more extensive, and apprenticeships and worker retraining programs more widespread.

Evidence from the United States , Brazil , Japan , and Sweden does indicate that, as income inequality increases, so does the suicide rate. If so, the good news is that progressive economic policies -- should Democrats ever retake the White House and the Senate -- could make a positive difference. A study based on state-by-state variations in the U.S. found that simply boosting the minimum wage and Earned Income Tax Credit by 10% appreciably reduces the suicide rate among people without college degrees.

The Race Enigma

One aspect of the suicide epidemic is puzzling. Though whites have fared far better economically (and in many other ways) than African Americans, their suicide rate is significantly higher . It increased from 11.3 per 100,000 in 2000 to 15.85 per 100,000 in 2017; for African Americans in those years the rates were 5.52 per 100,000 and 6.61 per 100,000. Black men are 10 times more likely to be homicide victims than white men, but the latter are two-and-half times more likely to kill themselves.

The higher suicide rate among whites as well as among people with only a high school diploma highlights suicide's disproportionate effect on working-class whites. This segment of the population also accounts for a disproportionate share of what economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton have labeled " deaths of despair " -- those caused by suicides plus opioid overdoses and liver diseases linked to alcohol abuse. Though it's hard to offer a complete explanation for this, economic hardship and its ripple effects do appear to matter.

According to a study by the St. Louis Federal Reserve , the white working class accounted for 45% of all income earned in the United States in 1990, but only 27% in 2016. In those same years, its share of national wealth plummeted, from 45% to 22%. And as inflation-adjusted wages have decreased for men without college degrees, many white workers seem to have lost hope of success of any sort. Paradoxically, the sense of failure and the accompanying stress may be greater for white workers precisely because they traditionally were much better off economically than their African American and Hispanic counterparts.

In addition, the fraying of communities knit together by employment in once-robust factories and mines has increased social isolation among them, and the evidence that it -- along with opioid addiction and alcohol abuse -- increases the risk of suicide is strong . On top of that, a significantly higher proportion of whites than blacks and Hispanics own firearms, and suicide rates are markedly higher in states where gun ownership is more widespread.

Trump's Faux Populism

The large increase in suicide within the white working class began a couple of decades before Donald Trump's election. Still, it's reasonable to ask what he's tried to do about it, particularly since votes from these Americans helped propel him to the White House. In 2016, he received 64% of the votes of whites without college degrees; Hillary Clinton, only 28%. Nationwide, he beat Clinton in counties where deaths of despair rose significantly between 2000 and 2015.

White workers will remain crucial to Trump's chances of winning in 2020. Yet while he has spoken about, and initiated steps aimed at reducing, the high suicide rate among veterans , his speeches and tweets have never highlighted the national suicide epidemic or its inordinate impact on white workers. More importantly, to the extent that economic despair contributes to their high suicide rate, his policies will only make matters worse.

The real benefits from the December 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act championed by the president and congressional Republicans flowed to those on the top steps of the economic ladder. By 2027, when the Act's provisions will run out, the wealthiest Americans are expected to have captured 81.8% of the gains. And that's not counting the windfall they received from recent changes in taxes on inheritances. Trump and the GOP doubled the annual amount exempt from estate taxes -- wealth bequeathed to heirs -- through 2025 from $5.6 million per individual to $11.2 million (or $22.4 million per couple). And who benefits most from this act of generosity? Not workers, that's for sure, but every household with an estate worth $22 million or more will.

As for job retraining provided by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the president proposed cutting that program by 40% in his 2019 budget, later settling for keeping it at 2017 levels. Future cuts seem in the cards as long as Trump is in the White House. The Congressional Budget Office projects that his tax cuts alone will produce even bigger budget deficits in the years to come. (The shortfall last year was $779 billion and it is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2020.) Inevitably, the president and congressional Republicans will then demand additional reductions in spending for social programs.

This is all the more likely because Trump and those Republicans also slashed corporate taxes from 35% to 21% -- an estimated $1.4 trillion in savings for corporations over the next decade. And unlike the income tax cut, the corporate tax has no end date . The president assured his base that the big bucks those companies had stashed abroad would start flowing home and produce a wave of job creation -- all without adding to the deficit. As it happens, however, most of that repatriated cash has been used for corporate stock buy-backs, which totaled more than $800 billion last year. That, in turn, boosted share prices, but didn't exactly rain money down on workers. No surprise, of course, since the wealthiest 10% of Americans own at least 84% of all stocks and the bottom 60% have less than 2% of them.

And the president's corporate tax cut hasn't produced the tsunami of job-generating investments he predicted either. Indeed, in its aftermath, more than 80% of American companies stated that their plans for investment and hiring hadn't changed. As a result, the monthly increase in jobs has proven unremarkable compared to President Obama's second term, when the economic recovery that Trump largely inherited began. Yes, the economy did grow 2.3% in 2017 and 2.9% in 2018 (though not 3.1% as the president claimed). There wasn't, however, any "unprecedented economic boom -- a boom that has rarely been seen before" as he insisted in this year's State of the Union Address .

Anyway, what matters for workers struggling to get by is growth in real wages, and there's nothing to celebrate on that front: between 2017 and mid-2018 they actually declined by 1.63% for white workers and 2.5% for African Americans, while they rose for Hispanics by a measly 0.37%. And though Trump insists that his beloved tariff hikes are going to help workers, they will actually raise the prices of goods, hurting the working class and other low-income Americans the most .

Then there are the obstacles those susceptible to suicide face in receiving insurance-provided mental-health care. If you're a white worker without medical coverage or have a policy with a deductible and co-payments that are high and your income, while low, is too high to qualify for Medicaid, Trump and the GOP haven't done anything for you. Never mind the president's tweet proclaiming that "the Republican Party Will Become 'The Party of Healthcare!'"

Let me amend that: actually, they have done something. It's just not what you'd call helpful. The percentage of uninsured adults, which fell from 18% in 2013 to 10.9% at the end of 2016, thanks in no small measure to Obamacare , had risen to 13.7% by the end of last year.

The bottom line? On a problem that literally has life-and-death significance for a pivotal portion of his base, Trump has been AWOL. In fact, to the extent that economic strain contributes to the alarming suicide rate among white workers, his policies are only likely to exacerbate what is already a national crisis of epidemic proportions.


Seamus Padraig , June 19, 2019 at 6:46 am

Trump has neglected his base on pretty much every issue; this one's no exception.

DanB , June 19, 2019 at 8:55 am

Trump is running on the claim that he's turned the economy around; addressing suicide undermines this (false) claim. To state the obvious, NC readers know that Trump is incapable of caring about anyone or anything beyond his in-the-moment interpretation of his self-interest.

JCC , June 19, 2019 at 9:25 am

Not just Trump. Most of the Republican Party and much too many Democrats have also abandoned this base, otherwise known as working class Americans.

The economic facts are near staggering and this article has done a nice job of summarizing these numbers that are spread out across a lot of different sites.

I've experienced this rise within my own family and probably because of that fact I'm well aware that Trump is only a symptom of an entire political system that has all but abandoned it's core constituency, the American Working Class.

sparagmite , June 19, 2019 at 10:13 am

Yep It's not just Trump. The author mentions this, but still focuses on him for some reason. Maybe accurately attributing the problems to a failed system makes people feel more hopeless. Current nihilists in Congress make it their duty to destroy once helpful institutions in the name of "fiscal responsibility," i.e., tax cuts for corporate elites.

dcblogger , June 19, 2019 at 12:20 pm

Maybe because Trump is president and bears the greatest responsibility in this particular time. A great piece and appreciate all the documentation.

Svante , June 19, 2019 at 7:00 am

I'd assumed, the "working class" had dissappeared, back during Reagan's Miracle? We'd still see each other, sitting dazed on porches & stoops of rented old places they'd previously; trying to garden, fix their car while smoking, drinking or dazed on something? Those able to morph into "middle class" lives, might've earned substantially less, especially benefits and retirement package wise. But, a couple decades later, it was their turn, as machines and foreigners improved productivity. You could lease a truck to haul imported stuff your kids could sell to each other, or help robots in some warehouse, but those 80s burger flipping, rent-a-cop & repo-man gigs dried up. Your middle class pals unemployable, everybody in PayDay Loan debt (without any pay day in sight?) SHTF Bug-out bags® & EZ Credit Bushmasters began showing up at yard sales, even up North. Opioids became the religion of the proletariat Whites simply had much farther to fall, more equity for our betters to steal. And it was damned near impossible to get the cops to shoot you?

Man, this just ain't turning out as I'd hoped. Need coffee!

Svante , June 19, 2019 at 7:55 am

We especially love the euphemism "Deaths O' Despair." since it works so well on a Chyron, especially supered over obese crackers waddling in crusty MossyOak™ Snuggies®

https://mobile.twitter.com/BernieSanders/status/1140998287933300736
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=apxZvpzq4Mw

DanB , June 19, 2019 at 9:29 am

This is a very good article, but I have a comment about the section titled, "The Race Enigma." I think the key to understanding why African Americans have a lower suicide rate lies in understanding the sociological notion of community, and the related concept Emil Durkheim called social solidarity. This sense of solidarity and community among African Americans stands in contrast to the "There is no such thing as society" neoliberal zeitgeist that in fact produces feelings of extreme isolation, failure, and self-recriminations. An aside: as a white boy growing up in 1950s-60s Detroit I learned that if you yearned for solidarity and community what you had to do was to hang out with black people.

Amfortas the hippie , June 19, 2019 at 2:18 pm

" if you yearned for solidarity and community what you had to do was to hang out with black people."
amen, to that. in my case rural black people.
and I'll add Hispanics to that.
My wife's extended Familia is so very different from mine.
Solidarity/Belonging is cool.
I recommend it.
on the article we keep the scanner on("local news").we had a 3-4 year rash of suicides and attempted suicides(determined by chisme, or deduction) out here.
all of them were despair related more than half correlated with meth addiction itself a despair related thing.
ours were equally male/female, and across both our color spectrum.
that leaves economics/opportunity/just being able to get by as the likely cause.

David B Harrison , June 19, 2019 at 10:05 am

What's left out here is the vast majority of these suicides are men.

Christy , June 19, 2019 at 1:53 pm

Actually, in the article it states:
"There are gender-based differences as well. From 1999 to 2017, the rate for men was substantially higher than for women -- almost four-and-a-half times higher in the first of those years, slightly more than three-and-a-half times in the last."

jrs , June 19, 2019 at 1:58 pm

which in some sense makes despair the wrong word, as females are actually quite a bit more likely to be depressed for instance, but much less likely to "do the deed". Despair if we mean a certain social context maybe, but not just a psychological state.

Ex-Pralite Monk , June 19, 2019 at 10:10 am

obese cracker

You lay off the racial slur "cracker" and I'll lay off the racial slur "nigger". Deal?

rd , June 19, 2019 at 10:53 am

Suicide deaths are a function of the suicide attempt rate and the efficacy of the method used. A unique aspect of the US is the prevalence of guns in the society and therefore the greatly increased usage of them in suicide attempts compared to other countries. Guns are a very efficient way of committing suicide with a very high "success" rate. As of 2010, half of US suicides were using a gun as opposed to other countries with much lower percentages. So if the US comes even close to other countries in suicide rates then the US will surpass them in deaths. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_methods#Firearms

Now we can add in opiates, especially fentanyl, that can be quite effective as well.

The economic crisis hitting middle America over the past 30 years has been quite focused on the states and populations that also tend to have high gun ownership rates. So suicide attempts in those populations have a high probability of "success".

Joe Well , June 19, 2019 at 11:32 am

I would just take this opportunity to add that the police end up getting called in to prevent on lot of suicide attempts, and just about every successful one.

In the face of so much blanket demonization of the police, along with justified criticism, it's important to remember that.

B:H , June 19, 2019 at 11:44 am

As someone who works in the mental health treatment system, acute inpatient psychiatry to be specific, I can say that of the 25 inpatients currently here, 11 have been here before, multiple times. And this is because of several issues, in my experience: inadequate inpatient resources, staff burnout, inadequate support once they leave the hospital, and the nature of their illnesses. It's a grim picture here and it's been this way for YEARS. Until MAJOR money is spent on this issue it's not going to get better. This includes opening more facilities for people to live in long term, instead of closing them, which has been the trend I've seen.

B:H , June 19, 2019 at 11:53 am

One last thing the CEO wants "asses in beds", aka census, which is the money maker. There's less profit if people get better and don't return. And I guess I wouldn't have a job either. Hmmmm: sickness generates wealth.

[Jun 19, 2019] Trump Can't Defend Our Border, So He Should Attack Iran! Wait -- What by James Kirkpatrick

So where is Trump Wall Mr. President?
Notable quotes:
"... Trump lays out non-interventionist U.S. military policy ..."
Jun 17, 2019 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

The border situation is so outrageous it appears like something out of a black comedy. "We are in a full blown emergency," said acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders, "and I cannot say this stronger: the system is broken". [ 32% increase in migrants encountered or arrested at the southern border in May , by Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, June 5, 2019] Why is this happening? Migrants all over the world from Guatemala to Angola know the loopholes in immigration border enforcement imposed by a treasonous Leftist kritarchy , especially the claim of " credible fear " potentially qualifying people for asylum.

[ While everyone sleeps, the courts are abolishing all immigration enforcement , by Daniel Horowitz, Conservative Review, March 11, 2019] Thus, most migrants are not sneaking across the border: they are eagerly turning themselves in at ports of entry, knowing they will soon be released into the country on the promise, which they intend to break, that they will show up for adjudication.

These invaders are being dumped on local communities, seemingly randomly. Without notice, 350 Congolese were sent to San Antonio recently , leaving the city scrambling for interpreters. Mayors throughout Texas, even the Democrat mayor of Del Rio, are furious because dealing with invading migrants prevents local governments from spending money on streets, schools, and infrastructure. [ Democrat border mayor goes ballistic over 'dumping' of illegal aliens in his town , by Daniel Horowitz, ConservativeReview, June 17, 2019] But the same MSM that wants social media regulated in the name of banning anti-vaccine propaganda is silent about diseases brought by these new arrivals .

The Department of Homeland Security is actually facilitating the invasion, dropping off illegals by bus in communities in the Southwest. [ Five Years Later: Murrietta Residents That Blocked DHS Buses With Illegals Prepare For Round Two , by Beth Baumann, Townhall, May 21, 2019] Even alleged cartel members are claiming asylum right after their gunfights. [ Sinaloa cartel shootout in Agua Prieta leaves nearly a dozen people dead , by Lupita Murillo, KVOA4, June 11, 2019]

Remember, President Trump has the authority to solve this problem without Congress. The Supreme Court has already ruled that the president can impose a travel ban on certain countries . Conservative Review's Daniel Horowitz argues the president has inherent powers under Article II to exclude asylum applicants from entering the country, authority that has been reaffirmed by Congress and repeatedly sanctioned by the Supreme Court. [ No judge has jurisdiction to erase our border , ConservativeReview, November 26, 2018]

He also, as we have repeatedly outlined at VDARE.com, has inherent powers to build border defenses that would not require Congress .

But Trump won't do it -- partially because he has inexplicably surrounded himself with political foes who won't back strong action . Instead, he's blaming the Democrats for not undertaking the "simple" measure of closing the "loopholes."

Yet he has to know (at least I hope he does) that Democrats, who have radically shifted left on immigration in recent years, won't help. Besides, the Democrats' plan to simply import a new electorate is working -- for them.

The most optimistic explanation: Trump intends to use immigration as an election issue in 2020. Yet his fecklessness in office will be as unappealing to many voters as the Democrats' extremism. [ Trump Is Vulnerable to Biden on Immigration , by Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, June 11, 2019] After all, Trump began his campaign vowing to solve the immigration problem almost exactly four years ago -- but essentially nothing has been done.

Instead, the president has been reduced to asking Mexico to solve our problem for us. He supposedly cut a deal with the Mexican government after threatening tariffs , but even that is in dispute. [ Mexico denies Trump's claim of secret concessions in deal , by Jill Colvin, Colleen Long, and Maria Verza, Associated Press, June 10, 2019] The president left powerful negotiating tools on the side, including, most importantly, a remittance tax . As in his dealings with Congress, the president insists on negotiating from weakness in his dealings with Mexico.

In contrast, in the Middle East the president has been extraordinarily bellicose. In April, the Administration revoked waivers that allowed certain countries to buy oil from Iran without violating U.S. sanctions [ U.S. Won't Renew Sanction Exemptions For Countries Buying Iran's Oil , by Bill Chappell, NPR, April 22, 2019]. In early May, the president imposed new sanctions on Iranian metals, a direct threat to the regime's economic viability. [ Trump sanctions Iranian metals, Tehran's largest non-petroleum-related sources of export revenue , by Amanda Macias, CNBC, May 8, 2019] Later that month, the president said a fight would mean "the official end of Iran" [ Trump threatens Iran With 'Official End' by Kenneth Walsh, US News and World Report, May 20, 2019].

The "maximum pressure campaign," as it has been called, puts Iran in the position of either accepting a humiliating surrender or striking out where it can [ Maximum pressure on Iran Means Maximum Risk of War , by Ilan Goldenberg, Foreign Policy, June 14, 2019].

... ... ...

There is also a deeper fundamental question. Our country is crumbling. The border is non-existent; entire communities are being overrun. There’s something perverse about even entertaining a dangerous and costly military intervention halfway around the world. It’s akin to a Roman emperor declaring he will conquer India while barbarians are crossing the Rhine.

President Trump ran on a policy of non-intervention and promised it even after being elected. [ Trump lays out non-interventionist U.S. military policy , by Steve Holland, Reuters, December 6, 2016] He repeatedly pushed back against efforts to get more deeply involved in Syria. He must now resist efforts to get involved in Iran, especially from those who may hint it will win him re-election.

[Jun 11, 2019] How neoliberalism created huge immigration flows: If you live in a vassal country like Ukraine, saddled with World Bank, IMF Debt and currency with ever-declining value pegged to the us dollar immigration might be the best option for you and your falmily.

Jun 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

fastfreddy , Jun 11, 2019 10:51:55 AM | 133

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-32

The common migrant cannot be tasked with improving the politics, the financial aspects, the pay scale, the opportunities for work, the safety of his family in his home country.

The USA has prepared his country the way that it endeavors it to be. That is a vassal, saddled with World Bank, IMF Debt and currency with ever-declining value pegged to the us dollar.

Often the US controls his country via election rigging, coups, military intervention, black ops, etc.

He must do that which best serves his family. That is find the most efficient solution - which is migration.

[Jun 11, 2019] Open borders and illegal immigration are NeoLiberal tactics to promote wage arbitrage.

Jun 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

MG , Jun 11, 2019 8:40:24 AM | 129

@donkeytale

You stated, "Let's also ignore the fact that the sons and grandsons of the unionised postwar generation for the most part subsequently rejected blue collar work no matter what the pay. This is a sign of decadence I will grant you, and I am guilty as charged. "

This canard doesn't hold up in the face of empirical evidence. One example: 20,000 waiting in line for lousy warehouse jobs at Amazon. The fact is, open borders and illegal immigration are NeoLiberal tactics to promote wage arbitrage. In California, those impacted the most by illegal immigration are African Americans. Whole sectors, such as hotel maintenance and janitorial service, had been unionized, and had principally employed black workers whose salaries enabled them to move into the middle class. The hotel industry welcomed the influx of illegal immigrants willing to work for drastically lower wages. Black workers were replaced and the union destroyed. Unfortunately, many in the US and globally have been so propagandized about illegal immigration that even mentioning illegal immigration gets one falsely labeled racist. in the US, Democrats use illegal immigration as a "demographic strategy," which enables Democrats to remain in power while remaining wholly loyal to Wall Street and doing nothing to ameliorate the misery of the bottom 90%.

[Jun 11, 2019] Pat Buchanan How Do We Remain One Nation One People

Jun 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

What we have here is a clash of values.

What one side believes is preserving the God-given right to life for the unborn, the other regards as an assault on the rights of women.

The clash raises questions that go beyond our culture war to what America should stand for in the world.

"American interests and American values are inseparable," Pete Buttigieg told Rachel Maddow.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Claremont Institute:

"We have had too little courage to confront regimes squarely opposed to our interests and our values."

Are Pompeo and Mayor Pete talking about the same values?

The mayor is proudly gay and in a same-sex marriage. Yet the right to same-sex marriage did not even exist in this country until the Supreme Court discovered it a few years ago.

In a 2011 speech to the U.N., Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "Gay rights are human rights," and she approved of U.S. embassies flying the rainbow flag during Pride Month.

This year, Mike Pompeo told the U.S. embassy in Brazil not to fly the rainbow flag. He explained his concept of his moral duty to the Christian Broadcasting Network, "The task I have is informed by my understanding of my faith, my belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior."

The Christian values Pompeo espouses on abortion and gay rights are in conflict with what progressives now call human rights.

And the world mirrors the American divide.

There are gay pride parades in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, but none in Riyadh and Mecca. In Brunei, homosexuality can get you killed.

To many Americans, diversity -- racial, ethnic, cultural, religious -- is our greatest strength.

Yet Poland and Hungary are proudly ethnonationalist. South Korea and Japan fiercely resist the racial and ethnic diversity immigration would bring. Catalans and Scots in this century, like Quebecois in the last, seek to secede from nations to which they have belonged for centuries.

Are ethnonationalist nations less righteous than diverse nations likes ours? And if diversity is an American value, is it really a universal value?

Consider the treasured rights of our First Amendment -- freedom of speech, religion and the press.

Saudi Arabia does not permit Christian preachers. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, converts to Christianity face savage reprisals. In Buddhist Myanmar, Muslims are ethnically cleansed.

These nations reject an equality of all faiths, believing instead in the primacy of their own majority faith. They reject our wall of separation between religion and state. Our values and their values conflict.

What makes ours right and theirs wrong? Why should our views and values prevail in what are, after all, their countries?

Under our Constitution, many practices are protected - abortion, blasphemy, pornography, flag-burning, trashing religious beliefs - that other nations regard as symptoms of a disintegrating society.

When Hillary Clinton said half of all Trump supporters could be put into a "basket of deplorables" for being "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic," she was conceding that many Trump's supporters detest many progressive values.

True, but in the era of Trump, why should her liberal values be the values America champions abroad?

With secularism's triumph, we Americans have no common religion, no common faith, no common font of moral truth. We disagree on what is right and wrong, moral and immoral. Without an agreed-upon higher authority, values become matters of opinion. And ours are in conflict and irreconcilable.

Understood. But how, then, do we remain one nation and one people?

[Jun 08, 2019] Trump has spent more time at the Wailing Wall than on our southern border.

Jun 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Ace , says: June 7, 2019 at 1:20 pm GMT

@Tired of Not Winning

... As a wag on ZeroHedge observed, Trump has spent more time at the Wailing Wall than on our southern border.

And while every month 100,000 invaders are released into the interior of the US.

[Jun 05, 2019] End of Discussion How the Left s Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun)

Notable quotes:
"... This book covers our current inability to allow all voices to be heard. Key words like "racism " and "?-phobia" (add your preference) can and do end conversations before they begin ..."
"... Hate speech is now any speech about an idea that you disagree with. As we go down the road of drowning out some speech eventually no speech will be allowed. Finger pointers should think about the future, the future when they will be silenced. It's never wrong to listen to different point of view. That's called learning. ..."
"... A very clear and balanced portrait of the current political landscape where a "minority of one" can be supposedly damaged as a result of being exposed to "offensive" ideas. ..."
"... A well documented journey of the transformation from a time when people had vehement arguments into Orwell-Land where the damage one supposedly "suffers" simply from having to "hear" offensive words, allows this shrieking minority to not only silence those voices, but to destroy the lives of the people who have the gall to utter them. ..."
Aug 01, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Q Garcia , August 9, 2017

1984 is Here - Everybody's Brother is Watching

This book covers our current inability to allow all voices to be heard. Key words like "racism " and "?-phobia" (add your preference) can and do end conversations before they begin .

Hate speech is now any speech about an idea that you disagree with. As we go down the road of drowning out some speech eventually no speech will be allowed. Finger pointers should think about the future, the future when they will be silenced. It's never wrong to listen to different point of view. That's called learning.

.0 out of 5 stars A Professor's Review of the Outrage Circus (and the first non-Vine review :-)
Brumble Buffin , August 18, 2015
Tolerance gone astray

I became interested in this book after watching Megyn Kelly's interview with Benson (Google it), where he gave his thoughts on the SCOTUS decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states. He made a heartfelt and reasoned plea for tolerance and grace on BOTH sides. He hit it out of the park with this and set himself apart from some of his gay peers who are determined that tolerance is NOT a two-way street.

We are seeing a vindictive campaign of lawsuits and intimidation against Christian business people who choose not to provide flowers and cakes for same-sex weddings. The First Amendment says that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Thumbing your nose at this core American freedom should alarm us all. Personally, I'm for traditional marriage and I think the better solution would be to give civil unions the same legal rights and obligations as marriage, but that's another discussion.

So what about the book? It exceeded my expectations. Ham and Benson are smart and articulate. Their ideas are clearly presented, supported by hard evidence and they are fair and balanced. The book is a pleasure to read - - unless you are a die-hard Lefty. In that case, it may anger you, but anger can be the first step to enlightenment.

Steve Bicker , August 1, 2015
A Well Documented Death of Debate

A very clear and balanced portrait of the current political landscape where a "minority of one" can be supposedly damaged as a result of being exposed to "offensive" ideas.

A well documented journey of the transformation from a time when people had vehement arguments into Orwell-Land where the damage one supposedly "suffers" simply from having to "hear" offensive words, allows this shrieking minority to not only silence those voices, but to destroy the lives of the people who have the gall to utter them.

The Left lays claim to being the "party of tolerance", unless you happen to "think outside THEIR box", which, to the Left is INtolerable and must not only be silenced, but exterminated... A great book!

[Jun 05, 2019] America's Demise In One Simple Chart - The Path To A FIRE Economy

Notable quotes:
"... finance...is not value added....it is value SUBTRACTED! ..."
"... A job at McDonald's then was merely a job you had to make a little money on the side while attending colleges that were FREE to very low cost. Now, McDonald's is one of many low wage jobs in this GIG economy that are utilized as life sustaining. ..."
"... Production of debt instead of production of things. US is one of the largest producers of debt. Financialization as planned by the bankers. ..."
Jun 05, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

venturen , 2 hours ago link

finance...is not value added....it is value SUBTRACTED!

venturen , 3 hours ago link

when you can create $10 Trillion out of thin air and then give it to a select few...what did you think would happen. Instead of arresting the criminal bankers....we rescued them!

They are criminal by nature and are programmed to steal ever more! I know hundreds of NYC bankers and lawyers.....they are NOT NICE PEOPLE!

Handful of Dust , 2 hours ago link

+1,000

Between Bush and Obama bailing them out, and then destroying the middle class with regulations, Obamacare, ZIRP, offshoring, etc.....

CatInTheHat , 2 hours ago link

...Narcissists/sociopaths in America now outnumber empaths

exlcus , 2 hours ago link

America's Demise In One Simple Chart

This is one time that a ZH headline was not click bait. Not only is FIRE bigger than manufacturing, even .GOV is bigger than manufacturing now too. We're fucked, big time.

CatInTheHat , 2 hours ago link

Another boomer who lives in a state of alternate reality. Boomers were privy to government jobs and manufacturing in the US aplenty. They also were privy to government subsidies that don't exist today.

A job at McDonald's then was merely a job you had to make a little money on the side while attending colleges that were FREE to very low cost. Now, McDonald's is one of many low wage jobs in this GIG economy that are utilized as life sustaining.

Offshoring, the disappearance of government subsidies and social programs (thanks to boomers love for BILL CLINTON), wealth inequality (See the FED/Obama bank bailout/QE), stagnant wages, student loan debt, 22 TRILLION US DEBT, & 9/11 & 17 years of WAR & MORE WAR, has caused this country to become BANKRUPT.

Living in your parents basement, or with roommates, one paycheck from the streets to living on the streets is how it is for that kid YOU destroyed through your voting for sociopaths who took away the very jobs and entitlements YOU were privy to that no longer exist.

RasinResin , 1 hour ago link

I like your sarcasm, but the truth is something different entirely. Median home in 2000 - 164K. Now - 313K. Median income during the same period rose 3k. Clarified.

Handful of Dust , 1 minute ago link

If interest rates ever correct, those houses will be $164k again.

Expat , 3 hours ago link

LOL. All hail Donald! Our Real Estate Over-Lord and King of Low Interest Rates!

... ... ...

j0nx , 1 hour ago link

Bs. If they feared that then they wouldn't have ever raised rates effectively killing the refi market and putting downward pressure on prices for the past 2 years.

yogibear , 1 hour ago link

Production of debt instead of production of things. US is one of the largest producers of debt. Financialization as planned by the bankers.

desirdavenir , 1 hour ago link

Financialization as embraced by the boomers, eager to go for the fast money with no skills and no hard work.

CatInTheHat , 27 minutes ago link

Yeah it is. I wouldn't have a kid and raise it in this country today if my life depended on it. May be that's why birth rates in the US are at historic lows.

besnook , 1 hour ago link

if the country was run by shoe shine boys there would be shoe shine palaces on every corner and a law requiring everyone to get a shoeshine 3 times/day. the usa is run by banksters. you get the result described.

wonger , 1 hour ago link

ADP just missed by 153,000 jobs, bye bye real estate

HideTheWeenie , 1 hour ago link

Real Estate:They're mot making more of it ... Because they made too much of it.

BuyDash , 3 hours ago link

It happened in the blink of an eye. I told you, soon Caucasian areas will just start dying out. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

Teja , 1 hour ago link

Curse of consumerist car-focussed societies everywhere. Same for Japan, China. Don't think that skin pigments will protect against it, though.

The only counter-trends are societies like the Amish, or maybe orthodox Jews. Their inoculation against most aspects of consumer society has the side effect of exponential population growth.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_Amish_population

TeethVillage88s , 1 hour ago link

Via Global Macro Monitor,

We originally posted this chart in February 2011 , which we just updated also breaking out the real estate industry from FIRE (finance, insurance, and real estate). It is still just as shocking as it was back when we first produced it.

Economy Jumps The Shark. The U.S. economy jumped the shark in 1990 when FIRE overtook the manufacturing sector in terms of its contribution to GDP.

So... Finance Capitalism is real, Mises?

[Jun 03, 2019] A n example of identity stereotyping (in this case anti-Semitism)

Jun 03, 2019 | russia-insider.com

Walter 2 months ago ,

Rachel is the grand daughter of a Lithuanian (J) what else would you expect her to be but anti-Russia?

Isabella Jones Walter 2 months ago ,

The brilliant American physicist, Nobel prize winner, Richard Feynham was also descended from LIthuanian Jews.He had no time for any religion, and refused all aspects of Jewishness. He was a brilliant mant who contributed much to American Science.

Don't make generalisations based on race. Every race has demons and devil, and brilliant angels, and all points in between.

Jasaah 2 months ago ,

Rachel Maddow is garbage. She is godless and without any principles, honor, or dignity.

Unfortunately, she probably represents at least 50% of the US population these days.

- Orthodox Christian Palestinian

[May 20, 2019] Rapid DNA-Testing Reveals Third Of Migrants Lying About Family Relationship To Children

May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Rapid DNA testing has revealed that almost 1/3 of illegal migrants apprehended at the southern US border were not biologically related to the children they were traveling with, nor were they cases of step-fathers or adoptive parents, according to the Washington Examiner .

The findings were a result of a pilot program conducted by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in El Paso and McAllen, Texas.

The number of migrants tested and how they flagged people for testing is unknown, while the official added that some migrants refused the cheek-swab test and admitted that they aren't related to the children they were with after learning that their claim would be subject to DNA proof.

Border Patrol agents are seen processing a family unit in Texas earlier this month.

After analyzing the results of the pilot, the Department of Homeland Security will consider rolling out the rapid DNA tests on a broad-scale, according to ICE.

"This is certainly not the panacea. It's one measure," said the official.

One upside, the source said, was that in addition to verifying bogus relationships, it also verified many when Homeland Security personnel were unsure.

The Examiner reported in March the Department of Homeland Security and ICE were looking at adopting the test, made by a company called ANDE . On May 1, DHS announced it would launch a pilot of the program in instances where ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents could not verify a family unit's relationships. - Washington Examiner

In March, former DHS chief Kristjen Nielsen announced that border crossers have been using " child recycling rings " to trick US authorities .

"We've broken up child recycling rings -- if you can believe it -- in the last couple of months, which is where smugglers pick up a child, they give it to adults to present themselves as a family once they get over -- because, as you know, we can only hold families for 20 days -- they send the child back and bring the child back with another family. Another fake family," Nielsen told Fox News 's Tucker Carlson.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rEfma2hj2sU?start=232

Tags Social Issues

[May 17, 2019] Trump plans to invoke insurrection act to boot illegal immigrants

May 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Teamtc321 , 51 minutes ago link

Breaking:

=====================

President Donald Trump is planning on using the Insurrection Act to remove illegal immigrants from the United States, The Daily Caller has learned.

According to multiple senior administration officials, the president intends to invoke the "tremendous powers" of the act to remove illegal immigrants from the country.

"We're doing the Insurrection Act," one official said.

Under the Insurrection Act of 1807 , the president has the authority to use the National Guard and military in order to combat "unlawful obstruction or rebellion" within U.S. borders. The act was last invoked in 1992 by George H.W. Bush to quell the Los Angeles riots, and was also used by Eisenhower in 1957 to enforce school desegregation in the south.

An official expressed concerns that Trump's use of the act's powers would face legal challenges, pointing to the lawsuits against the president's travel ban from majority-Muslim countries. However, as the official noted, the travel ban ultimately prevailed in the Supreme Court.

In addition to the Insurrection Act, the president is also considering declaring the country full and insisting that the U.S. can no longer handle the massive influx of illegal immigrants. 2019 is currently on pace to reach the highest levels of illegal immigration in a decade.

"If you take a ship and it holds 1,000 people maximum -- one more person and the ship is going to collapse," the official explained. "The country is full."

"Our hospitals are full, our detention centers are full," they added."

https://dailycaller.com/2019/05/16/donald-trump-insurrection-act-illegal-immigration/

[May 15, 2019] Tariffs won't bring back manufacturing jobs...

The key factor here is that the USA is a neoliberal state which means profits before people and outsourcing to area with lower labor cost. Like leopard can't change its spots, neoliberalism can't change it "free movement of goods and labor" principles, or it stop being neoliberalism.
No jobs will come back to the USA as financial oligarchy is transnational body that uses the USA military as an enforcer for their gang. It does not care one bit about the common people in the USA.
May 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Originally from: Pepe Escobar Warns Over US-China Tensions The Hardcore Is Yet To Come

... ... ...

Where are our jobs?

Pause on the sound and fury for necessary precision. Even if the Trump administration slaps 25% tariffs on all Chinese exports to the US, the IMF has projected that would trim just a meager slither – 0.55% – off China's GDP. And America is unlikely to profit, because the extra tariffs won't bring back manufacturing jobs to the US – something that Steve Jobs told Barack Obama eons ago.

What happens is that global supply chains will be redirected to economies that offer comparative advantages in relation to China, such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Laos. And this redirection is already happening anyway – including by Chinese companies.

BRI represents a massive geopolitical and financial investment by China, as well as its partners; over 130 states and territories have signed on. Beijing is using its immense pool of capital to make its own transition towards a consumer-based economy while advancing the necessary pan-Eurasian infrastructure development – with all those ports, high-speed rail, fiber optics, electrical grids expanding to most Global South latitudes.

The end result, up to 2049 – BRI's time span – will be the advent of an integrated market of no less than 4.5 billion people, by that time with access to a Chinese supply chain of high-tech exports as well as more prosaic consumer goods.

Anyone who has followed the nuts and bolts of the Chinese miracle launched by Little Helmsman Deng Xiaoping in 1978 knows that Beijing is essentially exporting the mechanism that led China's own 800 million citizens to, in a flash, become members of a global middle class.

As much as the Trump administration may bet on "maximum pressure" to restrict or even block Chinese access to whole sectors of the US market, what really matters is BRI's advance will be able to generate multiple, extra US markets over the next two decades.

We don't do 'win-win'

There are no illusions in the Zhongnanhai, as there are no illusions in Tehran or in the Kremlin. These three top actors of Eurasian integration have exhaustively studied how Washington, in the 1990s, devastated Russia's post-USSR economy (until Putin engineered a recovery) and how Washington has been trying to utterly destroy Iran for four decades.

Beijing, as well as Moscow and Tehran, know everything there is to know about Hybrid War, which is an American intel concept. They know the ultimate strategic target of Hybrid War, whatever the tactics, is social chaos and regime change.

The case of Brazil – a BRICS member like China and Russia – was even more sophisticated: a Hybrid War initially crafted by NSA spying evolved into lawfare and regime change via the ballot box. But it ended with mission accomplished – Brazil has been reduced to the lowly status of an American neo-colony.

Let's remember an ancient mariner, the legendary Chinese Muslim Admiral Zheng He, who for three decades, from 1405 to 1433, led seven expeditions across the seas all the way to Arabia and Eastern Africa, reaching Champa, Borneo, Java, Malacca, Sumatra, Ceylon, Calicut, Hormuz, Aden, Jeddah, Mogadiscio, Mombasa, bringing tons of goods to trade (silk, porcelain, silver, cotton, iron tools, leather utensils).

That was the original Maritime Silk Road, progressing in parallel to Emperor Yong Le establishing a Pax Sinica in Asia – with no need for colonies and religious proselytism. But then the Ming dynasty retreated – and China was back to its agricultural vocation of looking at itself.

They won't make the same mistake again. Even knowing that the current hegemon does not do "win-win". Get ready for the real hardcore yet to come.


Tachyon5321 , 35 minutes ago link

The Swine fever is sweeping china hog farms and since the start of 2019 200+ millions hogs have been culled. Chinese hog production is down from 2016 high of 700 million to below 420 million by the end of the year. The fever is not under control.

Soybeans from Ukraine are unloaded at the port in Nantong, in eastern China. Imports of soy used to come from the US, but have slumped since the trade war began. Should point out that the Ukraine soy production matures at a different time of the year than the US soybean. The USA planting season starts in Late april, may and june. Because of the harvest time differences worldwide the USA supplies 80% of the late maturing soybeans needed by October/Nov and December.

A propaganda story by the Asian Times

BT , 46 minutes ago link

Orange Jesus just wants to be re-elected in 2020 and MIGA.

Son of Captain Nemo , 52 minutes ago link

Perhaps this is one of the "casualties" ( https://www.rt.com/news/459355-us-austria-embassy-mcdonalds/ ) of economic war given the significance of China and just how important it is to the U.S. in it's purchases of $USD to maintain the illusion of it's reserve currency status and "vigor"...

Surprised this didn't happen first at the U.S. Embassies in Russia and China?... Obviously Ronald McDonald has turned into a charity of sorts helping out Uncle $am in his ailing "health" these dayz!...

SUPER SIZE ME!... Cause I'm not lovin it anymore!... I'm needin it!!!!

joego1 , 52 minutes ago link

If Americans want to wear shoes they can make them or have a robot make them. Manufacturing can happen in the U.S. **** what Steve Jobs told Oblamy .

ElBarto , 1 hour ago link

I've never understood this "jobs aren't coming back" argument. Do you really think that it will stop tariffs? They're happening. Better start preparing.

ZakuKommander , 1 hour ago link

Oh, right, tariffs WILL bring back American jobs! Then why didn't the Administration impose them fully in 2017? Why negotiate at all; just impose all the tariffs!?! lol

Haboob , 1 hour ago link

Pepe is correct as usual. Even if America tariffs the world the jobs aren't coming back as corporations will be unable to turn profits in such a highly taxed country like America would be. What could happen however is America can form an internal free market again going isolationist with new home grown manufacturing.

Gonzogal , 41 minutes ago link

You VERY obviously have ZERO knowledge of Chinas history and its discoveries/inventions etc USED BY THE WEST.

I suggest that you keep your eyes open for "History Erased-China" on Y Tube. The series shows what would happen in todays world if countries and their contributions to the world did not happen.

here is a preview: https://youtu.be/b6PJxuheWfk

[May 13, 2019] Americans probably don't understand Russia. Americans don't even mostly understand their own history.

Notable quotes:
"... Americans have made this clear twice: in the election of Donald J. Trump and in the equally unexpected rise of Ross Perot, an unprecedentedly successful Third Party candidate in the Nineties who rocketed to prominence by boldly condemning "the giant sucking sound of jobs going across the border to Mexico." ..."
"... Maybe, Perot would have done the same thing as Trump if he had made it to the White House. But people like Ann Coulter are popular because -- like Perot -- they articulate in no uncertain terms crucial, popular points that most politicians are just too cowering to even address verbally, much less redressing voters' grievances with any real action. ..."
May 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Endgame Napoleon , says: May 9, 2019 at 9:26 pm GMT

Americans probably don't understand Russia. Americans don't even mostly understand their own history. With little education in our system of constitutional governance in formerly politically apathetic -- now Woke -- public schools bereft of civics classes, the lack of historical grounding is not surprising.

One thing Americans do understand, though, is the need to stop the mass flow of welfare-assisted immigration, curbing the illegal kind entirely and reducing the legal kind significantly. Americans have made this clear twice: in the election of Donald J. Trump and in the equally unexpected rise of Ross Perot, an unprecedentedly successful Third Party candidate in the Nineties who rocketed to prominence by boldly condemning "the giant sucking sound of jobs going across the border to Mexico."

It just does not matter what Americans want in our rigged system. Whatever we vote for, mostly for economic reasons but also a few other good reasons, Neoliberal economic Elites ignore it, pursuing their own economic interests once in office.

Maybe, Perot would have done the same thing as Trump if he had made it to the White House. But people like Ann Coulter are popular because -- like Perot -- they articulate in no uncertain terms crucial, popular points that most politicians are just too cowering to even address verbally, much less redressing voters' grievances with any real action.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/05/08/ann-coulter-the-way-we-were/

On the campaign trail, Trump cleverly sidestepped the issue of immigration with mocking comedy that could be conveniently repackaged in case of any victory. It was just a matter of interpretation: whether you heard more Build The Wall or more Big Beautiful Door in the wall in Trump's thunderous speeches. Trump's voters heard Build The Wall, and many did not show up to vote for Republicans in the midterms, whereas the Cheap Labor Lobby & the corporate donor class heard Big Beautiful Door.

[May 11, 2019] America s Industrial Gold Rush is Over

Notable quotes:
"... I see a lot of people saying, "They should just move to where the jobs are." 1) They would need accurate and defined information about where the jobs are that are looking for their skills 2) They would need some money to get there 3) They would need a place to stay and the rents and mortages are sky high 'where the jobs are' 4) They would have to be welcome. Two previous mass migrations within the USA come to mind: Black Americans out of the South and the dust bowl migrations to California. They were not welcomed with "open arms". ..."
"... I think the author understates the importance of Corporations being Good Citizens and Good Persons. ..."
"... My father was selected to go to Akron for training and if he passed the tests and did well in the training he might get a chance at Managing a Firestone Store. He was gone for weeks at a time for this process and was even required to go to Akron for more training after becoming a store manager. My father was an intelligent person but did not have a college degree. But I can see now that Firestone did an outstanding job training their store managers in all aspects of the job. Just think about that for a while. ..."
"... Corporations today hate themselves because its only about the money. I guess the point I am trying to make is this loss of Corporate Responsibility to the Nation and its Citizens was something that did exist but is now long gone. ..."
"... All across the West you can find old ghost towns. Towns that flourished until the gold or silver ran out of the local hill. The towns then were deserted. The similar thing can happen when a major employer runs out of "gold'. What the article ignores is all of the other reasons towns die. ..."
"... I would much rather rural stay rural and not become urban. There is more to the quality of life than a constant red hot economy. ..."
"... "The schools go to hell, the crime goes way up, liberals get elected and raise taxes, etc." One only needs to look at Kansas to see that this sentence is flawed. It needs to be changed and re-ordered to properly represent cause and effect. "Conservatives cut taxes, the schools go to hell, the crime goes way up, etc." ..."
"... The days of being qualified for good, well paying work without having more than a mediocre high school are in the past. This doesn't necessarily mean college because the trades require more education than ever before. Cutting school funding to pay for tax cuts is a loser's game. Trickle down economics has failed. ..."
May 11, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

I recently read and reviewed Tim Carney's excellent book Alienated America , a sort of combination of the "how we got Trump" genre with the sociological works of researchers like Robert Putnam and Charles Murray. Carney's exploration of the Trump phenomenon, and his grappling with the timeless question of economic security versus personal responsibility in regard to the formation of virtue, family, and community, are among the best you'll find. There is a deeper subtext in his book, however, that is not excavated. But first, a quick recap.

As in most treatments of inequality, geographic immobility, deindustrialization, and related issues, Alienated America features the requisite visits to faded old towns with ghostly main streets, and paeans to the blue-collar jobs that once allowed men with high school educations to comfortably own homes, raise families, and retire with pensions.

Through a long analysis, including a fascinating visit to a fracking camp in North Dakota -- awash in money but utterly lacking in neighborliness and community -- Carney concludes that wealth alone does not produce human flourishing. It is rather community and what social researchers call "civil society" that makes the American Dream possible. Obviously, money helps, but it is not sufficient, nor, in Carney's telling, even necessary.

... ... ...

Indeed, large numbers of human settlements never do, and never have . A one-dimensional, economically undiversified city is essentially a housing tract for a factory or a wharf or whatever industry drives its economy. What is left when that economic engine breaks down? A company town without a company. This is the fate that has befallen many of America's declining places, and it is hard to argue that this economic reality doesn't play a direct role in the decline of the family and of civil society. Is this a "materialist" explanation? Perhaps. But it may also be true.

There are those who admirably hope and work for revival, for restoration in places like Gary, Detroit, or any number of gutted small towns. But many of the buildings in these ghostly, empty blocks, even with their mighty and almost pleasantly timeworn facades, are far beyond the point where renovation is economical. For now, poverty is a sort of preservative. More money, for many hollowed-out cities, would simply mean more demolition.

To urbanist and declinist James Howard Kunstler, it may simply be the case that the national gold rush of petroleum-fueled industrial growth is over . If this is the case, the crisis of declining America is a structural, inexorable economic reality on the order of the Industrial Revolution itself.

... ... ...

The unwinding of rural and post-industrial America is a human tragedy, not to be written off, much less tacitly celebrated. Yet the facts of the post-industrial landscape may not care about remaining working-class feelings. This does not mean that any of these places " deserve to die ." But it may well mean that their collapse is beyond the ability of policy -- or church -- to alter.

Addison Del Mastro is assistant editor of The American Conservative . He tweets at @ad_mastro .

Tim , says: May 9, 2019 at 6:56 pm

Interesting and probably spot on. It doesn't take a degree in economics or history to understand how prosperity came and went; a passing knowledge of the 20th century will suffice. Dating back to the '20s we experienced a classic example of the boom/bust cycle, with the bust of the 30s lasting basically the entire decade. The good times rwith the onset of WWII and continued afterward because we, of all the major combatant nations, actually experienced minimal economic, social, and cultural disruption. The devastation elsewhere was sufficient to provide us a head-start worth a couple decades of strong growth. It wound down around the beginning of the 70s, coincident with the end of the Vietnam War. We retained some strong advantages, though, and they were sufficient to provide more growth – on paper at least – even as today's yawning income-distribution gap began to open up. The the Cold War ended and the days of free-trade saving the world (aka 'Globalism') commenced. It seemed great for awhile but now we're left holding an empty bag and the rest of the world has sidelined our old industrial workforce through off-shoring for the sake of cheaper labor. Nope, there's no turning back.
LarsX , says: May 9, 2019 at 9:30 pm
"Yet the facts of the post-industrial landscape may not care about remaining working-class feelings."

Well, somebody sure as hell better care about working-class feelings or Trump will only be act one.

JonF , says: May 10, 2019 at 6:20 am
Re: The revival of the American Dream requires the re-churching of America.

Maybe, but it also requires jobs paying a living wage that offer a reasonable degree of long-term security (It's the latter is lacking in short-lived fracking boom towns)

LouB , says: May 10, 2019 at 10:37 am
Having lived in the inner Chicago burbs since the mid 1970's I have watched Chicago turn from being an industrial powerhouse to a have and have not economy. If you're working in professional/service sector or part of the management of multinational globalist activity you're doing reasonably well. What's swept under the rug is that Chicago and their ilk hide the vast swaths of decayed blight and human warehousing with pretty downtown / privileged few neighborhoods. Most of our once great second city serves little purpose other than to provide housing for the poverty class. So called "Revitalization" only provides window dressing for the parade of the chosen few.

Prior to living in Chicago, my folks lived in a small city in western IL that was a poster child for the small town decay referred to above that Mr. Williamson thinks should die.

The town was famous for their productivity. Civic pride was evident in most all aspects of community life there. A major steel mill anchored the economy as well as numerous smaller hardware manufacturers. The steel mill went belly up, the hardware manufacturers became distributors of Asian made goods.

The gravy train just dried up. Times aren't so good now for the town that holds so many fond memories for me. Progress. I guess.

Kent , says: May 10, 2019 at 11:08 am
@hooly:

"Americans are the descendants of people who crossed oceans and continents for a better life, why are Americans who live in this dying towns so different? I just don't get it."

Because there is no longer a place with a better life. People left families and homes because life could be dramatically better someplace else.

An unemployed steel-worker used to making $60,000/year in a $100,000 house isn't going to find life somehow better making $8/hour as a barista in San Francisco with a $2000/month rent.

LT , says: May 10, 2019 at 11:31 am
I see a lot of people saying, "They should just move to where the jobs are."
1) They would need accurate and defined information about where the jobs are that are looking for their skills
2) They would need some money to get there
3) They would need a place to stay and the rents and mortages are sky high 'where the jobs are'
4) They would have to be welcome. Two previous mass migrations within the USA come to mind: Black Americans out of the South and the dust bowl migrations to California. They were not welcomed with "open arms".
Tick Tock , says: May 10, 2019 at 12:09 pm
First let me say that I agree with the author almost 90+%. But I think the author understates the importance of Corporations being Good Citizens and Good Persons. That is clearly what has happened to America. As the son of a former Firestone Store Manager, I can attest that Firestone trained all of their store managers in Akron, OH.

My father was selected to go to Akron for training and if he passed the tests and did well in the training he might get a chance at Managing a Firestone Store. He was gone for weeks at a time for this process and was even required to go to Akron for more training after becoming a store manager. My father was an intelligent person but did not have a college degree. But I can see now that Firestone did an outstanding job training their store managers in all aspects of the job. Just think about that for a while.

The Company cared what the Company looked like everywhere, not just in Akron, OH. There was almost no turnover in my father's store of employees. He was finally burnt out from dealing with the public in retail sales but they promoted him to District Manager a job that he kept till he passed away. No employer today gives a crap about any employee or any client. Of course you can't learn to love someone else till you learn to love yourself. Corporations today hate themselves because its only about the money. I guess the point I am trying to make is this loss of Corporate Responsibility to the Nation and its Citizens was something that did exist but is now long gone.

While some will surely say I am crazy, I strongly believe that a very high progressive tax rate on individuals and corporations would help to change this attitude and at least get money into circulation. We also have to remove the corrupt and criminal group that has taken over the US Corporations and with that the Governments both National and Local or the US is doomed.

Steve M , says: May 10, 2019 at 12:53 pm
All across the West you can find old ghost towns. Towns that flourished until the gold or silver ran out of the local hill. The towns then were deserted. The similar thing can happen when a major employer runs out of "gold'. What the article ignores is all of the other reasons towns die.

The schools go to hell, the crime goes way up, liberals get elected and raise taxes, etc. A town can survive with a big company leaving, but if all of the social factors cause the best, brightest and hardest working people to pull up roots and leave, maybe the town didn't die, it committed suicide.

Johann , says: May 10, 2019 at 2:36 pm
Spot on Daniel P. Donnelly!

I would much rather rural stay rural and not become urban. There is more to the quality of life than a constant red hot economy. And really, today, many rural areas are more rural than they were a generation ago. Yes, farms are bigger and so there are fewer people on more land and so many small rural towns have dried up. Personally, I love it. More room to hunt and fish, less hectic, more fresh air, and more freedom.

LFC , says: May 10, 2019 at 2:37 pm
"The schools go to hell, the crime goes way up, liberals get elected and raise taxes, etc." One only needs to look at Kansas to see that this sentence is flawed. It needs to be changed and re-ordered to properly represent cause and effect. "Conservatives cut taxes, the schools go to hell, the crime goes way up, etc."

The days of being qualified for good, well paying work without having more than a mediocre high school are in the past. This doesn't necessarily mean college because the trades require more education than ever before. Cutting school funding to pay for tax cuts is a loser's game. Trickle down economics has failed.

[May 06, 2019] Bernie's Degeneracy That's Democracy For Ya by Ilana Mercer

May 06, 2019 | www.unz.com

Multiculturalism means that you confer political privileges on many an individual whose illiberal practices run counter to, even undermine, the American political tradition.

Radical leaders across the U.S. quite seriously consider Illegal immigrants as candidates for the vote -- and for every other financial benefit that comes from the work of American citizens.

The rights of all able-bodied idle individuals to an income derived from labor not their own: That, too, is a debate that has arisen in democracy, where the demos rules like a despot.

But then moral degeneracy is inherent in raw democracy. The best political thinkers, including America's constitution-makers, warned a long time ago that mass, egalitarian society would thus degenerate.

What Bernie Sanders prescribes for the country -- unconditional voting -- is but an extension of "mass franchise," which was feared by the greatest thinkers on Democracy. Prime Minister George Canning of Britain, for instance.

Canning, whose thought is distilled in Russell Kirk's magnificent exegesis, "The Conservative Mind," thought that "the franchise should be accorded to persons and classes insofar as they possess the qualifications for right judgment and are worthy members of their particular corporations."

By "corporations," Canning (1770-1827) meant something quite different to our contemporary, community-killing multinationals.

"Corporations," in the nomenclature of the times, meant very plainly in "the spirit of cooperation, based upon the idea of a neighborhood. [C]ities, parishes, townships, professions, and trades are all the corporate bodies that constitute the state."

To the extent that an individual citizen is a decent member of these " little platoons " (Edmund Burke's iridescent term), he may be considered, as Canning saw it, for political participation.

"If voting becomes a universal and arbitrary right," cautioned Canning, "citizens become mere political atoms, rather than members of venerable corporations; and in time this anonymous mass of voters will degenerate into pure democracy," which, in reality is "the enthronement of demagoguery and mediocrity." ("The Conservative Mind," p. 131.)

That's us. Demagoguery and mediocrity are king in contemporary democracies, where the organic, enduring, merit-based communities extolled by Canning, no longer exists and are no longer valued.

This is the point at which America finds itself and against which William Lecky, another brilliant British political philosopher and politician, argued.

The author of "Democracy and Liberty" (1896) predicted that "the continual degradation of the suffrage" through "mass franchise" would end in "a new despotism."

Then as today, radical, nascent egalitarians, who championed the universal vote abhorred by Lecky, attacked "institution after institution," harbored "systematic hostility" toward "owners of landed property" and private property and insisted that "representative institutions" and the franchise be extended to all irrespective of "circumstance and character."

... ... ... "

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She is the author of Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald's Creative Destruction Deconstructed " (June, 2016). She's back on Twitter , after being suspended, and is also on Facebook , Gab & YouTube


imbroglio , says: April 27, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT

The franchise should be granted by whom? You're forgetting the 800 pound gorilla and where he sits when he enters the room. Franchises and every other grant are granted by those who have the power to grant them.

Canning's "organic, enduring, merit-based communities" will emerge, in ghastly form, as the solipsistic constituencies of identity politics. Why do people like Omar laugh at America and Americans? "Here's a people so stupid as to clasp the adder to its breast. You're clasping? I'm biting."

Bernie is utopian. Utopians do terrible things if and when they have the power to do them. But you can't fault him for insincerity.

The younger Tsarnaev who hid out near my home town was doing what his older brother told him to do assuming that the bombing wasn't a false flag. Not an excuse. Only to say the kid had no political convictions and probably wouldn't bother to vote if he could.

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: April 27, 2019 at 2:01 pm GMT
Sanders is just a wine and cheese socialist, totally an armchair theorist. He has no background in actually doing anything besides being involved in politics which has provided a living for him. It's doubtful he could run a couple of Walmarts. This is his last go-around and he's out to see how much in contributions he can garner. Pushing the edge, theoretically of course, keeps him in the conversation. He's worthless but such is the state of politics where characters like him, Biden, and the rest of the Dem lineup could be taken seriously. Just one big clown show.
hamtok , says: May 5, 2019 at 6:15 pm GMT
@Jim Bob Lassiter Yes, but, his wife could steal money from a collapsing college to serve her daughter. Corruption must run in the family as Bernie has been conspicuously silent on this subject. He must feel the Burn!

[May 05, 2019] Are Women, Like New Zealand's Ardern -- Or Gays, Like U.S. Dems' Buttigieg -- REALLY Suited To Politics by Lance Welton

May 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

It is a simple fact that females are more "emotionally unstable" than males. Psychological analyses all agree that by the time females reach adulthood, they are significantly higher in the personality trait "Neuroticism" than are males of the same age. [See Age differences in personality traits from 10 to 65: Big Five domains and facets in a large cross-sectional sample , by C. Soto et al., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2011].

Neuroticism is characterized by "feeling negative feelings strongly," with the opposite of Neuroticism being "Emotional Stability." Such "Negative Feelings" include sadness, anger and jealousy. But females score particularly strongly on "anxiety" -- possibly because, in prehistory, the children of anxious, protective mothers were less likely to get seriously injured. But the key point is that the stereotype is correct.

And people are also correct to think that women -- that is, those who, on average, score higher in Neuroticism -- will be less able to cope in the brutal world of power-politics.

Successful politicians -- the ones who get into their country's legislature but don't make it to the very top -- score significantly lower than the general public in Neuroticism, according to research published in the leading psychology journal Personality and Individual Differences . [ The personalities of politicians: A big five survey of American legislators , by Richard Hanania , 2017]

And this research reveals something very interesting indeed. These "successful politicians," while being more emotionally stable than most voters, score higher in the personality traits Extraversion ("feeling positive feelings strongly"), Conscientiousness ("rule-following and impulse control") and Agreeableness ("altruism and empathy").

But this does not tend to be true of those who reach the very top of politics -- and especially not of those who are perceived as great, world-changing statesmen. They tend to be highly intelligent but above average on quite the opposite personality traits – psychopathology and Narcissism [ Creativity and psychopathology , by F. Post British Journal of Psychiatry, 1994]. However, high Agreeableness, Conscientiousness and Extraversion are true of successful politicians in general.

In much the same way, run-of-the-mill scientists are above average in Agreeableness and Conscientiousness but genius scientists combine being relatively low in these traits with stratospheric intelligence. This gives them creativity, drive and fearless to be original. [ At Our Wits' End , by Edward Dutton and Michael Woodley of Menie, 2018, Ch. 6]

This is important, because these are typically female traits: women score higher than men in Agreeableness, Consciousness and Extraversion. This means that, in general, we would expect the relatively few females who do reach high political office to be fairly atypical women: low in mental instability and certainly moderately low in altruism, empathy or both -- think Margaret Thatcher , who according to Keith Patching in his 2006 book Leadership, Character and Strategy, was organizing her impending Bar Finals from her hospital bed having just had twins; or even Theresa May. Neither of these British Prime Ministers have (or had) neither of whom have particularly "feminine" personalities, though they may reflect (or have reflected) very pronounced Conscientiousness, a trait associated with social conservatism. [ Resolving the "Conscientiousness Paradox" , by Scott A. McGreal, Psychology Today , July 27, 2015]

But, sometimes, a female politician's typically anxiety will apparently be " compensated " for i.e. overwhelmed by her having massively high Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. This likely occurred in the case of Jacinda Ardern, who suffers from intense anxiety to the point of having being hospitalized.

This will become a problem in a time of crisis when, as happened with Ardern, such a politician will become over-emotional. This, combined with very high empathy, would seem to partly explain Ardern's self-identification with New Zealand's Muslims to the extent of donning a head scarf and breaking down in public.

But it also explains why females, on average, tend to be more left-wing than males and more open to refugees. They feel empathy and even sadness for the plight of the refugees more strongly than do men [ Young women are more left wing than men, study reveals, by Rosalind Shorrocks, The Conversation, May 3, 2018

This means that there will be a tendency for females to push politics Leftwards and make it more about empathy and other such "feelings." It also means that, in a serious crisis, they may well even empathize with the enemy.

In that gay men are generally feminized males, this problem help would to explain why people are skeptical of the suitability of homosexual men for supposedly "masculine" professions (such as politics) [ The extreme male brain theory of autism, by Simon Baron-Cohen, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2002], sometimes including political office. [ The Hidden Psychology of Voting, by Zaria Gorvett, BBC News , May 6, 2015]

Supporters of gay Democrat Pete Buttigieg 's campaign for his party's presidential nomination [ Protester Shouts "Sodom and Gomorrah" at Gay 2020 Dem Pete Buttigieg, by Tyler O'Neil, PJ Media, April 17, 2019] should, perhaps, take note . . .


freedom-cat , says: April 29, 2019 at 7:34 am GMT

What about Science and Technology? Are they suited for that? Maybe science could use a little more wisdom and conscientiousness.

J Robert Oppenheimer, the genius Physics professor, was known to be "temperamental" and not suited for high stress assignment. So, along with several other genius's, some who came over from Germany, he presided over the making of the A-bomb. Hallelujah just kidding.

There's an excellent book that covers J Robert Oppenheimer and the making of the A-bomb called "American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer".
The guy was totally volatile and emotionally unstable. While in school he left a knife in an apple on his teacher's desk that he did not like.

After the bomb was dropped on JAPAN, in a documentary much later, he is shown with tears in his eyes quoting the Bhagavad Gita: "Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds".

A couple decades or so later there were interviews of some of these guys who were part of the project and they were crying. They had the GENIUS to build such a monstrosity, but seemed to have failed to understand the impact it would make on the world; breaking down in tears when talking about it. They had no clue or ability of Foreknowledge. What would have happened if more women were on the team? Would we all be annihilated by now? Or maybe no a-bomb would have been made? Who knows .

Ray Woodcock , says: Website April 29, 2019 at 6:46 pm GMT
Interesting. And I appreciate the citations to sources. But I find that interpretation of psychiatric traits is a bit like reading tea leaves: there is a temptation to cherry-pick one's preferred quotes and conclusions. For me, this article would have been stronger if it had followed a recognized authority's path through the Big Five personality traits.
SOL , says: April 29, 2019 at 9:24 pm GMT
Feminism is dyscivic.
You can't handle the truth , says: May 1, 2019 at 4:29 am GMT
It seems rather unfair to pick a moron like Jacinda Ardern to represent all female politicians. And even though when it comes to foreign policy, I'll take a Tulsi Gabbard over any male politician like Rubio, Graham, Schumer, Pence, Trump, Pompeo, Bolton any day, I will have to say, in general, you're right, the crop of female politicians we've seen today do not inspire confidence in women as politicians, not just in the US but Merkel, May yikes. But women had been good heads of states in the past, like Margaret Thatcher and Queen Victoria. But they were the exceptions rather than the rule.

Also agree that gays make for bad politicians. Even though their moral degeneracy and drama queen antics make politics look like a natural fit, their extreme narcissism means they will always get sidetracked and can't stay focused. The only thing any gay man cares about is his gayness. Plus no one outside the western world will ever give them an ounce of respect. Picture Buttplug showing up in a muslim country as POTUS, with his husband! Either they'll get stoned to death which will get us into war or the US will be the laughing stock of the world. And then of course he'd have to go bomb some country just to prove his manhood, getting us into more unnecessary wars. No gays for politics, ever.

Anon [192] Disclaimer , says: May 1, 2019 at 4:32 am GMT
Are Homosexuals Suited for Politics?

Apparently:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harden–Eulenburg_affair

https://www.google.com/search?q=lavender+mafia

Oh, you really meant to ask Are Homosexuals Suited for Governance?

Dan Hayes , says: May 1, 2019 at 4:49 am GMT
@freedom-cat freedom-cat:

There has been a very successful effort to paint Oppenheimer as a secular saint. But Princeton's John Archibald Wheeler stated that he never trusted Oppenheimer. So what? Because JAW was notorious for otherwise saying nice things about almost everyone else, especially his academic rivals. Also JAW happily and productively worked on the US H-bomb project which was embargoed by Oppenheimer and his many disciples.

SafeNow , says: May 1, 2019 at 4:49 am GMT
I agree with the point made above, that, in our nuclear age, behavior in a crisis is the most important personality trait. I think that men's crisis-calmness can suffer from macho/ego, and with women, from anxiety and panic. Democratic candidate Amy K reportedly throws things when angry, and to me, this is disqualifying. Assuming no nuclear destruction, the analysis is this: We have devolved into a gigantic banana republic/soft dictatorship; whose personality constellation is best suited to politics in a banana republic?
Thomm , says: May 5, 2019 at 4:34 am GMT
No female leader of any country, ever, has been particularly good, except one.

And that one was only because she was fortunate enough to be the PM of the UK at the same time as Ronald Reagan was President of the US. He was handholding every single decision of hers. Reagan was effectively running two countries (the #1 and #4 largest GDPs in the world at that time). At least she was smart enough to let him tell her exactly what to do.

Given this dataset, no, women are not suitable for very high political office.

Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website May 5, 2019 at 4:39 am GMT
Is Ardern still wearing that hijab in order to cynically manipulate her insipid voters? Anyway

I have come to realize that women, on the whole, tend to be poorly suited to many traditionally male-doninated activities. Politics, for sure. Very few good, dependable female politicians come to mind. But the list at my immediate recall that are emotional, vapid, destructive slobs -- Angela Merkel, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Eva Perón, Michelle Bachelet, Isabel Allende Bussi, Annie Lööf, Anne Hidalgo, Ursula von der Leyen, Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Rashida Tlaïb, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, et al -- seems practically limitless. Not only is the fairer sex not adept at political leadership, but they are ill-suited to even vote rationally. The weakness of Anglo-American men's resolve against the suffragettes was the beginning of the end.

Preeminent excellence seems to elude the grasp of women in a number of other careers. For whatever reason, there are few women writers of prose fiction that can equal the heights men have reached in that field. This despite the fact that the contemporary literary industry is overwhelmingly dominated by women. True, there are the rare instances of female literary transcendence in the guise of a Clarice Lispector, Hilda Hilst, Okamoto Kanoko, Murasaki Shikibu, Unica Zürn, and so on. But they tend to be the exceptions that prove the rule. (On the other hand, women seem naturally gifted at lyric expression, with great female poets existing since at least Sappho.)

Orchestral conducting, too, is a field wherein women cannot produce an equal or better of, say, a Furtwängler, Mengelberg, or Beecham. There are plenty of them around today -- all lousy. (To be fair, though, nearly all living conductors today -- male or female -- are lousy.)

Teacup , says: May 5, 2019 at 5:03 am GMT
I'm a university degree holding woman, of the traditional type with XX chromosomes, and since I was a teen some forty years ago, I've thought that men are better suited for politics. Not that a few women can't do it successfully (Thatcher and British Queens for examples) but that it's a profession far more suited to men, being as many are more naturally mentally strong, steady and rational, and not as given to bursts of emotion and utopian fancies as women can often be. In fact, I'd be delighted if only U.S. born citizen male property owners over the age of 25 were allowed to vote. How's that for being a Dissident?

[May 05, 2019] Does America Have an Economy or Any Sense of Reality by Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... We are having a propaganda barrage about the great Trump economy. We have been hearing about the great economy for a decade while the labor force participation rate declined, real family incomes stagnated, and debt burdens rose. The economy has been great only for large equity owners whose stock ownership benefited from the trillions of dollars the Fed poured into financial markets and from buy-backs by corporations of their own stocks. ..."
"... Federal Reserve data reports that a large percentage of the younger work force live at home with parents, because the jobs available to them are insufficient to pay for an independent existence. How then can the real estate, home furnishings, and appliance markets be strong? ..."
"... In contrast, Robotics, instead of displacing labor, eliminates it. Unlike jobs offshoring which shifted jobs from the US to China, robotics will cause jobs losses in both countries. If consumer incomes fall, then demand for output also falls, and output will fall. Robotics, then, is a way to shrink gross domestic product. ..."
"... The tech nerds and corporations who cannot wait for robotics to reduce labor cost in their profits calculation are incapable of understanding that when masses of people are without jobs, there is no consumer income with which to purchase the products of robots. The robots themselves do not need housing, food, clothing, entertainment, transportation, and medical care. The mega-rich owners of the robots cannot possibly consume the robotic output. An economy without consumers is a profitless economy. ..."
"... A country incapable of dealing with real problems has no future. ..."
May 02, 2019 | www.unz.com

We are having a propaganda barrage about the great Trump economy. We have been hearing about the great economy for a decade while the labor force participation rate declined, real family incomes stagnated, and debt burdens rose. The economy has been great only for large equity owners whose stock ownership benefited from the trillions of dollars the Fed poured into financial markets and from buy-backs by corporations of their own stocks.

I have pointed out for years that the jobs reports are fabrications and that the jobs that do exist are lowly paid domestic service jobs such as waitresses and bartenders and health care and social assistance. What has kept the American economy going is the expansion of consumer debt, not higher pay from higher productivity. The reported low unemployment rate is obtained by not counting discouraged workers who have given up on finding a job.

Do you remember all the corporate money that the Trump tax cut was supposed to bring back to America for investment? It was all BS. Yesterday I read reports that Apple is losing its trillion dollar market valuation because Apple is using its profits to buy back its own stock. In other words, the demand for Apple's products does not justify more investment. Therefore, the best use of the profit is to repurchase the equity shares, thus shrinking Apple's capitalization. The great economy does not include expanding demand for Apple's products.

I read also of endless store and mall closings, losses falsely attributed to online purchasing, which only accounts for a small percentage of sales.

Federal Reserve data reports that a large percentage of the younger work force live at home with parents, because the jobs available to them are insufficient to pay for an independent existence. How then can the real estate, home furnishings, and appliance markets be strong?

When a couple of decades ago I first wrote of the danger of jobs offshoring to the American middle class, state and local government budgets, and pension funds, idiot critics raised the charge of Luddite.

The Luddites were wrong. Mechanization raised the productivity of labor and real wages, but jobs offshoring shifts jobs from the domestic economy to abroad. Domestic labor is displaced, but overseas labor gets the jobs, thus boosting jobs there. In other words, labor income declines in the country that loses jobs and rises in the country to which the jobs are offshored. This is the way American corporations spurred the economic development of China. It was due to jobs offshoring that China developed far more rapidly than the CIA expected.

In contrast, Robotics, instead of displacing labor, eliminates it. Unlike jobs offshoring which shifted jobs from the US to China, robotics will cause jobs losses in both countries. If consumer incomes fall, then demand for output also falls, and output will fall. Robotics, then, is a way to shrink gross domestic product.

The tech nerds and corporations who cannot wait for robotics to reduce labor cost in their profits calculation are incapable of understanding that when masses of people are without jobs, there is no consumer income with which to purchase the products of robots. The robots themselves do not need housing, food, clothing, entertainment, transportation, and medical care. The mega-rich owners of the robots cannot possibly consume the robotic output. An economy without consumers is a profitless economy.

One would think that there would be a great deal of discussion about the economic effects of robotics before the problems are upon us, just as one would think there would be enormous concern about the high tensions Washington has caused between the US and Russia and China, just as one would think there would be preparations for the adverse economic consequences of global warming, whatever the cause. Instead, the US, a country facing many crises, is focused on whether President Trump obstructed investigation of a crime that the special prosecutor said did not take place.

A country incapable of dealing with real problems has no future.

[May 04, 2019] Someone is getting a raise. It just isn't you

stackoverflow.com

As is usual, the headline economic number is always the rosiest number .

Wages for production and nonsupervisory workers accelerated to a 3.4 percent annual pace, signaling gains for lower-paid employees.

That sounds pretty good. Except for the part where it is a lie.
For starters, it doesn't account for inflation .

Labor Department numbers released Wednesday show that real average hourly earnings, which compare the nominal rise in wages with the cost of living, rose 1.7 percent in January on a year-over-year basis.

1.7% is a lot less than 3.4%.
While the financial news was bullish, the actual professionals took the news differently.

Wage inflation was also muted with average hourly earnings rising six cents, or 0.2% in April after rising by the same margin in March.
Average hourly earnings "were disappointing," said Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets in New York.

Secondly, 1.7% is an average, not a median. For instance, none of this applied to you if you are an older worker .

Weekly earnings for workers aged 55 to 64 were only 0.8% higher in the first quarter of 2019 than they were in the first quarter of 2007, after accounting for inflation, they found. For comparison, earnings rose 4.7% during that same period for workers between the ages of 35 and 54.

On the other hand, if you worked for a bank your wages went up at a rate far above average. This goes double if you are in management.

Among the biggest standouts: commercial banks, which employ an estimated 1.3 million people in the U.S. Since Trump took office in January 2017, they have increased their average hourly wage at an annualized pace of almost 11 percent, compared with just 3.3 percent under Obama.

Finally, there is the reason for this incredibly small wage increase fo regular workers. Hint: it wasn't because of capitalism and all the bullsh*t jobs it creates. The tiny wage increase that the working class has seen is because of what the capitalists said was a terrible idea .

For Americans living in the 21 states where the federal minimum wage is binding, inflation means that the minimum wage has lost 16 percent of its purchasing power.

But elsewhere, many workers and employers are experiencing a minimum wage well above 2009 levels. That's because state capitols and, to an unprecedented degree, city halls have become far more active in setting their own minimum wages.
...
Averaging across all of these federal, state and local minimum wage laws, the effective minimum wage in the United States -- the average minimum wage binding each hour of minimum wage work -- will be $11.80 an hour in 2019. Adjusted for inflation, this is probably the highest minimum wage in American history.
The effective minimum wage has not only outpaced inflation in recent years, but it has also grown faster than typical wages. We can see this from the Kaitz index, which compares the minimum wage with median overall wages.

So if you are waiting for capitalism to trickle down on you, it's never going to happen. span y gjohnsit on Fri, 05/03/2019 - 6:21pm

Carolinas

Teachers need free speech protection

Thousands of South Carolina teachers rallied outside their state capitol Wednesday, demanding pay raises, more planning time, increased school funding -- and, in a twist, more legal protections for their freedom of speech
SC for Ed, the grassroots activist group that organized Wednesday's demonstration, told CNN that many teachers fear protesting or speaking up about education issues, worrying they'll face retaliation at work. Saani Perry, a teacher in Fort Mill, S.C., told CNN that people in his profession are "expected to sit in the classroom and stay quiet and not speak [their] mind."

To address these concerns, SC for Ed is lobbying for the Teachers' Freedom of Speech Act, which was introduced earlier this year in the state House of Representatives. The bill would specify that "a public school district may not willfully transfer, terminate or fail to renew the contract of a teacher because the teacher has publicly or privately supported a public policy decision of any kind." If that happens, teachers would be able to sue for three times their salary.

Teachers across the country are raising similar concerns about retaliation. Such fears aren't unfounded: Lawmakers in some states that saw strikes last year have introduced bills this year that would punish educators for skipping school to protest.

[May 02, 2019] If The U.S. Economy Is So Great, Why Are So Many Workers Miserable

May 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

If The U.S. Economy Is So Great, Why Are So Many Workers Miserable?

by Tyler Durden Thu, 05/02/2019 - 17:45 2 SHARES Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

Millennial and generation Z workers are becoming increasingly miserable with their jobs and careers. Since we are told several times a day by the media that the economy is booming, why are so many young workers so disastrously melancholy all the time?

The mental well being of the American worker hit an all-time low in 2018, according to a report by Barron's . That's a bit shocking considering the economy is booming and wages are rising, right? Well, wages aren't rising that much, and much of the consumer spending is being put on credit cards , creating a vicious cycle of depression and consumerism that will repeat for a lot of folks.

Americans Are Financially And Mentally Unstable: Crippling Debt Is Linked To Chronic Depression

"When you're struggling with your mental health it can be much harder to stay in work or manage your spending, while being in debt can cause huge stress and anxiety – so the two issues feed off each other, creating a vicious cycle which can destroy lives," said Helen Undy the institute's chief executive. "Yet despite how connected these problems are, financial services rarely think about our mental health, and mental health services rarely consider what is happening with our money."

So why are we constantly being told everything is fine? The mainstream media loves to say that the U.S. is nearly ten years into one of the longest economic expansions in history, unemployment is the lowest it's been in almost half a century, and employees have more job choices than they've had in years. But there's just one problem. That's not actual truthful when taking all of the data into consideration. Sure, unemployment is low the way the government calculates it, but there's a reason for that. 102 million Americans are no longer "in the workforce" and therefore, unaccounted for.

Michael Snyder, who owns the Economic Collapse Blog s ays: "Sadly, the truth is that the rosy employment statistics that you are getting from the mainstream media are manufactured using smoke and mirrors."

When a working-age American does not have a job, the federal number crunchers put them into one of two different categories. Either they are categorized as "unemployed" or they are categorized as "not in the labor force".

But you have to add both of those categories together to get the total number of Americans that are not working.

Over the last decade, the number of Americans that are in the "unemployed" category has been steadily going down, but the number of Americans "not in the labor force" has been rapidly going up.

In both cases we are talking about Americans that do not have a job. It is just a matter of how the federal government chooses to categorize those individuals. – Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog

That could partially explain the misery some are feeling, but those who have jobs aren't happy either. They are often reeling from student loan and credit card debt. Being depressed makes shopping feel like a solution, but when the bill comes, the depression once again sets in making this a difficult cycle to break for so many just trying to scrape by.

Depression and suicide rates are rising sharply and other than putting the blame on superficial issues, researchers are at a loss as to the real reason why. But could it possibly be that as the elite globalists continue to take over the world and enslave mankind, people are realizing that they aren't meant to be controlled or manipulated, but meant to be free?

There's something we are all missing all around the globe. Could it possibly be free will and a life of freedom from theft and violent coercion and force that's missing?


Sick , 31 minutes ago link

Freedom to assemble is gone. That would be the only way for the awake people to make a change. Unfortunately everyone is glued to their electronics

CashMcCall , 57 minutes ago link

When even your own article lies to everyone... so the modern person that does well are those who lie the best and are the best con artists. Trump is an example. Low talent High con.

Example the US unemployment number.

Only the pool of unemployed that is Presently eligible for unemployment benefits is counted in the Unemployment number. That means self employed, commissioned workers, contractors etc are not included in the pool of unemployment even if they are out of work because they are unemployment ineligible.

Thus, over time, as unemployment benefits are lost, the unemployment pool shrinks. This is called a mathematical regression. How far does it shrink? To the point of equilibrium which is roughly 4% in which new persons enter the work force to the same extent of those losing benefits and being removed and become invisible.

Thus, Unemployment is a bogus number grossly understating truthful Unemployment. This method was first used under Obama and persists today under the Orange poser.

Nepotism and Affirmative action

Why would this make people unhappy? Chronic underemployment. Advancement is mostly by nepotism or affirmative action the flip side of the same coin. The incoming Harvard Class this year was 30% legacy student... and 30% affirmative action and the rest be damned. Happy?

Feminism has gripped the workplace.

Men hate working for female bosses. They don't trust them, they don't trust their judgment which often looks political and never logical. Men feel those women were promoted because of gender.

I saw this years ago in a clean room at National Semiconductor. A woman was put in charge of a team of roughly 30 white nerd males. She was at them constantly for not locking doors behind them and other menial infractions. She could not comprehend the complexity of the work or how inspiration operates but she would nag them and bully them.

At another facility there was a genius that would come to work and set up a sleeping bag and go to sleep under his desk. He was a Unix programmer and system engineer. So when something went wrong they would wake him and he would get up, solve the problem and go back to sleep.

Then the overstuffed string of pearls showed up as the new unit boss. She was infuriated that somebody would dare sleep on the clock and so blatantly. So she would harass him and wake him. Then one day she got so mad she started kicking him while he was sleeping. He grabbed his sleeping bag and briefcase and stormed out.

Ultimately the woman's boss took her to task and explained to her that it didn't matter if that employee slept under his desk because when he worked to solve problems only he could solve he saved the company millions. She was fired. As a token stipulation the sleeping genius came back and a sign was posted on his desk. "Kicking this employee is grounds for immediate dismissal."

Usually the nerd walks and just gets replaced by some diversity politician and string of pearls then sets the tone by making the workplace ****. Women simply are not as intelligent as men and pretending they are just wrecks morale of the people who are really intelligent. The rise of the shoulder padded woman string of pearls bully is a scourge to one and all.

bizznatch14 , 2 hours ago link

Simple answer: because people are spineless and terrible negotiators.

Long answer: for years the adage has been "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life" or "find a good job and never leave" or "work your way to the top" or "be a hard worker, trust your leadership, keep your head down, and don't make waves."

********.

If you do what you love, you'll learn to hate it. Welcome to misery.

Upward mobility doesn't happen unless you leave. If you're a good little productive worker drone, management has no incentive to give you more than 1-3% raises every year to keep you 'loyal.' Once you've wasted 20 or so years being a robot, welcome to misery.

Nobody gets promoted unless you're a useless ***-kisser who fails to be productive and hasn't done anything egregious enough to get canned. Once you've been passed by for that promotion you want enough times, welcome to misery.

The people making the decisions at the top are the useless ***-kissers that can't do what you do but they talk a good game. Most of them are case studies in the Peter Principle. Once you realize that the 'top' consists of nothing but fuckwads, welcome to misery.

The only way to get ahead and get what you want out of a career is to develop the skills you need and market yourself top someone who'll pay you what you're worth.

Develop strong negotiation skills early, know your market value, and don't be afraid of change.

Employer loyalty is a farce; if you think your employer is loyal to you, I've got some oceanfront property in New Mexico to sell you.

Interested_Observer , 2 hours ago link

All the good jobs are being taken over by "imported labor" who are getting paid 1/2 of what Americans are getting paid.

There is no longer upward mobility unless you are part of an Indian Mafia.

Enjoy working for these freaks who treat everyone like crap?

[Apr 28, 2019] Prisoners of Overwork A Dilemma by Peter Dorman

Highly recommended!
This is true about IT jobs. Probably even more then for lawyers. IT became plantation economy under neoliberalism.
Notable quotes:
"... mandatory overwork in professional jobs. ..."
"... The logical solution is some form of binding regulation. ..."
"... One place to start would be something like France's right-to-disconnect law . ..."
"... "the situation it describes is a classic prisoners dilemma." ..."
Apr 28, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

The New York Times has an illuminating article today summarizing recent research on the gender effects of mandatory overwork in professional jobs. Lawyers, people in finance and other client-centered occupations are increasingly required to be available round-the-clock, with 50-60 or more hours of work per week the norm. Among other costs, the impact on wage inequality between men and women is severe. Since women are largely saddled with primary responsibility for child care, even when couples ostensibly embrace equality on a theoretical level, the workaholic jobs are allocated to men. This shows up in dramatic differences between typical male and female career paths. The article d