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(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

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.   


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[Jul 21, 2021] U.S. Life Expectancy Fell by 1.5 Years in 2020, the Biggest Decline in Generations by Betsy McKay

Neoliberalism is the key reason fro the drop in life expectancy
Notable quotes:
"... Declines or stagnation in longevity can signal catastrophic events or deep problems in a society, researchers say. ..."
"... More deaths from homicide, diabetes and chronic liver disease -- which is related to heavy alcohol use -- also contributed to last year's life expectancy drop, the CDC said ..."
"... The declines were largest for Hispanic and Black people, who as population groups were disproportionately affected by the pandemic . The largest drop for any cohort was 3.7 years, for Hispanic men, bringing their life expectancy to 75.3 years of age. ..."
Jul 21, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Life expectancy in the U.S. fell by 1.5 years in 2020, the biggest decline since at least World War II, as the Covid-19 pandemic killed hundreds of thousands and exacerbated crises in drug overdoses , homicides and some chronic diseases.

... ... ...

The full toll of the pandemic has yet to be seen, doctors and public-health officials said. Many people skipped or delayed treatment last year for conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure and endured isolation, stress and interruptions in normal diet and exercise routines.

"That has led to intermediate and longer-term effects we will have to deal with for years to come," said Donald Lloyd-Jones, chair of the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and president of the American Heart Association.

Life expectancy is a measure of a nation's well-being and prosperity, based on mortality in a given year. Declines or stagnation in longevity can signal catastrophic events or deep problems in a society, researchers say. Life expectancy fell in the U.S. by 11.8 years in 1918, during a world-wide flu pandemic. Many victims were young.

... ... ...

More deaths from homicide, diabetes and chronic liver disease -- which is related to heavy alcohol use -- also contributed to last year's life expectancy drop, the CDC said ...

Life expectancy would have fallen even more, the CDC said, if not for decreases in mortality due to cancer, chronic lower-respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, emphysema and asthma, and other factors.

The declines were largest for Hispanic and Black people, who as population groups were disproportionately affected by the pandemic . The largest drop for any cohort was 3.7 years, for Hispanic men, bringing their life expectancy to 75.3 years of age.

U.S. longevity had been largely stagnant since 2010, even declining in three of those years, due in part to an increase in deaths from drug overdoses , rising death rates from heart disease for middle-aged Americans and other public health crises. "Getting back to where we were before the pandemic is a very bad place," said Steven Woolf, director emeritus of the Center on Society and Health at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and author of a recent study comparing the effects of the pandemic on life expectancy in the U.S. and other high-income countries. "We've got a larger problem here."

... ... ...

Drug-overdose deaths rose nearly 30% last year, driven by a proliferation of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl as well as stress, isolation and reduced access to treatment during the pandemic, public-health experts said. One study published this month found a 28.3% decline in initiation of addiction treatment in California from March through October 2020..... ...

Life expectancy for white people dropped 1.2 years to 77.6 years in 2020, the lowest level since 2002.

R

Roger Guttentag SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago

What is missing from this article is a comparison of the US with other advanced economies in Europe and Asia. What is disturbing is how the US spends the most and achieves less than our economic peers starting with expected average longevity. We had the lowest longevity averages pre-pandemic and now we have dropped further. This is happening despite the fact that our health care spending is twice the per capita of other advanced economies (Approx. $11K in the US vs. $6K based on 2019 data). Contributing to our dismal longevity statistics, with respect to other wealthy economies, are the highest rates of drug overdose deaths and suicides by gun. This is just the tip of a long list of sad statistics where we are unfortunately number 1 or close to it. The usual (partisan) response is to claim its government's fault or the fault of a greedy healthcare system or just say the data is wrong. So far, none of these strategies is working very well.
Dave Berg SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago
Life expectancy is the wrong phrase. It's current average life duration. COVID will have no impact on the life expectancy of babies being born right now. I have two new grandchildren, their life expectancy will be impacted by things we don't even know about yet.

[Jul 21, 2021] Walmart Brings Automation To Regional Distribution Centers - ZeroHedge

Jul 18, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Walmart Brings Automation To Regional Distribution Centers BY TYLER DURDEN SUNDAY, JUL 18, 2021 - 09:00 PM

The progressive press had a field day with "woke" Walmart highly publicized February decision to hikes wages for 425,000 workers to an average above $15 an hour. We doubt the obvious follow up - the ongoing stealthy replacement of many of its minimum wage workers with machines - will get the same amount of airtime.

As Chain Store Age reports , Walmart is applying artificial intelligence to the palletizing of products in its regional distribution centers. I.e., it is replacing thousands of workers with robots.

Since 2017, the discount giant has worked with Symbotic to optimize an automated technology solution to sort, store, retrieve and pack freight onto pallets in its Brooksville, Fla., distribution center. Under Walmart's existing system, product arrives at one of its RDCs and is either cross-docked or warehoused, while being moved or stored manually. When it's time for the product to go to a store, a 53-foot trailer is manually packed for transit. After the truck arrives at a store, associates unload it manually and place the items in the appropriate places.

Leveraging the Symbiotic solution, a complex algorithm determines how to store cases like puzzle pieces using high-speed mobile robots that operate with a precision that speeds the intake process and increases the accuracy of freight being stored for future orders. By using dense modular storage, the solution also expands building capacity.

In addition, by using palletizing robotics to organize and optimize freight, the Symbiotic solution creates custom store- and aisle-ready pallets.

Why is Walmart doing this? Simple: According to CSA, "Walmart expects to save time, limit out-of-stocks and increasing the speed of stocking and unloading." More importantly, the company hopes to further cut expenses and remove even more unskilled labor from its supply chain.

This solution follows tests of similar automated warehouse solutions at a Walmart consolidation center in Colton, Calif., and perishable grocery distribution center in Shafter, Calif.

Walmart plans to implement this technology in 25 of its 42 RDCs.

"Though very few Walmart customers will ever see into our warehouses, they'll still be able to witness an industry-leading change, each time they find a product on shelves," said Joe Metzger, executive VP of supply chain operations at Walmart U.S. "There may be no way to solve all the complexities of a global supply chain, but we plan to keep changing the game as we use technology to transform the way we work and lead our business into the future."

[Jul 20, 2021] Walmart Brings Automation To Regional Distribution Centers - ZeroHedge

Jul 18, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Walmart Brings Automation To Regional Distribution Centers BY TYLER DURDEN SUNDAY, JUL 18, 2021 - 09:00 PM

The progressive press had a field day with "woke" Walmart highly publicized February decision to hikes wages for 425,000 workers to an average above $15 an hour. We doubt the obvious follow up - the ongoing stealthy replacement of many of its minimum wage workers with machines - will get the same amount of airtime.

As Chain Store Age reports , Walmart is applying artificial intelligence to the palletizing of products in its regional distribution centers. I.e., it is replacing thousands of workers with robots.

Since 2017, the discount giant has worked with Symbotic to optimize an automated technology solution to sort, store, retrieve and pack freight onto pallets in its Brooksville, Fla., distribution center. Under Walmart's existing system, product arrives at one of its RDCs and is either cross-docked or warehoused, while being moved or stored manually. When it's time for the product to go to a store, a 53-foot trailer is manually packed for transit. After the truck arrives at a store, associates unload it manually and place the items in the appropriate places.

Leveraging the Symbiotic solution, a complex algorithm determines how to store cases like puzzle pieces using high-speed mobile robots that operate with a precision that speeds the intake process and increases the accuracy of freight being stored for future orders. By using dense modular storage, the solution also expands building capacity.

In addition, by using palletizing robotics to organize and optimize freight, the Symbiotic solution creates custom store- and aisle-ready pallets.

Why is Walmart doing this? Simple: According to CSA, "Walmart expects to save time, limit out-of-stocks and increasing the speed of stocking and unloading." More importantly, the company hopes to further cut expenses and remove even more unskilled labor from its supply chain.

This solution follows tests of similar automated warehouse solutions at a Walmart consolidation center in Colton, Calif., and perishable grocery distribution center in Shafter, Calif.

Walmart plans to implement this technology in 25 of its 42 RDCs.

"Though very few Walmart customers will ever see into our warehouses, they'll still be able to witness an industry-leading change, each time they find a product on shelves," said Joe Metzger, executive VP of supply chain operations at Walmart U.S. "There may be no way to solve all the complexities of a global supply chain, but we plan to keep changing the game as we use technology to transform the way we work and lead our business into the future."

[Jul 15, 2021] Many Jobs Lost During the Coronavirus Pandemic Just Aren't Coming Back by Lauren Weber

when the tax rates increase even more, it just encourages automation or DIY (bring your own sheets to avoid paying the cleaning fee), which just grinds down growth rather than accelerates it.
Notable quotes:
"... Applebee's is now using tablets to allow customers to pay at their tables without summoning a waiter. ..."
Jul 15, 2021 | www.wsj.com
Companies see automation and other labor-saving steps as a way to emerge from the health crisis with a permanently smaller workforce
PHOTO: JIM THOMPSON/ZUMA PRESS

... ... ...

Economic data show that companies have learned to do more with less over the last 16 months or so. Output nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2021 -- down just 0.5% from the end of 2019 -- even though U.S. workers put in 4.3% fewer hours than they did before the health crisis.

... ... ...

Raytheon Technologies Corp. RTX 0.08% , the biggest U.S. aerospace supplier by sales, laid off 21,000 employees and contractors in 2020 amid a drastic decline in air travel. Raytheon said in January that efforts to modernize its factories and back-office operations would boost profit margins and reduce the need to bring back all those jobs. The company said that most if not all of the 4,500 contract workers who were let go in 2020 wouldn't be called back.

... ... ..

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. HLT -0.78% said last week that most of its U.S. properties are adopting "a flexible housekeeping policy," with daily service available upon request. "Full deep cleanings will be conducted prior to check-in and on every fifth day for extended stays," it said.

Daily housekeeping will still be free for those who request it... Unite Here, a union that represents hotel workers, published a report in June estimating that the end of daily room cleaning could result in an industrywide loss of up to 180,000 jobs...

... ... ...

Restaurants have become rapid adopters of technology during the pandemic as two forces -- labor shortages that are pushing wages higher and a desire to reduce close contact between customers and employees -- raise the return on such investments. ... Applebee's is now using tablets to allow customers to pay at their tables without summoning a waiter. The hand-held screens provide a hedge against labor inflation, said John Peyton, CEO of Applebee's parent Dine Brands Global Inc.

... ... ...

The U.S. tax code encourages investments in automation, particularly after the Trump administration's tax cuts, said Daron Acemoglu, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies the impact of automation on workers. Firms pay around 25 cents in taxes for every dollar they pay workers, compared with 5 cents for every dollar spent on machines because companies can write off capital investments, he said.

... ... ...

-- Heather Haddon contributed to this article. D


DANIEL WEBER

A lot of employers were given Covid-aid to keep employees employed and paid in 2020. I assume somebody has addressed that obligation since it wasn't mentioned.

But, what happens to the unskilled workers whose jobs have been eliminated? Do Raytheon and Hilton just say "have a nice life on the streets"?

No, they will become our collective burdens.

I am all for technology and progress and better QA/QC and general performance. But the employers that benefit from this should use part of their gains in stock valuation to keep "our collective burdens" off our collective backs, rather than pay dividends and bonuses first.

Maybe reinvest in updated training for those laid off.

No great outcome comes free. BUT, as the article implies, the luxury of having already laid off the unskilled, likely leaves the employer holding all the cards.

And the wheel keeps turning...

Jeffery Allen
Question! Isn't this antithetical (reduction of employees) to the spirit and purpose of both monetary and fiscal programs, e.g., PPP loans (fiscal), capital markets funding facilities (monetary) established last year and current year? Employers are to retain employees. Gee, what a farce. Does anyone really care?
Philip Hilmes
Some of this makes sense and some would happen anyway without the pandemic. I don't need my room cleaned every day, but sometimes I want it. The wait staff in restaurants is another matter. Losing wait staff makes for a pretty bad experience. I hate having to order on my phone. I feel like I might as well be home ordering food through Grubhub or something. It's impersonal, more painful than telling someone, doesn't allow for you to be checked on if you need anything, doesn't provide information you don't get from a menu, etc. It really diminishes the value of going out to eat without wait staff.
al snow
OK I been reading all the comments I only have a WSJ access as the rate was a great deal.
Hotel/Motel started making the bed but not changing the sheets every day for many years I am fine as long as they offer trash take out and towel/paper every day
and do not forget to tip .
clive boulton
Recruiters re-post hard to fill job listings onto multiple job boards. I don't believe the reported job openings resemble are real. Divide by 3 at least.

[Jul 05, 2021] Pandemic Wave of Automation May Be Bad News for Workers

Jul 05, 2021 | www.nytimes.com

But wait: wasn't this recent rise in wages in real terms being propagandized as a new boom for the working class in the USA by the MSM until some days ago?

[Jul 04, 2021] Pandemic Wave of Automation May Be Bad News for Workers by Ben Casselman

Jul 03, 2021 | www.msn.com

And in the drive-through lane at Checkers near Atlanta, requests for Big Buford burgers and Mother Cruncher chicken sandwiches may be fielded not by a cashier in a headset, but by a voice-recognition algorithm.

Sign up for The Morning newsletter from The New York Times

An increase in automation, especially in service industries, may prove to be an economic legacy of the pandemic. Businesses from factories to fast-food outlets to hotels turned to technology last year to keep operations running amid social distancing requirements and contagion fears. Now the outbreak is ebbing in the United States, but the difficulty in hiring workers -- at least at the wages that employers are used to paying -- is providing new momentum for automation.

Technological investments that were made in response to the crisis may contribute to a post-pandemic productivity boom, allowing for higher wages and faster growth. But some economists say the latest wave of automation could eliminate jobs and erode bargaining power, particularly for the lowest-paid workers, in a lasting way.

© Lynsey Weatherspoon for The New York Times The artificial intelligence system that feeds information to the kitchen at a Checkers.

"Once a job is automated, it's pretty hard to turn back," said Casey Warman, an economist at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia who has studied automation in the pandemic .

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=3533

The trend toward automation predates the pandemic, but it has accelerated at what is proving to be a critical moment. The rapid reopening of the economy has led to a surge in demand for waiters, hotel maids, retail sales clerks and other workers in service industries that had cut their staffs. At the same time, government benefits have allowed many people to be selective in the jobs they take. Together, those forces have given low-wage workers a rare moment of leverage , leading to higher pay , more generous benefits and other perks.

Automation threatens to tip the advantage back toward employers, potentially eroding those gains. A working paper published by the International Monetary Fund this year predicted that pandemic-induced automation would increase inequality in coming years, not just in the United States but around the world.

"Six months ago, all these workers were essential," said Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers, a union representing grocery workers. "Everyone was calling them heroes. Now, they're trying to figure out how to get rid of them."

Checkers, like many fast-food restaurants, experienced a jump in sales when the pandemic shut down most in-person dining. But finding workers to meet that demand proved difficult -- so much so that Shana Gonzales, a Checkers franchisee in the Atlanta area, found herself back behind the cash register three decades after she started working part time at Taco Bell while in high school.

© Lynsey Weatherspoon for The New York Times Technology is easing pressure on workers and speeding up service when restaurants are chronically understaffed, Ms. Gonzales said.

"We really felt like there has to be another solution," she said.

So Ms. Gonzales contacted Valyant AI, a Colorado-based start-up that makes voice recognition systems for restaurants. In December, after weeks of setup and testing, Valyant's technology began taking orders at one of Ms. Gonzales's drive-through lanes. Now customers are greeted by an automated voice designed to understand their orders -- including modifications and special requests -- suggest add-ons like fries or a shake, and feed the information directly to the kitchen and the cashier.

The rollout has been successful enough that Ms. Gonzales is getting ready to expand the system to her three other restaurants.

"We'll look back and say why didn't we do this sooner," she said.

The push toward automation goes far beyond the restaurant sector. Hotels, retailers , manufacturers and other businesses have all accelerated technological investments. In a survey of nearly 300 global companies by the World Economic Forum last year, 43 percent of businesses said they expected to reduce their work forces through new uses of technology.

Some economists see the increased investment as encouraging. For much of the past two decades, the U.S. economy has struggled with weak productivity growth, leaving workers and stockholders to compete over their share of the income -- a game that workers tended to lose. Automation may harm specific workers, but if it makes the economy more productive, that could be good for workers as a whole, said Katy George, a senior partner at McKinsey, the consulting firm.

She cited the example of a client in manufacturing who had been pushing his company for years to embrace augmented-reality technology in its factories. The pandemic finally helped him win the battle: With air travel off limits, the technology was the only way to bring in an expert to help troubleshoot issues at a remote plant.

"For the first time, we're seeing that these technologies are both increasing productivity, lowering cost, but they're also increasing flexibility," she said. "We're starting to see real momentum building, which is great news for the world, frankly."

Other economists are less sanguine. Daron Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said that many of the technological investments had just replaced human labor without adding much to overall productivity.

In a recent working paper , Professor Acemoglu and a colleague concluded that "a significant portion of the rise in U.S. wage inequality over the last four decades has been driven by automation" -- and he said that trend had almost certainly accelerated in the pandemic.

"If we automated less, we would not actually have generated that much less output but we would have had a very different trajectory for inequality," Professor Acemoglu said.

Ms. Gonzales, the Checkers franchisee, isn't looking to cut jobs. She said she would hire 30 people if she could find them. And she has raised hourly pay to about $10 for entry-level workers, from about $9 before the pandemic. Technology, she said, is easing pressure on workers and speeding up service when restaurants are chronically understaffed.

"Our approach is, this is an assistant for you," she said. "This allows our employee to really focus" on customers.

Ms. Gonzales acknowledged she could fully staff her restaurants if she offered $14 to $15 an hour to attract workers. But doing so, she said, would force her to raise prices so much that she would lose sales -- and automation allows her to take another course.

Rob Carpenter, Valyant's chief executive, noted that at most restaurants, taking drive-through orders is only part of an employee's responsibilities. Automating that task doesn't eliminate a job; it makes the job more manageable.

"We're not talking about automating an entire position," he said. "It's just one task within the restaurant, and it's gnarly, one of the least desirable tasks."

But technology doesn't have to take over all aspects of a job to leave workers worse off. If automation allows a restaurant that used to require 10 employees a shift to operate with eight or nine, that will mean fewer jobs in the long run. And even in the short term, the technology could erode workers' bargaining power.

"Often you displace enough of the tasks in an occupation and suddenly that occupation is no more," Professor Acemoglu said. "It might kick me out of a job, or if I keep my job I'll get lower wages."

At some businesses, automation is already affecting the number and type of jobs available. Meltwich, a restaurant chain that started in Canada and is expanding into the United States, has embraced a range of technologies to cut back on labor costs. Its grills no longer require someone to flip burgers -- they grill both sides at once, and need little more than the press of a button.

"You can pull a less-skilled worker in and have them adapt to our system much easier," said Ryan Hillis, a Meltwich vice president. "It certainly widens the scope of who you can have behind that grill."

With more advanced kitchen equipment, software that allows online orders to flow directly to the restaurant and other technological advances, Meltwich needs only two to three workers on a shift, rather than three or four, Mr. Hillis said.

Such changes, multiplied across thousands of businesses in dozens of industries, could significantly change workers' prospects. Professor Warman, the Canadian economist, said technologies developed for one purpose tend to spread to similar tasks, which could make it hard for workers harmed by automation to shift to another occupation or industry.

"If a whole sector of labor is hit, then where do those workers go?" Professor Warman said. Women, and to a lesser degree people of color, are likely to be disproportionately affected, he added.

The grocery business has long been a source of steady, often unionized jobs for people without a college degree. But technology is changing the sector. Self-checkout lanes have reduced the number of cashiers; many stores have simple robots to patrol aisles for spills and check inventory; and warehouses have become increasingly automated. Kroger in April opened a 375,000-square-foot warehouse with more than 1,000 robots that bag groceries for delivery customers. The company is even experimenting with delivering groceries by drone.

Other companies in the industry are doing the same. Jennifer Brogan, a spokeswoman for Stop & Shop, a grocery chain based in New England, said that technology allowed the company to better serve customers -- and that it was a competitive necessity.

"Competitors and other players in the retail space are developing technologies and partnerships to reduce their costs and offer improved service and value for customers," she said. "Stop & Shop needs to do the same."

In 2011, Patrice Thomas took a part-time job in the deli at a Stop & Shop in Norwich, Conn. A decade later, he manages the store's prepared foods department, earning around $40,000 a year.

Mr. Thomas, 32, said that he wasn't concerned about being replaced by a robot anytime soon, and that he welcomed technologies making him more productive -- like more powerful ovens for rotisserie chickens and blast chillers that quickly cool items that must be stored cold.

But he worries about other technologies -- like automated meat slicers -- that seem to enable grocers to rely on less experienced, lower-paid workers and make it harder to build a career in the industry.

"The business model we seem to be following is we're pushing toward automation and we're not investing equally in the worker," he said. "Today it's, 'We want to get these robots in here to replace you because we feel like you're overpaid and we can get this kid in there and all he has to do is push this button.'"

[Jul 02, 2021] Number Of US Truck Drivers Sidelined Due To Substance Abuse Violations Has Surpassed 60,000 by John Gallagher

Jul 02, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Originally from: FreightWaves

Banned drivers matches shortfall in CDL holders needed to meet freight demand. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

The number of U.S. truck drivers sidelined due to substance abuse violations has surpassed 60,000 and continues to climb by roughly 2,000-3,000 per month, according to federal data. The latest monthly report by the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration since January 2020, revealed that 60,299 CDL holders have a drug or alcohol violation recorded in the clearinghouse as of June 1, up from 57,510 as of May 1 and up from 18,860 recorded in the clearinghouse as of May 1, 2020.

Drivers with at least one substance abuse violation are barred from operating a commercial truck until they complete a return-to-duty process, which includes providing a negative follow-up test result. The percentage of drivers who are completing the RTD process has steadily increased over the past year, however, from 5.2% as of May 1, 2020, to 22.1% as of May 1, 2021.

Marijuana consistently tops the list of substances identified in positive drug tests, far outpacing cocaine and methamphetamine, the second- and third-highest drug violations, respectively, among CDL holders.

The number of violations now recorded in the clearinghouse stands out for another reason: It's coincidentally just a few hundred shy of an estimated number of drivers needed to fill a shortfall of commercial drivers to keep pace with freight demand.

"According to a recent estimate, the trucking industry needs an additional 60,800 truck drivers immediately -- a deficit that is expected to grow to more than 160,000 by 2028," testified American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear at a Capitol Hill hearing on freight mobility in May.

"In fact, when anticipated driver retirement numbers are combined with the expected growth in capacity, the trucking industry will need to hire roughly 1.1 million new drivers over the next decade, or an average of nearly 110,000 per year."

Scopelitis Consulting Co-Director Sean Garney pointed out that the growing number of prohibited drivers is not a bad thing from a safety standpoint.

"The database is doing what it's supposed to do, which is identify those who should not be driving," Garney told FreightWaves. "Losing drivers due to positive drug tests may not necessarily be a good thing for truck capacity, but I think what many others in this industry also care about is safety."

[Jul 02, 2021] More Than 72 Million Americans Are Living Paycheck To Paycheck

The problem is that many people face long term unemployment without substantial emergency funds, which further complicates already difficult situation.
Notable quotes:
"... More than 2K adults to were interviewed to try and ascertain how long they could survive without income. It turns out that approximately 72.4MM employed Americans - 28.4% of the population - believe they wouldn't be able to last for more than a month without a payday. ..."
Jul 02, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Imagine you lost your job tomorrow. How long would you be able to sustain your current lifestyle? A week? A month? A year?

As we await Friday's labor market update, Finder has just published the results of a recent survey attempting to gauge the financial stability of the average American in the post-pandemic era.

More than 2K adults to were interviewed to try and ascertain how long they could survive without income. It turns out that approximately 72.4MM employed Americans - 28.4% of the population - believe they wouldn't be able to last for more than a month without a payday.

Another 24% said they expected to be able to live comfortably between two months and six months. That means an estimated 133.6MM working Americans (52.3% of the population) can live off their savings for six months or less before going broke.

On the other end of the spectrum, roughly 8.7MM employed Americans (or 3.4% of the population) say they don't need to rely on a rainy day fund since they have employment insurance which will compensate them should they lose their job.

Amusingly, men appear to be less effective savers than women. Some 32.4MM women (26.7% of American women) say their savings would stretch at most a month, compared to 40MM men (29.9% of American men) who admit to the same. Of those people, 9.7MM women (8% of American women) say their savings wouldn't even stretch a week, compared to 15.5MM men (11.6% of American men) who admit to the same.

A majority of employed Americans over the age of 18 say their savings would last six months at most. About 70.7MM men (52.8% of American men) and 62.8MM women (51.8% of American women) fear they'd be in dire straits within six months of losing their livelihood.

Unsurprisingly, younger people tend to have less of a savings buffer - but the gap between the generations isn't as wide as it probably should be.

While increasing one's income is perhaps the best route to building a more robust nest egg, Finder offered some suggestions for people looking to maximize their savings.

1. Create a budget and stick to it

Look at your monthly income against all of your monthly expenses. Add to them expenses you pay once or twice a year to avoid a surprise when they creep up. After you know where your money is going, you can allot specific amounts to different categories and effectively track your spending.

... ... ...

* * *

Source: Finder

[Jun 26, 2021] There Is No Labor Shortage, Only Labor Exploitation and burning desire not to spend money on training by Sonali Kolhatkar

Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, economists and analysts have gotten used to presenting facts from the perspective of private employers and their lobbyists. The American public is expected to sympathize more with the plight of wealthy business owners who can't find workers to fill their low-paid positions, instead of with unemployed workers who might be struggling to make ends meet. ..."
"... West Virginia's Republican Governor Jim Justice justified ending federal jobless benefits early in his state by lecturing his residents on how, "America is all about work. That's what has made this great country." Interestingly, Justice owns a resort that couldn't find enough low-wage workers to fill jobs. Notwithstanding a clear conflict of interest in cutting jobless benefits, the Republican politician is now enjoying the fruits of his own political actions as his resort reports greater ease in filling positions with desperate workers whose lifeline he cut off. ..."
Jun 12, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

For the past few months, Republicans have been waging a ferocious political battle to end federal unemployment benefits, based upon stated desires of saving the U.S. economy from a serious labor shortage. The logic, in the words of Republican politicians like Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, goes like this: "the government pays folks more to stay home than to go to work," and therefore, "[p]aying people not to work is not helpful." The conservative Wall Street Journal has been beating the drum for the same argument, saying recently that it was a " terrible blunder " to pay jobless benefits to unemployed workers.

If the hyperbolic claims are to be believed, one might imagine American workers are luxuriating in the largesse of taxpayer-funded payments, thumbing their noses at the earnest "job creators" who are taking far more seriously the importance of a post-pandemic economic growth spurt.

It is true that there are currently millions of jobs going unfilled. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics just released statistics showing that there were 9.3 million job openings in April and that the percentage of layoffs decreased while resignations increased. Taking these statistics at face value, one could conclude this means there is a labor shortage.

But, as economist Heidi Shierholz explained in a New York Times op-ed , there is only a labor shortage if employers raise wages to match worker demands and subsequently still face a shortage of workers. Shierholz wrote, "When those measures [of raising wages] don't result in a substantial increase in workers, that's a labor shortage. Absent that dynamic, you can rest easy."

Remember the subprime mortgage housing crisis of 2008 when economists and pundits blamed low-income homeowners for wanting to purchase homes they could not afford? Perhaps this is the labor market's way of saying, if you can't afford higher salaries, you shouldn't expect to fill jobs.

Or, to use the logic of another accepted capitalist argument, employers could liken the job market to the surge pricing practices of ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft. After consumers complained about hiked-up prices for rides during rush hour, Uber explained , "With surge pricing, Uber rates increase to get more cars on the road and ensure reliability during the busiest times. When enough cars are on the road, prices go back down to normal levels." Applying this logic to the labor market, workers might be saying to employers: "When enough dollars are being offered in wages, the number of job openings will go back down to normal levels." In other words, workers are surge-pricing the cost of their labor.

But corporate elites are loudly complaining that the sky is falling -- not because of a real labor shortage, but because workers are less likely now to accept low-wage jobs. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce insists that "[t]he worker shortage is real," and that it has risen to the level of a "national economic emergency" that "poses an imminent threat to our fragile recovery and America's great resurgence." In the Chamber's worldview, workers, not corporate employers who refuse to pay better, are the main obstacle to the U.S.'s economic recovery.

Longtime labor organizer and senior scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies Bill Fletcher Jr. explained to me in an email interview that claims of a labor shortage are an exaggeration and that, actually, "we suffered a minor depression and not another great recession," as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In Fletcher's view, "The so-called labor shortage needs to be understood as the result of tremendous employment reorganization, including the collapse of industries and companies."

Furthermore, according to Fletcher, the purveyors of the "labor shortage" myth are not accounting for "the collapse of daycare and the impact on women and families, and a continued fear associated with the pandemic."

He's right. As one analyst put it, "The rotten seed of America's disinvestment in child care has finally sprouted." Such factors have received little attention by the purveyors of the labor shortage myth -- perhaps because acknowledging real obstacles like care work requires thinking of workers as real human beings rather than cogs in a capitalist machine.

Indeed, economists and analysts have gotten used to presenting facts from the perspective of private employers and their lobbyists. The American public is expected to sympathize more with the plight of wealthy business owners who can't find workers to fill their low-paid positions, instead of with unemployed workers who might be struggling to make ends meet.

Already, jobless benefits were slashed to appallingly low levels after Republicans reduced a $600-a-week payment authorized by the CARES Act to a mere $300 a week , which works out to $7.50 an hour for full-time work. If companies cannot compete with this exceedingly paltry sum, their position is akin to a customer demanding to a car salesperson that they have the right to buy a vehicle for a below-market-value sticker price (again, capitalist logic is a worthwhile exercise to showcase the ludicrousness of how lawmakers and their corporate beneficiaries are responding to the state of the labor market).

Remarkably, although federal jobless benefits are funded through September 2021, more than two dozen Republican-run states are choosing to end them earlier. Not only will this impact the bottom line for millions of people struggling to make ends meet, but it will also undermine the stimulus impact that this federal aid has on the economies of states when jobless workers spend their federal dollars on necessities. Conservatives are essentially engaged in an ideological battle over government benefits, which, in their view, are always wrong unless they are going to the already privileged (remember the GOP's 2017 tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy?).

The GOP has thumbed its nose at federal benefits for residents before. In order to underscore their ideological opposition to the Affordable Care Act, recall how Republican governors eschewed billions of federal dollars to fund Medicaid expansion. These conservative ideologues chose to let their own voters suffer the consequences of turning down federal aid in service of their political opposition to Obamacare. And they're doing the same thing now.

At the same time as headlines are screaming about a catastrophic worker shortage that could undermine the economy, stories abound of how American billionaires paid peanuts in income taxes according to newly released documents, even as their wealth multiplied to extraordinary levels. The obscenely wealthy are spending their mountains of cash on luxury goods and fulfilling childish fantasies of space travel . The juxtaposition of such a phenomenon alongside the conservative claim that jobless benefits are too generous is evidence that we are indeed in a "national economic emergency" -- just not of the sort that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants us to believe.

West Virginia's Republican Governor Jim Justice justified ending federal jobless benefits early in his state by lecturing his residents on how, "America is all about work. That's what has made this great country." Interestingly, Justice owns a resort that couldn't find enough low-wage workers to fill jobs. Notwithstanding a clear conflict of interest in cutting jobless benefits, the Republican politician is now enjoying the fruits of his own political actions as his resort reports greater ease in filling positions with desperate workers whose lifeline he cut off.

When lawmakers earlier this year debated the Raise the Wage Act , which would have increased the federal minimum wage, Republicans wagged their fingers in warning, saying higher wages would put companies out of business. Opponents of that failed bill claimed that if forced to pay $15 an hour, employers would hire fewer people, close branches, or perhaps shut down altogether, which we were told would ultimately hurt workers.

Now, we are being told another story: that companies actually do need workers and won't simply reduce jobs, close branches, or shut down and that the government therefore needs to stop competing with their ultra-low wages to save the economy. The claim that businesses would no longer be profitable if they are forced to increase wages is undermined by one multibillion-dollar fact: corporations are raking in record-high profits and doling them out to shareholders and executives. They can indeed afford to offer greater pay, and when they do, it turns out there is no labor shortage .

American workers are at a critically important juncture at this moment. Corporate employers seem to be approaching a limit of how far they can push workers to accept poverty-level jobs. According to Fletcher, "This moment provides opportunities to raise wage demands, but it must be a moment where workers organize in order to sustain and pursue demands for improvements in their living and working conditions."

Sonali Kolhatkar is the founder, host and executive producer of "Rising Up With Sonali," a television and radio show that airs on Free Speech TV and Pacifica stations. She is a writing fellow for the Economy for All project at the Independent Media Institute. This article was produced by Economy for All , a project of the Independent Media Institute.

[Jun 18, 2021] Corporate elites are loudly complaining that the sky is falling -- not because of a real labor shortage, but because workers are less likely now to accept low-wage jobs

In IT corporate honchos shamelessly put more then a dozen of very specific skills into the position rescription and want a cog that hit that exactly. they are not interested in IQ, ability to learn and such things. that want already train person for the position to fill, so that have zero need to train this persn and they expect that he will work productively from the day one.
Jun 14, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Hayek's Heelbiter , June 12, 2021 at 7:50 am

But corporate elites are loudly complaining that the sky is falling -- not because of a real labor shortage, but because workers are less likely now to accept low-wage jobs.

Duh. This is so blindingly obvious, but NC is the only place that seems to mention this fact.

Here in the UK, the outmigration of marginally paid workers from Eastern Europe and the resultant "labour shortage" triggered by Brexit has made it abundantly clear that Blair's change to open borders was not from any idealistic considerations but as a way of importing easily exploited labor.

Business leaders quoted in the the tsunami of hand-wringing MSM articles about the current catastrophe are offering such helpful solutions as allowing housekeepers to use pools and gyms in off hours, free meals to waiters, etc. Anything but a living wage.

Dr. R.k. Barkhi , June 12, 2021 at 5:57 pm

" I don't actually see any untruths to the GOP talking points. "
"" Workers are less likely to accept a job while receiving Gov't benefits" and "workers are less likely to accept low wage crappy jobs ".

Well,if u can survive on a $300/week program that ends after several weeks pass,bless u. No one else in America can. That's a $7.50 hr full time "summer job" with no pension or medical benefits that teenagers with no dependents,few bills n maintenance issues might be interested in; adults with adult responsibilities,no way. That so called RepubliCons, the "economics experts", can make such a fraudulent claim n anyone out of elementary school believes it has a quantum particle of reality or value is . well I'll just say a sad n unbelievable situation.

Now the rest of your comments are laudable.

Objective Ace , June 13, 2021 at 11:57 am

They get 300 dollars plus regular UI. They can also get Medicaid and CHIP, or if they are still making too much they are eligible for Obamacare exchange. Plus they're eligible for SNAP and housing vouchers

Equitable > Equal , June 13, 2021 at 4:38 am

There is one significant fallacy in this article: The author conflates Republican opposition to enhanced benefits with opposition to unemployment benefits overall.

I very much stand with labour over business on most (probably all) points, but the Republican argument is to end the enhanced benefits in most cases – Not to abolish unemployment assistance. They believe the role of government is to step in to help pay basic bills in the event of unemployment, but oppose the current higher level of benefit due to the market distortions it causes (Hence the appearance of the term 'labour shortage'.)

I agree that it basically forces mcdonalds et al to up their wages if they want to do business, which should be a positive for society, but I find it unlikely that the author could have unintentionally mistunderstood the argument on such a fundamental level, and all it does is try to drive a wedge further between each side of the argument.

Sierra , June 12, 2021 at 3:46 pm

Hayek,

Sonali Kohatkar is pro open borders and has the nerve to complain about wage arbitrage?
https://freespeech.org/stories/prop-287-immigration-ca/

Anyone that believes that workers supported their jobs being sent overseas is either demented or delusional or suffers from a mental hernia. The same goes for the common working stiffs supporting massive immigration to help drive down their ability to demand a livable wage.

American labor has been sold down the river by the International Labor Leaders, politicians and the oligarchy of US corporate CEO's.
======

Got a new hip recently. Do your P.T., take it easy, follow the warnings of what not to do until you heal and you should discover that decades feel like they are lifted off your shoulders.

Hayek's Heelbiter , June 13, 2021 at 12:16 pm

Sierra,
You've made a very interesting point that actually never occurred to me and one in which I never seen fully examined.
Exploiting labour and outsourcing it are two sides of the same coin with the same goal in mind, diverting revenue streams into the C-suite and rentier class.
Obviously you cannot outsource most of the workers in the hospitality industry or the non-virtual aspects of world's oldest profession, but a lot of the tech industry and the virtual aspects of the latter are very amenable to being shipped overseas.
Immigrants are extremely visible and an easy target, while outsourcing is essentially an impossible to contain concept that creates real world hardship.
Dear NC readers, do you know of any studies comparing and contrasting the economic impact of immigration and/or limiting it and outsourcing?

sierra , June 12, 2021 at 3:51 pm

Those hip words were meant for Yves of course

Fazal Majid , June 12, 2021 at 8:46 am

Indeed, economists and analysts have gotten used to presenting facts from the perspective of private employers and their lobbyists.

You are acting if economists and lobbyists are separate groups, as opposed to largely a subset thereof. Funny how a field entirely based on the study of incentives claims incentives don't distort their policy prescriptions, isn't it?

As for low-paid jobs, they are traditionally the last resort of immigrants and other marginalized populations, but the anti-immigration push that began under Obama, and enthusiastically continued by Trump and Biden, has perfectly predictable consequences.

One factor not mentioned is many free-riding businesses refuse to pay for training, then wonder why there are no trained workers to hire.

Now, there are definitely fields where there is a genuine and deliberate labor shortage. Usually white-collar credentialed professions like medical doctors and the AMA cartel.

Yves Smith , June 12, 2021 at 8:51 am

Economics is not based on incentives. That's behavioral economics. I hate to quote Larry Summers, but this is Summers on financial economics:

Ketchup economists reject out of hand much of this research on the ketchup market. They believe that the data used is based on almost meaningless accounting information and are quick to point out that concepts such as costs of production vary across firms and are not accurately measurable in any event. they believe that ketchup transactions prices are the only hard data worth studying. Nonetheless ketchup economists have an impressive research program, focusing on the scope for excess opportunities in the ketchup market. They have shown that two quart bottles of ketchup invariably sell for twice as much as one quart bottles of ketchup except for deviations traceable to transaction costs, and that one cannot get a bargain on ketchup by buying and combining ingredients once one takes account of transaction costs. Nor are there gains to be had from storing ketchup, or mixing together different quality ketchups and selling the resulting product. Indeed, most ketchup economists regard the efficiency of the ketchup market as the best established fact in empirical economics.

Howard Beale IV , June 12, 2021 at 9:22 am

Happy to see you back at a keyboard, and hoping your recovery is progressing well. I had the misfortune of spending two days in the hospitals while they got my blood chemistry strightened out. Here's the kicker; the hospitalist, who I saw 3 times, submitted a bill for a whopping $17,000. Just yesterday, the practice she works for submitted a bill that was one-tenth her charges for the work she did, yet her bill is still sitting waiting to be processed.

Yves Smith , June 12, 2021 at 9:53 am

OMG, how horrible. HSS is a small hospital for a big city like NYC, only 205 beds and 25 operating rooms. No emergency room. They are not owned by PE and so I don't think play outsourcing/markup games (they are very big on controlling quality, which you can't do if you have to go through middlemen for staffing). Some of the MDs do that their own practices within HSS but they are solo practitioners or small teams, which is not a model that you see much of anywhere outside NYC

Howard Beale IV , June 12, 2021 at 12:05 pm

The last time I was hospitalized, all the hospitalists were in the employ of the hospital, now they are in the employ of a nationwide hospitalist practice, which has all the smell of private equity around it. I'm really beginning to think that a third party focusted on healthcare might have a real shot at upsetting the political order – maybe it's time to drag out your skunk party for 2024.

Arizona Slim , June 12, 2021 at 1:22 pm

How are you feeling? We miss you around here.

tegnost , June 12, 2021 at 10:25 am

As for low-paid jobs, they are traditionally the last resort of immigrants and other marginalized populations, but the anti-immigration push that began under Obama, and enthusiastically continued by Trump and Biden, has perfectly predictable consequences.

Well I'm sorry you can't find easily exploitable labor, except I'm not immigrants face the same ridiculous costs, and weren't hispanic workers more heavily impacted by covid due to those marginal jobs (I'll switch your dynamic to low wage workers , and marginal jobs, thanks), so by your logic more should have been let in to die from these marginal jobs? but yeah we need more PMC except we don't
Now, there are definitely fields where there is a genuine and deliberate labor shortage. Usually white-collar credentialed professions like medical doctors and the AMA cartel."
Last I checked it was private equity, wall st and pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists that drive up costs so labor needs to charge more.
Wake up and smell the coffee.

Bill Smith , June 12, 2021 at 9:24 am

How much of this is over specification on the part of employers in the ad for the job? We want the perfect candidate who can do the job better than we can with no training .

Yves Smith , June 12, 2021 at 9:48 am

OMG this is such a long-standing pet peeve! We've commented on this nonsense regularly. Companies took the position that they don't have to train and now they are eating their cooking.

Bill Smith , June 12, 2021 at 10:30 am

Exactly.

The mismatch between job openings and job applicants is not just about wages.

In fact, if companies were willing to take a chance on people who didn't exactly match the job requirements, the likely effect would be to raise the wages some of those that did not qualify under the over exacting job requirements. [And likely paying these new employees less than they had contemplated paying the perfect candidate.]

But that seems like someone making the hiring decision might, just possibly, be seen as taking a risk.

Howard Beale IV , June 12, 2021 at 2:55 pm

At my empolyer we know we can't find any colleges that teach mainframe skills, so we bring in graduates who are willing to learn those skills – we submit them to a 3-month bootcamp and then there's a long period of mentorship under a senior person to their group that has an opening. Since everybody and their dog are now moving headfirst into DevOps, where all the tooling is in somewhat less ancient software, they get exposed using those Eclipse/VScode-based tools and are able to come up to speed somewhat quicker. Still, no one in corporate America dares to bite the bullet and re-platform their core systems with few exceptions (SABRE) for fear of losing all the institutional knowledge that's in software, rather than wetware (humans).

Howard Beale IV , June 12, 2021 at 3:03 pm

Just think what is happening right now with everyone holding an Indian outsourcing contract. You don't have individual's cellphone numbers over in India, which would cost you an arm and a leg to call, never mind what's going on in their facilities.

Mike Elwin , June 13, 2021 at 2:27 pm

On the other hand, there's something to be said for employers not training their staffs. In the SF Bay Area computer industry, employees and independent contractors alike continually race to train themselves in the new technologies that seem to crop up like mushrooms after a rain. Many companies train their customers–and charge them for it–before they'll train their staffs. This is a principal reason there's a market for contractors. Training oneself in new technologies lays a base for opportunities that don't appear if you spend a decade in the same job (unless, like mainframe programming, your job is so old it's new). I suppose this is a beneficial side of capitalism?

Lambert Strether , June 13, 2021 at 2:37 pm

> continually race to train themselves in the new technologies that seem to crop up like mushrooms after a rain

And what, one might ask, do mushrooms grow best in .

Louis , June 12, 2021 at 10:38 am

I get that you want experience for mid to senior level jobs but the experience requirements for what are ostsensibly entry-level jobs have gotten absurd. The education requirements have also gotten out of hand in some cases.

That being said, a lot of the shortages are in low-wage, part-time jobs so the issue isn't necessarily ridiculous requirements, like you sometimes see for entry level white collar jobs, but wages that are too low and awful working conditions.

How many people want to be treated like dirt–be it by customers, management, or both–for not much more than minimum wage if they have other options?

A wage increase will help fill these jobs but there also needs to be a paradigm shift in how employees are treated–the customer is not always right and allowing them to treat employees in ways that would not be tolerated in other businesses, and certainly not in many white-collar workplaces is a huge part of the problem and why these jobs have long had high-turnover.

TomDority , June 12, 2021 at 9:51 am

It never ends – when it was about immigrant labor under George B junior – I think – the call was
-- - They do jobs that Americans won't -- or something to that effect.
It always bothered me that the sentence was never, in my mind, completed. It should have been said
-- They do jobs that Americans won't do at that pay level. --
The tax system, economic system and higher education departments have been perverted by the continuous bribery and endowments by the rentier class to our elected law makers and dept heads for decades –
The creditor, debtor relationships distorted for eons.
The toll takers have never, in history, been in any higher level of mastery than they are now.
It is not to throw out the constitution but, to throw out those who have perverted it.

Oh , June 12, 2021 at 12:23 pm

The construction industry knows how to exploit immigrant labor, documented as well as undocumented. I'm sure most peole born here refuse to work for the same wages.

chris , June 12, 2021 at 6:14 pm

The exploitation occurs on many levels. For small residential jobs, a lot of wage theft occurs. For larger jobs, a lot of safety regs get ignored. When you have a population that won't use the legal avenues available to other citizens to push back against abuse you can get a lot done :/

King , June 12, 2021 at 10:04 am

When I go looking for a job if a degree isn't required I am very unlikely to pursue it further. Same if the list of 'required' is overly detailed. I'm making assumptions in both of these cases (that might not be correct) about pay, benefits, work environment, etc. and what is actually going on with a job listing. Why? Chiefly my likelihood of actually getting a reasonable offer. I expect either being seen as overqualified in the first case or the job only being listed because of some requirement in the second.

I have to wonder if many places know how to hire. This is made much more difficult by years of poorly written (maybe deceptive) job postings. You probably know many of the phrases; flexible schedule, family ___, reliable transportation required, and so on. Its no surprise if puffery doesn't bring back the drones.

Noone from Nowheresville , June 12, 2021 at 10:07 am

If we're playing with statistics. How many of these posted job openings, how many interviews did the companies offer v. how many offers were made until the position was filled? If position remains open, has the company increased the base pay offer? guaranteed an increased min. number of weekly hours? offered bonuses or increased benefits? How many times has this same job opening using the original posting criteria been re-posted? Is this a real single job opening that the company plans to fill in real time or just a posting that they keep opening because they have high turnover? etc., etc., etc.

The real problem with this workers are lazy meme is that it is repeated and repeated all year long on the local news from the viewpoint of business. It has filtered down to local people. I hear them repeating what the local news said without giving it any critical thought. Even those who say that we need unions and believe themselves to be on the side of workers.

Ear wigs are good for businesses. Insidious for workers.

synoia , June 12, 2021 at 12:03 pm

In the UK, in the days of Labor Strive, before Neo-liberalism , there was always newspaper reports about "Labor Strife" and "bolshy workers." Never once did the press examine Management had behaved and caused the workers to become "bolshy" – a direct reaction to Management's attitudes and behavior, probably based on the worst attributes of the UK's class system.

Definition: A bolshy person often argues and makes difficulties.
Management get the workers (Their Attitudes) it deserves.
I recommend reading "The Toyota Way" to explore a very successful management style.

tegnost , June 12, 2021 at 10:40 am

This song is getting a probably getting more hits these days
Take this job and Shove It
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIjEauGiRLo
But I hear lots of businesses will close to to no labor, so when they close they can go work for 7.25 an hour for one of their competitors who also needs laborors Solidarinosc!

tegnost , June 12, 2021 at 11:40 am

Geez this song is probably getting more hits these days due to no laborors? hmmm.it must mean something, like proof read your posts .,

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , June 12, 2021 at 10:43 am

If businesses are suffering, it's restaurants and small scale enterprise. The Covid response was tailored to the needs of economy of scale mega biz. They likely knew multitides of mom-n-pops would go away- and they have. But that's fine.

Susan the other , June 12, 2021 at 11:24 am

So if state governments can turn down federal unemployment supplements because they want labor to go back to work for unlivable wages this means the federal government can do nothing about it. When push comes to shove the question that must be settled is, Is it a human right to receive employment assistance until a job is found that pays a livable wage? (Not even a republican will actually say No). So then that puts all the stingy states on notice that there is a human rights issue here. States will have the choice to either let businesses shut down for lack of workers, or states can subsidize minimum wages and benefits. If states choose, in desperation, to subsidize minimum wages, then the states can apply to the feds to be compensated. The thing that is needed in the interim, between when the real standoff starts and ends, is a safety net for workers who are being blocked by the state from receiving unemployment benefits. I say call in the national guard. This is a human rights issue.

Dr. R.k. Barkhi , June 12, 2021 at 6:08 pm

Great point. Im appalled at the RepubliCon governers responses. And they call themselves Christians?

Imo Profitism (or Crapitalism if u pref2) is a Rights issue.

jim truti , June 12, 2021 at 11:45 am

The real exploitation happened when we allowed companies to delocalize, manufacture product in China and sell it here with no strings attached.
James Goldsmith seems like a prophet now, he was so absolutely right.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwmOkaKh3-s

eg , June 12, 2021 at 11:45 pm

He sure does

Tom , June 13, 2021 at 5:34 pm

Wow. The Clinton flack was insufferable. AND WRONG about pretty much everything. Goldsmith was brilliant. I wasn't paying enough attention at he time, but how many high profile people were making the arguments he was making?

Michael Hudson , June 12, 2021 at 12:23 pm

I'm surprised that nobody has taken the opportunity to comment on how this discussion shows how hypocritical Biden and the democrats were not to press for raising the minimum wage.
The pretense (which they must have coached the "Senate scholar" on) was that raising the minimum wage was not related to revenue (i.e., a revenue bill). But of course it is! Right now, paying below-poverty wages enabled Walmart and other employers to make the government pay part of their wage bill. Higher minimum wages would raise these government aid recipients out of the poverty range, saving public revenue.
That is so obvious that the failure of the Democrats to make the point shows that they really didn't want to raise wages after all.

Nikkikat , June 12, 2021 at 1:40 pm

I didn't expect much from Biden but he's even worse than I thought. Along with those bought senators hiding behind Joe Manchin. Depressing to think how much worse everything will become for working people here.

Lambert Strether , June 12, 2021 at 1:48 pm

> the Democrats to make the point shows that they really didn't want to raise wages after all.

Come on, man. They're "fighting for" it.

chris , June 12, 2021 at 6:41 pm

This all day long and twice on Sunday

When I think about how they're complaining about Manchin now when there was a serious primary challenge against him last year, and how the Democrat organization rallied around Manchin and not his challenger, it is disgusting to see Slate/The Guardian/NYT/other "Blue no matter who" mouth breathers write articles asking what can be done to salvage a progressive agenda from the curse of bipartisanship.

I had given up on national politics long before the 2020 election circus but this latest has confirmed my resolve. The destruction of the Democrat party can't come soon enough.

Noone from Nowheresville , June 12, 2021 at 5:25 pm

If I call them Hypocritics, when I never believed them in the first place, will they feel any shame at all? Or must I be part of their class for them to feel even the tiniest of niggles?

Perhaps they'll feel ashamed once they cut the check for the $600 they shorted us this winter. Or maybe that they are reneging on the extended unemployment benefits early or

One side makes you sleep on a bed of nails and swear allegiance.The other side generously offers to help you out, no strings attached, but you might bleed out from the thousands of tiny means-testing cuts. Each side want the lower tiers to face the gauntlet and prove one's worthiness, hoping to convince us that a black box algorithm is the same thing as a jury of peers.

Telee , June 12, 2021 at 9:30 pm

Exactly right! And keep in mind deluge of op-eds telling us that Biden is a transformational president! The same authors presented a deluge of op-eds telling us how Senator Sanders was to radical for the American people after he did well in early primaries. That the reforms he supported like Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage, lowering drug costs, help with daycare, doing something about climate change etc. were reforms that the people would never accept because the people value their freedom and don't want to live in a socialistic country.
It looks like none of the promises Biden made during the campaign will be implemented by President Biden. That why he is in the White House.

rowlf , June 12, 2021 at 12:38 pm

Would a lot of these positions be filled if the US had single payer healthcare or similar? Would workers accept low paying positions if they didn't have to lose so much of their pay to crappy health insurance?

Nikkikat , June 12, 2021 at 1:31 pm

At our local Petsmart they cut staff during the pandemic. They laid off all full time workers
And are only hiring back part time. I knew several of the laid off people and they are not coming back. Two of the people that worked full time have found other jobs one with slightly better pay the other with slightly better benefits. We are in California where rent is very high so another person we know decided to use this as a chance to relocate to another state where housing is less expensive. Our older neighbor retired, although vaccinated now, he decided it just wasn't safe and after the CDC told everyone to take off their mask off. He is glad he just decided to live on a little less money. I suspect there are a lot of reasons as Yves stated above for a lack of workers, but this "they are lazy" trope is capitalistic nonsense.

Petter , June 12, 2021 at 4:53 pm

This "they are lazy" trope has a long history. Yasha Levine wrote about it for the Exiled and it was reposted here at NC.
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/04/yasha-levine-recovered-economic-history-everyone-but-an-idiot-knows-that-the-lower-classes-must-be-kept-poor-or-they-will-never-be-industrious.html

Some highlights:
>> everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.
-- Arthur Young; 1771
>>Even David Hume, that great humanist, hailed poverty and hunger as positive experiences for the lower classes, and even blamed the "poverty" of France on its good weather and fertile soil:
'Tis always observed, in years of scarcity, if it be not extreme, that the poor labour more, and really live better.

>>Poverty is therefore a most necessary and indispensable ingredient in society It is the source of wealth, since without poverty, there could be no labour; there could be no riches, no refinement, no comfort, and no benefit to those who may be possessed of wealth.

athingtoconsider , June 12, 2021 at 1:38 pm

I'll just point out, per the Old Testament, that wage, debt and rent slavery were the exception, not the norm (as they are in the US) for citizens (Hebrews) in ancient Israel/Judah.

That's because the assets in ancient Israel/Judah were roughly equally owned by all citizens with provisions in the OT Law (eg. Leviticus 25, eg. Deuteronomy 15, eg. Deuteronomy 23:19-20) to keep it that way in the long run (but less than 50 years).

Contrast that to US where we have privileges for a private credit cartel, aka "the banks", and no limits to the concentration of land ownership and the roots of our problems are evident.

So begging for better jobs for citizens is, in the Biblical context, pathetically weak tea indeed.

Amateur Socialist , June 12, 2021 at 1:53 pm

On a personal note I had a great job interview Thursday at the local food co-op. This is my first in person interview since I was terminated without cause by IBM (after almost 24 years there in a server development job) almost a year ago. Despite applying for over 100 positions. I'm over 60 and haven't worked in a year so I admit I'm grateful to even get the chance.

I have another interview with them next week and hoping to start soon as a produce clerk making $13.50 an hour. If I can get on full time they offer a decent insurance plan including dental. The HR person acknowledged that I was "wildly overqualified" but encouraging. The possibility of getting health care is key; my IBM Cobra benefits will start costing me almost $1400/monthly for myself and my husband in September after the ARA subsidy expires.

I've adjusted my expectations to reinvent myself as a manual laborer after decades in fairly cushy corporate life. I've managed to keep my health and physical capacity so somewhat optimistic I can meet the job requirements that include lifting 50 lb boxes of produce. But we'll see.

athingtoconsider , June 12, 2021 at 2:52 pm

and haven't worked in a year Amateur Socialist

You mean you haven't had a job in a year since it's highly doubtful that you have not done any work in a year; eg. cooking, cleaning, shopping, car maintenance, gardening, chauffeuring, mowing the lawn, home maintenance and caring for others count as work.

We need to stop conflating work (good) with wage slavery as if the former necessarily requires the latter.

Amateur Socialist , June 12, 2021 at 3:57 pm

Okay sure. I haven't earned in a year. But it's still a problem I'm trying to sort out best as I can.

Since I still live in the US where earning is highly correlated with insurance coverage, and I still have about 5 years until we're both qualified for Medicare this may turn out to be a great thing that has happened.

And since I don't see a path out of wage slavery today I'll be happy to accept almost any offer from the food co-op. It's a union job with decent pay and benefits and may offer other opportunities in the future. They mostly buy and sell products that are locally made so that makes it easier too. The money we are all enslaving each other over is staying around here as much as possible. Okay.

Arizona Slim , June 12, 2021 at 4:32 pm

A former neighbor worked in our local food co-op and loved her job. At the co-op, she was a cashier. She also was a retired attorney.

Dr. R.k. Barkhi , June 12, 2021 at 6:25 pm

Good luck! Fyi i strongly suggest u look into taking your IBM pension asap as 1. It will minimally impact your taxes as u r now earning less n 2. How many more years do u think it will be there? ( I usually recommend most people take their social security at 62 for similar reasons but in your case I'd do your research b4 making any move like that. ) Take a blank state n Fed tax form n pencil in the new income n see what the results are.
Btw truly wonderful people are involved in food co-ops,enjoy!

Eudora Welty , June 12, 2021 at 3:17 pm

Good luck! I will be thinking of you next week.

Sound of the Suburbs , June 12, 2021 at 2:52 pm

No one really questions the idea of maximising profit.
How do you maximise profit?
You minimise costs, including labour costs, i.e. wages.

Where did the idea of maximising profit comes from?
It certainly wasn't from Adam Smith.

"But the rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity and fall with the declension of the society. On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin." Adam Smith
Exactly the opposite of today's thinking, what does he mean?
When rates of profit are high, capitalism is cannibalising itself by:
1) Not engaging in long term investment for the future
2) Paying insufficient wages to maintain demand for its products and services
Today's problems with growth and demand.
Amazon didn't suck its profits out as dividends and look how big it's grown (not so good on the wages).

The benefits of the system can be passed upwards in dividends or downwards in wages.
Both actually detract from the money available for re-investment as Jeff Bezos knows only too well.
He didn't pay dividends, and paid really low wages, to maximise the amount that he could re-invest in Amazon and look how big it's grown.
The shareholders gains are made through the value of the shares.
Jeff Bezos hopes other people are paying high enough wages to buy lots of stuff from Amazon; his own workers don't have much purchasing power.

Where do the benefits of the system go?
Today, we pass as much as possible upwards in dividends.
In the Keynesian era they passed a lot more down in wages.

cnchal , June 12, 2021 at 10:34 pm

> Jeff Bezos hopes other people are paying high enough wages to buy lots of stuff from Amazon; his own workers don't have much purchasing power.

You are missing the tree in the forest. Jeff hopes other people will pay a high enough price for Amazon stawk. We already know Jeff doesn't give a shit about the stuff he sells, or the inhumane working conditions that go along with the low pay and short "career". I mean, not even the nastiest farmer would treat his mules like that, even if mules were easy and cheap to come by.

So far, Mr Market says beating workers, good.

Sound of the Suburbs , June 12, 2021 at 2:55 pm

We don't think people should get money when they are not working.
Are you sure?

What's the point in working?
Why bother?
It's just not worth all the effort when you can make money doing nothing.
In 1984, for the first time in American history, "unearned" income exceeded "earned" income.
They love easy money.

With a BTL portfolio, I can get the capital gains on a number of properties and extract the hard earned income of generation rent at the same time.
That sounds good.
What is there not to like?

We love easy money.

You've just got to sniff out the easy money.
All that hard work involved in setting up a company yourself, and building it up.
Why bother?
Asset strip firms other people have built up, that's easy money.

People do love easy money.

Sound of the Suburbs , June 12, 2021 at 3:45 pm

"West Virginia's Republican Governor Jim Justice justified ending federal jobless benefits early in his state by lecturing his residents on how, "America is all about work. That's what has made this great country."
Have you had a look around recently?

In 1984, for the first time in American history, "unearned" income exceeded "earned" income.
America is not about work at all.

athingtoconsider , June 12, 2021 at 5:44 pm

America is not about work at all. SoS

The US is largely about exploiting or being exploited with most of US doing both.

We should resent an economic system that requires we exploit others or be a pure victim ourselves.

That said and to face some truths we'd rather not, the Bible offers some comfort, eg:

Ecclesiastes 7:16
Do not be excessively righteous, and do not be overly wise. Why should you ruin yourself?

Ecclesiastes 5:8-9
If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight; for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them. After all, a king who cultivates the field is beneficial to the land.

Nonetheless, we should support economic justice and recognize that most of us are net losers to an unjust economic system even though it offers some corrupt compensation* to divide and confuse us.

*eg positive yields and interest on the inherently risk-free debt of a monetary sovereign.

KLG , June 12, 2021 at 6:54 pm

Jim Justice made his money the old fashioned way, he inherited it:

From Wiki: James Conley Justice II (born April 27, 1951) is an American businessman and politician who has been serving as the 36th governor of West Virginia since 2017. With a net worth of around $1.2 billion, he is the wealthiest person in West Virginia. He inherited a coal mining business from his father and built a business empire with over 94 companies, including the Greenbrier, a luxury resort.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Justice

chris , June 12, 2021 at 6:31 pm

I wonder how much of this is also related to a change in the churn we assume existed pre-pandemic? For example, the most recent JOLTS survey results from April 2021 show the total number of separations hasn't really changed but the number of quits has increased.

So, one possible interpretation of that would be employers are less likely to fire people and those who think they have skills in demand are more interested in leaving for better opportunities now. That makes intuitive sense given what we've been through. If you had a good gig and it was stable through 2020 you had very little reason to leave it even if an offer was better with another company. That goes double if you were a caregiver or had children. Which of course is why many women who were affected by the challenges of balancing daycare and a career gave up.

This is also my experience lately. While it's only anecdotal evidence, we're having a hard time hiring mid career engineers. Doesn't seem like pay is the issue. We offer a ton of vacation, a separate pool of sick time, decent benefits, and wages in the six figures with a good bonus program. We're looking to hire 3 engineers. We can't even get people to apply. In 2019 we could be sure to see a steady supply of experienced candidates looking for new opportunities. Now? If you have an engineering position and your company is letting you work from home it seems you don't have a good reason to jump.

Buckeye , June 12, 2021 at 10:47 pm

Look no further than Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. They had only half the staff they normally need at $10 an hour. So they double the wage to $20 an hour and filled every job in less than a week. The Conservaturds will never admit they are lying.

DWoolley , June 13, 2021 at 3:24 pm

As a small business owner providing professional services I am grateful for the comment section here.

I have called professional peers to get a behind the corporate PR perspective of their businesses. Although anecdotal, the overall trend in our industry is to accept the labor shortage and downsize. Most firms have a reliable backlog of work and will benefit from an infrastructure bill. Our firm has chosen to downsize and close vacant positions.

Remote work, although feasible, has employees thinking they are LeBron James, regardless of their skill set. Desperate employers are feeding their belief. Two years from now it will be interesting to see if these employees they fail forward. Company culture minimized employee turnover pre-covid. This culture has little meaning to an employee working in his daughter's playroom.

For context, in California, I believe the median income for licensees is approximately $110,000 with lower level technicians easily at $75k in the urban areas.

Lastly, the "paltry" $300 per week is in additional to the state unemployment checks and is not subject to taxes. As stated previously, $300 is equal to $7.50 per hour. Federal minimum wage is $7.25 and is adopted by many states minimum, for what it's worth.

Thanks again for the forum.

JBird4049 , June 13, 2021 at 6:32 pm

With respect, I do not see any there there in the comment. Adjusted for inflation the minimum wage at its height in 1968 at 1.60, would be just under $13 per hour today. However, even at $15 in California, it is inadequate.

Anyone making anything like the minimum wage would not be working from home, but would be working in some kind of customer service job, and would find paying for adequate food, clothing, and shelter very difficult. Not in getting any extras, but only in getting enough to survive. People, and their families, do need to eat.

If the response of not paying enough, and therefore not getting new hires, is to downsize, perhaps that is good. After all no business deserves to remain in business, especially if the business model depends on its workers being unable to survive.

Sue inSoCal , June 13, 2021 at 4:13 pm

I am also fed up with the "lazy worker" meme. Or rather, propaganda. People are literally exhausted working 2 or 3 lousy jobs and no real healthcare. Equally irritating to me is a misguided notion that we have some magically accessible generous safety net in the US. As though there aren't thousands and thousands on waiting lists for government subsidized housing. Section 8 vouchers? Good luck.

https://homesnow.org/short-history-of-public-housing-in-the-us-1930s-present/

We've ended "welfare as we [knew] it" (AFDC) thanks to Bill Clinton and then the screw was turned tightly by Junior Bush (no child care, but go to work.) The upshot was bad news for kids.

https://www.economist.com/democracy-in-america/2019/02/25/how-welfare-reform-has-had-a-negative-effect-on-the-children-of-single-mothers

Seems to me one of the few things left is the food stamp program, and I can't imagine how that's been reconfigured. Whomever gave that fantastic list of goodies people can get in the US with a mere snap of the fingers isn't in the real world, imho.

Ok! Yves, lovely to see you again, my friend! (Cue the Moody Blues ) Get well!

10 legged shadow , June 13, 2021 at 4:54 pm

Here is my story.
I am 56 years old, on dialysis and I was collecting SSI of 529 a month.
I was living with and taking care of my mother in her home because she had dementia.
She died in December and I had to start paying the bills. In March I inherited her IRA which I reported to SS. I was able to roll it over into my own IRA because I am disabled, due to the Trump tax law changes.
I reported the changes in a timely manner and because I couldn't afford to live here without a job, I took a part time job for 9 an hour.
So now, because I inherited my mother's IRA and have too much resources I no longer qualify for SSI and have been overpaid to the tune of almost 2 grand, which I am assuming I will have to pay back. I have no idea how that works either. Do they just grab money out of your account? Anyone who knows please tell me.

JBird4049 , June 13, 2021 at 11:35 pm

I would run, run, run to the nearest public assistance counselor or lawyer. In the San Francisco Bay Area, it is should not be too hard to find one. They saved me. There are also in California several state websites. There was a useful to me benefits planning site (It only covers nine states though).

The rules for SSI (Supplemental Security Income), SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), Social Security, Medi-Cal or Medicaid, and Medicare are each different. Each state has its own modifications as well, so that is fifty additional sets of modified rules especially for the medical benefits. If they are determined to claw back the money, how it is done might depend on the individual state. It is truly a maze of flycatchers and trapdoors out for you and your money.

The overworked benefits clerks often do not have the knowledge to deal with anything even slightly unusual and are not encourage or at least discouraged from finding out due to the never shrinking pile, not from anyone's malice. This means you could lose benefits because they did not know what they were doing or just by mistake. So, it is up to you to find those nonprofit counselors or the for profit lawyer to help you through the laws, rules, and whatever local regulations there are. Hopefully, you will not have to read through some of the official printed regulations like I did. If wasn't an experience paper pusher.. The average person would have been lost. Intelligence and competence has nothing to do with. Hell, neither does logic, I think.

In my case, when I inherited a retirement account, SSDI was not affected, because of how the original account was set up. However, SSDI is different from SSI although both have interesting and Byzantine requirements. I guess to make sure we are all "deserving" of any help.

So don't ask anonymous bozos like me on the internet and find those local counselors. If it is nonprofit, they will probably do it completely free. If needed, many lawyers, including tax lawyers, and CPAs will offer discounted help or will know where you can go.

Sound of the Suburbs , June 14, 2021 at 12:03 pm

What is the floor on wages?
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
Set disposable income to zero.
Minimum wages = taxes + the cost of living
So, as we increase housing costs, we drive up wages.

The neoliberal solution.
Try and paper over the cracks with Payday loans.
This what we call a short term solution.

Someone has been tinkering with the economics and that's why we can't see the problem.
The early neoclassical economists hid the problems of rentier activity in the economy by removing the difference between "earned" and "unearned" income and they conflated "land" with "capital".
They took the focus off the cost of living that had been so important to the Classical Economists as this is where rentier activity in the economy shows up.
It's so well hidden no one even knows it's there and everyone trips up over the cost of living, even the Chinese.

Angus Deaton rediscovers the wheel that was lost by the early neoclassical economists.
"Income inequality is not killing capitalism in the United States, but rent-seekers like the banking and the health-care sectors just might" Angus Deaton, Nobel prize winner.
Employees get their money from wages and the employers pay the cost of living through wages, reducing profit.
This raises the costs of doing anything in the US, and drives off-shoring.

The Chinese learn the hard way.
Davos 2019 – The Chinese have now realised high housing costs eat into consumer spending and they wanted to increase internal consumption.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNBcIFu-_V0
They let real estate rip and have now realised why that wasn't a good idea.

The equation makes it so easy.
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
The cost of living term goes up with increased housing costs.
The disposable income term goes down.
They didn't have the equation, they used neoclassical economics.
The Chinese had to learn the hard way and it took years, but they got there in the end.

They have let the cost of living rise and they want to increase internal consumption.
Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
It's a double whammy on wages.
China isn't as competitive as it used to be.
China has become more expensive and developed Eastern economies are off-shoring to places like Vietnam, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

[Jun 12, 2021] Sidewalk Robots are Now Delivering Food in Miami

Notable quotes:
"... Florida Sun-Sentinel ..."
"... [A spokesperson says later in the article "there is always a remote and in-field team looking for the robot."] ..."
"... the Sun-Sentinel reports that "In about six months, at least 16 restaurants came on board making nearly 70,000 deliveries... ..."
Jun 06, 2021 | hardware.slashdot.org

18-inch tall robots on four wheels zipping across city sidewalks "stopped people in their tracks as they whipped out their camera phones," reports the Florida Sun-Sentinel .

"The bots' mission: To deliver restaurant meals cheaply and efficiently, another leap in the way food comes to our doors and our tables." The semiautonomous vehicles were engineered by Kiwibot, a company started in 2017 to game-change the food delivery landscape...

In May, Kiwibot sent a 10-robot fleet to Miami as part of a nationwide pilot program funded by the Knight Foundation. The program is driven to understand how residents and consumers will interact with this type of technology, especially as the trend of robot servers grows around the country.

And though Broward County is of interest to Kiwibot, Miami-Dade County officials jumped on board, agreeing to launch robots around neighborhoods such as Brickell, downtown Miami and several others, in the next couple of weeks...

"Our program is completely focused on the residents of Miami-Dade County and the way they interact with this new technology. Whether it's interacting directly or just sharing the space with the delivery bots,"

said Carlos Cruz-Casas, with the county's Department of Transportation...

Remote supervisors use real-time GPS tracking to monitor the robots. Four cameras are placed on the front, back and sides of the vehicle, which the supervisors can view on a computer screen. [A spokesperson says later in the article "there is always a remote and in-field team looking for the robot."] If crossing the street is necessary, the robot will need a person nearby to ensure there is no harm to cars or pedestrians. The plan is to allow deliveries up to a mile and a half away so robots can make it to their destinations in 30 minutes or less.

Earlier Kiwi tested its sidewalk-travelling robots around the University of California at Berkeley, where at least one of its robots burst into flames . But the Sun-Sentinel reports that "In about six months, at least 16 restaurants came on board making nearly 70,000 deliveries...

"Kiwibot now offers their robotic delivery services in other markets such as Los Angeles and Santa Monica by working with the Shopify app to connect businesses that want to employ their robots." But while delivery fees are normally $3, this new Knight Foundation grant "is making it possible for Miami-Dade County restaurants to sign on for free."

A video shows the reactions the sidewalk robots are getting from pedestrians on a sidewalk, a dog on a leash, and at least one potential restaurant customer looking forward to no longer having to tip human food-delivery workers.

... ... ...

[Jun 10, 2021] Mcjobs increases in May. Good jobs no so much. Labor-force participation dropped

Jun 10, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Job gains in May were led by leisure and hospitality, with the sector adding 292,000 jobs. Payrolls grew by 559,000 last month, the Labor Department reported Friday, up from a revised 278,000 in April, which marked a sharp drop from March's figure.

The labor recovery has slowed from earlier in the year -- in March, the economy added 785,000 jobs

... The labor-force participation rate, the share of adults working or looking for work, edged slightly lower in May to 61.6%, down from 63.3% in February 2020.

M

Michael Quick

Republicans, always eager to snatch the bread from the mouths of the poor, are blaming unemployment benefits for the reluctance of workers to return to jobs. In some red states, they already are snatching it.

But more men are returning to work than are women. Doesn't that prove that unemployment benefits are not holding back former workers?

I'll bet more women will return to work in September, after schools start up in-person classes.

William Lamb
Republican turn a blind on helping people, except themselves. They would rather have one being a slave and get pay less then nothing with little perks in making less then high quality item that will still have defects, even if we pride our workmanship that is suppose to equal to none. It would like being in 1950s, when there was not much world competition, when world economy was still recovering from WW2.

I guessed Republican want American to continue working by low paying wages so they can enrich themselves, and show that America can still produce things with slave wages.

johm moore
Most of the jobs are insufficient to support a reasonable quality of life. A job today is about like a half a job pre-NAFTA and the job export process in terms of the quality of life that it supports.
Bryson Marsh
If UI was holding back employment, then why are we adding so many low wage jobs? The missing jobs are in *middle income* sectors.
David Chait
I wouldn't call people returning to work "new" jobs, that just seems disingenuous.
rich ullsmith
Asset prices rise when the jobs report is lukewarm. Thank you, Federal Reserve. May I have another.
Sam Trotter
It should be made mandatory to publish the offered wage/rate. I see so many fake jobs posted on LinkedIn with no description of bill rate for contract positions or Base+Bonus for Full-Time roles. Too many mass scam messages.

[Jun 09, 2021] Nearly 4 million people quit their jobs in April

Jun 09, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

The percentage of people quitting their jobs, meanwhile, also rose to a record 2.8% among private-sector workers. That's a full percentage point higher than a year ago, when the so-called quits rate fell to a seven-year low.

...A recent study by Bank of America, for example, found that job switchers earned an extra 13% in wages from their new positions. That's a big chunk of money.

...Normally people who quit their jobs are ineligible for unemployment benefits, but they can get an exemption in many states for health, safety or child-care reasons.

About half of the states, all led by Republican governors, plan to stop giving out the federal benefit by early July to push people back into the labor force. Economists will be watching closely to see how many people go back to work.

[Jun 07, 2021] Meth addiction and overtime work goes hand in hand.

Jun 07, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

EULENSPIEGEL IGNORED 06/07/2021 at 4:10 am

Just to stay at the oil field – Meth addiction and overtime work goes hand in hand.

Meth and it's derivates was the drug of the 50s in Germany during rebuilding from the war (Pervitin, Weckamin). They have been legal until the 70s.

It's the easy way first – just take it and you can work longer. Want to drive a truck 16 hours? Just throw a few Pervitins. Side effects and addiction come later. And the unclean stuff from the black market kills people faster.

[Jun 07, 2021] Sidewalk Robots are Now Delivering Food in Miami

Notable quotes:
"... Florida Sun-Sentinel ..."
"... [A spokesperson says later in the article "there is always a remote and in-field team looking for the robot."] ..."
"... the Sun-Sentinel reports that "In about six months, at least 16 restaurants came on board making nearly 70,000 deliveries... ..."
Jun 07, 2021 | hardware.slashdot.org

18-inch tall robots on four wheels zipping across city sidewalks "stopped people in their tracks as they whipped out their camera phones," reports the Florida Sun-Sentinel .

"The bots' mission: To deliver restaurant meals cheaply and efficiently, another leap in the way food comes to our doors and our tables." The semiautonomous vehicles were engineered by Kiwibot, a company started in 2017 to game-change the food delivery landscape...

In May, Kiwibot sent a 10-robot fleet to Miami as part of a nationwide pilot program funded by the Knight Foundation. The program is driven to understand how residents and consumers will interact with this type of technology, especially as the trend of robot servers grows around the country.

And though Broward County is of interest to Kiwibot, Miami-Dade County officials jumped on board, agreeing to launch robots around neighborhoods such as Brickell, downtown Miami and several others, in the next couple of weeks...

"Our program is completely focused on the residents of Miami-Dade County and the way they interact with this new technology. Whether it's interacting directly or just sharing the space with the delivery bots,"

said Carlos Cruz-Casas, with the county's Department of Transportation...

Remote supervisors use real-time GPS tracking to monitor the robots. Four cameras are placed on the front, back and sides of the vehicle, which the supervisors can view on a computer screen. [A spokesperson says later in the article "there is always a remote and in-field team looking for the robot."] If crossing the street is necessary, the robot will need a person nearby to ensure there is no harm to cars or pedestrians. The plan is to allow deliveries up to a mile and a half away so robots can make it to their destinations in 30 minutes or less.

Earlier Kiwi tested its sidewalk-travelling robots around the University of California at Berkeley, where at least one of its robots burst into flames . But the Sun-Sentinel reports that "In about six months, at least 16 restaurants came on board making nearly 70,000 deliveries...

"Kiwibot now offers their robotic delivery services in other markets such as Los Angeles and Santa Monica by working with the Shopify app to connect businesses that want to employ their robots." But while delivery fees are normally $3, this new Knight Foundation grant "is making it possible for Miami-Dade County restaurants to sign on for free."

A video shows the reactions the sidewalk robots are getting from pedestrians on a sidewalk, a dog on a leash, and at least one potential restaurant customer looking forward to no longer having to tip human food-delivery workers.

... ... ...

[Jun 06, 2021] Boston Dynamics Debuts Robot Aimed at Rising Warehouse Automation

Jun 06, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Customers wouldn't have to train the algorithm on their own boxes because the robot was made to recognize boxes of different sizes, textures and colors. For example, it can recognize both shrink-wrapped cases and cardboard boxes.

... Stretch is part of a growing market of warehouse robots made by companies such as 6 River Systems Inc., owned by e-commerce technology company Shopify Inc., Locus Robotics Corp. and Fetch Robotics Inc. "We're anticipating exponential growth (in the market) over the next five years," said Dwight Klappich, a supply chain research vice president and fellow at tech research firm Gartner Inc.

[Jun 06, 2021] McDonald's Tests AI-Powered Automated Drive-Thrus At 10 Chicago Restaurants

Jun 06, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

As fast-food restaurants and small businesses struggle to find low-skilled workers to staff their kitchens and cash registers, America's biggest fast-food franchise is seizing the opportunity to field test a concept it has been working toward for some time: 10 McDonald's restaurants in Chicago are testing automated drive-thru ordering using new artificial intelligence software that converts voice orders for the computer.

McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski said Wednesday during an appearance at Alliance Bernstein's Strategic Decisions conference that the new voice-order technology is about 85% accurate and can take 80% of drive-thru orders. The company obtained the technology during its 2019 acquisition of Apprente.

Over the last decade, restaurants have been leaning more into technology to improve the customer experience and help save on labor. In 2019, under former CEO Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's went on a spending spree, snapping up restaurant tech. Now, it's commonplace to see order kiosks in most McDonald's locations. The company has also embraced Uber Eats for delivery. Elsewhere, burger-flipping robots have been introduced that can be successfully operated for just $3/hour ( though "Flippy" had a minor setback after its first day in use ).

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The concept of automation is currently being used, in some places, as a gimmick. And with the dangers that COVID-19 can pose to staff (who can then turn around and sue), we suspect more "fully automated" bars will pop up across the US.

One upscale bistro in Portland has even employed Robo-waiters to help with contactless ordering and food delivery.

The introduction of automation and artificial intelligence into the industry will eventually result in entire restaurants controlled without humans - that could happen as early as the end of this decade. As for McDonald's, Kempczinski said the technology will likely take more than one or two years to implement.

"Now there's a big leap from going to 10 restaurants in Chicago to 14,000 restaurants across the US, with an infinite number of promo permutations, menu permutations, dialect permutations, weather -- and on and on and on, " he said.

McDonald's is also exploring automation of its kitchens, but that technology likely won't be ready for another five years or so - even though it's capable of being introduced soooner.

McDonald's has also been looking into automating more of the kitchen, such as its fryers and grills, Kempczinski said. He added, however, that that technology likely won't roll out within the next five years, even though it's possible now.

"The level of investment that would be required, the cost of investment, we're nowhere near to what the breakeven would need to be from the labor cost standpoint to make that a good business decision for franchisees to do," Kempczinski said.

And because restaurant technology is moving so fast, Kempczinski said, McDonald's won't always be able to drive innovation itself or even keep up. The company's current strategy is to wait until there are opportunities that specifically work for it.

"If we do acquisitions, it will be for a short period of time, bring it in house, jumpstart it, turbo it and then spin it back out and find a partner that will work and scale it for us," he said.

On Friday, Americans will receive their first broad-based update on non-farm employment in the US since last month's report, which missed expectations by a wide margin, sparking discussion about whether all these "enhanced" monetary benefits from federal stimulus programs have kept workers from returning to the labor market.

[Jun 06, 2021] Rethinking Unemployment- From Adam Smith to Marx -Reserve Army of the Unemployed- to the Neoliberal War on Full Employment -

Jun 06, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Rethinking Unemployment: From Adam Smith to Marx "Reserve Army of the Unemployed" to the Neoliberal War on Full Employment Posted on June 5, 2021 by Yves Smith

Yves here. This post gives a useful, high level view of how the basis for unemployment has changed over time, including under Covid.

By Lynn Parramore, Senior Research Analyst, Institute for New Economic Thinking. Originally published at t he Institute for New Economic Thinking website

Canadian economist Mario Seccareccia, recipient of this year's John Kenneth Galbraith Prize in Economics, says it's time to reconsider the idea of full employment. He spoke to Lynn Parramore of the Institute for New Economic Thinking about why 2021 offers a rare opportunity to rebalance the economy in favor of Main Street.

Once upon a time – not so long ago, really – unemployment was not a thing.

In agricultural societies, even capitalistic ones, most people worked on the land. A smaller number worked in villages and towns – shoemakers and carpenters and so on. Some might go back and forth from the countryside to the town, depending on the availability of work. If your work in town building houses dried up, you might come back to the country for the harvest.

Economist Mario Seccareccia, who loves history, notes that before the Industrial Revolution, it was unthinkable that someone ready and able to work had no job to do.

Questions: If unemployment was once unknown, why do we accept it now?

Where did unemployment come from?

In those pre-Industrial Revolution times, there were paupers, mostly people who could not work for some reason such as a disability. These were deemed deserving of charity. A small number of paupers were considered deviants and treated harshly, perhaps made to labor in public work-houses under vile conditions.

Seccareccia notes that early classical economists like Adam Smith and David Ricardo recognized that able-bodied people could experience temporary joblessness, but not the long-term variety. The word "unemployment" only became widely used in the nineteenth century. As cities grew and manufacturing took off, people living in cities and towns grew apart. Movement between the two places grew less fluid. The agricultural sector of the economy was shrinking.

At first, if you lost your factory job, you could still probably pick up something in the countryside to tide you over. But if you had grown up in the city, as more and more people did, you might not know how to do rural work. By the late nineteenth century, most city dwellers could no longer count on falling back on agricultural work during hard times.

Karl Marx noted that England's enclosure movement, which gained momentum as early as the seventeenth century, had made things hard for agricultural workers as wealthy landowners grabbed up the rights to common lands that workers had traditionally been allowed to use and were a vital part of their sustenance. Uprooting peasants from the land and traditional ways of life, Marx observed, created an "industrial reserve army" – basically a whole bunch of people wanting to work but unable to find a job during times when industrialists held back investment or when machines took over certain jobs.

Marx saw that this new kind of unemployment was a feature of capitalism, not a bug. Still, a lot of mainstream bourgeois economists thought that the market would somehow sort things out and eventually provide enough job openings to prevent mass unemployment.

It didn't turn out that way. Exhibit A: The Great Depression.

Especially after World War I, many later economists, most notably John Maynard Keynes, warned that high rates of unemployment were getting to be the norm in the twentieth century. Keynes predicted that a lot of people would go on being jobless unless the government did something. This was very bad for society.

Keynes emphasized that full employment was never going to just happen on its own. Mainstream economists thought that if wages fell enough, full employment would eventually prevail. Keynes disputed that. As wages fell, demand contracted even further, leading to even less business investment and so forth in a never-ending cycle. No, capitalism, with its business cycles led to involuntary unemployment, according to Keynes.

Seccareccia observes that economist Michał Kalecki agreed that the government could make policies to help more people stay employed at a decent wage, but there was just one problem: wealthy capitalists weren't going to have it. They would oppose state-supported systems to hold demand up so that fear of unemployment checked workers' demands for better pay and improved work conditions.

For a while, after World War II, the capitalists were on the defense. The Great Depression and the Communist threat got western countries spooked enough to go along with Keynes's argument that governments should try to encourage employment by doing things like creating big projects for people to work on. Safety nets were created to keep folks from falling into poverty. The goal of full employment gained popularity and many more workers joined unions.

Capitalists v. Full Employment

Economists have bandied about various definitions of what full employment ought to look like, explains Seccareccia: "A well-known definition came from William Beveridge, who said that what you wanted was as many jobs open as people looking for them – or even more jobs because every person can't take every type of job."

In the mid-twentieth century, with the economy doing well, neoclassical economists like Milton Friedman started to push back against the idea of full employment. He discouraged the use of fiscal and monetary policy to support employment, arguing that attempts to push down unemployment beyond what he insisted was its "natural" rate in the economy would simply lead to inflation.

In the 1960s, some of what Friedman warned about did actually happen. Employment was low and prices started to go up mildly, particularly during the Vietnam War era. However, the biggest boost to the credibility of Milton Friedman came with the OPEC cartel oil-price hikes of the 1970s that pushed the inflation rate to double-digit levels while simultaneously pushing up unemployment. So, in the '70s, western countries started backing off from encouraging full employment and maintaining strong safety nets. Proponents of the new neoliberal framework were in favor of cutting safety nets, shedding government jobs, and leaving it to the market to decide how much unemployment there would be. They said that it had to be this way to keep inflation from rising, even though the cause of that high inflation of the '70s had nothing to do with high public spending and excessive money creation that Friedman and his friends talked about.

Seccareccia points to proof that the neoclassical logic didn't hold up. In the two decades before the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-8, the rate of unemployment went down, but inflation didn't go up. That proved that the neoclassical economists were wrong. But unfortunately, policymakers didn't really digest this before the Great Recession hit. So, they bungled the response badly by putting the brake on public spending too quickly because of fears of excessive budget deficits and potentially higher future inflation that never materialized. They kept insisting that the employment level would return to that "natural" state Friedman had talked about if they just left things to the market.

"But it didn't work out that way," says Seccareccia. "Unemployment skyrocketed and it took a decade to return to pre-crisis levels.

Which brings us to the COVID-19 crisis.

A Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Seccareccia says that we have to understand the difference between the current situation and the Global Financial Crisis. This time, it really is different.

"The earlier crisis started in the financial sector and spread to the real economy," he explains. "But in 2020, when the Coronavirus emerged, the financial and industrial sectors got hammered at the same time." This meant that people in both sectors stopped spending. Households couldn't spend even if they wanted to because traveling, dining out, and other activities were off-limits. Businesses cut investment as uncertainty loomed and exports declined due to restrictions at borders. Unless you were Home Depot or an e-commerce company, you couldn't sell anything.

The COVID-19 crisis also saw workers pulled out of activities thought to be too high risk for spreading the virus. Across the country, non-essential workers were sent home and told to stay there. Most, especially in sectors like leisure and hospitality, can't do their work from home . A lot of these people lost their wages, and because most of them were low-wage to begin with, they could least afford the hit. Many were only able to maintain their incomes through government unemployment insurance. Businesses, meanwhile, were kept afloat with subsidies.

Seccareccia notes that unemployment had an interesting twist in the pandemic because it was both the problem and the initial cure for the health crisis. Unemployment kept the virus from circulating. It saved lives.

Fast-forward to late spring, 2021. As America and other western countries seek to put the pandemic behind them, the economy is opening back up. Employers are wanting to hire, and they are even competing with each other for workers. But many job seekers are waiting to go back to work. There are a lot of reasons why: caregiving for kids is still a huge burden, and people are still worried about getting sick. Transit routes have been disrupted making it harder for people to get to work. It's also possible that some workers may be resisting jobs on offer which come with low pay and inadequate benefits.

Employers have started complaining they can't find workers and blame the social safety net as the problem. Some employers, like those in the hospitality industry, are offering higher pay to lure workers back.

Just as Kalecki predicted, the wealthy capitalists are getting uneasy. The Chamber of Commerce, for example, has pushed the U.S. to stop expanded unemployment insurance benefits so that people will be forced to return to low-wage jobs. Some Republican-dominated states have jumped on board with this idea. Economist Larry Summers, for his part, is warning about inflation and telling the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates so that wages don't go up. He complains that when he walks outside, all he sees are people eager to fill job vacancies . It's unclear where he was living when he said that, or which people he is talking about.

Others argue that expanded unemployment insurance isn't the problem, but the crappy jobs on offer. Seccareccia believes that it's a good thing if employers raise their wages, even if that means a little bit of inflation.

Rising inequality, he emphasizes, is unsustainable in a healthy society, and it's about time ordinary people had a little power to improve their lot. "When employers are worried about people quitting," he says, "that's when you know you're getting close to full employment. And in a capitalist society, it's an extremely rare situation when the number of quits begins to exceed the number of new hires as an economy nears the peak of a business cycle."

In Seccareccia's view, "there's a balancing act between workers 'fearing the sack' and employers 'fearing the quit.'" He observes that capitalists are very good at making sure that the former situation is more common, and they've been spectacularly successful in the last 40 years. "This is why you have flat wages and runaway inequality," says Seccareccia. "Productivity goes up but the workers don't share in it." Profits pile up at the top.

Right now, inflation has been creeping up in some areas. In a couple of sectors, like used cars, it's rising a lot. The question is, beyond a couple of unique cases, what will happen to inflation overall? And will be temporary? A lot of economists think that inflation will be short-lived and will not get very high, so it's nothing to get excited about. Some economists, like Antonella Palumbo, think the worry about inflation is overdone . She notes that with unemployment still high and vast numbers of people who formerly worked but are still out of the labor force, the ranks of the famous reserve army of unemployed are still huge. As the economy restarts, all kinds of short-run bottlenecks are cropping up, but that reserve army is not going anywhere fast and will continue to limit wage increases.

Seccareccia points out that wealthy capitalists trying to stop workers from getting paid better and conservatives complaining about laziness fail to mention that meanwhile, the stock market is soaring, making the rich richer. Plus, the housing market is booming because the more affluent people lucky enough to have kept their jobs over the pandemic now have extra money saved to spend on big-ticket items. "Is it really fair," he asks, "to complain about a few hundred dollars a week received by those at the bottom of the economic ladder? Especially how much the economy is already titled in favor of the haves?"

So, what exactly should the government do about unemployment? Should it do anything at all? For Seccareccia's part, he thinks this is a perfect time to reconsider the idea of full employment, which has been so long abandoned by policymakers in favor of some "natural" unemployment rate. "Policymakers need to understand why COVID may offer a chance not seen since the end of WWII," he says. "We could actually make the economy fairer for ordinary people."


Alice X , June 5, 2021 at 6:02 am

The 1943 Michal Kalecki piece can be found here:

https://mronline.org/2010/05/22/political-aspects-of-full-employment/

EarlyGray , June 5, 2021 at 6:07 am

> So, what exactly should the government do about unemployment?

My favoured solution, and that of other readers of this blog, I suspect, is the Job Guarantee as promoted by MMT.
Because a well designed job guarantee would provide a floor on wages and benefits, the private sector would be forced to match it at the very least. But as has been pointed out on this blog many times before, Kalecki's point that full employment would remove employers ability to effectively threaten workers with the sack, means that it will be very difficult politically to see it implemented.

Mikel , June 5, 2021 at 9:47 am

Still building "houses" with floors only?

I think a definition of "enough" is needed.

Amateur Socialist , June 5, 2021 at 8:07 am

Next week I start my 2nd year of pandemic triggered unemployment after I was terminated without cause. On June 26th my extended UI benefits will be halted by TX Governor Greg Abbot. Okay.

In a year of applying for new positions I have managed to get exactly 1 phone interview after a 40 year career in technology development, ending up with almost 24 years at IBM. In my last year with them I received both a performance bonus and a salary hike. But I'm now over 60 and have been unemployed longer than 3 months so that's probably fairly typical experience. Okay.

The path to full employment is probably going to require the creation of new opportunities in a still contracting economic system. It's not impossible if you're focused on the goal. Here's my shortlist of policy initiatives that could dramatically and quickly grow the number of available jobs, particularly for the under employed younger people who are paying off student loans.

Dramatically increase social security and medicare eligibility/benefits to convince older workers to leave the workforce.
Expand paid family leave and vacation policies to align with other industrialized nations in order to require businesses to hire to cover needed absences.
Drop the number of hours that define full time work to allow more workers to get full benefits.

Yeah, I'd like to be considered for another good paying job in a still viable industry. I spent decades developing skills that are still relevant and valuable. But I'm old and I'm expensive because I have expectations based on my own employment history that 40 years of neoliberal policies have rendered obsolete. Okay.

I'm close enough to retirement and lucky enough in my ability to save and plan that this won't wreck us. I try to imagine my pandemic inspired involuntary retirement as an opportunity to become a labor rights activist. It helps.

Rolf , June 5, 2021 at 9:23 am

My situation is virtually the same, although in academia as research scientist at major US university, with last 6 years as invited scientist at German research institute. Returned to US to the nightmare of Trump at 63, but fully (and naively) intending to continue working. I've lost count of how many job applications I've tendered, with only one interview in two years, then COVID. Now resigned to the fact that work for me from here on out will be different. I continue to write papers with colleagues at university to maintain a reputation in my field. Now recognize that people take one look at my CV, and think: "Old! Expensive!" -- but the truth is I would be willing to work for little just to stay active in a field applying expertise I've spent decades acquiring. I've since met many, many seniors in the same boat: trained professionals with lots of experience who still want to work (and, in my case, need at least some income).

But at least I had a career. I can't imagine the hopelessness of people 35-40 years my junior, with huge debt from college, grad school, and unable to find a decent job.

Something must change. The situation as it exists is unsustainable. One bright light seems to be increasing recognition of the way the economy actually functions, the role of public spending, and the real limits to growth, prosperity.

Amateur Socialist , June 5, 2021 at 9:40 am

Appreciate your commiseration Rolf. I expect there is an army of people like us who are in this situation or about to be.

Fwiw (maybe not much), I'm actively trying to get hired full time at the food coop near my house. The workers there are represented by a union and get full insurance benefits including dental with a 40 hour work week. The Vt minimum wage of $11.75/hr doesn't matter as much as those insurance benefits do; we're still in that 5 year gap between age 60 and age 65 where you are on your own if you need healthcare.

And I've pretty much decided to laugh off Beaux Jivin's campaign promise to drop the medicare eligibility age to 60 etc. It's abandoned along with many other campaign promises. Okay.

Rolf , June 5, 2021 at 12:18 pm

Thanks, A/S, for your kind words. Yes, benefits are key. I really am increasingly worried that Biden, and the Democratic Party in general, don't seem the grasp the fact that the GOP is absolutely committed to recovering control of Congress and the White House by *any* means necessary. Biden in particular seems to entertain the notion that he can bring the right wing to his way of thinking by conciliation, negotiation, compromise, and good performance. But the GOP is not interested in Dem's performance or compromise -- McConnell has made this quite clear. So Dems have an opportunity to make significant history, a true course correction, but only this once. To pursue "bipartisanship" with a party that has no interest in compromise is hugely naïve -- I can't imagine Biden is that foolish, except that he did begin his campaign with the promise that "nothing would fundamentally change".

The food coop gig sounds like a good, sound shot -- all the best to you.

Left in Wisconsin , June 5, 2021 at 1:32 pm

Fellow army member, age 61. Lucky to have health care via spouse but definitely not enough wealth to retire. Two interviews in last two years, both in retrospect clearly designed to fill out an interview field when preferred (much younger) hire had already been identified. The canard about atrophied skills might apply in the occasional instance but IMO is just more bullsh1t in defense of existing social order.

Dem obliviousness to the reality all around us is truly horrifying. I used to argue that the big sort would result in fenced "progressive" enclaves in which all parties – those inside and those outside – would be thrilled to not have to interact with each other. But it's clear to me now that progressives don't need physical separation to avoid seeing what they don't want to; they are completely able to not see the world right in front of them.

Rod , June 5, 2021 at 10:52 am

I spent decades developing skills that are still relevant and valuable .

Well, you agree. And I agree with you, though I don't know you.
But Obviously the 'Market' does not.
Whose right here, and why?? is the issue.

Amateur Socialist , June 5, 2021 at 12:29 pm

I guess I should include this post script regarding my IBM termination:

After I'd been unemployed for about 90 days I was contacted by a recruiter working on behalf of IBM and my former managers. They were looking for people with exactly my skills and experience to come back to work at IBM as temporary contractors. I agreed to a short phone interview to learn more about the opportunity.

Once the recruiter verified my experience and contacts at IBM, I managed to confirm that they expected to bring me back on at about 80% of my former salary. With no benefits and zero job security. I laughed out loud at this acknowledgment of their duplicity but agreed to let myself be considered and provided a resume. Never heard back which is probably okay.

Carla , June 5, 2021 at 8:29 pm

Amateur Socialist, Rolf and Left in Wisconsin -- I take my hat off to all of you. Work left both my partner and me a number of years ago, and we quickly learned that we had aged out of the market and were useless to society as we thought of it. Fortunately, we relatively quickly became eligible for Medicare, which even in its steadily diminishing state was (and is) a significant help.

Good luck to all of you, and A/S, please let us know the outcome of your pursuit of the job with benefits at your local Food Co-op.

Objective Ace , June 5, 2021 at 5:39 pm

I think your experience demonstrates the problem with defining full Employment as, "anyone who wants a job has one". Using this definition, the simple way to get the economy to FE then is to just make all the jobs so terrible and low paying that no one wants them. You dont need a job, and you dont want just any old crappy job. You want one similiar to your old one, If that doesnt exist anymore, one would reasonably say you dont want a job, since what you want doesn't exist, hence we're at full employment

All of this is to say, we shouldnt necessarily just encourage the government to get us to FE. Capitalists by themselves are quite capable of getting us there, as I'd argue they did in the 19th century. Its government interventions like minimum wage and basic safety protocols that keep us from reaching FE since that's what makes people actually want a job

Rod , June 5, 2021 at 9:08 am

Interesting overview.

it was unthinkable that someone ready and able to work had no job to do.

I think there is a conflation of the language terms bandied about–work-v-jobs-v-employment are all couched in the concept of a Consumption Based Economy. I am tired of this.

weeding the garden is work–unless I'm paying you then it becomes a job. In both instances, however, you are employed in the endeavor. This is grooming behavior using language, imo, and needs to stop.

I think this muddle is a componant of the current 'Jobs Discussion".

Covid has rattled generations coming out of Displacements following the very unequal GFC, and an undefined(maybe) examination of Meaning and Place within the current state of the world and the Economy that has been chosen to fulfill the needs of that Economy (Societal and Personal). More Intuitive than cognitive to many.

Selling Plastic bric-a-brac for the Man, to make the rent in an endless cycle, may have lost its cache' subconsciously, to the 'common man' in this time of apparent Climate Crises et al.

There is still plenty to do, and little time for Idleness( itself a "reward' promoted as a 'something' by the Consumptive Economy).

Rod , June 5, 2021 at 9:19 am

There is still plenty to do , like this(and all it encompasses)

Hero rat that sniffed out over 70 landmines retires The Hill

Mikel , June 5, 2021 at 9:41 am

"Proponents of the new neoliberal framework were in favor of cutting safety nets, shedding government jobs, and leaving it to the market to decide how much unemployment there would be. They said that it had to be this way to keep inflation from rising,"

"The market" – that's the first con people have to get over. There is.no "the market" like there it is something like nature.
It's system of intentional, changeable human decisions backed by beliefs and emotions of all kinds now matter how many theories or quantifications occur. And a corporate beuracracy is still a beuracracy.

And actually this neoliberal thinking of letting some imaginary entity "the market" "decide" (we should be lughing at this silliness!) to keep people unemployed to avoid "inflation" only makes sense if it actually meant to signify "avoid inflation of the population."

Phil in KC , June 5, 2021 at 9:44 am

The modern police force is a consequence of idle and unemployed city dwellers. Idled workers don't just sit down and die from malnutrition. Instead, they roam around looking for food, or opportunities that would lead to procuring food. Hungry, impoverished mobs are never a good idea: Ask Czar Nicholas, Kaiser Wilhelm, or the French aristocrats of the 1780's (rather, interrogate their ghosts) how idle, hungry crowds furthered their reigns. For all that, look to the unrest of the 1930's in the US.

Given this reality–that unemployed and starving people refuse to sit down and die peacefully–what will happen as automation starts to rob routine jobs? Already we are seeing robots prowling the Walmart aisles, driverless vehicles delivering pizzas, and self-checkout lines in big box stores. We who work are losing the war on unemployment, which leads to a question: Who is the winner?

Almost as an afterthought, one wonders how much in contributions to Social Security and Medicare have been lost because of automation. Robots don't pay taxes.

Jesper , June 5, 2021 at 10:21 am

Maybe Keynes had an idea what to do?
https://www.openculture.com/2020/06/when-john-maynard-keynes-predicted-a-15-hour-workweek-in-a-hundred-years-time-1930.html

After the achievement of the 40-hour workweek, paid vacations, and other labor concessions, many influential figures believed that egalitarian access to leisure would only increase in the 20th century. Among them was economist John Maynard Keynes, who forecast in 1930 that labor-saving technologies might lead to a 15-hour workweek when his grandchildren came of age. Indeed, he titles his essay, "Economic Possibility for our Grandchildren."

The benefits of labour-saving technologies have mostly been taken as money instead of time and by doing so the capitalist class kept power thereby leading to them getting the lions-share of the benefits of the labour-saving techologies.
The political class could, and still can, side with people and decide that labour-saving technologies is to be taken out as reduced amount of hours spent working for someone else. As is the politcal class have bought the 'lump of labour'-fallacy-fallcy hook, line and sinker so what we see is increased pension-age etc

Vicotria H , June 5, 2021 at 10:31 am

I tried out retirement for a few months. I'm 62 and got SS and a very small pension. It's not enough so I went back – temping. The jobs I can get as a paralegal/admin person don't pay a lot but there seem to be quite a few of them based on companies that are merging or have merged and have a huge mess to clean up. So they hire you for a few months to slog through chaos and fix it. Then on to the next one. I'll keep doing this until I can move to a cheaper part of the U.S. Remote helps in that if I don't have a Zoom interview they can't tell how old I am. I feel for everyone who can't even get tedious work. If my SS was higher I would stop working. If my salary had matched that of the male co-workers that had the exact same job as me, my pension would be higher. Retiring in America for many people is part nomadic as you have to move out of your area to survive after you leave your regular job, or it gets rid of you and the other part is being extremely frugal. Woohoo what a life after over 40 years of helping companies make money.

Rod , June 5, 2021 at 11:00 am

If my SS was higher I would stop working

Is this a complete and true statement, or a shortcut to meaning something else?
No criticism, just looking for the clarity.

Victoria H , June 5, 2021 at 11:20 am

Yes a totally true statement. For it to be higher I would have had to wait until almost 67 to take it. It will go up a tad from my additional employment – maybe. Anyway it's a mostly a set amount. I make as a temp in 2 weeks (take home) what I get in SS once per month. If I make over about $19k annually while taking the SS, the US gov will begin to reduce the SS payment.

John Zelnicker , June 5, 2021 at 1:22 pm

@Victoria H
June 5, 2021 at 11:20 am
-- -- -

Social Security takes the highest 40 quarters (10 years) of your earnings to calculate your benefit. If your current work results in higher numbers than are being used currently, the higher numbers will be used and your benefit will increase.

Victoria H , June 5, 2021 at 11:40 am

I tried to reply to your question – yes it is a true statement. What I wrote additionally may have been moderated out for some reason so I won't repeat it. It only mentioned dollar amounts and the US gov so maybe that was bad – not sure!

Rod , June 5, 2021 at 2:06 pm

Victoria H
and I thank you for that.
But I think you, and I will 'work' until we die–

What does work mean?
noun. exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil. productive or operative activity. employment, as in some form of industry, especially as a means of earning one's livelihood: to look for work. the result of exertion, labor, or activity; a deed or performance.

Work | Definition of Work at Dictionary.comhttps://www.dictionary.com › browse › work

I am personally familiar with what you are going through and My wife is there right now.

I waited till full retirement at 66 to collect–not being able to leave 2k on the table(diff btwn 62 and 66 for me). I cannot describe the amount of effort and gyration I needed to extend to achieve that– which may explain why I am the only one in my 'Friend Circle' to actually accomplish it.

Trigger Warning

I thought the coup de grace was when I had to sign up for–and Pay For, with cash, Quarterly–Medicare without a SS check to have it automatically deducted from. Because of my birthday I needed to pony up about 5 months worth of premiums(but i had 3 months to save up for the next Q pymt). I doubt you've ever been curbed at the end of a physical altercation, but that is what it felt like to me. Best think about all that.
Good news–do your own taxes for your enlightenment and you will see that the SS Income Worksheet provides a path to structuring your Income to counter-balance additional Income.
Discalimer–I am in no way an Acc'tant or Tax Man or even giving Advice. I am a Carpenter–but Written Instructions are Written Instructions and Numbers are Numbers and I made a paid living following both–so it's understandable enough to give you some options to ponder.

And to Rolf/AmSoc and all the others -- IMNSHO(the first ever time I have used this phrase) the most dispiriting element about 'Retirement' in America is the Stranding of So Many Valuable Assets embodied in the Retired when the world desperatly needs "All Hands On Deck" to resist the Man Made Extinction looming.

Rolf , June 5, 2021 at 3:22 pm

the most dispiriting element about 'Retirement' in America is the Stranding of So Many Valuable Assets embodied in the Retired when the world desperately needs "All Hands On Deck" to resist the Man Made Extinction looming.

These are true words, Rod. I think catastrophic changes (no hyperbole) lie ahead, for which there is little precedent. Many make absurdly blithe assumptions, thinking they won't be affected, or that wealth will insulate them. This is arrogant folly, and we will need everyone to row in the same direction.

Carla , June 5, 2021 at 9:32 pm

The man who owns the Heating and Air Conditioning company I have been using for the last decade lives in the neighborhood and is 88 years old. After his brother had health problems, and the young nephew he employed left for greener pastures,he now does pretty much all the work himself, and let me tell you, he knows his stuff. I know I should have a back-up in mind, just in case, but so far, haven't found anyone else I can trust.

Dr. R.k. Barkhi , June 5, 2021 at 5:49 pm

Well said. I took retirement at 62 for several reasons,number 1 being i didn't believe it would be around long enough to pay me back.

"All hands on deck" is imo exactly what is needed,but the mostly planned divisiveness (fake right vs fake left aka RepubliCons vs Dumbocrats) will help ensure that never occurs,to someone's benefit.

redleg , June 5, 2021 at 12:20 pm

Just think how many people would quit working, or enter self-employment, if they weren't dependent on employer providedmedical insurance. I don't know the answer/estimate; it would have to be a large number, enough to significantly raise wages across the board.

Amateur Socialist , June 5, 2021 at 11:29 am

Retiring in America for many people is part nomadic

This observation made me remember a critical scene from the excellent oscar winner last year, Nomadland . Frances McDormand's character meets a friend who explains why she took to the road: "Five hundred forty dollars a month from Social Security. After working non stop for over 40 years. How am I supposed to live on that".

I'm paraphrasing possibly badly from memory; it's a very short scene that isn't really pursued farther in the script. But I do remember thinking "Aha! This is the root cause of all this misery and despair "

We moved to southern Vermont from Texas just prior to the pandemic believing we had relocated to a cheaper part of the US as you also mentioned. But Vermont's strong public health track record during the pandemic has unleashed a huge real estate boom here so who knows We may end up priced out of Vermont eventually too.

Rolf , June 5, 2021 at 12:29 pm

Real estate is still relatively cheap in Texas (at least around Houston), with the caveat that Republicans don't always keep the power on or the water pressure up in the middle of winter.

Amateur Socialist , June 5, 2021 at 12:34 pm

Unfortunately our place was in the Austin exurb of Bastrop. Which is now part of the Austin insane real estate boom. And yes Houston can be cheap but only if you don't mind living near a refinery. Or in the path of many future hurricanes. Hard pass.

Pelham , June 5, 2021 at 11:11 am

I keep seeing references to "flat wages." While it's technically true, I suspect it's enormously deceptive.

Yes, we have flat wages. But the cost of necessities that add little or no value to people's lives but which they're FORCED to pay for have shot up far, far beyond the pace of inflation. Think medical care, housing and education, to name just three, all of which are somehow ignored or slighted in official inflation stats.

Susan the other , June 5, 2021 at 11:54 am

Right now the best transition is for the government to regulate capitalism in the direction the future (sustainability) dictates. The problem with regulating capitalism is that most capitalists think it is already too regulated; taxes are too high, etc. They are on the edge of revolution themselves. And regulated capitalism is almost an oxymoron to most Americans. It's just business as usual to a European because they have better social spending and blablablah. The statistic I remember is that the EU spends about 45% of its revenue on social stuff; the US spends a little less than 35%. The problem, as I see it, is this: If we in the US do not achieve adequate social spending we create the perfect breeding ground for exploitation of the environment. People will be desperate for a job – any job. Which will not only cause worse CO2 problems, it will poison off, or starve off, many many species now living on the edge. We will further pollute the oceans and waterways. And we will not only stick with our sick and poisonous agricultural practices, we will exponentiate them – precluding all efforts to fix these unsustainable things. Capitalism as we have known it must change. So, even the great idea of capitalism must adapt to reality. Somebody please tell Larry. At this point "inflation" is an absolutely meaningless word. It would be a very good thing if we followed Eisenhower's advice to LBJ and began to create social structures that are fair to all of society – to the capitalists whose current mandate of voracious profiteering is clearly unsustainable, as well as to "labor" – as we see it evolving – and now, most importantly, we must include the rights of the planet itself and all of our fellow travelers. We won't last very long if we kill them all off and trash the Earth. The race to the bottom that all privateering capitalism eventually creates is the most absurd thing in the history of civilization.

Rod , June 5, 2021 at 2:12 pm

Always with the Big Picture and the Clear Eyes.
Thanks

Carla , June 5, 2021 at 9:35 pm

Indeed.

redleg , June 5, 2021 at 12:13 pm

A good start would be breaking up all of the ubiquitous monopolies/monopsonies/cartels, that have taken over every sector of the economy, from food processing to entertainment to banking to manufacturing to politics to (ad infinitum/nauseum).

John Zelnicker , June 5, 2021 at 1:27 pm

I went to Firehouse Subs yesterday there was a whiteboard inside on a table, facing into the restaurant, that said they were hiring and offered starting pay of $9.00 for crew members and $12.00 for shift managers.

Just inside the door, facing out, was a whiteboard offering starting pay of $11.00 for crew members and $14.00 for shift managers. Seems like they're getting the message.

As an aside, I'd like to give props to Firehouse Subs for using pressed paper clam boxes and paper bags.

LawnDart , June 5, 2021 at 6:47 pm

The average mortgage payment in USA is $1158mo.

Using the 28/36 rule, how much should employers be paying hourly if their employees are valued enough to be able to afford a home?

[May 31, 2021] Regarding, "skills shortage," I don't expect t businesses that respect their employees well will have trouble hiring and retaining staff. The ones in trouble are those who bought into the "end of employees" propaganda and laid off the people they already had

May 31, 2021 | www.wsj.com

ALAN SEWELL SUBSCRIBER 8 hours ago (Edited)

Regarding, "skills shortage," I don't expect t businesses that respect their employees well will have trouble hiring and retaining staff. The ones in trouble are those who bought into the "end of employees" propaganda and laid off the people they already had:
The End of Employees Updated
Feb. 2, 2017 12:41 p.m. ET

Never before have American companies tried so hard to employ so few people. The outsourcing wave that moved apparel-making jobs to China and call-center operations to India is now just as likely to happen inside companies across the U.S. and in almost every industry. Hiring an employee is a last resort and "very few jobs make it through that obstacle course."

Companies with that attitude shouldn't expect easy hiring now. They were bad companies to work for then, and probably still are. Productive employees now have options on where to work. Bad employers are at the bottom of the totem pole and will only get the least desirable people who have nowhere else to go.

[May 30, 2021] Ford Retools Headquarters for Hybrid Work

Executives at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP have voiced worries that workers who stay remote could wind up as second-class corporate citizens, falling behind in promotions and pay , so the company plans to track rates of advancement for office-based and remote staff in an effort to make sure nobody lags behind.
May 30, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Ford Motor Co. is pushing ahead with digital efforts to help bring office workers back to its Dearborn, Mich., corporate headquarters, while eyeing a future where many of them continue to work from home, company officials say.

For now, the auto maker is aiming for a gradual return of some employees to the sprawling campus beginning in July, with "significantly reduced capacity" to retain social distancing, a spokeswoman said.

[May 30, 2021] Boston Dynamics Debuts Robot Aimed at Rising Warehouse Automation by Sara Castellanos

May 30, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Boston Dynamics, a robotics company known for its four-legged robot "dog," this week announced a new product, a computer-vision enabled mobile warehouse robot named "Stretch."

Developed in response to growing demand for automation in warehouses, the robot can reach up to 10 feet inside of a truck to pick up and unload boxes up to 50 pounds each. The robot has a mobile base that can maneuver in any direction and navigate obstacles and ramps, as well as a robotic arm and a gripper. The company estimates that there are more than 500 billion boxes annually that get shipped around the world, and many of those are currently moved manually.

"It's a pretty arduous job, so the idea with Stretch is that it does the manual labor part of that job," said Robert Playter, chief executive of the Waltham, Mass.-based company.

The pandemic has accelerated [automation of] e-commerce and logistics operations even more over the past year, he said.

... ... ...

... the robot was made to recognize boxes of different sizes, textures and colors. For example, it can recognize both shrink-wrapped cases and cardboard boxes.

Eventually, Stretch could move through an aisle of a warehouse, picking up different products and placing them on a pallet, Mr. Playter said.

... ... ...

[May 30, 2021] Andrew Yang: The War on Normal People The Truth About America s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future

Looks like this guys somewhat understands the problems with neoliberalism, but still is captured by neoliberal ideology.
Notable quotes:
"... That all seems awfully quaint today. Pensions disappeared for private-sector employees years ago. Most community banks were gobbled up by one of the mega-banks in the 1990s -- today five banks control 50 percent of the commercial banking industry, which itself mushroomed to the point where finance enjoys about 25 percent of all corporate profits. Union membership fell by 50 percent. ..."
"... Ninety-four percent of the jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were temp or contractor jobs without benefits; people working multiple gigs to make ends meet is increasingly the norm. Real wages have been flat or even declining. The chances that an American born in 1990 will earn more than their parents are down to 50 percent; for Americans born in 1940 the same figure was 92 percent. ..."
"... Thanks to Milton Friedman, Jack Welch, and other corporate titans, the goals of large companies began to change in the 1970s and early 1980s. The notion they espoused -- that a company exists only to maximize its share price -- became gospel in business schools and boardrooms around the country. Companies were pushed to adopt shareholder value as their sole measuring stick. ..."
"... Simultaneously, the major banks grew and evolved as Depression-era regulations separating consumer lending and investment banking were abolished. Financial deregulation started under Ronald Reagan in 1980 and culminated in the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 under Bill Clinton that really set the banks loose. The securities industry grew 500 percent as a share of GDP between 1980 and the 2000s while ordinary bank deposits shrank from 70 percent to 50 percent. Financial products multiplied as even Main Street companies were driven to pursue financial engineering to manage their affairs. GE, my dad's old company and once a beacon of manufacturing, became the fifth biggest financial institution in the country by 2007. ..."
Apr 27, 2019 | www.amazon.com

The logic of the meritocracy is leading us to ruin, because we arc collectively primed to ignore the voices of the millions getting pushed into economic distress by the grinding wheels of automation and innovation. We figure they're complaining or suffering because they're losers.

We need to break free of this logic of the marketplace before it's too late.

[Neoliberalism] had decimated the economies and cultures of these regions and were set to do the same to many others.

In response, American lives and families are falling apart. Ram- pant financial stress is the new normal. We are in the third or fourth inning of the greatest economic shift in the history of mankind, and no one seems to be talking about it or doing anything in response.

The Great Displacement didn't arrive overnight. It has been building for decades as the economy and labor market changed in response to improving technology, financialization, changing corporate norms, and globalization. In the 1970s, when my parents worked at GE and Blue Cross Blue Shield in upstate New York, their companies provided generous pensions and expected them to stay for decades. Community banks were boring businesses that lent money to local companies for a modest return. Over 20 percent of workers were unionized. Some economic problems existed -- growth was uneven and infla- tion periodically high. But income inequality was low, jobs provided benefits, and Main Street businesses were the drivers of the economy. There were only three television networks, and in my house we watched them on a TV with an antenna that we fiddled with to make the picture clearer.

That all seems awfully quaint today. Pensions disappeared for private-sector employees years ago. Most community banks were gobbled up by one of the mega-banks in the 1990s -- today five banks control 50 percent of the commercial banking industry, which itself mushroomed to the point where finance enjoys about 25 percent of all corporate profits. Union membership fell by 50 percent.

Ninety-four percent of the jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were temp or contractor jobs without benefits; people working multiple gigs to make ends meet is increasingly the norm. Real wages have been flat or even declining. The chances that an American born in 1990 will earn more than their parents are down to 50 percent; for Americans born in 1940 the same figure was 92 percent.

Thanks to Milton Friedman, Jack Welch, and other corporate titans, the goals of large companies began to change in the 1970s and early 1980s. The notion they espoused -- that a company exists only to maximize its share price -- became gospel in business schools and boardrooms around the country. Companies were pushed to adopt shareholder value as their sole measuring stick.

Hostile takeovers, shareholder lawsuits, and later activist hedge funds served as prompts to ensure that managers were committed to profitability at all costs. On the flip side, CF.Os were granted stock options for the first time that wedded their individual gain to the company's share price. The ratio of CF.O to worker pay rose from 20 to 1 in 1965 to 271 to 1 in 2016. Benefits were streamlined and reduced and the relationship between company and employee weakened to become more transactional.

Simultaneously, the major banks grew and evolved as Depression-era regulations separating consumer lending and investment banking were abolished. Financial deregulation started under Ronald Reagan in 1980 and culminated in the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 under Bill Clinton that really set the banks loose. The securities industry grew 500 percent as a share of GDP between 1980 and the 2000s while ordinary bank deposits shrank from 70 percent to 50 percent. Financial products multiplied as even Main Street companies were driven to pursue financial engineering to manage their affairs. GE, my dad's old company and once a beacon of manufacturing, became the fifth biggest financial institution in the country by 2007.

Nolia Nessa , April 5, 2018

profound and urgent work of social criticism

It's hard to be in the year 2018 and not hear about the endless studies alarming the general public about coming labor automation. But what Yang provides in this book is two key things: automation has already been ravaging the country which has led to the great political polarization of today, and second, an actual vision into what happens when people lose jobs, and it definitely is a lightning strike of "oh crap"

I found this book relatively impressive and frightening. Yang, a former lawyer, entrepreneur, and non-profit leader, writes showing with inarguable data that when companies automate work and use new software, communities die, drug use increases, suicide increases, and crime skyrockets. The new jobs created go to big cities, the surviving talent leaves, and the remaining people lose hope and descend into madness. (as a student of psychology, this is not surprising)

He starts by painting the picture of the average American and how fragile they are economically. He deconstructs the labor predictions and how technology is going to ravage it. He discusses the future of work. He explains what has happened in technology and why it's suddenly a huge threat. He shows what this means: economic inequality rises, the people have less power, the voice of democracy is diminished, no one owns stocks, people get poorer etc. He shows that talent is leaving small towns, money is concentrating to big cities faster. He shows what happens when those other cities die (bad things), and then how the people react when they have no income (really bad things). He shows how retraining doesn't work and college is failing us. We don't invest in vocational skills, and our youth is underemployed pushed into freelance work making minimal pay. He shows how no one trusts the institutions anymore.

Then he discusses solutions with a focus on Universal Basic Income. I was a skeptic of the idea until I read this book. You literally walk away with this burning desire to prevent a Mad Max esque civil war, and its hard to argue with him. We don't have much time and our bloated micromanaged welfare programs cannot sustain.

[May 30, 2021] The Twilight of Equality: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy by Lisa Duggan

This is a very short book, almost an essay -- 136 pages. It was published in October 2004, four years before financial crisis of 2008, which put the first nail in the coffin of neoliberalism. It addresses the cultural politics of neo-liberalism ("the Great Deception")
Notable quotes:
"... By now, we've all heard about the shocking redistribution of wealth that's occurred during the last thirty years, and particularly during the last decade. But economic changes like this don't occur in a vacuum; they're always linked to politics. ..."
"... Ultimately, The Twilight of Equality? not only reveals how the highly successful rhetorical maneuvers of neoliberalism have functioned ..."
"... The titles of her four chapters--Downsizing Democracy, The Incredible Shrinking Public, Equality, Inc., Love AND Money--summarize her argument. ..."
"... Her target is neoliberalism, which she sees as a broadly controlling corporate agenda which seeks world domination, privatization of governmental decision-making, and marginalization of unions, low-income people, racial and sexual minorities while presenting to the public a benign and inclusive facade. ..."
"... Neo-liberalism seeks to upwardly distribute money, power, and status, she writes, while progressive movements seek to downwardly distribute money, power, and status. The unity of the downwardly distribution advocates should match the unity of the upwardly distribution advocates in order to be effective, she writes. ..."
"... "There is nothing stable or inevitable in the alliances supporting neoliberal agendas in the U.S. and globally," she writes. "The alliances linking neoliberal global economics, and conservative and right-wing domestic politics, and the culture wars are provisional--and fading...." ..."
"... For example, she discusses neoliberal attempts to be "multicultural," but points out that economic resources are constantly redistributed upward. Neoliberal politics, she argues, has only reinforced and increased the divide between economic and social political issues. ..."
"... Because neoliberal politicians wish to save neoliberalism by reforming it, she argues that proposing alternate visions and ideas have been blocked. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

By now, we've all heard about the shocking redistribution of wealth that's occurred during the last thirty years, and particularly during the last decade. But economic changes like this don't occur in a vacuum; they're always linked to politics.

The Twilight of Equality? searches out these links through an analysis of the politics of the 1990s, the decade when neoliberalism-free market economics-became gospel.

After a brilliant historical examination of how racial and gender inequities were woven into the very theoretical underpinnings of the neoliberal model of the state, Duggan shows how these inequities play out today. In a series of political case studies, Duggan reveals how neoliberal goals have been pursued, demonstrating that progressive arguments that separate identity politics and economic policy, cultural politics and affairs of state, can only fail.

Ultimately, The Twilight of Equality? not only reveals how the highly successful rhetorical maneuvers of neoliberalism have functioned but, more importantly, it shows a way to revitalize and unify progressive politics in the U.S. today.

Mona Cohen 5.0 out of 5 stars A Critique of Neoliberalism and the Divided Resistance to It July 3, 2006

Lisa Duggan is intensely interested in American politics, and has found political life in the United States to have been "such a wild ride, offering moments of of dizzying hope along with long stretches of political depression." She is grateful for "many ideas about political depression, and how to survive it," and she has written a excellent short book that helps make sense of many widely divergent political trends.

Her book is well-summarized by its concluding paragraph, which I am breaking up into additional paragraphs for greater clarity:

"Now at this moment of danger and opportunity, the progressive left is mobilizing against neoliberalism and possible new or continuing wars.

"These mobilizations might become sites for factional struggles over the disciplining of troops, in the name of unity at a time of crisis and necessity. But such efforts will fail; the troops will not be disciplined, and the disciplinarians will be left to their bitterness.

"Or, we might find ways of think, speaking, writing and acting that are engaged and curious about "other people's" struggles for social justice, that are respectfully affiliative and dialogic rather than pedagogical, that that look for the hopeful spots to expand upon, and that revel in the pleasure of political life.

"For it is pleasure AND collective caretaking, love AND the egalitarian circulation of money--allied to clear and hard-headed political analysis offered generously--that will create the space for a progressive politics that might both imagine and create...something worth living for."

The titles of her four chapters--Downsizing Democracy, The Incredible Shrinking Public, Equality, Inc., Love AND Money--summarize her argument.

She expected upon her high school graduation in 1972, she writes, that "active and expanding social movements seemed capable of ameliorating conditions of injustice and inequality, poverty, war and imperialism....I had no idea I was not perched at a great beginning, but rather at a denouement, as the possibilities for progressive social change encountered daunting historical setbacks beginning in 1972...."

Her target is neoliberalism, which she sees as a broadly controlling corporate agenda which seeks world domination, privatization of governmental decision-making, and marginalization of unions, low-income people, racial and sexual minorities while presenting to the public a benign and inclusive facade.

Neo-liberalism seeks to upwardly distribute money, power, and status, she writes, while progressive movements seek to downwardly distribute money, power, and status. The unity of the downwardly distribution advocates should match the unity of the upwardly distribution advocates in order to be effective, she writes.

Her belief is that all groups threatened by the neoliberal paradigm should unite against it, but such unity is threatened by endless differences of perspectives. By minutely analyzing many of the differences, and expanding understanding of diverse perspectives, she tries to remove them as obstacles towards people and organizations working together to achieve both unique and common aims.

This is good book for those interested in the history and current significance of numerous progressive ideological arguments. It is a good book for organizers of umbrella organizations and elected officials who work with diverse social movements. By articulating points of difference, the author depersonalizes them and aids in overcoming them.

Those who are interested in electoral strategies, however, will be disappointed. The interrelationship between neoliberalism as a governing ideology and neoliberalism as a political strategy is not discussed here. It is my view that greater and more focused and inclusive political organizing has the potential to win over a good number of the those who see support of neoliberalism's policy initiatives as a base-broadening tactic more than as a sacred cause.

"There is nothing stable or inevitable in the alliances supporting neoliberal agendas in the U.S. and globally," she writes. "The alliances linking neoliberal global economics, and conservative and right-wing domestic politics, and the culture wars are provisional--and fading...."

Reading this book adds to one's understanding of labels, and political and intellectual distinctions. It has too much jargon for my taste, but not so much as to be impenetrable. It is an excellent summarization and synthesis of the goals, ideologies, and histories of numerous social movements, both famous and obscure.

S. Baker 5.0 out of 5 stars Summary/Review of Twilight of Equality November 27, 2007

Duggan articulately connects social and economic issues to each other, arguing that neoliberal politics have divided the two when in actuality, they cannot be separated from one another.

In the introduction, Duggan argues that politics have become neoliberal - while politics operate under the guise of promoting social change or social stability, in reality, she argues, politicians have failed to make the connection between economic and social/cultural issues. She uses historical background to prove the claim that economic and social issues can be separated from each other is false.

For example, she discusses neoliberal attempts to be "multicultural," but points out that economic resources are constantly redistributed upward. Neoliberal politics, she argues, has only reinforced and increased the divide between economic and social political issues.

After the introduction, Duggan focuses on a specific topic in each chapter: downsizing democracy, the incredible shrinking public, equality, and love and money. In the first chapter (downsizing democracy), she argues that through violent imperial assertion in the Middle East, budget cuts in social services, and disillusionments in political divides, "capitalists could actually bring down capitalism" (p. 2).

Because neoliberal politicians wish to save neoliberalism by reforming it, she argues that proposing alternate visions and ideas have been blocked. Duggan provides historical background that help the reader connect early nineteenth century U.S. legislation (regarding voting rights and slavery) to perpetuated institutional prejudices.

[May 29, 2021] Wage Growth Stagnation Hits Men Harder Than Women, What's The Cause- - ZeroHedge

May 29, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Wage Growth Stagnation Hits Men Harder Than Women, What's The Cause? BY TYLER DURDEN SATURDAY, MAY 29, 2021 - 11:10 AM

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk.com,

Lifetime real earnings of the median male worker declined by 10% from those who entered the US labor market in 1967 to those in 1983, or roughly a loss of $136,000.

A study on Lifetime Earnings in the United States over Six Decades is worth a close look.

The study shows the United States shows a "wage stagnation of average earnings and a rise in income inequality since the 1970s." The charts are based on US Social Security Administration (SSA) records over 57 years.

The charts are more than a bit confusing unless one carefully dives into the details.

The lead chart is titled " Median Lifetime Earnings " but shows instead annualized real (inflation adjusted) annual wages, not lifetime or real lifetime earnings.

Lifetime Definition

When nominal earnings are deflated by the personal consumption expenditure (PCE) deflator, the annualized value of median lifetime wage/salary earnings for male workers declined by $4,400 per year from the 1967 cohort to the 1983 cohort, or $136,400 over the 31-year working period.

The lifetime earnings of the median male worker declined by 10 percent from the 1967 cohort to the 1983 cohort. Further, more than three-quarters of the distribution of men experienced no rise in their lifetime earnings across these cohorts.

Cohort Definition

As used in the article, cohort means all of those who turned 25, 35. 45, etc. in a particular year.

Key Notes

A download of the Working Paper PDF provides these insights.

Inflation Adjustments

The two most commonly used price indexes are the personal consumption expenditure (PCE) deflator from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the consumer price index (CPI) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS). The (older) CPI and the (newer) PCE differ in several ways that are by now well understood.

The PCE is generally accepted to be the superior index for measuring the overall price level and its evolution over the business cycle. It is thus the standard choice in aggregate (macro) economic analyses. However, for more micro work, such as the analyses in this paper, the CPI has some advantages. In particular, the CPI aims to capture the price level faced by the typical household for its out-of-pocket expenses and is thus based on a detailed survey of U.S. household expenditures, whereas the PCE is based on business surveys and also includes purchases made by others on behalf of households. Consequently, relative to the PCE, the CPI places a lower weight on health care prices (since a large fraction of total expenditures is paid by Medicare/Medicaid and insurance companies) and a much higher weight on housing and transportation.

In our empirical analysis, we choose the PCE as our baseline measure for deflating nominal earnings because it implies a lower cumulative inflation over this period than the CPI . We report all values in 2013 dollars.

Lifetime Earnings for Men and Women Closing the Gender Gap

The chart looks severely dated but cohort means the year in which someone turned 25.

Figure 3 plots the ratio of the mean lifetime earnings of females to that of males

In 1960, median inflation adjusted wages for women aged 25 were less than 40% of males. But fewer women than men were working and fewer women than men were college educated.

After 1965, the gap started to close quickly (showing an almost linear trend), and by the 1983 cohort (working women who turned 25 in 1983), the lifetime earnings of women reached more than 60% of their male counterparts.

To the extent real median wages have risen in aggregate, it is because of the headway made by women relative to men.

Decline of Men vs Women

The mean lifetime income for men rose until 1972. The median topped out a bit earlier in 1967 albeit by an arguably meaningless 0.13 percentage points.

Those who turned 25 in 1983 were 55 in 2014. Thus the study misses the last 7 years.

Even Worse Than It Looks

The charts and findings are even worse than they look.

The PCE measure of inflation is understated relative to the CPI.

Both are severely understated since 1999 relative to housing. Housing-adjusted real wages have been hammered in aggregate, and even more so for men.

For discussion, please see Fed Sponsored Speculation: Real Interest Rates Are -4.1 Percent, Lowest Since 1980 .

Placing the Blame

The Fed with tremendous help from Congress seeks to destroy the dollar. They have succeeded. Yet the Fed rails against income inequality.

The Fed, Congress, and Progressive need to look in the mirror to see who is to blame for falling real wages.

" It costs only a few cents for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to produce a $100 bill, but other countries had to pony up $100 of actual goods in order to obtain one ," accurately quipped American economist Barry Eichengreen .

Trade Distortions and Wage Distortions

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1398388350705278976&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpersonal-finance%2Fwage-growth-stagnation-hits-men-harder-women-whats-cause&sessionId=b263f891dabcc801fba286b4f58c3984c3a572cc&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

In addition to trade distortions inaccurately blamed on NAFTA, real wages is another data series that goes back to Nixon closing the gold window in 1971.

For details, please see Nixon Shock, the Reserve Currency Curse, and a Pending Currency Crisis .

Is the Fed Trying to Destroy the Dollar?

A friend asks "Is the Fed Trying to Destroy the US Dollar?"

The answer is yes, to repeatedly bail out the banks at the expense of consumers.

Be my guest at assigning percentage blame.

[May 28, 2021] Despite Initial Claims Drop, Almost 16 Million Americans Remain On Government Dole

For April 2021 the official Current Unadjusted U-6 unemployment rate was 9.9% down from 10.9% in March, and 11.6% in February, January was 12.0%. It was also 11.6% October "" December 2020. But It was 18.3% in June, 20.7% in May, and 22.4% in April. It is still well above the 8.9% of March 2020 when unemployment rates started jumping drastically due to massive shutdowns due to the Coronavirus.
May 27, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Initial Jobless Claims tumbled (positively) to their lowest since the pandemic lockdowns began, adding just 406k Americans last week (well below the 425k expected). This is still double the pre-pandemic norms

y_arrow 1
Truthtellers 11 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Companies laid off an additional 400K people last week and they actually think we are dumb enough to believe there is a labor shortage? That line of crap is obviously just a ploy to get employee's to accept lower salaries.

I'll believe there is a labor shortage after 16 million jobs have been added and the weekly initial claims number is zero.

Until then, I guess if you have a "labor shortage" you better get that pay up.

AJAX-2 13 hours ago (Edited)

Another 400K+ applying for 1st time unemployment benefits and yet they piss on my leg, tell me it's raining, while proclaiming there is a labor shortage. Bu!!****.

PerilouseTimes 9 hours ago

Close to a million people a week were signing up for unemployment for a year and unemployment has been extended. Wouldn't that mean at least 40 million Americans are on unemployment not to mention all the people on welfare and disability? I think the number is closer to 100 million Americans on the government dole and that doesn't count all the worthless government jobs out there.

Normal 12 hours ago remove link

I'm on unemployment except California seems to have quit paying people on unemployment. I tried every-which-way to contact them but there is no way in hell to get through to a live person. I went and typed in how to speak with a real person at the EDD, and hundreds of people have posted that they haven't been paid in 12 weeks. I spoke with their Cal-Jobs representative and she said that many people haven't been paid since March of last year. I think they are forcing the so-called unemployed to their Cal-Jobs site by not paying them.

ay_arrow
NEOSERF 13 hours ago

Worst month during the GFC appears to be about 650K...we are only 50% below that....with 21 states preparing to end the extension, things will be fantastic in these numbers shortly if not the real world...waiting for all the cold/flu season coughing and cold weather in November...

[May 10, 2021] The Feds history of jawboning and deceiving the market players, except large banks

History repeats and the repetition is coming with some minor variations.
Notable quotes:
"... "Corporate bond rates have been rising steadily since May. Yellen is not doing what Greenspan did in 2004." ..."
"... There isn't much of a difference between signaling tighter money to a market that is skeptical of Fed forecasts and actually tightening. ..."
"... While at 5.0 percent, the unemployment rate is not extraordinarily high, most other measures of the labor market are near recession levels. The percentage of the workforce that is involuntarily working part-time is near the highs reached following the 2001 recession. The average and median duration of unemployment spells are also near recession highs. And the percentage of workers who feel confident enough to quit their jobs without another job lined up remains near the low points reached in 2002. ..."
"... While wage growth has edged up somewhat in recent months by some measures, it is still well below a rate that is consistent with the Fed's inflation target. Hourly wages have risen at a 2.7 percent rate over the last year. If there is just 1.5 percent productivity growth, this would be consistent with a rate of inflation of 1.2 percent. ..."
"... One positive point in today's action is the Fed's commitment in its statement to allow future rate hikes to be guided by the data, rather than locking in a path towards "normalization" as was effectively done in 2004. ..."
Dec 17, 2015 | economistsview.typepad.com
Peter K. -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... December 17, 2015 at 10:12 AM
"Corporate bond rates have been rising steadily since May. Yellen is not doing what Greenspan did in 2004."

There isn't much of a difference between signaling tighter money to a market that is skeptical of Fed forecasts and actually tightening.

http://cepr.net/press-center/press-releases/statement-on-fed-and-interest-rates

Washington, D.C.- Dean Baker, economist and a co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) issued the following statement in response to the Federal Reserve's decision regarding interest rates:

"The Fed's decision to raise interest rates today is an unfortunate move in the wrong direction. In setting interest rate policy the Fed must decide whether the economy is at risk of having too few or too many jobs, with the latter being determined by the extent to which its current rate of job creation may lead to inflation. It is difficult to see how the evidence would lead the Fed to conclude that the greater risk at the moment is too many jobs.

"While at 5.0 percent, the unemployment rate is not extraordinarily high, most other measures of the labor market are near recession levels. The percentage of the workforce that is involuntarily working part-time is near the highs reached following the 2001 recession. The average and median duration of unemployment spells are also near recession highs. And the percentage of workers who feel confident enough to quit their jobs without another job lined up remains near the low points reached in 2002.

"If we look at employment rates rather than unemployment, the percentage of prime-age workers (ages 25-54) with jobs is still down by almost three full percentage points from the pre-recession peak and by more than four full percentage points from the peak hit in 2000. This does not look like a strong labor market.

"On the other side, there is virtually no basis for concerns about the risk of inflation in the current data. The most recent data show that the core personal consumption expenditure deflator targeted by the Fed increased at just a 1.2 percent annual rate over the last three months, down slightly from the 1.3 percent rate over the last year. This means that the Fed should be concerned about being below its inflation target, not above it.

"While wage growth has edged up somewhat in recent months by some measures, it is still well below a rate that is consistent with the Fed's inflation target. Hourly wages have risen at a 2.7 percent rate over the last year. If there is just 1.5 percent productivity growth, this would be consistent with a rate of inflation of 1.2 percent.

"Furthermore, it is important to recognize that workers took a large hit to their wages in the downturn, with a shift of more than four percentage points of national income from wages to profits. In principle, workers can restore their share of national income (the equivalent of an 8 percent wage gain), but the Fed would have to be prepared to allow wage growth to substantially outpace prices for a period of time. If the Fed acts to prevent workers from getting this bargaining power, it will effectively lock in place this upward redistribution. Needless to say, workers at the middle and bottom of the wage distribution can expect to see the biggest hit in this scenario.

"One positive point in today's action is the Fed's commitment in its statement to allow future rate hikes to be guided by the data, rather than locking in a path towards "normalization" as was effectively done in 2004. If it is the case that the economy is not strong enough to justify rate hikes, then the hike today may be the last one for some period of time. It will be important for the Fed to carefully assess the data as it makes its decision on interest rates at future meetings.

"Recent economic data suggest that today's move was a mistake. Hopefully the Fed will not compound this mistake with more unwarranted rate hikes in the future."

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Peter K....

I like Dean Baker. Unlike the Fed, Dean Baker is a class warrior on the side of the wage class. He makes the point about the path to normalization being critical that I have been discussing for quite a while. Let's hope this Fed knows better than Greenspan/Bernanke in 2004-2006. THANKS!

likbez said in reply to RC AKA Darryl, Ron...

Very true !

pgl said in reply to RC AKA Darryl, Ron...

"Longer-term bond rates barely moved, showing that there was very little news." This interest rate rose from 4.45% to 5.46% already. So the damage was already done:

https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/BAA

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to pgl...

"... This interest rate rose from 4.45% to 5.46% already..."

Exactly! Corporate bond rates have been rising steadily since May. Yellen is not doing what Greenspan did in 2004. Yellen's Fed waited until the bond rate lifted off on its own (and maybe with some help from policy communications) before they raised the FFR.

So far, there is no sign of their making a fatal error. They are not fighting class warfare for wage class either, but they seem intent on not screwing the pooch in the way that Greenspan and Bernanke did. No double dip thank you and hold the nuts.

[May 09, 2021] Pay a Living Wage or 'Flip Your Own Damn Burgers'- Progressives Blast Right-Wing Narrative on Jobs -

May 09, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

cocomaan , May 8, 2021 at 7:22 am

God, I really hate Reich. Posturing buffoon.

I remember when my mom used to bring me to the Walmart super center when I was a kid, around 1990. They were exploding in popularity. The cheap goods were a blessing for our growing family. But we all know how the goods got so cheap.

The 1990s for Walmart was the equivalent of the 2010’s for Amazon. The low wage job model worked for them then and continues to work for them now.

And in the 1990s, Reich was running around being Labor Secretary, of all things.

There’s some simple solutions to this, like strengthening collective bargaining, but that’s nowhere in sight.

Employers will pay the lowest possible wage until they absolutely need to.

Geo , May 8, 2021 at 7:41 am

He quit after the first term and wrote a book about how frustrated he was by Clinton’s refusal to address widening income disparity and labor issues.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1997-05-15-9705150278-story,amp.html (1997 book review which discusses his anger at Clinton and his failures)

Totally agree with your point about labor markets. But, Just because he wasn’t successful doesn’t mean he didn’t try. Correct me if I’m wrong (I often am) but I don’t think he’s the villain. Seems to have been trying to do good in whatever way he can and is also very open about the corruption and greed that makes change so difficult.

[May 07, 2021] U.S. job growth disappoints in challenge to economic recovery - BNN Bloomberg

May 07, 2021 | www.bnnbloomberg.ca

6h ago

U.S. job growth disappoints in challenge to economic recovery

Olivia Rockeman , Bloomberg News

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.455.0_en.html#goog_688272017 U.S. jobs data in April disappoints

U.S. job growth significantly undershot forecasts in April, suggesting that difficulty attracting workers is slowing momentum in the labor market and challenging the economic recovery.

Payrolls rose 266,000 from a month earlier, according to a Labor Department report Friday that represented one of the largest downside misses on record. Economists in a Bloomberg survey projected a 1 million hiring surge in April.

The unemployment rate edged up to 6.1 per cent, though the labor-force participation rate also increased.

... The disappointing payrolls print leaves overall employment more than 8 million short of its pre-pandemic level and is consistent with recent comments from company officials highlighting challenges in filling open positions.

... While job gains accelerated in leisure and hospitality, employment at temporary-help agencies and transportation and warehousing declined sharply.

...

Labor force participation, a measure of the percentage of Americans either working or looking for work, rose to 61.7 per cent in April from 61.5 per cent, likely supported by increased vaccinations that helped fuel the reopenings of many retail establishments, restaurants and leisure-facing businesses.

Average weekly hours increased to match the highest in records dating back to 2006. The gain in the workweek, increased pay and the improvement in hiring helped boost aggregate weekly payrolls 1.2 per cent in April after a 1.3 per cent gain a month earlier.

Workforce participation for men age 25 to 54 increased last month, while edging lower for women.

[May 05, 2021] Machines are expensive

May 05, 2021 | www.unz.com

Mancubus , says: May 5, 2021 at 12:54 pm GMT • 5.6 hours ago

I keep happening on these mentions of manufacturing jobs succumbing to automation, and I can't think of where these people are getting their information.

I work in manufacturing. Production manufacturing, in fact, involving hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of parts produced per week. Automation has come a long way, but it also hasn't. A layman might marvel at the technologies while taking a tour of the factory, but upon closer inspection, the returns are greatly diminished in the last two decades. Advances have afforded greater precision, cheaper technologies, but the only reason China is a giant of manufacturing is because labor is cheap. They automate less than Western factories, not more, because humans cost next to nothing, but machines are expensive.

[May 04, 2021] Nuances of discrimination: a t Citi it was very obvious any remotely competent black was promoted way beyond there competency, although that was largely limited to back and middle office roles

Neoliberals policies for minority students in education can be called “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”
Racists want discrimination based on race; wokesters want discrimination based on race too. One in the name of bigotry, one in the name of “tolerance.” Does the motive really matter if the outcome is the same?
Notable quotes:
"... the ONS dataset is A09, Labour Market status by ethnic group, is testament to white folks ingenuity to overcome such discrimination ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

LondonBob , says: April 26, 2021 at 10:49 am GMT • 6.6 days ago

@dearieme

My uncle did admissions at Cambridge and he actively discriminated against Public School boys, despite being one himself. He was actually involved in hiring that black woman to be the Master at Christ's College.

Similarly at Citi it was very obvious any remotely competent black was promoted way beyond there competency, although that was largely limited to back and middle office roles.

Still the ONS dataset is A09, Labour Market status by ethnic group, is testament to white folks ingenuity to overcome such discrimination and the free market at work.

[May 04, 2021] Fake CVs, fake results, by James Thompson

Notable quotes:
"... Hiring is a lot more complex and constrained, than this writeup suggests. In stacks of resumes that I used to review, I found almost all applicants exaggerate or lie. ..."
"... Employers (or the ones the future worker will work directly "" like local manager) are in the majority of cases DO NOT hire directly. ..."
"... There is either a staffing firm/ recruitment firm between, often also a different websites (for job seekers) which only redirects towards those. ..."
"... The problem with the HR/ recruitment firms/ jobseeker websites themselves. They dictate who will work somewhere. ..."
"... It's a new world of fraud, total fraud. Biden is an absurd fraud. They are all frauds, because actual accomplishments, real work, are so very much more difficult than lies. ..."
"... There's nothing new under the sun. It's always been fraud, flimflam and bamboozle. Somebody once said, you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. But, then again, he could have just been fooling around. ..."
May 03, 2021 | www.unz.com

ruralguy , says: April 24, 2021 at 8:54 pm GMT "¢ 8.2 days ago

Hiring is a lot more complex and constrained, than this writeup suggests. In stacks of resumes that I used to review, I found almost all applicants exaggerate or lie. That was very problematic, because once you hire a person, it's hard to get rid of them, even with "at-will" employment.

... ... ...

Reaper , says: May 2, 2021 at 11:19 am GMT "¢ 14.8 hours ago

There is a major problem with the article/ whole employment process:

Employers (or the ones the future worker will work directly "" like local manager) are in the majority of cases DO NOT hire directly.(Respect for the ones, who do.)

There is either a staffing firm/ recruitment firm between, often also a different websites (for job seekers) which only redirects towards those.

Also many company have a HR department, etc... The problem with the HR/ recruitment firms/ jobseeker websites themselves. They dictate who will work somewhere.

Wish to be workers should meet directly with the ones they supposed to work for.

Vojkan , says: May 2, 2021 at 11:34 am GMT "¢ 14.6 hours ago

To see whether racial discrimination exists, researchers send the same CV to employers with the same level of qualifications but different names attached, to see if the foreign-sounding names lead to a greater degree of rejection. They often find that to be the case.

Given that British blacks most often bear British sounding names and that foreign whites too bear foreign sounding names, I don't see how the difference in treatment can be put down to racial bias. Moreover, I don't see anything wrong in giving precedence to compatriots over foreigners. It is the opposite that is unsound.

As a French national with a foreign sounding name, I never expected to be given precedence over native French candidates and always counted solely on my competence to get a position. If the world we live in were still normal, that would be the normal attitude because in a normal world people are allowed to prefer their kin vs folks they don't know from Adam. It is the opposite that isn't normal.

Discard national preference and you get foreign tribes' nepotism.

Sick of Orcs , says: May 2, 2021 at 12:41 pm GMT "¢ 13.5 hours ago

researchers send the same CV to employers with the same level of qualifications but different names attached, to see if the foreign-sounding names lead to a greater degree of rejection. They often find that to be the case.

Because it's a lose-lose to hire a Tyrone or Abdul. Even if they're the most qualified, they're "high-maintenance," arriving with extra-legal protections and considerations. Down the road they can always hide behind the specter of racism if their performance is found lacking.

Just another serf , says: May 2, 2021 at 6:28 am GMT "¢ 19.7 hours ago

It's a new world of fraud, total fraud. Biden is an absurd fraud. They are all frauds, because actual accomplishments, real work, are so very much more difficult than lies.

Indians are fantastic fraudsters. Africans are fraud specialists. Many Asians are not so much CV fraudsters as they are test cheaters.

Reaper , says: May 2, 2021 at 1:38 pm GMT "¢ 12.5 hours ago
@Vojkan foreigners."

Agreed as they do it in Swiss. They prefer to employ their folk, if find a suitable person and wait up to 6 months before consider an outlander. Only then ready to employ someone else.

BUT: Will not employ a dullard just because they share a citizenship/ ancestors. About 20% are foreigners among the employed, in Geneva probably most of the employed.

And this is strictly the opposite what is common in many place (and self-appointed "nationalists" demand): No matter how incompetent but employ the dullard native, while send home the competent/ hardworking.

Against meritism/ competition and bad for business.

Ghost of Bull Moose , says: May 2, 2021 at 2:38 pm GMT "¢ 11.5 hours ago

There are plenty of dishonest Europeans, but honesty as a high value seems Western. Subcons caught in a lie will grin and do a head waggle something between a nod and a shake. Blacks will insist the lie is true. East Asians will lie until you demonstrate they cannot get away with it. Latin Americans only lie when they speak.

HallParvey , says: May 2, 2021 at 3:27 pm GMT "¢ 10.7 hours ago
@Just another serf

It's a new world of fraud, total fraud.

There's nothing new under the sun. It's always been fraud, flimflam and bamboozle. Somebody once said, you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. But, then again, he could have just been fooling around.

[May 03, 2021] Freightwaves claims that companies pay $70,000 For A Part-Time Drivers, which is questionable

Probably $25 an hour or $50K a year is more realistic. Part time jobs are even better to hem to avoid money crunch and at the same time continue to look for an IT job. Might be a viable option for younger healthy IT specialists. CDL course from a reputable truck driving school is around $3500 and they provide you a truck for the DMV exam, but you can try self-study and might pass written exam from a second try as there is nothing complex in the test, saving half of those money.
Notable quotes:
"... What's happening, he said, is that drivers are looking at the fact that they can make $70,000 'and stay home a little more.' ..."
"... To put the numbers in perspective, Todd Amen, the president of ATBS, which prepares taxes for mostly independent owner-operators, said in a recent interview with the FreightWaves Drilling Deep podcast that the average tax return his company prepared for drivers' 2020 pay was $67,500. He also said his company prepared numerous 2020 returns with pay in excess of $100,000. ..."
May 02, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

By John Kingston of Freightwaves,

David Parker is the CEO of Covenant Logistics and he was blunt with analysts who follow the company on its earnings call Tuesday.

'How do we get enough drivers? ' he said in response to a question from Stephens analyst Jack Atkins. 'I don't know.'

Parker then gave an overview of the situation facing Covenant, and by extension other companies, in trying to recruit drivers. One problem: With rates so high, companies are encountering the fact that a driver doesn't need to work a full schedule to pull in a decent salary.

'We're finding out that just to get a driver, let's say the numbers are $85,000 (per year) ,' Parker said, according to a transcript of the earnings call supplied by SeekingAlpha. ' But a lot of these drivers are happy at $70,000. Now they're not coming to work for me, unless it's in the ($80,000s), because they're happy making $70,000.'

Seasonally adjusted long distance truck drivers. Source: BLS To learn more about FreightWaves SONAR, please go here.

What's happening, he said, is that drivers are looking at the fact that they can make $70,000 'and stay home a little more.'

The result is a tightening of capacity. Parker said utilization in the first quarter at Covenant was three or four percentage points less than it would have as a result of that development. ' It's an interesting dynamic that none of us have calculated,' he said.

To put the numbers in perspective, Todd Amen, the president of ATBS, which prepares taxes for mostly independent owner-operators, said in a recent interview with the FreightWaves Drilling Deep podcast that the average tax return his company prepared for drivers' 2020 pay was $67,500. He also said his company prepared numerous 2020 returns with pay in excess of $100,000.

Parker was firm that this was not a situation likely to change soon. 'There's nothing out there that tells me that drivers are going to readily be available over the medium [term in] one to two years,' he said. 'And that's where I'm at.'

Paul Bunn, the company's COO and senior executive vice president, echoed what other executives have said recently: Additional stimulus benefits are making the situation tighter. He said that while offering some hope that as the benefits roll off, 'that might help a bit.'

But what the government giveth the government can sometimes taketh away. Bunn expressed another familiar sentiment in the industry today, that an infrastructure bill adding to demand for workers would create more difficulty to put drivers behind the wheel. Construction, Bunn said, is 'a monster competitor of our industry' and if the bill is approved, 'that's going to be a big pull.'

Labor is going to be a 'capacity constraint' through the economy, Bunn said, while conceding that trucking is not unique in that. And because of that labor squeeze, capacity in many fields is going to be limited. ' The OEMs, the manufacturers are limited capacity ,' Bunn said. 'They're not ramping up in a major, major way because of labor, because of commodity pricing, because of the costs.'

All that means is that capacity growth is going to be 'reasonable,' Bunn said. 'It's not going to be crazy, people growing fleets [by] significant amounts.'

'It's all you can do just to hold serve, ' he added.

... ... ...

[Apr 29, 2021] After thirteen months, the BLS still cannot count the Unemployed

Apr 29, 2021 | www.shadowstats.com

After thirteen months, the BLS still cannot count the Unemployed. Headline U.3 Unemployment also remained deep in non-recovery territory. The BLS acknowledged continuing misclassification of some "unemployed" persons as "employed," in the Household Survey. Where the count of the understated unemployed had an "upside limit" of 636,000 persons in March 2021, the February 2021 upside estimate of understated unemployed was 756,000. The difference would be a potential headline U.3 of 6.44% instead of today's headline 6.05%, which was down from a headline 6.22% in February. Fully adjusted for COVID-19 disruptions, based on BLS side-surveys of Pandemic impact, and with more than six million people missing from the headline U.S. labor force, actual headline U.3 unemployment still should be well above 10%, the highest unemployment rate since before World War II, outside of the Pandemic and possibly at the trough of the 1982-1983 recession. Broader March 2021 headline U.6 unemployment [including some decline in short-term discouraged workers and those employed part-time for economic reasons] eased to 10.71% from 11.07% in February. Including long-term discouraged/ displaced workers, the March 2021 ShadowStats Alternate Measure –- moving on top of the decline in U.6 –- notched minimally lower to 25.7%, from 25.8% in February 2021, reflecting some modeled transition of "short-term" to "long-term" discouraged workers, with the Pandemic having passed its 12-month anniversary. The latest Unemployment Rates are posted on the ALTERNATE DATA tab (above).

[Apr 19, 2021] Tucker Carlson mentions replacement in the context of immigration. Hatred ensues. by Kevin MacDonald

Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post. ..."
Apr 19, 2021 | www.unz.com
Tucker Carlson Mentions Replacement in the Context of Immigration. Hatred Ensues. KEVIN MACDONALD APRIL 10, 2021 3,200 WORDS 396 COMMENTS REPLY Tweet Reddit 7 Share Share 1 Email Print More 8 SHARES Share to Gab

The ADL, always attuned to any indication that their subjects are getting restless, is insisting that Tucker Carlson be fired. What brought on their ire was Tucker's use of the word 'replacement' in the context of a discussion of Joe Biden's Open Border policy. Mentioning replacement in the context of immigration is pretty much in the same category as doubting that all races have the same potentialities or the official holocaust narrative. Be prepared for hatred. Tucker, as quoted in The Hill :

"I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term 'replacement,' if you suggest that the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate," Carlson said. "But they become hysterical because that's what's happening actually. Let's just say it. That's true.

Of course it's true, and what's being replaced is the traditional White population of the country. But Tucker couldn't say that without even more outrage. So he made it all about the current electorate, which is certainly not just White people.

"I mean, everyone's making a racial issue out of it. Oh, the, you know, white replacement? No, no, this is a voting rights question," Carlson added later, saying changes to the population "dilute the political power" of current registered voters.

This is disingenuous but I suppose it's what you have to say to keep your job in the mainstream media -- and even that might not be enough. Carlson's statement is consistent with his repeated assertions of color-blindness, and he's careful to restrict his comments to illegal immigration. His argument is completely color-blind: "every time they import a new voter, I become disenfranchised as a current voter" -- an argument that would apply to any American citizen no matter what their race. "How dare you think I care particularly about White voters!" But isn't it obvious that such an argument would also apply to legal immigration?

Of course the ADL immediately labeled his comments as "white supremacy":

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1380528052061544455&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.unz.com%2Farticle%2Ftucker-carlson-mentions-replacement-in-the-context-of-immigration-hatred-ensues%2F&sessionId=bae20299ec2ff4eb2bcb0b7849d5e1eb3c8a0d73&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=500px

Not clear how replacement theory is "anti-Semitic," but I suppose that Greenblatt considers anything he dislikes as anti-Semitism. After quoting Greenblatt's tweet, The Hill noted that "the ADL head explained that the "Great Replacement" theory "is a white supremacist tenet that the white race is in danger by a rising tide of non-whites," linking to a Daily Beast article saying the whole idea was a "racist lie." But how much of a "racist lie" is it when the White population is steadily dwindling, probably to around 60 percent, and the left wants to dramatically increase the rate at which it is dwindling?

Greenblatt also emailed Fox News, writing "Carlson's full-on embrace of the white supremacist replacement theory on yesterday's show and his repeated allusions to racist themes in past segments are a bridge too far. Given his long record of race-baiting, we believe it is time for Carlson to go." This assertion that Carlson is making a "full-on embrace of white supremacist replacement theory" is a bald-faced lie, but obvious lies seem to be more and more common in high places these days -- witness Biden's lie about the new Georgia voting laws as "Jim Crow on steroids." A full-on embrace of "white supremacist replacement theory" would at least reference a specific concern for White people losing political clout. Instead, Carlson religiously repeats his mainstream conservative, color-blind mantras firmly rooted in individualist ideology ("every time they import a new voter "). Officially, he could care less about White people as White people. One wonders if Fox would stand by their most popular talking head if he did come out and just say it. I am pretty sure he believes it.

Officially, Carlson's heart is bleeding for all those Black, Brown, and Asian citizen-voters whose political clout is being diluted. But of course, that would be wildly inaccurate, particularly in the age of identity politics where non-Whites are strongly encouraged to identify with their racial group and do all they can to advance its interests. The collective power of non-Whites is being increased by immigration and everyone knows it, and White political power is decreasing in an age when hatred of Whites is becoming increasingly obvious -- at a time when Critical Race Theory is dominating the educational establishment and corporate board rooms. CRT is a theory that essentially says it's fine for non-Whites to hate Whites while at the same time encouraging White guilt about the supposed sins of their ancestors. One can only imagine the horrors that await a politically powerless White minority.

And it's not just White political power that is waning. There is clearly a program to replace Whites as part of the American elite.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1380156593074008066&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.unz.com%2Farticle%2Ftucker-carlson-mentions-replacement-in-the-context-of-immigration-hatred-ensues%2F&sessionId=bae20299ec2ff4eb2bcb0b7849d5e1eb3c8a0d73&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=500px

Given the voting behavior of non-Whites, it doesn't make much sense to say that America's non-White voters are being replaced when they are being "replaced" by more non-White voters, although I suppose one could make the argument that the traditional American Black population will have less political clout given that the preponderance of immigrants are from Latin America and Asia. But in any case, they ain't White , and the ADL and the Democrats are quite well aware that all non-White groups strongly skew Democrat. In general, the Democrats are in favor of increased legal immigration, amnesty for illegals, and non-enforcement at the border, all of which are on the table with Biden in the White House and a Democrat Congress. Putting these ideas into law along with allowing no-ID voting would give Democrats more or less immediate and permanent hegemony given that Texas and Florida are the largest destinations of immigrants -- as noted in my comments on the January 6 "insurrection," The Left Will Now Enact Permanent Hegemony. " Their strategy also includes packing the Supreme Court , in case some of their laws are challenged; Biden is already laying the groundwork by establishing a commission packed with a super-majority of liberals .

Biden's immigration plan calls for an increase in "diversity" visas to 80,000 from 55,000 and has an emphasis on family unification -- a code word for chain migration and a bedrock of Jewish attitudes on immigration since the 1920s and continuing up to the 1965 immigration law ( here, p. 283) and beyond. What this means is that one lucky visa recipient from, say, Africa, could bring in his immediate (likely large) family and when they became citizens, they could bring in their brothers and sisters outside the quota limit, who could in turn bring in their spouses and children, etc. All these new people would be able to immigrate outside the quota system for legal immigrants. And all could become citizens.

Tucker Carlson Is a Mass Murdering Terrorist!

Comment on the left has explicitly compared Carlson's mild comments to the manifesto of the Christchurch and El Paso murderers.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-2&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1380671618876207106&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.unz.com%2Farticle%2Ftucker-carlson-mentions-replacement-in-the-context-of-immigration-hatred-ensues%2F&sessionId=bae20299ec2ff4eb2bcb0b7849d5e1eb3c8a0d73&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=500px

I found the above clip from The Daily Show on Max Boot's Twitter feed . Boot, former neocon (i.e., a liberal-leftie masquerading as a conservative active in promoting U.S. fealty to Israel and moving the GOP to the left on social issues). And now, because of obsessive Trump hate, now is firmly and explicitly ensconced on the left at The Washington Post. Boot wrote that Carlson "the top-rated host on Fox "News" Channel, has been attracting attention for a while with his vile rhetoric against immigrants. Yet now he's reached a new low."

As the left-leaning Media Matters for America has chronicled , Carlson has a long history of ugly statements. He has called Iraqis " semiliterate primitive monkeys " and said that Afghanistan is "never going to be a civilized country because the people aren't civilized." He has complained that an influx of poor immigrants " makes our own country poor and dirtier and more divided ." He has repeatedly described immigration as an " invasion ," and called the urgent threat posed by white supremacists a " hoax " and "a conspiracy theory used to divide the country and keep a hold on power."

And that new low is that Tucker said something a mass murderer had said, implying, I guess, that if Hitler said the sky is blue, it would be extremely racist for anyone else to say it.

The Guardian noted in 2019 that there were already disturbing parallels between Carlson's rhetoric and that of white supremacist killers in El Paso, Tex., and Christchurch, New Zealand. For example, in one of his books, Carlson wrote: "When confronted or pressed for details, [proponents of diversity] retreat into a familiar platitude, which they repeat like a zen koan: diversity is our strength. But is diversity our strength? The less we have in common, the stronger we are? Is that true of families? Is that true in neighborhoods or businesses? Of course not."

And here is what the fiend who killed 51 people at two Christchurch mosques said in his manifesto: "Why is diversity said to be our greatest strength? Does anyone even ask why? It is spoken like a mantra and repeated ad infinitum . But no one ever seems to give a reason why. What gives a nation strength? And how does diversity increase that strength?"

On Thursday night, Carlson moved even closer to white supremacist ideology by explicitly endorsing the Great Replacement theory, which holds that shadowy elites are orchestrating a plot to replace native-born White people with immigrants of color. The New Zealand shooter's manifesto was literally headlined "The Great Replacement," and the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville chanted "Jews will not replace us."

... ... ...

[Apr 19, 2021] Tucker Carlson Doubles Down on Replacement, Explicitly Mentions White Replacement, and Targets the ADL's Hypocrisy(!) by Kev

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times. ..."
"... Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition ..."
"... Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin ..."
Apr 19, 2021 | www.unz.com
Tucker Carlson Doubles Down on Replacement, Explicitly Mentions White Replacement, and Targets the ADL's Hypocrisy(!) KEVIN MACDONALD APRIL 14, 2021 2,400 WORDS 411 COMMENTS REPLY Tweet Reddit 13 Share Share 2 Email Print More 15 SHARES Share to Gab

In a previous article I noted that Tucker Carlson's comments on 'replacement' in the context of immigration had unleashed a torrent of hatred from the ADL and the liberal media. When the ADL goes after public figures, the usual response is groveling apology in a typically futile effort to prevent getting ostracized or fired. After all, the ADL's Jonathan Greenblatt had tweeted that Carlson's comments were "anti-Semitic, racist, and toxic." Accusations of racism -- and especially anti-Semitism -- are pretty much a death sentence for anyone so accused.

So I was gratified that Carlson didn't back down. Indeed, he doubled down, with a 20-minute opening monologue elaborating on exactly why the Democrat Party is completely wedded to importing a new electorate and has been doing so for decades. He also mentioned that Whites (and Blacks) are being replaced as voters, that the entire project is immoral, and he called out the hypocrisy of the ADL. As he notes, it's not about compassion as usually advertised, but about power. And everyone with any brains knows it.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/h0e4QjoJ4wc?feature=oembed

To date, Carlson's monologue is the most powerful and most explicit statement in the mainstream media that Whites -- as Whites -- have an interest in immigration. Indeed, a vital interest. In making his argument, he discussed states like California and Virginia that have become reliably Democrat because of immigration, and he mentions Vermont that is now blue because of disenchanted New Yorkers who brought their politics with them when they moved there. He says the same thing is happening to Montana and Idaho as yoga instructors, Google vice-presidents, and assorted rich White folks leave California for greener pastures. It will happen to your state. And the result will be permanent hegemony of the left because the imported electorate are reliable clients of the Democrat Party. 'Client' is the right word (from the Latin for 'dependent') because these people come to the U.S. for better pay and all the free stuff -- medical care, welfare if they have children, and the promise of eventual citizenship and the right to bring in their relatives. This description applies at least to the Mexicans, Central Americans, and Africans who have flooded our shores (that IQ thing again). They remain toward the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder and dependent on the government. Hence reliably Democrat. California went from being the envy of the world to having poverty levels on par with Mississippi. Without explicitly mentioning Whites, he notes that the middle class is leaving in droves, resulting in the cost of a U-Haul being five times higher for people leaving the state as for entering. He portrays the middle class as one of the victim groups of the Great Replacement as America is transformed into a society with a hostile, ultra-wealthy elite who are politically supported by a dependent mass of Democrat voters.

Tucker also doubled down on his voter-replacement logic, but this time he was explicit about White people's vote being replaced, noting that Whites went from 90 percent of Californians to 30 percent since 1960, which means that how White people vote matters much less than it used to. It's shocking to hear someone in the mainstream media claim that Whites and their vital interests are victims of the immigration tsunami. One can easily imagine a situation where, even if White Californians woke up (far too many are still drinking the Kool-Aid), they couldn't win a statewide election. And that's the whole point. Permanent hegemony.

But because the interests of Whites are definitely not supposed to be paramount, he emphasized that Blacks in California have also been losing political clout rapidly, with very large declines in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. In my previous article, I noted that the voter replacement argument doesn't apply so much to Blacks because the people replacing them have pretty much the same politics. But I stand corrected. Identity politics has changed everything. Black Californian politicos like Maxine Waters, Willy Brown, and Kamala Harris may well become a thing of the past. Harris was replaced by Alex Padilla, a Latino, after being elevated to the vice-presidency, a result that was not warmly greeted by the Black political establishment.

California progressives had pushed [Gov. Gavin] Newsom to appoint Representative Barbara Lee [who is Black] or another like-minded Democrat. Mr. Newsom was also under pressure to appoint a Black woman to take the place of Ms. Harris, the only Black woman in the Senate. Representative Karen Bass and Ms. Lee were at the top of that list. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus strongly backed Mr. Padilla. The L.G.B.T.Q. community and Equality California lobbied for Robert Garcia, the mayor of Long Beach. Black Women United, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, and a range of Black elected officials pushed for Ms. Bass or Ms. Lee.

As Blacks become less of a demographic force, they will also become less of a political force. There will be less official sympathy for Black issues like BLM, reparations, dealing with criminals, and centering on Black grievance in the educational system.

Tucker also did some dog-whistling on Jewish involvement by mentioning Michelle Goldberg's NYTimes op-ed, " We can replace them, " which celebrates replacing the White electorate by doing a screen shot of Goldberg's statement: "The potential is there; Georgia is less than 53 percent non-Hispanic White." He didn't mention Goldberg's ethnicity, but anyone who knows anything about the media knows she is a strongly identified Jew writing for a Jewish-owned publication that is the crown jewel of the elite liberal-left media. As Tucker noted, Goldberg is "a New York Times columnist, not some QAnon blogger."

The left pretends that demographic replacement is an obsession on the right, but in fact, it's an obsession on the left. "It's the central idea of the modern Democratic Party." So true. And so refreshing to hear it in the mainstream media.

As always, the left pretends that their plan to replace the White population is a moral imperative. In 2019 then-Senator Harris condemned Trump's plan to deport illegals on the basis that Trump was trying to "remake the demographics of the country"; she tweeted that such actions are "deeply reprehensible and an affront to our values." Of course, the left would never think of remaking the demographics of the country!

What's immoral -- and obviously so -- is the left's scheme to remake the electorate in opposition to the legitimate interests of the traditional White majority. Tucker confronted the issue head-on, turning the tables on the leftist moralizers by framing their actions as "cheating." This is an important message for Whites to hear. What is happening to the White population of America is profoundly immoral. It's an important message because we Whites are uniquely prone to framing our actions in moral terms. As often discussed here, a major weakness of uniquely individualist culture characteristic of the West is that individualists are highly prone to forming moral communities rather than kinship-based communities typical of the rest of the world. It's a very exploitable weakness, and our hostile elites have taken full advantage by defining the legitimate interests of Whites as immoral, as Greenblatt and Harris do. Moral communities are fine as long as they serve the community's interests, and in the long history of the West, they have indeed been a strength. But the problem now is that the people who define the moral communities of the West since World War are the hostile elite who have shaped academic and media culture, i.e., strongly identified Jews and Jewish-owned mainstream media like the New York Times. So now a substantial proportion of Whites think it's a moral imperative to replace the White population. No other culture anywhere at any time has ever felt a moral imperative to replace its founding population.

However, the best part about Tucker's monologue was that he confronted the ADL directly by highlighting their lack of principle. Confronting any powerful Jewish organization is virtually unheard of in American media and political culture where groveling, apologies, and firing are the norm. And he chose a particularly glaring weakness in Jewish rationalizations of the adversarial culture they have championed in the U.S.: Jewish hypocrisy in claiming the moral high ground in America by insisting that any opposition to immigration is racist and hence immoral, while legitimizing Israel's ethnocentric immigration policy because it threatens the legitimate interests of its Jewish population. In fact, these activist Jews are consummate ethnic nationalists -- exactly what they condemn in White Americans. White Americans deserve just what the ADL and the rest of the activist Jewish community want for Jews, a safe homeland that remains theirs.

Granted, Carlson didn't mention that the ADL was leading the charge against him, but anyone paying the least bit of attention to this episode knows damn well that the ADL is leading the campaign against him. Carlson quoted from the ADL website:

With historically high birth rates among Palestinians, and a possible influx of Palestinian refugees and their descendants now living around the world, Jews would quickly be a minority in a bi-national state, thus ending any semblance of equal representation and protections. In this situation, the Jewish population would be politically -- and potentially physically -- vulnerable. It is unreasonable and unrealistic to expect the Jewish population to expect the state of Israel to voluntarily subvert its own sovereign existence and national identity and become a vulnerable minority in what was once its own territory.

This is another recurrent theme on TOO -- that the traditional White majority will become a hated and oppressed minority ( 58 articles ) because of the immigration of non-Whites in a culture dominated by an elite with a long history of hatred toward the White majority of the U.S. We already see a multitude of examples of hatred toward Whites emanating from the elite media, liberal-left politicians, and just ordinary non-Whites (like this one from James Edwards on Twitter), and hate crimes against Whites are ignored or quickly buried. Why would anyone think this will stop if and when Whites become a minority? It will increase. But the ADL thinks that Jews, who have been and continue to be the leading force enacting a multicultural United States, beginning with their influence in passing the 1965 immigration law , should retain sovereignty in Israel because ceding sovereignty would be dangerous for Jews. This is massively hypocritical, as Tucker implies, and he invited Greenblatt on his show to explain why the same principles that he champions for Israel should not exist in the United States. I rather doubt that will happen.

In fact, Greenblatt repeated his attacks on Carlson in a letter to Fox News , demanding that he be fired while never mentioning that Carlson had broached the hypocrisy of the ADL. Pretty clearly he wants to avoid the issue like the plague. Fox News CEO Lachlan Murdoch responded with a typical mainstream media mantra: "Fox Corporation shares your values and abhors anti-semitism, white supremacy and racism of any kind." But he rejected the argument that Carlson had endorsed "anti-semitism, white supremacy and racism," retreating to Carlson's original voting rights argument. Always a safe move to refuse to avoid issues that vitally affect White America by presenting them in non-racial terms.

In his letter to Murdoch, Greenblatt claimed that Carlson "did not accidentally echo these talking points; he knowingly escalated this well-worn racist rhetoric. At a time of intense polarization, this kind of rhetoric galvanizes extremists and lights the fire of violence."

Intense polarization indeed. That's what happens when there is a powerful attempt to dispossess the founding population of the country. Ultimately the polarization is a result of Jewish activism which has been a necessary condition for the immigration and multiculturalism that is tearing the country apart.

Greenblatt thinks that Tucker's message will galvanize "extremists." Let's hope that it does indeed galvanize the White population. In any case, it's important for Carlson to not let this issue drop. It was courageous of him to broach the issue, but it needs to be repeated, just as the messages of the left on race and multiculturalism are continually repeated on TV, movies, print media, and throughout the educational system.

The message of White replacement is powerful. As I noted in Chapter 8 of Individualism and the Western Liberal Tradition :

Individualists are less naturally ethnocentric, and the left has created a culture that encourages Whites to inhibit expressions of ethnocentrism while encouraging non-Whites to be ethnocentric. Because the media is dominated by the left and because even the conservative media is terrified of appearing to advocate White interests, explicit messages that would encourage Whites to become angry and fearful about their future as a minority are rare [and when they occur, they are subjected to vicious attacks, as has happened to Carlson]. Indeed, the media rarely, if ever, mentions that Whites are well on their way to becoming a minority. And this for good reason: Whites in the United States and in Canada who are given explicit demographic projections of a time when Whites are no longer a majority tend to feel angry and fearful. They are also more likely to identify as Whites and have sympathy for other Whites. [1]

In other words, while I have emphasized the ability of the higher brain centers to inhibit ethnocentrism, explicit messages indicating that one's racial group is threatened are able to trigger ethnocentrism. This is especially important because many Whites live far from the areas of their countries undergoing the demographic shifts. Their day-to-day life of living in an essentially White environment hasn't changed while the population centers of New York, California, Toronto, and Vancouver have changed beyond all recognition from what they were 50 years ago. An obvious inference to be made is that pro-White activists should appeal to Whites' higher brain centers with explicit messages emphasizing these transformations.

White replacement is our most powerful message. Let's hope Tucker continues to repeat it. We certainly will.

Note

[1] H. Robert Outten, Michael T. Schmitt, and Daniel A. Miller, "Feeling threatened about the future: Whites' emotional reactions to anticipated ethnic demographic changes," Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 38 (2011): 14–25.


goldgettin , says: April 15, 2021 at 4:12 am GMT • 3.9 days ago

Go Tucker Go.There is a lot of room to advance on this front. It shouldn't take much more to expose the complete hypocrisy of their argument,but what has being right got to do with it? We're talking about trillions upon trillions of "wealth,"not, "debt" and the self absorbed,egotistical materialists will do everything under the sun to continue ignoring reality,i.e.humanity.Money is "the GOD"and nobody should get in the way of "the PROPHET$" that assumed divine authority after the black book was written.Gold, diamonds,private jets,yachts,islands and lots of "faithful followers" to do all the work. They will assassinate anything that threatens "THIS"religion,good luck.

Robert Dolan , says: April 15, 2021 at 4:27 am GMT • 3.9 days ago

Tuck has the moral high ground ..not only are we being replaced ..but Greenblatt's buddies GLOAT openly about our replacement ..that doesn't really seem like being a light unto the nations.

follyofwar , says: April 15, 2021 at 5:23 am GMT • 3.8 days ago

For a long time, Tucker has been more than just a political talk show host. He's become a Man on a Mission; even more so since Biden's enablers stole what was left of our "democracy," and fixed November's election. Will Fox fire him due to growing Corporate and Jewish pressure, or will the Murdoch's continue to have the guts to back him?

No one can know for sure. But Tucker, to a large extent, has Fox News over a barrel. He's even recently expanded his reach, with his newest show on the subscription based Fox Nation, where he is able to do long form interviews without commercial interruption. The Murdoch's must be keenly aware that, if they fire their number one ratings star, they've just flushed their consistently most watched cable news network down the toilet.

There's another huge issue, never mentioned on TV except with derision, that I'd love to see Tucker address one day soon: SECESSION! It's the only way forward.

Apex Predator , says: April 15, 2021 at 5:26 am GMT • 3.8 days ago

I think ol' Tucker may have bit off more than he can chew on this one. He touched the 3rd rail pretty strongly on live TV and Big Jew doesn't like that whatsoever. Given that Israel is supported by both right leaning Neocons and the more liberal Jonathan Greenblatts of the world his days may truly be numbered now.

stevennonemaker88 , says: April 15, 2021 at 7:07 am GMT • 3.8 days ago

Tucker does a good job of poking holes in idiotic liberalism. However, I think it is interesting that almost no one mentions the elephant in the room, which is that whites went from a fertility rate of 3.7 to 1.7 in the space of 60 years. Americans in general started murdering their babies, and swallowed all the jewish lies and "isms" hook, line and sinker. That is why you have lost your country. The brown tide is a symptom of the problem, not the cause. The problem is a nation given over to greed, foolishness, and perversion.

Nicolas Bonnal , says: Website April 15, 2021 at 7:15 am GMT • 3.8 days ago

Bravo Kevin et bravo Tucker. Ceux qui vont mourir vous saluent.
https://nicolasbonnal.wordpress.com/

Anonymous [124] Disclaimer , says: April 15, 2021 at 7:15 am GMT • 3.8 days ago

Since she first appeared as a talk show host on MSNBC during Obama's first presidential campaign, Rachel Maddow has been bragging about how Democrats were going to ascend to a permanent majority in the Congress and permanently control the presidency by virtue of unhindered "minority" migration into this country. The concept had been floated before by numerous analysts and even termed the "Reconquista" which Hispanic spokespersons enthusiastically embraced as the rightful recovery of their stolen patrimony from the Gringos.

I distinctly recall Maddow gloating about this anticipated outcome night after night while she demeaned the incipient shrinkage of a "rump Republican Party" to complete irrelevance when this desired scenario came to pass. She spoke excitedly about recruiting not only the tidal wave of Hispanic migrants into the Democratic fold to cohabit with the long loyal blacks, but also assumed that every foreigner, including all Orientals, East Indians, Middle Easterners and Black Africans should naturally ally with the liberal Dem philosophies: literally every immigrant but White Europeans (the "Eurotrash") would be a part of the coming new Democratic Golden Age.

Nobody on the left ever thought of calling her and her bigoted ideas to be "racist," and she is never called out for being "racist" when she spouts her totally hysterical over-the-top Russophobia (or is "Russophrenia" a more correct descriptor?). Why doesn't the ADL pick a bone with her while they are attacking Tucker Carlson who has always been much less excitable and far more logical that Maddow even when she is sober and not fixing mixed drinks on air.

stevennonemaker88 , says: April 15, 2021 at 7:16 am GMT • 3.8 days ago

I am also amazed that he pointed out the hypocrisy of Israel and the ADL live on the air!

brabantian , says: April 15, 2021 at 7:27 am GMT • 3.7 days ago

Tucker is on fire. He's gone radical on covid, too, suggesting the US government knows the vaccines don't work and is intentionally hiding that, with a conspiracy behind the idea of demanding people continue to wear masks and stay apart (this article takes that negatively):
https://www.thedailybeast.com/tucker-carlson-goes-full-tinfoil-hat-maybe-the-vaccine-doesnt-work-and-theyre-not-telling-you-that

Screenshot of some of the recent Tucker statements relevant to above article (should be able to click to enlarge)

[Apr 19, 2021] GOP's new 'America First Caucus' follows in some blatantly white nationalist footsteps

Apr 19, 2021 | www.msnbc.com

A newly formed "America First Caucus" in Congress, supported by a few far-right Republicans in the House of Representatives, is looking to recruit new members with an old set of arguments.

These white nationalist tropes found a receptive audience in the American people.

Its platform, now circulating in Washington, is little more than a retread of the white nationalist screeds of the 1910s and 1920s.

"America is a nation with a border, and a culture, strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon traditions," asserts the section on immigration. "History has shown that societal trust and political unity are threatened when foreign citizens are imported en-masse into a country."

A century ago, these same sorts of arguments about the "Anglo-Saxon" character of the United States and the threat that "foreign" elements would bring to its politics and culture were quite widespread.

... ... ...

The popular panic over immigration and the pseudo-scientific justifications for nativism and racism came together in the push for the National Origins Act of 1924, a quota-based measure that drastically reduced immigration from southeastern Europe and banned all Asians from immigrating entirely.


Kevin M. Kruse

Kevin M. Kruse is a professor of history at Princeton University. A specialist in modern American political, social and urban/suburban history, he is the author and editor of several books, including "White Flight" (2005), "One Nation Under God" (2015) and "Fault Lines: A History of the United States since 1974" (2019). He grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and earned his bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his master's and doctoral degrees from Cornell University.

[Apr 14, 2021] Outcomes of #Metoo - BLM - Antifa - Cancel Culture by Walrus

Apr 14, 2021 | turcopolier.com

I wrote a post on the above-mentioned subject but I deleted it. I will not discuss the demonisation of White heterosexual Males in all its forms for fear of cancellation. I will instead leave you with my conclusions – which are consistent with The Walrus Law; Governments achieve the reverse of their stated objectives.

Conclusion 1. No white male corporate manager is going to risk their career by engaging in any of the following actions:

– Mentoring female subordinates.
– Taking one on one meetings with any female.
– Participating in any but the most innocuous social functions with female subordinates and certainly not where alcohol is present.
– In fact avoiding any one on one situation with a female.
– It also stands to reason that women will not be employed or promoted if sufficient excuse can be found. There wasn't a glass ceiling. There is now.

Why? Because a female subordinate can now permanently end a males career in a microsecond by the act of alleging any impropriety thanks to #metoo. No proof is required.

Conclusion 2. The British/ European/ American class system is coming back with a vengeance. Young men and their parents will confine their search for partners and social interactions, to females of the same social strata, values, financial resources and background as their own. This is not a guarantee of marital harmony, It does however decrease the likelihood of a male being accused of relationship and career destroying improprieties twenty years after the alleged event. You can forget marrying 'for love' outside your social class.

Conclusion 3. Male behaviour in the upper and middle classes is indeed going to change. We will witness the return of the Chaperone for males. We will witness the end of many mixed sex parties and entertainments because of the ever present threat of denouncement. Expect single sex private schools to flourish. Co -education is an invitation for a young males career to be finished before it even starts – all it takes these days is an allegation made perhaps years and years after the alleged "event". The first a young male will know about it is when he is arrested and handcuffed.

Conclusion 4. The nature of families is going to change. We are going to see the return of stereotyped roles. Case in point? As a Grandfather I have decided I will have nothing more to do with the informal upbringing of grand daughters – there is too much risk that if they go off the rails in puberty or get involved in drugs, mental illness, etc. they will conveniently blame sexual abuse by a relative as the cause. That means I will never allow myself to be alone with them or be responsible for them ever and the rest of the family know it. Period. The personal risk is just too great

I have examples to back up each conclusion but I will not share them with you.

I have not addressed the American race and firearm based issues but I would expect that changes to firearm laws and characterisation of various behaviors as "extremist' will also have the same opposite effect from what Government intended.

6,454 total views, 128 views today

Posted in Walrus | 39 Comments
  1. Bill H. says: April 10, 2021 at 10:51 am

    Indeed. I suspect that if I were of dating age (and single) today I would go on to die celibate. A minority of women have made engaging with the entire gender entirely too dangerous. Reply

  2. Avatar Oilman2 says: April 10, 2021 at 11:14 am

    I brought this up on another blog I read.

    The law of unintended consequences

    We are an adaptive bunch; witness how successful Prohibition was, or the alleged 'War on Drugs'. Look at how Trumps border wall was rapidly shot to hell with a few acetylene torches and some hinges – making really nice gates for the coyotes to run people through.

    It's interesting that there is no actual, physical way that the number of guns out here 'in the wild' is even known, much less can be seized. Guns can be seized by the ATF/FBI/etc. making a huge raid on a single family and killing them all as examples – but once that card is played, the ante will be upped and things will not be as easy for them. The gun grabbers are literally about 200 years too late, as the gun cow is long out of the barn.

    The Covidian Cult is waning finally – in spite of the push by the globalist CDC, WHO, Big Pharma, MSM and many others. It's hard to push fear of dying when there is nothing to base it on any longer.

    So now we are back to Ukraine, where Biden is both well known and well connected. Russia will swat anything approaching her borders, and may swat hard. I would not be surprised to see our puny couple of ships in their sea crippled electronically, again. But Russia doesn't want what NATO and Biden are serving for dinner.

    It's the same old SSDD of world ending disasters to keep everyone afraid of everyone else while the big wheels in government are sending contracts out to their family members and their various foundations using money leveraged against our grandkids.

    57 genders; women cannot be approached without opening yourself to legal actions and yet they are all in the military and government positions in far larger percentages than people realize. Our local school principal was recently accused of "inappropriate conduct" with a female teacher who is so obese she requires an electric scooter to move her bulk about. Having actually seen this female, it was obvious to me, as a man with normal appetites, that approaching her would have resulted in disgorgement of the previous meal and not engorgement of anything.

    It's human nature that when you forbid something unilaterally, it becomes more attractive to many, just for the sake of flouting convention. Perhaps that is what the morbidly obese teacher is striving for?

    We are entering the Land of Unintended Consequences, and there is no way but through.

[Apr 02, 2021] Who's Hiring And Who's Firing

Apr 02, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Not only was the March payrolls report a blockbuster, golidlocks number, much higher than expected but not too high to spark immediate reflation/hike fears thanks to subdued wage inflation, job growth in March was also widespread unlike February, where 75% of all new jobs were waiters and bartenders . By contrast, in March the largest gains occurring across most industries with the bulk taking place in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and construction.

Here is a full breakdown:

It's hardly a surprise that with the US reopening, the one industry seeing the biggest hiring remains leisure and hospitality where jobs rose by 280,000, as pandemic-related restrictions eased in many parts of the country, with nearly two-thirds of the increase in "food services and drinking places", i.e., waiters and bartenders, which added +176,000 jobs in March.

And another notable change was in the total number of government workers, which surged by 136K in March, reversing the 90K drop in February, as a result of 49.6K state education workers and 76K local government education workers added thanks to the reopening of schools around the country.

Here is a visual breakdown of all the March job changes:

Finally, courtesy of Bloomberg , below are the industries with the highest and lowest rates of employment growth for the most recent month.


7 play_arrow


Jack Offelday 1 hour ago

The "V" recovery. Where Food Service jobs are the new "Golden Age".

Creamaster 47 minutes ago (Edited)

My wife is a nurse in an outpatient office under a large hospital umbrella here. Normally these outpatient spots go within days to a week.

Currently they have 2 openings they have been trying to fill for a few months now. Combine that with the fact my wife got 3 years worth of raises in a single shot, recently and out of the blue for no reason, tells me the hospitla is really screwed trying to fill nursing spots.

After this pandemic crap, it has likely scared alot of people away from entering healthcare, and if a nurse was on the fence about retirement , likely decided to call it quits after all this BS.

newworldorder 45 minutes ago

There are an estimated, 30 million illegals currently in the USA waiting legalization.

WHEN legalization happens, they will bring into the USA (by historical averages,) another 60 to 90 million of their family members in 10 years.

And all of them US Minority workers, by current US Diversity Laws, - same as all Black Americans.

[Mar 28, 2021] Medicaid Enrollment Grew -30% Year-Over-Year

Mar 28, 2021 | angrybearblog.com

run75441 | March 27, 2021 7:55 pm

HEALTHCARE

Medicaid expansion enrollment grew nearly 30% year-over-year in 19-state sample, Andrew Sprung, XPOSTFACTOID, March 17, 2021

An update on Medicaid expansion enrollment growth since the pandemic struck. Below is a sampling of 19 expansion states through January of this year, and 14 states through February.

Maintaining the assumption, explained here , "relatively slow growth in California would push the national total down by about 2.5 percentage points." These tallies still point to year-over-year enrollment growth of approximately 30% from February 2020 to February 2021.

If that's right, then Medicaid enrollment among those rendered eligible by ACA expansion criteria (adults with income up to 138% FPL) may exceed 19 million nationally and may be pushing 20 million. Assuming the sampling of a bit more than a third of total expansion enrollment represents all expansion states more or less and again accounting for slower growth in California.

[Mar 28, 2021] One year later, unemployment insurance claims remain sky-high

Notable quotes:
"... Last week was the 53rd straight week total initial claims were greater than the second-worst week of the Great Recession. (If that comparison is restricted to regular state claims -- because we didn't have PUA in the Great Recession -- initial claims are still greater than the 14th worst week of the Great Recession.) ..."
Mar 28, 2021 | www.epi.org

One year ago this week, when the first sky-high unemployment insurance (UI) claims data of the pandemic were released, I said " I have been a labor economist for a very long time and have never seen anything like this ." But in the weeks that followed, things got worse before they got better -- and we are not out of the woods yet. Last week -- the week ending March 20, 2021 -- another 926,000 people applied for UI. This included 684,000 people who applied for regular state UI and 242,000 who applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), the federal program for workers who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance, like gig workers.

Last week was the 53rd straight week total initial claims were greater than the second-worst week of the Great Recession. (If that comparison is restricted to regular state claims -- because we didn't have PUA in the Great Recession -- initial claims are still greater than the 14th worst week of the Great Recession.)

Figure A shows continuing claims in all programs over time (the latest data for this are for March 6). Continuing claims are currently nearly 17 million above where they were a year ago, just before the virus hit.

FIGURE A Continuing unemployment claims in all programs, March 23, 2019–March 6, 2021 *Use caution interpreting trends over time because of reporting issues (see below)*
Date Regular state UI PEUC PUA Other programs (mostly EB and STC)
2019-03-23 1,905,627 31,510
2019-03-30 1,858,954 31,446
2019-04-06 1,727,261 30,454
2019-04-13 1,700,689 30,404
2019-04-20 1,645,387 28,281
2019-04-27 1,630,382 29,795
2019-05-04 1,536,652 27,937
2019-05-11 1,540,486 28,727
2019-05-18 1,506,501 27,949
2019-05-25 1,519,345 26,263
2019-06-01 1,535,572 26,905
2019-06-08 1,520,520 25,694
2019-06-15 1,556,252 26,057
2019-06-22 1,586,714 25,409
2019-06-29 1,608,769 23,926
2019-07-06 1,700,329 25,630
2019-07-13 1,694,876 27,169
2019-07-20 1,676,883 30,390
2019-07-27 1,662,427 28,319
2019-08-03 1,676,979 27,403
2019-08-10 1,616,985 27,330
2019-08-17 1,613,394 26,234
2019-08-24 1,564,203 27,253
2019-08-31 1,473,997 25,003
2019-09-07 1,462,776 25,909
2019-09-14 1,397,267 26,699
2019-09-21 1,380,668 26,641
2019-09-28 1,390,061 25,460
2019-10-05 1,366,978 26,977
2019-10-12 1,384,208 27,501
2019-10-19 1,416,816 28,088
2019-10-26 1,420,918 28,576
2019-11-02 1,447,411 29,080
2019-11-09 1,457,789 30,024
2019-11-16 1,541,860 31,593
2019-11-23 1,505,742 29,499
2019-11-30 1,752,141 30,315
2019-12-07 1,725,237 32,895
2019-12-14 1,796,247 31,893
2019-12-21 1,773,949 29,888
2019-12-28 2,143,802 32,517
2020-01-04 2,245,684 32,520
2020-01-11 2,137,910 33,882
2020-01-18 2,075,857 32,625
2020-01-25 2,148,764 35,828
2020-02-01 2,084,204 33,884
2020-02-08 2,095,001 35,605
2020-02-15 2,057,774 34,683
2020-02-22 2,101,301 35,440
2020-02-29 2,054,129 33,053
2020-03-07 1,973,560 32,803
2020-03-14 2,071,070 34,149
2020-03-21 3,410,969 36,758
2020-03-28 8,158,043 0 52,494 48,963
2020-04-04 12,444,309 3,802 69,537 64,201
2020-04-11 16,249,334 31,426 216,481 89,915
2020-04-18 17,756,054 63,720 1,172,238 116,162
2020-04-25 21,723,230 91,724 3,629,986 158,031
2020-05-02 20,823,294 173,760 6,361,532 175,289
2020-05-09 22,725,217 252,257 8,120,137 216,576
2020-05-16 18,791,926 252,952 11,281,930 226,164
2020-05-23 19,022,578 546,065 10,010,509 247,595
2020-05-30 18,548,442 1,121,306 9,597,884 259,499
2020-06-06 18,330,293 885,802 11,359,389 325,282
2020-06-13 17,552,371 783,999 13,093,382 336,537
2020-06-20 17,316,689 867,675 14,203,555 392,042
2020-06-27 16,410,059 956,849 12,308,450 373,841
2020-07-04 17,188,908 964,744 13,549,797 495,296
2020-07-11 16,221,070 1,016,882 13,326,206 513,141
2020-07-18 16,691,210 1,122,677 13,259,954 518,584
2020-07-25 15,700,971 1,193,198 10,984,864 609,328
2020-08-01 15,112,240 1,262,021 11,504,089 433,416
2020-08-08 14,098,536 1,376,738 11,221,790 549,603
2020-08-15 13,792,016 1,381,317 13,841,939 469,028
2020-08-22 13,067,660 1,434,638 15,164,498 523,430
2020-08-29 13,283,721 1,547,611 14,786,785 490,514
2020-09-05 12,373,201 1,630,711 11,808,368 529,220
2020-09-12 12,363,489 1,832,754 12,153,925 510,610
2020-09-19 11,561,158 1,989,499 10,686,922 589,652
2020-09-26 10,172,332 2,824,685 10,978,217 579,582
2020-10-03 8,952,580 3,334,878 10,450,384 668,691
2020-10-10 8,038,175 3,711,089 10,622,725 615,066
2020-10-17 7,436,321 3,983,613 9,332,610 778,746
2020-10-24 6,837,941 4,143,389 9,433,127 746,403
2020-10-31 6,452,002 4,376,847 8,681,647 806,430
2020-11-07 6,037,690 4,509,284 9,147,753 757,496
2020-11-14 5,890,220 4,569,016 8,869,502 834,740
2020-11-21 5,213,781 4,532,876 8,555,763 741,078
2020-11-28 5,766,130 4,801,408 9,244,556 834,685
2020-12-05 5,457,941 4,793,230 9,271,112 841,463
2020-12-12 5,393,839 4,810,334 8,453,940 937,972
2020-12-19 5,205,841 4,491,413 8,383,387 1,070,810
2020-12-26 5,347,440 4,166,261 7,442,888 1,450,438
2021-01-02 5,727,359 3,026,952 5,707,397 1,526,887
2021-01-09 5,446,993 3,863,008 7,334,682 1,638,247
2021-01-16 5,188,211 3,604,894 7,218,801 1,826,573
2021-01-23 5,156,985 4,779,341 7,943,448 1,785,954
2021-01-30 5,003,178 4,062,189 7,685,857 1,590,360
2021-02-06 4,934,269 5,067,523 7,520,114 1,523,394
2021-02-13 4,794,195 4,468,389 7,329,172 1,437,170
2021-02-20 4,808,623 5,456,080 8,387,696 1,465,769
2021-02-27 4,457,888 4,816,523 7,616,593 1,237,929
2021-03-06 4,458,888 5,551,215 7,735,491 1,207,201

Other programs (mostly EB and STC) PUA PEUC Regular state UI Jul 2019 Jan 2020 Jul 2020 Jan 2021 0 10,000,000 20,000,000 30,000,000 40,000,000 Chart Data Caution: Trends over time in PUA claims may be distorted because when an individual is owed retroactive payments, some states report all retroactive PUA claims during the week the individual received their payment.

Click here for notes.

Source: U.S. Employment and Training Administration, Initial Claims [ICSA], retrieved from Department of Labor (DOL), https://oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/docs/persons.xls and https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf , March 25, 2021. Share Tweet Embed Download image

The good news in all of this is Congress's passage of the sweeping $1.9 trillion relief and recovery package. It is both providing crucial support to millions of working families and setting the stage for a robust recovery. One big concern, however, is that the bill's UI provisions are set to expire the first week in September, when, even in the best–case scenario, they will still be needed. By then, Congress needs to have put in place long-run UI reforms that include automatic triggers based on economic conditions.

[Mar 27, 2021] I have been surprised by the explosion in the numbers of people locally living in cars and vans lately

Notable quotes:
"... freedom is material: a human being must be free from material privation, here and now, in life (and not in the mythical afterlife of reincarnation) in order to be really free. In other words, freedom from need is true freedom. ..."
Mar 27, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Mar 24 2021 17:07 utc | 3

Health is primary indicator of people's happy life: Xi

Marx's concept of freedom is completely different from the liberal or pre-liberal concepts of freedom. For Marx, freedom is material: a human being must be free from material privation, here and now, in life (and not in the mythical afterlife of reincarnation) in order to be really free. In other words, freedom from need is true freedom.

Human beings can only be materially free. Don't fall for the moral victories of liberalism, the snake oil salesmen's promise of a spot in Paradise from the Abrahamics or the nihilist bullshittery from the Buddhists et al.


William Gruff , Mar 24 2021 17:47 utc | 6

vk @3

Excellent point by vk here. Despite sometimes pretending to myself that I am a Buddhist (I am really good at meditating!), real freedom is being free from need. Abstract and metaphysical "freedoms" are luxuries of the wealthy that few under the thumb of the empire can afford.

I have been surprised by the explosion in the numbers of people locally living in cars and vans lately. I guess from my Buddhist perspective they have been freed from the attachment to a residence. Who could have guessed that capitalism would be such a good teacher of the path to enlightenment?

karlof1 , Mar 24 2021 21:30 utc | 50

John @44--

It's freedom from Want. The Four Freedoms as articulated by FDR in 1941 were:

1.Freedom of speech
2.Freedom of worship
3.Freedom from want
4.Freedom from fear

Earlier this year on the 80th anniversary of FDR's speech, I wrote a series of comments on the topic. They remain the four main tasks needing to be accomplished for the Common Man to be genuinely free. At the time, they were to be the main goals of WW2; goals that were further articulated by Henry Wallace in 1942 & '43 in his speeches and writings. Currently, several nations have accomplished those four goals; none of them is a NATO/Neoliberal nation however.

[Mar 22, 2021] The face of the Asian immigrant to the USA

Mar 22, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Mar 21 2021 19:30 utc | 37

The face of the Asian immigrant to the USA:

Ying Ma: "All Chinese Americans should denounce China for infecting the world with the China virus."

Contrary to the previous immigrants - who were economic immigrants (not religious immigrants, as the official history of the USA states) - the post-war immigrants to the USA are all political immigrants. They're the remnants of South Vietnam, Kuomintang, South Korea, Mensheviks, Refuseniks, Zionism, Batista's Cuba, Latin American comprador elites. I remember that once Hugo Chávez or the then president of Ecuador claimed that in Florida alone were more than 2,000 wanted people (most of them compradores and generals) enjoying political refugee status.

The only exception to the rule are the Mexican immigrants and some Central American immigrants (El Salvador, Guatemala in some cases), which had their economies dollarized or devastated by the advent of NAFTA, and were by chance close to the USA's territory.

[Mar 12, 2021] Global Transformation- The Precariat Overcoming Populism by Guy Standing

Notable quotes:
"... By Guy Standing, Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London, Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences, and co-founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN). Subjects of recent books include basic income, rentier capitalism and the growing precariat. He is a council member of the Progressive Economy Forum. Originally published at Open Democracy . ..."
"... the precariat was evolving as a class-in-the-making. ..."
"... we should interpret what Karl Polanyi was to call the Great Transformation as beginning with a period of dis-embeddedness, when the old social formation with its specific systems of regulation, social protection and redistribution was being dismantled mainly by the interests of financial capital, guided by an ideology of laissez-faire liberalism ..."
"... "For the proletariat, the norm was and is to be in a stable job. There is nothing labourists love more than to have as many people as possible in jobs. They romanticise being in a job, promising Full Employment, and quietly resorting to workfare. They conveniently forget that being in a job is being in a position of subordination and fail to recall Marx's depiction of labour in jobs as 'active alienation'." ..."
"... Though for most of the 1848-1945 period, its not really true. The proletariat of Capital and Condition of the Working Class in England had an existence as precarious as today's precariat. Indeed, this was one of the things driving the growing militance. There was little in the way of a consumer goods industry selling to proletarians because until quite late in the 19th century the entire wages of all but the skilled and fortunate went for subsistence. ..."
"... A side note: my understanding is that classical Marxism's worry about the lumpenproletariat, aka a "reactionary mass," was based on the observation that their services could be bought to form King and Country mobs to attack working class organizations, along with serving as pogrom foot soldiers. Part of that function was superseded by the formation of regular armies of domestic occupation, aka the police. ..."
"... By complicating basic class analysis with an elaborate class structure, with the revolution to be led by a minority of young, educated 'progressive' precariats, he may be setting the stage for fragmentation of the Left, and further massive losses for workers. ..."
"... being drawn into platform capitalism, as 'concierge' or cloud taskers, controlled and manipulated by apps and other labour brokers. Above all, they are being gradually habituated to precariatisation, told to put up with a norm of unstable task-driven bits-and-pieces existence. ..."
"... That passage called to mind the increasing use by universities of adjunct faculty positions, which are the very definition of precarious. In recent days the was a report of the dismissal of tenured faculty by a college in New York State, whose name escapes me. ..."
"... I could see the 'Go Fund Me' phenomena for Medical (or just groceries, etc) costs in this thought:(my bold) ..."
"... Those characteristics are bad enough. But it is the distinctive relations to the state that most define the precariat. The precariat are denizens rather than citizens, meaning that they are losing or not gaining the rights and entitlements of citizens . Above all, they are reduced to being supplicants, dependent on the discretionary benevolence of landlords, employers, parents, charities and strangers, showing them pity. ..."
"... The writer of this article seems to be very optimistic, celebratory even when it comes to the insecurity of the precariat. It isn't difficult to romanticize the power and the potential of people suffering extreme insecurity when your employment and your social status are linked to the privileges of the (Left or Right) political elite ..."
"... Open Democracy is a Soros organ. Which immediately brings to mind the aspect of our precarious position that the author does not address or even allude to: the nexus of financial, media and paramilitary power that is the "Deep State" or the Spook Apparat if you will. ..."
"... Much of what Standing refers to as the Precariat is basically just the Proletariat yet again. ..."
"... Now that I know it's an Open Democracy piece, I suppose that it's meant to soften the blow of prolonged, steep unemployment and to desensitize people to the pain of "doing more with less" (as the tippytopp rakes it in) by calling it an Arts & Leisure Society. ..."
"... I must agree with DJG, Reality Czar's and others similar take. The writer of this article seems to be very optimistic, celebratory even when it comes to the insecurity of the precariat. It isn't difficult to romanticize the power and the potential of people suffering extreme insecurity when your employment and your social status are linked to the privileges of the (Left or Right) political elite, and when you are a (most likely well paid) participant in the current political system, by working closely with the leadership of one of the bigger old political parties while holding positions that come with stable income if not fungible prestige ["Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London, Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences, and co-founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN)]. ..."
"... "a giant suction pump had by 1929 to 1930 drawn into a few hands an increasing proportion of currently produced wealth. This served then as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied themselves the kind of effective demand for their products which would justify reinvestment of the capital accumulation in new plants. In consequence as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When the credit ran out, the game stopped" ..."
"... "The other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing." ..."
"... "When the credit ran out, the game stopped" ..."
"... Revolt of the Public ..."
"... Can't Get You Outta My Head ..."
"... Charter for the Precariat ..."
"... "The labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money. But every savage has the full fruits of his own labours; there are no landlords, no usurers and no tax gatherers." ..."
"... "All for ourselves, and nothing for other people seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind." ..."
"... "The interest of the landlords is always opposed to the interest of every other class in the community" ..."
"... The labourers had before 25 The landlords 25 And the capitalists 50 .. 100 ..."
"... Framing Corbyn's election defeat as a failure to understand the needs of the "Labour" electorate, and hence supporting Standing's premise, whilst totally ignoring the fact that Corbyn was hammered by the powers of the right, BBC, MSM, Israel etc etc is totally disingenuous and seems to me to be a case of very sour grapes. ..."
Mar 09, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Lambert here: A dense treatment of a subject of burning concern.

By Guy Standing, Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London, Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences, and co-founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN). Subjects of recent books include basic income, rentier capitalism and the growing precariat. He is a council member of the Progressive Economy Forum. Originally published at Open Democracy .

Transformations tend to go through several preliminary phases. In Britain, the 'dis-embedded' phase in the development of industrial capitalism involved the Speenhamland system launched in 1795, the mass enclosures that created a proto-proletariat, and disruption by a technological revolution. All this prompted a period of primitive rebels – those who know what they are against, but not agreed on what they are for – in which protests were mainly against the breakdown of the previous social compact.

Those included the days-of-rage phase that culminated in the mass protest in Peterloo in 1819, brutally suppressed by the state, and the Luddites, misrepresented ever since as being workers intent on smashing machines to halt 'progress', when in fact what they were doing was protesting at the destruction of a way of living and working being done without a quid pro quo.

In my A Precariat Charter written in 2014, sketching a precariat manifesto for today's Global Transformation, I concluded by citing the stanza from Shelley's The Masque of Anarchy , written in reaction to the Peterloo massacre. Jeremy Corbyn was later to cite it in his campaign speech of 2017, which James Schneider recalls in his contribution to this debate . Shelley expressed it in class, not populist terms, as I did, in my case signifying that the precariat was evolving as a class-in-the-making. Corbyn seems to have expressed it in support of a left populism.

Until his drowning at an early age, Shelley along with Byron and other artists of that era, including Mozart, were railing against the bourgeoisie, which is why Mozart and Byron were both drawn to the Don Juan/Don Giovanni theme. The Romantics failed to arrest the march of industrial capitalism but their art put out a marker for the future counter movement.

The UK and 'Decent Labour'

The trouble was that at the time the emerging mass 'working class', the proletariat, had not yet taken shape as a class-for-itself, and was not ready to do so until late in the century. Three other primitive rebel events should be read into the narrative – the pink revolutions of 1848, often called the Springtime of the Peoples, wrongly seen by some at the time as presaging the proletarian revolution, the brave prolonged activities of the Chartists in the 1830s and 1840s, which advanced the cause of political democracy despite defeat, and the upheavals in the 1890s that the left have tended to underplay.

The latter marked an enormous historical error by 'the left'. It is why the term 'dangerous class' was in the sub-title of my The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class , published in early 2011. Although some Marxists have used it to describe the 'lumpen proletariat', the term 'dangerous class' was used in the nineteenth century to describe those who were in neither the bourgeoisie nor the emerging proletariat. They were the craftsmen, artisans, street traders and artists, from whose ranks came the leading figures articulating a version of socialism as rejection of labourism – freedom from labour, freedom to work and to leisure (reviving ideas of ancient Greece, embracing schole ).

In the 1890s, against William Morris and colleagues, including some anarchists, who championed that emancipatory vision, were the labourists, state socialists, Fabians and others who wanted to generalise decent labour. By the turn of the twentieth century, the latter had triumphed and marched forward in labour unions, social democratic parties and Leninism, even though most of the first batch of Labour MPs in 1906, when asked by an enterprising journalist what book had most influenced them, mentioned John Ruskin's Unto This Last , not anything by Karl Marx.

So, we should interpret what Karl Polanyi was to call the Great Transformation as beginning with a period of dis-embeddedness, when the old social formation with its specific systems of regulation, social protection and redistribution was being dismantled mainly by the interests of financial capital, guided by an ideology of laissez-faire liberalism .

This produced growing structural insecurities, inequalities, stress, precarity, technological disruption, debt and ecological destruction, culminating in an era of war, pandemics – most relevantly, the Spanish flu of 1918-1920, which may have killed 50 million people – and the Great Depression.

... ... ...

...Donald Trump epitomised the rentiers; he used anti-establishment rhetoric but jealously preserved and advanced the interests of the rent-seeking plutocracy. He never followed a neo-liberal economic agenda. He stood for mercantilism in foreign economic strategy and for rentiers eager to plunder the commons domestically, while pursuing a pluto-populist fiscal policy. It is better to see his era in Gramscian terms, a malignancy of a class-based system in deepening if not terminal crisis.

... ... ...


Henry Moon Pie , March 9, 2021 at 7:57 am

"For the proletariat, the norm was and is to be in a stable job. There is nothing labourists love more than to have as many people as possible in jobs. They romanticise being in a job, promising Full Employment, and quietly resorting to workfare. They conveniently forget that being in a job is being in a position of subordination and fail to recall Marx's depiction of labour in jobs as 'active alienation'."

Words to consider here at NC.

Anonapet , March 9, 2021 at 1:00 pm

Yep, large scale wage-slavery is not something to be embraced but something to be abolished.

Indeed, per the Bible, wage-slavery was the EXCEPTION, not the rule, for Hebrews in ancient Israel with roughly equal ownership of the means of production being the rule. Yet this was NOT communism since the means of production were individually owned, and not by the State, which didn't even exist for 400 years or so.

So accepting wage-slavery as some kind of norm is to concede way too much, Biblically speaking.

Henry Moon Pie , March 9, 2021 at 2:01 pm

An "eved" in the Hebrew bible is not really the same thing as a wage slave. The first time slavery is discussed in the Book of the Covenant following the Ten Commandments in Exodus, the only limitation is 7 years. There was no requirement to pay the slave anything. This is modified in the "Second Law" in Deuteronomy where the master is required to pay the slave some compensation upon the end of the 7 years, but not before. And these "eveds" were only the Hebrew slaves. Foreigners (goys) were slaves for life, but since neither Israel nor Judah won many wars, there were probably never that many foreign slaves anyway.

Anonapet , March 9, 2021 at 2:45 pm

I'm using "wage-slavery" in the more general sense that if one does not own assets (impossible for a Hebrew in Israel/Judah for more than 49 years (cf. Leviticus 25)) then one was de facto either a beggar or forced to live as a scavenger in the wilderness OR forced to work for wages.

As for foreign "permanent slaves", this is in conflict with no Hebrew OR CONVERT(?) could be held for more than 6 years as a well-treated indentured servant to be released, well provisioned, in the 7th year. So "permanent slavery" of foreigners was plausibly, imo, a conversion strategy (see Deuteronomy 23:3-7).

Not that the Old Testament is authoritative for Christians since the New Testament but can't we do at least as well wrt economic justice?

Darthbobber , March 9, 2021 at 6:05 pm

Though for most of the 1848-1945 period, its not really true. The proletariat of Capital and Condition of the Working Class in England had an existence as precarious as today's precariat. Indeed, this was one of the things driving the growing militance. There was little in the way of a consumer goods industry selling to proletarians because until quite late in the 19th century the entire wages of all but the skilled and fortunate went for subsistence.

And until after the changes beginning with the New Deal and consolidated in the war and postwar years, the end of a job meant the end of income, period.

hemeantwell , March 9, 2021 at 9:04 am

Lots going on here, as the author recognizes.

One take would be that he underplays the interrelationship of class identity, class aspirations, and class struggle. This comes out most clearly when he makes it seem as though mid-20th c social democracy lost a vision of the future through negligence, rather than running up against resistance from capital that was gradually getting its ideological act together after the fascist period. Strong class identity was contingent on a number of things, but one was maintaining labor militancy, MacAlevey's "strike muscle," and that became increasingly difficult, and not just because labor movement leadership went for business unionism.

The same applies to the present. The author seems hesitant to define what a Labor Vision should be now, and oscillates between UBI and other ideas without directly discussing the intensity of resistance from capital that different programs would set off. He might at least roll in Kalecki, as we so often do here, and with good reason. UBI will bring a very different response compared to demands that threaten to supplant capital's control of investment decisions, the sphere of "management prerogative." And so the author seems to be advocating fresh thinking without directly addressing what stands in its way, both the real threat of intensified class conflict and how that has been "internalized" in various ways over the last 50 or so years.

A side note: my understanding is that classical Marxism's worry about the lumpenproletariat, aka a "reactionary mass," was based on the observation that their services could be bought to form King and Country mobs to attack working class organizations, along with serving as pogrom foot soldiers. Part of that function was superseded by the formation of regular armies of domestic occupation, aka the police.

John Steinbach , March 9, 2021 at 9:33 am

There is much substance here but it seems that Standing ignores the elephant in the room -- the role that the age of limits (resource, environmental/climate change, economic/financial ) plays in the emergence of an era of rentier capitalism.

He says: "Reinventing the future, in class terms, has always been the primary task of 'the left'." But he is quick to condemn "phoney dualism of crude populism of 'the people' versus 'the elite'".

By complicating basic class analysis with an elaborate class structure, with the revolution to be led by a minority of young, educated 'progressive' precariats, he may be setting the stage for fragmentation of the Left, and further massive losses for workers.

tegnost , March 9, 2021 at 9:43 am

being drawn into platform capitalism, as 'concierge' or cloud taskers, controlled and manipulated by apps and other labour brokers. Above all, they are being gradually habituated to precariatisation, told to put up with a norm of unstable task-driven bits-and-pieces existence.

This is a great framing of the hoped for (by the technologists)labor contract

John , March 9, 2021 at 9:59 am

That passage called to mind the increasing use by universities of adjunct faculty positions, which are the very definition of precarious. In recent days the was a report of the dismissal of tenured faculty by a college in New York State, whose name escapes me.

Proposition 22(?) in California epitomizes precarity.

Rod , March 9, 2021 at 9:53 am

Quit a lot to think on here, and presented pretty clearly. De-stranding is a part of understanding (and understanding being part of good progress)

I could see the 'Go Fund Me' phenomena for Medical (or just groceries, etc) costs in this thought:(my bold)

Those characteristics are bad enough. But it is the distinctive relations to the state that most define the precariat. The precariat are denizens rather than citizens, meaning that they are losing or not gaining the rights and entitlements of citizens . Above all, they are reduced to being supplicants, dependent on the discretionary benevolence of landlords, employers, parents, charities and strangers, showing them pity.

DJG, Reality Czar , March 9, 2021 at 9:55 am

Much of this essay seems like a good diagnosis, although, after a certain point, I began to mistrust the foundations of the analysis. And there is this: "So when it came to framing a Precariat Charter, it seemed appropriate to take as a guiding principle the adage of Aristotle that only the insecure man is free. That means we must not be stuck in the old sense of security, even though it is a human need to enjoy basic security."

The author is fudging. Aristotle was writing about a stratified society in which there were many slaves (and, yes, Mediterranean slavery was different from the Anglo-American version). The ideal was the life of leisure (scholē), which was a kind of contemplation of how to act (but untroubled by having to work, which is a distraction). The "insecure" man was either Diogenes (who was unique) or a prosperous citizen with property.

We simply don't live in that kind of society. Yet the author keeps making the mistake of describing "labourists" and their supposedly antiquated ideas about unions and the organization of the workplace as all wet.

Current labor unrest in the U S of A indicates otherwise. Further, I happened to listened to some deeper analysis of the recent events at Smith College, and the NYTimes writer, Powell, pointed out how much unions shape attitudes (including eliminating racism), offer real protections, and teach the value of concerted action.

People like Standing, because of his position in society, can be blithe about being precarious. It is indeed a "philosophical" issue for them. Yet the current Draghi government in Italy has several members who want to remove labor protections and make more Italians precarious. Everyone will live the glory of being a U.S. style at-will employee. Hmmm. I wonder why this project still goes on among the powerful.

DJ Forestree , March 9, 2021 at 8:13 pm

I must agree with DJG, Reality Czar's take here.

The writer of this article seems to be very optimistic, celebratory even when it comes to the insecurity of the precariat. It isn't difficult to romanticize the power and the potential of people suffering extreme insecurity when your employment and your social status are linked to the privileges of the (Left or Right) political elite, and when you are a (most likely well paid) participant in the current political system, by working closely with the leadership of one of the largest old political parties, while holding positions that come with stable income if not fungible prestige ["Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London, Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences, and co-founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN)].

The author acknowledges that a simplistic, not multidimensional understanding of class is pseudo-Marxist; why not then go back to the original texts and review the writings of Marx, Engels, Gramsci et al in order to update the concept of class, perhaps broadening what being "working class" means today?

Why not trying to organize the workers, those who are precariat and those who aren't, around the goal of "reinventing the future in class terms", as he puts it?

How will the precariat advance its own sociopolitical goals now (as "a class-in-the-making") and later (as "a class-for-itself)"? Will it be capable of exerting any pressure and of promote real transformations without unions and without political parties?

The Trees , March 9, 2021 at 10:15 am

The default arrangement for human intercourse is some sort of feudalism. Regardless of best intended efforts to midwife a kinder gentler world, some sort of feudal hierarchic death-wish inheres in all social efforts. It seems woven into our humanity.

Hayek's Heelbiter , March 9, 2021 at 1:46 pm

Aboriginal hunter gatherers have managed to maintain a continuous non-feudal culture, even now, for approximately 50,000 years. Perhaps the precariat are heading that way?

False Solace , March 9, 2021 at 3:57 pm

Agreeing with Heelbiter, feudal hierarchies only emerge when there's a surplus that can be stolen, which tempts people with power (strongmen + sycophants) to keep it for themselves. Remove either the surplus or the agreement to steal, it's not at all universal.

Mansoor H. Khan , March 9, 2021 at 9:01 pm

strongmen + sycophants only?

Surplus also creates lasting valuable institutions which create huge social good (like Universities, Court systems, School systems, Regulatory oversight of the private sector, etc.).

Naked Capitalism commentators don't have a concept of hierarchical nature of talents which humans have. Meaning, there are super producer humans in any field of human endeavor: sports, music, arts, mathematics, sciences, film stars, singers, painters, etc.

Why would you not expect super producer humans in economic realm (business world)?

The talent spectrum is very wide and desire and ability to take risks for a possible "first mover advantage in business" that some humans go after.

Even luck (right place at the right time) requires the ability, desire and eye to recognize talents in other humans to create a high powered team which creates truly outsized results.

Talents of some humans is thousands of times the talents of more average humans.

Our job (democracy's job) is to get the most out of them. And I don't mean tax them a lot. I mean channel their energies in such a way through appropriate rules (laws) so they contribute outsized social good.

Mansoor

jsn , March 10, 2021 at 8:26 am

And yet in actual, existing polities for as long as records have been kept, there's a tendency for those with "thousand times the talents" to make off with all the surplus. Leading to, "The default arrangement for human intercourse is some sort of feudalism. Regardless of best intended efforts to midwife a kinder gentler world, some sort of feudal hierarchic death-wish inheres in all social efforts. It seems woven into our humanity."

It appears to be the structural force of "surplus" that engages our social heuristics into self defeating and brutal heirarchies. I'm with HH & FS that the track record of egalitarianism is a great deal longer than that of material heirarchy and hasn't anywhere threatened the ecosystems on which all life depends.

Not saying we can get out of our exploitative and self destructive rut, but that this condition is no more essential to our nature than egalitarianism.

tegnost , March 10, 2021 at 9:33 am

Your super producers "talent" is making money, not producing things or goods, and right behind all of your "there are super producer humans in any field of human endeavor: sports, music, arts, mathematics, sciences, film stars, singers, painters, etc." all are the face of a machine in the background with some unknowable tech tracking selling data collecting those are your actual producers but that isn't good pr, we're great at tracking people, we produce surveillance and sell people things they don't need and support disintegrating institutions in order to undermine your quote here
"Surplus also creates lasting valuable institutions which create huge social good (like Universities, Court systems, School systems, Regulatory oversight of the private sector, etc.)."

All of these things are being disintegrated for the benefit of your "super producer" BS as we speak. Maybe it's not the NC commentariat that has an understanding problem.

I think as far as the religious " concept of hierarchical nature of talents " I think the essential workers proved who they are over the pandemic, they're the ones who had to face risk, grocery workers, garbage collectors etc I doubt these people are very high up in your hierarchy.

fwe'theewell , March 10, 2021 at 11:44 am

We don't have a concept of it? Human capital theory has already been addressed here.

https://economicsfromthetopdown.com/2021/01/14/the-rise-of-human-capital-theory/

Mansoor H. Khan , March 10, 2021 at 1:39 pm

snippet from the linked article:

"If human capital theory someday becomes the fly on the power-theory-of-income elephant, it would signal not only a scientific revolution, but also a social one. I doubt I'll live to see it happen. And if I do, I have no idea what type of society would emerge from the other side."

"power-theory-of-income elephant" .You really believe this?

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , March 9, 2021 at 11:47 am

Open Democracy is a Soros organ. Which immediately brings to mind the aspect of our precarious position that the author does not address or even allude to: the nexus of financial, media and paramilitary power that is the "Deep State" or the Spook Apparat if you will.

Having a token whack at 'atavist' populism is just 'Basket of Deplorables' put another way. The author is deeply tied to the technocratic set and the slant is clear enough. The constant manipulation through fear-based stochastic 'war' efforts: War on Terror, War on COVID. Always some empty and obviously fake rallying point. UBI sounds like a sensible solution if we lived in the Jetsons future the Great Reset promises. But Klaus Schwab is no Bucky Fuller. Gates, Soros and Schwab are just investors. Investors with the power to manipulate the markets. Heads they win. Tails you lose.

To them, a guy like Trump is just the last echo of the Industrial age and the installation of a senile grifter the triumph of the technocracy, shielded by the CIA and MI5/6. These spy organizations were always private companies.

CIA was built by Wall Street and British Intelligence is an arm of the British monarchy and has never been accountable to the public. A realignment is definitely taking place. Behind the curtain. Challenging the old guard is the nexus of more openly private intelligence organizations like that of Erik Prince and computer oligarchs like Thiel and Mercer. This is exactly who put Trump over.

Susan the other , March 9, 2021 at 12:41 pm

Good summary of the evolution and status quo of liberalism. Liberalism being capitalism. And capitalism being profit. So there's a conundrum: The "strange death of populism" does not equate with some strange death of survival. Survival is always with us. There were atavists seeking out remote caves even during the agricultural revolution. Maybe even George Soros' ancient ancestors; the stone age bond vigilantes.

The underlying argument here by Standing seems to be for a Basic Income. Which is OK, but maybe ahead of its time. A jobs guarantee is a better option because there is so much work to be done that can be done best by humans it's just that none of them are profit making. That's the problem with all this political (aka economic) analysis. Because, for one thing, who is gonna clean the latrines? Yes, of course robots are. So then who is gonna arbitrage the robots? Who is monitoring the protection of the environment for fraud and graft? All of that will be necessary to ensure nobody is profiteering and polluting in a non-capitalist world. Labor was actually the best defense against rampant profiteering, because it was labor that was always exploited, so what will replace it? We should stick with a jobs guarantee for now. A better analysis at this point in time is not how do we live with the ruins of neoliberalism, but how do we live, equitably, without profit? It will take a while to figure that out. Clearly we'll live by fiat, but it will have to be controlled as well. I'd just say that if the Precariat is condescendingly guaranteed a "basic income" so should the rest of society be. That controls everyone. And protects the environment, and stays focused on all the things that are now imperative.

dummy , March 9, 2021 at 4:26 pm

Good investment and growth are definable as whatever investment and growth would remain if all artificial stimulants by the government and economists were removed. The ordinary liberal is usually several steps removed from real life. That is how he can be so foolish.

He is almost always either wealthy, or academic, or artistic, or political, or in some other way has escaped from the need to do productive work for a living.

flora , March 9, 2021 at 5:40 pm

It's just really weird seeing a 'left' site conflate 'populism' with 'rightism'. As in, "representing the economically hurting bottom of 50-90% of voters is bad (because the poor, the struggling working class, and the precarious middle class peoples are obviously morally suspect – or so saith the economic elites. / heh)." No. That's the elite's take on populism. It isn't the populists' history and political stance. It's almost like reading the elite's dictating what the bottom 50% economic polity must agree to. (As if the top 50% (or 1%) don't have an economic interest in guiding the bottom 50%'s away from their own economic interest. /heh )

Krystal Kyle & Friends | Thomas Frank

https://youtu.be/eLHZAGBnUhU?t=680

jsn , March 10, 2021 at 8:33 am

I didn't get that, maybe I'll re-read when I have a minute.

What I got was dissaggregating the struggling class into groups with common experience and history resulting in what the author called "reactionary" and I think you are calling 'rightism'.

The basic message I got was the left can no more restore that past than can the right and when it tries it ends up bolstering the right by accident.

Darthbobber , March 9, 2021 at 7:17 pm

Much of what Standing refers to as the Precariat is basically just the Proletariat yet again. But coming to the fore in a period resembling the Victorian era in terms of security more than it resembles the short-lived triumphal period of postwar welfare state, Keynesian, social democratic capitalism.

fwe'theewell , March 9, 2021 at 8:04 pm

I think he wants to expand the definitions of work and "productivity," maybe challenging the labor theory of value, etc. This piece reminded me of David Graeber in that respect.

Now that I know it's an Open Democracy piece, I suppose that it's meant to soften the blow of prolonged, steep unemployment and to desensitize people to the pain of "doing more with less" (as the tippytopp rakes it in) by calling it an Arts & Leisure Society. UBI is a lubricant for privatization, although I did notice and appreciate Standing's mention of the commons.

DJ Forestree , March 9, 2021 at 8:34 pm

I must agree with DJG, Reality Czar's and others similar take. The writer of this article seems to be very optimistic, celebratory even when it comes to the insecurity of the precariat. It isn't difficult to romanticize the power and the potential of people suffering extreme insecurity when your employment and your social status are linked to the privileges of the (Left or Right) political elite, and when you are a (most likely well paid) participant in the current political system, by working closely with the leadership of one of the bigger old political parties while holding positions that come with stable income if not fungible prestige ["Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London, Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences, and co-founder and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN)].

The author acknowledges that a simplistic, not multidimensional understanding of class is pseudo-Marxist; why not then go back to the original texts and review the writings of Marx, Engels, Gramsci et al in order to update the concept of class, perhaps broadening what being "working class" means today? Why not trying to organize the workers, those who are precariat and those who aren't, around the goal of "reinventing the future in class terms", as he puts it? Will the precariat succeed in advancing its sociopolitical goals as a class ("a class-in-the-making" or "a class-for-itself") outside of organized structures like unions and political parties (not necessarily the existing, often compromised ones)?

Sound of the Suburbs , March 10, 2021 at 2:33 am

What has happened to inequality? Pretty much what you would expect really.

Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 – 48, observed what the capital accumulation of neoclassical economics did to the US economy in the 1920s.
"a giant suction pump had by 1929 to 1930 drawn into a few hands an increasing proportion of currently produced wealth. This served then as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied themselves the kind of effective demand for their products which would justify reinvestment of the capital accumulation in new plants. In consequence as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When the credit ran out, the game stopped"

With the capital accumulation of neoclassical economics wealth concentrates at the top. A few people have all the money and everyone else gets by on debt. Wealth concentrates until the system collapses.

What could they do? Keynes added some redistribution to stop all the wealth concentrating at the top, and developed nations formed a strong healthy middle class.

The neoliberals removed the redistribution. With the capital accumulation of neoclassical economics wealth concentrates at the top. A few people have all the money and everyone else gets by on debt. Wealth concentrates until the system collapses.

"The other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing." Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 – 48
Your wages aren't high enough, have a Payday loan.
You need a house, have a sub-prime mortgage.
You need a car, have a sub-prime auto loan.
You need a good education, have a student loan.
Still not getting by? Load up on credit cards.
"When the credit ran out, the game stopped" Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 – 48

Sound of the Suburbs , March 10, 2021 at 2:34 am

Oh yes, I remember now, it was Keynesian capitalism that won the battle against Russian communism. The Americans could clearly demonstrate the average American was much better off than their Russian counterparts.

Today's opioid addicted specimens might have struggled.

Sound of the Suburbs , March 10, 2021 at 2:42 am

The arc of progress isn't supposed to look like a U-turn. You are supposed to keep moving forwards. After the Keynesian era we went back to what had preceded it.

After a few decades of Keynesian, demand side economics, the system became supply side constrained. Too much demand and not enough supply causes inflation. Neoclassical, supply side economics should be just the ticket to get things moving again. It does, but it's got the same problems it's always had.

kramshaw , March 10, 2021 at 11:15 am

I found this article massively interesting and relevant, especially at the same time that I'm trying to process Martin Gurri's Revolt of the Public and Adam Curtis' new documentary Can't Get You Outta My Head . My take is that all of them are professing a sort of political realism that is opposed to what they identify as magical thinking on the left, and that's how I take Standing's critique of left populism.

But more importantly, I want to share a few other related resources that I found as I was digging into this more. First, Standing has a few TED talks, and this one from 2016 helped me to understand this article better.

Also, Standing's Charter for the Precariat (linked differently in the article) is currently available on Bloomsbury open access, so you can actually download chapter pdfs of it for free with no login.

Sound of the Suburbs , March 10, 2021 at 2:13 pm

What is the problem with the class system?

Mankind first started to produce a surplus with early agriculture. It wasn't long before the elites learnt how to read the skies, the sun and the stars, to predict the coming seasons to the amazed masses and collect tribute.

They soon made the most of the opportunity and removed themselves from any hard work to concentrate on "spiritual matters", i.e. any hocus-pocus they could come up with to elevate them from the masses, e.g. rituals, fertility rights, offering to the gods . etc and to turn the initially small tributes, into extracting all the surplus created by the hard work of the rest.

The elites became the representatives of the gods and they were responsible for the bounty of the earth and the harvests. As long as all the surplus was handed over, all would be well.

The class structure emerges.

Their techniques have got more sophisticated over time, but this is the underlying idea. They have achieved an inversion, and got most of the rewards going to those that don't really do anything.

Everything had worked well for 5,000 years as no one knew what was really going on. The last thing they needed was "The Enlightenment" as people would work out what was really going on. They did work out what was going on and this had to be hidden again.

The Classical Economists had a quick look around and noticed the aristocracy were maintained in luxury and leisure by the hard work of everyone else. They haven't done anything economically productive for centuries, they couldn't miss it. The Classical economist, Adam Smith:

"The labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money. But every savage has the full fruits of his own labours; there are no landlords, no usurers and no tax gatherers."

There was no benefits system in those days, and if those at the bottom didn't work they died. They had to earn money to live. The classical economists could never imagine those at the bottom rising out of a bare subsistence existence as that was the way it had always been.

The classical economists identified the constructive "earned" income and the parasitic "unearned" income. Most of the people at the top lived off the parasitic "unearned" income and they now had a big problem. (Upper class – Do as little as they can get away with and get most of the rewards)

This problem was solved with neoclassical economics, which hides this distinction. It confuses making money and creating wealth so all rich people look good. If you know what real wealth creation is, you will realise many at the top don't create any wealth.

Can you believe Adam Smith said this?

"All for ourselves, and nothing for other people seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind."

The classical economists, Adam Smith and Ricardo, are not what you might expect.

Sound of the Suburbs , March 10, 2021 at 2:21 pm

We got some stuff from Ricardo, like the law of comparative advantage. What's gone missing? Ricardo was part of the new capitalist class, and the old landowning class were a huge problem with their rents that had to be paid both directly and through wages.

"The interest of the landlords is always opposed to the interest of every other class in the community" Ricardo 1815 / Classical Economist

What does our man on free trade, Ricardo, mean?

Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
Employees get their money from wages and the employers pay the cost of living through wages, reducing profit.
Employees get less disposable income after the landlords rent has gone.
Employers have to cover the landlord's rents in wages reducing profit.
Ricardo is just talking about housing costs, employees all rented in those days.
Low housing costs work best for employers and employees.

In Ricardo's world there were three classes. He was in the capitalist class. The more he paid in labour costs (wages) the lower his profits would be. He was paying the cost of living for his workers through wages, and the higher that was, the higher labour costs would be. There was no benefits system in those days and those at the bottom needed to earn money to cover the cost of living otherwise they would die. They had to earn their money through wages. The more he paid in rents to the old landowning class, the less there would be for him to keep for himself.

From Ricardo:
The labourers had before 25
The landlords 25
And the capitalists 50
.. 100

He looked at how the pie got divided between the three groups.

There were three groups in the capitalist system in Ricardo's world (and there still are).

The unproductive group exists at the top of society, not the bottom. Later on we did bolt on a benefit system to help others that were struggling lower down the scale. Classical economics, it's not what you think.

William White (BIS, OECD) talks about how economics really changed over one hundred years ago as classical economics was replaced by neoclassical economics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6iXBQ33pBo&t=2485s

He thinks we have been on the wrong path for one hundred years. Small state, unregulated capitalism was where it all started and it's rather different to today's expectations.

Sound of the Suburbs , March 10, 2021 at 2:37 pm

When we actually start talking about creating wealth, rather than making money, the rentiers are exposed for the parasites they are.

topcat , March 10, 2021 at 4:48 pm

Framing Corbyn's election defeat as a failure to understand the needs of the "Labour" electorate, and hence supporting Standing's premise, whilst totally ignoring the fact that Corbyn was hammered by the powers of the right, BBC, MSM, Israel etc etc is totally disingenuous and seems to me to be a case of very sour grapes.

The fact that the basic income was not implemented doesn't mean much given that there are many on all sides of the debate who do not agree with the idea. I think Standing is just pissed off because no one listened to him.

[Mar 12, 2021] Under neoliberalism what replaces a nation is often referred to as a "colony", where most of the inhabitants are no longer "citizens" but "natives" who can be exploited at will

Mar 12, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

SufferinSuccotash , March 11, 2021 at 7:57 am

What the proponents of the neo-liberal dispensation have not advertised, if indeed they even know, is what replaces the 'nation?'
What replaces a nation is often referred to as a "colony", where most of the inhabitants are no longer "citizens" but "natives" who can be exploited at will.

chuck roast , March 11, 2021 at 10:23 am

American unions pathetic, absolutely pathetic! We have been hearing this very same winging from them for 50 years. Then they, universally, go out and support the glad handing politicians who do a few rounds of golf with the their bosses and a few more jobs are lost. Mention to them that maybe they would have a bit more job security if owned their factories and work places, and watch the smoke start to rise from their collective heads. A hundred years ago you could have sat in a bar, discussed workers owning the means of production and the beers would have kept magically appearing in front of you. We are a long, long way from Flint.

The limited successes of the old trade unions in the US have been their undoing. If only because they always had, and continue to have, limited vision. They all think that they have scored major victories if they squeeze another dime out of the bosses. According to this union VP "We're at the mercy of whoever is supplying us." The guy is an idiot. He and his cohort are at the mercy of their bosses, and they will always be at the mercy of their bosses until they become their own bosses. Pathetic!

Starry Gordon , March 11, 2021 at 11:13 am

I thought Mr. Conway's connection of domestic manufacturing with war and imperialism, a.k.a. 'national security', was pretty obvious. 'War is the health of the state.' However, I suppose one might say that the American state now includes Japan. God, yes, we need more and more 'airplanes, munitions, satellites, civilian jetliners' and so on, and more reasons to keep armies in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and also so on, till the end of the world.

Phlip , March 12, 2021 at 5:06 am

Well yes, but the opposite also applies. If you have a self sufficient economy you don't have to get involved in wars on the other side of the planet because that's where "your" energy, raw materials, finance, food, key manufactured goods etc come from. The US did not have to get involved in either WW1 or WW2 for economic reasons, it was nearly self sufficient at that time. That is not the case today, hence the fore-ever wars in the middle east, and military bases scattered as confetti around the globe. Did America have to globalise its economy? No, but the wind fall profits (initially) that could be reaped from doing so could not be resisted by America's elites. The problem now is that America's economy has now been so gutted that it cannot function without globalisation, which will bankrupt it further. However look on the bright side, America's elites have never been so despised and hate in their history. And nobody expects them to change, because they have not changed for 50 years. People are now figuring out that they have to change things themselves. Expect fireworks.

Steven , March 11, 2021 at 11:51 am

Michael Hudson (of course!) has the first and last word on this. The general principle at work here is that U.S. industry and jobs must be off-shored so Wall Street and Washington politicians can create more debt – IOW keep Super (monetary) Imperialism going. The US is the world's leader in manufacturing DEBT not the wealth that really matters in today's world.

Michaelmas , March 11, 2021 at 1:50 pm

Yes. Regrettably, the article above is whistling past the graveyard, and I too thought of Hudson's analysis and shook my head as I read it.

If money is created as credit -- and it is -- and every notional dollar of credit has an obverse side of debt -- and it does -- then for the U.S. to be the Richest Country In The World™ and have an elite with so many multibillionaires, there must be debt on the the other side of all those notional dollars the elite have created for themselves.

Debt requires debtors.

Chris Herbert , March 11, 2021 at 3:39 pm

You might familiarize yourself with how the national government funds its spending. It creates new dollars every time it pays a bill. No debt required. So why do we have all this public debt if it was unnecessary to begin with? It lines the pockets of the One Percent who buy the safest bonds in the world to insure their immense fortunes. It's a subsidy. The rich have the best socialism in the world. Right here in the USA.

steven , March 11, 2021 at 4:24 pm

This issue has very little if any relationship to "how the national government funds its spending" or any of the other nominally 'conservative' debt bugbears. Those "safest bonds in the world" would not insure squat if US debt wasn't backed by the US military and threats to bomb any country that refuses to accept more of it back into the stone age. As Minsky wrote "Any (economic) unit can create money. The problem is getting it accepted."

The world is being destroyed environmentally as well as militarily because the world's one percent can think of no better alternative than allowing the US to continue creating debt, destruction and death so they can – as Trump put it – "keep score" with each other in the game to see who can accumulate the most unpayable debt.

To paraphrase Woody Allen (or somebody) the US is allowed to continue creating debt because the world's One Percent needs the money to continue playing their game.

[Mar 12, 2021] The US economy still has almost 10 million fewer jobs than it did before the coronavirus pandemic took hold

Mar 12, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

The jobs picture overall has been improving with 379,000 workers added in February , although the U.S. economy still has almost 10 million fewer jobs than it did before the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Economists have been revising their employment and GDP forecasts are higher.

Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius, for example, wrote in a report this week that the jobless rate would fall to 4.1% by the end of 2021, from 6.2% last month.

Hyams has been seeing similar encouraging signs on Indeed, with postings on the site already lapping where they were pre-pandemic. "On Indeed, when we look at new job postings and our benchmark pre-pandemic of February 1, 2020, at the end of this February we were up 5% year-over-year. That's still with entire sectors completely shut down," he said.

As for where the hottest demand lies for new jobs, Hyams pointed to e-commerce-related occupations including logistics, warehousing and delivery, as well as jobs in health care and pharmacy.

While some of those openings may require showing up regularly in-person, many will not, which again feeds into Hyams' thesis that interviews will remain virtual.

"If you're going to be a remote worker, interviewing over video actually makes a whole lot more sense. It's more convenient. It will cut down on travel," he said.

That means many interviewees can continue to pull their blazers and ties out of the closet -- along with their sweatpants.

[Mar 12, 2021] The pandemic 'will change how hiring is done forever,' says CEO of jobs website Indeed

Mar 12, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Remember job interviews pre-pandemic? The jitters, the choosing of just the right suit, the race to get there early, maybe even the drive across town or flight across the country for a shot at a new opportunity?

Like most everything else, the pandemic changed that dynamic. The jitters may remain, but in-person meetings are largely off the table, interviews among them. The CEO of one of the most-trafficked jobs websites says it's likely to stay that way even after people get back to the office.

"People being able to conduct an interview from the safety and convenience of their own home is going to change hiring forever," said Chris Hyams, Indeed CEO, in an interview with Yahoo Finance Live. "We believe this is the beginning of a massive secular shift."

"In April, we saw the number of requests for interviews to happen over video shoot up by 1,000%. Even as things have started to stabilize and the economy has opened up over the last 11 months, we've seen that continue to grow," Hyams said.

The jobs picture overall has been improving with 379,000 workers added in February , although the U.S. economy still has almost 10 million fewer jobs than it did before the coronavirus pandemic took hold. Economists have been revising their employment and GDP forecasts are higher. Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius, for example, wrote in a report this week that the jobless rate would fall to 4.1% by the end of 2021, from 6.2% last month.

Hyams has been seeing similar encouraging signs on Indeed, with postings on the site already lapping where they were pre-pandemic. "On Indeed, when we look at new job postings and our benchmark pre-pandemic of February 1, 2020, at the end of this February we were up 5% year-over-year. That's still with entire sectors completely shut down," he said.

As for where the hottest demand lies for new jobs, Hyams pointed to e-commerce-related occupations including logistics, warehousing and delivery, as well as jobs in health care and pharmacy.

While some of those openings may require showing up regularly in-person, many will not, which again feeds into Hyams' thesis that interviews will remain virtual.

"If you're going to be a remote worker, interviewing over video actually makes a whole lot more sense. It's more convenient. It will cut down on travel," he said.

That means many interviewees can continue to pull their blazers and ties out of the closet -- along with their sweatpants.

[Feb 21, 2021] It doesn't matter if we die of freezer burn sleeping on cardboard after we've been laid-off, evicted, and starved.

Feb 21, 2021 | www.unz.com

obwandiyag , says: February 12, 2021 at 5:10 am GMT • 8.8 days ago

Don't you know that whining about race, from the racist or the anti-racist side, doesn't matter, is more important than billionaires fucking us over. It's more important than anything. It doesn't matter if we die of freezer burn sleeping on cardboard after we've been laid-off, evicted, and starved. It doesn't matter if we die in a nuclear war that the billionaires started because they think it would be a good idea.

Nope. All that matters is whining about race. That's the most important thing. All else is trivial.

Ray Caruso , says: February 12, 2021 at 5:39 am GMT • 8.8 days ago

Didn't American people suffer from the disease? Yes, the US government is "grotesquely and manifestly incompetent" and they were likely to expect "a massive coronavirus outbreak in China would never spread back to America".

The crucial factor here is that the US is not a nation per the most basic definition of the word, "a group of people born of a common ancestry". Consequently, as illustrated by job-killing "trade deals" and in countless other ways, there are plenty of "Americans" who don't care a whit about the fate of Americans. That makes it entirely plausible that the Deep State and/or one or more billionaires would release a virus in China in the full expectation that it would hit the US and that once here it would disrupt, impoverish, and kill millions of Americans. This was a win-win for them. The Deep State and the billionaires don't like China, which is a non-liberal country and curtails their power by restricting the use of US tech products. So if somehow the virus were contained in China it would be okay with them, as it just would be a smaller win. However, what they really wanted was for the virus circle back to the US. They knew that once here the disruption it would cause would further enrich and empower them while giving them a pretext to dump it all on Donald Trump, whom they would accuse of being incompetent and uncaring.

FHTEX , says: February 12, 2021 at 12:06 pm GMT • 8.5 days ago

While full of good insights, the problem with this article as far as COVID is concerned is that it misleads on the main point. COVID is not biowarfare, it is not a pandemic, it's just the flu. The US recorded the same death rate in 2020 as in previous years and, as Dr. Colleen Huber has documented, medical oxygen and supply sales were no different from previous years.

All those COVID-19 deaths were simply deaths of a different name. Of course, we knew from last March's Diamond Princess cruise–still by far the best controlled COVID "experiment"–that the case-fatality rate of COVID-19 for the general public is in the flu range.

But, it never was about COVID-19, which is just a glorified coronavirus of the type seen even before the dawn of humans. Long before the virus even hit the streets, the media and governments and medical establishments had secretly planned to to create a "panic-demic" to scare people into a whole lot of strange and dangerous behaviors–like giving up their liberties and economic futures. COVID-19 is just a medical nothing-burger that convinced a lot of otherwise sane people to scare themselves into oblivion. Or did it? If the post-election analyses are correct, Trump won in a major landslide and even those who voted against him were already suffering from Trump derangement syndrome. So, maybe the people weren't fooled by COVID so much as electorally raped by the vast elite cabal.

Digital Samizdat , says: February 12, 2021 at 12:06 pm GMT • 8.5 days ago

Whatever we say is a fact-based result of diligent research; whatever you say is a conspiracy theory – both the US and China representatives subscribe to this mantra.

Maye both Washington and Beijing are guilty -- of a perpetrating a hoax.

Putin surprised me. He flatly refused the offer of Schwab and his ilk. He condemned the manner of recent pre-Covid growth, for all the growth went into a few deep pockets. Moreover, he noted that digital tycoons are dangerous for the world.

Emslander , says: February 12, 2021 at 12:12 pm GMT • 8.5 days ago

The next strong man we elect must be an actual STRONG man. I salute Trump for his genius in identifying the real majority in this country and for forcing the techno-oligarchs into overdoing their election steal. Now we need someone who is willing to establish real authority on behalf of the un-queer.

[Feb 03, 2021] FTC says Amazon took away $62 million in tips from drivers

Feb 03, 2021 | abcnews.go.com

"The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that for more than two years, Amazon didn't pass on tips to drivers, even though it promised shoppers and drivers it would do so.

The FTC said Amazon didn't stop taking the money until 2019, when the company found out about the FTC's investigation . The drivers were part of Amazon's Flex business, which started in 2015 and allows people to pick up and deliver Amazon packages with their own cars. The drivers are independent workers, and are not Amazon employees.

The FTC said Amazon at first promised workers that they would be paid $18 to $25 per hour, and also said they would receive 100% of tips left to them by customers on the app .

But in 2016, the FTC said Amazon started paying drivers a lower hourly rate and used the tips to make up the difference. Amazon didn't disclose the change to drivers, the FTC said, and the tips it took from drivers amounted to $61.7 billion."

And a "team" at Amazon reprogrammed the app to steal tips. Managers, programmers, testers, documentation specialists, accountants, database wizards, etc. Nobody said a word. All corrupt to the bone. "Learn to code!"

[Jan 29, 2021] The Coming Revolt Of The Middle Class - ZeroHedge

Jan 29, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

he Great American Middle Class has stood meekly by while the New Nobility stripmined $50 trillion from the middle and working classes. As this RAND report documents, $50 trillion has been siphoned from labor and the lower 90% of the workforce to the New Nobility and their technocrat lackeys who own the vast majority of the capital: Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018 .

Why has the Great American Middle Class meekly accepted their new role as debt-serfs and powerless peasants in a Neofeudal Economy ruled by the New Nobility of Big Tech / monopolies / cartels / financiers? The basic answer is the New Nobility's PR has been so persuasive and ubiquitous: soaring inequality and Neofeudalism has nothing to do with us, it's just the natural result of technology and globalization--forces nobody can resist. Sorry about your debt-serfdom, but hey, your student loan payment is overdue, so it's the rack for you.

The recent Foreign Affairs article referenced here last week Monopoly Versus Democracy (paywalled) describes the net result of the economic propaganda that the stripmining of the working and middle classes was ordained and irresistible: Today, Americans tend to see grotesque accumulations of wealth and power as normal. That's how far we've fallen:

"As the journalist Barry Lynn points out in his book Liberty from All Masters: The New American Autocracy vs. the Will of the People , the robber barons shared with today's high-tech monopolists a strategy of encouraging people to see immense inequality as a tragic but unavoidable consequence of capitalism and technological change. But as Lynn shows, one of the main differences between then and now is that, compared to today, fewer Americans accepted such rationalizations during the Gilded Age. Today, Americans tend to see grotesque accumulations of wealth and power as normal. Back then, a critical mass of Americans refused to do so, and they waged a decades-long fight for a fair and democratic society." (emphasis added)

The bottom 90% of the U.S. economy has been decapitalized : debt has been substituted for capital . Capital only flows into the increasingly centralized top tier, which owns and profits from the rising tide of debt that's been keeping the bottom 90% afloat for the past 20 years.

As I've often observed here, globalization and financialization have richly rewarded the top 0.1% and the top 5% technocrat class that serves the New Nobility's interests. Everyone else has been been reduced to debt-serfs and peasants who now rely on lotteries and luck to get ahead: playing the stock market casino or hoping their mortgaged house in an urban sprawl on the Left or Right coasts doubles in value, even as the entire value proposition for living in a congested urban sprawl vanishes.

America has no plan to reverse this destructive tide of Neofeudal Pillage. Our leadership's "plan" is benign neglect : just send a monthly stipend of bread and circuses (the technocrat term is Universal Basic Income UBI) to all the disempowered, decapitalized households, urban and rural, so they can stay out of trouble and not bother the New Nobility's pillaging of America and the planet.

There's a lot of bright and shiny PR about rebuilding infrastructure and the Green New Deal, but our first question must always be: cui bono , to whose benefit? How much of the spending will actually be devoted to changing the rising imbalances between the haves and the have-nots, the ever-richer who profit from rising debt and the ever more decapitalized debt-serfs who are further impoverished by rising debt?

As I explain in my book A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet , people don't want to just get by on UBI , they want an opportunity to acquire capital in all its forms, an opportunity to contribute to their communities, to make a difference, to earn respect and pride.

That our "leadership" reckons bread and circuses is what the stripmined bottom 90% want is beyond pathetic. The middle class has meekly accepted the self-serving claim of the New Nobility that the $50 trillion transfer of wealth was inevitable and beyond human intervention. But once the stock market and housing casinos collapse, the last bridge to getting ahead--high-risk gambling-- will fall into the abyss, and the middle class will have to face their servitude and powerlessness.

That's how Neofeudal systems collapse: the tax donkeys and debt-serfs finally revolt and start demanding the $50 trillion river of capital take a new course.

* * *

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LetThemEatRand 4 hours ago (Edited)

In the last month or so, they have stopped even trying to hide that:

1) the internet is rigged (free speech only for those who say what is approved narrative),

2) elections are rigged (they openly admit that "all elections have fraud," and the defending point is that there isn't enough fraud to change the result, or so they say without investigation);

3) the government is rigged (lots of debate about whether to send a few bucks to people forced out of work by COVID restrictions, no debate needed on how much to give banks and defense contractors); and now

4) the markets are rigged (if you figure out a way to beat Wall Street, we simply change the rules).

Most Americans already knew these things, but felt vaguely conspiratorial in thinking so. TPTB no longer care what we think or what we know. They are taking down the curtains. They own this place and if we don't like it and even talk about doing something about it, then they will label you a terrorist and it's off to Gitmo with you.

Dear Old Hedge 2 hours ago

"That's how Neofeudal systems collapse: the tax donkeys and debt-serfs finally rebel and start demanding the $50 trillion river of capital take a new course."

Unlocking the Planet - Catherine Austin Fitts on The Corbett Report https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9sK3rRyoQ4 (34 min)

(Or if YouTube nixes it) https://www.bitchute.com/video/guMKGKKZ5WfW/

notfeelinthebern 4 hours ago (Edited)

Most of the middle class is now run by .Gov employees who are members of big unions. They will never revolt - they got it to good. Most are Feminazi's who vote Demshevik. & DFL.

The image above is really their cross and angry husbands who are now powerless.

LetThemEatRand 4 hours ago (Edited)

By design, and the classic model of feudalism. It's why places like present day China or North Korea have such a huge military and government sector. It's why the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gives just enough to its citizens that they are comfortable. It's why Rome held together for as long as it did. Many other examples. Feudalism is the natural order of things according to history. We have been living through an anomaly that TPTB intend to fix.

NoDebt 3 hours ago

globalization and financialization have richly rewarded the top 0.1% and the top 5% technocrat class that serves the New Nobility's interests

Like I've said before, "Small number of rich, large number of poor and just enough middle class to service the rich. As most societies have been throughout most of human history. The 20th century in the US was the anomaly, not the norm."

sgt_doom 1 hour ago remove link

ROFL --- pressure "elected officials" from rigged elections!

You funny . . . .

Whenwas the last time an electsd official responded to me?

Oh yeah, Sen. Canteell about 14 years ago say that she would continue to support the offshoring of the American medica industry along with the Gates Foundation.

SDShack 13 minutes ago

I've been saying it for YEARS here. New Feudal World Order has been the design all along. People are finally starting to understand. The solution was always Drone Davos.

chunga 4 hours ago

The battle between capital and labor has been a complete wipeout, made possible by mountains of pure, solid fraud.

daveO 4 hours ago

It was benign neglect 30 years ago! It's been active destruction since China's admittance into the WTO with the help of the Clintons.

Mamachief 3 hours ago

David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger.

When Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller met with Zhou Enlai in China in 1973 -- just after President Richard Nixon had visited China establishing official relations -- an understanding was reached whereby the U.S. would supply industrial capital and know-how to China.

BEMUSED-CONFUSED 1 hour ago

And Nixon never realized that he sold out the US.

George Bayou 4 hours ago

Why has the Great American Middle Class meekly accepted their new role as debt-serfs and powerless peasants in a Neofeudal Economy ruled by the New Nobility of Big Tech / monopolies / cartels / financiers?

I'll tell you why, people don't realize what goes on behind the scenes because they are so far removed from it and the big corps and politicians keep it that way.

If you don't know you're getting screwed, then you can't fight it.

austinmilbarge 4 hours ago

Most US citizens are debt slaves. Miss one paycheck and it's lights out. They don't have time to keep up with how Wall Street cheats.

My Days Are Getting Fewer 2 hours ago

I used to subscribe to the author. No longer do so. Charles, stop writing and get a job or invest in a business.

The headline is false. The Middle Class will not revolt. And, as a group, it no longer exists.

I am baffled by the understanding that there are no super-rich people, who give a damn about the destruction of their Country. My grandchildren and their kids will never enjoy the fundamental freedoms that I knew growing up in high school in the 1950s and maturing in the 1960s through 2000.

In the last 20 years, everything, that was held sacred in this Country, has been uprooted. Fraud rules, with decency be damned.

I got more than enough money and 30 more years at best.

Money is not a substitute for freedom.

Only hopeless persons will undertake corrective action.

Cloud9.5 3 hours ago

The middle class works for government. They are cops, teachers, code enforcement officers, judges. The list goes on and on. The entrepreneur middle class has been put out of business.

Wayne 2 hours ago

Dear Charles,

I am in the smallest room in the house. Your clickbait book promo is in front of me. Soon, it shall be behind me.

A few words of advice, if I may (and even if I may not, I'm going to anyhow):

Do not use words you found in a thesaurus in book titles.

teleology

[ˌtelēˈäləjē, ˌtēlēˈäləjē]

NOUN

  1. philosophy

    the explanation of phenomena by the purpose they serve rather than by postulated causes.

    • theology

      the doctrine of design and purpose in the material world.

Just makes you look like a pompous, officious, condescending ***.

Oh, that's right, you are.

Like Klaus Schwaub's little treatise, COVID-19 The Great Reset , your book is probably not wroth reading and should not have been written. There is such a thing in this world as masturbating, but you and Klaus should stroke your little peenees to **** instead of stroking your egos with the English language.

Nobody actually needs to know what you think about anything. You could make the world a better place by driving an Uber, growing guavas, or praying.

Thanks for playing, but the pleas for you to stop are growing louder.

Regards,

Mom

[Jan 29, 2021] Deaths of Despair and the Incidence of Excess Mortality in 2020

Notable quotes:
"... By Casey Mulligan, Professor of Economics, University of Chicago and former Chief Economist of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Originally published at VoxEU ..."
"... The spread of COVID-19 in the US has prompted extraordinary steps by individuals and institutions to limit infections. Some worry that 'the cure is worse than the disease' and these measures may lead to an increase in deaths of despair. Using data from the US, this column estimates how many non-COVID-19 excess deaths have occurred during the pandemic. Mortality in 2020 significantly exceeds the total of official COVID-19 deaths and a normal number of deaths from other causes. Certain characteristics suggest the excess are deaths of despair. Social isolation may be part of the mechanism that turns a pandemic into a wave of deaths of despair; further studies are needed to show if that is the case and how. ..."
"... See original post for references ..."
Jan 29, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. While this paper does a good job of compiling and analyzing data about Covid deaths and excess mortality, and speculating about deaths of despair, I find one of its assumptions to be odd. It sees Covid-related deaths of despair as mainly the result of isolation. In the US, I would hazard that economic desperation is likely a significant factor. Think of the people who had successful or at least viable service businesses: hair stylists, personal trainers, caterers, conference organizers. One friend had a very successful business training and rehabbing pro and Olympic athletes. They've gone from pretty to very well situated to frantic about how they will get by.

While Mulligan does mention loss of income in passing in the end, it seems the more devastating but harder to measure damage is loss of livelihood, thinking that your way of earning a living might never come back to anything dimly approaching the old normal. Another catastrophic loss would be the possibility of winding up homeless, particularly for those who'd never faced that risk before.

By Casey Mulligan, Professor of Economics, University of Chicago and former Chief Economist of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Originally published at VoxEU

The spread of COVID-19 in the US has prompted extraordinary steps by individuals and institutions to limit infections. Some worry that 'the cure is worse than the disease' and these measures may lead to an increase in deaths of despair. Using data from the US, this column estimates how many non-COVID-19 excess deaths have occurred during the pandemic. Mortality in 2020 significantly exceeds the total of official COVID-19 deaths and a normal number of deaths from other causes. Certain characteristics suggest the excess are deaths of despair. Social isolation may be part of the mechanism that turns a pandemic into a wave of deaths of despair; further studies are needed to show if that is the case and how.

The spread of COVID-19 in the US has prompted extraordinary, although often untested, steps by individuals and institutions to limit infections. Some have worried that 'the cure is worse than the disease'. Economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton mocked such worries as a "pet theory about the fatal dangers of quarantine". They concluded in the summer of 2020 that "a wave of deaths of despair is highly unlikely" because, they said, the duration of a pandemic is measured in months whereas the underlying causes of drug abuse and suicide take many years to accumulate (Case and Deaton 2020). With the extraordinary social distancing continuing and mortality data accumulating, now is a good time to estimate the number of deaths of despair and their incidence.

As a theoretical matter, I am not confident that demand and supply conditions were even approximately constant as the country went into a pandemic recession. Take the demand and supply for non-medical opioid use, which before 2020 accounted for the majority of deaths of despair. 1 I acknowledge that the correlation between opioid fatalities and the unemployment rate has been only weakly positive (Council of Economic Advisers February 2020, Ruhm 2019). However, in previous recessions, the income of the unemployed and the nation generally fell.

In this recession, personal income increased record amounts while the majority of the unemployed received more income than they did when they were working (Congressional Budget Office 2020). 2 Whereas alcohol and drug abuse can occur in isolation, many normal, non-lethal consumption opportunities disappeared as the population socially distanced. Patients suffering pain may have less access to physical therapy during a pandemic.

On the supply side, social distancing may affect the production of safety. 3 A person who overdoses on opioids has a better chance of survival if the overdose event is observed contemporaneously by a person nearby who can administer treatment or call paramedics. 4 Socially distanced physicians may be more willing to grant opioid prescriptions over the phone rather than insist on an office visit. Although supply interruptions on the southern border may raise the price of heroin and fentanyl, the market may respond by mixing heroin with more fentanyl and other additives that make each consumption episode more dangerous (Mulligan 2020a, Wan and Long 2020).

Mortality is part of the full price of opioid consumption and therefore a breakdown in safety production may by itself reduce the quantity consumed but nonetheless increase mortality per capita as long as the demand for opioids is price inelastic. I emphasise that these theoretical hypotheses about opioid markets in 2020 are not yet tested empirically. My point is that mortality measurement is needed because the potential for extraordinary changes is real.

The Multiple Cause of Death Files (National Center for Health Statistics 1999–2018) contain information from all death certificates in the US and would be especially valuable for measuring causes of mortality in 2020. However, the public 2020 edition of those files is not expected until early 2022. For the time being, my recent study (Mulligan 2020b) used the 2015–2018 files to project the normal number of 2020 deaths, absent a pandemic.

'Excess deaths' are defined to be actual deaths minus projected deaths. Included in the projections, and therefore excluded from excess deaths, are some year-over-year increases in drug overdoses because they had been trending up in recent years, especially among working-age men, as illicit fentanyl diffused across the country.

I measure actual COVID-19 deaths and deaths from all causes from a Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) file for 2020 that begins in week five (the week beginning 26 January 2020) and aggregates to week, sex, and eleven age groups. To minimise underreporting, I only use the data in this file through week 40 (the week ending 3 October). In separate analyses, I also use medical examiner data from Cook County, Illinois, and San Diego County, California, which indicate deaths handled by those offices through September (Cook) or June 2020 (San Diego) and whether opioids were involved, and 12-month moving sums of drug overdoses reported by CDC (2020) through May 2020.

Mortality in 2020 significantly exceeds what would have occurred if official COVID-19 deaths were combined with a normal number of deaths from other causes. The demographic and time patterns of the non-COVID-19 excess deaths (NCEDs) point to deaths of despair rather than an undercount of COVID-19 deaths. The flow of NCEDs increased steadily from March to June and then plateaued. They were disproportionately experienced by working-age men, including men as young as 15 to 24. The chart below, reproduced from Mulligan (2020b), shows these results for men aged 15–54. To compare the weekly timing of their excess deaths to a weekly measure of economic conditions, Figure 1 also includes continued state unemployment claims scaled by a factor of 25,000, shown together with deaths.

Figure 1 2020 weekly excess deaths by cause (men aged 15–54)

NCEDs are negative for elderly people before March 2020, as they were during the same time of 2019, due to mild flu seasons. Offsetting these negative NCEDs are about 30,000 positive NCEDs for the rest of the year, after accounting for an estimated 17,000 undercount of COVID-19 deaths in March and April.

If deaths of despair were the only causes of death with significant net contributions to NCEDs after February, 30,000 NCEDs would represent at least a 45% increase in deaths of despair from 2018, which itself was high by historical standards. At the same time, I cannot rule out the possibility that other non-COVID-19 causes of death or even a bit of COVID-19 undercounting (beyond my estimates) are contributing to the NCED totals.

One federal and various local measures of mortality from opioid overdose also point to mortality rates during the pandemic that exceed those of late 2019 and early 2020, which themselves exceed the rates for 2017 and 2018. These sources are not precise enough to indicate whether rates of fatal opioid overdose during the pandemic were 10% above the rates from before, 60% above, or somewhere in between.

Presumably, social isolation is part of the mechanism that turns a pandemic into a wave of deaths of despair. However, the results so far do not say how many, if any, come from government stay-at-home orders versus various actions individual households and private businesses have taken to encourage social distancing. The data in this paper do not reveal how many deaths of despair are due to changes in 'demand' – such as changes in a person's income, outlook, or employment situation – versus changes in 'supply' – such as the production of safety and a changing composition of dangerous recreational substances.

See original post for references


Terry Flynn , January 29, 2021 at 10:50 am

I agree with Yves's counter-argument though I must declare an interest, having done work on quality of life for 20 years and hope I'm not breaking site rules (given recent reminders about what is and isn't ok).

The excess deaths (particularly among men) certainly to me seems more consistent with a collapse in one's ability to do the "valued things in life" and prioritise (to SOME extent) economic outcomes over relationships. After all, the old trope that men cope less well than women with retirement is found in happiness, quality of life and other such data.

Whether or not one agrees with me, surely a test as to whether the authors or Yves has the better explanation for the excess deaths would involve looking at well-being and mortality of men who retire earlier than they'd like vs that of those whose spouse died earlier than expected (including the proper control groups).

Bob Hertz , January 29, 2021 at 10:59 am

Thanks for posting.

It would be interesting to find out the following:

1. Did the states with the most generous unemployment benefits (like MA or NJ) have fewer deaths of despair that the states with much stingier benefits?

2. Did the states which imposed various shutdowns (mainly blue states) have more deaths of despair than the states which stayed open, like SD or Florida?

My guess is that deaths of despair are too idiosyncratic to blame on Covid lockdowns, but I am not an expert at all about this.

1 Kings , January 29, 2021 at 11:47 am

They could also look for the link with 0% interest on people's saved money and seeing no f..ing end in sight as the beatings continue. Going down to zero does not make the people jolly.

Wukchumni , January 29, 2021 at 11:02 am

It used to be only men who would upon meeting another man, where the first question is likely 'What do you do for a living?', but with the advent of as many women working, probably appropriate there too.

Nobody ever asks firstly what your hobby is or what sports team you follow, as the job query tells you everything about the person in one fell swoop.

There's a lot of people whose jobs were kind of everything in their lives, who had never gone without work ever, that are now chronically unemployed.

Tomonthebeach , January 29, 2021 at 12:24 pm

Anybody who has studied suicide readily appreciates that the act is impulsive. Case & Deaton are probably correct in the limited sense of economic despair derived from transitioning away from fossil fuels and industrial production to jobs requiring education unreachable to middle-aged coal miners. However, those deaths were likely derived from easy access to opioids. Most of those job losses led workers to make disability claims (achy backs) to extend income. The treatment for achy back is pain killers – oxy-something or other back then. Those same pills killed the pain of failure. Over time, addiction set in and, according to Koob & LeMoal's 2008 addiction model, increased consumption becomes necessary to stay pain-free. Physicians would surely not up dosages indefinitely and that put addicts on the street literally. All that took time to evolve. But times have changed. Using your family doc to get you high is no longer an option. So, Mulligan makes sense.

IM Doc , January 29, 2021 at 1:39 pm

As an internist with boots on the ground – I cannot express enough gratitude that these kinds of reports are getting out.

As busy as I have been this past year with COVID, the actual patients struggling with anxiety and depression have just dwarved the actual COVID numbers.

I cannot even begin to tell you the heartbreak of being a provider and having 20-40 year old young men in your office crying their eyes out. Lots of job loss, lots of income issues, lots of not being able to pay for things for your kids. All the while being completely unable to find other work or extra work. It is truly a nightmare for these people. And the attitude by so many of the lockdown Karens who seem to have no conception of how this is all going down for these young people has been deeply worrisome to me.
It is really not getting better – if anything slowly getting worse.

I would agree with the article above that loneliness is a problem – this is for the minority – mainly older people and should not be dismissed.

Loneliness is not the big problem however, in my experience. The big problem is the economic despair for our young people and the complete loss of socialization for our teenagers and kids.

And I have no clue what the answer is.

[Jan 28, 2021] Poor Lives Matter, But Less

Jan 26, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. Sundaram discusses how the obsession with metrics, a long standing favorite topic of ours (see Management's Great Addiction ) produces policies that give short shrift to the poor and poor countries. One of the big fallacies is treating money as the measure of the value and quality of life. For instance, reducing the instance of cancer is worth more in rich countries because their lives are valued more highly in these models. Similarly, they often fall back on unitary measures like lifespan, and so don't capture outcomes like diets heavy in low nutrient foods (think simple sugars) producing higher rates of non-communicable diseases and hence less healthy citizens

By Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a former economics professor, who was United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, and received the Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. Originally published at his website

Current development fads fetishize data, ostensibly for 'evidence-based policy-making': if not measured, it will not matter. So, forget about getting financial resources for your work, programmes and projects, no matter how beneficial, significant or desperately needed.

Measure for Measure

Agencies, funds, programmes and others lobby and fight for attention by showcasing their own policy agendas, ostensible achievements and potential. Many believe that the more indicators they get endorsed by the 'international community', the more financial support they can expect to secure.

Collecting enough national data to properly monitor progress on the Sustainable Development Goals is expensive. Data collection costs, typically borne by the countries themselves, have been estimated at minimally over three times total official development assistance (ODA).

Remember aid declined after the US-Soviet Cold War, and again following the 2008-9 global financial crisis. More recently, much more ODA is earmarked to 'support' private investments from donor countries.

With data demands growing, more pressure to measure has led to either over- or under-stating both problems and progress, sometimes with no dishonest intent. 'Errors' can easily be explained away as statistics from poor countries are notoriously unreliable.

Political, bureaucratic and funding considerations limit the willingness to admit that reported data are suspect for fear this may reflect poorly on those responsible. And once baseline statistics have been established, similar considerations compel subsequent 'consistency' or 'conformity' in reporting.

And when problems have to be acknowledged, 'double-speak' may be the result. Organisations may then start reporting some statistics to the public, with other data used, typically confidentially, for 'in-house' operational purposes.

Money, Money, Money

Economists generally prefer and even demand the use of money-metric measures. The rationale often is that no other meaningful measure is available. Many believe that showing ostensible costs and benefits is more likely to raise needed funding. Using either exchange rates or purchasing power parity (PPP) has been much debated. Some advocate even more convenient measures such as the prices of a standard McDonald's hamburger in different countries.

Money-metrics imply that estimated economic losses due to, say, smoking or non-communicable diseases ( NCD s), including obesity, tend to be far greater in richer countries, owing to the much higher incomes lost or foregone as well as costs incurred.

Development Discourse Changes

The four UN Development Decades after 1960 sought to accelerate economic progress and improve social wellbeing. Unsurprisingly, for decades, there have been various debates in the development discourse on measuring progress.

The rise of neoliberal economic thinking, claiming to free markets, has instead mainly strengthened and extended private property rights. Rejecting Keynesian and development economics, both associated with state intervention, neoliberalism's influence peaked around the turn of the century.

The so-called 'Washington Consensus ' of US federal institutions from the 1980s also involved the Bretton Woods institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, both headquartered in the American capital.

In 2000, the UN Secretariat drafted the Millennium Declaration. This, in turn, became the basis for the Millennium Development Goals which gave primacy to halving the number of poor. After all, who would object to reducing poverty. The poor were defined with reference to a poverty line, somewhat arbitrarily defined by the Bank.

Poverty Fetish

Presuming money income to be a universal yardstick of wellbeing, this poverty measure has been challenged on various grounds. Most in poorer developing countries sense that much nuance and variation are lost in such measures, not only for poverty, but also for, say, hunger .

Anyone familiar with the varying significance, over time, of cash incomes and prices in most countries will be uncomfortable with such singular measures. But they are nonetheless much publicised and have implied continued progress until the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rejection of such singular poverty measures has led to multi-dimensional poverty indicators, typically to meet 'basic needs'. While such 'dashboard' statistics offer more nuance, the continued desire for a single metric has led to the development, promotion and popularisation of composite indicators.

Worse, this has been typically accompanied by problematic ranking exercises using such composite indicators. Many have become obsessed with such ranking, instead of the underlying socio-economic processes and actual progress.

Blind Neglect

Improving such metrics has thus become an end in itself, with little debate over such one-dimensional means of measuring progress. The consequent 'tunnel vision' has meant ignoring other measures and indicators of wellbeing.

In recent decades, instead of subsistence agriculture, cash crops have been promoted. Yet, all too many children of cash-poor subsistence farmers are nutritionally better fed and healthier than the offspring of monetarily better off cash crop or 'commercial' farmers.

Meanwhile, as cash incomes rise, those with diet-related NCDs have been growing. While life expectancy has risen in much of the world, healthy life expectancy has progressed less as ill health increasingly haunts the sunset years of longer lives.

Be Careful What You Wish For

Meanwhile, as poor countries get limited help in their efforts to adjust to global warming, rich countries' focus on supporting mitigation efforts has included, inter alia, promoting 'no-till agriculture'. Thus attributing greenhouse gas emissions implies corresponding mitigation efforts via greater herbicide use .

Maximising carbon sequestration in unploughed farm topsoil requires more reliance on typically toxic, if not carcinogenic pesticides, especially herbicides. But addressing global warming should not be at the expense of sustainable agriculture.

Similarly, imposing global carbon taxation will raise the price of, and reduce access to electricity for the 'energy-poor', who comprise a fifth of the world's population. Rich countries subsidising affordable renewable energy for poor countries and people would resolve this dilemma.

Following the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, the UN proposed a Global Green New Deal (GGND) which included such cross-subsidisation by rich countries of sustainable development progress elsewhere.

The 2009 London G20 summit succeeded in raising more than the trillion dollars targeted. But the resources mainly went to strengthening the IMF, rather than for the GGND proposal. Thus, the finance fetish blocked a chance to revive world economic growth, with sustainable development gains for all.

Sound of the Suburbs , January 27, 2021 at 4:00 am

The globalists found just the economics they were looking for.
The USP of neoclassical economics – It concentrates wealth.
Let's use it for globalisation.

Mariner Eccles, FED chair 1934 – 48, observed what the capital accumulation of neoclassical economics did to the US economy in the 1920s.
"a giant suction pump had by 1929 to 1930 drawn into a few hands an increasing proportion of currently produced wealth. This served then as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied themselves the kind of effective demand for their products which would justify reinvestment of the capital accumulation in new plants. In consequence as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When the credit ran out, the game stopped"

This is what it's supposed to be like.
A few people have all the money and everyone else gets by on debt.

[Jan 20, 2021] When German scholars use the US populist government as a scapegoat, they overlooked the real question - without addressing the growing inequality in a Western system, will there be a second Trump in the future?

Notable quotes:
"... No examination of Neoliberalism's utter failure to deliver benefits to the masses while expropriating the wealth they produced for delivery to the class of Financial Parasites. At least the writers at Global Times get it right: ..."
Jan 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jan 19 2021 17:55 utc | 155

Global Times reports on an essay published by the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Check it out b or other German barflies) deeming " China's system, although 'authoritarian,' is 'very successful .'" [My Emphasis]

"It explained that as long as a society can reach the following goals - improving social welfare, increasing consumption choices, safeguarding domestic security, promoting education, and providing good healthcare - people will support and trust the system even if their influence in the decision-making process is limited. Such can 'in part ensure the legitimacy' of the social system....

"But the authors' introspection stopped from digging problems as they tried to shift blame to the rise of populism in the US."

No examination of Neoliberalism's utter failure to deliver benefits to the masses while expropriating the wealth they produced for delivery to the class of Financial Parasites. At least the writers at Global Times get it right:

"Populism, which helped crown Donald Trump, is being blamed today. Yet it all started from the widening gap between rich and poor. When German scholars use the US populist government as a scapegoat, they overlooked the real question - without addressing the growing inequality in a Western system, will there be a second Trump in the future?" [My Emphasis]

The fatal thrust is delivered in the two closing paragraphs but still omit naming the actual culprit, which is the ideology of Neoliberalism:

"The article raised the support and trust of people when it comes to judgment over the legitimacy of a society. In this regard, data speak louder than words. According to a poll conducted in 2020 by US-based global public relations and marketing consultancy firm Edelman, 95 percent of Chinese trust their government while the US government only saw an approval of 48 percent .

"What other excuses will the Western world have to question the legitimacy of the Chinese system? If the West, especially the US, the beacon of democracy, actually senses the crisis and does not wish to lose the competition, it should stop burying its head in the sand." [My Emphasis]

The problem isn't heads being buried in sand; rather, it's the design of the ideology to exploit and degrade a nation's masses so they're left with relatively nothing compared to the nation's Financial Parasites, all so the latter will always have their Free Unearned Lunch.


[Jan 19, 2021] DOJ Now Says There Was No Plot to Kill Elected Officials

Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
"... The New Yorker, ..."
"... The last scene in the video shows that the violent protest and takeover was about more than just the election. After trashing media equipment, one man says, "We gotta change it. They fucking abuse us. They laugh at us. They steal our money." ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
"... The New York Times. ..."
Jan 19, 2021 | consortiumnews.com

T he U.S. Justice Department has reversed an earlier assertion in court by prosecutors that protestors who broke into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 had plans to "capture and assassinate elected officials."

Instead, the head of the DOJ investigation into the Capitol siege admitted that federal prosecutors filed a misleading statement before a federal judge in Arizona that was intended to prevent Jacob Chansley, aka Jake Angeli, from being released on bail.

The DOJ said that though there were calls to kill officials during the two-hour takeover of the Capitol, no evidence has been discovered yet to prove any serious effort to carry out such a plan.

"There is no direct evidence at this point of kill-capture teams and assassination," Michael Sherwin, the Washington DC federal district attorney running the investigation of the attack, told reporters, Agence France-Presse reported. Sherwin said it may be "appropriate" to raise it at trial, but at this point it could "mislead the court."

The original story of intentions to kill officials has entered the media discourse and is likely to remain a Democratic talking point despite the DOJ reversal. The only major media outlets that reported the new story is NBC News and The Washington Post . It has not appeared in The New York Times or on CNN's website, for instance.

Having saturated the public with days of lurid tales of intentions to hang Vice President Mike Pence and abduct House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, it will be hard to shake such beliefs without reporting the DOJ's reversal with the same intensity.

The original statement filed in court said: "Strong evidence, including Chansley's own words and actions at the Capitol, supports that the intent of the Capitol rioters was to capture and assassinate elected officials of the United States government."

There has been no suggestion that the prosecutors in Arizona who made the false claim are being investigated for misleading the court.

The 'Coup'

Riot police at Capitol, Jan. 21, 2017 for Trump's inauguration. (Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons)

The admission dramatically changes the story, repeated as Democratic Party talking points, and undermines the unquestioned certainty that what took place was an attempted coup against the United States government. The new DOJ stance might also weaken efforts to charge Capitol rioters and intruders with "seditious conspiracy" charges for allegedly attempting to overthrow the government.

Consortium News has been among the few media outlets to question the coup narrative from the start.

Even if there were such murderous intentions it would not have amounted to a coup attempt without the backing of the military or paramilitaries, and without taking over the airport and radio and TV stations. These days it would probably mean taking over social media companies too. The U.S. government and media structures are vaster and more powerful than just the legislature.

Even if the protestors had intended and succeeded in hanging Vice President Mike Pence (presuming the gallows erected outside the Capitol was sturdy enough), and even if they had taken Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and others hostage would Donald Trump have said, "Okay, they didn't certify Biden, I'm still president!"?

No branch of government would have supported Trump in that case and the surviving members of Congress would have met elsewhere to certify Joe Biden as president.

New Video Inside Capitol

Chansley, the far-right, bare-chested activist with fur headdress and Viking horns, became the symbol of the brief takeover of the Capitol by Trump supporters. He was arrested and faces a six-count federal indictment, charged with:

Civil disorder Obstruction of an official proceeding Entering and remaining in a restricted building Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building Violent entry and disorderly conduct in a Capitol building Parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building

He is not charged with insurrection or sedition to overthrow the government.

Jacob Chandsley/ Qananon Shaman. (TheUnseen011101/Wikimedia Commons)

In a new video released on Sunday by The New Yorker, Chansley is seen grunting primordial chants while playing to a photographer a few feet in front of him in a Senate balcony. Later he seats himself in Pence's Senate chair.

After a single Capitol police officer pleads with the intruders to leave, Chansley leads the group in prayer and then files out with the others, but not before scrawling on a piece of paper on Pence's desk: "It's only a matter of time, justice is coming."

Before Chansley sat in it, the video shows one of the protest leaders, dressed in military gear, demanding that the others not occupy the vice president's chair. He says: "It's not our chair. I love you brothers, but we cannot be disrespectful. It's a PR war, okay? You have to understand it's an IO war. We can't lose the IO war. We're better than that. It's an Information Operation."

The video shows a couple of dozen protestors rifling through senators' desks looking for, in the words of one, "something we can fucking use against these scumbags" and taking photos of documents. At one point they thought they found evidence in Senator Ted Cruz's desk that he was going to betray them on certification, but read further and realized he would not.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1350927254877040644&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2021%2F01%2F18%2Fdoj-now-says-there-was-no-plot-to-kill-elected-officials%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

The film is interspersed with very violent scenes of police in riot gear trying to prevent protestors from entering the Capitol.

The last scene in the video shows that the violent protest and takeover was about more than just the election. After trashing media equipment, one man says, "We gotta change it. They fucking abuse us. They laugh at us. They steal our money."

As journalist Chris Hedges said last Thursday, one can decry their politics, the racism among many, and their tactics, but their pain is real in a system that has shrunk the middle class and debased workers.

What happened at the Capitol cannot be condoned. But unless Congress defies its oligarchic backers and serves the interests of average Americans, who also fund them, a real insurrection may be inevitable. Instead of the reforms to defuse that and bring more economic justice, we are witnessing a crackdown that will only further inflame the country.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former UN correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional career as a stringer for The New York Times. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .


rosemerry , January 18, 2021 at 13:15

It is interesting that both sides of the House and Senate manage almost all the time to arrange that other countries they have decided are enemies or rivals have real "coups" and takeovers helped by the mighty US . Iraq, Syria,Libya,Venezuela are just a few of the recent examples, but they are not "USA USA" so they do not count.

rosemerry , January 18, 2021 at 13:07

No surprise that the "paper of record" NYT did not bother to mention this legal angle. The descriptions I have seen in European papers and in the Sycophant aka the Guardian hardly vary at all and scream the alleged danger to the poor Congress members.

Anne , January 18, 2021 at 14:25

Nor NPR .Indeed they didn't bother to mention the 1954 shootings in the US Capitol (House) until AFTER the BBC World Service had and then a week later


Tim S.
, January 18, 2021 at 12:54

Anyone who has watched the video filmed by the arch-instigator's would-be-journalist sidekick can see for themselves that these were not even serious rioters, much less coup plotters, who were surprised as everybody else about being allowed into the Capitol building.
And despite some toy guns and one man with the slogan on the back of his jacket "God, guns, and Trump), it is obvious from their panicky reactions when a woman was killed that they felt deep down that this was all fun and games. She was trying to break down an interior door, starting with the window, but when an agent inside pointed a pistol at her, she ignored it. When he finally shot her, they all start yelling "She's been shot!" and react rather like a bunch of bystanders.

Does that sound like a gang planning to kill some Congressmen and taken others hostage?

Jonny James , January 18, 2021 at 11:48

Yes, once again the mainstream narrative stinks, and the fresh air is here on CN. That's why we don't breathe the miasma of the corporate media.

The Divide and Rule strategies of the ruling classes are working nicely. We can't have the "99%" get together to work against "the interests of Goldman Sachs" (Hedges). That is not allowed. The rub is that both the so-called right and so-called left work for the interests of Goldman Sachs.

I remember very clearly how brutally the peaceful Occupy protests were smashed. The violent cops used armored vehicles and other military equipment, massive amounts of tear gas, flash-bang grenades, drones, surveillance etc. etc. , Scott Horton was nearly killed by a tear-gas canister fired directly at his head. You are not allowed to work against the interests of the real owners of this country. As George Carlin once said, "they own the f-in place".


Anne
, January 18, 2021 at 14:35

I have yet to hear NPR mention anything about the woman who was shot dead (no weapon on her) let alone who shot and killed her that she was ex-mil (thus trained to invade, destroy, devastate, slaughter peoples, cultures, societies far, far, from these shores what you train for and then deploy will eventually come back home and bite

John Drake , January 18, 2021 at 13:37

Agreed, I find the minimizing of this event truly putrid. What is it about an enraged crowd, chanting "stop the steal" breaking into a building full of legislators , assaulting, injuring police and scaring the ..t out of said elected legislators that is not an attempt to overthrow, interfere, interrupt, prevent a key governmental process? This a governmental process whose outcome they wanted to alter keeping the Orange Menace in power. A flight of ridiculous fancy, no doubt, but still attitude, behavior and intent count.

Just because it doesn't rise to the level of well known coups orchestrated by professionals (CIA): Honduras, Guatemala, Chile, Iran and hundreds more; doesn't mean it doesn't belong in the same family of nasty socio/political events. Can we compromise and call it a mini attempted coup or maybe mini coup-lite? Anyway the perpetrators and their enablers need to major consequences; especially those officials that violated their oath of office.

[Jan 19, 2021] Few sights in Washington are more familiar than an intellectual urging "total war" from the safety of the keyboard

Highly recommended!
In a way neocon jingoism serve as a smoke scree to sitrct "depolables" from the decline of the standard of living under neoliberalism.
Jan 19, 2021 | www.nybooks.com

Orthodoxy of the Elites - by Jackson Lears - The New York Review of Books

By 2016 the concept of "liberal democracy," once bright with promise, had dulled into a neoliberal politics that was neither liberal nor democratic. The Democratic Party's turn toward market-driven policies, the bipartisan dismantling of the public sphere, the inflight marriage of Wall Street and Silicon Valley in the cockpit of globalization -- these interventions constituted the long con of neoliberal governance, which enriched a small minority of Americans while ravaging most of the rest.

Jackson Lears is Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers, Editor in Chief of Raritan, and the author of ­Rebirth of a Nation: The Making of Modern America, 1877–1920, among other books. (January 2021)

[Jan 19, 2021] Orthodoxy of the neoliberal Elites by Jackson Lears

Jan 19, 2021 | www.nybooks.com

Democracy is in trouble, and everyone is casting about for someone to blame. Donald Trump's grotesque incapacity to govern has made him an easy target, but the difficulties with democracy are subtler, wider, and deeper. One clue to their complexity is a blog post that appeared on the liberal website Daily Kos a month after Trump's election in 2016. "Be Happy for Coal Miners Losing Their Health Insurance," the headline blared. "They're Getting Exactly What They Voted For."

The dismissal is curt and callous: clearly, Trump's victory provoked some of his opponents to double down on their hostility toward his supporters. But the blog post also shows -- more broadly -- that being a liberal Democrat no longer means what it once meant. Sympathy for the working class has, for many, curdled into contempt. By 2016 the concept of "liberal democracy," once bright with promise, had dulled into a neoliberal politics that was neither liberal nor democratic. The Democratic Party's turn toward market-driven policies, the bipartisan dismantling of the public sphere, the inflight marriage of Wall Street and Silicon Valley in the cockpit of globalization -- these interventions constituted the long con of neoliberal governance, which enriched a small minority of Americans while ravaging most of the rest.

In 2020 the Democrats made little attempt to distance themselves from that calamitous inheritance. As early as 2019, Joe Biden himself made clear to the donor class that "nothing would fundamentally change" if he were elected and reassured the medical-industrial complex by dismissing any discussion of single-payer health care. But he has made no substantial attempt to reassure the millions of Americans who have lost jobs or homes or health care in recent months. One might never have known, by following his campaign, that the US was facing the most serious and protracted economic depression since the 1930s. So it should come as no surprise that Trump maintained his support among rural and less educated voters and even improved it among African-Americans and Latinos. Despite Trump's bungling, many ordinary Americans may have sensed indifference if not outright hostility emanating toward them from his Democratic opponents. And they would not have been mistaken. The Democratic Party leadership has become estranged from its historic base.

The spectacle of liberals jeering at coal miners reveals seismic changes in our larger public discourse. The miners were "getting exactly what they voted for" -- exactly what they deserved, in other words. The belief that people get what they deserve is rooted in the secular individualist outlook that has legitimated inequality in the United States for centuries, ever since the Protestant ethic began turning into the spirit of capitalism. Yet visions of a nation of autonomous strivers always coexisted with older ideals of community and solidarity -- and those ideals resurfaced in the Great Depression to become the basis, however limited and imperfect, of midcentury social democracy. During the last four decades, the autonomous striving self has returned to the center of the success ethic, but featured in a new narrative that has focused less on plodding diligence and more on talent, brains, and credentialed expertise.


[Jan 14, 2021] Biden already reneged on $2K stimulus promise

What you can expect from staunch neoliberal? Creepy Joe fought to impoverish the US workers all his adult life.
Jan 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Jan 14 2021 21:07 utc | 26

Biden, Ds, reneging on $2K stimulus promise . Contortionist language is already being employed by Biden even before he becomes POTUS, which should surprise nobody, and provides plenty of I told ya so for Red America.

As I previously calculated, much more than $2K is needed to stave off very dire economic hardship and further deepening of Great Depression 2.0. But for any stimulus to be effective for small and medium businesses, operating restrictions related to the pandemic need to be greatly eased; and even then, it's projected that 1/3 of businesses already closed will remain closed regardless. That reality constitutes a huge blow for small businesses were seen by many as a way out of the never ending downsizing and offshoring of decent paying jobs.

[Jan 04, 2021] Tell me a better term than "globalist" for nationals who are titans of industry who betray their fellow nationals in the labor force by looking outside their own nation?

Jan 04, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bluedotterel , Jan 4 2021 6:04 utc | 78

Posted by: Lemming | Jan 4 2021 5:47 utc | 77

The current term "globalization" was originated by Ted Levitt in an article in the Harvard Business Review in the 80s and taken up by the Reaganites to push for offshoring of factories to countries with fewer workers rights and environmental concerns. He edited the magazine and was a professor at Harvard Business School. Those "weirdos" who championed the term were the corporate and financial behemoths that preferred it as a euphemism for "economic imperialism"


Lemming , Jan 4 2021 5:47 utc | 77

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 4 2021 1:07 utc | 56

Our nation, right now, is on the cusp of a great earthquake which will change its arrangement so that the interior will not be beholden to the coastal elites much longer, who have themselves thrown off the mantle of nationhood in favor of the globalist paradigm which values nihilistic individualism over all.

So, in short, you're describing capitalism. A capitalist economy favors individualism, profits over morality, and is mostly centered around the idea of private property as described by John Locke. This worked wonders in the vast uncharted territories of America in the 18th and 19th century, when the population of the United States was below 20 million and they needed to compete, FAST, against agressive european civilizations who looked at them with envy.

Now that they are 332 millions and counting, that their natural resources are slowly depleting and that other civilizations have adapted to the previously unknown phenomenon of the American empire, USans are faced with a crisis in all sectors, including faith. How come a system that worked so well for you these past 300 years suddenly fails? well, not suddenly, but realizing that took a while.

Oh, I know!! It must be because of all those treacherous businessmen who traded their souls and their country for a quick buck! but we need to condemn them without condemning the whole system, and saying "capitalism sucks" makes us sound like Ivan the Red Commie. What a pickle. Let's call them "globalists"! so we can rally the nationalists as a bonus and say it's all because of evil foreigners.

On certain sites, it goes as far as calling "globalists" ... communists. Or Chinese. Or Russian. Sure, why not, everyone needs their Emmanuel Goldstein.

"Globalism" is a funny name some weirdos invented since the first Wall Street crashes happened to justify the worst excesses of the current capitalist economic system without pointing the finger at the real culprits. I say it's funny because it looks like nationalist clickbait for the 2 minutes of hate everyone in the West is prescribed each day in this hyper-social Internet.

Sad fact is, "globalists" are run-of-the-mill bosses who decided it was better for their end-of-year bonuses if they outsourced some or all of their production to cheap chinese companies, and not have to pay US salaries anymore. That's not globalist, that's called looking to make a profit in the short term.

Formerly T-Bear , Jan 4 2021 7:47 utc | 96

@ NemesisCalling | Jan 4 2021 6:34 utc | 82

Tell me a better term than "globalist" for nationals who are titans of industry who betray their fellow nationals in the labor force by looking outside their own nation?

A term of rather recent vintage is Labour arbitrage that is substituting less costly labour for higher costing labour. The driving motive for all offshoring or externalising labour resources from the home marketplace. Walmart made billions doing this as does Amazon.

Fnord13 , Jan 4 2021 8:44 utc | 100

@82 and @98 Nemesis Calling and Lemming

I agree with Lemming's position on this. And I think Nemesis Calling is wrong about what the term "Globalist" implies. If a "nationalist" is someone who's loyal to a nation, then isn't a "globalist" someone who is loyal to the whole globe? Humanity today has many massive problems that are extremely difficult and perhaps impossible to deal with on a purely national basis. Nuclear weapons, global climate change, pandemic diseases, the potential threats and benefits of real artificial intelligence, the extinction of so many species, controlling multinational corporations, the threat of mass starvation, global inequality... these are all problems which seem to many people to need the whole human species, or the whole globe, working together to address them.

I think the major reason why many capitalists started calling themselves "globalists" back in the 1980's was because they saw this was an idea which was becoming increasingly popular, and they wanted to try and coopt it for their own benefit.

The trouble was that the CEO's who decided it would be personally profitable for them to ship their companies jobs to low wage countries were not "real" globalists. If they had really understood what the decisions they were making would do to their countries, or even to the corporations they were responsible to their shareholders for managing, they might be accused of being frauds or even traitors. But they probably didn't understand, so it's probably more accurate to just call them parts of a greedy and shortsighted elite, which was far too arrogant to realize how countries like China would be able to exploit their shortsighted folly. They thought they were being so clever about their plans to exploit the Chinese. But the irony is that a major reason why they underestimated the Chinese is that they didn't understand that the fact that the Chinese were Marxists meant that the Chinese had a different and in some ways better understanding of how Capitalism worked than they did. They never dreamed that the Chinese would be able to make Lenin's prediction that capitalists would sell them the rope they needed to hang capitalism come true.

[Jan 02, 2021] Let's talk about neoliberalism some more by Cassiodorus

Notable quotes:
"... @magiamma ..."
"... @Cassiodorus ..."
Jan 02, 2021 | caucus99percent.com

..The only upshot of the Larry Summers interview is likely to be that maybe a few people will think that Joe Biden has bad people advising him, and the vast majority will either dislike Joe because he sucks or because they're Trumpies in their little faux rebellion or they will believe everything MSNBC et al. tell them about Joe Biden (and thus by extension they'll believe every word of Summers).

Here's the important lesson, the one that SHOULD be learned: Summers is a NEOLIBERAL. By this is meant that he is one of that group that believes that the proper role of government is to create and enforce markets and that ideally all functions of everyone's lives would be market functions.

The ultimate principle of neoliberalism, as pointed out in Chapter 2 of Kees van der Pijl's A Survey of Global Political Economy, is investor "freedom." This principle comes up on page 46 in the author's discussion of "microeconomics and rational choice theory." After having gone over the history of mainstream ("marginalist") economics as an "axiomatic" (which really means faith-based -- if you agree with its principles you might find it interesting) discipline, van der Pijl gets to neoliberalism. Here's what he says:

Importantly, the neoliberals no longer confine their prescriptions to the economy. They want economic rationality to be applied to all aspects of society; no organ of the social body may be allowed to function according to other principles than that of free choice by rational, self-interested individuals.

Ultimately, as van der Pijl notes in his discussion of Friedrich von Hayek (1899-1992), the standard-bearer of neoliberalism, neoliberalism is committed to investor freedom in all spheres of life. This is on page 48:

The core concept of neoliberalism is the notion of 'competitively determined freedom'. This concept of freedom is defined from the principle of privately disposable property of the means of production, secured by political institutions ensuring 'law and order'. Hayek later specified law and order as the foundations of private property as such, as freedom of contract and the coercive upholding of contracts (quoted in Walpen, 2004: 114-5).

Thus, if Larry Summers believes in this insane pile of twaddle, why would he want the government to send out $2000 checks? That wouldn't promote investor freedom.

(The further catch, of course, is that EVERYONE in DC, in Wall Street, and throughout the ruling elites of the world, believes in this insane pile of twaddle, and they've believed it for forty years now. So, in the same way in which Donald Trump was not an exceptional case responsible for the general insanity of last year's politics, Larry Summers is also not an exceptional case responsible for why you aren't getting $2,000 checks.)


The day after Christmas, the New York Times online ran a piece on the effects of climate change( "The Darkest Timeline," by Jonah Engel Bromwich ). It was basically about another paper, called "Deep Adaptation," which supposedly changed the course of a lot of people's lives. Bromwich says about the paper that:

The paper's central thought is that we must accept that nothing can reverse humanity's fate and we must adapt accordingly. And the paper's bleak, vivid details -- emphasizing that the end is truly nigh, and that it will be gruesome -- clearly resonated.

"When I say starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war, I mean in your own life," wrote the author, Jem Bendell. "With the power down, soon you wouldn't have water coming out of your tap. You will depend on your neighbors for food and some warmth. You will become malnourished. You won't know whether to stay or go. You will fear being violently killed before starving to death."

But you don't really adapt to climate change doom. You commit suicide in advance of the event. And it's hard to tell why a scientific paper, and not, say, the story of Paradise, California , would motivate people to say, geez, there isn't much point in living in a doomed society, so let's plan in advance. Or here's an alternative path: when confronted with the doom of the human race and of you, personally, you choose to believe in a pile of insane twaddle, and you say: billions for the rich , $600 for a few of the rest. Isn't that what Congress is doing now? To be sure, this is a sort of side-adventure, meant to contextualize neoliberals as the sort of people who say "oh boy! Profit!" when confronted with disastrous reality.


At any rate, neoliberalism. There are a bunch of books about neoliberalism. Probably the best place to start is with Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine , published in 2007. Klein makes clear what the enormous human costs are of neoliberal policy. The neoliberal method, Klein describes, is simple:

That is how the shock doctrine works: the original disaster – the coup, the terrorist attack, the market meltdown, the war, the tsunami, the hurricane – puts the entire population into a state of collective shock. The falling bombs, the bursts of terror, the pounding winds serve to soften up whole societies much as the blaring music and blows in the torture cells soften up prisoners. Like the terrorized prisoner who gives up the names of comrades and renounces his faith, shocked societies often give up things they would otherwise fiercely protect. (17)

It's your basic imperialism. David Harvey calls it "accumulation by dispossession"; his book, A Brief History of Neoliberalism , offers a good summary. I love the understatement at the beginning of the Google Books synopsis (linked):

Neoliberalism - the doctrine that market exchange is an ethic in itself, capable of acting as a guide for all human action - has become dominant in both thought and practice throughout much of the world since 1970 or so. Its spread has depended upon a reconstitution of state powers such that privatization, finance, and market processes are emphasized. State interventions in the economy are minimized, while the obligations of the state to provide for the welfare of its citizens are diminished.

"... has become dominant in both thought and practice throughout much of the world..." Yeah. That's like saying that European countries conquered much of Africa between 1870 and 1914. Uh-huh. It's good to appear innocuous when writing for publication!

Also meaningful are the writings of the French team of Gerard Dumenil and Dominique Levy. They've written a lot on the topic; the place to start would be Capital Resurgent . I haven't read this book in awhile. If I recall correctly, Dumenil and Levy argue that neoliberalism was a conscious choice of the elites, and that they could have chosen otherwise. But they didn't, and so here we are.

Those with an appetite for biting prose might enjoy Philip Mirowski's Never Let a Serious Crisis Go To Waste . Mirowski wants to chastise everyone -- the neoliberals for their "logic" (beautifully dissected), everyone else for misrecognizing the neoliberals and for pronouncing neoliberalism to be "dead" when in fact it's more dominant than ever.

There's an interesting foreign-policy take on neoliberalism in Kees van der Pijl's Global Rivalries from the Cold War to Iraq . Ostensibly a history of foreign relations, van der Pijl found himself obliged to discuss the history of neoliberalism because the history of foreign relations in the period after 1980 IS the history of neoliberalism.

Richard Cockett's Thinking the Unthinkable is a good early history of neoliberalism, from before the first meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society to its global triumph with Reagan and Thatcher.


All that having been said, it's amazing to find so many people online who think that "neoliberalism" is some esoteric phenomenon, or neoliberals who don't think they're neoliberals, or people who think there's no such thing as neoliberalism. You bring up neoliberalism and they say things like "I don't like labels." If you were to call a tree "green," would the tree respond by saying "I don't like labels"? We choose names for things because otherwise we wouldn't be able to talk about them in any serious sense.

Let's be clear. Today, "liberalism" might be this warm, fuzzy belief that government ought to give ordinary people a thing or two in addition to its usual duties of "national defense" (under the neoliberal regime this means wars for corporate profit) and "economic policy" (another giveaway to the rich). That's what the term "liberalism" came to mean in the US in the period after World War II. There's a longer and deeper meaning for the term "liberalism," and in that meaning it means what Adam Smith advocated, laissez-faire capitalism. The "neo" in "neoliberalism," to complete the definition, defines a form of liberalism in which it is viewed, by the neoliberals, as the duty of government to simulate laissez-faire capitalism by setting up markets and requiring people to participate in them. That's what neoliberalism is; that explains its NAME.

The classic neoliberal policy was the original "marketplace" function of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA was created to keep the insurance companies from pricing their product out of the market; the ACA obliged people to purchase health insurance (which, significantly, they still wouldn't be able to use in many ways) by setting up a "mandate penalty" in which non-purchasers would have to pay more in income taxes.

War for profit is a neoliberal initiative. Since the average consumer cannot purchase a war, the neoliberal government will step in to insure that there remains a market for war. Typically the wars serve to create enemies, which then sustain the war. Ultimately, what you see with neoliberal war is phenomena such as what was reported in Syria in 2016, in which militias funded by the CIA fought those funded by the Pentagon. It's fine as long as it moves product.

There shouldn't be any confusion, then, about neoliberalism as a ruling-class ideology. It has a well-defined meaning and plenty of examples to back up the notion that neoliberalism is a specific notion with specific beliefs, specific believers, specific policies, and a specific history.

It's your turn.

[Dec 29, 2020] Neoliberal Champion Larry Summers Opens Mouth, Inserts Both Feet by Matt Taibbi

How you can overheat economy that is in permanent stagnation mode (secular stagnation)? This is nonsense. What Larry is actually afraid of but can't say is the staut of the dollar the world reserve currency.
You can almost physically sense the level of hate toward "neoliberal scum" in comments below
Dec 29, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Matt Taibbi via TK News

Lawrence Summers, the former Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton, director of the National Economic Council under Barack Obama, president of Harvard, and Chief Economist at the World Bank, wrote a post-Christmas editorial for Bloomberg entitled, " Trump's $2000 Stimulus Checks are a Big Mistake ." It's a classic:

Some argue that while $2,000 checks may not be optimal support for the post-Covid economy, taking stimulus from $600 to $2,000 is better than nothing. They need to ask themselves whether they would favor $5,000, or $10,000 -- or more. There must be a limiting principle.

The genesis of this Summers article is a perfect tale in microcosm about how America's intellectual elite manages to lose elections to people like Donald Trump. It's a two-step error. First, they put people like Summers in charge of economic policies. Then, they let them talk in public.

Summers the day before Christmas appeared on Bloomberg to offer his initial thoughts on why $2000 checks must be bad: he looked at which politicians were supporting the plan, and worked backward. "When I see a coalition of Josh Hawley, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump getting behind an idea, I think that's time to run for cover," he said, adding: "When you see the two extremes agreeing, you can almost be certain that something crazy is in the air."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1342173060955332609&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fneoliberal-champion-larry-summers-opens-mouth-inserts-both-feet-taibbi&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

After delivering that cheery message, Summers got feces-pelted on the Internet:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1342264622833790976&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fneoliberal-champion-larry-summers-opens-mouth-inserts-both-feet-taibbi&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1342248609996107776&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fneoliberal-champion-larry-summers-opens-mouth-inserts-both-feet-taibbi&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=830

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-3&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1342229765483331585&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fneoliberal-champion-larry-summers-opens-mouth-inserts-both-feet-taibbi&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Seeing that his comments "lit up the Twittersphere," Summers then sat down to compose an article doubling down on his reasoning. Essentially, he argued that from an econometric point of view, we're already overdoing it on the help front. If you were under the impression that huge numbers of people are living off meals from food banks and/or are at risk in an eviction crisis , you were wrong.

Noting that "total employee compensation" is "only running about $30 billion per month behind the Covid baseline," he insisted that $200 billion more in tax rebates per month over the next quarter would "equal an additional seven times the loss of household wage and salary income over the next quarter."

He then showed a graph explaining that "because of the legislation passed in 2020, total household income has exceeded normal levels relative to the economy's potential more or less since the pandemic began." The good news, as a result, is that "the existing stimulus bill is sufficient to elevate household income relative to the economy's potential to abnormally high levels -- unheard of during an economic downturn."

The whole piece reads like an extended New Yorker cartoon, in which an evictee with empty pockets is about to dive after a rotten apple core in a dumpster, only to be blocked by a cauldron-bellied Harvard economist in a $3000 Zegna suit. Caption: " Actually, total household income relative to the economy's potential sits at abnormally high levels ."

There are of course different positions one could take on the question of stimulus checks, but the issue with people like Summers is the utter predictability of their stances. Summers belongs to a club of neoliberal thinkers who've dominated American policy for decades. From Bob Rubin to Tim Geithner to Jason Furman to Michael Froman and beyond, the people one friend jokingly refers to as the "Rubino Crime Family" are all basically the same person, affectless technocrats who play up reputations as giant-brained intellectuals -- I always imagine them with bulbous Alien Nation heads -- while reveling in cold, hard truths about the limits of government assistance.

Read the rest here .


Lordflin 3 hours ago

The people are seen as cattle...

And this by an inbred group of gluttons who couldn't survive without the life they drain from others...

yerfej 3 hours ago remove link

That is the key "the life they drain from others". I have no issue with those who work their aysses off keeping their just rewards, but this kind of insider filth needs a lamppost.

two hoots 1 hour ago

Summers and those of his Jabba class know that uncontrolled Congressional giving could cause collateral damage to their lifestyles. So does every comfortable class below them. It all depends where you are positioned. Here on ZH i find people playing all sides of the class game to whatever suits their current mood of us/them others. The more an event can affect us directly determines where we direct our dislikes...up or down...inconsistently.

Doom Porn Star 1 hour ago

ALL politicians and 'public servants' who advocateor demand lockdowns and restrictions should cede ALL pay, benefits and accrual of all retirement or other benefits for the duration of ANY lockdown or restriction of ANY kind.

Those who advocate or demand sacrificed should make first, fullest largest sacrifices.

The whole lot of fascist 'some animals are better than others' lot should be thrown in gitmo or equivalent.

The_Dude 3 hours ago (Edited)

Study what Summer's and his (((ilk))) did to pillage post - Soviet Russia and you will understand who is untouchable in this society... And why in more sophisticated societies, they were always kept at the periphery where they couldn't harm others.

https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/harvard-boys-do-russia/

Doom Porn Star 3 hours ago

Larry 'Dinner with Epstein' Summers has put more than his foot in his mouth.

BlueLightning 3 hours ago

O boy he's scared now

sgt_doom 2 hours ago (Edited)

Isn't Larry Summers the chief poster boy of the Global Banking Cartel ever since he inserted the credit derivatives clause in the WTO's Financial Services Agreement*** making it acceptable legal tender?

Believe that was during the Clinton Administration.

Is Larry still a lobbyist for the cental bankers? Oh yes, his photo is still there:

https://group30.org/members

***[Credit to Greg Palast for uncovering this item.]

Arising 2.0 2 hours ago (Edited)

Larry is a cabal member who has always been out of touch with the 'silly goy'.

iambrambles 3 hours ago

The real question is why trillions to foreign govs and corporations.

$2000/American is chump change and isnt what anyone should be focusing on.

America never had the right fiscal priorities, people tend to forget the brilliance of the US was with the constitution that enabled more freedoms than before.

But fiscally, America was always doomed after the absolution of the gold standard and the creation of the federal reserve which allowed for endless government largesse.

ElTerco 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

"negative consequences of aid to the less fortunate..."

Yet, no mention from Larry of negative consequences of aid to the more fortunate, which, so far this year, has been around 40x as much money.

ElTerco 2 hours ago (Edited)

The $10+ trillion that has been pumped into the US economy so far has been a firehose to top earners, while people who lost their jobs got a trickle of runoff as it worked its way down the street through a very long, crap filled gutter.

Funny how Summers never mentioned *that*.

Max21c 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

"When I see a coalition of Josh Hawley, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump getting behind an idea, I think that's time to run for cover," he said, adding: "When you see the two extremes agreeing, you can almost be certain that something crazy is in the air."

Thus is just more elitist nonsense from the silly conventional wisdom of Washingtonians, elites, and the Democratic Party establishment. Bernie Sanders was a solid and strong and energetic candidate and he could have had a chance of beating Trump in a free & fair election had the Party nomination not been fixed and stolen from him by elites and their puppet press smear campaigns.

Democrats made a mistake in attacking and undermining Bernie Sanders. Since much of what has transpired this past year has been massive increases in domestic spending and some social spending. Bernie Sanders could have beat Trump--fair and square--whereas the Crats had to cheat with Biden and steal the election. Had the Democratic Party not stolen the election from Sanders it likely Sanders would have had a significant opportunity to beat Trump. Since Sanders was positioned right/correctly to be competitive in contrast and have some edge with a significant part of the public on peace, foreign policy, domestic policy, and social spending agendas. Would have been a tight race with Sanders versus Trump instead of the fraud and fraudulent election of 2020. Definitely would have been a tossup on balance. Would have been even harder if Sanders had teamed with Tulsi Gabbard as they would have had a serious edge in foreign policy. But both Sanders and Gabbard are official pariahs and lepers in the Democratic Party and its establishment as well as in the Washington establishment. Sanders had the issues and would have had the momentum to give Trump a serious run for the money had he not be forced aside in favor of the establishment candidate in a series of rigged primaries and media smear campaigns and other subterfuge & Machavellian intrigues.

Max21c 1 hour ago (Edited)

I don't have issue with the size of company but do not like state sponsored industry whereby the state security apparatus heavily favors state industries and state sponsored industries--and--the secret police community and intelligence community and political class ensure that the statals/SEO and state backed companies are protected by the state security apparatus... The government doesn't have any business being used by Washingtonians, JudeoWASP elites, Ivy Leaguers and their secret police to using military warmaking powers in the secret police and intelligence community to rob one and redistribute back to state industries and state sponsored industries and favor elites and their firms using secret police powers... That's what both the Bolsheviks and Nazis did... It's the banana republoc and police state and tyranny...

The socialism Bernie was talking about seemed more his advocating for increases in social spending. The socialism Washington currently practices both openly and secretively & covertly and illegally through abuses of secret police powers and state secrecy is much more dangerous than what Bernie was advocating. The current socialist system as practiced by Washingtonians and their secret police does much more damage to the country. The police state socialism is much worse than the social spending games.

Bay Area Guy 2 hours ago remove link

LOL. How do you overheat a dead economy? No real growth (inflation adjusted) in at least 20 years; real unemployment at least 12.5% and probably north of 20%; this DESPITE interest rates at all time lows and likely to go negative. And this fool is talking about overheating the economy.

Max21c 2 hours ago remove link

If they can handout hundreds of billions to businesses under a questionable government to business subsidy program that has been previously fraught with fraud, inefficiencies in timeliness & appropriateness and geographical distribution. Also, such government to biz programs which shall likely fail to serve both business and the economy effectively both by practice and natural elements: such as some businesses being located in areas with a more sophisticated biz culture; and set of skills; as well as access to better educated & possibly more skillful entrepreneurs and cultures thereof; as well as some firms being simply better positioned; as well as some firms being more program wise or welfare wise; and still other firms being better tuned in or connected to the political system and or its bureaucracy. Given the afore situation the money is better spent on a basis of widely scattered and unpredictable et uncontrollable and thus not as apt to manipulation as well as a direct to households holding the advantage of timeliness.

About 4k is about right for the floor/minimum on the basis of 2k in the form of a stimulus and another matching 2k+ coming from forwarded tax rebates for future years which can be paid back through payroll deductions or which can be paid back similar to installment loans monthly or quarterly.

2k shall suffice in the near term as to stimulating consumer spending, consumer confidence, business confidence, sales & revenues & profits or the improvement in the outlook of a future return to profitability and the confidence & risks taking that comes with firms seeking current and future profits and potentially making investments and pursuing loans and the potential for an earlier uptick in the credit cycle as banks may change their outlook on lending sooner than they might otherwise.

[Dec 20, 2020] The American ruling class has failed on pretty much every issue of significance for the past several decades

Neoliberals as an occupying force for the country
Notable quotes:
"... The bottom line is the true enemies of the American people are no foreign nation or adversary---the true enemy of the American people are the people who control America. ..."
"... This way of thinking points to a dilemma for the American ruling class. Contrary to a lot of the rhetoric you hear, much of the American ruling class, including the "deep state" is actually quite anti-China. To fully account for this would take longer than I have here. But the nutshell intuitive explanation is that the ruling class, particularly Wall Street, was happy for the past several decades to enrich both themselves and China by destroying the American working class with policies such as "free-trade" and outsourcing. But in many ways the milk from that teat is no more, and now you have an American ruling class much more concerned about protecting their loot from a serious geopolitical competitor (China) than squeezing out the last few drops of milk from the "free trade." ..."
Dec 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Bemildred , Dec 19 2020 2:00 utc | 124

This is awesome, he nails the dilemma which our owners are confronted with;

I'll put it this way: It is not as though the American ruling class is intelligent, competent, and patriotic on most important matters and happens to have a glaring blind spot when it comes to appreciating the threat of China. If this were the case, it would make sense to emphasize the threat of China above all else.

But this is not the case. The American ruling class has failed on pretty much every issue of significance for the past several decades. If China were to disappear, they would simply be selling out the country to India, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, or some other country (in fact they are doing this just to a lesser extent).

Our ruling class has failed us on China because they have failed us on everything. For this reason I believe that there will be no serious, sound policy on China that benefits Americans until there is a legitimate ruling class in the United States. For this reason pointing fingers at the wickedness and danger of China is less useful than emphasizing the failure of the American ruling class. The bottom line is the true enemies of the American people are no foreign nation or adversary---the true enemy of the American people are the people who control America.

This way of thinking points to a dilemma for the American ruling class. Contrary to a lot of the rhetoric you hear, much of the American ruling class, including the "deep state" is actually quite anti-China. To fully account for this would take longer than I have here. But the nutshell intuitive explanation is that the ruling class, particularly Wall Street, was happy for the past several decades to enrich both themselves and China by destroying the American working class with policies such as "free-trade" and outsourcing. But in many ways the milk from that teat is no more, and now you have an American ruling class much more concerned about protecting their loot from a serious geopolitical competitor (China) than squeezing out the last few drops of milk from the "free trade."

The Zürich Interviews - Darren J. Beattie: If Only You Knew How Bad Things Really Are


Grieved , Dec 19 2020 3:12 utc | 129

@102 karlof1 - "By deliberately setting policy to inflate asset prices, the Fed has priced US labor out of a job, while as you report employers sought labor costs that allowed them to remain competitive."

I never heard it said so succinctly and truly as this before. That is what happened isn't it? The worker can't afford life anymore, in this country.

And if the worker can't afford the cost of living - who bears the cause of this, how follows the remedy of this, and what then comes next?

I really appreciate your point of view, which is the only point of view, which is that the designers of the economy, the governors of the economy, have placed the workers of the economy in a position that is simply just not tenable.

No wonder they strive to divide in order to rule - because they have over-reached through greed and killed the worker, who holds up the society.

How long can the worker flounder around blaming others before the spotlight must turn on the employer?

uncle tungsten , Dec 19 2020 3:12 utc | 130

Bemildred #115

You have to remember these people really do think they are better. They do think in class terms even if they avoid that rhetoric in public. The problem is they thought they could control China like they did Japan. That was dumb then and it looks even dumber now. You can see similar dumbness in their lack of grip on any realisitic view of Russia. Provincials really. Rich peasants.

Thank you, they certainly DO think in class terms ALWAYS. + Rich peasants is perfect :))

Thankfully they are blinded by hubris at the same time. The USA destroyed the Allende government in Chile in 1973. After the Nixon Kissinger visit to China in 1979 they assumed they could just pull a color revolution stunt when they deemed it to be the right time. Perhaps in their hubris they thought every Chinese worker would be infatuated with capitalism and growth.

They tested that out in the People Power colour (yellow) revolt in the Filipines in 1986 following a rigged election by Marcos. In 1989 only 16 years after China had been buoyed up with growth and development following the opening to USA capitalism, they tried out the same trick in Tienanmen square in China but those students were up against the ruling party of the entire nation - not the ruling class. BIG MISTAKE. The ruling party of China was solidly backed by the peasant and working class that was finally enjoying some meager prosperity and reward a mere 40 years after the Chinese Communist Party and their parents and grandparents had liberated China from 100 years of occupation, plunder, human and cultural rapine and colonial insult. Then in 2020 it was tried on again in Hong Kong. FAIL.

The hubris of the ruling class and its running dogs is pathetic.

We see the same with Pelosi and the ruling class in the Dimoratss today. They push Biden Harris to the fore, piss on the left and refuse to even hold a vote on Medicare for All in the middle of a pandemic. Meanwhile the USAi ruling class has its running dogs and hangers on bleating that "its wrong tactic, its premature, its whatever craven excuse to avoid exposing the ruling class for what they are - thieves, bereft of compassion, absent any sense of social justice, fakes lurking behind their class supposition.

They come here to the bar with their arrogant hubris, brimming with pointless information some even with emoji glitter stuck on their noses. Not a marxist or even a leftie among them. Still its class that matters and its the ruling class that we must break.

chu teh , Dec 19 2020 4:00 utc | 131

@102 karlof1 and Grieved | Dec 19 2020 3:12 utc | 129

I did not understand inflate-assets/suppress-workers and forgot to return to it to clear it up. Grieved sent me back to Karlof1. I just got it.

That viewpoint indeed explains method of operation to accomplish the results I observed. When Nixon was forced to default on Bretton Woods use of Gold Exchange Standard* [the USD is as good as gold], then printing fiat solved the problem [threat to US inventory of gold]....but printing fiat [no longer redeemable as a promise convert to gold] became the new problem [no way to extinguish the promises to redeem/pay].

So how to proceed? Aha! Steal from the workers; squeeze 'em, entertain and dazzle 'em!.. Such an elegant solution...slow, certain and hardly noticeable...like slow-boiling frogs...an on-going project as we blog.

Now I'll read Karlof1's link.

[Dec 05, 2020] Lockdown lead to atomization of labour

Dec 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Dec 3 2020 22:56 utc | 76

VK @ 24:

"... Lockdowns as being inherently against the working class is a capitalist (liberal) falsification: if you pay them while they're kept safe in their homes, you'll have the best of the two worlds for the working class (being paid without working). This option is only an anathema for the middle class and the capitalist class - who can't imagine a world without the proletarians serving them ..."

We all live in an interconnected world and middle class, capitalist class (whatever that's supposed to mean) and proletarians alike supply goods and services to one another. Money is the medium that facilitates such exchanges. It follows then that proletarians also serve one another and ditto for the other classes.

If working classes are paid to stay in their homes, who then supplies their needs? In spite of Jeff Bozo's efforts and those of Elon Musk, not all transport is self-automating and robots in Amazon warehouses still need some human inputs to operate quickly and without hitches.

One could also argue that working fulfils other, non-monetary needs. Karl Marx actually foresaw this when he wrote about anomie in capitalist systems of production, in which workers are denied control over their lives and the work they do by being denied any say in what they produce, how they produce it, the resources and environment needed to produce outputs, and maybe even whether they can be allowed to work at all.

Lockdowns can be viewed as another method in which to deny people control over their work and work environments. People socialise at work and lockdowns may be a way to deny workers a place or a means to connect with others (and maybe to form unions). Is it any wonder then, that during lockdowns people's mental health has become an issue and public health experts became concerned at the possibility that such phenomena as suicide and domestic violence could increase?


foolisholdman , Dec 3 2020 22:59 utc | 78

foolisholdman | Dec 3 2020 22:21 utc | 68


You can understand this from this quotation. It is the internal contradictions of the wesern capitalist system that is driving the changes we observe, not "pressure applied by China", which I would say is a myth.

"The fundamental cause of the development of a thing is not external but internal: it lies in the contradictionariness within the thing. This internal contradiction exists in every single thing, hence its motion and development. Contradictionariness within a thing is the fundamental cause of its development, while its interrelations and interactions with other things are secondary causes."

"It (Materialist dialectics) holds that external causes are the conditions of change and internal causes are the basis of change, and that external causes become operative through internal causes. In a suitable temperature an egg changes into a chicken, but no temperature can change a stone into a chicken, because each has a different basis."
Mao Zedong. "On Contradiction" August 1937. Selected Works, Vol.1, p.315.

Mark2 , Dec 3 2020 23:09 utc | 80

Lockdowns are a medical protection to eradicate a contagious virus.
The lock downs we have had are fake and we're designed to fail. For political reasons.
The very people who complained 10 months ago, were responsible for them not working,
10 months later those people are still complaining. They are the ones who have prolonged the contagion.
They are to blame. That includes the polatians and duped public.
It's deliberate !

[Dec 05, 2020] The Real Source Of America's Frustrations - Zero Hedge

Dec 05, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The Real Source Of America's Frustrations


Voice-of-Reason 12 hours ago

For those of you that worked hard and played by the rules your whole life to try to save enough money to have a decent retirement you were robbed and played like a bunch of suckers by Wall Street. The Fed is helping them steal any wealth the middle class has left. I'm not sure why these people are still breathing. They should be swinging by their neck from a rope.

Lost in translation 12 hours ago

"The status quo has been increasingly rigged to benefit insiders and elites as the powers of central banks and governments have picked the winners (cronies, insiders, cartels and monopolies) and shifted the losses and risks onto the losers (the rest of us)."

Charles displays a remarkable grasp of the obvious. I sometimes wonder if his target audience isn't 11-year olds.

Sound of the Suburbs 7 hours ago

How can things possibly get any worse for young people?

  1. Sky high housing costs
  2. Student loans
  3. Low wages and precarious part time jobs
  4. A minimum wage specified at an hourly rate that won't pay a living wage in a part time job

Most young people don't start off with any capital, and with student loans they will actually start off with loads of debt.

It's all about investors, so people with money can make more money, and they haven't got any.

Those young people are trying to earn their money and this just isn't the way we do things anymore.

J J Pettigrew 6 hours ago

how about HB1 visas and the overstaying? Floods the labor market with outsiders. Fundamentally transforming the nation.

Sound of the Suburbs 5 hours ago

Young people can't afford to start a family anymore.

You've got to sort out the demographic problem with immigration.

yerfej 5 hours ago

The tax system mimics society, both are run by elites and have so much complexity that ONLY elites have the ability to circumvent them. Lawyers own society and it is of course to their benefit to make it full of layer after layer of complex rules and regulations, which as sold as "protecting the commoner", but in reality it protects the elites by stifling competition. Start by cleaning up the tax code, have ONE flat rate for ANY AND ALL income above the poverty allowance and be done with it. THEN the elites can't game the system with layers and tax accountants to avoid paying. If the common people realized how screwed they're getting by complexity they would force the change to one rate for all.

Bay Area Guy 3 hours ago

The problem in America today was caused by the Clinton/Bush/Obama administrations, along with a complicit Congress, encouraging the off-shoring of US jobs, along with vastly increasing the number of jobs given to people holding H1b's visas who, in turn, off shore a large percentage of their salaries to their home countries, effectively off-shoring even more money. The result can be seen in US GDP. Real GDP (after including the effects of inflation), has consistently contracted since 2000 (see Shadowstats). Add in the fact that illegal immigration (and, to a smaller extent, legal immigration) has increased the population, and the result is you have a greater number of people trying to get their share of an economic pie that's shrinking. When the economy was expanding, people generally felt good about their situation. So if some sector got a bit of an increase that was more than their increase, it wasn't as big a thing. But now, with a shrinking economy, when the homeless or illegals or any other group gets more money, people are increasingly seeing that it's taken out of their share and they see themselves falling further and further behind. So, they react and object to that.

So, until or unless a way is found to expand the pie (the economy), you're going to see greater and greater levels of frustration as anytime Group A gets more funding, every other group is going to scream bloody murder.

Sound of the Suburbs 7 hours ago (Edited)

What is real wealth creation?

The last thing hedge funds, private equity firms and bankers need is anyone finding out.

I thought those neoliberals were educated.

Well they like to think they are, but they have no idea about the most basic things like wealth creation and the monetary system.

They have confused making money with creating wealth.

Sound of the Suburbs 7 hours ago

The US is going downhill fast.

What can we do?

Let them know what real wealth creation is, then they should be away.

Where does real wealth creation take place in the economy?

Economists do identify where real wealth creation in the economy occurs, but this is a most inconvenient truth as it reveals many at the top don't actually create any wealth.

This is the problem.

Much of their money comes from wealth extraction rather than wealth creation, and they need to get everyone thoroughly confused so we don't realise what they are really up to.

The Classical Economists had a quick look around and noticed the aristocracy were maintained in luxury and leisure by the hard work of everyone else.

They haven't done anything economically productive for centuries, they couldn't miss it.

The Classical economist, Adam Smith:

"The labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money."

There was no benefits system in those days, and if those at the bottom didn't work they died.

They had to earn money to live.

Ricardo was an expert on the small state, unregulated capitalism he observed in the world around him.

He was part of the new capitalist class, and the old landowning class were a huge problem with their rents that had to be paid both directly and through wages.

"The interest of the landlords is always opposed to the interest of every other class in the community" Ricardo 1815 / Classical Economist.

They soon identified the constructive "earned" income and the parasitic "unearned" income.

This disappeared in neoclassical economics.

GDP was invented after they used neoclassical economics last time.

In the 1920s, the economy roared, the stock market soared and nearly everyone had been making lots of money.

In the 1930s, they were wondering what the hell had just happened as everything had appeared to be going so well in the 1920s and then it all just fell apart.

They needed a better measure to see what was really going on in the economy and came up with GDP.

In the 1930s, they pondered over where all that wealth had gone to in 1929 and realised inflating asset prices doesn't create real wealth, they came up with the GDP measure to track real wealth creation in the economy.

The transfer of existing assets, like stocks and real estate, doesn't create real wealth and therefore does not add to GDP. The real wealth creation in the economy is measured by GDP.

Real wealth creation involves real work producing new goods and services in the economy.

So all that transferring existing financial assets around doesn't create wealth?

No it doesn't, and now you are ready to start thinking about what is really going on there.

Don't get confused between making money and creating wealth.

When you equate making money with creating wealth, people try and make money in the easiest way possible, which doesn't actually create any wealth.

In 1984, for the first time in American history, "unearned" income exceeded "earned" income.

The American have lost sight of what real wealth creation is, and are just focussed on making money.

You might as well do that in the easiest way possible.

It looks like a parasitic rentier capitalism because that is what it is.

Bankers make the most money when they are driving your economy into a financial crisis.

They will load your economy up with their debt products until you get a financial crisis.

On a BBC documentary, comparing 1929 to 2008, it said the last time US bankers made as much money as they did before 2008 was in the 1920s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6

At 18 mins.

The bankers loaded the US economy up with their debt products until they got financial crises in 1929 and 2008.

As you head towards the financial crisis, the economy booms due to the money creation of bank loans.

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf

The financial crisis appears to come out of a clear blue sky when you use an economics that doesn't consider debt, like neoclassical economics.

Banks – What is the idea?

The idea is that banks lend into business and industry to increase the productive capacity of the economy.

Business and industry don't have to wait until they have the money to expand. They can borrow the money and use it to expand today, and then pay that money back in the future.

The economy can then grow more rapidly than it would without banks.

Debt grows with GDP and there are no problems.

The banks create money and use it to create real wealth.

[Dec 01, 2020] Indifference to working-class suffering will kill tens of thousands - caucus99percent

Notable quotes:
"... Tens of millions ..."
"... Tens of millions ..."
Dec 01, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Indifference to working-class suffering will kill tens of thousands

gjohnsit on Sun, 11/29/2020 - 7:30pm

Winter Is Coming for the American working-class.
Even if you don't care about the working poor, their suffering is going to affect you. In some ways it already has. Despite the CDC eviction moratorium, evictions have continued during the pandemic. This is led to hundreds of thousands of people being infected with Covid .

Expiring state eviction bans have led to hundreds of thousands of additional coronavirus cases, new research finds, raising alarm about what will happen when the national eviction moratorium lapses next month.
...
The researchers, from the University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, San Francisco, Johns Hopkins University, Boston University and Wake Forest University School of Law, found that lifting state moratoriums and allowing eviction proceedings to continue caused as many as 433,700 excess cases of Covid-19 and 10,700 additional deaths in the U.S. between March and September.

If the CDC's eviction ban isn't extended until 2021, experts say, many new cases are likely to emerge from people being forced out of their houses and apartments.

"This is a time where it's not an overstatement to say that for many people, eviction can lead to death ," said Helen Matthews, communications manager at City Life Vita Urbana, a nonprofit in Boston.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that making people homeless during the pandemic is a public health nightmare. Yet the eviction moratorium did not mean free rent. All that unpaid rent is build up to $36 billion.
So how many people are about to be evicted? How many people will be homeless on our streets in the coming months?
It depends on who you ask, but it will be in the tens of millions. Let that sink in for a moment. Tens of millions of Americans are about to lose their place of residence. The government has no plans to do anything about it.

One study says 19 million Americans will be evicted in the next two months. That's the conservative estimate.
Another study says 40 million Americans will lose their homes this winter. These are numbers that will destabilize American society and the American political system.
The end of the moratorium comes at the same time as the end of stimulus money .

UI, stimulus, and welfare combined, after spiking to an annual rate of $3.88 trillion in April, fell to $1.04 trillion in October


39 million Americans don't have enough to eat right now, and people are waiting in line for hours at food banks all over the nation just for some Thanksgiving handouts.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 12 percent of all Americans did not have enough food to eat between October 28th and November 9th.

Let's like clear about something. Politicians, the media, and of course the wealthy couldn't care less about the suffering of the working class.
However, they do care about getting sick and dying. So what's going to happen is that working class are going to be crushed, and only then, when the Covid cases spiked to unimaginable levels, will the ruling elites have an epiphany. That epiphany is you really are your brother's keeper.

gjohnsit on Sun, 11/29/2020 - 7:30pm

Winter Is Coming for the American working-class.
Even if you don't care about the working poor, their suffering is going to affect you. In some ways it already has. Despite the CDC eviction moratorium, evictions have continued during the pandemic. This is led to hundreds of thousands of people being infected with Covid .

Expiring state eviction bans have led to hundreds of thousands of additional coronavirus cases, new research finds, raising alarm about what will happen when the national eviction moratorium lapses next month.
...
The researchers, from the University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, San Francisco, Johns Hopkins University, Boston University and Wake Forest University School of Law, found that lifting state moratoriums and allowing eviction proceedings to continue caused as many as 433,700 excess cases of Covid-19 and 10,700 additional deaths in the U.S. between March and September.

If the CDC's eviction ban isn't extended until 2021, experts say, many new cases are likely to emerge from people being forced out of their houses and apartments.

"This is a time where it's not an overstatement to say that for many people, eviction can lead to death ," said Helen Matthews, communications manager at City Life Vita Urbana, a nonprofit in Boston.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that making people homeless during the pandemic is a public health nightmare. Yet the eviction moratorium did not mean free rent. All that unpaid rent is build up to $36 billion.
So how many people are about to be evicted? How many people will be homeless on our streets in the coming months?
It depends on who you ask, but it will be in the tens of millions. Let that sink in for a moment. Tens of millions of Americans are about to lose their place of residence. The government has no plans to do anything about it.

One study says 19 million Americans will be evicted in the next two months. That's the conservative estimate.
Another study says 40 million Americans will lose their homes this winter. These are numbers that will destabilize American society and the American political system.
The end of the moratorium comes at the same time as the end of stimulus money .

UI, stimulus, and welfare combined, after spiking to an annual rate of $3.88 trillion in April, fell to $1.04 trillion in October


39 million Americans don't have enough to eat right now, and people are waiting in line for hours at food banks all over the nation just for some Thanksgiving handouts.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 12 percent of all Americans did not have enough food to eat between October 28th and November 9th.

Let's like clear about something. Politicians, the media, and of course the wealthy couldn't care less about the suffering of the working class.
However, they do care about getting sick and dying. So what's going to happen is that working class are going to be crushed, and only then, when the Covid cases spiked to unimaginable levels, will the ruling elites have an epiphany. That epiphany is you really are your brother's keeper.

like Jimmy says, we are a failed state...

Plenty of money to wage war and create suffering abroad, but not enough to take care of the peasants at home. I keep hearing the US is a neofeudalist country...in classic feudal times they took care of the serfs...perhaps that the neo part.

Sure is a sad state you present gjohnsit. Thanks for informing us.

[Nov 28, 2020] Krystal and Saagar- New Study Shows Deaths Of Despair Hitting Poor Working Class Of ALL Races

Nov 28, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Daniel George @drdanielgeorge • Nov 10 000

A research team I'm part of just published data looking at the 'diseases of despair' crisis over the last decade (full article is free and available online).

A brief summary of our findings below, and some thoughts....

Trends in the diagnosis of diseases of despair in the United States...

Background and objective Increasing mortality and decreasing life expectancy in the USA are largely attributable to accidental...

See also: Saagar Enjeti- How Both Parties FAILED Us On Stimulus Guaranteeing Mass Unemployment, Business Death - YouTube

[Nov 28, 2020] Diseases of despair diagnoses increase in Pennsylvania - EurekAlert! Science News

Nov 28, 2020 | www.eurekalert.org

Diseases of despair diagnoses increase in Pennsylvania

PENN STATE

Research News

AUDIO: FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NEARLY 100 YEARS, LIFE EXPECTANCY IS DECREASING IN THE UNITED STATES. IN THIS EPISODE, DR. LARRY SINOWAY DISCUSSES THE DECLINE AND HOW IT RELATES TO... view more

CREDIT: PENN STATE CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE INSTITUTE

Medical diagnoses involving alcohol-related disorders, substance-related disorders and suicidal thoughts and behaviors -- commonly referred to as diseases of despair -- increased in Pennsylvania health insurance claims between the years 2007 and 2018, according to researchers from Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Highmark Health Enterprise Analytics.

Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton proposed the concept of deaths of despair in 2015. Case and Deaton's research observed a decline in life expectancy of middle-aged white men and women between 1999 and 2015 -- the first such decline since the flu pandemic of 1918. They theorized that this decline is associated with the social and economic downturn in rural communities and small towns. These changes include loss of industry, falling wages, lower marriage rates, increasing barriers to higher education, an increase in one-parent homes and a loss of social infrastructure.

"It is theorized that these changes have fostered growing feelings of despair including disillusionment, precariousness and resignation in many peoples' lives," Daniel George, associate professor of humanities and public health sciences, Penn State College of Medicine, said. "Despair can trigger emotional, cognitive, behavioral and even biological changes, increasing the likelihood of diseases that can progress and ultimately culminate in deaths of despair."

With the commonwealth's considerable rural and small-town population, particularly around Penn State campuses, Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute led a research study to understand the rate of diseases of despair in Pennsylvania. Institute researchers collaborated with Highmark Health, one of the state's largest health insurance providers. Highmark provides employer-sponsored, individual, Affordable Care Act and Medicare plans.

Highmark Health's Enterprise Analytics team analyzed the claims of more than 12 million people on their plans from 2007 to 2018. Penn State did not have access to Highmark member data or individual private health information. Although the insurance claims included members from neighboring states, including West Virginia, Delaware, and Ohio, the majority of the claims were from Pennsylvania residents. Researchers reported their results in BMJ Open .

The researchers defined diseases of despair as diagnoses related to alcohol use, substance use and suicidal thoughts or behaviors. They searched the claims data for the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes related to these diagnoses. ICD codes form a standardized system maintained by the World Health Organization and are used in health records and for billing.

The researchers found that the rate of diagnoses related to diseases of despair increased significantly in the Highmark claims in the past decade. Nearly one in 20 people in the study sample was diagnosed with a disease of despair. Between 2009 and 2018, the rates of alcohol-, substance-, and suicide-related diagnoses increased by 37%, 94% and 170%. Following Case and Deaton's findings, the researchers saw the most substantial percentage increase in disease of despair diagnoses among men ages 35 to 74, followed by women ages 55 to 74 and 18 to 34.

The rate of alcohol-related diagnoses significantly increased among men and women ages 18 and over. The most dramatic increases were among men and women ages 55 to 74. Rates increased for men in this age group by 50% and 80% for women.

The rate of substance-related diagnoses roughly doubled for men and women ages 35 to 54 and increased by 170% in ages 55 to 74. In 2018, the most recent year of claims included in the study, rates of substance-use diagnoses were highest in 18-to-34-year-olds.

The rate of diagnoses related to suicidal thoughts and behaviors increased for all age groups. Among 18-to-34-year-olds, rates increased by at least 200%. The rate for all other age groups increased by at least 60%.

The type of insurance patients had also mattered. People with Medicare insurance had 1.5 times higher odds of having a disease of despair diagnosis and those with Affordable Care Act insurance had 1.3 times higher odds.

One increase stood out to researchers: among infants, substance-related diagnoses doubled.

"This increase was entirely attributable to neonatal abstinence syndrome and corresponded closely with increases in substance-related disorders among women of childbearing age," Emily Brignone, senior research scientist, Highmark Health Enterprise Analytics, said.

Neonatal abstinence syndrome occurs when a baby withdraws from substances, especially opioids, exposed to in the womb.

Future research can concentrate on identifying "hot spots" of diseases of despair diagnoses in the commonwealth to then study the social and economic conditions in these areas. With this data, researchers can potentially create predictive models to identify communities at risk and develop interventions.

"We found a broad view of who is impacted by increases in diseases of despair, which cross racial, ethnic and geographic groups," Jennifer Kraschnewski, professor of medicine, public health sciences and pediatrics, said. "Although originally thought to mostly affect rural communities, these increases in all middle-aged adults across the rural-urban continuum likely foreshadows future premature deaths."

###

National Center for Advancing Translational Science of the National Institutes of Health through Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute funded this research.

A podcast about this topic is available here.

Other researchers on this project were Lawrence Sinoway, director, Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute; Curren Katz and Robert Gladden, Highmark Health Enterprise Analytics; Charity Sauder, administrative director, Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute; and Andrea Murray, project manager, Penn State College of Medicine.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

[Nov 28, 2020] Deplorables, or Expendables

Notable quotes:
"... The Expendables: How the Middle Class got Screwed by Globalization ..."
"... The Innovation Illusion ..."
"... The Expendables ..."
"... Napoleon Linarthatos is a writer based in New York. ..."
Nov 28, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Home / Articles / Economy / Deplorables, Or Expendables? ECONOMY Deplorables, Or Expendables?

Rubin offers some valuable, albeit well-known, critiques of globalized trade, but doesn't go far beyond that. (By momente/Shutterstock)

NOVEMBER 26, 2020

|

12:01 AM

NAPOLEON LINARTHATOS

Back in 2013 a group of Apple employees decided to sue the global behemoth. Every day, after they were clocking out, they were required to go through a corporate screening where their personal belongings were examined. It was a process required and administered by Apple. But Apple did not want to pay its employees for the time it had required them to spend. It could be anywhere from 40 to 80 hours a year that an employee spent going through that process. What made Apple so confident in brazenly nickel-and-diming its geniuses?

Jeff Rubin, author of The Expendables: How the Middle Class got Screwed by Globalization , has an answer to the above question that is easily deduced from the subtitle of his book. The socio-economic arrangements produced by globalization have made labor the most flexible and plentiful resource in the economic process. The pressure on the middle class, and all that falls below it, has been so persistent and powerful, that now " only 37 percent of Americans believe their children will be better off financially than they themselves are. Only 24 percent in Canada or Australia feel the same. And in France, that figure dips to only 9 percent." And "[i]n the mid-1980s it would have taken a typical middle-income family with two children less than seven years of income to save up to buy a home; it now takes more than ten years. At the same time, housing expenditures that accounted for a quarter of most middle-class household incomes in the 1990s now account for a third ."

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13045197114175078?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13045197114175078-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&rid=www.nakedcapitalism.com&width=838

The story of globalization is engraved in the " shuttered factories across North America, the boarded-up main streets, the empty union halls." Rubin does admit that there are benefits accrued from globalization, billions have been lifted up out of poverty in what was previously known as the third world, wealth has been created, certain efficiencies have been achieved. The question for someone in the western world is how much more of a price he's willing to pay to keep the whole thing going on, especially as we have entered a phase of diminishing returns for almost all involved.

As Joel Kotkin has written, "[e]ven in Asia, there are signs of social collapse. According to a recent survey by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, half of all Korean households have experienced some form of family crisis, many involving debt, job loss, or issues relating to child or elder care." And "[i]n "classless" China, a massive class of migrant workers -- over 280 million -- inhabit a netherworld of substandard housing, unsteady work, and miserable environmental conditions, all after leaving their offspring behind in villages. These new serfs vastly outnumber the Westernized, highly educated Chinese whom most Westerners encounter. " "Rather than replicating the middle-class growth of post–World War II America and Europe, notes researcher Nan Chen, 'China appears to have skipped that stage altogether and headed straight for a model of extraordinary productivity but disproportionately distributed wealth like the contemporary United States.'"

Although Rubin concedes to the globalist side higher GDP growth, even that does not seem to be so true for the western world in the last couple decades. Per Nicholas Eberstadt, in "Our Miserable 21st Century," "[b]etween late 2000 and late 2007, per capita GDP growth averaged less than 1.5 percent per annum." "With postwar, pre-21st-century rates for the years 2000–2016, per capita GDP in America would be more than 20 percent higher than it is today."

Stagnation seems to be a more apt characterization of the situation we are in. Fredrik Erixon in his superb The Innovation Illusion , argues that "[p]roductivity growth is going south, and has been doing so for several decades." "Between 1995 and 2009, Europe's labor productivity grew by just 1 percent annually." Noting that "[t]he four factors that have made Western capitalism dull and hidebound are gray capital, corporate managerialism, globalization, and complex regulation."

me title=

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Contrary to popular belief, globalization has functioned as a substitute for innovation and growth. With globalization on the march, the western ruling class could continue to indulge in its most preferred activities, regulation and taxation, in an environment where both of these political addictions appeared sustainable. Non-western elites could perpetuate their authoritarian regimes, garnering growth and legitimacy, from the access to the western markets. Their copy-and-paste method of "innovation" from western firms would fit well with an indigenous business class composed of mostly insiders and ex-regime apparatchiks.

There are plenty of criticisms that can be laid at the feet of globalization. The issue with Rubin's book is that is does not advance very much beyond some timeworn condemnations of it. One gets the sense that the value of this book is merely in its audacity to question the conventional wisdom on the issue at hand. Rubin, who is somewhat sympathetic to Donald Trump, seems to be much closer to someone like Bernie Sanders, especially an earlier version of Sanders that dared to talk about the debilitating effects of immigration on the working class.

Like Sanders, Rubin starts to get blurry as he goes from the condemnation phase to the programmatic offers available. What exactly would be his tariffs policy, how far he would go? What would be the tradeoffs of this policy? Where we could demarcate a reasonable fair environment for the worker and industry and where we would start to create another type of a stagnation trap for the whole economy? All these would be important questions for Rubin to grapple with and would give to his criticisms more gravitas.

It would have also been of value if he had dealt more deeply with the policies of the Trump administration. On the one hand, the Trump administration cracked down on illegal and legal immigration. It also started to use tariffs and other trade measures as a way to boost industry and employment. On the other hand, it reduced personal and corporate taxes and it deregulated to the utmost degree possible. It was a kind of 'walled' laisser-faire that seemed to work until Covid-19 hit. Real household income in the U.S. increased $4,379 in 2019 over 2018. It was "more income growth in one year than in the 8 years of Obama-Biden." And during Trump's time, the lowest paid workers started not to just be making gains, but making gains faster than the wealthy. "Low-wage workers are getting bigger raises than bosses" ran a CBS News headline .

Rubin seems to view tax cuts and deregulation as another giveaway to large corporations. But these large corporations are just fine with high taxation, since they have a choice as to when and where they get taxed. Regulation is also more of a tool than a burden for them. It's a very expedient means for eliminating competitors and competition, a useful barrier to entry for any upstart innovator that would upend the industry they are in. Besides, if high taxation and regulation were a kind of antidote to globalization, then France would be in a much better shape than it appears to be. But France seems to be doing worse than anybody else. In the aforementioned poll about if their "children will be better off financially than they themselves are" France was at the bottom in the group of countries that Rubin cited. The recent events with the yellow-vests movement indicate a very deep dissatisfaction and pessimism of its middle and working class.

Moreover, there does not seem to be much hostility or even much contention between government bureaucracies and the upper echelons of the corporate world. Something that Rubin's politics and economics would necessitate. And cultural and political like-mindedness between government bureaucracies and the managerial class of large corporations is not just limited to the mutual embrace of woke politics. It seems that there is a cross pollination of a much broader set of ideas and habits between bureaucrats and the managerial class. For instance, Erixon notes that "[c]orporate managers shy away from uncertainty but turn companies into bureaucratic entities free from entrepreneurial habits. They strive to make capitalism predictable." Striving for predictability is a very bureaucratic state of mind.

In Rubin's book, missed trends like that make his perspective to feel a bit dated. There is still valuable information in The Expendables . Rubin does know a lot about international trade deals. For instance, a point that is often ignored in the press about international trade agreements is that "[i]f you're designated a "developing" country, you get to protect your own industries with tariffs that are a multiple of those that developed economies are allowed to use to protect their workers." A rule that China exploits to the utmost.

Meanwhile, Apple, after its apparent lawsuit loss on the case with its employees in California, now seems committed to another fight with the expendables of another locale. The Washington Post reported that "Apple lobbyists are trying to weaken a bill aimed at preventing forced labor in China, according to two congressional staffers familiar with the matter, highlighting the clash between its business imperatives and its official stance on human rights." "The bill aims to end the use of forced Uighur labor in the Xinjiang region of China ." The war against the expendables never ends.

Napoleon Linarthatos is a writer based in New York.

[Nov 25, 2020] Any social programs that benefit the working class are, in fact, affirmative action programs

Notable quotes:
"... Identitarianism is a far more effective strategy at watering down the left than any Red Scare or McCarthyist witch hunt ever was. ..."
Nov 25, 2020 | www.youtube.com



Viewable11
, 2 days ago

"Affirmative Action" is an euphemism for bigotry.

parallelworldsguy , 5 days ago

"Any social programs that benefit the working class are, in fact, affirmative action programs."-Krystal. So true.


Nathaniel Allen
, 5 days ago

Damn, Krystal dropping one of her classic heaters today: "Affirmative action is the type of program that poses little threat and only benefits to affluent white liberals. It's the college admissions version of identity politics: more about getting brown faces in high places to make WHITE people feel good than it is about actually addressing the very real problems it seeks to ameliorate." - Krystal Ball


Will J
, 5 days ago

As a black person I hate to admit that I've bought into the BS all of this time but she is absolutely right. All of her data is correct. AA is just a tool for bourgeoisie blacks to get into better schools. Period. Nothing else. Stop trying to sell it as some saving grace that it is not. The point about student loans is exactly right. If you want to help a ton of black people with college then do something about this BS student loan situation.


Jackson Morgan
, 5 days ago

the term "brunch liberals" is pure gold 😂


Chris Colon
, 5 days ago

Identitarianism is a far more effective strategy at watering down the left than any Red Scare or McCarthyist witch hunt ever was.


halfeatenwaffle
, 9 hours ago (edited)

"White Saviors" is a way to say what we've been saying all along. Affirmative Action IS racist. You are saying that someone needs help because of their skin color, as if that makes them inferior. Racist.


Bert C
, 1 day ago

When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America, by Ira Katznelson (W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 2005), preface, appendix, index, 238 pp.


trinnas
, 9 hours ago

How does it help the poor to have $15 minimum wage when they are priced out of the job market and you have raised the overall cost of living?

[Nov 22, 2020] 'The Real Looting in America Is the Walton Family'- GAO Report Details How Taxpayers Subsidize Cruel Low Wages of Corporate G

Nov 22, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

'The Real Looting in America Is the Walton Family': GAO Report Details How Taxpayers Subsidize Cruel Low Wages of Corporate Giants Posted on November 19, 2020 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield

By Jon Queally, staff writer, Common Dreams. Originally published at Common Dreams

Pinpointing a reality denounced as " morally obscene " by Sen. Bernie Sanders, a new government study shows how some of the nation's largest and most profitable corporations -- including Walmart, McDonald's, Dollar General, and Amazon -- feast upon taxpayer money by paying their employees such low wages that huge numbers of those workers throughout the year are forced to rely on public assistance programs such as Medicaid and food assistance just to keep themselves and their families afloat.

According to a statement from Sanders' office, the study he commissioned the Government Accountability Office to carry out -- titled " Millions of Full-time Workers Rely on Federal Health Care and Food Assistance Programs " -- found that an estimated 5.7 million Medicaid enrollees and 4.7 million SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients who worked full-time for 50 or more weeks in 2018 earned wages so low that they qualified for these federal benefits. In addition, an estimated 12 million wage-earning adults enrolled in Medicaid and 9 million wage-earning adults living in households receiving SNAP benefits worked at some point in 2018.

Upon the study's release Wednesday, Warren Gunnels, staff director and policy adviser for Sen. Sanders, tweeted: "The real looting in America is the Walton family becoming $63 billion richer during a pandemic, while paying wages so low that 14,541 of their workers in 9 states need food stamps -- all subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. Yes. The Walton family is the real welfare queen in America."

According to the Washington Post :, based on the GAO report:

Walmart was one of the top four employers of SNAP and Medicaid beneficiaries in every state. McDonald's was in the top five of employers with employees receiving federal benefits in at least nine states.

In the nine states that responded about SNAP benefits -- Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee and Washington -- Walmart was found to have employed about 14,500 workers receiving the benefit, followed by McDonald's with 8,780, according to Sanders's team. In six states that reported Medicaid enrollees, Walmart again topped the list, with 10,350 employees, followed by McDonald's with 4,600.

In Georgia, for example, Walmart employed an estimated 3,959 workers on Medicaid -- an estimated 2.1 percent of the total of non-elderly, non-disabled people in the state receiving the benefit. McDonald's was next on the list, employing 1,480 who received Medicaid, or 0.8 percent of the total of non-elderly, non-disabled people on the program. "

"At a time when huge corporations like Walmart and McDonald's are making billions in profits and giving their CEOs tens of millions of dollars a year, they're relying on corporate welfare from the federal government by paying their workers starvation wages," said Sanders in a statement. "That is morally obscene."

With the individual wealth of high-ranking executives and members of billionaire families like the Walton's, who own Walmart, soaring even as front-line, minimum wage employees and their families struggling to stay afloat amid the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, Sanders argues that the stark contrast should be a wakeup call for those who have refused to see how unjust and economically backward it is for the federal government, meaning taxpayers, to subsidize the cruel wages that massive profitable companies force their workers to accept.

"U.S. taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize some of the largest and most profitable corporations in America," said Sanders. "It is time for the owners of Walmart, McDonald's and other large corporations to get off of welfare and pay their workers a living wage."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=yvessmith&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1329208075790807041&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2020%2F11%2Fthe-real-looting-in-america-is-the-walton-family-gao-report-details-how-taxpayers-subsidize-cruel-low-wages-of-corporate-giants.html&siteScreenName=yvessmith&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

No one in this country should live in poverty," Sanders added. "No one should go hungry. No one should be unable to get the medical care they need. It is long past time to increase the federal minimum wage from a starvation wage of $7.25 an hour to $15, and guarantee health care to all Americans as a human right."


fwe'theewell , November 19, 2020 at 11:44 am

These looters at the top don't just rely on welfare for their workers: they also rely on government assistance in other ways, such as favorable tax treatment and other goodies to bring their boondoggles to town, and of course trillions in infusions/ giveaways like we saw this year. Not to mention golden parachutes in corporate bankruptcies, facilitated by the "way things are done."

AGKaiser , November 20, 2020 at 9:50 am

don't forget: Walmart and others also profit by the food stamps spent in their grocery and Medicaid in their pharmacy.

fwe'theewell , November 20, 2020 at 8:51 pm

Dang, yes!

nycTerrierist , November 19, 2020 at 12:40 pm

more galling, if that's possible, Alice Walton postures as a 'philanthropist'

artwashing ill-gotten gains as the benefactress of lavish vanity museum Crystal Bridges:

https://thebaffler.com/salvos/hoard-doeuvres

""There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism," wrote Walter Benjamin. In precisely this vein, Walton's new Crystal Bridges museum offers American-made art to strategically cover up the ugly reality Walmart has created. Spanning the colonial era to the present, the exhibition space's fulsome celebration of the American spirit eulogizes the nation of shared confidence and abundance, sustainable mortgages, and worker dignity that Walmart has brutally demolished. The notion that Walton's supremely self-satisfied kunsthalle might serve as a balm, let alone a monument, to the market-battered American spirit is analogous to, say, Genghis Khan inviting survivors of his Mongol hordes to admire an installation of his plunder "

fwe'theewell , November 19, 2020 at 12:51 pm

This piece simply couldn't be written without a reference to Mongol hordes, of course.

Harry , November 19, 2020 at 4:59 pm

I suppose. Although no one relied on food stamps in the Great Khan Chingis' army.

Louis Fyne , November 19, 2020 at 1:30 pm

please don't forget Bezos even though he owns the WaPo

Same tactics. But I guess it's social acceptable to poo on the Waltons and Wal-Mart, but let us sweep Whole Foods and Amazon Prime under the rug

TimH , November 19, 2020 at 2:04 pm

Your 2nd para wins the straw man of the day award!

Louis Fyne , November 19, 2020 at 2:19 pm

As Amazon uses a network of subcontractors and contractors for everything for logistics to making toilet paper, all those employees will never show up on "official" stats re. Amazon.

it's called Lying with Statistics.
ymmv.

drumlin woodchuckles , November 19, 2020 at 3:31 pm

No, his second paragraph does not straw man. It merely invites us to widen the scope of our vision.

mileyvirus , November 20, 2020 at 12:56 pm

I agree, I did not interpret that as a straw man. Amazon is just as damnable as Walmart in terms of corporate welfare/employee wages

TimH , November 20, 2020 at 9:34 pm

I called it a straw man because " but let us sweep Whole Foods and Amazon Prime under the rug" suggested that the piece had done that, when they weren't mentioned.

Basil Pesto , November 20, 2020 at 11:20 pm

I believe that is what 'sweeping under the rug' entails.

(I get your point, and am actually
pretty sympathetic to it. couldn't resist the snark tho.)

Objective Ace , November 19, 2020 at 1:54 pm

An equally accurate storyline could be–"Workers in at least 9 states would be forced to live off even more government handouts without Walmart's employment".

Its tough to give companies grief here simply for paying what the market dictates. I'm all for going after the route of the problem–monopsony power–but noting the symptoms without actually raising awareness of the underlying problem is a distraction that keeps the plebs anger directed where it can't have much effect on the bigger picture. Being mad at Walmart instead of the government policy that has destroyed unions and made it easier/cheaper to move jobs overseas isn't serving middle America. Ironically, this distraction serves Walmart quite well. They actually champion hire minimum wages as it stifles competition

Its an interesting thought experiment to imagine absolutely no minimum wages but a UBI and universal healthcare so that no one needed a job just to survive. Then Walmart could pay its employees any low amount and no one would bat an eye (although I suspect wages actually wouldnt fall because walmart would lose its monopsony power)

fwe'theewell , November 19, 2020 at 2:23 pm

Government policy doesn't write itself: lobbyists guide the pen, and donors/ owners like Walmart pull the guides' puppet strings. "Personal responsibility" goes both ways.

To use yesterday's metaphor, I'd say that the PMC is like the human being co-driver in a "self"-driving car programmed by capital.

Objective Ace , November 19, 2020 at 3:40 pm

Definitely. And focusing on those issues (which are the actual issues) is better than focusing on the symptoms

drumlin woodchuckles , November 19, 2020 at 10:17 pm

Though if we can get people to admit they feel the symptoms by describing the symptoms, some of those people might then be ready and willing to hear about the disease which is giving them the symptoms.

fwe'theewell , November 20, 2020 at 8:52 pm

A good point

bulfinch , November 19, 2020 at 3:12 pm

Tempting as it might be to shape the narrative so that the Walmarts of the World appear more like hapless innovators, shrewdly capitalizing on a crooked playing field, it only works if you blinker yourself to the fact that the WotW have at least 8 of the ten fingers on the hands architecting those same playing fields.

Objective Ace , November 19, 2020 at 3:43 pm

Don't get me wrong–I'm not trying to say Walmart is hapless. Maybe I'm too cynical, but I actually think they're so shrewd they want you to focus on these press releases about how they pay so little. If the only thing that stems from that is increasing the minimum wage, they come out big time winners

drumlin woodchuckles , November 19, 2020 at 3:28 pm

Here's what the market dictates. " I can get 10 interns who will pay ME to LET them do your job. Now shut up and get back to work." The way to stop the Market Dictatorship of what wages will be is to impose a Legal Dictatorship on the market of what wages will be.

That's what the Wages and Hours Act was about to begin with. Make it a long-sentence hard-time felony to pay less or to take less. Abolish Free Trade in goods , services or people. That means Sealing the Borders to create zero immigration for as long as necessary to use the labor shortage to torture the employER class into raising wages and conditions upward. And to weld shut the "illegal immigration escape hatch" by which employERS ( including limousine liberals) pay less than the legally imposed minimum wage.

BlakeFelix , November 19, 2020 at 5:56 pm

Ya, I agree. Providing health care and making sure kids have food and education are subsidies that help businesses in a healthy way. And a UBI is a great idea as well! Toss in a Carbon tax, and you have my ideal policy.

Carolinian , November 19, 2020 at 11:12 pm

We've had this debate here for years so the above article is a bit of a recycled chestnut rather than an original thought.

And perhaps the answer for the "outrage" of those Walmart heirs is to reestablishment a meaningful inheritance tax since receiving billions through death is indeed an entitlement and not just for the Walmart heirs but also for plenty of mansion owners dotting the Northeast.

As for the company itself, yes it's a crappy and low paid place to work but they are hardly unique in that and one reason they top those mentioned lists, along with McDonalds, is that they are the number one and number two employers by number of employees in the country. And the reason they are so large is that they give their custormers what they want and can afford which cannot be said of so many competing looters that the author ignores.

There are lots of worse companies than Walmart but in the battle of the coastals versus the deplorables they have always made a fat juicy target for those who probably pay their hired help less than Walmart does its "associates."

Kirk Seidenbecker , November 19, 2020 at 2:34 pm

$15/Hr.? Thought it was more like $22/Hr. if minimum wage had kept pace with the rise in productivity.

https://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/min-wage1-2012-03.pdf

LC , November 19, 2020 at 9:28 pm

Right!?
I keep thinking about how at 15/hour people will lose what small piece of our social safety net that keeps them "making it". No family is purchasing health insurance on that increase. And really the few dollars per hour might not even make up the food benefits for a medium sized family. It's scary to get a raise where you end up worse off then before.
I mean I guess that's just the messed up reality when a whole bunch of household costs have been introduced or increased since policies using means testing (income and asset thresholds) to determine access. Actually I am sure ok not sure but it would make sense that these companies know exactly how much pay will kick these employees off benefits. So the employee community is less likely to make a fuss for small increases in pay which is the norm we have come to accept as workers. I'm all for real talk minimum/ living wages for the communities people actually live in.

Carla , November 20, 2020 at 6:38 am

That's why expanded, improved Medicare for All has to be implemented ALONG WITH the $15 (or $22) minimum wage.

Chauncey Gardiner , November 19, 2020 at 2:42 pm

"Corporate welfare queens" As others have noted, it isn't just Walmart and the Waltons. Trying to think of an appropriate term to describe the outcome of the decision by a majority of the US Supreme Court justices in the Citizens United case that not only enabled but tacitly encouraged One Percent, corporate, Wall Street, executive branch, legislators' and central bank behavior that, although still a cycle, has led to the opposite of a "virtuous cycle". "Morally obscene", corrupt and corruptible, and dishonorable are some descriptions of resultant behavior that come to mind. Too bad "The Swamp" wasn't drained, but has been further expanded and left both legacy political parties tarnished. It is said that a fish rots from the head down. That may be so, but that doesn't mean the rot cannot be allowed to set in. Follow the Money.

drumlin woodchuckles , November 19, 2020 at 3:21 pm

It turns out that when the TrumpAdmin used the phrase " the Swamp", what they strictly specifically and only meant were the impartial scientists at the various departments , bureaus and agencies. And they have done all they could to drain out the impartial scientists and stop the science. Which is all they ever meant by "drain the Swamp".

howseth , November 19, 2020 at 6:10 pm

Citizens United decision was a display of right wing insanity in all it's glory: I suppose insanity was either baked into the Constitution – or in 1780 – was not yet insanity?
Still can't get over that decision – ever since, my thought: term limits for friggen federal judges – and certainly the SCOTUS crew and throw in Congress and the Senate as well.

drumlin woodchuckles , November 19, 2020 at 10:21 pm

We have term limits for state officeholders in Michigan. All that mostly gets us is cynical amateurs who view their limited term as a chance to make contacts and audition for lobbying/law/etc. jobs after leaving office.

And the non-cynical amateurs who want to make things better are term-limited out of office just when they are finally learning where all the hidden levers, ropes, pulleys, secret trap doors are. Meanwhile, the lobbyists are not term limited.

Term limits for national office would make some things worse while making nothing better.

howseth , November 20, 2020 at 12:39 am

Ah, those immortal lobbyists! Term limits for politicians – combined with limits on lobbyists. One can dream. No? I'd like to try it. How can we actually drain the Swamp/
Oh. Crap. We have a Supreme Court. Freedom to Lobby infinitely. Freedom of bribery – I mean freedom of speech.
OK, So nothing can be done. Perhaps state office holders are a different thing then National politicians? (Yeah, maybe not) But Do you want to remove the term limits on our President then? No? I'd keep that limit.
Should we just resign ourselves to be stuck with this stuff till the Sun expands and swallows the USA? The future colony on Mars will have a better way? Not likely.

Carla , November 20, 2020 at 7:18 am

We have term limits. They're called elections. If/when there's something wrong with Democracy, fix Democracy. If/when there's something wrong with the Constitution, fix the Constitution

In most cases, artificial term limits don't do either. I would say there are two exceptions: limiting the presidency to two terms, and limiting the tenure of federal judges. In the latter case, 18-year term limits have been suggested, and that could be the right number, I'm not sure.

Now, with respect to fixing Democracy and the Constitution, for a First Step, please see HJR-48: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States providing that the rights extended by the Constitution are the rights of natural persons only -- oh, by the way, stating that money does not equal speech.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-joint-resolution/48/text

drumlin woodchuckles , November 19, 2020 at 3:18 pm

Every looting is real looting. Little looters in the streets are real looters. Big looters in the suites are real looters.

Since the big looting is currently legal in many cases, laws would have to be changed to stop the big looters looting. Its worth trying to do. It won't happen with Joemala and McConnell conspiring together to stop it from happening.

We need to elect a Red Gingrich minority of officeholders into the House and into the Senate. The "squad" could be the nucleus of that if they decide to center economic justice instead of critical race wokeness.

Burn down the House. And the Senate too.

Carla , November 20, 2020 at 7:19 am

"Joemala" -- Love it!

Watt4Bob , November 19, 2020 at 4:00 pm

If China didn't have the Waltons, they would have found another family glad to help them destroy our small retailers.

Our government gave tax breaks to corporations moving manufacturing to China, and to Walmart, and others peddling what used to be made here.

And now, to add insult to injury, they're telling you to " Learn to code" because the problem is, you don't have any employable skills.

polecat , November 19, 2020 at 6:26 pm

Congrease had/has the legal power to enact legislation with which to reign in what has become the early 21st century gilded age .. but they refuse to .. Nearly ALL of them have their dirty proboscii harpooning the lowly constituents who elected them ..too busy sucking any and all of plebian bodilyeconomic liquidity whilst paying deference to the know-it-all, BigTime-parasitic Oligarchic Brainbugs!

drumlin woodchuckles , November 19, 2020 at 10:23 pm

Abolish Free Trade and we could dry up the tidal wave of cheapest things which floats Walmart's boat to wealth and power.

sharonsj , November 20, 2020 at 12:57 pm

Not gonna happen. Apparently Biden will likely sign the TPP.

drumlin woodchuckles , November 21, 2020 at 2:24 am

If Biden does that, then Trump himself could very well win again if he runs in 2024. If that scenario plays out that way, I hope Trump picks Ivanka to be his VP running mate. That way, Ivanka would be on track to be America's first woman president. I just hope Hillary would live long enough to see that happen.

PeasantParty , November 19, 2020 at 4:38 pm

I used to dread the Friday news drops. The unemployment numbers, employed people in minimum wage jobs, workers at home working away, and major inflation in the grocery stores are hitting people extremely hard coming up to Holiday season. I really can't wait to see the Friday news drops now. Not just the Trump temper tantrum stuff, but the economic quips they make. Then what is totally mind blowing are the comments on social media. Some people that are not hurting much, or at all seem to think that all things are fine as wine in the rest of the country. I know this reply does not specifically comment on your article, but it is a wide view of the current situation.

Shiloh1 , November 19, 2020 at 6:19 pm

Walmart and Bezos are the symptoms of two generations of Congressional criminality.

Exhibit A: "I say to the Walton Family..,"

cynical observer , November 19, 2020 at 10:41 pm

With the computers and big data, the simplest solution is to claw back the benefits paid to the employees from the corporations, call it humanitarian tax.

But, it would be hard to find a lobbyist to write it, even harder to find a sponsor in the congress.

edmondo , November 19, 2020 at 11:30 pm

That would destroy the ability of these people to get jobs and to receive benefits.

I think you might have the cause and effect mixed up. In my state, anyone who gets SNAP benefits has to work at least 20 hours a week. These "bad" employers are the ones with flexible schedules and because the jobs are so crappy, they are readily available. Maybe it's not that WalMartb workers need benefits, it's that the benefits recipient needs WalMart and McDonalds.

sharonsj , November 20, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Every state is different. I just have to show proof of income (which I have, though I don't have a job). But the amount of SNAP you get varies widely. I am 150% of poverty level and the state of Pennsylvania just raised my monthly benefit to $16.50.

Ook , November 19, 2020 at 10:45 pm

Another way to put it: Walmart, McDonald's, Dollar General, and Amazon are really government stores with outsourced management and labor.
Socialism American-style.

drumlin woodchuckles , November 21, 2020 at 2:25 am

Life in the CSSA. ( Corporate Soviet States of America).

sharonsj , November 20, 2020 at 1:05 pm

Whenever I am in Walmart or any supermarket with automatic check out, I avoid automatic check out completely and only go to regular check out, no matter how long the line is. Automatic check out is a precursor to eventually firing all human cashiers. In my "larger" town, where I often end up in Walmart for the cheaper pet food, an Aldi's was built precisely opposite it, across the road. I heard an Aldi's employee saying they get paid better than Walmart. And lots of their prices are the same or better. So I will be spending a lot more time there.

Elaine Williams , November 21, 2020 at 10:37 am

This is not new news. We are too used to Walmart's superlow prices to do anything about it. This will continue long after I'm gone.

[Nov 17, 2020] A short note of class struggle

Nov 17, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

hunkerdown , November 16, 2020 at 10:29 am

Consider the structure of the term "common sense", which is just shared opinion. If there is no common sense, there will be no common action.

The problem with coming together is that the ruling class divides and rules us as a normal procedure of creating a class system. Nobody in the ruling class has a problem with this. Their purpose in life is to reproduce the system of mass slavery and adapt it to present conditions and they, being among the elect, are fine with this.

Pat , November 16, 2020 at 9:48 am

Cognitive dissonance is a daily occurrence for anyone paying attention. And our struggling "leaders" are largely struggling over territory while ignoring the state of the nation.

True national emergencies are ignored as they are inconvenient, or more honestly buried under the rug, because they might mean our sociopaths at the top of the food chain would have to pony up some of their Ill gotten gains to the social good AND lose some of their leverage over modern serfs. And unlike "war" and "military intervention" which have been monetized to the nth degree, pandemic response has been bungled not only because the social systems have been shredded but because factions are fighting over response in order to find a way to strip as much public money from it as possible.

We make black jokes here about brunch, but the election of Biden is NOT about him, it is a probably a vain attempt to put the genie back in the bottle. The sad thing is that instead of pretending to be the adults in the room, the usual suspects kept up their four year long tantrum, instead of letting the process play out and talking about how our system works, it was all "he isn't giving up, he is being mean." All because it slightly delayed them reestablishing their rice bowls. And so ends the "bring us together" meme with nary a whimper.

I wish there was a chance our national leaders would get their heads out of the pockets of their donors long enough to notice that the foundation THEY depend on for their corrupt lifestyles had been destroyed. I wish our foundations had not been so corrupted that even one part remains strong.

I am not entirely pessimistic. The kids are largely alright. I just hope we can hold it together long enough to give them a chance.

David , November 16, 2020 at 11:30 am

Two slightly different things here, perhaps.
I think it's generally accepted that all societies need a common frame of reference against which you can have discussions and arguments, make and critique policy and try to interpret the world. This doesn't mean that everybody agrees, or still less that everybody is obliged to, but rather that everybody agrees about what the issues are and about the ground over which they may disagree. Back in the days of the Cold War, for example, there were furious debates about politics, not to mention wars, atrocities and dictatorships, but pretty much everybody agreed what the issues were, even if they were on different sides of them. Historically, this was very much the norm: the religious wars of Europe, or the wars of the French Revolution were between people with very different views, but who agreed on the underlying context. What we have now, is what the philosopher Alasdair McIntyre called "incommensurability": a jaw-breaking term which means, essentially, that people don't even begin from the same assumptions, and so are condemned to talk past each other. This accounts for a lot of the cognitive dissonance. In the case of Brexit, for example, much of the bitterness and confusion arose from the fact that Leavers and Remainers were simply talking about different things, and starting from different assumptions, but didn't realise it. The same applies, obviously to the whole TDS story. As a result, Joe Public is now faced with the need to choose between competing and mutually exclusive interpretations of events, or even whether events have actually occurred. It's hardly surprising there's so much confusion and stress.

It's made worse by the kind of thing Thuto mentions. One of the least helpful ideas to emerge from the 1960s was that children should be "left to find their own way", rather than being taught things. But children mature by testing their ideas against the norms and structures of society, and indeed their parents, and coming to some sort of personal vision of the world. A lot of modern politics (and practically all of IdiotPol) is the result of middle-class educated people who were never contradicted as children, and are still looking to shock and provoke twenty or thirty years later. Once you understand that much of the political and media system is made of people who are basically adolescents ("why does it have to make sense? Tell me why it has to make sense!) the chaos and stress become easier to understand.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 16, 2020 at 1:00 pm

This is what we should expect.
Western liberalism's descent into chaos.
1920s/2000s – neoclassical economics, high inequality, high banker pay, low regulation, low taxes for the wealthy, robber barons (CEOs), reckless bankers, globalisation phase
1929/2008 – Wall Street crash
1930s/2010s – Global recession, currency wars, trade wars, austerity, rising nationalism and extremism
1940s – World war.

Right wing populist leaders are what we should expect at this stage in the descent into chaos.

Why is Western liberalism always such a disaster?
They did try and learn from past mistakes to create a new liberalism (neoliberalism), but the Mont Pelerin Society went round in a circle and got back to pretty much where they started.

It equates making money with creating wealth and people try and make money in the easiest way possible, which doesn't actually create any wealth.
In 1984, for the first time in American history, "unearned" income exceeded "earned" income.
The American have lost sight of what real wealth creation is, and are just focussed on making money.
You might as well do that in the easiest way possible.
It looks like a parasitic rentier capitalism because that is what it is.

Bankers make the most money when they are driving your economy into a financial crisis.
What they are doing is really an illusion; they are just pulling future spending power into today.
The 1920s roared at the expense of an impoverished 1930s.
Japan roared on the money creation of real estate lending in the 1980s, they spent the next 30 years repaying the debt they had built up in the 1980s and the economy flat-lined.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTyJzmiHGk

Bankers use bank credit to pump up asset prices, which doesn't actually create any wealth.
The money creation of bank credit flows into the economy making it boom, but you are heading towards a financial crisis and claims on future prosperity are building up in the financial system.
https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf
Early success comes at the expense of an impoverished future.

Things haven't been the same since 2008.
Early success came at the expense of an impoverished future.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAStZJCKmbU&list=PLmtuEaMvhDZZQLxg24CAiFgZYldtoCR-R&index=6
At 18 mins.
The money creation of bank credit flowed into the economy before 2008 making it boom, but they were heading towards a financial crisis and claims on future prosperity were building up in the financial system.
It's repayment time.

Sound of the Suburbs , November 16, 2020 at 1:01 pm

Let's get the basics sorted.
When no one knows what real wealth creation is, you are in trouble.

We want economic success
Step one – Identify where wealth creation occurs in the economy.
Houston, we have a problem.

Economists do identify where real wealth creation in the economy occurs, but this is a most inconvenient truth as it reveals many at the top don't actually create any wealth.
This is the problem.
Much of their money comes from wealth extraction rather than wealth creation, and they need to get everyone thoroughly confused so we don't realise what they are really up to.

The Classical Economists had a quick look around and noticed the aristocracy were maintained in luxury and leisure by the hard work of everyone else.
They haven't done anything economically productive for centuries, they couldn't miss it.
The Classical economist, Adam Smith:
"The labour and time of the poor is in civilised countries sacrificed to the maintaining of the rich in ease and luxury. The Landlord is maintained in idleness and luxury by the labour of his tenants. The moneyed man is supported by his extractions from the industrious merchant and the needy who are obliged to support him in ease by a return for the use of his money."
There was no benefits system in those days, and if those at the bottom didn't work they died.
They had to earn money to live.

Ricardo was an expert on the small state, unregulated capitalism he observed in the world around him. He was part of the new capitalist class, and the old landowning class were a huge problem with their rents that had to be paid both directly and through wages.
"The interest of the landlords is always opposed to the interest of every other class in the community" Ricardo 1815 / Classical Economist.
They soon identified the constructive "earned" income and the parasitic "unearned" income.
This disappeared in neoclassical economics.

GDP was invented after they used neoclassical economics last time.
In the 1920s, the economy roared, the stock market soared and nearly everyone had been making lots of money.
In the 1930s, they were wondering what the hell had just happened as everything had appeared to be going so well in the 1920s and then it all just fell apart.
They needed a better measure to see what was really going on in the economy and came up with GDP.
In the 1930s, they pondered over where all that wealth had gone to in 1929 and realised inflating asset prices doesn't create real wealth, they came up with the GDP measure to track real wealth creation in the economy.
The transfer of existing assets, like stocks and real estate, doesn't create real wealth and therefore does not add to GDP. The real wealth creation in the economy is measured by GDP.
Real wealth creation involves real work producing new goods and services in the economy.

So all that transferring existing financial assets around doesn't create wealth?
No it doesn't, and now you are ready to start thinking about what is really going on there.

GlassHammer , November 16, 2020 at 2:08 pm

"Much of their money comes from wealth extraction rather than wealth creation, and they need to get everyone thoroughly confused so we don't realise what they are really up to."

And this is why the quintessential business model in the U.S (at least since the 1970s) has been the multi-level marketing scheme.

[Nov 14, 2020] 'There's a war on organizing, collective bargaining, unions and workers'- Biden wants to undo Trump executive orders on federal workers

Nov 14, 2020 | www.msn.com

'There's a war on organizing, collective bargaining, unions and workers': Biden wants to undo Trump executive orders on federal workers Andrew Keshner 6 hrs ago


Grandfather sentenced to more than 500 years in jail ordered to be released Supporters of President Donald Trump rally in Washington DC to protest MarketWatch logo 'There's a war on organizing, collective bargaining, unions and workers': Biden wants to undo Trump executive orders on federal workers a man standing in front of a brick building: Are executive orders on labor rules in store for government workers in a Biden administration? © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Are executive orders on labor rules in store for government workers in a Biden administration?

President Donald Trump used executive orders to put up roadblocks for unions representing federal employees, and now President-elect Joe Biden seems poised to reverse those moves.

In May 2018, President Donald Trump signed executive orders mandating stricter deadlines and procedures when federal workers collectively negotiated new contracts, curbing on-the-clock time for union duties as well as giving some under-performing workers tight time frames to boost their performance.

In January 2021, newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden is likely to pull back those same orders, according to union members, who say the orders have weakened their ability to ensure rank and file staffers are treated fairly.

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The Biden transition team didn't respond to a request for comment, but Biden's campaign website has signaled that the president-elect will address these issues: "There's a war on organizing, collective bargaining, unions, and workers. It's been raging for decades, and it's getting worse with Donald Trump in the White House."

The President-Elect, among other things, supports laws that would penalize companies trying to interfere with worker organizing efforts, according to his website.

Biden is expected to rely on executive orders for government policy if he cannot make changes through law in a divided Congress.

"This is not just about employees," said Tony Reardon, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union. "Ultimately, this is good for American taxpayers to have federal employees and agency leaders communicating and taking action together to solve problems before there's a grievance and a lawsuit."

Reardon, who heads a union with 150,000 members, said he and his staff had heard from Biden and his campaign in the months leading up to the Nov. 3 election. "The President-Elect, he was clear with me that he is extremely supportive of labor unions and of workers' rights," Reardon said.

There's a different point of view from management. "In some ways, you look at [the executive orders] and go 'Why weren't these there before?'" said Scott Witlin, who represents private-sector employers as a partner at Barnes & Thornburg.

There's nothing that's unreasonable on its face in the Trump administration orders, he said, such as a six-month limit on negotiations. "Six months would be an exceedingly long private-sector negotiation," he said.


Video: City leaders warn of possible new restrictions as COVID spikes statewide (WWL-TV New Orleans)

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In certain ways, the potential executive orders on federal workers are a narrow matter.

The federal government employed almost 3.8 million people in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics . Of that sum, 1.15 million were represented by unions, the agency said, noting that the category groups together union members and workers without union affiliation who have jobs covered by union or employee association contracts.

But it's also a peek at the president-elect's larger views on organized labor.

Declining union membership

Last year, there were 14.6 million salary and wage workers who were members of a union, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's just over 10% of the workforce, and a 10-percentage-point drop from 1983, the first year comparable statistics became available, the agency said.

There's a range of reasons why union ranks keep thinning, observers say . That ranges from the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act allowing "union shops" only when a majority of workers voted for the idea, to globalization -- which sent off factory jobs -- to state-level "right to work" laws that bar unions from collecting dues from non-union workers covered in their contracts.

Though right-to-work opponents say those kinds of laws eat into a union's to support itself, proponents say it's not fair to force workers into unions that they don't feel are acting in their best interest.

The three Trump administration executive orders frame their focus as a matter of promoting efficiency to avoid long, drawn out negotiations that could get in the way of carrying out official duties.

Celine McNicholas, director of government affairs at the left-leaning think tank the Economic Policy Institute, said Trump's orders focused on federal workers not because he had it out for them especially, but because "he could accomplish those attacks through the stroke of a pen."

The Trump administration orders "were designed in order to make it impossible for unions to fulfill their representation obligations under the law," said Jacqueline Simon, public policy director at the American Federation of Government Employees, a union comprised of 700,000 federal and District of Columbia government workers.

Reardon said the orders weren't necessary. "There is absolutely nothing about labor and management sitting down together and collaborating in work that suggests they can't create efficiencies." And there were already procedures to remove under-performing employees, he added.

Various unions, including the AFGE and NTEU, sued over the orders. Ultimately, the D.C Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the unions' challenges last year.

Reardon said he's seen the consequences of the new orders, which result in "sham" bargaining. Some NTEU members work at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, he noted. In the aftermath of the orders, Reardon said agency negotiators cut the talks short because they were bound by the orders' rules on what could and couldn't be the focus of talks.

The sides still haven't come to an agreement, said Reardon.

"HHS is working with employees and their union representation to improve the operations of the department with the aim of making the federal government a better place to work and better able to deliver the services to the American people," an HHS spokeswoman said in a statement.


[Nov 07, 2020] Trump just put new regulations in place that require h1b to pay way more, among other things, which means it makes low quality Indian workers far less interesting to the profiteers that then get the same low quality code and have to pay white/east Asian male wages.

Nov 07, 2020 | www.unz.com

Frank frank , says: November 7, 2020 at 9:33 am GMT • 8.1 hours ago

@Beckow ow quality Indian workers far less interesting to the profiteers that then get the same low quality code and have to pay white/east Asian male wages.

It's funny how the tech companies are all about diversity until it means higher costs.

It will also be funny when the token blacks people hiring programs by the tech companies mean that peak-diversity signaling, token hire Jamal realizes he'll be working with nothing but Indians that hate anyone would who is not brainwashed by Jewish propaganda and speak nothing but Hindi to each other and whom you can't understand when they actually try to speak English,

John Achterhof , says: November 7, 2020 at 12:50 pm GMT • 4.8 hours ago
@Beckow

Excellent analysis, entirely plausible. Lacking any survey of broad opinion, I'm apt to project my own view as Trump's Waterloo: that while the political damage of poorly managing the pandemic was mostly washed out by the emerging view that the economic damage (including the rioting) of the severe course favored by the left has been more harmful than the virus, a decisive fraction of his core demographic nevertheless arrived at the view – despite the ceaseless scolding insistence of this by much of mainstream media – that their president is indeed glaringly ill-suited for public office.

bomag , says: November 7, 2020 at 12:56 pm GMT • 4.7 hours ago
@Beckow

Clearly helping the white male workers has not been a priority. So he lost.

So, the choice was between someone who did nothing, and someone who promised to take even more away from them.

Such voters stay home as a protest, not go out and actively make things worse for themselves.

Suspect that their non-votes were harvested by the Machine.

Old and Grumpy , says: November 7, 2020 at 1:00 pm GMT • 4.7 hours ago

Perhaps it is due to living near Philly, but there is always fraud. Democrats are good at it, and Republican Inc. loves it. Can't have any honest, straight shooter interrupt the long standing political graft. Of course the Donald isn't really an honest man. Had he kept that 5% of the 2016 white male vote, any cheating would have been impossible. But hey we have still have Israel first with President Kamala. Whew on that. However I don't look forward to being uncomfortable in my house due to the Paris Accords mandates.

In defense of Maga, there are so many professional agitators in their ranks besides Qanon. Call them dumb, but they really desperate for something called hope. Maybe that is the reason I tend to think Trump was the bait to reel them in for the sporting catch and kill.

PolarBear , says: November 7, 2020 at 1:40 pm GMT • 4.9 hours ago
@prime noticer Trump's a business man, not a career politician like Biden or Hillary. The system wants the latter. Soros funds BLM, antifa, ect. It's safe to say the system was against Trump. Much of his own party of sellout politicians weren't with him. Trump got through the cracks once, the deep state wasn't going to let that happen again. To get 8 years in office you have to be a total puppet. The Bush's, Clinton, and Obama were all hand-picked puppets. Trump wasn't in the club. Trump as President was an accident they had clean up, even if he was more than willing to betray the White men that voted him in and submit to the beast.
Trinity , says: November 7, 2020 at 2:18 pm GMT • 4.3 hours ago

It is obvious why (((they))) wanted Trumpstein out, Trumpstein, despite being a cuckold to the Zionist was threatening to bring our brave young men and women home, protect our borders, and his base was about 98% White at the lowest. And many of those were common everyday working class Whites, you know, the people who really made America great, the people who actually grow food, build buildings, work and produce automobiles in factories, drive trucks, you know jobs that are REAL JOBS, JOBS THAT ACTUALLY PRODUCE SOMETHING.

(((They))) didn't really hate Trump, they hated the typical Trump voter. Actually it has already been pointed out, Trump did very little for the average White other than give them hope, he really didn't deliver that much. Trump became uber popular by just giving the people crumbs, now can you imagine how popular a man or woman will be when they come out of nowhere and give the people the hundred per cent truth. It will take a fearless man or woman, someone with nothing left to lose, because that is the way it has always been. I NEVER expected Trump to do much, after all, this guy is the typical NYC businessman, think of who this guy has had dealings with in his lifetime, hell, look at his in-laws. For all his, "I am not a politician" rantings, Trump spent his life around politicians and pictures are all over the place with Trump & Bill Clinton golfing together, Trump and Ghislane, Trump & Epstein, Trump with his friend Baby Nut&Yahoo, etc. Sounds like the typical politician to me. Trump was NEVER a man of the people and it will take a real man of the people to set things right in America.

TMJ , says: November 7, 2020 at 2:34 pm GMT • 4.0 hours ago
@Ano4 emonized, censored, attacked, and even murdered. I am glad to have sat this one out, between who knows how many men like me and those 5% we brought this supposed contest to a standstill and caused a nation of cope.

Wignats gave him 2016 and we turned 2020 into a shitshow in answer to his betrayal. Trump only has himself to blame for doing almost nothing to stop censorship, clean up the FBI/DOJ, prosecute Antifa, end birthright citizenship, end H1B, so many other opportunities squandered. Trump supporters should start working toward something productive for their interests.

Trinity , says: November 7, 2020 at 4:58 pm GMT • 1.6 hours ago

Harris/Biden like Trump/Pence are Israel Firsters, so really all this hoopla over a transition is not really called for when you think about it. Matter of fact, the 1st and 2nd Amendment will continue to be under attacked just like it was with Trumpstein, now more than ever. Anti-White racism will continue until Whites start standing up for their rights the same way as everyone else. Trumpstein was never the savior for America, face it. Maybe things will become so bad IF Harris/Biden take over that this country and Whites will gain a spine again. Until then, new boss, same as the old boss, more or less. Still as bad as the Orange Man was, IF you are "White" and voted for Harris/Biden, you have to be legally retarded. Thanks to all the WINOs and white traitor trash out there. Brilliant you bunch of retards.

Emslander , says: November 7, 2020 at 5:24 pm GMT • 1.2 hours ago

A nice splash of cold water on the sadly losing side in the 2020 election. What you say is mostly true. There are some significant points you don't acknowledge, such as the idea that massive numbers of mailed ballots will certainly result in unauthorized votes being counted. It's hard to say how many that is, but I suspect, like you, that it can't have made a difference of hundreds of thousands across all the states necessary for a Trump victory.

Blame the phony virus for most of these results and I insist that shutdown policies have been a gross overreaction designed to make Trump powerless to campaign.

Finally, one simply has to admit that Trump was unprepared to be an effective President and never learned how. Saying things that sound populist over and over isn't governing.

We have a nice wall that's 400 miles long down on the Mexican border and that's about it. At some point in the fast approaching future, it will have a plaque on it saying, "I am Ozymandias Trump. Look on all that I survey."

Zarathustra , says: Next New Comment November 7, 2020 at 5:40 pm GMT • 54 minutes ago

Well?
What kind of pathetic miserable 17 intelligence agencies, with support of democratic party and Judenpresse would be , if they would not be able to fix the election such way that their mischief cannot be found. And on top of it Covid with mail in voting was a surefire help.
.
But than you sleep in the bed you make.

Ghali , says: Next New Comment November 7, 2020 at 5:56 pm GMT • 38 minutes ago

Very misleading and dis-informative post. It ignores the Democrats' history of fraudulent elections and manipulation of Americans. From the beginning and before the elections, the Democrats said that they will do everything to remove Trump from the White House, by violence if necessary.
In reality, the only times the Democrats won fair elections were by JFK and Obama recently. The reasons were because of the efficient and highly successful advertising campaigns (propaganda) to manipulate Americans. In fact, Obama won a prize for his efficient advertising campaign to con Americans and "win" the elections. He was far more criminal than his predecessors.

[Nov 07, 2020] .It's a class-war people, recognize it for such.

Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

donten , Nov 5 2020 23:33 utc | 178

The amount of cerebral activity wasted here is, well, wasted...It's a class-war people, recognize it for such. The U.S. needs to fall down among the weeds, and fertilize what's coming...The libertarian impulse must be squashed until it is unrecognizable!!

Equality, Fraternity, and Liberty in that order, my friends. All else is sickness in the mind.

[Nov 07, 2020] I grew up in the 50's, when a single wage earner was able to buy a modest house, own a car, and provide for the average family, including medical costs, college plans, etc. Those days have long gone due to the ongoing debasement of the currency

Nov 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

naiverealist , Nov 6 2020 16:32 utc | 75

I am seeing quite a few references to a $15/hr minimum wage as a target for a "living wage". I feel this is merely misdirection from the real problems with our money system.

First, let me say that I fully support the idea of a "living wage". After all, I grew up in the 50's, when a single wage earner was able to buy a modest house, own a car, and provide for the average family, including medical costs, college plans, etc. Those days have long gone due to the ongoing debasement of the currency. Thus, it doesn't matter what you establish as the minimum wage this year, by next year it will have to be raised again (and again, and again, . . . ). So, why pick a $15 number when $20, $25, etc. are in the future of an inflating currency.

To suggest a way to break this cycle, please abide with me as I relate a personal anecdote.

In the late 60's I was negotiating a job with a particularly cantankerous cheapskate. I told him that I would work for him for $1/ hour. He got really elated and was ready to formalize the position when I continued ". . . but that dollar has to be a silver dollar." He broke off negotiations immediately. I didn't care. I really didn't want to work for him. Silver was still cheap in those days.

Anyway, look at the price of a silver dollar now, and ask yourself if that would be a "living wage" today. (The melt value of a silver dollar (about .77 oz) is around $20 excluding any premiums or numismatic value.)

I contend that debasement of the currency (the US dollar) by removing all silver (and copper) from coins and gold backing from the paper dollar has caused more of the economic problems (IMHO) of the average person we see today.

[Oct 24, 2020] You do realize that H1B is literal indentured servitude, right?

Oct 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

c1ue , Oct 23 2020 15:31 utc | 120

@vk #110
You do realize that H1B is literal indentured servitude, right?
And that its purpose is nothing more than cheap(er) labor for the tech companies?
I know many people on H1B, as well as several people who specialize in H1B "hiring".
The good news: many of these people are smart and capable.
The bad news: they're stuck at the companies they start at for 7 years or more - and are paid significantly (20% to 50%) under "market". If they leave, their green card process starts anew even assuming they find another H1B sponsor.
More bad news: there are also a significant number of "body shops" who do nothing but enter the lottery for H1B visas, then auction off the "wins" to the tech companies. The H1B people in these situations are far worse off because they work for the "body shop", not the tech company.
Most importantly: H1B, even at its peak, brought in less than 200K people (188K by law).
In comparison: in 2017 - legal immigration was
Family and Immediate Relatives: 748,746
Employment: 137,855
Refugees and Asylees: 146,003
Diversity and Other: 94,563
Total Visas Issued: 1,127,167
Over 1.1 million people came in legally without the H1B.

[Oct 19, 2020] A new statue depicting Medusa holding a man's severed head symbolises what's bad about #MeToo and why it's backfired on women by Alexander Adams

Oct 17, 2020 | www.rt.com

In Greek mythology, men used to fear the stony gaze of the snake-haired Gorgon. Today, men once again feel such fear – but, ironically, no campaign has done more to impair women's opportunities either.

A seven-foot statue of Medusa holding a man's severed head was unveiled in New York this week. For six months, this sculpture, made by the Argentinian-Italian artist Luciano Garbati, will be situated facing the Manhattan Supreme Court, where Harvey Weinstein was prosecuted and convicted of sex crimes against actresses and female film-production staff.

The statue is being used in this position as a symbol of justice enacted against male rapists. However, it more accurately – and unintentionally – symbolises the difference between the public triumphalism of the #MeToo movement and its negative repercussions for women in the United States.

The most famous painting of Medusa – a female character from Greek mythology who had a hair of snakes and could turn men to stone if they met her gaze directly – was painted by Caravaggio in 1596. He was inspired by Vasari's account of a lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci. It has been a common subject for artists since. Garbati's statue was made in 2008 and adopted by the #MeToo movement subsequently. From moral outrage to financial advantage

The #MeToo movement hit prominence in 2017 and was initially primarily concerned with incidents, and allegations, of sexual abuse in Hollywood. It quickly grew to include cases of sexual impropriety in many fields, mainly in the US. However, as it expanded, it encompassed rape, sexual abuse, inappropriate sexual contact, unwanted advances, and transactional sex.

By refusing to draw distinctions between actual crimes, ethical/professional infractions, and consensual (but regretted) sex, the movement became diffusely broad. Allegations of sexual abuse led to the accused losing contracts, jobs, and marriages; in some cases, it contributed to suicide. In the ensuing storm of moral panic, actual rape was conflated with Ben Affleck's groping of an actress in a video interview , a woman complaining about a date with Aziz Ansari and Louis CK exposing himself to colleagues (with their consent).

By failing to distinguish between levels of seriousness, the movement lost what moral credibility it had and became a means of gaining revenge and exacting extortion. If crimes have been committed, then they should be reported to the police, not aired in a public forum. The accused need anonymity just as the victims do, until justice can be served.

Sexual accusations have long been weaponized in American pop culture. It has already been proven that a whisper network of female comic-book professionals has targeted male colleagues with – alongside actual crimes – unfounded accusations, in order to provide more opportunities for female creators. This is not a male/female problem; using deceit and exaggeration to advance oneself is as old as language itself.

In American television and film production, #MeToo gained control of productions via Time's Up, enforcing quotas of women and extracting payments. It became a grab to secure lucrative work for women, relying on goodwill from the public and the fear of executives. The Time's Up movement is co-led by Katie McGrath, who runs production company Bad Robot Productions with her husband J.J. Abrams. Bad Robot has a history of presenting itself as a pro-social-justice company. This summer, at a time when rioters were burning shops and destroying historic monuments, Bad Robot made an infamous announcement that there had been " Enough polite conversation. Enough white comfort. "

ALSO ON RT.COM Rose McGowan's new #MeToo rape claim puts the Left in difficulty. No prizes for guessing what they'll do – they'll dump on her Unintended consequences

By presenting a company as an ethical, socially conscious body, that company is an ideal position to benefit from major firms being pressured into making decisions not based on competence but politics. Individuals and companies have seen how they can manipulate public sympathy about sexual abuse to their own advantage. But firms are now realizing this danger.

No event has done more to impair women's opportunities in the workplace than the #MeToo/Time's Up movement. Production companies – even those led by women – now see female colleagues as a source of potential extortion and compensation claims. As a result, they now avoid hiring women in order to avert the possibility of costly legal claims and reputation-impairing social-media campaigns. Following decades-long attempts to persuade male-dominated industries that hiring women brought advantages and an expansion of the talent pool, the moral panic of #MeToo has served only to reveal the disadvantages of employing women.

When male executives see women today, they fear them, just as heroes in Greek mythology feared the gaze of Medusa. Ironically, rather than celebrating female power, Garbati's statue is instead a fitting symbol of the way a campaign that began well has, once again, made men mistrust women.

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Alexander Adams

is an artist, art critic and author. His book 'Iconoclasm, Identity Politics and the Erasure of History' is published by Societas. Follow him on Twitter @AdamsArtist

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


[Oct 15, 2020] Northern 'Working Class' Brits need to lose the chip on their shoulder and stop expecting other people to solve their problems -- RT Op-ed

Oct 15, 2020 | www.rt.com

Northern 'Working Class' Brits need to lose the chip on their shoulder and stop expecting other people to solve their problems Chris Sweeney Chris Sweeney

Chris Sweeney is an author and columnist who has written for newspapers such as The Times, Daily Express, The Sun and Daily Record, along with several international-selling magazines. Follow him on Twitter @Writes_Sweeney 14 Oct, 2020 14:18 / Updated 14 hours ago Get short URL Northern 'Working Class' Brits need to lose the chip on their shoulder and stop expecting other people to solve their problems © Getty Images/Peter Byrne/PA Images 26 Follow RT on RT The traditional blue collar areas of the UK are complaining of being treated with less respect and urgency by Boris Johnson, than the more affluent parts of the country - but their argument doesn't stack up.

Britain is riddled by a class system. This is largely down to the exaggeration of those who self-identify as "working class".

A snapshot is the cliché thrown around that to be Prime Minister, you have to attend either Oxford or Cambridge. For those outside of the UK, the insinuation is that you come from an affluent background, can afford private education which enabled you to enter one of the two famous universities. Boris Johnson is the poster child for this privileged group of blue bloods.

READ MORE Britain has always been unfair, unequal and divided – Covid-19 has only served to show this in even more stark relief Britain has always been unfair, unequal and divided – Covid-19 has only served to show this in even more stark relief

But James Callaghan was Prime Minster before Margaret Thatcher took over in 1979, and couldn't afford to go to university so never went. Neither did her successor, John Major. Gordon Brown who followed Tony Blair, attended the University of Edinburgh and is well-regarded as the most intellectual of recent PMs.

There's no denying the political system has a bias towards Oxbridge alumni, but people have smashed the glass ceiling and, in fact, even of the PMs who did attend Oxford or Cambridge between 1964 and 1997, Wilson, Heath and Thatcher, none were privately educated.

Why this is pertinent now, is because of the hysteria sweeping Britain's North complaining of playing with a loaded deck. The gripe is that London and the wealthier pockets of society are being allowed more attention and flexibility during Covid.

The South of England is the spiritual home of The Conservatives, the land of the millionaire stockbroker and art history scholar. The North, Wales and Scotland have traditionally been enemy territory, due to their cities being built on manufacturing, coal mining and industry. In our current scenario, this Northern population are being driven by a chip on their shoulders.

London dominates commerce and business, it's a global financial centre. Even so, some of the capital city's inhabitants are under the misapprehension that Northerners dream of a "London life". They don't.

The two pillars of British culture; football and music are defined far more successfully outside of London, than they ever have been inside.

The same discombobulation happens in the other direction and because the Northern towns are more parochial, they impact on a bigger scale.

ALSO ON RT.COM 'No peasants, please': BoJo's love-in with Bill Gates on Twitter shows just how broken UK democracy really is

Over the last few days, the British government has tightened restrictions particularly in the North, across the three tiers - they are the only region in the most severe tranche. But chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new scheme to pay two-thirds of any employees' wages, if their place of work is forced to shut.

Large firms who close can claim grants up to £3,000 per month and smaller businesses are entitled to £1,300. That's on top of the Job Support Scheme, which kicks-in for anyone working at least a third of their normal hours. The government will subsidise the remaining two-thirds (up to £2,100).

This follows furlough, which has been paying 80 percent of salaries (up to £2,500 per month) of 12 percent of Britain's workforce. Sunak said : "The primary goal of our economic policy remains unchanged - to support people's jobs...I cannot save every business, I cannot save every job."

Northern politicians have been quick to dog whistle.

Mayor of Greater Manchester , Andy Burnham complained: "They're trying to pressurise people into tier three, even though it will do certain harm to those economies, often quite fragile economies in the north."

Liverpool's mayor Steve Rotheram felt he wasn't consulted enough and said: "it was made clear to us that government would be doing this regardless of if we engaged with them or not."

Whipping up a frenzy ahead of the new rules, Frank McKenna, chief executive of lobby group Downtown in Business , ranted: "I cannot overstate the devastation that this will cause to Liverpool and other parts on northern England if these plans are adopted."

ALSO ON RT.COM I've gone from pro-lockdown to NO lockdown. Here's why people must take over from inept governments and learn to live with Covid

Covid is slitting the wrists of our economy. Unemployment has risen to 4.5 percent . But the pain is everywhere.

National debt stands at £2 trillion and will remain at over 100 percent of GDP, until 2025 at least. New research shows Aberdeen has the highest remaining income (£1,487.82), after monthly costs are deducted from average salaries.

Liverpool, Sheffield, Hull, Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle all rate above London on the same scale. The residents of the capital are left with £260.97.

London has a glut of millionaires and average figures are distorting. But that's the crux - statistics and points of view can be massaged.

This antipathy from the North is driven by rose-tinted spectacles. Those in the world of financial services earn more than their blue-collar counterparts.

That's because fewer people are capable of these jobs and they generate significantly more wealth than a manual or semi-skilled worker. This is not a criticism of manual workers, just a fact of life. Parity would be neither fair nor achievable. Living standards are determined by income, those working in commerce are also able to continue unabated, due to technology and video conferencing.

ALSO ON RT.COM Boris Johnson 'forcing' pubs in the North of England to close is a cultural car crash bound to cause more trouble than it cures

The arrival of Covid wasn't Britain's doing and Boris Johnson has handled it appallingly, for everyone. But even so there has been a herculean level of financial assistance, with The Treasury opening the cheque book like never before. Along with the other schemes, they've just handed £257 million to arts organisations across England.

Some elements of the Westminster machine are working for us all, the complaining masses in the North need to respect that. Moaning about being left dangling by the upper classes is just jealously at not having what others do.

Life isn't fair but the government's Covid assistance has been, so stop the self-pity.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Sep 29, 2020] The Most Miserable Place On Earth: Disney Firing 28,000 Workers

Sep 29, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Two-thirds of the newly laid-off workers are part-time employees: they will be happy to know that Disney loaded up on massive debt so it could fund stock buybacks.

[Sep 26, 2020] The Stockdale Paradox

Notable quotes:
"... You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end -- which you can never afford to lose -- with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be. ..."
Sep 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

grug-cave-head , 2 hours ago

Let me post something.

The Stockdale Paradox[ edit ]

James C. Collins related a conversation he had with Stockdale regarding his coping strategy during his period in the Vietnamese POW camp. [21] [ non-primary source needed ] When Collins asked which prisoners didn't make it out of Vietnam, Stockdale replied:

Oh, that's easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart. This is a very important lesson.

You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end -- which you can never afford to lose -- with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be. [22]

Collins called this the Stockdale Paradox. [21]

[Sep 25, 2020] Angry Bear " All My Children

Sep 25, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

Comments (1)

  1. Likbez , September 25, 2020 11:05 am

    That's pretty naive take on the subject.

    For example Microsoft success was by the large part determined its alliance with IBM in the creation of PC and then exploiting IBM ineptness to ride this via shred marketing and alliances and "natural monopoly" tendencies in IT. MS DOS was a clone of CP/M that was bought, extended and skillfully marketed. Zero innovation here.

    Both Microsoft and Apple rely of research labs in other companies to produce innovation which they then then produced and marketed. Even Steve Jobs smartphone was not an innovation per se: it was just a slick form factor that was the most successful in the market. All functionality existed in other products.

    Facebook was prelude to, has given the world a glimpse into, the future.

    From pure technical POV Facebook is mostly junk. It is a tremendous database of user information which users supply themselves due to cultivated exhibitionism. Kind of private intelligence company. The mere fact that software was written in PHP tells you something about real Zuckerberg level.

    Amazon created a usable interface for shopping via internet (creating comments infrastructure and a usable user account database ) but this is not innovation in any sense of the word. It prospered by stealing large part of Wall Mart logistic software (and people) and using Wall Mart tricks with suppliers. So Bezos model was Wall Mart clone on the Internet.

    Unless something is done, Bezos will soon be the most powerful man in the world.

    People like Bezos, Google founders, Zuckerberg to a certain extent are part of intelligence agencies infrastructure. Remember Prism. So implicitly we can assume that they all report to the head of CIA.

    Artificial Intelligence, AI, is another consequence of this era of innovation that demands our immediate attention.

    There is very little intelligence in artificial intelligence :-). Intelligent behavior of robots in mostly an illusion created by First Clark law:

    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke%27s_three_laws

    Most of amazing things that we see are the net result of tremendous raise of computing power of Neumann architecture machines.

    At some point quantity turns into quality.

[Sep 23, 2020] How Globalization Destroyed the Western Middle Class

Notable quotes:
"... "Another chasm opened between middle-class Westerners and their wealthy compatriots. Here, too, the middle class lost ground. It seemed that the wealthiest people in rich countries and almost everybody in Asia benefited from globalization, while only the middle class of the rich world lost out in relative terms. These facts supported the notion that the rise of "populist" political parties and leaders in the West stemmed from middle-class disenchantment. ..."
Sep 23, 2020 | www.blacklistednews.com

HOW GLOBALIZATION DESTROYED THE WESTERN MIDDLE CLASS Published: September 15, 2020
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SOURCE: INSIGHT HISTORY

The world is becoming more equal but largely at the expense of middle-class Westerners, according to a recent paper by Branko Milanovic , a Stone Center Senior Scholar and a Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics. Milanovic's paper was published in Foreign Affairs, the publication of the think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and was titled: The World Is Becoming More Equal, Even as Globalization Hurts Middle-Class Westerners . Broadly speaking, globalization is the process of increased " worldwide integration of the economic, cultural, political, religious, and social systems" of the globe, producing an increased flow of goods, capital, labour, and information, across national borders. It was a process that gained steam particularly in the mid-1980s, with globalization having the greatest transformative impact on life since the Industrial Revolution .

Milanovic's paper starts by arguing that the world became more equal between the end of the Cold War and 2007/08 financial crisis, a period of high globalization. During this period however, globalization weakened the middle class in the West. As Milanovic writes :

"The results highlighted two important cleavages [or divisions]: one between middle-class Asians and middle-class Westerners and one between middle-class Westerners and their richer compatriots. In both comparisons, the Western middle class was on the losing end. Middle-class Westerners saw less income growth than (comparatively poorer) Asians, providing further evidence of one of the defining dynamics of globalization: in the last 40 years, many jobs in Europe and North America were either outsourced to Asia or eliminated as a result of competition with Chinese industries. This was the first tension of globalization: Asian growth seems to take place on the backs of the Western middle class."

Milanovic continues :

"Another chasm opened between middle-class Westerners and their wealthy compatriots. Here, too, the middle class lost ground. It seemed that the wealthiest people in rich countries and almost everybody in Asia benefited from globalization, while only the middle class of the rich world lost out in relative terms. These facts supported the notion that the rise of "populist" political parties and leaders in the West stemmed from middle-class disenchantment. "

Milanovic goes on to note that in an updated paper that looks at incomes in 130 countries from 2008 to 2013-14, the first tension of globalization holds true: in that, the incomes of the non-Western middle class grew more than the incomes of the middle class in the West. The impact of globalization on the Western middle class is imperative to understand. Globalization is a process that has produced winners and losers , and the Western middle class has been the greatest loser.

In my opinion, any system that weakens the middle class in any country should be seen as counterproductive. Having a strong middle class is one of the most important tenets in building a strong, prosperous, and stable society. The middle class serves as the bedrock of any country: those who comprise the middle-class work hard, pay taxes, and buy goods. A true solution to poverty in underdeveloped countries would create more prosperity for everyone, not take prosperity from one region and redirect it into another. This so-called solution creates at least as many problems as it supposedly solves.

Globalization has produced, and will seemingly continue to produce, a global standardization of wealth in many ways. For those special interests who are in the process of creating a global system, an economic uniformity across the globe is advantageous for the creation of this one-world system.

Sources

Globalization Definition, Oxford Reference - https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095855259

MÜNCHAU , W. (24 April, 2016) The revenge of globalisation's losers, Financial Times https://www.ft.com/content/a4bfb89a-0885-11e6-a623-b84d06a39ec2

Milanovic, B. (28 Aug. 2020) The World Is Becoming More Equal, Even as Globalization Hurts Middle-Class Westerners. Foreign Affairs https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/world/2020-08-28/world-economic-inequality

Milanovic, B. (13 May, 2016) Why the Global 1% and the Asian Middle Class Have Gained the Most from Globalization, Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2016/05/why-the-global-1-and-the-asian-middle-class-have-gained-the-most-from-globalization

Vanham, P. (17 Jan. 2019) A brief history of globalization, World Economic Forum https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/01/how-globalization-4-0-fits-into-the-history-of-globalization/

[Sep 23, 2020] "THE $2.5 TRILLION THEFT"- RAND study uncovers massive income shift to the top 1%

Sep 23, 2020 | www.blacklistednews.com

"THE $2.5 TRILLION THEFT": RAND STUDY UNCOVERS MASSIVE INCOME SHIFT TO THE TOP 1% Published: September 15, 2020
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SOURCE: FASTCOMPANY.COM

Just how far has the working class been left behind by the winner-take-all economy? A new analysis by the RAND Corporation examines what rising inequality has cost Americans in lost income -- and the results are stunning.

A full-time worker whose taxable income is at the median -- with half the population making more and half making less -- now pulls in about $50,000 a year. Yet had the fruits of the nation's economic output been shared over the past 45 years as broadly as they were from the end of World War II until the early 1970s, that worker would instead be making $92,000 to $102,000. (The exact figures vary slightly depending on how inflation is calculated.)

The findings, which land amid a global pandemic, help to illuminate the paradoxes of an economy in which so-called essential workers are struggling to make ends meet while the rich keep getting richer .

"We were shocked by the numbers," says Nick Hanauer , a venture capitalist who came up with the idea for the research along with David Rolf, founder of Local 775 of the Service Employees International Union and president of the Fair Work Center in Seattle. "It explains almost everything. It explains why people are so pissed off. It explains why they are so economically precarious."

Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018 [Chart: Carter C. Price and Kathryn Edwards, RAND Corporation]
"THE $2.5 TRILLION THEFT"

Notably, it isn't just those in the middle who've been hit. RAND found that full-time, prime-age workers in the 25th percentile of the U.S. income distribution would be making $61,000 instead of $33,000 had everyone's earnings from 1975 to 2018 expanded roughly in line with gross domestic product, as they did during the 1950s and '60s.

Workers in the 75th percentile would be at $126,000 instead of $81,000. Remarkably, even those in the 90th percentile would be better off than they are now if economic growth had been shared as it was in the post-war era. They'd be making $168,000 rather than $133,000.

Tally it all up, according to RAND, and the bottom 90% of American workers would be bringing home an additional $2.5 trillion in total annual income if economic gains were as equitably divided as they'd been in the past -- leading Rolf to dub the phenomenon "the $2.5 trillion theft."

"From the standpoint of people who have worked hard and played by the rules and yet are participating far less in economic growth than Americans did a generation ago," he says, "whether you call it 'reverse distribution' or 'theft,' it demands to be called something."

The RAND data also makes clear who the winners from inequality are: those in the top 1%.

Of course, they'd be in a less advantageous position if the economic pie had been divvied up since the mid-1970s like it was previously. If that were the case, RAND says, yearly income for the average one-percenter would fall from about $1.2 million to $549,000.

[Sep 22, 2020] Stop smoking, ditch the pyjamas, stay at your desk- how 'bossware' technology is secretly monitoring you working at home -- RT Op-ed

Sep 22, 2020 | www.rt.com

Think you can take a sneaky break or have a lie-in because you're 'working' remotely? Forget it. Employers are increasingly deploying surveillance software to check how productive staff are at home.

Lockdown and its aftermath has led more and more employees to work from home. Many big firms have already said they won't even attempt to get back staff back to the office until next year, at the earliest, amid discussions about how working from home could become the new normal for at least part of the week.

Working from home has a lot of advantages for many people. It can make childcare easier, for example. Employees can avoid having to deal with annoying colleagues, or coughing up for long, expensive and often uncomfortable commutes.

They can also avoid having their bosses constantly looking over their shoulder – or can they?

Employers are using ever more sophisticated measures to keep tabs on their home-working staff, anxious that they might be shirking, and introducing new rules governing how their workers appear and act.

One large London employer, Hammersmith & Fulham Council, has even gone as far as banning its employees from smoking at their desks at home, demanding that " any part of a private dwelling used solely for work purposes will be required to be smoke-free " and that " family members should not be allowed to smoke in the home worker's office ". The council claims the policy has since been dropped, presumably because it is unenforceable. (Though, with webcams now ubiquitous, maybe not.) It's also irrational, since smoking at home can hardly affect your colleagues or the public image of your employer.

ALSO ON RT.COM A second lockdown for Britain? The evidence simply doesn't justify it

Smokers have long been in the vanguard of interference in our private lives. But having precedent for interference in our private lives having been established, the rules applied to smokers have inspired other kinds of meddling.

Most obvious in the current situation is the use of technological measures to monitor staff. Such surveillance is not new, but it's taken on a new importance and is much more widespread in the Covid era. A recent feature in Wired notes the rise of this surveillance culture. As author Alex Christian notes:

" As coronavirus lays waste to workplaces around the world, surveillance software has flourished: programs such as ActivTrak, Time Doctor, Teramind and Hubstaff have all reported a post-lockdown sales surge. Once installed, they offer an array of covert monitoring tools, with managers able to view screenshots, login times and keystrokes at will to ensure employees remain on track working remotely. Although marketed as productivity software, the technology – dubbed as 'bossware' for its secrecy and invasiveness – has led to many workers finding creative ways of evading its omniscient gaze ."

Employees working within these strictures face a reprimand or even the sack for low productivity or taking too long on their break. One app, Sneek, covertly takes photos of employees to see if they are at their desks. Project management programs such as Jira and Basecamp, meanwhile, can allow bosses to spot when workers are not maintaining a high level of output. Frequent online team meetings on Zoom or Microsoft Teams can ensure staff are at least thinking about work – and woe betide anyone who's still in their pyjamas or doesn't show up at all.

Of course, there are workarounds if you're smart enough. One way is to move your mouse regularly – or to instal software to give the illusion it's being moved. But the whole thing has the potential to create a sense that Big Brother Bossman is watching you constantly.

ALSO ON RT.COM Making the wearing of face masks compulsory is inconsistent, illogical, illiberal & divisive

It's bad enough that working from home leads many people into the trap of blurring work and home life. That time on the commute, when you might at least be reading or listening to music or a podcast, becomes work time. It's easy to see how all of this leads to the intensification of work.

Moreover, working from home deprives us of the solidarity and consolation of colleagues. It's harder to band together to push back against the imposition of new rules and regulations if you don't see your peers face to face. Many jobs are intense and stressful, but working in an office allows staff to sound off to each other informally in the pub on a Friday night – or maybe hear about better opportunities elsewhere.

Working from home can also be a disaster for younger employees, who need to learn the ropes from their experienced colleagues. It's harder to learn, and to make a good impression with those that count, over video calls.

While a middle-class employee with a comfortable and spacious home may wax lyrical about the benefits of working from home, for many people, it's becoming an ever more intensive and stressful experience. Knowing that your boss could be spying on you just adds paranoia and fear to the mix.

We may well be heading backwards in the world of work. In pre-industrial times and beyond, garment-makers would work themselves to death during long hours to service the demands of buyers, paid as they were by the piece and not by the hour, and isolated in their home from other such workers. We need to be very careful that the modern, connected, domesticated workplace doesn't take us down the same route.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


[Sep 11, 2020] Stephen Miller vs. CNN's Jim Acosta- You Have Revealed Your -Cosmopolitan Bias- - Video - RealClearPolitics

Sep 11, 2020 | www.realclearpolitics.com

Stephen Miller vs. CNN's Jim Acosta: You Have Revealed Your "Cosmopolitan Bias" Posted By Ian Schwartz
On Date August 2, 2017

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.409.0_en.html#goog_1283031682

White House counselor Stephen Miller and CNN's Jim Acosta clash at the Wednesday press briefing focused on the administration's new immigration proposal:

RELATED: Stephen Miller vs. CNN's Jim Acosta: U.S. Immigration Policy Has Never Been Dictated By Statue Of Liberty Poem

[Sep 10, 2020] Is BLM the Mask behind which the Oligarchs Operate, by Mike Whitney

Highly recommended!
In short black people are used as pawns in the political struggle between two neoliberal clans fighting for power, using students without perspectives of gaining meaningful employment as a ram. We saw this picture before in a different country. And riots do reverse gains achieved in civil right struggle since 1960th, so they are also net losers. Racial tensions in the USA definitely increased dramatically.
Notable quotes:
"... Bottom line: "Critical Race Theory", "The 1619 Project", and Homeland Security's "White Supremacist" warning represent the ideological foundation upon which the war on America is based. The "anti-white" dogma is the counterpart to the massive riots that have rocked the country. These phenomena are two spokes on the same wheel. They are designed to work together to achieve the same purpose. The goal is create a "racial" smokescreen that conceals the vast and willful destruction of the US economy, the $5 trillion dollar wealth-transfer that was provided to Wall Street, and the ferocious attack on the emerging, mainly-white working class "populist" movement that elected Trump and which rejects the globalist plan to transform the world into a borderless free trade zone ruled by cutthroat monopolists and their NWO allies. ..."
"... This is a class war dolled-up to look like a race war. Americans will have to look beyond the smoke and mirrors to spot the elites lurking in the shadows. There lies the cancer that must be eradicated. ..."
"... The current situation cannot exist without the complicity of the secret services and the police. The heads of the secret services are either part of the cabal or close their eyes in fear ..."
"... There can be no single oligarch. It must be a larger group but very united by fear and a common goal. This can only be achieved if they are all Jews or Masons. Or both under a larger umbrella like some kind of pedo-ritual killing-satan worshiper. Soros can't do it alone. ..."
"... Of course politicians are corrupt and complicit but usually they are not the leaders ..."
Sep 08, 2020 | www.unz.com
MIKE WHITNEY 2,100 WORDS 165 COMMENTS REPLY

Here's your BLM Pop Quiz for the day: What do "Critical Race Theory", "The 1619 Project", and Homeland Security's "White Supremacist" warning tell us about what's going on in America today?

They point to deeply-embedded racism that shapes the behavior of white people They suggest that systemic racism cannot be overcome by merely changing attitudes and laws They alert us to the fact that unresolved issues are pushing the country towards a destructive race war They indicate that powerful agents -- operating from within the state– are inciting racial violence to crush the emerging "populist" majority that elected Trump to office in 2016 and which now represents an existential threat to the globalist plan to transform America into a tyrannical third-world "shithole".

Which of these four statements best explains what's going on in America today?

If you chose Number 4, you are right. We are not experiencing a sudden and explosive outbreak of racial violence and mayhem. We are experiencing a thoroughly-planned, insurgency-type operation that involves myriad logistical components including vast, nationwide riots, looting and arson, as well as an extremely impressive ideological campaign. "Critical Race Theory", "The 1619 Project", and Homeland Security's "White Supremacist" warning are as much a part of the Oligarchic war on America as are the burning of our cities and the toppling of our statues. All three, fall under the heading of "ideology", and all three are being used to shape public attitudes on matters related to our collective identity as "Americans".

The plan is to overwhelm the population with a deluge of disinformation about their history, their founders, and the threats they face, so they will submissively accept a New Order imposed by technocrats and their political lackeys. This psychological war is perhaps more important than Operation BLM which merely provides the muscle for implementing the transformative "Reset" that elites want to impose on the country. The real challenge is to change the hearts and minds of a population that is unwaveringly patriotic and violently resistant to any subversive element that threatens to do harm to their country. So, while we can expect this propaganda saturation campaign to continue for the foreseeable future, we don't expect the strategy will ultimately succeed. At the end of the day, America will still be America, unbroken, unflagging and unapologetic.

Let's look more carefully at what is going on.

On September 4, the Department of Homeland Security issued a draft report stating that "White supremacists present the gravest terror threat to the United States". According to an article in Politico:

" all three draft (versions of the document) describe the threat from white supremacists as the deadliest domestic terror threat facing the U.S. , listed above the immediate danger from foreign terrorist groups . John Cohen, who oversaw DHS's counterterrorism portfolio from 2011 to 2014, said the drafts' conclusion isn't surprising.

"This draft document seems to be consistent with earlier intelligence reports from DHS, the FBI, and other law enforcement sources: that the most significant terror-related threat facing the US today comes from violent extremists who are motivated by white supremac y and other far-right ideological causes," he said .

"Lone offenders and small cells of individuals motivated by a diverse array of social, ideological, and personal factors will pose the primary terrorist threat to the United States," the draft reads. "Among these groups, we assess that white supremacist extremists will pose the most persistent and lethal threat."..(" DHS draft document: White supremacists are greatest terror threat " Politico)

This is nonsense. White supremacists do not pose the greatest danger to the country, that designation goes to the left-wing groups that have rampaged through more than 2,000 US cities for the last 100 days. Black Lives Matter and Antifa-generated riots have decimated hundreds of small businesses, destroyed the lives and livelihoods of thousands of merchants and their employees, and left entire cities in a shambles. The destruction in Kenosha alone far exceeds the damage attributable to the activities of all the white supremacist groups combined.

So why has Homeland Security made this ridiculous and unsupportable claim? Why have they chosen to prioritize white supremacists as "the most persistent and lethal threat" when it is clearly not true?

There's only one answer: Politics.

The officials who concocted this scam are advancing the agenda of their real bosses, the oligarch puppet-masters who have their tentacles extended throughout the deep-state and use them to coerce their lackey bureaucrats to do their bidding. In this case, the honchos are invoking the race card ("white supremacists") to divert attention from their sinister destabilization program, their looting of the US Treasury (for their crooked Wall Street friends), their demonizing of the mostly-white working class "America First" nationalists who handed Trump the 2016 election, and their scurrilous scheme to establish one-party rule by installing their addlepated meat-puppet candidate (Biden) as president so he can carry out their directives from the comfort of the Oval Office. That's what's really going on.

DHS's announcement makes it possible for state agents to target legally-armed Americans who gather with other gun owners in groups that are protected under the second amendment. Now the white supremacist label will be applied more haphazardly to these same conservatives who pose no danger to public safety. The draft document should be seen as a warning to anyone whose beliefs do not jibe with the New Liberal Orthodoxy that white people are inherently racists who must ask forgiveness for a system they had no hand in creating (slavery) and which was abolished more than 150 years ago.

The 1619 Project" is another part of the ideological war that is being waged against the American people. The objective of the "Project" is to convince readers that America was founded by heinous white men who subjugated blacks to increase their wealth and power. According to the World Socialist Web Site:

"The essays featured in the magazine are organized around the central premise that all of American history is rooted in race hatred -- specifically, the uncontrollable hatred of "black people" by "white people." Hannah-Jones writes in the series' introduction: "Anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country. "

This is a false and dangerous conception. DNA is a chemical molecule that contains the genetic code of living organisms and determines their physical characteristics and development . Hannah-Jones's reference to DNA is part of a growing tendency to derive racial antagonisms from innate biological processes .where does this racism come from? It is embedded, claims Hannah-Jones, in the historical DNA of American "white people." Thus, it must persist independently of any change in political or economic conditions .

. No doubt, the authors of The Project 1619 essays would deny that they are predicting race war, let alone justifying fascism. But ideas have a logic; and authors bear responsibility for the political conclusions and consequences of their false and misguided arguments." ("The New York Times's 1619 Project: A racialist falsification of American and world history", World Socialist Web Site)

Clearly, Hannah-Jones was enlisted by big money patrons who needed an ideological foundation to justify the massive BLM riots they had already planned as part of their US color revolution. The author –perhaps unwittingly– provided the required text for vindicating widespread destruction and chaos carried out in the name of "social justice."

As Hannah-Jones says, "Anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country", which is to say that it cannot be mitigated or reformed, only eradicated by destroying the symbols of white patriarchy (Our icons, our customs, our traditions and our history.), toppling the existing government, and imposing a new system that better reflects the values of the burgeoning non-Caucasian majority. Simply put, The Project 1619 creates the rationale for sustained civil unrest, deepening political polarization and violent revolution.

All of these goals conveniently coincide with the aims of the NWO Oligarchs who seek to replace America's Constitutional government with a corporate Superstate ruled by voracious Monopolists and their globalist allies. So, while Hannah-Jones treatise does nothing to improve conditions for black people in America, it does move the country closer to the dystopian dream of the parasite class; Corporate Valhalla.

Then there is "Critical Race Theory" which provides the ideological icing on the cake. The theory is part of the broader canon of anti-white dogma which is being used to indoctrinate workers. White employees are being subjected to "reeducation" programs that require their participation as a precondition for further employment . The first rebellion against critical race theory, took place at Sandia Labs which is a federally-funded research agency that designs America's nuclear weapons. According to journalist Christopher F. Rufo:

"Senator @HawleyMO and @SecBrouillette have launched an inspector general investigation, but Sandia executives have only accelerated their purge against conservatives."

Sandia executives have made it clear: they want to force critical race theory, race-segregated trainings, and white male reeducation camps on their employees -- and all dissent will be severely punished. Progressive employees will be rewarded; conservative employees will be purged." (" There is a civil war erupting at @SandiaLabs ." Christopher F Rufo)

It all sounds so Bolshevik. Here's more info on how this toxic indoctrination program works:

"Treasury Department

The Treasury Department held a training session telling employees that "virtually all White people contribute to racism" and demanding that white staff members "struggle to own their racism" and accept their "unconscious bias, White privilege, and White fragility."

The National Credit Union Administration

The NCUA held a session for 8,900 employees arguing that America was "founded on racism" and "built on the blacks of people who were enslaved. " Twitter thread here and original source documents here .

Sandia National Laboratories

Last year, Sandia National Labs -- which produces our nuclear arsenal -- held a three-day reeducation camp for white males, teaching them how to deconstruct their "white male culture" and forcing them to write letters of apology to women and people of color . Whistleblowers from inside the labs tell me that critical race theory is now endangering our national security. Twitter thread here and original source documents here .

Argonne National Laboratories

Argonne National Labs hosts trainings calling on white lab employees to admit that they "benefit from racism" and atone for the "pain and anguish inflicted upon Black people. " Twitter thread here .

Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security hosted a Training on "microaggressions, microinequities, and microassaults" where white employees were told that they had been "socialized into oppressor roles. " Twitter thread here and original source documents here ." (" Summary of Critical Race Theory Investigations" , Christopher F Rufo)

On September 4, Donald Trump announced his administration "would prohibit federal agencies from subjecting government employees to "critical race theory" or "white privilege" seminar. ..

"It has come to the President's attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date 'training' government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda ," read a Friday memo from the Office of Budget and Management Director Russ Vought. "These types of 'trainings' not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce The President has directed me to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions."

The next day, September 5, Trump announced that the Department of Education was going to see whether the New York Times Magazine's 1619 Project was being used in school curricula and– if it was– then those schools would be ineligible for federal funding. Conservative pundits applauded Trump's action as a step forward in the "culture wars", but it's really much more than that. Trump is actually foiling an effort by the domestic saboteurs who continue look for ways to undermine democracy, reduce the masses of working-class people to grinding poverty and hopelessness, and turn the country into a despotic military outpost ruled by bloodsucking tycoons, mercenary autocrats and duplicitous elites. Alot of thought and effort went into this malign ideological project. Trump derailed it with a wave of the hand. That's no small achievement.

Bottom line: "Critical Race Theory", "The 1619 Project", and Homeland Security's "White Supremacist" warning represent the ideological foundation upon which the war on America is based. The "anti-white" dogma is the counterpart to the massive riots that have rocked the country. These phenomena are two spokes on the same wheel. They are designed to work together to achieve the same purpose. The goal is create a "racial" smokescreen that conceals the vast and willful destruction of the US economy, the $5 trillion dollar wealth-transfer that was provided to Wall Street, and the ferocious attack on the emerging, mainly-white working class "populist" movement that elected Trump and which rejects the globalist plan to transform the world into a borderless free trade zone ruled by cutthroat monopolists and their NWO allies.

This is a class war dolled-up to look like a race war. Americans will have to look beyond the smoke and mirrors to spot the elites lurking in the shadows. There lies the cancer that must be eradicated.


Verymuchalive , says: September 8, 2020 at 2:47 pm GMT

A good article, but no mention of who exactly these oligarchs are. Or why so many of them are Jewish.
Or why so many Zionist organisations support BLM and other such groups.
Mike, not mentioning these things will not save you. You will still be cancelled by Progressive Inc.

Justvisiting , says: September 9, 2020 at 3:08 am GMT
@lloyd

This "all whites are racist" meme seems to be a variation on the Christian doctrine of "original sin".

I reject all of it as obscene nonsense used by sociopaths (the actual folks who were born with original sin) in an attempt to control us.

exiled off mainstreet , says: September 9, 2020 at 3:23 am GMT

This seems like a good explanation of what is happening. I wonder whether too many people will fall for the propaganda, though. It is the classic effort to get the turkeys to support thanksgiving.

sonofman , says: September 9, 2020 at 3:26 am GMT

The deserved progress and concessions achieved by the civil rights struggles for the Black community is in danger of deteriorating because Black leadership will not stand up and vehemently condemn the rioting and destruction and killing, and declare that the BLM movement does not represent the majority of the Black American culture and that the overexaggerated accusations of "racism" do not necessitate the eradication and revision of history, nor does it require European Americans to feel guilt or shame. There is no need for a cultural revolution. The ideology and actions of BLM are offensive and inconsistent with American values, and Black leaders should be saying this every day, and should be admonishing about the consequences. They should also use foresight to see how this is going to end, because the BLM and their supporters are being used to fight a war that they can never win. And when it's over, what perception will the rest of America have of Black people?

TG , says: September 9, 2020 at 4:13 am GMT

"This is a class war dolled-up to look like a race war."

Quadruple kudos! Yes! Because of this ending statement, I have no quibbles! Yes!

Redman , says: September 9, 2020 at 4:40 am GMT
@sonofman g to TPTB. Better to have an amorphous slogan to donate money to than an actual organization with humans, goals and ideas which can be held up to the light and critically examined.

The whole sudden race thing is a fraud to eliminate the electoral support Trump had amassed among blacks before Corona and Fentanyl Floyd. In line with what Whitney says, the globalists need to take down Trump. And the race card has always been the first tool in the DNC's toolkit. When all else fails, go nuclear with undefined claims of racism.

Almost every big magazine has a black person on the cover this month. Probably will in October too. Coincidence? Sure it is.

TimeTraveller , says: September 9, 2020 at 4:52 am GMT

They indicate that powerful agents -- operating from within the state– are inciting racial violence to crush the emerging "populist" majority that elected Trump to office in 2016 and which now represents an existential threat to the globalist plan to transform America into a tyrannical third-world "shithole".

I'm shocked that they're trying to sell this Q-tier bullshit about Trump fighting the deep state.

The reality about Trump is that he is the release valve, the red herring designed to keep whitey pacified while massive repossessions and foreclosures take place, permanently impoverishing a large part of the white population, and shutting down the Talmudic service-based economy, which is all that is really left. It is Trump's DHS that declared a large part of his white trashionalist base to be terrorists.

The populist majority never had anyone to vote for. This system will never give them one. They aren't bright enough to make it happen.

Tony Hall , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:14 am GMT
@sonofman

Agree. Barack Obama in particular will go down in history a real disgrace to the legacy of the US presidency. He is violating the sacred trust that the people of the United States invested in him. What a fraud!

omegabooks , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:23 am GMT

Good post Mr. Whitney especially about "white supremacy" garbage .which has only been going on since the 90s! You know, Waco, Ruby Ridge, Elohim City and Okie City, militias, "patriot groups," etc. This really is nothing new. And, since so many remember the "white supremacy" crapola was crapola back in the 90s, I'd say everyone pretty much regardless of race over the age of 40 knows there is, as it says in Ecclesiastes in the Bible, "there is nothing new under the sun." And, if you home schooled your kids back then, then you kids know it as well. Fact is this: the DHS as with every other govt. agency is forced to blame "white supremacy" for every problem in this country because who the heck else can they blame? Jews? Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahh when pigs fly After all, Noahide just might be around the corner ..

Dr. Doom , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:25 am GMT

BLM is funded almost entirely by George Soros...

No Friend Of The Devil , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:33 am GMT

BLM is just one of the tools in their bag, in addition to AIPAC, ADL, NOW, in addition to dozens of others.

Typical divide and conquer ploy...

Dube , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:35 am GMT
@TG

"This is a class war dolled-up to look like a race war."

Elegant.

Mefobills , says: September 9, 2020 at 6:28 am GMT

Sheriffs have a lot of legal power. Ultimately, the battle is privatized money power vs Joe Citizen/Sheriffs.

This sheriff is working a Constitutional angle that says: Local Posse (meaning you.. Joe citizen) working with the Sheriff department to protect your local community. Richard Mack is teaching other Sheriffs and (some Police) what their Constitutional power is, and that power doesn't include doing bidding of Oligarchs.

Sheriffs are elected, and their revenue stream is outside of Oligarchy:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/5DFtE4ihWrs?feature=oembed

Exalted Cyclops , says: September 9, 2020 at 6:31 am GMT

So Donald Trump suddenly discovers that racial Bolshevism is the official policy of his own executive branch – a mere 3 years and 8 months after assuming the position

... Looks like the same old flim-flam they pull every four years. No matter who wins, the Davos folks continue to run the circus and fleece the suckers dry.

Miro23 , says: September 9, 2020 at 6:37 am GMT

It all sounds so Bolshevik.

Because it is. Substitute "the ethnic Russian middle class are class enemies" for "Anglo-American are all racists" and there you have it. Permission for a small organized minority to eliminate a whole class on ideological grounds...

idealogus , says: Website September 9, 2020 at 6:48 am GMT

I live in a former communist country in Eastern Europe with corrupt politicians, oligarchs and organized crime.
America was a country with a minor corruption and in which the oligarchs, although influential, were not united in a small group with decisive force. Now America is slowly slipping into the situation of a second-hand shit-hole country.
Is that I can see the situation more clearly than an American citizen who still has the American perception of his contry the way it was 30 years ago.
Essential thing:
1) The current situation cannot exist without the complicity of the secret services and the police. The heads of the secret services are either part of the cabal or close their eyes in fear .
2) There can be no single oligarch. It must be a larger group but very united by fear and a common goal. This can only be achieved if they are all Jews or Masons. Or both under a larger umbrella like some kind of pedo-ritual killing-satan worshiper. Soros can't do it alone.
3) Of course politicians are corrupt and complicit but usually they are not the leaders
4) BLM are exactly the brown shirts of the new Hitler.
Soon we will se the new Hitler/Stalin/ in plain light.

Wally , says: September 9, 2020 at 6:59 am GMT
@Verymuchalive i>

Thirty black children murdered recently; zero by police / BLM & 'the media' say nothing:
https://www.outkick.com/blm-101-volume-7-the-lives-of-innocent-black-kids-do-not-matter/
BTW:
– Last year, the nationwide total for all US police forces was 47 killings of unarmed criminals by police during arrest procedures.
– 8 were black, 19 were white.
Though blacks, relative to their numbers, committed a vastly higher number of crimes, hence their immensely greater arrest rate.

animalogic , says: September 9, 2020 at 8:00 am GMT
@Justvisiting urally, it is nonsense -- nasty, power-hungry, censorious nonsense.
It is the opposite of scientific or empirical thought -- science can not accept theories which are not capable of falsification. (Take astrology -- actually, don't ! -- what ever conclusion it comes to can never be wrong : Dick or Jane didn't find love ? Well, one of Saturn's moons was retrograde & Mercury declensed Venus (I don't know what it means either) . or Dick went on a bender & Jane had a whole bad hair week.
Frankly, to play these pre-modern tricks on us is just grotesquely insulting. That some are falling for it is grotesquely depressing.
Digital Samizdat , says: September 9, 2020 at 9:58 am GMT

Another ringer from Mike Whitney! Keep 'em comin', brother.

We are not experiencing a sudden and explosive outbreak of racial violence and mayhem. We are experiencing a thoroughly-planned, insurgency-type operation that involves myriad logistical components including vast, nationwide riots, looting and arson, as well as an extremely impressive ideological campaign.

Yup. TPTB have been grooming BLM/Antifa for this moment for at least 3-4 years now, if not longer. Here's a former BLMer who quit speaking out three years ago about the organization's role in the present 'race war':

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ULJtBdI7Aj0?feature=oembed

Franz , says: September 9, 2020 at 10:43 am GMT

Honesty at last!

Department of Homeland Security was a ... Trojan Horse from the start.

Aristotle , says: September 9, 2020 at 12:06 pm GMT
@anonymous

It is very clever politics and (war) propaganda. You break down and demoralise your enemies at the same time as assuring your own side of it's own righteous use of violence.

SimplePseudonymicHandle , says: September 9, 2020 at 1:17 pm GMT

This is a class war dolled-up to look like a race war. Americans will have to look beyond the smoke and mirrors to spot the elites lurking in the shadows.

Nailing it.

4. They indicate that powerful agents -- operating from within the state– are inciting racial violence to crush the emerging "populist" majority that elected Trump to office in 2016 and which now represents an existential threat to the globalist plan to transform America into a tyrannical third-world "shithole".

Which of these four statements best explains what's going on in America today?

If you chose Number 4, you are right.

If we believe this – we need to act like it. These are "enemies, foreign and domestic ". This isn't ordinary politics, it arguably transcends politics.

What hope is there without organization?

And whatever is done – don't give them ammunition. The resistance must not be an ethno-resistance.

Ilya G Poimandres , says: September 9, 2020 at 2:42 pm GMT
@Mefobills

Trump is ignorant, but not unwilling to learn.

The action on critical race theory happened a day (or so) after Tucker Carlson had a 6 minute segment on it.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rBXRdWflV7M?feature=oembed

He definitely doesn't dither.

But he is either naive or a bad manager, as his hires are deadly to his aims. And the management criticism is big, because as a leader that is mostly what he does.

That he gets information to affect US policy for good, from outside of his circle of trusted personnel, is a sad state of affairs.

Justvisiting , says: September 9, 2020 at 2:54 pm GMT
@idealogus class="comment-text">

America was a country with a minor corruption

That is not correct–you have been misled by the mass media.

As Michael said in Godfather III,

All my life I was trying to get up in society where everything is legal, but the higher I go the more crooked it becomes.

I first "saw the light" years ago after reading this book:

https://read.amazon.com/kp/card?preview=inline&linkCode=kpd&ref_=k4w_oembed_EkhZDCHOQSUcFd&asin=1561712493&tag=kpembed-20

Later in life I had the "opportunity" to be "in the room" where the big crooks play–nasty nasty stuff.

Anonymous [125] Disclaimer , says: September 9, 2020 at 2:58 pm GMT
@Robert Dolan ds that it would have ended on day one were it not officially sanctioned and the rioters protected from prosecution. Why hasn't the Janet Rosenberg/Thousand Currents/Tides Foundation connection with the BLM/DNC/MSM cabal, as well as with Antifa and social media, been the major investigation on Fox News? Why haven't Zuckerberg, Zucker, et al been arrested for incitement to commit federal crimes, including capital treason to overthrow the duly elected president? (Just a few rhetorical questions for the hell of it.) What's so galling is that the cops and federal agents are being used as just so many patsies who are deployed, not to protect, but deployed to look like fools and be held up for mockery as pathetic exemplars of white disempowerment.
EdwardM , says: September 9, 2020 at 3:07 pm GMT

The officials who concocted this scam are advancing the agenda of their real bosses, the oligarch puppet-masters who have their tentacles extended throughout the deep-state and use them to coerce their lackey bureaucrats to do their bidding.

Agree, but where is President Trump? He was supposed to appoint undersecretaries and assistant secretaries and deputy undersecretaries and Schedule C whippersnappers on whose desks such outrages are supposed to die.

I've thought from the beginning that this lack of attention to "personnel as policy" -- with Trump overestimating the ability of the ostensible CEO to overcome such intransigence -- was one of his major failures. I am sympathetic, as there are not many people he could trust to be loyal to his agenda, much less to him, but this is a disaster in every agency

Iva , says: September 9, 2020 at 3:23 pm GMT

Few years ago I watch a clip secretly recorded in Ukrainian synagogue where Rabi said "first we have to fight Catholics and with Muslims it will be an easy job" ...

anonymous [400] Disclaimer , says: September 9, 2020 at 3:31 pm GMT

Thanks to Mr Whitney for being able to cut through the fog and see what's going on behind it. The term "white supremacist" wasn't much in public use at all until the day Trump was elected then suddenly it was all over the place. It's like one of those massive ad campaigns whose jingle is everywhere as if some group decided on it as a theme to be pushed. They're really afraid that the white working class population will wake up and see how the country is being sold out from underneath their feet hence the need to keep it divided and intimidated. Like all the other color revolutions everywhere else they strike at the weak links within the country to create conflict, in the US case it's so-called diversity. There's billions available to be spent in this project so plenty of traitors can be found, unwitting or otherwise, to carry out their assignments. The billionaire class own most of the media and much else and see the US as their farm. They have no loyalty whatsoever and outsource everything to China or anywhere else they can squeeze everything out of the workers. They want a global dictatorship and admire the Chinese government for the way it can order its citizens around.

David Erickson , says: September 9, 2020 at 4:19 pm GMT
@TimeTraveller

You are exactly right. Trump is doing his part (knowingly or unknowingly, but probably knowingly) to accomplish the NWO objectives. He was not elected in 2016 in spite of NWO desires, as most Trump supporters think, but rather precisely BECAUSE of NWO desires.

The NWO probably also wants him to win again this year, and if so then he will win. The reason the NWO wanted him in 2016 (and probably wants him to win again) was primarily to neutralize the (armed) Right in this country so they wouldn't effectively resist the COVID-19 scamdemic lockdown tyranny and BLM/Antifa riots.

Chet Roman , says: September 9, 2020 at 4:20 pm GMT
@Trinity While I tend to agree with you that it looks like a race war, the question is why is it happening now? If it were just a race war promoted by radicals in BLM and Antifa, it does not explain the nationwide coordination (let's face it the faces of BLM and Antifa are not that smart or connected), the support and censorship of the violence by the MSM and the support of Marxist BLM by corporations to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. This is a color revolution in the making and may come to a peak after Nov. 3rd. Whitney is on to something, there is much more going on behind the "smoke and mirrors" and AG Barr (if he's not part of it) should be investigating it.
Tommy Thompson , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:09 pm GMT

They indicate that powerful agents -- operating from within the state– are inciting racial violence to crush the emerging "populist" majority that elected Trump to office in 2016 and which now represents an existential threat to the globalist plan to transform America into a tyrannical third-world "shithole".

I keep reading such nonsense in the comments above. the so-called populist majority does not get it, Trump is not placed here to stop the Globalist agenda, that is an electioneering stunt. Look at what he has actually and really done.

How has he stopped the Globalist move forward?? By the Covid plandemic being allowed to circle the globe and shut down the US economy and social norm? By moving our high tech companies to Israel? Giving Israel and their Wall Street allies what is left of US credit wealth? Draining the swamp with even more Zio-Neocon Swamp creatures in the govt than ever? Moving the embassy to Jerusalem and all requests per Netanyahu's wish list? A real anti-Globalist stand? Looting the Federal Reserve for the Wall Street high fliers, who garnered more wealth during the crash test run of March-April and are sure to make out with even more for the coming big crash?

Phoney stunts of stopping immigration or bashing China. Really? China is still rising propelled by Wall Street and Banker funds. I have not seen any jobs coming home, lost more than ever in US history this year. Only lost homes for the working and middle classes.

How is Populist America standing up for their constitutional rights which is being shredded a little more each day? Standing up for their Real Interests, which are eroded and stolen on an almost daily basis by Trump's NY Mafia and Wall Street Oligarchs. Jobs gone for good and government assistance to the needy disappearing, as that is against the phoney Republic individualism, that you must make it on your own. Right just like the big goverment assistance always going to the big money players and banks, remember as they are too big to let fail!

Dreaming that Trump is going to save White America from the Gobalists is just bull corn . From whom BLM? Proven street theatre that will disappear on command. I actually have come to learn that some Black leaders are speaking out intelligently for street calm and distancing themselves from BLM.

Problem with the USA is the general population is so very dumbed down by 60 years of MSM – TV s and Hollywood mind control programming that the public prefers professional actors like Reagan and Trump over real politicians, and surely never chose a Statesman or real Patriotic leader. the public political narrative is still set by Fox , CNN and MSNBC .

The deep state is so infiltrated and overwhelmed with Zio and Globalist agents, that it is now almost hopeless to fix. Sorry to point out but Trump is best described as the Dummy sitting on his Ventriloquist's lap (Jared Kushner).

Situation is near hopeless as even here on Ron Unz Review the comments are so disappointing, almost 80% are focused on the Race as the prime issue and supportive of Trump fakery (not that I support Biden and Zio slut Kamil Harris either).

In sum, beyond putting their MAGA hats on, White America is more focused more on playing Cowboy with their toy guns, AR's and all than really getting involved politically to sort things out to get American onto a better track. Of course, this is not taken seriously as it might call for reaching out to other American communities that are even more disenfranchised: African- Americans and Latinos.

TimeTraveller , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:11 pm GMT
@David Erickson nted him in 2016 (and probably wants him to win again) was primarily to neutralize the (armed) Right in this country so they wouldn't effectively resist the COVID-19 scamdemic lockdown tyranny and BLM/Antifa riots.

Covid and BLM/ANTIFA are just window dressing for the financial turmoil. "Look over here whitey, there's a pandemic" and "look over here whitey, there's a riot" is much preferred to whitey shooting the sheriff who comes to take his stuff.

Wave the flag and bible while spreading love for the cops, and the repossessions and evictions should go off without a hitch. Yes, Trump is a knowing participant.

SunBakedSuburb , says: September 9, 2020 at 5:55 pm GMT
@Commentator Mike

"My impression is that BLM, Antifa and other protestors are well aware of this"

Like all good Maoists the cult white kids of antifa rigidly adhere to the mission statement and stick the inconvenient truth in the back of their mushy minds. BLM ... is a mercenary.

Trinity , says: September 9, 2020 at 10:26 pm GMT

Can you imagine any other groups rioting and destroying American cities for over 3 months? Imagine if the Hells Angels or some other White biker gang was doing what Antifa and BLM are doing? Hell, imagine if it were a bunch of Hare Krishnas pulling this shit off? Hell, I think the local mayors, police, and other law enforcement employees wouldn't even take this much shit even if the rioters were Girl Scouts. We are talking 3-4 months of lawlessness, assaults, rapes, murders ( cold blooded premeditated murders at that) and still the people in charge let this shit go on night and day. IF the POTUS doesn't have the authority or the power to stop shit like this from going on then what the hell do we even vote for anyhow? Granted, I see the reason for not being ruled by a dictatorship, but who in the hell can justify letting these riots go on? One can only assume that both the republicants and the demsheviks are fine with these riots because no one seems in a hurry to shut them down or arrest the hombres funding these riots. Who is housing and feeding the rioters? Who is paying their travel expenses? I'm sure most everyone in Washington knows who the people are behind these riots but don't expect any action anytime soon.

Dick French , says: September 9, 2020 at 10:29 pm GMT

This is a class war dolled-up to look like a race war. Americans will have to look beyond the smoke and mirrors to spot the elites lurking in the shadows. There lies the cancer that must be eradicated.

That's true to a large degree, but

It is indeed an attempt to liquidate the working and lower middle class. Most of the American working and lower middle class, obviously not all, is White. So predictably we have these calls for White Genocide. Agreed and good to see the tie-in with the Coronavirus Hoax lock downs, too, which also spread the devastation into minority communities under the guise of public safety.

The one question that remains unanswered is why the major cities were targeted for destruction. Obviously these are the playgrounds of the oligarchs and have been decimated. We will learn soon enough.

Skeptikal , says: September 10, 2020 at 12:07 am GMT
@Redman

The Reverend William Barber is the only genuine black leader I am aware of.
And he makes a pointn of not speaking only for blacks, but for all disadvantaged communities, including poor whites. IMO he is the real deal, and I very much hope he takes the lead in articulating genuine community values of respect and equality for all, including basics such as decent health care and food access.

The pressure exerted on someone like Barber by the BLM forces in the media and other institutions is enormous.

I wish Ron Unz would invite him to write something for the UR.

[Sep 02, 2020] Amazon spies on staff, fires them by text for not hitting secretive targets, workers 'feel forced to work through pain, injuries' report

Notable quotes:
"... workers are dehumanizingly treated by Amazon as if they are robots – persistently asked to accomplish task after task at an unforgiving rate." ..."
Sep 01, 2020 | www.theregister.com
I didn't get rich by signing checks // 10:30 UTC 141 Reg comments GOT TIPS? Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco BIO EMAIL TWITTER SHARE

Amazon is famous for its extreme efficiency yet behind the curtain is a crippling culture of surveillance and stress, according to a study by the Open Markets Institute.

The think tank and advocacy group that repeatedly takes companies like Google and Facebook to task warned in the report [PDF] that Amazon's retail side has gone far beyond promoting efficient working and has adopted an almost dystopian level of control over its warehouse workers, firing them if they fail to meet targets that are often kept a secret.

Among the practices it highlighted, the report said that workers are told to hit a target rate of packages to process per hour, though they are not told what exactly that target is. "We don't know what the rate is," one pseudonymous worker told the authors. "They change it behind the scenes. You'll know when you get a warning. They don't tell you what rate you have to hit at the beginning."

If they grow close to not meeting a target rate, or miss it, the worker receives an automated message warning them, the report said. Workers who fail to meet hidden targets can also receive a different type of electronic message; one that fires them.

"Amazon's electronic system analyzes an employee's electronic record and, after falling below productivity measures, 'automatically generates any warnings or terminations regarding quality or productivity without input from supervisors'," it stated. The data is also generated automatically: for example, those picking and packing are required to use a scanner that records every detail, including the time between scans, and feed it into a system that pushes out automated warnings.

Always watching

As with other companies, Amazon installs surveillance cameras in its workspaces to reduce theft. But the report claims Amazon has taken that approach to new lengths "with an extensive network of security cameras that tracks and monitors a worker's every move".

Bezos' bunch combines that level of surveillance with strict limits on behavior. "Upon entering the warehouse, Amazon requires workers to dispose of all of their personal belongings except a water bottle and a clear plastic bag of cash," the report noted.

For Amazon drivers, their location is constantly recorded and monitored and they are required to follow the exact route Amazon has mapped. They are required to deliver 999 out of every 1,000 packages on time or face the sack; something that the report argues has led to widespread speeding and a related increase in crashes.

The same tracking software ensures that workers only take 30 minutes for lunch and two separate 15-minute breaks during the day. The report also noted that the web goliath has patented a wristband that "can precisely track where warehouse employees are placing their hands and use vibrations to nudge them in a different direction".

Amazon also attempts to prevent efforts to unionize by actively tracking workers and breaking up any meetings of too many people, including identifying possible union organizers and moving them around the workplace to prevent them talking to the same group for too long, the report claimed.

It quoted a source named Mohamed as saying: "They spread the workers out you cannot talk to your colleagues The managers come to you and say they'll send you to a different station."

The combined effort of constant surveillance with the risk of being fired at any point has created, according to workers, a " Lord Of The Flies -esque environment where the perceived weakest links are culled every year".

Stress and quotas

The report said Amazon's workers "are under constant stress to make their quotas for collecting and organizing hundreds of packages per hour" resulting in "constant 'low-grade panic' to work. In this sense, workers are dehumanizingly treated by Amazon as if they are robots – persistently asked to accomplish task after task at an unforgiving rate."

At the end of the day, warehouse employees are required to go through mandatory screening to check they haven't stolen anything, which "requires waiting times that can range from 25 minutes to an hour" and is not compensated, the report said.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos 'I don't recognise Amazon as a bullying workplace' says Bezos READ MORE

Amazon also allegedly fails to account for any injuries, the report said, to the extent that "Amazon employees feel forced to work through the pain and injuries they incur on the job, as Amazon routinely fires employees who fall behind their quotas, without taking such injuries into account."

It quoted another piece of reporting that found Amazon's rate of severe injuries in its warehouses is, in some cases, more than five times the industry average. It also noted that the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health listed Amazon as one of the "dirty dozen" on its list of the most dangerous places to work in the United States in 2018.

The report concluded that "Amazon's practices exacerbate the inequality between employees and management by keeping employees in a constant state of precariousness, with the threat of being fired for even the slightest deviation, which ensures full compliance with employer-demanded standards and limits worker freedom."

Being a think tank, the Open Markets Institute listed a series of policy and legal changes that would help alleviate the work issues. It proposed a complete ban on "invasive forms of worker surveillance" and a rule against any forms of surveillance that "preemptively interfere with unionization efforts".

It also wants a law that allows independent contractors to unionize and the legalization of secondary boycotts, as well as better enforcement of the rules against companies by government departments including America's trade watchdog the FTC and Department of Justice, as well as a ban on non-compete agreements and class action waivers.

In response to the allegations in the report, a spokesperson for Amazon told us: "Like most companies, we have performance expectations for every Amazonian – be it corporate employee or fulfillment center associate and we measure actual performance against those expectations.

"Associate performance is measured and evaluated over a long period of time as we know that a variety of things could impact the ability to meet expectations in any given day or hour. We support people who are not performing to the levels expected with dedicated coaching to help them improve." ®

[Aug 29, 2020] Endurance- Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, Lansing, Alfred, eBook - Amazon.com

Aug 29, 2020 | www.amazon.com

The harrowing tale of British explorer Ernest Shackleton's 1914 attempt to reach the South Pole, one of the greatest adventure stories of the modern age.

In August 1914, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the Endurance and set sail for Antarctica, where he planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, after battling its way through a thousand miles of pack ice and only a day's sail short of its destination, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. Thus began the legendary ordeal of Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men. When their ship was finally crushed between two ice floes, they attempted a near-impossible journey over 850 miles of the South Atlantic's heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization.

In Endurance , the definitive account of Ernest Shackleton's fateful trip, Alfred Lansing brilliantly narrates the harrowing and miraculous voyage that has defined heroism for the modern age.

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Bama Fan

The book gave me several adrenaline rushes...it's that well written.

5.0 out of 5 stars The book gave me several adrenaline rushes...it's that well written. Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2018 Verified Purchase This is an amazing account of Shackleton's journey that went into intricate details about the twists and turns every step of the way for this small group of brave explorers. It reads like a thrilling fiction novel, but the fact that it is non-fiction makes it even more astounding. The description really paints a true picture of the hellacious conditions that they continued to face time and time again. This book really put into perspective what a challenge truly is. A simple headache that we might get now is nowhere near getting your sleeping bag drenched and still having to sleep in it in temperatures near 0 when you don't know how the weather or current is going to change while you try to sleep. Great read and really hard to put down because even though you think you know what's going to happen, you still have to find out how. Would highly recommend if you're looking for a good book that you will have trouble putting down. 38 people found this helpful

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Twostory
Cold

5.0 out of 5 stars Cold Reviewed in the United States on November 17, 2018 Verified Purchase Very cold. Always cold. This is a very detailed (true) story about men trying to survive in a very hostile environment in c. 1915. Stark and full of detail, the reader almost gets to feel the cold, hunger and pain the crew experienced while trying to survive Antarctica and return to civilization. it's amazing that anyone survived this ordeal let alone all of them. Sadly, many creatures and peaceful animals paid the price for mans survival. The details often are so descriptive and redundant due to the scope of the story, that it sometimes becomes repetitive and familiar. This is because of the constant distress and horrible conditions the crew experienced for such a long time. It's a well documented and exciting story with a bit of a history lesson that really held my interest. It's a popular book that is deserving of its high ratings. 21 people found this helpful

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George E. Dawson
A REMARKABLE TALE OF SURVIVAL, SUPERBLY TOLD.

5.0 out of 5 stars A REMARKABLE TALE OF SURVIVAL, SUPERBLY TOLD. Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2017 Verified Purchase "There can be little doubt that Shackleton, in his way, was an extraordinary leader of men." (p. 11).

There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be able to endure even one, the best, day of the unimaginable hardships that the men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Exposition (1914-17) -- under the leadership of Sir Ernest Shackleton -- struggled with for more than 400 days. They endured and survived some of the most incredible, unbelievable, conditions ever experienced; and Alfred Lansing captures the urgency, the deprivation, and the desperation, with spellbinding storytelling.

Recommendation: Best adventure story, ever. Should be read by all, especially those of high school age.

"In all the world there is no desolation more complete than the polar night. It is a return to the Ice Age -- no warmth, no life, no movement." (p. 46).

Basic Books. Kindle Edition, 268 pages. 16 people found this helpful

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Dataman
A Riveting True Story of Adventure, Survival and Hope

5.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting True Story of Adventure, Survival and Hope Reviewed in the United States on September 25, 2014 Verified Purchase In 1914 Sir Ernest Shackleton set out on an expedition to make the first land crossing of the barren Antarctic continent from the east to the west coast. The expedition failed to accomplish its objective, but became recognized instead as an amazing feat of endurance. Shackleton and a crew of 27 (plus one stowaway) first headed to the Weddell Sea on the ship Endurance. Their ship was trapped by pack ice short of their destination and eventually crushed. Forced to abandon ship, the men were trapped on ice floes for months while they drifted north. Once they were far enough north that the ice thinned somewhat, they were forced to journey in lifeboats they'd dragged off the ship. After six terrible days, they made it to uninhabited Elephant Island; from there Shackleton and five other men set off in an open 22-foot boat on an incredible 800-mile voyage across the notoriously tempestuous Drake Passage to South Georgia Island, where they hiked across the island's mountain range to reach a whaling camp. From there, they returned in a ship to rescue the men left behind on Elephant Island.

That these men were able to survive in the harsh, barren conditions of Antarctica, where temperatures frequently fell below zero is amazing. It's nearly unimaginable that these men could survive for almost two years, their lives marked by a seemingly endless stretch of misery, suffering, and boredom, not to mention the threat of starvation. At every turn, their situation seems to go from bad to worse. If this were a work of fiction, one would be inclined to claim the story was simply too far-fetched. But Endurance isn't just a tale of misery, it is a vivid description of their journey, the dangers they faced, and the obstacles they overcame. Through all of this, Shackleton has never lost a man.

Alfred Lansing's book, written in 1958 from interviews and journals of the survivors, is now back in print. It's a riveting tale of adventure, survival and hope. It is also a rare historical, non-fiction book that is as exciting as any novel. I've read a number of stories of survival and would rate this as the best of all I have read. This is one of the great adventure stories of our time. Don't miss it. Read more 45 people found this helpful

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Sam
I recommend this book to add to the collection of those ...

5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this book to add to the collection of those ... Reviewed in the United States on August 7, 2015 Verified Purchase What a page turner. Lansing is a master for the description of those explorers hardships, desire to follow Shacketon' orders. I kept saying to myself that there are few humans today that are as tough as those men. I recommend this book to add to the collection of those books that give us the knowledge of what it takes to conquer a goal. 51 people found this helpful

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S. Cherkas
By far one of the best books I've ever read, & I've read many!

5.0 out of 5 stars By far one of the best books I've ever read, & I've read many! Reviewed in the United States on January 30, 2019 Verified Purchase I just finished reading 2 of Grann's books - Lost City of Z & The White Darkness. The latter is the story of Henry Worsley, the grandson of Frank Worsley one of the "extraordinary" men in Lansing's Endurance. Grann suggested Endurance as a worthy read. Sir Earnest Shackleton & Frank Worsley were two of some 20 men who incredibly survived a journey to Antarctica that went awry from almost its onset. Two years later all hands were rescued through the extraordinary will of the men who found themselves at the mercy of the elements. Lansing's research & grasp of the situation in which these men found themselves in conjunction with his writing style has put this book at the top of my all time favorites! Fabulous! Fabulous! Anyone 12 or older will be blown away by this true story & this writer! 4 people found this helpful

[Aug 27, 2020] Slavery and immigration

Undocumented immigrants are modern day slaves, which replaced traditional slaves...`
Aug 27, 2020 | www.unz.com

TG , says: August 26, 2020 at 12:46 pm GMT

But really, it's all about the cheap labor. And not just Europe.

The Ivory Coast used to be pretty prosperous. That meant that workers had high wages, because that's what prosperity is, but that limited the profits of the rich, and we can't have that. So the black elite imported massive numbers of muslim refugees as a source of cheap labor, and by the time they had doubled the population the poverty resulting from this tore the country apart in a bloody civil war. But that's OK, the right people made a lot of money.

Brazil had slavery for much longer than the United States, and unlike the United States, Brazil only got rid of slavery after massive immigration had boosted the population so much that 'free' labor was cheaper than slave labor. Crushed to the limits, Brazil was stuck in a capital-starved condition that it never pulled out of.

It's an old story. Look through history, whenever you hear about some place that imported workers to do whatever, no that's not what happened, they imported workers to cut labor costs – and the results for the average person have always been a reduction in living standards and social disruption.

When southern American plantation owners imported back African slaves, it wasn't because they thought the country needed more black people – they wanted cheap labor. And centuries later, the damage that that policy has done to American society continues. And it wasn't necessary – the free white north, without slaves and before mass immigration, was the place that produced the greatest technological and industrial power the world had ever seen – but there just wasn't enough cheap labor for a plantation owner to live the life they wanted, so sad.

So what's happening in Europe is perhaps a bit extreme, but it's an old story. It's not really about diversity or anti-white or any of that, that's just window dressing and rationalization. It's about jamming in more and more people so wages will go down and rents and profits will go up.

[Aug 23, 2020] Glitzy Convention Conceals Neoliberal Tyranny that both parties support by Mike Whitney

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Guardian ..."
Aug 23, 2020 | www.unz.com

Here are a few takeaways from the Democratic Convention:

The Democrats are running on the same platform they ran on in 2016. The Democrats put style above substance, flashy optics above ideas or issues. The Democrats think that hollow tributes to "diversity" and "inclusion" will win the election. The Democrats have abandoned white, working class voters opting ins