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Only in America can you find high employment together with rank poverty

How much of that employment pays a wage that someone can afford to live on?

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The current employment statistics in America look pretty good, they say that we’ve basically reach full employment. That’s great, right? But the poverty statistics, and fates of various industries are not so sure about that.

One might expect that with high employment, there would be more economic activity, investments, more major purchases, like homes, more families, a natural population growth, etc. But that’s not what’s happening. The generation that is of child rearing age isn’t replacing itself the same way the previous generation did. They’re not buying homes the way their parents did. And numerous industries which sell products aimed at families and kids are feeling an economic pinch.

Before getting into the weeds about demographics and markets, let’s take a good look at our initial point of concern, and that’s the employment factor. While we might see a statistic that looks fantastic in its generality, we’re not seeing the benefits of such a reality because of the fact that what we’re not getting here is quality of that employment. How much of that employment is full time, how much of it pays a wage that someone can afford to live on? How much of it is part time? How much of it might actually be qualified as a sort of side-gig? How much of it matches the qualifications of its workers? The list goes on.

Frankly, the answer to these questions, and more, is that for a substantial number of people, it doesn’t do any of that, except provide some pocket change and take up time.

Jack Kelly over at Forbes gives a brief description of what the scenario entails:

The government and media have been reporting that the job market is remarkably tight. The unemployment rate is at 3.8%—a historic low. Economists contend that 5% unemployment is deemed full employment. This means that pretty much anyone who wants a job already has a job or could easily attain a job. The rationale is that it is anticipated that there will always be a given number of people out of work—not because the job market is soft, but rather due to miscellaneous reasons that leave a number of the population without a job. There is always going to be a certain number of people between jobs, but that does not fundamentally reflect the soundness and strength of the job market.

Since we are at 3.8%– which is lower than 5% (I’m pretty good at this math stuff), we should be celebrating. Sadly, I don’t believe the hype one bit.

We are not getting the full story. If we have better-than-full employment, the following things should happen:

  1. Wages of current workers should rise, as there is pressure to keep employees from being poached by rival corporations due to the shortage of workers. It’s “Economics 101” (my son just took this course as a college freshman, so I’m an expert on the matter). If qualified employees are scarce and in short supply, the cost (i.e. salary) should rise. But employee wages are stagnant and not increasing.
  2. Companies should be offering a premium to recruit workers since they are in short supply, but they’re not. Most firms are not offering attractively high offers to job seekers. This doesn’t make sense if there is full employment and a shortage of talent. If the job market was so tight, companies would be forced to offer higher starting salaries to people to entice them to join their company. However, this isn’t happening, so why would current candidates leave their current position for a new firm?
  3. If there is truly a shortage of candidates, companies would have to lower their standards and hire people without all the requisite qualifications. Because of this, they would offer the incoming candidates training to help them learn the job. However, this is not the case. In fact, if you look at job descriptions lately, the requirements listed are ridiculously long and the compensation is far less than the job calls for.

What I think is happening is that people are working, but we are not given the full truth.

  1. Millions of millennials are working at McJobs—jobs that are debasing and unfit for their $200k education. Yes, they may be working, but it is not the type of job they want nor does it measure up to their educational investment.
  2. Millions of people have dropped out of the job market and are not counted in the government data. If you stopped collecting unemployment checks, you simply disappear; the government doesn’t include you in their data. Therefore, even though you are looking for a job, you are unaccounted for. These unemployed folks have conveniently fallen through the cracks.
  3. Similarly, millions of people have simply given up hope. As a result of age discrimination and other perceived injustices, distressed job seekers throw up their hands in defeat and abandon their job searches entirely. Maybe they’ll settle for some part-time work or try to live off of their savings. Unfortunately, the outcome looks bleak for these folks.
  4. We have witnessed the ascendance of the “gig” economy— a “side hustle” or whatever sexy-sounding title you want to assign it. People are pushed into working short-term, going-nowhere contractual engagements. It is scrapping and clawing to constantly find consistent work.
  5. Also, the data doesn’t count a person who is working and just holding on by the skin of one’s teeth. They come to work each and every day worried about losing their jobs, having to relocate to a cheaper location or another country, being replaced by someone younger and less expensive or superseded by artificial intelligence.
  6. Baby boomers are desperately clinging onto whatever jobs they have. Without corporate pensions and having lost money in the financial crisis to reinvest into the bull stock market, they don’t have the money to retire.

The objective for this piece is to provide a more realistic perspective on the job market. Job seekers can become very depressed, disheartened and discouraged when they read the headlines about how great the job market is, while they themselves are either unemployed or underemployed. They feel alone in these circumstances, but, alas, they are not. I hope that, while I’m not offering you an answer today, at least you can have some comfort in knowing that it’s not just you, but rather a bigger trend that’s impacting millions of others just like you.

What America has here is a wage problem, and Trump is taking the long way, around the world, to solve it. Imagine if you’re in Ohio and you want to get to New York. Instead of heading East, you go West and circumnavigate the globe to get there. That’s exactly what Trump is doing by starting trade wars in the hopes of bringing jobs into America. But even if he is successful in motivating industries to open up in America, as it currently stands, the industry that is currently in America only pays its workers around $18,000 a year, with those workers still having to rely on food stamps for their survival. In the end, Trump is not solving for X, he’s simply moving it from one side of the equation to the other.

The wage problem would still have to be addressed. Trump is part of the baby boomer generation, and in their memory they remember manufacturing jobs being good paying jobs. In America’s time of greatness, post WW2, when America had this amazing prosperity, the average manufacturing laborer in Detroit was making the equivalent of $50/hr by today’s standards. But, at the same time, the average menial worker was on average earning $20/hr by today’s standards. What’s happened here is that the fruits of labor are no longer earned by the laborer, but end up in the hands of an investor class of shareholder, rendering today’s American economy to little more than usury.

There are two sorts of wealth-getting, as I have said; one is a part of household management, the other is retail trade: the former necessary and honorable, while that which consists in exchange is justly censured; for it is unnatural, and a mode by which men gain from one another. The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.
– Aristotle, Politics

While many may perceive that a living wage is economically infeasible, this is inconsistent with the mode of compensation and labor in that post WW2 period. If living wages were the death knell of a company, no company which operated at that time should have survived. But they are now some of the world’s largest and richest companies today. When America was ‘great’, Americans were earning a living wage as a minimum wage. The American president who took America through the Great Depression, when he instituted the minimum wage, expressed how he perceived it

“No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country…. “Without question, [the minimum wage] starts us toward a better standard of living and increases purchasing power to buy the products of farm and factory.”

In the end, the problem of employment is not merely its quantity, or the quality, but also in its capacity to render compensation for labor rendered. Without tackling this issue, increasing the sheer number of jobs does not address the core problem of poverty or of jobs meeting the needs of the population.

It looks like Trump should take a few pointers from Russia’s Putin, who has brought Russia from an economic nightmare to being a world power. Putin knows that Russia can’t be great if its people are impoverished.

Some may believe that America is at a disadvantage and therefore cannot offer a living wage due to its trade deficit. But this is a mistake, because America does have an export: dollars. Thanks to Breton Woods, it exports dollars. This is what gives America its global hegemony. This is what makes America the richest country in the world.

America chooses to concentrate its wealth not at the ground level, but in an elite class of usurers. To change the fate of the American citizen, one does not need to bring about the end of the post WW2 era, but merely to usher in some updated policy changes.

 

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Robert Hilltibetan cowboyRodney AtkinsonTheRealDeplorableVoiceofReasonMagua1952 Recent comment authors
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Robert Hill
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Robert Hill

Those policy changes are some hot potatoes no ine wants to touch…. Im from Croatia and can see clearly that corporarions have destroyed USA… it will be hard to tear them down without some kind of revolution… some huge catalist is needed….. of epic magnitude to move people to take back their country… I dont rly seebit happening… I see it getting worse… the bad thing for DC is: most Americans are armed people….

tibetan cowboy
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tibetan cowboy

This is another rather worthless distracting article full of misinformation. The real unemployment rate is over 20%, the inflation rate is 10% and accelerating, and up to 50% of the civilians in the USA now live below the poverty line. Read these articles instead of this one: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49632.htm. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/10/16/yes-half-americans-are-or-near-poverty-heres-more-evidence. Wages in the 1960s in Elkhart, IN, my hometown when I was in high school, paid $15/ hr. and once in a job 6 mos. or so, hourly wages you were promoted to were $25/ hr., at NIBCO and probably 20+ other companies in Elkhart then. These were sub-contractors to the… Read more »

Rodney Atkinson
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Rodney Atkinson

Big business and the political left have promoted mass immigration. The former for profit the latter to destroy nation states. Labour supply up – wages down. Vitious circle ensues….low wages, higher debt, less investment, lower skills, lower wages etc etc etc

TheRealDeplorableVoiceofReason
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TheRealDeplorableVoiceofReason

Yet I have read recently about two major railroads offering over 20K per person for folks signing on. Places in the Dakotas where oil shale took off were $15-17 an hour to clerk at WalMart.

In rural North Dakota, 600 a week plus OT is a veritable fortune.

Magua1952
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Magua1952

I’m afraid Russia’s economy is not a good example to follow. The GDP is smaller than Texas.

Years of 4 and 5% growth will improve wages. It will take time to recover what was lost by the so called free traders and open borders fanatics.

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Foolish French President Macron tests Trump’s patience (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 149.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump was ridiculed for his nationalist agenda by the very unpopular, globalist French President Emmanuel Macron, in a very public display of disrespect towards the United States and its president.

Macron, in front of world leaders brought together to commemorate the end of World War I, thought it wise to chastise Trump for his ‘America first’ policy, stating that nationalism was “tearing the world apart.”

Trump did find Macron’s smart ass tone to his liking, tweeting out his feeling the minute he landed stateside by reminding his European peers who pays the bills to keep the peace on the continent.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris reflect on Macron’s diplomatic gaffe, which Trump is unlikely to forget anytime soon.

Macron showed his boyish diplomatic skills, for which a man like Trump will make sure a heavy price is paid. The French President will certainly be at the receiving end of a very public and embarrassing dressing down at the hands of Donald Trump.

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Via Zerohedge

What was supposed to be a solemn visit to honor the 16 million soldiers who died during World War I alongside a coterie of world leaders in Paris was overshadowed by a mini-scandal surrounding President Trump’s missing an Armistice ceremony at an American military cemetery for purely cosmetic reasons (Trump reportedly didn’t want to get his hair wet during the ceremony which was held in pouring rain, though the White House maintained that he missed the beginning of the ceremony for security purposes).

Given the media’s focus on Trump’s purported vanity at the expense of nearly every other detail from Trump’s visit, it’s hardly surprising that the president has returned to the US rather agitated, and decided to lash out at his European partners in a series of tweets Monday morning.

While he said that his meetings with fellow world leaders were productive, Trump noted that it’s “never easy” to raise the issue that the US foots most of the bill for military protections in Europe thanks to its outsize shouldering of the cost burden of funding NATO.

Adding insult to injury, the US is paying “hundreds of billions of dollars” for the privilege of “losing hundreds of billions of dollars” with these countries on trade. Trump demanded that, going forward, the US must be treated fairly on military spending and trade.

It is time, Trump said, for these countries to either pony up, or find a way to start protecting themselves.

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Midterm Elections: A Disaster Denied, and What is Coming

The Democrats intend to mount a non-stopping offensive against the President.

The Duran

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Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces ) via SHTFplan.com:


Before the 2016 Presidential Election, and both before and after the inauguration, I wrote specifically about how important the midterm election would be, and the results if the President should lose even one House of Congress.  That happened: the Republicans just lost the House of Representatives. Now that the Democrats control it, not one piece of legislation will pass that is on the President’s agenda. In the supreme act of denial, the Republican party claims the “Blue Wave” was not successful; even the President declared a “victory” with the midterms.

Nothing could be further from the truth, on either count.

The Democrats intend to mount a non-stopping offensive against the President. First, they are going to demand that Mueller go on the attack again. They are already demanding the President’s tax returns. On Thursday, 11-8-18, thousands of people marched in Times Square in New York City in protest of Jeff Sessions’ departure from the White House…although Sessions was the one who tendered a letter of resignation. The mob of protesters carried mass-produced “No one is above the law” placards and signs.

Not one of those Marxists carried those signs when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton resigned after Benghazi, where a U.S. Consular Outpost of the United States was destroyed, and the U.S. Ambassador and four of his staff murdered.

“Happy Veterans’ Day” is coming up, with the cliché eternal: “Thank you for your service.”

Nobody really cares about it, except the vets. Those who have to work receive time and a half for their pay, and Hallmark makes about another $50 million or so on the cards and gifts…about $10 million of that for the Government to “re-ingest” with the taxes….another day on the endless cycle:

The cycle of spending of disposable income, an indispensable part of the economy and all of the governmental employees on paid federal holiday, solemnly dispensed of at the expense of (to paraphrase Metallica) the government’s “disposable heroes.”

Where were the protests in the streets after Benghazi? Everybody was hidden, because at the time we were under Obama. When Donald Trump was elected President, a “hiatus” was granted from the nonstop march toward socialism/communism that reached a zenith as never before. Now that hiatus is shrinking, as the Communists and Marxists begin new offensives under their playbook “Rules for Radicals,” offensives targeting every area of the society.

Their plan should be obvious: to keep the President “backpedaling” and the economy faltering, in order to set the stage for the 2020 election. All of this I have written about before, and it came to pass with the Midterm elections. If they keep the President on the defense and keep pushing the “social issues,” it will render his administration ineffective…not delivering the change back toward the right that the voters wanted to see in 2016.

The Wall Street Journal published a piece on November 9 entitled Democrats plan to pursue most aggressive gun-control legislation in decades.” They have been receiving plenty of help on this one, with the Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, and the recent murders by a former Marine last week. Here they come again! All of the legislators…with armed protectors paid for by you, mind you…clamoring for the guns. Here’s a piece of it for you:

Democrats say they will pass the most aggressive gun-control legislation in decades when they become the House majority in January, plans they renewed this week in the aftermath of a mass killing in a California bar. Their efforts will be spurred by an incoming class of pro-gun-control lawmakers who scored big in Tuesday’s midterm elections, although any measure would likely meet stiff resistance in the GOP-controlled Senate. Democrats ousted at least 15 House Republicans with “A” National Rifle Association ratings, while the candidates elected to replace them all scored an “F” NRA rating. “This new majority is not going to be afraid of our shadow,” said Mike Thompson, a California Democrat who is chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. “We know that we’ve been elected to do a job, and we’re going to do it.”

Now of course the argument to this rationale will be that the Senate is needed before a law passes. Yes, we all watched “Schoolhouse Rock” and learned about the three-party system of checks and balances. The problem?  Nothing was accomplished when the Republicans held both houses of Congress, and the Reds and Blues counter one another, and more:

The Democrats’ strategy is not to pass any laws: it is to stir up public controversy, win support of the “Zero” generation, and either force actions through the “tyranny of the majority,” or make it so horrible an arena that it detracts from or prevents any positive efforts and actions from the administration…setting the stage for the 2020 election.

Ocasio-Cortez just entered the House of Representatives at the “sage/sagacious” age of 29, and she is a self-described “democratic socialist” who favors single-payer healthcare, gun control, abolishing border controls, and declared that she would support the impeachment of the President. She was also part of Bernie Sanders’ campaign movement in 2016.

Lenin espoused some “gems” that should be considered. Here is one that falls in line with the “newly discovered wonderful possibility of socialism” the Zero-generation and twenty-somethings have fallen in love with hook, line, and sinker:

“The goal of socialism is communism.”

New York just placed a “democratic socialist” in the White House…a declared socialist, among all of the hidden Marxists camouflaged under the “progressive” or “democratic” monikers.

Gun control, coming at us once again, and once more, a quote from Lenin for you:

“Disarmament is the ideal of socialism. There will be no wars in socialist society; consequently, disarmament will be achieved. But whoever expects that socialism will be achieved without a social revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat is not a socialist. Dictatorship is state power based directly on violence. And in the twentieth century – as in the age of civilization generally – violence means neither a fist nor a club, but troops. To put “disarmament” in the program is tantamount to making the general declaration: “We are opposed to the use of arms.” There is as little Marxism in this as there would be if we were to say: “We are opposed to violence!” – Lenin, “The Disarmament Slogan,” from October of 1916

The next two years should be interesting, to say the least. Keep in mind: the President is not throwing in the towel, however, he has one more year to turn the tide…before he has to campaign. There is still another way, though: I mentioned it in the last article that I wrote. Bush Jr. used this technique successfully when he was trailing Kerry in the polls. Margaret Thatcher used this technique when she was about to be shown the door, and turned it around, remaining in office.

The “technique” is a war, whether a “quickie” (such as the Falklands War…Malvinas, if you prefer), or a protracted one (Iraq “II” where victory was declared within months of started, and it was achieved…with the decades and a half of Military Industrial Complex contracts…and the transition of the United States into a Surveillance and Police State).

The technique is a war, and if you keep abreast of what is going on, you will see that Russia and China are gearing up for a war, the nations are “decoupling” themselves incrementally from the dying fiat-backed Petrodollar, and North Korea is once again raising itself as a nuclear threat (on its own, or encouraged by one or more nations). A war could either suspend elections, or propel the incumbent into a victory based on the populace’s perception of what they need. Remember this last quote from Lenin, and let it sink in good:

“A standing army and police are the chief instruments of state power.” – Lenin, State and Revolution, 1917

The ultimate truth: the elections are akin to the Stock Market, the Dow-Jones Industrial Average. It doesn’t matter how many shares are bought or sold, as long as there are fluctuations and flux. The winners are the brokers, who pocket their commissions on every trade…a sell or a buy. The same exists here. The blue donkeys versus the red elephants. The “tribalism” of men, and their needs of a social order…a cohesive social grouping that reflects what they believe in…is exploited to its maximum advantage. All the while, the paradigm shifts almost imperceptibly, until before you know it….twenty years have elapsed, and you are not looking at the same country anymore.

The “art” is to make the people think they will be getting what they want…dupe them into believing it is something good, when it’s not. It took the blood of heroes to form and defend this nation.  The downfall is precipitated by traitors from within…bleeding the nation white by circumventing existing laws and replacing them with the greatest injustice and threat to personal liberty of all. What is that greatest threat? A foreign enemy? A spontaneous collapse of everything?

No. The greatest threat is the acceptance of the people of the illusion of “social justice,” that really translates into something for nothing by taking from those who have earned, and giving it to those who live within the entitlement cesspool of their own sloth. Such a mentality pervades our society today. In order to save the United States, we have to return to our fundamental values and become an ass-kicking, straight-shooting people who fear God and care for their families, neighbors, and nation once more. If we do this, we may emerge from the coming night as a nation once more. Ready your NVGs, and steel your hearts for the challenge before it arrives…now…at the twilight’s last gleaming.

May Veterans’ Day bring remembrance to your mind, may your heart find peace, and may any who serve in your family be safe and sound.


Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne).  Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).  He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com or contact him here.

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Russia’s Next Weapon: A Church

The Russian military plans to build a military church to bolster the spiritual values of its armed forces.

The Duran

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Authored by Michael Peck via The National Interest:


Meet Vladimir Putin’s newest weapon: a church.

The Russian military plans to build a military church to bolster the spiritual values of its armed forces. Construction will soon begin of the Main Church of the Armed Forces, to be erected in Patriot Park outside Moscow, according to Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov, deputy defense minister and chief of the armed forces’ Main Military-Political Directorate, a new organization responsible for political education of the troops.

The “new church will be one more example of the people’s unity around the idea of patriotism, love, and devotion to our Motherland,” Kartapolov told Russian journalists.

To say the church, dubbed by some as the “Khaki Temple,” will have a martial air would be an understatement.

“The walls of the military church are really made in the color of the standard Russian missile system and armored vehicle,” according to the Russian newspaper The Independent [Google English translation here ] “…From the inside, the walls are decorated with paintings with battle scenes from military history and texts from the Holy Scriptures. The projected height is 95 meters [104 feet] and is designed for 6,000 people.”

“Kartapolov is convinced that the modern Russian serviceman cannot be shaped without shaping lofty spirituality in him,” Russian media said. “Speaking about ideology, the deputy head of the military department pointed out that this will be based on knowledge of the history of our Motherland and people and on historical and cultural traditions.”

“Even though the Russian constitution states that ‘no ideology may be established as state or obligatory,’ the Kremlin continues to search for a unifying set of beliefs,” notes the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office.

Religion has long played a role in Russian military life, first through the Russian Orthodox Church in Tsarist times, and then—in a secular way—through Communism in Soviet times. “In late imperial Russia, when they began to build garrisons, every regiment sought to build a regimental church, but not a synagogue or mosque,” Roger Reese, an historian at Texas A&M University who has written books on the Tsarist and Soviet armed forces, told the National Interest. “In Putin’s Russia, the Orthodox Church seeks every opportunity to represent itself as the national religion and tie itself to the state as it had under the tsars, so this act represents continuity broken temporarily by the Soviet years. Of course the Soviet regime did not build churches for the army, but it did build the ‘House of the Red Army,’ shaped like a star, in Moscow dedicated to the use of the Red Army and its soldiers.

In some respects it was analogous to a USO [United Service Organization that supports American soldiers] building. So Putin’s dedicating one particular building to the use of the Russian Army soldiers for purposes of morale—and morals—is in line with that.”

While the thought of a military church will be distasteful to some, Russia is hardly unique in linking the military and religion.

Many armies, the United States and Israel included, maintain chaplains who wear uniform and hold military rank. Chapels are common on military bases, and soldiers are given time for – and sometimes pressured to – attend religious services. While a Russian military church is likely to favor a specific denomination – Russian Orthodoxy – even that isn’t unique: non-Christian members of the U.S. military have complained of religious discrimination , especially by Christian fundamentalists.

What’s interesting is how little things change. Be it the Tsar’s conscripts, or the Red Army’s draftees or the volunteers who comprise much of modern Russia’s military, some spiritual reinforcement is deemed necessary to get soldiers to fight.

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