Connect with us
//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Latest

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?

Avatar

Published

on

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.

 

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement //pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
5 Comments

5
Leave a Reply

avatar
5 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
Robert Hilltibetan cowboyRodney AtkinsonTheRealDeplorableVoiceofReasonMagua1952 Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Robert Hill
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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.

Latest

Germany Wants Nuclear Bombers

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them.

The Duran

Published

on

Via VoltaireNet.org:


Germany’s armed forces are currently studying the possibility of acquiring nuclear bombers capable of using the new American B61-12 atomic bombs.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon itself plans to deploy these new atomic bombs in the German region of Eifel, in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The German air force already has multi-tasking Tornado warplanes, which are already capable of deploying American atomic bombs. But those aircraft are going to be replaced, possibly, by European-developed Eurofighters, or by United States manufactured F/A-18 Super Hornets.

Either way, the warplane that Germany selects will have to be equipped with the AMAC (Aircraft Monitoring and Control) system, which allows the use of the new American atomic bombs and enables the regulation of the power of the explosion as well as at what height the bombs explode after they are launched.

Germany does not manufacture atomic weapons but has come to consider itself as a nuclear power because it has vectors to use them, and believes that this gives it the right to sit on the UN Security Council sharing the permanent member position occupied by France.

Both countries would thus represent the European Union, under the auspices of NATO.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

1st since Notre Dame: Yellow Vests back despite ‘unifying’ disaster & they are angry

‘Yellow Vests’ march in Paris for 23rd straight week.

RT

Published

on

By

Via RT…


Yellow Vests protests brought clashes and tear gas back to the streets of Paris, despite politicians’ calls for “unity” in the wake of the Notre Dame fire. For protesters, the response to the fire only showed more inequality.

Saturday’s protests mark the 23rd straight weekend of anti-government demonstrations, but the first since Notre Dame de Paris went up in flames on Monday. Officials were quick to criticize the protesters for returning to the streets so soon after the disaster.

“The rioters will be back tomorrow,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters on Friday. “The rioters have visibly not been moved by what happened at Notre-Dame.”

For many of the protesters, grief over the destruction of the 800-year-old landmark has made way for anger. With smoke still rising from Notre Dame, a group of French tycoons and businessmen pledged €1 billion to the cathedral’s reconstruction, money that the Yellow Vests say could be better spent elsewhere.

“If they can give dozens of millions to rebuild Notre Dame, they should stop telling us there is no money to respond to the social emergency,” trade union leader Philippe Martinez told France 24.

Saturday’s protests saw a return to scenes familiar since the Yellow Vests first mobilized in November to protest a fuel tax hike. Demonstrators in Paris’ Bastille district set barricades on fire and smashed vehicles, and police deployed tear gas to keep the crowds at bay.

Sporadic incidents of vandalism and looting were reported across the city, and some journalists even reported rioters throwing feces at police.

60,000 police officers were deployed across the country, and in Paris, a security perimeter was set up around Notre Dame. A planned march that would have passed the site was banned by police, and elsewhere, 137 protesters had been arrested by mid afternoon, police sources told Euronews.

Beginning as a show of anger against rising fuel costs in November, the Yellow Vests movement quickly evolved into a national demonstration of rage against falling living standards, income inequality, and the perceived elitism and pro-corporation policies of President Emmanuel Macron. Over 23 weeks of unrest, Macron has made several concessions to the protesters’ demands, but has thus far been unable to quell the rising dissent.

After Notre Dame caught fire on Monday, the president postponed a television address to the nation, during which he was expected to unveil a package of tax cuts and other economic reforms, another measure to calm the popular anger in France.

Macron’s address will be held on Thursday.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

O Canada! The True North Strong and Free – Not

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence.

Jim Jatras

Published

on

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Canadian visitors to Washington sometimes wonder why their embassy stands at the foot of Capitol Hill.

The answer? To be close to where Canada’s laws are made.

A main showcase of Ottawa’s craven servility to Washington is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s complicity in the US-led regime change operation being conducted against Venezuela. Not content with ruining his own country with multiculturalism, polysexualism, and the like, Li’l Justin has acted in lockstep with Big Brother to the south inslapping sanctions on Venezuelan officials and serving as a US agent of influence, especially with other countries in the western hemisphere:

‘A Canadian Press report published at the end of January revealed that Canadian diplomats worked systematically over several months with their Latin American counterparts in Caracas to prepare the current regime-change operation, pressing [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro’s right-wing opponents to set aside their differences and mount a joint challenge to the government. “The turning point,” said the Canadian Press [Global News], “came Jan. 4, when the Lima Group … rejected the legitimacy of Maduro’s May 2018 election victory and his looming January 10 inauguration, while recognizing the ‘legitimately elected’ National Assembly.” The report cited an unnamed Canadian official as saying the opposition “were really looking for international support of some kind, to be able to hold onto a reason as to why they should unite, and push somebody like Juan Guaidó.”

‘One day prior to Maduro’s inauguration, [Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia] Freeland spoke to Guaidó, the newly-elected National Assembly speaker, by telephone to urge him to challenge the elected Venezuelan president.’

But that’s not all. Canada is out front and center in the “Five Eyes” intelligence agencies’ war on China’s Huawei – with direct prompting from US legislators and intelligence.  As explained by Col. Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Gen. Colin Powell, it’s not that Huawei violated any law when circumventing US sanctions but it is the US that is acting illegally by unilaterally imposing sanctions that were never agreed to internationally. But that’s OK – when it comes to Washington’s claims of jurisdiction over every human being on the planet, Justin and Chrystia are happy to oblige!

Also, let’s not forget Chrystia’s role in keeping the pot boiling in Ukraine. It would of course be cynical (and probably racist) to attribute anything relating to Ukraine to her own interesting family background …

To be fair, the lickspittle attitude of Canadian officials towards their masters south of the 49th parallel is hardly unique in the world. Also to be fair, it’s natural and would be generally beneficial for Canada to have a positive relationship with a powerful, kindred neighbor rather than a negative one. Think of Austria’s ties to Germany, or the Trans-Tasman relationship of Australia and New Zealand, or the links that still exist between Russia and Ukraine despite efforts by the west to set them against each other (as, for example, Spain and Portugal were at loggerheads for several centuries, when the latter was a loyal ally of Spain’s foe, Great Britain, to such an extent that Portugal was sometimes shown on maps and globes in the same pink as British possessions; a similar situation existed between Argentina and British ally Chile).

A close and mutually advantageous relationship is one thing, but Canada’s de facto loss of independence is another. Not only does the US control Canada’s diplomacy, military, and intelligence but also her financial system (with, among other levers, the notorious FATCA law, which places Canadian institutions under the supervision of the IRS, with Canada’s revenue service acting, care of the Canadian taxpayer, as a cat’s paw for not only the IRS but the NSA and other snooping agencies). As explained by one Canadian nationalist (yes, they do exist!), the redoubtable David Orchard, trade is also a critical issue:

‘Canada …, after almost three decades of “free trade” with the U.S., has more than $1.2 trillion in federal and provincial debt, large deficits at every level, no national child or dental care, high university tuition, miserly old age pensions, years of massive budget cuts, and giveaway prices for its exports of oil, gas, timber and minerals.

‘For 150 years, great Canadian leaders have warned that without an economic border with the United States, we would soon no longer have a political border.

‘We once owned the world’s largest farm machinery maker, Massey Harris, headquartered in Toronto; built the world’s largest and most respected marketer of wheat and barley, the Canadian Wheat Board, based in Winnipeg; created a great transcontinental railway system, beginning in Montreal, which tied our country together; and saw Vancouver’s shipyards produce the beautiful Fast Cat ferry.

‘Instead of spending hundreds of billions on foreign-made machinery, electronics, automobiles, ships, fighter jets and passenger aircraft (even payroll systems for federal employees!), we can build our own, both for the domestic and export market.

‘We once designed and built the world’s most advanced jet interceptor, the Avro Arrow, so we know it can be done. [Emphasis added] With Canada’s resources and ingenuity, it could create a prosperous, domestically controlled economy that would give Canadians multiple benefits, security and pride of ownership. All that is required is some of the will that drove our ancestors to create an alternate power in North America. As George-Étienne Cartier, the great Québécois Father of Confederation, put it, “Now everything depends on our patriotism.”’ [Note: Orchard is the author of the must-read book The Fight for Canada: Four Centuries of Resistance to American Expansionism. To begin at the beginning, in the late 1680s, as part of English-French rivalry in North America, Massachusetts Puritans sought to root out the nest of popish deviltry known as Quebec. Following their disastrous 1690 defeat, they decided to fight Satan closer to home by hanging witches. The rest, as they say, is history…]

Scratch a Canadian patriot and you’ll hear about the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow. As a watershed moment in Canada’s downward slide into subservience, the cancellation of what by all accounts was a magnificent aircraft – and a snapshot of what Canada’s international competitiveness (including in advanced aerospace) could have looked like had it been able to develop independently – might have been the point of being sucked into the American vortex. As noted by one response to my suggestion that Ottawa’s stance on Venezuela amounted to Canada’s annexation by the US: “Canadian here…unfortunately, the above is true (not literally of course, but in practice). It goes back even before the time of Diefenbaker, who canceled our Avro Arrow program on demand from the US – thus destroying our aerospace industry and causing brain drain to the US/Europe.”

To this day, the decision of then-Prime Minister John Diefenbaker to kill the Arrow project (and “put 14,528 Avro employees, as well as nearly 15,000 other employees in the Avro supply chain of outside suppliers, out of work”) on what came to be known as “Black Friday,” February 20, 1959, remains controversial and shrouded in mystery. A mix of budgetary, political, technological, and personality factors has been cited, none of them conclusive. Pressure from the US side, including unwillingness of Washington to purchase a Canadian aircraft when the US could pressure them to buy American planes and missiles, no doubt played a key role: “Instead of the CF-105, the RCAF invested in a variety of Century Series fighters from the United States. These included the F-104 Starfighter (46 percent of which were lost in Canadian service), and (more controversial, given the cancellation of the Arrow) the CF-101 Voodoo. The Voodoo served as an interceptor, but at a level of performance generally below that expected of the Arrow.”

While we may never know reliably why Diefenbaker cancelled the Arrow or how Canada or Canadian industry might have followed a different path, there’s no question of the superior capabilities of the Arrow. As it happens, one of the few pilots who had a chance to test the Arrow in an impromptu friendly dogfight is now-retired USAF fighter pilot Col. George Jatras, later US Air Attaché in Moscow (also, this analyst’s father). As he related in 2017:

‘I’ve received a number of messages in the last couple days about this bird, including some that say it may be revived. I don’t know how The Arrow would compare to today’s aircraft, but I had a first-hand lesson on how it faired against the F-102.

‘In 1959, I was stationed at Suffolk County AFB on Long Island with the 2nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron. We had an informal exchange program with a Canadian fighter squadron stationed near Montreal. From time to time, two or four aircraft from one of the squadrons would fly to the other’s base on a weekend cross country.

‘On one such exchange, I was #3 in a four ship formation led by [former Tuskegee airmanErnie Craigwell (I don’t recall who the other pilots were). As we entered Canadian airspace, cruising at about 40,000 ft., we spotted a contrail well above our altitude (probably at 50,000ft.) and closing very fast.  As the other aircraft appeared to be passing by, we could clearly see the delta shaped wing and knew it was the Avro Arrow that the Canadian pilots had told us about. Then, instead of just passing by, he rolled in on us! Ernie called for a break and we split into elements. When we talked about the encounter afterwards we all agreed that our first thought was, “This guy is in for a surprise; he doesn’t know that he’s taking on the F-102.”  Well, we were the ones in for a surprise. Even with two elements covering each other, not one of us could get on his tail. His power and maneuverability were awesome.  After he had played with us for a few minutes, like a cat with four mice, he zoomed back up to about 50K and went on his way. What an aircraft! What a shame that it never went into production.’

What is perhaps most curious about the Arrow’s demise is that “everything was ordered brutally destroyed; plans, tools, parts, and the completed planes themselves were to be cut up, destroyed, scrapped and everything made to disappear.”  Why? Well, security of course! Don’t engage in conspiracy theories …

The Canadian national anthem finishes with a pledge: “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.” It should be noted that understandably resentful Loyalists fleeing the US following the American Revolution were a major contribution to the growth of Canada’s English-speaking population. American troops – back when we were the plucky underdog fighting the mighty British Empire – invaded Canada in 1775 and during the War of 1812 but were defeated. Relations got testy during the American Civil War as well, and even afterwards the US was wary of a proposed united “Kingdom of Canada,” hence the choice of the name “Dominion” in 1967. If today’s Canadians think we-all down here don’t know whom they’ve mostly had in mind to “stand on guard” against all this time, they’d better think again.

Maybe it’s past time for Canadians to get serious again about their independence – eh?

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Videos

Trending