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Posts Tagged ‘Free trade’

The Great Recession came and went, and so did salaries and other compensation for people graduating with four year college degrees. The corporate news media continues to shower us with propaganda about why this has occurred.

Bloomberg news claims “technology and automation” have caused this decline. Only in the United States does there appear to be a problem with automation. It is strange how there is an overabundance of US manufacturing jobs in China, Vietnam and elsewhere. Those factories employ accountants, bookkeepers, managers, attorneys, and many more white collar employees. Those factories also purchase things from other local businesses that supply materials and designs and other things that employ white collar workers. Those factories used to be in the United States. And now they’re not. See https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-30/u-s-college-grads-see-slim-to-nothing-wage-gains-since-recession

Those H1-B visa’s are also putting downward pressure on wages, as well as exporting high tech jobs to India and other nations.

Exporting jobs overseas by the tens of millions is why wages have declined on average for new college graduates, and why compensation has stagnated for older workers, and why wages have declined over the last thirty-six years. There are other reasons, but automation is not one of them. See Jobs: The Largest US Export Product–JohnHively.wordpress.com

As for those declining wages for new college graduates, what you study matters for your salary, the data show. Chemical and computer engineering majors have held down some of the best earnings of at least $60,000 a year for entry level positions since the recession, while business and science graduates’s paychecks have fallen. A biology major at the start of their career earned $31,000 on an annual average in 2015, down $4,000 from five years earlier. Some majors, such as petroleum engineers, have seen a bump in earnings for those just coming into the job market.

On the other hand, people with graduate degrees are still getting a bump in their salaries upon graduation.

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eveything-that-is-wrong-with-our-culture-and-government

According to US Uncut, “…a likely Hillary Clinton victory means her intent to defund Social Security may come to fruition.

The Democratic nominee recently came under fire in revealing articles by Naked Capitalism’s Yves Smith and International Business Times’ David Sirota, for her potential plans to introduce mandatory retirement savings accounts set up to enrich Wall Street — rather than expanding Social Security.

Under the new mandatory accounts, Americans would pay a 1.5 percent payroll tax to go directly into retirement accounts managed by Wall Street banks that would invest in private equity, hedge funds, and other investments that would come with hefty fees for fund managers, all courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. One of the biggest proponents of mandatory retirement savings accounts is Blackstone CEO Tony James — one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest campaign donors — who is a possible pick for Treasury Secretary in a Clinton administration.”

Leaked emails also show Clinton is in favor of a hemispheric free trade zone for North and South America and open borders. Free trade is code for “exporting jobs from the USA,” while “open borders” is code for lowering wages and benefits in the USA. Like her supposed proposal on Social Security, Wall Street and major corporate investors would benefit from Clinton’s proposal.

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manufacturing-jobs-exported-per-year

The corporate news media does not operate independently, especially of the influence of its advertisers, and its editors, and that is why they prefer to keep you ignorant of certain facts. For example, when China manipulates its currency, this increases the profits of US corporations manufacturing there, and exporting those products to the USA. See https://johnhively.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/the-trans-pacific-partnership-the-op-ed-the-liberal-and-conservative-corporate-media-doesnt-want-you-to-see/

That’s precisely why US government and Federal Reserve officials castigate the Chinese government for doing this, but then do absolutely nothing to counteract it. To do so would cut into the profits of Nike, Microsoft, Dell, Campbell’s Soups, and thousands of other US corporations making stuff in China for export to the USA. This would make thousands of CEO’s and rich investors angry enough to cut off campaign contributions to Republican and Democratic Parties and their politicians. It would also send stock prices tumbling big time. Sweet lobbying jobs after politicians leave office would end. Corporate paid vacations called fact finding missions would disappear for politicians, as would money under the table, and those sweet speeches at $200,000+ a pop would vanish.

The Oregon Democratic Primary is coming up in a couple weeks, and Bernie Sanders is leading in the polls here. Quite naturally, the Oregonian newspaper is blitzing its readers with anti-Sanders messages in the form of editorials and news stories. The editors are doing everything they can to shift the election to the Wall Street candidate.

There has not been one positive or even neutral story about Sanders in the newspaper in the last two months, which is most likely a symptom of why the Oregonian has been suffering from a continuously declining readership. The newspaper is just a ghost of what it once was because more and more Oregon citizens realize the newspaper is mostly propaganda for the 1 percent along with occasional legitimate news stories.

Over thirty-five million jobs have been exported from the United States over the last twenty-five years. The Oregonian editors, along with all other corporate news outlets, have been careful to not report this loss of jobs and the tax dollars that once came with them when they were still here. The tax dollars lost equal nearly a trillion dollars a year.

Everything that Bernie wants to finance; free college tuition, medicare for all, and more, would be easily financed if those jobs were still here, rather than in China, Vietnam and elsewhere.

Bernie Sanders is against those disastrous trade policies which have paved the legal road for exporting jobs overseas, and which has paved the legal road for creating jobs over there, instead of over here. So, quite naturally, the editors of the Oregonian are for them, and against Bernie. It would be in the interest of the vast majority of US citizens to put an end to these international income and political power redistribution scams, falsely marketed by the Oregonian editors and other supporters as international trade agreements.

But it would not be in the interests of the Oregonian advertisers and their rich investors to put an end to them. It also would force the Oregonian editors to be responsible and objective journalists. However, challenging cherished beliefs with critical thinking, logic, and facts is among the last thing many people want to do. That’s precisely why the Oregonian editors support the Wall Street candidate; Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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In The Rigged Game, I wrote that the negative impacts of each successive recession would continuously get worse for a growing number of people because of growing income and wealth inequality, and a new study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows this is the case.

Also note that the policies espoused by both Hillary and Bill Clinton brought this situation about. These policies include international income and political power redistribution scams they marketed as free trade agreements, such as NAFTA, giving China most favored nation status, and the South Korea, Panama and Colombia free trade agreements. These scams redistributed trillions of dollars from working Americans to rich fat cats as tens of millions of jobs were shipped overseas.

Now there is an approaching economic storm that will strike sometime between October 2016 and June 2017. The economic impacts of the coming recession will be worse than the last recession.

Some of the findings by EPI include:

  • Unemployment and underemployment rates among young graduates have improved but remain higher than before the recession began.
  • Unemployment of young graduates remains elevated today, but not because of something unique about the Great Recession and its aftermath that has affected young people in particular. Rather, it is high because young workers always experience disproportionate increases in unemployment during periods of labor market weakness—and the Great Recession and its aftermath is the longest, most severe period of economic weakness in more than seven decades (Italics mine).
  • The vast majority (65.8 percent) of people age 24–29 do not have a college degree. Access to good jobs for these individuals is especially critical, as stable employment allows them to build a career or pay for further schooling.
  • In addition to the unemployed (jobless workers who report that they are actively seeking work), the underemployment rate also includes those who work part time but want full-time work (“involuntary” part-timers), and those who want a job and have looked for work in the last year but have given up actively seeking work in the last four weeks (“marginally attached” workers).
  • For young college graduates, the unemployment rate is currently 5.6 percent (compared with 5.5 percent in 2007), and the underemployment rate is 12.6 percent (compared with 9.6 percent in 2007).
  • For young high school graduates, the unemployment rate is 17.9 percent (compared with 15.9 percent in 2007), and the underemployment rate is 33.7 percent (compared with 26.8 percent in 2007).

Now we are hurtling into the worse recession since the Great Depression, and the results of the following boom period will be more egregious than the pathetically weak economic expansion after the Great Recession, which lasted from 2009 to late 2016 or early 2017. Income inequality is the big culprit in this explosion of poverty in the midst of plenty because your government actively works to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent via such things as trade agreements, which are really income redistribution agreements.

Click on the following link for the complete EPI study.

The Class of 2016: The labor market is still far from ideal for young graduates

for more on the EPI study.

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BernieSanders-TPP3

Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist to Vice President Biden, said last week;

“The time has come to create a new category of person in this town: Someone who supports expanded trade and is all for globalization with a voice for working people here and abroad, but who has completely soured on so-called free-trade agreements (FTAs), as they too often squelch that voice.

The need for this new type of person comes from two sources. First, after years of studying, critiquing, trying to improve and even helping to promote FTAs (when I worked for the Obama administration, I helped with the South Korean FTA), I’ve come to view the process as impossibly broken and essentially corrupted. It’s opaque, the end product is incomprehensible to most people, the input (and thus much of the output) is imbalanced, the politics are a hot mess, some of what’s called “free trade” is actually protectionist, and while many elites remain committed to evermore FTAs, there’s little trust among the people.

Second, if you suggest any of the above, you’re quickly labeled as a knuckle-dragging protectionist, not fit for elite company.”

hillary-for-whatever-tpp-flip-flop

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The 1 percent now steal over 37 percent of total US income, up from 8 percent in 1980. They’ve been stealing their income by corrupting both major political parties, which control the federal and state, as well as most local governments. Wall Street Senators, such as Mitch McConnell and Ron Wyden, are notorious for pushing legislation that redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

This government created inequality has created an economy spiraling toward third world status, with only 50 percent of US adults considered middle class, down from 61 percent in 1970. Another by-product of this is that people are dying younger, but not if you are rich. A new study by Angus Deaton and Anne Case show the mortality rate for white males, ages 45 to 55, is increasing.

F1.medium

The author’s lay the blame straight at income inequality pursued by senator’s like McConnell and Wyden. So why only white males of this age? Why not white or Hispanic women? Why not younger white males? The answer is expectations.

White males of this age group could always count on getting decent jobs, such as in manufacturing, from the 1970s through the 1990s. They had jobs, and then millions of those jobs were exported, leaving millions of people in debt, and unable to find a suitable job replacement. This has led to financial and emotional distress, increasing suicides, alcohol use, drug use, eating excessively, and other methods of self-perceived alleviation.

F2.medium

Note below, that mortality rates for white males in this age group declined from 1979-1998. These three decades witnessed extraordinary job growth, which meant opportunity. The guys in the 45-54 age range were in their physical prime. While the rich were getting richer, their share of income rising from 8 to roughly 15 percent of the total national income, real wages, or the illusion thereof, rose for a few years of the late 1980s, and the late 1990s. Now those jobs and opportunities have declined in numbers.

The authors write:

Midlife increases in suicides and drug poisonings have been previously noted. However, that these upward trends were persistent and large enough to drive up midlife mortality has, to our knowledge, been overlooked. If the white mortality rate for ages 45−54 had held at their 1998 value, 96,000 deaths would have been avoided from 1999–2013, 7,000 in 2013 alone. If it had continued to decline at its previous (1979‒1998) rate, half a million deaths would have been avoided in the period 1999‒2013, comparable to lives lost in the US AIDS epidemic through mid-2015. Concurrent declines in self-reported health, mental health, and ability to work, increased reports of pain, and deteriorating measures of liver function all point to increasing midlife distress.

Click here for the full study.

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greg pallesen blue herron probably

Here’s the story.

Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden was elected to represent the people of Oregon in the US senate. Instead, the senator represents Wall Street, along with major out-of-state corporations. This is why Wyden is one of the major tools the rich use in the US senate in their war against the middle class.

That’s precisely why Wyden always votes to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent via legislatively approved policies falsely marketed as free trade agreements. The latest Wyden income redistribution scam is called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest income redistribution scam from the 99 to the 1 percent in US history.

This month, thanks to Wyden’s votes in the senate, the Newberg Oregon Paper Mill will be closing, resulting in the loss of 250 family-wage jobs and the largest tax source for the Newberg community. In all likelihood, in the next few months most the paper mill closure will cause a domino effect, resulting in the loss of several times as many jobs as those that are lost at the mill, as families are no longer able to afford to go to restaurants, get the car fixed and more, hurting local businesses that these family-wage union jobs support. Offshoring in the private sector also means less tax revenue in the public sector, leading to budget deficits, furloughs and layoffs of public employees, as well as less money for schools, roads, libraries, fire-departments and other critical public services. Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden is directly responsible for this situation through his votes on international income redistribution votes in the US congress.

All products manufactured at the Newberg mill were 100% recycled paper products made from recycled paper and wood gathered from the greater Portland, Oregon area. This mill was one of the last paper recycling facilities in Oregon and the recycled paper and wood once processed there will now likely be shipped and processed in countries with weak environmental policies.

The difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower third world wages will go straight into the already fat pockets of the super rich via higher corporate profits, rising share prices and surging dividends, thanks to Wyden’s votes. And also thanks to Wyden, because the 1 percent are now stealing over 37 percent of all the income in the US, compared to 21 percent in 2008, and 8 percent back in 1980.

What could be worse than this?

The worse-than-NAFTA TPP threatens to offshore more Oregon and US jobs by the millions, further driving down wages and further harming the environment. Wyden has carefully rammed this disaster for Oregonians through the US senate, although most Oregonians oppose it.

Enough is enough. Click here to urge your Member of Congress to vote against the TPP and click here to RSVP for the carpool from Portland to the December 8th rally in Newberg against the TPP.

Join Oregon Fair Trade and other organizations, people and trade-displaced mill workers on Tuesday, December 8th — the anniversary of NAFTA (an income redistribution scam voted for by then Wall Street Congressman Ron Wyden)— to voice Oregon’s opposition to the worse-than-NAFTA income redistribution scam falsely marketed as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement.

Tues, December 8th:

11:00 AM – Photo op outside closing Newberg paper mill

11:30 AM – Speaker’s panel with trade displaced mill workers

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