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Posts Tagged ‘Job growth’

For the past several years, US job growth has been weaker on a monthly average than when Jimmy Carter was US president. There’s a reason for this and a lot has to do with US corporations exporting jobs. Click here for that story. This brings us to former President Obama.

As a United States senator, Barack Obama demanded President George W. Bush do something to counter Chinese currency manipulation. As president, Obama mentioned Chinese currency manipulation one time. Then some politically powerful billionaires likely placed their arms over Obama’s shoulder and probably said something like, “Don’t mention that again, or we’ll take you behind the wood shed.”

Notice President Trump railed against Chinese currency manipulation as a candidate and hasn’t said a word about it as president. It’s likely some of his fellow billionaires threatened to take him behind the woodshed too if he ever mentioned the issue again.

This is because millions of US jobs have been exported to China; and US corporations have created millions of jobs over there rather than here thanks to President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush, both of whom gave China “most favored nation trade status,” and which allowed US corporations to export US jobs and create jobs in China rather than here.

When China manipulates its currency vis-a-vis the US dollar, it increases the profit margins of US corporations manufacturing in China and exporting to the US, while simultaneously decreasing the profit margins of companies manufacturing in the US and exporting their goods to China. This is why all those Nike, Dell, Apple, Treetop, Campbell’s Soups, and thousands of other things are made nowadays in China and exported to the US rather than in the United States. See the-trans-pacific-partnership-the-op-ed-the-liberal-and-conservative-corporate-media-doesnt-want-you-to-see–JohnHively.wordpress.com

This is one of the reasons why income and wealth inequality has grown so great during the last thirty-five years. In the US, the top 1 percent own more wealth nowadays than the 90 percent lowest Americans, and that gap is growing.

The Federal Reserve Bank and the US Treasury could easily counter Chinese currency manipulation, but those organizations work for the billionaires and not for the rest of us. In the meantime, the US economy weakens over the long haul. That’s because workers wages now represent a smaller portion of US gross domestic product since 1947. That’s because when jobs are exported the difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new lower foreign wages with no benefits goes straight into the fat wallets of the billionaires via higher corporate profits, rising dividends, and surging share prices. Trade agreements, nice scams huh?

This is precisely why the rich are now stealing about 37 percent of all income produced in the United States, compared to 8 percent when Carter was president in 1980. This is why job growth was greater under Carter on a per monthly basis than nowadays even though the US economy was only about 40 percent the size of today’s US economy, and the population was only 60 percent the size of today’s US population.

This is something to reflect on when some Wall Street US Senator like Ron Wyden says we need more trade agreements to create more jobs. When Wyden, or Wall Street Senator Mitch McConnell says crap like this, you know it’s a lie.

 

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Source: Economic Policy Institute, http://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/

More than 40 million US workers would get a raise if the US minimum wage was raised to $15 an hour. Doing so would do five important things to help the US economy.

1. It would increase the demand for goods and services and create jobs in the process. Currently, we are in the worst post World War II economic expansion in US history, except for the last one, you know, that negative job growth under the economic policies of the worst president in US history, George W. Bush! Outside of that expansion, the current expansion is the worst, with the lowest job growth, the least GNP growth, and lots more historically weak statistics.

2. Every US economic expansion since 1981 has been caused by artificial bubbles which have created artificial stock market bubbles, which have almost completely benefited only the rich, and mostly the super rich, at the expense of everyone else. The Bill Clinton presidency saw the creation of 22 million jobs, which came about because of simultaneous housing, tech, stock and telecommunications bubbles. The tech and telecommunication bubbles were created by Clinton’s signature on legislation. The current economic bubble has been created by an illegal housing bubble created by the big banks. See The fix is In! The Banksters are Manipulating the rise in housing prices: Mortgage applications are down for home sales–Johnhively.wordpress.com Raising the minimum wage would create more demand, possibly creating the first demand inspired economic expansion since the Great President Jimmy Carter.

3. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would steer money away from the stock market bubble because it would decrease corporate profits, and perhaps gently deflate the current bubble that is due to burst in a few months anyway. The other option is to allow the bubble to run its course and essentially ruin the US economy like what occurred from 2007 to 2012 and from 1929-1933. The next recession will be worst than the last one, and it’s just around the bend.

4. Income inequality is at an all-time US high with the 1 percent stealing about 37 percent of all income produced in the USA every year compared with only 8 percent in 1980. That means the 99 means we have less money to buy things, while the rich primarily purchase things like stock options, stock, bonds and politicians. This inequality is stifling the demand sector and weakening the economy which is why the US economic expansions since 2000 are the weakest in history. This is, of course, unless, the creation and functioning of the US and worldwide economies are solely for the benefit of the 1 percent, and always at the expense of the 99 percent. You can see from the graph above the rich are stealing $17,867 from every working American, and they do this year after year after year. I think it’s time we get a little of our money back.

5. Wealth inequality is also near an all time high in the USA, and this means (along with income inequality) the rich can afford to buy the services of more politicians, which has already effectively turned our democracy into both an illusion and a myth, and this occurred perhaps as early as 1981. Raising the minimum wage would cut away a bit of the economic cancers known as wealth and income inequality.

The corporate talking heads will also insist raising the minimum wage will result in lost jobs, but there are plenty of studies showing not a whole lot on this issue. Most studies on this subject during the last twenty years show a rise in the minimum wage has a negligible impact on job loss, or jobs experience slight growth. On the other hand, most minimum wage increases that have been studied have been minimal and very local.

However, all of this is irrelevant because there is one gigantic study that shows that when the real wages of the 99 percent go up, so too does the US economy, and not just for the benefit of the few. This study is called the history of the US economy. Notice in the graph below real wages grew in the US economy from 1948 to 1978. In reality, you can go back to 1938 and see the same stuff. Inflation was low and job growth was high during the years 1938 to 1980. The middle class was strongest then, and demand for US goods was incredibly strong, especially the demand from US citizens. Even the rich got richer, although the percentage of income and wealth they could steal from the rest of us was small compared to today.

Source: Economic Policy Institute, http://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/

Corporate talking heads will always lie and say raising the minimum wage will increase inflation. In reality, allowing the financial markets to rise in bubbles creates inflation, as I pointed out in my book, The Rigged Game.

Now some people will say inflation was fairly high during the 1970s, and yes that is kind of true, and then kind of not. That’s because the US government has changed the way it measures inflation twenty times since 1981, and every change has the intended effect of lowering the rate of inflation. In other words, if inflation is 1.5 percent nowadays, using the methodology of 1975, today’s inflation would be about 6 percent. Average yearly inflation during the 1970s was 7 percent, and so using today’s inflation methodology, inflation during the 1970s would have averaged about 2.5 percent, which isn’t all that much.

You can also see from the graph above how real hourly wages have stagnated since 1978, but of course, that’s a lie since real wage increases are measured against inflation, and we know inflation is no longer measured like it used to be. If inflation over the last 35 years was measured with the methodology used by the US government in 1975, US inflation would be significantly higher each of those years, and real US wage growth during this period would be negative, year after year after year for the last thirty or more years. This means real wages are significantly lower nowadays than the available statistics will allow us to measure, and this, of course, is one of the reasons why the government changed the way it measured inflation: it stops us from seeing how much we of the 99 percent are getting screwed by our corrupt government in redistributing our income and wealth to the 1 percent.

I don’t know about you, but I want my money back! Raise the minimum wage!

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brexit-1462470589PAa

 

Some people are suggesting the Brits are mad, as in mentally unstable, to leave the European Union. Some are suggesting the far right has taken hold and driven the British people over the cliff into a suicidal jump to get away from immigrants, many of whom, by the way, are from eastern Europe. Perhaps they’re right, but there is at least one interesting and positive impact for the 99 percent that the news pundits don’t want you to know about when it comes to Britain leaving the European Union.

The value of the British pound dropped by more than 10 percent last night against other currencies. That means British companies who have shipped jobs overseas will experience a drop in their profits when they export goods from wherever they’re produced and exported into Britain. This is particularly true of those British corporations that have exported British jobs to European Union members in lower wage nations, such as in Eastern Europe. See The Op-ed the liberal and conservative media doesn’t want you to see-JohnHively.wordpress.com

In other words, British corporations that have exported jobs may be enticed or forced to move production back to England if the British pound stays down in value, which will spur job growth in Britain, and enhance the tax base of the British people. Perhaps this is why the stock markets dropped on news of Britain’s exit. British corporate profits are likely to turn downward in the long run unless the British government can somehow manipulate the value of the currency upward.

 

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According to the Economic Policy Institute, “The state employment and unemployment figures for October, released today (Dec 4, 2015) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, were slightly more encouraging than the previous few months. Job growth remained steady in most states and unemployment rates ticked down slightly more, on average, than was the case heading into fall. Still, the U.S. labor market is far from fully healed. In fact, this month’s report marks something of a bittersweet milestone: there are now 25 states that have reached their pre-recession unemployment rates. Only 25 more to go.

These statistics understate the level of unemployment by a fairly hefty margin. The number of full time jobs are at a low level not seen since 1980, when the economy and population were about half of what they are now.

These sobering statistics reveal that this is the worst economic expansion in US history for the middle class. It also is following a trend. The second worst economic expansion was the previous one. As predicted in The Rigged Game: Corporate America and a People Betrayed, the impacts of the next recession will be longer and deeper for the declining middle class, as well as for the working and poor classes. That’s because millions of jobs are being shipped overseas, and the difference between the old US wages and the new lower foreign wages goes straight into the pockets of the super rich via higher corporate profits, rising share prices, and surging dividends. That’s precisely why and how the 1 percent have stolen over 37 percent of all income produced in the United States in 2015, compared to 8 percent in 1980. Those figures are also why job and wage growth are the worst of any economic expansion in US history.

The 99 percent received only 63 percent of all the income in 2015, compared to 92 percent in 1980. This is why demand for goods and services is slack in 2015 compared to 1980, which is precisely why job growth is pathetic more than six years after the last recession ended. These figures are also why the stock markets have surged over the same period. The rich have used their ill gotten gains to bid up the price of stocks and bonds. The price for politicians has also surged, which is why the rich also heavily invest in politicians, which is why the rich have gotten richer at the expense of the 99 percent.

For example, Wall Street senator’s Ron Wyden, Mitch McConnell and Orrin Hatch have led the charge to ship jobs overseas, and redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent using government power. Nowadays, these scammers for the one percent are championing the Trans Pacific Partnership, the largest income and redistribution scam in US history, although it’s falsely marketed as a trade treaty. If this treachery passes congress, anticipate the middle class, currently 50 percent of all adults (down from 61 percent in 1970), will shrink down to 35-40 percent, and the rich will reach a milestone of stealing 50 percent of all US income by 2017, thanks to their henchmen in congress.

As for the report by the Economic Policy Institute, from July to October, 37 states and the District of Columbia added jobs, with Idaho (+1.5 percent), Nebraska (+1.2 percent), and Arizona (+1.1 percent) posting the largest percentage gains. The gains in Idaho and Arizona exemplify the strong growth experienced in a number of western states of the past year. Since October of 2014, states in the West—particularly those off the coast, such as Utah, Idaho, and Nevada—have had the strongest job growth nationwide. Job totals fell in 13 states from July to October, although only North Dakota’s (-0.7 percent) and Louisiana’s losses (-0.3 percent) seem indicative of a trend.

Unemployment rates fell in 40 states plus the District of Columbia since July. The largest reductions were in Missouri (-0.8 percentage points), South Carolina (-0.8 percentage points), Mississippi (-0.6 percentage points), New York (-0.6 percentage points), Ohio (-0.6 percentage points), South Dakota (-0.6 percentage points), Virginia (-0.6 percentage points), and West Virginia (-0.6 percentage points).”

Check out the whole story by clicking on the following link.

How Strong in the US Economic? Six years after the end of the last recession, unemployment is still higher than it was before the recession–Economic Policy Institute

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15 dollars

People earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 aren’t going out to eat at restaurants because they can’t afford to do so. That’s pretty much true for those who make higher state minimum wages of nine and ten dollars an hours. These people are not taking yoga, piano, or karate lessons. They don’t belong to gyms, and they don’t take part in yoga classes. They purchase few if any new books, and buy clothes at second hand stores, like the local Goodwill. They don’t buy flowers for their mother’s on mother’s day. They’re not purchasing new computers, cameras, tables, chairs, carpets, washing machines, dryers, I-phones, cars, organic food, or houses. They’re not buying a lot of other things.

What good are these people to the economy, other than to provide rich people with cheap labor? Like the idle rich, minimum wage workers barely stimulate demand for goods and services.

What do low wages have to do to with rich people? Low wages boost profits. As a consequence of that, corporate dividends and share prices go up. People who earn less than $100,000 a year own hardly any shares of corporations. The primary beneficiaries of people working at minimum wages go primarily to the rich.

If you raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, the people who benefit from this raise will be buying a lot of the things listed above and more, even a house in Detroit, Michigan, and elsewhere, as well.

And all of a sudden, not just large businesses, but small businesses thrive because demand for goods and services is stronger.

Studies over the last fifteen years show that the idea that high wages weakens employment is a myth.

There are two fundamental laws of capitalism. One is something about supply and demand, which is often rigged in favor of those who believe and act upon the golden rule; he who has the gold makes the rules. The other rule, which Henry Ford (the founder of the Ford Motor Company) believed was simple: When people have more money, businesses have more customers, and need more workers.

This explains why the current economic expansion is the worst since the Great Depression in virtually every category having to do with jobs, wages, GNP, and the things that are important to 99 percent of the US population.

Currently, 1 percent of the population has rigged the economic and political games over the last thirty-five years to the point where they have received a legislatively determined 95 percent of all income growth since 2009, the most ever on record. Worse yet, the rich steal 37 percent of all income produced in the United States nowadays, and that figure is growing, and with no end in sight. Rich parasites will soon be larger in terms of total income than their hosts, the 99 percent.

Ever wonder why the economy under President Jimmy Carter produced more jobs, raised wages, and had greater GNP growth on average than any year of the last fifteen with an economy that was ½ the size of today, and with a population that was 60 percent the size of today? The answer is simple.

Back then, the rich only stole 8 percent of the annual income produced in the United States. That means the rest of us earned 92 percent of all the income created in the USA, which meant demand for goods and services was far more plentiful then than today, job growth was greater, and wages for the 99 percent also rose. Under Carter, the economy created 225,000 jobs a month. Over the last fifteen years, 90,000 has been hailed as an outstanding achievement by President George W. Bush, as well as President Obama.

Something clearly is out of whack with the economy, and yes, most of it has to do with the massive corruption of the US government that was unleashed by the Reagan tax cuts. But if income can be massively redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent, as it has been for the last thirty-five years, then the government can act to redistribute it back to where it belongs, and all for the good of the economy. This can partially be achieved by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2017.

And don’t tell me corporate America doesn’t have the money. Currently, they’re sitting on 7-8 trillion dollars inside the US, while holding another 7-8 trillion outside the US, because the demand for goods and services is so low they have no reason to invest it in new plant and equipment so as to increase production, which would require workers.

You can go back 150 years and literally find the same people shouting over and over again on behalf of their rich patrons saying the same thing, “If people on the bottom get paid more, it will be bad for them, and they will lose their jobs.” That’s just a polite way of saying, “My patrons and I are rich, you’re poor, and my boss and I want to keep it that way. And besides, it’s good for Wall Street.”

The fact that corporations are sitting on trillions upon trillions of dollars because demand is slack shows the opposite is true. Every one of those trillions of dollars could be used to create jobs if only the demand was there. The years between President Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan also show the same thing.

If you pay people more, they will purchase more, and everybody will be better off, not just a few politically powerful people. Those trillions of dollars will be used to invest in the production of goods and services. Those trillions also show that US corporations are quite capable of paying their employees more, and not just the already rich CEOs.

That’s why it’s long past time to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Besides, if the minimum wage had kept up with productivity (or real inflation) over the last 56 years, the US federal minimum wage would be nearly twenty dollars an hour.

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The minimum wage was established during the Great Depression so that wages would stop dropping. They had slipped 80 percent from 1929 to 1933 and FDR’s brain’s trust recognized that nothing would get purchased unless people could buy things, and with wages dropping faster than an anchor into deep waters, the Great Depression could never be ended without such legislation.

Nowadays, Republicans and Wall Street Democrats (the majority of the Democratic establishment in D.C.) are happy to keep the minimum wage lower than gains in inflation and productivity, which is an action that weakens the purchasing power of people. However, by keeping the wage artificially low, 95 percent of income growth in the USA goes to the 1 percent, and mostly to the top one-tenth of one percent, which depresses economic activity, but corrupts government more and more. In other words, keeping the minimum wage low redistributes income to the 1 percent while weakening the economy in the process.

Recent studies show that raising the minimum wage increases economic activity and grows jobs. That’s because minimum wage workers have more money to spend, and so they do.

 

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The Federal Reserve can make or break the economy. Currently, the Fed is keeping interest rates low, which it easier for people to purchase things on credit, spurring demand for goods and services and creating jobs in the process. Republicans have wanted the Fed to raise interest rates for years, but only since President Obama was elected in 2008, in order to tank the economy and place the blame on President Obama.

Click the link below to check out a story by Josh Bivens of the Economic Policy Institute on what other steps the Fed can take to make or break the economy.

How the Federal Reserve Can Help or Hurt the Economy: What’s at Stake | Economic Policy Institute.

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