Monday, June 6, 2011

The "Invisible" Unemployed Have No Political "Pull" So They Are No Match for the Fake "Deficit Worries" Movers-and-Shakers Powers That Be

Tony Harrington waits in line to talk with potential employers at a job fair, which drew more than 250 people, in Bloomington, Minn., May 2, 2011. (Photo: Craig Lassig/The New York Times)
Why is no one in power (seemingly - and certainly not our fondest "change" President) working every moment to relieve the much-clamored-about jobs deficiency disaster? Because no one is offering them fat campaign donations or seats in "golden" sure-thing financial/investment groups after retirement? Makes sense to me. And it's really a masterstroke worthy of that "old master" devil himself (Karl Rove). Make up a lot of fake issues and blanket the bought-and-paid-for MSM with pretty-boy-and-girl script readers who are just indignant that "somehow" (they don't know how) the U.S. has been DEFICIT SPENDING for years(!) and has incurred a LARGE DEBT!!! These up-to-date "news" announcers also have a history-impairment about anything that happened before Obama took office in 2008 (but that's only a minor impairment next to their intellectual one). Robert Reich always nails them. (Talk about needing to be "hopeful" . . . .)
Why Washington Isn't Doing Squat About Jobs and Wages Sunday 5 June 2011 Robert Reich (Blog) The silence is deafening. While the rest of the nation is heading back toward a double dip, Washington continues to obsess about future budget deficits. Why? Republicans don’t want to do anything about jobs and wages. They’re so intent on unseating Obama they’d like the economy to remain in the dumps through Election Day. They also see the lousy economy as an opportunity to sell Americans their big lie that government spending is the culprit — and jobs will return if spending is cut and government shrinks. Democrats, meanwhile, don’t want to admit the recovery has stalled. They worry such talk will further undermine consumer confidence or spook the bond market. They don’t want to head into the election year sounding downbeat. And they don’t think they have the votes for anything that will have much effect before Election Day anyway. But there’s a third reason for Washington’s inaction. It’s not being talked about — which is itself evidence of the problem. The unemployed are politically invisible. They don’t make major campaign donations. They don’t lobby Congress. There’s no National Association of Unemployed People. Their ranks are filled with women who had been public employees, single mothers, minorities, young people trying to enter the labor force, and middle-aged men who have been out of work for longer than six months. Women who had been teachers, public health professionals and social workers have been hit hard. These jobs continue to be slashed by state and local governments. Public schools alone accounted for nearly 40% of the nation’s total public sector job losses in the last year. From March 2010 to March 2011, women lost 214,000 public sector jobs, compared with a loss of 115,000 public jobs by men.
And that ain't all, folks.
You couldn’t find a collection of people with less political clout. Older workers who have lost their jobs are at the greatest risk of continued unemployment. Employers assume they aren’t as qualified or reliable as those who are younger and have been working more recently. According to research by the Urban Institute, once you’re laid off, your chance of finding another job within a year is 36% if you’re under the age of 34. But your odds drop the older you get. If you’re jobless and in your 50s, your chance of landing another job within the year is only 24%. Over 62, you’ve got only an 18% chance. What do these jobless have in common? They lack the political connections and organizations to get the ears of politicians, and demand policies to spur job growth. (Robert Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written thirteen books, including The Work of Nations, Locked in the Cabinet, Supercapitalism, and his most recent book, Aftershock.)
Welcome to the Third World USA! USA! USA!!! And I've almost come to believe that our continual yammering about it out here in Blogworld hasn't help to change the facts - it's only further isolated and alienated us from those in "now-safe" jobs. After all, we're an embarrassment to those living in USA Fantasy Land. And, "False Choices?" anyone? What happened to the decency once embodied in the phrase "American Ideals?"
June 3, 2011 False Choices Charles M. Blow Friday’s jobs report was abysmal.

The U.S. added 54,000 jobs in May, far fewer than expected, and the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.1 percent.

This is the latest in a cavalcade of worrisome economic indicators — from double-dipping home prices to flagging consumer confidence — that illustrate just how fragile the recovery has been, just how inadequate and anemic the stimulus was and just how tenuous the government’s grip is on the reins.

It is against this backdrop that Republicans have decided to play chicken with the nation’s credit — insisting on spending cuts while steadfastly resisting tax increases.

This is part of the modern doctrine of a compassion-free conservatism that’s using the fog of the fiscal crisis to push a program of perverse wealth inequality as sound economic policy: The only way to jump-start the economy is to slash taxes on the wealthy and on companies; the only way to compensate for the deficits that those tax cuts exacerbate is to slash benefits to the poor and vulnerable. It would be comical if it weren’t so callous.

Not only is this faulty logic, it’s a false choice. We’ll need sensible tax increases and sensible spending cuts to address the deficit, and both can be offset to some degree by stronger economic growth. It’s not an either-or proposition.

And the wealthy can absorb a bit of a shock because they appear to be doing just fine. Quarterly earnings at luxury retailers like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Movado and, yes, Tiffany all beat expectations, signaling that the rich can still splurge on the carats they wear. Meanwhile, working-class people continue to fret over the carrots they eat.

Furthermore, there is a mound of evidence that corporations are in no need of more tax breaks.

First, the tax burden of American companies is lower than that of other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries, as economist Bruce Bartlett pointed out this week. Also, a report issued on Wednesday by Citizens for Tax Justice looked at 12 Fortune 500 companies from 2008-10 and found that on $171 billion in profits earned, their effective tax rate was negative-1.5 percent because of corporate loopholes, shelters and special tax breaks.

And, as Time magazine reported in its June 6 issue, “In the 18 months since the Great Recession, which ended in June 2009, U.S. annualized corporate profits rose 42 percent, to a record $1.68 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2010.”

Corporations aren’t hurting. They’re hoarding.

Republicans have taken an untenable position on taxation that threatens to not only undermine the country’s credit worthiness and push us to the brink of default, it is antithetical to the health and sustenance of a just and striving society.

The full stealing from the plates of the starving simply isn’t an American ideal.
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2 comments:

One Fly said...

I think the right could care less about the presidency. That's why the crazy's are getting a chance. If one gets in so much the better. They will win big in 012. Take enough seats the black man won't mean shit to them if he does win.

Of course our side made fun of many of the candidates on the right last election. It wasn't so funny when many won. Now they're doing the same thing again.

Suzan said...

So right, baby!

So right.

And no one has awakened to that grim reality.

Glad we're on the same side.

Love ya,

S


I think the right could care less about the presidency. That's why the crazy's are getting a chance. If one gets in so much the better. They will win big in 012. Take enough seats the black man won't mean shit to them if he does win.