In our hearts and hopes for a more just world in the near future.
You gave far better than you got (although you successfully reared a loving, generous family and had many admiring friends). We've been missing your class act for some time already. Where are the candidates lining up to take your uniquely charming/charmed place?
U.S. Added Only 38,000 Jobs in May: Fewest Jobs Created Since September 2010, Dimming Prospects for Fed Interest-Rate Increase this Month
June 03, 2016 "Politico" - Why do progressives reject Hillary Clinton? The highly educated, high-income, finance-literate readers of my website, Naked Capitalism, don’t just overwhelmingly favor Bernie Sanders. They also say “Hell no!” to Hillary Clinton to the degree that many say they would even vote for Donald Trump over her.
And they don’t come by these views casually. Their conclusions are the result of careful study of her record and her policy proposals. They believe the country can no longer endure the status quo that Clinton represents — one of crushing inequality, and an economy that is literally killing off the less fortunate — and any change will be better. One reader writes:
“If Clinton is the nominee 9 out of 10 friends I polled will [do one of three things]:
A. Not vote for president in November.
B. Vote for Trump.
C. Write in Bernie as a protest vote.
"We are all fifty-somethings with money and college educations. Oh, and we are all registered Democrats.”
Or as another reader puts it:
“I don’t want to vote for Trump. I want to vote for Bernie. But I have reached the point where I feel like voting for Trump against Clinton would be doing my patriotic duty. … If the only way to escape a trap is to gnaw off my leg, I’d like to think I’d have the guts to do it.”
To be sure, not all of my Sanders-supporting readers would vote for Trump. But only a minority would ever vote for Clinton, and I'd guess that a lot of them would just stay home if she were the nominee. Many of my readers tend to be very progressive, and they have been driven even further in that direction by their sophisticated understanding of the inequities of Wall Street, especially in the run-up to and the aftermath of the financial crisis, when no senior executives went to jail, the biggest banks got bigger, and Hillary paid homage to Goldman Sachs. True progressives, as opposed to the Vichy Left, recognize that the Clintons only helped these inequities along. They recognize that, both in the 1990s and now, the Clintons do not and have never represented them. They believe the most powerful move they can take to foster change is to withhold their support.
Some of them also have very reasoned arguments for Trump. Hillary is a known evil. Trump is unknown. They'd rather bet on the unknown, since it will also send a big message to Team Dem that they can no longer abuse progressives. I personally know women in the demographic that is viewed as being solidly behind Hillary — older, professional women who live in major cities — who regard Trump as an acceptable cost of getting rid of the Clintons.
What they also object to is that the larger bloc of Sanders voters has been treated with abuse and contempt by the Clinton camp, despite the fact that their positions — such as strengthening Social Security and Medicare, stronger educational funding and higher minimum wages — have for decades polled by solid majorities or, at worst, ample pluralities in the electorate at large.
By contrast, the Democratic Party in the Clinton and Obama administrations has consistently embraced and implemented policies that strip workers of economic and legal rights to benefit investors and the elite professionals that serve them. Over time, the “neoliberal” economic order — which sees only good, never bad, in the relentless untrammeling of capital and the deregulation of markets — has created an unacceptable level of economic insecurity and distress for those outside the 1 percent and the elite professionals who serve them.
The result is that the U.S. economy is becoming lethal to the less fortunate, according to the New York Times, which reported this week that U.S. death rates have risen for the first time in a decade. The increase in death rates among less educated whites since 2001 is roughly the size of the AIDS epidemic. One cause, the opioid epidemic, resulted from Purdue Pharma overselling the effectiveness of reformulated OxyContin, then recommending higher dosages when it failed to work properly, which experts deemed a prescription for creating addicts, according to a number of lawsuits. This was permitted by the U.S. government, leading to thousands of unnecessary deaths. Despite President Barack Obama’s Panglossian claim that the economy is doing well, the spike in suicides to levels over those during the financial crisis belies that.
Yet the Clinton campaign is in such denial about this that it has become vitriolic in its verbal and tactical attacks on Sanders and his supporters — rather than recognizing that the stunning success of his campaign is proof of their abject policy failures. The message is clear: The Clintons believe, as Bill himself put it, that the true progressives have nowhere to go.
But in fact, they’ve been leaving. The Clinton and Obama administrations presided over the worst losses in congressional and state races in modern history in 1994, 2010 and 2012. And voter preferences were clear. Under Obama, it was the Blue Dog, Third Way Democrats who were turfed out, while candidates with strong stances on economic justice kept their seats. Similarly, as political scientist Tom Ferguson pointed out in a Roosevelt Institute paper, Obama’s loss of a Senate majority when Republican Scott Brown won in Massachusetts was the result of his focus on bailing out banks rather than aiding distressed homeowners (or forcing mortgage services to give modifications to borrowers who still had adequate income, as banks had done historically). The level of votes for Brown was strongly correlated with the amount of foreclosures in those particular districts.
True progressives know that the Clinton and Obama presidencies have brought inequality to Gilded Era, banana-republic levels. They know that Obama’s policies, which the Clintons embrace, have had all of the post-crisis income gains accrue to the top 1 percent. In addition, corporate profits have risen to nearly double the ratio to GDP that Warren Buffett deemed unsustainably high in the early 2000s. Unlike China, they’ve also ushered in an era of high unemployment and underemployment, as reflected in unheard-of low levels of labor force participation and unemployment among the young in a nominal expansion.
The Clintons’ dismal record, which Hillary cannot run away from, speaks for itself. And this is what makes many progressives I know unable to support her, even if she wins the nomination. Consider the reasons why they feel this way . . .
. . . Mind you, these issues are all topics in the current debates. But what is as important, but not as obvious, is the way that most citizens have been stripped of legal and economic protections. As economist Michael Hudson put it, “Most inequality does not reflect differing levels of productivity, but distortions resulting from property rights or other special privileges." The Clinton era brought in weaker anti-trust enforcement, which allowed companies to accumulate more market share and with it, more ability to extract rents. Binding arbitration, which strips employees and consumers of their right to a day in court, has become widespread. Pensions, which used to be sacrosanct (and still are if you are a CEO), are regularly renegotiated.
Banks got away with predatory servicing and wrongful foreclosures. Not only was the 2012 National Mortgage Settlement a “get out of liability almost free” card so large that it was tantamount to a second bailout, but banks were not required to fix their faulty servicing platforms, assuring that they’d revert to foreclosure abuses again when delinquencies rise. And let us not forget that senior bankers are a protected class, exempt from prosecution.
Finally, there is the stench of corruption, dating back to Hillary’s impossible — by any legitimate means—trick of parlaying $1,000 into $100,000 in a series of commodities trades in 1978. The Clintons and their backers seriously expect the rubes to believe that large financial firms happily forked over their hefty speaking fees purely out of interest in what they had to say, or that Middle Eastern and Taiwanese moneybags gave big bucks to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was secretary of state out of their deep belief in the foundation’s lofty goals
. . . Why has Hillary refused to release the transcripts of her Goldman speeches, wiped her server and foot-dragged on releasing allegedly personal emails?
The Sanders voters in Naked Capitalism’s active commentariat also explicitly reject lesser-evilism, the cudgel that has previously kept true lefties somewhat in line. They are willing to gamble, given that outsider presidents like Jimmy Carter and celebrity governors like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura didn’t get much done, that a Trump presidency represents an acceptable cost of inflicting punishment on the Democratic Party for 20 years of selling out ordinary Americans.
The Clintons, like the Bourbons before the French Revolution, have ensconced themselves in such a bubble of operative and media sycophancy that they’ve mistakenly viewed escalating distress and legitimate demands from citizens as mere noise. Sanders voters are taking their cue from Talleyrand, the statesman who navigated the Revolution and the turbulent 50 years that followed with remarkable success: “I have never abandoned a party before it abandoned itself.”
If my readers are representative, Clinton and the Democratic Party are about to have a long-overdue day of reckoning. - Yves Smith
L.P. · 1 day ago
I read NC every day and I thoroughly agree with the commenters you mentioned. As a female Baby Boomer, I would no more think of voting for Hillary Windsock Clinton than I would think of voting republican (really, one in the same). I will vote 3rd party or abstain from the Presidential ballot line. And I am changing my affiliation to (I). Until, or if, the D's abandon their neoliberal, neocon silverbacks, count me out...
Bryan · 1 day ago
I am 67 yrs old and hate Republicans for the most part, especially the neocons. In a Trump/Clinton election, I will vote for Trump/ All you need to know is that Wall St, and the neocons (Kristol, et al) are all jumping ship and voting for Hillary. That is because she is just like them, enough said.
MadAsHell · 21 hours ago
I'll never forget Hillary's hyena-like laughter after Ghadaffi was brutally murdered by her people.
She should not be given any position of authority.
Hillary Clinton made a strong case for why handing the nuclear codes over to a President Donald Trump would be a scary idea, but there may be equal or even greater reason to fear turning them over to her. In perhaps the most likely area where nuclear war could break out – along Russia’s borders – Clinton comes across as the more belligerent of the two.
. . . Clinton’s neoconservative interpretation of what’s happening in Eastern Europe is so upside-down and inside-out that it could ultimately become the flashpoint for a nuclear war between Russia and the West.
. . . on Thursday, even as she made strong points about Trump’s mismatched temperament for becoming Commander-in-Chief, she flashed a harsh temperament of her own that also was unsettling, although in a different way.
Trump shoots from the lip and has a thin skin, while Clinton is tightly wound and also has a thin skin. Trump lets his emotions run wild while Clinton is excessively controlled. Trump engages in raucous give-and-take with his critics; Clinton tries to hide her decision-making (and emails) from her critics.
It’s hard to say which set of behaviors is more dangerous. One can imagine Trump having free-form or chaotic diplomatic encounters with allies and adversaries alike, while Clinton would plot and scheme, insisting on cooperation from allies and demanding capitulation from adversaries.
Clinton sprinkled her speech denouncing Trump with gratuitous insults aimed at Putin and undiplomatic slaps at Russia, such as, “If Donald gets his way, they’ll be celebrating in the Kremlin. We cannot let that happen.”
In short, there is reason to fear the election of either of these candidates, one because of his unpredictability and the other because of her rigidity. How, one might wonder, did the two major political parties reach this juncture, putting two arguably unfit personalities within reach of the nuclear codes?
Judith · 21 hours ago
I don't think Parry is a Trump fan, but is looking at the lesser of the two evils, so to speak. Because of Killary's past she definitely is a scare, and she scares me more than Trump does. By the way, Diane Johnstone wrote a wonderful book, called The Queen of Chaos. Here's a quote from John Pilger, "It’s one hell of a choice. The more I delve into Donald Trump and his past (to research my biography, which comes out in June), the more scared I get. Nevertheless, there is no way I’ll vote for Hillary. I won’t vote for her if she stops shaking down rich right-wing Republicans for donations. I won’t vote for her if she adopts Bernie’s platform. I won’t vote for her if she names Bernie her vice president. I won’t even vote for her if Bernie invites me to spend the summer with him and Jane in Vermont."
Jim · 20 hours ago
You all act like the voters actually elect the president? Dream on. All presidents are appointed end of the story. Hillary will be appointed. Regardless of who gets appointed our life is going to get worse and worse.
clifford · 18 hours ago
all the candidates were unfit for office, thus the choice now is between two unfit candidates, from known history and declared intentions hillary is the most dangerous, the fact the prowar neocons are so desperate to derail trump suggests they havnt yet got control of his more nationalist faction, this is really a globalist against nationalist contest, the same battle lines are forming in the uk, france, germany, japan, and other nations, either faction could lead the world to war,
It's pretty easy to see why those who have not prospered in the last eight years (not to mention the eight years before) think that a rich, forthright outsider may be able to bring them relief as the people running the government have drawn a nub in proper responses.
This is exactly what we have been expecting to happen. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the U.S. economy only added 38,000 jobs in May. This was way below the 158,000 jobs that analysts were projecting, and it is also way below what is needed just to keep up with population growth. In addition, the number of jobs created in April was revised down by 37,000 and the number of jobs created in March was revised down by 22,000. This was the worst jobs report in almost six years, and the consensus on Wall Street is that it was an unmitigated disaster.
The funny thing is that the Obama administration says that the unemployment rate actually went down last month. Almost every month since Obama has been in the White House, large numbers of Americans that have been unemployed for a very long time are shifted from the “unemployment” category to the “not in the labor force” category. This has resulted in a steadily falling “unemployment rate” even though the percentage of the population that is actually working has not changed very much at all since the depths of the last recession.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that the number of Americans “not in the labor force” increased by 664,000 from April to May. If you believe that, I have a giant bridge on the west coast that I would like to sell you. The labor force participation rate is now down to 62.6, and it is hovering just above a 38 year low.
When you add the number of working age Americans that are “officially unemployed” (7.4 million) to the number of working age Americans that are considered to be “not in the labor force” (an all-time record high of 94.7 million), you get a grand total of 102.1 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.
. . . According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, layoffs at major firms are running 24 percent higher up to this point in 2016 than they were during the same time period in 2015.
It was only a matter of time before those layoffs started showing up in the official employment numbers, and I fully expect that this trend will accelerate in the months ahead.
And here are some other brand new numbers for you to consider…
- Since Barack Obama entered the White House, 14,179,000 Americans have “left the labor force” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- The quality of our jobs continues to deteriorate. In May, 59,000 full-time jobs were lost, but 118,000 part-time jobs were gained.
- Since September 2014, 207,000 mining jobs have been lost.
- We just learned that U.S. factory orders have declined once again. This marks the 18th month in a row that this has taken place, and we have never seen such an extended decline outside of a major recession.
- JPMorgan’s “recession indicators” have just soared to the highest level that we have seen since the last recession.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _Needless to say, the financial community is pretty horrified by all of this news. They were expecting a much better jobs report, and many of them are not hiding their disappointment. Here is one example from the Wall Street Journal…
“This was an unqualified dud of a jobs report,” said Curt Long, chief economist at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions, noting “the unemployment rate fell, but for the wrong reason as labor force participation declined for the second consecutive month.”And here is another example that comes from David Donabedian, the chief investment officer at Atlantic Trust Wealth Management…
“We can’t find a positive nugget in today’s job report. If we were looking for signs of strength in this report, there is nothing to hang onto here.”But of course the mainstream media is doing their best to put a positive spin on these numbers. For instance, CNN just published a laughable article entitled “America’s economy is stronger than weak jobs report“.
And the White House insists that this new employment report really isn’t that big of a deal…
The White House doesn’t get “too disappointed” over the number of unemployed and underemployed Americans.But of course the truth is that it is a really big deal.
“I’ve been reacting to jobs numbers here at the White House for more than seven years, and what is true today has been true in the past, which is, we don’t get too excited when jobs numbers are better than expected and we don’t get too disappointed when jobs numbers one-month are lower than expected,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told CNBC.
We just received major confirmation that the U.S. economy has slipped into recession mode.
For months, I have been writing about how virtually every other indicator has been screaming that a new economic crisis had already begun.
But the employment numbers had remained fairly decent up until now. Employment is typically considered to be a “lagging indicator”, which means that it isn’t one of the first places we would expect to see signs of a recession show up. However, it is inevitable that the official unemployment numbers will reflect an economic downturn eventually, and that is what we are starting to see now.
What this means is that you probably have even less time to get prepared for what is ahead than you may have originally thought.
The U.S. economy has already entered the early chapters of the next great economic crisis, and most of the population is going to be caught totally off guard and will suffer tremendously.
If our leaders had made better decisions since the last crisis, things could have turned out differently. But instead, they continued to conduct business as usual, and now we will reap what they have sown.
Good news anywhere?
For the rich who own stocks.
The other thing that makes the rich different is that they’re the ones heavily invested in this stock market. According to the most recent 2013 Federal Reserve “Survey of Consumer Finances,” which is conducted every three years, the rate of direct or indirect stock ownership by the top income group “increased 3.9 percentage points from 2010 to 2013, reaching 92.1 percent, slightly above the 91.7 percent found in the 2007 survey.”
According to a Gallup poll conducted between April 6-10 of this year, 46 percent of Americans have no money invested in the stock market – not in individual stocks or stock mutual funds or self-directed 401(k)s or IRAs. The amount of Americans with zero money invested in the stock market has grown by 12 percentage points since April of 2007. That was the year before century-old iconic names on Wall Street began blowing up like a smoldering stack of Roman candles at a fireworks factory and the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve hooked up a bulging firehose to douse the inferno that ended up doubling the national debt over the ensuing years and multiplied the Fed’s balance sheet five-fold.
Friday, 03 June 2016
By Dean Baker
Center for Economic and Policy Research | Report
The Labor Department reported that the economy created just 38,000 new jobs in May, the weakest job growth since September of 2010, when it lost 52,000 jobs. In addition, the jobs numbers for the prior two months were revised down by 59,000, bringing the average for the last three months to just 116,000.
The household survey showed a drop of 0.3 percentage points in the unemployment rate, but this is not especially good news. The decline was almost entirely due to people leaving the labor force. The employment-to-population ratio [EPOP] was unchanged at 59.7 percent, 0.2 percentage points below the peak for the recovery.
The drop in EPOPs is especially disturbing since it is among prime-age workers and it is for both women and men. The EPOP for prime age workers is still 2.5 percentage points below its pre-recession peak and 4.0 percentage points below the peaks reached in 2000. While many analysts have tried to explain this drop as a supply side story, it seems implausible that a very slight downward trend for men would happen to sharply accelerate in 2001, just as the upward trend for prime age women reverses to a downward trend, due to supply side factors. The only plausible explanation is that the demand for labor has weakened sharply.
Consistent with this pattern, older workers have accounted for a disproportionate share of recent job growth. Employment of workers over age 55 has increased by 831,000 (2.5 percent) over the last year. By comparison, employment has risen by just 460,000 for workers between the ages of 35-44 and 35,000 for workers between ages 45-54. Workers between the ages of 25-34 have been big job gainers, increasing employment by 743,000 over the last year.
Other data in the household survey was mixed. The number of people involuntarily working part-time jumped by 468,000 (7.8 percent). However, the duration measures of unemployment all fell in May. The percentage of unemployment due to voluntary quits was little changed. The number of people who chose to work part-time continued its upward path, growing by 137,000. It is now 656,000 above its year-ago level.
There was little positive news in the establishment survey. While the strike at Verizon lowered the May jobs number by roughly 35,000, the picture would be little different without the strike. The weakness was widely spread across sectors. Only the healthcare sector showed much strength, adding 45,700 jobs, although the relatively high-paying professional and technical services sector added 25,800 jobs. The restaurant sector added 22,200 jobs roughly the same as its average over the last year.
Mining continued to shed jobs in May, losing another 10,200. Manufacturing lost another 10,000 jobs, all of it due to a drop of 18,000 in the durable sector. Over the year, employment in durable manufacturing is down by 80,000. Construction lost 15,000 jobs in May, bringing the two-month loss to 20,000. Retail added just 11,400 jobs after losing 5,100 jobs in April. The temp sector remains weak, losing 21,000 jobs in May. Employment is up by just 17,100 over the last year. Government employment rose by 13,000, but most of this was due to a rise an increase in Postal Service jobs of 9,700.
There is little change in the wage growth picture, with wages up by 2.5 percent over the last year, although the annualized rate comparing the most recent three months with the prior three months is somewhat better at 2.9 percent. It is important to remember that wages have been rising faster than total compensation, as employers have been reducing the generosity of their health care benefits.
Adding to the picture of weakness in this report, the one-month employment diffusion index, which shows the percentage of industries adding jobs, was just 51.3 in May, the lowest reading since February of 2010. The 3-month and 6-month indexes, which reflect employer hiring intentions, were similarly weak. The index of aggregate hours rose just 0.1 percent in May, the same as the prior two months, and is actually below its January level. It would be difficult for the Fed to look at these data and say that the economy should be growing more slowly. Due to weak employment growth, the index of aggregate weekly hours is below its January level.
(Dean Baker is a macroeconomist and codirector of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. He previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. He is a regular Truthout columnist and a member of Truthout's Board of Advisers.)
The Clinton decay path is accelerating.
'Last Calls' for California and (Trying to) Oversee the State's Primary: 'BradCast' 6/1/2016
Our Politico Story on Why Clinton Does Not Deserve the Sanders Vote - 06/02/2016 - Yves Smith
Hoisted From Comments: Neoliberalism Tearing Societies Apart
The SEC Fines a Private Equity Firm for Broker-Dealer Fee Violations. Are KKR, Apollo, Blackstone, TPG, Carlyle and Lots of Others on Its Hit List?
EU’s Politically Biased Tax Haven Blacklist Excludes US and Switzerland
Only small fry get whacked for being tax havens. The big boys get their waivers
Andrew Bacevich: The US in the Middle East – “There Is No Strategy”
CalPERS Uses Unqualified “Expert” to Validate Its London-Whale-Style Deficient Risk Management
Refinancing is Dead: A Generation of Hard Times Will Continue Until Secular Real Wages Improve
Real gains by average Americans won’t come (from) financing gimmicks but from real growth in wages. And no one in authority seems willing to provide them.
Before a rally in Santa Monica, Senator Bernie Sanders was asked by Live Satellite News about the offer by Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, for him to run with the Green Party. Sanders response left open the door to running as a Green. He could have easily rejected the offer of a Sanders-Stein ticket, instead he said: “Right now, our goal is to win the Democratic nomination.”
Sanders should continue focusing on the Democratic Party nomination. He has run a far more effective challenge to the Democratic Party establishment than any insurgent candidate in decades. In addition, every poll shows Sanders would easily defeat Donald Trump while Trump and Clinton are virtually tied and Trump is leading in two out of five of the most recent polls._ _ _ _ _ _ _
When the 28 pages of "The 9/11 Commission Report (2004)" that have been suppressed became the inspiration for Congress to pass a bill that would allow American citizens to sue the Saudi Arabian government for its complicity in 9/11, the families and survivors of the victims of 9/11 were livid that the President of the United States would side with Saudi Arabia and lobby for its defeat. But Barack Obama is simply carrying out the policies and positions that he inherited from the previous administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, who directed the CIA, the Neocons in the Department of Defense (most of whom had come from the Project for a New American Century and were joint US-Israeli citizens) and Mossad to conduct the operation to transform US foreign policy from one in which we, at least officially, never attacked any other nation that had not attacked us first to one in which we, to benefit our "ally" in the Middle East - have now become the greatest aggressor nation that the world has ever known.
The truth would have emerged by now but for the influence of 9/11 organizations that are functioning as gatekeepers by offering limited hangouts in lieu of the truth, the whole truth and nothing but about 9/11. A&E911, for example, continues to focus on nanothermite, even though it cannot possibly have been responsible for blowing the Twin Towers apart from the top down. They claim they know that other explosives may have been involved, but refuse to identify what they could possibly be. And, like Judy Wood and DEWs, they refuse to discuss WHO was responsible and WHY. Unfortunately, they do not even do an adequate job of explaining HOW it was done, where the nanothermite theory was inspired by the study of dust samples from an apartment near Ground Zero, which has now been superseded by the far more extensive research of the USGS. What lives by the dust, dies by the dust. You are not going to like what you read here, but it is your duty as an American citizen to absorb it.
This is the Prologue to America was Nuked on 9/11: Compliments of the CIA, the Neocons in the DoD and the Mossad (moonrockbooks.com, 2016 forthcoming)