Capitalism, The Fed and Economic Policy

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  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 32,665
    Damn you Brandon! We all know who passed that stellar piece of legislation and signed it, promising 4% GDP growth quarter over quarter for 10 years to pay for that tax cut. Or do we?

    "Large oil companies in the United States have been paying taxes at a significantly lower rate than most other corporations. The chief reason is that there are provisions in the U.S. tax code that allow energy companies to defer and avoid federal income tax payments. The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act slashed the effective tax rate for corporations, and oil companies were among the biggest beneficiaries of the changes because of the ability to defer taxes. The industry also benefits from generous subsidies."

    — Investopedia, 8/25/21

    The nation’s biggest oil companies — ExxonMobil and Chevron — saw their profits roughly triple in the second-quarter as Russia’s war in Ukraine upended global energy markets and left consumers stretching to cover record high pump prices.

    On Friday, Exxon reported net income of $17.9 billion for the three months ended June 31 compared with $4.7 billion in the year ago period. Revenue came in at $111 billion, a 68 percent premium over the same period. Chevron, meanwhile, earned $11.6 billion, versus $3.1 billion in 2021. Sales hit $64 billion, up 80 percent from a year ago.

    The blockbuster results come a day after Europe-based Shell also posted record profits: The three, plus France’s TotalEnergies, collectively earned nearly $51 billion in the most recent quarter, nearly twice what they brought in during the same three months in 2021, according to Reuters.

    Chevron, Exxon post record profits from oil-price boom - The Washington Post

    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

    "If you're looking down on someone, it better be to extend them a hand to lift them up."

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  • static111static111 Posts: 4,171
    Damn you Brandon! We all know who passed that stellar piece of legislation and signed it, promising 4% GDP growth quarter over quarter for 10 years to pay for that tax cut. Or do we?

    "Large oil companies in the United States have been paying taxes at a significantly lower rate than most other corporations. The chief reason is that there are provisions in the U.S. tax code that allow energy companies to defer and avoid federal income tax payments. The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act slashed the effective tax rate for corporations, and oil companies were among the biggest beneficiaries of the changes because of the ability to defer taxes. The industry also benefits from generous subsidies."

    — Investopedia, 8/25/21

    The nation’s biggest oil companies — ExxonMobil and Chevron — saw their profits roughly triple in the second-quarter as Russia’s war in Ukraine upended global energy markets and left consumers stretching to cover record high pump prices.

    On Friday, Exxon reported net income of $17.9 billion for the three months ended June 31 compared with $4.7 billion in the year ago period. Revenue came in at $111 billion, a 68 percent premium over the same period. Chevron, meanwhile, earned $11.6 billion, versus $3.1 billion in 2021. Sales hit $64 billion, up 80 percent from a year ago.

    The blockbuster results come a day after Europe-based Shell also posted record profits: The three, plus France’s TotalEnergies, collectively earned nearly $51 billion in the most recent quarter, nearly twice what they brought in during the same three months in 2021, according to Reuters.

    Chevron, Exxon post record profits from oil-price boom - The Washington Post

    So this war is good for the oil companies?  Who would have known.  Gotta keep that economy booming. 
    Scio me nihil scire

    There are no kings inside the gates of eden
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 26,544
    static111 said:
    Damn you Brandon! We all know who passed that stellar piece of legislation and signed it, promising 4% GDP growth quarter over quarter for 10 years to pay for that tax cut. Or do we?

    "Large oil companies in the United States have been paying taxes at a significantly lower rate than most other corporations. The chief reason is that there are provisions in the U.S. tax code that allow energy companies to defer and avoid federal income tax payments. The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act slashed the effective tax rate for corporations, and oil companies were among the biggest beneficiaries of the changes because of the ability to defer taxes. The industry also benefits from generous subsidies."

    — Investopedia, 8/25/21

    The nation’s biggest oil companies — ExxonMobil and Chevron — saw their profits roughly triple in the second-quarter as Russia’s war in Ukraine upended global energy markets and left consumers stretching to cover record high pump prices.

    On Friday, Exxon reported net income of $17.9 billion for the three months ended June 31 compared with $4.7 billion in the year ago period. Revenue came in at $111 billion, a 68 percent premium over the same period. Chevron, meanwhile, earned $11.6 billion, versus $3.1 billion in 2021. Sales hit $64 billion, up 80 percent from a year ago.

    The blockbuster results come a day after Europe-based Shell also posted record profits: The three, plus France’s TotalEnergies, collectively earned nearly $51 billion in the most recent quarter, nearly twice what they brought in during the same three months in 2021, according to Reuters.

    Chevron, Exxon post record profits from oil-price boom - The Washington Post

    So this war is good for the oil companies?  Who would have known.  Gotta keep that economy booming. 
    The only thing not good for an oil company is a pandemic.  
  • Cropduster-80Cropduster-80 Posts: 2,034
    Yup, sure, no profiteering here. Just benevolent oil companies doing their thing. Hey, here’s an idea! Let’s lower their tax rate! Heck, let’s subsidize them some more!

    New YorkCNN Business — 

    ExxonMobil and Chevron both reported massive profit jumps thanks to record gasoline prices during the quarter.

    Exxon’s profit, excluding special items, came to $17.6 billion in the second quarter, nearly double what it made in its very profitable first quarter as oil and gas prices started to soar in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Second-quarter profit was up 273% from the same period a year ago.

    Chevron earned $11.4 billion excluding special items, up 74% from the first quarter and 247% from a year ago.

    Including one-time items, both earned hundreds of millions more: ExxonMobil’s net income reached $17.9 billion, while Chevron brought in $11.6 billion.

    ExxonMobil’s net income came to $2,245.62 every second of every day of the 92-day long quarter. On that basis, Chevron earned $1,462.11 per second.

    Since it takes about two minutes to pump 20 gallons of gas, that means between them the two oil giants earned more than $400,000 between them in the time it took you to fill you tank.

    https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/29/energy/exxonmobil-chevron-earnings/index.html

    My CVX stock returns for the last decade have been crap.  Worst performing sector of the market by a lot.

    why didn’t people care when they were losing money?
  • Cropduster-80Cropduster-80 Posts: 2,034
    static111 said:
    Just kidding Hal, that is just something I have heard people repeat so many times that I think they have started believing it.  In other news.

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/07/28/2021-big-oil-has-spent-over-200-million-sabotage-climate-action-analysis

    The oil and gas industry, one of the most powerful corporate forces in American politics, has spent more than $200 million over the past year and a half to stop Congress from slashing carbon emissions as evidence of their catastrophic impact—from deadly heatwaves to massive wildfires—continues to accumulate in stunning fashion.

    That topline estimate of the fossil fuel industry's lobbying outlays and congressional election spending in the U.S. was calculated by Climate Power, which provided its findings exclusively to Common Dreams.

    Nearly 80% of the industry's campaign donations during the time period examined went to Republican candidates, according to Climate Power, whose analysis draws on data from OpenSecrets.

    Until Wednesday night, when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced a surprise deal on climate investments, it looked as if the industry's influence campaign had fully paid off, having helped crater the Democrats' sweeping Build Back Better package.

    Earlier this month, Manchin—the leading individual recipient of oil and gas industry cash in Congress—informed the Democratic leadership that he would not support moving ahead with renewable energy spending as part of a less ambitious bill, an apparently fatal blow to the hopes of climate action this year and possibly years into the future.

    Manchin, for now, appears to have reversed course, striking an agreement with Schumer that contains a historic $369 billion in climate and energy spending, including billions to speed the country's lagging transition away from fossil fuels. If accepted by all 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, the reconciliation bill can pass without GOP support.

    Schumer, who said the measure would put the country "on a path to roughly 40% emissions reductions by 2030," announced that he expects a vote on the legislation by next week. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), a key swing vote, has not commented on the deal.

    Noreen Nielsen, a senior adviser to Climate Power, told Common Dreams that with the new framework, "a strong signal was sent that deep pockets only go so far."

    "Democrats took their biggest step ever towards showing that politicians who protect profiteers fleecing Americans at the pump are on the wrong side of history," said Nielsen. "All the money in the world couldn't stand in the way of an agreement to move forward on a bold plan to ramp up American-made clean energy, lower energy bills for families, and take on climate change."

    But while climate advocates welcomed the proposal overall as a potential game-changer for the environment, they also stressed that the deal is littered with the fingerprints of the oil and gas industry, which—according to Climate Power's new analysis—has spent $63.5 million on lobbying so far this year.

    As part of the agreement, Democratic leaders—including Schumer and President Joe Biden—agreed to reform the regulatory process for pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure in the coming months, a victory for Manchin and his industry backers.

    Such reforms could clear the way for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a fracked gas project in West Virginia and Virginia that, if completed, would spew 89,526,651 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere each year.


    continues....

    Here’s what I don’t understand about oil and gas companies, why the fuck aren’t they diversifying and getting into wind, solar and fusion? They’ve got the capital and it seems it’d be a seamless transition to hire, train and repurpose staff to engineer clean energy, from wind turbines to solar panels to battery storage and technology  to micro grids and charging stations. It’s like the horse and buggy industry not seeing the future of automobiles. Dumb and short sighted. Fuck them.
    They do. I know chevron has an entire alternative fuels division 

    problem is that those are the assets they dump or at least stop investing in every time oil prices crash.  Happened  the last two oil cycles then it starts up again when they are way into the black.  It’s short sighted obviously but it also requires them to be making a lot of money.  

    It’s hydrogen  mostly.  They also are developing carbon sequestration.  As long as they make money they don’t care what the source is 
  • static111static111 Posts: 4,171
    mrussel1 said:
    static111 said:
    Damn you Brandon! We all know who passed that stellar piece of legislation and signed it, promising 4% GDP growth quarter over quarter for 10 years to pay for that tax cut. Or do we?

    "Large oil companies in the United States have been paying taxes at a significantly lower rate than most other corporations. The chief reason is that there are provisions in the U.S. tax code that allow energy companies to defer and avoid federal income tax payments. The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act slashed the effective tax rate for corporations, and oil companies were among the biggest beneficiaries of the changes because of the ability to defer taxes. The industry also benefits from generous subsidies."

    — Investopedia, 8/25/21

    The nation’s biggest oil companies — ExxonMobil and Chevron — saw their profits roughly triple in the second-quarter as Russia’s war in Ukraine upended global energy markets and left consumers stretching to cover record high pump prices.

    On Friday, Exxon reported net income of $17.9 billion for the three months ended June 31 compared with $4.7 billion in the year ago period. Revenue came in at $111 billion, a 68 percent premium over the same period. Chevron, meanwhile, earned $11.6 billion, versus $3.1 billion in 2021. Sales hit $64 billion, up 80 percent from a year ago.

    The blockbuster results come a day after Europe-based Shell also posted record profits: The three, plus France’s TotalEnergies, collectively earned nearly $51 billion in the most recent quarter, nearly twice what they brought in during the same three months in 2021, according to Reuters.

    Chevron, Exxon post record profits from oil-price boom - The Washington Post

    So this war is good for the oil companies?  Who would have known.  Gotta keep that economy booming. 
    The only thing not good for an oil company is a pandemic.  
    This seems extra good for them though.  Good enough that it would be in their interst for this conflict to be prolonged as long as possible and for western energy companies to not put any pressure on their OPEC+ counterparts to increase production.  As a bonus no one (majority of people) aren't thinking about green energy or long term environmental devestation of fossil fuel consumption.  A real win win win for them.
    Scio me nihil scire

    There are no kings inside the gates of eden
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,363

     
    US inflation slows from a 40-year peak but remains high
    By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
    1 hour ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Falling gas prices gave Americans a slight break from the pain of high inflation last month, though overall price increases slowed only modestly from the four-decade high that was reached in June.

    Consumer prices jumped 8.5% in July compared with a year earlier, the government said Wednesday, down from a 9.1% year-over-year jump in June. On a monthly basis, prices were unchanged from June to July, the smallest such rise in more than two years.

    Besides gasoline, among the consumer purchases whose prices sank from June to July were airfares, which plunged nearly 8%. Hotel room costs fell 2.7%, used car prices 0.4%. Such items had previously delivered some of the economy's steepest price jumps.


    continues.....


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    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
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  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 26,544
    Nasdaq is officially back in a Bull market.   

  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 32,665
    mrussel1 said:
    Nasdaq is officially back in a Bull market.   

    Damn you Brandon, fuck off!
    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

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  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 26,544
    mrussel1 said:
    Nasdaq is officially back in a Bull market.   

    Damn you Brandon, fuck off!
    The NASDAQ index in now officially fake. 
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 26,544
    Crude Oil is down to $87 and Brent Crude is $93.  We should see continuing falling gas prices heading into the fall election campaign.  Things should tighten up.  
  • tempo_n_groovetempo_n_groove Posts: 35,271
    mrussel1 said:
    Crude Oil is down to $87 and Brent Crude is $93.  We should see continuing falling gas prices heading into the fall election campaign.  Things should tighten up.  
    They never fall as fast as they go up though...
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 26,544
    mrussel1 said:
    Crude Oil is down to $87 and Brent Crude is $93.  We should see continuing falling gas prices heading into the fall election campaign.  Things should tighten up.  
    They never fall as fast as they go up though...
    That's for shizzle. 
  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 32,665
    Damn you Brandon!
    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,363
    mrussel1 said:
    mrussel1 said:
    Crude Oil is down to $87 and Brent Crude is $93.  We should see continuing falling gas prices heading into the fall election campaign.  Things should tighten up.  
    They never fall as fast as they go up though...
    That's for shizzle. 

    $3.07.......
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 26,544
    mickeyrat said:
    mrussel1 said:
    mrussel1 said:
    Crude Oil is down to $87 and Brent Crude is $93.  We should see continuing falling gas prices heading into the fall election campaign.  Things should tighten up.  
    They never fall as fast as they go up though...
    That's for shizzle. 

    $3.07.......
    That's your 87 in Columbus?  
  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 32,665
    What a dystopian freaking society we've created. I can't wait to retire. Or be in hospice. NYT email blast.

    View in browser|nytimes.com

     
    August 15, 2022

      By David Leonhardt


    Good morning. Employers have a new tool in the struggle with employees over workplace power: constant monitoring.


    Dora Potts, editor in chief of a test prep service, in her home office in Minnesota.Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times

    We see you

    In the back and forth over workplace power, American employers have been getting the better of employees for the past few decades.
    Companies have been getting bigger, giving them greater ability to set prices and wages. Labor unions have been shrinking, leaving workers with less ability to negotiate for raises. And court rulings, especially from the Supreme Court, have tended to side with companies over workers or regulators.

    You can see these trends in the macroeconomic data. The share of the economy’s output that flows to corporate profits has almost doubled since the mid-1970s, while the share flowing to workers’ compensation has fallen. Or consider this chart:
     

    Data is adjusted for inflation; 1947 numbers are set to one. | Sources: Refinitiv; U.S. Census Bureau; Bureau of Labor Statistics


    As you can see, stock prices and family incomes tracked each other somewhat closely in the decades after World War II — but no longer do.
    The Times has just published a story that examines the latest manifestation of companies having the upper hand on workers. The story, by Jodi Kantor and Arya Sundaram, is called “The Rise of the Worker Productivity Score,” and it’s the result of a monthslong investigation. It describes technology-based employee monitoring that often has a Big Brother quality, tracking workers’ keystrokes and more.

    Jodi and Arya write:

    In lower-paying jobs, the monitoring is already ubiquitous: not just at Amazon, where the second-by-second measurements became notorious, but also for Kroger cashiers, UPS drivers and millions of others.

    Now digital productivity monitoring is also spreading among white-collar jobs and roles that require graduate degrees. Many employees, whether working remotely or in person, are subject to trackers, scores, “idle” buttons, or just quiet, constantly accumulating records.

    Employees at UnitedHealth Group can lose out on raises or bonuses if they have low keyboard activity. Some radiologists have scoreboards on their computer screens that compare their “inactivity” time with that of colleagues. In New York, the transit system has told some employees that they can work remotely one day a week if they agree to full-time monitoring.
    Work from home

    The trend began before the pandemic, and the rise of at-home white-collar work over the past two years has intensified it. “If we’re going to give up on bringing people back to the office, we’re not going to give up on managing productivity,” said Paul Wartenberg, who installs monitoring systems for companies.

    But even many in-person jobs now include productivity tabulations. One section of Jodi and Arya’s story describes the frustration of hospice chaplains who receive “productivity points” based partly on how many terminally ill patients they saw in a day.

    “This is going to sound terrible,” one chaplain said, “but every now and again I would do what I thought of as ‘spiritual care drive-bys’” to rack up points. If a patient was sleeping, “I could just talk to the nurse and say, ‘Are there any concerns?’ It counted as a visit because I laid eyes.”
    Trying to get the most out of workers is nothing new. And some form of accountability is crucial to an organization’s success. But minute-to-minute tracking of employee behavior, often using crude metrics, is a more aggressive form of accountability than has been historically normal.

    “This is such an intimate form of control, which is part of why it took months of reporting to see,” Jodi told me. “To be clear, some workers really are derelict. But for many others, this is about what happens when you need to grab 10 minutes to clear your head, or deal with a kid interruption, or take a couple of extra minutes in the bathroom.”

    In some cases, the monitoring systems may backfire, and the story documents how they can be inaccurate. Often, though, they can also contain accurate information about how an employee is performing from one minute to the next. And in doing so, they will further tilt the balance of workplace power away from workers and toward employers.

    The growing mismatch also helps explain another trend: the increasing interest in labor unions among some workers, after decades of decline. Companies, not surprisingly, are pushing back.

    For more: If you read the full story, you will get a sense for what it feels like to be tracked, thanks to a design by my colleagues Aliza Aufrichtig and Rumsey Taylor.


    09/15/1998, Mansfield, MA; 08/29/00 08/30/00, Mansfield, MA; 07/02/03, 07/03/03, Mansfield, MA; 09/28/04, 09/29/04, Boston, MA; 09/22/05, Halifax, NS; 05/24/06, 05/25/06, Boston, MA; 07/22/06, 07/23/06, Gorge, WA; 06/29/08, 06/30/08, Mansfield, MA; 08/18/08, O2 London, UK; 10/30/09, 10/31/09, Philadelphia, PA; 05/15/10, Hartford, CT; 05/17/10, Boston, MA; 05/20/10, 05/21/10, NY, NY; 06/22/10, Dublin, IRE; 06/23/10, Northern Ireland; 09/03/11, 09/04/11, Alpine Valley, WI; 09/11/11, 09/12/11, Toronto, Ont; 09/14/11, Ottawa, Ont; 09/15/11, Hamilton, Ont; 07/02/2012, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/04/2012 & 07/05/2012, Berlin, Germany; 07/07/2012, Stockholm, Sweden; 09/30/2012, Missoula, MT; 07/16/2013, London, Ont; 07/19/2013, Chicago, IL; 10/15/2013 & 10/16/2013, Worcester, MA; 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013, Philadelphia, PA; 10/25/2013, Hartford, CT; 11/29/2013, Portland, OR; 11/30/2013, Spokane, WA; 12/04/2013, Vancouver, BC; 12/06/2013, Seattle, WA; 10/03/2014, St. Louis. MO; 10/22/2014, Denver, CO; 10/26/2015, New York, NY; 04/23/2016, New Orleans, LA; 04/28/2016 & 04/29/2016, Philadelphia, PA; 05/01/2016 & 05/02/2016, New York, NY; 05/08/2016, Ottawa, Ont.; 05/10/2016 & 05/12/2016, Toronto, Ont.; 08/05/2016 & 08/07/2016, Boston, MA; 08/20/2016 & 08/22/2016, Chicago, IL; 07/01/2018, Prague, Czech Republic; 07/03/2018, Krakow, Poland; 07/05/2018, Berlin, Germany; 09/02/2018 & 09/04/2018, Boston, MA;

    "If you're looking down on someone, it better be to extend them a hand to lift them up."

    Libtardaplorable©. And proud of it.

    Brilliantati©
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,363
    mrussel1 said:
    mickeyrat said:
    mrussel1 said:
    mrussel1 said:
    Crude Oil is down to $87 and Brent Crude is $93.  We should see continuing falling gas prices heading into the fall election campaign.  Things should tighten up.  
    They never fall as fast as they go up though...
    That's for shizzle. 

    $3.07.......
    That's your 87 in Columbus?  

    yes, at costco. mid 3 and lower throughout Columbus.
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    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,363

     
    EXPLAINER: 5 key takeaways from the August jobs report
    By PAUL WISEMAN
    Today

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's job market last month delivered what the Federal Reserve and nervous investors had been hoping for: A Goldilocks-style hiring report.

    Job growth was solid — not too hot, not too cold. And more Americans began looking for work, which could ease worker shortages over time and defuse some of the inflationary pressures that the Fed has made its No. 1 mission.

    Employers added 315,000 jobs, roughly what economists had expected, down from an average 487,000 a month over the past year. The unemployment rate reached 3.7%, its highest level since February. But it rose for a healthy reason: Hundreds of thousands of people returned to the job market, and some didn’t find work right away, which boosted the government's count of unemployed people.

    The American economy has been a puzzle this year. Economic growth fell the first half of 2022, which, by some informal definitions, signals a recession.

    But the job market is still surprisingly robust. Businesses remain desperate to find workers. They’ve posted more than 11 million job openings, meaning there are nearly two job vacancies, on average, for every unemployed American.

    And inflation, which began to accelerate alarmingly in the spring of last year, remains close to a 40-year high. That's a sign that consumers’ appetite for goods and services is still strong enough to allow businesses to raise prices.

    The relentless rise in consumer prices has forced the Fed to raise interest rates aggressively to try to slow hiring and wage increases and drive down inflation. It's aiming to pull off a so-called soft landing — raising borrowing costs enough to slow growth and curb inflation without tipping the United States into a recession.

    So far, so good.

    “Today’s report answers the persistent recession question, at least for today: We are not in a recession,’’ said AnnElizabeth Konkel, senior economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab. “The U.S. labor market remains strong with employers adding jobs and labor supply coming back online... The sun is still shining on the U.S. labor market.’’

    Here are five takeaways from the August jobs report:

    ___

    MAKING THE FED'S TASK EASIER

    Friday’s report from the government suggests that the Fed may find it a little easier to bring the economy in for a soft landing. Key to that daunting task is seeing hiring ease a bit — enough, anyway, to reduce the pressure on employers to raise pay. When they hand out raises, businesses typically increase prices for their customers to offset their higher labor costs, thereby feeding inflation.

    Not only did August's job creation decelerate from July’s breakneck pace — 526,000 added jobs — but the Labor Department also revised down its earlier estimate of the gains for June and July by a combined 107,000. In addition, average hourly pay rose just 0.3% last month from July, the lowest month-to-month gain since April.

    “If the Fed were to design the (jobs) report, this is the kind of report they would have designed,’’ said Megan Greene, chief economist at the Kroll Institute.

    Fed Chair Jerome Powell has made it clear — notably at a hawkish speech last week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming — that the central bank expects to impose further large rate hikes to try to tame inflation. And he warned that the Fed’s continued tightening of credit will cause pain for many households and businesses as it slows the economy and potentially lead to job losses. The Fed has raised its benchmark short-term interest rate four times this year, including by a hefty three-quarters of a percentage point in both June and July.

    Investors are anxiously anticipating what the Fed will do when it next meets Sept. 20-21.

    “The slower pace of payroll gains in August, together with a big rebound in the labor force, and the more modest increase in wages, would seem to favor a smaller (half-point) rate hike from the Fed,’’ said Michael Pearce, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

    Still, Fed policymakers will be watching to see whether inflation decelerated last month. One major barometer will be the government's report on consumer prices for August, to be issued Sept. 13.

    ___

    HUH? HIGHER UNEMPLOYMENT IS GOOD NEWS?

    Normally, an uptick the joblessness would be sobering news, even cause for worry. Not now.

    The unemployment rate rose last month to 3.7% from 3.5%, which had tied a 50-year low. But the increase in August was welcome: The number of Americans either working or looking for work surged by 786,000 in August, the biggest one-month jump since January. And their share of the population — the so-called labor force participation rate — rose to 62.4% last month, its highest level since March.

    To be counted as unemployed, people have to be actively seeking a job. So when they stay on the sidelines, as many have since COVID-19 struck, their absence from the labor force means they don’t show up as unemployed. And the jobless rate can look artificially low.

    Last month, the number of Americans who told the Labor Department they had jobs rose by 442,000. And the number who said they were unemployed also rose, by 344,000. That suggests that many people who started looking for a job didn’t find one right away.

    “The labor participation rate went up, and I would love to see that number continue to climb even if that means a 3.7%, 3.8%, 3.9% unemployment rate,’’ said Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. “You have potentially 11 million open jobs. Having more people entering the workforce is good for the economy.’’

    The idea is that the more Americans there are who are looking for work, the less pressure there is on employers to raise wages to attract applicants, increase prices and contribute to inflation.

    ___

    BROAD JOB GAINS

    Last month's jobs gains were spread broadly across industries. Retailers added 44,000. Healthcare gained 48,000, including nearly 15,000 at hospitals.

    Factories added 22,000 jobs despite a slowing global economy, a consumer shift away from manufactured goods and toward services like restaurant meals and a stronger dollar that makes U.S.-made goods pricier overseas.

    But hiring in leisure and hospitality slowed sharply in August — to 31,000, including just 18,000 at bars and restaurants. Both gains were the weakest since December 2020.

    ___

    FEWER HOURS

    The average workweek slipped slightly last month to 34.5 hours. Those figures haven’t changed much this year even as employers have complained about a worker shortage.

    So why aren’t they assigning more hours to the workers they have on hand?

    Labor Secretary Walsh suspects that employees, especially in high-paying occupations, are more conscious of striking a balance between their work and their personal lives and balk at putting in ever more hours on the job. Employers are wary, having seen “people quitting their jobs because their work-life balance was off,’’ Walsh suggested.

    An increase in employees working from home, or splitting time between home and the workplace, may also limit the number of hours worked.

    In the leisure and hospitality business, which includes restaurants and hotels, average hours worked peaked in April 2021 and has fallen more or less steadily since then. Thomas Feltmate, senior economist at TD Economics, said the drop might reflect a “softening in consumer demand in recent months for discretionary recreational services.’’

    ___

    BLACK UNEMPLOYMENT

    An increase in the unemployment rate of Black Americans last month couldn’t be explained by an influx into the labor force.

    The number of Black people working or looking for work fell by 51,000. And their labor participation rate dipped from 62% in July to 61.8% last month, the lowest point since December. The number of Black Americans reporting that they had jobs fell by 131,000 last month. And the number saying they were unemployed rose by 79,000.

    The Black jobless rate rose from 6% in July to 6.4% in August, the highest level since February.

    It isn't entirely clear what caused the uptick in Black unemployment, the second straight increase. The Labor Department's racial breakdown of employment numbers can be volatile from month to month. But the number of Black Americans in the labor force — and their participation rate — has now dropped for three straight months.


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    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • static111static111 Posts: 4,171

    Strike, Strike, Strike

    The mounting social inequality is fueling protests around the globe. The global ruling class is determined to prevent these protests from employing the weapon that can bring them down — strikes. 

    Chris Hedges                  

    The ruling oligarchs are terrified that, for tens of millions of people, the economic dislocation caused by inflation, stagnant wages, austerity, the pandemic and the energy crisis is becoming unendurable.  They warn, as Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and NATO Secretary GeneraJens Stoltenberg, have done, about the potential for social unrest, especially as we head towards winter.

    Social unrest is a code word for strikes — the one weapon workers possess that can cripple and destroy the billionaire class’s economic and political power. Strikes are what the global oligarchs fear most. Through the courts and police intervention, they will seek to prevent workers from shutting down the economy. This looming battle is crucial. If we begin to chip away at corporate power through strikes, most of which will probably be wildcat strikes that defy union leadership and anti-union laws, we can begin to regain agency over our lives.

    The oligarchs have spent decades abolishing or domesticating unions, turning the fewunions that remain — only 10.7 percent of the workforce is unionized — into obsequious junior partners in the capitalist system. As of January 2022, private-sector unionization stood at its lowest point since the passage of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. And yet, 48 percent of U.S. workers say they would like to belong to a union.

    As a result of crushing conditions workers have been subjected to for years, the nation is facing its first major rail strike since the 1990s. The transportation industry, of which most rail workers are a part, has a higher than average union density comparedto other parts of the private sector. A rail strike could mean a loss in economic output of $2 billion a day, according to a trade group representing railroad companies. 

    It was announced by the Biden White House, which hopes to avoid the optics of forcing striking workers back to the job, that the leaders of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Transportation Division (SMART-TD) and Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS), among others, reached a tentative agreement with major freight companies, including Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) and Union Pacific. The tentative agreement was made amid intensepressure from the Biden administration.

    Union officials stressed that the wording of the agreement is yet to be finalized and workers may not see the details of the agreement for three to four weeks, after which point union rank-and-file members will still have to vote on the proposed settlement.

    The World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) and The Real News have done detailed reporting on the contract negotiations.                                  

    BNSF announced a net income of nearly $6 billion in 2021, up 16 percent from the previous year. Union Pacific reported a net income of $6.5 billion, also up 16 percent from 2020. CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway have also posted large gains. 

    The economic deregulation of Class 1 rail freight carriers in the 1980s saw the number of freight carriers drop from 40 to seven, a number expected to soon fall to six. The workforce has shrunk from nearly 540,000 in 1980 to some 130,000. Service on the nation’s rail lines, along with working conditions and wages, have declined as Wall Street squeezes the big railroad conglomerates for profits.

    It appears that the proposed contract will meet few of the railroad workers’ core demands including redressing years of declining wages, the need for cost-of-living adjustments to deal with inflation, an end to onerous attendance policies, guaranteed time off and sick days, massive lay-offs that have put tremendous pressure on remaining rail workers and an end to the practice of one-man crews. 

    Rail moves roughly two-fifths of long-distance American freight and one-third of exports. It lies at the heart of a complex global supply chain that includes cargo ships, trains and trucks. It is almost certain that the Biden White House would intervene to prevent a nationwide rail strike, which would be a body blow to the nation’s tottering supply chain and shaky economy.

    The oligarchs targeted unions after World War II. Through a series of strikes in the 1930s, unions pressured Franklin Delano Roosevelt into passing New Deal legislation. Unions gave workers weekends off, the right to organize and strike, the eight-hour workday, health and pension benefits, safe working conditions, overtime and Social Security. 

    The red baiting of the 1930s and 1950s was directed primarily at labor organizers and radical unions such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), known as Wobblies, or the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). In the crusade against “reds,” the most militant unions and union leaders, some of whom were Communists, were turned into pariahs. A series of anti-labor laws, including the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act and Right-to-Work laws, which outlaw union shops, were put into place.

    When the Taft-Hartley Act was passed about a third of the workforce was unionized, peaking in 1954 at 34.8 percent. The Act was a frontal assault on unions. It prohibits jurisdictional strikes, wildcat strikes, solidarity or political strikes, and secondary boycotts, whereby unions strike against employers who continue to do business with a firm that is undergoing a strike. It forbids secondary or common situs picketing, closed shops and monetary donations by unions to federal political campaigns. Union officials are forced by the Act to sign non-Communist affidavits or lose their positions. Companies are permitted under the Act to require employees to attend anti-union propaganda meetings. The Federal government is empowered to obtain legal strikebreaking injunctions if an impending or current strike imperils “national health or safety.” 

    The Act disempowers labor. It legalizes the suspension of civil liberties, including freedom of speech and the right to assembly. U.S. courts, including the Supreme Court, with judges drawn from corporate law firms, have since issued a raft of new anti-union rulings to keep workers in bondage. The right to strike in the U.S. barely exists.

    Widespread strikes, a necessity if we are to prevail, will be declared illegal, no matter which party is in the White House. Those who lead strikes will be targeted for arrest, and corporations will attempt to replace workers with scabs. It will be a very, very ugly fight. But it is our only hope.

    An interview with Seattle Socialist City Councilmember Kshama Sawant about organizing tactics and the importance of union militancy can be viewed here.

    The earlier generation of labor organizers understood that union organizing was about class war. “Big” Bill Haywood told delegates at the founding convention of the IWW in 1905:

    Fellow Workers, this is the Continental Congress of the working-class. We are here to confederate the workers of this country into a working-class movement that shall have for its purpose the emancipation of the working-class from the slave bondage of capitalism. The aims and objects of this organization shall be to put the working-class in possession of the economic power, the means of life, in control of the machinery of production and distribution, without regard to capitalist masters.

    Let his words be our credo.

    After the end of World War II, two generations of workers in the United States were blessed with a period of unprecedented prosperity. Wages for the working class were high. Jobs were stable and came with benefits and health insurance. Unions protected workers from abuse by employers. Taxes on the wealthiest individuals and corporations were as high as 91 percent. The public school system provided a quality education to the poor and the rich. The nation’s infrastructure and technology were cutting edge. Steel workers, auto workers, mill workers, construction workers and truck drivers were part of the middle class.

    In 1928, the top 10 percent held 23.9 percent of the nation’s wealth, a percentage that steadily declined until 1973. By the early 1970s the oligarch's assault of workers expanded. Wages stagnated. Income inequality grew to monstrous proportions. Tax rates for corporations and the rich were slashed. 

    Today, the top 10 percent of the richest people in the United States own almost 70 percent of the country’s total wealth. The top 1 percent control 31 percent of the wealth. The bottom 50 percent of the U.S. population hold 2 percent of all U.S. wealth. Infrastructure is outdated and in disrepair. Public institutions, including schools, public broadcasting, the courts and the postal service, are underfunded and degraded. 

    You can see an interview I did with Louis Hyman, professor of economic history at Cornell University and author of Temp: The Real Story of What Happened to Your Salary, Benefits and Job Security, about the decades-long assault on workers here.

    The oligarchs, as they did in the 19th century, exploit workers, including child labor, in Dickensian sweatshops in countries such as China, Vietnam and Bangladesh. 

    You can see my interview with Jenny Chan who with Mark Selden and Pun Ngai wrote Dying for an iPhone: Apple, Foxconn and the Lives of China's Workers here.

    Workers, bereft of union protection and lacking industrial jobs, have been forced intothe gig economy, where they have few rights, no job protection and often earn below the minimum wage. 

    The rise in global food and energy prices, coupled with the weakening of democratic institutions and impoverishment of workers, have become a potent recipe for revolt. 

    Weekly earnings, adjusted for inflation, decreased by 3.4 percent from August 2021 to August 2022, and real hourly earnings fell by 2.8 percent in the same period. Hourly earnings, adjusted for inflation, have fallen for the past 17 months. The lopsided priorities — billions of dollars in “security assistance” being sent to Ukraine by the Biden administration and other NATO members — predictably saw Russia slash gas supplies to Europe. Russia will not resume the flow until sanctions imposed on the country are lifted. Russia provides 9 percent of European Union (EU)  gas imports, down from 40 percent before the invasion. Big oil, meanwhile, is posting obscene profits as it gouges the public. 

    The most vulnerable countries — Haiti, Myanmar and Sudan — have descended into chaos under the economic onslaught. Social spending in such countries as Egypt, the Philippines and Zimbabwe have been slashed. Nor are the industrialized nations immune. About 70,000 people in Prague took to the streets on September 4 to protest rising energy prices and call for a withdrawal from the EU and NATO. Industries in Germany, one of the world’s top three exporters, are crippled, paying as much for electricity and natural gas in a single month, post-Russian-invasion, as they did for all last year. Protesters from across the political spectrum in Germany have called for regular Monday demonstrations against the rising cost of living. In the U.K, already beset with 10 percent inflation, energy companies are expected to increase their rates by 80 percent in October.  Electricity bills in the U.S. have increased 15.8 percent over the past year. Natural gas bills have risen by 33 percent in the U.S. over the past year. Total energy costs in the U.S. have risen by 24 percent in the last 12 months. Consumer staples, the food and items needed for daily survival, have increased by an average of 13.5 percent. This is only the start.

    At what point does a beleaguered population living near or below the poverty line rise in protest? This, if history is any guide, is unknown. But that the tinder is there is now undeniable, even to the ruling class.

    The United States had the bloodiest labor wars of any industrialized nation. Hundreds of workers were killed. Thousands were wounded. Tens of thousands were blacklisted. Radical union organizers such as Joe Hill were executed on trumped up murder charges, imprisoned like Eugene V. Debs, or driven, like Haywood, into exile. Militant unions were outlawed. During the Palmer Raids on November 17, 1919, carried out on the second anniversary of the Russian Revolution, more than ten thousand alleged Communists, Socialists and anarchists were arrested. Many were held for long periods without trial. Thousands of foreign-born emigrés, such as Emma GoldmanAlexander Berkman and Mollie Steimer, were arrested, imprisoned and ultimately deported. Socialist publications, such as Appeal to Reason and The Masses, were shut down. 

    The Great Railway Strike of 1922 saw company gun thugs open fire, killing strikers. Pennsylvania Railroad President Samuel Rea alone hired over 16,000 gunmen to break the strike of nearly 20,000 employees at the company’s shops in Altoona, Pennsylvania, the largest in the world. The railroads mounted a massive press campaign to demonize the strikers. They hired thousands of scabs, many of whom were Black workers who were barred by union management from membership. The Supreme Court upheld “yellow dog” contracts that forbade workers from unionizing. The establishment press, along with the Democratic Party, were, as always, full partners in the demonization and defanging of labor. The same year also saw unprecedented railway strikes in Germany and India.

    To prevent railroad strikes, which disrupted nationwide commerce in 1877, 1894 and 1922 the federal government passed The Railway Labor Act in 1926 – union members call  it “The Railway Anti-Labor Act” – setting out numerous requirements, including the appointment of The Presidential Emergency Board, which Biden set up, before a strike can be called.

    Our oligarchs are as vicious and tight-fisted as those of the past. They will fight with everything at their disposal to crush the aspirations of workers.

    Alexander Herzen, speaking  to a group of anarchists about how to overthrow the czar, reminded his listeners that it was not their job to save a dying system but to replace it: “We are not the doctors. We are the disease.”

    All resistance must recognize that the corporate coup d’état is complete. It is a waste of energy to attempt to reform or appeal to systems of power. We must organize and strike. The oligarchs have no intention of willingly sharing power or wealth. They will revert to the ruthless and murderous tactics of their capitalist forebearers. We must revert to the militancy of our own.

    Scio me nihil scire

    There are no kings inside the gates of eden
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 26,544
    This is left wing equivalent of all the right wing fever dreams that we mock. 
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,363
    mrussel1 said:
    This is left wing equivalent of all the right wing fever dreams that we mock. 

    its ok. he's never serious here.
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
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    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • static111static111 Posts: 4,171
    mrussel1 said:
    This is left wing equivalent of all the right wing fever dreams that we mock. 
    Global labor hasn't been weakened by global capital? Capital hasn't slowly lobbied to erode protections on everything from banking to labor in order to help enrich the capital class and maximize shareholder returns?  Or manufacturing wasn't offshored under practices abusive to the newly industrialized populations at the cost of the jobs and livelihoods of the workers whose jobs were replaced to pave the way for Welchian style economics? Taxes haven't been slashed in a massive giveaway to the rich  leading to stock buybacks and dividends, with no significant growth in good living wage jobs and investment in the citizenry, while money for social services infrastructure and education is cut year after year?

    There are massive global economic problems.  That isn't a fever dream conspiracy.  I think it is due to people that are very good at creating complex financial mechanisms that find ways to create wealth and add costs to things that historically weren't tied to such complexities, using their money muscle to call the shots and tilt things in their favor.  I don't even think the people captaining the ship are probably all that bad, I just think they don't focus on much else outside of providing dividends. Look at the nonsense Marc Benioff tries to throw around to justify helping to bring about the obsolescence of entire segments of the working class while cutting jobs and growing company value.

     Most of the unrest we in the United States and to a larger extent Western Europe are facing today is from moving manufacturing to developing countries with little to no labor and environmental protections and a near zero level of labor organization.  We are told this is good for the consumer, but is it good for the worker at Foxconn that thinks about diving off the roof to the extent that suicide nets had to be installed.  Was it good for the consumer to pay less for a product that has a lower price and a lower quality that looks like something that used to be of a higher quality, while displacing the livelihoods of textile workers in Italy or mill workers in the US with no viable alternative?  Sure it might be good for the consumer but is it really good for the rest of civic society when all the blame and anger starts to get pointed at the other, be that immigrant, minority, trans or what have you.  Or worse when the anger gets directed internally and causes large populations to double down on self hatred, leading to deaths by suicide, alcohol and drugs, acting out in unspeakable forms of violence like mass shootings?  

    When any of this was happening, when record profits were being made and historic levels of wealth were being created, there was no mass effort to help retain the wages of displaced workers, or to retrain them to new jobs with similar pay. Nor was there a movement to lift the station and rights and wages of working conditions for those in the developing countries.  If we were to raise the standards of those being taken advantage of in this new era of economic transnational corporate colonialism, those prices wouldn't stay low and that would be bad for the shareholders and even worse bad for the persons who are always being looked out for, the consumers.

    We have guys like Larry Fink overseeing distribution of billions of Federal reserve funds and more and more BlackRock alums finding key employment positions within the Federal government.  Throwing around terms like stakeholder capitalism for cover, while actively working to extract more profits and raise the rents...but sure fever dream.
    Scio me nihil scire

    There are no kings inside the gates of eden
  • static111static111 Posts: 4,171
    edited September 2022

    LOS ANGELES, Sept 15 (Reuters) - U.S. freight railways and unions representing 115,000 workers may have reached a deal to avert a damaging shutdown that could have battered the U.S. economy, but the industry isn't clear of that danger yet.

    Leaders of the 12 unions involved in the talks must now sell agreements to members, who will vote to ratify or reject them over the next several weeks. And if Wednesday's rejection of the agreement by one of the smaller unions and complaints online by numerous union members are any guide, this won't be an easy sell. read more 

    U.S. President Joe Biden announced the agreement, which was reached early Thursday, and finalizing the deal is vital to his administration ahead of upcoming midterm U.S. elections that could determine whether his fellow Democrats retain control of Congress.

    Biden also has vowed to tackle inflation and supply-chain woes that have hit the economy, and this deal was a key part of that goal. While Biden and his administration may have helped forge the agreement, how workers vote is out of their control, labor experts said.

    "He has no role in forcing an agreement," Reliant Labor Consultants principal Joe Brock, a former Teamsters local president, said of the president. "I'm not even sure that this agreement will be passed by the membership."

    While rail workers have gone three years without a raise amid the contract dispute and the new deal provides significant wage increases, the real holdup in the talks had revolved around attendance, sick time and scheduling issues.

    So far, 11,000 members at two of 12 unions are known to have ratified their deals.

    However, another 4,900 members at the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 19 rejected the deal on Wednesday and appear to be headed back to the negotiating table. IAM was not immediately available for comment on Thursday.

    In addition, workers from the various railroad unions took to online sites to complain about Thursday's deal, saying it didn't provide them enough protection.

    The industry - including Union Pacific (UNP.N), Berkshire Hathaway's (BRKa.N) BNSF and Norfolk Southern (NSC.N) - slashed almost 30% of its workforce over the last six years, demanding more from workers who risked COVID-19 exposure while companies increased profits, stock buybacks and dividends.

    Workers have agreed not to strike while the ratification votes are tallied.

    A strike could have frozen almost 30% of U.S. cargo shipments by weight, stoked inflation, cost the U.S. economy as much as $2 billion per day and unleashed a cascade of transport woes affecting the U.S. energy, agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare and retail sectors.

    Two large unions representing about 60,000 workers - the transportation division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) - were among the last holdouts and now need to get their members to ratify the deal.

    They're "going to have to campaign very aggressively," said Seth Harris, a professor at Northeastern University.

    "There's a lot of anger among the members of these two unions because they feel, after being essential workers during the COVID pandemic, they were getting screwed on the attendance policy and getting punished for taking sick leave," said Harris, a former Biden administration official focused on labor and the economy.

    Post edited by static111 on
    Scio me nihil scire

    There are no kings inside the gates of eden
  • static111static111 Posts: 4,171

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/07/business/robots-automation-supply-chain.html

    The Supply Chain Broke. Robots Are Supposed to Help Fix It.

    The companies behind e-commerce are embracing automation as the means of transcending the limitations of humans.
    LocusBots at Locus Robotics a Massachusetts company that aims to automate warehouses with robots
    LocusBots at Locus Robotics, a Massachusetts company that aims to automate warehouses with robots.Credit...Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
    Peter S Goodman

    By Peter S. Goodman

    Peter Goodman, who has covered the supply chain breakdown since 2020, reported this article from Philadelphia.

    Published Sept. 7, 2022Updated Sept. 12, 2022

    The people running companies that deliver all manner of products gathered in Philadelphia last week to sift through the lessons of the mayhem besieging the global supply chain. At the center of many proposed solutions: robots and other forms of automation.

    On the showroom floor, robot manufacturers demonstrated their latest models, offering them as efficiency-enhancing augments to warehouse workers. Driverless trucks and drones commanded display space, advertising an unfolding era in which machinery will occupy a central place in bringing products to our homes.

    The companies depicted their technology as a way to save money on workers and optimize scheduling, while breaking down resistance to a future centered on evolving forms of automation.

    “It’s hard to get people motivated to do this work,” said Kary Zate, senior director of marketing communications at Locus Robotics, a leading manufacturer of autonomous mobile robots — carts that roll through warehouses, accompanying humans who select goods off shelves. “People don’t want to do those jobs.”

    More than two years into the pandemic, persistent economic shocks have intensified traditional conflicts between employers and employees around the globe. Higher prices for energy, food and other goods — in part the result of enduring supply chain tangles — have prompted workers to demand higher wages, along with the right to continue working from home. Employers cite elevated costs for parts, raw materials and transportation in holding the line on pay, yielding a wave of strikes in countries like Britain.

    The stakes are especially high for companies engaged in transporting goods. Their executives contend that the Great Supply Chain Disruption is largely the result of labor shortages. Ports are overwhelmed and retail shelves are short of goods because the supply chain has run out of people willing to drive trucks and move goods through warehouses, the argument goes.

    Some labor experts challenge such claims, while reframing worker shortages as an unwillingness by employers to pay enough to attract the needed numbers of people.

    “This shortage narrative is industry-lobbying rhetoric,” said Steve Viscelli, an economic sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania and author of “The Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream.” “There is no shortage of truck drivers. These are just really bad jobs.”

    A day spent wandering the Home Delivery World trade show inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center revealed how supply chain companies are pursuing automation and flexible staffing as antidotes to rising wages. They are eager to embrace robots as an alternative to human workers. Robots never get sick, not even in a pandemic. They never stay home to attend to their children.

    A large truck painted purple and white occupied a prime position on the showroom floor. It was a driverless delivery vehicle produced by Gatik, a Silicon Valley company that is running 30 of them between distribution centers and Walmart stores in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.

    Image
    Trucks at Gatik’s facility in Fort Worth. The company displayed one of its driverless vehicles at the Home Delivery World trade show in Philadelphia.Credit...Cooper Neill/Reuters

    Here was the fix to the difficulties of trucking firms in attracting and retaining drivers, said Richard Steiner, Gatik’s head of policy and communications.

    “It’s not quite as appealing a profession as it once was,” he said. “We’re able to offer a solution to that trouble.”

    Nearby, an Israeli start-up company, SafeMode, touted a means to limit the notoriously high turnover plaguing the trucking industry. The company has developed an app that monitors the actions of drivers — their speed, the abruptness of their braking, their fuel efficiency — while rewarding those who perform better than their peers.

    The company’s founder and chief executive, Ido Levy, displayed data captured the previous day from a driver in Houston. The driver’s steady hand at the wheel had earned him an extra $8 — a cash bonus on top of the $250 he typically earns in a day.

    “We really convey a success feeling every day,” Mr. Levy, 31, said. “That really encourages retention. We’re trying to make them feel that they are part of something.”

    Mr. Levy conceived of the company with a professor at the M.I.T. Media Lab who tapped research on behavioral psychology and gamification (using elements of game playing to encourage participation).

    So far, the SafeMode system has yielded savings of 4 percent on fuel while increasing retention by one-quarter, Mr. Levy said.

    Another company, V-Track, based in Charlotte, N.C., employs a technology that is similar to SafeMode’s, also in an effort to dissuade truck drivers from switching jobs. The company places cameras in truck cabs to monitor drivers, alerting them when they are looking at their phones, driving too fast or not wearing their seatbelt.

    Jim Becker, the company’s product manager, said many drivers had come to value the cameras as a means of protecting themselves against unwarranted accusations of malfeasance.

    But what is the impact on retention if drivers chafe at being surveilled?

    “Frustrations about increased surveillance, especially around in-cab cameras,” are a significant source of driver lament, said Max Farrell, co-founder and chief executive of WorkHound, which gathers real-time feedback.

    Several companies on the show floor catered to trucking companies facing difficulties in hiring people to staff their dispatch centers. Their solution was moving such functions to countries where wages are lower.

    Lean Solutions, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., sets up call centers in Colombia and Guatemala — a response to “the labor challenge in the U.S.,” said Hunter Bell, a company sales agent.

    A Kentucky start-up, NS Talent Solutions, establishes dispatch operations in Mexico, at a saving of up to 40 percent compared with the United States.

    “The pandemic has helped,” said Michael Bartlett, director of sales. “The world is now comfortable with remote staffing.”

    Scores of businesses promoted services that recruit and vet part-time and temporary workers, offering a way for companies to ramp up as needed without having to commit to full-time employees.

    Pruuvn, a start-up in Atlanta, sells a service that allows companies to eliminate employees who recruit and conduct background checks.

    “It allows you to get rid of or replace multiple individuals,” the company’s chief executive, Bryan Hobbs, said during a presentation.

    Another staffing firm, Veryable of Dallas, offered a platform to pair workers such as retirees and students seeking part-time, temporary stints with supply chain companies.

    Jonathan Katz, the company’s regional partnerships manager for the Southeast, described temporary staffing as the way for smaller warehouses and distribution operations that lack the money to install robots to enhance their ability to adjust to swings in demand.

    A drone company, Zipline, showed video of its equipment taking off behind a Walmart in Pea Ridge, Ark., dropping items like mayonnaise and even a birthday cake into the backyards of customers’ homes. Another company, DroneUp, trumpeted plans to set up similar services at 30 Walmart stores in Arkansas, Texas and Florida by the end of the year.

    But the largest companies are the most focused on deploying robots.

    Locus, the manufacturer, has already outfitted 200 warehouses globally with its robots, recently expanding into Europe and Australia.

    Locus says its machines are meant not to replace workers but to complement them — a way to squeeze more productivity out of the same warehouse by relieving the humans of the need to push the carts.

    But the company also presents its robots as the solution to worker shortages. Unlike workers, robots can be easily scaled up and cut back, eliminating the need to hire and train temporary employees, Melissa Valentine, director of retail global accounts at Locus, said during a panel discussion.

    Locus even rents out its robots, allowing customers to add them and eliminate them as needed. Locus handles the maintenance.

    Robots can “solve labor issues,” said Nathan Ray, director of distribution center operations at Albertsons, the grocery chain, who previously held executive roles at Amazon and Target. “You can find a solution that’s right for your budget. There’s just so many options out there.”

    As Mr. Ray acknowledged, a key impediment to the more rapid deployment of automation is fear among workers that robots are a threat to their jobs. Once they realize that the robots are there not to replace them but merely to relieve them of physically taxing jobs like pushing carts, “it gets really fun,” Mr. Ray said. “They realize it’s kind of cool.”

    Workers even give robots cute nicknames, he added.

    But another panelist, Bruce Dzinski, director of transportation at Party City, a chain of party supply stores, presented robots as an alternative to higher pay.

    “You couldn’t get labor, so you raised your wages to try to get people,” he said. “And then everybody else raised wages.”

    continues...

    Scio me nihil scire

    There are no kings inside the gates of eden
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 27,363

     

    By MARGIE MASON and ROBIN McDOWELL
    Today

    More than 150 years ago, a prison complex known as the Lone Rock stockade operated at one of the biggest coal mines in Tennessee.

    It was powered largely by African American men who had been arrested for minor offenses — like stealing a hog — if they committed any crime at all. Women and children, some as young as 12, were sent there as well.

    The work, dangerous and sometimes deadly, was their punishment.

    The state was leasing these prisoners out to private companies for a fee, in a practice known all across the South as convict leasing. In states like Texas, Florida, Georgia and Alabama , prisoners were also used to help build railroads, cut timber, make bricks, pick cotton and grow sugar on plantations.

    Men convicted of a crime and leased to harvest timber in Florida, 1915. (Library of Congress via AP)

    __________

    In a joint investigation, reporters from the Associated Press and Reveal at the Center for Investigative Reporting spent months unearthing this history. They focused on Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad, which ran the stockade and coal mine, and the company that later bought it, U.S. Steel.

    The team found someone living today whose ancestor was imprisoned in the Lone Rock stockade nearly 140 years ago. They also interviewed the descendent of a man who got rich from his role in pioneering Tennessee’s convict leasing system.

    The reporters also heard from U.S. Steel. For the first time, it said it was willing to discuss its past with members of the affected community.

    Listen to the podcast here:

    Companies across the South profited off the forced labor of people in prison after the Civil War – a racist system known as convict leasing.

    WHAT IS CONVICT LEASING?

    Convict leasing was essentially a new form of slavery that started after the Civil War and went on for decades across the South. States — and companies — got rich by arresting mostly Black men and then forcing them to work for major companies.

    The 13th Amendment, passed after the Civil War, banned slavery and involuntary servitude. But it made an exception for people convicted of a crime, offering legal cover for convict leasing.

    Tennessee and many other states adopted similar language in their constitutions that still exists today.

    An undated old photograph of the Lone Rock Stockade is shown, May, 28, 2022, in Tracy City, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

    WHAT WAS THE THE LONE ROCK STOCKADE?

    The Lone Rock stockage operated in Tracy City, Tennessee for more than 25 years. The prisoners lived in cramped, unsanitary conditions. Built to hold 200 people at a time, the prison sometimes held 600.

    The men risked their lives every day above ground too, manning fiery, dome-shaped coke ovens used in the iron-making process.

    They were helping Tennessee, Coal, Iron and Railroad get rich. The company was an economic powerhouse, later bought by the world’s biggest company at the time: U.S. Steel Corporation.

    HOW DID THE PRISON POPULATION CHANGE AFTER EMANCIPATION?

    The racial makeup of prison populations changed almost overnight after the Civil War. In Tennessee, during slavery less than 5 percent of the prisoners were Black. In 1866, after emancipation, that number jumped to 52 percent. And by 1891 it had skyrocketed to 75 percent.

    Photograph shows two white men overseeing African American men hammering boulders as others walk with wheelbarrows in a shallow pit phosphate mine, Dunnellon, Florida, 1890. (Library of Congress via AP)

    WHAT ARE BLACK CODES?

    Black codes are laws passed by states that targeted African Americans for minor crimes such as vagrancy, jumping a ride on a train car or not having proof of employment.

    In Tennessee, people were sentenced up to five years of hard labor in the coal mine for having interracial relationships.

    WHAT DOES U.S. STEEL SAY NOW ABOUT THEIR USE OF CONVICT LEASING?

    The United States Steel Corporation, also known as U.S. Steel, was founded by American business giants, which included J.P. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie. It has operations in the U.S. and Central Europe, and remains a leading steel producer.

    Andrew Carnegie, shown in the center, in front of Rays Hill Tunnel in 1885 which was being dug in Pennsylvania for a railroad he and others were building along the route the Pennsylvania Turnpike now follows. (AP Photo)

    The company used convict labor for at least five years in Alabama in the early 1900s, but has never spoken openly about this dark chapter of its history. It has misrepresented its use of prison labor and has not acknowledged the men who died in its mines.

    After being contacted by the AP and Reveal reporters, the company agreed for the first time to sit down and talk with members of the affected community. U.S. Steel also confirmed it owns a cemetery located at the site of its former coal mine: “U. S. Steel does not condone the practices of a century ago,” it said in a statement. “Given the amount of time that has lapsed, we, unfortunately, do not have comprehensive records relative to this situation."

    “We would be pleased to consider a memorial plaque should members of the affected community express an interest. We would also be happy to meet with them and discuss these topics.”

    AP Investigations
     

    _____

    This story was supported by Columbia University’s Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights in conjunction with the Arnold Foundation.


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 26,544
    static111 said:
    mrussel1 said:
    This is left wing equivalent of all the right wing fever dreams that we mock. 
    Global labor hasn't been weakened by global capital? Capital hasn't slowly lobbied to erode protections on everything from banking to labor in order to help enrich the capital class and maximize shareholder returns?  Or manufacturing wasn't offshored under practices abusive to the newly industrialized populations at the cost of the jobs and livelihoods of the workers whose jobs were replaced to pave the way for Welchian style economics? Taxes haven't been slashed in a massive giveaway to the rich  leading to stock buybacks and dividends, with no significant growth in good living wage jobs and investment in the citizenry, while money for social services infrastructure and education is cut year after year?

    There are massive global economic problems.  That isn't a fever dream conspiracy.  I think it is due to people that are very good at creating complex financial mechanisms that find ways to create wealth and add costs to things that historically weren't tied to such complexities, using their money muscle to call the shots and tilt things in their favor.  I don't even think the people captaining the ship are probably all that bad, I just think they don't focus on much else outside of providing dividends. Look at the nonsense Marc Benioff tries to throw around to justify helping to bring about the obsolescence of entire segments of the working class while cutting jobs and growing company value.

     Most of the unrest we in the United States and to a larger extent Western Europe are facing today is from moving manufacturing to developing countries with little to no labor and environmental protections and a near zero level of labor organization.  We are told this is good for the consumer, but is it good for the worker at Foxconn that thinks about diving off the roof to the extent that suicide nets had to be installed.  Was it good for the consumer to pay less for a product that has a lower price and a lower quality that looks like something that used to be of a higher quality, while displacing the livelihoods of textile workers in Italy or mill workers in the US with no viable alternative?  Sure it might be good for the consumer but is it really good for the rest of civic society when all the blame and anger starts to get pointed at the other, be that immigrant, minority, trans or what have you.  Or worse when the anger gets directed internally and causes large populations to double down on self hatred, leading to deaths by suicide, alcohol and drugs, acting out in unspeakable forms of violence like mass shootings?  

    When any of this was happening, when record profits were being made and historic levels of wealth were being created, there was no mass effort to help retain the wages of displaced workers, or to retrain them to new jobs with similar pay. Nor was there a movement to lift the station and rights and wages of working conditions for those in the developing countries.  If we were to raise the standards of those being taken advantage of in this new era of economic transnational corporate colonialism, those prices wouldn't stay low and that would be bad for the shareholders and even worse bad for the persons who are always being looked out for, the consumers.

    We have guys like Larry Fink overseeing distribution of billions of Federal reserve funds and more and more BlackRock alums finding key employment positions within the Federal government.  Throwing around terms like stakeholder capitalism for cover, while actively working to extract more profits and raise the rents...but sure fever dream.
    Does capitalism weaken labor?  Yes.  Does strong labor weaken capitalism, well yes.  The spin here is the nefariousness of it all, according to the language used by the author.  A statement can be true without it being evil and conspiratorial.  The question is whether the population (let's take US population) is in a better or worse position than it was 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 200 years ago.  By any measure, the standard of living has never been better in the US.  Poverty rates continue to decline on average.  Health is better.  Life expectancy has exploded.  War is minimal compared to previous centuries and periods of time.  Yes, there is a wealth gap, but if all boats are rising, but some boats are rising faster or more than others, is that more evil than a situation where a higher percentage of the population was impoverished?  

    That's the fever dream, the language that is used.  Can the tax system be more fair?  Yes.  Can we increase the social safety net?  Yes.  Should we cut our military budget and re-allocate it?  Yes.  

    And here's the important question.. Could we take a protectionist stance and legislate that manufacturing is done here?  Yes we could.  But are you ready to pay $3000 for a basic television and $3k for your Iphone?  Is that better for consumers because that's what's going to happen if we do that.  And btw, who exactly is trying to work in factories anyways?  We have a friggin' 3% unemployment rate. 
  • static111static111 Posts: 4,171
    mrussel1 said:
    static111 said:
    mrussel1 said:
    This is left wing equivalent of all the right wing fever dreams that we mock. 
    Global labor hasn't been weakened by global capital? Capital hasn't slowly lobbied to erode protections on everything from banking to labor in order to help enrich the capital class and maximize shareholder returns?  Or manufacturing wasn't offshored under practices abusive to the newly industrialized populations at the cost of the jobs and livelihoods of the workers whose jobs were replaced to pave the way for Welchian style economics? Taxes haven't been slashed in a massive giveaway to the rich  leading to stock buybacks and dividends, with no significant growth in good living wage jobs and investment in the citizenry, while money for social services infrastructure and education is cut year after year?

    There are massive global economic problems.  That isn't a fever dream conspiracy.  I think it is due to people that are very good at creating complex financial mechanisms that find ways to create wealth and add costs to things that historically weren't tied to such complexities, using their money muscle to call the shots and tilt things in their favor.  I don't even think the people captaining the ship are probably all that bad, I just think they don't focus on much else outside of providing dividends. Look at the nonsense Marc Benioff tries to throw around to justify helping to bring about the obsolescence of entire segments of the working class while cutting jobs and growing company value.

     Most of the unrest we in the United States and to a larger extent Western Europe are facing today is from moving manufacturing to developing countries with little to no labor and environmental protections and a near zero level of labor organization.  We are told this is good for the consumer, but is it good for the worker at Foxconn that thinks about diving off the roof to the extent that suicide nets had to be installed.  Was it good for the consumer to pay less for a product that has a lower price and a lower quality that looks like something that used to be of a higher quality, while displacing the livelihoods of textile workers in Italy or mill workers in the US with no viable alternative?  Sure it might be good for the consumer but is it really good for the rest of civic society when all the blame and anger starts to get pointed at the other, be that immigrant, minority, trans or what have you.  Or worse when the anger gets directed internally and causes large populations to double down on self hatred, leading to deaths by suicide, alcohol and drugs, acting out in unspeakable forms of violence like mass shootings?  

    When any of this was happening, when record profits were being made and historic levels of wealth were being created, there was no mass effort to help retain the wages of displaced workers, or to retrain them to new jobs with similar pay. Nor was there a movement to lift the station and rights and wages of working conditions for those in the developing countries.  If we were to raise the standards of those being taken advantage of in this new era of economic transnational corporate colonialism, those prices wouldn't stay low and that would be bad for the shareholders and even worse bad for the persons who are always being looked out for, the consumers.

    We have guys like Larry Fink overseeing distribution of billions of Federal reserve funds and more and more BlackRock alums finding key employment positions within the Federal government.  Throwing around terms like stakeholder capitalism for cover, while actively working to extract more profits and raise the rents...but sure fever dream.
    Does capitalism weaken labor?  Yes.  Does strong labor weaken capitalism, well yes.  The spin here is the nefariousness of it all, according to the language used by the author.  A statement can be true without it being evil and conspiratorial.  The question is whether the population (let's take US population) is in a better or worse position than it was 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 200 years ago.  By any measure, the standard of living has never been better in the US.  Poverty rates continue to decline on average.  Health is better.  Life expectancy has exploded.  War is minimal compared to previous centuries and periods of time.  Yes, there is a wealth gap, but if all boats are rising, but some boats are rising faster or more than others, is that more evil than a situation where a higher percentage of the population was impoverished?  

    That's the fever dream, the language that is used.  Can the tax system be more fair?  Yes.  Can we increase the social safety net?  Yes.  Should we cut our military budget and re-allocate it?  Yes.  

    And here's the important question.. Could we take a protectionist stance and legislate that manufacturing is done here?  Yes we could.  But are you ready to pay $3000 for a basic television and $3k for your Iphone?  Is that better for consumers because that's what's going to happen if we do that.  And btw, who exactly is trying to work in factories anyways?  We have a friggin' 3% unemployment rate. 
    Does our 3% unemployment rate count all jobless people, or just those getting benefits and seeking jobs?  Also does someone working three part time gig based jobs count as employed, even though they lack any kinds of benefits or protections? When it comes to the argument that everything would be wildly expensive if we had localized global supply chains, that is very speculative.  Until deregulation and NAFTA plenty of goods were manufactured within sovereign  borders without costing an arm and a leg and global trade still prospered. Bringing economic security to the global worker by creating systems with less reliance on long complicated supply chains and more opportunites at home, whether that is Turkey, France, Britain, the US etc is hardly protectionist. The difference is that all of the blocks have been lifted in favor of capital and more blocks have been put in place when it comes to things like protecting labor globally and locally and organizing for fair wages and better treatment and protection.  

    Your argument that there is a rising tide where some boats are rising faster than others seems very close to trickle down, for years the case has been made that all of the wealth that is being created would be great for the economy, yet we have more and more people taking out more and more debt to pay for things that help boost the gains of capital, with little real wage growth to coincide.  In an equitable system a rise on the side of capital should coincide with a similar rise in wages and a steady rate of inflation.  Instead we are seeing massive gains from global capital, stagnant or small wage increases for the many and wildly rising inflation globally.  Not too mention a fragile global supply chain that could send the world into a depression if just one thing were to go wrong, a point which we seem to be getting closer and closer to.

    Is it conspiratorial to believe that if labor seriously organized that the state and capital would come down violently against it?  Historically that is exactly what has happened.  Moving past the physical violence of the union busting days, once offshoring was really in swing the worker then labored under psychological violence with the constant threat that should they want higher wages or demand better working conditions their jobs could be moved elsewhere.  Now we are moving toward a system where workers face the threat of losing jobs to automation for everything from trucking to restaurant work to coding and even warehouse work .We saw what happened with the state out in force during the Black Lives Matter movement when people were just trying to make a statement for equality, at that time no one was messing with the money.  A movement of that size that wanted to tilt the scale back toward the worker absolutely would be seen as a threat to capital and would likely be met with aggression.

    As it stands the way the system is functioning globally is leading to massive unrest, which is giving rise to nativist and racist demagogues who make false promises and solutions while casting wide nets of blame for the growing global income inequalities.  There are many ways to combat this and not just what you call a protectionist stance.  The tax code on the wealthy and businesses could be overhauled and set up similar to times when it is widely accepted that real economic prosperity existed.  Tax cuts for employers could be tied to increasing wages for employees. A real UBI could be established.  Governments and corporations could pay for retraining of displaced workers while subsidizing something close the wages that were lost to offshoring.  Taking away  $30 an hour steel jobs and then replacing them years later with more demanding $15 an hour warehouse jobs, many times requiring workers to be tracked and surveilled to meet target productivity rates(under the threat of job loss), that pay a little more than the now depressed wage in the area is not the way to go and shouldn't be seen as progressing toward anything.  
    Scio me nihil scire

    There are no kings inside the gates of eden
  • ZodZod Posts: 8,900
    What I've been wondering is:

    Has the controlled inflation over the past number of decades really been a reflection of Government and Central Bank policy, or was it more a reflection of globalism.  IE prices were kept lower, by offsourcing those jobs to countries with low labour costs (And also countries with little to no environmental regulations).

    Had free trade agreements and globalism never started, would we have been able to keep rolling with fairly steady inflation.

    The other concern is moving around money with taxes, UBI, and what not, it would be pretty disruptive.   If the supply of goods doesn't grow, does it really make a difference?  Sure there could be more money in the pockets of the plebs, but if we don't increase productivity and make more goods, then it would also translate into more inflation?

    Money is a store of value, but economics is about allocating a finite supply of resources.  Putting more money out there for the common folk to spend, doesn't help unless the supply of goods increases accordingly.
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 26,544
    1. I think you know that joblessness is calculated by those receiving benefits and looking for work.  If you stop looking, you come off the unemployment number.  But that's how it's been measured forever, so as a comparative, it's the one to use.  But what are you going to do, count all the retirees and disability recipients, house wives/husbands?  No.  If you want that, you look at the participation rate.  

    2. Let's talk about localized supply chain in two ways.  First, you ask whether we know that prices would increase.  Well yes, I think it's pretty rational to know that considering the min wage laws and how we can't get people working for $15.  But I brought up TVs for a reason.  I don't know how old you are, but go and see how much a television was in the 70s, 80s and into the early 90's.  A 27" TV would cost you $500 easy.  Now adjust that for inflation.  
    Second, we have experienced 75 years of intercontinental peace.  Why is that?  it's one reason, interconnected economy.  That's the greatest risk, to me, about protectionism and nationalism.  And what you are advocating turns into nationalism.  You may not believe that in your heart, but that's the next step.  I don't see China as a military threat because they are too dependent on us financially, and likewise because of the treasury notes they own, we are dependent on them.  Within a generation of dismantling a global economic system, there will be war.  Real war because of resource scarcity.  All you have to do is study the wars for 500 years and it's always the same story.  

    And btw, where is this massive unrest?  You've already described striking as massive unrest, so where is this?  We almost had a nationwide strike a week ago, but it was over unplanned fucking PTO.  Not that it's not an important issue to the workers, but sorry that's not causing riots in the street. 

    You want so yell at the clouds about automation, good luck with that.  It's not changing, and why would you want it to change?  The answer isn't to stop progress, the answer is to retrain workers.  That's the shortcoming of the gov't that needs to change.  But you're not stopping progress.  The arguments you are making are the same as were made during the Industrial Revolution, the Technological Revolution (second industrial revolution) and now with automation.  The population has to adapt and some portion of the population (generally people late 'career') suffer.  This isn't a new cycle.  

    But again, while you offer good arguments, I am firmly pro capitalism, with gov't controls.  I'm as far from laissez-faire as I am from Communism.  However, the language of the article you posted I find inflammatory and intentionally tries to draw a contrast between us and them.  The issue is a huge number of Americans are neither.  We aren't labor, we aren't "oligarchs".  We are part of the managerial class.  Articles like you wrote aren't getting them on board any train.  

    This is too much writing.  Can we please make these arguments more concise and narrower points?>
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