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Ear to the Ground

The Problem With ‘Jobs’

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Posted on Mar 1, 2012
Cornell University Library

For all this talk about the need for more jobs, politicians and the corporate media rarely discuss whether those positions empower individuals rather than simply boosting the economy.

Brooklyn-based writer Ned Resnikoff takes a closer look, with a view to the personal consequences of forcing people into what is often temporary, low-paid, anxiety-inducing work. —ARK

Ned Resnikoff at The New Inquiry:

This is the danger of talking about “jobs” in the abstract: It can mean forcing people into precarious, temporary, low-wage, nonexistent-benefit work that will most likely land them back on the welfare rolls in a couple of months. Emphasis here belongs on the word forcing, because employers—faced with an oversupply of labor in the broader job market—have the upper hand in negotiations. These same employers can feel free to deprive their employees of the basic security needed to stay off welfare for good. After all, once the fallow season ends, the state will subsidize those workers’ subsistence until the business community needs them again.

Thus welfare becomes a means of keeping spare workers on ice until they can again be made productive—which is to say, until they can again be slotted into temp jobs. But collecting a welfare check shouldn’t mean forfeiting the right to a baseline of self-determinacy. If welfare is to serve to benefit the poor—which is to say for actual human beings, and not for an abstract intellectual construct such as the Economy—then it should ameliorate domination, not perpetuate it in a modified form.

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By prosefights, March 5, 2012 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

vector36,

Jobs are a big plus in fracking.  Environmental damage is a negative.

Tough to tell what is going to happen.

New Mexico coal and natural gas production are declining accordiing to what I read.

http://www.prosefights.org/coal/nmtcoal/nmtcoal.htm#hoffman

We may file to intervene on rate increase to promote altenergy. 

Large-scale solar and wind equipment, installation, and maintenance may be far greater than revenue received from electricity sales? 

But jobs are created. We’re investigating.

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By vector56, March 5, 2012 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

“How did ‘By any standard of fairness Iran has been on the receiving end of Western aggression.’ wind-up on a jobs post?”

prosefights: point taken.

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By prosefights, March 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

Vector56,

How did ‘By any standard of fairness Iran has been on the receiving end of Western aggression.’ wind-up on a jobs post?

But since it did, let me asuggest you google ‘ryan crocker j orln grabbe’.

As to jobs, we may be exiting the industrial revolution because of electricity generation fuel source problems.

http://www.prosefights.org/coal/nmtcoal/nmtcoal.htm#hoffman

Is Fracking our savior?  I don’t know but I am reading and questioning.

Please click on the Cornish mining history links to see how it started ... with contributions of James Watt to energy efficiency.

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By oddsox, March 4, 2012 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

vector56, yes, I still believe SDS helped us avoid a hot war with the Soviets.
Balance of Power also leads to lasting peace, historically. 
19th Century Europe was a great example in the positive; WWI shows what happens when the balance is disturbed.
Pax Optima Rerum: Peace = the Optimum Result.

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By vector56, March 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

oddsocks; I generally agree with mrfreeze; by any standard of fairness Iran has been on the receiving end of Western aggression. As we speak and for the last year and a half US special forces the CIA (along with Mossad) have been in their country murdering their citizens and trying to stir up civil war; all clear acts of war.

oddsocks; your “peace through strength” statement reminds me a lot of Reagan’s “Missiles for Peace”; understandable, you both thought “Star Wars (SDA) was a good idea?

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By mrfreeze, March 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

oddsocks - I went to the University of Utah which had a huge middle-east center and there were a good number of students from all over the ME (many of those students pre-dated the 1979 revolution). Many had to flee Iran because of the shah and some were quick to say they would never be able to go back. Needless to say, my perspective about ME politics was and is shaped by a very different perspective than most Americans. Most Americans know NOTHING about the ME except what the government & media tell them and even then they don’t understand what’s going on. Most Americans think Iranian history began in 1979…..

In a recent conversation I had with a good friend who has, until recently, been going back and forth from Iran, he said that the sanctions are having a huge impact on regular Iranians. He said that the country is ready to explode from within and, in all likelihood, neither Israel or the U.S. will have to take military action to change the government there. (Let’s hope so!).

I would dearly like to be friends (again) with Iran. They have a 5000 year history that we should all want to find out more about. The fact that a group of religious, conservative fanatics have bottle-necked their society is a tragedy (our American fanatics would do the same).....but let’s not forget that the U.S. and many other western powers created an environment where these extremists could flourish.

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By oddsox, March 4, 2012 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

mrfreeze, yes, I remember the Shah.
But the Iranians I met during the late ‘70s—fellow students, friends, acquaintances and clients—were refugees who fled from the Ayatollah, not the Shah.
Growing up, I knew a kid who had lived in Iran in the ‘60s. 
So I know more than you give credit for.

That said, I’ve never been to Iran myself.
I would defer to anyone who has actually lived there.

So ask your Iranian friends if THEY trust their current government more than ours.

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By mrfreeze, March 3, 2012 at 11:22 pm Link to this comment

oddsox - You get on my nerves lately, especially on subjects you seem to know nothing about. Your comments about Iran are typical of your lack of education:

1) The U.S. was f**king with the Iranian government dating back to the 50’s….There was this guy named the Shah whom we installed and who did our bidding until the 1979 revolution. Go look it up.
2) After the revolution we gave Iraq all sorts of toys to kill the Iranians (basically we armed both sides)....more of our external interference.
3) Last time I checked, we have big fat white guys on the radio preaching the same BS that the mullahs in Iran do about their women. How have gays been treated in this country (especially in the military)? And Americans can’t even protest in this country anymore for fear that they’ll piss off some “businessman or property owner.”

I happen to have a lot of Iranian friends who would certainly agree that things aren’t great in Iran but who would also remind you that you don’t know shit about their history, culture, their struggles or their troubles. In many ways, Iranians and their culture have far more in common with us than any other middle-eastern culture. It’s assholes like you who help perpetuate our never ending problems with countries and governments who don’t see things our way.

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By oddsox, March 3, 2012 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

Vector56, as one who frequently goes tangential on my posts, I’m ok with veering off topic.

So then…
What did you mean by your 300M Americans vs. 6B World Population question?

You write:
“Iran has not attacked any one in 200 years, yet you imply their motives would be questionable compared to ours?”

Yes, I do.
Exactly.
—First, understand that Iran attacked Iraq many times during their 1980-1988 war. 
Now Saddam may have started it, but the Iraqis claimed Iran had shelled them first.  Maybe yes, maybe no.
In any case, Iran also has attacked Iraq and US positions there during the past 4 years.
—2nd, know that the theocracy that rules Iran has denied the holocaust and called for “wiping Israel off the map.” 
Yes, I’m putting that in quotes. 
I’ve heard about a possible mis-translation, but it sure DOESN’T mean, “let’s play nice with Israel,” or “let’s have dialogue with Israel.”

So trust the motives of the Iran’s radical theocracy or those of our own government?
Gee, that’s a tough one, let me think….

How do they treat gays in Iran?
How do they treat women?
How do the treat dissenters?

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By prosefights, March 3, 2012 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

mrfreeze,

Valdictorian of Whitman College class of 1955, if I recall correctly, was working at a Burgermaster in Seattle.

This put fear into us!

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By prosefights, March 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

Recently [December] purchased Tracfone LG 420G for $14.99 from Walmart is at least an order of magnitude more sophisticated from a human factors point of view than Sprint Motorola Razr.

Two cell phones now cost about $20/month, or less, compared to about $40 for one Razr Sprint cell phone.

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By mrfreeze, March 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

prosefights - I suppose that “if” the 514,000 jobs number is correct there is a wide range of jobs that Apple generates (both direct and ancillary occupations). I would also presume that somewhere in there, given that huge number, that all levels of education and work experience are included. Perhaps an Egyptologist might come in handy if some nerds want authenticity in an app (by the way I know very next to nothing about apps and all that baloney).

But I’d like someone to chime in and educate us about why a corporation (any corporation) such as Apple can vomit out a “jobs” report like this and we’re all supposed to be either impressed or happy about it. It certainly seems as if this sort of perspective is an advertisement for the virtues of capitalism…...I’m sincerely wondering what people think about the flip side of this equation: what are the wages and working conditions of all these workers? What sort of “productivity” measurements are factored-in? Are there figures showing the negatives?

By the way, I’m not trying to “diss” Apple. I’d like to know what some of the commentators on TD think.

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By prosefights, March 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

Where are you going to make more money?

1 Mathematics?
2 Human factors [applied psychology]?

Hand-held devices need serious human factor interface work.

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By prosefights, March 3, 2012 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

Hello mrfreeze,

Intersting link.

Is a phd in egyptology going to do applicant any good?

grin

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By mrfreeze, March 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

Here’s an interesting tidbit to add to this conversation:

Apple: “Job Creator”

http://digg.com/newsbar/Apple/apple_claims_it_creates_514_000_us_jobs

Apple claims that it generates 514,000 jobs. I wonder….

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By oddsox, March 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

Korky, a mixed bag—I see we will not agree on much of what you wrote. 
And that’s fine.
More on that in a minute.

On the National Sales Tax idea, you wrote: “you are still going to tax the middle class more than you would with a proper income tax.” 
Please remember, my thought was not to replace the income tax (already plenty progressive) but our (regressive) payroll taxes.

You also write on taxes:
“...to qualify as a progressive tax, the PROPORTION must be more, too.” 
That’s what YOU say, but that’s not the classical definition. 
This is how our Wealth Tax works, though—also known as the Estate Tax, Death Tax and and/or Bereavement Tax:
With a $5 million exemption, most Americans will pay no inheritance tax. 
The current flat 35% applies to all amounts over $5M so the overall percentage rises as total estate value increases:
(eg: $10M = 17.5%, $20M = 26.25%, $50M = $31.5%)
Again, you might want the rich to pay still more, but it’s progressive as-is.

You favor progressive taxes and so do I in most cases.  Here we differ only on degree.

But, I believe, we differ on another fundamental.
If I understand your position, you favor the use of taxes as a tool for social engineering. 
Less smoking, less driving, etc. 
I’ll bet you’re for various sin taxes and you’d be for a carbon-use tax, a trans fat tax and/or sugar tax. 
The best taxes produce changes in behavior.

We agree that taxes do affect behavior, but my take is that taxes should primarily produce revenue to run the necessary costs of government.

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By vector56, March 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

“Maybe you’re asking “ok, if Peace Through Strength works for the US, then why not for Iran?””

oddsox; No! that is not what I am asking.

Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) was nuts! repeating that “peace through strength” crap does not make a strategy that had the eradication of humanity as a component any less evil.

Iran has not attacked any one in 200 years, yet you imply their motives would be questionable compared to ours?

I realize this is grossly off topic, and I apologize.

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By Korky Day, March 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

Many commenters have many good points.
“oddsox” is interesting.  My replies:
Gasoline and tobacco taxes change behaviour, not by how the revenues are spent by government, but by how those taxes reduce consumption, which is a good goal in both those cases.
The USA’s massive freeway system was not a good investment.  It subsidizes the oil industry and hurts the workers.  The freeways largely replaced the wonderful railways and city trams, for both freight and passengers, that we used to have when I was a child in the 1950s.  Highway transport uses more fuel than railway transport.  Freeways are much less safe.  The change hurt the railway unions.  Truck drivers are much harder to unionize.  Driving a car or truck is much more emotionally oppressive and socially alienating than riding a train.
“oddsox” also defends sales tax by saying they could be made progressive by exempting necessities.  Partly so, yes, but you are still going to tax the middle class more than you would with a proper income tax, which would tax mostly the upper class, as it was in the beginning.  Also, sales tax discourages the purchase of important non-necessities such as books, art, museums, etc.
“oddsox” also wrote, ‘Then everybody would pay into FICA/Medicare:  —poor, middle class & rich.  But not “alike,” the rich would pay more.’ 
Maybe the rich would pay more, but to qualify as a progressive tax, the PROPORTION must be more, too.  I don’t see why the poor should pay any tax (except those which actually benefit them behaviourally, such as tobacco tax).  The original income tax didn’t touch the middle class, which is better.  A consumption tax which affects mainly the upper class is called a luxury tax—mink coats, diamonds, yachts, mansions, personal jets, etc.  The mainstream media “forgets” that taxes used to be mostly for the rich (including corporations) to pay.

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By oddsox, March 3, 2012 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

PAX OPTIMA RERUM

Vector56, the Cold War spanned admins of Repubs (Ike, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush I) and Dems (Truman, JFK, LBJ, Carter) alike. 
So I don’t get your “GOP band wagon” thinking.

But I see where you might be headed when you use the “Muslim = global terrorist” analogy.

Maybe you’re asking “ok, if Peace Through Strength works for the US, then why not for Iran?”

Is that it?

If so, then yes, it would work for Iran as well.
If Peace is what they seek.

More likely you mean we shouldn’t have nukes any more than the Iranians. 

you ask:

“If given a choice between the 300 million human being in America and the 6 Billion human beings of planet earth what sane person would chose the latter?”

A choice for what? 
Sacrificing one group to save the other? 
That’s not clear. 
If that’s what you mean, the good news is that’s a false dichotomy (see Sirota, David). 
And world population is up over 7 Billion now.

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By vector56, March 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

“yes, I think the commitment to SDA was a price worth paying —something the Soviets couldn’t match & so Gorby took the path of least resistance.”

I agree that “Gorby” concluded that MAD was nuts and withdrew from the race to end humanity, but to jump on the GOP band wagon and call such actions productive is beyond insane!  If a group of Muslim countries had done the same thing we would rightfully call them “Global Terrorist!”

If given a choice between the 300 million human being in America and the 6 Billion human beings of planet earth what sane person would chose the latter?

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By oddsox, March 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

Vector56, well, I’m aware the logic is a little like wearing the charm to keep elephants away, then claiming—“you don’t see any elephants around, now do you?”

But still, yes, I think the commitment to SDA was a price worth paying —something the Soviets couldn’t match & so Gorby took the path of least resistance.

Glad Putin wasn’t in full power then, he’d have been more stubbron.

Because the Cold War stayed Cold, both sides won.

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By Lafayette, March 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

OS: Tobacco taxes are very different. 

Quite right.

Without the consent (and despite counter-lobbying of the industry) cigarette taxes have increased more than 100% in the pat five years in France.

Which has reduced smoking considerably and - accordingly - which will lower the number of people showing up at ER to treat lung cancer.

Taxation, if applied appropriately by a government determined to bring about change in habits, and refractive to industrial lobbying, can indeed bring about changes in human behaviour.

Of course, industries will go ballistic at this impingement upon “freedom of choice”. What is, however, freedom of choice if it brings about illness to fellow citizens because they do not or cannot appreciate the danger?

Corporate profits are NEVER as important as the well-being of a nation’s citizens.

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By vector56, March 3, 2012 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

“For example, IMO, Star Wars in the 80’s helped us avoid having to fight the Soviets.
Money well spent, debt well-incurred.”

oddsox:

Do you really believe that “Star-Wars” (SDA) kept us out of a war with the USSR???

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By oddsox, March 3, 2012 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

Korky Day, you mention the gasoline and tobacco taxes as encouraging beneficial behavior.

Federal gasoline taxes largely go to building and upkeep for roads. 
About 3-cents/gallon goes to mass transit, if that was your meaning. 
Nothing goes to development of alternative fuel sources.
(nor should it, IMHO)
http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/bp56 final.pdf

Tobacco taxes are very different. 
They, along with the $7.2B industry settlement in 1999, are supposed to go towards smoking prevention and public health programs.
But, in reality, much of if goes to a very wide range of projects that stretch the definition of “public health programs” pretty thin:
Tertiary education scholarships, tax rebates, public television, water and sewer projects, purchase of undeveloped lands and property tax relief to name a few.

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By oddsox, March 3, 2012 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

vector56, please see my reply to Korky Day below on a progressive consumption tax.

You write:  “we do not get a return on the dollars we pay in taxes.”

That much is spot on.

Where we’ll perhaps disagree is on what constitutes “return.”

For example, IMO, Star Wars in the 80’s helped us avoid having to fight the Soviets. 
Money well spent, debt well-incurred.

The interstate highway system?  NASA ventures?  Sure. Conceived with defense applications in mind, both have paid for themselves with increased commerce and/or technological breakthroughs.

FDR spent $20B on WPA/PWA projects.  That’s about $260B in today’s dollars.  For that we got 651,000 miles of paved road, built 78,000 bridges, 8,000 parks and 800 airports.  Much more.  Hoover Dam, Golden Gate Bridge—even a WPA-built ski resort that’s still in use, believe it or not.

Obama’s Stimulus?  Largely waste, sorry. 
—Tax breaks for his cronies
—Unemployment benes to keep the unemployed alive, untrained and still unemployed
—Moneies spent to keep bureaucrats at their desks.

Wanna see another boondoggle?  Look here:
http://www.autoblog.com/2011/07/01/china-opens-26-mile-long-road-bridge-over-water-claims-world-re/#continued

I read there are no emergency outlets on that bridge if you get stuck & it’s out of the AAA service area. 
And the bridge isn’t getting much use as it only saves about 20 minutes vs. existing routes.
But it “only” cost about $1.5B to build. 
Bet they used non-union workers, what do you think?

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By oddsox, March 3, 2012 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

Korky Day,
a point-of-purchase sales tax needn’t be regressive. 
Exempt groceries, rents, utilities and meds—the items upon which the poor spend most of their money, and, voila, we have a progressive tax.

Then everybody would pay into FICA/Medicare:
—poor, middle class & rich.  But not “alike,” the rich would pay more.
—foreign tourists, too (a modest hedge against our weakening dollar)
—and especially the rich on their high-end purchases (remember, those who make their money from capital gains pay nothing into FICA/Medicare, and those who have earned incomes stop paying after $106,800.)

The formula for FICA/Medicare benefits could remain as-is, the sales tax rate set to be revenue-neutral vs. displaced payroll dollars.  It’s just a funding vehicle, not meant to disturb Social Security (though it does need reform). 

The tax swap would remove a huge obstacle to hiring and encourage savings at the same time. 

A win-win.

Tax consumption, not labor.

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By Lafayette, March 3, 2012 at 5:32 am Link to this comment

WHAT SOCIAL JUSTICE MEANS IN REALITY

These same employers can feel free to deprive their employees of the basic security needed to stay off welfare for good. After all, once the fallow season ends, the state will subsidize those workers’ subsistence until the business community needs them again.

This comment is tendentious journalism. Whoa, horsey!

An employer has no obligation to “guaranty” employment. It is evident that should customer demand for products/services diminish, then the workforce necessary to produce them should be reduced as well. This sort of precariousness is an integral part of any market condition. It is the nature of all cyclical markets.

What must be considered, therefore, are a government’s obligations as a consequence to such precariousness - meaning the ability of a person to sustain themselves (food, housing, health care) whilst unemployed, which is where our present system fails badly.

Because even when employed our privatized Health Care insurance contains no adequate guaranty that families are properly covered.  And when unemployed, that guaranty disappears and ObamaCare should take-over. But will it be adequate to the task? This real danger is what Social Justice is all about and should remedy definitively. 

Whilst a company can hire and fire, it can then continue to exist. Which any economy would prefer rather than companies close their doors. But, when it comes to a reduction-in-force that may be necessary, why should the company’s employees bear the brunt of the consequences?

Social Justice means that provisions must be made such that the well-being of the family (or person) is assured. In terms of UI, that may or may not be adequate. And ObamaCare, though universal, remains extremely expensive because it is based upon Private Insurance. A truly National Health Care system would be more effective in controlling runaway costs.

Meaning this: 
•  Costs must be controlled and therefore mandated by a government body, meaning they must be greatly lowered. Only an alternative to Private HC Insurance can accomplish that objective.
•  Such a system can be built, but there will be no will in Congress to do so if not promoted by Progressive Politicians.
•  Only then will Americans get affordable health care, whilst working and whilst unemployed, that is affordable and easily accessible.

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By prosefights, March 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

Admitted to Purdue despite liberal arts ‘education’ I was informed at Purdue.

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By prosefights, March 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

Beware of liberal art ‘education’ if you want to get a job.

http://www.prosefights.org/whitmancrocker/whitmancrocker.htm#brian

Many, if not most, of the Whitman College class of 1959 opted for graduate school for vocational reasons.

Me included.  I went to Purdue.

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By vector56, March 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

Korky Day:

I humbly apologize for the misquote.

Humanity has been living through a generational “mugging” by the 1% for most of modern human history. Wealth is created by human activity; people moving around and making things. The “surplus value” of that wealth has been captured (Wall Street) and serves to benefit the few.

Within the Capitalist system, the only way I can see that the workers can compete directly with the “owners of capital” are Cooperatives.  Worker owned cooperatives like the Modragon Corporation of Spain might provide a way put corporate America it her place; under the boot of the citizens!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_Corporation

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By Korky Day, March 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment

I didn’t say whether we are taxed too much or not enough, just that I’m against most regressive taxes.  Some are good if they encourage beneficial behaviours, as does the gasoline tax.  Yes, “vector56”, the overall budget probably could go way down with higher resource revenues, ending the imperialist wars, etc.

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By vector56, March 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment

A few years back the Heritage Foundation dreamed up a scam that amounted to nothing more then a back door method of defunding Social Security. They called this plan a “Pay Roll Tax Holiday”. The GOP pushed this scheme for a few years; but the public fought it tooth and nail!

Enter a Democratic, first Black President; as Naomi Klein notices “shock” provides opportunity to push though unpopular ideas that would have never stood a chance in “normal” times. Like it or not, electing the first non-White president in 200 years was a “shock” to most Americans. This allowed Wall Streets guy (Obama) to push through the old Heritage Foundation scam to defund Social Security (Pay Roll Tax Holiday).

oddsox, proposed a consumption tax;I agree with Korky Day, a consumption tax would come out of the hides of the little guy. Where I disagree with both is that we are taxed too much. I think the problem is we do not get a return on the dollars we pay in taxes.

The Billions of dollars that go to defense contractors; to maintain 700 bases around the world ;
the bailouts to Wall Street, the health insurance companies, big Pharma and the oil companies would play 100 times over for total health care, total housing, full employment and free education for all citizens.

The corporate media does an excellent job of hiding just how deep and wide we are being screwed!

example:

The natural resources of this country (oil, minerals, lumber…) are being given to corporations at a “penny-a-pound”. If the federal resources were sold at “market prices” to the highest bidder (as the companies do after the get them at rock bottom a price) the US treasury would collect hundreds of billions extra annually.

When one realizes that about 40% to 55% of all private sector revenue in one way or another comes from federal, state or local governments (tax payers), a WPA seems logical. Why funnel tax dollars to private contractors and hope something will “trickle down” to the citizens?

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By berniem, March 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

The issue is not the lack of jobs. Rather, it is the fact of too many people in a world that already is burdened by too many! FREE BRADLEY MANNING!!!!

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By Korky Day, March 2, 2012 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

“oddsox” is right to decry the rising payroll taxes.  However, consumption taxes are not the answer.  They are regressive, which means in economic science that they take a higher proportion of money from the poor and working classes than from the rich.  We must demand progressive taxes instead.  But then how would politicians get their millions to get re-elected!?  The rich now donate to candidates who will keep their taxes down (Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians).  Other taxes which are justified (besides progressive taxes) are those which protect the environment (gasoline tax) and improve our health (tobacco tax).

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By oddsox, March 2, 2012 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

How do we expect to increase employment when we tax it so heavily?

Regressive payroll taxes now make up 40% of federal revenues, up from 10% in 1950.
http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/background/numbers/revenue.cfm

We need to eliminate payroll taxes and fund FICA/Medicare using a consumption tax model.

Tax Consumption, not Labor.

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By oddsox, March 2, 2012 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

..just got off the line w/ the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

They say the Feb. report was delayed because there were not enough days in the Collection Period that follows the Reference Period due to the President’s Day Holiday.

But, despite Memorial Day in May and Columbus Day in October, the reports for June and November should come out on time, June 1 and November 2, respectively.

So forgive my suspicious nature.
But keep a watchful eye anyway.

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By MeHere, March 2, 2012 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

Excellent article.

When these popular politicians talk about jobs -as when they talk about anything else- they are just fabricating images of well-being that they hope will attract the voters they need. This self-promotion, financed by big interests, has worked for them, so far.
It is no different from the way the advertising of consumer products works.

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By Korky Day, March 2, 2012 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

vector56 is on the right track to suggest a “permanent WPA”.
Academics base this concept on the idea of a “job guarantee”, as suggested by Franklin Roosevelt.  I have actually planned such as system, better than the WPA, I hope.  I call it Guaranteed Jobs.  The North Carolina Greens endorsed it a couple of years ago.
Guaranteed Jobs is designed to appeal to voters of all political stripes, and, once it is instituted, the various political parties can then try to head it in the direction they want.  Before that, though, everyone wanting work has jobs they can do, though they will probably be inadequate.  That forces the private sector to offer something better if they want to attract workers.
More at http://www.korky.ca

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By vector56, March 2, 2012 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

One thing the Fake -Liberals (Progressive) on MSNBC and Current TV love to do is put up charts showing how many new jobs were created under the Obama administration. Rarely do they elaborate on the quality of those “McJobs”; are the full time, temporary; do they pay a “living wage” (about $10.50/hr), do they provide health care? None of these questions are asked because as mrfreeze states below, “we are in a race to the bottom”!

Just as we must disconnect health care from employers and the employers at some point a citizen’s ability to make a living must be liberated from the private sector.

A permanent WPA that provides a “public work option” for all citizens willing to work (paying a living wage; $10.50/hr) would force corporations to compete for the one asset we have that they value; our labor.

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By Penny, March 2, 2012 at 9:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s nice to talk about the need for welfare to “ameliorate domination”, but the big mega corps are getting exactly what they want by getting to dominate everyone.

You don’t change an abuser by begging him to change.

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By oddsox, March 2, 2012 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Monthly unemployment numbers are usually released on the first Friday of the month, at 8:30am Eastern Time.

Today is Friday March 2, 2011.
So where is February’s Job’s Report?
Evidently, it won’t be released until Friday March 9.
Why the delay?

Here’s the Jobs Report for November 2011, released Friday December 2, 2011.
That was the last time the first Friday of the month fell on the 2nd.
http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/02/news/economy/jobs_report_unemployme...

When’s the next time?
In June, the first Friday will fall on June 1….and then:
Friday November 2, just before the election.

Will the release of October 2012’s Jobs Report be similarly delayed until after the election, Friday November 9?
Instead of Friday November 2, just before?
Are we being set up?

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By mrfreeze, March 2, 2012 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

As usual Reich gets it right:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/worker-productivity_b_1315814.html

As I’ve written before: Job, wages, productivity, etc. are all now benchmarked against China. It’s a race to the bottom. Wages? Well…......what do they pay the Chinese? Jobs? Wow, the schools in India and China are producing workers (engineers, doctors, etc.), who needs Americans/Europeans to do the jobs? Schools? Aw, just do all that shit on-line…....

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By kerryrose, March 2, 2012 at 3:11 am Link to this comment

The author should understand that there is no ‘Welfare’ anymore.  It is called ‘Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.’

You cannot receive this aid unless you work, even if it is for no money. The fallacy of this article is that when people are receiving aid that they are ‘on ice.’  They are not, they have to be working a crummy, low paid, or no-paying job to receive the aid.

Thank Bill Clinton.

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By Marian Griffith, March 2, 2012 at 2:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is going to play out like a ‘tragedy of the commons’.

The corporations are using the (limited) securities welfare programs offer to destroy that which pays for said welfare programs.

As more and more people are ground into poverty and subsistence on day labour jobs (probably around 20pct of the population and climbing) and the richest pulling more and more wealth out of reach of taxation the number of people able to pay for an ever increasing burden decreases. And at some point they too join the disenfranchised.

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By DBM, March 2, 2012 at 1:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And interesting observation from the linked article
is that the use of welfare in this manner makes it
yet another subsidy for business by taxpayers.  That
is, by paying welfare to workers in off-season they
are no cost to the employers and they are kept
available for the employers when seasonal workers are
needed. 

The challenge here is to avoid wingers from
interpreting this as another reason why assistance
for the poor is a bad thing.  The point is that the
seasonal employers are acting in bad faith by
underpaying their workers and making no attempt to
find employment year round for them. 

If that sounds like an impossible target for an agri-
business then perhaps everyone pays too little for
tomatoes.

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By vector56, March 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

Within the Capitalist system the Mondragon Corporation model may offer workers hope:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/14/1026374/-Mondragon-a-possible-way-out?via=blog_744899

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By vector56, March 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment

This post reminds me of a line from the song ” We are the many” (Makana):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq3BYw4xjxE   

“We come here, gather ‘round the stage / The time has come for us to voice our rage.
Against the ones who trapped us in a cage / To steal from us the value of our wage.”

Great song, it should be the Occupy anthem!

Workers have been locked in a low-wage cage by allowing almost zero completion among employers for the one thing of value we have to offer them; our labor.

Just as a “Public Option” for Health Care would force the Insurance Companies to compete for our health care dollars, a permanent WPA with a living wage would force the private sector to compete for our labor. Such an arrangement would drive up the value and the cost of labor, thus transfer some of the surplus wealth back to the workers (where it originally came from).

To some one who think that our society should be structured to serve the good of the few this idea may seem bazaar.

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By Morpheus, March 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

We need a new vision for America and the rest of the world or will continue to decline while we sit here and talk about it.

FIGHT THE CAUSE - NOT THE SYMPTOM
OsiXs (Revolution 2.0 - The Smart Revolution)

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