Tag Archives: jobs

The Republican Jobs Plan: Florida Lawmaker Wants State to Reinstate Dwarf Tossing

You just can’t make this stuff up….

The GOP has no-zero- interest in job creation or income equality.

But they have plenty of time and interest in frivolous lawmaking, laws to favor their campaign contributors, trying to legislate morality, trying to oppress women, gays and immigrants and trying to extend employment opportunities for Dwarfs….

This is so frigging ridiculous, I just can’t say any more about it….

Talk amongst yourselves….

From Frank Cerabino in the Palm Beach Press:

Some news on the job-creation front in Florida.

A state legislator has found yet another example of government regulation getting in the way of job creation.

So Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, filed a bill this week to bring back “dwarf tossing,” the barbaric and dangerous barroom spectacle that was imported from Australia and thrived briefly in Florida before it was outlawed in 1989.

“I’m on a quest to seek and destroy unnecessary burdens on the freedom and liberties of people,” Workman said. “This is an example of Big Brother government.

“All that it does is prevent some dwarfs from getting jobs they would be happy to get,” Workman said. “In this economy, or any economy, why would we want to prevent people from getting gainful employment?”

via Cerabino: Lawmaker wants state to reinstate dwarf tossing.

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Next low-wage haven: USA

Well, this sounds like a mixed blessing to me…

Wages are so low and people are so desperate that it will soon be cheaper to hire American workers than the Chinese workers.

Of course, only in non-union states…

These are jobs, which is great, but I question if they will provide a living wage…

Seems to me to be another example of the declining Middle Class…

Anyway, interesting article in “Facing South” from the Institute for Southern Studies…

Jokes about the U.S. becoming “Europe’s Mexico” are commonplace, but now high-priced consultants are pushing the notion in all seriousness.

They’re predicting that within five years certain Southern U.S. states will be among the cheapest manufacturing locations in the developed world — and competitive with China.

For years advisers like the Boston Consulting Group got paid big bucks to tell their clients to produce in China. Now, they say, rising wages there, fueled by worker unrest, and low wages in Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina mean that soon it won’t be worth the hassle of locating overseas.

Wages for China’s factory workers certainly aren’t going to rise to U.S. levels soon. BCG estimates they will be 17 percent of the projected U.S. manufacturing average — $26 an hour for wages and benefits — by 2015.

But because American workers have higher productivity, and since rising fuel prices are making it even more expensive to ship goods half way around the world, costs in the two countries are converging fast.

Dan Luria, research director of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, says many of the big-name consultancies, which until a year ago were advising their clients to “Asiafy their footprints,” are now telling companies to think twice.

BCG bluntly praises Mississippi’s “flexible unions/workers, minimal wage growth, and high worker productivity,” estimating that in four years, workers in China’s fast-growing Yangtze River Delta will cost only 31 percent less than Mississippi workers.

That’s before you figure in shipping, duties, and possible quality issues. Add it all up, says BCG, and “China will no longer be the default low-cost manufacturing location.”

MORE:  ISS – Next low-wage haven: USA.

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Finally a Little Good Economic News: July Jobs Report: Hiring Picks Up

Not great news, but much better than expected.  Still, we have to remember how many long-term unemployed are no longer counted in these stats.

And we have to remember no one is reporting if these are good jobs or low paying, non-benefit jobs-as has been the trend- while we see the continuing disappearance of more good, high paying jobs with benefits like Health Insurance…

From CNN:

The job market strengthened in July, a welcome piece of good news that sharply contrasted other recent readings pointing toward an economic slowdown.

Employers added 117,000 jobs last month, well above the 46,000 jobs added in June, and easily topping the 75,000 gain predicted by economists surveyed by CNNMoney.

Weak job reports for both May and June were revised higher, adding a combined 56,000 jobs for the year.

Businesses were busy hiring, adding 154,000 workers in the month, topping forecasts of 100,000 new jobs. But those gains were tempered by a loss of 37,000 government jobs, mostly from state and local governments, where budget shortfalls led to layoffs in July, especially in Minnesota where the government was briefly shut down.

The unemployment rate ticked down to 9.1%. The Labor Department said the improvement was mostly due to people leaving the labor force.

Still, 13.9 million Americans remain unemployed, 44% of which have been out of work for six months or longer.

After a shockingly weak jobs number from June and a spate of other negative economic readings that followed, many economists had been bracing for the worst from Friday’s report.

In just the last week, data on consumer spending, manufacturing, job cuts and gross domestic product have all raised concerns that the slowing economy could fall back into recession. Major stock indexes have lost 10% of their value in the last two weeks amid growing worries.

Stock futures turned significantly higher immediately following the report.

via July jobs report: Hiring picks up – Aug. 5, 2011.

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Stock Market Plunges…

I hate to say it, but “I told you so”.

Congress is hurting the recovery, not helping it….

I’m afraid, it’s only going to get worse…

I’ll blame the GOP for creating this false Budget Deficit crisis which drove behavior in DC that only made things worse….

And I’ll blame the Dems for not having the guts to stand up to the GOP/Tea Party to force them to address the real issue:  Jobs.

From CNN:

Poof! There goes any progress stocks made in 2011.

Stocks plunged Thursday, with the Dow tumbling 400 points to hit its lowest level since December, as global economic fears gripped the market.

U.S. markets were already sharply lower on widespread worries, including the weak job market. But the selling gained momentum as Japanese and European policymakers stepped in with dramatic measures to shore up their financial markets.

There’s “total fear” in the market, said Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at the world’s largest money manager, BlackRock.

All three major indexes tumbled more than 3% Thursday and erased all their gains for the year. The indexes have also pushed into ‘correction’ territory – defined as a 10% drop from their highs earlier this year. Over the past 10 days alone, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq have dropped more than 8%.

“In the last two weeks, we’ve been through the ringer,” said Rich Ilczyszyn, market strategist with futures broker Lind-Waldock. “When we start looking at the recovery, there’s nothing to hang our hats on anymore.”

via Market Report – Aug. 4, 2011 – CNNMoney.

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Major Grocer Getting Rid of Self-Checkout Lanes

Well, this is a step in the right direction.

I hate these self-checkout lanes.  They are impersonal, don’t work right half the time and take jobs away from people.

Hell, we are supposed to be a service-based society now that we don’t manufacture anything anymore.  This was just another way to destroy service and service jobs…

Good riddance!

Hat tip to AmericaBlog where I first saw this link to MSNBC:

One of the nation’s major grocery store chains is eliminating self-checkout lanes in an effort to encourage more human contact with its customers.

Albertsons LLC, which operates 217 stores in seven Western and Southern states, will eliminate all self-checkout lanes in the 100 stores that have them and will replace them with standard or express lanes, a spokeswoman said.

“We just want the opportunity to talk to customers more,” Albertsons spokeswoman Christine Wilcox said. “That’s the driving motivation.”

Privately held Albertsons LLC operates stores in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas and Utah. To find a store, click here.

The move does not affect stores operated by grocery giant Supervalu, which operates more than 450 Albertsons stores in 16 states including Nevada, southern California and the Pacific Northwest.

Wilcox said the replacement of automated checkout lanes with human-operated lanes likely would mean more hours available for employees to work.

The move marks a surprising step back from a trend that began about a decade ago, when supermarkets began installing self-checkout lanes, touting them as a solution to long lines. Now some grocery chains are questioning whether they are really good for business.

Kroger, the largest grocery chain in the U.S. (with some 2,500 outlets), is experimenting with removing all self-checkouts in at least one Texas store, reports StorefrontBacktalk, an industry publication. Publix, another major chain, is “on the fence” about self-checkout, according to a report quoted in the story.

Self-checkout industry leader NCR Corp., which counts Albertsons among its clients, does not see the grocery chain’s move as a threat to its business, said company spokesman Cameron Smith.

He said more than 150 retailers in 22 countries use the company’s self-checkout lanes, and not just for groceries. The market is projected to grow by about 15 percent annually, he said.

“Ultimately, customers appreciate the choice of self-checkout,” he said.

via Major grocer getting rid of self-checkout lanes – Business – Consumer news – Retail – msnbc.com.

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Key Dem Senator: Obama ‘snookered’ by GOP into Talking Deficit Over Jobs

I could not agree more….

This says everything I’ve been thinking….

It’s always a pleasant surprise to see some DC Democrats talking a little sense…

God knows, the GOP never will….

From RawStory.com:

Urging the administration to enact new measures to lower the unemployment rate, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) said President Barack Obama got “snookered” by Republicans into prioritizing deficits over jobs.

“I am concerned about the Obama administration’s approach on this,” Harkin, the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, told The Hill in an interview published Friday. “It always has been about jobs. I think the administration kind of got snookered talking about the deficit and the debt after the last election.”

Amidst growing economic anxieties, Harkin joined Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) in calling for additional stimulus spending in the form of a major infrastructure package.

“The last election was about jobs and the economy, and now we’re in a position where we really do need some economic pump-priming by the federal government,” Harkin told the paper.

Job creation in May was the lowest since last September as the unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent. The Obama administration has — under intense pressure from Republicans — shifted its focus from job creation to deficit reduction this year, against the vocal objections of progressive economics and polls that say the public is far more concerned about jobs than the debt.

via Key Dem Senator: Obama ‘snookered’ by GOP into talking deficit over jobs | The Raw Story.

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Baby Boomers Can’t Retire and Millennials Can’t Start Careers

It’s the Economy, stupid…

Our generation- the Boomers- saw pensions disappear into 401K’s that have been hard hit by the economic troubles of the last few years.

And now the Republicans want to phase out Medicare and Social Security….

I guess we’ll all end up sitting at Drive-Through Windows saying ” Can I super size that for you?” until we fall over dead….

And block the younger folks from getting that job at the Drive-Through as that seems to be the only type of job the Economy is creating now…

We certainly can’t afford to leave our Corporate jobs until they put us out…

From the National Journal:

It’s hard to say this spring whether it’s more difficult for the class of 2011 to enter the labor force or for the class of 1967 to leave it.

Students now finishing their schooling—the class of 2011—are confronting a youth unemployment rate above 17 percent. The problem is compounding itself as those collecting high school or college degrees jostle for jobs with recent graduates still lacking steady work. “The biggest problem they face is, they are still competing with the class of 2010, 2009, and 2008,” says Matthew Segal, cofounder of Our Time, an advocacy group for young people.

At the other end, millions of graying baby boomers—the class of 1967—are working longer than they intended because the financial meltdown vaporized the value of their homes and 401(k) plans. For every member of the millennial generation frustrated that she can’t start a career, there may be a baby boomer frustrated that he can’t end one.

Cumulatively, these forces are inverting patterns that have characterized the economy since Social Security and the spread of corporate pensions transformed retirement.

via NationalJournal.com – Upside Down – Friday, June 10, 2011.

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A Generation of Slackers? Not So Much

I found this article fascinating…

I’m one of those people quick to call the younger generation slackers.  They are entirely too coddled.  Hence, my loving reference to them among friends and on my blogs as SJI’s (Slack Jawed Idiots).

But I’m ready to admit that there are other factors that aren’t so obvious.  Technology has changed the world and removed walls and barriers.  It has made it easier to blur the lines between work life and home life.

This Generation also sees things differently due to, not only being coddled, but due to the vast amount of information this technology has made so easily available.

They also don’t have the expectations many of us from my generation had- past tense-of having a job for life as long as they worked hard.

They know that social contract is null and void.

They therefore, appropriately, focus more on their real life.

In short, it’s a different world than the one we expected to see…

They may be more realistic than my generation was…

I’ll have to think about this some more.  This article in today’s New York Times is a good place to start…

But it still doesn’t excuse their poor style, fashion and cultural choices…

And three in four Americans believe that today’s youth are less virtuous and industrious than their elders, a 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center found.

In a sign of humility or docility, young people agree. In that 2009 Pew survey, two-thirds of millennials said older adults were superior to the younger generation when it came to moral values and work ethic.

After all, if there’s a young person today who’s walked 10 miles barefoot through the snow to school, it was probably on an iPhone app.

So is this the Laziest Generation? There are signs that its members benefit from lower standards. Technology has certainly made life easier. But there may also be a generation gap; the way young adults work is simply different.

MORE:   A Generation of Slackers? Not So Much – NYTimes.com.

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“Made in America”: The Comeback – Yahoo! Finance

A little good news….

U.S. exports hit a record $173 billion in March, up 15% from a year-ago and 37% from 2009. The good times for “Made in America” are just getting started, according to a new study from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

In fact, BCG predicts 2015 will be a tipping point of sorts, when global manufacturers will view the U.S. as equal to if not better-than China, senior partner Harold Sirkin tells me in the accompanying video.

“We’re not saying the world’s going to suddenly change and U.S. companies are going to manufacture here for shipment to China,” Sirkin says. “But the U.S. will be a very important place if you’re going to sell into the U.S.”

In making this seemingly outrageous forecast, Sirkin cites the following:

Rising wages in China plus the strengthening yuan are eroding China’s cost advantage vs. the U.S.

America’s “very productive, motivated and flexible workforce” is attractive to employers and all aspects of U.S. society — including unions and state governments — are “focused on creating jobs.”

Intangibles such as the length of the supply chain and the challenges of communicating over multiple time zones work to the advantage of the U.S. (The same is true of Mexico, which BCG says is “also poised to benefit as a low-cost alternative” to China.)

For the record, BCG’s forecast is based on the U.S. regulatory and tax environment remaining the same. This is about “pure economics,” Sirkin says. “If you improve tax rates and regulation, it’ll only make the trend happen faster.”

Clearly this forecast runs against conventional wisdom. But conventional wisdom also holds that America “doesn’t make anything anymore,” which isn’t true either. Since 1972, U.S. manufacturing output has risen nearly 2.5 times, according to BCG.

But U.S. manufacturing employment has fallen nearly 25% in the same time period and few consumer goods are made here anymore, which is why it “feels” worse than the reality; if BCG is even half right, that’s going to change for the better soon.

via “Made in America”: The Comeback – Yahoo! Finance.

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Meet The Workers Who Make Your iPad: 100 Hours Of Overtime, No-Suicide Pacts, Standing For 14 Hours A Day

It’s not just Apple.  These conditions are not unusual in overseas factories…

This is the type of environment most U.S  companies actually accept, if not encourage to get cheap labor overseas.  At least until they get caught and the media publicizes it….

These practices would not be tolerated in the US- and should not be tolerated anywhere.

There is a price to pay for the large Corporate profits we are seeing.  It’s being paid here with loss of jobs and overseas with intolerable job conditions.

It’s just wrong…

Oh, and even more evidence John McCain is either senile, uninformed, stupid or intentionally misleading people.   Take your pick…

Back in March, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) astoundingly claimed that the iPad and iPhone are “built in the United States of America.” This news must have been a great surprise to the Chinese workers who work for Taiwanese-based manufacturing giant Foxconn, which is notorious for the poor conditions at its factories and the wave of suicides at its plants.

After much of the international media covered the abuses at Foxconn’s factories, the company, along with the major American corporations it supplies — like Apple and HP — announced that it would be reforming its practices.

Yet a new report from Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM), a Hong Kong-based advocacy and research group, finds that many of the practices that led more than a dozen workers committ suicide continue to live on. SACOM conducted a comprehensive study of practices at several Foxconn factories over the months of March and April and found that a number of shocking policies are in place. Here are some of the highlights of their study:

More:   ThinkProgress » Blog Archive » Meet The Workers Who Make Your iPad: 100 Hours Of Overtime, No-Suicide Pacts, Standing For 14 Hours A Day.

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