Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
Archives by Tag 'unemployment'
How the Other Half Still Lives
CHARLES R. LARSON
Some of us can remember reading Michael Harrington’s ground-breaking study of poverty in the United States: The Other America (1962).  Sadly, Sasha Abramsky’s ...
Obama’s Middle Class Problem
GEOFFREY McDONALD
Obama is scandalized that the American dream – the mythical notion that hard work gets you ahead – is not panning out for a lot of people. He is incensed that America is currently not in the position to create jobs that are both globally competitive and provide a dece...
The New Economy is the No Jobs Economy
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
One of my most popular columns was about escaping from the Matrix existence in which Americans live. It is a world of disinformation and misinformation in which facts are fiction, and abstract theories are substituted for empirical reality. Official government stat...
The Social Costs of Capitalism
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
When I was a graduate student in economics, the social cost of capitalism was a big issue in economic theory.  Since those decades ago, the social costs of capitalism have exploded, but the issue seems no longer to trouble the economics profession. Social costs a...
Obama’s Personal Responsibility Snake Oil
AJAMU NANGWAYA
United States president Barack Obama appears to never pass up an opportunity when addressing Afrikan Americans to shift the responsibility for their success to personal effort and not the removal of structural barriers that are connected to white supremacy, sexism and cap...
Fiscal Policy Without Fear
DEAN BAKER
It appears that the Reinhart-Rogoff battles have flamed out. Even the inventors of the 90 percent debt cliff are now anxious to portray themselves of ...
The Great Restructuring
DAVID ROSEN
A series of recent reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Pew Foundation and Urban Institute detail how more and more Americans are adjusting to the new old America. The ...
What Deficit Reduction is Really About: Weakening Workers’ Bargaining Power
DEAN BAKER
Few academic papers have ever received as much attention or had as much influence on public policy as “...
Where are the Eulogies for Thatcher’s Victims?
JOSEPH RICHARDSON
London. No sooner had the news broken of Margaret Thatcher’s death than the glorious tributes came flooding in, a veritable deluge of unreserved praise for the Britain’s first female Prime Minister. ...
Eurozone in Crisis
TOM McNAMARA
“Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.” – Robert Graves, I Claudius Rennes, France. Things are bad in the European Union (EU). Just how bad you ask? They are so bad that the unelected ...
How to Reduce Unemployment
DEAN BAKER
Many of the pundits are once again celebrating the pick-up of the U.S. economy. Unfortunately this upturn, like prior ones, seems to exist more in their heads than in the data. The big bright spot being highlighted is the 200,000 monthly rate of job creation since October...
The Arithmetic of Desperation in Detroit
CHRIS LEWIS
Lansing has it out for Detroiters. That’s William Scott’s estimation, at least. “The politicians in state government, in my opinion, care more about the suburbs than here in Detroit,” the retired auto worker told me a few years ago, sitting in a lawn chair perched...
The Bad News About Jobs
DEAN BAKER
More than five years into the downturn it doesn’t take much to get people excited about the state of the economy. The Labor Department’s February employment report showing the economy generated a better-than-expected 236,000 jobs and the unemployment rate had fallen 0...
The Long-Term Jobs and Wage Picture
ALAN NASSER
“We are being afflicted with a new disease of which some readers may not yet have heard the name, but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come – namely, technological unemployment. This means unemployment due to our discovery of means of e...
Still Not Enough Jobs to Go Around
HEIDI SHIERHOLZ
The November Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows job ...
Premature Austerity
ANDREW FIELDHOUSE
My colleague Josh Bivens outlined the contours of this weekend’s 11th hour budget deal, concluding that Congress mostly monkeyed around with upper-income taxes—a politically contentious “...
Priority One: Employment
MARK WEISBROT
As the much-hyped “fiscal cliff” looms at the end of the year, there is talk about “comprehensive tax reform” as part of a deal to achieve deficit reduction.  For Republicans and their allies who want to minimize the taxes paid by rich people, this is one strateg...
No Wait for Austerity
KATRINA BACOME
I don’t have a television, so I didn’t get to see President Obama deliver his reelection speech last night. Like millions of Americans, the day after the election was much the same as every other day. I spent my first day after Obama’s victory moving for...
Why Jack Welch Has No Clue About Jobs Numbers
DEAN BAKER
Jack Welch, the former chief executive of General Electric, was unhappy that the Labor Department reported a ...
Unemployment And Marginal Tax Rates
JOSHUA A. CUEVAS
We, as a nation, are now in our 5th year since the beginning of the greatest recession we’ve seen since the great depression (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, 2012). Indeed, at least one prominent economist and Nobel Prize winner has made the argument that we are in...
The Right’s Outrageous Attacks on the Bureau of Labor Statistics
LAWRENCE MISHEL
Apparently, Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General ...
Bankers And Their Dirty Tricks
MIKE WHITNEY
Didn’t Ben Bernanke promise that another round of bond purchases would lower unemployment and boost economic growth? We think he did, which is why we’re wondering why all the benefits from QE3 appear to be going to the banks. According to Bloomberg News...
The Jobs Crisis, the “Unemployable,” and the Fiscal Cliff
SHAMUS COOKE
With the November elections right around the corner, the millions of unemployed and under-employed have little reason to care. Aside from some sparse rhetoric, neither Democrats nor Republicans have offered a solution to job creation. Most politicians seem purposefully m...
Myths About Job Creation and the Private Sector
MARK VORPAHL
The issue of unemployment and underemployment loomed above the hype of both the Republican and Democratic Party conventions with the cold stare of a harsh judge. Many promises and dubious claims were made from the respective party podiums, but no real solutions were put f...
Obama vs. Economic Reality
SHAMUS COOKE
It took less than 24 hours for Obama’s “inspiring” convention speech to be smothered by the reality of the job crisis. The August national jobs report showed that the U.S. economy failed to create enough new jobs to keep up with population growth. More i...
Hot Autumn in the Kingdom of Spain
DANIEL RAVENTOS and JULIE WARK
On 20 November 2011, thirty-six years after the death of the dictator Francisco Franco, the right-wing Popular Party (PP) won a resounding victory in the parliamentary election. Less than ten months later, voting intention polls show that public support for the Rajoy gove...
Why You’re a Lot Poorer Than You Thought You Were
MIKE WHITNEY
You’re a lot poorer than you thought you were. According to a report by Sentier Research “real median annual household income… has fallen by 4.8 percent since the ‘economic recovery’ began in June 2009.” That’s worse...
America’s Descent Into Poverty
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
The United States has collapsed economically, socially, politically, legally, constitutionally, environmentally, and morally. The country that exists today is not even a shell of the country into which I was born.  In this article I will deal with America’s economic co...
The Katrina Pain Index, 2012
BILL QUIGLEY and DAVIDA FINGER
1 Rank of New Orleans in fastest growing US cities between 2010 and 2011.  Source: Census Bureau. 1 Rank of New Orleans, Louisiana in world prison rate.  Louisiana imprisons more of its people, per head, than any of the other 50 states.  Louisiana rate is five t...
The Democratic Party Abandons FDR’s Legacy
RALPH NADER
Calling Obama, Pelosi, Reid and the rest of the Democratic Party, elected officials, political operatives and labor’s leader Richard Trumka. Thirty million American workers want and need a federal minimum wage of $10 per hour which is slightly less than their predecesso...
The Deepening Recession in Black America
SALVATORE BABONES
The recession has been hard on everyone. Tens of millions of people lost their jobs. Many of those who didn’t lose their jobs suffered salary cuts. Retirement savings and home values have plummeted. Even people who have kept their jobs and homes have ha...
Inside the Latest Jobs Report
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
In his report on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest jobs and unemployment report, statistician John Williams (shadowstats.com) writes: ...
The Plight of Labor on the Campaign Trail
ROB URIE
With Barack Obama and Mitt Romney trading barbs over the outsourcing of jobs, the facts are that Mr. Obama has repeatedly given full-throated endorsement to the neo-liberal policies behind outsourcing. And Mr. Romney has actually outsourced jobs through his business at Ba...
Jobs Crisis Denial
SHAMUS COOKE
Before any problem can be fixed it must first be acknowledged. The jobs crisis stays in the shadows, out of mind, and consequently unaddressed. This is allowed to happen because those in power – Republicans and Democrats – both have political reasons to rema...
Full-Employment and Political Will
MARK WEISBROT
Three years after our worst recession since the Great Depression officially ended, the U.S. economy is still very weak.  The people most hurt by this weakness are the unemployed and the poor, and of course the two problems are related. We have about 23 million people who...
The Great Liquidity Trap
ROBERT POLLIN
Since the onset of the Great Recession in 2008, commercial banks in the United States began accumulating huge cash reserves in their accounts at the Federal Reserve. Thus, in 2007, just before the onset of the Wall Street crash and ensuing recession, commercial bank reser...
Work Shorter Hours, Reap Real Benefits
DEAN BAKER
Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman and Richard Layard, a distinguished British economist, took the lead last week in drafting a sign on “...
Occupy is Alive; So is History
ROB URIE
Political leadership in the West has calcified atop a set of existing facts and trajectory that assure rebellion in one form or another until they are reconciled. In addition to the economic divides between wealth and poverty, employment and unemployment, opportunity and ...
The Meaning of Occupy
PETER BOHMER
The Occupy movement in the United States is part of a global upsurge that began in Tunisia in late 2010, spread to Egypt and the Middle East, Wisconsin, Chile, Spain, Greece, Wall Street and the rest of the United States and now Quebec. I focus on the United States, parti...
President Cat Food
ROB URIE
Back in the depths of the financial crisis Barack Obama put together a ‘bipartisan’ commission to balance the national budget. To promote this effort he used the stunningly misleading conflation of family and national budgets to argue that Americans need to “tighten...
Empty Talk From the G8
VIJAY PRASHAD
WHEN the Group of Seven (G7) was formed in 1974, its charge was to provide confidence to a global population uncertain about the major structural features in the world. The members of the G7 were Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and West...
Hope Reborn at the Antifest
ERIC TOUSSAINT
Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a country ravaged by a war that between 1992 and the beginning of 1996 caused 100.000 deaths (exact figures are unavailable), is certainly looking a lot better but the social situation is dramatic. One statistic says it all: ...
Preying on the Poor
BARBARA EHRENREICH
Individually the poor are not too tempting to thieves, for obvious reasons. Mug a banker and you might score a wallet containing a month’s rent. Mug a janitor and you will be lucky to get away with bus fare to flee the crime scene. But asBusiness Week ...
The Violence of Poverty
ALYOSHA GOLDSTEIN
On April 22, 1968, the National Welfare Rights Organization held a vigil on Capitol Hill in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., who had been murdered eighteen days earlier.  This was to have been the day that King presented the demands of the Poor People’s Campaign to Co...
Could Martin Luther King Jr. Get a Job in Today’s America?
Rev. JESSE JACKSON
Would a young Martin Luther King Jr. be able to get a job in America today? Would one of the thousands who went to jail in support of Nelson Mandela? Or the brilliant kids at the center of Occupy Wall Street? Unless we begin to enforce the Civil Rights Act, m...
Different Bats for Different Brats
LAURA FLANDERS
For all the shameful sucking up to multi-millionaire mom Ann Romney after Democratic pundit Hilary Rosen accused her of never having worked “a day in her life,” the reality is neither Republicans nor Democrats treat most parenting as work, and thousands of poor women ...
Let Them Eat Money
ROB URIE
One of the businesses of Wall Street in the 1980s was the “bucket shop;” firms with networks of stockbrokers who defrauded senior citizens with phony stories about the businesses and prospects of the companies whose stocks they were selling. The companies for the most...
The Land of the Mega-Rich
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
On March 9th,  the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced that 227,000 new nonfarm payroll jobs were created by the economy during February. Is the government’s claim true? No. Statistician John Williams (...
Unemployment Mumbo Jumbo
DAVE LINDORFF
The US stock market jumped up today on word that the number of new unemployment applications fell to the lowest level in four years. Sounds good, right? It’s meant to sound good, but if you look at the number, and if you think about what it really means, it&#...
Why Raising the Minimum Wage is a Winning Issue
RALPH NADER
How inert can the Democratic Party be? Do they really want to defeat the Congressional Republicans in the fall by doing the right thing? A winning issue is to raise the federal minimum wage, stuck at $7.25 since 2007. If it was adjusted for inflation since 1968, no...