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Archives by Tag 'unemployment'
How Far We’ve Fallen
How many stockbrokers, lawyers, bankers, accountants, aluminum siding salesmen, rodeo clowns, etc, would turn down a big, fat pay raise if it came with strings attached?  What if accepting that pay raise was contingent upon all future new-hires being denied the opportuni...
Are Trade Deficits Really That Bad?
In a recent piece in The Nation Thomas Geoghegan argues fiercely that few points were made more emphatically by John Maynard Keynes than his opinion  that: “no country, ever, should run up any kind of trade deficit, much less the trade deficit on steroids we a...
Is Capitalism Preparing to Bury Itself?
Where is Henry Ford when you need him? You may remember Henry — the ruthless industrialist who nonetheless refused to be hobbled by suicidal ideology when it came to doing business. He realized as his workers cranked thousands of new cars off the assembly lin...
Saving the Rich, Losing the Economy
Economic policy in the United States and Europe has failed, and people are suffering. Economic policy failed for three reasons:  (1) policymakers focused on enabling offshoring corporations to move middle class jobs, and the consumer demand, tax base, GDP, and car...
The Philosophy Behind “Occupy Wall Street”
“Speculators may do no harm as bubbles on a steady stream of enterprise. But the position is serious when enterprise becomes the bubble on a whirlpool of speculation. When the capital development of a country becomes a byproduct of the activities of a ca...
Welcome to the Post-Modern Gilded Age
One word dominates political discourse in America today: Jobs!  It was the centerpiece of recent the debate between Republican presidential contenders and the Democratic president’s speech to the nation. The official unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent; whe...
Take This American Jobs Act and Shove It!
It may be that the most depressing aspect of President Obama’s proposed “American Jobs Act” is the pitiful acceptance by leading elements of what passes for the “progressive” coalition in these dreary times.  Apparently, some organizations and individuals have...
Toward a New New Deal
On Thursday night Barack Obama delivered his highly anticipated jobs speech. At this point, it’s fair to say that he’s gone back to the usual predictable stuff—a one-year extension of the payroll tax cut, a continuation of unemployment benefits, some addit...
How to Create Middle Class Jobs
For the last three decades the government has pursued a variety of policies that had the effect of undermining the living standard of the middle class and redistributing income upwards. As a result, the middle class has experienced stagnant income and growing insecurity. ...
Obama’s Jobs Speech
The Fight for Jobs and Justice
It’s not everyday that the president of the United States talks about the last fight that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. waged at the end of his life – a piece of history that is generally excluded from the tributes to the nation’s most revered civil rights leader. ...
Workers and Environmentalists Unite!
When there are zero jobs available, any job will do. This fact has been exploited by corporations now re-labeling themselves ”job creators,” since being a job creator in a time of depression brings a religious status similar to a rain god during a drought. Demo...
Happy Corporation Day!
It is Labor Day, 2011, but labor has nothing to celebrate.  The jobs that once gave American workers a stake in capitalism have left and gone away.  Corporations in pursuit of near-term profits have moved labor’s jobs to China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea an...
Mr. Mean: Eric Cantor
  For Manhattan at least, last week was the weather week that wasn’t. But the minor earthquake and weakened Hurricane Irene served as reminders of the caprice of nature and — only a couple of weeks before the tenth anniversary of 9/11 — the k...
More of the Same Won’t Save the Economy
Labor Day has always been a day of celebration, of appreciation for the hard won achievements of previous generations of workers. The eight hour work day, the five day work week, ending of child labor, a start on gender equality — in short a recognition that workers...
Pouring the Red Ink Down the Sink
The US consumer’s decade-long spending spree has ended, but there’s still an ocean of red ink left to mop up. And with housing prices falling and unemployment tipping 9 per cent, it will take longer to clear the family balance sheet than many had anticipated....
How Washington Could Create Jobs Right Now
I like to ask friends about the oddest summer job they ever had. One talks about how he used to don a rubber suit every morning at a Sylvania electronics plant in Syracuse, NY, and climb into a tank, where he dipped television tubes into some sort of mercury solution. He...
Fightbacks at Home and Abroad
Unless you’ve been on vacation up the Amazon, you know that young people in England have been rioting in the streets. In response to the police shooting of a young father, they smashed windows, burned buildings and looted stores. Their actions were both mindless and...
Shorter Weeks, Longer Vacations
The United States is suffering the enduring effects of a collapsed housing bubble, not a financial crisis. This is an important distinction, because it points to the necessity of relying on shorter workweeks and longer vacations to return to full employment. The fi...
Obama’s Political Economy
A front page story in Sunday’s New York Times gave the country the bad news. President Obama is no longer paying attention to economists and economics in designing economic policy. Instead, he will do what his campaign people tell him will get him re-elect...
The Grubby Species
Nobility is a bitch, and a real seductive one at that. I’m capable of some serious cynicism, but these days I kinda wish I had a lot more of it.  I kinda wish I had born and raised in a more cynical time.  Then maybe I wouldn’t get my heart broken so often....
Fighting Back in London
“Capitalism is,” Mark Fisher explained, a few years ago, ‘what is left when beliefs have collapsed at the level of ritual or symbolic elaboration, and all that is left is the consumer-spectator, trudging through the ruins and the relics.’ Yo...
Feral Capitalism Hits the Streets
“Nihilistic and feral teenagers” the Daily Mail called them: the crazy youths from all walks of life who raced around the streets mindlessly and desperately hurling bricks, stones and bottles at the cops while looting here and setting bonfires there, leading t...
Planet of Slums, Age of Riots
Tottenham, Chile, Tunis… There are too many to count Oakland, Brixton, Taybat al-Imam… We almost can’t keep the names straight. Clichy-sous-Bois, Caracas, Los Angeles… The phrase “riot in London” ec...
The Nostrum of “Shared Sacrifice”
The tipping point in progressive illusions that President Obama is “one of us” may finally have been reached with the new bipartisan deal on the debt ceiling. To avert financial default, Obama and his Congressional allies have basically negotiated their...