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Guest Post: Why the Rich Love High Unemployment

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Submitted by Mark Provost of Truthout

Why the Rich Love High Unemployment

In the last installment of this three-part series, Mark Provost again examines the myths perpetuated by the ruling class to frame massive transfers of wealth to the rich as well-intentioned economic "recovery" policies. Parts 1 and 2  appeared on Truthout in December 2010 and January 2011.

Christina
Romer, former member of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors,
accuses the administration of "shamefully ignoring" the unemployed.
Paul Krugman echoes her concerns, observing that Washington has lost
interest in "the forgotten millions." America's unemployed have been
ignored and forgotten, but they are far from superfluous. Over the last
two years, out-of-work Americans have played a critical role in helping
the richest one percent recover trillions in financial wealth.

Obama's advisers often congratulate themselves
for avoiding another Great Depression - an assertion not amenable to
serious analysis or debate. A better way to evaluate their claims is to
compare the US economy to other rich countries over the last few years.

On the basis of sustaining economic growth,
the United States is doing better than nearly all advanced economies.
From the first quarter of 2008 to the end of 2010, US gross domestic
product (GDP) growth outperformed every G-7 country except Canada.

But when it comes to jobs, US policymakers
fall short of their rosy self-evaluations. Despite the second-highest
economic growth, Paul Wiseman of the Associated Press (AP) reports:
"the U.S. job market remains the group's weakest. U.S. employment
bottomed and started growing again a year ago, but there are still 5.4
percent fewer American jobs than in December 2007. That's a much sharper
drop than in any other G-7 country." According to an important study by
Andrew Sum and Joseph McLaughlin, the US boasted one of the lowest
unemployment rates in the rich world before the housing crash - now,
it's the highest.[1]

The gap between economic growth and job
creation reflects three separate but mutually reinforcing factors: US
corporate governance, Obama's economic policies and the deregulation of
US labor markets.

Old economic models assume that companies
merely react to external changes in demand - lacking independent agency
or power. While executives must adapt to falling demand, they retain a
fair amount of discretion in how they will respond and who will bear the
brunt of the pain. Corporate culture and organization vary from country
to country.

In the boardrooms of corporate America, profits aren't everything - they are the only thing. A JPMorgan research report
concludes that the current corporate profit recovery is more dependent
on falling unit-labor costs than during any previous expansion. At some
level, corporate executives are aware that they are lowering workers'
living standards, but their decisions are neither coordinated nor
intentionally harmful. Call it the "paradox of profitability."
Executives are acting in their own and their shareholders' best
interest: maximizing profit margins in the face of weak demand by
extensive layoffs and pay cuts. But what has been good for every
company's income statement has been a disaster for working families and
their communities.

Obama's lopsided recovery also reflects
lopsided government intervention. Apart from all the talk about jobs,
the Obama administration never supported a concrete employment plan. The
stimulus provided relief, but it was too small and did not focus on job
creation.

The administration's problem is not a question
of economics, but a matter of values and priorities. In the first Great
Depression, President Roosevelt created an alphabet soup of
institutions - the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Tennessee
Valley Authority (TVA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) - to
directly relieve the unemployment problem, a crisis the private sector
was unable and unwilling to solve. In the current crisis, banks were
handed bottomless bowls of alphabet soup - the Troubled Asset Relief
Program (TARP), the Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP) and the
Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) - while politicians
dithered over extending inadequate unemployment benefits.

The unemployment crisis has its origins in the
housing crash, but the prior deregulation of the labor market made the
fallout more severe. Like other changes to economic policy in recent
decades, the deregulation of the labor market tilts the balance of power
in favor of business and against workers. Unlike financial system
reform, the deregulation of the labor market is not on President Obama's
agenda and has escaped much commentary.

Labor-market deregulation boils down to three
things: weak unions, weak worker protection laws and weak overall
employment. In addition to protecting wages and benefits, unions also
protect jobs. Union contracts prevent management from indiscriminately
firing workers and shifting the burden onto remaining employees. After
decades of imposed decline, the United States currently has the fourth-lowest private sector union membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

America's low rate of union membership partly
explains why unemployment rose so fast and, - thanks to hectic
productivity growth - hiring has been so slow.

Proponents of labor-market flexibility argue
that it's easier for the private sector to create jobs when the
transactional costs associated with hiring and firing are reduced.
Perhaps fortunately, legal protections for American workers cannot get
any lower: US labor laws make it the easiest place in the word to fire
or replace employees, according to the OECD.

Another consequence of labor-market flexibility has been the shift from full-time jobs to temporary positions. In 2010, 26 percent of all news jobs were temporary - compared with less than 11 percent in the early 1990's recovery and just 7.1 percent in the early 2000's.

The American model of high productivity and low pay
has friends in high places. Former Obama adviser and General Motors (GM)
car czar Steven Rattner argues that America's unemployment crisis is a sign of strength:

Perversely, the nagging high
jobless rate reflects two of the most promising attributes of the
American economy: its flexibility and its productivity. Eliminating jobs
- with all the wrenching human costs - raises productivity and,
thereby, competitiveness.

Unusually, US productivity grew right through
the recession; normally, companies can't reduce costs fast enough to
keep productivity from falling.

That kind of efficiency is perhaps our most
precious economic asset. However tempting it may be, we need to resist
tinkering with the labor market. Policy proposals aimed too directly at
raising employment may well collaterally end up dragging on
productivity.

Rattner comes dangerously close to
articulating a full-unemployment policy. He suggests unemployed workers
don't merit the same massive government intervention that served GM and
the banks so well. When Wall Street was on the ropes, both
administrations sensibly argued, "doing nothing is not an option." For
the long-term unemployed, doing nothing appears to be Washington's
preferred policy.

The unemployment crisis has been a godsend for
America's superrich, who own the vast majority of financial assets -
stocks, bonds, currency and commodities.

Persistent unemployment and weak unions have
changed the American workforce into a buyers' market - job seekers and
workers are now "price takers" rather than "price makers." Obama's
recovery shares with Reagan's early years the distinction of being the
only two post-war expansions where wage concessions have been the rule
rather than the exception. The year 2009 marked the slowest wage growth
on record, followed by the second slowest in 2010.[2]

America's labor market depression propels
asset price appreciation. In the last two years, US corporate profits
and share prices rose at the fastest pace in history - and the fastest
in the G-7. Considering the source of profits, the soaring stock market
appears less a beacon of prosperity than a reliable proxy for America's
new misery index. Mark Whitehouse of The Wall Street Journal describes Obama's hamster wheel recovery:

From mid-2009 through the end of
2010, output per hour at U.S. nonfarm businesses rose 5.2% as companies
found ways to squeeze more from their existing workers. But the lion's
share of that gain went to shareholders in the form of record profits,
rather than to workers in the form of raises. Hourly wages, adjusted for
inflation, rose only 0.3%, according to the Labor Department. In other
words, companies shared only 6% of productivity gains with their
workers. That compares to 58% since records began in 1947.

Workers' wages and salaries represent roughly
two-thirds of production costs and drive inflation. High inflation is a
bondholders' worst enemy because bonds are fixed-income securities. For
example, if a bond yields a fixed five percent and inflation is running
at four percent, the bond's real return is reduced to one percent. High
unemployment constrains labor costs and, thus, also functions as an
anchor on inflation and inflation expectations - protecting bondholders'
real return and principal. Thanks to the absence of real wage growth
and inflation over the last two years, bond funds have attracted record
inflows and investors have profited immensely.

The Federal Reserve has played the leading
role in sustaining the recovery, but monetary policies work indirectly
and disproportionately favor the wealthy. Low interest rates have helped
banks recapitalize, allowed businesses and households to refinance debt
and provided Wall Street with a tsunami of liquidity - but its impact
on employment and wage growth has been negligible.

CNBC's Jim Cramer provides insight
into the counterintuitive link between a rotten economy and soaring
asset prices: "We are and have been in the longest 'bad news is good
news' moment that I have ever come across in my 31 years of trading.
That means the bad news keeps producing the low interest rates that make
stocks, particularly stocks with decent dividend protection, more
attractive than their fixed income alternatives." In other words, the
longer Ben Bernanke's policies fail to lower unemployment, the longer
Wall Street enjoys a free ride.

Out-of-work Americans deserve more than
unemployment checks - they deserve dividends. The rich would never have
recovered without them.

1. "The Massive Shedding of Jobs in America." Andrew Sum and Joseph McLaughlin. Challenge, 2010, vol. 53, issue 6, pages 62-76.

2. David Wessel, Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2010. "Wage and Benefit Growth Hits Historic Low"; Chris Farrell, Bloomberg Businessweek, February 5, 2010. " US Wage Growth: The Downward Spiral."

 


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Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:23 | Link to Comment Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

Look it's all over, stop splitting hairs, just be prepared for a post-human world

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:31 | Link to Comment oh_bama
oh_bama's picture

Durable goods slighly lower BUT LAST READING REVISED HIGHER!!!

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:42 | Link to Comment TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Frontline always is one of my tells, and it was a dead ringer back in 2007/2008.

Bang Dae-Ho, bitchez.

Norway's Frontline, which operates the world's largest oil tanker fleet, announced an 81-percent decline in net income for the first quarter compared to last year. The company issued a grim outlook...

The operator of the world's largest tanker fleet gives up on the global recovery

 

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 12:36 | Link to Comment silberblick
silberblick's picture

Click below to see a graphic illustration of bankster's dirty of hierarchy of needs: http://thesilvergoldhedge.blogspot.com/2011/05/banksters-dirty-hierarchy...

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:15 | Link to Comment Xibalba
Xibalba's picture

back to the coal mines for little Johnny and the sweatshop for little Suzie.  Who needs Unions, Labor Laws, and Civil rights anyways?!?!  As Clinton would say "We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans."
- Bill Clinton, USA Today on 3/11/93, page 2a

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:55 | Link to Comment Retired_Day_Tra...
Retired_Day_Trader_Wannabe's picture

back to the coal mines for little Johnny and the sweatshop for little Suzie.  Who needs Unions, Labor Laws, and Civil rights anyways?

.  

Unions are legalized monopolies (monopolizing the supply of labor), Labor Laws are just the way government ingratiates itself to the unions, Civil Rights are just the codification of the Natural Rights provided to man by God himself.   If we have too much supply in the human commodity then the price (wage paid) needs to come down.  Government cannot alter the laws of supply-and-demand over the long term, and government shall damage the economy in the short term if they try.   What is the answer?  Stop having so many kinds, and stop illegal immigration. 


Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:53 | Link to Comment JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

are you fucking retarded?

 

the reason we dont have jobs.. is becuase of your republican meth snorting homo dick sucking fags! who shipped 50,000 jobs a month to China since 2000! and gave Corporate America a Fucking Tax Credit for Shipping 50,000 jobs a Month to China!

 

someone find this fucking scumbag lying fuck and send him and all that he spawned to China!

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:32 | Link to Comment Thisson
Thisson's picture

The problem is all the taxes on the working person here, which make labor demand higher (uncompetitive) wages.  Lower taxes, then companies can lower wages, and we can regain our outsourced jobs while maintaining a decent standard of living.  Unfortunately (/sarcasm), that means the public sector leaches and rentiers need to be cast aside.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:21 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

Acting in shareholders' interests would have meant dividend growth kept up with profit growth, not that share prices ponzi'd up then crashed while CEO pay kept rising every year.

Executives act in their own interest and only their own interest.  Bitchez

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:26 | Link to Comment the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Once you get the shareholders cash they are disposable.   What are you going to do arrest the CEO? hahahahahaahahah

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:33 | Link to Comment Ray1968
Ray1968's picture

It truly is the new American Way. Profit for the top... screw everyone else.

Its always been like that, just never so blatent, pervasive and extreme.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:32 | Link to Comment Bob
Bob's picture

My thought exactly.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:45 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yeah, all those board members and directors were responsible for the productivity growth....

Just look at CISCO, awesome company, horrible stock... At least MO and RAI kick back a little cash to the shareholders.

It is for this reason that I prefer MLP type corporate structures. The shareholders benefit. The management has to own stock to benefit. 

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:59 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

CSCO is an interesting case-in-point for what I'm saying.

Dunno who it was, maybe Frontlline, who did an expose on this tech bubble and found that via options and share buybacks, CSCO kicked a full DECADE's worth of profits to management and never paid shit to shareholders.

Shareholders rode the ponzi of "price appreciation," which turned out in most cases in .com to be classic and explicit fraud and book cooking by the managers, who yet still paid themselves bonuses as if the profits WEREN'T bullshit.  The profits were phantom but the bonuses were definitely real.

Who can forget Worldcom or Tyco or any of the dozens of major frauds that went down as the Nasdaq crashed 75%?  All the illusory gains managers "delivered" for 10 years were shown to be nonexistent and were undone within the span of a year.

And during this span, management relentlessly reinforced its entrenchment.  During the price ponzi, the true ownership was so drunk with bullshit valuations fed to them by management that they acquiesced to every additional step management took to buttress management's power and control.  Now that all those illusory gains have been wiped away, management is left in complete power to continue to funnel all profits to themselves.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:59 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Isn't this good capitalism? Buy low, sell high?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:28 | Link to Comment Clint Liquor
Clint Liquor's picture

"The stimulus provided relief, but it was too small and did not focus on job creation."

Taking a trillion dollars out of the economy and giving it to State and Local Governments wasn't enough?

If brains were made of shit, this guy couldn't stink.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:26 | Link to Comment southsea13
southsea13's picture

The unemployed are now an asset like anything else. I guess the `philosophy` in most boardrooms will be `Treat `em mean to keep `em keen" (for those who are still lucky enough to have a job). The other boardroom dictum will probably be "Keep `em lean" when it comes to staffing as every possible iota of value is wrung thoroughly out of the value chain. The result will be more and more families becoming unemployed and losing their homes, but that`s not going to be of much concern to the `great and the good`. :(

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 12:56 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

The philosophy in boardrooms is "how can we pay these executives more so that when they sit on OUR boards, they can pay us more too?"

That is in actuality, at its lowest level, literally how this shit works.  Every board member is an executive of some other company and the interlocking directorates are vast.  It is a big club.

Executives try to decrease cost by firing people even at the expense of the long-term viability of the company.  That is because their mentality is to take every bonus NOW.  Who gives a shit if this company still exists 5 years out; I will have maximized my immediate gains.  They also look to backscratch as boardmembers in order to provide nice, soft landing places for after they deploy their golden parachutes.

The interlocking executives club isn't just about golden parachutes, it's about golden landing zones.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:26 | Link to Comment tellsometruth
tellsometruth's picture

remeber this one: "jobeless recovery"

really sold us on that one from late 2008

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:38 | Link to Comment Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Yea that was so 2008, when not EVERYTHING was a lie.  At least they admitted it was a jobless recovery back then, now it's just a full blown recovery.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:27 | Link to Comment JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

Corporate America has a well funded and entrenched LOBBY!

The American Worker is neither well funded or any where near entrenched in Washingtion DC...

http://www.opensecrets.org/

WAKE! UP!!

and figure who owns the elected officials in your part of the world.. type in your congressman / senators name and POOF! there it is..

Find out for yourself that Washington DC Votes with the LOBBY Dollars! EVERY FUCKING TIME!! then figure out how you are going to support a Lobby Push without a 0.25% FED Window to draw down from???

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:41 | Link to Comment pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

But, but, a raising tide lifts all ships and if you sink a few ships the tide won't lift anymore.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:55 | Link to Comment JW n FL
JW n FL's picture

if it trickles down the rich guys leg it will cause all ships to rise? LOL

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:51 | Link to Comment Mercury
Mercury's picture

Things have never been better at the top.  Remember back in 2005 when all those moneyed varlets from the exburbs clogged up the harbor with their cheap motorboats and made landing a reservation someplace decent such a hassle?  That totally sucked. 

Keeping U6 is in-line with the age of your au-pair...that's the sweet spot.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:25 | Link to Comment sdmjake
sdmjake's picture

"Keeping U6 is in-line with the age of your au-pair...that's the sweet spot."

Thanks for the humpday laugh. or should I cry??

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:36 | Link to Comment Mercury
Mercury's picture

These days its often necessary and hard not to do both.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:40 | Link to Comment writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Of course the corporates love high unemployment - it allows them to repair their profit margins by driving down the only cost they can (labour cost) as technology is easily adaptable to your competitors and only provides a short term relief.

 

Jeepers - does nobody go to college these days? This was all explained by Marx - and it's still 100% true today. There is no mystery - other than the mystery of how the world still cannot accept that Captialism is flawed and that booms and busts are inherent to capitalism ddue to it's contradictory nature.

...and still people believe that 'someone can fix it' - well give up for God's sake - you are never going to fix it.

 

It's like those people who talk of 100% employment in Capitalism - they must be totally stupid - it's not possible - otherwise there would be no 'motivation' for existing workers to work any harder as there would be no threat of someone from the unemployment queue to replace them.

As Capitalism is purely based on 'profit motive' this is entirely logical. This is why we need to organise our economic systm on something other that profit motive.

What is (monetarily) profitable is not always the right or best thing to do. For that example you only need to look at those CDO squared packages to realise that 'profit' is not always a good indicator. In fact it's probably more wrong than right.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:42 | Link to Comment pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

High unemployment also puts more competition in the workplace which means lower wages and fewer benefits.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:47 | Link to Comment writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

...but without lower prices (which is not guaranteed) - you end up getting closer and closer to slavery - as people are forced to work for "their daily feed" - no aspiration, no progress - total debt slavery.

 

That is why the working people cannot simply accept lower and lower wages - eventually something will have to give. Especially when it becomes more time efficient to self sustain yourself and not require any wages.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:44 | Link to Comment samsara
samsara's picture

...otherwise there would be no 'motivation' for existing workers to work any harder as there would be no threat of someone from the unemployment queue to replace them.

 

George Carlin

There are 3 types of people

The Rich,  They receive most of the money

The Middle Class, they pay for everything.

The Poor,  They're there to scare the shit out of the middle class to keep'm going to their jobs....

 

Higher Productivity = Less People working.  That is what that metric actually measures.  More Machines,  less people,  Higher Productivity.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:10 | Link to Comment writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

I would argue there are only 2 types.

The middle class are in fact 'the poor' - but they are given special roles by the rich to raise them to a 'higher status' - which ensure they act on behalf of the rich to suppress the poor.

When times are bad - the middle class dissapear as the rich have no loyalty to them - then they are also rejected by the poor (for past transgressions).

If it weren't for capitalism then we would be living simpler lives....but only working about 3 hours a day (technology would have made the rest redundant) - however Capitlaism requires constant growth - so it constantly creates it's own demand - even if that means selling people things they don't need and using advertising and marketing to cadjole them into thinking there is a need.

...and they start with your children, they have no scruples - the weakest of society are the easiest to manipulate - hence 'pester power'

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:27 | Link to Comment Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

If it weren't for capitalism then we would be living simpler lives....but only working about 3 hours a day (technology would have made the rest redundant)

That is ridiculous. If it weren't for capitalism, we sure would be living simpler lives - in caves, but we would be working 19 hour days to survive, because all of the technology wouldn't have been invented, as there would be nothing to gain for inventors to develop any technology.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 12:00 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Umm... you clearly have not thought this through completely, have you?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 13:10 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

the Wright Brothers weren't looking to get rich.

Smart people do cool shit just for the sake of doing it.  Something you obviously don't grasp.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 15:21 | Link to Comment Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

You've never heard of the Curtis-Wright Corporation, have you?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 15:32 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

What does that have to do with anything? Do you think the Hahn et al were trying to get rich? Hell, how about Franklin or Count Rumford?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:55 | Link to Comment Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

"This is why we need to organise our economic systm on something other that profit motive."
Like what pray tell the urge of the proletariat to jointly own all assets? Just be sure not to look at the oligarchy behind the curtain with the massive police state. No thanks, I prefer to take my chances with individual greed at least that has continuing leverage.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:09 | Link to Comment writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Yeah - because that's working out juuuuuuust fine isn't it?

All your assets are owned by the banks - and if they aren't yet, they soon will be. Even if you are the 'super special investor' you think you are - how long are you going to last as your free market compatirates lie dying in the road beside you?

 

...and you're already in a police state - didn't anyone tell you? The banks dictate to the Government what to do - don't believe me? - well go to the next shareholder meeting of a bank you have shares in and make a fuss - see how long it is before you're arrested under some dubious law.

Greed always leads to corruption - and it is corruption which prevents free trade and hinders human progress - and yet you think this is the best way forward?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:29 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Your arguments for communism are typical and crap.

Crony capitalism isn't the same as capitalism.

Yes the profit motive brought the largest increase in living standards the world has ever seen. All of the problems we see today, have been "brought to you by" government sticking its damn nose where it doesn't belong.

This article was crap beyond crap.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:39 | Link to Comment writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

Once I waded through the crap I can see you're producing the same baseless arguments as all free market flunkies do.

1) Crony capitalism is the logical conclusion to capitalism. Accumulating capital is the aim of capitalism - using 'cronyism' is just an extension of this, but an extension only available to the wealthy. You talk as though cronyism simply 'appeared' from the sky one day - but actually it's been building up over a number of years. Even without any Government regulation - cronyism would still be the result of capitalism. I mean surely every capitalist will do everything in his power to accumulate and protect his capital - or are you saying captialists are bound by some agreement otherwise???

2) The argument for captialism bringing increased living standards is FALSE. There is no baseline with which you can measure against so the argument cannot be substantiated. However the increase in living standards are all to do with TECHNOLOGY and have nothing to do with captialism. This is an age old argument trundled out by blinded capitalists but for which they have no evidence to prove it. It's not even demonstratable as both the centrally planned economies of the USSR and the Chinese have comparable increases in the standards of living - and yet neither employed the market in their resource allocation. In fact it could easily be argued that the standard of living the USA has been false for a long, long time - only loss of purchasing power has given the impression of progress.

...and this isn't an argument for communism - this is an argument against capitalism - one which evidently you have lost as Capitslism goes into 'yet another crisis' and where the only way to prevent total economic collapse is to revert to 'socialism' i.e. the people covering the losses of private banks.

 

...or would you prefer we let them fail and see what happens? - I'm game for that because I have enough gold stashed under my bed for such an eventuality - but not eveyone knows what I do - so is it fair to 'drop the bomb' on people who have no interest in finance?

 

You need some better arguments - they have failed and are failing and simply repeating the same old shit isn't going to change it. Capitalism failed the first time someone (i.e. Government) had to step in to protect the consumer from unscrupilous traders - probably in the middle ages - to want to go back to such an era pretty much sums up your 'progressiveness'

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:04 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

1. Crony capitalism requires the government to pick winners and loosers. Or at least assisting in the creation of an illusionary safe system by which allows people to "Trust the system" rather than using their own fucking instincts. "Ahhhh these investments are safe we have them backed up." Such as muni bonds. Safe? No. Deception? Yes.

2. Look, if you're going to give this "baseline can't be measured, therefore you can't say that" argument you can go off the deep end on many, MANY other logical arguments and entailments. I'd recommend not opening a philosophical can of worms you're not prepared to handle. Or at a minimum not be used on your OWN "arguments." If you'd like me to go on a long tangent about the logical inconsistencies and assumptions made with everything that is "measuring", than I'll kindly do that. I'd rather refrain from doing it since it doesn't have a purpose here. Your arguments are no more "grounded" on fact than mine, in the "real" sense of it.

Technology wasn't created through capitalism? Really? You're telling me that people did not innovate for profit? You've really gone off the deep end on this one. If we have lived in a system that has "brainwashed people" (some might say, i say its natural) to want to profit and to do better, than it MUST be the case that somebody innovated FOR profit. You're telling me NOBODY innovated technology for profit? Not even Ford? Just one person would be required for your argument to false. Technology doesn't just appear, poof out of thin air. Somebody has to have a REASON to create/discover (choose) technology.

Russia only RECENTLY has had increase in standard of living across the board. Why? They accepted capitalism (more so than before). China? The same fucking thing. They are a state assisted capitalist society. If this wasn't the case then how could all of these private businesses be moving to China? While I have utter contempt for their government and their actions, I will not deny that a state assisted crony capitalism country is better than purely a state ran one.

 

Lastly the banks should fall for bad investments and all those who deceived and stole should be destroyed.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:13 | Link to Comment I did it by Occident
I did it by Occident's picture

but wait, isn't Crony communism also the logical conclusion to communism?  and Crony socialism the logical conclusion to socialism? and Crony fascism the conclusion to fascism?  etc, etc. 

 Cronyism is the end result to any and all systems administered by human interests.  Greed for personal gain (profit, personal gain, or otherwise) is a feature not only in the capitalist model but all models.  They just don't call it profit in the other models, maybe it is called something else like power, position, reputation, esteem etc. in other models.  One can even make the argument that it is hardwired from the ol' evolution days.  So your arguments against capitalism may as well be arguments against ANY other system.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:16 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Well said.

The only system this doesn't apply to is anarchy. The only system by which there isn't an entity that can abuse its power. That creates an illusion of less risk involved with trades and transactions.

I don't call it a utopia nor that everything will be amazing roses, I call it not fucked up and onesided.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:23 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I looked and couldn't find the link to apply for an exit visa to Somalia...

Pop Quiz: Can you provide a list of societies that are anarchist that can be termed sucessful?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:01 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

While your comments are snide, arguing against anarchy and then citing "i can't get a visa" is pretty lame. As somebody who thinks visa and licenses are stupid as hell, why should I care about that?

Define successful? There have been plenty of governmentless communities. Since all societies have fallen at some point in time, are therefore any successful? Are only the ones that are currently existing successful? I don't see the merit or purpose of your question.

So long as people believe they can live in a community that is governmentless it is possible and has been possible.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:58 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Quit dancing around, list them...

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:08 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

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

Here is a wiki list since you can't do your own research.

You didn't answer my post whatsoever. Define successful.

"I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law."

-Aristotle

Since I know this quote is "real" and people actually do believe in this, I believe people can work out their own problems. Government creates an illusion of security so that people may fully free themselves to lay all their chips down on the table. In otherwords be as productive and willing to trade with others because you know the contract will be fullfilled on the otherside. While I will state that this is a very nice state that people would be able to conduct themselves with the "full faith" in others, it remains completely illusionary.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:19 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

 I looked at your list.... Sorry, it does not cut it, "sucessful" sort of implies that they stuck around for a while... I also note that 3 of the 4 were the result of a civil war.... The 4th does not even have a link...

Yes, people can work out problems. The real problem is how you deal with the 5% of the population that are socio-paths. All political economic systems must account for this... Some liberty must be restrained to protect the liberty of others.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 13:15 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

The real problem is how you deal with the 5% of the population that are socio-paths.

In the US, we promote them to the highest ranks of our corporations and elect them to public office.

Hard to imagine how anarchism could possibly be worse.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 13:15 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

far more than 5% are sociopathic

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 13:17 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I won't argue about the fraction.... if indeed by a reasonable definition that it is larger, my point is only amplified.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:40 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Your arguments for the defense of Profit Uber Alles ideology is noteable in its absense.

Much easier to tear apart a strawman than look in the mirror.

Your system has failed, creating in it's warpath only a mad race to the sweatshop bottom among the masses, landfills of crap, and prisons to punish the masses for pursuing the crap.

That's the product of Capital's 500 years of world domination.  Yipee!

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:44 | Link to Comment Vergeltung
Vergeltung's picture

don't confuse the marxist with facts. it makes him feel "icky".

 

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:49 | Link to Comment writingsonthewall
writingsonthewall's picture

facts? - what facts?

The only retort I see is 'your arguments are crap' - if you think that's a fact then you need to consult a scientist.

What is funny is the argument I have seen so many times regarding Stalinism and Communism (i.e. we've never actually had communism) - which was laughed at by the capitalists - is now being used by capitalists as an argument as to why capitalism hasn't failed! i.e. we've never had it.

In the world of double standards - Capitalists are the kings. I suppose that's logical really as they cannot see a problem with the contradictory system they support - then why would they see a contradiction in what arguments they use to support it!

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:59 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Here's my favorite anecdote:

"It's not capitalism when the Banker-Gangsters control everything."  It's not Capitalism, they argue, when Capitalists control all the available Capital. 

That's socialism (BOO!), the only nemesis worse than alCIAda!

The real jokers will talk about this fanciful idea called the "Free Market".  The East India Company and JP Morgan are their religious icons!

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:04 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

I didn't say it wasn't a capitalist society. I said it is a crony capitalism. Thats where the law is on the side of some but not all. Therefore the laws are created to benefit some over others.

You just can't seem to accept this.

You don't even seem to understand what capitalism is. Private property used and distributed by a private owner for the sake of profit. Everybody in theory is a capitalist in a capitalist society. As long as you have yourself you can distribute your energies (work) for profit. Socialism is where the state controls means of production, also known as the people.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:20 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

"Crony Capitalism" is redundant.

'Law' is an ideological device that White Capital has used masterfully over the years to rob, rape, and pillage the world blind.

Because you need pillage before you have profit.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 13:20 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Private property used and distributed by a private owner for the sake of profit.

That's necessary but not sufficient to describe capitalism.

Capitalism as currently understood includes the application of capital through *collectives* to produce returns absent any personal involvement.  Simplest example is stocks.

Free enterprise and the use of your energies to produce profit has always existed.  Even the feudal medieval period would be "capitalist" according to your definition.  But that's nonsense.

Tighten up your definition and you'll better see where the problems develop.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:17 | Link to Comment GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

They cannot come back at you with a a rational argument, that's why they just hit you with the "you're full of crap" line. Like so many folks who view our political system as liberal or conservative (even though we have no real Liberals in office anywhere in this country), most folks can only view economic systems as either capitalism or communism. They have no capacity to see anything else.

Further, most folks in this country have never looked at any of these social-economic systems with any depth of thought. They just know Capitalism is good, everything else is bad because their owners, who own the media, have told them to believe it. That's why we have people here who still believe there's some way to have a mythical Capitalistic system called Libertarianism in which everyone working ONLY in their own self interest creates Utopia. We only have tribal examples of such systems, and tribes often have many built-in socialistic systems, but hey, that reality crap doesn't fit with Ayn Rand, so just forget about it.

Face it folks, our current system is what Capitalism evolves into. The monied interest will always find a way to buy the politicians who will change the laws to favor their increased wealth and protect their interests. It's just a modernized feudal/plantation Colonialistic system. But hey, you might get to be a Feudal Lord one day if you show proper obedience and keep those poorer than you under your thumb hard enough. Then the Lords might let you have a little larger slice of someone else's pie (not any of their pie mind you, as you will never be worthy enough for that and they don't share anyway).

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:32 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Well said....

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 14:13 | Link to Comment Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

very well said.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 15:00 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

I don't think most of our current problems are a direct result of capitalism.  I think the real basis of our trouble is the creation of the fictional "person" known as a corporation which shields actual people from responsibility for their actions while being granted virtually identical "rights" of agency by the government.

If two friends and I dump waste in the river that kills a few people, there's a good chance we'll go to prison.  If we have a lawyer draft up the right piece of paper first, our corporation will be fined.

There's a real problem with that approach to justice.  If corporate entities were treated like criminal conspiracies, there'd be far greater likelihood that the employees would attend to obeying those antiquated constructions known as "laws."

When a sports team loses a game, all the individuals lose, too.  So they're kinda motivated to work together.  When a corporation is found guilty of some malfeasance, who pays?  The shareholders? 

How about introducing some responsibility into the equation and locking every single conspirator up for the crimes of the collective?

(This is simplistic.  Naturally the bank teller at a BOA branch isn't "as responsible" for massive financial fraud perpetrated by the company.  For that reason, I have greater hope that vigilante justice and violent retribution could work than institutional power, but it will take awhile longer to get there.  Maybe adapt sentencing guidelines based on compensation as share of revenue?)

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 16:08 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yes, yes, yes...

Change the 14th amendment to read "natural person" and we go a long way to setting shit straight....

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:41 | Link to Comment pappacass
pappacass's picture

Capitalism - communism

Two sides of the same coin in a debt based monetary system

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:00 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Way too over generalized of a statement to add any value.

Capitalism - Private ownership

Communism - No ownership

 

I'm not disagreeing with a debt based monetary system being a complete and total sham, but there is a difference between ownership and no ownership.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:24 | Link to Comment pappacass
pappacass's picture

Capitalism - private ownership

Communism - community ownership?

Anyways I know what you mean.  Consider this, couldn't either system work if there was consensus among the good people involved to make it work, and that the method of transfer of goods/services or other items of productive work was measured, fair and equitable? Therefore two things become essential, security of the system i.e laws and a sound medium of transfer i.e money. Ultimately the death of either system is corruption as we have/are witnessing fueled by a debt based monetary system.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 12:08 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The root of corruption is universal. Any system, even one with no rules, will become dominated by the sociopaths, in a truly flawed system, the psychopaths will rise to dominate. That has always had interesting consequences, usually not pleasant. 

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:03 | Link to Comment MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Can you point me in the direction of an economic and political system that is both stable and durable?  It's one thing to point out the inherent flaws in a particular system...  and I believe most of your criticisms regarding capitalism are well founded...  however, the human condition requires us to choose a system and our choices are not only few, but none have been successfully implemented in modern times with anything I consider to be stellar duration, among other considerations.

What do you propose to fill the gap?  To supplement or replace our presently flawed systems?  To rise above the human condition?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:41 | Link to Comment youngman
youngman's picture

When your goal is to become a third world country like Obama wants....then yes you will be working for less..and less....you have to compete with the rest of the world....sorry union folks..but you are to blame....John Deere just announced a new Engine Factory they are going to build....In China again.....sorry UAW..but you have priced yourselves out of a job...

Here is the funny....Obama thought that McDonalds 50,000 jobs with a million applying is a recovery....when in fact a recovery is when your have a million jobs available and only 50,000 show up...but what would a community orginizer know....

But hey...the USA made money on the AIG deal.....so did Goldman Sachs....lol..lots

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:42 | Link to Comment pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

So- if we reduce our standard of living to the level of the Chinese, then John Deer will build their engine factory here?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:47 | Link to Comment The Profit Prophet
The Profit Prophet's picture

BINGO!!!

The financial world is choosing riots and collapse all in the name of increased short term profits! And they pat themselves on the back and cut themselves bigger bonus checks for these decisions...

T.E.I.N. everyone!

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:46 | Link to Comment Thisson
Thisson's picture

All we would need to do is cut government expenses drastically, including eliminating all debt expense via default, and we would be competitive with China at a relatively high standard of living.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 13:02 | Link to Comment pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

That's it?  Just cut a little government and bingo, we're as competitive as China?  What you are really saying is lets cut government services so we can be a third world country like Mexico.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 13:18 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

the difference between us and Mexico is not caused by the level of government services, idiot.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:55 | Link to Comment pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

I also want to add - the UAW adds inefficiency to the market - much needed inefficiency.  Follow this - when companies can afford to pay their workers more (I concede that union workers in general are bankrupting their companies) then those same workers spend more (that's what workers do, if they saved, they'd be owners not workers) which creates growth.  This is the real argument for paying workers more.

You can't just have capital in the hands of owners, because the owners don't consume.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:48 | Link to Comment Thisson
Thisson's picture

No, that's ridiculous.  The actual solution is for the workers to work more than necessary so that they can purchase shares of the Company and obtain an ownership stake and dividends -- NOT for the workers to simply consume more and more and more.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 12:57 | Link to Comment pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Why would you want to double down on your future?  Nothing like having all your eggs in one basket.

What we really need is a banking system that awards savers.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:42 | Link to Comment Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

My boss once used to say:

"In times like this, the boss gets to be boss again"

A oversupply in the jobmarket makes it pretty ease to fire people and replace them with cheaper people he tought.

BOY WAS HE WRONG!

All the best people leaved once the economy picked up again and he had to replace them with people asking double WHICH had to be trained intensivly and LACKED any loyalty whatsoever.

In the end it costed him 10 times as much as he tought he could save.

Short therm greed always works, but bites you in the ass sooner than later.

Proffesional employees are the most expensive assets a company has. For the rest it's only buildings, office furniture and stocks that don't sell themselves.

 

 

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:41 | Link to Comment expectplannedevents
expectplannedevents's picture

reminds me of that book-From Good to Great...

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:39 | Link to Comment expectplannedevents
expectplannedevents's picture

...And that's Wages you Can Believe In!

...And there were no jobs...

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:40 | Link to Comment petridish
petridish's picture

I recently read that Japan's 20 year "economic stagnation" was politically difficult to reverse because THE JAPANESE PEOPLE WERE TOO COMFORTABLE AND SATISFIED.

Exactly what has the holy grail of exponentially growing GDP done for anyone but RATtner lately?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:43 | Link to Comment joemayo
joemayo's picture

"a crisis the private sector was unable and unwilling to solve."

 

Vomit.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:27 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Yeah no kidding.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:44 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Vomit because it's true?  

Why solve the problems of the world when I've already got all the casino, whores, and smack I can handle?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:46 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Sounds like you're advocating casinos, whores and smack. Must want to purchase it from somebody.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:03 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

We know the biggest drug dealers and sex traffickers around are the Banker-Gangsters whose boots you lick.  But that's not the point you were (sort of) making.

Bottom line:  Banker-Gangsters who rob, rape and pillage the world for a living lack the capacity to deal with the present situation.  A growth-based economy about ME, ME, ME is not sustainable when the world is finite.

That's pretty simple, but you're too wrapped up in yourself - and your brand new man-purse - to see it.  

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:11 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

I lick the boots of banker gangsters? haha Yeah ok. How precisely do I do that? I have zero bank investments and I never plan to have any. Your point? I barely have a checking account.

Banker-gangsters rob, rape and pillage can do so because the government is supposed to defend against those actions, but instead allows it to happen, and prevents everyone else from defending against it.

Brand new man purse? You're not even worth responding to.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:17 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

You're defending, in this thread, the idea that White Capital can solve the problems we now face.

I think that's stupid and illogical given reality.  You evidently don't, but refuse to explain why.  I take this to mean you simply have FAITH in the Banker-Gangsters who run the system of White Capital.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:23 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

"White Capital"? Is this somehow similar to "white power"?

Considering as a trader you choose what you want to support (unless a government forces you to purchase something).

If you don't like what they offer you don't fucking buy it. If you don't want to work for their shit companies start your own business and compete. Our major problem is we have too many fucking lemmings unwilling to do shit themselves.

They bitch about the boss exploiting them but force somebody to be their boss.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:28 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

Nobody gives a fuck what you buy.  Nobody cares what your man-purse looks like.

White Capital has failed miserably to organize society in a way that provides for everyone's needs, because the only thing that matters to White Capital is PROFIT! 

My profit, My money, My man-purse.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 13:17 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

horseshit.

What are the NEEDS of nonwhites?

Let's let Black Capital drag us back to huts and river blindness.  No thanks.

The banking oligarchs aren't white, genius.  Wrong ethnicity if you meant europeans.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:52 | Link to Comment I did it by Occident
I did it by Occident's picture

more like "government meddling creates regulatory and tax outlook uncertainty, so the private sector takes the wait-and-see approach before hiring/re-investing which creates a self-fulfilling unemployment cycle"

 

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:24 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

You act like White Capital dislikes government meddling!   What a laugh!

Who profits from the instruments of death, bought by Uncle Sam, targeting Black and Brown people with drone strikes and depleted uranium weapons?

Do you seriously think White Capital dislikes subsidies and corporate welfare?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 13:24 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

maybe you should ask Farrakhan who was behind the slave trade if you're so concerned with brown people.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:46 | Link to Comment The Profit Prophet
The Profit Prophet's picture

Greed.....Greed.....Greed....

Nothing has changed...Nothing will change.

T.E.I.N. everyone!

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:44 | Link to Comment McMia
McMia's picture

At some level, corporate executives are aware that they are lowering workers' living standards, but their decisions are neither coordinated nor intentionally harmful.

I couldn't disagree with this more.

For 30 years now the official policies of America's corporate and politcal leadership has had American workers competeing directly with workers that make 3-5 dollars a day.

The policy of lowering American wages is very much deliberate and it has now reached the end game and wages are quickly sinking to third world levels.

Welcome to the new America; billionaires and proles...

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:00 | Link to Comment mophead
mophead's picture

"The stimulus provided relief, but it was too small and did not focus on job creation."

Crap. I knew something was funny about this article. So we're trying to justify more stimulus? Got it. But I disagree.

"President Roosevelt created an alphabet soup of institutions - the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) - to directly relieve the unemployment problem, a crisis the private sector was unable and unwilling to solve."

The private sector wasn't able to solve it because the public sector kept interfering.

"Labor-market deregulation boils down to three things: weak unions, weak worker protection laws and weak overall employment."

Let's see, life guards making $200-fking-thousand in LA. Firefighters buying planes so they can vacation out of state during the weekends in OC. And you think we need more of this?

"In addition to protecting wages and benefits, unions also protect jobs."

Actually, unions are a major cause of low wages and high unemployment. Unions essentially drive up the cost of doing business (through extortion and coercion), price themselves out of the market while wrecking the companies they work for, then they get bailed out (in the case of GM) by private citizens, everyone is made poorer, and the solution is... even more unions? Don't think.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:34 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

The article makes sense when you don't think about it. I think once I hit the "stimulus provided relief" statement I said what the hell am I reading? Absolute Marxist garbage.

Is it really so fucking hard to understand that the reason why "America became so great" is that the productive countries around the ENTIRE FUCKING WORLD were devestated after WW2 and we had an UTTER MONOPOLY on everything? Competition drives down prices anywhere and everywhere. Competition increased as other countries got their shit together. Unions have gone almost completely extinct because its quite clear that those level of wages (compartively across the markets) are not sustainable. Look where union labor currently exists. Ones that have only somewhat recently (last couple of decades) started to become competative fields, such as airplanes, and ones where balancing the budgets haven't mattered.

Arguments for unions are fucking stupid. Stop buying so much bullshit consumer goods and live within your means. Funny the CEO's and these "big businesses" won't last that much longer without buyers.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:58 | Link to Comment Dburn
Dburn's picture

Ideological nonsense. While Unions were never the perfect answer, they were the ONLY entities who represented the middle class in DC where most of the toxic trade policy originated after the unions were weakened by Nixon and Reagen Democrats who took their wages for granted and bought the GOP values bullshit. The result, labor arbitrage.

It's also instructive to listen to assholes that pick out the few abuses of the working class but fail to mention the CEOs who make 100s of millions , sometimes in a year. Who has the worst impact; 14 Life Guards in OC with average wage and benefit packages that total way under 2 Million, or one CEO who makes 100 million, pays minimal taxes if any, and outsources the jobs from skilled to unskilled to the lowest paying country and gives away the company's trade secrets knowing that whatever shit it causes will fall on his successors heads.

If Unions bankrupted companies whose fault is it? Management is there to protect the interests of the shareholders. WTF were they doing when unions "bankrupted" their companies? Just like the C-Suite, the Unions negotiated the best deal for their workers they could get out of management. If management didn't have such low credibility they could have avoided strikes. But management was more interested in getting the stock price back up through labor troubles and manufacturing products with planned obsolescence so consumers would see their two year old big ticket purchase melt down.

No data supports the notion that unions bankrupting companies. There is plenty of data that shows the Japanese kicking ass from day one by giving Americans what they wanted at a price they could afford while American management , blissfully ignorant, kept ordering design departments to keep the industrial and consumer designs ugly and worthless.

It's also instructive to note that Japanese Car Companies that produce the bulk of their sales in Japan have unionized workforces. Somehow they managed to get along. Maybe because Japanese CEOs tend to resign if they lose money and don't have their hands out in a greedy reach for obscene amounts of money from companies that they don't have any equity in. The perfect examples are: the Rick Wagoners and Jeff Immelts of the world who lose 10s of billions in one year and not only do they stay on , they take home multi-million dollar paychecks.

Who is more dangerous? 14 OC lifeguards or one CEO who fails upwards to wealth that is worth many many times the 14 lifeguards in total and outsources 10s of thousands of jobs to produce profit out of thin air? Blaming the country's ills on the unions is is not viable anymore as they are and have been the weakest they have been starting in the 1980s. It's just a worn out conservative talking point.

One is also reminded that in the preamble to the Constitution, the Phrase "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect UNION, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." . The forefathers knew that all the colonies had to be represented as one since their is strength in numbers and organization and no strength in divided and weak groups of people. "Unions being the cause of all ills" is a tired 1970s talking point that GOPers need to can and come up with another group to blame to cover for GOPers who hate the United States so much. Oh yeah, now it's the fruitpickers. Ya see? Move on idiot.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 13:24 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

you act like it is just the OC lifeguards.  ALL across the government spectrum, people are vastly overpaid.  This is but one example of absurdity.

Government is the one entity that has the power to set its price. 

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:48 | Link to Comment serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

Private security contractors (i.e., bodyguards) are going to become a growth industry as more of these "super rich" require enhanced levels of protection from the pissed-off masses.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:59 | Link to Comment Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

They should have quite the pool of war criminals to choose from after all those mercs are done fighting unemployment and draining the treasury in Afghanistan.

 

Support the troops, loot the doops!

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:06 | Link to Comment serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

Indeed.

Perhaps there will be a new national holiday declared. They can call it "Take a Bullet for your Boss Day".

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:52 | Link to Comment Catullus
Catullus's picture

Populist, socialist drivel.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:43 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

"I like the status quo!  This system rocks.  Look at my new man-purse."

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:53 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Terrible article that attempts to foist the travails of unions on the people. 

Unions are another form of government- coercing workers to pay taxes (dues). They are incapable of keeping jobs, because they do not run the company. What they are effective at is keeping people unemployed. Because of a false sense of solidarity, workers will accept unemployment for the good of the other union workers that remain. When a lowering of wage rates would have allowed all to keep their jobs.

While it is true that the Bankers should have never been bailed out, but allowed to fail- this has nothing to do with employment. Business cycles in our Keynsian nightmare require reession/depression and a loss of jobs. Even in a free market, these cycles will exist to clear out malinvestment (though not as dramatic).

Further, government can only create jobs at costs well beyond their value, leaving the people to pay an exorbitant cost per job through increased taxation. Private industry must create jobs and that is done through being competitive in a marketplace. 

Being competitive in a marketplace is best achieved through the removal of government influence (including those bailouts, protection from having to fund pensions, etc). 

Allowing government to become so enormous it consumes much of the capital and investment available to create jobs is the major problem, but then, who would protect their favorite rich people?

You must create products and services that people want at a profit to create jobs. To the extent you allow this to happen, unemployment will disappear. This will always work at cross purposes to maintaining a government. 

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:17 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Unions have their place, if only to balance the tendencies of management to exploit labor beyond any reasonable means. Just look at the labor history of the US, it was not so long ago that a typically worker was all but an indentured serf. Look at the Company towns. Look at the conditions in the garment trade and mining industries.

   You are definately cognizant of the fact that given a chance there are no shortage of people that will take and demand whatever they want without any compunction or remorse. If it was not for the psycho-sociopaths, almost any political economic system would function.

If you are going to have an industrialized society, the three legs of government, labour and corporations must all be viable. Similar to the US constitution, it functions as a system of checks and balances. Germany is perhaps the best example of this. Labor and management have their differences, but ultimately they tend to work together in the knowledge that there is mutual benefit.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:45 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

This word exploit is absolute bullshit. Don't like the terms? Don't work there. Don't have a choice? Even that statement is complete nonsense. Everybody has a choice, the other options just might not be so rosy because your hand sucks. Thats life. Some people just can't accept that some people have less chips to bargin with than others and instead of improving their hand with their BRAIN (such as understanding the markets and retraining yourself into a useful skill, or starting your OWN small business) they have to use tactics of force like the government.

Nobody is forced to work for any business, not to mention BUYING THEIR SHITTY GOODS. Don't like the fact they're sending jobs to china? Don't buy their products. Who are they selling all of these cheap goods to? Not to the people making them and they sure as hell aren't buying them. (hint hint. us)

Your argument is for more people to consider themselves victims. "Woe is the workers plight. They can't protect themselves because they're just too stupid." Thats the Union's job right? Bullshit.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:55 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

  Umm... you obviously have no idea what you talking about. The corporate oligarchs would love to have the same working conditions here as in China.

Why don't you look up the definition of a company town and some case histories and get back to me....For that matter, look up what a work week was circa 1905 or so. Also check out the working conditions in the coal mining industry...

Do I think the Unions are guilty of excesses? Certainly, are those excesses comparable to the excesses of management? Not even close.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:14 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Sigh. You don't have to work or buy products from corporate oligarchs... How hard is that to understand. You give them the power and then bitch about it. Hypocritical much?

If you don't like the fact that you have to compete in life you might as well give up.

You're bitching about a work week. Well guess what, if there are other people willing to work longer and harder than you in life (i.e. are more competative than you) than dont' expect yourself to come out on top. So long as that exists you will not do better. Its really that simple. How hard is that to understand?

Edit: If you want to argue that competition in general in life leads to lower standards of living then that might be a more reasonable debate. This is a stupid one. Unions and "increased wages" comes at a cost to somebody. Its called the consumer. The consumer is you and I. Increased costs bring a lower buying power. Its really that simple.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:28 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Are you overlooking that ultimately the producers of wealth (at the labor level) are the consumers?

It is not only about increased wages...

If you are advocating meritocracy, you had better come up with a system where true merit is rewarded....

As an aside, you are aware that if you scale the median family income in ~1970 by the corresponding increase in GDP, the median would now be ~$110,000.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:11 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

You are aware the the United States has to live in a world significantly more advanced and competative than in the 1970s? The rest of the world is "trying to get theirs" as well. You can't assume the median income to some how remain the same.

I'll say it again since I have to say it all the time. Those who bitch about being exploited by management, demand to be managed. Hypocracy. Be your own manager.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:38 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I am my own manager....

No I don't expect median income to remain the same given the global forces,  ceteris paribus. But do you honestly think that the top 1-2% deserved all of the gains?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 13:29 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

that is what unions permit them to do.  They apply monopoly capitalist tactics onto the pricing of labor.

Don't like it?  DON'T HIRE THEM.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 13:26 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

how about fuck you?

How about work there and demand more money and get other people to play the game with you- the SAME GAME the capitalist plays.

You fucking bootlickers are all about different rules for the rich...

Unions aren't the government, you retard.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:53 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

No Flak, they don't.  Here's why: one, people can organize on their own and did so historically, until the union heads were coopted and agreed to be managed by government. Government rules on organizing, strikes, etc. This put the worker at a disadvantage.

Two, It was government use of force, used to back up industrialists, that allowed companies to break the early strike efforts. 

Three, prices are set by the market. They care not for unions or worker salary levels. If the cost to produce a product exceeds it's value, it will not be bought and the company will stop producing. This means unemployment.

Four, industrialized society needs neither government, unions or protected corporations. That is what produced the problem in the first place. Workers salaries have always risen and fallen based on demand. Study the changes wrought by the plague for example. 

The only way to "control" the socio-psychpaths is to eliminate the protections they receive from government. To eliminate the taxes that pay the debt the banks are so willing to provide through fractional reserve banking. Free markets instill fiscal discipline. Companies that pay outrageous salaries would fail competitively. Just as college cost has risen with the guarantee of student loans, every time the government interferes for "a good social reason" the market is distorted and a select group is capable of taking advantage.

Germany is in debt to their eyeballs, just like every central bank controlled western democracy. Just like every central bank raped third world country and just like every central bank controlled second world BRIC. What is the common denominator?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:15 | Link to Comment TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

Spoken better than me.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:18 | Link to Comment Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

What is the common denominator?

Spending money you don't have?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 14:10 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Central Banks.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:50 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I'll focus on your 4th point as the first three we are at the point of quibbling (e.g. socio-paths are not confined to any demographic...)

Four, industrialized society needs neither government, unions or protected corporations. That is what produced the problem in the first place. Workers salaries have always risen and fallen based on demand. Study the changes wrought by the plague for example.

 

So you advocate eliminating all three legs. So an unprotected corporation that has the ability and the wherewithal to achieve a monopolistic position is not going to pursue that course? What would stop them? Is that in the best interests of society? There are many "services" that have extraordinary barriers to entry.

  I am very familiar with the outcome of the plague, Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, is a great read. The labor that survived was in demand but they certainly could not exploit their new found position. It did help the Guild system emerge though. 

  I am only putting forth Germany as an example, not as a solution. From the latest Economist their deficit is 1.7% and they are running a current account surplus of 5.2% They must be doing something correct as they have import most of their resources, in particular all of their oil.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 14:10 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

In a free market, there is nothing wrong with a monopoly. I know this idea runs counter to all we have been taught. Still, once you make the distinction between a monopoly and a state sponsored monopoly- you should see the difference. A monopoloy is subject to the disciple of the market. If the price gets too high, it invites competition, substitutions or you can choose not to consume. If the price is low and no one enters the market- the consumer is getting a good deal, why would we need an additional supplier?

With government, that monopoly can buy protection through tariffs, duties and law that makes barriers to entry too high.

As for the plague, workers did exceptionally well. Prior to the plague, they would have to work the Lord's land for free, pay rents and work poor quality land. After, they negotiated positions where they worked their own land with a small rent only and the quality of the land was better as well.  Artisans and craftsmen had much higher wages. This time has been credited with providing the kind of wealth that allowed for the Renaissance.

( Gottfried, "The Black Death")

Germany is a hard working country that saves and invests. Still, their debts are substantial, especially their exposure to derivatives and sovereign loans- which are not included in your figures.

Finally, what is stopping them now? If a system is in failure, why would you continue to use it?

 

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 14:59 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You chose to ignore my comment about monopolies that have high barriers to entry. Unless there is some magic wand of the ilk of "The Invisible Hand" making monopolies benign then monopolies tend to not behave in the manner you describe.

  Lets review a few monopolies that have existed or currently exist. Start with utilities, many consumers have essentially no choice, they must pay the rate that power companies demand. Barriers to entry are extremely high and not everyone has the means to go off-grid. Do you think for a moment that any power company would not charge the maximum they could? Regulations currently limit their ability to raise rates. Cable is another wonderful example.

Do I need to bring up the business practices of J.D. Rockefeller and C. Vanderbilt? They are classic examples of what monopolies do in an unregulated environment. Was it good for the US, or did the US prosper despite their influence?

The case that you cite where the monopoly is underpricing its goods, sounds nice, till you realize that it is predicated on their incompetence. Monopolies rarely arise because it's management was incompetent.

I am agreement with you on the Black Death...but the transition was not rosy, recall the "fiat" laws put in place in France to control the freemen and their compensation. The status quo went down kicking and screaming so to speak.

Germany has problems, who does'nt. It was an example of where in an industrial society, the government, corporate management and the Unions have learned to co-exist. I am not defending Central Banking, nor the practices of German banks. But I will say that Germany does have a better chance of sorting out those problems than most countries.

One thing that has not been raised in the anarchist vs. the rest of the political economy is under what conditions could an anarchy survive. It may well be possible in an Agrarian society where the vast majority are self sufficent. Unfortunately, western civilization left that path a while back, but who knows, Peak oil might bring about the conditions for it to re-emerge.

Since I am familiar with your background, I cannot help but feel that your situation biases your view. Fair enough, we are all guilty of that, the trick is to acquire as many view points as possible and through that kalideoscope temper the various patterns and textures to synthesize a viable balance.

 

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 15:20 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Didn't ignore it at all. Why are there high barriers to entry? Utilities are government sponsored monopolies. They grew from government protection. If people were allowed to generate power and sell it, the barriers would not be high, but the government has created a barrier through laws.

Rockefeller and Vanderbilt benefitted from government intervention and protection. Railroads were gifted with land and right of ways by government.

Further, if a company decides to keep a low price to keep out competition- it is not necessarily incompetence. A successful business model can be built upon smaller profits and large market share- unless you haven't seen a Walmart.

Anarchy can survive under a free market, private property system. It can be agrarian, high tech, industrial or any other combination. It would NOT be a utopia. It would merely be better than what we have now. Isn't that what it is all about? 

You are attempting to defend a failed system. A system that has scuttled it's Constitution in favor of debt slavery and crony capitalism. How can you honestly defend that? Because you are afraid of change? 

I have looked at every system I can find. You don't have to look at tribal societies only. The Pennslyvania colony and, in fact, most Quaker colonies were excellent examples of free market systems- without central government. The key is organization with decentralization- power based on the individual and diminishing as organization grows.

 

 

 

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 16:05 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Utilities are very expensive, look at the fixed costs for an NG or coal plant. Let's consider someone that is capable of feeding into the grid a reasonable amount of Kw-H. A monopoly might say: Ok, here is the price I pay you, if don't like it, build your own grid and distribution.

I will respectfully beg to differ with you. You are being blinded by the same idealism that captivated members of the hard left. Communism was a jolly good read, but it ain't practical.

Quaker Pennsylvania was essentially an agrarian society where the means of self-sufficiency were met.

I will not call you out on bringing up Walmart, I really don't think you wanted to use that as a example of a benign monopoly. I don't think you are that naive.

 

Good exchange... time to move on.

 

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 16:57 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

You still haven't responded to how government created those barriers. Including that grid. 

Please don't insult me with comparisons to the hard left or communism. I have never advocated either. Your disingenious with those remarks. whether the Quakers were agrarian or not is immaterial. Anarcho-capitalism will work in any type of economy. Your unwillingness to show how, short of not having an example is a lazy support for the staus quo. 

Please call me out on Walmart. Is it not a business model built on those standards? Is it not successful? Does the consumer prefer it over a more competitive model with higher prices? 

I always enjoy the exchange. By the way, very wet here and if this keeps up, there will be the need to replant crops. It is saturated. Some people have still been unable to plant and bottom lands are a mess. The season's rain picture is setting up to not be as dry as originally forecast, so once the crops get in the ground and if they survive this spring and if the excess moisture doesn't cause problems with mold and mildew- it could be a banner year. 

See ya.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 17:08 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Good luck with crops... seriously.

Re: The grid, that is a historical construct, only now can we even imagine what it might be to be grid free....

I look at systems, and it more instructive to figure out how they can fail, it is easy to see how things can suceed. I think you are well motivated but are too idealistic. No, I did not infer you had sympathies with the Left, only that your fervant belief in anarchism is reminiscent of the love-affair with communism that the intellectual left had in the 20's and 30's.... Smart people can get duped.

Walmart has simply become wage-energy arbitrage. The early Sam Walton model was a good one, but what Walmart morphed into is a different thing.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 14:51 | Link to Comment trav7777
trav7777's picture

cohesive societies can operate under whatever model they want.

Nothing "makes" the scandinavians pay their UN parking tickets whereas the african nations won't.  They do it because that's how they are.

Should be surprised when whatever societal model they choose seems to succeed?  They are a successful, homogeneous, cohesive people.

Look at Japan, too.  From ashes to #2 GDP in the world in less than 50 years. 

Behavior dictates outcomes.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:47 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

DAMN those workers and their stinking collective bargaining.  Where are the fucking Pinkertons when you need them?

Fucking garbage collectors and bus drivers got us into this mess, and now they're going to get us out.  Austerity for EVERYONE*!

The Banker-Gangsters shouldn't have to fight so hard to drive down wages to the sweatshop bottom.  Look at how oppressed those poor Banker-Gangsters are!

-----

* "Everyone" does not include Banker-Gangsters using Welfare Checks at the casino.  They're sacrosanct, because they are me and I'm REALLY important.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 08:53 | Link to Comment Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"the Obama administration never supported a concrete employment plan"

You mean like building roads?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:11 | Link to Comment breezer1
breezer1's picture

theres going to be lots of unemployed 'private contractors' soon enough.

jean creten , of canada pm fame was told that it might be better to offer many $ one million dollar prizes than one large payout on the first national lottery many years ago. his response was, "no that would be crazy, we can't get anyone to work as it is".

as for canada's gdp, you have to look at the role of super inflated housing numbers as the direct result of free mortgages with 35-40 year amorts with actual cash back with nothing down and liar loans encouraged in the contractor classes. look out below.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:14 | Link to Comment Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Are you sure Krugman didn't write this load of manure?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:22 | Link to Comment Hannibal
Hannibal's picture

Fuck working for the plantation masters. Working for yourself is key.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:42 | Link to Comment samsara
samsara's picture

Ain't gonna work on Maggie's Farm No More?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:43 | Link to Comment pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

Working for yourself is great, but it seems like the plantation masters have made it so only the healthy can afford to do it, because of the health care bubble.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:30 | Link to Comment rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

Someone with a better  economic background explain to me how high unemployment will be good in the long run.  There is going to be less $ in the economy in the long run and few people buying things which leads to even more job loss.

IMO they are destroying the future to make money now, and none of this will ever pain out long term.

Thoughts?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:44 | Link to Comment pan-the-ist
pan-the-ist's picture

To cull the species, there's too many living on the planet right now, mother earth can't support them.  The're doing God's work and they are all environmentalists.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:49 | Link to Comment samsara
samsara's picture

...will be good in the long run..

Key Phrase.  In Short,  They don't give a shit about the LONG RUN.   How are we doing THIS QUARTER is the only horizon that 90% use.

Long Run,  That is sooo Pre'80's.

Before the 80's (since the industrial Rev or before).  No upper management would do anything that would hurt the long term health of the company.  It was THEIR retirement !!!

But starting about the 80's,   NO ONE believed that they would retire from the company they currently work for.  A couple years,  make a name, A reputation, Then Change jobs to a better position in another company. 

Suddenly the whole dynamic changed.  Starting with that Paradigm shift,  NO ONE worried about the "Long Term" health of the company.  The decision makers would be gone to a different company by then.  WHO CARES if they Tank. 

PROFITS up THIS quarter,  Leave in a couple of years before the effects of the short term decision hit.

THAT IS WHAT HAS CHANGED. 

 

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:35 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

 Very well stated.... It is all about skin in the game and accountability.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 11:36 | Link to Comment Doyle Hargraves
Doyle Hargraves's picture

In the long run, We are all Dead...BITCHEZ-John Maynard Keynes

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:52 | Link to Comment MadeOfQuarks
MadeOfQuarks's picture

Employment per se isn't really that big a deal, working for the sake of working isn't what you want. Production is the key to the wealth of the economy, and if that can be done without work, so much the better.

High employment has the effect of empowering the employed however, and without it the masters of money have no incentive to share.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:57 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Two Ups and a Down??

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:07 | Link to Comment MadeOfQuarks
MadeOfQuarks's picture

Heh, pretty much. The bottom line was employent isn't important for those in power since it's greatest contribution is the empowerent of the worker.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:55 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

You can turn the working masses against one another - make them fight one-another for jobs and hate one-another for the audacity of negotiating human rights into their contracts.

Just look at how organized labor is under attack from all directions:  divide and conquer, baby.  That's how White Capital works.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:04 | Link to Comment MadeOfQuarks
MadeOfQuarks's picture

Unfortunately organized labour is usually led by the same personalities that lead corporations and politics, but often even more stupid and corrupt.

If the workers succeed in organising themselves I think it would often be a good idea to start their own business, if possible. Companies consisting entirely of productive people who have ownership in the business is the way to go imo.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:20 | Link to Comment downwiththebanks
downwiththebanks's picture

I agree.  But White Capital has no problem with bought-off unions.  It likes them, in fact.  They give legitimacy to the corrupt Capitalist state by funding candidates and commanding labor in defense of the Profit Uber Alles system that has stolen working class wealth for decades. 

What White Capital HATES is the IDEA of collective bargaining.  So they want to obliterate it from the workers' consciousness.  There is no place for community, for family, or kinship in this economic system.  The cardinal virtue is a willingness to stab your grandmother in the back.

This dichotomy explains the Banker-Gangsters anti-worker propaganda that flows like a deluge on these pages:  attack the RIGHT to bargain collectively while ACTING like you're going after corrupt unions.  It usually begins, "I don't have a problem with the idea of unions ... " 

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 09:55 | Link to Comment rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

In other words, dead end road with cliff approaching fast.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:31 | Link to Comment Alex Kintner
Alex Kintner's picture

The IBM "Liquid Portal" model may be the wave of the future for tech/office workers and computer programmers. IBM posts a project description to their Liquid Portal site. Then anyone can program a solution and submit it to IBM. The best solution is selected and the submitter gets paid $50-$800 based on what IBM thinks it's worth.

Imagine spending 2 months coding a program and getting $800 lousy bucks. IBM also gets to fire more $100K salary workers as more and more projects get off loaded to the portal.

So much for the high tech jobs coming back to save the US economy.

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:36 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

 Nice.... where can I sign up?

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:48 | Link to Comment Alex Kintner
Alex Kintner's picture

Ha ha.

Hey sign up through this Indian contracting middleman. They will take an extra 10% commission off the top. If you're gonna get screwed, might as well go 'All in'.

http://www.rishabhsoft.com/ibm-liquid-player-candidate-faq

Wed, 05/25/2011 - 10:58 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Seriously, the worst of the systematic theft that has occured has been the oligarchs exploiting the intellectual capital of the mid-level employees and throwing a crumb or two at them...

I am very suprised that those defending a Randian view of the world are not outraged by this. Then again, in sauve qui peut world, this is standard operating procedure.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!