We are now going to get a lesson in harsh reality: all economic systems depend on a well-educated, well-fed and happy workforce. Unhappy workers revolt. Or commit suicide. Or do other damaging things. All states since the founding of Ur have struggled with this fact. The employment situation across the globe has been worsening. People can’t pay debts if they are unemployed. People who never get decent jobs don’t build families. 40% of the children born in the US in 2007 are out of wedlock. In Japan, children are simply not being birthed by a considerable part of the population.
Unemployed workers ages 45 and over form a disproportionate share of the hard-luck recession category, the long-term unemployed — those who have been out of work for six months or longer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
On average, laid-off workers in this age group were out of work 22.2 weeks in 2008, compared with 16.2 weeks for younger workers.
Even when they are finally able to land jobs, they typically experience a much steeper drop in earnings than their younger counterparts.
This is the very definition of a deflationary spiral: people lose jobs, they find it harder to find new jobs and then, the pay is worse and worse. This sort of death spiral is particularly bad, when the working populace is very deep in debt. As I keep noting, it isn’t the interest rates that matter all that much. It is the overhead principal in money owed that matters.
Of course, if one is paying only interest on principal, this leads to paying quadruple or more for purchases. For example, a house costs much more than its sales price and this amount grows with the length of the loan, not just the interest rate. So if people have 40 year mortgages rather than 20 year mortgages, they pay a much greater interest rate overhead compared to the purchase price of the house!
When these people lose their jobs and see their income stream collapse, they have to give it all up. It is impossible to service many loans that have longer and longer shelf lives. Credit card loans are forever. Usually, these are buried deep inside of the mortgage deals. That is, people refinance their houses and move previous purchases that have little or no resale value, onto their houses which is the main asset. So a trip to Vegas that costs $2,000 is transformed into a $40 a month interest payments for 4 years becomes a $1940 in interest costs on top of still owing the full $2000. Then the $2000 is folded into a 40 year debt! After 40 years, it ends up costing around $12,000 or more, depending on interest rate charges on the home refinancing.
Multiply this by over 100 million people and we get a financial catastrophe. But we know it is much, much worse. Whole fields of study and opportunities for work have been ruthlessly shut off by the outsourcing of high-level jobs. Over and over again, I hear talk about ‘retraining’ workers. Only, the problem isn’t one of lack of job skills. It is a problem of competition undermining local labor. That is, only people who live in distant lands with a lower cost of living, are hired to work as engineers, software designers, etc.
The question comes from one of dozens of engineers around a crowded conference table at Google. They have gathered to discuss how to build easy-to-use maps that could turn hundreds of millions of mobile phones into digital Sherpas — guiding travelers to businesses, restaurants and landmarks.
“His plane gets in at 9:30,” the group’s manager responds.
Google is based here in Silicon Valley. But Sanjay G. Mavinkurve, one of the key engineers on this project, is not.
Mr. Mavinkurve, a 28-year-old Indian immigrant who helped lay the foundation for Facebook while a student at Harvard, instead works out of a Google sales office in Toronto, a lone engineer among marketers.
He has a visa to work in the United States, but his wife, Samvita Padukone, also born in India, does not. So he moved to Canada….Immigrants like Mr. Mavinkurve are the lifeblood of Google and Silicon Valley, where half the engineers were born overseas, up from 10 percent in 1970. Google and other big companies say the Chinese, Indian, Russian and other immigrant technologists have transformed the industry, creating wealth and jobs….
What this NYT article wants us to believe is, if we don’t import all our major workers who are ‘innovators’ we will die. This is utterly infuriating. America has always let in immigrants but not out of the kindness of our hearts. This was done to drop wages and increase the number of workers in the new industrial state.
Foreigners come here to learn but they don’t get jobs here unless they accede to lower wages than if they are natives. So, Mr. Mavinkurve would have had zero job offers if he didn’t also have no citizenship. Employers like people who are not citizens because they have significant savings as well as the ability to fire or control the non-citizen worker.
Mr. Barrett blames a slouching education system that cannot be easily fixed, but he says a stopgap measure would be to let companies hire more foreign engineers.
I used to teach machine shop at RPI. About 2/3rds of the students were American born citizens. All loved the shop and working with physical stuff. Then, I moved over to the computer chip fabrication lab. Only one student was American. All the rest were not. Why was that?
Simple! If you got a job in that field, you had to leave America! The factories were no longer here. This change was swift: just 5 years earlier, the lab had many Americans who then worked for IBM which was headquartered in the Hudson Valley. Just last year, most IMB engineers and designers were terrified about impending layoffs. They are now unemployed.
“With a snap of the fingers, you can say, ‘I’m going to make it such that those smart kids — and as many of them as want to — can stay in the United States.’ They’re here today, they’re graduating today — and they’re going home today.”
One of our students worked for IBM. He ended up going to China all the time. Then, he left because it was too annoying. We can’t have ‘innovation’ here while all the factories are over there. This just does not work at all.
He is opposed by staunch foes of liberalized immigration and by advocates for American-born engineers.
“There are probably two billion people in the world who would like to live in California and work, but not everyone in the world can live here,” said Kim Berry, an engineer who operates a nonprofit advocacy group for American-born technologists. “There are plenty of Americans to do these jobs.”
Ruthlessly, step by step, US technological staff are being cornered, clipped and defanged. They never had a major union that could lobby to stop the mad ‘free trade/open borders’ game. Instead, they were politically fractured and many thought, if they danced with the financial wolves, they would be ruling elites, too, and not mere workers. This led to their destruction. They were and still are, mere cogs in a machine. Humble workers. And the sooner they figure this out, the quicker they will also figure out how to protect themselves.
The debate has only sharpened as the country’s economic downturn has deepened. Advocates for American-born workers are criticizing companies that lay off employees even as they retain engineers living here on visas. But the technology industry counters that innovations from highly skilled workers are central to American long-term growth.
The gnomes love to talk about innovation. But what they really mean is, scheming. They are too dense to realize, they are slitting their own throats. After all, why work for some US gnome who is a jerk when the Chinese or the Indians can work for themselves and also be our bosses? Duh! This is obvious. This is why we must rationally deal with this. If we continue to shove US workers off the cliff, the US will follow suit.
Con-way Inc. used to spend $500,000 a month on advertisements seeking drivers for its fleet of 2,950 long-haul trucks. Now, the company spends less than half that amount. For years, a shortage of drivers was the single biggest problem for the trucking industry. Con-way, J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. and other companies spent millions of dollars annually trying to attract applicants for a notoriously unappealing job that involves spending weeks on the road, sleeping in cramped cabs and showering at dirty truck stops. Annual driver turnover has routinely approached or exceeded 100%….
Instead of spending $500,000 a month on clean facilities and better care of the workforce, the main trucking industries worked long and hard to try to pass NAFTA laws that would allow them to flood the US with foreign truck drivers working at a quarter of US pay. Then, they would claim, US workers have no interest in truck driving!
Swift Transportation Co. Vice President David Berry said his company has a waiting list of qualified drivers for the first time in his memory. “We’re enjoying our newfound popularity,” he said. The sudden plethora of applicants is one of the few silver linings for an industry that has suffered amid huge drops in freight volumes in recent months.
Depressions are not all pain. The surviving employers get to pick and choose the best workers, provide the worst working conditions, drop the pay, eliminate holidays and rest times and in general, get to treat people very miserably, and quite profitably.
In 2008, more than 3,600 trucking companies went out of business, according to Donald Broughton, an industry analyst with Avondale Partners, an investment-banking firm. The result was that 137,650 trucks — roughly 7% of the industry’s capacity — vanished from U.S. roadways, he said. Thanks to the jump in applicants and drop in capacity, the turnover rate for the nation’s large long-haul carriers has dropped to roughly 65%, according to Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations. By comparison, the turnover rate in 2005 was 130%, he said. The rate has dropped in part because fewer jobs means less “churning” — drivers hopping from one company to another.
A huge number of older Teamsters fell for the Culture Wars ideology and their fear of gays, fear of women, fear of minorities and fear of hippies caused them to vote, en-mass, for people who hate US labor and who wanted to crush unions and weaken protections. And so here we are, years later, living in a nation that is quickly sliding down the pay scale, and the bosses are rubbing their hands with glee.
Warmongering also was a nifty tool for driving people into doing things that destroy them. The blue collar workers embraced this faux patriotism with all their hearts and souls even as the bosses flew in foreigners to be the new bosses and drove out all citizens from the hierarchy of the corporations. Now, we look around and marvel. What happened? In the US South, the super-flag wavers couldn’t wait to kill Detroit and work for Yokohama. They imagined their Japanese bosses would love them and protect them.
But look at Japan! This worker’s paradise is also now a worker’s hell! And it is our FUTURE. The Japanese plan to do to us, what they are doing to their own working class!
Within two months of losing his job packing shelves at a cold-storage company in Osaka, Toshiyuki Miki says, he was homeless. “Lehman Shock” turned his life upside down, he says.
Lacking the 60,000 yen ($600) a month he needs to pay rent, Miki, 40, sleeps in cardboard boxes under the elevated Hanshin expressway in Umeda, Osaka’s central business district. It’s his home as the global recession triggered by the implosion of Wall Street banks batters Japan. About 460,000 people have lost their jobs since the Sept. 15 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., according to government data….
Welcome to the new Third World. Japan is the world’s #2 economy and the condition of at least one third of the workforce has declined to the lowest levels of industrial societies. They live no better than the most destitute people in Darfur.
Yosano didn’t specify what help would be given to the lower-paid temporary or part-time workers. They accounted for 34.5 percent of Japan’s 55.3 million employed in September 2008 compared with 24 percent in 1999, official data show….
The sons of once-defeated Japanese warlords run modern Japan. It is no shock-u to see that they are reducing the peasants back to the hideous levels of pre-Mejii poverty. This is their world plan. They are NOT going to make things super-nice for us, we matter even less than their own subjects! We are aliens, after all!
Japan’s jobless rate will soar to a record of 5.7 percent by the end of March 2010 after reaching a three-year high of 4.4 percent in February, according to a Bloomberg survey of 11 economists. That’s the highest since 1953 when records began. Companies from Toyota Motor Corp. to Sony Corp. are firing thousands of workers and reducing output as Japan’s exports plunged a record 49.4 percent in February….
Job security is dying in the US, too. Unions are collapsing, not growing.
In 2004, then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi extended labor laws, allowing carmakers and other manufacturers to use more lower-paid temporary workers and for longer periods. That helped employers cut production costs because they could hire and fire to meet demand.
The US South loves these sort of labor laws. The use of ‘temporary’ workers doing the same jobs as ‘regular’ workers leads to workplace disunion and the lucky workers then cling to the bosses even as up to half of the staff are treated like scum. We have been instituting this exact same system here! The union workers either retire early, are bought out or will fade away, fast.
“The labor laws switched the burden for supporting Japan’s workforce from the companies to the government,” said Wataru Kishi, in charge of welfare assistance at Osaka’s city government. “The issue is whether the government can provide the support or the entire system will collapse.”
Like here, the government won’t protect the workers. When things get bad, the government reduces support. The only thing that prevents our government from totally dumping us into the gutter is simple fear. In Japan, the populace has fallen into a suicidal stupor. They have basically given up all hope for any future at all.
Another aspect is how they are dropping their males into the pit. The females live together: mother, daughter and grandmother. This is because they share domestic chores and are sympathetic with each other. The males refused to change to the new system and wanted one where they had no domestic responsibilities. So basically, the women have kicked them all out. And they still can’t figure this out. It is all very sad, indeed.
Below is an ad from a Camden, New Jersey newspaper during the Great Depression:
NON-PARTISAN LEAGUE TO REORGANIZE HERE
The Camden County Committee of Labor’s Non-Partisan League of New Jersey will be reorganized today at 11. a.m. at a meeting of delegates from C.I.O., A.F. of L., and Workers Alliance Units at 504 Broadway.
Sponsored by the provisional state executive committee of the league, elected at the last convention to work for establishment of a labor party in New Jersey, the meeting here is one of a series throughout the state. Leo Perlis, state organizer, will attend.
Officers and committees will be elected and the question of establishing a city committee for Camden will be discussed.
Arrangements are in charge of William C. Pommerer, first state vice president, and Nicholas Marinella and Joseph G. Mitton, executive board members.
This is what Japan’s Miti fears! This is what our own rulers are terrified, we might do: organize. Time and again, when workers threaten to form real labor parties, the elites try to buy them off. This includes, even allowing workers to see improvements in pay and working conditions. But after Reagan, thanks to the idiotic culture wars, this was totally unnecessary. And so the condition of workers has been totally wrecked and is getting worse and worse not better.
By the way, to show how prices can fall, fast, here are some shoe ads from the same paper:
NJ shoe ad from 1927:
Similar ad in same newspaper, 1936:
Low prices are meaningless if wages fall. And even more meaningless when there are no wages at all, just beggars. If the world’s #2 economy, one that is led by men who are now taking over huge hunks of US industry, if they like a 35% part time workforce that has no homes, no hope, no children and no savings, this is what WE will get, too. Time to wake up from dreams of future innovation and get to work, fixing what shouldn’t have broken in the first place.
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