The Jobless "Solution"?

About the Proposed Job Solutions

Other than the manufacturing jobs, which were lost over a decade ago, the model for American jobs was not established on a solid economic foundation to begin with.  There was no reason, nor call for service sector jobs to be a full 40% of the job market.  call centers and consulting, was never a NEEDED niche, to base an economy on.  Neither one generates any real revenue for the country.  It is not something you can package, pass around and keep generating income from, like sugar, pork bellies or a circuit board.

Until such time as someone admits that the model is broken, there never will be recovery.

And, of course the rich and wealthy and upper middle class have no compassion / understanding of the job loss.  Nearly 90% of the jobs lost in America were all entry level and or low paying jobs.  What is really getting everyone’s goat, and has become a huge backlash to all this, the question of illegal immigrants taking low paying and or entry level jobs is now in the sniper scopes of all of the state treasurers.  The issue can no longer be ignored.

With this in mind, several states are now trying to pass / discuss an immigration policy to uphold enforcement of the immigration laws a la Arizona.  So all the people gnashing their teeth and clawing their hair out over that state, need look no further than their own state capital to see the same legislation come to roost.

The problem really cannot be ignored.  And, it is a definite solution to the jobless  problem.  Illegal immigrants take the low paying / entry level jobs; pay no taxes; AND to add injury to insult – send a whopping 80% of the income back home to Mexico, making it the 3rd base of Mexican GDP.  Those figures cannot be ignored any longer in this economic debacle.

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Are Unions Evil

Are Unions Evil

Look around any media source, the newspaper, magazines, t.v. or the internet, and you’ll see a slew of examples of how unions are evil and corrupt and unnecessary.  But, in every instance, none of the sources of information about these “evil” unions are ever very scientific in their analysis, nor present any evidence of consequence that directly support or refute their argument.  The only thing you get is a lot of rhetoric and “feelings”.

Time and again you get anecdotal evidence that a particular union member or non-union member felt bad about the union in question.  You get evidence of a female nurturing nature, i.e. feelings.  For example: one man expounds how his union was evil because it was not able to bargain for wages, due to unforeseen outside circumstances which conspired against his union.  However, upon a cursory glance, you would note that he was a public servant and their wages were set by law.  He also threw out any evidence which showed how his union actually made his life much better and what they were able to bargain for.

On a side note, my personal feelings are that public servants should not have unions.  Public service should never be able to approach the wages and benefits of the private sector.  The current public system is upside down when working off of tax payer dollars generates more income than the private sector which has to actually work for its dollars.  We should discourage people working for the public sector, not encourage it.

Private labor unions are always seen as evil, because corporate America is always pointing out obscure instances where a union did something untoward.  They leave out such gems of information like:

  • the 16 hour work day, 
  • unpaid leave, 
  • unpaid hour increases, 
  • the era of no minimum wage, 
  • no benefits of any sort, 
  • shooting workers in the face that tried to organize
  • firing at will, regardless of years served on the job
  • no retirement plan whatsoever

The problem most of Americans have understanding the wage issue is that they simply jump on the bandwagon when they say “oh look at their salaries”.  Pure and simple, EVERYONE else is UNDERPAID. The depreciation of the dollar has driven down wages de facto for about a century. Then, if privately run unions do not wish to take it lying down and fight to have a competitive wage, vs dollar depreciation, it is not the union that is “evil”, it is our federal government, stupidly borrowing from the federal reserve bank, at interest.

Don’t point to the unions as a source of consternation, point to our own ignorant government for giving the federal reserve a hand out, i.e. borrowing from a private bank, at interest, when they could just as easily print their own currency.  However, it seems that every president that has tried to coin his own money has wound up dead. 

Noone can gainsay that labor union members, who normally represent skilled labor industries, do not actually work at very hard jobs.  Besides, when the dust settles, you’ll all come to the same realization: confidence in a fiat currency is misplaced, the only measure of true wealth in this day and age are assets and cash flow. And,  a job is not an asset, nor is it cash flow.

What is amazing is that people make the argument that unions, somehow, make inflation.  This has to be the most heinous pile of fish corpse ever put forward as an argument against a union.  Inflation is not simply rising prices.  It amazes me that so many Americans have no concept of what inflation actually is.  None of them ask the very simple question of why do prices rise?  There is one answer and only one answer as to why prices rise.  No other factor contributes to a fluctuation in prices.  Prices rise when the value of the dollar falls.  That being said, the next obvious question comes up.  There is no other way that the value of the dollar can fall except for one reason and one reason alone.  The value of the dollar falls, in realistic terms and not theoretical terms, due to a flooding of more dollars into the economy, i.e. money printing without value being added to it.  Who is guilty of this printing?  In a simple word, Congress.  A more precise explanation of why money is being printed is that the privately owned, federal reserve bank, which started in 1913, lends money to Congress at interest.  The interest is the handout that was mentioned above.  There is no reason Congress needs to borrow money at interest.  Congress has the power to coin its own money.  It is this interest that is bankrupting the country.  In any event, this process of money printing is what causes inflation, not unions.  Unions have nothing to do with inflation.

Finally, about high wages.  Union wages are not high.  The value of the dollar is continually being devalued on a daily basis, and has been for nearly a century with the advent of Congress borrowing money from the privately owned, federal reserve bank.  When the value of the dollar decreases, wages are automatically lowered.  You cannot then say that unions, who bargain to commensurately stabilize wages versus the value of the dollar, are somehow asking for something more than what is owed to them.

For example: if you were earning $10.00 an hour and the dollar fell by 10%, you should be making 10% more to compensate for that fall.

By 1929, the not-really-federal reserve had stolen away 42.1% of the dollar’s purchasing power.  By 1950, that amount had swelled to where 58.9% of the dollars purchasing power had been stolen.  Even more importantly, thanks to Keynesian doubletalk, the American public had the “Big Lie” about inflation deeply seated in both textbooks and popular media.

The Big Lie is that prices go up.  They don’t.  The purchasing power of your dollars goes DOWN.

By 1975, the dilution of purchasing power had sucked 81.6% of the dollar’s purchasing power away – meaning that something which cost $1 in 1913 when the banksters took over (along with their free lunch/deficit spending pals in congress) was up to $5.43.

Then things got worse.

By 2000 the dollar’s purchasing power was diluted 94.25% from where it started in 1913.  What had cost a single dollar then was up to $17.39.

This morning, if we assume 5% inflation for 2009 year-to-date, what cost a single dollar in 1913 is up to $22.61.  The dollar is buying 4.42% of what it did in 1913, or more clearly its purchasing power has dropped 95.57%

Lastly, people get exchange rate confused with inflation.  It is very easy to understand.  Exchange rate is the dollar versus another fiat currency.   Inflation is an internal measure of buying power inside our own country.  Today’s dollar is worth 2 cents versus the dollar in 1913, the year the privately owned federal reserve bank was created.

So, if a union member makes $30.00 an hour, let’s compare that to the 1913 wage – ¢ 60 an hour.  Now for those of you who happen to not do research of wages back then, I’ll enlighten you.  A hotel porter in 1919 made ¢50 an hour.  So an autoworker making ¢60 an hour is actually less than what he should be making.  Surely an autoworker should make more than a hotel porter.  One builds a car, the other one carries luggage.  Just an interesting side note though.  The work week in 1919 was considered to be 60 hours a week.  That was an average work week in America.  And, that was considered being a really decent employer.  I believe a lot of thanks is owed to unions for the things we all now take for granted.

How many salaried workers suffer from a lack of being able to b ea part of a union and have miserable working conditions this very day: uncompensated extra work hours; no commensurate benefit appreciation for extra hours worked; uncompensated home work.  The list goes on.  So while we’re all crying for the corporation, let’s keep things in real perspective.  The average American worker today, outside of a union, makes less in wages than a hotel porter did in 1919, when accounting for the depreciation of the dollar.  You must take the depreciation of the dollar into account.  You cannot say you have a better standard of living these days without comparing it to something.  The only thing you can compare it to is the past.  Evidently the cost of living today is well above the means of the average worker.

Are unions evil?  I think I pointed out who is actually evil.

So for all of those crying that union workers make too much money, do some math before your little brain bursts and the corporate shills tell you what to think.

The reality is 90% of Americans are UNDERPAID.  Go ahead and multiply your hourly wage [or convert your salary to hourly] and then multiply it by 2 cents, i.e. 0.02.  Then compare your wage to the hotel porter’s meager 50¢ and see how you fair.

These are real numbers, not “feelings”.  “Oh I feel unions are evil.”  What do the numbers say?  I think if every American did the math they’d be mad as hell at their wages.

“We’re the most prosperous nation on the planet” I always ask, “are we?”  By who’s calculation, are we the most prosperous nation?  You’ve been had, hoodwinked, bamboozled, run amuck.

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Greece In Trouble with Bailouts and Its Generous Pension Plan

Germans Irate, Greek Pension Plan Better than Theirs

Greek Employment Minister Andreas Loverdos

After German citizens saw that the Greek pension plan is much more generous than their own,  German retirement age is being raised to 67, while Greek men currently retire at 65 and women at 60, it helped fuel widespread opposition among Germans to footing the bill for Greece’s rescue, in which Berlin will pay the biggest national share

For its part Greece is trying to renegotiate the terms of the pension reform required under the terms of an economic rescue deal agreed this month with the EU and the IMF, senior government officials said. Officials said they wanted the EU and IMF to agree full pensions should be payable after 37 years of contributions instead of 40, as set out in the deal, and allow the reform to be implemented later than foreseen.  This will lower the payout of pensions.

“The (EU/IMF) memorandum will be implemented but I want to have the option to negotiate to the end,” Labor Minister Andreas Loverdos said in a television interview. “I’m fighting for this, I’m not saying I will win.”

The EU/IMF are using the pension reform as a benchmark for the country, any problems over this could raise doubts about the government’s resolve to carry out the harsh austerity programme.

Negotiation talks by the Labor Minister is seen as nothing more than a bluff since Greece must comply with the plan or risk their entire bailout.

The European Commission sent Greece a letter to remind it to stick to the terms of the deal regarding the pension reform.  Greece hopes that a study it will provide to visiting EU / IMF inspectors will help convince them to water down the terms of the deal, including implementing the pension reform fully in 2018 rather than 2015.

Greek Protests Heat Up as 3 Die From Police Beatings

“This is also an open issue, whether the new way of pension calculation will be implemented in 2015 or 2018,” said Deputy Labor Minister George Koutroumanis.  “We have specific arguments on why (it should be) in 2018 and not in 2015,” he said. “Of course it is not a problem for us to move it three years earlier but there are technical issues which we have to deal with.”

The draft pension bill allows retirees to draw a full pension after 37 years of contributions, three years less than set out in the bailout deal, but gives incentives for workers to work 40 years.

“We say yes to the age limit of 40 as mentioned in the memorandum and we respect it, but we somehow interpret it differently,” said Employment Minister Andreas Loverdos. “If it is not accepted, if the actuarial study does not convince, then we will adapt to the memorandum.”

The pension bill is expected to be submitted to parliament soon and be voted on this month. The socialist government has a comfortable parliamentary majority which should allow it to pass the bill easily.  But the main labor unions oppose the bill and have warned they will stage strikes this month to put pressure on the government.

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