We received surprising job numbers last Friday. The unemployment rate dipped to 7.7%. The economy hired 236,000 workers last month. I will continue to argue that we have to do better. Over 9 million Americans are still out of work. We need to create 9 million jobs just to get back to where we were in 2007. These jobs numbers are good, but we need better. Also, this jobs report comes out before the cuts of the sequester. I suspect, over the coming months, these jobs numbers will begin to fall.
Just a couple days ago the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a new high. Remember as you’re reading this that Republicans have told us that Obama is bad for Wall Street and bad for business. (Psst, corporate profits are up.)
Washington, like a punch drunk fighter, keeps swinging at the wrong target. Deficits are not the problem. The problem is a lack of jobs. The problem is a stagnant wage. The biggest problem in the United States is the fact that the middle class is drowning in quicksand. They are simply not getting ahead. Until we fix this problem, America is going to be stagnant. (more…)
Elizabeth Warren is running for Senate in Massachusetts. I simply love Elizabeth Warren. The professor is smart. She’s thoughtful. The biggest question I have about her candidacy is whether she can be tough in the trenches. Politics is a tough business. Will she be able to throw elbows when necessary? From time to time on this blog, I will endorse a candidate who I feel will represent the American people and fight for the middle class. My endorsement comes with more than simply lip service. I am sending a cash donation to her campaign – today.
Creating jobs is key to our recovery. I simply don’t understand how giving corporations, already fat with corporate profits, more tax breaks is going to give them incentive to create jobs. I think it is clear that many of these corporations have created jobs overseas but have not done so here in the US. Gov. Rick Perry has been touting his record for job creation. Unfortunately, he’s creating a bunch of minimum wage jobs. A review of the data reveals that he has doubled the number of minimum wage and low-wage workers (making less than minimum wage) since 2007. We need to create quality, living wage jobs.
The American Society of Pediatrics releases a statement which corrects the false and misleading statements that come out of the mouth of Michele Bachmann. While there is so much misinformation coming out of the Republican debates, Michele Bachmann seems to lead the charge. Her recent statement that the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine causes mental retardation is simply a scare tactic. There are no data in the literature to support this. None. There are lots of valid reasons for opposing a “mandatory” vaccine. Personally, I support the vaccine because it saves lives. This vaccine can potentially save over 4000 women a year from dying from cervical cancer.
One of the things that I found most interesting about us Americans is that we can hold diametrically opposite views at the same time. We can go to church on Sunday and we can read the Bible. We can believe that we are our brother’s keeper. We can believe in recycled passage that we should love our brother as ourselves. Yet, we can somehow also believe that a person dying on a ventilator without medical insurance who has a treatable disease should be unplugged. I don’t get it. Yet Tea Party supporters actually shouted during a recent CNN debate, “Let him die.” Ironically, one of Ron Paul’s chief strategists Kent Snyder died recently. He was uninsured and broke. Ron Paul’s answer to health care reform is to let churches and charities chip in and help out. It sounds nice. But in actuality churches do not have the resources to support over 50 million Americans without health insurance. Kent Snyder’s friends have donated over $40,000 towards his $400,000 medical bill. This is an excellent example of how charity can and does fall short.
As soon as I saw that solar power company Solyndra went under, I knew that the sharks would be circling. The $535 million taxpayer loan is plenty of reason for us to question the wisdom of lending them money. Now, there is the finger pointing. Did the administration push the loan through without the “proper” review? I think that everything should be reviewed but that we must not lose sight of the purpose of government loans. The government needs to take big gambles in the name of the American people. We need to push the envelope. If business were going to support these long shots they would have already, but business is always going to lean toward safe and trendy.
Globalization sucks if you are most of America. On the other hand, if you can invest overseas in certain hot markets then you are making money hand over fist. If you are a large corporation and can play the labor arbitrage game then globalization is a bonanza.
Jobs for low-skilled workers in manufacturing, and new investments in large swaths of industry, have been lost to international competition. … The path to recovery now lies … in … upgraded skills, increased exports and public investments in infrastructure and low-carbon energy. …
The simple fact is that globalization has not only hit the unskilled hard but has also proved a bonanza for the global super-rich. They have been able to invest in new and highly profitable projects in emerging economies. Meanwhile…, they have been able to convince their home governments to cut tax rates … in the name of global tax competition. … In the end the poor are doubly hit, first by global market forces, then by the ability of the rich to park money at low taxes in hideaways around the world.
An improved fiscal policy in the transatlantic economies would therefore be based on three realities. First, it would expand investments in human and infrastructure capital. Second, it would cut wasteful spending, for instance in misguided military engagements in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Third, it would balance budgets in the medium term, in no small part through tax increases on high personal incomes and international corporate profits that are shielded by loopholes and overseas tax havens. …
Export-led growth is the other under-explored channel of recovery. Part of this must be earned through better skills and technologies – another reason not to cut education. …
Sadly, these global economic currents will continue to claim jobs and drain capital until there is a revival of bold, concerted leadership. …
By ecthompsonmd|2011-08-17T21:45:07-04:00August 17th, 2011|Economy|Comments Off on Globalization – hurts so good