MB360: Employment Engineering: Firing those who Work with Their Hands. Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate Jobs Protected by Bailout Structure. Other Sectors Dealing with Depression Trends.

www.mybudget360.com

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It is hard to imagine why Wall Street would cheer a 10.2 percent official unemployment rate since the stock market actually ended the day higher after this dismal news.  Since the start of the recession, 8 million people have lost their jobs.  A total of approximately 27 million people are unemployed, underemployed, or have given up looking for work.  All the talk of improvement got people out looking for work again and that is why the unemployment rate saw a big jump from 9.8 percent to 10.2 percent even though employers “only” cut 190,000 in October.  The data is deceptive for many reasons.  For one, long-term unemployment is a sign that many jobs will be lost forever.  The second more ominous point is that many sectors are experiencing mini-depressions.

All job cuts are not equal.  If we had to sum it up, paper pushing jobs in the financial sector seem more immune than good producing jobs.  Let us look at how the real employment situation is panning out:

SEE GRAPHS AT MYBUDGET360.com

Durable good manufacturing has fallen a stunning 18 percent since the recession started.  If we look at construction and durable goods, both sectors are experiencing depressions while the FIRE sector is experiencing a tiny recession.  And take this data point as a reference:

Durable goods and manufacturing:

December 2007 jobs:               8.728 million jobs

October 2009 jobs:                  7.121 million jobs

FIRE sector:

December 2007 jobs:               8.242 million jobs

October 2009 jobs:                  7.697 million jobs

This should tell you what is happening to many average Americans.  Only two years ago, the durable goods and manufacturing sector had 486,000 more jobs than the FIRE sector.  Now, the FIRE economy has done a role reversal and has 576,000 more jobs than the durable goods manufacturing sector!  Who are we really bailing out here?

Conclusion

Simply taking the employment report at face value is meaningless.  What is happening is the bailout structure is designed to prop up the primary industries that created the housing bubble.  Many of the FIRE jobs are over compensated Wall Street cronies who are using taxpayer dollars to gamble.  The real fact is many sectors of the American economy are in deep recession.  Unless you work for the government or the FIRE sector, chances are your industry is in a deep recession.  Then again, why else would the stock market be up by 60 percent since March?  It is easy to make money when you eliminate the biggest line item (employees) for short-term bottom line gains for those in the FIRE economy since your job is subsidized by the taxpayer.

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THE RICH? THEY GET ELECTED

http://www.truthdig.com
Posted on Nov 7, 2009

A day after it was announced that the U.S. unemployment rate had hit the double-digit mark, a report was released showing that nearly half of the members of Congress are millionaires, seriously questioning the notion that our lawmakers identify with “we the people.”

Hilariously enough, four of the top five richest lawmakers in Congress are Democrats. —JCL

Politico.com:

Talk about bad timing.

As Washington reels from the news of 10.2 percent unemployment, the Center for Responsive Politics is out with a new report describing the wealth of members of Congress.

Among the highlights: Two-hundred-and-thirty-seven members of Congress are millionaires. That’s 44 percent of the body – compared to about 1 percent of Americans overall.

CRP says California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa is the richest lawmaker on Capitol Hill, with a net worth estimated at about $251 million. Next in line: Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), worth about $244.7 million; Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), worth about $214.5 million; Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), worth about $209.7 million; and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), worth about $208.8 million.

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The United States of Plutocracy

Posted on Sep 8, 2009
By William Pfaff

The United States has for practical purposes been a plutocracy for some years now. American national elections usually function more or less correctly, except that they have become all but completely dominated by money.

The contributors of money to Senate and House campaigns are dominated by the source of that money, and the source of the money is the United States government, which directs it to them as a result of the contracts awarded to them by the House and Senate members whose election they support. The process is circular.

It would be cheaper for all concerned if business were directly to pay senators and representatives and eliminate the middlemen, the parasites who live on the surplus money in this system, paid for their ability to persuade both sellers and buyers (so to speak) that they are providing a service by facilitating the bargain. Elections now cannot take place without them.

There would seem to be two steps by which this rot has taken hold.

The first is change in the legislation originally concerned with the use by broadcasters of the airwaves, a public resource. In 1934 the Federal Communications Commission was established with authority over broadcasts. Being a politically balanced body, it decreed that the public service obligation of the broadcaster included the responsibility to provide balanced information. (The Fox News claim to be “fair and balanced” is a sneering reference to this, no doubt unintentional.)

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The New American Plutocracy

by Paul Kurtz
The following article is from Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 20, Number 4.

Plutocracy: (1) government by the wealthy, (2) a controlling class of the wealthy. From the Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos, wealth, and kratia, advocate of a form of government.

I am deeply troubled by the fact that in the upcoming presidential and congressional elections there is little or no debate on what I consider to be a central issue for the American future: the emergence of a new and powerful plutocracy wedded to corporate power. Regrettably, none of the major candidates will deign to even discuss this vital question. Only Ralph Nader has identified it. But he has largely been ignored or parodied by the mass media. Typically, Paul Krugman, op-ed columnist for the New York Times, has ridiculed Nader precisely for his attacks on “corporate power.” Senator John McCain did raise the issue of the special interests and soft money corrupting the political process. But he has been rebuffed and has climbed into the same bed with Bush. Many do not consider Nader to be a viable candidate, for the Green Party does not represent an effective political coalition. Neither Free Inquiry nor the Council for Secular Humanism can endorse political candidates, but this should not preclude me from presenting my own personal views about the deeper humanist issues at stake.

A plutocracy is defined as “government by the wealthy.” The critical question that should concern us is whether the United States is already a plutocracy, and what can be done to limit its power. This question, unfortunately, will not be taken seriously by most voters-but it damned well ought to be.

Ancient Greek democracy lasted only a century; the Roman republic survived for four, though it was increasingly weakened as time went on. As America enters its third century we may well ask whether our democratic institutions will survive and if so in what form.

As readers of these pages know, I have been concerned by the virtually unchallenged growth of corporate power. Mergers and acquisitions continue at a dizzying pace, as small and mid-sized businesses and farms disappear; independent doctors, lawyers, and accountants are gobbled up by larger firms; and working men and women are at the mercy of huge global conglomerates, which downsize as they export jobs overseas.

I have also deplored the emergence of the global media-ocracy, whereby a handful of powerful media conglomerates virtually dominate the means of communication. A functioning democratic society depends upon a free exchange of ideas; today fewer dissenting views are heard in the public square, as diversity is narrowed or muffled.

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