The TPP Will Cost 448,000 Jobs

by Celeste Drake

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a so-called “trade deal” that could cost 448,000 U.S. jobs, suppress U.S. wages, and irreparably weaken our democracy and sovereignty.
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Yet U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman is trying to get your member of Congress to vote for it. To win the vote, he is uniting with “Republican-friendly organizations” to win votes from the Republican side of the aisle, while ignoring many Democrats who stand with working families.

If this deal is so great for working people, why are labor unions and many environmental, consumer and human rights organizations united against it, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Fashion Industry Association (representing apparel importers) and other business groups are for it? Can you recall a time when these special interest groups worked hard to create more American jobs and raise our wages? I can’t. So we shouldn’t believe their empty promises this time, either. Continue reading

Sanders: The Economy is Rigged by Corporate America

TPP- The Dirty Deal

A Third Jobs Relapse Underway?

by Jack Rasmus

Jack Rasmus

For the third time in as many years, jobs growth over this past winter 2012 once again shows signs of a major ‘relapse’ this spring and summer. The Labor Department’s employment numbers released April 6, 2012 indicate a mere 120,000 new jobs were created in March, a number not even sufficient to absorb new entrants into the labor force for the month. This follows reports of more than 200,000 jobs created monthly since last December 2011.

If this latest, third major reversal in jobs creation were a one time occurrence, it could be attributed perhaps to real economic conditions simply shifting. But three years in a row every spring? That repetition means there is likely something more fundamental at work.

A year ago, during winter-spring 2010-11, this writer forewarned that the jobs recovery that was being reported during the winter 2010-11 would not be sustainable, and that job creation would collapse in the summer of 2011. And it did. (see this writer’s published articles: ‘The Truth Behind the December (2010) Jobless Numbers’, ‘Behind the February (2010) Jobs Numbers’, ‘March Jobs Numbers—A Contrarian View’, ‘Why March (2011) Jobs Gains Will Collapse This Summer’, and ‘The Predicted Job Collapse Now in Progress’, all of which are available on this writer’s blog, jackrasmus.com).

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Fact-checking Obama’s State of the Union Speech: Jobs

by Jack Rasmus

Jack Rasmus :

Last Tuesday, January 24, 2012 President Obama delivered his latest ‘State of the Union’ (SOTU) speech to Congress.  It heavily emphasized economic themes, among which were jobs, manufacturing, trade, the auto industry, teachers, taxes, medicare, financial regulation, and growing income inequality in the U.S.  Claims were made and general proposals offered for creating more jobs and how to get a sluggish US economic recovery finally going after three years of tepid, stop-go results. But many of the President’s claims in his SOU speech were contrary to the facts, especially with regard to jobs. And the proposals he reaffirmed for generating a sustained economic recovery were more of the same ‘old wine in new bottles’ that haven’t had much impact to date. Here’s some facts concerning jobs to consider before feeling too optimistic over what was largely a campaign election year SOTU speech—a speech more reminiscent of Obama’s 2008 ‘talk the talk’ period than his 2009-11 ‘talk but no walk’ record.

Part 1: JOBS

Obama boasted that the US manufacturing sector had turned around and created millions of jobs on his watch. He subsequently raised the need to further boost manufacturing and the exports of US manufactured goods as one of his two primary recommendations for doing something about the 23 million jobless still without work in the U.S. (The other primary recommendation was more business tax cuts, further comment about which will follow in Part 2).

What are the facts concerning manufacturing sector jobs in the U.S. today?

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Human costs of a broken economy

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Labor Day Statement.

When we look at the situation of unemployed people and many ordinary workers, we see not only individuals in economic crisis, but also struggling families and hurting communities. We see a society that cannot use the talents and energies of all those who can and should work. We see a nation that cannot assure people who work hard every day that their wages and benefits can support a family in dignity. We see a workplace where many have little participation, ownership, or a sense they are contributing to a common enterprise or the common good. An economy that cannot provide employment, decent wages and benefits, and a sense of participation and ownership for its workers is broken in fundamental ways. The signs of this broken economy are all around us:

▪                About 14 million workers are unemployed. We see the stories and pictures of hundreds, even thousands lining up for the chance to simply apply for work. There are currently more than four jobless workers for every job opening. Many more have given up looking for employment.

▪                There are increasing numbers of children (more than 15 million) and families living in poverty. This does not mean they lack the newest video game, it means they lack the resources to provide the basics of food, shelter, clothing and other necessities. Continue reading

A Good Job Is Hard to Find

by Michael Yates

In 2010, about 139 million people, on average, were employed in the United States. What kind of work did they do? Here is an interesting table constructed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

These occupations comprise one of every five jobs in the nation. Notice that the only one with a decent average wage is nursing. Given that low pay and less than desirable working conditions usually go together, it is safe to say that the rest of these jobs are in most respects bad ones. Even nursing is mind- and body-punishing employment, so much so that nurses have been leaving their profession in droves, the relatively high earnings notwithstanding.

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We need Jobs – Not Cuts!

 by Paul Garver

Nearly 500 non-paying guests attended Sen. Scott Brown’s $1000/Plate fundraiser in Boston on Wednesday 10 August. Led by 6-piece marching band and shouting We need jobs – Not Cuts and Tax the Rich and Jobs not Wars   a diverse gathering responded to calls from MoveOn.org and MASSUniting (rally co-sponsors). Demonstrators, including several DSA members as participants and organizers, made it clear to Brown and his 20-30 “paying guests” that the “junior” Senator does not represent the values of the majority of Massachusetts voters. For well over an hour the raucous crowd disrupted the decorum of Brown’s fund-raiser and reminded the Senator that he could also face unemployment next November.

The demonstrators chanted “We’ll be back” as they dispersed.  Organizers of the event urged people to join them on August 17th for  another protest at Scott Brown’s office organized by MassUniting and SEIU.

Government Withdraws

by Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson

Let’s see, now. Unemployment is above 9 percent and shows no indication of descending anytime soon. The share of working-age Americans who are even in the workforce is lower than at any time since the early 1980s, when far fewer women worked outside the home. American multinational corporations are increasingly doing their hiring overseas, where labor is cheap and markets are expanding. The wages and benefits of those Americans who do have jobs are at their lowest level, as a share of corporate revenues, than at any time in half a century. American families are more deeply mired in debt than at any time since the nation’s founding. All of which means that American consumers aren’t doing much consuming, and they won’t be for the foreseeable future.

Sounds like there might be a role for government in perking up the economy, no?

Well, not by the terms of the deal that the White House reached with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, to which Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and John Boehner have now signed on.

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What the President Should Have Said About Jobs

by Robert Reich

Robert Reich

What did the President do in response to last week’s horrendous job report — unemployment rising to 9.2 percent in June, with only 18,000 new jobs (125,000 are needed each month just to keep up with the growth in the potential labor force)?

He said the economy continues to be in a deep hole, and he urged Congress to extend the temporary reduction in the employee part of the payroll tax, approve pending free-trade agreements, and pass a measure to streamline patent procedures.

To call this inadequate would be a gross understatement.

Here’s what the President should have said:

This job recession shows no sign of ending. It can no longer be blamed on supply-side disruptions from Japan, Europe’s debt crisis, high oil prices, or bad weather.

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