The Promise Of Wages

I follow Speaker Ryan on Twitter because his daily Tweets can get a real person laughing for most of the day.  His Tweets since the tax cuts of 2017 are about how much better off the economy is at this point and occasionally he offers some vague promise of wages.

The truth is these cuts have done little to raise the wages of the working class but did everything to raise the wealth of the already wealthy.

The real truth is that all the tax cuts for the last couple of decades have done nothing to raise the wages of the average working stiff.

The graph on wages is flat and has been that way for many decades……follow the graphs on wages……there are 9 of them that prove my point…..https://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/

After checking out the graphs……read this report from the Pew Research……

On the face of it, these should be heady times for American workers. U.S. unemployment is as low as it’s been in nearly two decades (3.9% as of July) and the nation’s private-sector employers have been adding jobs for 101 straight months – 19.5 million since the Great Recession-related cuts finally abated in early 2010, and 1.5 million just since the beginning of the year.

But despite the strong labor market, wage growth has lagged economists’ expectations. In fact, despite some ups and downs over the past several decades, today’s real average wage (that is, the wage after accounting for inflation) has about the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago. And what wage gains there have been have mostly flowed to the highest-paid tier of workers.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/08/07/for-most-us-workers-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/

So to taunt the tax cuts as working for the working class is a damn lie….a lie that the GOP has become master at selling to the unwitting public.

To fight this growing story…the public is starting to see just how much of a lie the GOP is spreading…..the Right needs a theory to explain the lagging wages…..

Once upon time, when the GOP was still attempting to dress itself up as a party of ideas, Yuval Levin was considered one of its star intellectuals. As editor of the conservative policy journal National Affairs, he was a wonkish prophet of fiscal doom, who argued that the U.S. would soon face a reckoning over its national debt, and that the only way to avert catastrophe was to radically curtail the modern welfare state. Levin was once described as Paul Ryan’s own “personal philosopher,” and was the sort of guy who could get David Brooks hot and bothered by writing a long-winded argument for slashing entitlement spending.

If a politician like Sen. Marco Rubio or Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had become president in 2016, Levin might still be playing a starring role in Washington’s policy discourse. But of course, Donald Trump is president, and Republicans have dropped the charade that they sincerely care about the deficit, or whatever the heck got written about in ponderous thinky policy rags. Levin still gets cited by columnists like Brooks, but his star is a bit fallen.

https://slate.com/business/2018/09/wage-stagnation-new-conservative-theory.html

An interesting read and very eye opening……

The GOP has always been a party for liars and when it comes to screwing the public they are masters at making the public smile while getting humped.

Advertisements

That Glorious War On Terror

For over 17 years the US has been fighting a war on terror….ever since the attacks of 9/11…..the US declared war on a tactic….not any individual per se but rather a tactic….terrorism is a tactic not an entity.

I have been writing on this subject for all this time….here is a couple of the posts on the subject I have written……these are a few of the more recent posts……

https://lobotero.com/2018/09/21/will-the-war-on-terror-succeed/

https://lobotero.com/2017/02/22/war-on-terror-a-rethink-is-needed/

This so-called “War” has cost the taxpayer dearly and to what end?

As I was putting the finishing touches on my new book, the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute published an estimate of the taxpayer dollars that will have gone into America’s War on Terror from September 12, 2001, through fiscal year 2018. That figure: a cool $5.6 trillion (including the future costs of caring for our war vets). On average, that’s at least $23,386 per taxpayer.

https://www.thenation.com/article/americas-war-on-terror-has-cost-taxpayers-5-6-trillion/

How much?

The WOT is an unwinnable war……..for like I have written we are fighting a tactic not an entity…..we need a new approach and stop fighting a war on a tactic would be a good place to start…..

The United States is engaged in an unusual global war, fighting a tactic rather than an enemy nation. Unlike traditional warfare, it is possible that this war between the US and terrorist networks will not produce a clear winner. The US and its allies have been involved in military engagements over the past decade and a half, costing the US taxpayer an estimated $1.5 to $5.6 trillion dollars. The longer the US remains embroiled in this armed conflict, the less likely it is that such a war ends favorably from an American perspective. While US defense strategy will need to include counter-terrorism efforts for decades to come, it is time to end the war by beginning to reframe the narrative behind the Global War on Terror (GWOT).

In the context of the GWOT, terrorism refers most frequently to random attacks on civilians by groups who seek to conduct religious war against the United States. In using these terrorist tactics, these groups specifically intend to sow widespread fear. Recent polls show that a growing number of Americans feel “less safe” than they did before 9/11.

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/stop-fighting-war-against-tactic

But then that is assuming the US wants to win this war….if not then this is thre perfect way to enrich the M-IC without having to win a victory.

Closing Thought–01Oct18

I have not been a supporter of the new jet fighter the defense department has spent billions on…..I have not very lovingly called it a “flying brick”…….I have written numerous times how much I dislike this airplane……

https://lobotero.com/2018/03/05/a-10-vs-f-35-remix/

Well it seems that news about this plane has been anything but good….and recently the plane did what I predicted…..flew like a brick.

The F-35 is the US military’s most expensive fighter jet, notes Foreign Policy, and the aircraft just had one of the best and worst weeks in its controversial history. The good part came on Thursday, when the Marines conducted the first-ever airstrike with its version of the jet—a successful hit against a Taliban target in Afghanistan, reports CNN. The bad part came Friday morning, when another of the Marines’ F-35 jets crashed during a training mission in South Carolina, causing the pilot to safely eject. The $100 million-plus stealth jet is a total loss, and the cause is under investigation, but as the Washington Post reports, this is the first “full-blown crash” of an F-35 in the program’s 17-year history.

The Marines’ version of the aircraft is called the F-35B Lightning II, and it’s capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings, reports the AP. Friday’s crash occurred near Marine Corps Station Beaufort, where pilots from militaries around the world come to train on the jet. The F-35 program has been besieged by cost overruns and delays, but the Pentagon announced a milestone of sorts on Friday: It struck a deal with Lockheed Martin that will bring the cost of the most common version of the jet, the F-35A, to its lowest total yet: $89 million, notes the Post. However, the Marines’ version will go for $115 million and the Navy’s for $108 million.

This weapon was a huge waste of time, money and resources……all it is doing is making the M-IC more wealthy selling this “Brick” to our allies.

This thing costs billions to develop and it continues to cost billions to “get it right”….time to cut the losses and scrap this “Brick”…..spend the money on something useful….like education.

STOP Whining!

Our Dear Leader has finally imposed the tariffs that he basically promised while a candidate…..the agriculture sector in the US is starting to hurt those people that voted for Trump……and soon it will extend into the auto industry……

The lobster fishermen in New England are whining….potato farmers in Idaho are whining……cranberry framers are whining……soybean farmers in Nebraska are whining….are you getting the picture?

Time for these whiners to face reality…..they voted for the person that is slowly strangling them……they voted for the person that said what he had in mind as a new trade policy.

So these people need to STOP whining!

Take responsibility for the the shitty vote they gave the person that is killing their future….the control of that future.

Ignorance has consequences.

And the whining continues……this time it is over the turn that the Kavanaugh nomination has taken…..it seems that he has been accused (notice I used “accused”) of a drunken grope and possible rape attempt…..and the GOP has been whining about the timing of the information release……and then of course the Fat Man in the Oval Office had to inject his feelings into the debate….

President Trump weighed in Monday on the allegation against his Supreme Court nominee, Politico reports. “We want to go through a full process” to air Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that, when they were high school students, Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, Trump said. If that “takes a little delay, it’ll take a little delay. It shouldn’t certainly be very much,” he said, per Breitbart News. But the president, speaking during an event at the White House in what Fox News notes are his first public comments on the matter, added that he was certain everything would “work out very well” as Kavanaugh is “as high a quality individual as you’ll ever see.” He said Kavanaugh has “never had even a little blemish on his record. The FBI has, I think, gone through a process six times with him over the years where he went to higher and higher positions. He is somebody very special.”

Trump also said Blasey Ford’s accusation “should have been brought up long before.” “I wish the Democrats could have done this a lot sooner,” he said. “Because they had this information for many months, and they shouldn’t have waited until literally the last days. They should have done it a lot sooner. But with all of that being said, we want to go through the process. I’d like to see a complete process. I’d like everybody to be very happy. Most importantly, I want the American people to be happy. Because they’re getting somebody that is great. … We want to make sure everything is perfect, everything is just right.” Asked if Kavanaugh had offered to withdraw from consideration, Trump responded, per Daily Caller video, “Next question. What a ridiculous question.” He noted he has not spoken to Kavanaugh about the matter.

They are whining like the cowards they are……think back to when another guy was nominated for SCOTUS and the games played …..now does anyone think that there would not be a tit for tat?

Keep whining fools!  If the House goes Democratic then the paybacks have just begun……

Personally, I do not think these “paybacks” accomplish anything ……but I do understand why the Dems will be doing it…..and anyone with half a brain will understand it also.

Whining accomplishes nothing…..to avoid having to use the “whining gambit” then do the work of the nation and leave political games behind.

The voters are the worse whiners….I guess it is easier than learning the issues and voting for the benefit of the nation….not some party.

It’s All About Trade

As no doubt you are aware Our Dear Leader has been on a tear for a couple of months about trade….he has pulled out of some agreements and imposed tariffs that have started a bit of a trade war (oh joy as if the American worker did not have enough problems)

The newest proposal is the threat of the US pulling out of the WTO…of which I have written…..https://lobotero.com/2018/09/03/if-it-is-monday-it-must-be-wto/

Dear Leader has started attacking NAFTA (again) and even has some vague words about a revised NAFTA……sadly it sounds like a scam…..keep in mind that I basically agreed with Trump on NAFTA…I think it was a barbaric thing to do to American worker……that aside…I was saying a “scam”?

If the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement were good for working people, its content wouldn’t be hidden. Just what the Trump administration and the Mexican government of Enrique Peña Nieto have cooked up we do not know, but given the proclivities of both it is not likely to be good.

That the hurried-up deal appears to be intended to force Canada, which has the strongest regulations among the three NAFTA countries, into signing on disadvantageous terms, provides all the more reason to be skeptical. And, finally, a study of the United States Office of the Trade Representative’s “fact sheet” leaves no doubt that any new NAFTA will be a windfall for multi-national corporations, at our expense.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/31/revised-nafta-shows-every-sign-of-being-another-trump-scam/

Trump is doing what has become his trademark style….he goes in kicks over all the furniture and then rearranges …in other words he tries to ax an agreement and then with a little success he can claim ultimate victory…..which it is not.

It is always about appearance not results.

And then there is China….you remember them right?

It is 10 years in September since Lehman Brothers went bankrupt bringing global capitalism to the point of collapse.  Although the crash did not finally lead to a total meltdown, it triggered a slump of 1930s proportions and for most economies the last decade has been a lost decade of low growth, low investment, low productivity, marked by debt and deficit, with virtually no improvement in real incomes for the 90 per cent.

The stand-out story of the period has to be the continuing rise of China. Initially, the economy was also badly hit by the crisis, but China was able to recover rapidly to emerge today as a major economic power, moving steadily closer centre stage in the global order.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/31/the-decade-of-a-rising-china-10-years-after-the-financial-crisis/

Keep in mind that China is our world competitor….is it really a good idea to start a trade war with them?

Something else to consider…..with all the games played by Our Dear Leader with US trade we still had a deficit……

The US trade deficit widened for the second straight month in July, reaching the highest level since February, as imports hit an all-time high. The deficit in goods with China and the European Union set records, reports the AP. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the deficit in goods and services—the difference between what America sells and what it buys from other countries—rose to $50.1 billion in July from $45.7 billion in June. Exports slipped 1% to $211.1 billion, while imports increased 0.9% to a record $261.2 billion on increased purchases of trucks and computers. The deficit rose despite President Trump’s efforts to bring it down by renegotiating trade agreements and imposing taxes on imports.

So far, Trump’s aggressive policies have had little impact on trade numbers. The goods deficit with China rose 10% in July to a record $36.8 billion. The EU gap shot up 50% to a record $17.6 billion and with Canada nearly 58% to $3.1 billion. The July deficit with Mexico, though, plunged 25% to $5.5 billion. So far this year, the trade deficit is up 7% from January-July 2017. Trump views trade deficits as a result of bad trade deals and abusive behavior by America’s trading partners, but mainstream economists blame an economic reality that can’t be changed much by trade policy: Americans spend more than they produce, and imports fill the gap, particularly as a strong US economy encourages Americans to buy more foreign products.

Maybe things will look up next month……

This will be one of few posts of the day….I must endure about 5 to 6 hours of medical tests and doctors visits….I shall return later…..

It’s The Economy Stupid! (Again)

Labor Day (that was yesterday) got off to a rousing start with a Tweet from Our Dear Leader…..Trump then touted the economy, tweeting, “Happy Labor Day! Our country is doing better than ever before with unemployment setting record lows.”

I have looked at the economy from several different political points of view……https://lobotero.com/2010/06/28/its-the-economy-stupid/

Dear Leader and the his enabling cowards, the GOP, keep thumping their chests like sex crazed primates over the economy and it is just silly…..maybe it works for a few individuals but nit so much for the country…..

Wages are falling, Wall Street tycoons are swimming in profits from stock buybacks, and the federal deficit is exploding. Every way you slice it, the Republican tax scam is failing spectacularly, falling far short of the blustering promises of Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

When Republicans jammed through the tax scam on a party-line vote, Trump promised it would be “rocket fuel” for the economy, helping families across the nation. Ryan promised tax cuts for everyone. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin vowed the bill would pay for itself.

All lies.

https://shareblue.com/republican-tax-scam-busted-doesnt-promised/

We can keep lying to the people and it will come back and bite someone in the ass….most times the working class are the ones that get bitten while the 1% enjoy the high life.

If It Is Monday It Must Be WTO!

First, this is not some post about some moronic wrestling federation extravaganza….no I am talking about the World Trade Organization (WTO)….or some of you old farts might remember it as GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade)…..but what the Hell is it?

The WTO was born out of negotiations, and everything the WTO does is the result of negotiations. The bulk of the WTO’s current work comes from the 1986–94 negotiations called the Uruguay Round and earlier negotiations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The WTO is currently the host to new negotiations, under the ‘Doha Development Agenda’ launched in 2001.

Where countries have faced trade barriers and wanted them lowered, the negotiations have helped to open markets for trade. But the WTO is not just about opening markets, and in some circumstances its rules support maintaining trade barriers — for example, to protect consumers or prevent the spread of disease.

https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/who_we_are_e.htm

I know you are probably thinking that this has nothing to do with you…well you would be wrong for Our Dear Leader if successful could make your living a lot more expensive than today……

He, Dear Leader, has declared a possible war on the WTO……

Shape up or we’ll ship out. That was essentially the message President Trump had for the World Trade Organization in an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday. Trump described the 1994 agreement that formed the WTO as “the single worst trade deal ever made” and issued his threat: “If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO.” The body sets rules for global trade and serves as a forum for handling trade disputes, and Trump complained about the historical outcome of those complaints. He had this to say: “We rarely won a lawsuit except for last year. In the last year, we’re starting to win a lot. You know why? Because they know if we don’t, I’m out of there.”

The BBC cites a study that shows the reality is more like 90/90: We win about 90% of the cases we bring, and lose just shy of 90% of those filed against us. As for the cases filed against us, ones from China have made recent headlines. The AP reports Beijing on Monday formally sought “dispute consultations” over the latest round of tariffs—$16 billion of them—imposed last week on Chinese goods. China is a thorn, per US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who views China’s 2001 entry into the body as a mistake. Bloomberg’s take: “A US withdrawal from the WTO potentially would be far more significant for the global economy than even Trump’s growing trade war with China.” In the meantime, the US has been blocking the appointment of new judges, which could ultimately put the WTO’s ability to issue judgments on ice. Click for more on Trump’s wide-ranging interview.

As this policy expands items will becoming more expensive and in some cases more difficult to obtain and that could influence the production in this country…and for what?

Some minor machismo for the news cycle…….for he must be the talk of the town whether good or bad…..