But Markets Are Booming!

We hear every day just how the markets are doing (that would be stock markets not the food markets…although they are doing well as well with the increase in prices….you know profits are far more important than the well being of the people)…..

But reality is a lot different than the Fantasy that if markets are up then the economy is in great shape……that is a stupid statement that keeps getting regurgitated day after day……

Ask the 47% workers that are unemployed.

According to newly released Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) figures, 47.2 percent of working-age Americans were without work in May, the highest level recorded since the end of World War II.

The numbers are based on the BLS employment-population ratio, which takes the total labor force and divides it by the number of those actually working. It is a more accurate measure of joblessness than the monthly unemployment report, which only counts those actively seeking work.

At the end of May the employment-population ratio stood at 52.8 percent; it stood at 61.2 percent at the start of the year. The employment-population ratio reached a postwar high of nearly 65 percent in 2000.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/07/01/jobs-j01.html

Poverty is expanding….regardless what some right wing dolts try to tell you…..I have written about this some 12 years ago…..https://lobotero.com/why-poverty/

Then there is the “inequality” thing……again many years ago a blog post…..https://lobotero.com/2010/03/09/the-creeping-cancer-known-as-inequality/

The virus has done little to change the slide of the workers into poverty….and it appears that the world economy will have a bad couple of years to come thanks to the pandemic…..

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has significantly increased its forecast for the contraction in global economy, warning that it will take a cumulative $12 trillion hit over 2020–2021. Updating its forecast yesterday, the IMF said the global contraction for 2020 would be -4.9 percent, some 1.9 percentage points below the forecast it issued in April.

It said the COVID-19 pandemic “has had a more negative impact on activity on the first half of 2020 than anticipated, and the recovery is expected to be more gradual than previously forecast.” Overall, this would leave 2021 gross domestic product (GDP) some 6.5 percentage points lower than the pre-pandemic projections of 2020.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/06/25/imfr-j25.html

We have an election approaching…you can help change the trajectory of the economy by voting……and it needs a change….

Trump’s nationalism is clear, but is U.S. capitalism turning nationalist too?

Broadly, U.S. employers neither think nor care much about racism. Some use it to divide employees, keep them from unifying around workplace issues, labor unions, unwanted political initiatives, etc. Most ignore it unless and until gross racism brings victims and anti-racists into the street in ways that threaten their commerce or the economic status quo. Then lip service against racism flows. Corporations make mostly cosmetic adjustments hyped by major public relations efforts. At best, a few genuine, usually marginal improvements are achieved in racial integration and the excruciatingly slow decline of institutional racism.

US global capitalist leadership of the last 50 years is now in decline

Learn Stuff!

VOTE!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–01Jul20

But first….the most useless info available…..

01Jul1963…..zip codes were used for the very first time.

We are told by so many that the workers in this country have it made compared to workers in other countries….but just how true is this claim?

Actually…it is a lame ass claim ……

The U.S. has the worst record among major developed countries when it comes to workers’ rights, according to a survey of labor unions.

The world’s largest economy (US) is ranked a 4 in a scale by the International Trade Union Congress, meaning there are “systematic violations of rights.” Every other Group of Seven country ranks 3 or better.

Globally, the ITUC said the situation has worsened for workers, with violations of rights at a seven-year high. The worst region is the Middle East and North Africa, and the organization noted a number of countries have impeded the registration of unions, as well as banned strikes and collective bargaining.

Excluding countries where there are no rights due to a breakdown of the rule of law, the 10 worst in the survey are Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Turkey, and Zimbabwe. All are rated 5, for “no guarantee of rights.”

Europe dominates the top-ranked countries for workers, with the list including Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland and Germany. Uruguay is the only non-European nation in the group.

(Bloomberg)

I have been working to give workers a better life for 40 years….and my work is never been more important than it is today.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Remember That Meat Shortage?

About a month ago we were seeing the news that meat packing plants were shutting down and that our meat supply was dwindling and would soon be possibly gone….

We saw news after news report about the coming shortage and bloggers like myself also jumped on that bandwagon echoing the news that we could soon be out of meat….

Remember any of that?

Well it was a FAKE!

Say What!

As workers in meat processing plants around the country earlier this year fell ill with the coronavirus, threatening production, industry leaders appealed to the government to allow the facilities to remain open, citing the threat of a catastrophic domestic food shortage. 

It worked—President Donald Trump issued an executive order allowing the plants to stay open as essential businesses even as workers were getting sick and dying. However, according to new reporting from the New York Times and USA Today published Tuesday, the industry was lying about the threat of a shortage in order to maintain large exports to overseas markets.

“It was a fake meat shortage,” tweeted labor journalist Steven Greenhouse.

“The meat companies were saying the sky was falling, and it really wasn’t,” Food & Water Watch senior lobbyist Tony Corbo told the Times. “It wasn’t that there was not enough supply. It was that the supply was being sent abroad.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/06/17/it-was-fake-meat-shortage-reporting-suggests-industry-sacrificed-workers-during

The reporting was dire and even the MSM did not research the reports deep enough….and most of us as consumers of the MSM reporting bit into the false narrative of a meat shortage on the horizon….

I am attempting to rectify my part in this hoax….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Pandemic News

It is the weekend and I bet you have had very little info on the pandemic since the protests began…..Am I right?

IST wants to help keep you up-to-date….

Confirmed cases–1.9 million

Deaths–110,000

Protests Deaths–at least 12  (names included here…https://www.forbes.com/sites/jemimamcevoy/2020/06/03/at-least-12-have-died-in-nationwide-protests-heres-who-they-were/#74cc181b9b32)

And let us not forget the 44,000+ that have been arrested and the treatment they may encounter.

Now the pandemic news we all have been waiting on…..

The globe is suffering with this virus and the responses that have been muted…..

The globe continues to see daily cases of COVID-19 exceed 100,000 per day, with close to 6.4 million cumulative cases. Total deaths are approaching 380,000 as the pandemic is settling in the Americas for the present moment. In response to a question as to whether the virulence of the virus seems to be waning, both Drs. Michael Ryan and Maria Van Kerkhove rejected such claims. The genetic studies do not support such a mutational shift. Instead, they attribute the change in the numbers to public health measures that have thus far been employed.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/06/02/coro-j02.html

The only people making out like bandits without guns are the corporations and billionaires….plus the workers are losing ground every day thanx to the capitalists…..

Another 2.1 million workers in the United States filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to the US Labor Department. This brings the total number of workers filing for jobless benefits to 40.8 million in the ten weeks since the pandemic led to the closure of much of the country’s economic activity in mid-March.

This number, which substantially understates the real scale of joblessness, is still a shocking 24.7 percent of the country’s labor force of 164.5 million people. Economists expect that May’s official unemployment rate, which will be released next Friday, will hit 20 percent, up from 14.7 percent in April.

Estimates of the real jobless rate exceed the historic record of 24.9 percent set in 1933 during the depths of the Great Depression. Millions of jobless workers are not counted in the official toll because they are undocumented immigrants, self-employed or so-called gig workers. Others not counted include those working part-time jobs and those who have given up looking for non-existent jobs. In addition, millions are not counted as unemployed because overwhelmed state agencies have not processed their claims, depriving them of any jobless benefits.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/29/pers-m29.html

Chicken CEOs got caught with their wallets showing……

One of America’s top chicken industry CEOs could be caged for up to 10 years as part of a federal antitrust investigation. Pilgrim’s Pride CEO Jayson Penn was indicted Wednesday along with former company vice president Roger Austin for alleged price-fixing, the Wall Street Journal reports. Mikell Fries, president of Claxton Poultry Farms, and vice president Scott Brady were also indicted. Prosecutors say the men, part of a “network of suppliers and co-conspirators,” conspired to fix prices and rig bids on the “broiler chickens” that were sold to grocery stores and restaurants between 2012 and 2017, reports CNN. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

“Particularly in times of global crisis, the division remains committed to prosecuting crimes intended to raise the prices Americans pay for food,” Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, said in a statement. “Executives who cheat American consumers, restaurateurs, and grocers, and compromise the integrity of our food supply will be held responsible for their actions.” Shares in Pilgrim’s Pride fell 16% after the indictment and other chicken producers, including Tyson, also saw major drops. Penn is the highest-profile exec to be indicted by the antitrust division since former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon, who died in a car crash the day after he was indicted in 2016, Bloomberg reports.

Thanx to all the lay-offs and unemployment….consumer spending is way down…..

US consumer spending plunged by a record 13.6% in April as job cuts from virus paralyzed economy.

And yet with all the horrible economic news Trump is still leading Biden…and Biden is losing his grip…..

U.S. President Donald Trump is trusted more than Democratic nominee Joe Biden to handle the economy, polls show, even with more than 40 million Americans filing jobless claims and growth stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Some Biden supporters fear that vulnerability could intensify if Trump becomes the face of an economic recovery as the country re-opens after shutdowns, giving the Republican president’s re-election prospects a boost when he needs it most.

Biden is expected to release a large-scale recovery plan in the coming weeks. Democrats are watching closely to see if his message matches the moment, saying the party’s presumptive nominee needs to ramp up criticism of Trump’s response to the pandemic and show leadership for moving forward.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-biden-idUSKBN2351AC

Two thoughts…..what could Joe put in his “Recovery Plan”?  And second….why would Trump still be favored with the economy after he has crapped on everything that made it a great one?

Then there are the wealthy that are making billions during the pandemic……

The American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) Michael Strain wrote an op-ed in the New York Times recently explaining how “The American Dream Is Alive and Well,” and that in his opinion this nation has, “bigger issues than inequality.” Strain’s piece is part of the paper’s new pandemic-era series called “The America We Need” and engages in a set of impressive mental gymnastics to conclude that it ought to be of no concern that the rich are getting richer and that it would be better to focus instead on, “the relatively slow rate of productivity growth,” or “the long-term decline in male employment.”

Michael Strain is incredulous over our fixation on the concentration of wealth at the top, asking, “Do Americans really care as much about inequality as the attention by media and liberal politicians suggest?” He adds, “Given that income inequality has been stagnant or declining over the most recent decade, the timing… is odd” for a conversation “about whether inequality suggests that capitalism itself is broken.” However, inequality continues to steadily rise—a fact it seems the pro-free-market American Enterprise Institute is hoping we ignore.

For America’s Wealthiest, the Pandemic is a Time to Profit

Thanx to the virus lock down our sewers are paying the price…..

Mayor Jim Kenney kicked off a recent briefing on Philadelphia’s coronavirus response with an unusual request for residents: Be careful what you flush. Between mid-March, when the city’s stay-at-home order was issued, and the end of April, most of the 19 sewer and storm water pumping stations in Philadelphia experienced clogs from face masks, gloves, and wipes residents had pitched into the potty, Kenney said. “Please do not flush any of these items down the toilet,” the mayor said. Officials in other US cities and rural communities—and the Environmental Protection Agency—have issued similar pleas as wastewater plant operators report a surge of stopped-up pipes and damage to equipment, the AP reports.

The problem has sharpened the longstanding clash over whether wipes are suitable for flushing. While drain clogs aren’t new, most of the more than 15 cities contacted by the AP said they’ve become a more costly and time consuming headache during the pandemic. “When everyone rushed out to get toilet paper and there was none … people were using whatever they could,” said Pamela Mooring, spokeswoman for DC Water, the system in the nation’s capital. In Houston, officials say sanitary sewer overflows jumped 33% between February and March in Houston because of clogs from rags, tissues, paper towels, and wipes.

A Tip….the 3Ps….put only puke, poop and pee in the toilet and you will have no problems.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–25May20

Today we remember our veterans and those lost in combat…..I will wait for the traditional day….

This Memorial Day eCard - Free Memorial Day Cards Online

News success for our workers (sarcasm)….nearly 40 million unemployed….

More than 2.4 million people applied for US unemployment benefits last week, per the AP. That means roughly 38.6 million people have now filed for jobless aid since the coronavirus forced businesses to shrink their workforces, the Labor Department said Thursday. The figure is slightly below last week’s revised total of 2.7 million claims, notes the Wall Street Journal. An additional 2.2 million people sought aid under a new federal program for self-employed, contractor, and gig workers, who are now eligible for jobless aid for the first time. The continuing stream of job cuts reflects an economy that is sinking into the worst recession since the Great Depression. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated this week that the economy is shrinking at a 38% annual rate in the April-June quarter. That would be by far the worst quarterly contraction on record.

During April, US employers shed 20 million jobs, eliminating a decade’s worth of job growth in a single month. The unemployment rate reached 14.7%, the highest since the Depression. Millions of other people who were out of work weren’t counted as unemployed because they didn’t look for a new job.

What better time than a pandemic to lay-off health care workers…..(again…sarcasm)……

Even as American deaths from COVID-19 exceed 90,000 and frontline health care workers are needed more than ever, hospitals and other medical facilities, guided by market forces, are closing or laying off large sections of their workforces.

The US Commerce Department reported at the end of April that health care spending by consumers had dropped by 18 percent during the first quarter of 2020. This is the largest drop since records began in 1959, contributing substantially to the annualized 4.8 percent decline in US gross domestic product. Morgan Stanley forecasts a breathtaking 37.9 percent decline in GDP during the second quarter

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/22/hosp-m22.html

An update…..the number of deaths should read 96,000+…….

But not to worry those parasites on Wall Street are still making money hand over fist while the rest of us suffer…..

While many Americans are facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak, US billionaires saw a boost in net worth in the first two months of the pandemic, according to a new report.

According to the report, published on Thursday by the left-leaning think tanks Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies, the total net worth of all US billionaires got a $434 billion boost since March 19, when many US states were placed on lockdown.

According to Forbes, 623 billionaires live in the US, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, investor Warren Buffett, and Oracle founder Larry Ellison. The report indicates that just those top five billionaires saw their wealth increase by a total of $75.5 billion, or 19%. 

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-billionaires-434-billion-richer-during-pandemic-report-2020-5

Ain’t an oligarchy great?  (Once again…..sarcasm)….

Sorry for the bad news…..someone has to tell you since the government does not want to….

Be Well….Be Safe….Be Informed

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Pullman Strike

What does that mean?

126 years ago yesterday, 11May, workers of the Pullman Company went out on strike…….

It was a general strike against the railroads and was squashed by Pres. Cleveland and the use of federal troops…..

The Pullman Company built and leased passenger train cars, thousands of which were in operation around the United States by 1893. George Pullman also built a planned community or company town for his workers in Illinois, where workers enjoyed many amenities but were also financially dependent on the Pullman Company for their homes and utilities.

After a severe depression in 1893, wages fell about 25 percent for the Pullman workers while living costs remained the same. The workers then sought out union representation. Former railroad worker Eugene V. Debs and his American Railway Union, which had won a strike earlier in 1894, became involved in the Pullman situation. The May 11 “wildcat” strike wasn’t directly organized by the ARU, but Debs and the union quickly became involved in the strike as it escalated.

https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/on-this-day-the-pullman-strike-changes-labor-law

The Pullman Strike of 1894 was a milestone in American labor history, as the widespread strike by railroad workers brought business to a standstill across large parts of the nation until the federal government took unprecedented action to end the strike. President Grover Cleveland ordered federal troops to crush the strike, and dozens were killed in violent clashes in the streets of Chicago, where the strike was centered.

Key Takeaways: The Pullman Strike

  • Strike affected rail transportation nationwide, essentially bringing American business to a halt.
  • Workers resented not only cut in wages, but management’s intrusiveness into their personal lives.
  • The federal government became involved, with federal troops being sent to open railroads.
  • Massive strike changed how Americans viewed relationship of workers, management, and the federal government.

https://www.thoughtco.com/the-pullman-strike-of-1894-1773900

This strike helped launch the political career of Eugene Debs…..an eventual presidential candidate that opposed Wilson in 1912….

I know….who?

Outspoken leader of the labor movement, Eugene Debs opposed Woodrow Wilson as the Socialist Party candidate in the 1912 Presidential Election. Later, he would continue to rally against President Wilson and his decision to take American into war — and be jailed for it under the Espionage Act.

Debs was born in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1855, the son of poor Alsatian immigrants. Though his parents encouraged an intellectual spirit, Debs left high school after one year to become a locomotive paint-scraper. There, among the rough-and-tumble of railway men, Debs found his calling. From his membership in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen to his role co-founding the Industrial Workers of the World (the “wobblies”), Debs raised his voice in defense of the common man

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/wilson-eugene-debs/

Labor has given the workers ALL the benefits they have used over the last century……and now is the time for labor unions to step up and be at the front of the struggle for the people of this country.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

May Day–2020

Closing Thought–01May20

Today is the celebration of workers internationally….but where did it all begin?

Celebrations on May 1 have long had two, seemingly contradictory meanings. On one hand, May Day is known for maypoles, flowers and welcoming the spring. On the other hand, it’s a day of worker solidarity and protest; though the U.S. observes its official Labor Day in September, many countries will celebrate Labor Day on Monday.

I am a former union organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)…so first of May means the struggle of the workers for equality and a better life…..

Most people living in the United States know little about the International Workers’ Day of May Day. For many others there is an assumption that it is a holiday celebrated in state communist countries like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Most Americans don’t realize that May Day has its origins here in this country and is as “American” as baseball and apple pie, and stemmed from the pre-Christian holiday of Beltane, a celebration of rebirth and fertility.

In the late nineteenth century, the working class was in constant struggle to gain the 8-hour work day. Working conditions were severe and it was quite common to work 10 to 16 hour days in unsafe conditions. Death and injury were commonplace at many work places and inspired such books as Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and Jack London’s The Iron Heel. As early as the 1860’s, working people agitated to shorten the workday without a cut in pay, but it wasn’t until the late 1880’s that organized labor was able to garner enough strength to declare the 8-hour workday. This proclamation was without consent of employers, yet demanded by many of the working class.

https://archive.iww.org/history/library/misc/origins_of_mayday/

Today as it was in the early days of the 20th century the US needs a strong union atmosphere for the workers will NEVER gain the things they are working for as the atmosphere is today.

This pandemic could be the wake up call and unions could come alive once again….all we need is the energy of activists and the people to listen.

American workers in the 1950s had much to be grateful for on May 1, International Workers’ Day. Back then, one-third of all workers were unionized, and they were sharing in the nation’s prosperity.

Flash forward 60-plus years, and workers can’t be blamed for finding little to celebrate. In 2019 union members comprised a little over 10 percent of the workforce, or about 14.6 million people. This decline has translated into flat wages and eroding benefits for all workers.

Since 1979, workers have witnessed their real wages stagnate and their safety nets vanish, leaving many housing- or food-insecure. Now, in the midst of a historic pandemic, the stakes are even higher. This week, President Donald Trump issued an executive order to keep meatpacking plants open, jeopardizing not only workers’ livelihoods but their lives.

Could a Pandemic Spur the Resurgence of Labor Unions?

As an aging activist…I hope so…..

I leave you with songs from the IWW (my union)…..first Robeson sings Joe Hill…..

Joe Hill is a hero to most union organizers…..a man that was killed but could not die…..

This is the man…

On Nov. 19, 1915, Joe Hill sat facing a five-man firing squad on the grounds inside Utah State Prison. He seemed to be enjoying the last few minutes of his life despite being strapped to a chair, blind-folded with a paper target covering his heart. As the squad prepared to pull their triggers, Hill was reported to yell his final words, “Fire! Go on and fire!” A smile appeared on his face just before three bullets struck his heart, killing him. At this moment, Joe Hill had transcended from a labor organizer into a labor legend.

Joe Hill: A Man That Did Not Die

Hill made two requests: “Don’t waste any time morning, organize!” and “Could you arrange to have my body hauled to the state line to be buried? I don’t want to be found dead in Utah.”

Nov. 19, 1915: Labor Organizer Joe Hill Executed - Zinn Education ...

A thought…what better time to revive the labor movement then NOW?

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into stark relief the inequalities baked into the U.S.’s capitalist system—one that deems nurses and grocery workers “essential,” but leaves them with just as few rights and privileges as they had before the crisis struck. The scenario before us, where society depends more than ever on the bottom rung of the working class, offers a perfect storm for these “essential workers” to use their leverage and demand better protections for themselves now and in the future. This perfect storm may well unfold on May 1—a day with historic roots in the U.S., marked by workers all around the world to demand their labor rights.

Is There Any Better Time Than Now For a General Strike?

Celebrate those on the front lines of this fight…..

Image

Be well and be safe…..

Have a great weekend my friends.

I Read, I write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Image

Could There Be Anything Positive About Covid-19?

We all know the downside of this virus….the unemployment, the food shortages, the confusion and the hysteria…..but could there be anything positive about this disease?

As an aging radical from the 60s and 70s I look for possibilities for organizing for a better country….at least in my thinking.

First as an IWW delegate in the past I look for ways to organize labor into better unions for the workers……this pandemic could very well be one of those times…..

September 1945, a little-remembered frenzy erupted in the United States. Japan had surrendered, ending World War II, but American meat packers, steelworkers, telephone installers, telegraph operators, and auto assemblers had something different from partying in mind. In rolling actions, they went on strike. After years of patriotic silence on the home front, these workers, along with unhappy roughnecks, lumberjacks, railroad engineers, and elevator operators — some 6 million workers in all — shut down their industries and some entire cities. Mainly they were seeking higher pay — and they got it, averaging 18% increases.

The era of raucous labor is long past, and worker chutzpah along with it. That is, it was — until now. Desperately needed to staff the basic economy while the rest of us remain secluded from Covid-19, ordinarily little-noticed workers are wielding unusual leverage. Across the country, cashiers, truckers, nurses, burger flippers, stock replenishers, meat plant workers, and warehouse hands are suddenly seen as heroic, and they are successfully protesting. For the previous generation of labor, the goal post was the 40-hour week. New labor’s immediate aims are much more prosaic: a sensible face mask, a bottle of sanitizer, and some sick days.

https://marker.medium.com/america-is-about-to-witness-the-biggest-labor-movement-its-seen-in-decades-3aa47f0edf52

IWW?  What the Hell?

The IWW is a member-run union for all workers, a union dedicated to organizing on the job, in our industries and in our communities. IWW members are organizing to win better conditions today and build a world with economic democracy tomorrow. We want our workplaces run for the benefit of workers and communities rather than for a handful of bosses and executives.

We are the Industrial Workers of the World because we organize industrially.

This means we organize all workers producing the same goods or providing the same services into one union, rather than dividing workers by skill or trade, so we can pool our strength to win our demands together. Since the IWW was founded in 1905, we have made significant contributions to the labor struggles around the world and have a proud tradition of organizing across gender, ethnic and racial lines – a tradition begun long before such organizing was popular.

We invite you to become a member whether or not the IWW happens to have representation rights in your workplace. We organize the worker, not the job, and recognize that unions are not about government certification or employer recognition but about workers coming together to address common concerns.

Sometimes this means refusing to work with dangerous equipment and chemicals.

Sometimes it means striking or signing a contract. Other times it mean agitating around particular issues or grievances in a workplace or industry.

The IWW is a democratic, member-run union. That means members decide what issues to address, and which tactics to use and we directly vote on office holders, from stewards to national offices. Why wait? Join the IWW and organize for a better future.

Now that part of your education is done…..

What about politics?

And yes I was a political activist as well back in the Dark Ages (60s and 70s)……

This pandemic could change the political scene in the US…..for the better…..only if we are paying attention and not looking for easy answers….there are NONE!

There is a future that makes itself, and a future that we make. The real future is composed of both. The future that makes itself, including a pandemic, we can never modify. The future we make is within our grasp to change, but to do so favorably demands that we look at the world with clear eyes. Government officials across the political spectrum have not always done so during the pandemic. I sometimes sense a kind of attentive passivity in them, of the kind I demonstrated in my own case. They are aware of what is happening, but somehow their thoughts seem tied to other forces that come along. Their minds are on the alert, but still vulnerable, a kind of target; they are sensitive, receptive to everything, and therein lies the problem: Their thinking risks succumbing to human nature and ideology.

Diagnosing America’s Pandemic Response

We can get this thing right this time…..but only if we stop looking for the easy answers and falling for promises that cannot be delivered….or looking for partisan answers….it will take the whole country to fight this thing since we have a president that will not step to do the hard work.

If you work then time for some unity and some demands to be met.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–04Mar20

“A travesty and a disgrace”

In the past I have worked as a union activist and organizer and still help when I can whenever my union asks….

I have been worried about the lack of concern and members in unions….and one of the best unions was that of the Federal employees….all that could very well change thanks to Trump….

“This administration will not stop until it takes away all workers’ rights to form and join a union.”

President Donald Trump on Thursday quietly issued a memo granting Defense Secretary Mark Esper the power to abolish collective bargaining rights for the Defense Department’s 750,000 civilian workers, a move unions decried as part of the administration’s far-reaching assault on organized labor.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) condemned the memo, which was published in the Federal Register (pdf) Thursday, as “a travesty and a disgrace.”

“The administration’s divide-and-conquer strategy with respect to organized labor is as disgusting as it is shameful.”
—American Federation of Government Employees

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/02/a-travesty-and-a-disgrace-trump-quietly-issues-memo-that-could-abolish-union-rights-for-750000-federal-workers/#.XlGdg7qxeX4.twitter

Decline in Union membership is not something Americans acre about……

For much of 2019, headlines signified a labor resurgence, particularly among white-collar industries like technology and media. US public support for unions was among the highest levels in 50 years at 64%, according to a 2019 Gallup survey.

Despite the overall support for the cause, the anecdotal evidence has not shown up in the data.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’s latest available data on annual union membership, released on Jan. 22, shows that 10.3% of American workers were in unions, down from 10.5% in 2018. For context, in 1983, the first year for which the bureau started collecting the data, the union membership rate was about 20% with 17.7 million union workers.

https://qz.com/work/1789615/union-membership-rates-in-the-us-continues-to-decline/

Unions made our middle class and yet no one gives a crap that the middle class is disappearing along with the unions.

Maybe a little rational thought could help explain why they are declining together…..or maybe it is just a coincidence….(I do not believe in those)….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Steel Promises

Closing Thought–30Dec19

Does anyone remember the promises Trump made in 2016 about the return of our industries like steel?

If you are a Trump supporter you will NOT remember that lie or that promise broken…..

Just to let Americans know…the steel industry is struggling and NOT returning….as a matter of fat it is closing down another plant…..

U.S. Steel Corp. announced this week that it will close a mill near Detroit, laying off more than 1,500 workers as it tries to address financial losses.

The news comes just months after U.S. Steel announced it would be laying off 200 workers at the same mill, Great Lakes Works. 

U.S. Steel said they expect to end the mill’s iron and steelmaking operations by April 1, 2020, with another part of the mill closing by the end of 2020. The estimated job loss is 1,545 workers.

Steel production will instead be shifted to a plant in Gary, Ind., where the company has invested $750 million after both the city and state gave U.S. Steel tax breaks. Those tax breaks aimed to keep at least 3,875 jobs at the plant.

The changes, along with a plan to slash its dividend and suspend stock repurchases, come as the company predicts major losses in the fourth quarter of the year. According to MarketWatch, U.S. Steel reported an adjusted loss of $1.15 a share in the fourth quarter. The number is far more than analysts’ original projection, which put losses at 62 cents a share. 

“We are conscious of the impact this decision will have on our employees, their families, and the local community, and we are announcing it now to provide them with as much time as possible to prepare for this transition,” CEO David Burritt said in a press release.

“These decisions are never easy, nor are they taken lightly.  However, we must responsibly manage our resources while also strengthening our company’s long-term future – a future many stakeholders depend on.  We will be taking steps in the weeks and months ahead to assist impacted employees by providing additional education about benefits available through our company, as well as community resources.”

The announcement comes as steel has been at the center of President Trump‘s ongoing trade war with China. After the first round of tariffs, the White House celebrated domestic steel price increases and Trump said tariffs were rebuilding the industry, but the prices have since seen a sharp decline.

The U.S. and China have closed in on a new trade deal this month, and are working out the final details. Officials said the deal involves lifting some U.S. tariffs on China, while Beijing has agreed to purchase more agricultural products from the U.S.

(thehill.com)

Just another lie that will go unchallenged…..

We hear all the time just how good the economy is doing….but do not ask the steel workers they may crap all over the “good news”….

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”