Labor Day–04Sep17

Today is the first Monday in the month of September and that means we Americans celebrate Labor Day……a day dedicated to the workers of this country and their contributions to society.

This may well be my only post for the day as I would like to spend some time with my better half….Trying to stay off my foot but that is a lot harder than one would think……so I will revert back to the events of the past to bring some light to the labor issue……

The US loses more and more good paying jobs every year…..maybe it is time to step back and see what our ancestors did to improve working conditions in the country.

We need to return to the days when the workers were important enough for a movement to help achieve that better life that all all looking for……

The labor movement in the United States grew out of the need to protect the common interest of workers. For those in the industrial sector, organized labor unions fought for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions. The labor movement led efforts to stop child labor, give health benefits and provide aid to workers who were injured or retired.

Source: Labor Movement – Facts & Summary – HISTORY.com

Below is over 2 hours of labor songs from the early days of the union movement….enjoy!

Put politics aside…..time for the Workers To Unite!

Time to shut the mind down and do things that require little thought…..enjoy your day and I shall return tomorrow with more stuff…..chuq

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One Big Union

Another weekend and we take some time to reflect on the past week and the one approaching…….since I usually do not post much politics and such on these couple of days……I will do the next best thing….HISTORY (moans, groans and head slapping)……

In my younger days I was a delegate for the IWW, Industrial Workers of the World, the original union in the beginning later came the AFL-CIO and others….my days with the union was spent in outreach and activism to help the workers…..my main work was done with bartenders and casino workers……

Most Americans have never heard of the IWW so I thought I would give them a little history to mull over while they go about their weekend duties……

It all began around the year 1905…….

The IWW changed American trade unionism forever, being the first big union to organise black and white across entire industries, and calling for the abolition of the wage system and industrial democracy. It was largely defeated by a massive campaign of repression launched by bosses and the government.

Source: 1905-today: The Industrial Workers of the World in the US

Before you think you know everything about the labor movement you might want to read this short history……..there is so much more to the movement than what you think you know…..

A few songs of the IWW to close……

 

 

My granddaughter likes Pete Seeger’s song…”All You Fascists Born To Lose”…what a great kid!

Time for me to bow out for the day…TTFN….be back tomorrow with more stuff….chuq

The American Dual Economy

For decades there has been a growing inequality here in the US…..the old saying….”the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”…..is not just a cute slogan but a grown situation….

There has been some good research on this phenom…….

I describe the American economy in the twenty-first century as a dual economy in the spirit of W. Arthur Lewis. Similar to the subsistence and capitalist economies characterized by Lewis, I distinguish a low-wage sector and a FTE (Finance, Technology, and Electronics) sector. The transition from the low-wage to the FTE sector is through education, which is becoming increasingly difficult for members of the low-wage sector because the FTE sector has largely abandoned the American tradition of quality public schools and universities. Policy debates about public education and other policies that serve the low-wage sector often characterize members of the low-wage sector as black even though the low-wage sector is largely white. This model of a modern dual economy explains difficulties in many current policy debates, including education, healthcare, criminal justice, infrastructure and household debts.

If you would like to see where this research has gone then open the pdf and read the rest of the study…..

Source: Microsoft Word – Temin paper final.docx – delivery.php

More on the author of this paper……

In the America of haves and have-nots, fewer folks are “movin’ on up” like George Jefferson of the classic sitcom. In a new paper for the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Peter Temin, MIT economist and economic historian, breaks down how it happened and where we’re headed with a powerful model first used by West Indian economist W. Arthur Lewis, the only person of African descent to win a Nobel Prize in economics. Dual economies are common in less developed countries, but Temin argues that America has now diverged into a top thirty percent, where children receive excellent educations and grow up to work in sectors like finance, technology and electronics industries (FTE)— and then there’s the rest, the low-wage folks who live paycheck to paycheck and whose kids have little hope of joining the lucky ones at the top. Temin explains what drives the dual economy, what race has to do with it, how children are hurt, and why our political system can’t seem to fix anything. *This post originally appeared on the blog for the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

Source: There are two Americas entirely: How the U.S. became a “dual economy” — and what can be done to reverse it – Salon.com

Read the research and then tell me what you think needs to be done to find an equilibrium…..

My thought is that the “People’s Budget” would be that equilibrium…..as long as we will have yet another budget debate then why not look for a better answer to the growing problems of this country?

Source: FINAL FY16 Peoples Budget.pdf

I am sure there will those that dismiss this out of hand simply because in comes from progressives….that is moronic…..if it helps the people of this country it is worth a look and a debate…..

 

Closing Thought–01May17

Happy May Day…..celebrate the International Day of the Worker…..

The world over the worker is celebrated on May 01….that is except in the US we could not celebrate it with everyone else we had to have a separate day for labor…..1st Monday of September.

Around the early days of the 20th century the world was seeing the workers demanding some rights that have been denied them for so long.  There were riots, protests, and movements popping up all over the world.

This is when the trade unions starting showing their strength…back in those days it was the IWW, the Wobblies…..and it grew from there….

So today I thought that some tunes from those days of struggle would be a good way to end the day for me….people like Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie,Paul Robeson, etc……..

Enjoy some musical history…..

I will see you guys tomorrow…..have a good day and evening…..be well, be safe….chuq

Towards a New Trade Policy

I have been looking at our trade policies recently……most are horrible for the worker and there is a consensus that we need to find a new and improved trade policy….

I have found a pretty good piece that covers this situation…..

International trade deals have lost their consensus support as more workers view them as anathema to good-paying jobs, requiring the U.S. politicians to rethink these strategies

On Jan. 23, President Donald Trump signed an order directing the U.S. Trade Representative to withdraw the country from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the trade deal that the previous administration had spent years negotiating with eleven other nations around the Pacific Rim. This executive action represents a first step towards a controversial new direction in trade policy.

The TPP was already on life support, as the 2016 election campaign made it toxic with the majority of American voters. Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump all focused great energy on the trade pact as an example of the failed economic policies of recent decades. Even Hillary Clinton, despite her previous public support for the TPP and other trade agreements, was forced to come out against it, to fight off criticism from Sanders in the primaries, and Trump in the general election.

Source: Towards a New Trade Policy – Consortiumnews

I understand the need for economic growth….but I do not think it should come at the expense of the workers and the Middle Class.

Losing My Respect

We all have heard about the raid in Yemen just after Mr. Trump took the reins of power….some say it was botched…others claim it was a success….but that does not matter who is right…what matters is the one SEAL was killed and 8 others were wounded in this raid….

I understand that these types to raids are dangerous and the outcome is seldom a given…..but some news has come out and if true is very disturbing……

President Trump’s Twitter trail has raised questions about his precise whereabouts inside the White House while the U.S. raid in Yemen that resulted in the death of a Navy SEAL was underway.

On the night of the raid, which targeted a top Al Qaeda leader in the Arabian Peninsula leader in Yemen, Trump sent out a tweet about an upcoming media appearance.

‘I will be interviewed by @TheBrodyFile on tonight at 11pm. Enjoy!’ Trump wrote on January 28. The tweet got taken down about 20 minutes later.

The tweet went out as the Yemen operation – the first military strike Trump ordered as president – was underway the Huffington Post reported.

Some say that it was a member of his staff that Tweeted…I hope so……

Trump was on the White House grounds that night, inside the residence – which would place him away from the Situation Room.

‘He was obviously aware of the strike occurring,’ White House press secretary Sean Spicer following the raid. ‘He was kept in constant contact Saturday night of the status of the mission, both of the success that it had and the tragic loss of life that occurred to that member.’

If true, please notice that I typed “IF”) then why was he NOT in the Situation Room…..that is the least he could do when sending troops to do our dirty work.

Please, Take My Job!

Just last week I wrote a closing thought about robots and the jobs that are lost because of their use…..you may check out the post here…..

I, Robot I recall many years ago when the news of the first robots being used by the auto industry was all the talk…..of course the pro side was that they would do hazardous work and thus wou…

Source: Closing Thought–14Feb17 – In Saner Thought

To be truthful it was a negative post on the loss of jobs…so when I read this article to the contrary I felt I needed to post it also……there is always 2 sides to every report, right?

Over the next 15 years, 2 to 3 million Americans who drive for a living – truckers, bus drivers and cabbies – will be replaced by self-driving vehicles, according to a December 2016 White House report on the ascent of artificial intelligence (AI). An estimate by the University of Oxford and Citi, a bank, predicts that 77 percent of Chinese jobs are at risk of automation over roughly the same period.

Millions of people around the world would lose their jobs under these scenarios, potentially sparking mass social unrest and upheaval.

Source: Robots are taking jobs, but also creating them: Research review – Journalist’s Resource Journalist’s Resource

While I was writing this update I found yet another  piece about robotics and jobs…..this time it is something that Bill Gates had to say……

Job-stealing robots should be taxed the same as humans, Bill Gates says. “If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level,” the Microsoft founder tells Quartz. He says governments should tax companies that replace workers with machines and use that money to fund jobs that can only be performed by humans, such as caring for children and the elderly. In what is perhaps a surprising declaration for a man who built his fortune through innovation, the billionaire philanthropist contends the pace of automation in job-killing industries ought to be slowed, and taxes can help do that. “It is really bad if people overall have more fear about what innovation is going to do than they have enthusiasm,” he says.

While the European Parliament last week nixed a robot tax for now, notes the Telegraph, such a levy is being pushed by the French socialist candidate for president. But the idea of taxing machines is picking up steam even in the unlikely climes of Silicon Valley, which seems to favor the customers, not the industry, footing the bill, per the Financial Times. But the world’s richest man doesn’t think manufacturers would mind paying up. “I don’t think the robot companies are going to be outraged that there might be a tax,” he says. “It’s OK.” Skeptics took to Twitter, blaming Microsoft’s own technology for lost human jobs. (Read the full interview here.)

This is a fascinating debate….I can see both sides of this issue….but then there are the workers….many promises are made and seldom followed through….how will this situation be resolved?

A good question for a rainy day.