Labor Is Unimpressed

Last election in 2016 the American worker went for Trump in a big way….his promises of jobs and plants opening swung them to his corner…and so far most of his promises were just farts in a hurricane.

https://lobotero.com/2019/08/28/closing-thought-28aug19/

The American worker is dissatisfied with Trump so that bodes well for the Dems in 2020, right?

You would think so….but so far workers are unimpressed….

When one heckler yelled, “You’re an asshole!” at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at Philadelphia AFL-CIO’s first ever Workers’ Presidential Summit on Tuesday, the entire room roared back with chants of the senator’s name.

This was the most charged moment in a day of presidential candidates pitching union members including steel workers, drywall technicians, communications workers, school cafeteria employees, and airline food workers. Over the course of four hours, they heard from former Vice President Joe Biden, entrepreneur and tech executive Andrew Yang, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, Sanders, major Democratic donor and billionaire Tom Steyer, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

But despite the candidates’ best efforts, the mood among the 2,000 attendees was one of general lackluster toward Democrats in the presidential race, and the six contenders who had showed up to try to win their votes. Notably, front-runner Sen. Elizabeth Warren was missing from the forum the day after she won an endorsement from the Working Families Party.

https://theintercept.com/2019/09/18/philadelphia-union-workers-presidential-summit/

Bad news for the Dem candidates indeed.

Labor would not be having this problem if they had in the early part of the 20th century had gone for political power instead of economic then this would be a easier race to watch.

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Labor Economics

MY friend and regular reader of IST Carl of “I Know I made You Smile”……https://carldagostino.wordpress.com/……ask a good question in one of his comments after reading one of my posts.

He had a problem with a statement made in post from last week…..”“Labor shortages are impeding job growth”….the statement is from this post…..https://lobotero.com/2019/06/07/closing-thought-07jun19/

His question fired me up to do what I truly enjoying doing…research…..so as promised here is the best answer that I could come up with since I am not an economist by trade it may get a bit techy…..

A common bit of confusion is between jobs and labor…..first what causes a labor shortage?

A labour shortage can be caused by a turn in economic conditions where there is a shortage of skilled workers for a given industry or overall job market. … Shortages can also be caused by a mismatch in skills, poor compensation, geographic location or ineffective recruitment by employers

Now the difference between Labor force and workers…..Employees are considered part of the labor force, but the terms “employees” and “labor force” don’t mean precisely the same thing. Not everyone in the labor force would fit the exact definition of an employee, since the labor force includes a much broader category of people. The labor force is a blanket term describing an entire collection of people either employed or seeking employment.

Is that confusing enough?

Maybe this short video will help…..

After writing this I realized that this may not answer the question Carl asked….I apologize if I made it more confusing.

Another reason I do not like economics…..too damn confusing and none of the “laws” seem to work without some sort of adjusting.

Closing Thought–10Sep18

Strike!

Something that is not in the news much these days….a labor strike.  Seems that the industry that may benefit most from Our Dear Leader’s tariffs is the steel industry and they may go on strike……

US Steel workers are fired up and ready to strike if a new contract isn’t reached soon, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports. Workers for the Pittsburgh-based company voted nationwide this week to approve a strike if talks involving health care costs, retiree benefits, and wage increases don’t work out—at a time when their employer is apparently rolling in money. “Angry USW members conducted strike authorization meetings at each US Steel local over the past week,” the United Steelworkers said in a statement to workers, adding that there was “an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote in every local. Many locals reported that their results were unanimous.” A three-year US Steel contract for roughly 16,000 USW workers ran out Saturday.

Don Furko, president of USW Local 1557 in Clairton, Pa., says workers are pushing back at a time when President Trump’s policies are benefitting US Steel: “Between the tariffs and the tax break for corporations, they stand to make $2 billion this year,” he tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. US Steel says it’s offering workers profit-sharing of at least $6,000, a signing bonus of $4,000, wage increases starting at 4%, a 15-cent hourly increase to 401(k) retirement plans, and a one-time $5,000 health-care bonus. But Farko says workers still have too many out-of-pocket health care costs for family coverage. The pro-strike vote surprised steel-industry sources, says the Post-Gazette. There hasn’t been a US Steel work stoppage since the company locked out workers for six months in 1986.

As an old labor activist it is good to see the workers taking control once again.  No matter the outcome…..the workers are asserting themselves once again…..but the “Man” will make sure this goes nowhere.

Will the National Guard be called in to “break” any strike….

But the gauzy, halcyon portrait of the New Deal does not stand up to the reality of the Little Steel Strike of 1937 that is the subject of Ahmed White’s magisterial The Last Great Strike: Little Steel, the CIO, and the Struggle for Labor Rights in New Deal America that I discussed in a previous CounterPunch article focused on identity politics and the racism endured by Black steelworkers. For those new to the topic, “little” refers to the group of companies that blocked the CIO from organizing its workers, as opposed to US Steel, the “big” company that had they had come to terms with in March 1937. Little Steel consisted of Republic Steel Corporation, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company and Inland Steel Company. Despite being called “little” in comparison to US Steel, each ranked among the hundred largest firms in America

https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/23/fdr-and-the-little-steel-strike/

Would Our Dear Leader call out the Guard to break a strike?

Closing Thought–08Jun18

Last week Pres. Trump made a statement about the jobs report and the markets were happy….well at least for awhile….

I have a problem with the jobs reports…not because of Trump I have been bitching about them since Poppy Bush’s days……these reports are not accurate and the unemployment figures are off by a lot……

In an article that I found last week there is some saying that as many as 95 million people are no longer in the labor force and as such are not counted in any of these reports……

In what was otherwise a solid jobs report – one which Donald Trump may or may not have leaked in advance – in which the establishment survey reported that a higher than expected 223K jobs were added at a time when numbers below 200K are expected for an economy that is allegedly without slack, the biggest surprise was not in the Establishment survey, but the household, where the unemployment rate tumbled once more, sliding to a new 18 year low of 3.8%, even as the participation rate declined once again, as a result of a stagnant labor force, which was virtually unchanged (161.527MM in April to 161.539MM in May, even as the total civilian non-inst population rose by 182K to 257.454LMM).

What was perhaps more interesting, however, is that for all the talk that the slack in the labor force is set to decline, precisely the opposite is taking place, because in May, the number of people not in the labor force increased by another 170K, rising to 95.915 million, a new all time high.

Adding to this the 6.1 million currently unemployed Americans, there are 102 million Americans who are either unemployed or out of the labor force (and it is also worth noting that of those employed 26.9 million are part-time workers).

In other words, contrary to prevailing economist groupthink, there is a lot of slack in the economy, and if as the latest Beige Book revealed, employers are now hiring drug addicts and felons to make up for the shortage of qualified candidates, a long time will be pass before wages see significant gains.

http://theantimedia.com/americans-no-longer-labor-force/

The figures that are given to the public are not accurate just like the inflation reports…..that is NOT an accurate count…..why?  Food, Gas and Housing are not part of the equation…….how can one get an accurate inflation picture if those sectors are omitted?

The economy may not be as booming as we have thought……just saying a little more accuracy would be helpful….at least to me.

Have a good Friday and I will return for the weekend…..be well, be safe….chuq

Closing Thought–06Dec17

The tax bills are in conference to hammer out the details for one big f*cking of the Middle Class……I have read what parts are not scribbled in some lobbyist lingo and found the one part that is most disturbing to me.

In my younger days I was a labor organizer for the IWW, yes I was a Wobbly and if you do not know that term then you are too young …….and as an organizer I fought hard for workers to to re-trained when their jobs were either outsourced or replaced by machines…..the new tax bill will screw the worker hard and with a smile…..

The section I am referring to…….

Encouraging corporations to automate ― without any help for displaced workers.

A provision of the tax bill would allow companies to deduct from their taxable income the entire cost of certain kinds of business investments that were previously only eligible for a 50 percent deduction. Traditionally, manufacturing firms and other infrastructure-heavy companies took advantage of the deduction to buy new factory equipment.

But the increase in the deduction comes at a time when corporations are investing in automation of their production facilities through the use of robots and artificial intelligence technology, noted Robert Kovacev, a corporate tax attorney for the Steptoe & Johnson law firm in Washington, D.C.

“It’s going to accelerate spending, basically, on robots that could displace workers,” Kovacev told HuffPost.

Kovacev is supportive of the deduction, because automation is likely to increase productivity ― defined as the amount of economic output generated per work-hour. And many experts maintain that, over the long run, this type of technological disruption is a net job creator.

That is likely to serve as cold comfort, however, for the mostly blue-collar workers displaced by automation in the short term. And Congress chose to speed up the automation process without any companion measures to offset the fallout for affected workers.

“It would be a good idea to pair this with a tax incentive to encourage companies either to employ more human workers or retrain them for jobs in the new economy,” Kovacev said.

Some progressive lawmakers have other ideas about how to address the harm caused by automation. For example, San Francisco County Supervisor Jane Kim has explored the idea of implementing a ”robot tax” on companies for every robot they employ to perform a job previously done by humans. The revenue raised by the tax would fund the retraining of displaced workers.

I approve of the “robot tax” and the money used to re-train workers for other aspects of the job.

Every trade union should be on this section of the bill like a pit bull with a lobbyist leg in its mouth.

The workers are screwed every time these cowards try to help their corporate masters….time for them to pay up to help the worker…..PERIOD!

Don’t mourn….organize!

“An injury to one is an injury to all”

Bring back the radicalization that was the IWW!

 

TTFN……tomorrow is another day……chuq

The New, New Dictatorship of the Proletariat

This is a fun post for me….for too long those slobbering idiots on the Right have thrown around the terms Marxist….Communist….socialist…ad nauseum and I would wager that the way that any of them knew the term was from the use of the Google button or listen to another babbling buffoon.

So about here the reader is thinking that I will go off on some rant about this thing about the workers being in charge….oh wait!  Maybe I should explain the term “Dictatorship of the Proletariat”……

  1. In Marxist socio-political thought, the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to a socialist state in which the proletariat, or the working class, has control of political power. The term, coined by Joseph Weydemeyer, was adopted by the founders of Marxism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in the 19th century. The use of the term “dictatorship” does not refer to the Classical Roman concept of the dictatura, but instead to the Marxist concept of dictatorship. Following on from the theories of Marx and Engels, Marxists believe that such a socialist state is an inevitable step in the evolution of human society. They argue that it is a transitional phase that emerges out of the “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”, or capitalist society, in which the private ownership of industry and resources leads to a monopoly of economic power by the capitalist class. With an economy under democratic control, Marxists expect political power to be held by the majority working class. Whether or not capitalists are disenfranchised would depend upon the particular circumstances of a nation. In a period immediately after the Russian Revolution, the mode in which democracy was organised automatically disenfranchised capitalists; however, Marxists such as Lenin argued that other forms of a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ in more developed countries would include capitalists among the electorate. However, as large-scale capitalism is phased out, future generations would not become capitalist owners, and class divisions would no longer exist within the electorate. As a result, the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ would wither away, resulting in an entirely classless, stateless form of society known as pure communism.

If that one is too much to handle then maybe a short more simplistic definition…..The temporary period following the fall of capitalism characterized by a struggle to achieve a classless, stateless and moneyless communist society.

Could there be a new way of looking at an old term?

2016 has shown us that the worker is looking for any option to make his/her life better….even to the point of looking to those in the ivory towers for answers………..

So, I’m watching CNN or MSNBC, one of those, and I see a guy being interviewed, identified as the head of the union that represents the workers at that factory down the road from Carrier. Carrier, you’ll recall, was the outfit that got over three-quarters of a billion in tax breaks in exchange for a temporary hold on sending an additional 800 American jobs to Mexico, instead of the larger number of jobs that Carrier had planned to ship south of the border, down Mexico way. In exchange for that big tax break, Donald Trump dominated another couple of news cycles and became, momentarily, the champion of the working man, the indefatigable foe of predatory capitalism, and the best damn friend the working man ever had, a veritable Joe Hill for our times.  Remember his famous last words: “Don’t mourn. Organize”? That Joe Hill.

Anyhoo, this guy on CNN or MSNBC, one of those, was being asked if he wasn’t a little peeved to find that Trump hadn’t saved a single job at his plant, hadn’t cared about the workers at Rexnord the way he did about those workers at Carrier. As it turned out, this union spokesman had voted for Trump, and though he was sorry Trump hadn’t lifted a finger to protect workers at his plant, he seemed unrepentant about having cast a union officer’s vote for a man who was notorious for stiffing workers. In fact, this union rep even went so far as to make excuses for Trump, and to explain to viewers how there were just lots of jobs that would never be saved, no matter what, because of things like automation. even though that plant closure wasn’t going to result in Mexican robots getting those jobs that were going south. No, it was real flesh-and-blood Mexican workers who were going to be doing what those men and women in Indiana had been doing. Or so it seemed to this viewer.

Source: The New, New Dictatorship of the Proletariat – LA Progressive

Brief History Of Labor Day

Today we have a day off from work…..and that is about the extent of what Americans know about Labor Day….

Few think about the child labor laws, overtime pay, 8 hour week day or 40 hour work week and so much more…..we can thank unions for much of the benefits that we workers have today.

Where did all this begin?

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.

The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.

Now you, my reader, knows more than most Americans about Labor Day……

Please go now……enjoy your BBQ, the beers, the sports and the family…..IST will return to a full posting schedule tomorrow…..

Live Long With Laughter.