Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Republicans Will Crash America Before Raising Taxes On Rich

Republican John Boehner - Speaker of the House

Let me get this right, the Republican leadership seems ready to see the United States default on its debt obligations before they would raise taxes on the rich to help bring the deficit down. If you listen to the Republican leadership carefully, they are saying that they can't get a tax increase on the rich passed because they don't have the votes.

This means that the pledge signers and tea party faction has the ability to ruin the economy even more because of their loyalty to a position over what seems to be logical, increasing revenues. I think their stance is starting to really sound odd to the public at large. The response that come from Republican House of Representatives and Senate leaders to any suggestion of raising taxes on the wealthiest among us makes it seem like the suggestion of such a thing is a mortal sin.

Has there been an explosion in the number of millionaires and billionaires in the middle of this economic downturn? That must be the situation. If the wealthy are suddenly the majority voting block then maybe the way Republicans are throwing their bodies in front any effort to increase taxes on the rich could be rationalized, but that is not the case. The bold and brazen calls by elected Republicans to make cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and increase the Social Security eligibility age while refusing to even consider tax increased on the wealthy are shameless. What is really going on here?

It seems that even many of the people that voted the Republicans into office are starting to question a group that came up with a plan to end Medicare as we know it while also saying that higher taxes on the wealthy is unthinkable.

As the clock ticks it seems that special interests have won a crucial victory. The new GOP battle cry is not keep you government hands off of my Medicare, but keep your government tax increases away from my rich friends.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Unemployed But Not Destroyed & 911 Country Down

I went to work today for the first time in over one year. That statement illustrates the depth of the nation’s problems. Educated, experienced and willing workers can’t get jobs in the United States and some can’t even get a face-to-face interview.

In light of going through this journey across the desert, I have written my 13th and 14th written works. Unemployed But Not Destroyed is for everyone out there who is absolutely confused, disgusted and perplexed at the state of the economy and job market. Companies seem to be sitting on mounds of cash and are hiring more workers abroad than in the United States.

How do you maintain your dignity during long periods of unemployment? How do you react to those accusing the jobless of being lazy, unmotivated or even needing drug testing? How should the unemployed feel about those who accuse them of riding on the public dole by accepting unemployment benefits? There are ways to respond to all of those attempts to pile guilt onto those unexpectedly thrown into this extremely harsh job market. Ironically many of those hurling insults helped cause the problem in the first place.

911 Country Down is a quick examination of the current state of the United States of America. We have companies with massive cash reserves that won’t hire. We have politicians that are more concerned about the needs of special interests than of citizens that voted them into office. Elected officials and special interests that fund their campaigns have turned politics into a two party reality show complete with point scoring. Many of us participate in our own misery by continually falling for the pick pocket and distraction games. Distractions such as hot button social issues, crazy Presidential birth certificate theories and double-secret hidden religious agenda nonsense allow the collective American pocket to be picked and send upward to the richest among us.

Government is being demonized all across the country as being something undesirable and many are buying into the narrative. Stop. This is just a preparation to transform everything from our public schools, roads and Social Security system from service based to profit making concerns. In other words the carving knife is out to slice up the spoils and pass them out to business interests as rewards for filling campaign coffers with cushy positions waiting for them in the newly privatized former government run systems.

911 Country Down – How to Fix America is value priced at $.99.

Some are fixated on assigning blame. I only have one thought for you to consider. If your car is in the ditch do you blame the tow truck driver trying to pull you out or the person that ran you off of the road?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wage Gap - Rich Men, Poor Men

There is an increasing wage gap between the top executives of companies and other workers. Top executives in some large companies live a life of luxury with private jets at their disposal. What caused this view that only those at the top really matter?

An article titled “Executive pay drives increasing wage gap by Peter Whoriskey June 20, 2011 and published in the Seattle Times looks into the pay gap using one company as an example. The pay and perks of the CEO of this company have increased exponentially since 1970 while in real terms the pay of rank and file workers have decreased.

There may be one factor helping to drive the view of increasing value of executives versus less value of other workers, automation. The increased use of automated systems in everything from manufacturing to sales helps create a view that workers are simply attached or enable the automation. The workers monitor the automated systems or fill in gaps of processes that the technology can’t perform. Customer relationship management systems in sales capture vital customer data and give alerts on follow up dates that sales representatives carries out. Although the system does a lot, it can’t actually make the calls. The automated manufacturing systems need skilled individuals to keep them operating at top levels. Simply put, the skill, concern and dedication of individual employees determine the quality of the final product and services a company delivers.

We have entered the era of no-lose situations for many CEOs. Golden parachutes contain payouts so large that they are disconnected to the success or failure of the firm or performance of the executives. Some of those same executives have instituted policies during this recession that restrict hiring permanent employees in favor of bringing on contract workers. Many firms are creating jobs in foreign markets instead of the United States.

The bottom line is the excessive levels of pay and perks for top executives totally disconnect them from other workers in their companies. This situation creates an environment of class warfare instead of unity.

Friday, June 3, 2011

9.1% Unemployment, Disposable Workers And Where Are Job Creators

One Year Unemployed Anniversary Let Them Eat Cake

Well the jobless numbers are in for May 2011 and the rate increased to 9.1% . When will the job creators use their continued tax breaks to hire permanent employees because there is a growing trend afoot in the United States and it is the age of disposable workers. Disposable contract workers do little to get the economy back on a solid footing.

There is a constant refrain of it is not good to raise taxes on those that would be creating jobs. We are waiting for the trickle down; the Bush tax cuts for the top income levels have been in place for years and should have trickled down in the form of permanent jobs by now. There is a new and not often talked about trend out there in the job market, disposable workers. This group of disposable workers is not the gathered on the roadside ready to do a short term construction job, but are computer programmers, project managers and recruiters. Just about every career disciple you can think of from engineers to architects is often hired on a contract basis.

Some contract workers find themselves working on 3, 6, 12 or 18 month contracts and often without medical benefits. Some job seeking network groups will see the same people cycle through 3 or 4 times after their contracts end or even before the terms are up. The reason companies are doing this is because they don’t have to count these people as part of their workforce, provide medical benefits or contribute to retirement plans. Often contract workers actually work for another firm and their paycheck comes from someone other than their work location company.  

The catch 22 for a contract worker is they answer to the powers that be of the contracting firm and the feedback from that company can get them dismissed for almost any reason. Since the company that pays the contracted employee is basically just supplying labor there is very little push back when someone is said not to be suitable for a particular task.

Can someone with a 3, 6, 12 or 18 month job outlook purchase a new car or home that has a 5   to 30-year loan commitment? It is not likely that a contract worker will be able to or want to enter into a long term financial commitment. The continued uncertainty caused by high unemployment, temporary employment and underemployment will continue until job creators start hiring permanent workers.

People with permanent jobs think, act and spent on a long term basis. An article by Gallup places the combined underemployment and unemployed rate at 19.2%. That means that almost 20% of the workforce is not participating in the economy on a normal basis. A video produced by CNN titled Barely Getting By On ‘underemployment’ shows the effects of the issue.  

So exactly what is going on here? The recession allow companies to clear the decks and now many bring in professionals to work on a project basis just like a fast food joints brings in extra help for the lunch rush and then sends them home. The extra profit from this type of labor management goes to bonuses, acquisitions or international expansion. From a long term standpoint this is a worst case scenario because it creates an environment of zero loyalty and is a race to the bottom because the employer and employed are engaged in short term behavior. The employer is planning for profit and the employee is planning for survival.