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Thread: Disaster Lurks In April Jobs Numbers

  1. #1
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    Disaster Lurks In April Jobs Numbers

    By Paul Craig Roberts

    There is no good news in the April payroll data released last Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Disaster lurks in the jobs numbers: [b]the US labor market is becoming Third World in character[/b].

    The April jobs data show a continuation of the troubling pattern established in recent years. Despite a massive trade deficit that pours $500 billion annually into foreign hands, the US economy cannot create jobs in the export or import-competitive sectors of the economy. The US economy can only create jobs in non-tradable domestic services—jobs that cannot be located offshore or performed by foreigners via the Internet.

    [b]The 280,000 private sector jobs created in April break out as follows: 104,000 were hired as temps and in administrative and waste services, 34,000 were hired as waitresses and bartenders, 30,000 were hired in health care and social assistance, 29,000 in wholesale and retail trade, 21,000 in manufacturing (half of which are in fabricated metal products), 20,000 plumbers, electricians and specialty contractors, 10,000 hired by membership associations, 10,000 in legal, architectural and engineering services, 8,000 in management and technical consulting, and 4,000 in real estate.[/b]

    [b]The vast majority of these jobs do not require a college degree. One can only wonder what will become of the June graduating class.[/b]

    Since January 2001, the US has lost 2.7 million manufacturing jobs. Job loss by sector: wood products 50,000, nonmetallic mineral products, 61,000, primary metals, 145,000, fabricated metal products 272,000, machinery 300,000, computer and electronic products 536,000, electrical equipment and appliances 136,000, transportation equipment 209,000, furniture and related products 97,000, misc. manufacturing 79,000, food manufacturing 53,000, beverages and tobacco products 13,000, textile mills 128,000, textile product mills 33,000, apparel 172,000, leather and allied products 18,000 paper and paper products 90,000, printing and related support activities 137,000, petroleum and coal products 10,000, chemicals 79,000, plastics and rubber products 125,000.

    Since January 2001, financial activities created 247,000 jobs, and nontradable domestic services (education services, healthcare and social assistance, leisure and hospitality, and membership associations) created 2,026,000 jobs.

    These service jobs were offset by 302,000 lost jobs in retail, 261,000 lost jobs in transport and warehousing, 124,000 lost jobs in management of enterprises, and 1,222,000 lost jobs in tradable services such as telecommunications, ISPs, search portals, and data processing, accounting and bookkeeping, architecture and engineering, computer systems design, and business support services.

    That leaves a net increase of 488,000 jobs in domestic services created during the past 3 and one quarter years. Offsetting these jobs with 2.7 million lost manufacturing jobs, leaves the US economy with 2.2 million fewer private sector jobs at the end of April 2004 than existed in January 2001.

    Once free trade was a reasoned policy based in sound analysis. Today it is an ideology that hides labor arbitrage. Because of the low cost of foreign labor, US firms produce offshore for their US customers. The high speed Internet permits people from all over the world to compete against Americans for knowledge jobs in the US. Consequently, the “new economy” is being outsourced even faster than the old manufacturing economy.

    [b]Where does this leave Americans? It leaves them in low-pay domestic services. As the BLS 10-year job forecast made clear, 7 of the 10 areas that are forecast to create the most jobs do not require any university education—definitely not the picture of a high-tech economy.[/b]

    [b]Why then will Americans attend universities?[/b] Will Wal-Mart require an MBA to stock its shelves? Will nursing homes want their patients bathed by engineers?

    Obviously, education and retraining are not answers to job loss from US employers substituting foreign labor for American labor.

    One does not have to be an economic genius to understand what is happening. Capital is most productive where labor is most abundant, and labor is most productive where capital is most abundant.

    Thus, we see US capital flowing to Asia where labor is cheapest, and Asian labor flowing via the Internet to the US where capital is abundant.

    US labor loses both ways. Products Americans used to make are now made offshore, and the Internet lets foreigners compete against Americans in the US labor market.

    An engineer in Boston, Seattle, Atlanta, or Los Angeles cannot compete with an Internet hire in India or Eastern Europe, because the cost of living in the US is much higher. [b]The Boston engineer cannot work for the Indian salary, because his mortgage debt and grocery prices will not adjust downward with the salary.

    The man in the street has no difficulty comprehending this simple fact, but for ideologues, free trade is a virtue—regardless of the harm done to American labor and the US economy. [/b] :rolleyes:


    [i]Paul Craig Roberts was Associate Editor of the WSJ editorial page, 1978-80, and columnist for “Political Economy.” During 1981-82 he was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy. [/i]

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    Hannity was on today wondering why according to Gallop 51% of Americans don't believe the economy has improved. :blink:

    great post Riggo

    the truth is a tough pill to swallow.

    everyone who considers themselves a supporter of the President should read these numbers

    if you have kids take heart he's screwing them way harder than he's screwing the current crop of unemployed people

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    Yep Bit, as I've said, there was a time I walked in "lock step" with all the Neo-cons like Hannity: all Republicans good; all Democrats awful :o

    Not anymore. While I still swing towards the conservative side (I think GWB is too liberal), I can't totally exonerate the Republicans for many of the problems we are facing today. They may not have created all the problems, but by working in TANDEM with Democrats to put CORPORATIONS first and the American people last, they definitely deserve a lot of blame.

    I'm sure some one's gonna slam my ass for this post. They'll complain we are all lucky to have cheap goods and cheap labor in abundance, ect. These people may also want to look at what the future looks like.

    [b]This hackneyed bullspit spouted by all the "free trade" freaks, which claims "re-training" is our answer to everything is debunked by Roberts, who states most job growth will come in sectors were only a high school education is needed[/b] :blink:

    I took a small "zing" from a poster that didn't like the fact that I hate the way the jobless rate is calculated. No big deal, right?

    Thing is, the reason I believe we are getting bogus numbers from the fed is simple: By vastly UNDERSTATING the jobless rate, the [b]American SHEEPLE[/b] will be more apt to allow these awful visa programs and flood of illegal cheap labor. [url=http://www.geo.ucalgary.ca/~malcolm/sheep.jpg]http://www.geo.ucalgary.ca/~malcolm/sheep.jpg[/url]

    Can you imagine how hard a sell McCain, Kerry, Cannon, ect. would have wanting to import millions and millions of illegal and legal workers to supress wages if we actually counted our [b]real unemployment rate at 12 percent?[/b]

    I know, I know, JI posters are gonna slam me for this. I guess I'm just crazy, whiny and stupid, but Hannity is 100 percent correct :rolleyes:

    It would be nice if folks put America first and foremost, not the Democratic or Republican party, which have been [b]"bought"[/b] already!!

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    Similar to you, I've never voted for a Dem at the state level or higher.

    I also agree that conservatives view the economy incorrectly.

    I see our economy as a national treasure...like our vast farmland, or our National Parks. As such, it should be cultivated, not raped. My fellow Republicans are clearcutting the economy in the name of free trade. Nobody wants to think about consequences for the future. Carried to fruition, every company in the country would be a sign, and a mailbox pointing to China. Perfectly efficient...but nobody here to buy anything. And because it's perfectly competetive, nobody here can start a small business. No work, no opportunity...just efficency and asian profits.

    Furthermore 70% of our companies sell to Americans. We don't NEED foreign labor for our economy to work. Sure, prices could go up, but we'd still be wealthier than the rest of the world.

    What I'm advocating is simply keeping some fat in the system. The lowest possible prices are NOT always a good thing. Be willing to pay more for good reasons. Inefficiency in our economy creates competetive opportunities for our children, and guarantees jobs stay local.

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    Illegal immigration is what is killing the economy. Entry level positions and menial labor that were first jobs or part-time for teenagers are being taken by illegals. And that knocks the entirety of the wage structure down. We've stupidly knocked out the first step on the job ladder for PC nonsense and to keep big-time employers like agrcultural consortiums and retailers stocked with cheap labor.


    This is antecdotal, but typical. The place I got my first job (after the paper route) was a fast food restaurant. Those jobs were held by mostly high school and college age local guys. Now, almost all of those same jobs at that place are held by Mexicans. As an employer, I understand his costs(and probably his bookkeeping, if their off the books) are a great deal less. And plus, given what snotnoses teens are today, it's probably a lot easier dealing with hard-working Mexicans. Just look around at all kind of jobs at that level, and then you know why all these whiny teens run around without a clue. We aren't getting them into that first job that teaches young people responsibility-shwoing up on time, dressing the part, dealing with the public, taking orders, managing money. And at the same time, we're shortchanging the whole wage structure downward.


    At some point, both right and left will wake up. I hope. But I don't see it yet.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Bugg[/i]@May 11 2004, 07:53 AM
    [b] Illegal immigration is what is killing the economy. Entry level positions and menial labor that were first jobs or part-time for teenagers are being taken by illegals. And that knocks the entirety of the wage structure down. We've stupidly knocked out the first step on the job ladder for PC nonsense and to keep big-time employers like agrcultural consortiums and retailers stocked with cheap labor.


    This is antecdotal, but typical. The place I got my first job (after the paper route) was a fast food restaurant. Those jobs were held by mostly high school and college age local guys. Now, almost all of those same jobs at that place are held by Mexicans. As an employer, I understand his costs(and probably his bookkeeping, if their off the books) are a great deal less. And plus, given what snotnoses teens are today, it's probably a lot easier dealing with hard-working Mexicans. Just look around at all kind of jobs at that level, and then you know why all these whiny teens run around without a clue. We aren't getting them into that first job that teaches young people responsibility-shwoing up on time, dressing the part, dealing with the public, taking orders, managing money. And at the same time, we're shortchanging the whole wage structure downward.


    At some point, both right and left will wake up. I hope. But I don't see it yet. [/b][/quote]
    I hear what you are saying and your point is valid, Bugg. But it's a double edged sword:

    Thanks to liberal ideology, dominate females stopped making babies back in the 60's. We have a burgeoning elderly population, that our politicians are beholden too.

    If Bush didn't sign the Senior Drug Plan bill, Kerry's operatives would be hammering that issue relentlessly right now. Instead, all they got is Iraq POW S&M photos to work with.

    We do need young, working people. The short term, big business will exploit them for cheap labor. We have to get federal and state governments to stop subsidizing their cheap wages with food stamps and section 8 housing. Then they will be forced to demand higher wages. That's what our grandfathers did, and that's what this new wave has to do.

    But that's going to be a tough nut to crack.

    A good place to start would be lining up all of our congressmen and senators, and shoot them. Or put them in boxes and set them on fire.

    If we don't start there, I can assure you, when this Ponzi scheme inevitably blows up in all our faces, it's gonna end there.

    GOOD DAY SIR.

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    True. Nobody wants to say that Social Security isn't sustainable because life expectancy climbs every year with medical advances as the birth rate shrinks. Nobody wants to means test anything. Logically, why should Bill Gates get the same benefits as a poor person? And since elderly people vote, no politician who can add will ever say any of these things.

    And again, the first thing I noticed when I got that first job was the taxes I had taken out on my first stub. And I've never forgotten that. You want kids to gorw up fast, that was a hard lesson. And it's a lesson teens today don't get.

    Best I can tell, teens today would rather play PS2 all day, get a tattoo or run around with size 44 pants and a backward cap than think about their future or, God forbid, WORK. And the loss of those toilet-scrubbing and dishwashing jobs is no small reason they're so ill-prepared for life. But they're chock full of sef-esteem and know how to put a condom on a banana. Yippee!

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    We lost tons of farming jobs as we moved towards industrialization at the turn of this century. There was much pain for many farmers and their families during that time. Where o where were all of the new jobs and markets going to come from? Tell those farmers of 1870 that TV, computers, airlines, telecommunications, software development, pop entertainment or any number of [i]modern [/i] job markets would take care of providing new employment opportunities and they would have looked at you as if you had four heads. Improvements in farming capital did [i]not [/i]increase the profits of farmers because even though their output was expanded and prices were dramatically lowered, the demand for farmed-produced foodstuffs proved to be very inelastic and they ended up with surplus output. The economy and culture at large was undergoing a tectonic shift in the factors of production. Mass innovation produced newer means of production, improved products and brand-new products. "Populism", which looks absurd now from the lens of distant perspective, was a very attractive movement back in the day.

    There is no such thing as a free lunch in economics. If firms don't lower costs of production, including captial and labor, they have to charge more in prices and the "costs" of this are passed on to comsumers. If we want them to keep jobs in America, the "costs" are still passed on in the form of lower wages and higher prices. Either we are willing to pay more for a Dell computer, or we are willing to work for less to produce them. There is no way aruond that cold and indifferent equation. You have a problem with "outsourcing?" Fine. Let's protect our economy and place prohibitive barriers to trade like tariffs and quotas and let's make it illegal for firms to export labor costs abroad. Get ready for higher prices and lower wages, in real terms. Get ready for Honda and Toyota, etc to shut down all of their plants and for people to lose jobs.

    Even China is realizing that open markets are the way to run an economy. The ENTIRE WORLD is moving in that direction. What do all of you anti-free trade guys think about the minimum wage in this country? Are you seriously going to talk about protectionism and then agree with guys like Senator Teddy Kopoeckni that we should increase the minimum wage by 35%? C'mon!

    What we are seeing is again a tectonic shift in our economy. Yes, there is pain for a lot of people in the short -term, again. Yes, people all believe the same "lump of labor fallacy" that populists 125 years ago believed. They thinking is that there are simply a finite number of jobs (and markets) out there and that if foreigners are getting them, it means we cannot. Just like a farmer in 1870 knowing nothing of airlines or information technology wouldn't believe fairy tales about new labor markets opening up with millions of jobs, and probably wouldn't bother to become educated to prepare for it, so do our labor unions and protectionist ilk talk about similar doomsday scenarios. Farmers had to deal with "foreign" competitors as millions and millions of immigrants came to our shores and started working in factories and mills and coal mines. None of those jobs required much education. Then, over the past few decades, college educations became important for people who wanted to move beyond manufacturing jobs.

    Free, open and as-unregulated-as-possible markets are responsible for raising the standard of living more than anything else in history (if we assume they take place in a relatively non-corrupt government - which the USA is, by far, relative to most other areas of the world). The world is getting smaller and smaller and has been for years. Importing and exporting has lowered prices for years AND CREATED AMERICAN JOBS.

    You guys can whine about it or you can accept it. Either way, it is happening and we cannot stop it. You cannot stop it. The train has already left the station ans has been increasing in speed a a geometric rate. We can only delay it. Protectionism is nosense, unless your goal is lower wages, higher prices, less innovation, more unemployment, retarded growth and a lower standard of living. The thought that our trading partners wouldn't react if we put tariffs on imports or restricted our firms prohibitively is nonsense...you saw what the EU threatened when Bush was talking about steel tariffs. Free markets have the potential to substantively raise the standard of living around the entire globe...which is what people have always said would do more to help world peace than any "treaty" or "multilateral" clap-trap.

    Our labor force needs to adjust. Manufacturing unions cannot have wages that are above market equilibrium and protection from competition forever. They used to have a monopoly in the labor markets of their industries. Americans HAVE to compete against other countries. It's just the way it is. Some of us know this and are taking steps to prepare for it. The government cannot be relied on to "create" your jobs or even to "protect" them forever. WE bear that awesome responsibility and WE have so far met every challenge in our short but wildly successful history. I have every confidence in our ability to do it again. The world is changing (again). Get with the program and stop whining. ;)

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Bugg[/i]@May 11 2004, 08:37 AM
    [b]
    Best I can tell, teens today would rather play PS2 all day, get a tattoo or run around with size 44 pants and a backward cap than think about their future or, God forbid, WORK. And the loss of those toilet-scrubbing and dishwashing jobs is no small reason they're so ill-prepared for life. But they're chock full of sef-esteem and know how to put a condom on a banana. Yippee! [/b][/quote]
    Reading this, made me think of that chick, who plopped a kid out into a toilet, and then went back dancing at her prom.

    Sigh.

    But all is not lost. There's alot of good kids out there, too. Indeed, I'll argue that they are exceptionally remarkable. In spite of all the crap they are bombarded with, some of them still have morals, ethics, and high standards.

    Always remember, Pat Tillman was a GEN X'er.

    And who could argue he didn't represent EVERYTHING good and decent?

  10. #10
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    Surprise Gifts for This Year's
    College Graduates: Job Offers

    By KRIS MAHER
    Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
    May 11, 2004; Page B1

    After listening to dire warnings about the economy as this year began, Daviece Clement says she was "scared out of my mind" about finding a job in advertising before graduating from Howard University. By April, however, she already had turned down two offers of employment and had taken a position in a two-year training program at Interpublic Group of Cos. in New York.

    "With this program, I'm being exposed to various learning opportunities and so many different advertising professions," says Ms. Clement, who graduated from Howard, in Washington, D.C., this past Saturday. "This job is more than I hoped for."

    On the day before Ms. Clement's graduation, the government's employment report showed the best two-month increase in jobs in four years. As the job market continues to thaw, some of the biggest beneficiaries are college seniors. For the first time in several years, many colleges are reporting an increase in on-campus recruiting, as the list of companies interviewing students and the number of available openings both have shot up. In turn, Ms. Clement and many other college seniors have been able to take their pick of several employers.

    During the recession and jobless recovery, graduating students were especially hard-hit by hiring cutbacks in industries such as financial services, information technology and consulting. "Sectors that were hiring young college graduates like gangbusters in the 1990s reversed course and really became cautious," says Jared Bernstein, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. "I think the tide is turning now."


    A survey last month by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that employers planned to hire 11.2% more college graduates from the class of 2004 than the previous class. Service-sector employers expected hiring to be up 16.1% over the prior year, while manufacturers predicted an increase of 12.6%. "It's the first time since 2001 that we've seen an increase from employers for college hiring," says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.

    Many of those hiring increases are coming from sectors where hiring had slowed dramatically in the past few years. Consulting company Accenture Ltd., for example, says it plans to hire 1,600 graduating college seniors this year, up from 750 last year. The San Francisco bank Wells Fargo & Co. plans to hire 103 undergraduates from the class of 2004, up from 63 the prior year.

    Areas that have been relatively strong have seen incremental increases. KPMG LLP, the audit and tax company, will hire 1,600 members of the class of 2004, up from 1,400 in 2003, and 1,200 in 2002.

    Students who decided to sit out the lackluster job market of the past few years by attending graduate school also are being rewarded. Jared Jacobs applied to 12 companies after graduating with a bachelor's degree in computer science from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, in 2001 and didn't hear back from a single company. He moved back home and worked for a year writing software for a government contractor, before opting to go back to school. This spring, nearing completion of a master's degree in computer science from Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., he got offers from Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc. Mr. Jacobs, 26 years old, accepted a position as a software engineer at Google, even though its $84,000 salary wasn't the highest offer he received, because he liked the company best.

    Average salaries offered to graduates also edged up from last year for more than half of college majors, according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Disciplines such as engineering, economics, marketing and liberal arts saw little change, but some fields jumped. Information sciences and systems graduates had the biggest increase among disciplines reported, a 10.7% rise from last year to $44,075. The average offer for computer-science graduates was $50,007, a 7.5% increase from 2003.

    The number of recruiters visiting campuses has clearly been up. At the College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 314 companies had either posted openings at the school or come to campus looking for students to hire as of the end of April, up from 231 last year. At Boston College, in Newton, Mass., 263 employers recruited students this year, up from 207 last year. "The demand really isn't letting up," says Laura Hoffman, director of employer and alumni relations at New York's Columbia University, where the number of on-campus interviews with recruiters more than doubled from last year.

    Total job openings also have significantly increased across a range of schools. Experience Inc., a Boston company that provides more than 500 schools with recruiting software that enables companies to post jobs, says that about 440,000 jobs have been posted on its system during the 2003-04 recruiting season, a 13% increase over last year. In addition to consulting and financial services, career-center directors say they see improvement in advertising and marketing, information technology and education.

    Even students seeking jobs in traditionally competitive fields, such as sports management, are snagging multiple offers. Jenny Pedersen turned down four offers from baseball teams to take a job as a corporate sales and marketing coordinator for the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. "Daytona is the Yankees of the racing tracks, so it's pretty exciting," says Ms. Pedersen, 21.

    The prospect of multiple job offers is a thrill for students but can make the job of recruiters tougher. "Yes, we do see that competitive edge coming back, where students do have multiple offers," says Blane Ruschak, national director of campus recruiting for KPMG. "That's driven us to get to know students earlier in their college career."

    Some students, of course, aren't having as much luck. Colleen O'Hara, 22, graduates this Friday with a degree in public relations from the University of Southern California at Los Angeles; she has had seven interviews for marketing, event-planning and community-relations positions since mid-March, without success. "I've been working at least part time during my entire college career, so I'm OK with being unemployed for a month or two," she says.

    In addition to filling vacancies, companies are turning to college graduates to build an employee base that can step in as an aging work force begins to retire during the next few years.

    The rail industry, in particular, is planning for an increasing number of new hires because of the improving economy as well as a recent increase in retirements following a change in the industry's early-retirement rules. The industry plans to hire 80,000 workers during the next six years.

    The change has been a boon for Randy Hunt, who graduated this past Sunday from Duke University, Durham, N.C. Mr. Hunt, 22, joins a management-trainee program at Norfolk Southern Corp. and hopes to be assigned to a rail yard where he will oversee operations as a trainmaster. "I'm not the kind of guy who wants to sit behind a desk for the rest of my life," he says.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jet Moses+May 11 2004, 08:06 AM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Jet Moses @ May 11 2004, 08:06 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--Bugg[/i]@May 11 2004, 07:53 AM
    [b] Illegal immigration is what is killing the economy. Entry level positions and menial labor that were first jobs or part-time for teenagers are being taken by illegals. And that knocks the entirety of the wage structure down. We&#39;ve stupidly knocked out the first step on the job ladder for PC nonsense and to keep big-time employers like agrcultural consortiums and retailers stocked with cheap labor.


    This is antecdotal, but typical. The place I got my first job (after the paper route) was a fast food restaurant. Those jobs were held by mostly high school and college age local guys. Now, almost all of those same jobs at that place are held by Mexicans. As an employer, I understand his costs(and probably his bookkeeping, if their off the books) are a great deal less. And plus, given what snotnoses teens are today, it&#39;s probably a lot easier dealing with hard-working Mexicans. Just look around at all kind of jobs at that level, and then you know why all these whiny teens run around without a clue. We aren&#39;t getting them into that first job that teaches young people responsibility-shwoing up on time, dressing the part, dealing with the public, taking orders, managing money. And at the same time, we&#39;re shortchanging the whole wage structure downward.


    At some point, both right and left will wake up. I hope. But I don&#39;t see it yet. [/b][/quote]
    I hear what you are saying and your point is valid, Bugg. But it&#39;s a double edged sword:

    Thanks to liberal ideology, dominate females stopped making babies back in the 60&#39;s. We have a burgeoning elderly population, that our politicians are beholden too.

    If Bush didn&#39;t sign the Senior Drug Plan bill, Kerry&#39;s operatives would be hammering that issue relentlessly right now. Instead, all they got is Iraq POW S&M photos to work with.

    We do need young, working people. The short term, big business will exploit them for cheap labor. We have to get federal and state governments to stop subsidizing their cheap wages with food stamps and section 8 housing. Then they will be forced to demand higher wages. That&#39;s what our grandfathers did, and that&#39;s what this new wave has to do.

    But that&#39;s going to be a tough nut to crack.

    A good place to start would be lining up all of our congressmen and senators, and shoot them. Or put them in boxes and set them on fire.

    If we don&#39;t start there, I can assure you, when this Ponzi scheme inevitably blows up in all our faces, it&#39;s gonna end there.

    GOOD DAY SIR. [/b][/quote]
    On Democrats and Welfare Programs:

    Low income voters inherently are happy with programs designed to give them breaks while taxing someone else more to pay for them. Well I&#39;m going to take that argument a little further. I believe that welfare and housing programs as they are set up today only breed additional laziness and poverty. Furthermore, I think the Democrats understand that fact and exploit it to keep those populations down. These programs penalize families who try to better themselves by getting jobs and education. Once a certain income level is exceeded the families are dropped from the programs. So what motivation is there for these families? None, and that&#39;s how the Democrats want it. This creates a canned voter segment for the Democrats. If 15 - 20 % of the population will automatically vote for the party that offers the most handouts then the competition for elections is dangerously skewed form the start.
    In my experiences with tenants in Brooklyn I have seen many examples of how these handout programs negatively effect population segments. In contrast, immigrant families from places like Latin America, which are not eligible for hand out programs tend to be much more hard working and self sufficient. I believe that all of the low income minority communities in this country could excel and better themslves given the opportunity and that what is holding them back is the very thing they want more of. Handouts. Take the example of the Native American population a once proud community now impoverished and descimated because of the handouts given to them.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Riggins44[/i]@May 11 2004, 12:35 AM
    [b]

    It would be nice if folks put America first and foremost, not the Democratic or Republican party, which have been [b]"bought"[/b] already&#33;&#33; [/b][/quote]
    Riggo, ain&#39;t that the truth.

    The saddest thing about today is that you have way too many people blindly supporting policies for their party agenda instead of the American Agenda. Furthermore, if you speak out of line and question something then one is conveniently labeled as a right wing conservative or a left wing liberal.

    Truth of the matter is that there has to be a place to meet in the middle to make things work. That is what made us the greatest country in the world. Unfortunately our politicians are for the most part spoiled rich kids that whine like pussies and behave like two year old brats when someone disagrees with them. Moreso, way too much of the population is blinded by the failures that is perpetuated by their chosen party. That too is troubling.

    I used to care about this stuff. But I stopped giving a damn about it and decided to channel my energy to profit from the stupidity that comes from Washington. No one else cares what they say or do in Washington because of their chosen political blinders. Therefore, I might as well go and get mine and that is what I do every day.

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    I agree with you outsider and Riggo. But, I don&#39;t think protectionism is the answer, nor do I abhore free and open markets.

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    5ever I agree with you as well.

    However, I think we are at a cross roads in the global economy. I am not a protectionist and I am for a free market. However, most of this countries employees and business owners alike are about to be handed a significant pay cut. To make ourselves economically competitive we will have to allow our currency to fall a lot more. This will have global consequences as well because if our currency gets devalued then that would also take more money out of the global markets. At least that is what I think is going to happen. I hope there is a solution to avoid this but I doubt Washington is smart enough to figure it out.

  15. #15
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by outsider[/i]@May 11 2004, 01:07 PM
    [b] 5ever I agree with you as well.

    However, I think we are at a cross roads in the global economy. I am not a protectionist and I am for a free market. However, most of this countries employees and business owners alike are about to be handed a significant pay cut. To make ourselves economically competitive we will have to allow our currency to fall a lot more. This will have global consequences as well because if our currency gets devalued then that would also take more money out of the global markets. At least that is what I think is going to happen. I hope there is a solution to avoid this but I doubt Washington is smart enough to figure it out. [/b][/quote]
    Outsider -

    That&#39;s the point. Washington doesn&#39;t have to figure out a solution. The market will correct itself. I am not saying there is an "invisible hand" in a Smithian sense, and yes, the government can massage the economy to lessen the extremities of the business cycle. (Keynes was right about a lot, but Friedman was smarter&#33;)But the government is stupid, inefficient, and creates more bubbles and harsh cycles than it ameliorates. As long as they enforce contracts and people trust money, we should leave things to the market, IMO.

    WE...you, me, everyone - it is up to US to makse sure we remain competitive. It ALWAYS has been and ALWAYS will be.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@May 11 2004, 12:19 AM
    [b] Hannity was on today wondering why according to Gallop 51% of Americans don&#39;t believe the economy has improved. :blink:

    great post Riggo

    the truth is a tough pill to swallow.

    everyone who considers themselves a supporter of the President should read these numbers

    if you have kids take heart he&#39;s screwing them way harder than he&#39;s screwing the current crop of unemployed people [/b][/quote]
    ...what&#39;s Kerry&#39;s position on this?

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    Thnaks for nuthin&#39; Johnny Boy-

    Kerry a no-show when it counts
    By Boston Herald editorial staff
    Wednesday, May 12, 2004

    We never thought we&#39;d be grateful to have Sen. John Kerry [related, bio] too busy on the campaign trail to tend to his day job. But there&#39;s a first for everything.

    A Democratic election-year favorite - extending federal unemployment benefits for six months - went down the drain yesterday by one vote.

    And guess who wasn&#39;t in the Senate chamber to put the measure over the top?

    Proponents needed 60 senators to support the procedural move to get the extension considered. It failed 59-40.

    That&#39;s a very good thing. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent last month. Employers added nearly 300,000 new jobs. Almost 900,000 new jobs have been created so far this year. This is no time to discourage those on the unemployment rolls from looking for work.

    The problem for John Kerry is you sure can&#39;t run against President Bush [related, bio] on the ``jobless recovery&#39;&#39; issue when the recovery is no longer jobless. And it&#39;s even harder to castigate Bush and the Republican Congress for blocking benefits for the unemployed when you&#39;re a no-show.

    That didn&#39;t stop Kerry from trying, again, to have it both ways.

    Kerry spokesman David Wade said, ``John Kerry has fought again and again to extend unemployment benefits for workers left behind in the Bush economy.

    ``The reason we haven&#39;t succeeded is because George Bush opposes extending unemployment insurance, and so do his allies in the Republican House of Representatives and 39 Republican senators,&#39;&#39; Wade added.

    Come again? The Bush campaign debate prepsters couldn&#39;t have asked for a better comeback when Kerry starts pontificating about Bush being anti-worker. At least the president shows up for work.

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