Tag Archive | "Productivity"

$10.10-An Hour Minimum Wage Campaign Is A REALLY Bad Idea

The campaign for a $10.10 federal minimum wage, championed by the president, Democrats in Congress and a whole raft of “liberal/progressive” organizations, is a very bad idea.

To be clear, I’m not arguing it’s too ambitious. The opposite: what we need is a campaign, now, today, for a minimum wage of $20-an-hour. Anything less is a failure to confront poverty in America and a bankrupt economic system.

$10.10-an-hour will not allow people to make a fair living, or challenge the basic, “We-make-profits-thanks-to-poverty” system that underpins today’s real world economy.

Anything short of $20-a-hour is a capitulation to the most narrow politics, particularly on the part of so-called “liberals/progressives” who are, unintentionally, locking into place deep poverty in America and ratifying the basic principle of the so-called “free market”.

And $20-an-hour actually relates to real life after you look at a very complicated idea: simple math.

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$15-An-Hour Minimum Wage: Thisclose, 19-Vote Lead (UPDATE #2)

With about 250-300 ballots left to count, the ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $15-an-hour in the city of SeaTac is leading by just 19 votes. It’s lost a bit of ground since Tuesday’s lead of 43 votes. But, win or lose, it could set a different standard for the debate around the minimum wage.

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Minimum Wage Bottom Line

You don’t have to remember much about the minimum wage debate. Except for this.

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An American Scandal and A Meek Proposal

Well, bravo for the president for going to fight for a rise in the minimum wage. But, let’s be clear — this isn’t going to do much to raise people out of poverty.

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Austerity Hurts The Mind and The Body

Austerity is a bad thing. As I’ve pointed out before, when an economy is suffering from lower demand, the last thing you want to do is squeeze the pocketbooks of the very people who you want to have out there spending money. But, here’s another thing: it makes you sick. Literally.

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Profits Based on Cost-Cutting

   What does it mean when corporate profits are up–but people aren’t buying enough to sustain those profits? As in this report today via The Wall Street Journal: A record number of U.S. companies beat earnings expectations in the third quarter, but a big portion of their profits came from cost-cutting, disappointing investors who were […]

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Productivity: Numbers That Hurt

   I’ve made the point a lot that productivity has, over the past 30 years, soared while wages have remained flat in real terms over that period of time. That is important because when people are more productive at work that, in theory, should translate into wage increase.    Well, here is a productivity number […]

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The Depression Is Here–Except For Wall Street Executives

Today brings in stark relief the economic chasm in America: the Depression is here, if you measure what real people are going through, but, on Wall Street, the party continues as, in Marie Antoinette style, financial executives reap millions while the rest of the people grasp for crumbs.   Today, David Leonhardt has an excellent […]

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The Continued Myth About Unemployment–New Version

   The Wall Street Journal has a story today looking at what a modern depression would look like. The story asserts: There is no consensus definition for "depression." Harvard University economist Robert Barro defines it as a decline in per-person economic output or consumption of more than 10%, and puts the odds of a depression […]

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The AIG Robbery Is A Sideshow: Where Was The Outrage Before?

  I am watching the parade of outraged leaders–especially Democrats–who are railing about the AIG bonuses and, to be honest, I’m far more disgusted by the outrage then the chump change being argued over. Because the outrage masks this fact: virtually our entire political and economic leadership has turned a blind eye, and actually endorsed, […]

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The Financial Times: Capitalism Has Failed

  Yes, that is the underlying message delivered today by one of the world’s leading financial publications. For many of us, this is no surprise: you had to be truly ignorant to pretend like the economic system was a success just based on the growing divide between rich and poor over the past decade, and […]

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Conspiracy of Silence: Wage Collapse Caused Crisis

Every day, there is another example of the conspiracy of silence that pervades the traditional media’s description of the current economic crisis. Sure, de-regulation, greed and pure stupidity has a lot to do with it. But, in truth, the underlying reason for the collapse has been a persistent war on the wages of American workers. […]

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Shocking News: We’re In A Recession

   Well, duh. We needed a group of economists to tell us what we already know and felt for a long time. And you have to wonder: were they asleep since it took them until now to tell us that, by their reckoning, the recession began a year ago. From the Financial Times: Evidence of […]

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Working Harder–But Sliding Down, Again…

   It’s enlightening to read the economic data popping out from the various number crunchers. Guess what? Productivity climbed beyond anyone’s expectations, according to this story on The Wall Street Journal’s website this morning: Nonfarm business productivity jumped 4.3%, at an annual rate, in the second quarter, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s almost double […]

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Is Declaring A “Recession” Finally Irrelevant?

   I’ve always been a bit skeptical about the ability of government statistics, economists and prognosticators–pretending to be in the last cateogry myself sometimes–to accurately portray what is actually happening to people. Government stats like Gross Domestic Product don’t tell you much other than stuff is being made–it doesn’t really give you a good picture […]

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Working Harder–But Sliding Down

    A few days ago, I got a copy of a report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) that looks at some global employment trends. The report has got some good data–but, memo to the folks at the ILO, it is really written way too boringly (spice it up!!!). Do you want people to read […]

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