Category Archives: Labor

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Unemployment Vanquished

governor tarkin reduced unemployment alderaan to 0

It’s About Time We Stopped “Trying Communism”, by Ethan Yang

Communism has never worked. It’s failing now, as it always has before, and it will never work. From Ethan Yang at aier.org:

I don’t know how many protests, solidarity movements, refugees, human rights alerts, economic collapses, and purges are going to get this message through everyone’s heads, Communism is a terrible system of governance. In fact, at this point, we should be consistent. Any government that does not guarantee as to the very justification for its existence, individual rights, open markets, and accountable governance, is worth challenging.

I am of course referring to the ongoing protest in Cuba, to which those on the far left will shamefully attribute to the US embargo on the Communist regime. Others may simply beat around the bush and try to attribute the reasons for the protests to current events. Although all these may contribute to the discontent fueling the Cuban protests, just like every single Communist regime, the ultimate reason why things are going poorly is that the people live under a crushing regime of incompetence and oppression.

To make room for a colleague that will inevitably publish on the Cuban protests in more detail, my article will focus not on Cuba but on the general topic of Communism.

The Shameful Track Record of Communism

Real Communism has never been tried before, but it certainly has been attempted in all sorts of flavors and every single one of them sucked. For some reason, their leaders can’t bring themselves to care about the rights of individuals. Perhaps it undermines their overall collectivist views? Perhaps individual dignity would lead down the slippery slope to capitalism? Perhaps individual rights and preferences are a bourgeois construct? That’s certainly what Che Guevara, the leader of Cuba’s Communist revolution, and Fidel Castro, Communist Cuba’s first leader thought. In fact, Human Progress points out,

“Both Guevara and Castro considered homosexuality a bourgeois decadence. In an interview in 1965, Castro explained that “A deviation of that nature clashes with the concept we have of what a militant communist should be.”

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After Slashing 33% of Workers in 6 Years, Railroads Complain about Labor Shortages, amid Uproar over Slow Shipments, by Wolf Richter

Sometimes its nice to have a few extra workers; you never know when you’re going to need them. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

“No way did I realize how difficult it was going to be to try and get people to come to work these days”: CEO of CSX.

So there are few hiccups in the US economy right now. James Foote, the chief executive of CSX, one of the largest railroads in the US, put it this way during the earnings call yesterday (transcript by Seeking Alpha):

“I’ve never seen any kind of a thing like this in the transportation environment in my entire career where everything seems to be going sideways at the same time,” he said.

“In January when I got on this [earnings] call, I said we were hiring because we anticipated growth. I fully expected that by now we would have about 500 new T&E [train and engine] employees on the property,” he said. “No way did I or anybody else in the last six months realize how difficult it was going to be to try and get people to come to work these days.”

“It’s an enormous challenge for us to go out and find people that want to be conductors on the railroad, just like it’s hard to find people that want to be baristas or anything else, it’s very, very difficult,” he said.

“Nor did we anticipate that a lot of the people were going to decide they didn’t want to work anymore. So attrition was much higher in the first half of the year than what we had expected,” he said.

“So even though we brought on 200 new employees, we fell short of where we thought we would be by now….”

Railroads are grappling with a weird phenomenon that is a combination of “labor shortages” and 12.6 million people still claiming some form of unemployment compensation, amid stimulus-fueled demand.

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Life and Death in the Age of Fear, by MN Gordon

Overblown fear is driving a lot of idiotic policies. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

The general mood presently being fortified by the chattering classes is one of perpetual fear.  The basic stratagem includes continuously implanting the populace with extreme panic.  For a fearful populace is a subservient populace.

The current hobgoblin is the delta variant of the coronavirus.  The bug, at this very moment, is dispersing through the population…as viruses do.  And, per latest reports from the front lines, the lambda variant’s now on the loose too.

Nonetheless, there’s something on the loose that’s far more deadly to society than a mutated coronavirus.  That is, the virus of fear.  It originates with the control freak central planners.  Then it’s showered on the populace in rapid succession.

Last Sunday, for example, at the conclusion of a meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she was, “…concerned that coronavirus variants could derail the global economic recovery and called for an urgent push to deploy vaccines more rapidly around the world.”

And to avoid catching the delta variant, Dr. Anthony Fauci – a complete doof – stated that, “…if you want to go the extra mile of safety even though you’re vaccinated when you are indoors, particularly in crowded places, you might want to consider wearing a mask.”

Certainly, the opportunities to spread the virus of fear are countless.  New coronavirus variants.  Cyberattacks.  Climate change.  Terrorism.  The Russian menace.  The China problem.  UFOs.

You name it…the sky’s the limit…

Situation Perpetual Fear

The most advantageous kind of fear in the eyes of the political class is fear that can be tied to some sort of imminent economic calamity.  Such fears are not entirely fabricated.  Rather, they stem from a real threat, which is then whooped up and overblown to the max.

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Here’s Why America’s Labor-Shortage Will Drive Inflation Higher, by Charles Hugh Smith

There’s not a labor shortage, there’s a shortage of a set of important skills, and it will take time and higher relative wages to remedy the situation. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Great swaths of the American workforce are already on strike or slipping away from the dead-end treadmill.

America’s labor shortage is complex and doesn’t lend itself to the simplistic expectations favored by media talking heads. The Wall Street cheerleaders extol the virtues of “getting America back to work” which is Wall-Street-speak for getting back to exploiting workers to maximize corporate profits.

Long-term demographics have combined with cultural changes and Covid-Lockdown epiphanies to completely re-order America’s labor force beneath the superficial surface of “re-opening.” No one post can do justice to such a complex topic, so I’ll touch on a few of the many inter-connected (and often mutually reinforcing) dynamics.

1. Boomers are leaving the workforce in droves. The statistics are incomplete but we know that a larger percentage of Boomers have been working longer than previous generations. A Pew Research 2018 study documents this: Baby Boomers are staying in the labor force at rates not seen in generations for people their age.

Now Boomers are leaving the workforce. Some are retiring, i.e. qualifying for pensions and/or Social Security benefits, while many others who have been drawing retirement benefits while they continued working are quitting the workforce. A November 2020 report discusses this reversal:

The pace of Boomer retirements has accelerated in the past year: (pewresearch.org)
This is 3.2 million more Boomers than the 25.4 million who were retired in the same quarter of 2019.

According to the Social Security Administration, around 3.2 million workers signed on for their Social Security retirement benefits in 2019, and around 2.7 million more people qualified for disability benefits or as dependents of retirees or disabled workers. Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2020

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Get an Education, by Jeff Thomas

There’s a huge difference between being schooled and being educated. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

Get an Education

Back in the ’60s, an interviewer asked the “King of Folk Music”, Bob Dylan, what his goal in life was. Bob answered something to the effect of:

“I want to make enough money to go to college, so one day I can be somebody.”

Bob had a good sense of irony. And certainly, he was always more inclined to think outside the box than to follow the well-trodden path. That was part of what made him so interesting and part of what made him so successful. A similar sentiment was expressed in a song by his peer, Paul Simon:

“When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.”

In those days, just like today, the customary idea of success was that you attended university for a number of years, you received a degree, and then you would be given a job where you could wear a necktie and receive a salary that had an extra zero behind it.

Then, as now, that’s quite true for anyone who seeks a career in engineering, medicine, law, etc., but less so for virtually everyone else. Those who pursue a degree in gender studies or 18th-century French literature are likely to find that, after they graduate, they’ve learned little or nothing that translates into potential income.

Of course, universities value such courses highly and professors love to teach them. After all, they never really left school themselves. They went straight from being students to being teachers and never had to learn to be productive in the larger world. As such, they are the very worst advisors to students wondering what courses to take in order to one day seek employment.

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What Would a World Without Personal Property Look Like? by Aden Tate

Property rights are the fundamental human right. A world without property rights would be a chaotic struggle to the death. From Aden Tate at theorganicpepper.com:

Within the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset, the mantra has come out that by the year 2030, “you’ll own nothing. And you’ll be happy.”

For those of us who haven’t been brainwashed by communism, this likely seems somewhat disturbing. But let us examine just how one can ensure “people don’t own anything.”

Let’s look at what a world without personal property looks like.

Medical Tyranny

“If it were up to me, anybody not wearing a mask when they are out in public would be arrested … That’s an act of domestic terrorism and should be treated like one,” Lancaster, California, Mayor Rex Parris

Let’s start with the low-hanging fruit, shall we? John Locke pointed out that “Every man has a property in his own person,” with Paul Skousen further adding that your body is your first piece of original property that you own. If you are to own nothing, does it not follow that your body will no longer be your own as well?

We already see the fruits of this type of thinking in forced (or coerced)vaccinations for people to work and travel (and not be arrested). We’ve most certainly seen this with mandatory masking. What could be the further logical progressions of this type of thought, though?

Is mandatory sterilization out of the question? What about forced organ donation? Are these indeed that far out of a concept – are they not the next logical step – in a world where you own nothing?

Forced Relocation

“The theory of communism may be summed up in the single sentence: abolition of private property.” – Karl Marx.

You will no longer own your house. And if you no longer hold the right to choice, your body, or your property, then you likely won’t have much of a say as to where you would reside either. Perhaps climate change could be argued as a reason to move all people into cities. Maybe racism/equity could be claimed as to why your home is being given to somebody else.

Regardless of which form it takes place, there are excellent odds that you would not be permitted to live where you want for long.

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No, We Weren’t All Born Yesterday! by David Stockman

Anybody with any memory or perspective who pays attention to the numbers coming out of the government’s economic data mill knows they’re basically meaningless. From David Stockman at davidstockmanscontracorner.com via lewrockwell.com:

According to the mainstream narrative, we were all born yesterday. There is no such thing as context, history or critical analysis – just cherry-picked short-term data-deltas, which are held to be either awesome or at least much improved from last time.

That’s why we predictably got this headline from the Wall Street Journal with reference to today’s June employment release, which allegedly showed “employers added 850,000 jobs last month”:

Stocks Tick Higher With Strong Jobs Report

Well, no, it wasn’t and they (employers) didn’t. In fact, total hours worked in June actually declined from the May level, and, far more importantly, were still down 4.4% from the pre-Covid peak in February 2020.

When expressed in total hours, there is absolutely nothing “strong” at all about the numbers. To wit, at the end of Q2 2021 total hours employed in the nonfarm economy were still down 8 billion hours from the Q4 2019 level.

That’s right. Eight billion worker hours are MIA, yet the lazy shills at the WSJ, Bloomberg, Reuters et. al. keep pumping out bilge about an awesome economic rebound!

Actually, what has never been noted notwithstanding the fact that it sits there in plain sight on the BLS website is that Dr. Fauci and his economy wreckers dug a far deeper hole in the main street labor market last spring than the narrative led you to believe. At the pre-Covid peak in Q4 2019, the nonfarm economy utilized 257.2 billion labor hours at an annualized rate, but that plunged by nearly -12% to just 227.6 billion hours in Q2 2020.

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An Unflinching Guide to Biden’s Immigration Fiasco, by Charles Lipson

The Biden administration is doing nothing to staunch the flow of immigrants into the US and has in fact gone out of its way to welcome them. From Charles Lipson at realclearpolitics.com:

An Unflinching Guide to Biden's Immigration Fiasco

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

The crisis of illegal immigration—to give this calamity its true name—is growing increasingly grave. The reason is no mystery. The Biden administration replaced policies that staunched the illegal flow of migrants with policies that actually encourage it.

Instead of securing the U.S. border, the administration says it wants to deal with the “root cause,” desperation in Central America. That won’t work for two reasons. First, the administration doesn’t have the tools to markedly change conditions in Central America. Second, even if the policies could stimulate economic growth, improve safety, and reduce corruption—spoiler alert, they can’t—they won’t have any significant impact for years. Under even the most optimistic scenarios, they couldn’t reduce immigration anytime soon. It’s a policy based on a mirage.

The Biden team is certainly right that bad conditions in Mexico and Central America drive immigration. But it’s easy to show that’s the wrong explanation for our current crisis. The reason, as all social scientists know, is that “you cannot explain change with a constant.” What is constant here? Poverty, corruption, and danger in Mexico and Central America. Since those “root causes” have not changed over the past year, they cannot explain the dramatic rise in illegal immigration since Biden took office. What does explain it? The administration’s decision not to secure the southern border and to give up any serious effort at preventing illegal immigration. Migrants have gotten the message, and they are coming north in unprecedented numbers.

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Paying people NOT to work causes Economic Inactivity [Letter from Great Britain – 06-26-21], by Austrian Peter

Keep the government from interfering in the labor market and downward wage rigidity and contrived worker scarcity would be gone in a heartbeat. From Austrian Peter at theburningplatform.com:

BUT until we get on to unemployment I have a SURPRISE observation and before we get to the meat of my Letter, here is the entrée: My grandchildren and 90% of their generation have become captured by an NHS ‘App’ which acts as a jailer’s anchor bracelet corralling them into an electronic cage, sans freedom of movement. OK – I might be a crotchety old man and out-of-touch with TECH and what’s going on in Britain generally – but this is ridiculous!

Apparently they download the ‘NHS App’ which warns them if they have been close to a ‘sick’ Covidian and then they have to isolate themselves in their homes for 10 days until the App says they can come out into the world again!  I am amazed that this is done entirely voluntarily, without question, and without malice aforethought – ‘staggering’ is not strong enough to describe this captured prisoner syndrome – they can’t see that they are enslaved into the UK biosecurity state, never to know freedom that, for me, is a natural human right.

Yes, the world in 2021 has definitely lost its moorings and is now spinning off into social hyperspace leaving me on my island of ignorance, happy indeed not to be part of this contrived drama.  “See the happy moron, he doesn’t give a damn.  I wish I was a moron, my God! Perhaps I am?”

I can now see what the ruling elite are doing – they have captured Millennials, Gen Z and some of Gen X; us free-thinking Boomers will be gone soon and then the Great Reset will come into its own.  Thank God I won’t be here to see a virtual concentration camp ruled by Nazis who really never lost WW2 and hear them weaving their nefarious plans to take over the world – it looks like they are indeed winning.

You have to know there is a prison if you are to understand you are a prisoner.

FIRST – My pseudonym is ‘Austrian Peter’ – NOT because I am Austrian, far from it – but because I subscribe to Austrian economics theory which I cover in Chapter 11 of my book.  For me this ‘philosophy’, or ‘religion’ as my friend Gerry prefers to call it, neatly counters the failed theories of John Maynard Keynes Investopedia Lord Keynes  which our Masters of the Financial Universe have been using ever since WW2.

The British-Austrian economist William Harold Hutt identified Keynes’s theory of unemployment equilibrium as the most novel and original aspect of his work. Henry Hazlitt’s second law is the observation that everything in Keynes’s General Theory is either unoriginal or untrue. From Hazlitt we know that the unemployment equilibrium doctrine is untrue.

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