Tag Archives: jobs

Europe Unemployment. Big Government, Less Jobs, by Daniel Lacalle

Bigger government means a smaller private sector and less wealth to create innovation and jobs. From Daniel Lacalle at dlacalle.com:

The unemployment rate in the Euro Area fell to 7% in December and 6.4% in the European Union, compared with the United States at 3.9%. We cannot forget that these unemployment rates do not include furloughed jobs covered by unemployment retention schemes, which account for another 5 million workers waiting to return to normal activity.

After a fiscal stimulus plan of more than 5% of GDP in 2020 and another 4% in 2021 and the European Central Bank purchasing 100% of net issuances from most sovereigns, the recovery shows a concerning weakness. Furlough jobs are rising again, working hours are still below the pre-pandemic level and real wages are falling as inflation eats the recovery.

In December 2021, the youth unemployment rate was 14.9% in both the EU and the euro area.

These unemployment levels are high, but some member states have even higher jobless ratios. Spain has a 13% official unemployment rate with still 220 thousand furlough jobs, and the youth unemployment rate stands at 30%.

What these figures show is that high government spending and enormous employment retention schemes have not helped to get the European economy recovering faster or improve job creation compared to similar economic zones.

The economic recovery has been slow and the job creation even slower. Furthermore, a large proportion of the job recovery has been from the public sector. In Spain, for example, there are still 95k less jobs in the private sector than before the pandemic and 220k more in the public sector.

Continue reading→

The Cassandras Were Right: The ‘Cure’ for COVID — a Global Takedown of the 99% — Has Proven Far Worse Than the Disease, by the Children’s Health Defense Team

SLL has been one of those Cassandras from the get-go. From the Children’s Health Defense Team at childrenshealthdefense.org:

Early in 2020, shocked citizens and social scientists predicted the widespread imposition of extreme “non-pharmaceutical interventions” in response to COVID would prove to have horrible and costly human and economic trade-offs — turns out they were right.

In early 2020, when authorities in China implemented — overnight — a draconian “lockdown” of 100 million citizens in response to reports of a new virus, the rest of the world little suspected that in short order, the same unprecedented home incarceration policy, along with a host of other “non-pharmaceutical interventions” (NPIs) would be coming soon to a locality near them.

Never before have so-called NPIs — which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also euphemistically refers to as “community mitigation strategies” — so aggressively taken center stage during a declared disease outbreak.

In the U.S., the five most adopted state-level COVID NPIs have been state-of-emergency orders, bans or limits on social gatherings, school closures, business restrictions (notably, restaurants) and stay-at-home orders.

The daunting list of “top-down … and bottom-up” NPI measures also includes travel bans, curfews, social distancing, masks, chemical hygiene and remote working — all adding up to the behavior change equivalent of shock doctrine financial austerity.

Early in 2020, shocked citizens and social scientists predicted the widespread imposition of these “extreme measures of unknown effectiveness” would prove to have horrible and costly human and economic trade-offs.

Continue reading→

It’s Not “Just Property”: How Looting Destroys Lives and Low-Income Neighborhoods, by Ryan McMaken

One of the obscenities peddled by the rioters is that it’s okay to loot and destroy businesses because looting is actually reparations. By that rationale anyone can take anything from anyone, including from the looters (almost all of whom, on a global scale, rank in the top 10 or 20 percent of income and wealth) themselves. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

It’s now become fashionable on the left to defend looting as a means of redistributing wealth from allegedly unworthy business owners to the more deserving looters themselves.

“It’s just property!” is the refrain, with the implication being that property owners should not defend their property with coercive means—such as calling in the police or using privately owned weapons against looters.1

This is the philosophy behind a recent declaration from a Black Lives Matter organizer. As the New York Post reported on August 11:

“I don’t care if somebody decides to loot a Gucci’s or a Macy’s or a Nike because that makes sure that that person eats. That makes sure that that person has clothes,” [BLM organizer] Ariel Atkins said at a rally outside the South Loop police station Monday, local outlets reported….“That’s a reparation,” Atkins said.

A more full apologia for looting now comes in the form of a new book titled In Defense of Looting by Vicky Osterweil, who identifies herself as “a writer, editor, and agitator based in Philadelphia.”

In an interview with National Public Radio, Osterweil states:

When I use the word looting, I mean the mass expropriation of property, mass shoplifting during a moment of upheaval or riot….

It tends to be an attack on a business, a commercial space, maybe a government building—taking those things that would otherwise be commodified and controlled and sharing them for free.

Osterweil then goes on to assert that looting is basically a poverty relief program and that it liberates the looters from having to work for a living:

It gets people what they need for free immediately, which means that they are capable of living and reproducing their lives without having to rely on jobs or a wage.

Continue reading

Stress Test of a Straining Superpower, by Patrick J. Buchanan

The US is a failing superpower and it assuredly will not pass this stress test. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

How great a burden can even an unrivaled superpower carry before it buckles and breaks? We may be about to find out.

Rome was the superpower of its time, ruling for centuries almost the entirety of what was then called the civilized world.

Great Britain was a superpower of its day, but she bled, bankrupted and broke herself in the Thirty Years War of the West from 1914-1945.

By Winston Churchill’s death in 1965, the empire had vanished, and Britain was being invaded by a stream of migrants from its former colonies.

America was the real superpower of the 20th century and became sole claimant to that title with the collapse of the Soviet Union between 1989 and 1991, an event Vladimir Putin called “the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century.”

Has America’s turn come? Is America breaking under the burdens it has lately assumed and is attempting to carry?

Today, at the presidential library of Richard Nixon, who ushered Mao’s China onto the world stage, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is laying out a strategy of containment and confrontation of a China that is far more the equal of the USA than was the USSR.

Continue reading→

The Huge Fear: How Do I Pay the Bills? by Mish Shedlock

Paying bills—only the little people worry about such things. From Mish Shedlock at moneymaven.io:

Those living paycheck to paycheck are the first to lose their jobs and have hours cut. They are justifiably worried.
Jobs that require personal contact such as servers in restaurants, those running a cash register or cleaning hotel rooms are the most vulnerable to layoffs. Those workers are flooding state unemployment websites across the country.

Here’s the surging fear ‘I Have Bills I Have to Pay.’

As coronavirus shutdowns halt commerce across the U.S., low-wage workers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, are being quickly stung. That includes restaurant workers, hotel maids, dog walkers and child-care providers. In many cases, the cuts are tied to shutdowns and cancellations of events in sports stadiums, industry conventions, casinos, music festivals and other public gatherings.

Malls, restaurants and hotels have closed in many areas of the country. Already, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits—a proxy for layoffs—increased last week by 70,000 from the previous week, with states telling the Labor Department the cause was the pandemic. Economists predict a much bigger surge when numbers are released for this week, with Goldman Sachs Economics Research estimating roughly 2.25 million new claims for jobless benefits.

More than 90% of the announced U.S. job cuts tied to the coronavirus were at restaurants and other entertainment and leisure businesses, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Continue reading→


A Wicked Cocktail of Corporate Greed, Social Media and Opioids Is Slashing U.S. Life Expectancy Rates, by Robert Bridges

US life expectancies have declined for three straight years. Why? From Robert Bridge at strategic-culture.org:

Following decades of increased life expectancy rates, Americans have been dying earlier for three consecutive years since 2014, turning the elusive quest for the ‘American Dream’ into a real-life nightmare for many. Corporate America must accept some portion of the blame for the looming disaster.

Something is killing Americans and researchers have yet to find the culprit. But we can risk some intuitive guesses.

According to researchers from the Center on Society and Health, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, American life expectancy has not kept pace with that of other wealthy countries and is now in fact decreasing.

Continue reading

Another Way EVs Will Cost Us, by Eric Peters

Electric car production will probably cost a lot of auto workers their jobs. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Lost in the fatuous fake news juggernaut about the supposed misdeeds of the relentlessly besieged Orange Man has been real – and important news – about the longest nationwide strike by autoworkers in almost 50 years.

The target of the strike is General Motors. The United Auto Workers haven’t been working since September 16. Almost all GM plants have been idled since then, with the exception of the truck plant in Silao, Mexico. But a shortage of parts caused by the idling of the plants north of the border will almost certainly cause the truck plant to go silent soon, too.

The closures are costing GM about $25 million per day in lost profit, according to analysts.

But they could cost autoworkers – and us – much more.

Continue reading

More Money, Fewer Jobs The Stubborn Truth About Employment and the Defense Industry, by Nia Harris, Cassandra Stimpson, and Ben Freeman

Defense spending doesn’t really create jobs, so we’ll have to find another lie to justify the enormous sums wasted on the military-intelligence-industrial complex. From Nia Harris, Cassandra Stimpson, and Ben Freeman at tomdispatch.com:

A Marilyn has once again seduced a president. This time, though, it’s not a movie star; it’s Marillyn Hewson, the head of Lockheed Martin, the nation’s top defense contractor and the largest weapons producer in the world. In the last month, Donald Trump and Hewson have seemed inseparable. They “saved” jobs at a helicopter plant. They took the stage together at a Lockheed subsidiary in Milwaukee. The president vetoed three bills that would have blocked the arms sales of Lockheed (and other companies) to Saudi Arabia. Recently, the president’s daughter Ivanka even toured a Lockheed space facility with Hewson.

On July 15th, the official White House Twitter account tweeted a video of the Lockheed CEO extolling the virtues of the company’s THAAD missile defense system, claiming that it “supports 25,000 American workers.” Not only was Hewson promoting her company’s product, but she was making her pitch — with the weapon in the background — on the White House lawn. Twitter immediately burst with outrage over the White House posting an ad for a private company, with some calling it “unethical” and “likely unlawful.”

None of this, however, was really out of the ordinary as the Trump administration has stopped at nothing to push the argument that job creation is justification enough for supporting weapons manufacturers to the hilt. Even before Donald Trump was sworn in as president, he was already insisting that military spending was a great jobs creator. He’s only doubled down on this assertion during his presidency. Recently, overriding congressional objections, he even declared a national “emergency” to force through part of an arms sale to Saudi Arabia that he had once claimed would create more than a million jobs. While this claim has been thoroughly debunked, the most essential part of his argument — that more money flowing to defense contractors will create significant numbers of new jobs — is considered truth personified by many in the defense industry, especially Marillyn Hewson.

The facts tell a different story.

Continue reading→

Our Fragmented Labor Markets Defy Outdated Conventions, by Charles Hugh Smith

This is not your father’s labor market. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

There are hundreds of extraordinarily diverse labor markets in the U.S. economy, and it takes a much more granulated approach to make any sense of this highly fragmented and dynamic marketplace.
Conventional economists/media pundits typically view the labor market as monolithic, i.e. as one unified market. The reality is the labor market is highly fragmented. Thus it’s little wonder that conventional measures are giving mixed signals on employment, wage inflation, etc.
Here is a typical chart of the labor market: the annual rate of change in hourly earnings, going back to the late 1960s. I’ve annotated the chart to show that hourly earning rose sharply in the inflationary 1970s, but since then have only popped higher in asset bubbles–the dot-com era and the housing bubble:
Gneralized measures that lump all wage earners together give us a snapshot of trends, but they fail to describe the realities of today’s labor markets. The reality is much more complex, and thus beyond the outdated conventions that divide the labor force into broad sectors:
1. While most workers are receiving little in the way of wage increases, employers’ total compensation costs are soaring due to skyrocketing healthcare premiums and other labor-overhead costs such as workers compensation.
Economists puzzled by the lack of wage inflation in an era of “full employment” should look at total compensation costs instead of wages: the inflation is in the labor-overhead costs, not employee compensation.
2. Regions dominated by a handful of employers do not offer many opportunities for employees to jump to other employers for higher pay. This lack of competition enables dominant employers to suppress wage growth.
3. Scarcities of skills and experience that drive wages higher tend to be sector-specific and are often localized. Across the broad spectrum of basic skills and experience (for example, white-collar work performed by employees with non-technical college diplomas), there are few scarcities that could push wages higher.
4. Regardless of labor availability/scarcity, many small-business employers can’t afford to pay higher wages, given their soaring labor-overhead expenses. If wages rise, their options include selling out, closing down, or doing more of the work themselves. Paying higher wages will simply guarantee monthly losses. If you’re losing money operating an enterprise, why be in business?

Will Automation Kill Our Jobs? by Walter E. Williams

Technology has almost always created more jobs than it destroys, and there’s not reason to think that trend won’t continue. From Walter E. Williams at lewrockwell.com:

A recent article in The Guardian dons the foreboding title “Robots will destroy our jobs — and we’re not ready for it.” The article claims, “For every job created by robotic automation, several more will be eliminated entirely. … This disruption will have a devastating impact on our workforce.” According to an article in MIT Technology Review, business researchers Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee believe that rapid technological change has been destroying jobs faster than it is creating them, contributing to the stagnation of median income and the growth of inequality in the United States.

If technology is destroying jobs faster than it’s creating them, it is the first time in human history that it’s done so. Actually, the number of jobs is unlimited, for the simple reason that human wants are unlimited — or they don’t frequently reveal their bounds. People always want more of something that will create a job for someone. To suggest that there are a finite number of jobs commits an error known as the “lump of labor fallacy.” That fallacy suggests that when automation or technology eliminates a job, there’s nothing that people want that would create employment for the person displaced by the automation. In other words, all human wants have been satisfied.

Let’s look at a few examples. In 1790, farmers were 90 percent of the U.S. labor force. By 1900, only about 41 percent of our workers were employed in agriculture. Today less than 3 percent of Americans are employed in agriculture. And it’s a good thing. If 90 percent or 41 percent of our labor force were still employed in agriculture, where in the world would we find the workforce to produce all those goods and services that weren’t around in 1790 or 1900, such as cars, aircraft, TVs, computers, aircraft carriers, etc.? Indeed, if technology had not destroyed all of those agricultural jobs, we would be a much, much poorer nation.

To continue reading: Will Automation Kill Our Jobs?