Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Good morning to you all. It is cold this morning. Cold enough that I decided to renew my library books on line and stay in until next week. We had a mix of sun and snow yesterday; not much of the latter, thankfully. The air temp was only 5 degrees with wind chill well below zero. We expect more of the same tomorrow. Needless to say--we are hibernating. At least the newest storm is passing well to the south although some of the clouds did come in and prevented the temp from falling into the below zero range.

I find it fascinating (and more than a little repulsive) how everything the Repthuglicans want is now bless with the holy notion of job creation. Including their attacks on the EPA. I noticed a story a couple of days ago about Issa's questionnaire to business on what regulations should be loosened to 'help' them start hiring again in which one of the top suggestions was from energy companies to loosen the regulations on polluting streams and waterways. Question--who is going to clean up the mess? This is simply a continuation of the old way of doing things--externalizing the costs (and harm) while privatizing the profits. Ordinary people are left with the interesting possibility of being thankful for jobs working for the outfits that are poisoning the water we have to drink, or the food we eat, or the air we breath.

I also noticed the President's efforts of late to woo business. Again the focus is on jobs but I have a habit of asking embarrassing questions on this front. Questions like--how many jobs will actually result from all his concessions? Several years ago several news stories appeared concerning local governments suing various companies to get back at least some of the money they had spent (or foregone in tax abatements) on luring companies to their areas on the promises of jobs. Jobs that had never materialized before the companies left taking all the benefits with them and leaving a budgetary hole for the government to fill. The underlying dynamic will not change whatever concessions are made on regulations and taxes--many of these companies are convinced that moving their operations overseas and shipping their products back to the workers they laid off is more profitable that producing here. The only way we can make it profitable enough for them is to match China's or India's wages. And the last I heard the average wage in China was one-tenth that of the U.S. Even if we reduced our standard of living to a third of the poverty line level, I am not sure that American Big Business would be hiring all that many workers. The U.S. market simply doesn't supply enough of their profits for them to bother accommodating it any more.

And, if you believe, that small business is going to step up and increase hiring any time soon in the numbers this economy needs to make a serious dent in the unemployment rate, check into Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds. I suspect that the only reason that the unemployment dropped to 9% (as of last reading) was that enough people ran out of benefits to create that miracle.


Looking to the Stars said...

You are right about the unemployment benefits, people have ran out their time on it and thats why the numbers dropped. I don't listen to them anymore when they come up with the numbers. The numbers don't mean a thing, its not reality!

We are a small business, we had 2 employees 6 years ago. We only have my husband & myself now. The work is not there to have employees. I'm just thankful there is enough work for me to pay our bills and keep a roof over our heads. I read somewhere that Harvard is teaching their students to 'create a job' not go get a job. You have to be pretty smart to do that.

Our weather is cold but the sun is out. The boys have been depressed with the weather. Today, they have been out in the backyard. Its been a relief :)

Kay Dennison said...

I think you are spot on as unemployment figures are only based on the number of people receiving unemployment 'bennies'.

I just wonder how many people are dying from this and if the suicide rate is rising. But those are questions that the thugs in D.C. elect to ignore despite that they hold our "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" in their dirty, slimy, sleazy hands.