Saturday, October 04, 2014

September's "Great" Unemployment Number: More Smoke and Mirrors


On Friday, the Labor Department reported that the economy added 248,000 jobs in September, corrected slightly from the disappointing report in August. The unemployment rate edged lower, falling to 5.9%, but part of the drop in unemployment is due to 315,000 people leaving the labor force in September.

September job gains were slightly higher than economists had predicted. Consensus estimates were for the economy to gain about 215,000 jobs. Job growth in July and August was also revised upward. The September report returns the economy to the "new normal" of monthly job growth slightly above the 200k threshold. This level is important, as it allows the economy to merely keep up with population growth. The working population of the country grew by 217,000 people in September.

Wages were flat. Average hourly earnings were unchanged, while average weekly earnings dipped 0.1%. The number of hours worked each week was also flat. The lack of wage growth signals a continued weak job market, with little pressure on employers to raise wages to attract needed workers.

The economy continues to be stagnant, with job growth just keeping up with organic population growth. In our world of declining expectations, the Labor Department report is a "good" number. The unemployment rate did drop, but it's driven as much by people giving up the prospect of work as people finding good jobs.

Story at: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/10/03/September-Jobs-Report

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Fast Food Employees Being Led Down The Path To Unemployment


"My heart goes out to all those fast food workers protesting for higher wages, but I'm sad to have to watch them experience the harsh lesson in real-world economics that's about to hit home. By taking to the streets and demanding $15 / hr. in wages, fast food workers are unintentionally making themselves economically obsolete. They are, in essence, guaranteeing their own unemployment.

"Sadly, few of the protesters realize this. Nor will they realize why they are being fired when that day soon arrives. Entry-level fast food workers, after all, tend to have relatively little knowledge of how business really works, where money comes from, where money goes and why no private sector business can stay in business for very long if its operating costs exceed its income.

"Fast food workers have a tough life. Getting by on anything less than $10 / hour is almost impossible these days. The relentless debasement of the U.S. currency by the Federal Reserve (the global banking cartel) has caused mass price inflation across the board, and that's why food costs more, housing costs more, cars costs more and clothing costs more. Even pursuing an education costs way more than it should these days, too.

"It's no wonder fast food workers are desperate to fight for higher wages, but the raw truth of the situation is that a $15 / hour wage mandate would simply cause many fast food companies to close their doors and go out of business. There's very little profit margin in the fast food industry, and businesses can't simply raise their menu prices because "low cost food" is the primary reason why people buy fast food in the first place.

Amnesty will wipe out low-end jobs for most Americans

"But the real kicker here is that President Obama is on the verge of legalizing about five million illegal immigrants via executive order. This is apparently supposed to happen after the election, at which point Obama will sign a piece of paper and announce citizenship for five million immigrants who are currently in the country illegally.

"This creates five million new legal workers who won't demand $15 / hour. These previously-illegal workers have been toiling away at maybe $6 an hour, and they'll be thrilled to take on a legal job at $8 / hour in fast food, especially when they now get some employee benefits as part of the deal.

"What we are about to witness is a massive wave of worker displacement where newly-legalized workers will sweep in and take all the low-paying jobs currently held by the very same American fast food workers who currently believe they can protest in the streets and command $15 / hour.

"Ain't gonna happen, folks. Because even if these workers do manage to convince local politicians to pass $15 / hour wage rules, all this does is accelerate the fast food industry's transition to automated robot workers.

Robotics will also replace low-end workers

"Here's a robot that can prepare 360 hamburgers per hour all by itself . Notably, this hamburger-prepping robot:

• Don't belong to any unions
• Doesn't complain about working overtime
• Never smokes weed during its break
• Doesn't spit in the customer's food
• Doesn't sue its employer for on-the-job injuries
• Never protests for higher wages
• Doesn't need time off for vacations
• Never steals food from the company
• Doesn't sexually harass the female workers

"As a result, from the point of view of the fast food industry, a robot is the perfect worker.

Fast food companies to replace human workers with robot workers

"Our device isn't meant to make employees more efficient," said Alexandros Vardakostas, co-founder of the robot manufacturer in the Xconomy.com article linked above. "It's meant to completely obviate them."

"Workers' push for $15 / hour in wages only accelerates the industry's rush to robotics automation. Even if this robot costs $100,000, the return on investment for the corporation is less than three years.

This article comes from Natural News. The original can be found here: From: http://www.naturalnews.com/046761_fast_food_wages_protesters_amnesty.html#ixzz3CYuLuMq2

Sources for this story include:
http://www.businessinsider.com/momentum-mach...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/04/us...

http://www.businessinsider.com/r-us-fast-foo...

http://www.ibtimes.com/fast-food-strike-sept...





Thursday, September 04, 2014

Minimum Wage = Compulsory Unemployment

The protesters, part of the “Fight for $15” campaign organized by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and others, engaged in civil disobedience by blocking traffic. They were encouraged by Obama, who is, according to The Washington Post, “in Fight for $15′s corner.”

“All across the country right now there’s a national movement going on made up of fast-food workers organizing to lift wages so they can provide for their families with pride and dignity,” the president said on Labor Day. Obama said if he “wanted an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, I’d join a union.”

SEIU and other labor unions make up a large percentage of Obama’s political base and weigh heavily on gubernatorial contests in Wisconsin, Florida, Pennsylvania, Maine and Michigan.


The Fight for $15 movement began in Chicago and is targeting fast food restaurants in over 100 cities across the country.

Fast food businesses argue that if the government more than doubles the minimum wage, it will result in massive job losses.

“There would be very large unemployment effects from such a raise meaning that many people would simply lose their jobs,” argue Tom Worstall for Forbes.

The restaurant industry is a low profit venture despite the record profits of parent corporations like McDonald’s, which owns only 11% of its restaurants. Capital IQ reports the average profit margin for fast food franchises is just 2.4%, down from 3.2% in 2009. Other restaurants, like Ruby Tuesday and Boston Market, lost money over the last year.

“And if you haven’t driven past a Bennigan’s or TCBY lately, that’s because the restaurant business is notoriously difficult, with chains and individual stores failing all the time,” writes Rick Newman.

The failure and, ultimately, unemployment is enforced by the federal government.

“In truth, there is only one way to regard a minimum wage law: it is compulsory unemployment, period,” writes Murray Rothbard. “The law says: it is illegal, and therefore criminal, for anyone to hire anyone else below the level of X dollars an hour. This means, plainly and simply, that a large number of free and voluntary wage contracts are now outlawed and hence that there will be a large amount of unemployment. Remember that the minimum wage law provides no jobs; it only outlaws them; and outlawed jobs are the inevitable result.”

http://www.infowars.com/fight-for-15-minimum-wage-is-a-fight-for-compulsory-unemployment/

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Tomorrow, Fast Food Workers Begin Working Themselves Out Of A Job


Tomorrow, fast-food workers will go on strike or conduct sit-ins in more than 100 cities across the country. For whatever reason, these workers have concluded that they should be paid $15 per hour to fry chicken, flip burgers or take an order. As a service-sector worker in Cleveland told the New York Times earlier this week, "We deserve a good life, too.”

Ok. But not every job skill deserves $31,200 a year.

Deserving a good life and earning a good life are not interchangeable. I think I deserve a factory-correct Aston Martin DB6 like Sean Connery’s James Bond once drove … alas, I do not earn enough (yet) for a factory-correct Aston Martin DB6 like Sean Connery’s James Bond once drove.

The crowd that Obama speaks to loves to yabble about income equality and bringing more Americans into the middle class. They think that increasing wages is the answer to that noble cause, though they apparently don't stop to consider that old saw about pushing on a balloon in one area only makes it bulge somewhere else.

In this case the bulges that pop out elsewhere on the balloon are the signs that American service-sector workers, encouraged by the Economist in Chief, are ultimately working toward their own demise. They are pricing themselves out of a job.

Salaries do not grow on the magical salary tree. They come from what would otherwise accrue as profits to the capitalist, the business owner. Raising salaries, therefore, raises the cost of doing business, which has two direct, interrelated impacts:

It means you and I pay more for whatever we’re buying, since business owners — the ones who put up the capital to open the business in the first place — are not going to reduce their share of the business to any excessive degree. To keep their profits at an adequate level, they will raise prices to afford the higher wages … and, thus, begets inflation.

It makes America less competitive globally. If we lived in a closed economy, we wouldn’t care about the cost of labor in Brazil or Mexico or Malaysia. But because we operate in an open economy in a globalized world, we compete with global labor … and globally there is a glut of labor, which means certain categories of American worker are already overpaid relative to their peers overseas. So, every time we raise the cost of labor we are making America a little less competitive.

Thanks to Jeff Opdyke, Profit Seeker

Sunday, August 17, 2014

It's Different This Time: Humans Need Not Apply

Sure. You can make $15 an hour at McDonald's, at least in Seattle. You just have to perform better than this machine.

Read more at http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2014/08/its-different-this-time-humans-need-not.html#ddxc55qyZLzEz66P.99

Monday, August 11, 2014

The De-Industrialization of America (Paul Craig Roberts)


Although you would never know it from the reports from the US financial press, the poor job prospects that Americans face now rival those of India 30 years ago. American university graduates are employed, if they are employed, not as software engineers and managers but as waitresses and bartenders. They do not make enough to have an independent existence and live at home with their parents. Half of those with student loans cannot service them. Eighteen percent are either in collection or behind in their payments. Another 34% have student loans in deferment or forbearance. Clearly, education was not the answer.

John Williams of Shadowstats.com calculates the true US unemployment rate to be 23.2%, a number consistent with the collapse of the US labor force participation rate.

Why?

The article is here: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/08/11/de-industrialization-america/

Saturday, August 02, 2014

The Narcissist CEO: The Light Is Not Worth The Candle


Larry Ellison towered again among the top ranks of the highest-paid CEOs in 2013 with total compensation of $78 million. He is in plentiful company. Sixty-five chief executives took home annual pay of more than $20 million last year. What prompts boards of directors to grant such astounding sums? And why would individuals, who by any objective measure have all their needs satisfied, seek such exaggerated amounts?

New research by Stanford management professor Charles A. O’Reilly shows that it is the persuasive personality and aggressive “me first” attitude embodied by narcissistic CEOs that helps them land bloated pay packages. Specifically, narcissistic CEOs are paid more than their non-narcissistic (and merely self-confident) peers. There is also a larger gap between narcissists’ compensation and that of their top management teams than is found with CEOs who do not display the trait. The longer the narcissists have held the top post, the bigger the differential, according to the study published in The Leadership Quarterly earlier this year.

Narcissism is a personality type characterized by dominance, self-confidence, a sense of entitlement, grandiosity, and low empathy. Narcissists naturally emerge as leaders because they embody prototypical leadership qualities such as energy, self-assuredness, and charisma.

“They don’t really care what other people think, and depending on the nature of the narcissist, they are impulsive and manipulative,” says O’Reilly, whose research examines grandiose narcissism, a form associated with high extraversion and low agreeableness.

Well, dear reader, cast your mind over all people that you know, both on and off the Internet---and see if you can think of anyone with these personality traits---or worse. I certainly can---and I'm sure you can too.

The article is here: http://qz.com/238854/why-narcissistic-ceos-get-paid-more-even-though-they-dont-perform-better/