Monday, April 13, 2015

Slow Saturday Special: Economic Di$ingenuou$ne$$

The first article will give you a good idea why I'm not really posting articles regarding the monthly reports anymore:

"Pace of hiring weakens in March; Unemployment rate steady at 5.5 percent" by Josh Boak, Associated Press  April 03, 2015

WASHINGTON— For months, the US economy’s strength has been flagging.

Manufacturing slowed. Fewer homes were built. Cheaper gas failed to ignite consumer spending. Yet month after month, employers kept on hiring vigorously.

In March, the economy’s slump finally overtook the job market.



The slowdown reported Friday by the Labor Department posed a puzzle to economists:

Was the tepid job gain a temporary blip due mainly to a harsh winter and an economy adjusting to much lower oil prices?

Yeah, the harsh winter is always a good excuse until it comes time to holler global warming.

Or did it mark a return to the middling performance that has defined much of the nearly six-year-old recovery from the Great Recession? 

Talk about pouring $alt into the insult.

No one will know for sure until the government’s monthly employment reports later this spring help gauge the direction of the job market. That leaves the US economy — until very recently the envy of other industrialized nations — facing a renewed sense of uncertainty.

‘‘We knew less than we thought we did,’’ said Tara Sinclair, a George Washington University professor and chief economist at Indeed, the job-posting website.

Then why so much print and why am I reading this.... propaganda!

The optimistic view is that much of the weakness will pass. An unseasonably cold March followed a brutal winter that slowed construction and other key sectors. A since-resolved dispute at West Coast ports might have briefly disrupted trade.


"A tentative contract agreement that restored the flow of international trade through West Coast seaports took a big step closer Friday to becoming official, as representatives of the dockworkers’ union overwhelmingly recommended that rank-and-file members vote to approve the deal. Difficult contract negotiations nearly closed 29 seaports from San Diego to Seattle, causing major delays in the delivery of billions of dollars of imports and exports. Negotiators for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union reached the tentative, five-year deal in February with companies that run the massive ships and sprawling marine terminals which are integral to trans-Pacific trade. This week, a caucus of 90 union delegates met in San Francisco to study the offer in detail."

I thought everything was fine.

Last month’s subpar hiring could make the Federal Reserve less likely to start raising interest rates from record lows in June, as some have been anticipating. The Fed might now decide that the economy still needs the benefit of low borrowing costs to generate healthy growth.

Related: Yellen a Warning About Interest Rates

Reflecting that sentiment, government bond yields fell Friday.


‘‘Employers aren’t laying people off,’’ noted Patrick O’Keefe, director of economic research at the accounting and consulting firm CohnReznick. ‘‘What they’ve decided to do is slow down the pace at which they’re hiring until they have more confidence.’’

No sooner does he say that than....

Last month, the manufacturing, building, and government sectors all shed workers. Factories cut 1,000, snapping a 19-month hiring streak. Construction jobs also fell by 1,000, the first drop in 15 months. Hiring at restaurants sank from February. The mining and logging sector, which includes oil drilling, lost 11,000.

At least they aren't being laid off.

In addition to reporting sluggish hiring for March, the government revised down its estimate of job gains in February and January by a combined 69,000.

Oh, wasn't as good as first reported? I was LIED TO once again by this government? 

Fact is they do that all the time.


Now to add in$ult to injury:

"Do H-1B visas help to replace American workers?" by Hiawatha Bray, Globe Staff  April 04, 2015

Short answer: Yes.

It’s that time again, as American companies scramble to obtain special visas to hire skilled workers from outside the United States.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting applications for 85,000 H-1B visas on Wednesday, but they probably won’t last long. In the past two years, the quota was filled in a week, and the immigration service predicted that demand will be equally high this year.

Businesses say the H-1B program enables them to find highly skilled workers who are in short supply in the United States, and they favor a bipartisan plan before Congress that would increase the number of visas issued each year. But critics say the visas are merely being used to replace skilled Americans with foreigners who work for less. These critics oppose any increase in the quota, and call for stricter controls on how visas are issued.

Companies, rather than individuals, apply for H-1B visas, which are valid for anywhere from three to six years. The US government offers 65,000 H-1B visas annually, with an additional 20,000 available for foreigners with advanced academic degrees. While open to any kind of worker with special skills, the visas are mostly used to bring in workers with expertise in the sciences and technology.

“It’s a huge boon for the American economy that smart people from around the world want to come here,” said Jeremy Robbins, executive director of the Partnership for a New American Economy, a New York-based lobbying group that favors expansion of the H-1B program. “It’s one of our great competitive advantages.”

Is that eliti$t outfit related to the Project for the New American Century?

While many companies apply directly for the visas, a large number of them are obtained by outsourcing companies that bring workers in from other countries, then place them in jobs at American firms.

Critics of the H-1B system say these outsourcers merely use the visas to displace well-paid American workers with lower-cost foreign labor. In February, utility company Southern California Edison spawned outrage when it announced it would lay off 400 workers and replace them with outsourced workers from India, provided by Infosys and Tata.

At least you will have your independence

Of course, I read that the jobs are coming back.

Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, said that while there are legitimate uses for the H-1B, the visas are mainly used to drive down labor costs and boost profits.


It’s about replacing US workers who are already doing the job with someone who’ll do it more cheaply,” said Eisenbrey. “Their only purpose is cutting wages. it’s not about bringing new skills.”

RelatedMass. tech sector flourishing with challenges ahead

Tired of the bull$hit excu$es yet?

Eisenbrey called for legislation that would make it illegal to lay off US citizens and replace them with H-1B workers. He also proposed requiring H-1B workers be paid more than the local prevailing wage for the work they do. Eisenbrey said that if the foreign workers possess skills that are impossible to find in the US labor market, companies should be happy to pay the extra money.

That's not the way greedheads think.


Of course, you can always go back to school....

"Over 50 and back in college, preparing for a new career" by Kerry Hannon, New York Times  April 04, 2015

A month before turning 60, Helen White received her master’s degree in sport management at George Washington University and now teaches basketball and pickleball and organizes recreational programs and tournaments for older adults throughout the Washington area.

“I wanted to change the stereotype of older adults by getting them to move and enjoy the power of play,” White said. “The degree opened opportunities for me to do that.”

I'm enjoying it just fine (knock wood).

In a way, it was a back-to-her-roots time for White, who played basketball and tennis competitively throughout her high school and college years, obtaining her first degree in physical education and recreation. But it was also a bet on her future after leaving AARP, where she had been a manager of information services. White, who lives in Arlington, Va., spent about $24,000 as a part-time student for four years to prepare for her new life.

For many, a retirement of baby-sitting grandchildren and golfing is passe. Older people today approach work as a pillar of a retirement lifestyle, planning ahead and adding skills even before leaving their current jobs.

Look at this. The propaganda pre$$ and mouthpiece of the 0.001% here wants you to keep on working!! I suppose they have to since their government slaves have stolen all the Social Security money.

As demand for more adult learning opportunities accelerates, colleges and universities are trying to figure out how to tap into the market for second careers to bolster their revenue and perhaps build alumni loyalty.

Once again, we see another $elf-$erving cause and agenda being pushed by the pre$$.

RelatedFor older workers, good jobs still elusive 

But don't let that get in the way of good propaganda!

The potential audience is huge. “It makes no sense, however, to have an educational system that ends in the 20s when people are likely to be working into their 80s,” said Laura L. Carstensen, founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. “We need to rethink these things.”

The need to offer more educational options that can lead to jobs for older adults is gaining traction.

And the debt that will arise!

In March, deans, provosts, and vice presidents from 22 institutions, including Arizona State University, Columbia University, Community College of Vermont, Cornell University, Denison University, Tulane University, UCLA and the University of Washington, held a daylong summit at New York University to discuss future curriculums and collaborations. 

Looks like a "conspiracy."

Related: Most federal sexual cases against colleges dropped

Blame the frats!

Their mission was to work together on ways to create intergenerational, age-friendly institutions and build a network to help students like White and others who want to reboot to service-oriented work.

Among the challenges are how to provide courses for those in an aging population who lack the time or financial resources for full-blown degree-based programs. One idea was to offer older students college credits for work and life experience as a way to reduce the number of classes needed for a degree.

OMG! That is going to make the degrees worthless! They will be passing them out like the Fed passes out QE dollars!

The meeting was a sign of the rising awareness among colleges and universities of the prospects in the demographic shifts around aging....

Prepare yourself for $ticker $hock on the tuition.


And for those just starting out:

"The next round of “Fight for $15” protests kicks off in Boston on April 14; the following day, rallies in more than 200 cities are set to take place around the globe. Organizers moved up the local demonstration to avoid conflicting with the second anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. The local march will start at Northeastern University, where adjunct professors are in the midst of contract negotiations. Business groups have railed against the effort to raise wages, and Bureau of Labor Statistics economists recently found that while raising wages does not lead to lower employment levels, it does result in a significant dip in the rate of job creation. Still, some major companies, such as Walmart, Target, and the Gap, have started to raise workers’ wages on their own."

Yeah, they can't pay you more as they stuff their pockets with loot. How is that creating jobs?


TJ Maxx, Marshalls to raise minimum hourly wage to $9
Walmart raising wages to at least $9

It's not out of the goodne$$ of their hearts?

Too bad they didn't sell unemployment insurance or default swaps on them, huh?

"Liberty Mutual job shifts to affect 80 Mass. workers" by Jon Chesto and Beth Healy, Globe Staff  March 27, 2015

Boston-based insurance giant Liberty Mutual is consolidating customer service operations from hundreds of sales offices scattered around the country to six call centers, including one in Springfield.

About 1,100 positions in some 350 sales offices, including 17 in Massachusetts, will be eliminated, replaced with 1,000 customer service jobs at the call centers, said John Cusolito, a Liberty Mutual vice president. The company is opening an office in the Dallas area where some of the new jobs will be located.

“By expanding our centralized call centers, we’ll be able to increase our overall service capabilities, we’ll be able to give customers a faster solution to their service needs, and they’ll get a more consistent customer experience,” Cusolito said.

Related: The Feeling's Not Mutual


Here is why:

Liberty Mutual is the nation’s third-largest property and casualty insurer. The company reported last month that the compensation of chief executive David Long jumped 27 percent last year, to nearly $14 million. Its net income for 2014 was $1.8 billion, up 5 percent from the prior year.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services in December gave Liberty Mutual a “stable” rating, saying it expects the company’s operating performance “to lag behind its peers.”

Liberty Mutual is a “mutually” owned insurance company, meaning it is technically owned by its policyholders.

Several days ago, the company said it would end its annual sponsorship of the July Fourth fireworks on the Esplanade after this year. It has supported the popular event, which cost $2.5 million last year, for a decade.

Usually a dud anyway.

The workers affected by the job shifts help customers over the phone and in person with auto and home insurance policies. Employees were notified Wednesday, Cusolito said.

Don't worry, they gonna help ya! 


The biggest beneficiary of this shift will be Plano, Texas. The company plans to open an office there with several hundred new jobs later this year, Cusolito said.

In Boston, Liberty Mutual received $46.5 million in state and local tax breaks in 2010 to expand its Boston headquarters and add about 600 workers, a historically large tax incentive for the state. The $300 million expansion opened in 2013.

Why do profitable businesses need tax loot to stay when they just end up leaving anyway after sucking the loot dry? What kind of government do we have here?



"The Supreme Judicial Court on Thursday denied Liberty Mutual Insurance’s request to dismiss a lawsuit against the insurer stemming from a Newbury Street bar fight in 2008. Robert Chiulli, who was in a three-month coma after he fractured his skull during a fight at Sonsie restaurant, had sued Liberty Mutual because the insurance company offered to pay him $150,000 for his medical expenses and lost earnings, when the amount of damages was over $1 million, according to court documents. Liberty Mutual was the insurance company for Sonsie and knew that the restaurant’s staff had ignored procedures to prevent the fight, according to the court documents. Chiulli sued the restaurant company, and a federal jury in 2012 awarded him $4.5 million, which he has received. But because Liberty Mutual failed to offer a reasonable settlement initially, his client experienced additional suffering as a result of going through a prolonged trial, said Andrew Abraham, a Boston attorney who represented Chiulli."

Worse yet, they won't be helping to fund the fireworks this year (you already know that).

Then again, what is there really to see?

At least the government and wealthy will always be there to guide you and give warmth.