Archive for where are the jobs?

Fed Up: Special Comment by my 76-year-old friend


fed up

My impassioned “72-year-old”  friend (who is now 76, but who’s counting?), who goes by the Twitter name @42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings of frustration about the state of politics and our dysfunctional Congress. I am more than happy to oblige, especially because I feel the same way.

This rant reminds me of one I did awhile ago: We have no choice. It might be time to revive that one.

Now on to "Fed Up." But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:

Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.

Now for his Special Comment:


Like most Americans, I'm FED UP with the dysfunctional government we have.

I'm FED UP that there is a segment within the Republican caucus that refuses to compromise.

I'm FED UP that Republicans have more loyalty to a pledge they signed with Grover Norquist, to never raise taxes, forgetting the oath they took when sworn into office.

I'm FED UP that Republicans in Congress would rather spend government funds on phony investigations than pass a jobs and infrastructure bill, that would create jobs for millions of people, which would move our economy forward.

I'm FED UP with all the hate and racism that exists in our country.

I'm FED UP that the leaders of the Republican Tea Party don't denounce the use of racist remarks, hateful signs and pictures, displays of the Confederate Flag at rallies they attend in Washington D.C. and in their home states.

I'm FED UP with the disrespect shown President Obama and the office he holds. This has been going on since Joe Wilson yelled "You lie!" during a speech President Obama was giving to a joint session of Congress.

I'm FED UP that, after five years, there are still Americans who don't consider President Obama an American citizen or a Christian.

I'm FED UP with a party that lost a national election in 2012, that tries to use a government shut down and threat of default on national debt to force their ideology on Americans-- which the people had rejected-- and in the process, cost the country $24 billion.

I'm FED UP that a political party felt shutting down the government was a good thing, and brags about it and is threatening to try it again in 2014.

I'm FED UP that there are members in Congress who got elected with the sole intent of destroying the government.

I'm FED UP that the Republican Party is trying to defund and kill the Affordable Care Act, knowing full well it can't be done, in the process wasting more government funds.

I'm FED UP with members of Congress willing to cut funds that help those Americans in need while continuing to provide subsidies to farmers and oil companies, plus they refuse to close tax loop holes that benefit the rich.

I'm FED UP that states have or will enact laws to suppress the voting rights of Americans, when voter fraud doesn't exist in the country.

I'm FED UP that states have passed laws that don't allow women to control their own bodies.

I'm FED UP that the Evangelical Christians wanting to impose their religious ideology on all Americans and want to bring down the wall separating church and state.

I will continue to be FED UP, until these issues are addressed, or we will remain an extremely divided country pulling in different directions.

It's sad thing to say, but we are becoming a government, that unless one party controls Congress and the presidency, the chances of any important legislation getting done is almost nil.

That why it is extremely important for Democrats to vote in 2014 if we want to retain control of the Senate and possibly gain control of the House. Americans better begin to wake up and learn; the foundation of our democracy is being threatened by the radical right and it must be addressed.

Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, @42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.


WI Gov. Walker, GOP gov's "tempered" (you can stop laughing now) as they seek 2nd terms; Dems slam GOP at convention


phony baloney

The Marshfield News Herald is chock full o' news today. We all remember how Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's conservative, restrictive policies resulted in scenes like this one, right?

And here is a recent Walker recap I wrote about a month ago responding to a few quotes:

  • “We’re the ones who care for the everyday people of this state and this country.” That must be why you were nearly kicked out of office. And why your “screw the 47%” presidential candidate lost in a landslide.
  • Turn down federal money to expand the Medicaid program.” Nothing says “caring for everyday people” like taking away their lifeline.
  • Walker mocked claims from critics that the change was a sign he hates poor people.” Did it ever occur to him that they say that because he hates poor people? See: “Turn down federal money to expand Medicaid.”

Now that he and other hypocritical conservative governors who have been screwing the poor, the middle class and an increasingly diverse electorate need voters on their side, they're "tempering" themselves:

Running for re-election in 2014, [Walker] hopes to strike a more conciliatory tone. [...]

The firebrand governors who took statehouses by storm in 2010, when the Tea Party movement was surging, are running for second terms in 2014 with tempered messages and in a different political landscape.

The old makeover switcheroo again. We see. That's been working out so well for them recently. You know what would be "conciliatory"? Changing their policies and attitudes, not just their language.

Eight new GOP governors were elected in 2010 in states that had voted for Barack Obama two years earlier and would vote for him again two years later... Now these freshman Republican governors are expected to seek second terms in their solidly blue or battleground states: Florida, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Five of the eight refuse to support the Affordable Care Act's state-based insurance marketplaces.

But playing nicely during election cycles is a must. So is proving to voters that you've earned their trust. Take Walker for example. In 2010, he sworetogod he'd create 250,000 jobs, but it's been about 2½ years, and he's only managed to cough up 62,000. Oops.

So there's that.

Meantime, Tammy Baldwin fired up state Democrats at the party's convention on Friday. She revved 'em and stirred the pot as hard as she could in an effort to get them to kick Walker and other GOP officeholders out on their hineys in 2014.

Via the Post Crescent:

Other Democratic leaders weren’t nearly as restrained as Baldwin... [T]hey bashed Walker and Republican lawmakers in speech after speech. They lambasted Walker for positioning himself for a potential presidential run while Wisconsin’s economy suffers. Again and again they played up that the state has dropped to 44th in the nation in job creation... They took Walker to task, too, for rejecting a federally funded Medicaid expansion.

Please follow the link for more details.

Let's hope that all that Democratic passion leads to positive results at the polls. If not, this country is screwed.


VIDEO- Rep. McDermott: GOP "throwing the American infrastructure and the society under the bus."


chart graph public spending on infratstructure

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) was on Rev. Al Sharpton's "Politics Nation" yesterday, and he couldn't have been clearer:

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They've clearly spent the whole last five years trying to tear the president down, but they've done it by throwing the American infrastructure and the society under the bus...

You know, it is really appalling when you think about it, that we have had people unemployed in this country since 2007 when the crash came, and we have had tremendous amounts of infrastructure that needs to be replaced. The jobs are there. We could put the people to work, and as Mr. Dionne says, we could invest in the future.

The idea that you stop investing in the future... it's only the radical tea party. The real Republicans, like Eisenhower, he believed in investing, he invested in the infrastructure of making a national highway system. It is not a Republican or Democratic idea going on right now. It's simply radical tea party people who want to destroy the government and think we will be better without it.

You wait and see, when it comes to their house as it did in Oklahoma. You'll see those guys from Oklahoma who voted against money for Sandy repair in New York, suddenly coming with their tin cup saying, "Oh, please help us for our problems here in Oklahoma."

You've got to think of us as one country that we all take care of each other...

E.J. Dionne's, "You shouldn't have to be lucky to cross a bridge in America" was also spot on.

Here's an idea, GOP: Start thinking of the American people for a change. Stop wasting everyone's time and money on abortion bills and inane witch hunts and start investing in our crumbling infrastructure so that we can create-- What are they called again? Oh yeah-- jobs.

As McDermott said, "All the other problems that face us would be gone if we had put people back to work.”

Here is the entire segment:

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What I will not write about today



Sometimes I get so frustrated and/or disheartened and/or annoyed by some of the news stories of the day that I can’t bring myself to write about them. Here are a few recent reports that made my blood pressure hit the roof. I am avoiding delving into them at length out of concern for my physical and mental health.

  • 15 States Have Loosened Gun Restrictions-- Because providing gun manufacturers with more cash, coveting phallic symbols, pretending you can outgun murderers under stress, and endangering more lives is a priority. USA! USA!

See what I mean? So who’s up for a couple of Margs or a trough of wine?

drunk wine crafts corks


Wall Street Soars with Wealth as Wages Stagnate, Jobs Remain in a Slump


hunger and rejection corporate

dow jones march 5 2013As of 12:30 PT


The Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 100 points today, allowing the world's most-watched stock index to close at a record high.

It marks the highest daily close since October 2007, just before the financial crisis punished the stock market.

For the latest information go to

chart corporate profits highCorporate profits

graph workers wages as a percentage of the economy near record lows via Think ProgressWorkers’ wages as a percentage of the economy, which are hovering near record lows.

Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

The March 4 NYT headline lays it out bluntly: "Recovery in U.S. Is Lifting Profits, but Not Adding Jobs." ...Even those who are employed are finding that their wages are not growing relative to the explosion in corporate profits.

The grim figures in terms of the working class speak for themselves in the NYT story:

As a percentage of national income, corporate profits stood at 14.2 percent in the third quarter of 2012, the largest share at any time since 1950, while the portion of income that went to employees was 61.7 percent, near its lowest point since 1966. [...]

Corporate earnings have risen at an annualized rate of 20.1 percent since the end of 2008, he said, but disposable income inched ahead by 1.4 percent annually over the same period, after adjusting for inflation.

As BuzzFlash at Truthout noted in "A Tale of Two Economies" last autumn:

However, what is more important than the unemployment rate is the overall degradation of work and wage stagnation and decline under the current corporate and business climate that devalues labor.  [...]

This is the primary story of economic distress in the United States at this time: the devaluation of those who are paid by the hour….

After all, we have two economies – and one of them you barely hear about as billionaires whine about the threat of higher taxes on their wealth.  The second economy, the economy of the privileged, is booming.  The other day the stock market reached near record highs. [...]

The rich are making out like bandits in the booming Wall Street economy that is based on profits squeezed out of firing workers, lowering net wages (adjusted for inflation), and outsourcing jobs to exploited labor overseas. [...]

[T]he March 2013 NYT article begins with these observations:

[...] With millions still out of work, companies face little pressure to raise salaries, while productivity gains allow them to increase sales without adding workers….

The result has been a golden age for corporate profits, especially among multinational giants that are also benefiting from faster growth in emerging economies like China and India. [...]

As the stock market soars, those who labor for a living are left further and further behind.

Please read the entire post here.

chart ed schultz income disparity middle class


Under Gov. Scott Walker, WI private-sector job creation "slowed markedly," and his income tax cut helps rich more


scott walker no jobs

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made a major campaign promise that his state on his watch would add 250,000 private-sector jobs by the end of his term.

How'd that work out for you, Scotty?


Job creation in Wisconsin slowed markedly between July and September, according to the most recent available government data deemed credible by economists. [...]

Friday's report also contained the weakest reading since the 12 months of September 2009 to September 2010 - a period that overlapped with the last recession. [...]

The last time that Wisconsin appeared in a national ranking of the Quarterly Census, it was for the 12 months through June 2012. Then, Wisconsin ranked 42 out of the 50 states in private-sector job creation, a decline from a rank of 37 in the previous period, from March 2011 to March 2012.

That makes Wisconsin a laggard in job creation even by the glacial standards of the national recovery, which has moved far too slowly to absorb the millions of unemployed left over from the 2007-'09 recession.

See how well union busting and austerity work?

but wait there's more

According to the Wisconsin State Journal and an analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy done for the Wisconsin Budget Project, Walker's full of crap. But then we already knew that. explains:

Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed income tax cut would give more money back to the rich than it would the poor, despite his billing it as a boon to the middle class, a new analysis shows.

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Andrew Reschovsky, a UW-Madison professor of public affairs and applied economics:

"There is no evidence that the tax cut will do much to encourage growth and job creation.”

Mark Schug, a UW-Milwaukee professor emeritus who now consults in the area of economic education:

[S]uch a cut is not likely to be an economic boost. “I do tend to think that the income tax reduction is not sufficient."

Of course, even after all these stats and expert opinions, Walker's fellow Republicans will undoubtedly continue to march in lockstep, livelihoods of the 47%/99% be damned:

[T]he Republican-controlled Legislature will now take the next four months making changes before voting on it likely sometime in June.

They're nothing if not predictable. Be proud, Koch brothers.


VIDEO: "We have never cut government jobs when we were trying to save the economy. Until this time."


see ya smaller

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Rachel Maddow poignantly addresses who exactly the people are who Republicans insist on firing, on laying off, on eliminating sources of steady work, on denying employment, income, and therefore health care and education opportunities. Those people for whom many on the right show such obvious disdain are public sector workers who have (or had) jobs as real as any private sector workers have (or had).

Yet the GOP has reveled in slashing "government workers" as if they are something less than, as if their jobs aren't really jobs at all, as if there is something inherently inferior about what they do to get by.

And by get by I mean feel secure, and by feel secure I mean also offer the rest of us a degree of security by way of the services they provide to this country.

But busting unions and privatizing America is the goal of those on the right. Their priority? Profits over people. Power. Livelihoods and economic "certainty" be damned. Oh, and of course, denying President Obama any victories ever at the risk of assuring him a legacy of *gasp!* success (too late).

An appreciation by Rachel Maddow:

"We have never cut government jobs when we were trying to save the economy. Until this time."

"Good luck, officer, see you around!"

"We lionize and celebrate the people who teach us our multiplication tables and fix our streets and keep us safe at night and rescue us from fires. We lionize and celebrate them justly as we should, and then in record numbers, we can them, [!] hurting them and hurting us as a country. Not every public sector worker's gonna win the Medal of Valor like those eighteen heroes did at the White House today.

"But there is reason to appreciate them, both in the heroic individual specific, and in the aggregate, for what they do for us every day."

public sector job losschart graph public sector jobs bush chart graph public sector job loss Obamachart public sector job loss presidents