Saturday in the Corporate Bund

Posted in The Corporate Bund at 12:44 pm by George Smith

Today’s speech from the White House, an excerpt:

“This week, Vice President Biden will release a report heís been working on to reform our job training system into a job-driven training system. And Iíll visit a community college in L.A. thatís retraining workers for careers in the fast-growing health care sector. Because every worker deserves to know that if you lose your job, your country will help you train for an even better one.”


Since the president can’t do anything in the paralyzed system, he flogs the same half-dead horse he’s flogged for as long as he’s been elected: “We’ll community college our way back to a solid economy.”

Or, translated: “Now that corporate America has devalued labor to a critical level and you’ve lost your middle class job to automation or offshore cheapness, you can retrain for two years for a job as a nurse’s assistant, medical billing specialist, tooth scraper or limited mobility physical therapist that pays a lot less but with job security since 99.8 percent of the soon-to-be geriatric boomers aren’t going to be going anywhere except into hospitals and retirement communities near you.

The real answer is simple but undoable in our state of corporate fascism: Mandate the raising of payment so people can afford to live no matter the work they do and cut the contemptible US business propaganda that workers don’t have skills, are stupid and always need retraining because everyone overseas is better.

The Washington Post:

Ever since the job market began to recover in 2010, the decline in the unemployment rate has come with a big fat asterisk. The unemployment rate has been going down, the argument goes, but largely because people have stopped looking for work …

The report has no definitive answers for why workers appear to be disappearing, but it has two overarching theories:

The first theory is that higher levels of long-term unemployment as a result of the Great Recession are causing more workers to exit and remain outside the labor force. A well-chronicled feature of the economic recovery has been the very large numbers of Americans unemployed for more than six months — 3.1 million in June. The report highlights other economic research that has shown that jobless Americans have lower odds of finding a job the longer they’re unemployed. And a big part of the reason is that employers discriminate against those with long spells of joblessness …

The report’s second theory essentially boils down to the idea that the participation rate is lower because when the recession started, the labor market was already much weaker than was widely recognized. Nearly every demographic group saw labor force participation declines ahead of the recession. It was especially problematic for men, who have been beaten down by declines in manufacturing, advances in workplace automation and expanding trade.

Personal note: All week I’ve been getting e-mail for a raffle to see the President in LA at his community college stop, just contribute to enter.

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