10 Amazing Charts That Demonstrate The Slow, Agonizing Death Of The American Worker
The middle class American worker is in danger of becoming an endangered species. The politicians are not telling you the truth, and the mainstream media is certainly not telling you the truth, but the reality is that there is nothing but bad news on the horizon for workers in the United States. In the old days, when the big corporations that dominate our society did well, that also meant good things for American workers since those corporations would need more of us to work for them. But in the emerging one world economic system that our economy is being merged into, those corporations have other choices now. For instance, the big corporations can now choose to limit the number of “expensive” American workers that they employ by shipping millions of jobs to the other side of the world. And from their perspective, it makes perfect sense. They can make much bigger profits by hiring people on the other side of the planet to work for them for less than a dollar an hour. If they can get good production out of those people, then why should they hire Americans for ten to twenty times as much, plus have to give those Americans health insurance and other benefits?
Another major factor in the slow, agonizing death of the American worker is technology. We live during a period when technology is advancing at a pace that is almost unimaginable at the same time that it is steadily becoming cheaper and cheaper. That means that it is going to become easier and easier for companies to replace workers with robots and computers. As I have written about previously, it is being projected that our economy will lose millions of jobs to technology in the coming years. Yes, some of us will still be needed to help build the robots and the computers, but not all of us will. And of course the overall general weakness of the economy is not helping matters either. The American people inherited the greatest economic machine in the history of the world, and we have wrecked it. Decades of very foolish decisions have resulted in the period of steady economic decline that we are experiencing now.
America is simply not the economic powerhouse that it once was. Back in 2001, the U.S. economy accounted for 31.8 percent of global GDP. By 2011, the U.S. economy only accounted for 21.6 percent of global GDP. That is a collapse any way that you want to look at it.
Today, American workers are living in an economy that is rapidly declining, and their jobs are steadily being stolen by robots, computers and foreign workers that live in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. Politicians from both political parties refuse to do anything to stop the bleeding because they think that the status quo is working just great.
So don’t expect things to get better any time soon.
The following are 10 amazing charts that demonstrate the slow, agonizing death of the American worker…
#1 Wages And Salaries As A Percentage Of GDP
As you can see, wages as a percentage of GDP are hovering near an all-time record low. That means that American workers are bringing home a smaller share of the economic pie than ever before.
#2 Average Annual Hours Worked Per Employed Person In The United States
We are an economy that is rapidly trading good paying full-time jobs for low paying part-time jobs. The decline in average annual hours worked that we have witnessed represents the equivalent of losing millions of jobs. There has been an explosion of “the working poor” in the United States, and this trend is probably only going to accelerate in the years to come.
#3 Manufacturing Employment
As you can see, there are less Americans working in manufacturing today than there was in 1950 even though the population of the country has more than doubled since then. The United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001, and yet our politicians stand around and do nothing about it.
#4 Employment-Population Ratio
This is one of my favorite charts. It shows that there has been absolutely no employment recovery at all since the end of the last recession. The percentage of working age Americans that have a job has stayed under 59 percent for 44 months in a row. How much worse will things get when the next major economic downturn strikes?
#5 Labor Force Participation Rate
This is how the Obama administration is getting the “unemployment rate” to magically go down. They are pretending that millions upon millions of Americans simply do not want to work anymore. As you will notice, the decline of the labor force participation rate has accelerated greatly since Barack Obama entered the White House.
#6 Duration Of Unemployment
The average amount of time that it takes an unemployed worker to find a new job has declined slightly, but it is still far above normal historical levels. It is a crying shame that it takes the average unemployed worker two-thirds of a year to find a new job, but this is the new economic reality that we are all living in.
The EU will spend more than $3 million on ‘troll monitors’ to trawl Eurosceptic debates on the internet ahead of European elections in June 2014, UK media reports. It comes amid fears that hostility against the EU is growing.
The new strategy will include “public opinion monitoring” to “identify at an early stage whether debates of a political nature among followers in social media and blogs have the potential to attract media and citizens’ interest,” according to internal documents reportedly discovered by the Telegraph.
Spending on “qualitative media analysis” will be increased by more than $2.6 million. Most of the money will be found in existing budgets, although an additional $1.2 million will be needed.
“Particular attention needs to be paid to the countries that have experienced a surge in Euroscepticism,” a confidential document said.
The monitors’ roles are clearly laid out in the documents. The controversial plan is designed to promote a stronger Europe, while engaging in conversation with those who hold an anti-EU sentiment.
“Parliament’s institutional communicators must have the ability to monitor public conversation and sentiment on the ground and in real time, to understand ‘trending topics’ and have the capacity to react quickly, in a targeted and relevant manner, to join in and influence the conversation, for example, by providing facts and figures to deconstructing myths.”
“In order to reverse the perception that ‘Europe is the problem’, we need to communicate that the answer to existing challenges… is ‘more Europe’ – not ‘less Europe’.”
But the EU is facing an uphill battle, as it seeks to change the minds of those who associate the bloc with economic crisis and high rates of unemployment.
“It is evident that the EU’s image is suffering,” the document said.
The information has been met with disapproval by many, who say the strategy is a waste of time.
“Spending over a million pounds ($1.5 million) for EU public servants to become Twitter trolls in office hours is wasteful and truly ridiculous,” UK Independent Party Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall told the Telegraph.
Training for the so-called “Twitter trolls” is set to take place later this month.
The news comes as Eurosceptic moods continue to gain momentum in the union.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s EU membership.
Without reform, “Europe will fail and Britain will drift to the exit,” the leader said in a January speech.
Cameron has been dubbed a “trendsetter” by Conservative MP David Campbell Bannerman, who believes many other countries are seeking more flexibility within the EU.
But it’s not just governments looking for a bit more leeway when it comes to EU membership – individual workers in crisis-hit countries are unhappy with the bloc’s leadership and austerity measures, too.
Last Wednesday, anti-austerity protesters in Athens broke into a government building and threatened the labor minister. Riot police then responded with tear gas, batons, and pepper spray.
Even German citizens have expressed interest in leaving the EU – despite German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ongoing support of EU policy.
Last September, a poll conducted by the Bertelsmann Foundation showed that 49 per cent of Germans believed things would be improved by leaving the European Union.
And the Germans aren’t alone – 34 per cent of French citizens also said they would be better off without the EU.
Texas is one of the largest and most important construction markets in the country. It’s driving the industry at a time when much of the country is still tenuously recovering from the recession.
But a recent investigation has uncovered hundreds of examples of illegal and hazardous workplace practices at worksites throughout the states.
Twenty-two percent of Texas construction workers report not being paid for their work, and although the majority of workers labor at least 40 hours a week, 52 percent still live in poverty.
One in five workers reported having suffered a work related injury that required medical attention. Texas is ranked the most deadly state to work in construction.
On Tuesday, Workers Defense Project and the Division of Diversity of Community Engagement at the University of Texas, Austin will release the study “Build a Better Texas: Construction Working Conditions in the Lone Star State.”
Payroll fraud or misclassification of workers as independent subcontractors, rather than actual employees, has become a common practice in the industry. Widespread payroll fraud has devastating consequences for honest business owners who struggle to compete with companies that break the law.
And payroll fraud is expensive for taxpayers, costing them $54.5 million in lost unemployment insurance, tax revenue and hundreds of millions more in federal income tax.
This study offers concrete solutions to ensure a safe, healthy, and productive workforce to better build an economically stable and prosperous Texas.
The report will be presented by Fuerza del Valle Workers’ Center — a project of the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network, which is committed to creating a movement of social change through the civic engagement of 25,000 constituents of the network’s participating organizations. Organizations include South Texas Civil Rights Project, La Union del Pueblo Entero, Proyecto Azteca, Mano a Mano Promotoras, Movimiento del Valle Por los Derechos Humanos, Proyecto Juan Diego and others.
It’s time to admit that we live in a false economy. Smoke and mirrors are used to make us believe the economy is real, but it’s all an elaborate illusion.
Out of one side of the establishment’s mouth we hear excitement about “green shoots”, and out of the other side comes breathless warnings of fiscal cliffs and the urgent need for unlimited bailouts by the Fed.
We hear the people begging for jobs and the politicians promising them, but politicians can’t create jobs. We see people camped out to buy stuff on Black Friday indicating the consumer economy is seemingly thriving, only to find out everything was bought on credit.
The corporate media does their best to distract us from seeing anything real. We see the media glorify Kim Kardashian who got rich by being famous, and became famous merely by being rich. She got front page coverage on Huffington Post this week because her cat died. Enough said.
Meanwhile the financial media makes the economy seem complicated and they ban anyone who speaks truthfully about the economy from their airwaves.
Is it any wonder why people are angry and confused about the economy?
Few people realize that the debt ceiling is aligning right on track with the fiscal cliff. Total public outstanding debt is now at $16.369 trillion and is only $63 billion away from breaching the limit. Not a coincidence that the fiscal cliff is also on the horizon. In essence, we are addicted to debt. However US households have been on a multi-year long process of deleveraging yet this is not being asked from banks or governmental institutions. Of course we knew this was coming. Anyone that was honestly objective realized that we were on an unsustainable path. Yet the name of the game is now about kicking the can furiously down the road so it falls beyond or line of vision. Then we act surprised when we arrive at the can and it has only gotten heavier with debt. So as we are T-minus a few days from the fiscal cliff, let us examine the debt ceiling.
Debt ceiling being breached
We are fast approaching the debt ceiling:
As stated, we are $63 billion away from hitting this. This week another $26 billion will be added courtesy of a few auctions so we will hit this before the New Year. Debt has been expanding at a furious pace:
The ECB is facing similar issues and they are essentially rolling over debt like a giant snowball. The reality is, the only way out of these mountains of debt is through a slow methodical inflation. The Fed is not even shy about admitting this. Why else would they be digitally printing money with no fear? They realize the debt destruction of American households is enough to offset the trillions of extensions and side programs that are being offered to the banking system. But after years of this, we are now seeing spillover effects via housing bubbles, student loan bubbles, food price hikes, healthcare costs soaring, and other items of that nature all in line with stagnant incomes.
Most people who pay attention to government stats are now wise to the fact that labor force data is just as important as the employment data in determining the unemployment rate. As pointed out by Santelli today, a few hundred thousand people were disappeared from the labor force to get the unemployment rate down below eight percent.
Even Reuters was forced to admit that the labor force decline was the real issue here. Although backers of the administration, predictably, are claiming that there’s momentum in the economy.
But just to get some perspective, let’s look at the government’s numbers on total payroll employment. The graph shows that with November’s numbers, employment is now back up 2006 levels. That is, we’re down 3.1 million jobs from the peak. Private-sector employment is even worse and is still at 2005 levels and is down 3.9 million from the peak. True, some people are leaving the work force as they retire, which means we now have more people on the dole. But even with retirees, we’re obviously not adding jobs for those entry-level people, which one can also guess from the massive employment among teenagers. One could also note that total private employment is barely above what it was back in 2000.
Robert Wenzel thinks the relatively positive numbers (in a short term analysis) reflect ongoing Fed pumping, and I agree with him, but even with QE3, we’re still looking at four to seven million unemployed people, and this also ignores the underemployed and those forced into part-time employment.
By Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse Blog
This is the time of the year when Americans run out to their favorite retail stores and fill up their shopping carts with lots of cheap plastic crap made by workers in foreign countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. By doing this, the American people are actively participating in the destruction of the U.S. economy. You see, buying products that are made in America is not just a matter of national pride. It is a matter of national survival. If we do not support American workers, they are going to continue to see their jobs shipped out of the country.
If we do not support American businesses, they are going to continue to die off at a staggering rate. Last year, the United States had a trade deficit with the rest of the world of 558 billion dollars. More than half a trillion dollars that could have gone into the pockets of U.S. workers and U.S. businesses went overseas instead. If that money had stayed in the country, taxes would have been paid on that mountain of cash and our local, state and federal government debt problems would not be as severe.
As a result of our massive trade imbalance, we have lost tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of national wealth. Both major political parties have sold us out on these issues, and we are getting poorer as a nation with each passing day. We desperately need a resurgence of economic patriotism in the United States before it is too late.
Yes, I know that it is very tempting to buy foreign-made products. After all, they are almost always cheaper.
But most people don’t often think about why they are cheaper.
Unfortunately, in the name of “free trade” American workers have been merged into a global labor pool where they have to compete directly for jobs with workers on the other side of the globe that live in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. This makes employing American workers a tremendous liability.
If a company hires you and pays you 10 to 15 dollars an hour with benefits, how is it going to compete with another company that pays workers a dollar an hour with no benefits on the other side of the planet?
Both major political parties are pushing this emerging “one world economic system“, but it is absolutely killing American jobs. We have already seen a mass exodus of jobs and businesses out of this country, and wages for the jobs that remain in the United States are being forced down because there are hordes of unemployed workers that are willing to take just about any decent job they can find.
It has become painfully obvious that our politicians are not going to do anything to help us on these issues, so what we need is a mass awakening among the American people.
We need to educate people that buying things that are made in America is good for the economy and that buying things that are made elsewhere is bad for the economy.
But for now, most Americans are clueless. They will line up on Black Friday morning and trample one another in a desperate attempt to save a few bucks on cheap plastic devices that were made on the other side of the planet.
And they will pay for much of this “shopping” with credit cards.
Credit card debt is on the rise once again. In fact, average credit card debt per borrower was 4.9 percent higher in the third quarter of 2012 than it was in the third quarter of 2011. It looks like most of us didn’t learn our lessons from the last financial crisis.
But not all Americans enjoy the shopping that is typically involved with this time of the year. One recent survey found that approximately 45 percent of all Americans think that there is so much financial pressure associated with the holidays that they wouldn’t mind skipping them completely.
By Stephen C. Webster
In a 13-minute segment broadcast Sunday night, CBS’s “60 Minutes” explored Colorado’s budding medical marijuana industry, and heard from a former drug cop turned tax enforcer who insisted that the industry has helped Denver beat the recession.
That runs contrary to President Barack Obama’s logic: he said in 2010 that legalizing marijuana is not “a good strategy to grow our economy.”
But the economic impact on Denver? According to Matt Cook, a former narcotics officer who oversees enforcement at the Colorado Department of Revenue, “it’s huge.”
Cook helped write the state’s medical marijuana law, and works as a consultant for medical marijuana businesses in the state. Speaking to “60 Minutes,” he said that the industry accounts for “over a million square feet of lease space in the Denver area.”
“Look at all the electrical contractors, HVAC contractors,” he said. “The number of ancillary businesses — it’s huge. Tax revenues exceeded, I believe the last number I heard was an excess of $20 million.”
While the state’s taxes on marijuana actually took in about $5 million during 2011, it certainly could spike as high or higher than Cook said: a recent study by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy found that legalized marijuana could pull in about $24 million in new revenue from an excise tax on marijuana production alone.
The report adds that state sales taxes on pot could generate up to $8.7 million more, with local governments seeing an additional $14.5 million just in the first year. Savings on enforcement and incarceration during that same period would also top more than $12 million, the group said.
Source: http://rt.comRiot police take positions during clashes with protestors at the end of a demonstration against the government’s austerity measures at Neptuno Square in Madrid, September 29, 2012 (Reuters / Sergio Perez)
Sporadic clashes have broken out in central Madrid, with twelve people reportedly injured after riot police moved in to clear the Plaza de Neptune, threatening to arrest those who would not leave.
The demo turned violent when police encircled about 300 protesters who refused to leave the square. The demonstrators chanted slogans, while some threw projectiles at police vehicles.
Twelve people have reportedly been injured as Madrid’s police split up the crowd, giving protesters the choice to either leave or face arrest. Two people have been arrested, El Pais reported.
A group of roughly 100 protesters tried to organize a sit-it, but left without incident, with police not trying to detain any of them.
The organizers of the protest have reportedly agreed to hold a meeting on Sunday to decide on the future actions of the movement.
In Spain, demonstrators spoke out against government spending cuts, tax hikes, and the nation’s alarmingly high unemployment rate.
The protest was centered near the Spanish Parliament building in the city’s downtown district.
Eager to make known their disapproval of the current administration, the crowd let off loud whistles near Parliament and yelled, “Fire them, fire them!”, referring to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government.