Jobs

Outrageous Economic Shorts - There Is No STEM Worker Shortage

Once again our daily barrage of economic injustice news is overwhelming.  From lobbyist lies to interest rate swap rigging to killing workers by the hundreds to our best and brightest working jobs flipping burgers, here are some quick economic news shorts that you don't want to miss.

 

Fired America

There is a complete disconnect in Washington from the quiet desperation of American lives.   While politicians chatter talking points and claim lobbyists' agendas are somehow sane economic and labor policy, a full 23% of Americans have been fired in the last four years. 

Congress Betrays The U.S. STEM Worker Once Again

stemThe House of Representatives is out to destroy the American Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Professional. Republicans passed H.R. 6429 with the oxymoron title, STEM Jobs Act of 2012. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and this bill gives 55,000 foreigners a year who graduate from an American university with a Masters or PhD in these fields an employment sponsored green card. Democrats didn't like it, not because it will labor arbitrage American Technical Professionals and lock out some Americans from even being accepted into Masters and PhD university programs. No, Democrats don't like the idea of separating the agenda of giving those here illegally legal status from the corporate lobbyist never ending demand for more foreign guest worker Visas and turning the American higher education system into a glorified green card ATM. Democrats believe they will never get their unlimited migration agenda through Congress without sacrificing the American Science and Technology professional to the globalization wolves.

More on the Economic Effects of Superstorm Sandy

hurricane sandy

Superstorm Sandy's economic effects are popping up like the dark clouds of a hurricane. In The Perfect Storm we predicted Sandy would negatively impact Q4 GDP by 0.5 percentage points. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's survey of professional forecasters recently downgraded their Q4 GDP estimates by 0.4 percentage points to 1.8% annualized Q4 GDP growth. There are some estimates which are as low as 0.5% Q4 GDP, much of the downgrades due to superstorm Sandy.

Now the data is rolling in, like the storm surge itself. Sandy hit the New Jersey coast on October 29th. Even while the damage, loss of power, business closings and economic activity would seem to go negative after that date, October industrial production was hit with a full percentage point of Hurricane Sandy related contraction.

As Our Economy is Outsourced to China the Obama Administration Once Again Does Nothing

Once again the U.S. Treasury and President Obama have refused to label China a currency manipulator, this time by delaying their report on exchange rates until after the election. The excuses abound, with the claim the Treasury Department must assess progress via a G-20 meeting, scheduled conveniently in November, to oh gee, the administration doesn't want to start a trade war.

Tax Facts Show Lower Personal Income Taxes Will Not Create Jobs

taxformsWe've noticed a hell of a lot of political B.S. baffle going on, in particular on business taxes. What happens is politicians conflate small business taxes with the individual income tax and that is due in part to the actual tax code.

The GOP typical claim is a lower top personal income tax rate will allow businesses to hire more people. That is really a lie. Business profits can enable more hiring, tax refunds for hiring and retaining employees can incentivize new jobs, but the personal income tax rates for those who own businesses has negligible effect.

One thing that gets lost in the rancor are business tax deductions. An employee's salary and most benefits are a business deduction. The business owner would not pay taxes on the costs of hiring a new employee beyond the payroll taxes associated with hiring, about 6.2% of salary. The most important element to hiring is demand for goods and services provided by the business, not taxes.

There are four most common business entities in the United States. Corporations, partnerships, S-corporations and sole proprietorships. Partnerships are primarily two types, a limited liability partnership (LLP) or a limited liability company (LLC). There are also other types of businesses, such as RICs, which are glorified investment vehicles with capital gains tax pass through. S-corporations also allow pass through taxes, although not as lenient as partnerships. Below is a graph of number of these firms by type, who had at least one paid employee during part of 2009.

 

type of business 2009

 

The Never Ending Science & Technology Job Lie

stem
Almost daily we have article plants by corporate lobbyists claiming a dire shortage in skilled labor, specifically Scientists, Technologists, Engineers and Mathematicians. These occupational areas are collectively known as STEM. Yet the Washington Post, normally a bastion of corporate drum beating propaganda and economic nonsense, called cash on the cry for more Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics workers. They point to the glut of PhDs in the United States, in part due to the offshore outsourcing of pharmaceutical research.

Michelle Amaral wanted to be a brain scientist to help cure diseases. She planned a traditional academic science career: PhD, university professorship and, eventually, her own lab.

But three years after earning a doctorate in neuroscience, she gave up trying to find a permanent job in her field.

Dropping her dream, she took an administrative position at her university, experiencing firsthand an economic reality that, at first look, is counterintuitive: There are too many laboratory scientists for too few jobs.

Immigration Banter Leaves U.S. Workers in the Dust

cheap labor flowsHouston, we have a problem. We need jobs. The never ending political banter on immigration is a droning inane brew of special interests. One thing always is constant. At the back of the pack is America's middle class. We even have various groups supposedly representing U.S. labor who seem to be interested in illegal immigrants instead. Even worse, we have numerous lobbyists spinning out economic fiction, trying to claim offshore outsourcing is good for America or displacing U.S. workers with foreigners is somehow good economically. Neither is true. Worker displacement is worker displacement and if anyone is alive these days, the employment statistics say it all. Indeed we saw the foreign born getting majority of the jobs from 2008-2010. We need jobs for U.S. citizens, American workers. We also need a big legal rubber stamp proclaiming U.S. workers are preferred for all jobs within our shores.

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