Government Finally Shows What We Already Know - Shipping Jobs Overseas is a Big Problem!

The BEA is finally giving us some interesting data in this BEA economic release, Summary Estimates for Multinational Companies: Employment, Sales, and Capital Expenditures for 2009. Their statistics show U.S. multinationals fired more Americans than those abroad during this recession, even while some of these companies were bailed out by U.S. taxpayers. Additionally, these same corporations clearly have been offshore outsourcing jobs over the last decade.


A Little Extortion Never Hurts the Bottom Line

Original published on The Agonist

It used to be if a corporation wanted to practice the dark art of extortion, it would do so well outside of the public eye. Not these days; company CEOs are out in the open and proud of it when they want to extract yet more money out of the taxpayers.

Take the case of Caterpillar CEO Douglas Oberhelman. He wrote a letter to Illinois state governor Pat Quinn, complaining about the state’s recent increase in the corporate tax rate from 4.8% to 7.0%. He said at least four other states have approached the company offering generous allowances if Caterpillar would move its headquarters out of Peoria, Illinois. Neighboring states of Indiana and Iowa have admitted to lobbying Caterpillar, as has the far-away state of Texas. The company said it wasn’t threatening Gov. Quinn over the tax increase, but it had “to do what’s right for Caterpillar.” That’s corporate-speak for “we’re threatening to leave the state if you don’t rescind this tax increase.”

It's All Good - Just Don't Eat, Heat Your Home, or Buy Clothing

By Numerian

If the US can’t constrain its own central bank from ruining the nation and the global economy, it will be up to the financial markets to punish the US in order to put a stop to the madness.


By definition, an unhealthy financial market is one in which prices move daily in one direction only, for an extended period of time. Markets without corrections, without the give and take of investors having different opinions about the future, are prone to sudden shocks. This is precisely the situation that has afflicted US stock markets since last July, when investors began to entertain the unanimous opinion that the stock market can only go up because the Federal Reserve will never allow it to correct. And why shouldn’t they think this way, when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke keeps repeating that a rising stock market with low volatility is a monetary objective of the central bank? He said so again yesterday during his speech and follow-up press conference at the National Press Club:

... the Federal Reserve's securities purchases have been effective at easing financial conditions...equity prices have risen significantly, volatility in the equity market has fallen, corporate bond spreads have narrowed, and inflation compensation as measured in the market for inflation-indexed securities has risen from low to more normal levels...

Outsourcing Is Not Good For America

Who can forget that infamous declaration by Greg Manikiw, Outsourcing is good for America, backed up by fictional economics from an an offshore outsourcing group. gechina Despite the never ending alarming U.S. unemployment rate, the jobs crisis and the stagnant wages, it seems Obama is touting the same philosophy. Economists, on the other hand, refuse to dare challenge this corporate party line and mention the O word, outsourcing.

Where are the jobs? John Bougearel really nails it on fictional CBO and BLS future employment projections.

American policies must take steps to stop the bleeding of jobs overseas, Obama’s new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness should be enacting policies and proposing legislation that repatriates US jobs and disincentivizes further outsourcing of US jobs. These policies would of course be hugely unpopular with Corporate America, but that is the crossroads where we now stand.

Bougearel lists the never ending fiction BLS job growth projections and now similar delusional numbers by the CBO for 2011-2015.

The CBO is projecting 2.5 million jobs will be created annually from 2011 to 2015. From the CBO: “As the recovery continues, the economy will add roughly 2.5 million jobs per year over the 2011–2016 period.”

Beyond Protection vs. Liberalization - Thinking Historically About Trade and Policy

Note: this is a cross-post from The Realignment Project. Follow us on Facebook!


In about two years of blogging at TRP (and another two years’ policy-blogging elsewhere), I’ve never discussed trade. It’s not because it’s unimportant, because trade is clearly a major issue within economic policy and politics, but rather because of when I came of age politically. In 2001 student politics, the free trade vs. anti-globalization/protectionism debate seemed remarkably deadlocked and somewhat sterile. Twin camps of policy contenders required allegiance with either side, and I found myself unhappy with the analysis and debate and more drawn to questions of domestic economic policy.

However, in the wake of the Great Recession and the increasingly-urgent need to reassess the structure of the U.S economy, I can’t avoid it any longer. The trade question isn’t the whole of our economic problems, I think it can be exaggerated in a way that obscures a more important class conflict inside nations. And yet, the global balance of trade – between Germany and the rest of Europe, between China and the U.S, and so on – is clearly out of whack.

The Global Agenda: Privatizing the Planet

Debt, Debt Trading and Why It Is Important

You don’t have to repay the advance we gave you last week, provided you spend half of it next week.

A bit of history on debt from Prof. Buckley of the University of New South Wales (Australia),

The beginning was in the early 1980s. And in the beginning were bad loans, and from the loins of these bad loans sprang debt-equity exchanges, which quickly begat debt-for-nature exchanges, and then debt-for-education exchanges, and most recently, debt-for-health exchanges. And today, when all the begatting has been done, the progeny are known mostly as debt-for-development exchanges, or sometimes as debt-for-investment projects (by those who wish to suggest for the technique a more commercial focus).

Where is the exchange when a rich country offers to cancel some of its loans to a poor country, if the poor country spends money on a development project? That’s like our saying to our daughter, ‘You don’t have to repay the advance we gave you last week, provided you spend half of it next week’. [1]

Thus we observe early forms of debt trading, of sorts.

In the debt-for-health segment of the professor's report, we also note:

The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, is another UN initiative. It is a public-private partnership which seeks to finance public health initiatives in developing countries.[1]

The honorable professor mentioned the early 1980s, so let us examine a presidential-level cabinet meeting which was taking place in the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, USA, at that time.

The Race Continues

The race to the bottom. But this time the supporters of the ideology that is leading the race to the bottom are not hiding behind slogans such as "small government", "government is the problem" or "trickle down economics". No, no, they are coming right out in the open. For example this New York Times article: here.

The authors of this article don't waste any time. Check out the first paragraph:

American workers are overpaid, relative to equally productive employees elsewhere doing the same work. If the global economy is to get into balance, that gap must close.

But it gets better:

The big trade deficit is another sign of excessive pay for Americans. One explanation for the attractive prices of imported goods is that American workers are paid too much relative to their foreign peers.

Globalization: How the majority lives.

It's been about 10 years since PBS first aired Ken Burns' wonderful documentary, "New York, A Documentary Film". In one of the middle episodes, the film focuses on the photojournalistic work of Jacob Riis, a Danish immigrant who investigated the realities of the tenements of the lower West Side. Riis first reported his work in a short magazine article in 1889. He then followed up with a book in 1890, "How The Other Half Lives". The book is replete with photographs and drawings chronicling the abject squalor of the tenements. Many later attributed the work of Jacob Riis as a source for the progressive movement in the early 20th Century, not only in New York City, but throughout the large cities of America.

President Obama Stimulus Package will not do that much

President Obama's stimulus plan will not work. He is focused on the big picture while ignoring the small ones the make our economy work. Only local value added economies work. Economies based primarily on making money on money rather than making things do not and are burning out. President Obama does not even mention the history of Free Trade failures. Free Trade and Globalization means centralization. This means all the good and bad are centralized. All the bad that was controllable in de-centralized ways are now out of control.

The cause of our economic crisis is primarily about Free Trade that moved our production of the things we use and eat to other parts of the planet. The crisis is about cheaper imports meaning cheaper wages, underemployment and unemployment.