Ah, Turkey day. The time of family, good food, friends, football and shopping. Or, is that what we have been told to believe? With 15% of America on food stamps, the call to shopping seems a little insulting. Even being thankful seems disingenuous.
Our Walmart is organizing Black Friday protests across the country. Seems Walmart won't give full time hours to many employees, mainly to deny benefits. Who doesn't know Walmart workers are paid significantly less than other comparable jobs? You can join in the protests instead of shop.
There are hundreds of petitions demanding businesses stop forcing employees to work on Thanksgiving. You can sign one.
Over 25% of America's children live in poverty. For the holiday, you can watch this Frontline documentary on poor kids in America.
If you do insist on shopping, the Alliance for American Manufacturing has a challenge for you, buy one item made in America.
Buying American sends important signals to the folks who have helped ruin our economy. To the outsourcers, it says "bring those jobs back." To Capitol Hill, it says "if you can't pass a jobs bill, we'll take matters into our own hands." To retailers, it says "we prefer American-made products." Those signals, taken alone, won't bring Made in America all the way back--but we'll be headed in the right direction.
Volunteering on Thanksgiving is kind of one of those one time deals that makes people feel better but doesn't do that much. The reality is people need help 365 days a year, 24/7. This site allows you to find volunteering possibilities that work for you. You can also donate to your local Food bank.
Sign the petition to get out of the WTO. Notice how the campaign was all up in it on manufacturing and China? Notice how the topic has fallen after the radar after the election?
As the fiscal cliff is being used as an excuse to cut social security and Medicare, one might write a letter to your government officials demanding they leave social security alone.
With that, we hope all have a good holiday, with plenty to eat and warm cheer. If the holiday gets you down, we leave you with a good laugh. Happy Thanksgiving all!
Happy Thanksgiving, Admin News, This is "Open Thread"
Happy Thanksgiving to all Economic Populists! Please post thoughts or facts regarding the disconnect between economic life for most people in America and the shopping frenzy, driven by marketing, that is about to be thrust upon us when the majority of people can barely make rent or pay for food.
EP is way overdue for a major upgrade. I've been working on code, sloowwwlly behind the scenes and I'm hoping to do a major upgrade over this holiday, since reader traffic is notoriously slow. Just be aware and for EP regulars, I'll announce the site upgrade is 1st phase complete in the comments if I can get to it, fingers crossed. The plan is to make this site much more accessible via mobile devices, get graphs and whatnots to scale, and also eventually improve finding older articles.
You'll potentially see "site is down for maintenance" or even a 500 error (hopefully not) and just check back in 10. I'll need people to give feedback generally for while I try to debug as much as possible, frankly things go wrong every time and I didn't catch it, so your help would be appreciated!
Remember, EP's comments are their own twitter feed and RSS feed, much more than a typical comment space on other sites.
work is no place for gratitude
The Wall Street Journal has a great story on how work is a place where there is no gratitude.
I don't know what employers are thinking these days. It's like hire a slave is the attitude, there to look down upon and abuse.
Beatdowns happen one direction - down; praise only goes upwards
Beatdowns happen to subordinates, bosses + management think praise will make people feel too good or make them lazy, too much vacation time or sick time (or any of either) will coddle them. The rules and punishment go one way, and it definitely doesn't roll uphill. These rules of course come from people that enjoy 10-100X the annual salary of the average worker, that enjoy free cars and drivers, enjoy free meals, and endless "seminars" and conventions of other CEOs and bosses across the country and globe. And of course while they maintain the beatings will continue until morale improves and if people will work for free why pay them, the bosses maintain they need every single extra dime (and in some cases, bonuses in the tens of millions of dollars) because otherwise they just wouldn't be attracted to the job which requires them to hobknob with politicians and other bosses and never break a sweat. On the other hand, those risking life-and-limb, or working two or three jobs so they can afford medical care and could never dream of a vacation, should just suck it up.
MBA and talking heads on TV like to pretend they know what they are talking about. So where are all the statistical breakdowns, deep analysis, etc. of positive feedback, salary increases improving productivity, etc. on Fox or in Forbes. Because whenever I tune in, the PR/spin is so lacking in any facts or analysis it's laughable. Every single CEO is some sort of genius, and when they fail dismally, the story is quickly forgotten while they keep their huge salaries and bonuses. They are often hired again if they ever lose a great gig. Of course the CEOs are the one invited for the interviews and coddled in the press, the average worker is absent, which is odd, considering the workers compose the vast majority of Americans. On the other hand, the workers are constantly bashed, always seem to be called unskilled, or uneducated, or unwilling to move here or there to find that imaginary job, or some other insulting lie. And when the workers protest or ask for more, they are some sort of labor agitators or Communists, while the people at the top colluding and geting rubber stamp approval from boards and politicians is anything but a mockery of capitalism and democracy. Of course anything that runs counter to lower pay for the workers and the endless revenue streams for the big CEOs can't be tolerated. It's dogma, and dogma doesn't allow for dissent. Double standards and hypocrisy abound, and if you call them out on it, they'll just grab the microphone out of your hand. CEOs pay for the advertising, and if they don't like what you are saying, no more ad $ for you.
treatment of workers, labor in this country general comment
It seems, starting in the 1980's, anything goes towards workers. Workplace bullying, workplace abuse, all of this is originating from the top and that derogatory view, to coin Reagan, trickles down.
Work is high stress, one never knows when they will be fired, the pensions stolen, rules are simply for HR and corporate attorneys to not get sued. There is no cause and effect anymore to losing one's job either. Generally work life is highly abusive, seemingly in the majority of workplaces these days instead of being the exception.
Seems most who get just the least bit of power, supervisory positions, can scapegoat, target, pick a victim and get completely away with it. Meritocracy is just another HR propaganda statement for the most part, including areas where one would assume work product would be most evident, say the technical and manufacturing fields.
No surprise to me at all workers attitudes are "I need the pay to survive" and that's it.
Global supply chain transport to support Walmart Protesters?
Naked Capitalism has posted an interesting aspect of the Walmart Black Friday protests. To get the global transport, shipping unions to join or at least show support for Walmart employees. There is no doubt this is where it would hurt Walmart. They depend on cheap Chinese imports and on top of shutting down Mom & Pops all over the nation they very short inventory on hand. If anyone has shopped at Walmart the phrase we're out of that product is one of the reasons there is no guarantee they will have your favorite item in stock. It's all about volume maximizing delivery schedules versus having in stock needed items.
Cut off Walmart from China and they would pay attention.
Just a side note. Japanese manufacturers are also getting hammered by unfair Chinese competition. Wild table turn around from the 1980's. Sony & Panasonic were just downgraded to junk status. Sony screwed the pooch on audio on demand, surprise, surprise, stifling corporate culture plus a horrific screw up on executive hires. It is astounding to me how many people get into executive positions who really have had their heads up their ass, never to see the light of day for their entire lives, but that's another story.
Japan, surprise on the infamous race to the bottom, can't compete on price point against Chinese TVs.
Anyway, cut of Walmart from mainland China and watch that company implode in no time. Yet another reason you should buy American when possible.
new head of SEC, but 'temp" Elisse Walter
New York Times sums it up as best as I could. Expect status quo, no financial reform implemented.
Shapiro stepped down and this is another classic lobbyist maneuver, if perchance something at all gets passed into law, they bury any effectiveness via implementation.
The SEC is gridlocked and they haven't implemented most of the swiss cheese, watered down Dodd-Frank as it is.
How does Bankster Dimon as Treasury Sec. sound?!
Buffett endorsed Dimon for Treasury Secretary on TV following the inevitable departure of Geithner that will come soon. Buffett as everyone knows is a huge fan of current administration, and the administration loves him. So this endorsement on GE/CNBC carries weight and might be a trial balloon. Buffett loves Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, etc. because he gets those sweet insider/preferential deals that regular folks don't have access to. And then CNBC and others praise him as if any of his accomplishments could be made without cutting sweet deals or he possesses some mad intellect - no, he doesn't have mad skills or a superior intellect or crazy work ethic. He had a dad that had those connections that set him up. And didn't his lieutenant Munger blast unemployed college grads and others and tell them they just had to "suck it up." Yeah, thanks for the advice - d*ck. Munger, go bust ass in a job that might put you in the grave and "suck it up."
Ah yes, Carlin's small club rears its ugly head again. This administration still looking to Dimon? Dimon, of creating derivatives he didn't understand fame and then betting billions and trillions on them? Dimon, of JP Morgan bribing Alabama public officials to burden entire counties with deals that forced them into bankruptcy? JP Morgan that has been called out for allowing money laundering? Foreclosure fraud? Receiving money from Corzine as Corzine looted MF Global right before that company went bankrupt and destroyed the lives of thousands of farmers? Possible LIBOR rigging? Private donations to NYPD? Receiving tens of millions in salaries and bonuses for betting huge, and losing huge, while taxpayers had to bail him out and the FDIC/taxpayers are always on the hook for all of his losses?
This coming on the heels of the Bank of England appointing a Canadian, and former Goldman Sachs employee that worked there for a long time, to run the BOE. I guess no one in the UK was fit enough? And no one outside bankster Goldman Sachs was qualified? Really?
It's readily apparent how the banksters run the show and those George Carlin saw in the special "club" do whatever they want and stick it in our eye every single time. It's so obvious and they know they can get away with it, they don't even hide it. Dimon, Treasury Secretary, sure, why not. It's so freaking stupid and pointless and against the public's interest it actually is par for the course in 2012.
disgusting that Dimon is being promoted
They simply have to be kidding for that is truly the Fox in the Hen House.
in top 100
Angry Bear got a shout out for being an influential blog so I checked out this list to discover we're in the top 100.
Not bad considering the lack of authors, i.e. namely me and my lonely most of the time. I wish I could output more than I can for lord knows there is a lot of influence going on right now!
Anyway, that's cool, clearly many people are checking us out.
Congrats! At least policy + econ. are getting read more and more
Nice job. It's good to see so many sites out there dedicated solely to economics, policy, etc. More information and more discourse = at least a fighting chance for us out here going through Hell with little to no voice in the standard forms of writing to politicians, writing to media, etc. Without blogs, would there even be an outlet to express dissent nowadays? That's one of the key benefits of this and other sites.
assuredly if most people read those sites instead of Fox
cable we might have momentum for fact and statistical based policy.
And that's why the Founding Fathers wanted an educated populace
Oh, how far we've fallen. And that's why the people in charge want everyone to stop thinking, stop reading (except for Us and People) and to buy the newest i-crap and play Angry Birds or buy endless apps (for only $.99 - what a deal to kill brain cells). The people in charge aren't brighter, they're more self-serving, and some cases, just narcissistic psychos that need a dumbed-down populace that doesn't question their orders. There was an episode of the new "Twilight Zone" (awful compared to the original) in which kids were tested for IQ scores at a certain age in a dystopian society. A couple's kid took the test. He came back home and was so proud because he crushed it. The parents looked sad and horrified upon hearing this. The reason - the kid didn't know that in the future people that were too bright were seen as a threat to the powers that be and were imprisoned or killed. And that's what makes the "Twilight Zone" (especially the old ones) so effective. It's possible.
and their continually pounding with pundits who make 7 figures to boot on empty, meaningless arguments on all cable channels, plus the press clearly puts out misinformation blizzard snow. It's mind numbing and their audience is supposedly the people who know what's going on.
North East West South
Remember when the "NEWS" wasn't five people in a circle contemplating their navels.
Good God yes and addition to that, remember when news wasn't parroting some pre-written lobbyist or political talking points that have no basis in reality?
moving things around the site, administration
Anyone noticing blocks moving around the site, beyond any real bother, let me know, this is just temporary. The site is in process of a MAJOR upgrade and the block moves today were all about getting one of our sponsored advertisers to display correctly.
The site upgrade layout won't look much like this at all in the end.