Unemployed? Get used to it.

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Our Kleptocracy: Saving the American economy by looting it

“Economists are already floating the concept that Americans better get used to a lower standard of living.  Hundreds of thousands of jobs have vanished forever in industries such as auto manufacturing and financial services. Millions of people who were fired or laid off will find it harder to get hired again and for years may have to accept lower earnings than they enjoyed before the slump.

Layoffs now taking place are similar to those in the 1981-1982 recession, when unemployment peaked at 10.8 percent and 2.8 million jobs disappeared, leaving industries such as durable-goods manufacturing permanently smaller. Some 14 percent of durable-goods positions vanished in that slump, and the sector never regained the employment level of June 1981.”

also at

Largest American Axle plant will close

500 to be laid off as work goes to Mexico

One year after workers at the Detroit-based auto supplier accepted wage and benefit cuts in a contract that followed a bitter 3-month strike, American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. announced plans to close their factory in MI and send the work to its plant in Guanajuato, Mexico.  At least 500 of the more than 700 workers at American Axle’s Detroit complex will be laid off indefinitely, union officials said.

“It’s been a slow death ever since the strike,” said Shirley Welch, a shop committee representative for UAW local 235, on Tuesday.

Workers could opt to leave the company and ask for what remains of their buy-down money offered when workers took wage cuts of about $10 an hour.

3,400 white-collar cuts at GM

General Motors Corp., facing a probable bankruptcy, is making plans to cut about 3,400 additional white-collar jobs in the United States, the Free Press has learned.

GM has signaled that more salaried jobs would be lost as part of a stepped-up restructuring, but gave no details.

Earlier this year, GM cut 3,400 white-collar jobs from its U.S. operations as part of a global head-count reduction. People familiar with the planning, which has not been finalized, said the next round would be similar to the previous effort. That represents about 13% of GM’s salaried U.S. workforce of about 26,000.

Ford extends deadline for hourly buyout offer

Ford is offering the buyouts to all 42,000 hourly workers in the United States, except electricians and steam line engineers. But Figlan said he has been pushing Ford to include electricians.

If you aren’t depressed enough already, listen to this crock.  

Obama: New market awaits automakers

President Barack Obama said General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC must emerge from their restructuring as “leaner, meaner” companies and that a substantial market awaits them if they make the right decisions. –snip–  “And what that means is when the economy recovers and consumers say, you know the old clunker has finally given out. I need to get a new car.”

Who does he think he is kidding?   First, the autos can’t even go to the bathroom without WH approval, so I don’t know what he means by “them” making the right decisions.    Second, leaner and meaner means less made in America and more imports from jobs for China, Mexico and Korea.  So even if and when a rebound occurs, the jobs will not be here.  His answer to that?

“If some of those auto jobs don’t come back, then what we’ve going to have to do is make sure that those workers are effectively retrained,” Obama said.

Retrained in what for what?  Mr. President, America needs jobs to retrain for.  

US offshores  22,000 green jobs to India

Noting an interesting irony the authors of the report say, “In the US,

green stimulus plan is creating low-wage installation and construction

jobs.” But, in India, which is usually associated with cheap and low-skill work, “…New green jobs include higher dollar engineers, strategic business management and support technicians charged with designing innovative environmental friendly solutions,” they add.   – – –

Among the non-Indian firms, Xerox, Accenture, IBM Global, CSC, Capgemini, Oracle, HP/ ED S, Aramark, SITEL and Perot lead the list.  As most of these firms run large delivery centres in India, the boom in their green offshoring business is expected to further create jobs in India.

India eyes role as hub for aerospace outsourcing

After courting success with information technology, India is poised to become a key outsourcing hub for global aerospace firms as it has cheap and skilled engineers on offer, top officials say.  –snip–

More than 1,400 companies have set up base in the southern city of Bangalore, India’s technology capital, and international software companies are using India as a base for their outsourcing operations.

Floyd Norris of the NY Times has an article on the collapsing trade deficit.    

THE American trade deficit is collapsing at the fastest rate ever, a testament to the ability of a worldwide recession to sharply reduce global economic imbalances that had grown to unprecedented size. –snip–

Robert Barbera, the chief economist of ITG, pointed out that the elimination of the trade deficit – an idea that seemed beyond belief only a few months ago – could be within reach. The United States, he said, does not have to develop some new export industry. It simply has to refrain from importing more when exports recover to last year’s level.

For anything like that to happen, however, the engine of recovery in the world would have to be a country or region other than the United States, whose own recovery would need to be gradual and based in large part on growth overseas.

That seems unlikely to happen. Some countries that historically ran large trade surpluses are in no position to use fiscal stimulus to accelerate growth in their economies, because their own access to international credit markets has been damaged. Others, including most of Western Europe, have so far resisted large stimulus packages.  –snip–

Sustainable growth needs to focus upon producing things here, making higher overall incomes, investing here, and therefore solidifying our own economy.  We can’t merely re-inflate the bubble of finance and Ponzi-like asset appreciation.

Some people have been trying and trying to tell Obama that NAFTA needs to be renegotiated and single payer needs to be passed so that it can relieve our industries of their employer paid health care burden.    Business located in the US must be able to compete in the US, or they won’t stay located in the US for long.  

No one can say it plainer than Congressman Kucinich.

Obama auto bailout draws fire

Members of Congress, who left GM and Chrysler on the brink of collapse five months ago, sought Friday to take control of the auto bailout, with dozens of lawmakers pressing claims for dealers, workers and lenders.

The complaints came from the political left and the right in a series of indignant press conferences and letters to administration officials: Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, one of Congress’s most liberal members, compared the Obama’s auto rescue to smothering a hospital patient with a pillow.


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    • dkmich on May 23, 2009 at 19:58

    Our U6 rate is already 17.2%.   You can use this link to see the numbers for your state.  

    The six state measures are based on the same definitions as those published for the U.S.:

    U-1, persons unemployed 15 weeks or longer, as a percent of the civilian labor force;

    U-2, job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs, as a percent of the civilian labor force;

    U-3, total unemployed, as a percent of the civilian labor force (this is the definition used for the official unemployment rate);

    U-4, total unemployed plus discouraged workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus discouraged workers;

    U-5, total unemployed, plus discouraged workers, plus all other marginally attached workers, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers; and

    U-6, total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers.

  1. 1. Employee ownership of companies.

    2. Unions exporting themselves to other countries-and to the south.

    3. Unions expanding into traditionally non-union fields, like IT, office workers and such.

    4. Having the courage to realize that the Democrats are by and large not our friends.

    • Alma on May 23, 2009 at 20:15

    I personally see another person from my Michigan community lose a job.  Some days more than one. The ones that do find other work are usually part time or substantially less pay.  

  2. for jobs in other fields like healthcare workers–people will continue to get sick and need caregivers, right?  Sounds good, except that cuts are also being made in the number of healthcare workers:

    “…Layoffs could hit Genesys Regional Medical Center in July.

    Hospital union officials said they were given letters May 12 from Genesys notifying them of planned cuts that will go into effect July 12.

    The cuts would affect nurses and health technicians and therapists, according to a notice given to the unions…a nurse at the hospital…said she believes that only a third of the 87 licensed practical nurses at the hospital will keep their jobs…”

    Well then, maybe umm, police–public safety is still something that’s important, right?  

    The Michigan State Police on Friday identified 48 posts across the state that will be affected by 100 trooper layoffs announced earlier this week.

    What about the Military, with two wars going on, there should be jobs in the military, right?

    Cash strapped Navy puts holds on transfers…  

    A cash-strapped Navy has halted 14,000 duty station moves, is reducing by one-third the sailing time of non-deployed ships and is cutting back on aviation flight hours and ship visits…to counter a $930 million ship repair and manpower budget shortfall, officials said…

    Holz said with the recession, sailors are staying in the Navy, and “the last numbers I’ve heard, we’ve got like 3,000 or 3,200 people more than what we’re budgeted for…”

    Webb and 10 other senators last Monday called on Inouye and the Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund the maintenance shortfall, while also raising alarm over surface fleet preparedness…Webb and the other senators said the ship-repair industrial base would experience “adverse consequences” if the Navy is forced to scale back work because of the funding deficit. “Ship-repair companies will have no alternative but to lay off skilled workers,”

    Sigh…I really hope things will get better soon.  It’s discouraging to hear every day about more people losing their jobs.  

  3. Noting an interesting irony the authors of the report say, “In the US,

    green stimulus plan is creating low-wage installation and construction

    jobs.” But, in India, which is usually associated with cheap and low-skill work, “…New green jobs include higher dollar engineers, strategic business management and support technicians charged with designing innovative environmental friendly solutions,” they add.

    At least it’s inevitable under neoliberal “free trade” policy.  There’s necessarily a point in race to the bottom global labor cost arbitrage where the new employment  created overseas is higher waged, at least in certain sectors, than in the US.  The closer wage levels come to overall parity, the more sectors that will happen within.

    • Viet71 on May 24, 2009 at 15:06

    Turn ’em into, uh, surgeons, tax lawyers, design engineers, and Arab linguists.

    • dkmich on May 25, 2009 at 17:06

    With all of the new talent joining the talent that was here already here, it is quite a treat to make fp.    

  4. products to.  The whole world is broke.  I think lower price points are in order to accomodate a broke society.

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