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View Diary: The Day America Stopped Hiring (214 comments)

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  •  Incentives (43+ / 0-)

    Companies aren't investing in the future. Why? Because the demand isn't there, thus they have no incentive to build more factories.
    Why? Because the middle class has been gutted. Thus hiring has stagnated, especially for goods production.

      Even more importantly, the central banks of the world are flooding the planet with cash. Thus there is money to be made playing the interest rate margins and speculating. It doesn't produce jobs or wealth, but it does produce profits.

     We've corrupted the incentives of the economy with short-term fixes (rather than real reform) and we shall continue to pay the price for it.

    “Wall Street had been doing business with pieces of paper; and now someone asked for a dollar, and it was discovered that the dollar had been mislaid.” ― Upton Sinclair

    by gjohnsit on Sat May 04, 2013 at 06:53:03 AM PDT

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    •  Keynes said that, when the capital development (25+ / 0-)

      of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.  Let's face it--the main difference between Wall Street and Las Vegas is that you know the odds are stacked against you in Vegas.  That, and they don't have any gaudy & overdone shows on the Street.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:57:07 AM PDT

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    •  Why expand (5+ / 0-)

      There is no reason at all. Retail, restaurants, and many other economic activities in this nation are massively overbuilt.

      Additionally, jobs continue to be destroyed by automation. Machines work cheaper, faster, and higher quality than human workers who ask for living wages, health care, and the rest.

      So what's the economic rationale for expansion? To sell what? To whom?

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Sat May 04, 2013 at 09:14:38 AM PDT

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      •  Since the problem is global (13+ / 0-)

        that sounds like a crisis of capitalism to me.

        “Wall Street had been doing business with pieces of paper; and now someone asked for a dollar, and it was discovered that the dollar had been mislaid.” ― Upton Sinclair

        by gjohnsit on Sat May 04, 2013 at 09:40:07 AM PDT

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        •  How is that (0+ / 0-)

          The market is working perfectly. The fact that a lot of people don't like the signals it is sending doesn't change much.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Sat May 04, 2013 at 10:14:30 AM PDT

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          •  Because it is socially unsustainable (17+ / 0-)

            The market is indeed working perfectly - and it is leaving the greater amount of the working class permanently behind.
               What good is a system that will do nothing but make the majority of the world's population poorer? This will inevitably create social unrest, wars, famines, etc.

             It's not like automation is going to decrease. Nor are many of the other trends in the economy.

              The crisis is that capitalism worked fine when the world economy was unable to generate enough products that the world needed.
               For the first time in human history that is no longer the problem. For the first time in human history we are capable of satisfying every human need and much more with less than the given supply of labor. It's not that there isn't enough money in the world. The problem is that there isn't enough paying jobs for people to earn that money.

             The system working perfectly is now a human crisis, which leaves the question of which you support more: the system or humanity?

            “Wall Street had been doing business with pieces of paper; and now someone asked for a dollar, and it was discovered that the dollar had been mislaid.” ― Upton Sinclair

            by gjohnsit on Sat May 04, 2013 at 10:25:40 AM PDT

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            •  People have been saying that Capitalism (0+ / 0-)

              is unsustainable for a good 150 years.

              For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

              by Anne Elk on Sat May 04, 2013 at 11:56:42 AM PDT

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              •  And...? (0+ / 0-)

                Was there ever a system that was supposed to last forever and ever?

                “Wall Street had been doing business with pieces of paper; and now someone asked for a dollar, and it was discovered that the dollar had been mislaid.” ― Upton Sinclair

                by gjohnsit on Sat May 04, 2013 at 12:06:06 PM PDT

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                •  Forever is a pretty long time. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sparhawk

                  If that's your horizon, then it ain't no concern of mine.

                  For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

                  by Anne Elk on Sat May 04, 2013 at 12:44:41 PM PDT

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              •  Are you saying they were wrong? (5+ / 0-)

                150 years is a very short time when compared to all of human history, a blip in time compared to bio-evolutionary history.

                Are you saying capitalism is sustainable, because to me it looks like those people were right.  The planet is dying.  People are hungry all over.

                Something's got to give.  It's clearly not sustainable in its current form.

                The meek shall inherit the Earth that the stupid destroyed.

                by CharlieHipHop on Sat May 04, 2013 at 03:27:09 PM PDT

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            •  To paraphrase Jesus, "The economy was (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JeffW, jbsoul, denise b, SadieSue, gjohnsit

              made for humans, not humans for the economy."  (The original quote was, "The Sabbath was made for Man, not Man for the Sabbath."

              Renewable energy brings national global security.     

              by Calamity Jean on Sat May 04, 2013 at 01:54:26 PM PDT

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          •  I always find statements like ... (13+ / 0-)

            ..."the market is working perfectly" when combined with "massively overbuilt" to be truly hilarious. The market doesn't work perfectly, ever.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Sat May 04, 2013 at 10:26:10 AM PDT

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            •  Re (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kickemout, ethos

              The market has been unfortunately distorted by government policy.

              GWB's "ownership society", trying to get everyone and their grandmother to buy a house. The Fed monkeying around with interest rates and foreign exchange markets. Quasi-guarantees of government bailouts of market institutions. Even now, various forms of "stimulus" and other government distortions. Disallowal of bankruptcy proceedings for student loans. Failure to properly oversee and regulate those things the government should be doing.

              All these things would solve themselves if the government would relax its hypervigilence over the economy and start doing what it's supposed to do, like prosecute financial crimes and keep the mechanics of the system running. Bankruptcies happen, companies fail, wages fall sometimes. It's the world we live in.

              The government's modus operandi lately has been "avoid any pain to anyone at all costs". The Obama administration and Congress quakes in fear over (god no) a decline in GDP, even if that decline ultimately is setting us up for a more stable future by purging the rot from the system. It's the ultimate in quarter-to-quarter management instead of long-term. "The unemployment rate went up 0.2% this quarter! That must mean that the government's plan is a total failure!" The government lives for the sole purpose of making sure that next quarter's numbers are better than this quarter's numbers, and if they aren't, well, can we blame the other party somehow? Sound economic management is not part of the equation.

              (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
              Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

              by Sparhawk on Sat May 04, 2013 at 10:45:24 AM PDT

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              •  "The government's modus operandi lately ... (13+ / 0-)

                ..has been "avoid any pain to anyone at all costs".

                If that has been the plan, it has been remarkably unsuccessful. You might not have noticed.

                Essentially, the argument that you and other libertarians make (whether or not they are left-libertarians) is that the market would be perfect if only it were left alone. The problem with this is that it—like Marxism and rational choice theory—is just a theory. We live, however, in the real world.

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Sat May 04, 2013 at 11:03:50 AM PDT

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                •  Libertarian philosophy works well (7+ / 0-)

                  for people like Steve Forbes.

                  For everyone else, it does not work at all.

                  In "Atlas Shrugged", the "heroes" are "captains of industry" who "are job creators". Of course, there is no back story. How did these captains of industry get to be captains? Probably they are not "self-made" but, like Steve Forbes, excellent selectors of the correct parents.

                •  I don't argue... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...that the market is or would be perfect, nor do I think that the government has no business in the market.

                  But the government often makes things worse instead of better, everything always has a cost.

                  (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                  Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                  by Sparhawk on Sat May 04, 2013 at 11:28:33 AM PDT

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                  •  The ACA being a case in point (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    soros, ethos, barbwires

                    The government effectively caused millions of part time workers to lose hours because it put major surcharges on work over 30 hours. Unintended consequences. The more messy and complicated the legislation is, the more unintended consequences...

                    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                    by Sparhawk on Sat May 04, 2013 at 11:32:50 AM PDT

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                    •  so the answer was medicare for all.... (4+ / 0-)

                      and the abandonment of the inefficient, private insurance market. What's needed is a dramatic expansion of a permanent welfare state that meets everyone's basic needs from cradle to grave. As you admit above, there quite simply is not enough work to do for everyone thanks to automation. Now is the time for bold initiatives; the elimination of poverty and the rise of a true welfare state. A 30 hr workweek and retirement at 50, maybe earlier, which will allow untold numbers, who don'tmake it beyond their 50's, to at least have a few years away from the oppression of the workplace. Even better, allow our rights to extend to the workplace, for as Richard Wolfe argues, it is folly to speak of rights that we must give up for the majority of our lives spent at work. Much can and should be done.

                      •  Again (0+ / 0-)

                        That might be good policy, or there might be ever more unintended consequences.

                        Simple foreseeable unintended consequences are that your plan sends economic messages to people to have more children when the market seems to suggest that this is the last thing anyone should want. For example, I would argue that at minimum any family that can't economically support a child should not have one.

                        Or, there may be resentment from those who work to those who do not which may manifest itself in surprising ways.

                        Or, we cannot afford such a welfare state and companies (that ultimately pay all the bills) simply pack up and leave rather than pay for it. You could nationalize these companies, but that comes with its own problems.

                        You are suggesting a control economy in which Intelligent People sit around conference tables and determine what is best for everyone and how much to take from people who are truly producing goods and services of value. While I agree with some social welfare plans, I don't think you can predict all outcomes.

                        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                        by Sparhawk on Sat May 04, 2013 at 10:20:40 PM PDT

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                        •  well, we already know what we can predict (0+ / 0-)

                          with our current path....capitalism is poison. Let's feed and shelter everyone, because we can, and see what happens when millions are free to use their full intellectual potential instead of slaving away in starvation. The best way to prevent overpopulation? Educate women. it works, with a proven track record. You are stil thinking in archaic terms of companies and bills; since money is a fiction created by states out of whole cloth. we don't really need to worry about who pays the bills; there doesn't have to be any bills. Paying bills is merely symbolic. Companies would be operated by worker coops. Imagine no shareholders. I urge you to start reading Richard Wolfe. I appreciate your thoughtful response, it's no secret that i disagree with most of what your write. As for a control economy, we haveone now  , but the folks in control have rigged it to favor a small group of plutocrats and fatcats.I suggest we replace that with democracy.....

                    •  ACA did not cause these workers to lose their (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Nance, SadieSue, Laconic Lib, Clues

                      jobs, it just shifted the cost from the government and the taxpayer back to the employer where it belongs.  The change we need is for the government to take a chunk of topline revenue instead of profits and pay for the things we need, healthcare, education, social safety net and infrastructure.  Let's quite fooling ourselves that businesses will treat employee's well and force them to through sufficient taxation to make this a country worth living in.

              •  can you remind us when this has ever happened? (6+ / 0-)
                All these things would solve themselves if the government would relax its hypervigilence over the economy and start doing what it's supposed to do, like prosecute financial crimes and keep the mechanics of the system running
                Where can we see an example of this libertarian utopia in action?

                Thanks.

      •  one example: clothes? (9+ / 0-)

        "In a report last October, the American Apparel & Footwear Association said that although domestic apparel manufacturing grew 11.1 percent in 2011, more than 97 percent is imported. In the 1960s, that number was 95 percent, according to Save the Garment Center."

        There used to be around 400,000 tailors in NYC, now there are about 20,000. Machines can't perform that work. Also, the infrastructure used to exist to buy zippers, buttons, and all the other hardware for sewing, all that's gone too. It takes 3 months to get what used to be available down the street.

        Sure, garment labor costs in places like Bangladesh are "cheap" (.21 per hour) if we discount the loss of 500 lives here, 200 lives there, due to unsafe factories burning down. But, people are waking up to the fact they can't have their cheap Walmart crap and eat it, too. Many Americans are aching to buy American made stuff. Isn't it a scandal American flags and 4th of July decorations are all MADE IN CHINA? If I had the knowledge to do it, I swear I'd open a flag company! :D

        "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -5.54

        by solesse413 on Sat May 04, 2013 at 09:45:46 AM PDT

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