Tag Archives | Unemployment

What Would A World Without Work Be Like?

What comes next? Via the Guardian, Nina Power argues that work is becoming obsolete:

As with all major institutional entities – law, prison, education – to question work is to tamper with reality itself. As with law, prison and education, it is almost always “never a good time” to talk about reform, or the abolition of existing structures.

But as wages bear less and less relation to the cost of living, it seems as good a time as any to ask if the underlying fantasy is that employers will one day be able to pay their workers nothing at all, because all those issues like housing, food, clothing, childcare will somehow be dealt with in another, mysterious, way.

Against the backdrop of rising inflation, increasing job insecurity, geographically asymmetrical unemployment, attacks on the working and non-working populations, and cuts to benefits – a debate about what work is and what it means has been taking place.

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Jack Welch’s ‘Cook The Books’ Conspiracy Theory

It takes one to know one comes to mind. Tommy Christopher on the tarred former GE CEO’s conspiracy tweet, at Mediaite:

The uninformed perceptions of the voting public giveth, and the uninformed perceptions of the voting public taketh away. After exactly one day of basking in the glow of a hideous-lie-powered victory in Wendesday night’s debate, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was dealt a blow Friday morning when September’s jobs report saw the unemployment rate plunge to 7.8%. Conservatives aren’t taking this lying down, led by Romney booster and former GE CEO Jack Welchwho tweeted that this is all the work of “these Chicago guys.”

“Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers,” Welch tweeted, making the job of Romney surrogates that much tougher by calling them “unbelievable,” and causing a sigh of relief from the members of the bands Styx and Foreigner, who are actually the ones behind the conspiracy to cook the jobs numbers.

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Could A 16-Hour Work Week Save Civilization?

The question is:  If Americans wanted to retain compensation and employment gains between 1987 and 2009, how long would the average American be required to work each week?  Answer:  16 Hours. I was a little reticent to publish this one at first, since it does rather smack of classical Libertarianism (i.e., in the sense of being concerned with "free" time, ergo "liberty"). But then I thought, "What the Hell?"  It's only a thought.  If I give the reader access to all the underlying data they could do whatever they wanted with it and make their own decisons. Would you spend more time at Church?  The average employed American only seems to spend about 45 minutes per week on religious activities.  Imagine how many more God points you could rack up if you had another 23 to play with?...
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Fox News’ Visually Distorted Charts

FlowingData points out a recent graphic from a story on Fox News showing the unemployment rate changes under Obama. The numbers are presumably correct, but do not seem to correspond to the rise and fall of the visual, in which, for instance, 8.6 is a higher number than 8.8 or 8.9. Ah, the “Fox Chart” — what does it mean? Is it a work of postmodern art?

00 Fox

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The Protests in Washington, DC …

JobsVia Nation of Change:

Roughly 3,000 unemployed workers from around the country are expected in the nation’s capitol next week for four days of protests with labor, religious and social justice groups that say Congress cares more about America’s wealthiest 1 percent than it does the masses of struggling middle-class families.

Piggybacking on the Occupy Wall Street movement, the three-day “Take Back the Capitol” protest will open Monday with construction of a “Peoples Camp” on the National Mall as a base of operations. On Tuesday, protesters will hit Capitol Hill to lobby members of Congress about extending federal unemployment benefits. The group walks to K Street on Wednesday to protest the political influence of corporate lobbyists.

And on Thursday, they’ll host a national prayer vigil for the unemployed on Capitol Hill. At the same time, the AFL-CIO will coordinate simultaneous protests at congressional district offices across the country to call for extending unemployment benefits that are slated to expire Dec.

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Prisoners Help Build Patriot Missiles

Patriot MissileFile this in the “in case you missed it” news cycle. Why should the government not hire unemployed Americans to do this …? Noah Shachtman reported back in March on the excellent WIRED’s Danger Room:

This [past] spring, the United Arab Emirates is expected to close a deal for $7 billion dollars’ worth of American arms. Nearly half of the cash will be spent on Patriot missiles, which cost as much as $5.9 million apiece.

But what makes those eye-popping sums even more shocking is that some of the workers manufacturing parts for those Patriot missiles are prisoners, earning as little as 23 cents an hour.

The work is done by Unicor,  previously known as Federal Prison Industries. It’s a government-owned corporation, established during the Depression, that employs about 20,000 inmates in 70 prisons to make everything from clothing to office furniture to solar panels to military electronics.

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Unemployed Man Will Let Someone Hunt Him For $10,000

Mork-EncinoAh, the most dangerous game. Unfortunately, one can only command such a high price for hunting if you have a smooth pelt and thick hide. Via the The Inquisitr:

Mork Encino, 28, was sick of being unemployed so he decided to start his own business, allowing people with $10,000 to hunt him like a wild animal for sport.

On his website, huntme4sport.com, he is offering “hearty gentlemen who fancy themselves sportsmen” the chance to hunt him down and even kill him should they so choose.

Mork says of his abilities: “I am a new breed of prey with thick pelt and smooth hide,” while adding, “I’m faster than a wild turkey, smart as any GODDAMN wild boar, and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the monetary health of my family.”

The prey (that would be Encino) says he has received various offers but “none of which I’ve been comfortable accepting.” While he says the hunting challenge isn’t a joke, he hopes a real job offer will arrive first so he doesn’t get “shot in the face.”

More on The Inquisitr

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Bank of America Hands Out 30,000 Pink Slips To Boost Profits

American Union BankAaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

Bank of America announced it would send 30,000 more people to the unemployment line in a massive layoff in the hopes of cutting costs. The majority of people cut would be those working in data centers and deposit systems, according to reports from Bloomberg.

The layoffs are part of a plan by CEO Brian T. Moynihan, who wishes to cut $5 billion in annual costs in order to bolster the bank’s profits and stock:

“Profit is under pressure mainly because of losses, legal costs and writedowns tied to the 2008 takeover of subprime lender Countrywide Financial Corp. At the same time, revenue is shrinking as the U.S. economy slows. Moynihan has said that because the bank is one of the biggest consumer lenders, its fortunes are closely tied to home prices and the jobless rate.”

According to some admittedly unscientific data, the average salary for a Bank of America job is probably right around the $50,000 per year mark.… Read the rest

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African American Unemployment At 27 Year High

chart-black-unemploymentAnnalyn Censky reports on this depressing statistic for CNN Money:

The August jobs report was dismal for plenty of reasons, but perhaps most striking was the picture it painted of racial inequality in the job market.

Black unemployment surged to 16.7% in August, its highest level since 1984, while the unemployment rate for whites fell slightly to 8%, the Labor Department reported.

“This month’s numbers continue to bear out that longstanding pattern that minorities have a much more challenging time getting jobs,” said Bill Rodgers, chief economist with the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

Black unemployment has been roughly double that of whites since the government started tracking the figures in 1972.

Economists blame a variety of factors. The black workforce is younger than the white workforce, lower numbers of blacks get a college degree and many live in areas of the country that were harder hit by the recession — all things that could lead to a higher unemployment rate.

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Chris Hedges’s Endgame Strategy: Why The Revolution Must Start In America

Synopsis via The Raw Story:
Pulitzer-winning author and former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges has a revolutionary worldview. In the video below, his recent “Endgame Strategy” piece for AdBusters is read aloud by George Atherton. His conclusions are chilling, but not entirely hopeless. “We will have to take care of ourselves,” he wrote. “We will have to rapidly create small, monastic communities where we can sustain and feed ourselves. It will be up to us to keep alive the intellectual, moral and cultural values the corporate state has attempted to snuff out. It is either that or become drones and serfs in a global corporate dystopia. It is not much of a choice. But at least we still have one.
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