Author: mechanic

FORMER SUPERPOWER! [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2010-5-20 09:03:00 |Display all floors
Originally posted by mechanic at 2010-3-11 20:55
-US economy is over 70%+ service - hence no diversification
-America's industrial base has migrated outside the US - needs decades to repatriate
-America, as a state, and Americans, as individual ...


Socialism, anyone?

Can we expect a second American Civil War coming soon?

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Post time 2010-5-20 09:08:07 |Display all floors
Originally posted by scottyg at 2010-2-1 11:12
One only needs to open a history book to see how many superpowers have fallen and risen again, if you live in china u can look at your own.


Unfortunately the US is at the falling stage. Give it a hundred years to reach the bottom, repay its debts and crawl up again.

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Post time 2010-6-7 05:40:30 |Display all floors

Lost Youth Employment In Illinois

Lost Youth Employment In Illinois
By Stephen Lendman
6-6-10


What affects Illinois plagues the nation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting in January that:

"The unemployment rate for young Americans has exploded to 52.2% - a post-World War II high, according to the Labor Dept - meaning millions of Americans are staring at the likelihood that their lifetime earning potential will be diminished and, combined with the predicted slow economic recovery, their transition into productive members of society could be put on hold for an extended period of time."

"The number represents the flip-side to the Labor Dept's report that the employment rate of 16-to-24 year olds has eroded to 46.6 percent - the lowest ratio of working young Americans in that age group, including all but those in the military, since WWII."

The Illinois Policy Institute says the state is "in a fiscal meltdown that continues to spiral out of control," exacerbated by the economic crisis, falling tax revenues, and mismanagement in a state plagued by corruption.

As a result, it ranks in the bottom fifth of states by many key measures, including its economic outlook; Gross State Product growth; debt burden; cumulative per capita income growth; cumulative non-farm employment growth; net out-migration; and property, gasoline, and sales tax burdens.

Unsurprisingly, the state's wealth has been declining. At the same time, it's budget crisis has increased because of an expected $13 billion FY shortfall equal to about half the state's operating budget - the largest (on a per capita basis) of any state in America, including California.

To address it, huge cuts are proposed, including over $1.3 billion from education from primary through university levels. An estimated 17,000 teachers will be laid off, exacerbating an already dire situation, impacting students by school closures, larger class sizes, eliminated programs, and sharp tuition and fee increases at state colleges and universities, the University of Illinois considering a 20% hike besides large cuts in its operating budget.

As a result in January, it furloughed over 11,000 administrators, academic professionals and faculty at Champaign-Urbana, Springfield and Chicago campuses, requiring them to take 10 unpaid days of leave by June. More expected cuts will follow given the university's budget shortfall, one expected to grow, not diminish.

In Chicago and Illinois, planned destruction of public education is part of a national effort to privatize it to deny millions of working class youths a chance for a better life, a decent job, or perhaps any at a time half the nation's young people are unemployed.

The results show up in Northeastern University's Center for Labor Market Studies (CLMS) January 2010 report titled, "The Lost Decade for Teen and Young Adult Employment in Illinois: The Current Depression in the Labor Market for 16 - 24 Year Olds in the Nation and State."

It shows that youths failed to participate in the mid-2003 - 2007 labor market recovery, after which their employment rate fell sharply through 2009. Teens (aged 16 - 19) fared worst of all. In 2000, when employment peaked, their employment/population ratio stood at 45.2%. By 2003, it was 36.8%, then 36.4% in 2005. At the start of the late 2007 economic decline, it was 34.6%, the lowest figure since WW II, and by November 2009, it was 26.2%, overall the largest employment decline of an age group.

Young 20 - 24 year olds have also been severely impacted, especially men, Blacks, Hispanics, and non-college grads.

Since 2000, teen employment dropped by "20 percentage points" and for 20 - 24 year olds by 13 points, numbers reflecting depression, not recession.

While in 2000, Illinois teens were 1.4 times as likely to be working as adults 55 and older (48% v. 34%). Over the past decade, it shifted dramatically to 40% for older workers to 28% for teens, Blacks faring worst with only 12% in Illinois employed. A similar pattern occurred nationally, impacting the long-term employability of those affected, especially for the state and nation's poorest and most disadvantaged.

Chicago was especially hard hit given its large Black population. In the metropolitan area in 2009, suburban teens were 1.6 times more likely to be working than their city counterparts - 25% v. 16%, and teens from low income families fared worst.

Young adults also fared poorly. In 2000, 72% of 20 - 24 year olds in Illinois had a job. By November 2009, it was 60%, down 12 points. Blacks were especially impacted with only one in four finding work in 2009. In metropolitan Chicago, suburban employment dropped by 16 points. In the city, it was 19 points - "the equivalent of a Great Depression era, especially for young Black men."

The ability to stay actively engaged in school, training, and/or employment is key to future labor market and earning success. Underutilized youths run serious risks of long-term unemployment and poverty, a growing problem in Illinois and nationally.

The CLMS conclusion is that Illinois and Chicago teens and young adults "have been massively left behind in the labor market," given the state's historic low employment rate, especially for teens.

Facing likely high jobless rates through at least 2015 or longer, teens and young adults can expect "an unmitigated disaster" in their job market and future prospects.

Short of massive federal intervention, nothing envisioned offers hope, especially given the administration's penchant for budget restraint, except for Wall Street, militarism, homeland security, and debt service. As a result, a generation of youths is being trashed, discarded for other priorities.

Chicago's South Side Dilemma - America's Second Highest Unemployment Rate

On November 18, 2009, the Chicago Reporter covered the problem based on 2008 US Census Bureau American Community Survey data. It showed that the collective unemployment rate for the Auburn Gresham, Englewood, Washington Heights and West Englewood neighborhoods was 23.2%. Only Detroit's northeast corner was higher at 28.5%, and these figures exclude:

-- discouraged workers who want jobs but gave up looking;
-- "marginally attached workers" not actively looking after unsuccessfully seeking work in the past 12 months; and

-- part timers seeking full-time employment but can't find it.

Including these categories, South Side Chicago, Detroit and other community unemployment rates would be double or more the official figures. Exclude the bogus birth-death ratio, and the numbers are higher - at true depth of depression levels in communities throughout America, including Chicago's West and South Sides (with large Black and Latino populations in traditionally poor neighborhoods), facing grim prospects for many years to come, on their own and out of luck.
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Post time 2010-6-7 05:40:51 |Display all floors
A New Worktrends Study

Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy's May 2010 report titled, "No End in Sight: The Agony of Prolonged Unemployment," is based on a March 2010 survey addressing the issue - systemic, growing and endangering the nation. Its findings include the following:

-- of those unemployed since August 2009, 21% found work by March 2010, 67% are still unemployed and looking, and the remaining 12% gave up for lack of success or pursued other directions including school;

-- younger respondents had better success than older ones;

-- women fared better than men;

-- Blacks, Hispanics and those least educated were especially impacted;

-- of the 21% who found work, only 13% got full-time jobs;

-- 65% of those finding employment looked for at least seven months; another 28% for over a year;

-- 61% settled for less than they wanted, saying it was "something to get you by while (looking) for something better;"

-- more than half of the newly reemployed took a pay cut; for about one-fourth of them, it was significant, and one-third lost benefits;

-- a clear trend was the pessimism among long-term job seekers, and their belief that they'll never again have employment as good as what they lost;

-- many of the unemployed have no safety net;

-- only 30% have unemployment insurance (UI) or health care coverage;

-- 33% have neither;

-- 21% have UI but no health coverage;

-- 16% have health coverage but no UI;

-- "The Great Recession has touched almost everyone;"

-- over three-fourths of the unemployed said the economic situation was having a major impact on them and their families; examples given were reduced spending, increased borrowing, missed debt payments, less medical care, and bankruptcy;

-- About 70% had to tap their retirement or other savings to get by, but it's not enough;

-- long-term unemployment caused physical and emotional stress, isolation, and for some, substance abuse;

-- nearly two-thirds believe the economy is undergoing fundamental, long-lasting change for the worst;

-- 61% rated the Obama administration's handling of the economy fair to poor; 68% said fair or poor on its handling of unemployment; and

-- half of respondents believe it's government's responsibility to help the unemployed, UI being the main support.

Despite reported economic improvement, more illusion than fact, "millions of unemployed Americans see no end to the Great Recession that wrecked their finances and threw their lives into turmoil." The unemployed understand things better than media pundits or political optimists, unable to fool all the people all the time or those unemployed any time.

As a result, they're angry, pessimistic, wonder what's next, and say what's needed are government efforts to create jobs, not cut taxes for business and the rich, the standard formula since Reagan under Republicans or Democrats, governing the same way or worse.

It's why poverty, hunger, homelessness and despair affect millions in the country. Food stamp usage is at record highs, and millions have no health coverage because the state of working America is dire and worsening for millions facing greater than ever challenges on their own with government indifferent to their plight. Is it any wonder they're disillusioned, pessimistic, fed up and angry!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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Post time 2010-6-7 05:41:58 |Display all floors
Look at the number of young Americans who are gainfully employed (ie: don't just work an occasional 3 hour shift at Burger King), and the picture becomes even bleaker.

Participation rates are continuing to fall dramatically among every age group.
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Post time 2010-6-9 20:23:56 |Display all floors

A Plague Upon The World: The USA is a "Failed State"

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Global Research, June 2, 2010


Interview with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary US Treasury, Associate Editor Wall Street Journal, Professor of Political Economy Center for Strategic and International Studies Georgetown University Washington DC.



Question: Dr. Roberts, the United States is regarded as the most successful state in the world today. What is responsible for American success?



Dr. Roberts: Propaganda. If truth be known, the US is a failed state. More about that later. The US owes its image of success to: (1) the vast lands and mineral resources that the US “liberated” with violence from the native inhabitants, (2) Europe’s, especially Great Britain’s, self-destruction in World War I and World War II, and (3) the economic destruction of Russia and most of Asia by communism or socialism.



After World War II, the US took the reserve currency role from Great Britain. This made the US dollar the world money and permitted the US to pay its import bills in its own currency. World War II’s destruction of the other industrialized countries left the US as the only country capable of supplying products to world markets. This historical happenstance created among Americans the impression that they were a favored people. Today the militarist neoconservatives speak of the United States as “the indispensable nation.” In other words, Americans are above all others, except, of course, Israelis.



To American eyes a vague “terrorist threat,” a creation of their own government, is sufficient justification for naked aggression against Muslim peoples and for an agenda of world hegemony.



This hubristic attitude explains why among most Americans there is no remorse over the one million Iraqis killed and the four million Iraqis displaced by a US invasion and occupation that were based entirely on lies and deception. It explains why there is no remorse among most Americans for the countless numbers of Afghans who have been cavalierly murdered by the US military, or for the Pakistani civilians murdered by US drones and “soldiers” sitting in front of video screens. It explains why there is no outrage among Americans when the Israelis bomb Lebanese civilians and Gaza civilians. No one in the world will believe that Israel’s latest act of barbarity, the murderous attack on the international aid flotilla to Gaza, was not cleared with Israel’s American enabler.



Question: You said that the US was a failed state. How can that be? What do you mean?



Roberts: The war on terror, invented by the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney regime, destroyed the US Constitution and the civil liberties that the Constitution embodies. The Bill of Rights has been eviscerated. The Obama regime has institutionalized the Bush/Cheney assault on American liberty. Today, no American has any rights if he or she is accused of “terrorist” activity. The Obama regime has expanded the vague definition of “terrorist activity” to include “domestic extremist,” another undefined and vague category subject to the government’s discretion. In short, a “terrorist” or a “domestic extremist” is anyone who dissents from a policy or a practice that the US government regards as necessary for its agenda of world hegemony.



Unlike some countries, the US is not an ethic group. It is a collection of diverse peoples united under the Constitution. When the Constitution was destroyed, the US ceased to exist. What exists today are power centers that are unaccountable. Elections mean nothing, as both parties are dependent on the same powerful interest groups for campaign funds. The most powerful interest groups are the military/security complex, which includes the Pentagon, the CIA, and the corporations that service them, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, the oil industry that is destroying the Gulf of Mexico, Wall Street (investment banks and hedge funds), the insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies, and the agri-companies that produce food of questionable content.



These corporate powers comprise an oligarchy that cannot be dislodged by voting. Ever since “globalism” was enacted into law, the Democrats have been dependent on the same corporate sources of income as the Republicans, because globalism destroyed the labor unions. Consequently, there is no difference between the Republicans and Democrats, or no meaningful difference.



The “war on terror” completed the constitutional/legal failure of the US. The US has also failed economically. Under Wall Street pressure for short-term profits, US corporations have moved offshore their production for US consumer markets. The result has been to move US GDP and millions of well-paid US jobs to countries, such as China and India, where labor and professional expertise are cheap. This practice has been going on since about 1990.



After 20 years of offshoring US production, which destroyed American jobs and federal, state and local tax base, the US unemployment rate, as measured by US government methodology in 1980, is over 20 percent. The ladders of upward mobility have been dismantled. Millions of young Americans with university degrees are employed as waitresses and bartenders. Foreign enrollment comprises a larger and larger percentage of US universities as the American population finds that a university degree has been negated by the offshoring of the jobs that the graduates expected.



When US offshored production re-enters the US as imports, the trade balance deteriorates. Foreigners use their surplus dollars to purchase existing US assets.


Consequently, dividends, interest, capital gains, tolls from toll roads, rents, and profits, now flow abroad to foreign owners, thus increasing the pressure on the US dollar. The US has been able to survive the mounting claims of foreigners against US GDP because the US dollar is the reserve currency. However, the large US budget and trade deficits will put pressures on the dollar that will become too extreme for the dollar to be able to sustain this role. When the dollar fails, the US population will be impoverished.



The US is heavily indebted, both the government and the citizens. Over the last decade there has been no growth in family income. The US economy was kept going through the expansion of consumer debt. Now consumers are so heavily indebted that they cannot borrow more. This means that the main driving force of the US economy, consumer demand, cannot increase. As consumer demand comprises 70% of the economy, when consumer demand cannot increase, there can be no economic recovery.



The US is a failed state also because there is no accountability to the people by corporations or by government at any level, whether state, local, or federal. British Petroleum is destroying the Gulf of Mexico. The US government has done nothing. The Obama regime’s response to the crisis is more irresponsible than the Bush regime’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Wetlands and fisheries are being destroyed by unregulated capitalist greed and by a government that treats the environment with contempt. The tourist economy of Florida is being destroyed. The external costs of drilling in deep waters exceeds the net worth of the oil industry. As a result of the failure of the American state, the oil industry is destroying one of the world’s most valuable ecological systems.



Question: What can be done?



Roberts: The American people are lost in la-la land. They have no idea that their civil liberties have been forfeited. They are only gradually learning that their economic future is compromised. They have little idea of the world’s growing hatred of Americans for their destruction of other peoples. In short, Americans are full of themselves. They have no idea of the disasters that their ignorance and inhumanity have brought upon themselves and upon the world.



Much of the world, looking at a country that appears both stupid and inhumane, wonders at Americans’ fine opinion of themselves. Is America the virtuous “indispensable nation” of neoconservative propaganda, or is America a plague upon the world?
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Post time 2010-6-10 06:25:17 |Display all floors

America's Shrinking Middle Class Threatens Our Democracy

Posted Jun 09, 2010 12:57pm EDT by Peter Gorenstein

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed today, former “Car Czar” Steve Rattner, a multi-millionaire from decades as an investment banker, says Wall Street is ignorant to the dangers of America’s growing wealth disparity.

Rattner rattles off some shocking stats in the piece:

--  “Incomes of the average American worker (after adjustment for inflation) was lower in 2008 (let alone 2009) than it was in 1999.”
-- "30,000 Americans command a full 6% of income in this country (a higher percentage than at even the end of the Roaring '20s)"
Tech Ticker discussed the growing income divide with Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post.

“We are in danger of becoming an America with a rich and the poor," Huffington tells Aaron in this clip, taped at Tuesday’s CM Summit in New York City. "And at the heart of America has always been a middle class,” the erosion of which threatens to upset our democracy, she says.

At the heart of the problem is high unemployment. The broadest measure of unemployment (U6) stands at 16.6% and a record 46% of America's unemployed have been out of work 6 months or longer.

Because of that “the American dream has been reduced to luck… and the odds right now are against people,” notes Huffington, author of several books, including the forthcoming "Third World America".

But we are not hopeless or helpless, she says:  “There’s a lot we can do both at the government level and at the individual level.”

In an update on the old "think global, act local" campaign of the greens, Huffington promotes getting involved in local causes, be it working in a food kitchen, unemployed white collar workers volunteering their skills, or trying to start a business.
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