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Member since: Fri Dec 16, 2011, 10:30 PM
Number of posts: 8,994

About Me

I'm a liberal looking to make a difference in politics.

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Occupy Wall Street is so ineffective and irrelevant that

other groups of people are duplicating their efforts.

You can't get more useless than that.


Chicago Workers Win Chance To Save Their Jobs By Occupying Factory
By Pat Garofalo on Feb 24, 2012 at 10:40 am

Back in December 2008, laid off workers at Republic Windows and Doors — a factory in Chicago — occupied their workplace to demand back vacation and severance pay, and to protest the fact that they were given just three days notice of impending job cuts. Eventually, the bank’s lender, Bank of America, relented, giving the workers what they were owed. At the time, then President-elect Obama offered his support to the protesting workers, saying, “the workers who are asking for the benefits and payments that they have earned, I think they’re absolutely right.”

More than three years later, the same factory has had to be occupied again. Now owned by California-based Serious Energy, the factory was going to be closed until workers locked themselves inside. Now, Serious has vowed to keep the factory open for 90 days, giving workers time to either find a new buyer or purchase the business themselves

If we nuke Iran and millions of civilians in retaliation for them nuking someone

then we are a bunch of knuckle dragging savages.

Iran will NOT be nuked out of existence if they light off such a thing. However there will probably be a bloody regime change, followed by an expensive and fruitless occupation. Tens or hundreds of thousands of Iranians will die along with 5000 more American troops. NONE OF WHICH WILL be the war hawks who will want to nuke Iran.

There is no skills shortage in America's workforce - here's the dead giveaway evidence


The Bureau of Labor Statistics also calculates job openings in manufacturing -- and its numbers are less than half those cited by the Post, which attributed its figures to the Manufacturing Institute, an industry trade group. According to the government data, last year the average number of vacancies was less than 230,000. There are seven to eight times that many unemployed manufacturing workers, Sum said. The Post reported that the shortage of skilled workers has also pushed up wages. But here, too, Sum said, the evidence does not match up.

Since the beginning of the century, manufacturing wages for production workers have barely increased, Sum said. And in the last two years, as employers have said they've been having difficulty filling spots, wages have declined slightly.

"If there was a big shortage of workers, than we should find wages rising. But this just isn't the case," Sum said. "That doesn't mean that specific companies won't ever have trouble finding a machinist, but when you add it all up, it doesn't amount to very much."

The summary: Who ever heard of a skills shortage that didn't coincide with a rise in wages for those who have the desired skills?

As I said... a dead giveaway. The liars have been caught red-handed.

I have a quiz for my fellow DUers... how many riots happen when a Bible is burned?

First, let's start with that question.

Answering Objections to Tariffs, by Ian Fletcher - and why the Smoot Hawley argument is D.O.A.


Another objection is that a tariff would trigger a downward spiral of retaliation and counter-retaliation with our trading partners, resulting in an uncontrolled collapse of global trade.

But this oft-bandied doomsday scenario is unlikely. Above all, our trading partners know that they are the ones with the huge trade surpluses to lose, not us.....

The world won't retaliate to America raising tariffs because they know they are the ones who have the most to lose if they do.

That's the problem with running such huge trade surpluses with a country (in this case, America).

Nothing like this exists in America... and it shouldn't exist anywhere.


How the US Lost Out on iPhone Work

Jan 21, 2012

by Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher

A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day....

“Companies once felt an obligation to support American workers, even when it wasn’t the best financial choice,” said Betsey Stevenson, the chief economist at the Labor Department until last September. “That’s disappeared. Profits and efficiency have trumped generosity.”

Companies and other economists say that notion is naïve. Though Americans are among the most educated workers in the world, the nation has stopped training enough people in the mid-level skills that factories need, executives say.

The corporations say it's about mid-level skills. This is a lie. America has a glut of workers with mid-level skills. What we have a severe lack of is people who are willing to work like this:

In Foxconn City

An eight-hour drive from that glass factory is a complex, known informally as Foxconn City, where the iPhone is assembled. To Apple executives, Foxconn City was further evidence that China could deliver workers — and diligence — that outpaced their American counterparts.

That’s because nothing like Foxconn City exists in the United States.

The facility has 230,000 employees, many working six days a week, often spending up to 12 hours a day at the plant. Over a quarter of Foxconn’s work force lives in company barracks and many workers earn less than $17 a day. When one Apple executive arrived during a shift change, his car was stuck in a river of employees streaming past. “The scale is unimaginable,” he said.

Foxconn employs nearly 300 guards to direct foot traffic so workers are not crushed in doorway bottlenecks. The facility’s central kitchen cooks an average of three tons of pork and 13 tons of rice a day. While factories are spotless, the air inside nearby teahouses is hazy with the smoke and stench of cigarettes.

Foxconn Technology has dozens of facilities in Asia and Eastern Europe, and in Mexico and Brazil, and it assembles an estimated 40 percent of the world’s consumer electronics for customers like Amazon, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, Samsung and Sony.

“They could hire 3,000 people overnight,” said Jennifer Rigoni, who was Apple’s worldwide supply demand manager until 2010, but declined to discuss specifics of her work. “What U.S. plant can find 3,000 people overnight and convince them to live in dorms?”

Nothing like this exists in America. In fact it shouldn't be the case anywhere in the world.

To all the people who believe we should move to a one-world Government

Are you okay with 1 billion Muslim voters and 1.3 billion Chinese voters having a say about your religious and reproductive freedom?

Are you okay with not being able to flee to another country to escape fascism because a one-world Government has made fascism a world wide thing?

What makes you think a one world Government would be more like the United Federation of Planets and not Gilead?

Is it time to withdraw from the WTO? WTO ruling BANS America's "Country of Origin Law"

When did we give the World Trade Organization the right to tell us what laws we can pass within our own country?

I think it's time for us to take back our rights as a country.


National Farmers Union Backs WTO Appeal

When the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled against U.S. Country of Origin Labeling laws (COOL), it was a blow to both American producers and American consumers. COOL laws provided American consumers with crucial information about the food they buy, but once again the WTO ruled against the best interest of the American people. Now the National Farmers Union (NFU) is asking U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk to aggressively appeal the ruling. The U.S. should appeal this ruling for the good of its citizens, but the United States could solve this and many of its other problems by simply removing itself from the WTO agreement instead.

When the WTO ruled against COOL, it ruled against the idea that Americans should be able to buy from other Americans. In response to the ruling, there has been some talk of reworking the laws to make them compliant with the WTO’s wishes. In the NFU’s statement that followed its appeal to the trade representative, it strongly urged the United States not to weaken the laws.

“NFU has a proud record of supporting COOL. We were instrumental in getting the COOL laws passed in 2002 and again in 2008. We will oppose any attempt to change that law,” NFU President Roger Johnson said.

We currently inspect less than 2 percent of the food that is brought into this country from overseas. These lax inspection policies make it all the more important for Americans to know where their food is coming from. As long as we are members of the WTO, we should take every action we can to appeal this ruling, but an appeal will only address this specific problem. This ruling is just one of many that demonstrates that the WTO framework is not working for the United States.

This is not the first time the WTO has gone crazy. They also handed down this insane ruling:

U.S. Appeals WTO Ruling in Mexico Dolphin-Safe Tuna Dispute
By Eric Martin - Jan 20, 2012 3:20 PM PT

The Obama administration is appealing a World Trade Organization ruling that U.S. curbs on imports of Mexican tuna, which protect dolphins, are more restrictive than needed, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said today.

Sales of Mexican tuna to the U.S. have been limited since 1991 under Commerce Department provisions that determine when products can be labeled as dolphin-safe. The U.S. adopted the rules in response to complaints that Mexico’s fishing techniques hurt dolphins. Mexico said that its tuna-catching practices and regulations meet global standards.

The U.S. and Mexico require inspectors aboard tuna vessels during fishing trips. Both nations are members of the Inter- American Tropical Tuna Commission, which helps enforce international dolphin-protection standards. The WTO judges in their Sept. 15 ruling also rejected Mexico’s claim that “dolphin-safe” labeling provisions are discriminatory.

“Our dolphin-safe labeling measures for tuna products provide information for American consumers as they make food- purchasing decisions for their families,” Andrea Mead, press secretary for the trade office, said today in an e-mailed statement. “Our decision to appeal the WTO ruling in this case demonstrates the commitment of the United States to our dolphin- safe labeling measures.”

There was also the 1996 WTO ruling on the Clean Air Act.


*Shrugging off an attack on the Clean Air Act
Wednesday, March 13, 1996 - 11:00
By Norman Solomon The news should have caused a national uproar. In a decision with momentous implications, the new World Trade Organisation ruled that the US law known as the Clean Air Act is unacceptable because of restrictions it places on pollutants in imported gasoline. The decree could result in higher levels of toxic auto emissions. "This is a major blow to the ability of the United States to protect public health", said a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. But, when the news broke in mid-January, it was a fleeting blip on the media screen. Follow-up coverage has been almost impossible to find. The White House preferred that the story disappear, pronto. After all, the World Trade Organisation owes its existence to the GATT trade pact that President Clinton pushed through Congress in late 1994. Back then, Clinton vowed that the accord would not interfere with US anti-pollution laws....

Manufacturing jobs trickling back to America under Obama!!!


Can Obama’s plan for ‘insourcing’ help revive U.S. manufacturing?
By Zachary Roth | The Ticket – 7 hrs ago

President Obama toured a Master Lock factory in Milwaukee on Wednesday to urge manufacturers to return jobs to the United States-- part of a wider plan by his administration to increase the number of domestic manufacturing jobs.

"Right now we have an excellent opportunity to bring manufacturing back -- but we have to seize it," Obama said. The president praised Master Lock during his State of the Union Address last month for bringing back to its Milwaukee plant around 100 jobs that previously had been moved to China.

Obama calls this "insourcing": his administration's push to bring off-shored manufacturing jobs back home. In 2011, for the second straight year, the number of manufacturing jobs in the United States increased, after declining every year since 1998. Since December 2009, the sector has added 300,000 jobs. It added 50,000 last month alone, the biggest monthly increase in a year. In addition to Master Lock, companies like Ford, Honda, General Electric, Caterpillar and Intel have insourced jobs.

"More and more companies like Master Lock are now insourcing," Obama added in Wednesday's appearance. "Deciding that if the cost of doing business here isn't too much different than the cost of doing business in places like China, then why wouldn't you rather do it right here in the United States of America?

Gasoline consumption is tanking? What does this mean for the economy?



Retail gasoline deliveries, already well below 1980 levels, have absolutely fallen off a cliff. Is the plunge inventory-related, i.e. are storage facilities so full that retailers are simply putting off deliveries?

Though I don't have data on hand to support this, I know from one of my correspondents who is in the gasoline distribution/delivery business that gasoline is very much a "just in time" commodity: gas stations are often close to running out of fuel when they get a delivery. Stations aren't holding huge quantities of surplus gasoline; that's not how the business works.

Given the absence of "extra storage" in gas stations (and the fact that the number of gas stations has fallen dramatically since 1980), it is reasonable to conclude that retail delivery is largely a function of demand, i.e. gasoline consumption.
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