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Originally posted by semperfortis
Wrong analogy for me Marg.
Welfare, foodstamps etc, are an unnecessary drain on the resources of our nation and should be discontinued completely, with the exception of those unable physically to work.
Everyone else needs to get a job or go hungry.
I really don't care if they cut social programs, or any other MASSIVELY abused government experiments gone completely out of control.
To begin with, the prison system makes a direct contribution to regulating the lower segments of the labour market - and does so in infinitely more coercive fashion than any social charge or administrative rule. Its effect here is artificially to compress unemployment levels both by forcibly abstracting millions of males from the job-seeking population, and also by boosting employment in the prison goods and service sector. It is, for example, estimated that during the 1990s US prisons brought down US unemployment figures by two percentage points. According to Bruce Western and Katherine Beckett, taking into account the differences in levels of imprisonment in the two continents, and contrary to the idea commonly accepted and actively disseminated by the advocates of neoliberalism, for 18 of the past 20 years US unemployment rates have been higher than those of the European Union (12).
However, Western and Beckett show that the jump in the prison population is a two-edged weapon: while in the short term it makes the employment picture look rosier by cutting labour supply, in the longer term it will inevitably worsen the employment situation by making millions of people more or less unemployable. Although imprisonment has cut US unemployment levels, the prison system will have constantly to be abandoned to keep those levels down.
What is the purpose of the government other than to support the people of that nation? If the government can not create conditions for gainful employment it MUST provide alternative means of keeping people above the bread line( at least).
Originally posted by sweatmonicaIdo
As a libertarian, I must disagree and say that nobody is entitled to gainful employment.
My problem with semper's statements, however, is that he is not approaching this from a libertarian standpoint.
Originally posted by grover
Semper...old boy....you been sniffing your pepper spray again? How can the economy be healthy when the average wages are stagnate or are lower relative to inflation than they were 10 years ago, even 5 years ago? Stock prices and productivity are false indicators of prosperity. Stock prices haven't been connected to reality for years now and most corporations have downsized to the point that the average cog in the machine is doing the work of 2 or 3, and would try and do more if asked because they are terrified of being out-sourced to India. No the economy is not doing good, the wealthy and corporations are doing good. The middle class is shrinking and that does not bode well for our country.
The Economy Remains Strong, And The Outlook Is Favorable
* Employment Increased In 48 States Over The Past 12 Months Ending In July.
* Over The First Half Of This Year, Our Economy Grew At A Strong 4.2 Percent Annual Rate – Faster Than Any Other Major Industrialized Country.
* Productivity Has Grown A Strong 2.4 Percent Over The Past Four Quarters, Well Ahead Of Average Productivity Growth In The Last Three Decades. Strong productivity growth helps lead to GDP growth, higher real wages, and stronger corporate profits.
* Per Capita Disposable Income Has Risen 9.2 Percent In Real Terms Since The Beginning Of 2001.
* Total Wage And Salary Income Increased In Real Terms At An Annual Rate Of 3.3 Percent In The Second Quarter. This follows an 11 percent surge in the previous three months.
* Manufacturing Production Has Risen 5.6 Percent Over The Past 12 Months. Manufacturing productivity has grown 3.8 percent over the past four quarters. www.whitehouse.gov...
Mr Eberstadt points out that while nutrition, adequate shelter and health care were big problems for the poor when America’s poverty measure was devised, the picture is different today. Obesity is now the chief nutritional woe facing America’s poor. And those under the poverty line now have nearly as much house space and amenities as the average family in 1980. This does not mean that the poor are leading lives of plenty but it does indicate that their lot is getting steadily better, an improvement not reflected in official figures.www.economist.com...
And Brian Westbury (WSJ) said:
During a quarter century of analyzing and forecasting the economy, I have never seen anything like this. No matter what happens, no matter what data are released, no matter which way markets move, a pall of pessimism hangs over the economy.
It is amazing. Everything is negative. When bond yields rise, it is considered bad for the housing market and the consumer. But if bond yields fall and the yield curve narrows toward inversion, that is bad too, because an inverted yield curve could signal a recession.
The latest employment numbers are hugely important as I mentioned this morning on CNBC's "Squawk Box." November's numbers from the Labor Department are a sure sign of strength here at home. Our optimistic economy is producing jobs, the stock market is rising and gasoline prices continue their downward trend. This is all very good news.
As to your latter observations, there are many studies (the most noteable authored in 2004 by the Chief Economist at Bear Stearns and frequent LK guest) that clearly suggests just the opposite of what you contend--that higher paying white-collar professional and service jobs requiring higher levels of education (in accounting, finance, marketing, science, law, commerce, education, medicine) are replacing lower paying jobs requiring little education at the mill, factory, plant, mine and farm. This process is moving along at a glacial pace, but it is unstoppable. Just look at the 30 year ever declining trend in union membership for some solid clues.
And yes, some service jobs in retail and food is of the substandard ilk that you describe, but growth in the much higher paying end is offsetting.