Shocking Deceleration of Payroll-Tax Growth

August 21st, 2015

That’s the title of an email that I sent out to my Daily Jobs Update subscribers on August 3, 2015. At the time, the Dow stood at 17,598. What happened next? KABOOM! That’s what. It’s been pretty much straight downhill since then with the Dow shedding 1,138 points by the time of this writing. Here is the payroll-tax chart that I sent (click to enlarge):

Trailing-Quarter

The chart is made by taking a quarter-over-quarter growth rate of federal withholding-tax collections every day, and then applying a moving-average.

Note that the vertical axis starts at 3.5% instead of zero, so the growth-rate was still positive, though way off the 6% peak in February.

Has the data continued to plunge since I made the chart three weeks ago? Good question; for the answer simply subscribe to The Daily Jobs Update.

We Are All Confederates Now

July 10th, 2015

The crowd in Columbia, South Carolina cheered today as the Confederate flag was taken down. But you have to wonder: how many of those cheering people were wearing clothes made by Asian slave-children? Most of them, probably.

Sorry to rain on your Confederate-flag taking-down party, but the hard truth is that the South has already risen again. Dixie’s slave-labor ideology has not been eliminated; in fact, it has been raised to the status of a holy-sacrament for the entire nation with cheap-labor being the beating heart of record corporate profits.

Arkansas’ Bill Clinton was the chief political operative who made David Rockefeller’s “free trade” cheap-labor dream come true. And it was Arkansas’ Walmart that pressured Congress to pass Clinton’s NAFTA. Speaking of which, you have to wonder: was the wealth-disparity between southern “planters” and their chattel slaves greater than that of the Walton Family and their Walmart wage-slaves? Maybe not. Slaves may have not been paid anything, but they were fed and housed, while many Walmart workers aren’t paid enough to afford food and must rely on food stamps

Arkansas was also one of the first states to adopt the union-busting, wage-suppressing “Right to Work” law. And in recent years, right-to-work has actually conquered three northern states: Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

America’s middle class has been mauled by Confederate ideology, and this nation is hurtling backward toward a fascist slave-state with shocking momentum.

But it gets worse.

At The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, CFR member and Fox News contributor Mallory Factor teaches cadets that “labor is a commodity.” And of course, commodities can be bought and sold, and disposed of at will, since they are your property. Sort of like slaves were. However, workers are not lumps of bauxite; they are people raising families, and some of their children will grow up to join the military and fight and die for this nation. So no, I don’t believe that Factor’s explicit fascist ideology should be taught to our future military leaders.

To read more about working conditions in the South, see this piece by Michael Lind. Here’s a quote:

“The Southern strategy of attracting foreign investment from New York, London and other centers of capital depends on having a local Southern workforce that is forced to work at low wages by the absence of bargaining power.”

Ted Kennedy: Destroyer of Labor Unions

May 31st, 2015

“Our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually.”
-Ted Kennedy

That quote is from when Kennedy was speaking in support of The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. He wasn’t lying, and maybe it was just a coincidence that one million is the exact level of legal immigration today (see the chart here), but one wonders… Was that the long-term goal discussed in the secret meetings of the Deep State? Did Kennedy make a Freudian Slip there? Accidentally revealing the secret goal that he was working toward?

The 1965 bill was the first step toward the modern regime of mass immigration. The second major step was The Immigration Act of 1990, introduced by, you guessed it, Senator Ted Kennedy. Though with nearly all things in neoliberal America, there was bipartisan support. When President George H.W. Bush signed the bill into law, he made an incredible statement:

“I am also pleased to note that this Act facilitates immigration not just in numerical terms, but also in terms of basic entry rights of those beyond our borders.”

Entry rights. Can you imagine?

Kennedy kept busy on immigration right up until his death in 2009. For example, in his failed Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, he wanted a new “Y” visa that would have allowed in another 400,000 “temporary” guest workers per year. Kennedy said that universal health care was the “cause of his life” but it seems to me that his cause was flooding the country with cheap labor.

What does this have to do with destroying unions? Like the snake and the mongoose, the deadly enemy of unions is mass immigration – not fascists as you might think. Don’t take it from me; take it from “diversity icon” Caesar Chavez who sent men to the Mexican border to beat back illegal immigrants – literally. Beatings were administered. Chavez knew that the mass immigration of farm workers would destroy his United Farm Workers union, and that’s exactly what happened. See what I wrote here.

It is no coincidence that the middle class rose to power, along with the unions, out of the restrictive immigration conditions adopted during the Great Depression. Low immigration made people scarce, and employers had to bid for their services. The people had bargaining power. Not so today. And as a consequence, wages have stagnated, unions have shriveled, and the middle class is rapidly being beat down to working-class status.

It was Ted Kennedy who laid the foundation for our degeneration back into a Robber-Baron nation.

Further reading: History of laws concerning immigration and naturalization in the United States.

Monetary Policy has no Effect on Wages in a Slave Society

May 9th, 2015

Imagine that you are Fed chairman in 1830, and at an FOMC meeting you ask the committee: “how can we adjust our policy levers here at the central bank to get a wage boost for the slaves down south?” What would happen? Your fellow fed-heads would probably look at you like you were insane. Then they would offer suggestions, trying not to giggle in the process.

In the future, a big milestone in the march toward a fascist slave-state will go into the history books when Congress formally relieves the Fed of its mandate to strive for full employment. Perhaps this will be done in the aftermath of a global financial catastrophe caused by the Fed pumping absurd amounts of liquidity into the global financial system.

This is inevitable because with the ever-expanding policies of free-trade and mass-immigration, what is left of the USA’s economic boarders are rapidly melting away. And that’s why the wage data is still punk after trillions of stimulus from the Fed: wages in the formerly-sovereign USA cannot rise until after wages rise in the “Mexico” and “China” and “India” regions of the neoliberal global empire.

It’s pretty obvious that the Fed, and the ECB, have succeeded only in creating massive distortions in global financial markets (such as negative rates on German bunds). Perhaps this is why Janet Yellen is so hesitant to make even a teensy quarter-point rate hike: she knows that she will have to engineer the mother of all soft-landings. The path of least resistance for her would be to keep rates at zero until a rise in inflation forces her hand. Once the CYA is in place, she can blow up the world.

If David Rockefeller and his neoliberal oligarchy were competent, they would have removed the Fed’s full-employment mandate long before they reached their goal of commoditizing global labor at a wage-rate of $2 per hour. But they are anything but competent, and the 2008 financial crisis was only a small taste of the havoc they will wreak upon this nation.

Godspeed Janet Yellen, Godspeed.

Brush Your Teeth

May 2nd, 2015

Did you know that poor people walk around with their mouths stuffed with cotton balls to avoid that toothless, sunken look? They do that because it’s very difficult to get, and keep a job otherwise. For example, have you ever seen a Starbucks barista missing teeth? Probably not, right?

With bad teeth, your job opportunities will be limited to areas where you are out of public view, like chopping carrots in the back of a restaurant, or working as a sled dog in an Amazon warehouse mushed by neo-Nazi overseers. So, brush your teeth, because when it is your turn to be kicked to the curb by the razor-sharp claws of the great neoliberal pincers of off-shoring and mass-immigration, your teeth are the very last thing you should sacrifice.

Don’t think it can happen to you? Consider this survey: 80 Percent of U.S. Adults Face Near-Poverty, Unemployment (at some point in their lives).

Here is Linda Tirado on the subject. If you Google her, you will find plenty of controversy, but her point about teeth is indeed valid.