Outrageous Shorts - Jobs Crisis Ignored In D.C.

As the jobs crisis continues industry and government collude together on policies and agendas which won't help the nation.  Here are some of their latest outrageous activities.


Silicon Valley Fights Buy America on Security Sensitive Tech

We've all heard the threat China is to the United States economically, the cyberattacks coming from China as well as their theft of United States intellectual property.   Well, Congress did one tiny thing about restricting vulnerable technology that is a national security concern and now tech lobbyists are breathing down their necks to remove it.  Seems tech companies do not care if they put the United States security at risk.  They want to offshore outsource to China at all costs.

Business groups raised alarms Thursday about a provision in the recently enacted government spending bill, making it harder for some federal agencies to buy technology made in China.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and ten technology trade groups representing some of the large U.S. tech companies, including Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intel Corp. , fired off a letter Thursday asking congressional leaders to ensure future spending bills don’t include the language.

The provision prohibits four federal agencies from purchasing certain tech equipment from China unless they obtain prior approval from the Federal Bureau of Investigation or other law enforcement agency after a cyber-security risk analysis. The affected agencies are NASA, the Justice Department, Commerce Department and National Science Foundation, and it applies to “information technology systems” produced or assembled in China.

The measure was included in last month’s bill funding government operations through September. Tech companies don’t want the language to be included in future spending bills or be expanded to cover other federal agencies. They’re worried an FBI review of tech products would hurt sales to government agencies.


Selling Out U.S. Workers Via Immigration Reform

We'll be talking a lot about labor markets, supply, arbitrage and worker displacement in coming articles.  For now the latest is unions just sold out U.S. workers on a guest worker deal.

The unions don’t want foreign workers to take jobs away from Americans or depress American wages, while business groups obviously want the lowest-priced workers they can get their hands on.

So they’ve compromised on a maximum (no more than 20,000 visas in the first year, gradually increasing to no more than 200,000 in the fifth and subsequent years), with the actual number in any year depending on labor market conditions, as determined by the government. Priority would be given to occupations where American workers were in short supply.

The foreign workers would have to receive wages at least as high as the typical (“prevailing”) American wage in that occupation, or as high as the prospective employer pays his American workers with similar experience — whichever is higher.

The unions hope these safeguards will prevent American workers from losing ground to foreign guest-workers.

But employers hope the guest-worker program will also prevent low-wage Americans from getting a raise. As soon as any increase in demand might begin to push their wages higher, employers can claim a “labor shortage” — allowing in more guest workers, who will cause wages to drop back down again.

So why would the AFL-CIO agree to any new visas at all?


Going To Graduate School at Age 50 and Above

This is actually a piece of good news for a change.  The New York Times ran an article about older graduate students.  The surprise is they are being accepted for graduate study.  Score one against age discrimination.

The number of graduate students older than 50 grew by 38 percent between 2001 and 2005, to about 173,000 from 125,000, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That’s more than twice the rate of growth for graduate students overall.


Ralph Nadar Blast the Lack of Regulations in Finance

Ralph Nadar goes through the history of deregulation and how it is putting America and Americans at risk in almost every aspect of our lives.

It's time to start paying close attention to the mechanisms of the deregulation machine. For the past 30 years, the business lobbies have pushed Congress and the executive branch to disassemble the regulatory system that has protected us from the worst excesses of Wall Street and Big Business. The catastrophic effects of this dismantling are well known -- the misbehavior of Wall Street brought us the financial collapse, the global recession, and the dominance of the largest banks being both "Too Big to Fail" and their culpable executives "Too Big to Jail".

Despite negative public sentiment and the rise of the Occupy movement, the avarice on Wall Street arrogantly continues on. The big banks are now even bigger and more powerful than they were in 2008 when they were bailed out by the U.S. taxpayers.

The effects of deregulation stretch to all walks of life. The profit-driven practices of big corporations have led to the deaths and preventable illnesses of thousands of Americans every year. Roughly 60,000 die from workplace related diseases and injuries, 200,000 from medical malpractice and hospital-induced infections, 70,000 from air pollution and 100,000 from side effects from dangerous pharmaceuticals.


Drug Companies Ripping Off the Vulnerable

Seems Big Pharma is at it again, making profits off of the weak and vulnerable through outrageously high prices to the tune of $711 billion over the past decade.  Pharmaceutical companies pushed hard for a prescription drug bill that restricted access to drugs abroad and had no negotiating power on prices.  Their few million in lobbying has paid off big time.

Big Pharma has been systematically price-gouging the Medicare program for seniors and people with disabilities -- and raking in billions in excessive profits. The 11 largest global drug companies made an astonishing $711 billion in profits over the 10 years ending in 2012, and they got a turbo-charged boost when the Medicare Part D prescription drug program started in 2006, according to an analysis of corporate filings by Health Care for America Now (HCAN).

The drug companies hold the power to charge America's consumers whatever they want. Worse, Medicare -- the nation's largest purchaser of drugs -- is prohibited by law from seeking better prices. The result of this shortsighted policy is dramatic. In 2006, the first year of Medicare's prescription drug program, the combined profits of the largest drug companies soared 34 percent to $76.3 billion. And unlike other industries, such as Big Oil, drug companies get something even better than a tax subsidy -- they get a government program.


Tax Havens Cost the U.S. $150 Billion a Year

A new study shows tax havens are costing the United States big in tax revenues.

Worried about the federal deficit? Then you're worried about foreign tax havens, the use of which is costing the U.S. $150 billion per year in the form of lost tax revenues, according to academic studies cited by a recent report from U.S. PIRG, a left-leaning consumer group. To break it down, corporations account for $90 billion of the lost revenue, and individuals make up the other $60 billion.

Offshore tax evasion has become a hot-button issue of late, after a September Senate report alleged Apple, Google and Microsoft moved profits overseas in an aim to dodge taxes. Overall, U.S. companies are now holding a record $1.9 trillion of their profits abroad, according to a recent Bloomberg report.


Foreclosure Horror History Being Rewritten

Seems the GAO official report on the lack of foreclosure reviews by banks misses the thousands of outrageous illegal homes seizures and fraud.  Naked Capitalism does the call out:

I suppose one has to be grateful for any official pushback against failed regulatory initiatives, such as the just-released GAO report criticizing the Independent Foreclosure Reviews. Of course, in this instance, I am charitably assuming that these reviews were a failure. They have certainly proven to be an embarrassment to the lead actor, the OCC, which has tried to maintain as low a profile as possible on this topic rather than offer any defenses.

But “failure” assumes that the OCC and the Fed did not achieve their real objective, which was to protect the banks. That hardly appears to be the case. The short story of the reviews is that to dampen down criticism of the many foreclosure horrors revealed in the media and in courtrooms all over the country, borrowers who were foreclosed on or had foreclosure actions underway in 2009 and 2010 were promised an independent review and compensation if they were found to have suffered financial harm. And even though the abrupt termination of the reviews has left the regulators with a lot of egg on their face, the result is that the banks paid a lot less than if the reviews had lived up to their billing.


Big Banks and Capital Hill Doing the Same Things Which Caused the Crisis

Another good call out on how banks and Congress are doing the exact same things which caused the 2008 Financial crisis.  He's broken the actions down into a list in the article.

Instead of Changing their Behavior to Prevent Another Crisis, the Powers-That-Be Double Down On the Strategies that Caused the Financial Crisis In the First Place

Liberals blame deregulation and reckless Wall Street greed for the economic crisis.

Conservatives blame bad government policy.

Now, the D.C. politicians are doing the exact same things which got us into the crisis in the first place.


Another Economic Shock Could Throw Almost a Billion People into Poverty

What a surprise, as if the middle class globally isn't under assault.

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are on the brink of poverty.

A recent study by the International Monetary Fund warns that as many as 900 million people could fall back into poverty in the event of an economic shock like the Great Recession. That figure is three times the size of the U.S. population.

According to the World Bank, 1.2 billion people are currently living on less than $1.25 a day.


Corporations Buying Latino Congressional Votes

Mother Jones exposes how the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is being bought by Corporations.

How Walmart, ExxonMobil, and Coke Buy Latino Friends in Congress - Lobbyists and corporations that employ them can't give gifts to lawmakers—unless they funnel the money through a nonprofit.


Obama Sends Draconian Budget Cuts to Congress

What a surprise, Obama slams the vulnerable and sends a austerity budget to Congress.  Beyond the below there is some sort of cap on retirement accounts.  Our world is run by organizations determined to wipe out any remnants of a middle class.

Obama’s budget for fiscal 2014, set for release April 10, will propose reducing Social Security recipients’ annual cost- of-living adjustments by changing the inflation calculation, according to an outline released last week. The Medicare insurance program for the elderly would be cut by reducing payments to health-care providers and drug companies and imposing more costs on high-income beneficiaries.

Please leave your outrage events that we missed in the comments.  We know there are so many economic injustices occurring it is impossible to cover them all.



Older grad students good news?

Just FYI, that was a 5 years old puff piece from 2008.

It would be more descriptive today to report on all the older students who can't get employed, hiding in the halls of academia, hoping against hope that their Social Security won't be taken away in student loan re-payments.

OMG, how did I do that?

I must have entered into dream land, sorry. When I saw graduate programs accepting older students I must have given some hope. Yes, I should have known better, only young and foreign and male shall enter, at least in STEM. Sorry. The only piece I find any hope at all of course is an article plant. ;)

No biggie, I just noticed it seemed oddly abnormal

for a country that is living with a Democratic administration that is nothing more than a PR front for the wealthy.

Consider the Instapopulist, help EP

Truth be told I am under the gun in my "day job", huge deadline I must meet, so I'm trying to hit critical economics information fast as I can under the working 24/7 under the gun circumstances.

But with the new site design, we have "Instapopulist" where anyone can write an article. I'm hoping EPers will use it so we can have more discussion going.

I think by now, this is a 1st and I'm diligent on running statistics by hand, checking figures for accuracy and so on, but that's what I get when I rush to at least mention some of our latest economic horror shows!