U.S. labor market is 'a national crisis' and housing market needs aid, Fed's Bernanke

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ASusilovic, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The nation's weak labor market was "a national crisis" that required attention from the White House and Congress, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday. "We've had close to 10% unemployment now for a number of years, and of the people who are unemployed, about 45% have been unemployed for six months or more. This is unheard of," Bernanke said in a question-and-answer session following a speech in Cleveland. He called for policies "that could help them find work, train for work and retain their skills." Bernanke also urged policy makers to consider "strong housing policies to help the housing market recover." Better housing policies would "clearly be very useful," and would allow the low mortgage rates stemming from easy Fed policy to have more effect and help the economy recover.


    Dear Mr. Bernanke, here is my advice: pick up the phone and give Apple, Google, IBM, HP, GM, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Ford and others a call an tell them to free some of their 1500 billlion in cash they are hoarding on their balance sheet.

  2. The fat lady has sung, and Mr. Ben Bernanke knows it. No growing economy to bail out the federal reserve's bloated balance sheet, as in previous recessions, an obvious fact to those who have watched US destructive policies for the last decade at least.
  3. americans cannot be employed, they can't compete with hindu, bangladesh, indonesian and chinese workers.

    on top of that, more and more production and services are automated, computerized = no need for human labour.

    imagine what could happen without U.S. military, police, TSA, DHS, CIA, FDA, SEC, lawyers, insurers, real estate agents, investment advisors?
    where would those employees work?

    how about 80% drop in oil prices, which will push prices of everything else 15 to 50% down?

    we're running artificial economic system 100 yrs old,
    it cannot live much longer, the technology will wipe it out
  4. achilles28


    Chickens home to roost. The entire problem is structural. Unemployment would be much higher if the deficit wasn't 10% GDP, per year. Aftermath from decades of industrial off-shoring and reiterative speculative bubbles. America did this to itself.

    Correction: *the Boomers* did this to us...
  5. http://www.philstockworld.com/2011/...ng-the-economy/

    Saving the Rich, Losing the Economy

    Economic policy in the United States and Europe has failed, and people are suffering.

    Economic policy failed for three reasons: (1) policymakers focused on enabling offshoring corporations to move middle class jobs, and the consumer demand, tax base, GDP, and careers associated with the jobs, to foreign countries, such as China and India, where labor is inexpensive; (2) policymakers permitted financial deregulation that unleashed fraud and debt leverage on a scale previously unimaginable; (3) policymakers responded to the resulting financial crisis by imposing austerity on the population and running the printing press in order to bail out banks and prevent any losses to the banks regardless of the cost to national economies and innocent parties.

    Jobs offshoring was made possible because the collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in China and India opening their vast excess supplies of labor to Western exploitation. Pressed by Wall Street for higher profits, US corporations relocated their factories abroad. Foreign labor working with Western capital, technology, and business know-how is just as productive as US labor. However, the excess supplies of labor (and lower living standards) mean that Indian and Chinese labor can be hired for less than labor’s contribution to the value of output. The difference flows into profits, resulting in capital gains for shareholders and performance bonuses for executives.

    As reported by Manufacturing and Technology News (September 20, 2011) the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages reports that in the last 10 years, the US lost 54,621 factories, and manufacturing employment fell by 5 million employees. Over the decade, the number of larger factories (those employing 1,000 or more employees) declined by 40 percent. US factories employing 500-1,000 workers declined by 44 percent; those employing between 250-500 workers declined by 37 percent, and those employing between 100-250 workers shrunk by 30 percent. http://www.manufacturingnews.com/

    These losses are net of new start-ups. Not all the losses are due to offshoring. Some are the result of business failures.

    US politicians, such as Buddy Roemer, blame the collapse of US manufacturing on Chinese competition and “unfair trade practices.” However, it is US corporations that move their factories abroad, thus replacing domestic production with imports. Half of US imports from China consist of the offshored production of US corporations.

    The wage differential is substantial. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2009 average hourly take-home pay for US workers was $23.03. Social insurance expenditures add $7.90 to hourly compensation and benefits paid by employers add $2.60 per hour for a total labor compensation cost of $33.53.

    In China, as of 2008 total hourly labor cost was $1.36, and India’s is within a few cents of this amount. Thus, a corporation that moves 1,000 jobs to China saves $32,000 every hour in labor cost. These savings translate into higher stock prices and executive compensation, not in lower prices for consumers who are left unemployed by the labor arbitrage.

    Republican economists blame “high” US wages for the current high rate of unemployment. However, US wages are about the lowest in the developed world. They are far below hourly labor cost in Norway ($53.89), Denmark ($49.56), Belgium ($49.40), Austria ($48.04), and Germany ($46.52). The US might have the world’s largest economy, but its hourly workers rank 14th on the list of the best paid. Americans also have a higher unemployment rate. The “headline” rate that the media hypes is 9.1 percent, but this rate does not include any discouraged workers or workers forced into part-time jobs because no full-time jobs are available.

    The US government has another unemployment rate (U6) that includes workers who have been too discouraged to seek a job for six months or less. This unemployment rate is over 16 percent. Statistician John Williams (Shadowstats.com) estimates the unemployment rate when long-term discouraged workers (more than six months) are included. This rate is over 22 percent.

    Most emphasis is on the lost manufacturing jobs. However, the high speed Internet has made it possible to offshore many professional service jobs, such as software engineering, Information Technology, research and design. Jobs that comprised ladders of upward mobility for US college graduates have been moved offshore, thus reducing the value to Americans of many university degrees. Unlike former times, today an increasing number of graduates return home to live with their parents as there are insufficient jobs to support their independent existence.

    All the while, the US government allows in each year one million legal immigrants, an unknown number of illegal immigrants, and a large number of foreign workers on H-1B and L-1 work visas. In other words, the policies of the US government maximize the unemployment rate of American citizens.

    Republican economists and politicians pretend that this is not the case and that unemployed Americans consist of people too lazy to work who game the welfare system. Republicans pretend that cutting unemployment benefits and social assistance will force “lazy people who are living off the taxpayers” to go to work.
  6. Bring back the no doc loans but require 25% down.
  7. Jack short rates to 5%. It would take about 2 quarters to clear out what needs to be cleared out from the economy and then we could resume wholesome real growth from there. Problem solved. Now please go back to Princeton where you can only destroy young minds and not the economy.
  8. No, we did not. The government did this to you. Boomers will get hosed just like everyone younger.
  9. Nope, that won't work either. Just a waste of money.
  10. achilles28


    The Boomers voted in the criminals who presided over this multi-decade trainwreck. And then passively watched as DC shipped the economy off to China and rang up huge debt. I recognize you're a patriot, but lets get real. For the most part, the Boomers are the most naive, short-sighted, self-serving generation America has seen in a hundred years.
    #10     Sep 28, 2011