Sunday, July 29, 2018

Crony Capitalism

Scott Walker and Republicans keep cheerleading their Foxconn con.  Chris Kapenga (WI - State Senator) was just on Up Front With Mike Gousha talking up what a great investment Foxconn is for Wisconsin. 

The "deal" is $4.8 billions dollars for 3,000 jobs with the potential of 13,000 jobs.  For 3,000 jobs, that's $1.6 million per job.  Or another way, a 30-year career, making roughly $53,000 per year.

If Wisconsin simply employed workers, for $4.8 billion, it could provide a 30-year career, $50,000 per year job, for 3,200 people.

At the end of the day, if it's taxpayers' dollars we're spending, shouldn't we keep the decision-making capabilities in the hands of Wisconsin taxpayers?  Why provide such lavish subsidies to a private company when the economics clearly show that a public entity could create jobs for much less?

Rather than providing corporate welfare to a billion-dollar "modern" company, modernize our public transportation; green our public buildings; and upgrade our water, sewer and electrical systems.  This creates jobs short- and long-term.  It also improves the entire state's economic competitiveness.  This is what attracts residents, retains and grows business, moves products and people, and ultimately leads to a higher quality of life.

If we're going to be spending billions and the pay-off of 3,000 is worth the cost...then why not just create 3,000 state jobs - of engineers, construction workers, scientists, builders, etc. - for the job of taking care of and improving our state and our public assets?

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Last Straw

Chrisitan Schneider, in-house agitator for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, had another nonsensical rant, regarding the recent movement to ban straws, as an avenue to spout worn-out and unfounded right-wing complaints.

According to Schneider, Straw bans are just another bogus eco-fad. Damn environment! It's been holding us all back for far too long!

As Radhika Viswanathan notes, the straw ban is not the answer to all our problems, but it will help in combating plastic pollution in the oceans. Chemotherapy might not cure your cancer, but it's a good start and it's the best option we have right now. Banning straws aren't the end-all-be-all, but it's a good start.

Schneider feels that since the U.S. isn't responsible for the majority of plastic straw pollution, we shouldn't bother changing our behavior. He labels this another eco-fad. 

Saving the planet we all depend on is an "eco-fad" for Republicans. Stupid planet!

Also, does anyone actually have straws in their home? I can't recall ever using a straw in my life at someone's private home. Why does Schneider feel so entitled that private businesses need to provide him a straw? Suddenly when he's out in public he has to drink through a straw? Talk about a snowflake.

Schneider even implies this straw ban will create a black market for straws. Yeah, he really wrote that.

Here's an idea for the drinking-without-a-straw challenged -- carry your own fucking straw around with you if you need it so badly! It's not as though there are no longer any straws available. It's just that restaurants are moving away from providing them. You can still bring your own if you need it that badly. Where's that independent, can-do attitude the Republicans are always blathering on about?

For Further Reading:

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Skills Shortage, Labor Shortage, Skills Gap ... All Bullshit

The dutiful parrots of the media continue to push the "labor shortage" myth. Unemployment is near an all-time low. Yet, we still hear the cries of "labor shortage" and "skills shortage" in the media.

CNBC recently wrote The U.S. Labor Shortage Is Reaching A Critical Point. Employers are supposedly having trouble finding qualified employees to fill 6.7 million job openings.

Lacking self-awareness, the article stated, "Employers are going to have to start doing more to entice workers, likely through pay raises, training and other incentives."

Just as basic economics would predict.

As Dean Baker wrote, "We aren't seeing large-scale increases in pay despite near-record profit shares. This suggest that either employers are really not short of workers or that they are too incompetent to understand the basics of the market."

Baker continued, "The implication of the CNBC piece that claims that hiring is down because businesses can't find qualified workers. If this really is the problem, then the solution, as everyone learns in intro economics, is to raise wages. For some reason CEOs apparently can't seem to figure this one out, since wage growth remains very modest in spite of this alleged shortage of qualified workers."

For Further Reading:
The Washington Post Really Really Hates Markets When It Means Higher Pay For Ordinary Workers
Americans Need To Stop Obsessing Over The Unemployment Rate