Sunday, August 8, 2021

The Dangerous Mythology About The US Labor Shortage

The dangerous mythology about the US labor shortage
In explaining the unimpressive quarterly jobs data recently, there is a dangerous mythology surfacing, a common refrain among pundits, that people don’t want to work because of stimulus checks and extended unemployment benefits.

Some argue that unemployed low-wage workers make more from these benefits than from their previous employment. This may be true, but in my nearly 10-year tenure as CEO of what has become the nation’s largest publicly funded workforce development system, where we have facilitated training and employment of over 70,000 people, I have never once heard anyone say they didn’t want to work.

This is a harmful, corrosive narrative rooted in class, gender and race bias; it is a fallacy meant to demean and stigmatize.

The truth underlying what’s being touted as a “labor shortage” is far more nuanced than glib jabs at the working class. Examining reality invites us to reassess our beliefs about work and workers in this country.

Low Pay, No Benefits, Rude Customers: Restaurant Workers Quit At Record Rate

Friday, April 9, 2021

More Weekend Reading

DHS confirms Wisconsin to lose out on more than $50M in monthly federal food aid starting in MayBiden’s infrastructure plan would replace every lead pipe in MilwaukeeThe GOP, America’s most selfless political partyThe rise of working from homeJEN PSAKI STUFFS FOX NEWS’ PETER DOOCY IN METAPHORICAL LOCKER DURING WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFINGWhere Are Real Estate Taxes Lowest (and Highest)?Republican legislative leaders want Josh Kaul to sue to allow state to use stimulus for tax cuts

Screenshots of Wisdom


Weekend Reading

The Quest to Tell Science from PseudoscienceNot a Housing BubbleWho Helps Pay Amazon’s Low-Wage Workers? You DoEvers vetoes bill to give Legislature control of federal COVID relief fundsGOP Legislators Want Pandemic Aid for Tax Rebate

Screenshots of Wisdom


Friday, March 19, 2021

More Weekend Reading

'Quiet Part Out Loud': RNC Lawyer Admits GOP Cheats To WinTrump’s Dismal Record on the EconomyNot Another Rich Guy for SenatorElena Kagan Dismantled a Republican Lawyer and Might Have Saved Voting Rights Act in the ProcessLabor Law Is Broken, Economist SaysRaising the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025 would lift the pay of 32 million workers

Suburban Socialism

This is a perfect example of the hypocritical capitalism Republicans preach.

New Great Lakes Water Diversion Request

They choose to live somewhere that is not sustainable. But then they whine, complain and bellow that they are entitled to <insert spoiled Republican entitlement demand here>.

When it comes to others, especially others that aren't white, others that don't believe in their god, others that don't live in their town, they need to go without. Getting things so easily makes others lazy. 

But when the SUV-crowd moves to the middle of nowhere and suddenly gas prices are high, they can't get water and/or any part of their utopia is disturbed, the know-nothing, big, bad government needs to come to their rescue.

And, is this case, the Village of Somers wants to have the State allow them to divert water to what is currently farmland so some well-connected land owner can make a killing off of future development.

As typical economics would have it, if you want a scarce resource delivered to an inconvenient location, the cost would obviously be extremely high. You know, to discourage such a ridiculous and wasteful allocation. Yet, the Wisconsin experience of those expecting their entitled water, outside of a location where it naturally occurs, is they complain and complain until the rest of us subsidize them being able to divert water. We subsidize them in that they don't have to pay the actual price the market would indicate. 

The same goes for the price of gas being subsidized below its market price. Really, the whole suburban mistake is a big subsidized wonderland for whites, where everybody else helps pay for their spoiled, wasteful, gas-guzzling lifestyle.

Weekend Reading

Republican lawmakers refuse to approve any building projects in Evers' $2.4 billion planKleefisch Spokesperson Compares Evers to DahmerNew Support for Friedman's Plucking ModelAnnouncer for high school basketball game uses racial slur after team kneels during anthemPrivate Schools Have Become Truly ObscenePelosi says GOP will vote against COVID-19 relief and then take credit for itA $60 billion surprise in the Covid relief bill: Tax hikesPandemic Bill Would Cut Taxes By An Average of $3,000, With Most Relief Going to Low- And Middle-Income Households.Helping Wisconsin Voters Would Be Harder—or Even a Criminal Act—in Some Republican ProposalsHere Are the 8 Democrats Who Just Joined GOP to Vote Down Sanders' $15 Minimum Wage Amendment

Saturday, February 27, 2021

When Most People Think of A Cruise That's Full of Shit...

Republicans' Alternate Universe of Delusion and Disinformation

Weekend Reading

U.S. Herd ImmunityNewsmax Host Attacks Biden’s 12-Year-Old Dog Champ: “Looks Like It’s From a Junkyard”Born to Run: U.S cannabis enters the sweet spotUtilities Offer Yield and a Way to Play Green Energy. And Their Stocks Are Cheap.

Stop Giving Liars A Platform

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Midweek Levity


Texas and Yet Another Failure of Privatization

Beto O'Rourke: Why Texas Oil & Gas Can't Keep Texans WarmThe Texas grid got crushed because its operators didn’t see the need to prepare for cold weatherThe failure of privatization in the energy sector and why today’s consumers are reclaiming powerHas privatization failed Texas utility customers?Feds Warned Texas To Weatherize Power Grid The Last Time This HappenedWhy on earth would right-wing people with connections to the fossil fuel industry lie about ‘frozen wind turbines’ in Texas?

Midweek Reading

How highways make traffic worse
The Hoax Master of Wisconsin
The New York Stock Exchange president says the stock market is not a casino. Here’s what academic research says.
Stock Market Gambling Around the World and Market Efficiency
‘Real World’ Republicans Demand To Know Why Nancy Pelosi Didn't Stop Jan. 6 Riots
A closer look at senators who voted to convict Clinton, not Trump
Let's tell the truth about the Republican Party: It's the real enemy of the people

Sunday, February 14, 2021


The Republicans' idea of governing, in a nutshell:

Businesses tied to Speaker Robin Vos and other lawmakers could see taxes cut after they took PPP loans

Ron Johnson votes not guilty

Government exists for them. It's their piggybank. So they can deregulate and pollute. To assure they and their cronies reap all of societies rewards.  

They are not accountable. They are not responsible. It's someone else's problem. It's someone else's fault.

Sunday Reading

Go read this article about how we got duped into cooking with gasWarren Buffett’s Favorite Valuation Metric Is Ringing an AlarmAmsterdam Is Embracing a Radical New Economic Theory to Help Save the Environment. Could It Also Replace Capitalism?Lie After Lie: Listen to How Trump Built His Alternate RealityWhy the U.S. Is Underestimating Covid ReinfectionA Broken Party Acquitted Donald Trump In His Second ImpeachmentChris Cuomo's harsh takedown of Lindsey Graham: 'Spewing the same poison as the extremist perpetrators'

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Party Over Country

The majority of the Republican party continues their descent into complete irrelevancy.

Senate votes 57-43 for Trump acquittal

Shameless. Gutless. Immoral. Cowards. 

In The Land of Make-Believe

When your policies only benefit the top 1%, when you have nothing intelligent to add to any conversation, when the majority of your constituents have been hurt by your political decisions, all you are left with is symbolism, revisionism and make-believe.

After COVID shutdown, former Wis. Governor Scott Walker hopes to re-open Reagan’s boyhood home

In fact, it's all about revisionist history, an imagined past, phony accolades and false idols for bozos like Scott Walker.

I Am Not A Cat

Weekend Reading

Kenosha Judge Shrugs Off Kyle Rittenhouse’s Admitted Bond Violations, Denies Higher Bail And New WarrantSanders Responds to CBO Report on $15 Minimum WageCBO analysis confirms that a $15 minimum wage raises earnings of low-wage workers, reduces inequality, and has significant and direct fiscal effectsGOP senators criticized for appearing to pay half-hearted attention to trialMajority Of Those Arrested In Capitol Siege Had History Of Financial TroubleAs DeJoy Readies New Assault on Postal Service, Pressure Grows for Biden to 'Clean House'Further Means Testing of the Stimulus Will Be Disastrous for Suffering AmericansDid UW-Whitewater send Robin Vos and Steve Nass to Madison to act like grade schoolers?

Saturday, February 6, 2021

For Conservatives, Government Is The Problem and The Solution

Inspired by all the recent flurries we’ve had in Wisconsin, John Torinus is back shoveling the yellow snow of economic policy. He begins with two head-scratchers.

“Congress should think twice before getting too generous with weekly unemployment compensation. That’s because manufacturers are already having a hard time finding enough workers to man their factories.”

First, what is “too generous” for weekly unemployment compensation? Recent compensation has been bolstered by the fact that we’re living through a global pandemic. It’s part of a stimulus package to keep workers and businesses afloat. It’s not meant to exist into perpetuity.

Second, it’s been pretty clearly and universally established that manufacturers are having a hard time finding workers because the work is grueling and worth more per hour than the amount they are willing to pay.

Tornius alerts, “The labor shortage is real.”

Again, this is wrong. Pay that is not commensurate with the work that is being asked to be done is real. We have a compensation problem, not a skills shortage or a labor shortage.

Torinus then pretends that stimulus money distributed during the ongoing pandemic has left many just sitting at home collecting checks, and many others just planning to do this forever. This is classic Republican bullshit. They’ve been claiming this garbage forever. Poor and working class are lazy and will stay home if given then chance. Yet, conservatives will bend over backwards to cut taxes and provide incentives to the rich. Remember, The Haves are the job creators and something will eventually trickle down to the poor and working class.

He then talks of the plethora of living wage jobs available for any willing worker. “Employers have also raised starting wages in this area to $14 to $16 per hour.” $15 per hour results in a yearly income of just over $30,000.

Torinus continues with even more drivel, “Yes, it is a noble goal to want a minimum level of income for every adult in the United States. But the better way to get there is through good-paying jobs in the private sector. Government jobs, which always seem to keep growing in number, may be necessary, but they do not propel the economy.”

Last I checked, the private sector has been around a while. We’ve deregulated, cut taxes and genuflected to their omnipotence for decades. Yet, the economy has been a roller-coaster of recessions alongside declining wages and benefits for most workers. And, despite Torinus saying so, the number of government employees has been declining, not increasing. As Fiona Hill, of the Brookings Institution, found, “Contrary to popular belief in the bloated growth of the U.S. public sector, the size of the federal government proportionate to the total U.S. population has significantly decreased over the last 50 years.”

Torinus’ article seems, in the end, to be an elaborate smoke and mirrors, which concludes, somehow, that the government is preventing the private sector from employing more people and also responsible for helping the private sector to employ more people.

He concludes, “We don’t need excessive unemployment compensation if there are lots of open jobs with good pay and benefits. Congress and the president have to get the incentives right. We can’t afford disincentives for working.”

Again, what is “excessive unemployment compensation”? What and where are these “open jobs with good pay and benefits”? Funny, too, that, with Republicans, “We can’t afford disincentives for working.” Yet, the subsidies, tax cuts and giveaways to corporations and billionaires can’t be considered anything but a disincentive and/or welfare. Somehow, in the twisted Republican logic, giving incentives to The Haves is sound economic policy, but giving incentives to those who really need it, is bad for business.

Wait, Who's The Snowflake?

I wonder what Republicans would be saying if some libtard, liberal, snowflake stormed the Capitol, destroyed property and wanted to kill legislators, and then demanded organic food in prison.

Man who wore horns in Capitol riot moved to Virginia jail that serves organic food

I don't remember any caveat regarding organic food in Republicans' chants of "Lock 'em up!"

Trickling Down or Just Getting Pissed On

Socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor. Milwaukee's new Economic Development Commissioner wants to double-down on corporate welfare.

Milwaukee officials consider higher incentives to bring businesses downtown

According to the new Commish, "The city is exploring more aggressive policies to incentivize job creation and investments in the downtown area. Those could come in the form of employment incentives using the city’s main economic development tool, tax incremental financing, for example. Or it could involve new ways the city could help growing companies recruit workers to fill new jobs."

There's no money for potholes, we can't fast-track lead pipe removal, workers can no longer have affordable health care or secure retirements, a living wage is too much to ask, we can't upgrade public infrastructure, but there's endless and increasing money to giveaway to corporations.

Improving the roads and transportation options, upgrading broadband, updating the electrical grid and sewer system, greening public buildings, along with numerous other public projects, would go much further toward growing Milwaukee's economy than simply giving "incentives" to already profitable corporations.

For Further Reading:
Open For Business?Development Gone AstrayJob Piracy

Snow Job

Two Milwaukee aldermen call city’s snow removal efforts “simply unacceptable”

“The Department of Public Works’ snow removal efforts in the wake of this past weekend’s snowstorm are simply unacceptable,” begins a joint statement from Alderman Khalif J. Rainey and Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II. “Neighborhood streets across the city are a mess, and we are almost 48 hours past the end of the snowfall. Our residents are—AGAIN—fending for themselves as they use their own shovels and snow blowers to dig out from the snow, doing the job that DPW apparently isn’t up to doing!”

The article goes on to note that, "DPW sent out 110 trucks with salt and plows Saturday night and ended up with 270 pieces of equipment on Milwaukee’s roads by Sunday morning.”

Alderman Nic Kovac offered some pushback to the negativity, “Most of the feedback (about DPW’s efforts) is positive, not exclusively. We can always do better, but I think they’ve been doing a good job and most of the feedback I’ve gotten is our crews are working very hard.”

The City of Milwaukee has 1,424 miles of paved streets (7,000 lane miles). Between the roads, parking lots, and sidewalks DPW is responsible for plowing, having most of this cleared 48 hours after over a foot of snow has fallen, doesn't seem to be a bad job on the part of the DPW.

Maybe the aldermen should be sounding the alarm on truly "unacceptable" issues. It's possible the plowing efforts could use some tweaks. What can't? But, based on the amount of snow and the fact that was primarily cleared within 48 hours, plowing does not seem to be a pressing issue the aldermen should be seeking media attention for and releasing joints statements about. 

Weekend Reading

Someone Is Going to Have to Explain to Me How This Makes Any Damn SenseIn First Speech as Budget Chair, Sanders Rebuffs 'Partisanship' Complaints From GOP That Unilaterally Passed $1.9T Gift for RichCity Creating Plan to Develop and Preserve Bay ViewBiden Beats Back The Austerians At The GatesIncome inequality in America is at its highest level in more than 50 yearsOne Emergency After Another: Wisconsin Governor And Legislators Battle Over COVID-19

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Midweek Reading

Why Phoenix may be uninhabitable by the end of this centuryBiden’s chief of staff smacks down NY Times for whining about undoing Trump legacyThe Price of Wheat Doesn’t Tell Us About the Strength of the Economy and Neither Does the Stock Market: Why Is This so Hard for Intellectual Types to Understand?What do short-sellers really do?Billionaire Sports Owners Get RicherThe GameStop Bubble Is a Lesson in the Absurdity and Uselessness of the Stock MarketMaking a Martyr Out of a MurdererWarren To Join Senate Finance Committee, Immediately Introduce Wealth Tax Bill

Trump's American Carnage

Monday, January 25, 2021

You Reap What You Sow

When Republicans have power, the idea of "unity" doesn't even enter their collective mind. It's their way or the highway. But now that the citizens have had enough of the Republicans' bullshit and lies, suddenly Republicans are clamoring for unity.

Yet, when one sees stories like these:

Arizona Republicans Censure Party Leaders At Odds With Trump
Trump paid Capitol rally organizers over $2.7 million

Who, in their right mind, could find unity with such reality-denying, cognitively dissonant, know-nothings?

Sorry, conservatives, right-wingers, Republicans, but you can fuck off! Democrats have been goose-stepping rightward politically on issue after issue for the past five decades. Yet, it was never enough. Conservatives continued to cheat and gerrymander. Endlessly taking more and more. And, it was working. But, as is typical for Republicans, they got greedy. They wouldn't stop. They kept cheating and abusing their power. 

And now it's all blown up in their faces. 

So fuck unity. And fuck Republicans. You reap what you sow. 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Public Work Should Be Done By The Public Sector

A recent article - Waukesha's Zignego Co. lowest bidder at $87M for Highway 50 road project - made me again think of the delusional efficient private sector viewpoint. 

Conservatives and wannabe-economists have, for years, pounded the private sector efficiency drumbeat. Sadly, this perspective is as misguided today as it's ever been.

For the majority of private sector actors, the modus operandi has been to cut corners, pay workers less and/or to simply not do certain tasks altogether. 

For Further Reading:

The Lean Efficiency (And Persistence) Of Private Sector LiesFizzle for the buckAnd The Winner Is....The Public SectorWhy taxpayers are getting a bargain from public-sector workers

Weekend Reading

Wisconsin Supreme Court casts doubts on Republican-backed redistricting rulesChicago-Area Billionaire Gave Millions To ‘Patriots’ Group That Backed Pro-Trump RallyUihleins, owners of Wisconsin company, gave millions to group sponsoring the Jan. 6 March for TrumpOff-duty police were part of the Capitol mob. Now police are turning in their own.Everything is awful. Here’s a Q&A with a philosopher about why cats rule.Republicans Lash Out Against New Security Measures At The CapitolWhy Are U.S. Taxpayers Providing Public Pensions To Millionaire Members Of Congress?Tiffany, Fitzgerald and Johnson are just as guilty as TrumpQAnon Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene Threatens Joe Biden With Impeachment

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Republican Hypocrisy On Display, Yet Again

The Republican Party should really be referred to as the Hypocrite Party. 

Republicans Lash Out Against New Security Measures At The Capitol

Republicans are fine with children having to go through metal detectors to get to school, passengers taking off clothing to be able to fly, and any other number of inconveniences for the population at large...until it impacts them. Then they are outraged and their personal freedom is being infringed. 

Yes, to keep the NRA happy, so any dipshit can carry and own a gun, the population at large must capitulate to enhanced security measures, but Republicans legislators feel they should be exempt from such disruptions.

Republicans are truly terrible people (and I use the term "people" loosely).