Before I get to yet another article on the incredible income disparity and class warfare in the U.S. let me get into some f the anecdotal thoughts which people usually have when they talk about work, productivity, laziness and meritocracy. Anyone who has ever had a job for long knows that not all employees, middle-mangers or executives are good at their jobs, always productive or are paid according to their contribution. Most of us have worked with people with the same title and responsibilities who do poor quality work or produce less than we do. We have all had supervisors who we wonder how they got their promotion. We know executives whose average day consist of going to a meeting or two, answers some e-mails and phone calls, takes a two hour lunch and works half a day on Fridays so they can go play golf. In other words this is the real world of work in the U.S. It’s not politics, arcane economic theory or some dystopian ideal about how things should be. Most, if not all of us, have had conversations with co-workers, friends and family about these issues. Pay, merit, production, quality of work in our everyday conversations are generally not about socialism, capitalism or libertarianism or American style liberalism. Or any of the variants of those core philosophies. Though some of those things may inform our world view. This article is not ostensibly about politics. Though the solutions are certainly partly political. All Work and No Pay: The Great Speedup – You: doing more with less. Corporate profits: Up 22 percent. The dirty secret of the jobless recovery.
In all the chatter about our “jobless recovery,” how often does someone explain the simple feat by which this is actually accomplished? US productivity increased twice as fast in 2009 as it had in 2008, and twice as fast again in 2010: workforce down, output up, and voilá! No wonder corporate profits are up 22 percent since 2007, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute. To repeat: Up. Twenty-two. Percent.
This is nothing short of a sea change. As University of California-Berkeley economist Brad DeLong notes , until not long ago, “businesses would hold on to workers in downturns even when there wasn’t enough for them to do—would put them to work painting the factory—because businesses did not want to see their skilled, experienced workers drift away and then have to go through the expense and loss of training new ones. That era is over. These days firms take advantage of downturns in demand to rationalize operations and increase labor productivity, pleading business necessity to their workers.”
How does corporate America have the gall? You pretty much know the answer, but for official confirmation let’s turn to Erica Groshen , a vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York: It’s easier here than in, say, the UK or Germany “for employers to avoid adding permanent jobs,” she told the AP  recently. “They’re less constrained by traditional human-resources practices [translation: decency] or union contracts.” In plainer English, here’s Rutgers political scientist Carl Van Horn : “Everything is tilted in favor of the employers…The employee has no leverage. If your boss says, ‘I want you to come in the next two Saturdays,’ what are you going to say—no?”
And lest CNBC hornswoggle you, this is not just a product of the recession. Throughout the past decade, salaries stagnated and workloads grew, but Wall Street’s bubble allowed us to drown our sorrows in credit. (Sure, I’m working crazy hours and our pension fund is history, but check out my granite countertop!) Then came the crash, and the speedup…speeded up.
Business has found that it can make profits with a 10% unemployment rate. Since there is very little remaining in the way of employee rights and employers have embraced libertarianism lite, they feel no moral obligation to take a cut in profits to keep people working until there is an upswing in the economy.
For 90 percent of American workers , incomes have stagnated or fallen for the past three decades, while they’ve ballooned at the top, and exploded at the very tippy-top: By 2008, the wealthiest 0.1 percent were making 6.4 times as much as they did in 1980 (adjusted for inflation). And just to further fuel your outrage, that 22 percent increase in profits? Most of it accrued to a single industry: finance.
And that poor writer had the temerity to crack a joke about Marxism before laying out those statistics. It is not about – the current system is failing so let’s switch to socialism. The problem is that we have very imperfect markets, no one wants to really intervene ( the Recovery Act did some good, but it was a band-aid at best) and so we have what is becoming a lost generation of workers. With those who are working – even if imperfectly – pulling more and more of the load up hill with less compensation.
This rant by a wing-nut writer named Lori Ziganto( who she says can be found on Twitter at @SnarkAndBoobs) is a little creepy – Lefty Feminists Expose Themselves by Putting Out for Weiner. Was there a contest to see how many high-school freshman sexual puns she could fit into one sentence.
Termus Interruptus for creepy Rep. Antony Weiner (D.-N.Y.), who finally resigned at a press conference on Thursday, to heckles of “Good-bye, Pervert.” This caused leftist feminists to once again defend him—how dare you screech pervert at a predator who sends unasked-for shots of his junk to women—as well as attempt to blame the entire imbroglio on conservatives thinking that sex is icky. The former John Edwards blogger, Amanda Marcotte, who is always obsessed with sex, was the first to weigh in on Twitter with, “Hecklers screamed ‘pervert’ at Weiner as he announced his resignation. #yepitsaboutsex” and “Yeah, from all the triumphant tweets I’m getting, be prepared. If we’re going to throw Dems under the bus for being sexually active …”
Yes, because that is what it was all about. In the deluded minds of “feminists,” at least. From the story first breaking, through his resignation, ‘feminists’ have lined up on every corner to prostitute themselves for Weiner. Because, abortion. Or something. I can’t be sure because I lost my cuckoo pants to English dictionary. By doing so, they once again exposed themselves as the utter shams that they are. They are not for women and they never have been. In fact, the only thing standing up for women in this case is Weiner’s, well, little weiner, which it apparently does often and in an unsolicited manner. Let’s see how the feminists stood up for women in this case, shall we? We should start with the ever-insane Marcotte, of course. She’s been scrawling up a storm ever since the scandal rose its ugly, gray-underwear-clad head.
[ ]…Marcotte projects her own insecurities constantly by insisting that conservatives care what she does with her girly bits. Nothing could be further from the truth. Believe me, Amanda, no one wants to think about you “fornicating” (her favorite word of choice), and it’s not because we are prudish. It’s because we don’t want to lose our lunches. That would be wasteful!
I’m not going to get into a defense of Weiner. And Marcotte is more than capable of defending herself. I thought it was slightly intriguing that Ziganto wrote about her feelings – just that, no facts, data – just some sexually charged froth that, that with some irony is not safe to read at work. If someone read just my excerpts over your shoulder at work and complains it made them feel uncomfortable, you’re history. I think the least Ziganto owed her readers was an explanation as to why she is a true friend to women and her adversaries are not. What makes Ziganto a true feminist. Maybe the essay was also part mystery story and we’re all supposed to figure it out. Though with such strong feelings – exemplified by the torrential epitaphs – one wonders why she would keep all the evidence of her feminism in the closet. Her feelings about Rep. Weiner and what he was alleged to do hardly count as core principles of anything except gloating over a political adversary she clearly hates. So M’s SnarkAndBoobs is an enigma warped in a mystery. Ziganto is writing for that bastion of brownshirted journalism known as Human Events. Being a kind of wing-nut fount of wisdom about all things cultural and moral perhaps the site contained some more forth coming sources of what Ziganto could only write a dirty little column about. It so happens that brilliant prognosticator of what is good and sane, Ann Coulter, has also written on sex scandals for Human Events, Cruising While Republican
by Ann Coulter, 09/05/2007
Despite the 9/11-level coverage, Larry Craig is merely accused of “cruising while Republican.” There is nothing liberals love more than gay-baiting, which they disguise as an attack on “hypocrisy.”
If we apply equal Coulterian standards all around then shouldn’t Ziganto be taking up for Weiner up to and including the point at which he starts tapping toes in public restrooms. Isn’t Ziganto straight-guy baiting and straight-guy touchless cyber baiting at that. If Coulter and Ziganto are the judge and jury as to what is or is not appropriate and they pass these judgments from their high thrones as true feminists, how about a playbook of moral consistency. Where Coulter and Ziganto leave us wondering in the fog of wing-nut moral schizophrenia, Mac Johnson of Human Events steps up to the plate. Well in his way, Sen. Vitter Outed As Heterosexual: Heterophobia Feared
Washington was rocked — ROCKED — this week when it was revealed that Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, is a practicing heterosexual. The news came as part of a larger bombshell, as Vitter’s name was revealed to be on the client list of the so-called “D.C. Madam” (who is apparently not Nancy Pelosi, by the way, but a physical prostitute.)
Vitter, obviously unfamiliar with how to react when one’s sexual identity is made public, immediately apologized and foolishly focused on the paying-for-sex aspect of the whole affair. He also used the word “sin,” which at the time that this column went to press, I was unable to find a definition for in my official media dictionary.
[ ]…There is just one word for the dark motivation behind Vitter’s outing and that is HETEROPHOBIA! There I said it. If this country wants to erase its lingering legacy of heterophobia, then I want heterosexual scandals to be treated with equal stupidity. Vitter must be re-elected, cleansed, treated with kid gloves by the media, and if he has a lisp then no one must ever make fun of it –EVER– or else be called an ignorant heterophobe.
Some might say this is a bunch of barely rational non sequiturs. A string of insults at those – them people out there who said unkind things about a guy who paid for sex. So it would make just as much sense if it were titled Congressman Weiner Outed As Heterosexual: Heterophobia Feared. Though that essay is not to be found on H.E. Take Ziganto, Coulter and Johnson together and you have some conservatives who are pissed off that the world does not see things exactly how they see them, so you’re all poopyheads. So there. They get paid for this by the Wing-nut Welfare Circle Jerk.