John Mellencamp sings Woody:
Washington, D.C. September 20, 2011. A staggering 2.8 million jobs, largely in manufacturing, have been lost as a result of the growing U.S. trade deficit with China since that country’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, according to a study released today by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).
The growing U.S. trade deficit with China has cost jobs in every one of the nation’s congressional districts, the study reported, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Between 2001 and 2010, the computer and electronic parts industry was hit the hardest, as more than 909,400 jobs were displaced. The rapidly growing number of imports of computer and electronic parts, including semiconductors and audio-video equipment, accounted for more than 44 percent of the $194 billion increase in the U.S. trade deficit with China during that time.
The report, written by EPI’s Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research Robert E. Scott, cites illegal currency manipulation as a major cause of the rapidly growing U.S. trade deficit with China. Unlike other currencies, the Chinese yuan does not fluctuate freely against the dollar, but is artificially pegged in order to boost China’s exports.
What great news. I’m feeling more hopeful about our country these days:
Some of the biggest players in organized labor are actively involved in planning for Wednesday’s demonstration, either directly or through coalitions that they are a part of. The United Federation of Teachers, 32BJ SEIU, 1199 SEIU, Workers United and Transport Workers Union Local 100 are all expected to participate. The Working Families Party is helping to organize the protest and MoveOn.org is expected to mobilize its extensive online regional networks to drum up support for the effort.
“We’re getting involved because the crisis was caused by the excesses of Wall Street and the consequences have fallen hardest on workers,” a spokesman for TWU Local 100 said.
Community groups like Make the Road New York, the Coalition for the Homeless, the Alliance for Quality Education and Community Voices Heard are also organizing for Wednesday’s action, and the labor/community coalitions United New York and Strong Economy For All are pitching in as well.
Signs and chants will likely call for an extension of the so-called millionaires’ tax and a roll-back of state budget cuts. They will also likely show support for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s position that a proposed settlement between banks and attorneys general over troubled mortgage pools is too lenient.
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This story about their Allentown PA warehouse is really upsetting, and I’m going to have to find a live person to complain to:
Over the past two months, The Morning Call interviewed 20 current and former warehouse workers who showed pay stubs, tax forms or other proof of employment. They offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it’s like to work in the Amazon warehouse, where temperatures soar on hot summer days, production rates are difficult to achieve and the permanent jobs sought by many temporary workers hired by an outside agency are tough to get.
Only one of the employees interviewed described it as a good place to work.
Workers said they were forced to endure brutal heat inside the sprawling warehouse and were pushed to work at a pace many could not sustain. Employees were frequently reprimanded regarding their productivity and threatened with termination, workers said. The consequences of not meeting work expectations were regularly on display, as employees lost their jobs and got escorted out of the warehouse. Such sights encouraged some workers to conceal pain and push through injury lest they get fired as well, workers said.
During summer heat waves, Amazon arranged to have paramedics parked in ambulances outside, ready to treat any workers who dehydrated or suffered other forms of heat stress. Those who couldn’t quickly cool off and return to work were sent home or taken out in stretchers and wheelchairs and transported to area hospitals. And new applicants were ready to begin work at any time.
An emergency room doctor in June called federal regulators to report an “unsafe environment” after he treated several Amazon warehouse workers for heat-related problems. The doctor’s report was echoed by warehouse workers who also complained to regulators, including a security guard who reported seeing pregnant employees suffering in the heat.
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That if you have a fevered conspiracy theory floating around in your addled brain, all you have to do is go to the local sheriff’s office and he’ll assign FIVE people to investigate? Yep, and it doesn’t have a fucking thing to do with politics, either!
It’s hard to win the battle of words when media outlets still insist on calling conservative Democrats “moderate” and “centrist”. When polls show that the vast majority of voters in both parties support raising taxes on the rich, insisting on protecting the revenue stream of millionaires and billionaires is hardly a “moderate” position. Just sayin’, Josh “I Used To Be A Liberal” Marshall:
Moderate Senate Democrats are signaling strong resistance to tax increases in the President’s deficit-reduction plan, and the early disapproval within his own party will no doubt give Republicans on the deficit super committee plenty of cover to block any and all revenue-raising aspects of Obama’s plan.
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) told reporters Monday night that he’s put off by all the talk about increasing taxes when he believes the primary and only goal of the deficit super committee should be finding cuts to hack away at the deficit.
“Tax increases have to come second to cutting,” he said. “I was just home over the weekend and that’s what [my constituents] we’re all talking about.”
Which constituents, Ben? Oh, you mean your largest donors, like Big Pharma and the finance industry! Bless your heart!
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who represents a state whose economy is dependent on energy production, last week said the offset for Obama’s new spending plans, which includes the elimination of oil and gas subsidies, “was not going to fly.”
“Terrible,” Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) told Politico last week when asked about the president’s ideas for how to pay for the $450 billion price tag. “We shouldn’t increase taxes on ordinary income. … There are other ways to get there.”
Clearly trying to withhold her opposition — at least for the day, Landrieu ducked into an elevator when reporters tried to stop her Monday night to ask her opinion about the President’s speech.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), a co-chair of the deficit super committee, gave an oblique response when asked Monday night about her response to the President’s speech and how it would affect the super committee’s work, noting that she hopes the panel can take a “fair and balanced” approach.
“Fair and balanced.” Hmm. Where have I heard that one before? Oh yeah, it’s wingnut foreplay – i.e. the sweet nothings they whisper in your ear right before they stick it up your ass!
Will they have to evacuate Tokyo? Only if they tell the truth, and what are the odds of that happening?