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Tag Archives: jobs

French people are so underworked it’s leading to clinical depression

I was recently going through the checkout line and I overheard the cashier talking to the bagger. “Man, if I could just get paid for doing nothin’. That’d be sweet.”

I looked right at the cashier who was all of 18 or so and I said that I disagreed. A really sweet job was one which provided a living while one did meaningful and enriching work. Doing nothing is boring.

Both the cashier and the bagger agreed that meaningful work was better than doing nothing. Then we talked about cars.

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Economists Can’t Find the Silver Lining in Today’s Jobs Report

The good news is the market seems to be shrugging of the relatively bad news. The assumption is that the Federal Reserve is unlikely to raise rates before the end of the year in light of the jobs report. The central bank won’t raise rates because it can’t, though it wants to. (Most people think anyway. Some think the Fed has no intention at all of raising rates anytime soon. They are the small minority though.) As such Wall Street gets to continue enjoying 0% rates. So the Street sees at least a bit of a silver lining (for itself) even if “economists” do not.

The jobs numbers are quite poor but not grim. In light of the Chinese, and increasingly global slowdown the dip in the number is of serious concern however.

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Unrelenting immigration is easy for those rich enough (often through crony capitalism) to mitigate the impact

Peggy Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal of a fundamental disconnect between what she refers to as “elites” (I despise this term, many, if not most people in power I have met are not what I would call “elite.”) and their indifference to the pressures which come from massive immigration. She makes an important point. A giant increase in immigration flows isn’t going to really impact the circle Angela Merkle runs in, except that perhaps the people in this circle will be able to pay their gardeners even less. But for the many unskilled and low-skilled workers in the West it has a very real impact. These people also, unlike Merkle and Company are not part of the deeply entrenched crony system. They are on the outside in their own countries. Now many of these people, in Europe and in the USA, see new immigrants pushing them even further to the economic margins.

As we have said many times we are generally for immigration, but just opening the gates completely is not a solution. We recognize that this puts us at odds with some of the people we consider intellectual brethren, but to deny that unrestricted immigration won’t have a serious (and likely negative) impacts on the US and Europe is to deny that one can have too much of a good thing.

To dismiss the immigration concerns of many middle and working class Americans and Europeans as simple-minded and bigoted is wrong. Policy makers need to listen more closely and must find a humane answer to the current challenges in Europe and the US.

It should also be noted that much of the chaos we see in the Middle East wouldn’t be happening had we not gone into Iraq 12 years ago. So much of this is of the West’s making. Lots of people won’t like us saying that either.

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China Central Bank Head at G20 : The Chinese bubble has popped

We are pretty much obliged to run this one. Of course it has popped. It’s been deflating for months. Really longer than that though the Shanghai Stock Exchange didn’t reflect it for a while. And it’s not like the Chinese pop is over, it’s got plenty more to go. Lots of “fun” is still ahead of us.

People who care about the world economy and world politics should look closely at China. It is a classic case of “mainvestment.” This is a very important concept to understand. The great(est) Keynesian experiment is unwinding now. Good to know why.

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Greenpeace Workers Stage Strike, Walkout

When Greenpeace workers are striking because of unfair labor conditions you know something is out of wack. Either the workers are completely unreasonable and entitled or the environmental organization really is pretty bad. It sounds like it’s mostly the former.

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BET Reports: Black Teens Are Fired When the Minimum Wage Rises

As we’ve argued many times before, arbitrarily raising the minimum wage, particularly to a level which is far above the real wage rate is an idiotic move. It creates unemployment for low wage earners, and in many cases for the people who formerly employed low wage earners. A “living wage” sounds nice. It sells to economically unsophisticated people. But a job doesn’t suddenly become “worth” more just because the government declares that it is. One can not revoke gravity. Likewise one can not revoke supply and demand.

Magic is not real, no matter what the politicians say.

This is an old article, but given the current debate it is worthy of a post.

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These Are the Top 20 Cities Americans Are Ditching

I wonder if it has anything to do with high taxes, over regulation, or the highly crony governments in at least a good number of these cities. Add in crime, and traffic, and of course people want to get out of Dodge, or Chicago anyway.

Many of today’s office workers should be telecommuting most of the time. It just makes sense. Why sit in a cube in a building when one can do the same job, likely more efficiently at home? This would take people off the roads and generally make America a more pleasant place.

All one really needs for many jobs these days is a high speed Internet connection. One can live almost anywhere if one has that. Why commute into a dirty, congested, city if one doesn’t have to?

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Mapping Every Single Job in the U.S.

This is pretty interesting. What do people actually do for a living? Where are these jobs? Why aren’t we all telecommuting at this point? (Seriously, if you work in a standard white collar office this is a legit question.)

This map represents each job in the USA (according to the 2010 census) with a dot, at the job location.

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The Robots Are Coming

Get ready. The robotization of the workforce (and many other things) will rock the world on par with what happened with the Internet. Likely to an even greater extent, though the two technologies are closely tied of course. The coming revolution will change the way we see the world and each other. Will we make good pets or will we transcend many of the limits which shackle humanity?

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Do big unions buy politicians? (Video)

You better believe it.

Below is an excellent explanation of how public employee unions perpetuate the expansion of government and by extension legal theft from taxpayers.

I have found that the most vehement defenders of government waste, high taxes, and the red tape which strangles the productive part of the economy – the private sector – are government workers. They have a good deal going and they don’t want taxpayers to get hip to their deal. But we are and we are not happy.

Truly some of the greatest crony capitalists of all are those who work in government itself. Think of it. For many government workers taxes are a circular flow. They (and we) pay taxes to finance government which in turn sends them a paycheck.

But for many of us taxes are for the most part just a net outflow. An unrelenting bill. The bill would be a lot smaller if we could cut a large number of these workers from the bureaucracy. Personnel is the most expensive part of overhead.

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