March 14, 2016

"Wow. Finally. An article from the NYTs about economic populism. The working class has been screwed by the political elites since the 1990s."

"By both political parties. True, many jobs may never come back. But our manufacturing base, what made America, has been decimated. We can rebuild, but the politicians really need to clamp down on the EPA and the other useless alphabet soup federal agencies. Obama has waged war on coal. That means more job losses for Americans. This is why Trump is leading. This is why Sander's won Michigan, and may win other 'rust belt' states."

Says a top-rated comment at a NYT column titled "The Era of Free Trade Might Be Over. That’s a Good Thing" by Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and former economic adviser to Joe Biden.

Trump and Sanders represent a single phenomenon, no? It's a phenomenon that Hillary and the GOP establishment have a motivation to minimize, and portraying Trump as toxic (and Sanders a nice, but unrealistic old man) is a minimization device.

75 comments:

tim in vermont said...

They used cultural differences to divide the Tea Party and Occupy, and not it is clear why. Imagine if Sanders people got over their cultural differences with the Tea Party people, and imagine if the Tea Party could see Sanders people as important allies, We could throw out the establishment as should have been done in 2009. Instead, we got "fooled again."

MikeR said...

Robotics. Sad but true; those jobs aren't coming back. Many more jobs will be lost in the near and middle future as robotics gets better. Doctors. There won't be that many jobs left. Till recently, people of normal intelligence could be retrained for a somewhat more technical job; till then, they had been putting in screws in a factory, well below their intelligence level. It will soon be true that you have to be way above average in intelligence to be able to do any job that's left, except for some service jobs. We have to find ways of dealing with it, and there are sure going to be a lot of angry hurt people, but it doesn't change the reality.

traditionalguy said...

But, but. but.... what about Racist and Nazi and Angry and Afraid and Violent and Vulgar and Talks Fast, and a Border Wall, and Hates Religion of Hate.

aritai said...

Tere’s never a “free” trade problem when the pie is always growing. Though the communists would rather slice an existing pie thinner to improve the equality between the masses rather than realizing that the ultimate wealth of a nation is denominated in the number of well-educated intellects, integrated over time, striving to do something new to appeal to the wallets that the purchasers of goods will weigh and vote for every picking those that please them most. But this means gasp, competition, an education system that sorts and challenges youngsters based on a hopefully informed guess about their future contribution. With each and every one of them failing on occasion just to learn the humility needed to respect the value of everyone. Mr. Clinton being your most recent example of a very smart person who was never pushed by your system to the point of failure. What a loss to all of you that he went into politics, slicing pies rather than contributing to growth. Instead you’ve destroyed the only safety net that works, and insist on sacrificing unborn humans to ease the lives of selfish parents, rather than reward their sacrifice and investment in the ultimate driver of griwtg, But Mr. Roosevelts suspected exactly this when he destroyed the the primary need for families, that of taking care of their parents. Ditto the destruction of all kinds of Fraternal organizations which would step in where the family could not. You couldn’t have done more damage with a gun to your African American communities. Way to go suckers, you won't need to wait for that asteroid with your name on it, you're halfway to extinction aleady.

Mick said...

"Law field"? "law prof"? You voted for a Usurper twice, so what could you possibly know about the "law". There is no "law" when the executor of such "law" is an illegal entity. What could those kids possibly be learning at WU when the "law prof" votes for a Usurper twice, and fails to inform the public about 2 more illegal non natural born Citizens running for POTUS?

Anyway, these are typical Alinsky tactics:

* RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)

* RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)

* RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

rhhardin said...

It's a regulation problem, not a trade problem.

You can't start a business without a staff of lawyers and a huge enough surplus to pay what employment laws require.

So nobody soaks up workers. They're out of luck.

Economics says free trade works best, but there are short term losers. It's a steady-state truth, not a short term truth.

So make it easier to find work. Don't regulate to death, don't tax to death, as Obama has done.

Akiva said...

"It's a phenomenon that Hillary and the GOP establishment have a motivation to minimize,"... It seems to me that the establishment has lost control of the narrative. The establishment (GOP and Dem) may manipulate their system and rules sufficiently to keep control of the situation, but it is exactly their past manipulation of the narrative as well as their systems that has led to the outpouring of support for both anti-candidates.

This is clear given that they grow stronger every time the "establishment" (whether political or main stream media) tries to manipulate or minimize them. They're feeding off it! (How many ads has either had to run, they're headline news every day!)

Rusty said...

Blogger MikeR said...
Robotics. Sad but true; those jobs aren't coming back. Many more jobs will be lost in the near and middle future as robotics gets better. Doctors. There won't be that many jobs left. Till recently, people of normal intelligence could be retrained for a somewhat more technical job; till then, they had been putting in screws in a factory, well below their intelligence level. It will soon be true that you have to be way above average in intelligence to be able to do any job that's left, except for some service jobs. We have to find ways of dealing with it, and there are sure going to be a lot of angry hurt people, but it doesn't change the reality.

Technological advancement is not a zero sum game unless you make it one. There are probaly more blacksmiths in the United states today than there were in 1900. There are also people being employed to design and build robots.

MikeR said...

"Technological advancement is not a zero sum game unless you make it one. There are probaly more blacksmiths in the United states today than there were in 1900. There are also people being employed to design and build robots." Rusty, I answered that.

tim in vermont said...

In a way it's good discipline, making sure that accepting new business that puts you over fifty employees is really and truly worth it, and the effort in keeping the head count below that is a good way to prevent your business from growing in wasteful directions.


“Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” -- Hillary Clinton


“I can’t worry about every undercapitalized business” -- Hillary Clinton

HT said...

They might represent a single phenomenon, but they do not both do so in good faith. Donald Trump is a cheater and a faker.

From today's Washington Post:
“If he’s concerned about jobs in the United States, it should have been a question he asked,” said one person involved in the deal, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid offending Trump. “And I can tell you that in none of the meetings did it come up.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-decries-outsourced-labor-yet-he-didnt-seek-made-in-america-in-2004-deal/2016/03/13/4d65a43c-e63a-11e5-b0fd-073d5930a7b7_story.html

Regarding outsourcing of manufacturing of Donald Trump line of Van Heusen shirts (Bangladesh).

tim in vermont said...

I think when the establishment turned on Sarah Palin, it became clear to many who were not listening before that the establishment GOP despises their "base."

HT said...

tim in vermont said...
I think when the establishment turned on Sarah Palin, it became clear to many who were not listening before that the establishment GOP despises their "base."

3/14/16, 6:39 AM
________________

Without question.

tim in vermont said...

If she's concerned about peace and love, it never came up in her machinations as SoS, where she engineered the destabilization of Syria, and the outright overthrow of the old order in Libya.

TreeJoe said...

According to the comment quoted, the manufacturing base has been "decimated".

That's only 10% destruction, by definition. That's not so bad.

Surprised Ann at your quoting of the word decimated without further commentary on it's proper or improper use.

Larry J said...

Blogger rhhardin said...
It's a regulation problem, not a trade problem.

You can't start a business without a staff of lawyers and a huge enough surplus to pay what employment laws require.


A couple weeks ago, I read about one Congressman who provided great support for your statement. According to him, in 2014, Congress passed 400 pages of new laws. In the same year, the bureaucracy enacted 80,000 pages of new regulations. These get added to the untold hundreds of thousands of pages of existing regulations. While not every regulation applies to every business, it costs companies a great deal of money to learn which regulations apply and to comply with them. That's money that isn't available for a useful purpose, such as creating new products and jobs. It gets eaten by the bureaucratic process. Remember, the first rule of any bureaucracy is to perpetuate and expand itself.

This isn't to say that all regulation is bad and unnecessary. Before the EPA and OSHA were created under the Nixon administration, pollution was much worse than what we see today, as were workplace accidents. I can remember days back in the 1960s and early 1970s when air pollution from the Birmingham steel industries made it dangerous to go outside. However, there comes a point of diminishing returns when the cost of complying with new regulations outweighs the benefits. Today, the air in Birmingham is much cleaner than in the old days. Part of that is because the steel industry there is pretty much non-existent.

tim in vermont said...

"Decimated" is metaphorical now. Can one only say an organization has been "decimated" if every tenth member has been executed? No. It's a metaphor.

tim in vermont said...

Sanders and Trump are rabble rousers, and there is nothing the establishment hates worse than when the rabble is roused. That's when guillotines get set up in Lafayette Square.

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

It's an issue of accounting...

Anecdote after anecdote recognizing that assembly jobs that used to be here now seem to be going somewhere else...but a failure to account for how many more jobs are here because of the economic efficiencies gained from trade, or jobs gained from exporting our goods overseas. Or accounting for the higher costs from US corporate tax rates and how they negatively impact workers.

A recognition of how you or your friend or relative in took their high school diploma or dropped out of high school, went down to the assembly plant in town, got a job on the line, demonstrated a work ethic, learned some skills, maybe joined the union and a few months later the income from that job put their household income in the 55th percentile, but now that same job, if still here, would only put his household income in the 43rd...but a failure to account for the fact that at the time it was the US and Western Europe and pretty much everywhere else was third world, but now there's global competition from India, the Pacific Rim, South America...A failure to account for the 100 million new jobs in the US that didn't exist in healthcare, finance, in education, in IT, all requiring a college degree. Many requiring a graduate degree or the equivalent, on the job training, constant retraining. The types of jobs that should pay more than low/mid level assembly and manufacturing...

It's a recognition that wages are supposedly stagnant...but a failure to account for the shift compensation packages to more costly benefits like heath insurance. Or that we've redefined more households as a single income from one divorced parent instead of two income married parents. Or recognized more income from transfer payments like disability. Or account for higher after tax income from middle class tax cuts.

It's a failure by our leaders to account for the damage caused by poor fiscal policies of high tax rates, unproductive or damaging regulation, compensation mandates, excessive transfer payments, poorly designed, inefficient entitlements.

Balfegor said...

One thing that is interesting (or perhaps, totally unsurprising) is that Sanders' affect comes off much more like an angry old man than Trump -- Trump seems rather jolly -- but it's always Trump who's described as being motivated by negative emotion. There's a similar dissonance at work when you see footage of all those angry young activists (or old activists) screaming abuse, their faces twisted with slavering hatred, portrayed neutrally as protesting "against hate." Physician heal thyself.

Robert Cook said...

Rehhajm,

Your entire post is fantasy. We are in a terrible place in terms of jobs available and in compensation than we used to be. In real terms, wages have stagnated since the 1970s, as costs have gone ever up. Unemployment is far higher than the cooked government figures report, and of the new jobs being created in this country, the majority by far are low-wage/low-(or no-)benefit service jobs. Add to this the crushing debt that so many Americans carry, and we are in a calamitous state.

jaydub said...

"For example, the real wage for blue-collar manufacturing workers in the United States is essentially unchanged over the past 35 years, while productivity in the sector is up more than 200 percent."

What people fail to appreciate, apparently including the author of this NYT article, is how many of the lost jobs in the more substantial industries were due to process improvements as a result of the Lean Manufacturing revolution that swept American industry over the last 25 - 30 years - not because of technology changes or FTAs, but because of physical process improvements that reduced manufacturing waste. In essensce, the elimination of non-value added steps (waste) in the manufacturing processes served to reduce the number of workers required to perform a step while actually making the work easier, i.e., those jobs didn't get exported, they disappeared forever. Most of the 200 percent productivity gains cited by the author are the direct result of working smarter, not harder and have little to do with FTAs. The Toyota Production System, the gold standard for Lean efforts, is described in "The Machine that Changed the World" by Womack if anyone is interested.

tim in vermont said...

Robert Cook wants to bomb Europe and the Far East back to the third world again so that we can re-create the economic conditions of the 50s and 60s for American workers, if he wants to recreate the '70s, I am thinking he doesn't remember them. Reagan happened for a reason.

rehajm said...

In real terms, wages have stagnated since the 1970s...

On measuring Changes In Income

Rusty said...

Jeeze, Bob. What do you suppose caused that? Greed?

Rusty said...

MikeR said...
Sorry, Mike.

rehajm said...

We are in a terrible place in terms of jobs available and in compensation than we used to be...


Labor Force Participation Rate at Historic Lows

Paco Wové said...

"What people fail to appreciate, apparently including the author of this NYT article, is how many of the lost jobs in the more substantial industries were due to process improvements..."

That may well be true, but unemployment is unemployment, diagnosed correctly or not. Globalist neoliberal types offer the left half of the bell curve nothing, other than an underpants-gnome style "Free Trade → Creative Destruction → ??? → Profit!" assurance that they'll all get some kind of job again, maybe, someday. This strikes me as a huge flaw in the model.

Mark said...

The problem the GOPe and the Democrats have is that both have spent so much energy portraying anyone who strays from orthodoxy as "toxic" (the frickin' Tea Party was so peaceful and orderly that their rallies left places cleaner than they were before the rallies started) that now they have no ammunition left against a truly toxic candidate.

Thanks, all you folks who were so terrified by a bunch of groups that looked and acted more like PTA meetings than a grass-roots political uprising. All those quiet, respectful, gainfully-employed people who wanted a voice in government were so scary.

Trump's base certainly includes some of those Tea Party types, because they have no place to call a political home. But the Tea Party was always a small part of a larger middle; it was the part that hadn't given up hope in a political system that seemed to have decided Culture Wars were more important than economic stresses on the working class. The larger middle really may not care that Trump sounds more like a tin pot dictator than a President; in their minds, at least he's their Tin Pot Dictator.

All great cultures decline. Often the decline is precipitous. I have young kids, and I will do my best to help make sure it doesn't happen on my watch. But for the first time in my 52 years I'm worried we may have crossed a tipping point an my children will inherit a sinking ship.

HT said...

"I can remember days back in the 1960s and early 1970s when air pollution from the Birmingham steel industries made it dangerous to go outside. However, there comes a point of diminishing returns when the cost of complying with new regulations outweighs the benefits. Today, the air in Birmingham is much cleaner than in the old days. Part of that is because the steel industry there is pretty much non-existent. "

I'm familiar with the haze, seen it many a time, but don't recall ever being told not to go outside. These days, it may look better, but we're still pretty high up there on the air quality list (bad that is). Poor transportation planning, coal, ozone. Today, there's a furnace museum left and I think Fairfield still runs their facility (USS). But that's it, I think. (Not sure if acipco and mcwane are big contributors) Tarrant was awful in the 80s, I took classes out there, not sure what it was they were doing, but I was glad to get out.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

tim in vermont said...

They used cultural differences to divide the Tea Party and Occupy...

The differences between the Tea Party and Occupy were far more than cultural. While there was overlap as to what the problem was, there was fundamental disagreement over the solution.

Imagine if Sanders people got over their cultural differences with the Tea Party people, and imagine if the Tea Party could see Sanders people as important allies, We could throw out the establishment as should have been done in 2009.

The Bolsheviks did a good job of throwing out the establishment. Throwing out the establishment is not enough. You also need a plan for what replaces it. I don't want the establishment replaced by Sanders supporters.

RAH said...

The manufacturing job losses did not just disappear due to process improvements. But because wage costs were lower in other countries. The idea was the wage costs would increase in the other countries but that has not happened due to currency manipulations an other government interference. So as a free trader I am reassessing that belief.

We need a contraction of labor and that is not happening with the legal and illegal immigration flooding US job markets with cheap labor.

Phil 3:14 said...

There once was phrase "liberal trade policy" that had meaning.

Larry J said...

HT said...
"I can remember days back in the 1960s and early 1970s when air pollution from the Birmingham steel industries made it dangerous to go outside. However, there comes a point of diminishing returns when the cost of complying with new regulations outweighs the benefits. Today, the air in Birmingham is much cleaner than in the old days. Part of that is because the steel industry there is pretty much non-existent. "

I'm familiar with the haze, seen it many a time, but don't recall ever being told not to go outside. These days, it may look better, but we're still pretty high up there on the air quality list (bad that is).


I can remember days when atmospheric inversions trapped the haze and the pollution counts in Birmingham exceeded 700 micrograms per cubic meter. That was higher than the levels recently experienced in China, although the particulates might've been of a different size. I lived in Huntsville and we were getting readings on bad days of over 300. We didn't have Birmingham's steel industry but we are in a valley that traps pollution. These high readings were in the days before cars had catalytic converters, so each car spewed over 400 times as much pollution as a modern car.

David said...

These numbers don't lie:

Washington has the highest per capita income of any metropolitan statistical area in the USA at $47,411. That is far ahead of number 2 San Jose-Sunnyvale at $40,392. Cleveland ranks 23d at $24,275.

Some income inequality is bad. But not this kind. Progressives sort of ignore that.

Sebastian said...

"But our manufacturing base, what made America, has been decimated." Not quite. Manufacturing has grown (if you include electronics), manufacturing employment is down over decades but up since the recession. It's not clear that the "decline" in manufacturing accounts for all the discontent of all Sanders and Trump supporters, nor that those candidates have any clue about how to reverse it.

traditionalguy said...

So Decimated has been flipped to mean 90% killed off instead of 10% killed off. You have to stay up to date.

HT said...

Well, no one told the kiddoes! I'll ask around, but I imagine all I'll get is a wave of the hand.

I mean, we all could see what there was to be seen but no one really broke it down, I suppose. Everyone's dad I knew worked downtown.

http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/11/an_old_cloud_of_polluted_air_l.html

MayBee said...

It would be interesting to read details about how we supposedly have really low unemployment right now, but why it feels so different than low unemployment felt under Clinton and Bush.

David Begley said...

Coal and oil now on their heels for different reasons.

But the Dems don't care as they are fully invested in the CAGW scam.

jaydub said...

RAH: "The manufacturing job losses did not just disappear due to process improvements. But because wage costs were lower in other countries."

The process improvements I'm talking about are not just associated with labor, but also inventory reductions, quality improvement, defect reduction, one-piece flow, just-in-time scheduling, ergonomic improvements, safety improvements, etc. But, labor, materials and working capital are the key factors. For example,
- If you can reduce (eliminate?) inventory, you can eliminate a warehouse and the labor that staffs it, plus direct load trucks and save working capital.
- If you improve quality and eliminate defects, there is less rework and fewer requirements for "reworkers" and materials.
- If you can achieve one-piece flow, then all material handling between workstations is eliminated, along with the handlers, themselves, and the manufacturing footprint and material travel time is reduced.
- If you can eliminate ergonomic issues and reduce accidents, then you don't have to train replacements for injured workers or have standbys and your insurance costs go down.
- If you can achieve JIT material flow into the process, you can eliminate another warehouse and the handlers involved while reducing material flow times.
- If you can improve equipment uptime then you'll need fewer pieces of it, fewer workers to man it and you'll reduce your working capital.

So, it's not just the cost of labor, its the sum total of the process improvements that allow you to reduce overall costs of production, improve quality, reduce delivery times, reduce capital carrying costs and, thereby, allow you to produce cheaper in the US with a higher paid workforce, albeit smaller, than in some third world country. That's the key to staying competitive, but the US and Japan are not the only countries doing Lean now; so, it's more important than ever to understand the cause and effect relationships, and FTAs are not the primary driver. There are a lot of manufacturers who are starting to on-shore operations that had previously been off-shored because no manufacturer wants a 7,000 mile supply chain to China. It just has to be more economical to do it in the US, and waste elimination in the manufacturing processes has been key to making that possible.

tim in vermont said...

To be a liberal, you have to believe that everything was going swimmingly in 1979, and then for some reason a massive electoral revolution happened for a candidate that promised to change course.

Fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism[free market economics], both in the political and economic sphere. - Benito Mussilini

If you substitute "The policies of Ronald Reagan" for "liberalism" you will get Robert Cook channeling Mussolini.

Robert Cook said...

"Jeeze, Bob. What do you suppose caused that? Greed?"

Yes. Corporate greed.

Birkel said...

Robert Cook: "...as costs have gone ever up."

Yeah, I remember how much my cell phone used to cost back in the 1970s. And my PC.

Fucking idiot.

Birkel said...

Robert Cook: "Corporate greed."

Yeah, as opposed to all those non-greedy government workers who just keep adding regulations and turf-building and budget maximizing...

Because they are not greedy.

Dumb fucker.

Birkel said...

Robert Cook: "In real terms, wages have stagnated since the 1970s, as costs have gone ever up."

So one is in real terms and the other in nominal terms? Duplicitous and stupid is no way to go through life.

Idiot.

Robert Cook said...

Birkel,

Thank your for your pertinent and informative comments.

Michael K said...

"Economics says free trade works best, but there are short term losers. It's a steady-state truth, not a short term truth."

The financier Sir James Goldsmith predicted exactly what happened back in 1994.

Watch that video interview. It is eerie to see him predict what happened twenty years before it was obvious.

traditionalguy said...

Capital flows into stably governed areas that will supply it labor and transport and not steal too much for the Government's services.

The USA had it all once, and then under the Bush New World Order and we created Pax Americana that sent our capital to the Asian Tigers that we protected at our public expense. The result is WalMart that ate up every small shop in every town.

We are now all being groomed as disarmed peasants under U. N. World Governance ( a/k/a Global warming Police), or we are going to restore our way of life.

Borders are not going to be allowed under The North American Province of The World. And the founder Obama has shown us that and the RINOs are all in for no borders.

jaydub said...

Robert Cook said...

"Jeeze, Bob. What do you suppose caused that? Greed?"

Greed is definitely a factor in business - company greed (profits), worker greed (wages and benefits), government greed (taxes,) shareholder greed (share prices,) and consumer greed (product quality and prices.) Fortunately, all that greed tends to drive the various parties to an accommodation that works reasonably well for everyone given all the competing priorities; so, Greed is probably more properly called self-interest. I always wonder what leftists think drives most human nature if not self-interest. Altruism certainly has it's place in society, but I've never heard of anyone involved in producing something to sell who did it without having an economic interest in the outcome- whether producer, worker, marketeer, consumer, or taxman. And, if one of those parties gets too far out of kilter, the other parties will jerk it back into balance. I would always rather depend on the self-interested interactions of all those competing market elements than leave it to some ideologue to set conditions that satisfy no one, much like what is happening in Venezuela or Cuba.

Original Mike said...

"Corporate greed."

Ahh, if only we could find better people.

Sigivald said...

But our manufacturing base, what made America, has been decimated

Not so much.

Real output is higher than it ever was in the 90s - and would have been higher, most likely, if not for the 2008 crisis.

What's been decimated is jobs - from about 17k in 1990 to about 12k today (BLS stats, but they won't let you link to search output).

Because productivity increased, but of course "we need fewer workers to make more stuff" is a much harder sell than "NAFTA stole our manufacturing!!!"...

Sigivald said...

(Also, those k should be m - units were thousands.

So, over 25 years, 5 million people stopped working manufacturing jobs; some doubtless as retirement, others as straight-up loss of employment.

But the point of "manufacturing" is to make stuff, not paychecks - greater productivity makes all goods more affordable by lowering production costs.)

Birkel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

"So you want answers that do notary out in frustration at your ignorance."

Yes. Whatever that means.

As always, thank you for your pertinent and informative comments.

Birkel said...

Robert Cook:

So you want answers that do not cry out in frustration at your ignorance? Fine.

Inflation statistics do not measure new inventions, therefore talking about inflation during a period in which many household items are newly appeared is dishonest.

Changing between real and nominal statistics (and hoping the reader does not notice) is dishonest.

Alleging greed in one area while ignoring it in another is dishonest. Government workers now make more than their non-government counterparts. That sounds like greed. The average college president makes more than the average corporate CEO. These and more put the lie to your professions of dishonesty.

You are a liar and a scoundrel.

Birkel said...

notcry became notary. The space is now included.

buwaya said...

Just for the sake of providing relevant numbers -
As the current political situation is very easily reduced to numbers -
Some sources -
The Wiki on US Household income is a really excellent distillation of data -
It even includes my State by State Median income adjusted by cost of living !
(I didnt write it, but it uses the MERIC COLA !)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States
Just for the sake of providing relevant numbers -
As the current political situation is very easily reduced to numbers -
Some sources -
The Wiki on US Household income is a really excellent distillation of data -
It even includes my State by State Median income adjusted by cost of living !
(I didnt write it, but it uses the MERIC COLA !)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States
Theres lots of ammo there for both Trump and Sanders backers.
On the decline of manufacturing employment -
https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/MANEMP
Note there was a long period of stagnation, then a couple of steps of extreme decline (by 1/3!) since 1999, to a stagnant low level.
On the effect of regulation -
Texas -
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/SMS48000003000000001?data_tool=XGtable
California -
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/SMS06000003000000001?data_tool=XGtable
This is very interesting if one wants to go through all the states.
Texas (and much of the South/Midwest) did far better in the "recovery", such as it was, than California/NewYork/Illinois, etc.
As for unemployment, the best compromise number I can think of is the total population employment rate, relevant to the present situation (where we have to assume that customs accept full participation of women in the labor force, no child labor, comparable age distributuion, etc.). The US is not different in these since @1999, even for the most part in age distribution, so its likely to be comparable.
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12300000
I.e., the drop has been dramatic. You can play with this by year (start year) and get an idea of the scale of the current situation. This data series has had the worst fall since 1948, the beginning of the available data. Its certainly the worst since the Great Depression.
There is no doubt at all that people have reason to be dissatisfied.

buwaya said...

Error in cut and paste, sorry.

tim in vermont said...

I am not sure about when microwave ovens appeared, in my family it was the '70s, I think. By the 80s everybody had them. If you take away everybody's microwave, will they be just as rich? It's a rhetorical question, as in we all know the answer.

I was a child in the '60s, and it was such a great time for women because they all got to hang out in the back yard and gossip while they pinned clothes to the line. Does that make them richer than a homemaker today who just throws clothes in a dryer and comes back for them an hour later?

Without them would we be poorer? Again, it's a rhetorical question!

Cars have airbags now, in the '60s it was a fight just to get headrests. No kidding, it was. Only wimps worried about whiplash! Would we be poorer without all of the safety features we have in cars today as opposed to what came with cars in the '60s? Basically they hosed the blood off the dashboard and sold the car to somebody else.

Obviously this is a stupid game Robert, but I don't expect you to reply on account of it will make you realize that you are wrong. Or you will post to some polemic written to keep the idiots in line that purports to respond to it, but you won't give any indication why you think it does.

tim in vermont said...

Maybe we are all so much richer we don't have to work as much.

Bruce Hayden said...

RC - the problem with pointing at corporate greed is that it isn't anything new, and, for the most part, is more benign than harmful. In any case, it isn't any worse than it ever has been. What has changed is that businesses have to pay off or bribe the govt. now. Google has apparently spent better than $100 million over the last couple years lobbying (mostly Congress, but also the Executive branch). The biggest companies just get bigger because they bribe lawmakers and those writing regulations to tilt the playing field in their direction. Probably nothing is as illustrative of this than Dodd-Frank, enacted supposedly to prevent another financial meltdown, but ultimately exempting the biggest financial players as too-big-to-fail, while significantly adding to the regulatory burden of their smaller competitors. But, that isn't that hard to accomplish, if you get your people into key positions in the govt., as Goldman Sachs did. (And, surprise, surprise, the Community Reinvestment Act is again being used to push sub-sub-prime mortgage lending to aggrieved minorities).

n.n said...

The era of equitable trade, rational regulation, cordial relations, and capitalism is on the horizon.

holdfast said...

"Can one only say an organization has been "decimated" if every tenth member has been executed?"

YES - This is a huge pet peeve. That word should only be used when a regiment has been punished via the execution of every tenth legionnaire.

OK - we can compromise. It can be used to mean any sort of reduction by 10%.

Birkel said...

If something is decimated thrice is it down to 70% or only 72.9%...

Asking for a friend, LOL.

Fabi said...

72.9%

tim in vermont said...

OK - we can compromise. It can be used to mean any sort of reduction by 10%

That's from Donny Trump's "The Art of Linguistics."

Rusty said...

Bob said,
"Corporate greed."

An effect, not a cause. try again.

Michael K said...

"Greed" is a negative term for selfishness, which is what drives most human behavior.

There are exceptions that include family solidarity and the group love that the military has always instilled in soldiers. The latter seems destined to be relegated to our better days as PC invades every facet of society.

Adam Smith explained the role of selfishness pretty well.

The natural effort of every individual to better his own condition…is so powerful, that it is alone, and without any assistance, not only capable of carrying on the society to wealth and prosperity, but of surmounting a hundred impertinent obstructions with which the folly of human laws too often encumbers its operations.

On the other hand he said:

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices…. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies, much less to render them necessary.

That video of Goldsmith is worth watching to see how well he predicted what we have now.

Robert Cook said...

"An effect, not a cause. try again."

Corporate greed is an effect of...what?

Birkel said...

Let's talk about government greed.

Rusty said...

Robert Cook said...
"An effect, not a cause. try again."

Corporate greed is an effect of...what?

e've been over this, Bob. Many times.
Think hard. Remember the lessons.

tim in vermont said...

Robert is not going to provide us with a disquisition regarding the method socialism is going to use to get from each according to his abilities without any appeal to self interest.

He will then explain how it will be decided what the "needs" of each are. Of course the latter will most likely be constrained by the failure to produce cause by a refusal to reward hard work.

Rusty said...

To be honest corporate greed keeps me employed. I suspect that all of us that aren't self employed rely heavily on corporate greed. Come to think of it most of the self employed too.
After all corporations (all of em?) can't make all that filthy lucre by themselves. They need employees.