Monday, September 2, 2013

A Day of Labor

Happy Labor Day 2013.

We have seen better.

The graph shows that the U.S. is the only major nation that does not have mandatory paid vacations for workers.

The inequality of opportunity is glaring and obvious.

It is also quite damaging according to economist Joseph Stiglitz and others, who do not hesitate to point out:
The sum of the average paid vacation and paid holidays provided to U.S. workers in the private sector ― 16 in total ― would not meet even the minimum required by law in 19 other rich countries.

The lack of paid vacation and paid holidays in the United States is particularly acute for low-wage workers, part-time workers, and for employees of small businesses. Employees of small businesses in the United States are less likely to have any paid vacation (69 percent) than those in medium and large establishments (86 percent). Only 49 percent of low-wage workers (the bottom fourth of workers) have paid vacation, compared to 90 percent of high-wage workers. Part-time workers in the United States are far less likely to have paid vacations (35 percent) than are full-time workers (91 percent).

The new report revisits an analysis originally performed by CEPR researchers six years ago. Since the 2007 CEPR study, the United States has made up none of the gap with the rest of the major economies that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“It is striking that six years after we first looked at this topic absolutely nothing has changed. U.S. law and U.S. employer behavior still lags far behind the rest of the rich countries in the world,” said Schmitt.
(CEPR). The attitude which the 1% has about workers is the same one Ayn Rand had, and is damaging:
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, one of America's most prescient voices, wrote an article for Vanity Fair several months before Occupy Wall Street was born. "Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%" called attention to the widening gap between rich and poor and its deadly impact on our society and its democratic institutions. In his newly released book, The Price of Inequality, Stiglitz returns to this theme of a divided society, delving into the origins and consequences of economic unfairness.
(Exclusive Interview: Joseph Stiglitz Sees Bleak Future for America If We Don't Reverse Inequality). Stiglitz points out that the danger inherent in a plutonomy is a danger to all:
... Stiglitz explains, while those at the top enjoy the best health care, education, and benefits of wealth, they fail to realize that “their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live.”

Stiglitz draws on his deep understanding of economics to show that growing inequality is not inevitable: moneyed interests compound their wealth by stifling true, dynamic capitalism. They have made America the most unequal advanced industrial country while crippling growth, trampling on the rule of law, and undermining democracy. The result: a divided society that cannot tackle its most pressing problems.
(The Price of Inequality). Author Stiglitz liked what the Occupy Movement stood for, but the powers that be did not:
New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent

It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall – so mystifying at the time – was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves – was coordinated with the big banks themselves.
(The Homeland: Big Brother Plutonomy - 8). Regular readers know that Dredd Blog calls a spade a spade, and calls the U.S. what it is: a Plutocracy with a plutonomy:
First let's address the notion of plutonomy, a description re-coined by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ):
... the U.S. is becoming a Plutonomy – an economy dependent on the spending and investing of the wealthy. And Plutonomies are far less stable than economies built on more evenly distributed income and mass consumption.
(The Graphs of Wrath, quoting WSJ). What that means is that the state of the economy (including jobs), good or bad, can be, and is, controlled by the 1% wealthy.
(The Homeland: Big Brother Plutonomy). Dredd Blog has also pointed out that we also exhibit key aspects of feudalism (American Feudalism - 3, American Feudalism - 2, and American Feudalism).

Working Class Hero

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