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Biden's economic challenge: Finding workers and goods

33 Comments
By JOSH BOAK

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Terminate folks due to a government policy and then wonder where all the workers are. Typical of this administration.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

President Joe Biden enters the midterm election year of 2022 determined to address what economists call a “supply” problem — there aren’t enough jobseekers or goods to meet the country’s needs.

People refusing to work jobs that do not provide a living wage, a byproduct of corporate greed and the coronavirus pandemic environment.

And rejecting consumerism as well. Eminently logical actions on the part of workers.

The solution of having workers receive a greater share of the productive value of their labor is that which shall not be addressed though.

Better have another stimulus package to buoy the market.

If progressive taxation were linked to giving workers a larger aggregate of the value of production this challenge could be addressed post haste.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

“Biden mocked for celebrating historic 2021 economic record”

https://news.yahoo.com/biden-mocked-celebrating-historic-2021-001338944.html

“Biden's policies to blame for much of current supply chain crisis”

https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/584305-bidens-policies-to-blame-for-much-of-current-supply-chain-crisis

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The US economy is doing extraordinarily well despite facing the toughest economic challenges in a century. It was the first major economy in the world whose output exceeded pre-pandemic levels, back in July, The problem is the anti-Biden propaganda machine telling one lie after another.

“Biden's policies to blame for much of current supply chain crisis”

The problem is global and was caused by the pandemic as well as climate change. We can't get enough potatoes in Japan, - to cite just one many examples -- because of the unprecedented flooding and storms around the Port of Vancouver in Canada. How is that Biden's fault?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Unemployment is down to about 4.6%

That’s on the surface but the real concern is.

On the surface, conditions may seem ripe for a boom in the U.S. labor market.

There are still 5 million fewer jobs than before the pandemic but job openings are near record highs. And hourly pay has risen, in some sectors by more than 10% in a year.

Meanwhile, enhanced federal unemployment benefits ended on Labor Day (or sooner) and kids are largely back in the classroom. Both enhanced jobless pay and distance learning, it was thought, had been roadblocks keeping people from returning to work.

However, that boom hasn’t materialized in recent months — at least, not at the rate many expected. Job growth slowed in September after surging in the spring and early summer, and the labor force shrank.

-Source CNBC

0 ( +5 / -5 )

And hourly pay has risen, in some sectors by more than 10% in a year.

Still not a living wage in many locations from where they are starting. And given the COVID risks in many lower wage positions it is not enough to convince many to return to the job market.

Both enhanced jobless pay and distance learning, it was thought, had been roadblocks keeping people from returning to work.

The biggest roadblock is simply low wages as corporate profits soar. Address that and problem solved.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I don't need to work. There has always been a shortage of people with my skills since the mid-1990s, so this is nothing new.

I would go back, for an ideal situation, but I'm not looking, not interested in dealing with the J.O.B. BS that most employers deem required to get paid.

I feel slightly bad for untrained people with not-in-demand skills. Some had life situation take over, but many made poor choices to get them where they are.

Very few immigrants can fill the sorts of high-skill positions and low-skilled jobs will be replaced with more and more automation in the next 50 yrs. The people who fix the machines that break are where the jobs are now and for designers who can make machines have less maintenance and longer useful, untouched, unattended, work periods. Seems obvious to me.

Jobs doing the same old manual labor are not careers except for very high-end locations.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If we had a rational health care system millions more would be healthy enough to work. If we had affordable higher education millions more would have money to spend on houses and cars etc.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This is still the Trump economy by the way. Just as posters claimed in 2017/18 that it was still the Obama economy. Remember that?

bbc agrees:

Since shrinking by more than 30% in the first six months of 2020, the US economy has recorded a strong bounceback and returned to above pre-pandemic levels," read a BBC analysis of Biden's economic claims last month. "Under Mr Biden, the US economy has continued to grow this year, but a large part of the recovery happened under former president Donald Trump."

supply chain issues and inflation? Belong to Biden due to his new policies that he changed from Trump.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Things like this don’t help though.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisakim/2022/01/07/amazon-shortens-paid-leave-for-us-workers-with-covid-after-cdc-changes-guidance/

are those extra 3 days really that important to Jeff Bezos? Or is he punishing workers for getting COVID thinking it’s only unvaccinated people?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

If we had a rational health care system millions more would be healthy enough to work. If we had affordable higher education millions more would have money to spend on houses and cars etc.

I agree. But let’s not name any names as eh? That’s the easy way.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

are those extra 3 days really that important to Jeff Bezos?

Is Jeff Bezos the only capitalist? There are tens of thousands other unfair corporate policies, both by him and all the others.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

supply chain issues and inflation? Belong to Biden due to his new policies that he changed from Trump.

Tell us please how China closing major container ports for up to two weeks due to workers in China testing positive for Covid-19, forcing container ships around the world to either delay their port calls or seek other ports is the fault of anyone in the US. Tell us how nations around the world restricting air travel is the fault of anyone in at any level of the US government? Tell us how China refusing coal shipments from Australia tying up dozens of fully laden bulk carriers off China's ports and in the process causing a big disruption in bulk shipments world wide until those ships could offload their cargos somewhere is the result of any change of US policy. Tell us how the closing of the Suez Canal for a week, disrupting maritime trade around the world, is the fault of a change in US policy? Tell us how shippers refusing to provide US shipper with empty containers for their goods so they can send the empties back to China where there is a huge shortage of containers is a fault of US policy (and obtw was a problem through much of 2020)? Your claim does not stand up to examination.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And hourly pay has risen, in some sectors by more than 10% in a year.

The problem is that housing all over the US has increased in cost even more than wages have risen. Redfin claims an over 13% increase on home prices over 2021 while Federal statistics show an over 18% increase, with the mountain region showing the greatest increase at over 25% in a single year. The least affordable place in the US based on prevailing wages and home prices isn't in California any more. It is Boise Idaho!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Except for record levels of inflation, the economy is good.

The inflation looks pretty bad though, rising at faster pace than wages.

It’s a tough spot for the Biden administration. The pandemic was going to have effects. But people remember the good economic times up until the beginning of 2020 - low unemployment, increasing wages for the middle class and low inflation. If we could just go back that of course people would.

The tough thing for the Biden administration is they only know how to spend money, and government spending too much money is a known problem, so even their own like Manchin think it’s the wrong thing to do. Whereas the supply siders are out of power and able to take pot shots.

Still, raising taxes as the Biden administration was proposing and other measures to ruin incentives for work and investment are clearly the wrong policy mix at this time. Even Democratic economic advisors have been bashing the Biden policies, and rightly so.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

He pays people to stay home and wonders why there aren’t enough workers?

Are we really supposed to take this guy seriously?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

People work to live, not live to work.

They don’t work to live if they are paid not to work.

Anyway, debating this at JT is pointless. The verdict will be passed by American voters in November and my trillion dollars is on the incumbents being shown a big NO.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

forcing container ships around the world to either delay their port calls or seek other ports is the fault of anyone in the US.

There are still around 90 ships waiting off the coast to unload in the US ports in California. Same number as there were before this administration claimed they did something and now the problem is “fixed”.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The verdict will be passed by American voters in November and my trillion dollars is on the incumbents being shown a big NO.

After Republican gerrymandering and changing voting rules to disenfranchise more urban and minority voters , there very well might be a return of the Republican corporate gravy train. Great news for that .01%.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Anyone who 'thinks' Biden is the problem have no clue. He is, at best, the titular head of the federal government. Those who put him in power and all those sycophants and courtiers who serve in his regime essentially represent a government that is purposeful in serving the interests of a power elite. They call the tune, Biden dances.

One can simply look at Super Tuesday, when everyone fell in line as Sanders was shivved by Obama kow-towing to marching orders from the financial establishment. Who formally stated if Sanders or Edwards was the nominee, they would abandon the Democratic Party and support Trump.

The point being. It's a managed market economy. Managed on behalf of a business establishment aka the status quo - those who serve in government typically arrive from the very interests they are to regulate and later return to the fold, job well done.

Supply and demand are simply another business opportunity from which to squeeze profit. If the peasantry doesn't wish to toil in the fields, they can starve or feel the lash of the whip. Work will only be incentivized to a point where it does not impede on profits. Fact is, those who actually produce the goods, live in faraway Asia. America is a service economy, essentially one big hamburger stand. Lotsa of mindless, soul-killing jobs, which only the decorticated fully embrace.

Didn't Johnny Paycheck sing a song about worthless jobs and employment?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The domestic production of computer chips will take years, so good news for the next president, or the one after that.

Sensible countries use migrants to top up skills and labour to optimise their economies. And they don't block supply chains on political grounds.

Alternatively, they can block migrant labour, sanction suppliers and see prices and costs rise, with shortages developing.

Add climate change, and the 'optimising' benefit of a mobile global labour pool and globalised supply chains switches to an absolute necessity to maintain food supplies and keep stuff working.

Or you can just build walls and rot behind them, as inflation rockets, supply dwindles and poverty increases.

It's not rocket science. We have enjoyed the benefits of globalisation for decades. With a pandemic and climate change, this is the worst and most costly time to end it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The true unemployment rate is never what is reported. It's like saying the earth is cube, with a straight face. It's always more than double what is reported. Everyone knows this. Even the FED Chairman said it.

Large swaths of industries are making record profits.

Media glamorizes the lives of executives making insanely high compensation and bonuses, but the people doing the work are being offered tiny, insulting raises of 2%.

Look at Apple, There is no way the CEO is worth $100 million/tear plus $785 million of sellable options.

People are sick of being treated like chattel. They see talentless people making millions of dollars on Youtube, InstaGram, but they can barely exist on$15 per hour.

This huge gap of wages in the US is a troublesome and potentially dangerous situation. Guillotines were brought to town squares for less in generations past.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You look at that picture. The savior of American democracy. Thank you Mr. Biden.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Should've taken up Andrew Yang's universal basic income

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He pays people to stay home and wonders why there aren’t enough workers?

Are we really supposed to take this guy seriously?

It is a continuation of a trend that was present before the pandemic. The latest unemployment figure I read last week was 3.9%. The labor force participation rates for both men and women have also risen dramatically though both are still 1.5% below their pre-pandemic levels. Go back and read some business articles from 2018 and 2019 and you will see manufacturing firms complaining about the lack of qualified applicants and about having to let go employees for drug use. It was hard then to find qualified and sober employees to fill manufacturing jobs. Trucking and warehousing have been short labor for years because they work people to the bone and then find every way possible to avoid paying them. I lived that life for too many years and know how those industries abuse employees. None of these employers are honest. Even big FedEx where I spent four hard years cheated employees on pay, breaks and other employment matters. Every employer I had was breaking laws and expecting their employees to do so and keep their traps shut. It is no mystery they have a labor shortage. They richly deserve it! But we all suffer for their lack of employees.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The true unemployment rate is never what is reported. It's like saying the earth is cube, with a straight face. It's always more than double what is reported. Everyone knows this. Even the FED Chairman said it.

That is not true. In fact the opposite is normally true as monthly employment numbers and new job numbers are typically increased with revised data. That has been the case for 2021. The Fed is not the last word either as there are a great many private and academic economists with their own data making their own analyses. On a government level it is the NBER, National Bureau of Economic Research which is not affiliated with the Fed that is considered THE repository of authoritative economic data for the US. The Fed gets the press but NBER is where some serious research is accomplished and data kept.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Should've taken up Andrew Yang's universal basic income

Richard Nixon pushed for it early in his first term when it was being called a "Negative Income Tax" and was promoted by none other than Milton Friedman, but the proposal never made out of the Senate Finance Committee the two years he pushed for it. The coalition pushing for it fell apart after the second failed try over a related policy dispute (farm state legislators would not terminate the Food Stamps program, a pre-condition for the Negative Income Tax) and Milton Friedman ended up renouncing his own idea.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

are those extra 3 days really that important to Jeff Bezos? Or is he punishing workers for getting COVID thinking it’s only unvaccinated people?

Bezos stepped down from Amazon last July. Trying to personalize the "evil capitalist" as a single person fails again.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2021/07/04/amazon-jeff-bezos-richest-person-retirement/7860826002/

If you are vaccinated, the CDC guidance is 5 days of quarantine followed by 5 days of mask wearing: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1227-isolation-quarantine-guidance.html

The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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