Sunday, August 07, 2011

Sunday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material to end your weekend.

- Floyd Norris' column on the gap between stagnant wages and soaring corporate profits. But let's add Digby's take as to what we can expect if the corporate sector gets its way:
"I've never seen labor markets this weak in 35 years of research," says Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University. Wages and salaries accounted for just 1 percent of economic growth in the first 18 months after economists declared that the recession had ended in June 2009, according to Sum and other Northeastern researchers.In the same period after the 2001 recession, wages and salaries accounted for 15 percent. They were 50 percent after the 1991-92 recession and 25 percent after the 1981-82 recession.

Corporate profits, by contrast, accounted for an unprecedented 88 percent of economic growth during those first 18 months. That's compared with 53 percent after the 2001 recession, nothing after the 1991-92 recession and 28 percent after the 1981-82 recession.
(J)udging from the claptrap these CEOs are babbling every chance they get (read the article), they are planning to squeeze more than just their workers --- they want to use this situation to blackmail the government into cutting their taxes and deregulating them even more than they already are. It doesn't make sense, of course. They are sitting on a ton of capital, it's not like they don't have the money to invest. It's sheer opportunism and they'll probably get away with it.
(I)t's not as if their profits are being being put to work at all. They just aren't being put to work in the US. And if the political establishment has its way, they'll be doing even more. Free trade deals are on the top of both parties' "jobs agenda." If all goes well, they'll end up with a few high profile loopholes temporarily closed in exchange for lower tax rates forever and some sweetheart trade deals. With any luck they won't even have to give up the loopholes.
- Erin is among many to point out how Standard & Poor's was determined to downgrade the U.S.' credit rating even when its entire factual basis for doing so was proven wrong.

- Sixth Estate adds a few more names and numbers to the Harper Cons' patronage list.

- The National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy concludes that the Cons' already sad excuse for a climate-change program is double-counting any expected emission reductions.

- Finally, Alison's latest comic - on the Cons' loyalty testing - is well worth a look.

1 comment:

  1. Purple Library Guy1:06 a.m.

    On that "Wages and salaries accounted for just 1 percent of economic growth in the first 18 months after economists declared that the recession had ended in June 2009"
    I expect it's even worse than that.
    What do you want to bet the whole 1% went to the top 10% or less of salaries?  Wages and salaries to real people probably accounted for zero, or even less if the top end actually grew more.