Morning Reads for When Only the Best Will Do (AKA: May 11, 2016)

Oh and it’s Wednesday so Ed is doing the MRs so the best was already assured.

“I Do Adore Her” Harry Belafonte

  1. David Perdue: “No question” our debt levels undermine national security; debt seeming the be-all-end-all of U.S. foreign policy. 
  2. Jimmy Carter’s philosophy behind his energy policy should be adopted by Clinton. 
  3. Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News endorses Johnny Isakson for reelection. 
  4. You know the old saw: As goes Canton, so goes–uh… some other larger part of Georgia?
  5. GA GOP hopefuls seem to be getting behind Trump; enthusiasm levels unknown. 
  6. Atlanta had an 867% increase in the number of high-end rental properties from 2012-15. 
  7. The absurdly skyrocketing housing prices in Atlanta don’t seem to be good for anyone.
  8. City of Milton wants feedback on comprehensive transportation plan. 
  9. 81-year-old graduates from GSU. 
  10. America’s greatest laureate (and my boy) Justin Bieber got a tat. On his face. 
  11. Pride of Georgia arrested after 48 years on the lam. 
  12. Pro tip: if you are a criminal on the run from the authorities, maybe don’t tell the authorities where you are.
  13. Good thing Alvarez was so eager to lose to GGG. 
  14. Jessa Crispin doubles down on being a loon, says Paris Review can’t be called boring (mainly because it isn’t boring, not because you’d be violating some mores of the literary world). 

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John Konop
John Konop

The two issues making this race tighten. The exit polls last night in WV close to 70 percent of voters think trade deals have hurt wages and jobs. American want a focus on our country, ………Americans are adopting a foreign policy much closer to Republican Donald Trump than Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, saying in a new survey that they want an “America First” focus that fixes the U.S. before other countries. A comprehensive new Pew Research Center poll found that 57 percent agree that America should deal with its own problems. Just 37 percent disagreed. And more than not said… Read more »

Saltycracker
Saltycracker

Very interesting. A 47% Georgia family participation rate in social programs for production occupations is a big problem. Particularly considering their employers get some of our choicest tax incentives.

Raising min wage to $15 without some trade offs, like import tariffs, will drive imports and probably see a cry to raise benchmarks for assistance.

How we find balance is critical and concerning if China’s top agents, the Clintons, gain control.

John Konop
John Konop

Salt,

I agree if we raise wages above the poverty rate, we need a trade off. One I suggested is we rebate back to tax payers, savings in welfare.

Saltycracker
Saltycracker

Anyway those are mostly Fed subsidies and state tax breaks for local jobs, we are #2 for OPM…..

blakeage80
blakeage80

Interesting article, John. My first thought is these low-wage, temporary employment solutions are the price of creating artificial circumstances to keep those jobs here. Trade policy is important here, but seems like a secondary issue to other factors such as government regulations and corporations being less moral and less connected to their employees than they used to be. But it is easier to tell a lot of people that we need tariffs and stuff.

John Konop
John Konop

The main driver is cheap disposable labor, outsourcing to visa workers or overseas workers is driving wages down, and creating less demand. The father of free market economics Adam Smith warned that if labor does not have equal rights to employers, it would create a distribution problem ie massive spread between rich and poor. Money does not move efficiently if it is concentrated at the top, ie rich people can only spend so much. Below is a classic example why so many Americans are pissed. …….Technology giant Intel announced April 19 it will fire 12,000 skilled U.S.-based professionals — after… Read more »

FreeDuck
FreeDuck

Yeah but… educated professionals in this country are not the ones who are working full time jobs and still requiring food stamps. The unemployment rate is much lower for those of us in technology than for everyone else, and it pays well. I think the issue with the H-1B program is that it highlights the poor state of our public education. It’s not an example of cheap labor flooding the market. In fact sponsorship is expensive and a pain in the ass.

John Konop
John Konop

Obviously in all positions it is holding down wages via macro economic data. Or other wise real wages would of been rising since the policy started in the 70’s via trade deals, not going the other way. We would not have 80 percent of the population living check to check, not even including negative net worth via liabilities. In this case we clearly INTEL had the engineers needed, they just wanted to pay less, and have employees with less rights via being on a visa. I do not blame INTEL because that is how the game is set up via… Read more »

blakeage80
blakeage80

You are making some good economic points, John, however, the 80% living paycheck to paycheck doesn’t prove people have an income problem. I would bet a good number of those have spending problems.

John Konop
John Konop

Some do have a spending problem, but that debt spending is driving GDP, without the spending, the GDP would be even less. And you saw what happen the last down turn once the credit got cut off, high unemployment, values down…..This is the same cycle China is in….just with ghost cities verse credit cards, student loans…..Which is why we will face a world wide correction. This was similar factors, I saw last time when I warned about the last correction. The USA has a major advantages over the world with natural resources like energy, water, farm land…..we have the best… Read more »

FreeDuck
FreeDuck

“The incentive in the deals is to find the cheapest source of labor to gain a competitive advantage.” That’s actually just the incentive in business itself and it exists irrespective of trade agreements. If we invested more in our people, in their education and their health, that would give American companies a competitive advantage simply by being located here and having access to our workforce. And we would be much more resilient against the negative side effects of trade agreements. There could be and probably are multiple reasons for the paycheck to paycheck phenomenon including high costs of housing and… Read more »

Ellynn
Ellynn

It also has a lot to do with corporations having to meet the demands of stock holders and to produce dividends. If you look at the overall 50 year trends, as dividends have increased, the pay rates of employees (and through automation, the number of employees) has decreased. Dividends become of more importance in some cases then share value as the involvement in 401 (k) increased. Also by having temporary employees you avoid some additional overhead, like additional workmen’s comp payments, workers liability, healthcare, and any retirement benefits.

John Konop
John Konop

Good point and the stress on dividends is due to artificially low interest rates. The positive side it creates investment, but the negative is money chasing deals creates bubbles, if you have credit default swap type investment products. It pushes investments into 50 to 1 type lending deals from traditional 10 to 1. Less people have in a deal, the less they are rational about the investment.

Jean
Jean

Just a small note on the article/research paper. The chart is based on people working 10+ hours/week for 27+ weeks/year. There is an aside that the overall numbers are similar for people working 35+ hours/week for 45+ weeks/year but they provide no further details at that employment level. I think the information would have been more relevant if they had chosen to publish data at the level that most people would consider closer to a regular work-week rather than for people working as few as 10 hours/week.

Chet Martin
Chet Martin

Absurdly skyrocketing prices have been pretty good to real estate investors who can maintain occupancy

John Konop
John Konop

Chet,

It is irrational exuberance, because wages are not keeping up with rental prices. This is just one more sign we are in a bubble.

Saltycracker
Saltycracker

Or is it income disparity ?

John Konop
John Konop

Yes, a main driver….80 percent of people being one or 2 checks away tells you we have a demand problem, and why GDP has been basically flat. If you take out, credit cards, student loans, car loans, housing loans…..that are way out of whack verse risk, we are at a negative GDP. The same concept with China, if you take out the ghost cities they are building, China is flat to negative GDP as well. This down turn will start in China more than likely, 50 percent of their debt is real estate, who knows how much of that is… Read more »

Ellynn
Ellynn

China is even losing it’s blue collar jobs…

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/05/02/476460617/starbucks-and-steel-the-divergent-directions-of-chinas-economy

I have a Question… if China’s steel industry is imploding (which has been the case in the last 8 years) and steel jobs are decreasing, how exactly will the promises of Trump to bring steel jobs back to America real work? Additionally, most steel production is now automated, what use to take 50 men on average in the 80’s can now be done by 12. (que Allentown, by Billy Joel).

John Konop
John Konop

The reason industries are suffering is lack of demand. Why even Costco, Walmart…..are calling for higher minimum wage. What Henry Ford said years ago, his workers need to make enough to buy the products they produce. Because we are globalized, via trade deals it starts with re- negotiating deals that do not promote a race to the bottom with wages. As far as automation, if wages increase, than demand will go up ie buying power, and hopefully create other opportunities. I cannot answer for the Trump plan, not part of his team.

thegreatpumpkin
thegreatpumpkin

Possible Clinton Foundation charities fraud? Say it ain’t so…
https://www.yahoo.com/news/wall-street-whistleblower-drops-clinton-111341360.html

Ellynn
Ellynn

Why is it whenever I read this handle name I get an image of Noway wrapped up in a blue blanket sleeping under a pumpkin vine while sucking his thump with Sally staring vengefully down at him for falling a sleep on her and Snoopy hanging over him vulture like shaking his head…

Noway2016
Noway2016

‘Cause it would be a true image! I told yall a couple of months ago I’d be posting anything Clinton email related or Clinton controversy under this handle! I’m a true indictment believer! Hence the name!

Ellynn
Ellynn

So you really do suck your thumb… Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Snick…

Noway2016
Noway2016

You forgot to mention my hugging the blanket, too! I wanna get the entire Linus thing right!

Ellynn
Ellynn

I included the blue blanket… Read it again. 😎

Noway2016
Noway2016

You know, I watch the Charlie Brown specials every year. The Great Pumpkin, obviously, but the Charlie Brown Christmas with Linus telling Charlie Brown the meaning of Christmas will literally bring a tear to one’s eye! 🙂

John Konop
John Konop

I have spoken with Noway directly before. He is a very accomplished professional, you would be surprised what he does for a living. His job takes tremendous discipline and intelligence. I never tell people names, that post here, unless they agree.

Noway2016
Noway2016

Thanks for those kind words, John. I enjoy Ellyn busting my a$$, though, as I have told her before!!

John Konop
John Konop

Only telling the truth…..You are very humble and thoughtful ….Why I respect you. agree or not, before I ever knew what you did, got a sense from your comments…..

Ellynn
Ellynn

I have an idea of what he does based on some of his comments relating to where he has been and his time spent in some well know govement like training area. I have respect for his knowledge on topics I have no clue or finite understanding. ( l have yet to find a fire arm I could fire that could safety hit a target smaller then a grain silo at 20 feet) I even asked him for advice on buying hardheaded gun and fishing survivalist nuts Christmas presents. (My brother now has a floater attachment on his leatherman so… Read more »

Noway2016
Noway2016

Morning, El! Regarding your firearm comments, I work with a lot of interpreters, usually female and almost always ‘librul.’ LOL! Having said that, they are always a bit scared of the firearms when we are on the range. I had a group of Russian interpreters once that after we began the shooting exercises, the saw that it wasn’t that big a deal and they began bugging us to show them how to shoot at the lunch break! To a lady, they all loved shooting the Glock and within 15 minutes they were all acting like Calamity Jane. Picture Natasha on… Read more »

Ellynn
Ellynn

It’s not the firing of a gun that’s the issue. I know how to fire and release the safeties on each of the guns I grow up with. I fired small and large handguns. I truly can not aim. My own brother believes every American, including paroled felons and the mentally ill, have the right to own guns – except for me. He called me a public safety hazard after I hit the light pole 20 feet to the right of a target, and the bullet (contrary to some laws of physics and math) ricted back and embedded in the… Read more »

Noway2016
Noway2016

Awwww, that’s EZ to fix!!! Tell your bro to give you another chance! Trust me, if the Russian ladies could dial it in quickly, so can you!!!

Saltycracker
Saltycracker

The subconscious hear, see, speak no evil word is “Clinton”

Noway2016
Noway2016

Hey, I don’t make the stories. I happen to see them and The Pumpkin links them. She’s horrid.

MattMD_actual
MattMD_actual

Perdue is like a broken record, err I mean a skipping CD. Or a bad bluetooth connection.

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

Well…you gotta do what you gotta do to keep that cash coming from the Peterson Hydra. If they aren’t behind it he really is stupider than I imagined (and I’ve imagined him pretty stupid)