The Electoral Consequences of Globalization
by Joseph Joyce
The Electoral Consequences of Globalization
The reasons for the election of Donald Trump as President of the U.S. will be analyzed and argued about for many years to come. Undoubtedly there are U.S.-specific factors that are relevant, such as racial divisions in voting patterns. But the election took place after the British vote to withdraw from the European Union and the rise to power of conservative politicians in continental Europe, so it is reasonable to ask whether globalization bears any responsibility.
The years before the global financial crisis were years of rapid economic globalization. Trade flows grew on average by 7% a year over the 1987-2007 period. Financial flows also expanded, particularly amongst the advanced economies. Global financial assets increased by 8% a year between 1990 and 2007. But all this activity was curtailed in 2008-09 when the global financial crisis pushed the world economy into a downturn. Are the subsequent rises in nationalist sentiment the product of these trends?
Trump seized upon some of the consequences of increased trade and investment to make the case that globalization was bad for the U.S. He had great success with his claim that international trade deals are responsible for a loss of jobs in the manufacturing sector. In addition, he blamed outward foreign direct investment (FDI) by U.S. firms that opened production facilities in foreign countries for moving manufacturing jobs outside the U.S. Among the firms that Trump criticized were Ford Motor, Nabisco and the Carrier Corporation, which is moving a manufacturing operation from Indiana to Mexico.
Have foreign workers taken the jobs of U.S. workers? Increased trade does lead to a reallocation of resources, as a country increases its output in those sectors where it has an advantage while cutting back production in other sectors. Resources should flow from the latter to the former, but in reality it can be difficult to switch employment across sectors. Daron Acemoglu and David Autor of MIT, David Dorn of the University of Zurich, Gordon Hanson of UC-San Diego and Brendan Price of MIT have found that import competition from China after 2000 contributed to reductions in U.S. manufacturing employment and weak U.S. job growth. They estimated manufacturing job losses due to Chinese competition of 2.0 – 2.4 million. Other studies find similar results for workers who do not have high school degrees.
Moreover, multinational firms do shift production across borders in response to lower wages, among other factors. Ann E. Harrison of UC-Berkeley and Margaret S. McMillan of Tufts University looked at the hiring practices of the foreign affiliates of U.S. firms during the period of 1977 to 1999. They found that lower wages in affiliate countries where the employees were substitutes for U.S. workers led to more employment in those countries but reductions in employment in the U.S. However, when employment across geographical locations is complementary for firms that do significantly different work at home and abroad, domestic and foreign employment rise and fall together.
Imports and foreign production, therefore, have had an impact on manufacturing employment in the U.S. But several caveats should be raised. First, as Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of MIT and others have pointed out, technology has had a much larger effect on jobs. The U.S. is the second largest global producer of manufactured goods, but these products are being made in plants that employ fewer workers than they did in the past. Many of the lost jobs simply do not exist any more. Second, the U.S. exports goods and services as well as purchases them. Among the manufactured goods that account for significant shares of U.S. exports are machines and engines, electronic equipment and aircraft. Third, there is inward FDI as well as outward, and the foreign-based firms hire U.S. workers. A 2013 Congressional Research Service study by James V. Jackson reported that by year-end 2011 foreign firms employed 6.1 million Americans, and 37% of this employment—2.3 million jobs—was in the manufacturing sector. More recent data shows that employment by the U.S. affiliates of multinational companies rose to 6.4 million in 2014. Mr. Trump will find himself in a difficult position if he threatens to shut down trade and investment with countries that both import from the U.S. and invest here.
The other form of globalization that drew Trump’s derision was immigration. Most of his ire focused on those who had entered the U.S. illegally. However, in a speech in Arizona he said that he would set up a commission that would roll back the number of legal migrants to “historic norms.”
The current number of immigrants (42 million) represents around 13% of the U.S. population, and 16% of the labor force. An increase in the number of foreign-born workers depresses the wages of some native-born workers, principally high-school dropouts, as well as other migrants who arrived earlier. But there are other, more significant reasons for the stagnation in working-class wages. In addition, a reduction in the number of migrant laborers would raise the ratio of young and retired people to workers—the dependency ratio—and endanger the financing of Social Security and Medicare. And by increasing the size of the U.S. economy, these workers induce expansions in investment expenditures and hiring in areas that are complementary.
The one form of globalization that Trump has not criticized, with the exception of outward FDI, is financial. This is a curious omission, as the crisis of 2008-09 arose from the financial implosion that followed the collapse of the housing bubble in the U.S. International financial flows exacerbated the magnitude of the crisis. But Trump has pledged to dismantle the Dodd-Frank legislation, which was enacted to implement financial regulatory reform and lower the probability of another crisis. While Trump has criticized China for undervaluing its currency in order to increase its exports to the U.S., most economists believe that the Chinese currency is no longer undervalued vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar.
Did globalization produce Trump, or lead to the circumstances that resulted in 46.7% of the electorate voting for him? A score sheet of the impact of globalization within the U.S. would record pluses and minuses. Among those who have benefitted are consumers who purchase items made abroad at cheaper prices, workers who produce export goods, and firms that hire migrants. Those who have been adversely affected include workers who no longer have manufacturing jobs and domestic workers who compete with migrants for low-paying jobs. Overall, most studies find evidence of positive net benefits from trade. Similarly, studies of the cost and benefits of immigration indicate that overall foreign workers make a positive contribution to the U.S. economy.
Other trends have exerted equal or greater consequences for our economic welfare. First, as pointed out above, advances in automation have had an enormous impact on the number and nature of jobs, and advances in artificial intelligence wii further change the nature of work. The launch of driverless cars and trucks, for example, will affect the economy in unforeseen ways, and more workers will lose their livelihoods. Second, income inequality has been on the increase in the U.S. and elsewhere for several decades. While those in the upper-income classes have benefitted most from increased trade and finance, inequality reflects many factors besides globalization.
Why, then, is globalization the focus of so much discontent? Trump had the insight that demonizing foreigners and U.S.-based multinationals would allow him to offer simple solutions—ripping up trade deals, strong-arming CEOs to relocate facilities—to complex problems. Moreover, it allows him to draw a line between his supporters and everyone else, with Trump as the one who will protect workers against the crafty foreigners and corrupt elite who conspire to steal American jobs. Blaming the foreign “other” is a well-trod route for those who aspire to power in times of economic and social upheaval.
Globalization, therefore, should not be held responsible for the election of Donald Trump and those in other countries who offer similar simplistic solutions to challenging trends. But globalization’s advocates did indirectly lead to his rise when they oversold the benefits of globalization and neglected the downside. Lower prices at Wal-Mart are scarce consolation to those who have lost their jobs. Moreover, the proponents of globalization failed to strengthen the safety networks and redistributive mechanisms that allow those who had to compete with foreign goods and workers to share in the broader benefits. Dani Rodrik of Harvard’s Kennedy School has described how the policy priorities were changed: “The new model of globalization stood priorities on their head, effectively putting democracy to work for the global economy, instead of the other way around. The elimination of barriers to trade and finance became an end in itself, rather than a means toward more fundamental economic and social goals.”
The battle over globalization is not finished, and there will be future opportunities to adapt it to benefit a wider section of society. The goal should be to place it within in a framework that allows a more egalitarian distribution of the benefits and payment of the costs. This is not a new task. After World War II, the Allied planners sought to revive international trade while allowing national governments to use their policy tools to foster full employment. Political scientist John Ruggie of the Kennedy School called the hybrid system based on fixed exchange rates, regulated capital accounts and government programs “embedded liberalism,” and it prevailed until it was swept aside by the wave of neoliberal policies in the 1980s and 1990s.
What would today’s version of “embedded liberalism” look like? In the financial sector, the pendulum has already swung back from unregulated capital flows and towards the use of capital control measures as part of macroprudential policies designed to address systemic risk in the financial sector. In addition, Thomas Piketty of the École des hautes etudes en sciences (EHESS) and associate chair at the Paris School of Economics, and author of Capital in the Twenty-first Century, has called for a new focus in discussions over the next stage of globalization: “…trade is a good thing, but fair and sustainable development also demands public services, infrastructure, health and education systems. In turn, these themselves demand fair taxation systems.”
The current political environment is not conducive toward the expansion of public goods. But it is unlikely that our new President’s policies will deliver on their promise to return to a past when U.S. workers could operate without concern for foreign competition or automation. We will certainly revisit these issues, and we need to redefine what a successful globalization looks like. And if we don’t? Thomas Piketty warns of the consequences of not enacting the necessary domestic policies and institutions: “If we fail to deliver these, Trumpism will prevail.”
cross posted with Capital Ebbs and Flows
Since 1980, US manufacturing output has approximately doubled while manufacturing employment fell by about a third.
Yes, globalization impacts the composition of output and it is a contributing factor in the weaker growth of manufacturing output. but overall it has accounted for a very minor share of the weakness in manufacturing employment since 1980. Productivity has been the dominant factor driving manufacturing employment down.
“Overall, most studies find evidence of positive net benefits from trade.”
Of course they do! And in your world, studies always Trump real world experience.
Studies on trade can ignore the unemployed workers with a high school education or less. How were they supposed to get an equivalent paying job? EDUCATION they say! A local public university has a five year freshman graduation rate of 25%. Are those older students to eat dirt while attempting to accumulate that education!
Studies on trade can ignore that illegal immigration increases competition for the those under educated employees. Since 1990 there has been a rising demand that education must be improved! That potential high school drop outs should be discouraged by draconian means if necessary. YET we allow immigrants to enter this country and STAY with less than the equivalent of an American high school education! Why are we spending so much on secondary education if it is not necessary!
“In Mexico, 34% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, much lower than the OECD average of 76% the lowest rate amongst OECD countries.”
Trade studies can ignore the fate of a small town when its major employer shuts down and leaves. Trade studies can assume that we are one contiguous job market. They can assume that an unemployed worker in Pennsylvania will learn of a good paying job in Washington state, submit an application, and move within 2 weeks. Or assume that the Washington state employer will hold a factory job open for a month! And they can assume that moving expenses are trivial for an unemployed person.
Our trade partners have not attempted anything remotely resembling balanced trade with us.
Here are the trade deficits since 1992.
Year__________US Trade Balance with the world
AND there is the loss of the income from tariffs which had been going to the federal government! How has that effected our national debt?
“However, when employment across geographical locations is complementary for firms that do significantly different work at home and abroad, domestic and foreign employment rise and fall together.”
And exactly how do you think that the US government could guarantee that complementary work at home and abroad. Corporations are profit seeking, amoral entities, which will seek profit any way they can. (Legal or illegal)
The logical conclusion of your argument is that we could produce nothing and still have a thriving economy. How would American consumers earn an income?
Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are RUST BELT states. Were the voters there merely ignorant or demented? You should never ever run for elected office.
Meanwhile, Trump today chose non-swampy Elaine Chao, Mitch McConnell’s current wife and GWBush’s former Labor Secretary, as Transportation Secretary, to privatize roads, bridges, etc.
The trade balances are in millions of dollars in the table in my last comment.
Global trade had a chance of success beginning in 1992. But that required a mechanism which was very difficult to game. A mechanism like the one that the Obama administration advocated in October 2010.
“At the meeting in South Korea’s southern city of Gyeongju, U.S. officials sought to set a cap for each country’s deficit or surplus at 4% of its economic output by 2015.
The idea drew support from Britain, Australia, Canada and France, all of which are running trade deficits, as well as South Korea, which is hosting the G-20 meetings and hoping for a compromise among the parties.
But the proposal got a cool reception from export powerhouses such as China, which has a current account surplus of 4.7% of its gross domestic product; Germany, with a surplus of 6.1%; and Russia, with a surplus of 4.7%, according to IMF statistics.”
That cap was probably too high. But at least the Obama administration showed some realization that global trade was exhibiting serious unpredicted problems. Too bad that Hillary Clinton could not have internalized that realization enough to campaign on revamping problematic trade treaties. (And persuaded a few more of the voters in the RUST BELT to vote for her.) Elections have consequences and voters understand that, but what choice did they have?
In your world, while American corporations act out in ways that would be diagnosed as antisocial personality disorder in a human being, American human beings are expected to wait patiently for decades while global trade is slowly adjusted into some practical system. (As one shortcoming after another is addressed.)
Antisocial personality disorder:
“a personality disorder that is characterized by antisocial behavior exhibiting pervasive disregard for and violation of the rights, feelings, and safety of others …”
The article states almost exactly what you ‘add’ in your comment:
“Imports and foreign production, therefore, have had an impact on manufacturing employment in the U.S. But several caveats should be raised. First, as Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of MIT and others have pointed out, technology has had a much larger effect on jobs”.
So, what gives? Is there an award today for who ever gets the biggest DUH??? If there is anything worth adding, it would be a mention of the Ball St study that supports the author’s claim but is somehow overlooked. But your comment, well, DUH!!
Some good stuff there, your assessment of Economics and its penchant for ignoring variables, and your insight which states that “studies can assume that we are one contiguous job market”, is all very true, and especially when it comes to immigration issues. I’ve lived most of my life near the Southern border and when economists claim that undocumented workers are good for our economy… I can only chuckle and shake my head. I suppose I could also list all of the variables which those economists ignore, and there are many to choose from, but, there is that quote by Upton Sinclair: “You can’t get a man to understand what his salary depends on his not understanding”.
In all fairness though, The Dept. of Labor does of course have its JOLTS data, and so not all such studies are based on broad assumptions, but Economics does have its blind spots, generally speaking. And of course economists apply far too much effort and energy serving their political and financial masters.
As for your comment in regards to the the trade deficit, you might want to read up a little on the Triffin Dilemma. The essence of globalization has a lot to do with the US leadership choosing to maintain the reserve-currency status and Triffin showed that an increasing amount of dollars must supply the world’s demand for dollars, or, global growth would falter. So, the trade deficit since 1975 has been intentional, for that reason, and others. Of course the cost of labor in the US was a factor too, and shipping and standards and so on. But, it is wise also, to remember that these choices were made at time, during and just after the Viet Nam war, when military recruitment was a very troubling issue for the leadership. And…the option of good paying jobs for the working-class was very probably seen… as in conflict with military recruitment. Accordingly, the working-class has been left with fewer options. This being accomplished in part with the historical anomaly of high immigration quotas, (and by the tolerance for illegal immigration), during periods with high unemployment, a falling participation-rate, inadequate infrastructure, and etc.
After posting my earlier comment it occurred to me that I should have recommended an article by Tim Taylor that has some good info on the Triffin dilemma.
Also, it might be worth mentioning that you are making the common mistake of assigning blame to an international undertaking that would be more accurately assigned to national shortcomings. I’m referring here to what you quoted and said:
““Overall, most studies find evidence of positive net benefits from trade.””
“Of course they do! And in your world, studies always Trump real world experience”.
My point being that “positive net benefits from trade” are based on just another half-baked measurement as you suggest, but the problems which result from trade-related displacements are not necessarily the fault of trade itself. There are in fact political options, for example, immigration could have been curtailed about 40 years ago and we would now have about 40 million fewer citizens, and thus there would almost certainly be more jobs available. Or, the laws pertaining to illegal immigration could have been enforced, or the ‘Employee Free Choice Act could have been passed, or whatever, and then trade issues may have had much different impact.
It seems worth mentioning here, that there are other more important goals that make globalization valuable than just matters of money or employment… or who is getting what. Let us not forget the famous words of Immanuel Kant:
“the spirit of commerce . . . sooner or later takes hold of every nation, and is incompatible with war.”
the spirit of commerce did not prevent WW1 or WW2.
otherwise, thank you, and Jim H and Joseph Joyce for the first Post and Comments for grownups we’ve had around here in some time.
Hey Coberly, long time no see.
And yes, you are right, ‘the spirit of commerce’ theory has had some ups and downs. But, one could easily and accurately argue that the effort which began with the League of Nations, and loosely connects back to Kant’s claim, has gained some ground since WW2. There has not, after-all, been a major war since.
So, when discussing the pros and cons of globalization, that factor, as I said, is worthy of mention. And it was a key consideration in the formation of the Bretton Woods institutions, and in the globalization effort in general. This suggesting then…that there are larger concerns than the unemployment-rate, or the wage levels, of the working-class folks who may, or may not, have been at the losing end of ‘free-trade’.
I’ve been a ‘labor-lefty’ since the 1970s, but I am still capable of understanding that things could have been much worse for the American working-class. Plus, if anyone must give up a job, who better than those with a fairly well-constructed safety-net. History always has its winners and losers, and progress rarely, if ever, comes in an even flow.
Meanwhile, those living in extreme poverty, worldwide, have dropped from 40% in 1981, to about 10% in 2015 (World Bank), so, progress is occurring. But of course much of that is now being ignored by the din which has drowned out so many considerations that really do matter, and a great deal.
I am inclined to agree with you, but sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Especially if one of those trees has fallen on you.
In general I am more interested in stopping predatory business models that really hurt people than in creating cosmic justice.
as for the relative lack of big wars since WW2, I always thought that was because of mutual assured destruction. I am sure Vietnam looked like a big enough war to the Vietnamese.
It seems time has not had much of an affect on you. Global progress on extreme poverty, which has benefits for all of mankind, is “cosmic”, and juxtaposed as if it ‘doesn’t’ “really hurt people” also… and the Viet Nam war is enough to nullify what was vastly worse. Can’t let go of the spin, can you? “I” this, and “I” that…as if what you think is all that matters. And there have been very few “grownup” conversations of late, gee whiz?
What noone from either party seems to be addressing is what, if anything, to do for those displaced from employment by the changes in manufacturing. People seem to agree that jobs offshored are not coming back nor, obviously, are those lost to automation. So what can be done for those displaced? Education will help but it’s long term. Infrastructure projects will help but they won’t really revive moribund rural cities and towns. Anybody know of anything substantive being proposed?
okay, i take it back. we at least are not having a grownup conversation.
I say “I” because I am expressing my opinion. I do not pretend to be expressing cosmic truth, as some do.
I can’t make much of the salad in your comment re my comments. Perhaps I was not clear in my comments.
The idea that “commerce” is going to reduce war required some observation that so far it doesn’t seem to have stopped the killing, even if we don’t call it war no more.
I am very glad we have reduced global poverty if we have, but I have the nagging thought that in some ways people were happier with their poverty than they are being disposable wave slaves.
And while I thought Joyce addressed this, perhaps I need to highlight that no one is opposed to “trade,” but trade agreements that destroy some people’s livelihoods while “increasing GDP” or”general”welfare, or destroy the sovereignty the people and replace it with the rule of international corporations is certainly objectionable.
And no, “education,” or “welfare” checks are not a sufficient answer.
My reference to “cosmic justice” was perhaps too idiosyncratic. I was referring to the kind of thinking that demands “equality” between the rich and the poor. I’d settle, for now, to just stop the rich from robbing the poor.
Otherwise I think we must have misunderstood each other. It’s too bad you take that as a virtue.
“substantive?” no. not really. neither Hillary nor Trump nor Paul Ryan have any ideas much less plans.
“Education” won’t work. (If for no other reason, half the people have IQ’s less than 100. the rest of that reason is that the people who “are educated” have no reason to think they are better than those who are not.)
“Welfare” won’t work. The haves won’t put up with it. And the have nots will degenerate from loss of self esteem (sorry if that sounds like a right-wing screed. I hope I don’t mean it the way they do.”
I think that paying anyone who works a living wage would be a huge step forward. A living wage means you can afford health care and retirement, and a decent place to live, and enough time off work to re-create a meaningful life for yourself.
I don’t know how to engineer this, or what I am leaving out, but I certainly see no serious thinking coming from the serious people.
I just realized what Trump is all about. Back in the good old days nerds were the subjects of insults and bullying in middle school and high school. Then came the revenge of the nerds as the new economy got us nerd billionaires like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Some nerds were even cool. Now we’ve got the revenge against the revenge of the nerds. Trump voters were the non-nerds in school, the popular sorts who used to run things before being a nerd became more popular.
As many have noted, being a nerd in high school meant social ostracism, but success as an adult. Before the revenge of the nerds, it was possible to earn a decent living after high school if one had a strong back and showed up for work on time. You might not be as well off as the nerd who went on to college and moved to the big city, but you’d be holding your own. Then the nerds automated everything with forklifts, computers, sensors, lithium ion batteries, answering machines and robots. The non-nerds were clobbered. That was the revenge of the nerds.
Listen to the typical Trump voter rant. They are the ones who were left behind. It really rankles. They used to get the consolation prize. Now they get nothing. The revenge of the nerds left nothing behind but the scorched earth of minimum wages jobs and not enough hours. Donald Trump was about Douglas Neidermeyer finally punching John Blutarsky in the gut, the way a real man would.
I usually come here and write about how private finance needs to be eliminated to change the incentives our “society” lives by but after reading the posting and comments I think a link to a political cartoon is more appropriate.
Sorry, Kaleberg was elected by the same group that elected Bush in 2004. Add less in the west and more in the midwest(which was psst, pretty close for that time).
globalization didn’t elect shit. terrorism and abortion did. you can see weakness in the republican vote much like clinton’s in 1992.
The way you were playing around the edges, I thought for a moment I would have to pound it out of you. You finally said it:
“Lower prices at Wal-Mart are scarce consolation to those who have lost their jobs. Moreover, the proponents of globalization failed to strengthen the safety networks and redistributive mechanisms that allow those who had to compete with foreign goods and workers to share in the broader benefits. Dani Rodrik of Harvard’s Kennedy School has described how the policy priorities were changed: ‘The new model of globalization stood priorities on their head, effectively putting democracy to work for the global economy, instead of the other way around. The elimination of barriers to trade and finance became an end in itself, rather than a means toward more fundamental economic and social goals.'”
thanks. that’s what I thought he said. sounded about right to me.
Run I think you sums it all up and says it best so far. I would like to add my two cents by saying to go take a look at OECD.org and read the plan from Catherine Mann “deploy effective fiscal initiatives and promote inclusive trade policies to escape the low growth trap”. Future productivity and growth gains can be made through (SMAC) social, machine learning, automation, cloud. Also through investment in innovation and knowledge based capital. But we must also put greater controls, checks and balances on all predatory globalism and bank lending. More regulation of the big banks and less for the small banks. greater private sector unions power and less for public sector unions. I would also make union busting a felony…Increasing productivity is still about working smarter rather than harder. Yes we want to remain the worlds reserve currency but you cannot give the store away doing it.. As for Trump, even the smartest man in the room still can make a mistake. This is why we need Glass-Stiegel reenacted and Citizens United overturned…
Sorry SMAC was meant to say social, mobile, automation and cloud. The great benefits of computers and the internet has passed. But the great greed of the oligarchs to find new ways to exploit at any cost has not.
what do you have against public sector unions?
public employees are human too.
and their bosses are just as greedy and short sighted as private sector bosses [their bosses are YOU or, more efectually, people who obsess about taxes and can’t stand to see a public employee taking a coffee break.] now, if you wanna talk about public sector managerial class, you might find some sympathy here, but they all have political friends… from both parties.
i think you have been reading the propaganda the corporations put out and maybe listening to Paul Harvey too much.
Jack, as I understand it much of northern Europe has managed to navigate globaliation and technological advances–Germany, Holland, Scandinavia–and come out fine.
But also as I understand it, those countries never actually lost manufacturing jobs in mass numbers, like this country did. So how did they do that?
Also, what about Canada? They coasted for while on shale oil, etc., becoming sort of a petro-state, but can no longer do that what with the slide in oil prices. So how are they addressing this? And what about Australia?
Anyone here know?
Dale, killing public unions is YUGE goal of the Conservative Movement, generally (see: Scott Walker), and the Conservative Legal Movement, especially, which came within a hair’s breadth (a.k.a,, Scalia’s death) this past Supreme Court term in declaring them unconstitutional.
They violate the First Amendment, see! (It’s a long, absurd story.)
That will happen now during the Supreme Court term that will begin next summer when the current one ends.
Oh, and Dale, it will be reeeal funny to watch the law enforcement unions that supported Trump squirm: police unions, prison guard unions, etc.
Coberly I have nothing against public sector unions except for the fact that a real union has to fight for what it gets where the strike is the push back tool of last resort. I do not think that giving the house away in the form of gold plated pension and health care plans showed any true push back except maybe in Wisconsin.(Walker had the guts to push back but failed) Don’t get me wrong cause I was a union guy and I know that every worker everywhere would like to have the golden coverages if they could have them. There are still some unions today that do not fully understand the economics of what they are asking for in contracts. There must be checks and balances for everything including unions ,predatory banks, and predatory globalism. But the bigger picture battle between greater socialism or-and greater capitalism in society is just getting started.
I don’t know about the rest of the country but my public sector pension was paid for by ME. took the money right out of my check. And this check was 75% of what a private sector employee doing arguably the same work was being paid. Thing about public sector employees is their unions have enough sense to ask for the pension instead of the higher pay check. Problem for them is that periodically the newspapers go on a crusade showing pictures of “public employee” retirees in the South of France sticking their tongues out at the poor private sector employee who gets no pension while staggering under the taxes that pay for the public employee.
This is garbage, but the people eat it up.
the police and prison guards won’t have unions. they will have “associations” and friends in city hall who will see that they get the pay and pensions they deserve for risking their lives every day to protect us from the scum and creeps.
Damn. Silly me. You’re right, Dale.
Often public employees are given pension “perks” in lieu of salary increases so that management can claim it didn’t break the bank. Later, when the bills come due, it’s oh, those lazy government union people!
Where are the humanistic thinkers here? Current US union percentage is about 11% and at its max in the 50’s it was 35%
What about the other 65 – 90 percent of the US working population, let alone workers in other countries? Do they not factor into global economic thoughts?
Don’t ever challenge the basic structure. Just argue with each other about pieces of the pond scum pie over time…..sheeesh
What could the world be like without private finance making it a small top/big bottom nightmare?
true enough. but i’m still not living in the south of France.
Those “perks” are earned income. just delayed so you have it when you need it. it’s a simple idea, but no one seems to understand it.
Coberly you just don’t get it. My dad was a very good cop for 40 years and yes he earned it but some don’t. But the bigger point is that in some states like California they have promised the moon to so many that they have lost count and now when the bill comes due they realize there is no real way to pay for it as it takes more and more of the state budget until it implodes. Then the light goes on and they realize that all these were false promises that were actually unsustainable. So they better hurry to the Treasury Dept. and crank up the presses to print more deficits to cover it and kick the can down the road again. What a great thing that we have such a strong dollar they say all the while destroying any hopes of real competition in the economy to export goods for real producers has the same effect as foreign countries manipulating their currency. Not only do you not get it but why should you care because you are in the gold level of false security thinking fairy tail wonder land of endless printing of US dollars to infinity along with millions of others progressives that have this false thinking like yours. Perhaps now you might get what is really happening. But why should you care as long as you get yours?
do you notice when you pass from arguable reality to fantasy?
you know nothing about my pension. you don’t appear to know that the state cannot print money. you don’t seem to realize that when the state hires people to do a job they have to pay them, even if it means raising taxes or spending less on something else.
i assume your dad was an honest cop. my reference to police unions was about the politics of union busting when some of your supporters belonged to unions you liked. i was not demeaning the honor of individual policemen.
i was not promised the moon, and do not now live in a gold level of any security at all.
your comment here is illustrative of the problem of democracy: many, perhaps most, people live in a mental world which is ninety percent fantasy. the problem for those who see the advantages of country, government, and democracy is to find a way to meet the real needs of those people, and all the people who depend on country, government, and democracy for their prosperity, freedom, and security. And that means finding a way to have elections where mass fantasy does not determine policy, and the representatives of the people manage somehow to remain honest enough, and intelligent enough to deliver sound policy while appearing to listen to the ravings of the masses…. no: while actually listening to them quite hard to hear where their real problems are and to address them in ways they can at least marginally understand and accept.
i gave up talking to insane people for a living when i realized i had no talent for it.
Sorry Coberly I did not intend to insult you directly but indirectly I was trying to make the bigger picture point about strong dollar policies and national budget deficits with endless printing at the US Treasury in Washington…I did just read at Econospeak.blogspot.com that there were also external forces at play with foreign investors buying up billions in US dollars-bonds at the same time that has the same effect on strengthening the US dollar. They also cannot agree on what full employment is, if private or public infrastructure spending will have the 1.5 to 2% jobs multiplier effect and if we really need equal taxes on all forms of income from wealth and work equally would be much better at making America great ….
i didn’t feel insulted. i felt terrified that you can make up things in your own head and believe them without realizing you have no basis for them.
wouldn’t matter about me so much… unless you told someone and they believed you. as they would.
but the same thing happens with policy issues… and the bad guys very much work to create the fantasy world so that you will vote them into power and they will continue to pick your pocket or sacrifice your first born child.
but the same f
Coberly I give up. You have your head stuck so far in the sand of political correctness that you may not be savable. It is the many like you that have been living in the fairy tale world where day after day post out blogs that read like Alice in Wonderland. I do not like fiction and seldom read it except sometimes at AB. Your opinions, supporters, theories and philosophies, black listers had their many chances to bring about their fake “Hope and Change” that amounted to real pie in the sky. The real fake news comes from the MSNM because the real news never gets reported there. It gets censored. Clinton was a criminal who probably will get away with negligent homicide. So I’m glad Trump was able to win the election without the many blind and corrupted swamp monsters. Perhaps you should take a look at today’s WallStreetonParade.com or should are they also be black listed by the politically correctors like you?
please give up. you wash from one nightmare image to another. I think you might be dangerous.
whoever you are talking about in your last comment is not me. so please don’t lynch the next guy you think is me.
Benefits and costs are not equally shared. WI, MI, PA rust belt areas were hard hit with unemployment, low cost imports not really enjoyed by those that lost decent jobs… massive drug addiction and suicides in the areas speak of their pain that is not shared by coastal regions. Absolutely trump won because globalization costs benefits not shared… why should coastal share their benefits with deplorables in flyover? Why, it would have required billions of subsidies to all those takers to make up for what they lost, might not have been able to afford that little Iraq skirmish…
Vietnam was 10x the size of Iraq, nearly 20x the casualties. And it destroyed faith in gov, bringing us Reagan and austerity. Bad policies have bad consequences.
no reason to expect the coast to share with the rust belt unless one of the benefits of a large country… independent of it’s total strenght… is the ability of one part to share with another part as bad times come and go to different regions.
of course they will not themselves think of sharing… any more than a little very inadequate “charity.” it should be the business of the central government to devise policies and plans so the sharing happens more or less automatically. as it does in fact no in some cases.of national disaster.