Recent comments

  • I live in northwest Washington state, and the only jobs I've seen Microsoft advertise locally have background requirements that are very specialized. I doubt that H-1B holders can meet them, so the question becomes: Why doesn't Microsoft advertise locally for the jobs they want filled by technically trained workers at the wages they want to pay H-1B's? In other words, give American technical workers a shot at the non-super-woopee jobs at non-super-woopee wages. Or are they afraid that after a few months of good performance the American workers will jump ship? (Which H-1B workers can't do, yet...)

    Reply to: Bill Gates is at it again   14 years 11 months ago
  • Wow

    and they are all guest worker Visas, does it say which one?

    Most guest worker Visas mean because they quit the employer doesn't have to pay the way home (H-1B) but to file criminal charges is pretty incredible.

    World Socialist has more details. They were lied to about their wages (what a surprise, this is systemic).

    My understanding also from Nurses unions that a real shortage is questionable. They are creating a shortage by refusing to expand nursing colleges and pay Professors what they are worth. One person told me you have to have a higher GPA to get into nursing school than Medical school.
    So, I guess they are simply offshore outsourcing education and opportunity again.

    Reply to: Nurses Being Sued For Walking Off The Job   14 years 11 months ago
  • I'm glad you mention global economic indicators. (production) . I feel that generally analysis is still focused on the domestic indicators when we are gravely effected by global indicators (such as lower production costs due to global labor arbitrage).

    Reply to: Why inflation isn't the problem   14 years 11 months ago
  • Why was Obama consulting with, and paying the billionaire's lunch, in late November '07 ? What delphic information could Obama possibly glean from this Republican stooge ?

    Reply to: Mayor Bloomberg's weird logic   14 years 11 months ago
  • This is truly disgusting and I'm glad you pointed this out...
    that is pathetic they are firing US workers and making body shopping, labor arbitrage deals with Indian outsourcing firm TATA.


    Reply to: TATA earns $120 Million Contract with Chrysler   14 years 11 months ago
  • The worse bankruptcy bill was 2005 (Hillary did not vote for it much to the stuff being claimed). That bill, even when you declared bankruptcy, did not let you out of credit card debt. It became secured debt on the level of child care payments or other debt you shouldn't be able to get out of by declaring bankruptcy. It also will not let the court restructure mortgages or lower interest. It puts most people into Ch. 13, which is a restructuring, paying off for 5 years versus Ch. 7, which allowed debt to be erased.

    Bloomberg article.

    There is a new bill in the house that allows some Ch. 13 restructuring of home mortgages to avoid foreclosure.
    It's a compromise, I don't know how good it is but it's pretty clear even the business community now realizes their corporate lobbied for bankruptcy bill is a disaster also for the ones who lobbied for it (ignoring the many lives they are destroying).

    Senate vote record. I consider this vote to prove who are the bought and paid for Senators for many consumer action groups warned this bill was a true debtor's prison.

    Reply to: I'm From the Government, and I'm Here to Help - Ronald Reagan   14 years 11 months ago
  • It is good to buy a home and pay for it. There is a lot of personal satisfaction in owning a home. Our goal was always to have our home paid for by the time we retired. Paying rent or a mortgage would be very hard after retirement for many.

    But I can't see paying on a home that you owe more for than you can get on the market. All those involved in the subprime loans should be tracked back to or traced and the profits they made given to the homeowner to bring down the costs of the mortgage and the interest rate should be fixed at the rate interest was when they purchased the home. If not, many would be better off to walk off and mail in the keys.

    I don't know how the bankruptcy law affects this situation. That bill is so bad, they had to make an exception because of Katrina victims, they should make another exception for these homeowners.

    Then they should pass regulations to make sure this doesn't happen again and cancel the new bankruptcy law that shouldn't have been passed in the first place.

    When a bill is so bad, they have to make exceptions when a group of people get in financial difficulty, then they should kill the bill because it is just as bad, if you are the only one unfairly affected by the bankruptcy laws.

    Reply to: I'm From the Government, and I'm Here to Help - Ronald Reagan   14 years 11 months ago
  • Many of the people I know who spend a lot of money, spend it for essentials, like on health care, mortgage, food, gas, car, home and health insurance, medical co pays and utilities.

    Those with heavy credit card debt owe a lot of that debt for the essentials. Most are doing their best to pay off their cards, but with the cheap wage conservatives determined to pay us as if we had low costs, it isn't easy.

    Mr. Bloomberg needs to realize that this can work both ways. In Asia, they have new cars for $3,500. Many of the workers overseas have their health care paid by the government, which is really just using a pool of the tax money paid in to benefit all. Some even have free college education. He should bring in those $3,500 cars, when if he brings in more immigrants.

    Mr. Bloomberg is a fine example of what is wrong with this country. There are too many rich running the government, who are out of touch with the average person and are idiotic when dealing with foreign countries.

    The average American is being ignored, ridiculed and fought by those whom we have elected to represent us. Anyone with a clean background that is interested in running for office, should join the Democratic party and run for congress or the senate. It will be an easy win. Soldiers are welcomed.

    Reply to: Mayor Bloomberg's weird logic   14 years 11 months ago
  • God

    I guess we're cool now. Everybody, including Bloomberg, is trying to sound Populist and then of course spins it to his globalist, new world order, corporate cheap labor agenda.

    Reply to: Mayor Bloomberg's weird logic   14 years 11 months ago
  • over on blog are two comparison contrast pieces on trade and higher education.
    Two I've found:
    Gene Sperling
    Sperling is CAP (Center for American Progress)
    Congressman Barney Frank
    Frank has a long voting record in Congress on the Finance Committee

    NYTimes article some useful info.

    Democracy Now. has the best interview piece as an overview I've found.

    I've found others but they talk about Bill's economic advisers and I'm not so sure if Hillary has actually hired those for her campaign. It's unclear and that's a real issue to figure out which ones she is actually using in her campaign to craft policy positions.

    If you find something telling please post.

    Reply to: Obama's Economic Advisers   14 years 11 months ago
  • This is a really interesting, if not exactly encouraging, post. What's the profile for HRC's economic team? Does either candidate have the edge (on matters economic) from the progressive perspective?

    Reply to: Obama's Economic Advisers   14 years 11 months ago
  • That's a fundamental principle upon which I agree with. A nation-state's country) first duty is to provide for it's people, that means it's citizens, it's members of that nation-state.

    Right now policy seems to be worrying about Americans last.

    I also think it doesn't help that Bush has gutted the DOL and the EEOC rules and administration.

    Reply to: Indian Fish in American Waters   14 years 11 months ago
  • Many of the H-1B's I have worked with have told me about their arrangement.

    The company holds the H-1B and offers (at a price) health insurance as required by the law. That's it. The H-1B has to find their own projects, typically moves to the location of the project and stays in a room with several other people in the same situation. The company takes a chunk off the top, acting as a payroll administrator and sponsors them for their green card. For all intents and purposes, they are independent consultants.

    After a few years, they decide it's time to get married. They go back home and a couple of weeks later they come back with a 'wife', often someone they just met while they were over there as an arranged marriage. In most cases if we were to do this, it would be considered fraud. Anybody gone overseas for a week or so, gotten married to someone you didn't know, and try to get them into the country? How did that go over?

    Anyway, I was also pretty sure it was illegal to bring someone in on an H-1B and not give them a salary or guaranteed pay. Of course, there's no place to report abuses like this.

    Reply to: Indian Fish in American Waters   14 years 11 months ago
  • There is also nothing also more odious to me than corporations or films encouraging sexual relationships and work mix. How convenient for everyone, unless of course it blows up, possibly literally.

    Corporations market that green card like someone won the lottery and frankly for most cultures, economies these days the quality of life, standard of living is very good where they are. It's sales and marketing like Viagra.

    Reply to: Indian Fish in American Waters   14 years 11 months ago
  • Wow I added him to the middle column. (See those little b's it means you can automatically blog on a blog).

    Dubai also is talking about using a "basket of currencies" since the devaluation of the dollar.

    I have been looking for real reforms and the closest I can find is Hillary, yet another reason I'm holding my nose and writing some overviews of her positions. (determination of least objectionable candidate magic secret decoder ring - also available in cracker jacks) .

    Overviewing the lack of plans (and least non-existent plan recommendation) if you are so adventurous to comparison contrast O/C would make a fine major writing piece.

    I have meager SKF to sell @ 160. Can't decide if that's too low/high for I always underestimate shelf life of FC. (how can someone make you laugh and cry at the same time, Winterism).

    Reply to: Reasons to feel hopeful   14 years 11 months ago
  • Here is the link to Russ Winter's blog entry today:

    Russ is more of a financial blogger, but he is a real bloodhound running down some of the financial games being played. He is my favorite underappreciated blogger.

    Here is a link to Mish's blog entry this morning:

    Mish is one of the best known econo-bloggers. Today's photo tour of Dubai is a devastating indictment of our addiction to foreign oil and our trade imbalances.

    BTW, have you noticed any of the reforms being offered to prevent future financial blowups like we're seeing now? No? You haven't? Probably because, in the face of the worst speculative debt fueled banking/financial industry blowup since 1929, NOBODY"S OFFERING ANY!

    Boggles the mind. Cheers.

    Reply to: Reasons to feel hopeful   14 years 11 months ago
  • Sure, if people are looking for two elements as a goal:
    1. keep the US #1 economically
    2. raise up as many people as possible into middle class, social mobility.

    debating this stuff is a learning exercise. I don't know those two you list so links or an overview would be awesome.

    On the two wage earner thing, I'm referring to the more to the "Right" sorts of comments (maybe you haven't seen these which imply that if only we could return to the good ole days where only white men were the earners everything would be fine) that women just "bam" entered the workforce, increasing supply (and thus claiming lost wages and job security since increases in supply wage repress all things being statistic). I'd claim the real wage decline started accelerating with bad trade deals, union busting and that women were not a sudden influx in the labor market for they were working before really being recognized, as wage earners, I'm not saying "in the home.

    i.e. there are many other factors going on here to explain why people are working longer, harder for less than trying to attribute it to women in the workforce. Borjas has a little graph on the effect increase in supply in his labor economics text. (I like Borjas for while he's clearly coming from the right ...he doesn't waver with his statistics, he'll just say wage repression is good ;))

    ok, this idea of paying people off when they lose their jobs as compensation I have real issue with.

    I lost job x @ 100k a yr. Gov pays me difference between new bad job 70k salary and lost job, say 30k, I'm out 570k over 20 yrs total over time. that just doesn't add up to increase the middle class.

    I think this is a terrible, true blow off idea. If they want to really do an adjustment retrain those people, same salaries in the next generation skill sets and also for public works. I also think the entire labor arbitrage element in moving around the globe should be "tariffed" out by anything from a global minimum wage to just the entire package which makes the payout for certain industries (high skilled) not worth it as a cost reduction. (not an actual tariff on finished goods but through a series of tax breaks, health services, labor laws, environmental) make the savings differential on just "person per person labor exchange" just not pay off.

    Sure if you can produce widget x cheaper in country y and so on but that's not what these agreements do and free trade theory only comes into equilibrium when the means of production are not mobile.

    BTW, have you read the China PNTR? (HR 4444) Forget labor arbitrage (which I think is fundamentally a disaster), the thing is so biased towards China what business in the US has a prayer chance against it unless they are a multinational, moving to China.

    I have a book for you to check out Gomory, Baumol, Trade, Conficting interests (first one on books list).

    It puts the means of production as variable and shows how it's a "lose-lose" with math, they have extensive mathematical models and hence one needs more strategic trade. I find it most interesting the interpretation of this book, but it's really good work to deal with the variables (that should have been static) in the theory.

    Reply to: Reasons to feel hopeful   14 years 11 months ago
  • My first substantive comment here and I'm going to disagree with you! (politely)

    When I read Reich this morning, I thought he pretty well nailed it! (up until the last paragraphs when he brought out the education B.S.)

    I read him as saying, virtually all of the gains of the last 35 years have been at the very top end. Average Americans coped by (1) becoming two wage earner families, then (2) working more hours, then finally (3) by going deep into debt. But now the cupboard is empty and the game is over. BAM! Nailed it.

    Then the education BS.
    Let me say something a little controversial, but bear with me until the end. I have not problem with trade agreements like NAFTA, provided (and it's a big proviso)
    there is real and true compensation to the losers. And ultimately that is just about everybody. If China can save us all $300 B on production costs a year, fine. But then let's distribute that as $1000 for every citizen in every household.
    It's that last part that always gets glossed over.

    BTW, Reich plus Russ Winter plus Mish make a terrific trifecta today. Russ Winter adds in about the financial insolvency in the credit markets, and Mish has a nice pictorial tour of where our wealth is going.

    Reply to: Reasons to feel hopeful   14 years 11 months ago
  • It is true that people generally (or should I say always) expect their primary homes to appreciate. I don't usually count a primary home as an investment for a couple of reasons (and I'm not alone on this):

    1) You live there. If you didn't live there, you would live somewhere else and pay rent (and this house would no longer be your primary home). It is a necessity, while investments typically are purchased for the sole purpose of generating income or appreciation.

    2) If you sell it, you have to find a new place to live. Typically, money from the sale of one house will be put into the purchase of another - assuming you are not upside down in the mortgage. If the house you sell has appreciated, the house you buy will likely have appreciated at a similar rate. If the value has declined, its likely that the value of the house you purchase has also declined. Unless you are downsizing, you will probably not see any real cash from the transaction. You are just rolling money from one home to another.

    3) A primary home produces little, if any income. Unless you are renting out a room or the garage, it's not bringing in any money. It can help save money (tax benefits and eventually equity) but doesn't generate any on its own.

    So while purchasing a home could be considered an investment in that its a large purchase and will hopefully appreciate, I see it as a way to satisfy a necessity rather than a pure, income producing and/or appreciating asset. They rarely, if ever produce an income and any appreciation they have is difficult to recapture.

    One of the points I was trying to make was that even if the value of your primary residence declines, it's not the end of the world. Granted, it can be painful paying a mortgage that could be lower! If you didn't overextend yourself to get it, however, you are still getting value out of owning the property because you are living there.

    I don't think the moratorium would affect people who are not overextended (except the few bad apples that exploit the plan). It's really a way for the mortgage industry to control their future instead of having the government impose something on them that would be onerous and wreck them financially (Hillary proposed a 90 day moratorium earlier in her campaign - who knows if she would have followed through). In the end, it only delays the inevitable for the owners who no longer have a job and have no hope of getting one in the near future.

    My admittedly rambling point is that this is another example of the government ignoring what is really happening in the country. Keeping jobs here and the middle class strong is what is required to keep our country moving forward, not poorly thought out stop-gap measures.

    Reply to: I'm From the Government, and I'm Here to Help - Ronald Reagan   14 years 11 months ago
  • I've heard similar figures. Much to the government's chagrin, when people are fearful of losing their jobs or having to take pay cuts they will try to protect themselves. Consumer confidence is down, with expectations even lower.

    As a generalization, when people are not confident about their future, they will try to protect themselves. One way to do this is to pay off debts. Another way is to avoid taking on new debts. In an economy that's driven by the consumer, neither of these actions bodes well for continued economic expansion.

    Reply to: I'm From the Government, and I'm Here to Help - Ronald Reagan   14 years 11 months ago