Monday, November 17, 2014

Last Call For San Fran Nan, Twitter Queen

Nancy Pelosi wins the internet today.


The Grand Screwing Comes To Ferguson

Gov. Jay Nixon has just declared, for all intents and purposes, a preemptive state of emergency in Ferguson.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) declared a state of emergency Monday in anticipation of possible unrest following the announcement of findings of two separate criminal investigations into the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager killed by a Ferguson, Mo. police officer. 
“Regardless of the outcomes of the federal and state criminal investigations, there is the possibility of expanded unrest,” Nixon said in an executive order. “The state of Missouri will be prepared to appropriately respond to any reaction to these announcements.” 
Nixon said in the order he directed the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County Police Department, and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to “operate as a Unified Command to protect civil rights” and put the St. Louis County Police Department in charge of security in Ferguson related to protest areas and demonstrations. 
He also said the adjutant general of the Missouri could “call and order into active service such portions of the organized militia as he deems necessary to protect life and property.”

Nixon certainly seems to think there's going to be the need for military-grade weapons to be on hand to deal with his own constituents, which is great.  I had no idea the plural of "black citizen of Ferguson, Missouri" was "preemptively declared state of emergency".

And yes, I'm well aware of the fact Nixon's said he was going to call out the National Guard ahead of the grand jury decision, and that he's declaring the state of emergency so that he can activate said National Guard.

That is, as they say, the entire goddamn problem in the first place.

Joe Six Pack Is a Terrible Labor Economist

As David Atkins points out at Political Animal, your average American is very very bad at guessing labor economics figures (but then again so are most citizens of industrialized nations).

Danielle Kurtzleben at Vox has a fascinating article about real unemployment versus perceived unemployment. It turns out that not only Americans but workers all around the world vastly overestimate the number of people who are out of work.In America, people think the unemployment rate is an astonishing 32%, though the official figure is closer to 6% and wouldn’t top 12% even using much more relaxed definitions of “out of work.” Citizens of other countries are similarly wrong about their own unemployment rates. 
Why does this matter? Well, first of all because you’ll be likelier to oppose social welfare programs for the jobless if you believe that one out of every three people isn’t working at all. 
But second, it leads people to believe that the problem is that there aren’t enough jobs, when the bigger problem is that people with jobs are struggling due to low wages. That has an impact, for instance, on immigration policy: no one believes that undocumented immigrants are taking high-wage jobs, so you’ll be likelier to oppose immigration reform if you believe that there just aren’t enough even low-wage jobs, as opposed to that the jobs that exist don’t pay well enough. 
While mechanization, outsourcing and flattening are eliminating industries and jobs entirely, the bigger impact is to flatten wages. This is the first recovery in modern history in which median wage growth has actually fallen.

Now my guess is that Americans are including the number of retired people in these figures, and if this is a guess at how many Americans are considered to be out of the labor force, they're actually both closer to the answer and underestimating it a bit (it's 37.3%, which means Americans are actually better economic ballpark figure guys than people give them credit for.)

The rest of Atkins's stuff holds true however:  median wages have fallen because corporations are hoarding record profits, then complaining about labor costing too much.  The last six years has been the best opportunity ever to shift wealth upwards and that's exactly what's happened.  The richest Americans are super-wealthy, and average Americans haven't seen wages go up in 40 years.

So yeah, "immigrants are going to take our jobs" plays really well in white middle-class America right now.  It's not immigrants, it's the one percent.  And in the end, neither party is willing to take those guys on too much.


Related Posts with Thumbnails