Tag: inflation

Walmart Black Friday Strike

source Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

go site Black Friday is the name given to the day after Thanksgiving. It marks the first day of the Christmas shopping season with grand bargains and the feeding frenzy of consumers to find the best price on the most desirable gifts for the holiday. The term originated in Philadelphia as a description of the crowded stores and heavy traffic the day after Thanksgiving. It later took on the meaning that it was the day retailers begin to turn a profit and are “in the black.”

It has taken on a new meaning for retail workers in the “big box” stores, who are now being forced to work and forgo their Thanksgiving holiday evening because the largest retailers, specifically Walmart, decided to open at 8 PM on Thursday. Most of these retail workers barely make a living wage, the typical employee is paid $22,100 a year, slightly below the federal poverty line for a family of four (which is at $23,050 in 2012). Walmart workers, although not unionized, have banded together to strike the retailer on Black Friday. Here is why:

   – WHY WORKERS ARE STRIKING: Workers – organized by non-union OUR Walmart – are protesting that Walmart continues to pay low wages and cut benefits, even while it is making billions of dollars in profits. The strikes that have occurred are the first in the 50 year history of the company. Workers have demanded “more-predictable schedules, less-expensive health-care plans and minimum hourly pay of $13 with the option of working full-time.” The company is increasing employee contributions towards its health plan in 2013. Walmart made $15 billion last year, and paid its CEO $18.1 million.

   – WALMART’S RESPONSE: The company has claimed that it is “not aware of any major disruptions that are going to happen Black Friday.” However, it has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that the protests are being orchestrated by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which Walmart claims is a labor law violation.

   – WHY NOW?: Black Friday is not only one of the biggest shopping days of the year, but Walmart and other large retailers have steadily increased their Black Friday hours to extend into Thanksgiving Day. This year, Walmart’s “Black Friday” starts at 8 p.m. Thursday, so workers will miss Thanksgiving evening with their families. Employees claim “they weren’t given a choice as to whether they would work on Thanksgiving and were told to do so with little warning.”

The argument that Walmart cannot afford to raise pay and benefits claiming it would hurt their ability to keep prices low has quite a few holes. A study made by click here Demos show that by increasing wages not only do the workers benefit but so does industry and the economy as a whole:

   A wage standard at large retailers equivalent to $25,000 per year for full-time, year-round workers would increase GDP between $11.8 and $15.2 billion over the next year.

   As a result of the economic growth from a wage increase, employers would create 100,000 to 132,000 additional jobs.

   Effects on Retail Sales: Increased purchasing power of low-wage workers would generate $4 to $5 billion in additional annual sales for the sector. Much of the increased consumer spending by low-wage workers after the raise will return to the very firms that offered the raise. The average American household allocates 20 percent of their total expenditures toward retail goods, but for low-income households that proportion is higher. A raise for workers at large stores would bring billions of dollars in added retail spending back to the sector. Our study finds that:

   Assuming that workers do not save money out of their wage income, the additional retail spending by employees and their families generated by the higher wage would result in $4 to $5 billion in additional sales across the retail sector in the year following the wage increase.

The wage increase would hardly effect prices:

   The potential cost to consumers would be just cents more per shopping trip on average. If retail firms were to pass the entire cost on to consumers instead of paying for it by redirecting unproductive profits, shoppers would see prices increase by only 1 percent. But productivity gains and new consumer spending associated with the raise make it unlikely that stores will need to generate 100 percent of the cost. More plausibly, prices will increase by less than the total amount of the wage bill, spreading smaller costs across the entire population of consumers. The impact of rising prices on household budgets will be negligible, while the economic benefits of higher wages for low paid retail workers will be significant. Our study finds that:

   If retailers pass half of the costs of a wage raise onto their customers, the average household would pay just 15 cents more per shopping trip-or $17.73 per year.

   If firms pass on 25 percent of the wage costs onto their customers, shoppers would spend just 7 cents more per shopping trip, or $8.87 per year.

   Higher income households, who spend more, would absorb a larger share of the cost. Per shopping trip, high income households would spend 18 cents more, for a total of $36.80 per year. Low-income households would spend just 12 additional cents on their shopping list, or $24.87 per year.

As David Dayen noted reporting this at FDL News:

I would personally rather pay 15 cents more per shopping trip rather than pay the costs of a working individual who nevertheless has to go onto Medicaid or collect food stamps. What’s more, as a result of the economic boost from higher wages, I would probably make more money myself, so this would all come out in the wash. Prosperity for retail workers would really mean more prosperity for all.

see Up with Chris Hayes host http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=farmacia-online-viagra-generico-a-Verona Chris Hayes discussed the Black Friday strike by Walmart employees with guests http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=best-levitra-price Greg Fletcher, a Walmart associate in Duarte, CA; Heather McGhee, vice president of http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=free-trial-of-cialis-super-active Demos; Raymond Castillo, a member of Warehouse Workers United; and enter David frum, CNN contributer.

The Virtual Recovery or Major Structural Change

Paul Craig Roberts is, in many ways, one of the most interesting political commentators of our time. I’m not going to say he is always right but he is very happy to think outside the box of our traditional political arrangements. He is on the left and the right–he is an example of the sort of thinking we need that will transcend the traditional “liberal/conservative” categories which have become just our version of competing soccer hooligans. My few years of commenting on Daily Kos showed me how vicious so-called liberals are when confronted with ideas that go beyond slogans.

Robert’s latest essay deserves some attention and is available here. What he is saying, essentially, is what he has been saying for some time that our “recovery” is not really a recovery if you factor in real inflation. He makes the point that current government announcements about the economy are similar to government announcement on the wars we undertake, i.e., they are false.

I would go further I don’t believe we are in a long-term depression or recession in the traditional sense–what we are undergoing is a major structural change in our political economy and our society that reflects the current cultural reality.

The single most important thing to understand about the culture we live in is that it is now not based in creating a vibrant economy or even maintaining and expanding an empire. Its focus is on enabling most Americans to live in a world of custom fantasies because, for a variety of reasons, that is what most Americans want. Most Americans do not want to face reality or think beyond their daily tasks that put them in a position to watch reality shoes, sports, pursue various addictions and create their little interesting dramas. Larger-scale interests where we act in common are devalued. The source of meaning for us, increasingly, lies in fantasy role-playing because, without ever realizing it, the plutocrats have cut off our political legs by creating a system of propaganda and mind-control, sometimes using science and often just creative genius, to make people believe that they need product X or need to vote for candidate Y. The ability for the corporate state to control its subject population through capturing, not so much its consent, but its subconscious is what marks our age. Thus we do not question the phony statistics on inflation or unemployment or anything else. Thus we are unable to put two and two together to make four unless some authority says it’s so.  

Inflation in what we need; deflation in what we want

 You’ve all seen the headlines: Gas prices are headed for record highs and inflation is tame.

How do you reconcile the two?

 Most people fall back to blaming “speculators”. But if that sounds like an over-simplified cop-out, its because it is.

 To blame rising prices on speculators is like blaming getting hurt on crashing your car.  While its true you got hurt in a car crash, you don’t respond by outlawing car crashes, or in this case, speculators. It would be useless to do either.

 Instead, you outlaw the reason why the car crashed. For instance, outlaw poorly-made brakes.

  When it comes to rising energy prices, you look at why there are so many darn speculators.

¥55,600,000,000,000.00

Devastating Earthquakes, Catastrophic Tsunami, potential nuclear holocaust …. and now you can add massive inflation.

Compared to the BOJ , Ben Bernanke is an amateur hack.

Food Riots and Man-Made Famine 2011

  It now seems likely to be one of the most tragic and inevitable global trends for 2011: food riots.

 People are burning stores in India, Chili, China, Egypt, and Algeria.

 The recent overthrow of the Tunisian dictator was about a lot of things, including corruption and unemployment, but it was also about food prices too. Protest signs in Tunis included examples like, “WE WANT bread and water and no Ben Ali.” Some protesters waved loaves of bread to emphasize their point.

 Food price protests have spread even to oil-rich Oman.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

 Meanwhile, governments are taking desperate measures in the face of soaring prices.

 India has banned the export of onions after vegetable prices have risen 70% in the past year. China is implementing price controls and building up a strategic supply of foodstuffs. South Korea is lowering import tariffs on food. Many arab governments are resorting to tax cuts and hand-outs to defer popular protests.

 The scary thing is that everyone expects food prices to keep increasing.

 Beef and pork prices are at record highs, but, if forecasts prove accurate, consumers have only just begun to see higher prices for food and fuel.

  Steady increases in the costs of grain and energy since last fall are drawing comparisons to the summer of 2008, when corn and soybean prices set a record and gasoline topped $4 a gallon, said Purdue University farm economist Chris Hurt.

  Unlike in 2008, however, grain prices are up before the first seeds go into the ground, and fuel costs are rising well ahead of the spring-summer driving season.

 The key question is “why”? Why is food price inflation suddenly so high?

Food prices: “We are entering danger territory”

  On the day after world’s price of food hit an all-time high, violence erupted in the streets of Algiers.

ALGIERS, Algeria – Riots over rising food prices and chronic unemployment spiraled out from Algeria’s capital on Thursday, with youths torching government buildings and shouting “Bring us Sugar!”

At no time since records have been kept has the cost of eating been so expensive. The last time prices were this high there were food riots in 32 nations, and that has some people worried.

 “We are entering danger territory,” said the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s chief economist, Abdolreza Abbassian.

  Global food prices have risen for the sixth month in succession. Wheat has almost doubled since June, sugar is at a 30-year high, and pork is up by a quarter since the beginning of 2010.

 Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

The Global Currency War

   Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega spilled the beans on Monday when he committed the cardinal sin of telling the truth.

 “We’re in the midst of an international currency war,” Mr. Mantega said. “This threatens us because it takes away our competitiveness.”

  “The advanced countries are seeking to devalue their currencies,” he said, mentioning the United States, Europe and Japan in the context of what he portrayed as an intensifying trade competition.

 All over the world nations are in a race to the bottom with their currencies. The objective is to gain trade advantage over competitors. In other words this is a global trade war, one that is being done by destroying people’s savings.

  In all, about 2/3rd of the global economy is in the process of debasing their currencies. Nothing has happened like this since the 1930s.

 It’s a return to global beggar thy neighbor economic policy that proved so hopelessly flawed in the Great Depression.

May One – Rerun/Recycled/New President/FooledAgain

A reminder that May 1 is the International Worker’s Day and early American labor rights protesters initiated it. It’s an American tradition – not a Communist tradition. And it’s a pagan tradition from the dawn of time.

I hope you all had a great May Day. As I post this it’s still May 1 from the CDT zone westward. For those who saw the original post, you can just skip it or get refreshed. For those who haven’t seen it, it has some interesting background on the history of the day.

Herewith, a recycled essay:

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=generic-brand-of-propecia-tablets May 1.

A lot of Americans have apparently been brainwashed during their formative years. Especially the crowd over at the site that shall not be named. The vast majority associate the first day of the month of May as a Soviet Communist celebration day. Then again a sizable number of Uhmericans think Saddam Hussein was complicit in the 9/11 atrocities. Oh, and the wiretapping started after 9/11 and not like late February or early March of 2001.

May first was a holiday before there was a May. It’s a cross-quarter day. That means it falls about halfway between a solstice and an equinox. Back before keyboards, laser mice and high-speed internet connections people used to notice these things. The only thing that emitted light, besides fire, was in the sky. You can check out the sky anytime. Just click here. Cool, huh? And you didn’t have to let go of your mouse to do it.

So back in the days of stone knives and bearskins, and I’m not talking about the Star Trek episode where Spock and McCoy have to build a time-machine thingie with 1930s tech, or even the dark ages of eight bit processors, RAM limits of 65536 bytes and machine code, I’m talking real stone and real bear. Hell, sabre-tooth tiger and wooly mammoth times. Back when chipped flint was high-tech. In the time of neo-pagans (not to be confused with the neopaganists of today).

Together with the solstices and equinoxes (Yule, Ostara, Midsummer, and Mabon), these form the eight solar holidays in the neopagan wheel of the year. They are often celebrated on the evening before the listed date, since traditionally the new day was considered to begin at sunset rather than at midnight.

Festival name Date Sun’s Position

Samhain 1 Nov (alt. 5-10 Nov)

Imbolc 2 Feb (alt. 2-7 Feb)

Beltane 1 May (alt. 4-10 May)

Lughnasadh 1 Aug (alt. 3-10 Aug)

There are Christian and secular holidays that correspond roughly with each of these four, and some argue that historically they originated as adaptations of the pagan holidays, although the matter is not agreed upon. The corresponding holidays are:

   * St.Brigids Day (1 Feb), Groundhog Day (2 Feb), and Candlemas (2 or 15 Feb)

   * Walpurgis Night (30 Apr) and May Day (1 May)

   * Lammas (1 Aug)

   * Halloween (31 Oct), All Saints (1 Nov), and All Souls’ Day (2 Nov)

Groundhog Day is celebrated in North America. It is said that if a groundhog comes out of his hole on 2 February and sees his shadow (that is, if the weather is good), there will be six more weeks of winter. February 2nd marks the end of the short days of winter. Because average temperatures lag behind day length by several weeks, it is (hopefully) the beginning of the end of winter cold.

It’s been Groundhog Day in Iraq for five seven years now. But who’s counting?

UPDATE: we’ve been lobbing explosives into Afghanistan since Clinton’s time. The definition of insanity is repeating the same act and expecting a different result. Our MIC PWOT is insane – but it keeps their funding flowing while we lose our jobs and homes.

It’s 2010 now and nothing has really changed that much, has it? I hope you enjoyed this May Day. It’s a day for Working Class Heroes.

There’s more:

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in default

Some say by printing.

From what I’ve heard about the vaults

I hold with those who say default.

But if I could go broke minting

I know enough of fear

To say that for destruction printing

Is always near

And equally unstinting.

The bush/repub Years

http://thefoolishobsession.com/micellar-water/comment-page-1/ As the old saying goes, “Read it and Weep!”

What the loss of the Public Option really Means …

from the ConsumerWatchdog.org



(Click for Larger Image)

What the loss of the Public Option really Means …

Good bye competitive choice …

HELLOOOO … More of the Same!

Dystopia 10: The Desert


canadain viagra The Bene Gesserit Littainy against Fear.

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain.

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