Article 43


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bad Moon Rising Part 61 - War Pigs


In 1961, President Kennedy refused to concede to the insistence of his top generals to give them permission to use nuclear weapons in Berlin and Southeast Asia. Walking out of a meeting with top military advisors, KENNEDY threw his hands in the air and said, “These people are crazy.”


The Two Faux Democracies Threaten Life On Earth

By Paul Craig Roberts
July 24, 2013

Amitai Etzioni has raised an important question: WHO AUTHORIZED PREPERATIONS for WAR WITH CHINA? Etzioni says that the war plan is not the sort of contingency plan that might be on hand for an improbable event. Etzioni also reports that the Pentagons war plan was not ordered by, and has not been reviewed by, US civilian authorities. We are confronted with a neoconized US military out of control endangering Americans and the rest of the world.

Etzioni is correct that this is a momentous decision made by a neoconized military. China is obviously aware that Washington is preparing for war with China. If the Yale Journal knows it, China knows it. If the Chinese government is realistic, the government is aware that Washington is planning a pre-emptive nuclear attack against China. No other kind of war makes any sense from Washingtons standpoint. The superpower was never able to occupy Baghdad, and after 11 years of war has been defeated in Afghanistan by a few thousand lightly armed Taliban. It would be curtains for Washington to get into a conventional war with China.

When China was a primitive third world country, it fought the US military to a stalemate in Korea. Today China has the world’s second largest economy and is rapidly overtaking the failing US economy destroyed by jobs offshoring, bankster fraud, and corporate and congressional treason.

The Pentagon’s war plan for China is called “AirSea Battle.” The plan describes itself as interoperable air and naval forces that can execute networked, integrated attacks-in-depth to disrupt, destroy, and defeat enemy anti-access area denial capabilities.

Yes, what does that mean? It means many billions of dollars of more profits for the military/security complex while the 99 percent are ground under the boot. It is also clear that this nonsensical jargon cannot defeat a Chinese army. But this kind of saber-rattling can lead to war, and if the Washington morons get a war going, the only way Washington can prevail is with nuclear weapons. The radiation, of course, will kill Americans as well.

Nuclear war is on Washington’s AGENDA. The rise of the Neocon Nazis has negated the nuclear disarmament agreements that Reagan and Gorbachev made. The extraordinary, mainly truthful 2012 book, The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick, describes the post-Reagan breakout of preemptive nuclear attack as Washingtons first option.

During the COLD WAR nuclear weapons had a defensive purpose. The purpose was to prevent nuclear war by the US and USSR each having sufficient retaliatory power to ensure “mutually assured destruction.” MAD, as it was known, meant that nuclear weapons had no offensive advantage for either side.

The Soviet collapse and China’s focus on its economy instead of its military have resulted in Washingtons advantage in nuclear weaponry that, according to two US Dr. Strangeglove characters, Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, gives Washington first-strike capability. Lieber and Press writethat the “precipitous decline of Russias arsenal, and the glacial pace of modernization of China’s nuclear forces, have created a situation in which neither Russia nor China could retaliate to Washington’s first strike. “

The Pentagons “AirSea Battle” and “Lieber and Press” article in Foreign Affairs have informed China and Russia that Washington is contemplating pre-emptive nuclear attack on both countries. To ensure Russias inability to retaliate, Washington is placing anti-ballistic missiles on Russia’s borders in violation of the US-USSR agreement.

Because the American press is a corrupt government propaganda ministry, the American people have no idea that neoconized Washington is planning nuclear war. Americans are no more aware of this than they are of former President Jimmy Carters recent statement, reported only in Germany, that the United States no longer has a functioning democracy.

The possibility that the United States would initiate nuclear war was given reality eleven years ago when President George W. Bush, at the urging of Dick Cheney and the neocons that dominated his regime, signed off on the 2002 Nuclear Posture Review.

This neocon document, signed off on by America’s most moronic president, resulted in consternation and condemnation from the rest of the world and launched a new arms race. Russian President Putin immediately announced that Russia would spend all necessary sums to maintain Russias retaliatory nuclear capability. The Chinese displayed their prowess by knocking a satellite out of space with a missile. The mayor of Hiroshima, recipient city of a vast American war crime, stated: “The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the central international agreement guiding the elimination of nuclear weapons, is on the verge of collapse. The chief cause is US nuclear policy that, by openly declaring the possibility of a pre-emptive nuclear first strike and calling for resumed research into mini-nukes and other so-called useable nuclear weapons, appears to worship nuclear weapons as God.”

Polls from all over the world consistently show that Israel and the US are regarded as the two greatest threats to peace and to life on earth. Yet, these two utterly lawless governments prance around pretending to be the “worlds’ greatest democracies.” Neither government accepts any accountability whatsoever to international law, to human rights, to the Geneva Conventions, or to their own statutory law. The US and Israel are rogue governments, throwbacks to the Hitler and Stalin era.

The post World War II wars originate in Washington and Israel. No other country has imperial expansionary ambitions. The Chinese government has not seized Taiwan, which China could do at will. The Russian government has not seized former constituent parts of Russia, such as Georgia, which, provoked by Washington to launch an attack, was instantly overwhelmed by the Russian Army. Putin could have hung Washingtons Georgian puppet and reincorporated Georgia into Russia, where it resided for several centuries and where many believe it belongs.

For the past 68 years, most military aggression can be sourced to the US and Israel. Yet, these two originators of wars pretend to be the victims of aggression. It is Israel that has a nuclear arsenal that is illegal, unacknowledged, and unaccountable. It is Washington that has drafted a war plan based on nuclear first strike. The rest of the world is correct to view these two rogue unaccountable governments as direct threats to life on earth.


Posted by Elvis on 07/28/13 •
Section Bad Moon Rising
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How the US Became the USSR


Role Reversal: How the US Became the USSR

By Paul Craig Roberts
July 23, 2013

I spent the summer of 1961 behind the Iron Curtain. I was part of the US-USSR student exchange program. It was the second year of the program that operated under auspices of the US Department of State. Our return to the West via train through East Germany was interrupted by the construction of the Berlin Wall. We were sent back to Poland. The East German rail tracks were occupied with Soviet troop and tank trains as the Red Army concentrated in East Germany to face down any Western interference.

Fortunately, in those days there were no neoconservatives. Washington had not grown the hubris it so well displays in the 21st century. The wall was built and war was avoided. The wall backfired on the Soviets. Both JFK and Ronald Reagan used it to good propaganda effect.

In those days America stood for freedom, and the Soviet Union for oppression. Much of this impression was created by Western propaganda, but there was some semblance to the truth in the image. The communists had a Julian Assange and an Edward Snowden of their own. His name was Cardinal Jozef Mindszenty, the leader of the Hungarian Catholic Church.

Mindszenty opposed tyranny. For his efforts he was imprisoned by the Nazis. Communists also regarded his as an undesirable, and he was tortured and given a life sentence in 1949.

Freed by the short-lived Hungarian Revolution in 1956, Mindszenty reached the American Embassy in Budapest and was granted political asylum by Washington. However, the communists would not give him the free passage that asylum presumes, and Mindszenty lived in the US Embassy for 15 years, 79% of his remaining life.

In the 21st century roles have reversed. Today it is Washington that is enamored of tyranny. On Washingtons orders, the UK will not permit Julian Assange free passage to Ecuador, where he has been granted asylum. Like Cardinal Mindszenty, Assange is stuck in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London.

Washington will not permit its European vassal states to allow overflights of airliners carrying Edward Snowden to any of the countries that have offered Snowden asylum. Snowden is stuck in the Moscow airport.

In Washington politicians of both parties demand that Snowden be captured and executed. Politicians demand that Russia be punished for not violating international law, seizing Snowden, and turning him over to Washington to be tortured and executed, despite the fact that Washington has no extradition treaty with Russia.

Snowden did United States citizens a great service. He told us that despite constitutional prohibition, Washington had implemented a universal spy system intercepting every communication of every American and much of the rest of the world. Special facilities are built in which to store these communications.

In other words, Snowden did what Americans are supposed to do--disclose government crimes against the Constitution and against citizens. Without a free press there is nothing but the governmentҒs lies. In order to protect its lies from exposure, Washington intends to exterminate all truth tellers.

The Obama Regime is the most oppressive regime ever in its prosecution of protected whistleblowers. Whistleblowers are protected by law, but the Obama Regime insists that whistleblowers are not really whistleblowers. Instead, the Obama Regime defines whistleblowers as spies, traitors, and foreign agents. Congress, the media, and the faux judiciary echo the executive branch propaganda that whistleblowers are a threat to America. It is not the government that is violating and raping the US Constitution that is a threat. It is the whistleblowers who inform us of the rape who are the threat.

The Obama Regime has destroyed press freedom. A lackey federal appeals court has ruled that NY Times reporter James Risen must testify in the trial of a CIA officer charged with providing Risen with information about CIA plots against Iran. The ruling of this fascist court destroys confidentiality and is intended to end all leaks of the governments crimes to media.

What Americans have learned in the 21st century is that the US government lies about everything and breaks every law. Without whistleblowers, Americans will remain in the dark as “their government” enserfs them, destroying every liberty, and impoverishes them with endless wars for Washington’s and Wall Streets hegemony.

Snowden harmed no one except the liars and traitors in the US government. Contrast Washington’s animosity against Snowden with the pardon that Bush gave to Dick Cheney aide, Libby, who took the fall for his boss for blowing the cover, a felony, on a covert CIA operative, the spouse of a former government official who exposed the Bush/Cheney/neocon lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Whatever serves the tiny clique that rules america is legal; whatever exposes the criminals is illegal.

Thats all there is to it.




Seymour Hersh on death of Osama bin Laden: It’s one big lie, not one word of it is true

By Lisa O’Carroll
The Guardian
September 27, 2013

Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism - close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90% of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider.

It doesn’t take much to fire up Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been the nemesis of US presidents since the 1960s and who was once described by the Republican party as “the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist.”

He is angry about the timidity of journalists in America, their failure to challenge the White House and be an unpopular messenger of truth.

Don’t even get him started on the New York Times which, he says, “spends so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would,” or the death of Osama bin Laden. “Nothing’s been done about that story, it’s one big lie, not one word of it is true,” he says of the dramatic US Navy Seals raid in 2011.

Hersh is writing a book about national security and has devoted a chapter to the bin Laden killing. He says a recent report put out by an independent Pakistani commission about life in the Abottabad compound in which Bin Laden was holed up would not stand up to scrutiny. “The Pakistanis put out a report, don’t get me going on it. Let’s put it this way, it was done with considerable American input. It’s a bullshit report,” he says hinting of revelations to come in his book.

“The Obama administration lies systematically,” he claims, yet none of the leviathans of American media, the TV networks or big print titles, challenge him.

“It’s pathetic, they are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama],” he declares in an interview with the Guardian.

“It used to be when you were in a situation when something very dramatic happened, the president and the minions around the president had control of the narrative, you would pretty much know they would do the best they could to tell the story straight. Now that doesn’t happen any more. Now they take advantage of something like that and they work out how to re-elect the president.”

He isn’t even sure if the recent revelations about the depth and breadth of surveillance by the National Security Agency will have a lasting effect.

Snowden changed the debate on surveillance

He is certain that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden “changed the whole nature of the debate” about surveillance. Hersh says he and other journalists had written about surveillance, but Snowden was significant because he provided documentary evidence - although he is sceptical about whether the revelations will change the US government’s policy.

“Duncan Campbell [the British investigative journalist who broke the Zircon cover-up story], James Bamford [US journalist] and Julian Assange and me and the New Yorker, we’ve all written the notion there’s constant surveillance, but he [Snowden] produced a documentand that changed the whole nature of the debate, it’s real now,” Hersh says.

“Editors love documents. Chicken-shit editors who wouldn’t touch stories like that, they love documents, so he changed the whole ball game,” he adds, before qualifying his remarks.

“But I don’t know if its going to mean anything in the long [run] because the polls I see in America - the president can still say to voters al-Qaida, al-Qaida. and the public will vote two to one for this kind of surveillance, which is so idiotic,” he says.

Holding court to a packed audience at City University in London’s summer school on investigative journalism, 76-year-old Hersh is on full throttle, a whirlwind of amazing stories of how journalism used to be; how he exposed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, how he got the Abu Ghraib pictures of American soldiers brutalising Iraqi prisoners, and what he thinks of Edward Snowden.

Hope of redemption

Despite his concern about the temerity of journalism he believes the trade still offers hope of redemption.

“I have this sort of heuristic view that journalism, we possibly offer hope because the world is clearly run by total nincompoops more than ever Not that journalism is always wonderful, its not, but at least we offer some way out, some integrity.”

His story of how he uncovered the My Lai atrocity is one of old-fashioned shoe-leather journalism and doggedness. Back in 1969, he got a tip about a 26-year-old platoon leader, William Calley, who had been charged by the army with alleged mass murder.

Instead of picking up the phone to a press officer, he got into his car and started looking for him in the army camp of Fort Benning in Georgia, where he heard he had been detained. From door to door he searched the vast compound, sometimes blagging his way, marching up to the reception, slamming his fist on the table and shouting: “Sergeant, I want Calley out now.”

Eventually his efforts paid off with his first story appearing in the St Louis Post-Despatch, which was then syndicated across America and eventually earned him the Pulitzer Prize. “I did five stories. I charged $100 for the first, by the end the [New York] Times were paying $5,000.”

He was hired by the New York Times to follow up the Watergate scandal and ended up hounding Nixon over Cambodia. Almost 30 years later, Hersh made global headlines all over again with his exposure of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

Put in the hours

For students of journalism his message is put the miles and the hours in. He knew about Abu Ghraib five months before he could writeabout it, having been tipped off by a senior Iraqi army officer who risked his own life by coming out of Baghdad to Damascus to tell him how prisoners had been writing to their families asking them to come and kill them because they had been despoiledœ.

“I went five months looking for a document, because without a document, there’s nothing there, it doesnt go anywhere.”

Hersh returns to US president Barack Obama. He has said before that the confidence of the US press to challenge the US government collapsed post 9/11, but he is adamant that Obama is worse than Bush.

“Do you think Obama’s been judged by any rational standards? Has Guantanamo closed? Is a war over? Is anyone paying any attention to Iraq? Is he seriously talking about going into Syria? We are not doing so well in the 80 wars we are in right now, what the hell does he want to go into another one for. Whats going on [with journalists]?” he asks.

He says investigative journalism in the US is being killed by the crisis of confidence, lack of resources and a misguided notion of what the job entails.

“Too much of it seems to me is looking for prizes. It’s journalism looking for the Pulitzer Prize,” he adds. “It’s a packaged journalism, so you pick a target like - I don’t mean to diminish because anyone who does it works hard - but are railway crossings safe and stuff like that, thats a serious issue but there are other issues too.”

“Like killing people, how does [Obama] get away with the drone programme, why aren’t we doing more? How does he justify it? What’s the intelligence? Why dont we find out how good or bad this policy is? Why do newspapers constantly cite the two or three groups that monitor drone killings. Why don’t we do our own work?”

“Our job is to find out ourselves, our job is not just to say - ‘here’s a debate’ our job is to go beyond the debate and find out whos right and who’s wrong about issues. That doesn’t happen enough. It costs money, it costs time, it jeopardises, it raises risks. There are some people - the New York Times still has investigative journalists but they do much more of carrying water for the president than I ever thought they would it’s like you dont dare be an outsider any more.”

He says in some ways President George Bush’s administration was easier to writeabout. “The Bush era, I felt it was much easier to be critical than it is [of] Obama. Much more difficult in the Obama era,” he said.

Asked what the solution is Hersh warms to his theme that most editors are pusillanimous and should be fired.

“I’ll tell you the solution, get rid of 90% of the editors that now exist and start promoting editors that you can’t control, he says. I saw it in the New York Times, “I see people who get promoted are the ones on the desk who are more amenable to the publisher and what the senior editors want and the trouble makers don’t get promoted. Start promoting better people who look you in the eye and say I don’t care what you say.”

Nor does he understand why the Washington Post held back on the Snowden files until it learned the Guardian was about to publish.

If Hersh was in charge of US Media Inc, his scorched earth policy wouldn’t stop with newspapers.

“I would close down the news bureaus of the networks and le’s start all over, tabula rasa. The majors, NBCs, ABCs, they wont like this - just do something different, do something that gets people mad at you, thats what we’re supposed to be doing,” he says.

Hersh is currently on a break from reporting, working on a book which undoubtedly will make for uncomfortable reading for both Bush and Obama.

“The republic’s in trouble, we lie about everything, lying has become the staple.” And he implores journalists to do something about it.


Posted by Elvis on 07/28/13 •
Section Dying America
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Preying On The Job Seeker 13

I got this interesting email today:

Return-Path: <>
Received: from ( [])
by elvisnet (8.13.1/8.13.1) with ESMTP id r2dtoahDI410653
for <me>; Fri, 26 Jul 2013 08:47:35 -0400
Received: from ( by id hu9gg016acaa for <me>; Fri, 26 Jul 2013 07:43:53 -0400 ( envelope-from <> )
Received: from mail pickup service by with Microsoft SMTPSVC;
Fri, 26 Jul 2013 06:47:31 -0400
From: “Alina Torres” <>
To: “Elvis”
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2013 06:47:31 -0400
Subject: CareerBuilder: Call Center Health Positions Available: The College of Insurance!
X-Received-ASN: AS20223

no costs for you to attend.

Once you receive this license, you will be paid $13.00 per hour pay for performance incentives. The job will be full time! Plus we do benefits and weekly paychecks! Once you pass the state exam and get hired with Connextions you will also receive a $500 starting bonus!

The job duties will include taking inbound calls and discussing healthcare options with individuals who need insurance.

We have recently expanded the organization with 10 locations nationwide, and continue to grow and prosper in the Orlando community because we are the BEST in the industry.

If you’d like to attend an information session, please apply here so we can place you on the schedule:

You MUST complete the online application if you would like an appointment.

Be sure to check your email after you’ve completed the online application as we will use it to set your appointment time.

We look forward to meeting with you!

Alina Torres

Recruiting Manager

main: 407.999-9999 ext. 10407

fax: 407.999-9999

alina.torres at

You are receiving this employment opportunity email because you uploaded your resume on CareerBuilder.

If your employment status has changed or you no longer wish to receive these emails, you can update your privacy and communication preferences from your resume by logging onto

I clicked the link to the online application for this so-called “no cost to attend” third party site at kronostm dot com. It wanted my social security number, so I abandoned the form right then and there when it wouldn’t let me continue without filling in that box, so didn’t get a chance to see if they wanted a credit card number up front - or maybe my phone number for a sales pitch.

I figure it’s a deal between CareerBuilder, Connextions, The College of Insurance, and some third party website to get me to sign up for an expensive insurance agent class, and maybe a shot at a $13/hr call center job.

Do you believe the part about the $500 starting bonus? 

I don’t.

I’ll pass.

More Preying on the job seeker articles:

[1] - [2] - [3] - [4] - [5] - [6] - [7] - [8] - [9] - [10] - [11] - [12] - [13] - [14] - [15] - [16] - [17] - [18] - [19]

Posted by Elvis on 07/26/13 •
Section Dealing with Layoff • Section Job Hunt • Section Preying On The Job Seeker
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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Discrimination Against The Long-Term Unemployed

Have you heard of the PROTECTING OLDER WORKERS AGAINST DISCRIMINATION ACT?  It just died.  How much you wanna bet IT’S SUCCESSOR dies?


An Analysis Of Long-Term Unemployment, With Some Help From Dilbert

By Economists Do It With Models
July 23, 2013

Much of the concern over the productivity of people who have been out of work for a long time appears to take this form:


Admittedly, that’s a little absurd (and is perhaps why I do work on the couch), but this one isnt nearly as much so:


Given this, it’s not surprising that the hiring (and not hiring) of workers who have been unemployed for long stretches of time is of concern to economists. Of particular interest is whether human capital actually depreciates in the way that these cartoons would suggest- if it does, then it could be reasonable (read, efficient) for employers to be more hesitant to hire workers who had been out of work for longer stretches of time. Similarly, it would be reasonable for employers to behave in this way if workers who are unemployed for longer periods of time are somehow less motivated in ways that also affect job performance. This approach to hiring is problematic, however, both because its unclear whether the conventional wisdom regarding worker quality and length of unemployment actually holds in practice and because, even if the wisdom is true on average, decisions based on group characteristics are a form of STATISTICAL DISCRIMINATION, which has inefficient consequances.

Issues such as these are of paramount interest to one of my TAs from last semester, who is also a visiting scholar at the Boston Federal Reserve. (I’d promised to writeabout his work a while ago when other blogs were covering it, but, to be completely honest, I didnt come across appropriate comic relief until now.) Rand Ghayad, a graduate student at Northeastern University, his adviser Bill Dickens, and his team at the Boston Fed performed a number of analyses that shed some light on what exactly is going on with the long-term unemployed. Ghayad started by looking at the BEVERIDGE CURVE, which shows the relationship between job vacancies and unemployment, for different segments of the population. What he found was that the relationship LOOKED DIFFERENT for the long-term unemployed than it did for other groups:

The plots presented here reveal a similar pattern of increasing vacancies with little or no change in unemployment in the recovery from the most recent recession across all categories except one: short-term unemployment. The relationship between short-term unemployment and vacancies is unchanged. Thus, all of the increase in vacancies relative to unemployment has taken place among the long-term unemployed.

In other words, more jobs becoming available in the recovery has lowered the unemployment rate for people who have only been out of work a little while but not for the long-term unemployed. This suggests that workers who have been out of work for a while are being viewed with a degree of skepticism. In order to investigate this hypothesis and potentially begin to understand the drivers of this skepticism, Rand DID what any totally insane researcher would do:

Ghayad pursued his hypothesis, mailing employers nearly 5,000 fictitious resumes that differed only in experience levels and duration of unemployment.

What he found was an “unemployment cliff;” after six months of unemployment, people experienced a dramatic drop-off in phone calls from prospective employers even if they had more work experience and better qualifications than candidates out of work for six months or less.

In other words, the longer people are unemployed, the worse their job prospects become because employers discriminate against them.

In conversations with Rand, he mentioned that the length of unemployment seemed to be an even bigger factor than the amount of industry experience a job candidate had. Not surprisingly, his findings have gotten a lot of attention.

Apparently I know a lot of insane people, since Matt Notowidigdo, another friend/colleague/haver of awkward Valentine’s Day non-date of mine (Did you know that it is impossible to not share chocolate fondue on Feb. 14?), conducted a remarkably similar experiment with frustratingly similar conclusions:

To find out, Kory Kroft of the University of Toronto, Fabian Lange of McGill University and Matthew Notowidigdo of the University of Chicago devised an experiment in which they applied for 3,000 clerical, administrative, sales and customer-service jobs advertised online by submitting 12,000 fictitious cvs. The submissions were designed so that applicants with similar backgrounds, education and experience went for the same job. The only difference was how long the applicant had been jobless, a period that ranged from no time at all to as much as 36 months.

Creating cover identities worthy of the CIA, the researchers assigned the fictitious applicants local phone numbers bought for the experiment, as well as e-mail addresses. They found that the odds of an applicant being called back by an employer declined steadily as the duration of unemployment rose, from 7.4% after one month without work down to 4-5% at the eight-month mark, where the call-back rate stabilised (see right-hand chart above).

These results, the authors say, cannot be because employers found some qualitative flaw in the longer-term unemployed that was hidden from outsiders, since the applicants were similar in other respects. Another explanation for long-term unemploymentthat people make less effort to find work as their time out of the labour force lengthensחis also not applicable here.

These controlled experiments are important in that they rule out the possibility that employers are not explicitly discriminating against the long-term unemployed but are instead rejecting applicants based on other observable factors that happen to correlate with long-term unemployment. On the other hand, the experiments still leave open the possibility that the discrimination is due to presumed depreciation of human capital or negative unobservable characteristics.

Regarding human capital depreciation, it seems unreasonable that these effects would be so strong that they would trump significant additional experience, which is what Ghayad finds in his research. Furthermore, the authors of the latter study argue that, if the human capital depreciation story is correct, the difficulties that the long-term unemployed are having finding jobs should be reasonably insensitive to economic conditions. Their data, on the other hand, shows that potential workers are given more benefit of the doubt when the unemployment rate around them is higher. This is good news, except for the fact that it suggests that employers are seeing being out of a job for while as a proxy for negative unobservable characteristics. In fact, Ghayad is careful to point out that the effects of long-term unemployment are similar for people who voluntarily left and reentered the labor force as they are for people who were laid off from jobs (and receiving unemployment benefits as a result), which further suggests some form of statistical discrimination (i.e. stereotyping based on length of unemployment) on the part of employers.

To see why this is not only unfair but also unwise, lets do a little thought experiment. Consider the following scenarios and think carefully about whether the individual described really has some otherwise unobservable characteristic that makes the worker a “bad employee” and that the long-term unemployment signal brings to light:

An employee gets laid off and has been going on job interviews. Employers have liked her, but, due to bad luck/timing, she’s repeatedly been the second choice (out of a large field) for a job opening.

A woman takes time off to care for a child and then decides to go back to work when her child starts school.

An employee gets laid off but has enough spousal income, savings, or severance pay to just relax for a while and undertake travel, hobbies, etc. in order to recharge before looking for a new job.

An individual gets injured and is unable to work for a while.

An individual takes some time to think about what jobs or locations they want to pursue, and is able to do so because of unemployment benefits. The individual starts looking for work when she is genuinely excited about re-entering the working world.

I dont think that any of these things signal a bad employee- in fact, I would be so bold as to guess that even whether a worker waits until unemployment benefits run out to get a new job does’t correlate with bad job performance nearly as much as people would like to think. (I could even picture myself doing this if I didnt have a job that I would basically do for free.) What appears to be happening, however, is that employers see the resume of a worker who has been out of work for a while and assumes that other companies went to the trouble of checking the person out and decided against the worker, when that is in no way guaranteed to be the case.

I know a lot of people who are frustrated by the degree of path dependency that success in life seems to exhibit, and these findings certainly aren’t going to make them less cranky. Fortunately, even though there is no clear policy solution here, is is entirely possible that highlighting the problem of discrimination against the long-term unemployed (and explaining how its not based on legitimate concerns for the most part) could make employers think twice about acting as another part of the HERD.



Obama Challenges CEOs To Hire The Jobless

By Arthur Delaney
Huffington Post
July 24, 2013

President Barack Obama vowed in a speech on the American economy Wednesday that he will challenge business leaders to hire the unemployed.

“I’m challenging CEOs from some of America’s best companies to hire more Americans who’ve got what it takes to fill that job opening, but have been laid off so long no one will give their resume an honest look,” Obama said.

The White House billed the speech as an effort to REFOCUS the national debate on jobs instead of what Obama called “an endless parade of distractions” from congressional Republicans.

Employers’ unwillingness to hire the long-term unemployed has been well-documented anecdotally and through research since the problem FIRST CAME TO PUBLIC ATTENTION three years ago. Some employers still post job ads that specify applicants “must be currently employed.”

Economists frequently blame persistent high levels of long-term unemployment on businesses that are UNWILLING TO HIRE qualified candidates who’ve been out of work a long time. The Great Recession and its aftermath created a historically unprecedented number of long-term jobless. In June, 4.3 million Americans had been out of work six months or longer.

The White House declined to provide additional details about Obama’s plans to challenge business leaders. In 2011, the president proposed banning discrimination against the jobless, something he has said “makes absolutely no sense.” Several local jurisdictions around the country, most recently New York City, have acted to ban hiring discrimination against the jobless.

Congress didn’t seem to be keen on the idea and soon disappeared from the national conversation. In 2010, Congress created tax credits to encourage businesses to hire the jobless, but the results have been mixed.


Posted by Elvis on 07/25/13 •
Section Dying America
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

America’s Path To Ruin


America Is on a Path to Turn into Detroit, and Republicans Are Cool with That
Thanks to the record-breaking inaction and gridlock in Washington, the entire country is following in the path of Detroit.

By Thom Hartmann
July 23, 2013

Over the weekend, CBS Bob Schieffer asked Speaker of the House John Boehner very bluntly about the current gridlock in Congress, its failure to pass any important legislation and its record-low approval ratings among the American people.

BOEHNER RESPONDED BY SAYING that, “We should not be judged by how many new laws we create, we ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.”

In other words, “Laws are bad and government is bad, so who needs either.”

INSTEAD OF WORKING TO PASS THE LEGISLATION the legislation that this nation desperately needs to get back on its feet and to rebuild its economy, Boehner would rather see our great nation end up like the now bankrupt Detroit. And boy is Boehner’s wish coming true.

Detroit used to be the industrial capital of America, and really the world. But, starting with Reagan, our industrial and trade policies began to change. As a result, our nation moved from a manufacturing based economy to a banking and serviced based economy. Instead of making things, we now say “would you like fries with that,” “welcome to WalMart,” and “theres a $5.00 fee for using your credit card that way.” We embraced free trade deals, and jumped head first into OUTSOURCING POLICIES that vastly increased corporate profits while shipping hundreds of thousands of jobs overseas.

AS A RESULT, many of the jobs that were once done in factories in Detroit are now done in factories in China and OTHER NATIONS. And the same holds true for the rest of America.

When given a chance to stop the OUTSOURCING OF AMERICAN JOBS OVERSEAS, Speaker Boehner and his Republican colleagues balked. In September of 2010, Republicans in Congress killed a bill that would have eliminated tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs.

But outsourcing isn’t the only problem that Detroit and the rest of America have in common.

In Detroit, thanks to a severe lack of funding, public education is failing that city’s children. Only 7% of Detroit public school 8th-graders are proficient in reading,while JUST 4% ARE PROFICIENT IN MATH. And, in 2008, Detroits high school GRADUATION WAS JUST 24.9%.

In the rest of the United States, public education is just as underfunded as it is in Detroit. As a result, in 2008, the US’ HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE was lower than the rates of the UK, Switzerland, Norway, South Korea, Japan, Italy and a host of other developed nations.

And, according to multiple REPORTS released in December of last year, fourth and eighth-grade students in the U.S. lag behind students in many East Asian and European nations when it comes to math and science. And those same reports revealed that European and Asian nations spend far more money and spend it more wisely on education than we do here.

But Speaker Boehner and his Republican colleagues must be content with these stats, because they have done next to nothing to boost funding for public education in America.

And Republican inaction in Congress doesn’t stop at refusing to address public education, gun violence, infrastructure and jobs in America. Since John Boehner has been Speaker of the House, Republicans have voted nearly 40 times to repeal Obamacare, they’ve refused to address climate change, they’ve refused to reel in the big banks on Wall Street, and they’ve refused to address the home foreclosure crisis.

Meanwhile, in Detroit, that city’s infrastructure is literally crumbling to the grown. Streets are littered with potholes, power outages have become the new normal, and the buildings that once housed America’s booming automobile industry now look like scenes out of a horror movie.

And, in THE REST OF THE UNITED STATES, things arent much better.

Each year, the American Society of Civil Engineers releases a report card for America’s infrastructure. And, in its 2013 REPORT CARD, the ASCE gave a D to Americas roads and highways, a D to America’s transit system, a D to Americas aviation system, a D+ to America’s energy infrastructure, and a C+ to Americas bridges.

But, despite America’s crumbling infrastructure, Speaker Boehner and the rest of Republicans in Washington have repeatedly refused to provide the funding needed to bring Americas infrastructure out of the 1800’s and into the 21st century.

Back in Detroit, that city is also dealing with increases in violent crime and gun violence.

In 2012, there were 386 homicides in the city. There were 54.6 homicides per 100,000 residents in Detroit in 2012, the highest homicide rate that city has seen in nearly two decades.

Nationwide, there were nearly 8,600 homicides by firearms in 2011, which accounted for more than two-thirds of all homicides in 2011. And, as we know, mass shootings like the ones in Aurora and Newtown have become the norm.

But again, Speaker Boehner and Republican lawmakers in Washington have failed to pass any comprehensive legislation to address the gun violence epidemic in America, or the inequality and poverty that are driving it.

So, while Speaker Boehner may be content with being at the helm of the worst Congress in history, and with the fact that surveys show more Americans prefer lice and colonoscopies over their elected lawmakers in Washington, the results, or lack thereof, speak for themselves.

Thanks to the record-breaking inaction and gridlock in Washington, the entire country is following in the path of Detroit, and thats a very dangerous and devastating path to be on.

We the people deserve an economy that keeps jobs in America, roads that don’t crumble, schools that our children can excel in, and neighborhoods that we can live safely in.

Call your elected officials, and tell them to get to work and save our country.



Posted by Elvis on 07/24/13 •
Section Dying America
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