Why Aren’t Unemployment Claims Rising More Rapidly?

I’m running around this morning, so  more in depth posts will have to wait until later.

Meanwhile, this article is rather intriguing:

"The increase in U.S. unemployment that’s jeopardizing economic growth is being driven by a drop in the number of people working for themselves, government figures indicate.

Hours worked by the self-employed dropped at a 15.5 percent annual pace in the last three months of 2007, the biggest decrease in 15 years, according to data provided to Bloomberg News today by the Labor Department.

The decline "is probably related to the housing downturn, since one in six workers in construction is self-employed, twice the average for all industries,” said Patrick Newport, an economist at Global Insight, a Lexington, Massachusetts, forecasting firm.

The figures may be another indication of how the deepest real-estate slump in a quarter century is filtering through the economic statistics. The Labor Department said today that worker productivity grew more than forecast last quarter as hours for all employees, including those who work for themselves, fell at a 1.5 percent pace, the most in five years…

…Self-employment may also help explain why first-time applications for jobless benefits have yet to reach levels normally associated with a weakening labor market. A four-week moving average of claims has ranged from 306,000 to 345,000 since July. Most economists believe it takes readings in excess of 350,000 to indicate an increase in firings."

So much for the eBay economy . . .

>

Source:
U.S. Job-Market Weakening Is Led by Self-Employed, Data Shows    
Carlos Torres
Bloomberg, Feb. 6 2008
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=azkPwxaRn_Q0&

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. PrahaPartizan commented on Feb 8

    None of this should come as any surprise. The economists have just been blind to the effect the structural changes in the labor economy over the last eight years would play out in the numbers they would be relying on. Just wait until the commercial real estate projects still underway and close to completion finish and all of the specialty contractors used in those projects can’t find any more work. Those are all of those guys driving flashy pickup trucks with the logos of their companies on the side. I suspect the truck makers will be surprised to find 2008 (and likely 2009 and 2010 too) not too good as well.

  2. Doug Watts commented on Feb 8

    Not a shock … but a huge amount of construction is under the table … a fairly large decline in certain facets of construction would not show up in official statistics …

  3. Carmen commented on Feb 8

    So what do we call this now? Self-unemployment?

  4. Marcus Aurelius commented on Feb 8

    Self-employed “construction workers,” huh? This is another reason we’re in the trouble we’re in.

    Next, we’ll have the self-employed Administrative assistant.

    The law, if I’m not mistaken, calls for a much larger employer costs and responsibilities for keeping full-time/full-benefit workers. These laws were passed for the greater public good, after the last time a huge class of working poor existed in the US.

    Of course, there are loopholes which have been grossly exploited by the employers, and those loopholes will have to be closed if we are ever going to have a truly vibrant economy.

    An example: It should come as no surprise to the rank and file that many employers, to avoid paying those employees their full pension benefits, will fire soon-to-be-retired employees – just short of their retirement date. Are the firings justified? There can probably be a case made that they are not. But bringing such a case before the appropriate authorities is risky, expensive, and fraught with peril for any individual trying to press their “rights” under the law. (A neighbor of mine got the hook one quarter before his retirement date – after 22 years as a Sears/Kenmore repairman. 22 years, and they canned him.)

    By ignoring the flouting of these laws we have contributed to our own bad fortune, and we’ll pay (and pay much more) in the end.

    We’re fixin’ to learn why it’s not so smart to take a dump in the village well.

    “Self-employed” construction workers have their own shovels, pitchforks, and torches. Get ready for the “parade.”

  5. yoshi commented on Feb 8

    So what do we call this now? Self-unemployment?

    Heh. I’m ‘self-employed’ but in the technology industry and I’m incorporated. One of the recent positive developments in the tax code in my state is as “officer” of my own company – I no have to pay unemployment tax for wages paid to myself. For a simple reason – I can’t lay myself off. The best I can do is “dissolve” the corporation which doesn’t trigger unemployment benefits.

    Of course – they screw me elsewhere…

  6. Owner Earnings commented on Feb 8

    Declines in hours worked always lead outright loss of jobs.

  7. Ross commented on Feb 8

    Marcus,
    I too have a neighbor that was let go from a drapery mfg after 27 years.

    Another neighbor is a bellweather for me. Nice guy but under educated. He worked construction in the 90’s and since 2000 has worked for a trucking company fixing their computers. His employer is about 50 miles from his home so he leaves very early most mornings. I have seen his truck in the driveway for the last 3 weeks so I asked him what happened. Layoff. This guy is a hard working chap and way too proud to file for unemployment.

  8. SBG commented on Feb 8

    Constructions jobs, especially residential construction, would be an obvious place to look for unemployed workers coming from the housing slow down. However, I would hazard a guess that a significant percentage of those employees maybe illegal aliens. I don’t think they will be filing for unemployment, just going back home.

  9. Doug Watts commented on Feb 8

    Here’s another example. Some construction companies will sublet excess, small-time jobs off to small-time carpenters, who then do the work and get paid a lump sum by the company. When this type of work dries up, there is no record of a lay-off (no employee) and no unemployment claim (no job to be unemployed from). However, the lack of work and $$$ and lack of employment is real.

  10. E commented on Feb 8

    The title of this post doesn’t quite match the content, but I wanted to comment on the title. We have added a black market for labor that serves as a cushion for the employment numbers. Illegal aliens have been leaving in droves since Q3 07. Look at cash outflows to Mexico and CentAm, also in steep decline.

  11. Ross commented on Feb 8

    Go to comics . com and check out The Wizard Of Id. Laughed so hard I have to go change my coffee stained shirt.

  12. hal commented on Feb 8

    I was a corp officer till 10 years ago when our company was sold and I was severed out.

    At an older age and hi comp level I was not in hi demand.

    So I started my own investment adv co–started with zero clients.

    I was employed-self employed–

    And I have a bunch of friends would were similar in their RIF. They took jobs that had small draws but commission based-they were employed.

    Realtors now are employed–not making much but employed.

    car salespeople–still employed but no sales.

    yada yada

  13. Orlando Florida Homes For Sale commented on Feb 8

    I was in the medical field many years ago and I watch them let all the senior staff go when a new company came in and took over. Thas just wrong! You expect admin and managers to maybe go but skilled nurses of over 20 years critical experience being replaced with one nurse on floor and many patient care techs.

    I am self employed now and while I have no health insurance which I could but choose not to due to price I feel much better about what I do and less expendable.

  14. larry commented on Feb 8

    The reason the claims are not growing is that an increasing number of workers are 1099’d and do not pay into unemployment insurance. They are 1099’d so that the employer does not have to pay into the unemployment insurance pool. Perhaps this is why so many “pundits” express surprise at the bad economic/retail numbers. There is a huge pool of workers out there both immigrants and citizens that do not show up on our radar screen.

  15. hal commented on Feb 8

    other than my tax return, how would they know what the heck I am doing?

    that must be the birth death model–to guess at who is self employed.

    if it was not for the war, unemployment would be much worse.

  16. Don commented on Feb 8

    Both guys (Marcus and Ross spoke of) would probably have a claim for age discrimination, or at least the threat of a claim.

    I bet Marcus’ guy, maybe both, had to sign away those rights in order to get a severance, which is usually how it works.

    Sadly, the wages of American workers have been mostly stagnant, on an inflation-adjusted basis, for the last 40 years (there was a slight blip up during the 90’s). The fed kept pumping money out there to make it seem wages were going up, but they were masking the reality that wages for Americans in many industries had to fall, or at least not rise, in order for American wages to be internationally competitive. Remember, 400 million or so Chinese are still left to stream into the industrialized world working for next to nothing.

    Incidentally, I’m a self-employed real estate closing attorney. Guess my relatively light work load marries up well w/ the statistics on the self-employed.

    You know what you call a self-employed person w/ no work? Unemployed.

  17. Johnny Vee commented on Feb 8

    There is a Bob Dylan song that goes- “you don’t need a weather man to know that its raining outside” or something like that. The office in the building I work and those around were full 2 years ago and now they are half empty. I don’t need an economist to tell me what I already know.

    The first wave of unemployment was the Mexican immigrant. Second wave is the 1099-realtor, loan officer, sub-contractor, or paid under the table emplyment. Third wave is starting, which are those in white collar job such as financials.

  18. cinefoz commented on Feb 8

    Maybe the employment numbers collected and presented by the government aren’t worth a shit? Look at the quantity and magnitude of announced corporate layoffs and the difficulty companies have in finding and hiring good people.

    Once the borders get sealed up properly and companies are forced to substitute capital for labor, look out above. It would be good to be an educated person when this eventually happens. On the other hand, if the lowest common denominator continues to be a major player in the workforce, this will be bad for the entire economy. Substituting labor for capital on an economy wide basis brings us further down the food chain.

    Frankly, I look at illegal immigration as it is currently practiced as a modern form of slavery. It is not liberal to bring in workers who live in fear of being sent back home. These are exploitable people. They are paid less. They live in the shadows. They are a major source of identity theft. They are an immediate underclass who will never rise above that level. Quite a concept … liberal slavers. (No, the answer in NOT making them all legal. First effectively seal the borders. Then solve the problem of what to do with those who are here. It is two problems, not one problem.)

    On another note, copper is going strong and the yen appears to have topped and is gradually weakening. Even the Nikkei looks like it has hit a bottom long term trend line. While Japanese stocks are creatures of risk and terror, the copper / yen observation is a pretty good sign.

    Why is this good? Copper is used everywhere. When demand for the goods that use copper falls, prices fall. When demand rises, so do prices. It is a working metal, not a show metal, like gold. A weaker yen MAY signify the first bold entrants back to the carry trade.

  19. bluestatedon commented on Feb 8

    “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

    Great song and a perfectly apt metaphor for the current situation. It’s no surprise to me that so many of the economic talking heads and so-called “journalists” are “amazed” or “surprised” at the negative employment/sales/real estate figures. All these people are employed full-time by large corporations, have great benefits, go to the same pricey restaurants, send their kids to the same expensive private daycare facilities and universities, belong to the same country clubs, go to the same expensive resorts in Aspen and Europe, and basically have no contact whatsoever with working stiffs other than grabbing their lattes on the way to work and paying the cleaning lady on Friday. The looks of blank consternation on their smug faces if the shit really does hit the fan will be a small consolation.

  20. Don commented on Feb 8

    cinefoz,

    It is frankly surprising that you of all people–the optimist confident in the perpetuality of growth, would lament the illegal immigrants.

    W/out the flood of immigrants this nation has enjoyed over the last couple of decades, our population, and therefore most probably, economy, would be stagnant or declining. (Native born female fertility rates barely above replacement) The immigrants are your perpetual growth machine.

    To say none will ever climb out of their initial poverty and rise to the middle classes and above ignores only about all of American history, and is just too xenophobic to be taken seriously.

    Seal the borders? With what, duct tape? Machine guns? M1A1 Abrams tanks? The economic imperative will not be denied. Again, it is the very source of your growth optimism.

    I’ll make a prediction: If the US ever fails to attract immigrants, illegal and otherwise, to her shores, that will mark the end of the empire. People come here and help make its economy grow because it is possible to find a better life here than in some field in Mexico planting an acre or two of corn for subsistence living. When folks don’t want to come anymore, we’re in trouble, as your perpetual growth machine abruptly screeches to a halt. Think Japan (that allows almost no immigrants, but whose females reproduce at less than replacement rates) since 1990 or so, and that’s about where your xenophobia would get us.

  21. michael schumacher commented on Feb 8

    When Cinefiz has to pay $7 for a head of lettuce or $6 per green pepper will he finally make the connection???

    No

    Ciao
    MS

  22. Mr. Obvious commented on Feb 8

    It is not liberal to bring in workers who live in fear of being sent back home. These are exploitable people. They are paid less. They live in the shadows. They are a major source of identity theft. They are an immediate underclass who will never rise above that level. Quite a concept … liberal slavers.

    cinefoz, you, sir, are a complete asshat. Google “Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa”. Came to the US as an illegal immigrant picking tomatoes. Currently a top brain surgeon.

    People come to the US for opportunity. “Quiñones gave the commencement address when he graduated from Harvard Medical School and continued his training, in neurosurgery, at the University of California, San Francisco. It was an exciting but daunting prospect. Could an illegal Mexican fieldworker become a brain surgeon? It didn’t seem possible.”

    You should stick to making crappy housing forecasts.

  23. Johnny Vee commented on Feb 8

    Anothe B.S. number is inventory. Every quarter, except probably this one, economists predict manufacturing will increase because inventory is so low. Inventory is low because there is no need for it. Product goes from manufacture to store shelves. For example, DELL doesn’t have inventory. You order the computer, then its made and sent directly to comsumer. NO INVENTORY is the rule = Just in time has been the business model for years.

  24. wunsacon commented on Feb 8

    MS, I think cinefoz knows the connection. He just thinks what we have is an unfair relationship with our illegal immigrants.

    I don’t know what he means by “liberal slavers” though. The GOP has been in complete control for 7 years and drastically cut random spot-checking of employers until just recently. Not only that, if they wanted to stop illegal immigration, it would be a cinch to hold employers responsible with large fines and potential jail time. The GOP didn’t do this when they could.

  25. kk commented on Feb 8

    Don & Mr. Obvious, Come to the southwest to see the strain on services that illegal immigrants have caused. When illigal immigrants trash property owner rights along the border, I have a big problem. When an illegal immigrant starts a cash business, and undercuts a legal business that is following the law, I feel that it is also unfair. If the economy gets much worse, or stumbles along for a few more years, we will see how the illegal immigrant population handles it. It might not be pretty.

    Don, I’m curious why certain states still mandate a real estate closing attorney.

  26. W T F commented on Feb 8

    Posted by wunsacon on Feb 8, 2008 11:34:41 AM:

    The GOP has been in complete control for 7 years and drastically cut random spot-checking of employers until just recently. Not only that, if they wanted to stop illegal immigration, it would be a cinch to hold employers responsible with large fines and potential jail time. The GOP didn’t do this when they could.

    I believe the state of Arizona in fact just implement this. There’s a federal law on the books that imposes heavy fines on employers that hire illegals. The state legislature voted to enforce the law; the gov signed it.

    Does anyone know how this is working out?

    I’m surprised that the state of Kaly4nea hasn’t taken this action too. Do any of the KA residents know if this is likely to occur there too?

  27. michael schumacher commented on Feb 8

    WTF-

    See cost of produce sky rocket were that to be implemented. One of the (many) reasons it has not.

    Wun-

    No….he clearly does not understand the ramifications of it….fear is a bitch and he is full of ignorance and fear.

    Ciao
    MS

  28. cinefoz commented on Feb 8

    wunsacon,

    True. I should have added that. However, I think that many liberals who want to assist these people are only part of the problem, and not a benevolent nanny force. They are the kind face of the abuser. And these are the people who will be in charge. I didn’t expect any more than that from the Republicans. I am amused by the double standard of the liberals here. Bring in the underclass and allow a few to rise just to avoid the guilt at slaving out the rest.

    I don’t mind if my taxes go up to bail out the poor management of the government for the last 7 years. I refuse to pay more to subsidize the underclass labor force.

  29. michael schumacher commented on Feb 8

    Cinefiz displays total racism and ignorance.

    I guess you voted for Bush since he is giving you PLENTY of opps to pay higher taxes to clean up his massive fuck ups.

    But not one red cent to the people that provide you cheap (for now) food for your table.

    Fucking Moron……

    you’ll get yours

    Ciao
    MS

  30. Don commented on Feb 8

    KK,

    Most states don’t require closing attorneys, and neither does mine, but it is common practice in some places, as here, so there I am.

    At least until one of cinefoz’s “liberal slaves” comes to take my job away….or, better, comes to work for me.

  31. cinefoz commented on Feb 8

    MS = The kind face of the abuser.

  32. michael schumacher commented on Feb 8

    Cinefiz=fucking idiot since he is too stupid to realize that he consumes the very same food that those “horrible” illegals pick.

    Sucks to be a part of something that you bash so easily.

    Ciao
    MS

  33. cinefoz commented on Feb 8

    MS,

    So, you are pro abuse of illegals in order to eat cheap food. I’m not.

    It’s too bad we have such an efficient infrastructure in place to support this activity. Conservatives see nothing wrong with exploiting cheap labor. And liberal politicians want to institutionalize it by adding a new underclass oriented support structure, just to be helpful. Don’t forget the misguided ministers who support this reverse underground railroad.

    Nobody want to support laws that would end up treating these people with respect, at the expense of having to give up cheap labor. It’s easier to pretend you are helping the poor unwashed by making their exploitation have a slightly softer edge.

    Thus my thesis of Liberal Slavers.

  34. michael schumacher commented on Feb 8

    I’m still waiting for Cinefiz to make a comment about interest rates since he clearly doesn’t understand something so basic. How on earth should I expect him to actually understand a fairly complex issue such as those “horrible resource sucking illegals”.

    Just fuck off Cinefiz…each entry just proves you are a pissed off angry old man who would rather insult people than debate.

    Good luck with that attitude….People have countered what you call an argument and all you do is insult.

    Here is something you can understand:

    F U C K O F F

    Sorry to the others…had to be said.

    Moving on

    Ciao
    MS

  35. cinefoz commented on Feb 8

    MS,

    Nyah Nyah Nyah, lick my butt.

  36. Justin commented on Feb 8

    Oh c’mon guys…what the heck, it’s only money! :-) Remember: the peace makers will inherit the earth…question is we might not want too after this mess is over….

  37. Justin commented on Feb 8

    Barry, Barry, help me…some of these statistics that these anal experts are spouting coming out of China, seem so unbelieveable…can you run something that gives a little more insight than what these bozos spout? I use to work constuction a few power plants, bridges, etc….and the guy just on CNBC (this is not a rant), just said that they built the equivlent of something like 1/3 of our mega-wattage in plants last year, I find that hard to believe, in less of course he is talking about the 7 gourges dam…which has taken 20 years to build, not one! These guys need to be accountable!

  38. michael schumacher commented on Feb 8

    spoken like a true and total asshat.
    and completely expected……

    ciao
    MS

  39. VJ commented on Feb 8

    I find all this recent concern with the “increase in unemployment” rather amusing given that we’ve had seven years of negative job growth.
    .

  40. fyego commented on Feb 8

    If you look at the unadjusted data, unemployment claims have significantly risen in YOY comparisons. When compared to 2006, they are now running at 78,000 greater claims per week averaged over the last 4 weeks to take out noise and seasonal fluctuation (this is into early recession territory based on past historical data). This can also be seen in the resultant increase of continued claims by 368,000 (12%) over last year and 440,000 over 2006. The weakness in new unemployment claims is present when you look at the underlying data.

  41. Justin commented on Feb 8

    fyego, and my guess would be that this is exactly the reason that the “stimulus bill” just passed didn’t include extention of unemployment, etc….because there is such a huge possibility that it is going to get a whole lot worse! And NO, I’m not dramatizing Longs; I’m trying to save you some money. Because I love you guys and I want you to be there with me when the real bull-market begins.

  42. me commented on Feb 8

    BINGO we have a winner. Yes folks its Larry. What happened when companies like IBM fired employees and then hired them back (calling the NC unemployment office if they refused) at reduced wages, very reduced wages and no benefits. When they fired them again there is no record. They can’t file for unemployment and are not counted in any stats.

    You have to be a stupid fool to believe all these contractors got rich and dropped out of the labor force, reducing the employment to population ratio.

    Want proof? In the primary here in Georgia, more people voted democratic than republican. I have posted many times here about 40,000 crappy jobs to be created in Atlanta this year and 12% of those will pay over $40 grand.

  43. rexl commented on Feb 8

    i have lived most of my life in the southwest and have many friends who came across the border illegally and who are now very successful.
    but things have changed in the last couple of decades.
    now more than ever illegals are treated very badly. and there is an element of irony in the liberal stance and I consider myself liberal usually and further left on some issues.
    there is definitely some slave-like treatment of these people. these are mostly good, hard working, very desperate, and very honest people.
    I too think we need to control our border.
    Winter lettuce is mostly grown within driving distance of the border so a lot of the labor commutes.
    Personally I would be willing to pay more for vegetables to be picked by people paid a decent wage.
    I also think more of this problem should be laid at the feet of the mexican government where a lot of it originates.

  44. Shane commented on Feb 8

    Maybe a bad idea to jump in here . . . but . . .
    Even though I think cinefroz is wrong on housing, I partially agree on illegals.

    I believe you would be hard pressed to find many (if any) who believe we should not have immigrants into this country. Immigrants, from the Irish, Chinese, Germans, etc, have made this country strong. However, as a sovereign country, the government has a responsibility and a duty to regulate that immigration.

    People who are upset at immigration are deeply upset at the vast amounts of ILLEGAL immigration, which cause a huge mess of problems.

    For a time I lived in Manassas, VA-and let me say just about 75% or more of the latinos were illegal-I know b/c through my church I worked with a lot of latinos, and probably 50% or more of the males were involved in the housing/construction business. You want to know why the unemployment #s don’t seem to jive . . . well there is one of the reasons-and anyone who makes the claim otherwise is either a)blind b)doesn’t want to admit it.

    I think hiring illegals whether its for produce or housing masks some of the fundamental problems we have in this country-dealing with the massive amount of inflation created in the past 7 years. If we didn’t have all the illegals picking produce or housing, two things would happen. 1) Price would absolutely rise. 2) People would say holy !@#@# what the @!#$ is the government doing, why is inflation so !@#$$ high!!! You’d see a reflection of true inflation in the CPI and the feds would have been forced to take the punch bowl away sooner, and possibly restore some fiscal responsibility.

    It would have also prevented housing builders from overbuilding. If their actual costs went up they would have thought twice about massive overbuilding.

    Look, we export a ton of our dollars, whether to mexico, china, etc, and the public thinks inflation isn’t that bad.

    Bush said illegals do the jobs that americans don’t want . . .absolute BS, they do the jobs b/c they can do it for cheaper than an american would b/c they live in a condo with 15 other illegals (I’ve seen it), and they send half their money back to home. While living with 15 unrelated people would seem horrible to Americans, it’s a step up from their home environment.

    I had one illegal tell me with the money he’s earned in 2 years he could feed his family for 10.

    For people who say they don’t cause a burden . . . okay yeah right. I knew another illegal couple, they decided to have a child. B/c they were illegal they had no insurance, of course the hospital admits them—who do you think foots the bill? My wife is pregnant, and it will probably cost me (b/c of the plan I’m on) 3k, and the insurance a total of 10-20k. Of course now that the illegals had a child, they get to stay here forever. They knew this and planned it all along-I know b/c they told me. It is a massive drain on the facilities.

    Another ancedote, not that correlation is causality, but . . . Prince William Co. VA was one of the counties that had the highest % of illegals in Northern Virginia, and in particular the towns of Manassas and Manassas Park. Which area had been hit hardest by the downturn in housing in Washington DC? You guessed it Prince William Co., down almost 20% YoY. Is that the reason, don’t know but it is an interesting factoid.

    MS or whoever else would like to slam me,
    Lest you start calling me a racist or whatever else. I speak Castellano (a type of Spanish) fluently and I lived in Northern Argentina for 2+ years. I have many wonderful friends that I visit down there. I’ve probably lived in and seen more poverty than most can imagine, I’ve lived in worse conditions than those like you see in the specials on TV.

    Illegal immigration is about two things.
    1) Honoring, obeying and sustaining the law
    2) Ensuring that US citizens do not have their jobs threatened or taken away by an illegal black market.

    I personally believe the reason the fed. government won’t fix the problem is b/c of our current monetary policy. They understand that will no illegals prices would jump and as a country we’d finally be forced to deal with 7+ years of juicing the punchbowl. Most things in this world comes down to 2 things, money and power.

    Legal immigration should be about filtering through and ensuring that those who come to this country will be able to make a substantial contribution to society-i.e. they won’t become welfare addicts.

    We should absolutely encourage people to come to America as a bastion of hope and freedom, however immigrating to America is not a right, it is a privilege.

  45. PFT commented on Feb 8

    Self employed. Version 1. Honey, I finished mowing the lawn can I have my pay now? Wife hands her hubbie a 20 she had stashed away during the good times.

    Self Employed. Version 2. Consultant sits at desk and stares at computer waiting for phone to ring. Waiting. Waiting. Eight hours he leaves his home office and walks into the kitchen to start preparing dinner for the family.

    When your neighbour starts planting corn in his yard this spring do not be too surprised.

    The good news is if you need some work done on your house and can afford it, there are all kinds of people who in recent years were too busy to return your calls who will line up to work for you.

  46. rexl commented on Feb 8

    shane: yes you are correct. I now live in Phoenix, and it is crazy.
    when we lived in san diego people could commute, but phoenix is too far from the border.
    the hypocrisy of hispanic organizations pimping for poverty and position to basically keep people in slave conditions is insane.
    the new law to take away business liceses is giving everyone pause. large business is fighting it on constitutional grounds, go figure, but the last I heard the judge said the constitution doesn’t say anything about business licenses. So we’ll see.
    the numbers of people involved are huge because the issue has been ignored for so long, apartment vacancies are through the roof. newspapers say people are returning to mexico, bull, they are heading to texas, california, and other states. people are starving to death in mexico and central america.
    Fox comes up and says the average wage in mexico is around 7-8000 per year, bullsh-t, or maybe pesos, not usd.
    if you have not or do not live in a border state it is probably hard to realize just how large this problem is. or they throw around words like ‘racist’, well, if an englishman says he doesn’t like the french or want to be french, or be constantly listening to french does that make him ‘racist’, I hope not.
    a lot of very powerful people and money want this to remain a problem without a solution. unfortunately, rather than mexico and central american countries being lifted up, it seems we are heading down to their level.

  47. Pat G. commented on Feb 8

    The B**LS*** numbers are just that. All the government’s numbers are spun, period!

  48. wunsacon commented on Feb 9

    WTF, I think Escondido (near San Diego) passed a law requiring landlords to check renter status. But, it was challenged right away. A judicial stay was granted pending outcome in the court system.

  49. wunsacon commented on Feb 9

    Justin, I don’t watch MSM and don’t know the exact quote you’re remarking about. But, in either 2006 or 2007, China added as much electric generation capacity as exist in all the UK. The 7 Gorges Dam is a drop in the bucket.

    Is this astonishing? On the one hand, yes. On the other hand, 1 billion people recently emerged from a low-energy communist lifestyle. And they want electricity.

    Unfortunately, the bulk of the capacity is in the form of coal plants. The US’s and world’s failure to set greenhouse gas limits — and allow a market to flourish — helped make this happen.

  50. wunsacon commented on Feb 9

    MS, would you please email me at Yahoo? I’d like to take something offline.

    Cinefoz, I understand your reasoning and see some of your statements as insightful and fair. I would just say that individual liberals do not favor the current system of exploitation. (E.g., a 60 Minutes special explained that the children of illegal and *legal* imported workers help their parents in the farm fields, without technically “violating” child labor laws.) What we have is a “compromise” between different ideologies/policies. No one is happy with the results of the compromise.

    I’m undecided but suspect I would prefer the application of federalism here: let each state experiment setting immigration policy on their own. On the one hand, like air in a balloon, the root problems would probably just manifest itself in other ways. On the other hand, we know decentralized decision-making often (but not always) works better than centralized decision-making. Maybe decentralizing control over immigration would make people happier.

  51. wunsacon commented on Feb 9

    The 60 Minutes segment reference was non sequitor. I was just giving an example of one part of the problem, showing how bad the problem is. There’s LEGAL child labor in this country. These kids are growing up without an education.

  52. war32 commented on Feb 21

    Posted by cinefoz | Feb 8, 2008 10:25:41 AM

    and basically have no contact whatsoever with working stiffs other than grabbing their lattes on the way to work and paying the cleaning lady on Friday. The looks of blank consternation on their smug faces if the shit really does hit the fan will be a small consolation.

    cinefoz. You are right on. It’s good to see someone posting comments worth a damn.

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