It’s not wage rises that are a problem for the economy – it’s the lack of them | Thomas Frank | Opinion | The Guardian


In recent weeks media outlets in the US have been fretting over what would ordinarily be considered good news – the roaring American economy, which has brought low unemployment and, in some places, a labour shortage. Owners and managers have complained about their problems in finding people to fill low-wage positions. “Nobody wants to do manual labour any more,” as one trade association grandee told the Baltimore Sun, and so the manual labour simply goes undone.

Company bosses talk about the things they have done to fix the situation: the ads they’ve published; the guest-worker visas for which they’ve applied; how they are going into schools to encourage kids to learn construction skills or to drive trucks. The Wall Street Journal reports on the amazing perks that plumbing companies are now offering new hires: quiet rooms, jetski trips, pottery classes, free breakfast, free beer.

But nothing seems to work. Blame for the labour shortage is sprayed all over the US map: opioids are said to be the problem. And welfare, and inadequate parking spaces, and a falling birthrate, and mass incarceration, and – above all – the Trump administration’s immigration policies. But no one really knows for sure.

 

Source: It’s not wage rises that are a problem for the economy – it’s the lack of them | Thomas Frank | Opinion | The Guardian

How will the autumn statement change Britain? Our panel’s views | Matthew d’Ancona, Martin Kettle, Gaby Hinsliff, Aditya Chakrabortty and Polly Toynbee | Opinion | The Guardian


Autumn statement 2016 Philip Hammond Theresa May Economics Economic policy EU referendum and Brexit Economic growth (GDP) Housing Office for Budget Responsibility Minimum wage Budget deficit Government borrowing

Source: How will the autumn statement change Britain? Our panel’s views | Matthew d’Ancona, Martin Kettle, Gaby Hinsliff, Aditya Chakrabortty and Polly Toynbee | Opinion | The Guardian

Trump as a possible one-term President


Only a couple of months and we should know.

Phil Ebersole's Blog

I think there is a strong possibility that Donald Trump will be a one-term President—provided there are still free and fair elections in 2020.

220px-Donald_Trump_August_19,_2015_(cropped)I think that for the same reasons I thought Hillary Clinton might be a one-term President.  I believe there will be another recession, as serious as the last, during the next four years, and I think Trump will be even less able to cope with it than Clinton.

He campaigned as a populist champion of the common people against the elite.  But he spent his life among the elite, and his business history shows that he is only tough with those with less wealth and power than he has.

Trump kicks downward.  He  doesn’t punch upward.

His transition team is drawn from K street lobbyists.   His preference is to appoint from the private sector, not from government or academia.

His likely choice for Secretary of the…

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George Osborne’s Post-Brexit Economy is a Fantasy Land


It is all fantasy and I do not believe in fantasy, I will still Vote Leave, Brexit all the way.

Stop Making Sense

Katie Allen writes for The Guardian:

With one month to go to the referendum, George Osborne is pulling out all the stops. The chancellor has a clear message: a vote to leave the EU is a vote for recession, a house price slump, soaring food prices and hundreds of thousands of lost jobs.

The chancellor has been shouting out numbers and lamenting the fate of the “working people of Britain who will pay the price if we leave the EU”. He even talked about “evidence” Britain will spark its own downturn.

Let’s be clear, all Osborne has are “scenarios”. At best, semi-educated guesses, pulled out of models that make a host of assumptions over what the post-Brexit future holds.

Even the Treasury itself wants to emphasise that all this talk of shrinking GDP and rising prices is by no means a forecast. Rather, the latest doomsday scenario for post-Brexit Britain…

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Labour promises ‘iron discipline’ to shore up fiscal credibility | Politics | The Guardian


Shadow chancellor John McDonnell tells Guardian restoring Labour’s economic reputation is “struggle of generation”

Source: Labour promises ‘iron discipline’ to shore up fiscal credibility | Politics | The Guardian

The economy isn’t working. This could be Labour’s chance | Stewart Wood | Opinion | The Guardian


Google, crony capitalism and zero-hour contracts are just some of the things fuelling public anger. We need to channel that rage into reform

Source: The economy isn’t working. This could be Labour’s chance | Stewart Wood | Opinion | The Guardian

Why it’s time to see social care as an economic generator, not a financial drain


Original post from The Guardian

An extract

‘………..I want to begin with Graham, a friend of mine, and his wife Maureen. Married for just over 50 years, Maureen was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and attendant dementia in 2010. Graham is blind, and Maureen was admitted to a care home in 2013 because they could no longer manage together at home.

Graham says it’s a welcoming environment and the care workers are lovely people, but if Graham isn’t there (he visits her every day) she will spend all her time in bed. There isn’t an appropriate room for her to sit in and if she sits in a chair in her own room, there has to be a member of staff to supervise her – and there is never one to spare. Maureen can no longer express her own feelings, but Graham says she seems to enjoy sitting down. Staying in bed raises respiratory issues which seem to distress her. She simply weeps, he says.

Ever since the Sutherland Commission on long term care reported in 1999, and its initial recommendation for free social care was rejected, the response of the three main traditional political parties has consistently been that we could not afford to put social care on the same footing as the NHS and make it a universal service free at the point of delivery funded by general taxation. This, the argument goes, would just be too expensive.

The question is this: why do we think of looking after people as a financial burden? What underpins this way of thinking, that it is a matter of money out rather than money in? Why is it thought that helping to support children facing difficulties, disabled people and older members of our community is a negative rather than a positive?……………….’